A Under Construction Quotes

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Expectations are resentments under construction.
Anne Lamott
The road to success is always under construction
Lily Tomlin
NO reader has ANY obligation to an author, whether it be to leave a review or to write a "constructive" one. I put out a product. You are consumers of that product. Since when does that mean you have to kiss my ass? Hey, I like Pop-Tarts and eat them a few times a year; since when does that mean I'm obligated to support Kellogg's in any way except legally purchasing the Pop-Tarts before I eat them? I wasn't aware that purchasing and consuming a product meant I was under some sort of fucking thrall in which I'm only allowed to either praise the Pop-Tart (which to be honest isn't hard, especially the S'mores flavor) or, if I am going to criticize a flavor, offer a specific and detailed analysis as to why, phrased in as inoffensive and gentle a manner as possible so as not to upset the gentle people at Kellogg's." [Something in the Water? (blog post; January 9, 2012)]
Stacia Kane
The road to success is always under construction.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
If thinking and reason crack under pressure of emotional convulsions or when commissioned facts are resulting from fibs and fake constructions, truth may be in great peril. ( ”Blame storming”)
Erik Pevernagie
The shortest distance between two points is always under construction.
Rebecca McClanahan
Love is a two-way street constantly under construction.
Carroll Bryant
Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.
Milton Friedman
Most of us have learned to be dispassionate about evil, to look it in the face and find, as often as not, our own grinning reflections with which we do not argue, but good is another matter. Few have stared at that long enough to accept that its face too is grotesque, that in us the good is something under construction. The modes of evil usually receive worthy expression. The modes of good have to be satisfied with a cliche or a smoothing down that will soften their real look.
Flannery O'Connor
Your life is always under construction. It is your job to learn how to untangle the threads and weave a tapestry that matches your desires.
Dannye Williamsen
Where utopianism is advanced through gradualism rather than revolution, albeit steady and persistent as in democratic societies, it can deceive and disarm an unsuspecting population, which is largely content and passive. It is sold as reforming and improving the existing society's imperfections and weaknesses without imperiling its basic nature. Under these conditions, it is mostly ignored, dismissed, or tolerated by much of the citizenry and celebrated by some. Transformation is deemed innocuous, well-intentioned, and perhaps constructive but not a dangerous trespass on fundamental liberties.
Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
Abby must have been the one who found the safe house, because Townsend didn't like it. "The building across the street is under construction," he snarled as soon as we'd carried our bags inside. "The elevator has key card access, and I've hacked into the surveillance cameras from every system on the block," Abby argued. "We have a three-hundred-sixty-degree visual." "Excellent." Townsend dropped his bag. "Now the circle can see us from every angle." "Don't mind Agent Townsend, girls," Abby told us. "He's a glass-half-empty kind of spy." "Also known as the good kind," he countered. Abby huffed.
Ally Carter (Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5))
A working brain is probably a lot like a map, where anybody can get from one place to another on the freeways. It's the nonworking brains that get blocked, that have dead ends, that are under construction like mine.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
I had hundreds of books under my skin already. Not selected reading, all of it. Some of it could be called trashy. I had been through Nick Carter, Horatio Alger, Bertha M. Clay and the whole slew of dime novelists in addition to some really constructive reading. I do not regret the trash. It has harmed me in no way. It was a help, because acquiring the reading habit early is the important thing. Taste and natural development will take care of the rest later on.
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
Finding yourself" is not really how it works. You aren't a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people's opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. "Finding yourself" is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.
Emily McDowell
The road to happiness is always under construction. But no worries, my SUV has four wheel drive. Let’s rock this.” —
Celia Kyle (Maya: Wisdom from the Queen (Ridgeville, #11))
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human - looks out of the heart burning with purity - for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love - be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love - cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy - must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye - yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
When you’re seventy-five, you are still going to be you.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate... We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself. … To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions every day, I say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.
Ronald Reagan
The thin line between life and death is still under construction.
Santosh Kalwar (Adventus)
the rules of English grammar are largely an artificial construct with little or no bearing on the language as it is spoke.
Ben Aaronovitch (Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3))
They don't make morgues with windows. In fact, if the geography allows for it, they hardly ever make morgues above the ground. I guess it's partly because it must be eisier to refrigerate a bunch of coffin-sized chambers in a room insulated by the earth. But that can't be all there is to it. Under the earth means a lot more than relative altitude. It's where dead things fit. Graves are under the earth. So are Hell, Gehenna, Hades, and a dozen other reported afterlives. Maybe it says somthing about people. Maybe for us, under the earth is a subtle and profound statement. Maybe ground level provides us with a kind of symbolic boundary marker, an artificial construct that helps us remember that we are alive. Mabye it helps us push death's shadow back from our lives. I live in a basement apartment and like it. What does that say about me? Probably that I overanalyze things.
Jim Butcher (Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5))
The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.
Anthony Robbins (Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement)
The easy road is always under construction,so have an alternate route planned.
Jill Shalvis
Lasting happiness—the underlying quest in almost all of Watts’s copious writing—can only be achieved by giving up the ego-self, which is a pure illusion anyway. The ego-self constantly pushes reality away. It constructs a future out of empty expectations and a past out of regretful memories.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
UR LOCAL's under construction. Better watch out, traffic fines double.
Stephen King (UR)
Jace had disappeared under the table. He appeared a moment later, holding Church, the Institute's part-time cat. Church had his paws stuck straight out and a look of satisfaction on his face. "We thought the same thing," said Jace, settling the cat on his lap. "But apparently, according to Magnus, there are spells that can be constructed to be activated by a warlock's death." Emma glared at Church. She knew the cat had once lived in the New York Institute, but it seemed rude to show preference so blatantly. The cat was lying on his back on Jace's lap, purring and ignoring her.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
The leaves of the world comprise countless billion elaborations of a single, simple machine designed for one job only – a job upon which hinges humankind. Leaves make sugar. Plants are the only things in the universe that can make sugar out of nonliving inorganic matter. All the sugar that you have ever eaten was first made within a leaf. Without a constant supply of glucose to your brain, you will die. Period. Under duress, your liver can make glucose out of protein or fat – but that protein or fat was originally constructed from a plant sugar within some other animal. It’s inescapable: at this very moment, within the synapses of your brain, leaves are fueling thoughts of leaves.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
Our memories are like a city: we tear some structures down, and we use rubble of the old to raise up new ones. Some memories are bright glass, blindingly beautiful when they catch the sun, but then there are the darker days, when they reflect only the crumbling walls of their derelict neighbours. Some memories are buried under years of patient construction; their echoing halls may never again be seen or walked down, but still they are the foundations for everything that stands above them. "Glas told me once that that's what people are, mostly: memories, the memories in their own heads, and the memories of them in other people's. And if memories are like a city, and we are our memories, then we are like cities too. I've always taken comfort in that.
Tom Pollock (The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1))
The ancient Romans had a tradition: whenever one of their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.
Michael Armstrong
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage... The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything... One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice. Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy? I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Some jump down off the bridges, some sail towards the horizon… Meaning is always under construction.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
What he would have liked, without admitting it, was for the whole world, forever under construction yet never constructed, to be like his own destroyed life.
Andrei Platonov (The Foundation Pit)
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Bill Wilson
This house, which seemed somehow to have formed itself, flying together into its own powerful pattern under the hands of its builders, fitting itself into its own construction of lines and angles, reared its great head back against the sky without concession to humanity. It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
[T]he more technology develops the diffusion of information (and notably of images), the more it provides the means of masking the constructed meaning under the appearance of the given meaning.
Roland Barthes (Image - Music - Text)
Life is potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are most miserable. And this in turn presupposes the human capacity to creatively turn life’s negative aspects into something positive or constructive. In other words, what matters is to make the best of any given situation.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
I drove on, and between the north and southbound lanes a construction crew worked under daylight-bright industrial lamps. I saw them through a gauzy fog of dust and strong light...they wore blood-red vests and hardhats and massive goggles, and as the road sank I saw that the workers were bone thin, with skeletal jaws and long teeth. They labored on platforms over gaping holes in the earth, and among the men, piled atop rickety pallets, lolled babies, piles of them, in ashy cerements. I could not tell whether the crew was excavating or burying them.
Matthew M. Bartlett (Gateways to Abomination)
It is ironic that constructive thinkers are often misunderstood as negative, as they differ from those longing for positivity: constructive thinkers have been conditioned to find positive in negative rather than suffering from the negative in negative. Or as Paul the Apostle wrote, 'I have learned the secret to contentment in any and every circumstance.' He was right. Indeed the Lord is our strength, especially under the commandment to love one another. Otherwise we are nothing and easily thrown about by both our own and other people's mind control in a painful, mental, physical desperation to run from every thought, every thing, and every one not seeming so positive or immediately beneficial to us.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Perfection is built on principles that may never get to be seen. It'll always be a road that's under construction. No one is perfect... Always remember that.
Tshepo Ramodisa (Trust)
I have a friend who says we spend the first half of our life building it and the second half preventing it from falling apart. I’d rather be under construction when I die.
Heather Lende (Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer)
Function and man appear synonymous because the function can only be pointed toward by being the function. There is no being except in a mode of being. [...] Both scholar and Christian are functioning in identical ways, just under different metaphor, and both are evading the mechanics of being.
Joseph Chilton Pearce (The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality)
Within neo-colonial white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, the black male body continues to be perceived as an embodiment of bestial, violent, penis-as-weapon hypermasculine assertion. Psychohistories of white racism have always called attention to the tension between the construction of black male body as danger and the underlying eroticization that always then imagines that body as a location for transgressive pleasure. It has taken contemporary commodification of blackness to teach the world that this perceived threat, whether real or symbolic, can be diffused by a process of fetishization that renders the black masculine ‘menace’ feminine through a process of patriarchal objectification.
bell hooks (We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity)
A human being is a being who is constantly ‘under construction,’ but also, in a parallel fashion, always in a state of constant destruction.
