So Zeno is most famous for his tortoise paradox. Let us imagine that you are in a race with a tortoise. The tortoise has a ten-yard head start. In the time it takes you to run that ten yards, the tortoise has moved one yard. And then in the time it takes you to make up that distance, the tortoise goes a bit farther, and so on forever. You are faster than the tortoise but you can never catch him; you can only decrease his lead.
My name, " I tell Wilbur in the most dignified voice I can find, "Was inspired by Harriet Quimby, the first female American pilot and the first woman ever to cross the Channel in an aeroplane. My mother chose it to represent freedom and bravery and independence, and she gave it to me just before she died." There's a short pause while Wilbur looks appropriately moved. Then Dad says, "Who told you that?" "Annabel did." "Well, it's not true at all. You were named after Harriet the tortoise, the second longest living tortoise in the world." There's a silence while I stare at Dad and Annabel puts her head in her hands so abruptly that the pen starts to leak into her collar. "Richard, " she moans quietly. "A tortoise?" I repeat in dismay. "I'm named after a tortoise? What the hell is a tortoise supposed to represent?" "Longevity?
When we were little, " the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, "we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise -" "Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" Alice asked. "We called him Tortoise because he taught us, " said the Mock Turtle angrily: "really you are very dull!
The master was an old Turtle--we used to call him Tortoise--' Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?' Alice asked. We called him Tortoise because he taught us,' said the Mock Turtle angrily; 'really you are very dull!' You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a simple question,' added the Gryphon; and then they both sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink into the earth.
But as the work proceeded I was continually reminded of the fable about the elephant and the tortoise. Having constructed an elephant upon which the mathematical world could rest, I found the elephant tottering, and proceeded to construct a tortoise to keep the elephant from falling. But the tortoise was not more secure than the elephant, and after some twenty years of very arduous toil, I came to the conclusion that there was nothing more that I could do in the way of making mathematical knowledge indubitable.
He obliterates things, she realized. He shatters them. They think they've won because he's a bit vague and he waffles, but that only goes so far. It's his shell, like a tortoise, if a tortoise was soft on the outside and dangerous on the inside. That's how the Time War ended: he got to the bottom of his patience, and he took two entire civilisations out of the universe and lock them away, and one of them was his own. That's how sharp his sense of obligation is. And he lives like that. He does it all the time.
In the tortoise and the hair fable, I believe the tortoise represents big business, while the hair represents small business. Not featured in the fable is the six-ton snail, which represents the government. Not only is it massive and unbelievably slow, but it's also armed and without intelligence.
Thought and science are therefore raising problems which their terms of study can never answer, many of which are doubtless problems only for thought. The trisection of an angle is similarly an insoluble problem only for compass and straight-edge construction, and Achilles cannot overtake the tortoise so long as their progress is considered piecemeal, endlessly having the distance between them. However, as it is not Achilles but the method of measurement which fails to catch up with the tortoise, so it is not man but his method of thought which fails to find fulfillment in experience.
Alan W. Watts
I had no idea what humans were capable of. I heard they were crafty, but how are they able to do such things? You mean harness light and water? Speedy asked. Change the weather? Yes. It's only the beginning, Speedy said. There are more marvels waiting. Some not so marvelous. Such as? Be not in haste, said the tortoise. There is nothing here but time. If you live long enough, you will see. Of course, though, you will see them from your cage. Live long enough? I asked. Are there mortal dangers here? The tortoise chuckled. The boy doesn't always take very good care of his prisoners, Rex the lizard chimed in. What do you mean? He doesn't feed us enough? Sometimes he doesn't understand what we need to survive, Rex answered. Sometimes he plays too rough. How can a creature able to bend the laws of nature be so cruel? I asked.
