Monday, November 8, 2010
There are ideas made of clay, and there are ideas sculpted for the ages out of gold or out of our precious glass. And to determine what material an idea is made of, all you have to do is let a drop of powerful acid fall on it. Even the ancients knew one such acid: reductio ad finem. That's what they seem to have called it. But they were afraid of this poison. They preferred to see at least some kind of heaven--however clay, however toylike--to this blue nothing. But we are grown-ups, thanks be to the Benefactor, and don't need toys...that explains the way things are divided up: To the ton go the rights, to the gram the duties. And the natural path from nullity to greatness is this: Forget that you're a gram and feel yourself a millionth part of a ton.
- Zamyatin's We