José Saramago
I’m not paralyzed by fear about what might have been or what might be. I’m grateful for what is and I make excellent use of what I’ve got.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
If this really were your last day, you’d want to spend it with someone, or doing something, you love. Don’t ask permission. Don’t wait until next week. Just go out there and get it.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
At issue for Peladan is the potency of the visual image: art's ability to construct images for viewing that can mobilize, concentrate and redirect instinctive responses. He brings out into the open the recognition underlying all decadent art; that is, the political function of the fascinated gaze.
Jennifer Birkett
Whether we are speaking of a flower or an oak tree, of an earthworm or a beautiful bird, of an ape or a person, we will do well, I believe, to recognize that life is an active process, not a passive one. Whether the stimulus arises from within or without, whether the environment is favorable or unfavorable, the behaviors of an organism can be counted on to be in the direction of maintaining, enhancing, and reproducing itself. This is the very nature of the process we call life. This tendency is operative at all times. Indeed, only the presence or absence of this total directional process enables us to tell whether a given organism is alive or dead. The actualizing tendency can, of course, be thwarted or warped, but it cannot be destroyed without destroying the organism. I remember that in my boyhood, the bin in which we stored our winter's supply of potatoes was in the basement, several feet below a small window. The conditions were unfavorable, but the potatoes would begin to sprout—pale white sprouts, so unlike the healthy green shoots they sent up when planted in the soil in the spring. But these sad, spindly sprouts would grow 2 or 3 feet in length as they reached toward the distant light of the window. The sprouts were, in their bizarre, futile growth, a sort of desperate expression of the directional tendency I have been describing. They would never become plants, never mature, never fulfill their real potential. But under the most adverse circumstances, they were striving to become. Life would not give up, even if it could not flourish. In dealing with clients whose lives have been terribly warped, in working with men and women on the back wards of state hospitals, I often think of those potato sprouts. So unfavorable have been the conditions in which these people have developed that their lives often seem abnormal, twisted, scarcely human. Yet, the directional tendency in them can be trusted. The clue to understanding their behavior is that they are striving, in the only ways that they perceive as available to them, to move toward growth, toward becoming. To healthy persons, the results may seem bizarre and futile, but they are life's desperate attempt to become itself. This potent constructive tendency is an underlying basis of the person-centered approach.
Carl R. Rogers
Compulsive thinking has become a collective disease. Your whole sense of who you are is then derived from mind activity. Your identity, as it is no longer rooted in Being, becomes a vulnerable and ever-needy mental construct, which creates fear as the predominant underlying emotion. The one thing that truly matters is then missing from your life: awareness of your deeper self — your invisible and indestructible reality.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a ...more "...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a question of your country, my German or French friend, or yours, whether you're black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It's a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so that you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour on a predetermined day, in honour of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive way. Stand alone against them all, young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you're the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or King. What a laugh.
Blaise Cendrars (Moravagine)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
... a nervous, undernourished girl who continually looked down the front of her gown as though there was some sort of construction project going on under her clothes.
Philip Roth (Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories)
The poet is rather one who inspires than one inspired.
Paul Éluard (Ralentir, Travaux = Slow, Under Construction)
His hand worked swiftly between my legs, arousal pooling and dampening my thighs, his tongue thrusting past my lips.
Aria Cole (Under Construction (Blue Collar Alpha Males))
Faith is about trust, not about being certain . . . and that’s not how we hoped faith worked.
Cherie Hill (Faith Under Construction)
The human being is changing slowly under the pressure of the economic milieu; he is in process of becoming the uncomplicated being the liberal economist constructed.
Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society)
A marriage was like a house under constant construction, each year seeing the completion of new rooms. A first-year marriage was a cottage; one that had gone on for twenty-seven years was a huge and rambling mansion. There were bound to be crannies and storage spaces, most of them dusty and abandoned, some containing a few unpleasant relics you would just as soon you hadn’t found. But that was no biggie. You either threw those relics out or took them to Goodwill.
Stephen King
a team of Japanese engineers had recently tried to build a 35-feet-high replica of the Great Pyramid (rather smaller than the original, which was 481 feet 5 inches in height). The team started off by limiting itself strictly to techniques proved by archaeology to have been in use during the Fourth Dynasty. However, construction of the replica under these limitations turned out to be impossible and, in due course, modern earth-moving, quarrying and lifting machines were brought to the site. Still no worthwhile progress was made. Ultimately, with some embarrassment, the project had to be abandoned.175
Graham Hancock (The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant)
Rain brings us together in one of the last untamed encounters with nature that we experience routinely, able to turn the suburbs and even the city wild. Huddled with our fellow humans under construction scaffolding to escape a deluge, we are bound in the memory and mystery of exhilarating, confounding, life-giving rain.
Cynthia Barnett (Rain: A Natural and Cultural History)
A working brain is probably a lot like a map, where anybody can get from one place to another on the freeways. It’s the nonworking brains that get blocked, that have dead ends, that are under construction like mine.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
This is what the bourgeois political economists have done: they have treated value as a fact of nature, not a social construction arising out of a particular mode of production. What Marx is interested in is a revolutionary transformation of society, and that means an overthrow of the capitalist value-form, the construction of an alternative value-structure, an alternative value-system that does not have the specific character of that achieved under capitalism. I cannot overemphasize this point, because the value theory in Marx is frequently interpreted as a universal norm with which we should comply. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people complain that the problem with Marx is that he believes the only valid notion of value derives from labor inputs. It is not that at all; it is a historical social product. The problem, therefore, for socialist, communist, revolutionary, anarchist or whatever, is to find an alternative value-form that will work in terms of the social reproduction of society in a different image. By introducing the concept of fetishism, Marx shows how the naturalized value of classical political economy dictates a norm; we foreclose on revolutionary possibilities if we blindly follow that norm and replicate commodity fetishism. Our task is to question it.
David Harvey (A Companion to Marx's Capital)
It would be much more constructive if people tried to understand their supposed enemies. Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others
Dalai Lama XIV
There will always be people in life who tell you no and sometimes it’s because they have nothing else to do that day except exert their power, and if you let their no stop you, you’ve just validated their opinion of you as worth more than your own. I
Jen Kirkman (I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction)
THE BARROW In this high field strewn with stones I walk by a green mound, Its edges sheared by the plough. Crumbs of animal bone Lie smashed and scattered round Under the clover leaves And slivers of flint seem to grow Like white leaves among green. In the wind, the chestnut heaves Where a man's grave has been. Whatever the barrow held Once, has been taken away: A hollow of nettles and dock Lies at the centre, filled With rain from a sky so grey It reflects nothing at all. I poke in the crumbled rock For something they left behind But after that funeral There is nothing at all to find. On the map in front of me The gothic letters pick out Dozens of tombs like this, Breached, plundered, left empty, No fragments littered about Of a dead and buried race In the margins of histories. No fragments: these splintered bones Construct no human face, These stones are simply stones. In museums their urns lie Behind glass, and their shaped flints Are labelled like butterflies. All that they did was die, And all that has happened since Means nothing to this place. Above long clouds, the skies Turn to a brilliant red And show in the water's face One living, and not these dead." — Anthony Thwaite, from The Owl In The Tree
Anthony Thwaite
Belief change comes from a combination of personal psychological readiness and a deeper social and cultural shift in the underlying zeitgeist, which is affected in part by education but is more the product of larger and harder-to-define political, economic, religious, and social changes.
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
The construction of civilizational difference is not exclusive in any simple sense. The de-essentialization of Islam is paradigmatic for all thinking about the assimilation of non-European peoples to European civilization. The idea that people's historical experience is inessential to them, that it can be shed at will, makes it possible to argue more strongly for the Enlightenment's claim to universality: Muslims, as members of the abstract category "humans," can be assimilated or (as some recent theorist have put it) "translated" into a global ("European") civilization once they have divested themselves of what many of them regard (mistakenly) as essential to themselves. The belief that human beings can be separated from their histories and traditions makes it possible to urge a Europeanization of the Islamic world. And by the same logic, it underlies the belief that the assimilation to Europe's civilization of Muslim immigrants who are--for good or for ill--already in European states is necessary and desirable.
Talal Asad (Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity)
I asked God for religious certainty, and God gave me relationships instead. I asked for solid ground, and God gave me human beings instead—strange, funny, compelling, complicated human beings—who keep puncturing my stereotypes, challenging my ideas, and upsetting my ideas about God, so that they are always under construction. I may yet find the answer to all my questions in a church, a book, a theology, or a practice of prayer, but I hope not. I hope God is going to keep coming to me in authentically human beings who shake my foundations, freeing me to go deeper into the mystery of why we are all here.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.
Richard Kluger (Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality)
When those who had been evicted went back to where they came from, they found their villages had disappeared under great dams and dusty quarries. Their homes were occupied by hunger-and policemen. The forests were filling up with armed guerrillas. They found that the wars from the edge of India, in Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, had migrated to its heart. People returned to live on city streets and pavements, in hovels on dusty construction sites, wondering which corner of this huge country was meant for them.
Arundhati Roy (Capitalism: A Ghost Story)
It is worthy of note, however, that the exclusion of black voters from polling booths is not the only way in which black political power has been suppressed. Another dimension of disenfranchisement echoes not so much Jim Crow as slavery. Under the usual-residence rule, the Census Bureau counts imprisoned individuals as residents of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated. Because most new prison construction occurs in predominately white, rural areas, white communities benefit from inflated population totals at the expense of the urban, overwhelmingly minority communities from which the prisoners come.35 This has enormous consequences for the redistricting process. White rural communities that house prisons wind up with more people in state legislatures representing them, while poor communities of color lose representatives because it appears their population has declined. This policy is disturbingly reminiscent of the three-fifths clause in the original Constitution, which enhanced the political clout of slaveholding states by including 60 percent of slaves in the population base for calculating Congressional seats and electoral votes, even though they could not vote.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction the weight,
the weight we carry 
is love. Who can deny? 
