I've always cherised the idea that a blog is an online Commonplace book. I'd have called this blog something along these lines if someone hadn't got there before me. Tim, curator of aforementioned online commonplace book quotes Jonathon Swift
to capture their essence. He wrote that, "Whatever, in my reading, occurs concerning this our fellow
creature, I do never fail to set it down by way of commonplace."
Of course, trusty wikipedia has a nice entry on the idea and practice of commonplace books: "They were essentially scrapbooks
filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters,
poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal
formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists
as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned.
Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests."
One of pithy wisdom:
wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to
long for the endless immensity of the sea.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupery
…another which sums up my current mood
make adolescent girls look like rugged individualists.
— Geoff Nunberg
and a final one from the extravangently imaginative Ernest Gellner
a liberal person opposed to all unnecessary state limitation of
individual liberties. Hermeneutics between consenting adults should
not in my view be the object of any statutory restrictions. I know,
only too well, what it would entail. Hermeneutic speakeasies would
spring up all over the place, smuggled Thick Descriptions would be
brought in by the lorry-load from Canada by the Mafia, blood and thick
meaning would clot in the gutter as rival gangs of semiotic
bootleggers slugged it out in a series of bloody shoot-outs and
ambushes. Addicts would be subject to blackmail. Consumptions of deep
meanings and its attendant psychic consequences would in no way
diminsh, but the criminal world would benefit, and the whole fabric of
civil society would be put under severe strain. Never!
-Ernest Gellner, Anthropology and Politics,1995:20.