…you must know that there are two kinds of combat: one with laws, the other with force. The first is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first is often not enough, one must have recourse to the second. Therefore it is necessary for a prince to know well how to use the beast and the man. This role was taught covertly to princes by ancient writers, who wrote that Achilles, and many other ancient princes, were given to Chiron the centaur to be raised, so that he would look after them with his discipline. To have as teacher a half-beast, half-man means nothing other than that a prince needs to know how to use both natures; and the one without the other is not lasting.
Thus, since a prince is compelled of necessity to know well how to use the beast, he should pick the fox and the lion, because the lion does not defend itself from snares and the fox does not defend itself from wolves. So one needs to be a fox to recognize snares and a lion to frighten the wolves.—Niccolò Machiavelli (translated by Harvey C. Mansfield)
—found in The Prince (1513-1515; this translation 1985)
perfidy /PER-fi-dee/ /ˈpə:fɪdi/. noun. A deliberate betrayal of trust or breach of faith, particularly professing friendship to deceive. More commonly seen in its adjective form perfidious (faithless, deceitful, treacherous). From Latin perfidia (falsehood, treachery), from the phrase per fidem decipere (to deceive through trustingness), from per- (forward, through) + fidem (faith).[Read more…]
- Some mind blowing glimpses of the future with fascinating implications. Jukebox uses neural nets to generate music—and even “rudimentary” singing!— in multiple genres and styles. Vocal Synthesis is trained on the speech and speech patterns to create new audio (from a “special message” from Barak Obama and Donald Trump to Jay-Z performing Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”). ¶ As these kinds of programs rapidly improve, theoretical questions of copyright (who “owns” the copyright of an AI-generated voice performance?) and life (how do we tell real from literally fake news?) become real and pressing. ※ See also: From the pyramids to Apollo 11 — can AI ever rival human creativity? ※ One more link, this time a bit less world-changing: This Meme Does Not Exist.
- Even right here, people (and birds), live in different worlds. A pair of them: There’s an Entire Industry Dedicated to Making Foods Crispy, and It Is WILD and Inside the Outrageously Prestigious World of Falcon Influencers.
- I love this project! Check it out while you can: This Website Will Self-Destruct
- The King’s Letters, the fascinating story of “The 15th-century scholar who upset the Korean aristocracy by creating a native script for the Korean language, and thus wean it off Chinese characters.” ※ Pairs well with: The origin of language in the brain is 20 million years older than we thought.
- I Turned a 1920’s Typewriter into an EDM Drum Machine.
- Yes, I’m the kind of person that, in the midst of a pandemic, worries over such things. Maybe this is why: COVID or Covid? The comfort of pedantry at a time of national crisis. ※ See also, the Chicago Manual’s shop talk on the Styling COVID-19 and Related Terms. ※ And in sign language, literally: Due to Covid 19
- A life well lived: Madeline Kripke, Doyenne of Dictionaries, Is Dead at 76
- How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space. ※ Bonus: Nikolai Mikhailovich Kolchitsky’s fantastic illustrations.
- First, consider that there is a “literary magazine for Taco Bell literature.” Then enjoy an interview with the editor of Taco Bell Quarterly, who explains how to make art out of a fast food brand.
- Today in 1469, writer, philosopher and diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli is born in Florence, Italy. Machiavelli’s most famous book, The Prince, was dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici, who would be the ruler of Florence from 1516-1519. Machiavelli’s book has been celebrated and condemned in the centuries since for its formal innovation, philosophical subtlety and its seeming recommendation of cruelty, autocracy and deception. The latter perception—a partially unfair one driven by partisan interests including the Catholic church—resulted in the eponym Machiavellian (one who prefers expedience and desired outcome to morality; deceitful, cunning, scheming, duplicitous) as early as the 1570s.
► The Iguana King documents a Florida iguana hunter, one of a small clan going after these reptiles that, thanks to climate change, are “at once a sought-after pet, a destructive pest, and a delicacy.”