Throughout the Middle Ages, Jews had no part in the culture of Christian countries and were too severely persecuted to be able to make contributions to civilization, beyond supplying capital for the building of cathedrals and such enterprises. It was only among the Mohammedans, at that period, that Jews were treated humanely and were able to pursue philosophy and enlightened speculation. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Mohammedans were more civilized and more humane than the Christians. Christians persecuted Jews, especially at times of religious excitement; the Crusades were associated with appalling pogroms. In Mohammedan countries, on the contrary, Jews at most times were not in any way ill treated. Especially in Moorish Spain, they contributed to learning; Maimonides (1135–1204), who was born at Cordova, is regarded by some as the source of much of Spinoza’sphilosophy.Mohammedan civilization in its great days was admirable in the arts and in many technical ways, but it showed no capacity for independent speculation in theoretical matters. Its importance, which must not be under-rated, is as a transmitter. Between ancient and modern European civilization, the dark ages intervened. The Mohammedans and the Byzantines, while lacking the intellectual energy required for innovation, preserved the apparatus of civilization—education, books and learned leisure. Both stimulated the West when it emerged from barbarism—the Mohammedans chiefly in the thirteenth century, the Byzantines chiefly in the fifteenth.
Bertand Russell
It's a poem about moths. But it's also a poem about psychopaths.I get it copied. And stick it in a frame. And now it glowers redoubtably above my desk:an entomological keepsake of the horizons of existence.And the brutal, star-crossed wisdom of those who seek them out.i was talking to a moththe other eveninghe was trying to break intoan electric bulband fry himself on the wireswhy do you fellowspull this stunt i asked himbecause it is the conventionalthing for moths or whyif that had been an uncoveredcandle instead of an electriclight bulb you wouldnow be a small unsightly cinderhave you no senseplenty of it he answeredbut at times we get tiredof using itwe get bored with routineand crave beautyand excitementfire is beautifuland we know that if we gettoo close it will kill usbut what does that matterit is better to be happyfor a momentand be burned up with beautythan to live a long timeand be bored all the whileso we wad all our life upinto one little rolland then we shoot the rollthat is what life is forit is better to be part of beautyour attitude toward lifeis come easy go easywe are like human beingsused to be before they becametoo civilized to enjoy themselvesand before i could argue himout of his philosophyhe went and immolated himselfon a patent cigar lighteri do not agree with himmyself i would rather havehalf the happiness and twicethe longevitybut at the same time i wishthere was something i wantedas badly as he wanted to fry himself
Kevin Dutton