Thursday, October 09, 2003
Jonathan Swift was one of the first ancient "bloggers" as it were, and his book, Gulliver's Travels, reports the travels of a fictional "Lemuel Gulliver", whose experiences in "unexplored territories" are intended as social and political satire on humanity, depicted in Gulliver's Travels as "Yahoos", where Yahoo is a word invented by Swift as follows:
"composed of yah and ugh, both interjections implying disgust."
In Swift's day, critical commentary on the existing mainstream power structure was frowned upon by the establishment. Swift was in fact banished to Ireland for his irreverent writings about "the Yahoos".
The writer of this blog uses the intentionally punny Pseudo-nym "Houyhnhnm" (Hou-yhnhnm) from Gulliver's Travels, a Swiftian term which is defined as:
Hou*yhnhnm (?), n.
One of the race of horses described by Swift in his imaginary travels of Lemuel Gulliver. The Houyhnhnms were endowed with reason and noble qualities; subject to them were Yahoos, a race of brutes having the form and all the worst vices of men.
As one might thus imagine, YahooPundit comments on humanity.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
As these noble HOUYHNHNMS are endowed by nature with a general disposition to all virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rational creature, so their grand maxim is, to cultivate reason, and to be wholly governed by it. Neither is reason among them a point problematical, as with us, where men can argue with plausibility on both sides of the question, but strikes you with immediate conviction; as it must needs do, where it is not mingled, obscured, or discoloured, by passion and interest.
I remember it was with extreme difficulty that I could bring my master to understand the meaning of the word opinion, or how a point could be disputable; because reason taught us to affirm or deny only where we are certain; and beyond our knowledge we cannot do either. So that controversies, wranglings, disputes, and positiveness, in false or dubious propositions, are evils unknown among the HOUYHNHNMS. In the like manner, when I used to explain to him our several systems of natural philosophy, he would laugh, "that a creature pretending to reason, should value itself upon the knowledge of other people's conjectures, and in things where that knowledge, if it were certain, could be of no use." Wherein he agreed entirely with the sentiments of Socrates, as Plato delivers them; which I mention as the highest honour I can do that prince of philosophers - I have often since reflected, what destruction such doctrine would make in the libraries of Europe; and how many paths of fame would be then shut up in the learned world.
Our Websites and Blogs
3D Printing and More 99 is not 100 Aabecis AK Photo Blog Ancient Egypt Weblog Ancient Signs (the book) Ancient World Blog AndisKaulins.com Anthropomorphic Design Archaeology Travel Photos (blog) Archaeology Travel Photos (Flickr) Archaeo Pundit Arts Pundit Astrology and Birth Baltic Coachman Bible Pundit Biotechnology Pundit Book Pundit Chronology of the Ancient World Computer Pundit DVD Pundit Easter Island Script Echolat edu.edu Einstein’s Voice Energy Environment and Climate Blog Etruscan Bronze Liver of Piacenza EU Laws EU Legal EU Pundit FaceBook Pundit Gadget Pundit Garden Pundit Golf Pundit Google Pundit Gourmet Pundit Hand Proof HousePundit Human Migrations Idea Pundit Illyrian Language Indus Valley Script Infinity One : The Secret of the First Disk (the game) Jostandis Journal Pundit Kaulins Genealogy Blog Kaulinsium Kiel & Kieler Latvian Blog LawPundit.com Law Pundit Blog LexiLine.com LexiLine Group Lexiline Journal Library Pundit Lingwhizt LinkedIn Literary Pundit Magnifichess Make it Music Maps and Cartography Megalithic World Megaliths Blog Megaliths.net Minoan Culture Mutatis Mutandis Nanotech Pundit Nostratic Languages Official Pundit Phaistos Disc Pharaonic Hieroglyphs Photo Blog of the World Pinterest Prehistoric Art Pundit Private Wealth Blog PunditMania Quanticalian Quick to Travel Quill Pundit Road Pundit Shelfari Sky Earth Drones Sky Earth Native America SlideShare (akaulins) Sport Pundit Star Pundit Stars Stones and Scholars (blog) Stars Stones and Scholars (book) Stonehenge Pundit The Enchanted Glass Twitter Pundit UbiquitousPundit Vision of Change VoicePundit WatchPundit Wearable Technology Wizard WeTechWi Wine Pundit Word Pundit xistmz YahooPundit zistmz