On Genius: Piece I

No difference of rank, position, or birth, is so great as the gulf that separates the countless millions who use their head only in the service of their belly, in other words, look upon it as an instrument of the will, and those very few and rare persons who have the courage to say: No! it is too good for that; my head shall be active only in its own service; it shall try to comprehend the wondrous and varied spectacle of this world, and then reproduce it in some form, whether as art or as literature, that may answer to my character as an individual. These are the truly noble, the real noblesse of the world. The others are serfs and go with the soil — glebae adscripti. Of course, I am here referring to those who have not only the courage, but also the call, and therefore the right, to order the head to quit the service of the will; with a result that proves the sacrifice to have been worth the making. In the case of those to whom all this can only partially apply, the gulf is not so wide; but even though their talent be small, so long as it is real, there will always be a sharp line of demarcation between them and the millions.

The correct scale for adjusting the hierarchy of intelligences is furnished by the degree in which the mind takes merely individual or approaches universal views of things. The brute recognizes only the individual as such: its comprehension does not extend beyond the limits of the individual. But man reduces the individual to the general; herein lies the exercise of his reason; and the higher his intelligence reaches, the nearer do his general ideas approach the point at which they become universal.]

The works of fine art, poetry and philosophy produced by a nation are the outcome of the superfluous intellect existing in it.

For him who can understand aright — cum grano salis — the relation between the genius and the normal man may, perhaps, be best expressed as follows: A genius has a double intellect, one for himself and the service of his will; the other for the world, of which he becomes the mirror, in virtue of his purely objective attitude towards it. The work of art or poetry or philosophy produced by the genius is simply the result, or quintessence, of this contemplative attitude, elaborated according to certain technical rules.

The normal man, on the other hand, has only a single intellect, which may be called subjective by contrast with the objective intellect of genius. However acute this subjective intellect may be — and it exists in very various degrees of perfection — it is never on the same level with the double intellect of genius; just as the open chest notes of the human voice, however high, are essentially different from the falsetto notes. These, like the two upper octaves of the flute and the harmonics of the violin, are produced by the column of air dividing itself into two vibrating halves, with a node between them; while the open chest notes of the human voice and the lower octave of the flute are produced by the undivided column of air vibrating as a whole. This illustration may help the reader to understand that specific peculiarity of genius which is unmistakably stamped on the works, and even on the physiognomy, of him who is gifted with it. At the same time it is obvious that a double intellect like this must, as a rule, obstruct the service of the will; and this explains the poor capacity often shown by genius in the conduct of life. And what specially characterizes genius is that it has none of that sobriety of temper which is always to be found in the ordinary simple intellect, be it acute or dull.

Essay on Man: Final Piece

Essay on Man, Epistle II

Alexander Pope, 16881744
All Pieces of Essay on man are from the ebulliantly pensive mind of said Alexander Pope.
∞ ‘Tis not to write in said verse…what flows from the mind oft floats in the inverse.
Once one is able and gives to this chance…what possibility flows, what seems at fair chance. ∞
VI. Virtuous and vicious every man must be, Few in th’ extreme, but all in the degree, The rogue and fool by fits is fair and wise; And even the best, by fits, what they despise. ’Tis but by parts we follow good or ill; For, vice or virtue, self directs it still; Each individual seeks a several goal; But Heaven’s great view is one, and that the whole. That counter-works each folly and caprice; That disappoints th’ effect of every vice; That, happy frailties to all ranks applied, Shame to the virgin, to the matron pride, Fear to the statesman, rashness to the chief, To kings presumption, and to crowds belief: That, virtue’s ends from vanity can raise, Which seeks no interest, no reward but praise; And build on wants, and on defects of mind, The joy, the peace, the glory of mankind. Heaven forming each on other to depend, A master, or a servant, or a friend, Bids each on other for assistance call, Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all. Wants, frailties, passions, closer still ally The common interest, or endear the tie. To these we owe true friendship, love sincere, Each home-felt joy that life inherits here; Yet from the same we learn, in its decline, Those joys, those loves, those interests to resign; Taught half by reason, half by mere decay, To welcome death, and calmly pass away. Whate’er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf, Not one will change his neighbour with himself. The learned is happy nature to explore, The fool is happy that he knows no more; The rich is happy in the plenty given, The poor contents him with the care of Heaven. See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing, The sot a hero, lunatic a king; The starving chemist in his golden views Supremely blest, the poet in his muse. See some strange comfort every state attend, And pride bestowed on all, a common friend; See some fit passion every age supply, Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die. Behold the child, by Nature’s kindly law, Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw: Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight, A little louder, but as empty quite: Scarves, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage, And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age: Pleased with this bauble still, as that before; Till tired he sleeps, and life’s poor play is o’er. Meanwhile opinion gilds with varying rays Those painted clouds that beautify our days; Each want of happiness by hope supplied, And each vacuity of sense by pride: These build as fast as knowledge can destroy; In folly’s cup still laughs the bubble, joy; One prospect lost, another still we gain; And not a vanity is given in vain; Even mean self-love becomes, by force divine, The scale to measure others’ wants by thine. See! and confess, one comfort still must rise, ’Tis this, though man’s a fool, yet God is wise. - A. Pope All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞

