The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'The Ancients'

December 30th, 2021 · No Comments

“People do not obey, unless rulers know how to command; obedience is a lesson taught by commanders. A true leader himself creates the obedience of his own followers; as it is the last attainment in the art of riding to make a horse gentle and tractable, so is it of the science of government, to […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Ancients

December 29th, 2021 · No Comments

“A ruler’s first end is to maintain his office, which is done no less by avoiding what is unfit than by observing what is suitable. Whoever is either too remiss or too strict is no more a king or a governor, but either a demagogue or a despot, and so becomes either odious or contemptible […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Ancients

December 26th, 2021 · No Comments

“It is the general feeling of all who have occasion for wicked men’s service, as people have for the poison of venomous beasts; they are glad of them while they are of use, and abhor their baseness when it is over.” – “Romulus,” Plutarch’s Lives (trans. A. H. Clough) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: The Ancients

December 24th, 2021 · No Comments

“That age produced a sort of men, in force of hand, and swiftness of foot, and strength of body, excelling the ordinary rate, and wholly incapable of fatigue; making use, however, of these gifts of nature to no good or profitable purpose for mankind, but rejoicing and priding themselves in insolence, and taking the benefit […]

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Tags: The Ancients

December 19th, 2021 · No Comments

“According to Aristotle, the Pythagoreans held that the elements of number were the elements of things, and, therefore, that things were numbers. To us, accustomed as we are from childhood to the multiplication table, such an assertion seems simply meaningless. We are so familiar with the idea of counting without counting anything, that it is […]

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Tags: Open Science Collaboration · The Ancients

December 16th, 2021 · No Comments

“And the father lifts up his own son in a changed form and slays him with a prayer. Infatuated fool! And they are dragged along begging mercy from the madman, while he, deaf to their cries, slaughters them in his halls and gets ready the evil feast.” – Empedokles, Purifications (from John Burnet, Early Greek […]

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Tags: The Ancients

August 24th, 2021 · No Comments

“Greek democracies could never pardon the introduction of new gods. Their objection to this was not, however, that the gods in question were false gods. If they had been so, it would not have mattered so much. What they could not tolerate was that any one should establish a private means of communication between himself […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Ancients

August 23rd, 2021 · No Comments

“Ancient religions cared nothing for a man’s belief, if only it did not set him in open opposition to the public worship of the State, and, so long as the proper ceremonial was correctly performed, any explanation of it that occurred to the spectator might be given. He might believe or disbelieve that the Mysteries […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Ancients

April 21st, 2021 · No Comments

“The noblest question in the world is What Good may I do in it?” – Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard, 1737 (emphasis in original) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Benjamin Franklin · Economics · Lit & Crit · Other Stuff · Politics & Law · The American Constitution · The Ancients · Verandah

September 9th, 2019 · No Comments

“Imagine insects with a life span of two weeks, and then imagine further that they are trying to build up a science about the nature of time and history. Clearly, they cannot build a model on the basis of a few days in summer. So let us endow them with a language and a culture […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · The Ancients · William Irwin Thompson

August 25th, 2019 · No Comments

“Myth is not an early level of human development, but an imaginative description of reality in which the known is related to the unknown through a system of correspondences in which mind and matter, self, society, and cosmos are integrally expressed in an esoteric language of poetry and number which is itself a performance of […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Ancients · William Irwin Thompson

Line ’em up

November 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage in governing the people considers their springs of action, never tolerates their wicked desires, but seeks only for the people’s benefit. Therefore, the penalty he inflicts is not due to any hatred for the people but to his motive of loving the people. If penalty triumphs, the people are quiet; if reward over-flows, […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And in the end

November 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“With wisdom exhausted abroad and politics disordered at home, no state can be saved from ruin.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Shock-haired bad boy

November 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Suppose there is a boy who has a bad character. His parents are angry at him, but he never makes any change. The villagers in the neighbourhood reprove him, but he is never thereby moved. His masters teach him, but he never reforms. Thus with all the three excellent disciplines, the love of his parents, […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Philosopher kings

