hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The quote from Sayers' "Problem Picture" essay reminded me of a favorite poem by E.V. Rieu,
about algebra textbook-authors Hall & Knight:

"When he was young his cousins used to say of Mr Knight:
'This boy will write an algebra - or looks as if he might.'
And sure enough, when Mr Knight had grown to be a man,
He purchased pen and paper and an inkpot, and began.

But he very soon discovered that he couldn't write at all,
And his heart was filled with yearnings for a certain Mr Hall;
Till, after many years of doubt, he sent his friend a card:
'Have tried to write an Algebra, but find it very hard.' . . ."


Also, this chess poem about the Tumbleweed opening:

"In Seattle, last summer, with nothing to do,
I went to the Chess Club, and there met a Jew
From New Orleans, a rabbi—no matter what name—
Perhaps you have met him, or heard of the same;
He's a player of note, and his problems in chess
Get some mighty good players in an awful bad mess. . .

. . .I played P to K's fourth, which he seemed to approve,
And replied with the same; 'twas a very good move. . .