Day 2370, Poetics

Daily picture, Poetry



IV. Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated. We have evidence of this in the facts of experience. Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. The cause of this again is, that to learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general; whose capacity, however, of learning is more limited. Thus the reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or inferring, and saying perhaps, ‘Ah, that is he.’ For if you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause.

Day 2069, On sleep and sleeplessness.

Day's pictures
Towards Olympia – Greece, 2014

The pictures you see were from a trip we made in 2014 to Greece. Most people go to the islands, but we decided to rent a car and drive through the main country and visit the ancient sites. It is a beautiful country with relatively few tourists, so all the sites are not overcrowded, and you can really enjoy it. We hadn’t planned to go to Greece that year; we wanted to visit my girlfriend’s family in America, so we prepared everything, and then I wanted to check-in at the airport, and the lady behind the counter told me that my passport was not valid anymore, it was just out of date. So that was some stress; we saved just enough money for the trip to America, but it was luckily enough to buy some new tickets to Greece and rent a car for three weeks and stay in the many reasonably priced hotels. It was a little bit stressful to travel without a passport, but it was still in Europe, so it should go alright, and it did. Greece popped in my head when I had to make a quick decision; we had already traveled through Norway for half a day, and my mind was set to go on holiday that day. Greece still had nice weather; it was at the end of September, so that was a plus, and I was always interested in seeing where all these philosophers lived that I know and sometimes read. It was an excellent choice; it was a shame that we couldn’t see her family, but we also learned that we could be flexible together when confronted with bad luck.

Day 2068, The Athenian constitutuion.

Day's pictures
Athens – Greece, 2014

Underneath, you can read part of a text by Aristotle. It is not sure if Aristotle wrote it or one of his students; you can read more on Wikipedia. You can read the whole text on Classic Archive. I find these old texts interesting; we still live in a society with a short attention span. We might know that there were wars and pandemics before but let us not learn from those events. I am a little cynical in this regard; is it possible to learn from history? I think you can if you put in the effort, but in the real world, it is almost impossible. It is much easier for people to react to a “new” situation head-on without studying the problem and seeing if there is something to learn from the past. I can’t speak for Aristotle, but I assume that he wrote this as some kind of education for future rulers, he probably still had hope, or maybe he was just like me and liked to write about it without any expectations, just writing for an imaginary world where people read history books to see how (not) to react at current situations.   


The Athenian constitutuion


Such was the origin and such the vicissitudes of the tyranny of Pisistratus. His administration was temperate, as has been said before, and more like constitutional government than a tyranny. Not only was he in every respect humane and mild and ready to forgive those who offended, but, in addition, he advanced money to the poorer people to help them in their labours, so that they might make their living by agriculture. In this he had two objects, first that they might not spend their time in the city but might be scattered over all the face of the country, and secondly that, being moderately well off and occupied with their own business, they might have neither the wish nor the time to attend to public affairs.

Day 882, pointless.

., Day's pictures, Haiku, Philosophy, Poetry

Day 882-1

Attract and reject

Echoing eternal needs

detested and blessed.


I am not a philosopher in the sense that I can quote famous philosophers or understand all the different chapters from the history of philosophy. I might have some insights, but I have no story to tell or a system to unfold. I have my preferences and I can get aroused by a good book but that’s about it.

I have many thick books on my bookshelf, I bought these books because I’m interested in them but also as an investment. I knew that I was not ready for these books with condensed thoughts in them. The people that wrote these books where good at their job and I can admire them for that. These books helped change the world but…how much? Did they?

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. Aristotle

This quote is more than 2000 years old and for me it says something about how you should treat other people and go through life opposed to living for material wealth and appearances.

I think that a lot of people could agree with this, but the reality is that the clear majority can’t or won’t live according to this suggestion of Aristotle. We westerners see goods, likes and freedom as ”honor” badges we wear, in religious minded people wearing a book, following the rules and prey is there badge as a sign of there piety. With these badges some people think they deserve praise, but they are often pined on an empty shell.

Aristotle told these words thousands of years ago, and around that time you could find, in countless different cultures, similar sentiments. He told these words and since then countless learned people have read these old works and refined them, and refined them but with what result?

We might not kill our neighbor, or raid the village next door as in the olden day’s but at the same time we praise our global economy and borderless internet, is our willingness to let thousands of children starve in poor countries not the same as letting your neighbor starve 2000 years ago? Did Aristotle let his neighbor die?

We wear our badges of material goods and pious behavior and think where good, but should we not throw these symbols away and act like the world is one small neighborhood? This is what (some/in general) philosophers are trying to tell but the massage is not understood. You might say that this has made all of philosophy pointless, but I hope that it is a fundament for future generations to finally find a way to tell the story that the ancient thinkers started in a languish that is understood by all.

What do you think?