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
constructs
a miracle,
in imagination
anguishes
till born
in human - 
looks out of the heart
burning with purity - 
for the burden of life
is love, but we carry the weight
wearily,
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
 must rest in the arms
of love. No rest
without love,
 no sleep
without dreams
of love - 
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
 - cannot be bitter,
 cannot deny,
 cannot withhold 
if denied: the weight is too heavy - must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess. The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye-- yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
Here is the essence of mankind's creative genius: not the edifices of civilization nor the bang-flash weapons which can end it, but the words which fertilize new concepts like spermatoza attacking an ovum. It might be argued that the Siamese-twin infants of word/idea are the only contribution the human species can, will, or should make to the reveling cosmos. (Yes, our DNA is unique, but so is a salamander's. Yes, we construct artifacts, but so have species ranging from beavers to the architecture ants... Yes, we weave real fabric things from the dreamstuff of mathematics, but the universe is hardwired with arithmetic. Scratch a circle and pi peeps out. Enter a new solar system and Tycho Brahe's formulae lie waiting under the black velvet cloak of space/time. But where has the universe hidden a word under its outer layer of biology, geometry, or insensate rock?)
Dan Simmons
Some of the subjects of Puppies and Babies may not identify as queer, but it doesn’t matter: the installation queers them. By which I mean to say that it partakes in a long history of queers constructing their own families—be they composed of peers or mentors or lovers or ex-lovers or children or non-human animals—and that it presents queer family making as an umbrella category under which baby making might be a subset, rather than the other way around. It reminds us that any bodily experience can be made new and strange, that nothing we do in this life need have a lid crammed on it, that no one set of practices or relations has the monopoly on the so-called radical, or the so-called normative.
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Your life is always under construction. It is your job to learn how to untangle the threads and weave a tapestry that matches your desires.
Dannye Williamsen
I’m going to bury myself so far inside you and spill my seed, everyone will know you’re mine.
Aria Cole (Under Construction (Blue Collar Alpha Males))
... expectations are resentments under construction.
Anne Lamott (Almost Everything: Notes on Hope)
The road to success is under construction. (I came up with this in 1969 while a Jr. in high school.)
F.C. Etier
I wasn't vegetarian yet -- I was young and my conscience still under construction. (Kelly Johnson)
Dee Clark (Surviving my Friends: the Kelly Johnson Story)
Lily Tomlin once said, “The road to success is always under construction.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Where CREATIVITY is ALWAYS under construction!
Fiction Factory Incorporated
Truth is a sport, and winner takes it all. The upcoming truth is under construction.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
My life: under construction, but beautiful.
A.D. Posey
A human being is a being who is constantly 'under construction,' but also, in a parallel fashion, always in a state of constant destruction.
José Saramago
When you get older, you know that life’s mysteries are revealed in the fullness of time. All you have to do is wait, watch, and be amazed.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
Instead of sweating the small stuff—and the big stuff—I shrug and say, “thank you.
Linda Gray (The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction)
I’ve been rendered dumb by waist indents and a tiny hint of dark, happy trail hair under his belly button that could double as an arrow pointing down to his crotch like one of those giant, blinking signs on the highway announcing road construction. Warning! Slow Down! Large Package in Pants Ahead! $200 Fine and Possible Loss of All Brain Function if Barrier is Crossed!
Tara Sivec (The Stocking Was Hung (The Holidays, #1))
It should not be a surprise to find that s/m fantasy is significant in women's sex lives. Women may be born free but they are born into a system of subordination. We are not born into equality and do not have equality to eroticise. We are not born into power and do not have power to eroticise. We are born into subordination and it is in subordination that we learn our sexual and emotional responses. It would be surprising indeed if any woman reared under male supremacy was able to escape the forces constructing her into a member of an inferior slave class.
Sheila Jeffreys (Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution)
Hell, there're already too many psychologists; too many everythings. Too many engineers, too many chemists, too many doctors, too many dentists, too many sociologists. There aren't enough people who can actually do anything, really know how to make this world work. When you thing about it; when you look at the way it really is; God, we've got - well, let's say, there's 100 percent. Half of these are under eighteen or over sixty-five; that is not working. This leaves the middle fifty percent. Half of these are women; most are so busy having babies or taking care of kids, they're totally occupied. Some of them work, too, so let's say we're down to 30 percent. Ten percent are doctors or lawyers or sociologists or psychologists or dentists or businessmen or artists or writers, or schoolteachers, or priests, ministers, rabbis; none of there are actually producing anything, they're only servicing people. So now we're down to 20 percent. At least 2 or 3 percent are living on trusts or clipping coupons or are just rich. That leaves 17 percent. Seven percent of these are unemployed, mostly on purpose! So in the end we've got 10 percent producing all the food, constructing the houses, building and repairing all the roads, developing electricity, working in the mines, building cars, collecting garbage; all the dirty work, all the real work. Everybody's just looking for some gimmick so they don't have to actually do anything. And the worst part is, the ones who do the work get paid the least.
William Wharton
I added pieces the same way I’d constructed my body, from the inside out: boy-cut panties first (lacy), bra (sheer), stockings (thigh high), knee-length leather skirt (black), lime green midriff-baring shirt (polyester). David leaned against the wall and watched this striptease-in-reverse with fabulously expressive eyebrows slowly climbing toward heaven, I finished it off with a pair of strappy lime green three-inch heels, something from the Manolo Blahnik spring collection that I’d seen two months ago in Vogue. He looked me over, blinked behind the glasses, and asked, “You’re done?” I took offense, “Yeah. You with the fashion police?” “I don’t think I’d pass the entrance exam.” The eyebrows didn’t come down. “I never knew you were so…” “Fashionable?” “Not really the word I was thinking.” I struck a pose and looked at him from under my supernaturally lustrous eyelashes. “Come on, you know it’s sexy.” “And that’s sort of my point.
Rachel Caine (Heat Stroke (Weather Warden, #2))
A brick is a good object to hide a house key under. No burglar will be able to get to your key, especially if you hide it under the first brick the mason’s lay when constructing your house. 

Jarod Kintz (Brick and Blanket)
When the birds were trilling and the leaves were swelling, an Indian came striding into Plymouth. Tall, almost naked, and very handsome, he raised his hand in friendship. “Welcome, Englishmen,” said Samoset, Massasoit’s ambassador. The Pilgrims murmured in astonishment. The “savage” spoke English. He was friendly and dignified. They greeted him warmly, but cautiously. Samoset departed and returned a week later with Massasoit and Squanto. For the next few days, in a house still under construction, Squanto interpreted while Governor Carver and Massasoit worded a peace treaty that would last more than fifty years. After the agreement, Massasoit went back to his home in Rhode Island, but Squanto stayed on at Plymouth. The wandering Pawtuxet had at last come home.
Jean Craighead George (The First Thanksgiving)
The previous governess had used various monsters and bogeymen as a form of discipline. There was always something waiting to eat or carry off bad boys and girls for crimes like stuttering or defiantly and aggravatingly persisting in writing with their left hand. There was always a Scissor Man waiting for a little girl who sucked her thumb, always a bogeyman in the cellar. Of such bricks is the innocence of childhood constructed. Susan’s attempts at getting them to disbelieve in the things only caused the problems to get worse. Twyla had started to wet the bed. This may have been a crude form of defense against the terrible clawed creature that she was certain lived under it. Susan had found out about this one the first night, when the child had woken up crying because of a bogeyman in the closet. She’d sighed and gone to have a look. She’d been so angry that she’d pulled it out, hit it over the head with the nursery poker, dislocated its shoulder as a means of emphasis and kicked it out of the back door. The children refused to disbelieve in the monsters because, frankly, they knew damn well the things were there. But she’d found that they could, very firmly, also believe in the poker. Now she sat down on a bench and read a book. She made a point of taking the children, every day, somewhere where they could meet others of the same age. If they got the hang of the playground, she thought, adult life would hold no fears. Besides, it was nice to hear the voices of little children at play, provided you took care to be far enough away not to hear what they were actually saying. There were lessons later on. These were going a lot better now she’d got rid of the reading books about bouncy balls and dogs called Spot. She’d got Gawain on to the military campaigns of General Tacticus, which were suitably bloodthirsty but, more importantly, considered too difficult for a child. As a result his vocabulary was doubling every week and he could already use words like “disemboweled” in everyday conversation. After all, what was the point of teaching children to be children? They were naturally good at it.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20))
Spiritual growth doesn’t happen automatically and is rarely pretty; we will all be “under construction” until the day we die and we finally take hold of the “life that is truly life” (1 Tim. 6:19).
Kay Warren (Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough)
She opened the door in her pajamas and judging by her hair, she’d just woken up, but hell, even in the morning the little pop-tart looked good. Her cheeks were rosy and her lips were plump and ready.
Mila Rossi (Under Construction)
The construction of civilizational difference is not exclusive in any simple sense. The de-essentialization of Islam is paradigmatic for all thinking about the assimilation of non-European poeples to European civilization. The idea that people's historical experience is inessential to them, that it can be shed at will, makes it possible to argue more strongly for the Enlightenment's claim to universality: Muslims, as members of the abstract category "humans," can be assimilated or (as some recent theorist have put it) "translated" into a global ("European") civilization once they have divested themselves of what many of them regard (mistakenly) as essential to themselves. The belief that human beings can be separated from their histories and traditions makes it possible to urge a Europeanization of the Islamic world. And by the same logic, it underlies the belief that the assimilation to Europe's civilization of Muslim immigrants who are--for good or for ill--already in European states is necessary and desirable.
