If Wit be well described by Pope, as being “that which has been often thought, but was never before so well expressed,” they certainly never attained, nor ever sought it; for they endeavored to be singular in their thoughts, and were careless of their diction. But Pope’s account of wit is undoubtedly erroneous: he depresses it below its natural dignity, and reduces it from strength of thought to happiness of language.
If by a more noble and more adequate conception that be considered as Wit, which is at once natural and new, that which, though not obvious, is, upon its first production, acknowledged to be just; if it be that, which he that never found it, wonders how he missed; to wit of this kind the metaphysical poets have seldom risen. Their thoughts are often new, but seldom natural; they are not obvious, but neither are they just; and the reader, far from wondering that he missed them, wonders more frequently by what perverseness of industry they were ever found.
But Wit, abstracted from its effects upon the hearer, may be more rigorously and philosophically considered as a kind of discordia concors; a combination of dissimilar images, or discovery of occult resemblances in things apparently unlike. Of wit thus defined, they have more than enough. The most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together; nature and art are ransacked for illustrations, comparisons, and allusions; their learning instructs, and their subtlety surprises; but the reader commonly thinks his improvement dearly bought, and, though he sometimes admires, is seldom pleased… .
Samuel Johnson, writing in 1779, sums up everything wrong with Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012) — and many other things besides.
Speaking of the JOBS Act there is this thing, which I can’t quite believe is true even though I read it on the internet. It goes like this:
"In a move to take advantage of the SEC’s ratification of the JOBS Act, $100 million hedge fund investor Topturn Capital has aligned itself with professional Australian surfer Joe Curren. The company believes this will set a new precedent in hedge fund marketing. ‘We feel that how we represent our company will change the industry norm,’ Greg Stewart, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Top Turn Capital, said. ‘People look at numbers all day everyday. We just brought in The Trojan Horse for our investment strategy by introducing a surfer into the equation.’”
Um, Greg, you know how the Trojan horse worked, right? It’s like, you get a thing that looks all nice and friendly, and you hide your guys in it, and then you pop out and kill everyone? Or, wait, is that in fact why you introduced a surfer into the equation? Okay, carry on, good luck killing everyone.
LOVE THIS FOOTNOTE.
Tweet    …. let’s start with an anecdote from Art & Fear. It concerns a ceramics class:
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
With Abel 16 years ago    Tweet
meaning. The concept is replaced by the formula, the cause by rules and probability. Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (via ashalynd)