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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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”