Talal Asad (Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity)
He was a talkative man and jabbered away the whole time as his horse meandered about the road. It saved us from having to construct a story for him, though by the time he left us in Banbury, I was most weary of smiling stupidly out from under my hat brim and trying not to squint. As his wagon pulled away, I turned to Holmes. “Next time we do this, I will play the deaf old woman and you can laugh at rude jests for an hour.
Laurie R. King (The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1))
As parents, we sometimes mistakenly assume that things were always this way. They weren't. The modern family is just that - modern - and all of our places in it are quite new. Unless we keep in mind how new our lives as parents are, and how unusual and ahistorical, we won't see that world we live in, as mothers and fathers, is still under construction. Modern childhood was invented less than seventy years ago - the length of a catnap, in historical terms.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a café makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang—which is the most favored city in the country—every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction,' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
There are three forces on the side of life which require no exceptional mental endowment, which are not very rare at present, and might be very common under better social institutions. They are love, the instinct of constructiveness, and the joy of life.
Bertrand Russell (The Bertrand Russell Collection)
Both voice and self are established in early childhood. People who have not been given voice then have the lifelong need to be heard. The self goes under construction with unexpectedly large cost overruns in order to acquire a sense of value and importance.
Alis Cerrahyan (Dance Like Nobody's Watching)
Sometimes, girls like her give up on their own happiness for the welfare of fragile men for several years but oh, the day they choose to leave such evil souls behind and starts to walk alone, none in this entire universe can stop her force - Under construction
Jyoti Patel (ANAMIKA: BEYOND WORDS)
My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do? If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you. If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece, "Over! Under! Through!” (If you’re under forty, you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of, “over,” and “under,” and “through” by filming toddlers crawling around an abandoned construction site. They don’t show it anymore because someone has since realized that’s nuts.) If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk. If you’re lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground- like the rifle range or a car sales total board of the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I look up at her, rolling her mouth and smiling down. I look at the map. It’s not a brain, clearly; it’s a map; can’t she see the rivers and highways and interchanges? But I see how it could look like a brain, like if all roads were twisted neurons, pulling your emotions from one place to another, bringing the city to life. A working brain is probably a lot like a map, where anybody can get from one place to another on the freeways. It’s the nonworking brains that get blocked, that have dead ends, that are under construction like mine.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
Or maybe, she thought, with stars this bright, if you believed that above you lay the cosmos, then you had to construct a yurt to provide some temporary feeling of materiality. Otherwise, under the weight of swirling divinity, you might feel you had no significance at all.
R.F. Kuang (The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2))
The man was dangerous to the senses. Her eyes feasted on his sculpted muscles, her ears listened to his laughter as he joked with his crew and her nose took in his aftershave. The only senses left were touching and tasting, and she tried her damnest to stay away from those.
Mila Rossi (Under Construction)
The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human-- looks out of the heart burning with purity-- for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love-- be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love --cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy --must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye-- yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
Carlos began writing in his folder. “I have eight guys working with me and a project this size would take about eight weeks.” “Eight weeks?” she shot back. “That seems an awfully long time.” He raised his eyebrows and actually smiled. “Yes, but I guess a rookie like you wouldn’t know that.” This time it was she who frowned back. “Smart-ass,” she mumbled and decided to ignore the dimple in his right cheek. She shouldn’t have encouraged smiling. It was definitely not working in her favor. He didn’t look at all like the nice, safe fellow she had wished for.
Mila Rossi (Under Construction)
The Staging In the weeks after my mother's death, I sleep Four or five hours a night, often interrupted By dreams, and take two or three naps a day. It seems like enough. I can survive if I keep This sleep schedule as it has been constructed For me. But if it seems my reflexes are delayed, Or if I sway when I walk, or weep or do not weep, Please don't worry. I'm not under destruction. My grief has cast me in a lethargic cabaret. So pay the cover charge and take your seat. This mourning has become a relentless production And I've got seventy-eight roles to play.
Sherman Alexie (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
Westside Hochdeutsch mafia, biggest of the big, construction, savings and loans, untaxed billions stashed under an Alp someplace, technically Jewish but wants to be a Nazi, becomes exercised often to the point of violence at those who forget to spell his name with two n’s. What’s he to you?
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
It is worthy of note, however, that the exclusion of black voters from polling booths is not the only way in which black political power has been suppressed. Another dimension of disenfranchisement echoes not so much Jim Crow as slavery. Under the usual-residence rule, the Census Bureau counts imprisoned individuals as residents of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated. Because most new prison construction occurs in predominately white, rural areas, white communities benefit from inflated population totals at the expense of the urban, overwhelmingly minority communities from which the prisoners come.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
...this, this life, this "everything" you know is a mere paper construction. You, my TV dinner-sucking, glazed-eyed friends, are living in ... the matrix ... and all you have to do to see the real world, God and Satan's glorious kingdom on Earth, all you have to do to taste real life is to risk being your true self... to dare... to watch... to listen... to all the late-night staticky-voiced deejays playing "race" records blowing in under the radar, shouting their tinny AM radio manifesto, their stations filled with poets, geniuses, rockers, bluesmen, preachers, philosopher kings, speaking to you from deep in the heart of your own soul. Their voices sing, "Listen... listen to what this world is telling you, for it is calling for your love, your rage, your beauty, your sex, your energy, your rebellion... because it needs you in order to remake itself. In order to be reborn into something else, something maybe better, more godly, more wonderful, it needs us. This new world is a world of black and white. A place of freedom where the two most culturally powerful tribes in American society find common ground, pleasure and joy in each other's presence. Where they use a common language to speak with... to be with one another.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
Piertotum – oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now –’ The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, ‘Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!’ ‘They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!’ shouted McGonagall. ‘Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!’ ‘P – Peeves?’ stammered Filch, as though he had never heard the name before. ‘Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!’ Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I don't think Dave ever thought of himself as an efficiency expert, but every job he ever held, he simplified. His successor always had less work to do than his predecessor. That his successor usually reorganized the job again to take three times as much work, and as many subordinates, says little about Dave's oddity, other than by contrast. Some people are ants by nature, they have to work. Even when it's useless. Few people have a talent for "constructive laziness." And so ends the tale about the man who was too lazy to fail. Let's leave him there, in his hammock under the shade trees. So far as I know, he is still there.
Robert A. Heinlein (Time Enough for Love)
She had never been to college, and I often wondered where her life would have led under different circumstances. She might have been a physician or an attorney, a CEO or a professor. Instead, she was stuck in Silvington, Indiana, married to a construction worker, and trying anything she could think of to save her child.
T.J. Forrester (Miracles, Inc.: A Novel)
A mood of constructive criticism being upon me, I propose forthwith that the method of choosing legislators now prevailing in the United States be abandoned and that the method used in choosing juries be substituted. That is to say, I propose that the men who make our laws be chosen by chance and against their will, instead of by fraud and against the will of all the rest of us, as now... ...that the names of all the men eligible in each assembly district be put into a hat (or, if no hat can be found that is large enough, into a bathtub), and that a blind moron, preferably of tender years, be delegated to draw out one... The advantages that this system would offer are so vast and obvious that I hesitate to venture into the banality of rehearsing them. It would in the first place, save the commonwealth the present excessive cost of elections, and make political campaigns unnecessary. It would in the second place, get rid of all the heart-burnings that now flow out of every contest at the polls, and block the reprisals and charges of fraud that now issue from the heart-burnings. It would, in the third place, fill all the State Legislatures with men of a peculiar and unprecedented cast of mind – men actually convinced that public service is a public burden, and not merely a private snap. And it would, in the fourth and most important place, completely dispose of the present degrading knee-bending and trading in votes, for nine-tenths of the legislators, having got into office unwillingly, would be eager only to finish their duties and go home, and even those who acquired a taste for the life would be unable to increase the probability, even by one chance in a million, of their reelection. The disadvantages of the plan are very few, and most of them, I believe, yield readily to analysis. Do I hear argument that a miscellaneous gang of tin-roofers, delicatessen dealers and retired bookkeepers, chosen by hazard, would lack the vast knowledge of public affairs needed by makers of laws? Then I can only answer (a) that no such knowledge is actually necessary, and (b) that few, if any, of the existing legislators possess it... Would that be a disservice to the state? Certainly not. On the contrary, it would be a service of the first magnitude, for the worst curse of democracy, as we suffer under it today, is that it makes public office a monopoly of a palpably inferior and ignoble group of men. They have to abase themselves to get it, and they have to keep on abasing themselves in order to hold it. The fact reflects in their general character, which is obviously low. They are men congenitally capable of cringing and dishonorable acts, else they would not have got into public life at all. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule among them, but how many? What I contend is simply that the number of such exceptions is bound to be smaller in the class of professional job-seekers than it is in any other class, or in the population in general. What I contend, second, is that choosing legislators from that populations, by chance, would reduce immensely the proportion of such slimy men in the halls of legislation, and that the effects would be instantly visible in a great improvement in the justice and reasonableness of the laws.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
At least I knew that if someone broke in the alarm was so annoying that he would immediately leave. It's like how I feel when I walk into a store in December and that awful Paul McCartney song 'Wonderful Christmastime' is playing. Not worth it. I'm out of here even though I could have finished all my holiday shopping in one place.
Jen Kirkman (I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction)
I shall expect you and the Slytherins in the Great Hall in twenty minutes, also,” said Professor McGonagall. “If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill.” “Minerva!” he said, aghast. “The time has come for Slytherin House to decide upon its loyalties,” interrupted Professor McGonagall. “Go and wake your students, Horace.” Harry did not stay to watch Slughorn splutter: He and Luna ran after Professor McGonagall, who had taken up a position in the middle of the corridor and raised her wand. “Piertotum--oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now--” The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, “Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!” “They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!” shouted McGonagall. “Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!” “P-Peeves?” stammered Filch as though he had never heard the name before. “Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!” Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath. “And now--Piertotum Locomotor!” cried Professor McGonagall. And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armor jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same. “Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall. “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
We enjoyed ourselves.” A rare softness blanketed her features. “I wish you had stayed.” After twisting the cap off the water, I drank long and deep. “Well, I wish I hadn’t been ambushed.” “Macsen isn’t used to being around people he can trust,” she said gently. “As long as he understands trust is a two-way street and my lane is under construction.
