and Machines That Think
John Lardas Modern
Captain Ahab: How long before this leg is done?
Carpenter: Perhaps an hour, Sir.
Ahab: Bungle away at it then, and bring it to me (turns to go). Oh,
Life! Here I am, proud as Greek god, and yet standing debtor to
this blockhead for a bone to stand on! Cursed be that mortal inter-
indebtedness which will not do away with ledgers. I would be free as
air; and I’m down in the whole world’s books.
—Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851)
The word personality describes that which is personal, that which
belongs to one human being only. To have personality means to
possess… an original character not like that of others, but truly
one’s own and free from imitation. To be a personality is to be one
who is distinguished and recognized among a crowd by some trait
either moral, intellectual, physical, or simply practical…. Be the
captain of your ship of destiny launched on the ocean of life.
—Henri Laurent, Personality: How to Build It (1916)