Anyway. I'm not allowed to watch TV, although I am allowed to rent documentaries that are approved for me, and I can read anything I want. My favorite book is A Brief History of Time, even though I haven't actually finished it, because the math is incredibly hard and Mom isn't good at helping me. One of my favorite parts is the beginning of the first chapter, where Stephen Hawking tells about a famous scientist who was giving a lecture about how the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the solar system, and whatever. Then a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, 'What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.' So the scientist asked her what the tortoise was standing on. And she said, 'But it's turtles all the way down!' I love that story, because it shows how ignorant people can be. And also because I love tortoises.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Mary Hepburn was meanwhile murdering herself up in her room, lying on her bed with the polyethylene sheath of her "Jackie dress" swapped around her head. The sheath was now all steamed up inside, and she hallucinated that she was a great land tortoise lying on its back in the hot and humid hold of a sailing ship of long ago. She pawed the air in perfect futility, just as a land tortoise on its back would have done. As she had often told her students, sailing ships bound out across the Pacific used to stop off in the Gale pagos Islands to capture defenseless tortoises, who could live on their backs without food or water for months. They were so slow and tame and huge and plentiful. The sailors would capsize them without fear of being bitten or clawed. then they would drag them down to waiting longboats on the shore, using the animals' own useless suits of armor for sleds. They would store them on their backs in the dark paying no further attention to them until it was time for them to be eaten. the beauty of the tortoises to the sailors was that they were fresh meat which did not have to be refrigerated or eaten right away.
The second [argument about motion] is the so-called Achilles, and it amounts to this, that in a race the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead. Statement of the Achilles and the Tortoise paradox in the relation of the discrete to the continuous.; perhaps the earliest example of the reductio ad absurdum method of proof.
Zeno of Elea
106When I don't have anything to read, I feel like a tortoise without a shell or a boat without an anchor. There is nothing to hide under. Nowhere to stop and rest. When I don't have a book, there is nowhere good or interesting to be, there is nobody to care about, nothing to hope for, and nothing to puzzle over. When I do have something to read, it keeps me breathing. It's the reward for all the other things. It's the thing to look forward to, the reason for doing my day.' p. 177, Dime
E. R. Frank
There is only one home to the life of a river-mussel; there is only one home to the life of a tortoise; there is only one shell to the soul of man: there is only one world to the spirit of our race. If that world leaves its course and smashes on boulders of the great void, whose world will give us shelter?
Now, if the principle of toleration were once admitted into classical education - if it were admitted that the great object is to read and enjoy a language, and the stress of the teaching were placed on the few things absolutely essential to this result, if the tortoise were allowed time to creep, and the bird permitted to fly, and the fish to swim, towards the enchanted and divine sources of Helicon - all might in their own way arrive there, and rejoice in its flowers, its beauty, and its coolness.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infinitely more marvelous than the imagining of poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man. For instance, how much more remarkable it is for us all to be stuck-half of us upside down-by a mysterious attraction, to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years, than to be carried on the back of an elephant supported on a tortoise swimming in a bottomless sea.
Richard P. Feynman
Winds flap the sail, tortoise and snake are silent, a great plan looms. A bridge will fly over this moat dug by heaven and be a road from north to south. We will make a stone wall against the upper river to the west and hold back steamy clouds and rain of Wu peaks. Over tall chasms will be a calm lake, and if the goddess of these mountains is not dead she will marvel at the changed world.
It turned out to be a young Dasypus novemcinctus, a nine-banded armadillo, about the size of a small loaf of bread. Although they were becoming more common in Texas, I'd never seen one up close before. Anatomically speaking, it resembled the unhappy melding of an anteater (the face), a mule (the ears), and a tortoise (the carapace). I thought it overall an unlucky creature in the looks department, but Granddaddy once said that to apply a human definition of beauty to an animal that had managed to thrive for millions of years was both unscientific and foolish.
Giving the tortoise a little wave, I kind of felt stupid afterward for doing so. It just stuck its head back in its green and brown shell. "That's a very interesting pet." "And those are very interesting shorts." His gaze dropped. "What are they?" Leaning forward his eyes narrowed and I stiffened. "Pizza slices?" Heat swamped my cheeks. "They're ice cream cones." "Huh. I like them." Straightening, his gaze drifted up me slowly, leaving an unfamiliar wake of heat behind. "A lot.
