17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Encyclopedia as a Directory of Associations

Every science overlaps with others: they are two continuous branches off a single trunk. He who composes an opus does not enter abruptly into his subject, does not close himself strictly within it, does not leave it abruptly: he is obliged to anticipate terrain adjoining his; its consequences often take him onto another contiguous terrain on the opposite side; and how many other excursions are necessary in the body of the work? What is the purpose of the forewords, introductions, prefaces, ex...
  1  notes
03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Alchemy VS Chemistry

He tapped the papers; the advice had been coming down since early winter. He remembered when Amdijefri had brought in the first pages, pages of numerical tables, of directions and diagrams, all drawn in neat but childish style. Steel and the Fragment had spent days trying to understand. Some of the references were obvious. The Visitor’s recipes required silver and gold in quantities that would otherwise finance a war. But what was this “liquid silver”? Tyrathect had recognized it; the M...
  1  notes

An alien from a mideval society receiving instructions to build advanced technology from aliens finds their directions full of digressions and careful methodologies to verify chemical compositions, where his alchemists' instructions are much more simple and poetic.