13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Anecdote About the Cuckoo Clock in China

The gaudy watches of indifferent workmanship, fabricated purposely for the China market and once in universal demand, are now scarcely asked for. One gentleman in the Honourable East India Company’s employ took it into his head that cuckoo clocks might prove a saleable article in China, and accordingly laid in a large assortment, which more than answered his most sanguine expectations. But as these wooden machines were constructed for sale only, and not for use, the cuckoo clocks became all...
Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
Folksonomies: deception anecdote clock
  1  notes

A salesman convinces his buyers that his faulty clocks will work once again once the birds come out of hibernation.

27 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 Molyneux's problem

I shall here insert a problem of that very ingenious and studious promoter of real knowledge, the learned and worthy Mr. Molyneux, which he was pleased to send me in a letter some months since; and it is this:- "Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube and sphere placed on...
 1  1  notes

A blind person, familiar with a cube and sphere by touch, is made to see. Without touching the objects, would they be able to distinguish them by sight?

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Hobbes Conversion to Science

He was 40 yeares old before he looked on geometry; which happened accidentally. Being in a gentleman's library, Euclid's Elements lay open, and 'twas the 47 El. libri I. He read the proposition. 'By G—,' sayd he, (He would now and then sweare, by way of emphasis) 'By G—,' sayd he, 'this is impossible!' So he reads the demonstration of it, which re¬ ferred him back to such a proposition; which proposition he read. That referred him back to another, which he also read. Et sic deinceps, tha...
  1  notes

Aubrey describes Thomas Hobbes falling in love with Geometry.