But don't be late, Troy, or I'll... ' She hesitated and laughed, not entirely happily. 'I don't suppose I'll ever need to worry about you again, will I? I don't suppose I've ever needed to worry over a magician.' 'There are always car accidents, ' Tabitha declared cheerfully. 'A car could come around the corner and... wallop! You'd need a terrific magician to get out of that one... ' 'Or eagles dropping tortoises, ' Troy added, looking amused. 'That happened in Ancient Greece, you know. An eagle dropped a tortoise on some dramatist and killed him.' 'No eagles or tortoises here, ' said Tabitha, 'but a bit could fall off a plane.
If we increase r [in a logistic map] even more, we will eventually force the system into a period-8 limit cycle, then a period-16 cycle, and so on. The amount that we have to increase r to get another period doubling gets smaller and smaller for each new bifurcation. This cascade of period doublings is reminiscent of the race between Achilles and the tortoise, in that an infinite number of bifurcations (or time steps in the race) can be confined to a local region of finite size. At a very special critical value, the dynamical system will fall into what is essentially an infinite-period limit cycle. This is chaos.
Gary William Flake
Let us accept the possibility that there is, at death, not an abrupt cessation of energy, rather a dispersal. This seems more than reasonable to me. Mind you, I've owned a series of old cars, and I"m used to turning off the motor only to experience a series of rumblings and explosions that would shame many a volcano. This is the sort of thing I'm conceptualizing, a kind of clunky running-on. And just as some cars are more susceptible to this behavior, so people vary in the length of time, and the force with which, their energy sputters and gasps... My example is overly dramatic, but it is not wholly unreasonable, and it serves to make this genetic mutation a player at the evolutionary table. You see what I'm getting at: a biologically and evolutionally sound model for the soul. (I didn't say I'd achieved it.) Let's conceive of the soul as an aura that human beings wear on their backs, cumberson as a tortoise's carapace. Some are larger than others.
There is in everywhere, a mild tiny dark called shadow and severally it is usually hidden, denied, masked even cursed and ran from but sometimes it finds a way to gleam. That America is a capitalist nation is like saying a tortoise has shell- it is that obvious I guess and because, yes because long has America put on show- its capitalist statue, a state they indeed are and were- from their definitions. But so is the mild there, which shadow they have hidden, denied, masked from the world- that in collection of taxes- for the collective interest of the whole- that in that premise they the stones that founders socialism, the pillars that hold communism borrow. So of course you can make profit in America, so of course the free market is oriented towards such- but in the length of their survival, the profits are laid down, just like their rights- even those called alienable, all is laid down to enhance the total functioning, the good functioning of their whole- such that if property right would descend the country in chaos- then it be addressed appropriately and it is there better through tax than through burglary and other violent acts- and this medium they choose is the path of socialism.
The eccentric passion of Shankly was underlined for me by my England team-mate Roger Hunt's version of the classic tale of the Liverpool manager's pre-game talk before playing Manchester United. The story has probably been told a thousand times in and out of football, and each time you hear it there are different details, but when Roger told it the occasion was still fresh in his mind and I've always believed it to be the definitive account. It was later on the same day, as Roger and I travelled together to report for England duty, after we had played our bruising match at Anfield. Ian St John had scored the winner, then squared up to Denis Law, with Nobby finally sealing the mood of the afternoon by giving the Kop the 'V' sign. After settling down in our railway carriage, Roger said, 'You may have lost today, but you would have been pleased with yourself before the game. Shanks mentioned you in the team talk. When he says anything positive about the opposition, normally he never singles out players.' According to Roger, Shankly burst into the dressing room in his usual aggressive style and said, 'We're playing Manchester United this afternoon, and really it's an insult that we have to let them on to our field because we are superior to them in every department, but they are in the league so I suppose we have to play them. In goal Dunne is hopeless- he never knows where he is going. At right back Brennan is a straw- any wind will blow him over. Foulkes the centre half kicks the ball anywhere. On the left Tony Dunne is fast but he only has one foot. Crerand couldn't beat a tortoise. It's true David Herd has got a fantastic shot, but if Ronnie Yeats can point him in the right direction he's likely to score for us. So there you are, Manchester United, useless... ' Apparently it was at this point the Liverpool winger Ian Callaghan, who was never known to whisper a single word on such occasions, asked, 'What about Best, Law and Charlton, boss?' Shankly paused, narrowed his eyes, and said, 'What are you saying to me, Callaghan? I hope you're not saying we cannot play three men.