(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Humphrey Bogart

“The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic”*…

Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate has issued proceedings, complaining that Enola Holmes,  a recently released film about Sherlock Holmes’ sister, portrays the great detective as too emotional.

Sherlock Holmes was famously suspicious of emotions. “‘[L]ove is an emotional thing,’ he icily observed, ‘and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things’.”  “I am a brain’, he told Watson. ‘The rest of me is a mere appendix’.”

I can imagine that many professional scientists and philosophers would feel affronted if they were accused of being emotional animals. Holmes is a model for them. He’s rigorous, empirical, and relies on induction.

But here’s the thing. He’s not actually very good. Mere brains might be good at anticipating the behaviour of mere brains, but they’re not good for much else. In particular Holmes is not a patch on his rival, Chesterton’s Father Brown, a Roman Catholic priest. Gramsci writes that Brown “totally defeats Sherlock Holmes, makes him look like a pretentious little boy, shows up his narrowness and pettiness.Brown is faster, more efficient, and, for the criminal, deadlier. This is because, not despite, his use of his emotions.

In science it is rather more important to find out the right answer than to identify an answer that will fit one’s currently ruling paradigm. In moral philosophy it is rather more important to find the morally correct course than to identify one that doesn’t outrage the zeitgeist. Father Brown can help. Sherlock Holmes can’t.

Lessons for Philosophers and Scientists from Sherlock Holmes and Father Brown

For an example, see “Peirce on Abduction.”

[Image above: source]

* G.K. Chesterton, The Innocence of Father Brown

###

As we get in touch with our feelings, we might spare a thought for Humphrey DeForest Bogart; he died on this date in 1957. An actor whose career began in the theater, his motion picture roles made him a cultural icon; in 1999, the American Film Institute selected Bogart as the greatest male star of classic American cinema. While there can certainly be legitimate debate as to his most memorable role, his turns as a detective (Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon; Phillip Marlowe in The Big Sleep) are certainly among the contenders.

source

“No scientific discovery is named after its discoverer”*…

 

 click here (and again) for a larger version

Via Lapham’s Quarterly, “Eponymous laws: Legal Nomenclature.”

* “Stigler’s Law”  Statistician Stephen Stigler (who attributes the law to sociologist Robert Merton)

###

As we give credit where credit is due, we might send expensive birthday greetings to Irving Paul “Swifty” Lazar; he was born on his date in 1907.  A bankruptcy lawyer turned talent agent, he represented Humphrey Bogart (who gave Lazar his nickname), Lauren Bacall, Truman Capote, Cher, Joan Collins, Noël Coward, Ira Gershwin, Cary Grant, Moss Hart, Ernest Hemingway, Gene Kelly, Madonna, Walter Matthau, Larry McMurtry, Vladimir Nabokov, Clifford Odets, Cole Porter, William Saroyan, Irwin Shaw, Richard Nixon (Lazar negotiated the interview with David Frost), and Tennessee Williams (among many others).  Lazar’s power grew to such an extent that he could negotiate a deal for someone who wasn’tt even his client, then collect a fee from that person’s agent.

In a 1993 profile of Lazar, Michael Korda recalled his first glimpse of the self-dubbed “Prince of Pitch”:

The person in question was standing on the other side of the pool, an incongruous, diminutive figure among all the half-naked, oiled, and bronzed bodies. He was totally bald, and his face–what could be seen of it below huge, glittering gold-rimmed Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses–was tanned, like his pate, to the color of a well-cared-for crocodile handbag. He was wearing tiny white shoes, a blue blazer with gold buttons, and white trousers pressed so perfectly, despite the heat, that he looked like a shiny, expensive beach toy that had just been unpacked by some lucky child. He was shouting into a telephone…

Asked in 1975 to summarize his philosophy, Lazar replied with what might be called “Lazar’s Law”: “In a deal, you give and take. You compromise. Then you grab the cash and catch the next train out of town.”

Swifty Lazar, with Diana Ross

source

 

Written by LW

March 28, 2018 at 1:01 am

Cut! Take it again from “#@!*&%#@!”…

Humphrey Bogart, Joe E. Brown, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Kay Francis, Leslie Howard, Paul Lukas, Barton MacLane, Fredric March, Paul Muni, Pat O’Brien, Claude Rains, Edward G. Robinson, and a host of others star in The Warner Bros. Blooper Reel for 1936!

TotH to the good folks at Neatorama.

As we struggle to remember our lines, we might recall that it was on this date in 1836 that Samuel Colt was granted a U.S. patent on a “revolving gun” (a revolving-breach-loading, folding-trigger firearm, initially instantiated as a pistol– the Patterson Pistol, the earliest ancestor of the famous Colt .45).  In 1835, Colt had traveled to England, following the path of Elisha Collier, a Bostonian who had earlier patented a revolving flintlock.  Colt obtained a British patent late that year, then hurried home.

Samuel Colt

%d bloggers like this: