The people who bind themselves to systems are those who are unable to encompass the whole truth and try to catch it by the tail; a system is like the tail of truth, but truth is like a lizard; it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well that it will grow a new one in a twinkling.
The social intuitionist model offers an explanation of why moral and political arguments are so frustrating: because moral reasons are the tail wagged by the intuitive dog. A dog's tail wags to communicate. You can't make a dog happy by forcibly wagging its tail. And you can't change people's minds by utterly refuting their arguments.
It seems that it had been destined before that I should occupy myself so thoroughly with the vulture, for it comes to my mind as a very early memory, when I was still in the cradle, a vulture came down to me, he opened my mouth with his tail and struck me a few times with his tail against my lips.
Leonardo da Vinci
The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Ch'ang mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.
Christmas turns things tail-end foremost. The day and the spirit of Christmas rearrange the world parade. As the world arranges it, usually there come first in importance -- leading the parade with a big blare of a band -- the Big Shots. Frequently they are also the Stuffed Shirts. That's the first of the parade. Then at the tail end, as of little importance, trudge the weary, the poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind. But in the Christmas spirit, the procession is turned around. Those at the tail end are put first in the arrangement of the Child of Christmas.
our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the wag-the-dog illusion: We believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the wag-theother-dog's-tail illusion: In a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent's arguments to change the opponent's mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog's tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.
Our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the wag-the-dog illusion: We believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the wag-theother-dog's-tail illusion: In a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent's arguments to change the opponent's mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog's tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.
Cut off my head, and singular I am, Cut off my tail, and plural I appear; Although my middle's left, there's nothing there! What is my head cut off? A sounding sea; What is my tail cut off? A rushing river; And in their mingling depths I fearless play, Parent of sweetest sounds, yet mute forever.
Thomas B. Macaulay
Once upon a time, the Reindeer took a running leap and jumped over the Northern Lights. But he jumped too low, and the long fur of his beautiful flowing tail got singed by the rainbow fires of the aurora. To this day the reindeer has no tail to speak of. But he is too busy pulling the Important Sleigh to notice what is lost. And he certainly doesn't complain. What's your excuse?
The so-called sexual revolution is not, as advertised, a liberation of sexual behavior but rather its reversal. In former days, even under Victoria, sexual intercourse was the natural end and culmination of heterosexual relations. Now one begins with genital overtures instead of a handshake, then waits to see what will turn up (e.g., might become friends later). Like dogs greeting each other nose to tail and tail to nose.
How come it can't fly no better than a chicken?' Milkman asked. Too much tail. All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Can't nobody fly with all that [stuff]. Wanna fly, you got to give up the [stuff] that weighs you down.' The peacock jumped onto the hood of the Buick and once more spread its tail, sending the flashy Buick into oblivion.
Be alert as you watch a dog at play or at rest. Let the animal teach you to feel at home in the now, to celebrate life by being completely present. You just watch the tail ... with some dogs you just look at them - just a little look is enough - and their tail goes ...'Life is good! Life is good!' And they are not telling themselves a story of why life is good. It's a direct realization.
It wasn't that I hated being asked a bunch of questions. I had nothing against questions. I just didn't like listening to them, because some questions take forever to make sense. Sometimes waiting for a question to finish is like watching someone draw an elephant starting with the tail first. As soon as you see the tail your mind wanders all over the place and you think of a million other animals that also have tails until you don't care about the elephant because it's only one thing when you've been thinking about a million others.
The cat will keep his side of the bargain. He will kill mice, and he will be kind to babies when he is in the house, just so long as they do not pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that, and between times, and when the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to him. Then he goes out to the Wet Wild Woods or up on the Wet Wild trees or on the Wet Wild roofs, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone.
I imagined/felt their palms sweating, their sweat mingling, mutually fertilized, and dripping to the ground, where it gave birth to a scolopendra, the forked ends of its tail bedecked with the sparkle of drying tears. Their sweat would mingle again at night; the sweat from their bellies would run down into their loins, fill their belly buttons, and glimmer in the moonlight like the tears drying on the scolopendra's tail.
Changing the world is like trying to straighten a dog's tail. However much you may try, you won't succeed. But although the tail won't straighten, if you keep trying every day, at least you will put on some muscle. Similarly, even though it is difficult to make a change, our effort to do so in itself brings positive results. It will help us change. Without waiting for others to change,if we change ourselves first, that will make a difference. Instead of worrying about results, focus on doing our best in what we are engaged in.
And how do you know that you're mad? "To begin with," said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You grant that?" I suppose so, said Alice. "Well then," the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags it's tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
And how do you know that you're mad? "To begin with, " said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You grant that?" I suppose so, said Alice. "Well then, " the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls when it's angry, and wags it's tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.
Also another time she had wakened in dead of night, thinking that something touched her, and when she looked she saw that a black scaly tail, tufted with flame at the end, like a fiend's, had switched across her and lay there burning the covers. And when she turned shrieking, to see what manner of thing lay beside her in the bed, she was at first reassured by sight of her husband's face, then saw, to her horror, that horns had risen, black and pointed, from his forehead. After that she screamed again and remembered nothing until Joseph was shaking her awake, and there were neither horns nor tail to be seen. Nor were the bedclothes scorched.
Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?" "Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped. "I'm sure I don't know," he replied, "but if you did, you'd certainly know what to do with him.
What a shame, " signed the Dodecahedron. "They're so very useful. Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?" "Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped. "I'm sure I don't know, " he replied, "but if you did, you'd certainly know what to do with him." "That's absurd, " objected Milo, whose head was spinning from all the numbers and questions. "That may be true, " he acknowledged, "but it's completely accurate, and as long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong? If you want sense, you'll have to make it yourself.