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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Goedel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:

But, if you mean the whole human race, then I think the minds have it: everything, recorded in books, must have once been in some mind, you know."

"Isn't that rather like one of the Rules in Algebra?" my Lady enquired. ("Algebra too!" I thought with increasing wonder.) "I mean, if we consider thoughts as factors, may we not say that the Least Common Multiple of all the minds contains that of all the books; but not the other way?"

"Certainly we may!" I replied, delighted with the illustration. "And what a grand thing it would be," I went on dreamily, thinking aloud rather than talking, "if we could only apply that Rule to books!


Sylvie and Bruno
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:

or rather that the problem had dispossessed my intelligence and reigned in its stead side by side with a superstitious awe. A dreadful order seemed to lurk in the darkest shadows of life. The madness of that Carlist with the soul of a Jacobin, the vile fears of Baron H., that excellent organizer of supplies, the contact of their two ferocious stupidities, and last, by a remote disaster at sea, my love brought into direct contact with the situation: all that was enough to make one shudder - not at the chance, but at the design.

For it was my love that was called upon to act here, and nothing else. And love which elevates us above all safeguards, above


The Arrow of Gold
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:

flashlight. From the revolver I knew that he was thinking more of the crazed Italian than of the police. "We’d better both go," he whispered. "It wouldn’t do not to answer it anyway, and it may be a patient -- it would be like one of those fools to try the back door." So we both went down the stairs on tiptoe, with a fear partly justified and partly that which comes only from the soul of the weird small hours. The rattling continued, growing somewhat louder. When we reached the door I cautiously unbolted it and threw it open, and as the moon streamed revealingly


Herbert West: Reanimator
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 To-morrow by Joseph Conrad:

round its firesides. Many sailors feel and profess a rational dislike for the sea, but his was a pro- found and emotional animosity--as if the love of the stabler element had been bred into him through many generations.

"People did not know what they let their boys in for when they let them go to sea," he expounded to Bessie. "As soon make convicts of them at once." He did not believe you ever got used to it. The weariness of such a life got worse as you got older. What sort of trade was it in which more than half


To-morrow