the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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Contribute as little

Exams are over. For how long? We shall see. The textbooks have been cleared off of my desk and back onto the shelves. For how long? We shall see.

Given that it might be a while before I revisit them, there's something I've been itching to do. One of my textbooks is that rare thing, a great big heap of hard-kore knowledge told with wit and made interesting throughout with historical and anecdotal asides. In an appendix to said textbook is the Preface to John Arbuthnot's 'Of the Laws of Chance,' written in 1692, and I am compelled to share the first paragraph of that preface - you might enjoy it as much as I do:

It is thought as necessary to write a Preface before a Book, as it is judg'd civil, when you invite a Friend to Dinner, to proffer him a Glass of Hock beforehand for a Whet: And this being maim'd enough for want of a Dedication, I am resolv'd it shall not want an Epistle to the Reader too. I shall not take upon me to determine, whether it is lawful to play at Dice or not, leaving that to be disputed betwixt the Fanatick Parsons and the Sharpers; I am sure it is lawful to deal with Dice as with other Epidemic Distempers; and I am confident that the writing a Book about it, will contribute as little towards its Encouragement, as Fluxing and Precipitates do to Whoring.

{2012.02.08 - 21:51}

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