We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I also love the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which seems particularly apt in these turgid political days ... "the more he talked about his honor, the faster we counted the spoons." [This from the days when sterling silver was highly praised and valued.]
Also loved the quote from Rick Perry this morning in The Houston Chronicle. Someone asked him yesterday about how he felt about gun control. He answered that if one is worried about it, "use both hands." This seems to be the way maggiesfarmers feel, very properly.
Fabulous line, MM, will use it in tomorrow's pre-debate post.
And, not to nitpick the quote, but this is assuming the sea is infinite. What if it's not? Couldn't it be argued that, for example, every single noun, verb and adjective in the English language can only be arranged in so many cohesive ways? Can't the 12 notes of the chromatic scale only be arranged so many ways? They say chess is an 'infinite' game, but there are only so many pieces and so many squares. While the possible moves might quickly escalate to "zillions", that doesn't mean the final number isn't finite.
With all due respect, I think ol' Chesty had too much time on his hands.
Can't the 12 notes of the chromatic scale only be arranged so many ways?
Ahem - 9,985,920 unique ways if taken as a complete scale in which each step and half step are played once. There are 469,015,680 transformations, but most are mirror images of each other.
Now we add in the variations on scale by type:
Diatonic scale (seven notes) - major/natural minor scales
Melodic and harmonic minor scales (seven notes)
Chromatic scale (twelve notes)
Whole tone scale (six notes)
Pentatonic scale (five notes)
Octatonic or diminished scales (eight notes)
Hungarian minor scale
and we haven't even mentioned Lydian, Phrygian dominant, Egyptian, Eskimo Tetratonic/Hexatonic, Scottish Hexatonic, Oriental, Oriental Pentacluster, Chinese, Balinese, Raga Vutari, Raga Madhuri, Raga Viyogavarali, Shostakovich, Blues Octatonic, Pyramid Hexatonic (sometimes confused with Egyptian), Romanian, Gnossiennes, Prometheus, Adonai Malakh, Houzam and of course the most important scale of all ROCK 'N ROLL!!!!
And I ain't even touched the surface of scalar music.
So yeah - it's finite, but only in the sense of everything is finite in context. Eventually you will be able to play them all in sequence will take you about 1.8 billion years or so I've been told - I've never figured it out myself and I'm not sure the answer would be understandable even to a mathematician. :>)