Friday, April 11, 2008

Depth of Field

I figured something out!....I was working up a post about the conversation Solon had with the Old Egyptian...the bit about the Hellenes...brb...

Lov'n' Spoonfull bio on PBS....when they do these things it fills out the memories I have of these groups and songs!...very nice I think America is on...


To this city came Solon, and was received there with great honour; he asked the priests who were most skilful in such matters, about antiquity, and made the discovery that neither he nor any other Hellene knew anything worth mentioning about the times of old. On one occasion, wishing to draw them on to speak of antiquity, he began to tell about the most ancient things in our part of the world—about Phoroneus, who is called "the first man," and about Niobe; and after the Deluge, of the survival of Deucalion and Pyrrha; and he traced the genealogy of their descendants, and reckoning up the dates, tried to compute how many years ago the events of which he was speaking happened.
Thereupon one of the priests, who was of a very great age, said: O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age.


"you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you" is the bit I'm after.

It's one of those things that's stuck in my head for years...and I set it by side by side with other bits...brb...


Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

That's a closer side by side than I suspected!...having only seen the last bit quoted many places...

There's a new software program for photographers shooting flowers and things with close up lenses..and in my case...telephoto lenses...usually these photos have one narrowed thing in focus and the rest blurry...this is depth of field..the depth with a long lens is very short...a quarter inch or less with mine it appears!'s both a good and bad would be nice for more to be in focus and "sharp as a tack"...but the blurred out surrounding and background can be very neat too!...but this new program can take a half dozen slices....same pic with different focus...(this would definitely require a tripod and rock steady subject!)...and make the whole subject's...surrounding...and focus by combining them.

Hang on to that bit!....brb...

The History of the Peloponnesian War By Thucydides

Curious isn't it...that the beginning of History telling down to today is said to have begun with Thucydides...and it starts right out with the history of the Hellenes!...but I think Herodotus may have wrote what I'm looking for...brb...

this isn't it either! of these two describe the "focus" problem...


These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, which he publishes, in the hope of thereby preserving from decay the remembrance of what men have done, and of preventing the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the Barbarians from losing their due meed of glory; and withal to put on record what were their grounds of feuds.


it would take time to find again!...brb...well..this from Thucydides will have to do!...


There are many other unfounded ideas current among the rest of the Hellenes, even on matters of contemporary history, which have not been obscured by time. For instance, there is the notion that the Lacedaemonian kings have two votes each, the fact being that they have only one; and that there is a company of Pitane, there being simply no such thing. So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand. On the whole, however, the conclusions I have drawn from the proofs quoted may, I believe, safely be relied on. Assuredly they will not be disturbed either by the lays of a poet displaying the exaggeration of his craft, or by the compositions of the chroniclers that are attractive at truth's expense; the subjects they treat of being out of the reach of evidence, and time having robbed most of them of historical value by enthroning them in the region of legend. Turning from these, we can rest satisfied with having proceeded upon the clearest data, and having arrived at conclusions as exact as can be expected in matters of such antiquity. To come to this war: despite the known disposition of the actors in a struggle to overrate its importance, and when it is over to return to their admiration of earlier events, yet an examination of the facts will show that it was much greater than the wars which preceded it.


Well..he finds a focal point! and dismisses the blurry legends and poets!

Both of them, I think, somewhere, try to articulate how ephemeral is the reports they base their histories on...and that their accounts too share in the self same state!...which is not the 'real' history...there is no 'real' history'...only story..but anyway...

The Old Egyptians figured out, I've figured out, how to deal with the whole problem...which was to turn their whole country into a kinda refrain...year after year, century after Egyptian day was so much like another that if one studied one had all the Egyptian history!

But that's not what I figured out today...what I thought on was what the Old Egyptian is saying about the Hellenes is that they had a narrow "depth of field" children...who cant remember much...and dont dwell on future things...and that brought me back to this..brb...


For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

Ecclesieates 1:18


Well, the joy of childhood ends with the "wisdom" and "knowledge" of adulthood. Adults have a deeper field of vision and they can focus on past things and future things.

This is all becoming more elaborate than I intended!...and what I feared would happen on thinking on it today!

It's the Blue Jays and their nest...they're trying to build it in an impossible place...their vision cant take it all in. It's a niche atop an iron pole attached with bolts to a girder supporting a roof. Every time they put a stick in place, it falls off. isn't like they're not excellent nest builders..they have been doing this for million of years...but they have got kinda the same trick the Old Egyptians had...they do it the same way, day after day, year after year, century after on Blue Jay's day...and you have them all. The critters have "history" but it's a kinda ground hog day history...Natural History. And it's bumped up against our new "history".

See Fauna and Flora for the Impossible Nest!

Now, who was Phoroneus?...brb...


Phoroneus "was the first to gather the people together into a community; for they had up to then been living as scattered and lonesome families".



Now Charlie Rose has Norah Jones on...very cool...


PHARAOHComes from Pharong, meaning the Liberated One. Also from para or bara, meaning brother. In Hindi the word for brother is pra. It is also connected to the term pharos (fire) meaning light and effulgence. It also derives from the Greek pharos-nous, or lighted mind. Pharoneus or Pharomeus gives Prometheus, the light-bringer of the later Greeks. The word Farragh, was used in Scotland and Ireland, meaning Chieftain.


Well...that's useful..insomuch it was the memory of the meaning of words that I wanted to get to...words when they lose their history lose their impact..and Robert Graves tried to explain this with a bit on the word "hay wire"..well..two's a page with meanings and explanations...of haywire...some close to what I remember of Graves...
what he tries to get across is that the word has been used so often that the original surprise of the word has been lost...and what it meant was what happened when a wire binding hay snaps and it all becomes a tangle of hay and wire.

"small as a kiss but he turns it into this great moment...we did it for three days..."--Norah Jones

some guys....

pic is the Blue Jays making the nest...go look at Fauna and Flora!


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