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and neglecting those near at hand


Plate I, Figures 1 and 2 (detail)
illustrating A(lbert) Le Sueur. “Spectroscopic Observations of the Nebula of Orion, and of Jupiter, made with the Great Melbourne Telescope” and “On the Nebulae of Argo and Orion, and on the Spectrum of Jupiter.” Communicated by the Rev. T. R. Robinson, D.D., received January 27, 1870, and Prof. G. G. Stokes, Sec. R.S., received February 21, 1870, respectively.
In Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) 18 (March 3 1870) : 242-245, 245-250
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München. Digitized May 16, 2011.

Kept their eyes fixed on the sun and moon, and overlooked what was at their feet. (Laertius, 6, 28, in Diogenes the Cynic).
One may say all this not only of the wise but of men in general, and regret not only the impotence of human knowledge, not only the bad judgment shown in choosing, that is, in concerning ourselves with things placed outside our sphere, and alien to us, and neglecting those near at hand, and important to us, but also the blindness, the wretchedness, the pointlessness, the harmfulness of human knowledge...”

ex Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837 *). Zibaldone : The Notebooks of Leopardi. Edited by Michael Caesar and Franco D’Intino (2013)
491-492 (p273)

was going to use something about beauty and nineteenth century science. but it can wait.

17 August 2013

attention; error; error and wrecks
A. Le Sueur, “Spectroscopic Observations” and “On the Nebulae” (1870); Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone