Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fourth of July

“But his creative contributions to the insurance business could hardly have been made so successfully later if he had not had this early familiarity with the basis of insurance theory. He was at home with it from the first because his devotion to Emersonian doctrine led him to see, in the truths revealed by statistical averages, the expression of the Universal Mind, operating in the experience of many individuals.

—Henry Cowell, Charles Ives and His Music

2 comments:

Michael said...

Thanks for mentioning Emerson, even tangentially.

Word verification: quine.

rodney k said...

Hi Michael,

The passage about this in the book is fascinating. I always thought insurance was the dull-as-dust industry artists like Stevens were forced into. At the turn of the last century though, when Ives chose it for a profession, apparently it was something like the Internet of its day--exciting, new, and pregnant with democratic possibility. Acc. to Cowell, Ives trained the salesmen, and saw them to some degree as apostles of Emersonian democracy as they convinced average Joes that insurance was for them, too.