Ephemeral Quotes (5 quotes)
Attaching significance to invariants is an effort to recognize what, because of its form or colour or meaning or otherwise, is important or significant in what is only trivial or ephemeral. A simple instance of failing in this is provided by the poll-man at Cambridge, who learned perfectly how to factorize a²-b² but was floored because the examiner unkindly asked for the factors of p²–q².
I have lived myself to see the disciples of Hoffman, Boerhaave, Stalh, Cullen, Brown, succeed one another like the shifting figures of a magic lanthern, and their fancies, like the dresses of the annual doll-babies from Paris, becoming from their novelty, the vogue of the day, and yielding to the next novelty their ephemeral favor. The patient, treated on the fashionable theory, sometimes gets well in spite of the medicine.
Most books, after all, are ephemeral; their specifics, several years later, inspire about as much interest as daily battle reports from the Hundred Years’ War.
The material world begins to seem so trivial, so arbitrary, so ephemeral when contrasted with the timeless beauty of mathematics.
There appears to be a total absence of place names [in southern Sudan]; there are indeed names for regions, areas, but all hamlets (there are scarcely any villages) bear the name of their headman or district head…, which is as ephemeral as the existence of the bearer himself in this unquiet country. Furthermore, residences are shifted every few years, in order to have fresh farmland; added to this the frequent wars, many deaths etc. In contrast, all bodies of water, even the most insignificant ditches, are permanently named. These will be the only guides if future travelers follow my path in this country or wish to trace it.