The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe that it has taken place, or that it will take place. The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favourable to that event, to the total number of cases favourable or contrary, and all equally possible.
Simeon Denis Poisson
A distinguished writer [Simeon Denis Poisson] has thus stated the fundamental definitions of the science: 'The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe that it has taken place, or that it will take place.' 'The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favourable to that event, to the total number of cases favourable or contrary, and all equally possible' (equally like to happen). From these definitions it follows that the word probability, in its mathematical acceptation, has reference to the state of our knowledge of the circumstances under which an event may happen or fail. With the degree of information which we possess concerning the circumstances of an event, the reason we have to think that it will occur, or, to use a single term, our expectation of it, will vary. Probability is expectation founded upon partial knowledge. A perfect acquaintance with all the circumstances affecting the occurrence of an event would change expectation into certainty, and leave neither room nor demand for a theory of probabilities.
The pleasures of intimacy in friendship depend far more on external circumstances than people of a sentimental turn of mind are willing to concede; and when constant companionship ceases to suit the convenience of both parties, the chances are that it will be dropped on the first favourable opportunity.
Hester Lynch Piozzi
The necessity of procuring good Intelligence is apparent & need not be further urged-All that remains for me to add, is, that you keep the whole matter as secret as possible. For upon Secrecy, Success depends in most Enterprizes of the kind, and for want of it, they are generally defeated, however well planned & promising a favourable issue.
Because, as we know, almost anything can be read into any book if you are determined enough. This will be especially impressed on anyone who has written fantastic fiction. He will find reviewers, both favourable and hostile, reading into his stories all manner of allegorical meanings which he never intended. (Some of the allegories thus imposed on my own books have been so ingenious and interesting that I often wish I had thought of them myself.)
C. S. Lewis
Personally, I do not see in Canada it would be a feasible thing if any Ministry organized taking over both the Health and the Disease of the entire community... even in the most favourable circumstances... there would be that absence of competition and that sense of independence... I do not believe it would be good for the profession or good for the Public.
In hindsight, Watergate was a curse as well as a blessing for American journalism. The courageous reporting of the 'Post' and the 'New York Times' - coupled with the favourable Supreme Court rulings on publication of the Pentagon Papers - were landmarks for the interpretation of First Amendment rights and the freedom of the press.
Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present. The acknowledgment of those virtues on which conscience congratulates us is a tribute that we can at any tine exact with confidence; but the celebration of those which we only feign, or desire without any vigorous endeavours to attain them, is received as a confession of sovereignty over regions never conquered, as a favourable decision of disputable claims, and is more welcome as more gratuitous.
If I let my fingers wander idly over the keys of a typewriter it might happen that my screed made an intelligible sentence. If an army of monkeys were strumming on typewriters they might write all the books in the British Museum. The chance of their doing so is decidedly more favourable than the chance of the molecules returning to one half of the vessel.
Shortly after you left the room, Bushell came over and spoke to your father. I was not near enough to hear what he said, but Maria Lucas told me afterwards that he had been -' (she smiled) 'amazingly impertinent.' 'Peter actually spoke to Papa?' 'He did. According to Maria, he had the impudence to criticise Mr Bennet for his treatment of you. I must say it gives me the most favourable idea of his character.
Examine the life of the best and most productive men and nations, and ask yourselves whether a tree which is to grow proudly skywards can dispense with bad weather and storms. Whether misfortune and opposition, or every kind of hatred, jealousy, stubbornness, distrust, severity, greed, and violence do not belong to the favourable conditions without which a great growth even of virtue is hardly possible?
It is certain that success naturally confirms in us a favourable opinion of our own abilities. Scarce any man is willing to allot to accident, friendship, and a thousand causes, which concur in every event without human contrivance or interposition, the part which they may justly claim in his advancement. We rate ourselves by our fortune rather than our virtues, and exorbitant claims are quickly produced by imaginary merit.
To speak of this subject you must... explain the nature of the resistance of the air, in the second the anatomy of the bird and its wings, in the third the method of working the wings in their various movements, in the fourth the power of the wings and the tail when the wings are not being moved and when the wind is favourable to serve as guide in various movements.
Leonardo da Vinci
I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could... that your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend.
Hysteria and degeneration have always existed; but they formerly showed themselves sporadically, and had no importance in the life of the whole community. It was only the vast fatigue which was experienced by the generation on which the multitudes of discoveries and innovations burst abruptly, imposing on it organic exigencies greatly surpassing its strength, which created favourable conditions under which these maladies could gain ground enormously, and become a danger to civilization.
I'm not interested in what the public thinks. My fight is in the courts. And while I have been fighting with the appeal it has been an uphill battle because I am an unpopular cause. Too much public pressure, too much politics. To give me a hearing so that I can prove that the state withheld evidence favourable to me, that the identifications of some of the victims was wrong, and that my attorney was more concerned about book rights and how sensationally more the case could get the higher the value of the book.