November 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“In the age of remote antiquity, human beings were few while birds and beasts were many. Mankind being unable to overcome birds, beasts, insects, and serpents, there appeared a sage who made nests by putting pieces of wood together to shelter people from harm. Thereat the people were so delighted that they made him ruler […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Faking the news

November 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“An unreal thing, if its existence is asserted by ten men, is still subject to doubt; if its existence is asserted by one hundred men, its reality becomes probable; and if its existence is asserted by one thousand men, it becomes undoubtable. Again, if spoken about by stammerers, it is susceptible to doubt; if spoken […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

But who shall rule the ruler

November 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“What parents desire of children is safety and prosperity in livelihood and innocence in conduct. What the ruler requires of his subjects, however, is to demand their lives in case of emergency and exhaust their energy in time of peace. Now, parents, who love their children and wish them safety and prosperity, are not listened […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Get in under the hood

November 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“In general, the principal way of government does not solely mean the justice of reward and punishment. Much less does it mean to reward men of no merit and punish innocent people. However, to reward men of merit, punish men of demerit, and make no mistake in so doing but affect such persons only, can […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Taking care of business

November 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“If in doing any kind of work people look after the harmony of the positive and negative factors; if in planting trees they follow the suitable periods of the four seasons; and if at dawn and at dusk there is no suffering from cold or heat; then revenue will be enormous. If important duties are […]

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Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The equivalences

November 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“Punishments equivalent to crimes are never too many; punishments not equivalent to crimes are never too few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

An ancient dilemma

November 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there was a man of Ch`u selling shields and halberds. In praising his shields he said, ‘My shields are so solid that nothing can penetrate them.’ Again, in praising his halberds, he said, ‘My halberds are so sharp that they can penetrate anything.’ In response to his words somebody asked, ‘How about using your […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Hence the emoluments clause

November 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Kung-yi Hsiu, Premier of Lu, was fond of fish. Therefore, people in the whole country contentiously bought fish, which they presented to him. However, Kung-yi Tzŭ would not accept the presents. Against such a step his younger brother remonstrated with him and said: ‘You like fish, indeed. Why don’t you accept the present of fish?’ […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The ruler can have no friends

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Order and strength are due to the law; weakness and disorder, to its crookedness. If the ruler understands this principle, he must rectify reward and punishment but never assume humanity towards his inferiors. Rank and emolument are due to meritorious services; censure and punishment, to criminal offences.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

What is what

October 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Are hardness and whiteness two distinct qualities in objective existence or are they the same thing perceived by different senses? If neither the hands nor the eyes can solve this problem, who can solve it?” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

It’s logical

October 29th, 2018 · No Comments

1. ‘The white horse is not the horse’—true. 2. ‘A white horse is not a horse’—false. 3. ‘The white horse is not a horse’—false. 4. ‘A white horse is not the horse’—true. – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao; emphases in original) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Easily delineated, our fears

October 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once upon a time there was a traveller drawing for the King of Ch`i. ‘What is the hardest thing to draw?’ asked the King. ‘Dogs and horses are the hardest.’ ‘Then what is the easiest?’ ‘Devils and demons are the easiest. Indeed, dogs and horses are what people know and see at dawn and dusk […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Cart before the horse

October 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there were men of Chêng contending for seniority in age. One man said, ‘My age is the same as Yao’s.’ Another man said, ‘I am as old as the elder brother of the Yellow Emperor.’ They brought the dispute to the court, but the judge could not make any decision. Finally he ruled that […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Drink up and listen up

October 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drugged wine and useful advice are what wise men and enlightened sovereigns ought to appreciate in particular.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And other misfortunes

October 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“If the sovereign does not allow the humble to criticize the noble and the inferior to denounce the superior, but always expects the powers of high and low to balance, then ministers on equal footing will dare to conspire with each other. In so doing he will increase the number of delusive and deceitful officials.” […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And so it is

October 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“If laws are distinct and clear, the worthy cannot over-run the unworthy, the strong cannot outrage the weak, and the many cannot violate the few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao) Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinemailPrint

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients