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Man seems to be a rickety poor sort of a thing, any way you take him; a kind of British Museum of infirmities and inferiorities. He is always undergoing repairs. A machine that was as unreliable as he is would have no market.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Letters from the Earth, “The Damned Human Race,” sec. 5 “The Lowest Animal” (1962) [ed. DeVoto]
Added on 25-Mar-24 | Last updated 25-Mar-24
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Why do we get older? Why do our bodies wear out? Why can’t we just go on and on and on, accumulating a potentially infinite number of Frequent Flier mileage points? These are the kinds of questions that philosophers have been asking ever since they realized that being a philosopher did not involve any heavy lifting.
And yet the answer is really very simple: Our bodies are mechanical devices, and like all mechanical devices, they break down. Some devices, such as battery-operated toys costing $39.95, break down almost instantly upon exposure to the Earth’s atmosphere. Other devices, such as stereo systems owned by your next-door neighbor’s 13-year-old son who likes to listen to bands with names like “Nerve Damage” at a volume capable of disintegrating limestone, will continue to function perfectly for many years, even if you hit them with an ax. But the fundamental law of physics is that sooner or later every mechanism ceases to function for one reason or another, and it is never covered under the warranty.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
Dave Barry Turns 40, ch. 2 “Your Disintegrating Body” (1990)
Added on 19-Jan-24 | Last updated 19-Jan-24
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To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) French author, existentialist philosopher, feminist theorist
The Second Sex [Le Deuxième Sexe], Vol. 2, Part 1, ch. 2 (1949) [tr. Borde/Malovany-Chevallier (2009)]
Added on 24-Jul-23 | Last updated 24-Jul-23
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You were wrong to fault my body as weak
and effete; for if I am able to reason well,
this is superior to a muscular arm.

[τὸ δ᾽ἀσθενές µου καὶ τὸ θῆλυ σώµατος
κακῶς ἐµέµφθης· εἰ γὰρ εὖ φρονεῖν ἔχω,
κρεῖσσον τόδ᾽ἐστὶ καρτεροῦ βραχίονος.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Antiope [Αντιοπη], frag. 199 (TGF, Kannicht) [Amphion/ΑΜΦΙΩΝ] (c. 410 BC) [tr. Will (2015)]

(Source (Greek)). Barnes frag. 22, Musgrave frag. 34. Alternate translations:

No right
Hast thou to censure this my frame as weak
And womanish, for if I am endued
With wisdom, that exceeds the nervous arm.
[tr. Wodhall (1809)]

You were wrong to censure my weak and effeminate body;
for if I can think soundly, this is stronger than a sturdy arm.
[tr. Collard (2004)]

Added on 6-Dec-22 | Last updated 6-Dec-22
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