Monday, December 09, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Ashbery

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"Did I say that? One says so many things, and the problem is they all get written down."
--
(In response to the question "Why do you call yourself anti-art?," Bard College, 2005)

 
John Ashbery

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Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, "So what." That's one of my favorite things to say. "So what." "My mother didn't love me." So what. "My husband won't ball me." So what. "I'm a success but I'm still alone." So what. I don't know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.

 
Andy Warhol
 

You don't know what I'm up against. Because it's full of, of, of things that are only correct because they're grammatical, but they're tough on the ear, you see. This is a very wearying one. It's unpleasant to read. Unrewarding. "Because Findus freeze the cod at sea, and then add a crumb-crisp" Ooh, "crumb-crisp coating." Ahh, that's tough, "crumb-crisp coating." I think, no, because of the way it's written, you need to break it up, because it's not, it's not as conversationally written.

 
Orson Welles
 

The peculiar character of the problem of a rational economic order is determined precisely by the fact that the knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess. The economic problem of society is thus not merely a problem of how to allocate "given" resources if "given" is taken to mean given to a single mind which deliberately solves the problem set by these "data." It is rather a problem of how to secure the best use of resources known to any of the members of society, for ends whose relative importance only these individuals know. Or, to put it briefly, it is a problem of the utilization of knowledge which is not given to anyone in its totality.

 
Friedrich Hayek
 

He was annoyed 'cause I didn't say that he'd written one line of this song "Taxman." But I also didn't say how I wrote two lines of "Come Together" or three lines of "Eleanor Rigby," you know? I wasn't getting into any of that. I think, in the balance, I would have had more things to be niggled with him about than he would have had with me!

 
George Harrison
 

The theory is the result of listening to the problem. When the theory acquires a life of its own because some people like it more than the real world, all kinds of uninspiring, uninteresting things happen, so the key is both to listen to the problem and to study the theory. But always remember that just as much theory is bunk as there are buggy solutions. There is nothing more wrong with "theory" than "solutions" both their quality and their applicability are orthogonal to their existence.

 
Erik Naggum
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