Hailey Edwards (Old Dog, New Tricks (Black Dog, #4))
Resiliency comes from a discovered self, not a constructed self. It comes from the gradual emergence of your unique, inborn abilities in a process called individuation. The better you become, the more unique you become as an individual – and it never ends. If your identity is based mostly on external factors, you will feel anxious about change that threatens your identity sources. You will try to keep the world around you frozen in place. If your identity is based on your personal qualities, abilities, and values, you can let parts of your world dissolve away without feeling threats to your existence. With a strong inner sense of who you are, you can easily adapt to and thrive in new environments.
Al Siebert (The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks)
SONG The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human looks out of the heart burning with purity for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye yes, yes, that's what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
I pass a construction site, abandoned for the night, and a few blocks later, the playground of the elementary school my son attended, the metal sliding board gleaming under a streetlamp and the swings stirring in the breeze. There's an energy to these autumn nights that touches something primal inside of me. Something from long ago. From my childhood in western Iowa. I think of high school football games and the stadium lights blazing down on the players. I smell ripening apples, and the sour reek of beer from keg parties in the cornfields. I feel the wind in my face as I ride in the bed of an old pickup truck down a country road at night, dust swirling in the taillights and the entire span of my life yawning out ahead o me. It's the beautiful thing about youth. There's a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential. I love my life, but I haven't felt that lightness of being in ages. Autumn nights like this are as close as I get.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
He told me his story, a South African story that was all too familiar to me: The man grows up under apartheid, working on a farm, part of what’s essentially a slave labor force. It’s a living hell but it’s at least something. He’s paid a pittance but at least he’s paid. He’s told where to be and what to do every waking minute of his day. Then apartheid ends and he doesn’t even have that anymore. He finds his way to Johannesburg, looking for work, trying to feed his children back home. But he’s lost. He has no education. He has no skills. He doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know where to be. The world has been taught to be scared of him, but the reality is that he is scared of the world because he has none of the tools necessary to cope with it. So what does he do? He takes shit. He becomes a petty thief. He’s in and out of jail. He gets lucky and finds some construction work, but then he gets laid off from that, and a few days later he’s in a shop and he sees some PlayStation games and he grabs them, but he doesn’t even know enough to know that he’s stolen something of no value.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime)
They could not see the sprawling Sachsenhausen concentration camp under construction that summer just north of Berlin, where before long more than two hundred thousand Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, and eventually Soviet prisoners of war, Polish civilians, and Czech university students would be held, and where tens of thousands of them would die.
Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
Every disciple is a believer, but not every believer is necessarily a disciple. Anything short of discipleship, however, is settling for less than what God really desires for us. Loving God more than anyone or anything else is the very foundation of being a disciple. If you want to live your Christian life to its fullest, then love Jesus more than anyone or anything else. Either you will have harmony with God and friction with people, or you will have harmony with people and friction with God. You become a disciple in the biblical sense only when you are totally and completely committed to Jesus Christ and His Word. As a true disciple, your life won’t only be characterized by practical results and a hunger for Scripture, but you also will have love for others — especially fellow believers. Without all of these characteristics, you can’t really claim to be His disciple. A person who has been with Jesus will boldly share his or her faith. A person who has been with Jesus will be a person of prayer. A person who has been with Jesus will be persecuted. If for you, the Christian life is all about feeling good and having everything go your way, then you won’t like being a disciple. Being a follower of Christ is the most joyful and exciting life there is. But it also can be the most challenging life there is. It’s a life lived out under the command of someone other than yourself. Most prayers are not answered because they are outside the will of God. Once we have discovered God’s will, we can then pray aggressively and confidently for it. We can pray, believing it will happen, because we know it is not something we have dreamed. A forgiven person will be a forgiving person. A true disciple will harbor no grudge toward another. The disciple knows it will hinder his or her prayer life and walk with God. It is far better to sit down for an hour and talk genuinely with one person than to rattle off trite clichés to scores of people. Attending more Bible studies, more prayer meetings, reading more Christian books, and listening to more teaching without an outlet for the truth will cause us to spiritually decay. We need to take what God has given us and use it constructively in the lives of others. You were placed on earth to know God. Everything else is secondary. The more we know God, the more we should want to make Him known to a lost world. Your life belongs to God. You don’t share your time and talents with Him; He shares them with you! He owns you and everything about you. You need to recognize and acknowledge that fact.
Greg Laurie (Start! to Follow: How to Be a Successful Follower of Jesus Christ)
How did we get here? My own suspicion is that we are looking at the final effects of the militarization of American capitalism itself. In fact, it could well be said that the last thirty years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus for the creation and maintenance of hopelessness, a giant machine designed, first and foremost, to destroy any sense of possible alternative futures. At its root is a veritable obsession on the part of the rulers of the world - in response to the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s - with ensuring that social movements cannot be seen to grow, flourish, or propose alternatives; that those who challenge existing power arrangements can never, under any circumstances, be perceived to win.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
It turned out that he was a specialist in paleontology and had spent a lot of time studying rocks. He tried to claim that his expertise at examining rocks made him able to identify people. Under cross-examination, all his carefully constructed “expertise” turned into a pile of rocks, and this new technical breakthrough in crime fighting proved to be nothing but a fraud.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
There is a constant pressure, surging and eroding away the walls we have erected over the millenia by migrating the contents of our dreams into this world. Everything around us, the remnants of our world, was birthed in a dream, brought forth and hardened under the sun. Sleep is a bridge over which these fantastic constructions have been passed, piece by piece, particle by particle.
Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon)
He had lived in an apartment with books touching the ceilings, and rugs thick enough to hide dice; then in a room and a half with dirt floors; on forest floors, under unconcerned stars; under the floorboards of a Christian who, half a world and three-quarters of a century away, would have a tree planted to commemorate his righteousness; in a hole for so many days his knees would never wholly unbend; among Gypsies and partisans and half-decent Poles; in transit, refugee, and displaced persons camps; on a boat with a bottle with a boat that an insomniac agnostic had miraculously constructed inside it; on the other side of an ocean he would never wholly cross; above half a dozen grocery stores he killed himself fixing up and selling for small profits; beside a woman who rechecked the locks until she broke them, and died of old age at forty-two without a syllable of praise in her throat but the cells of her murdered mother still dividing in her brain; and finally, for the last quarter century, in a snow-globe-quiet Silver Spring split-level: ten pounds of Roman Vishniac bleaching on the coffee table; Enemies, A Love Story demagnetizing in the world’s last functional VCR; egg salad becoming bird flu in a refrigerator mummified with photographs of gorgeous, genius, tumorless great-grandchildren.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
No one tribe or group of people can adequately display the fullness of God. The truth is that it takes every tribe, tongue, and nation to reflect the image of God in his fullness. The truth is that race is a social construct, one that has divided and set one group over the other from the earliest days of humanity. The Christian construct, though, dismantles this way of thinking and seeks to reunite us under a common banner of love and fellowship.
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
Because of this false idea, they devised an aesthetic belief in making the exterior of an object a reflection of the practical functions of the interior and of the constructive idea. Yet these analyses of utility and necessity that, according to their beliefs, should be the basis for the construction of any object created by humanity become immediately absurd once we analyze all the object being manufactured today. A fork or a bed cannot come to be considered necessary for humanity's life and health, and yet retain a relative value. They are 'learned necessities.' Modern human beings are suffocating under necessities like televisions, refrigerators, etc. And in the process making it impossible to live their real lives. Obviously we are not against modern technology, but we are against any notion of the absolute necessity of objects, to the point even of doubting their real utility.' Asger Jorn
Tom McDonough (The Situationists and the City: A Reader)
Donald Saari uses a combination of stories and questions to challenge students to think critically about calculus. “When I finish this process,” he explained, “I want the students to feel like they have invented calculus and that only some accident of birth kept them from beating Newton to the punch.” In essence, he provokes them into inventing ways to find the area under the curve, breaking the process into the smallest concepts (not steps) and raising the questions that will Socratically pull them through the most difficult moments. Unlike so many in his discipline, he does not simply perform calculus in front of the students; rather, he raises the questions that will help them reason through the process, to see the nature of the questions and to think about how to answer them. “I want my students to construct their own understanding,” he explains, “so they can tell a story about how to solve the problem.
Ken Bain (What the Best College Teachers Do)
The basic script of an agonist tending, an antagonist reacting, played out in different combinations and outcomes, underlies the meaning of the causal constructions in most, perhaps all, of the world's languages. And in language after language, the prototypical force-dynamic scenario-an antagonist directly and intentionally causing a passive agonist to change from its intrinsic state-gets pride of place in the language's most concise causative construction.
Steven Pinker (The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature)
Aw, hell no. My lesbian sister’s wife is having my baby, my new four-year-old son is Black, and my wife is expecting an eight-year-old. Plus I just found out one of my uncles is just my half-uncle, I have a new half-uncle, and I had a cousin who was shot and killed by my mother. Unless some dead relative comes back to life or I’m a zombie and nobody’s told me, those damn soap operas got nothin’ on me. Nope, I think I’m good over here,” he said, looking kind of shell-shocked.
