Goethe’s Faust

RAPHAEL. The day-star, sonorous as of old,

Goes his predestined way along,

And round his path is thunder rolled,

While sister-spheres join rival song.

New strength have angels at the sight,

Though none may scan the infinitude,

And splendid, as in primal light,

The high works of the world are viewed.

Prologue in Heaven from Faust Part 1, By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I recently picked up Penguin’s classic version of Faust. It inspired me to highlight the wonderful work to a broader audience. If the quote above intrigues you, there’s several hundred more pages of amazingly poetic verses.

GABRIEL. Swift, unimaginably swift

The glory of the earth rolls round,

And scenes of heavenly radiance shift

To fearfulness of night profound;

By floods of sea in foaming forces

Cliffs at their shuddering base are churned,

And flung in planetary courses

The seas and cliffs are ever turned.

MICHAEL. And storms contend in angry fuming

From sea to land, from land to sea,

A chain of raging force assuming,

In their tempestuous majesty.

The flame of brilliant devastation

Now lights the thunderbolt his way;

But angels, Lord, in adoration,

Hail the sweet progress of thy day.

THE THREE. Now strength have angels at the sight,

Amazed at thy infinitude,

And splendid as in primal light

Are all thy mighty works renewed.

Goethe

neat quote: on the children of the future, from the first Bulgarian cosmonaut

In conversations we are often asked, cosmonauts and astronauts alike, what kind of planet will we leave to our children. That is an extremely important and responsible issue. However, I often think to myself – what kind of children will we leave our home planet Earth to?

Georgi Ivanov

You may have noticed my page of interesting quotes on this site. I usually update it whenever I encounter a thought provoking quotation. The personage could be world famous, or obscure, dead or alive, of any profession, station, etc… I’ve found that there’s always something worthy of attention if you dig deep enough.

Though now there is quite a substantial collection I’ve previously updated the page without comment so I fear that some real gems sink unnoticed. So I’ll be posting any updates on my main page as well.

Natural language programming, the holy grail? OpenAI’s Codex

Recently the folks at OpenAI demonstrated their latest product that looks almost like natural language programming as envisioned by futurists, academics, and philosophers of computer science. See video below:

Amazing boulder programming

Especially notable is the demonstration of a mini-game being developed on the fly with a movable boulder and controllable character simply by some clever thinking and writing a few normal sounding sentences into the API (application programming interface) input of the Codex. For those unfamiliar with Python and Javascript, which are the languages in use here, this is pretty extraordinary.

Their trajectory of development so far and the room for future advancements portend pretty extraordinary improvements.

For more in-depth analysis I will defer to those more experienced in the field and will edit links here as they become available. (Unless nobody tackles it, then I may try writing above my paygrade!)