Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

Sometimes less is more…

· Pythagoras’ Theorem – 24 words
· Lords’ Prayer – 66 words
· Archimedes Principle – 67 words
· Ten Commandments – 179 words
· Gettysburg Address – 267 words
· US Declaration of Independence – 1,321 words
· Magna Carta (including signatures) – 3,856 words
· EU regulations on sale and trade of cabbages – 26,253 words

From here.


  1. Tennessee Budd says:

    Good list, but I’m not sure about the Gettysburg Address’ inclusion, it being such an unbelievable example of hypocrisy. Well-written, moving hypocrisy, but still…

  2. NickM says:

    I guess it’s just there because it is so famous.

  3. mike says:

    And sometimes Nick, you’re a pillock.

    Yes EU regulations are very bad, but that list is as absurd as a Salvador Dali multi-story car park.

  4. NickM says:

    Do explain. The whole point is the punchline. Or maybe the compare and contrast. If the basics of Judeo-Christian faith can be summarised in 179 words yet the EU faith requires 26,253 words on the cabbage trade then can we really call this progress?

  5. mike says:

    Well rather ironically, that whole point – which is a good one – could have been aptly made with just the first and last items of the list.

    But what is the point of seemingly implying that something some people mumble under their breath in certain private moments is somehow “more” than an understanding of buoyancy? Or that the burning bush was somehow a “more efficient” writer than Jefferson?

    That’s the sort of thing you might think about when you’re pissed isn’t it?

  6. NickM says:

    You seriously wouldn’t want to know what I think about whilst pissed. But, whilst not a Christian – unbaptised and all – I appreciate that Christians believe they can get a direct line to God in 26187 fewer words than the EU need for a certain form of the brassica trade. And that is the point.

    Anyway, I have to disagree. The Pythagorean theorem is something that only various forms of homosexualists think of in terms of the squire on the hippopotamus. Real men think of it in terms of differential geometry. ds squared and all that relativistic jazz.

    Moreover: when I get around to it I shall present a T-shirt with Maxwell’s derivation of the speed of light in classic vector form entirely symbolically with the tag-line, “And then there was light!” Thanks JCM otherwise I’d be some variety of cunt grubbing up “roots” rather than buying them in TESCO.

  7. John B says:

    It’s amazing the hostility to God that has been cultivated in those who would be free. You don’t have to mumble it under your breath. Promise.
    You can just ask for an answer and expect one. It’s just those words do sum up all that really needs to be said.

  8. mike says:

    “You seriously wouldn’t want to know what I think about whilst pissed.”

    Aye not really that interested, but reading that you disagree with what I said because Pythagoras’ theorem is so world shattering has me thinking I might know already: I never said a word against Pythagoras – lay off that math-glue at least will ya?!

    John: I was mildly interested in Rene Girard’s anthropological take on why Christianity is the one true religion – for about twenty minutes. I’m with Hitchens except for the caveat that the man clearly labors under a schizophrenic ethics.

  9. John B says:

    Wiki on Hitchens: His main argument is that the concept of God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, and that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion, which inhibits these things, as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization.

    Science the exploration of that which is ?
    I have not met anything more totalitarian than nature – that which is.
    But, of course, it is simply there, likewise God, except there is the tendency for some to find a special emotional rejection of God.
    He is the final authority, indeed. But you can at least speak to Him.

    Girard makes it far too complicated to the point where he diverges from reality. It is simple even though the application can be complex.

  10. El Draque says:

    The list is unfair. It’s not comparing like with like. It’s comparing basic rules which are then elaborated into minute rules.
    The Ten Commandments are a list of principles which are expanded into the full breadth of the Talmud, Aquinas’ works, Calvin’s principles and the rest of them.
    The EU regulations are the expansion of a similarly concise rule:
    “All your laws are made by us.”

    Agree with you, Tennessee, about the Address. Platitude incarnate.
    Though Lincoln was undoubtedly a great man, deserving of the honour of the Memorial.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: