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06 February 2007 @ 09:27 am
Tao of the Day  
Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.

- Arthur Schopenhauer, The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism by James Geary
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RocketGirl: Banzaieonen on February 6th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)
There's something about that quote that isn't sitting right. I think hope is the desire for greater probability that a thing one desires will come to pass.

I believe it's the word "confusion" that got me thinking about it. Maybe it's just my thought process that isn't compatible with this viewpoint. To me, hope goes: I desire something. I really would like it to happen, or to possess it, whatever that something is. If there's a 1 in 3 chance, I hope three comes up instead of one or two.

I'm not seeing confusion between desire and probability in that...

Just sayin'.
Kburgunder on February 7th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
It's worded strangely, and the way you're reading it seems to break differently than the way I am. For me, I might do:

Hope - it's the confusion of
the desire for a thing with its probability.

i.e. I have a .000005% chance of hooking up with Henry Rollins or Drew Barrymore but I have hope and therein lies the confusion.
RocketGirl: Ukkyoeonen on February 7th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, that wording...it's really ambiguous, very tangled. To make any sense to me, the "with" you've emphasized would need to be "and". That way it actually means, to me, the same as your interpretation.
(Anonymous) on February 7th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
It may have been a quirk from being translated into English from 18th century German, but they definitely could've done it more justice in modern English and with the word "and".
RocketGirl: Banzaieonen on February 7th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
And possibly a "between" near the beginning, there. :)
Kburgunder on February 7th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Hrm, LJ auto-logged me out, stinky thing.

Yeah. Agree on your word change for better clarity.

Do you speak German? Maybe Schopenhauer's ghost needs your help bringing his thoughts into 21st century Americanese. Heh.
RocketGirl: head bangeonen on February 7th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
I can say "strudel", "gesundheit", and "blitzkrieg". S'about it.

I learned one of the other Axis power languages: Japanese. Sorry.