short thoughts

June 15, 2008

“I am a short-thought thinker who envies long-thought thinkers….I had hoped all along that, of short thoughts which I was sure I could think, I could compose one long thought which I would then manage to think. But whenever I tried to put the short thoughts together and I tried to think them as one long thought, the together short thoughts fell apart and I was reduced again to thinking short thoughts. This distressed me. I was, however, lifted up and fortified with another short thought; namely, that there must be others who think only short thoughts and they would not only sympathize with me but would agreeably and comfortably think short thoughts with me. Socrates, you may remember, complained of this same disability. He said that he could think only short thoughts and pleaded with Protagoras, who was a long-thought thinker but who said he could think thoughts of any length, both long and short, to please cut them short. I should not like anyone to think that I have in mind long-winded and short-winded thinkers, but now that I think of it, I do not much care. I am all out of breath.”

— O.K. Bouwsma

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