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Of Dotards and Dithyrambs | City Journal
A single North Korean passed me in the square. “Do you speak English?” he asked as we approached one another. I was astonished, not only by the clarity of his enunciation, but by the fact that he spoke to me at all. Spontaneous communication with foreigners was forbidden and very dangerous for North Koreans. 
“Yes,” I replied.
“I am a student of the Foreign Languages Institute,” he continued. “Reading Dickens and Shakespeare is the greatest, the only, joy of my life.”
I think I understood at once what he meant. In Dickens and Shakespeare, even the poorest and most downtrodden person speaks in his own voice. His utterances are at least his own, and are the product of his own brain. In North Korea, with its endless speeches in the most rigid of langues de bois, to speak in your own voice was impossible. All speech is either compulsory or forbidden.
north-korea  literature  English  language  reading  totalitarian 
yesterday by StJohnBosco
Turtles all the way down
"Turtles all the way down" is an expression of the infinite regress problem in cosmology posed by the "unmoved mover" paradox.

Also: "[The saying] emphasises the idea of endless continuation, and tends to be used when someone's argument is sort of circular and can't explain itself."
(from https://english.stackexchange.com/q/128655/132089)
english  language  wikipedia 
2 days ago by zool

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