The Analects, Section I

There doesn’t seem to be any literal translation of the Analects out there that tracks the original grammar, which is annoying. So here I did it, in-text commentary in parentheses. Not a big fan of this text.


Note: The princely scholars, sometimes translated as gentleman-scholars, are more or less the intellectual elite who assign themselves the task of defining morality and leading by example. Here, they have a rambling discussion about the desirable traits of a princely scholar (and therefore the ideal benevolent man), and how such a person participates in managing the masses, who need not understand anything but merely follow along.

1. 子曰:「學而時習之,不亦說乎?有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎?人不知而不慍,不亦君子乎?」
Master said: “Learning and fittingly applying it, isn’t that also persuasion? Having comrades from afar be drawn, isn’t that also concordance? Others not understanding yet one not harboring resentment, isn’t that also being a princely scholar [junzi]?”

(To learn and teach through example and action, and to get resonance among peers is the mark of an elite intellectual; whether others get it is not important. Confucius is talking about his own reasons for teaching rather than going on the lobbying circuit, where he was frequently rebuffed.)
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A little Markovian problem

Here it is: 

A has a fair coin and B has a fair coin. They flip coins together, but only keep track of their own sequences of heads and tails. A stops if the sequence “HHT” appears. B stops if the sequence “HTH” appears. Which player is more likely to stop first?

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