Essay On Man: Piece V

V. Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where th’ extreme of vice, was ne’er agreed: Ask where’s the north? at York, ’tis on the Tweed; In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where. No creature owns it in the first degree, But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he; Even those who dwell beneath its very zone, Or never feel the rage, or never own; What happier nations shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right.

We must hunt under the wreckage of many systems

Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.

– Ernest Hemingway


In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.

– Teddy R.


“A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact.”

Aldo Leopold


The Hunt


Please Listen:



We are all hunters to some capacity.  It is an elevation…true nature.  A rarefaction of soul.

It is where this capacity leads…which then leads one to understand of themselves, to truly see themselves. To be civilized, to be monstrous, to respect and to take respect.

In the hunt…it is he who is most grounded that will rise above.  He will see beyond what is naturally in front of him, what is behind him and what will come thereafter.

In the hunt…it is he who feels the power in his peculiar hands; it extends into his mind and then into his immediate surroundings, this which will signify the beginning with a measured end.

For capability is only as far as the eye can see, and in reaching he understands this must be unbridled to be procured.

It is the environment which calls onto him and he is called to enter spurious realm.

This expanse where one may be seemingly above or below; ever and again in the equidistant ground.

It is this realm in which the hunt exposes unto you…the colors and shades of the darkness, light in what could never be termed either black or white.

In the age of slight progression, it is in backwards movement that he understands how to move forward and lose his way.

He understands that while he may have mastered noise prior to his start..all the elements can at no time be known.  There will be the inevitable silence.

He wades through waters in which he may ultimately stifle himself, by his lack of fortitude to oblige that which he rightly sees.

This is ground where one will take and gain but as in gentle balance…there is loss which will present itself too.

For in the hunt there is a chaotic stability…

and in the hunter a recognition, he winnows in his will.

He may fight, he may oblige…these are but remains of the day.

For he is in his fullest capacity,

who distinguishes of himself…the arms and the lengths

and the true palate…the taste of the hunt .




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One often retreads the ground on which he apprehended benefit.

It is in this ground where disproportionately one loses his feet.

Will…to resurface.

Numb he flounders…til he falls face first.

And when his face is plant within dirt,

he believes it to be the stench of proper unkind earth.

Yet it is mud blended with the traces of him…his own putrescence.

Upon recognition…he may rise above and occasion retread.

Or he resolves to sink below and finds himself in the pleasingly comfortable company, drowning in the human stain.


All Rights Reserved © mmartel∞

Copernicus and the calendar

The Renaissance Mathematicus

A recent blog post on Yovisto repeats a very widespread myth concerning Copernicus, his De revolutionibus and the calendar reform of 1582. This particular myth is so prevalent that I have no illusions about stamping it out but as a bone fide history of science myth buster I thought I could at least put the record straight in my little corner of the Internet.

Astronomers and mathematicians had been aware that all was not well with the Julian calendar since at least the time of the Venerable Bead in the ninth-century CE. The average length of the solar year produced by this calendar, with a leap year every four years, was about eleven minutes too long producing a slippage of the calendar against the natural year of one day every one hundred and twenty-eight years. This might not seem like an awful lot but over the centuries it accumulates. As…

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