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Today's Stichomancy for John Von Neumann

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:

and as to the people, they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them. Now to run away, and to be caught in running away, is the very height of folly, and also greatly increases the exasperation of mankind; for they regard him who runs away as a rogue, in addition to any other objections which they have to him; and therefore I take an entirely opposite course, and acknowledge myself to be a Sophist and instructor of mankind; such an open acknowledgement appears to me to be a better sort of caution than concealment. Nor do I neglect other precautions, and therefore I hope, as I may say, by the favour of heaven that no harm will come of the acknowledgment that I am a Sophist. And I have been now many years in the profession--for all my years when added up

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:

way, buttoning up his coat against the rain. He had never wanted to go; and the idea of standing all by himself in a crowded market, to be stared at, pushed, and hired by some big strange farmer was very disagreeable--

"I wish I could have a little garden and grow potatoes," said Pigling Bland.

He put his cold hand in his

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The First Men In The Moon by H. G. Wells:

imagine it a lizard changed into a plant. And the glare! "

"This is only the fresh morning," said Cavor.

He sighed and looked about him. "This is no world for men," he said. "And yet in a way - it appeals."

He became silent for a time, then commenced his meditative humming.

I started at a gentle touch, and found a thin sheet of livid lichen lapping over my shoe. I kicked at it and it fell to powder, and each speck began to grow.

I heard Cavor exclaim sharply, and perceived that one of the fixed bayonets of the scrub had pricked him. He hesitated, his eyes sought among the rocks about us. A sudden blaze of pink had crept up a ragged


The First Men In The Moon
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:

Two long lines of gayly lighted shops, stretching off into the distance, look out across two equally endless rows of torch-lit booths, the decorous yellow gleam of the one contrasting strangely with the demoniacal red flare of the other. This perspective of pleasure fulfils its promise. As your feet follow your eyes you find yourself in a veritable shoppers' paradise, the galaxy of twinkle resolving into worlds of delight. Nor do you long remain a mere spectator; for the shops open their arms to you. No cold glass reveals their charms only to shut you off. Their wares lie invitingly exposed to the public, seeming to you already half your own. At the very first you come to you stop involuntarily, lost in