Hello. My name is John Smithin and I am the Executive Co-Director and a Fellow of the Aurora Philosophy Institute, here in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. I am here today with Will Fletcher who, I think, has a few philosophical suggestions for us. Welcome, Will.
I remember so well the lessons of one of my Mathematics teachers many, many years ago when I was in my early teens. Before starting any session in arithmetic, algebra, or geometry, he would say a few words on the news of the day or on a completely different subject – the Great Wall of China or the Pyramids of Egypt, for example, or even the subtleties of the English language.
In this spirit of touching non-conformity, I suggest a few words from a favoured poetmaybe at the beginning of one of our Philosophy Club sessions.
Extracts From: The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith - 1728 to 1774
And trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
50 Far, far away, thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
A breath can make them, as a breath has made:
55 But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintain'd its man;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
60 Just gave what life requir'd, but gave no more:
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
…… ….. ……
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declar'd how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too:
In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill,
For, ev'n though vanquish'd, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics rang'd around;
215 And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
The Maths teacher once blended Arithmetic and English by asking: What’s the difference between ten square feet and ten feet squared? Answer: Ninety square feet.
Thanks Will – very good, very good indeed! So, I think what we will do (with your permission) is to put this up on the API You Tube Channel. And, also the transcript in the API Blog at www.theapi.ca. Thanks a lot.