Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institutions, - such I call good books.
Henry David Thoreau
Qui n’ose se contredire ne va pas au bout de sa pensée et n’a jamais fait le tour d’une idée.
Those who fear to contradict themselves avoid real thinking and have never truly examined an idea.
Cum relego, scripsisse pudet, quia plurima cerno,
Me quoque qui feci judice, digna lini.
Reading over what I have written, and despite being the author, I’m appalled to find so much that deserves to be crossed out.
...tout ce que j’aperçois me blesse, et je me reproche sans relâche de ne pas regarder assez.
...everything I perceive is painful, and I blame myself ceaselessly for not looking hard enough.
I originally envisaged this little work as multi-authored - a literary forum perhaps with myself as editor. It hasn’t turned out that way, partly because I have made no serious attempt to arouse the interest of a conventional publisher, and partly because - as I now realize - this is a highly personal view of the world and its contents. It was born and grew out of anger (as such books often are and maybe should be), and out of bewilderment at the infinite duplicity and ruthlessness of humankind, at the nonsense we unearth in our search for meaning and purpose, and at the impossibility of finding a final answer - I mean the truth - about anything.
Since this is a glossary, entries are ordered alphabetically rather than thematically which means you can dip in and out at any point. Some are short and simple, others sufficiently complex to give me pause when I re-read them.
Mistakes doubtless abound - typographical, grammatical, logical, ontological, theological, and every other kind available to textual expression and human endeavour. Corrections welcome. But remember: this is an unedited draft; and my eyes glide over errors,
....as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk...
(If Keats were alive, I’d apologize for quoting him here - but he isn’t).
ARTIFICIAL HUMOUR (AH)
BELIEVING IS SEEING (BIS)
CAPITALIST THEORY OF CORRUPTION
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
HOME SPACE DESIGN
LOCH NESS SYNDROME
PLOUGHING THE SEA
PRIVATE FINANCE INITIATIVE
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
S.O.N.G. (Something for Nothing)
U.N. (United Nations)
WHOLE LIFE DESIGN (WELD)
WORLD PERSONNEL DATABASE