Thursday, June 9, 2016

Symbols shape our thoughts

     In mathematics -- as in spoken languages -- we have learned to use symbols to shape our thoughts.  Pioneering artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) carefully expresses this important idea in terms of chess. 
     “The chess pieces are the block alphabet
     which shapes thoughts; and these thoughts, although
     making a visual design on the chess-board,
     express their beauty abstractly, like a poem...

     I have come to the personal conclusion
     that while all artists are not chess players,
     all chess players are artists.”
―Marcel Duchamp
This and other stimulating statements from Duchamp are available here.

During these days of celebration of the life of Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) I have refreshed my memory of his notable quotes (many of which are found here).  Here is one with some numbers:
     A man who views the world 
the same at 50 
     as he did at 20 
has wasted 30 years of his life.

No comments:

Post a Comment