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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.
Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March:
The Pacific trade winds are weakening as a result of global warming.
In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.
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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."