Deanndra Hall (Laying a Foundation (Love Under Construction, #1))
The charge that Anarchism is destructive, rather than constructive, and that, therefore, Anarchism is opposed to organization, is one of the many falsehoods spread by our opponents. They confound our present social institutions with organization; hence they fail to understand how we can oppose the former, and yet favor the latter. The fact, however, is that the two are not identical. “The State is commonly regarded as the highest form of organization. But is it in reality a true organization? Is it not rather an arbitrary institution, cunningly imposed upon the masses? “Industry, too, is called an organization; yet nothing is farther from the truth. Industry is the ceaseless piracy of the rich against the poor. “We are asked to believe that the Army is an organization, but a close investigation will show that it is nothing else than a cruel instrument of blind force. “The Public School! The colleges and other institutions of learning, are they not models of organization, offering the people fine opportunities for instruction? Far from it. The school, more than any other institution, is a veritable barrack, where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression. “Organization, as WE understand it, however, is a different thing. It is based, primarily, on freedom. It is a natural and voluntary grouping of energies to secure results beneficial to humanity. “It is the harmony of organic growth which produces variety of color and form, the complete whole we admire in the flower. Analogously will the organized activity of free human beings, imbued with the spirit of solidarity, result in the perfection of social harmony, which we call Anarchism. In fact, Anarchism alone makes non-authoritarian organization of common interests possible, since it abolishes the existing antagonism between individuals and classes. “Under present conditions the antagonism of economic and social interests results in relentless war among the social units, and creates an insurmountable obstacle in the way of a co-operative commonwealth. “There is a mistaken notion that organization does not foster individual freedom; that, on the contrary, it means the decay of individuality. In reality, however, the true function of organization is to aid the development and growth of personality. “Just as the animal cells, by mutual co-operation, express their latent powers in formation of the complete organism, so does the individual, by co-operative effort with other individuals, attain his highest form of development. “An organization, in the true sense, cannot result from the combination of mere nonentities. It must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent individualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities and activities of an organization is represented in the expression of individual energies. “It therefore logically follows that the greater the number of strong, self-conscious personalities in an organization, the less danger of stagnation, and the more intense its life element. “Anarchism asserts the possibility of an organization without discipline, fear, or punishment, and without the pressure of poverty: a new social organism which will make an end to the terrible struggle for the means of existence,—the savage struggle which undermines the finest qualities in man, and ever widens the social abyss. In short, Anarchism strives towards a social organization which will establish well-being for all. “The germ of such an organization can be found in that form of trades unionism which has done away with centralization, bureaucracy, and discipline, and which favors independent and direct action on the part of its members.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Song Allen Ginsberg The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight, the weight we carry is love. Who can deny? In dreams it touches the body, in thought constructs a miracle, in imagination anguishes till born in human— looks out of the heart burning with purity— for the burden of life is love, but we carry the weight wearily, and so must rest in the arms of love at last, must rest in the arms of love. No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love— be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love —cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy —must give for no return as thought is given in solitude in all the excellence of its excess. The warm bodies shine together in the darkness, the hand moves to the center of the flesh, the skin trembles in happiness and the soul comes joyful to the eye— ** yes, yes, that’s what I wanted, I always wanted, I always wanted, to return to the body where I was born.
Allen Ginsberg
It was a matter of showing by what conjunctions a whole set of practices-- from the moment they became coordinated with a regime of truth––was able to make what does not exist (madness, disease, delinquency, sexuality), nonetheless become something, something however that continues not to exist. That is to say, what I would like to show is not how an error––when I say that which does not exist becomes something, this does not mean showing how it is possible for an error to be constructed––or how an illusion could be born, but how a regime of truth and therefore not an error, makes something that does not exist able to become something. It is not an illusion because it is a set of practices, real practices, which establish it and thus imperiously marks it out in reality... The point of all these investigations concerning madness, disease, delinquency, sexuality, and what i am talking about now, is to show how the coupling of a set of practices and a regime of truth from an apparatus (dispotif) of knowledge-power that effectively marks out in reality that which does not exist and legitimately submits it to the division between true and false. In the things I am presently concerned with, the moment when that which does not exist is inscribed in reality, and when that which does not exist comes under a legitimate regime of the true and false, marks the birth of this dissymmetrical bipolarity of politics and the economy. Politics and the economy are not things that exist, or errors, or ideologies. They are things that do not exist and yet which are inscribed in reality and fall under a regime of truth dividing the truth and the false.
Michel Foucault (Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976)
As actor and comedian Lily Tomlin once said, “The road to success is always under construction.” So don’t allow yourself to be detoured from getting to your ONE Thing. Pave your way with the right people and place. BIG IDEAS Start saying “no.” Always remember that when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to everything else. It’s the essence of keeping a commitment. Start turning down other requests outright or saying, “No, for now” to distractions so that nothing detracts you from getting to your top priority. Learning to say no can and will liberate you. It’s how you’ll find the time for your ONE Thing. Accept chaos. Recognize that pursuing your ONE Thing moves other things to the back burner. Loose ends can feel like snares, creating tangles in your path. This kind of chaos is unavoidable. Make peace with it. Learn to deal with it. The success you have accomplishing your ONE Thing will continually prove you made the right decision. Manage your energy. Don’t sacrifice your health by trying to take on too much. Your body is an amazing machine, but it doesn’t come with a warranty, you can’t trade it in, and repairs can be costly. It’s important to manage your energy so you can do what you must do, achieve what you want to achieve, and live the life you want to live. Take ownership of your environment. Make sure that the people around you and your physical surroundings support your goals. The right people in your life and the right physical environment on your daily path will support your efforts to get to your ONE Thing. When both are in alignment with your ONE Thing, they will supply the optimism and physical lift you need to make your ONE Thing happen. Screenwriter Leo Rosten pulled everything together for us when he said, “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” Live with Purpose, Live by Priority, and Live for Productivity. Follow these three for the same reason you make the three commitments and avoid the four thieves—because you want to leave your mark. You want your life to matter. 18
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
The seduction of women - including feminists - into confusion by Dionysian boundary violation happens under a variety of circumstances. A comment element seems to be an invitation to "freedom". The feminine Dionysian male guru or therapist invites women to spiritual or sexual liberation, at the cost of loss of Self in male-dicated behavior. Male propagation of the idea that men, too are feminine - particularly through feminine behavior by males - distracts attention from the fact that femininity is a man-made construct, having essentially nothing to do with femaleness.
Mary Daly (Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism)
There, publicly throwing off the mask under which he had hitherto concealed his real character and feelings, he made a speech painting in vivid the cause of her death was an even bitterer and more dreadful thing than the death itself. He went on to speak of the king's arrogant and tyrannical behavior; of the sufferings of the commons condemned to labor underground clearing or constructing ditches and sewers; of gallant Romans - soldiers who had beaten in battle all neighboring peoples - robbed of their swords and turned into stone-cutters and artisans. He reminded them of the foul murder of Servius Tullius, of the daughter who drove her carriage over her father's corpse, in violation of the most sacred of relationships - a crime which God alone could punish. Doubtless he told them of other, and worse, things, brought to his mind in the heat of the moment and by the sense of this latest outrage, which still lived in his eye and pressed upon his heart; but a mere historian can hardly record them. The effect of his words was immediate: the populace took fire, and were brought to demand the abrogation of the king's authority and the exile of himself and his family.
Livy (The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome)
The communists and fascists in politics are the analogues of the modernists in the fine arts. Both groups are in rebellion against the dominant sensate politico-economic and art systems; but both are essentially sensate. Accordingly, neither group can consitute the politico-economic or art system of the future. They are mainly destroyers and rebels – not constructive builders. They flourish only under the conditions peculiar to a period of transition. Being charged with destructive force, the modernists are too chaotic and distorted to serve as the bearers of a permanent art culture.
Pitirim Sorokin
...Is there a more monstrous thought, a more convincing spectacle, a more patent affirmation of the impotence and madness of the brain? War. All our philosophies, religions, arts, techniques and trades lead to nothing but this. The finest flowers of civilization. The purest constructions of thought. The most generous and altruistic passions of the heart. The most heroic gestures of man. War. Now and thousand years ago. Tomorrow and a hundred thousand years ago. No, it's not a question of your country, my German or French friend, or yours, whether you're black or white or Papuan or a Borneo monkey. It's a question of your life. If you want to live, kill. Kill so that you can be free, or eat, or shit. The shameful thing is to kill in masses, at a predetermined hour on a predetermined day, in honour of certain principles, under cover of a flag, with old men nodding approval, to kill in a disinterested or passive way. Stand alone against them all, young man, kill, kill, you are unique, you're the only man alive, kill until the others cut you short with the guillotine or the cord or the rope, with or without ceremony, in the name of the Community or King. What a laugh.
Blaise Cendrars
is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you. If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece “Over! Under! Through!” (If you’re under forty you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of “over,” “under,” and “through” by filming toddlers crawling around an abandoned construction site. They don’t show it anymore because someone has since realized that’s nuts.) If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk.* If you’re lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground—like the rifle range or the car sales total board or the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
However, the word Byzantine hides this continuity. It is a word even less justifiable to designate the inhabitants of the Christian Greek Roman Empire of the Middle Ages than the word Indian is to designate the sixteenth-century inhabitants of the Americas or the word Iberia (now almost universally adopted among specialists in the English-speaking scholarly world) is to designate medieval Spain. The word Indian is an involuntary error resulting from an unavoidable lack of knowledge about an existing continent, but the words Byzantine and Iberia are artificial academic constructions resulting from ideology.
Darío Fernández-Morera (The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain)
To be a Christian is to participate in this very common human enterprise of diagnosis, prescription, and prognosis, but to do so from inside a Christian view of the world, a view that has been constructed from Scripture and that centers on Jesus Christ the Savior, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Christian hope centers on Jesus Christ, the Lord of the whole cosmos, the one "through [whom] God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things" (Col. 1:20). Moreover, classical Christian hope centers on Jesus Christ alone, rejecting his rivals as pseudo-Saviors. Christians trust "no other name under heaven" (Acts 4:12).
