Posts by JJElbert

    that was mine, my dream, I knew it―

    Of and belonging to me, as the dog

    With inward yelp and restless forefoot plies 45

    His function of the woodland: but the next!

    I thought that all the blood by Sylla shed

    Came driving rainlike down again on earth,

    And where it dash’d the reddening meadow, sprang

    No dragon warriors from Cadmean teeth, 50

    For these I thought my dream would show to me,

    But girls, Hetairai, curious in their art,

    Hired animalisms, vile as those that made

    The mulberry-faced Dictator’s orgies worse

    Than aught they fable of the quiet Gods. 55

    And hands they mixt, and yell’d and round me drove

    In narrowing circles till I yell’d again

    Half-suffocated, and sprang up, and saw―

    Was it the first beam of my latest day?


    That's probably as far as I'll get. There's a line in the previous section; "perchance/ we do but recollect the dreams that come/ just ere the waking"

    I'm scripting the next episode for recording tomorrow evening. A major focus of this passage will be Dreams. I'll dig into the source material this evening, but if you have any points you'd like me to touch upon then we can put them here.

    As I work through Tennyson's poem I am beginning to think of it as an "inverted epitome", presented in dramatic form. Tennyson seems to try thoroughly to undermine the system of Epicurus, touching on every point—physics, phenomenology, ethics, theology, etc.

    Thank you for the feedback!

    I need to look at writing a script before the next recording, to tighten things up a bit. I see that Eoghan arrived at the same conclusion on his videos. I think Don makes a good point about clearer introductions; I certainly should be aiming to interest a wider range of people!

    The presentation itself was made in LibreOffice 'Presentation' (a PowerPoint analogue) and I'm simply using OBS Studio as a screen capture (with mic audio) of the presentation on a second display. So I'm actually recording the audio and video at the same time. OBS Studio doesn't have a native editing client, which is why I went to Lightworks.

    Whether it makes more sense as a video project or a podcast (or both) is something I'll certainly think about as it develops. Does it help to have text/images on the screen?

    I've uploaded the first episode. I had more trouble than anticipated with editing due to technical problems that I don't even begin to understand, but I used other software than I was planning and it worked out alright. I've used the free version for everything;

    Captured/recorded in OBS Studio,

    File converted in VLC media player

    Audio and Video edited in Lightworks,

    Saved as .mp4 for publication on Youtube

    Enjoy! I don't know how interesting or useful these will be, but they'll be very good experience for me in building toward other projects down the road.

    I agree with Don, it was a pleasure tuning in!

    As to the issue of the metaphorical 'paean to nature', there are two use cases that always come to mind. The first is Einstein, who had a religious sense of awe, but one that precluded any belief in a personal god. He ascribed, he said, to Spinoza's god. In spite of his clear nontheism he is the most widely misquoted scientist of all time on the the subject of religion—by the religious, of course.

    The second case is Darwin; the Lady Hope story demonstrates that when the believers in the supernatural cannot misconstrue your words, they will fabricate new words for your mouth altogether. So that to refrain from poetic usage seems to me to be rather like negotiating with terrorists. ;)

    Here is the email exchange with Koen;

    I have not replied to that last, but certainly will—with gratitude, and an invitation to the forum! As to Koen's English, it is excellent and I have not edited any of it.

    The email address I used was

    Yes, that's the one. In any case the copyright would go to his heirs in (presumably) Oregon, unless he made other arrangements. I did send an email to the webmaster, but have not had a reply.

    Since his photos are not archived on any stock image site, and we cannot reasonably trace his bequests or know his wishes (except that in his life he did readily grant permission to republish his writings on Epicurus), and further that the photos are reproductions of artworks millennia out of copyright, I don't feel that there's much of an ethical or legal risk here. I don't mind using it to create derivative informational work. I can only hope that his family understands!

    Thank you for the review, Condorcet! The book has been on my list for some time, but I have not read it. How deftly does Pater deal with the gnawing influence of Christianity? I see that the story has been criticized by Christians for it's lack of zeal: from Wikipedia;


    In an early review in Macmillan's Magazine the novelist Mary Ward praised "the great psychological interest" of the book, but identified as a weakness its tendency to depict Christianity from an aesthetic viewpoint, rather than presenting it as life's ultimate truth and reality.

    The book was written at a time that is particularly interesting to me.

    Incidentally, when I was in College someone had written on the wall at the bottom of a staircase that

    "To burn always with this hard gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life."

    The quotation is Walter Pater's.

    Cassius, do you happen to know anything about the current curator of Erik Anderson's old site? He has an image of the same bust I used above; an artful photo which he took himself at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. It would be the perfect photo to use--a fine portrait of Epicurus, as well as an homage to one of the early Epicureans of the internet age. I'm asking as a prelude to writing the webmaster--I just don't know where that e-mail will land!


    I've been reading further as well.

    I have identified the copyright holder of the photograph. The image is available on several stock image sites, all sourced back to one individual; apparently this is common for photographers to license their images through several different outlets simultaneously. I would be willing to pay a nominal fee--less than $100, say--for such a license, except that the terms of the licenses on offer are so convoluted and opaque. I would probably be fine regardless; but in order to be free of any and all trouble forever (a fine goal!), I think I will choose a different photo to work off of.

    I have also found, looking through Wikimedia Commons, that several photographs of busts of Epicurus are already offered either in the public domain, or under a Creative Commons license. That's likely the route I'll go, but I'll also keep looking.

    The software I've downloaded for the task;

    OBS Studio--Screen Recording software

    EpicPen--Screen marking tool, for basic visual annotations of the text

    Audacity--Audio recording, although OBS Studio has a native audio client that I'll try first.

    And an idea I had for flavor art;


    Which is a software cartoonification of this image;


    (The yellow ribbon is a watermark of sorts; I would have to actually pay for the photo editor or find an alternative to do it properly. BeFunky is the name that popped up in case anyone wants to play around with it)