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Twice 2 makes 4 is a piece of insolence

Man is a frivolous and
incongruous creature, and perhaps, like a chess player, loves the
process of the game, not the end of it. 

 And who knows (there is no
saying with certainty), perhaps the only goal on earth to which mankind
is striving lies in this incessant process of attaining, in other
words, in life itself, and not in the thing to be attained, which must
always be expressed as a formula, as positive as twice two makes four,
and such positiveness is not life, gentlemen, but is the beginning of

Anyway, man has always been afraid of this mathematical
certainty, and I am afraid of it now.  Granted that man does nothing
but seek that mathematical certainty, he traverses oceans, sacrifices
his life in the quest, but to succeed, really to find it, dreads, I
assure you.  He feels that when he has found it there will be nothing
for him to look for.  

Man  loves the process of attaining, but
does not quite like to have attained, and that, of course, is very
absurd.  In fact, man is a comical creature; there seems to be a kind
of jest in it all. 

But yet mathematical certainty is after all,
something insufferable.  Twice two makes four seems to me simply a
piece of insolence.  Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands
with arms akimbo barring your path.  I admit that twice
two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything
its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.

source fyodor dostoevsky Notes from the Underground

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