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Vita brevis, sensus ebes, negligentiæ torpor et inutiles occupationes nos pancula scire permittent. Et aliquotients scita excutit ab animo per temporum frandatrix scientiæ et inimica memoriam præceps oblivio.
The brevity of life, the failing of the senses, the numbness of indifference and unprofitable occupations allow us to know very little. And again and again swift oblivion, the thief of knowledge and the enemy of memory, makes a void of the mind, in the course of time, even what we learn we lose.
–Nicholas Copernicus, fragmentary scrap found among his papers (ca. 1540)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Damages sought, in a defamation suit, by a Chicago landlord from a tenant who complained about mold via Twitter:
The British House of Lords voted to limit the right of parents to spank their children.
The Mall of America hired its first black Santa, a real estate company valued Mr. and Mrs. Claus’s North Pole home at $656,957, and it was reported that the price of the gifts from “Twelve Days of Christmas” went up by more than $200 in 2016, to $34,363.49.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."