Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Written in 1954

"In the myths and fairy tales we read as children we learned a few of the simpler and more obvious truths of life, such as that when a djinnee is found in a bottle, it had better be left there; that the fisherman who craves a boon from heaven too many times on behalf of his wife will end up exactly where he started; that if you are given three wishes, you must be very careful what you wish for. These simple and obvious truths represent the childish equivalent of the tragic view of life which the Greeks and many modern Europeans possess, and which is somehow missing in this land of plenty."
-- Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings, second edition revised

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