John Wayne Gacy
We must appraise civilization in relation to its territory and in relation to its duration. The character of the medium of communication tends to create a bias in civilization favourable to an over-emphasis on the time concept or on the space concept and only at rare intervals are the biases offset by the influence of another medium and stability achieved.
The earliest intelligence of the travellers' safe arrival at Antigua, after a favourable voyage, was received; though not before Mrs. Norris had been indulging in very dreadful fears, and trying to make Edmund participate them whenever she could get him alone; and as she depended on being the first person made acquainted with any fatal catastrophe, she had already arranged the manner of breaking it to all the others, when Sir Thomas's assurances of their both being alive and well made it necessary to lay by her agitation and affectionate preparatory speeches for a while.
The enjoyments of elegant life you early chose to abandon, preferring to wander for many successive years over the rudest portions of Europe and Asia-regions new to Science-in the hope, happily realized, of winning new truths. By a rare union of favourable circumstances, and of personal qualifications equally rare, you have thus been enabled to become the recognized Interpreter and Historian (not without illustrious aid) of the Silurian Period.
John Jeremiah Bigsby
The history of this paper suggests that highly speculative investigations, especially by an unknown author, are best brought before the world through some other channel than a scientific society, which naturally hesitates to admit into its printed records matters of uncertain value. Perhaps one may go further and say that a young author who believes himself capable of great things would usually do well to secure the favourable recognition of the scientific world by work whose scope is limited and whose value is easily judged, before embarking upon higher flights.
John William Strutt
In the course of waging that war, the people of Canada had shown that it was possible for them to maintain nearly a million men in uniform and at the same time expand all the facilities for production within Canada at an unprecedented speed, including building industries which had never existed in Canada before... and by and large the cost of production in Canada compared favourable with the cost of production anywhere else among the Allies... All of this was accomplished without any foreign investment, without and foreign loans... We were quite capable of self-development.
Nevertheless, if we contemplate a society with a somewhat stable wage-unit, with national characteristics which determine the propensity to consume and the preference for liquidity, and with a monetary system which rigidly links the quantity of money to the stock of the precious metals, it will be essential for the maintenance of prosperity that the authorities should pay close attention to the state of the balance of trade. For a favourable balance, provided it is not too large, will prove extremely stimulating; whilst an unfavourable balance may soon produce a state of persistent depression.
John Maynard Keynes
For these reasons they should not hesitate to exchange peace for war. If wise men remain quiet, while they are not injured, brave men abandon peace for war when they are injured, returning to an understanding on a favourable opportunity: in fact, they are neither intoxicated by their success in war, nor disposed to take an injury for the sake of the delightful tranquility of peace. Indeed, to falter for the sake of such delights is, if you remain inactive, the quickest way of losing the sweets of repose to which you cling; while to conceive extravagant pretensions from success in war is to forget how hollow is the confidence by which you are elated.
Such is the strange situation in which modern philosophy finds itself. No former age was ever in such a favourable position with regard to the sources of our knowledge of human nature. Psychology, ethnology, anthropology, and history have amassed an astoundingly rich and constantly increasing body of facts. Our technical instruments for observation and experimentation have been immensely improved, and our analyses have become sharper and more penetrating. We appear, nonetheless, not yet to have found a method for the mastery and organization of this material. When compared with our own abundance the past may seem very poor. But our wealth of facts is not necessarily a wealth of thoughts. Unless we succeed in finding a clue of Ariadne to lead us out of this labyrinth, we can have no real insight into the general character of human culture; we shall remain lost in a mass of disconnected and disintegrated data which seem to lack all conceptual unity.
My method is atheism. I find the atheistic outlook provides a favourable background for cosmopolitan practices. Acceptance of atheism at once pulls down caste and religious barriers between man and man. There is no longer a Hindu, a Muslim or a Christian. All are human beings. Further, the atheistic outlook puts man on his legs. There is neither divine will nor fate to control his actions. The release of free will awakens Harijans [lowest caste] and the depressed classes from the stupor of inferiority into which they were pressed all these ages when they were made to believe that they were fated to be untouchables. So I find the atheistic outlook helpful for my work [helping people]. After all it is man that created god to make society moral and to silence restless inquisitiveness about the how and why of natural phenomena. Of course god was useful though a falsehood. But like all falsehoods, belief in god also gave rise to many evils in course of time and today it is not only useless but harmful to human progress. So I take to the propagation of atheism as an aid to my work. The results justify my choice.
Goparaju Ramachandra Rao
The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis. The shortening of the working-day is its basic prerequisite.
Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position. Let him live outside his income, or shirk the resolute honest work that brings wages, and he will presently find himself dreaming of a possible benefactor, a possible simpleton who may be cajoled into using his interest, a possible state of mind in some possible person not yet forthcoming. Let him neglect the responsibilities of his office, and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that the thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Let him betray his friend's confidence, and he will adore that same cunning complexity called Chance, which gives him the hope that his friend will never know. Let him forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession to which nature never called him, and his religion will infallibly be the worship of blessed Chance, which he will believe in as the mighty creator of success. The evil principle deprecated in that religion is the orderly sequence by which the seed brings forth a crop after its kind.
A typical Celestine will devote a large proportion of their time to passing through the inscribed sectors of the planet studying the writings, either alone or accompanied by companions with whom to share comments. This is a favourite pastime among them, and as they travel towards the boundaries of the inscribed regions they can watch the ongoing work of those Celestines that have been chosen to record their ideas - tirelessly twisting, pausing to gather energy, then exerting themselves again; painstakingly working the same patch of dust several thousand times over to shape each individual furrow; to capture, symbol by symbol, the knowledge they have contributed to the Celestine corpus. There is great pride and precision, as well as immense labour, in their toil. Before they commence work, the piece of ground that will house the writing will be chosen very carefully for its aspect. Then, the most favourable angle to the light will be calculated, for the orientation of the wording. The language used is of the most poetic and grandiose sort, quite different from the vernacular, and the symbols themselves are embellished with flourishes, extravagances and curlicues that are unique to the creator. Celestines love to observe this work, which constitutes the pinnacle of their art and of their ceaseless thought-endeavours, and embodies their very reason for being.
Luke F.D. Marsden
To return to the general analysis of the Rosicrucian outlook. Magic was a dominating factor, working as a mathematics-mechanics in the lower world, as celestial mathematics in the celestial world, and as angelic conjuration in the supercelestial world. One cannot leave out the angels in this world view, however much it may have been advancing towards the scientific revolution. The religious outlook is bound up with the idea that penetration has been made into higher angelic spheres in which all religions were seen as one; and it is the angels who are believed to illuminate man's intellectual activities. In the earlier Renaissance, the magi had been careful to use only the forms of magic operating in the elemental or celestial spheres, using talismans and various rituals to draw down favourable influences from the stars. The magic of a bold operator like Dee, aims beyond the stars, aims at doing the supercelestial mathematical magic, the angel-conjuring magic. Dee firmly believed that he had gained contact with good angels from whom he learned advancement in knowledge. This sense of close contact with angels or spiritual beings is the hallmark of the Rosicrucian. It is this which infuses his technology, however practical and successful and entirely rational in its new understanding of mathematical techniques, with an unearthly air, and makes him suspect as possibly in contact, not with angels, but with devils.
Frances A. Yates
This is the history of governments, - one man does something which is to bind another. A man who cannot be acquainted with me, taxes me; looking from afar at me, ordains that a part of my labour shall go to this or that whimsical end, not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the consequence. Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! Everywhere they think they get their money's worth, except for these. Hence, the less government we have, the better, - the fewer laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual; the appearance of the principal to supersede the proxy; the appearance of the wise man, of whom the existing government, is, it must be owned, but a shabby imitation. That which all things tend to educe, which freedom, cultivation, intercourse, revolutions, go to form and deliver, is character; that is the end of nature, to reach unto this coronation of her king. To educate the wise man, the State exists; and with the appearance of the wise man, the State expires. The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary. The wise man is the State. He needs no army, fort, or navy, - he loves men too well; no bribe, or feast, or palace, to draw friends to him; no vantage ground, no favourable circumstance. He needs no library, for he has not done thinking; no church, for he is a prophet; no statute book, for he has the lawgiver; no money, for he is value; no road, for he is at home where he is; no experience, for the life of the creator shoots through him, and looks from his eyes. He has no personal friends, for he who has the spell to draw the prayer and piety of all men unto him, needs not husband and educate a few, to share with him a select and poetic life. His relation to men is angelic; his memory is myrrh to them; his presence, frankincense and flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
and if a rainy morning deprived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves up, to read novels together. Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel-writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding - joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine-hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens - there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. 'I am no novel-reader - I seldom look into novels - Do not imagine that I often read novels - It is really very well for a novel.' Such is the common cant. 'And what are you reading, Miss - ?' 'Oh! It is only a novel!' replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. 'It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda'; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language. Now, had the same young lady been engaged with a volume of the Spectator, instead of such a work, how proudly would she have produced the book, and told its name; though the chances must be against her being occupied by any part of that voluminous publication, of which either the matter or manner would not disgust a young person of taste: the substance of its papers so often consisting in the statement of improbable circumstances, unnatural characters, and topics of conversation which no longer concern anyone living; and their language, too, frequently so coarse as to give no very favourable idea of the age that could endure it.