💡 2021 is the lem year

On 13th September 2021 “we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Stanisław Lem - writer, futurologist and philosopher, whose work ignites the imagination of readers all around the world.”

illustration: Daniel Mróz

Check out the awesome celebratory website: https://lem2021.org/

And some quotes:

  • “There is no such nonsense that people would be incapable of believing it.
  • “It’s impossible to talk to people who cannot see the obvious.
  • “Stupidity is the driving force of history.
  • “The world is actually an hallucination of some Superbrain gone berserk in a manner infinite but bounded.”

💬 hofstadter's wit

via https://wit.substack.com/p/untwist-all-the-tongues

Hofstadter is a theoretical physicist, an AI skeptic, a proud Hoosier, a literary scholar, and a strange loop. He also coined Hofstadter’s Law, which states that things always take longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.

He describes himself as pilingual: he speaks English, French, and Italian, “with several other languages having small to tiny fractional values,” adding up to 3.1415…

Here are some of his potentially untranslatable puns:

“A mistress is halfway between a mister and a mattress.”

“Parking is such street sorrow.”

Boids, “a documentary on artificial robot-birds, whose title draws on ‘android’, ‘humanoid,’ etc, while also doing a stereotyped Brooklyn accent on ‘birds’”

💬 the trivial and the fuzzy

“In larger things we are convivial
What causes trouble is the trivial.”
— Richard Armour

Or, when someone keeps saying “Yes, but...”

Especially when it comes to fuzzy concepts:

Sharp distinctions regarding fuzzy concepts are meaningless.

(somewhere on the Internet)

💡 tetraxenonogold

A highly unusual compound of four xenon atoms bound to a gold atom.

tetraxenongold ball model

“Tetraxenonogold(II) is unusual in that it is a compound of the notoriously inert atoms xenon and gold. It is also unusual in that it uses xenon as a transition metal ligand, and in that it contains gold in the +2 oxidation state. It can be produced by reduction of AuF3 in the presence of fluoroantimonic acid (the strongest superacid) and xenon, and crystallised at low temperature.

It was the first description of a compound between a noble gas and a noble metal. It was first described in 2000 by Konrad Seppelt and Stefan Seidel.”

via Wikipedia