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Conexio autem universorum per ipsum est, ut omnia, quamquam sint differentia, sint et conexa. Quapropter inter genera unum universum contrahentia talis est inferioris et superioris conexio, ut in medio coincident, ac inter species diversas talis combinationis ordo exsistit, ut suprema species generis unius coincidat cum infima immediate superioris, ut sit unum continuum perfectum universum.
All things, however disparate they may appear, in truth are bound together. There is in the genus of things such a connection between the higher and the lower order that they come together at a joining point. Such an order obtains among the species that the highest species of one genus coincides with the lowest of the next genus. This is in order that the universe may be one, perfect and continuous.
–Niclas Krebs, later Cardinal Nicholas of Kues, De docta ignorantia, lib. iii, cap. i (1440) in: Nikolaus von Kues’ philosophisch-theologische Werke in deutscher und lateinischer Sprache, vol. 1, p. iii/6 (S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”