With a HT to KK, and in continuing the theme of an earlier post in which John Fiesole playfully tackles the notion of meaningful meaninglessness, and the meaningfullnessians who profess such paradox, here’s a book exploring uncaused causes – self-causation – seemingly illogical or nonsensical ideas that, upon deeper reflection, may offer  profound truth. From the book:

The superfluous is the most necessary.

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
Margaret Mead

I shut my eyes in order to see.
Paul Gauguin

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
Georg Hegel

We are never prepared for what we expect.
James Michener

To be believed, make the truth unbelievable.
Napoleon Bonaparte

What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
Sydney J. Harris

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau

Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it.
Harry S. Truman

Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.
Oscar Wilde

War is a series of catastrophes which result in a victory.
Georges Clemenceau

First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.
Vincent van Gogh

We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.
Walt Kelly, From Pogo

I want peace and I’m willing to fight for it.
Harry S. Truman

Study the past, if you would divine the future.
Confucius, in Analects

Love is a kind of warfare.

All works of art should begin…at the end.
Edgar Allan Poe

and my favorite…

The final delusion is the belief that one has lost all delusions.
Maurice Chapelain

no wait, this is my favorite…

A man chases a woman until she catches him.


The Kandelhardt Paradox

9 thoughts on “Oxymoronica

  1. Love this, John…except for the math (PTMS still messing with me). Reminds me of my recent thread about big words, with Brad’s comment: monosyllabic is an oxymoron. ;^)

  2. Ha that maths should be given to 9th graders as an example on bad workings. They will never again forget that a square root can have positive and negative solutions

  3. This concept is wrong. Because it violate the theories of Mathematics.
    5th step violate the theories.


    (-0.5)^2 = 0.25 and also (+0.5)^2 = 0.25
    But the reverse does not work for equations.
    Because (-0.5) not equal (+0.5) though (-0.5)^2 = (+0.5)^2.
    Such that, {(-0.5)^2}^1/2 is NOT EQUAL to {(+0.5)^2}^1/2 is same as
    {(5 – 9/2)^2}^1/2 is not equal to {(4 – 9/2)^2}^1/2.

  4. In regards to the The Kandelhardt Paradox, its stupid:)
    5 does not equal 4 and anyone with a decent mathematics education could tell you why.
    When you square something, the result is always positive, therefore when you have something squared, and you take the square root of it, you must remember it is either plus or minus the result. in this case it should be
    -(5-(9/2))=+(4-(9/2)). aka- (-.5=-.5) or
    +(5-(9/2))=-(4-(9/2)). aka- (.5=.5)
    Simply the signs must be opposite in step 5 for that step to be true. and if that step is not true then neither is the solution

  5. The forth step, where you put in the brackets, you made the mistake of removing the 2*5 and the 2*4 as they cant remove each other.
    This is not a paradox but rather a game of spot the mistake.

  6. Mistake is in the step 5. After the step 4, show the square (on L.H.S. and R.H.S.) as two separate brackets. (5-9/2) (5-9/2) = (4-9/2) (4-9/2). We can not cancel one (5-9/2) with one (4-9/2). So the step 5 written in the sum is incorrect.

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