EppsNet Archive: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Teaching Computer Science: Collected Thoughts

If you recognize the person on this next slide, please raise your hand. Don’t yell out the name, just raise your hand. About two-thirds of you recognize Derek Jeter. I thought everyone would recognize him, but still a clear majority. I’m not a Yankees fan or a Derek Jeter fan particularly but the Captain and I are on the same page on this topic. I have to admit I was pretty competitive as a student. I didn’t want anyone to do better than me and I especially didn’t want anyone to do better than me because they worked harder than me. This Jeter quote reminded me of a quote from another notable sports figure . . . This is Bob Knight, college basketball coach, most notably at the University of Indiana. He won 902 games, three NCAA championships, and he coached the 1984 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.… Read more →

It Happened 100 Years Ago to Dostoevsky

You read something which you thought only happened to you, and you discovered it happened 100 years ago to Dostoevsky. This is a very great liberation for the suffering, struggling person, who always thinks that he is alone. This is why art is important. Art would not be important if life were not important, and life is important. — James Baldwin, Interview with Studs Terkel, Chicago, 1961 Read more →

The Grand Inquisitor Addresses Jesus

nd now, do You see those stones in this parched and barren desert? Turn them into loaves of bread and men will follow You like cattle, grateful and docile, although constantly fearful lest You withdraw Your hand and they lose Your loaves. . . . You thought, what sort of freedom would they have if their obedience was bought with bread? You replied that man does not live by bread alone. . . . So, in the end, they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, “Enslave us but feed us!” And they will finally understand that freedom and the assurance of daily bread for everyone are two incompatible notions that could never co-exist! . . . They will marvel at us and worship us like gods, because, by becoming their masters, we have accepted the burden of freedom that they were too frightened to face,… Read more →

If God Exists

f God exists, then no doubt I’ve sinned and I’ll answer for it; but if there is no God, then I didn’t offend them nearly enough, those holy fathers of yours. — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov Read more →

A Grain of Faith

“It says in the Scriptures that if you have as much as a grain of faith and if you ask a mountain to move into the sea. it will do so at once and without delay, the second you ask it. So, Mr. Gregory, since you’re a believer and I’m an unbeliever — for which you keep reproaching me — why don’t you try asking the mountain to slide not even all the way into the sea (because there’s no sea anywhere near here) but just down into our stinking little river, the one that runs behind our garden. If you do, you’ll see for yourself that nothing will move, that everything will remain where it is, even though you shout all you want, and that should prove that you too, Mr. Gregory, do not have the true faith, which you like to reproach others for lacking.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky,… Read more →

I Twisted Things a Little

ctually, I believe that, in telling you all about the struggle that took place in me, I twisted things a little, to make myself look a little better. But I don’t care if I did. The hell with all this spying on the human heart! — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov Read more →

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The author, a Russian, displays great heart and insight in this philosophical novel, but at 900+ pages, he needs to learn how to get to the point. I look forward to his next project, perhaps with a better editor. Read more →