Cornelius Plantinga Jr. (Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living)
So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you. If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece “Over! Under! Through!” (If you’re under forty you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of “over,” “under,” and “through” by filming toddlers crawling around an abandoned construction site. They don’t show it anymore because someone has since realized that’s nuts.) If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk.* If you’re lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground—like the rifle range or the car sales total board or the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Words You Should Consider So rather than saying, “I’m a failure,” you should say, “God, I submit to Your plan, and I know that through You all things are possible.” Rather than “I can’t do that,” you should say, “God can do that!” Rather than “I can’t afford that,” you should say and believe in your heart, “God will provide.” Change “I’m fat” to “I’m a supermodel under construction”—or for men, “I’m a work of art, but God is still chiseling me.” Change “I’m worthless” to “God is everything to me, and I am worth everything to Him.” Change “I’m stupid” to “Lord, I pray you’ll give me strength and wisdom.” Change “My life is meaningless” to “My life is defined by Jesus Christ and the plan He has for me.
Adam Houge (If You Change Your Words It Will Transform Your Life)
We remember almost nothing. The idea that we remember a great deal of the subtleties and details of our experiences, as if we are playing back a movie, is nothing more than an illusion, a construct of the brain. And this is perhaps the greatest secret in the study of memory: the astounding truth that, starting from very little information, the brain generates a reality and a past that make us who we are, despite the fact that this past, this collection of memories, is extremely slippery; despite the fact that the mere act of bringing a memory to our consciousness inevitably changes it; despite the fact that what underlies my awareness of a unique, immutable “self” that makes me who I am is constantly changing.
Rodrigo Quian Quiroga (The Forgetting Machine: Memory, Perception, and the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron")
He and Luna ran after Professor McGonagall, who had taken up a position in the middle of the corridor and raised her wand. “Piertotum--oh, for heaven’s sake, Filch, not now--” The aged caretaker had just come hobbling into view, shouting, “Students out of bed! Students in the corridors!” “They’re supposed to be, you blithering idiot!” shouted McGonagall. “Now go and do something constructive! Find Peeves!” “P-Peeves?” stammered Filch as though he had never heard the name before. “Yes, Peeves, you fool, Peeves! Haven’t you been complaining about him for a quarter of a century? Go and fetch him, at once!” Filch evidently thought Professor McGonagall had taken leave of her senses, but hobbled away, hunch-shouldered, muttering under his breath.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Michelangelo, who had already spent much time studying Roman architecture in the ruins, proposed a revolutionary “flying bow bridge” scaffold. It was based on the principles of the Roman arch, whose weight presses out against the sides it is spanning. This ingenious structure could be inserted in just a few small holes made in the side walls, since all its pressure would flow there, and none down to the floor. It would also allow Michelangelo to fresco the ceiling a whole strip at a time, moving to the next strip as soon as one was finished, and thus progressing across the length of the chapel. He got approval to construct it, and it was an instant success, allowing the papal court to have its regular processions under it without any obstruction.
Benjamin Blech (The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican)
Kids didn’t just disappear unless someone made them disappear.‘Relax, mate,’ the head of security said. ‘We’ve never lost one yet.’ Lots of kids wandered off at the Easter Show, he told them. They were always found, usually somewhere near the food.Doug had tried to relax, to stay calm, but he could feel the panic building inside him.The place was too big.There were too many people.Lockie could be anywhere. The police were called. It took hours for everyone to leave the showgrounds because every family was stopped. Every parent was questioned and every child identified. It was way past midnight when everyone had finally gone home, and still they had not found Lockie.The head of security changed his tone. The police held whispered conversations in groups. They began to look at him with sympathy in their eyes.Doug felt his heart slow down. There was a ringing in his ears. He was underwater and he couldn’t swim.Lockie was gone.They had lost one.Sammy had gone from impatience to hunger to exhaustion. She didn’t understand what was happening.Sarah sat next to the pram twisting her hands. She did not cry. She didn’t cry for days, but every time Doug went near her he could hear her muttering the word ‘please’. ‘Please, please, please, please.’ It drove Doug mad and he had to move away because he wanted to hit her, to snap her out of her trance. He had never lifted a hand to his wife or his children, but now he had to close his fist and dig his nails into his palm to keep himself from lashing out Sarah didn’t believe in hitting children; she believed in time out and consequences. It was different to the way Doug had been raised but he had come around to the idea. The thought of anyone—especially himself—hurting Sarah and the kids was almost too much to bear.Doug sometimes wondered, after, if whoever had taken his son had hit him. When he did think about someone hurting his boy he could feel his hands curl into fists. He would embrace the rush of heat that came with the anger because at least it was a different feeling to the sorrow and despair. Anger felt constructive. He wanted to kill everyone, even himself. But as fast as the anger came it would recede and he would be back at the place he hated to be. Mired in his own helplessness. There was fuck-all he could do.
Nicole Trope (The Boy Under the Table)
On London Tonight, on television right now, a reporter is standing in front of a building that is under construction. It’s windy, and the wind has pressed the fabric of his slacks against his body, outlining his penis. You can see everything—the length and width and the fact that he’s uncut and hangs to the right. But I bet none of the viewers even noticed. In America, there would be letters to the station. There would be a lawsuit because a child was watching. The headlines would dub the reporter “Anchor of Shame” and he’d be fired. When our own Greta Van Susteren got her eyes done, it was front-page news for a week. So you can be sure, if Anderson Cooper’s penis were to be visible in outline beneath his trousers, he’d be on the cover of People, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. We are obsessed with sex in an unnatural way.
Augusten Burroughs (Possible Side Effects)
Frederick Cuvier and several of the older metaphysicians have compared instinct with habit. This comparison gives, I think, an accurate notion of the frame of mind under which an instinctive action is performed, but not necessarily of its origin. How unconsciously many habitual actions are performed, indeed not rarely in direct opposition to our conscious will! yet they may be modified by the will or reason. Habits easily become associated with other habits, with certain periods of time and states of the body. When once acquired, they often remain constant throughout life. Several other points of resemblance between instincts and habits could be pointed out. As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought: so P. Huber found it was with a caterpillar, which makes a very complicated hammock; for if he took a caterpillar which had completed its hammock up to, say, the sixth stage of construction, and put it into a hammock completed up only to the third stage, the caterpillar simply re-performed the fourth, fifth, and sixth stages of construction. If, however, a caterpillar were taken out of a hammock made up, for instance, to the third stage, and were put into one finished up to the sixth stage, so that much of its work was already done for it, far from deriving any benefit from this, it was much embarrassed, and, in order to complete its hammock, seemed forced to start from the third stage, where it had left off, and thus tried to complete the already finished work.
Charles Darwin (On the Origin of Species)
After further conferences that late spring the following plan was drawn up. Speidel, almost alone among the Army conspirators in the West, survived to describe it: An immediate armistice with the Western Allies but not unconditional surrender. German withdrawal in the West to Germany. Immediate suspension of the Allied bombing of Germany. Arrest of Hitler for trial before a German court. Overthrow of Nazi rule. Temporary assumption of executive power in Germany by the resistance forces of all classes under the leadership of General Beck, Goerdeler, and the trade-union representative, Leuschner. No military dictatorship. Preparation of a “constructive peace” within the framework of a United States of Europe. In the East, continuation of the war. Holding a shortened line between the mouth of the Danube, the Carpathian Mountains, the River Vistula and Memel.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
As for the significance of my nihilism…in a word, it is the foundation of my thoughts. The goal of my activities is the destruction of all living things. I feel boundless anger against parental authority, which crushed me under the high-sounding name of parental love, and against state and social authority, which abused me in the name of universal love. Having observed the social reality that all living things on earth are incessantly engaged in a struggle for survival, that they kill each other to survive, I concluded that if there is an absolute, universal low on earth, it is the reality that the strong eat the weak. This, I believe, is the law and truth of the universe. Now that I have seen the truth about the struggle for survival and the fact that the strong win and the weak lose, I cannot join the ranks of the idealists and adopt an optimistic mode of thinking which dreams of the construction of a society that is without authority and control. As long as all living things do not disappear from the earth, the power relations based on this principle [of the strong crushing the weak] will persist. Because the wielders of power continue to defend their authority in the usual manner and oppress the weak—and because my past existence has been a story of oppression by all sources of authority—I decided to deny the rights of all authority, rebel against them, and stake not only my own life but that of all humanity in this endeavor. For this reason I planned eventually to throw a bomb and accept the termination of my life. I did not care whether this act would touch off a revolution or not. I am perfectly content to satisfy my own desires. I do not wish to help create a new society based on a new authority in a different form.
Mikiso Hane (Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan)
The fundamental problem is that every technology embeds the ideologies of its creators! Who made the Internet? The military! The Internet is the product of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency! We call it DARPA for short! Who worked for DARPA? DARPA was a bunch of men! Not a single woman worked on the underlying technologies that fuel our digital universe! Men are the shit of the world and all of our political systems and philosophies were created and devised without the input of women! Half of the world’s population lives beneath systems of government and technological innovation into which their gender had zero input! Democracy is a bullshit ideology that a bunch of slaveholding Greek men constructed between rounds of beating their wives! All the presumed ideologies of men were taken for inescapable actualities and designed into the Internet! Packet switching is an incredible evil!
Jarett Kobek (I Hate the Internet)
Every culture has its own creation myth, its own cosmology. And in some respects every cosmology is true, even if I might flatter myself in assuming mine is somehow truer because it is scientific. But it seems to me that no culture, including scientific culture, has cornered the market on definitive answers when it comes to the ultimate questions. Science may couch its models in the language of mathematics and observational astronomy, while other cultures use poetry and sacrificial propitiations to defend theirs. But in the end, no one knows, at least not yet. The current flux in the state of scientific cosmology attests to this, as we watch physicists and astronomers argue over string theory and multiverses and the cosmic inflation hypothesis. Many of the postulates of modern cosmology lie beyond, or at least at the outer fringes, of what can be verified through observation. As a result, aesthetics—as reflected by the “elegance” of the mathematical models—has become as important as observation in assessing the validity of a cosmological theory. There is the assumption, sometimes explicit and sometimes not, that the universe is rationally constructed, that it has an inherent quality of beauty, and that any mathematical model that does not exemplify an underlying, unifying simplicity is to be considered dubious if not invalid on such criteria alone. This is really nothing more than an article of faith; and it is one of the few instances where science is faith-based, at least in its insistence that the universe can be understood, that it “makes sense.” It is not entirely a faith-based position, in that we can invoke the history of science to support the proposition that, so far, science has been able to make sense, in a limited way, of much of what it has scrutinized. (The psychedelic experience may prove to be an exception.)
Dennis J. McKenna (The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss)
Looking at the sky, he suddenly saw that it had become black. Then white again, but with great rippling circles. The circles were vultures wheeling around the sun. The vultures disappeared, to be replaced by checkers squares ready to be played on. On the board, the pieces moved around incredibly rapidly, winning dozens of games every minute. They were scarcely lined up before they started rushing at each other again, banging into each other, forming fighting combinations, wiping the other side out in the wink of an eye. Then the squares scattered, giving way to the grille of a crossword puzzle, and here, too, words flashed, drove each other away, clustered, were erased. They were all very long words, like Catalepsy, Thunderbird, Superrequeteriquísímo and Anticonstitutionally. The grille faded away, and suddenly the whole sky was covered with linked words, long sentences full of semicolons and inverted commas. For the space of a few seconds, there was this gigantic sheet of paper on which were written sentences that moved forward jerkily, changing their meaning, modifying their construction, altering completely as they advanced. It was beautiful, so beautiful that nothing like that had ever been read anywhere, and yet it was impossible to decipher the writing. It was all about death, or pity, or the incredible secrets that are hidden somewhere, at one of the farthest points of time. It was about water, too, about vast lakes floating just above the mountains, lakes shimmering under the cold wind. For a split second, Y. M. H., by screwing up his eyes, managed to read the writing, but it vanished with lightning speed and he could not be sure. It seemed to go like this: There's no reason to be afraid. No, there's no reason to be afraid. There's no reason to be afraid. There's no reason to be afraid. No. No, there's no reason to be afraid. No, there's no reason to be afraid.
J.M.G. Le Clézio (The Book of Flights)
At first glance, a militant conception of revolution seems more impractical than a nonviolent conception, but this is because it is realistic. People need to understand that capitalism, the state, white supremacy, imperialism, and patriarchy all constitute a war against the people of this planet. And revolution is an intensification of that war. We cannot liberate ourselves and create the worlds we want to live in if we think of fundamental social change as shining a light in the darkness, winning hearts and minds, speaking truth to power, bearing witness, capturing people’s attention, or any other passive parade. Millions of people die every year on this planet for no better reason than a lack of clean drinking water. Because the governments and corporations that have usurped control of the commons have not found a way to profit from those people’s lives, they let them die. Millions of people die every year because a few corporations and their allied governments do not want to allow the production of generic AIDS drugs and other medicine. Do you think the institutions and the elite individuals who hold the power of life or death over millions give a fuck about our protests? They have declared war on us, and we need to take it back to them. Not because we are angry (though we should be), not to get revenge, and not because we are acting impulsively, but because we have weighed the possibility of freedom against the certainty of shame from living under whatever form of domination we are faced with in our particular corner of the globe; because we realize that some people are already fighting, often alone, for their liberation, and that they have a right to and we should support them; and because we understand that the overlapping prisons that entomb our world have by now been so cleverly constructed that the only way to free ourselves is to fight and destroy these prisons and defeat the jailers by whatever means necessary.
Peter Gelderloos (How Nonviolence Protects the State)
They sat together at a table in the corner of a basement speakeasy, and they drank beer, and Mike related his favorite tale of how he had fallen five stories when a scaffolding gave way under him, how he had broken three ribs but lived to tell it, and Roark spoke of his days in the building trades. Mike did have a real name, which was Sean Xavier Donnigan, but everyone had forgotten it long ago; he owned a set of tools and an ancient Ford, and existed for the sole purpose of traveling around the country from one big construction job to another. People meant very little to Mike, but their performance a great deal. He worshipped expertness of any kind. He loved his work passionately and had no tolerance for anything save for other single-track devotions. He was a master in his own field and he felt no sympathy except for mastery. His view of the world was simple: there were the able and there were the incompetent; he was not concerned with the latter. He loved buildings. He despised, however, all architects.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
But should we garner the courage and moral will to reject once and for all the fallacy of racial difference for the ideological conceit that it is, what will be the premise of our new national history, our new national story? Where will the frontiers of the new Malaysia be? And what will the new Malaysia look like? None of us can answer these questions for certain, for any national narrative is forever a work in progress. Nations are constructs, based on the collective imagination and imaginary of their citizens. But as a nation in the making and under construction, we should at least have the courage to admit that some of our earlier premises were wrong (if not dangerous) and that the time has come to reinvent ourselves with some degree of hindsight and collective wisdom. One of the first steps that has to be taken is to recognise and accept that much of what we have been told as the first generation of postcolonial Malaysians was false, and that these instrumental fictions were tools to mentally bind us.
Farish A. Noor (What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You: The Annexe Lectures (Vol. 1))
I don’t know the answer, but I know that the fiscal cliff is real. It can’t be discounted like Y2K fears. In 2008, for the first time in my career, my clients were really scared. We are three years from the bottom of the market, and they’re still scared. “New home construction in our area is picking up, and my client in the business wants to hire more people to handle the demand. But what if the economy falters? He would have to let them go. At 70, he doesn’t have the heart to face that, so he makes do with less. “A New York client in the vending business wants to hire young adults to help him expand his business. If he pays them fifty thousand dollars, it will cost him close to ninety thousand after taxes and mandatory health benefits. It’s just not worth it. “My clients are suffocating under the blanket of excessive regulations, taxes, and the biggest impediment to growth and expansion, uncertainty.” Mac’s voice softened. “My biggest fear is that I don’t have the answer and I don’t know how to help them.
Marvin H. McIntyre (Inside Out)
From every direction, the place is under assault—and unlike in the past, the adversary is not concentrated in a single force, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, but takes the form of separate outfits conducting smaller attacks that are, in many ways, far more insidious. From directly above, the air-tour industry has succeeded in scuttling all efforts to dial it back, most recently through the intervention of Arizona’s senators, John Kyl and John McCain, and is continuing to destroy one of the canyon’s greatest treasures, which is its silence. From the east has come a dramatic increase in uranium-mining claims, while the once remote and untrammeled country of the North Rim now suffers from an ever-growing influx of recreational ATVs. On the South Rim, an Italian real estate company recently secured approval for a massive development whose water demands are all but guaranteed to compromise many of the canyon’s springs, along with the oases that they nourish. Worst of all, the Navajo tribe is currently planning to cooperate in constructing a monstrous tramway to the bottom of the canyon, complete with a restaurant and a resort, at the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado, the very spot where John Wesley Powell made his famous journal entry in the summer of 1869 about venturing “down the Great Unknown.” As vexing as all these things are, what Litton finds even more disheartening is the country’s failure to rally to the canyon’s defense—or for that matter, to the defense of its other imperiled natural wonders. The movement that he and David Brower helped build is not only in retreat but finds itself the target of bottomless contempt. On talk radio and cable TV, environmentalists are derided as “wackos” and “extremists.” The country has swung decisively toward something smaller and more selfish than what it once was, and in addition to ushering in a disdain for the notion that wilderness might have a value that extends beyond the metrics of economics or business, much of the nation ignorantly embraces the benefits of engineering and technology while simultaneously rejecting basic science.
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
One could understand feminism generally as an attack on woman as she was under “patriarchy” (that concept is a social construction of feminism). The feminine mystique was her ideal; in regard to sex, it consisted of women’s modesty and in the double standard of sexual conduct that comes with it, which treated women’s misbehavior as more serious than men’s. Instead of trying to establish a single standard by bringing men up to the higher standard of women, as with earlier feminism, today’s feminism decided to demand that women be entitled to sink to the level of men. It bought into the sexual revolution of the late sixties and required that women be rewarded with the privileges of male conquest rather than, say, continue serving as camp followers of rock bands. The result has been the turn for the worse. ... What was there in feminine modesty that the feminists left behind? In return for women’s holding to a higher standard of sexual behavior, feminine modesty gave them protection while they considered whether they wanted to consent. It gave them time: Not so fast! Not the first date! I’m not ready for that! It gave them the pleasure of being courted along with the advantage of looking before you leap. To win over a woman, men had to strive to express their finer feelings, if they had any. Women could judge their character and choose accordingly. In sum, women had the right of choice, if I may borrow that slogan. All this and more was social construction, to be sure, but on the basis of the bent toward modesty that was held to be in the nature of women. That inclination, it was thought, cooperated with the aggressive drive in the nature of men that could be beneficially constructed into the male duty to take the initiative. There was no guarantee of perfection in this arrangement, but at least each sex would have a legitimate expectation of possible success in seeking marital happiness. They could live together, have children, and take care of them. Without feminine modesty, however, women must imitate men, and in matters of sex, the most predatory men, as we have seen. The consequence is the hook-up culture now prevalent on college campuses, and off-campus too (even more, it is said). The purpose of hooking up is to replace the human complexity of courtship with “good sex,” a kind of animal simplicity, eliminating all the preliminaries to sex as well as the aftermath. “Good sex,” by the way, is in good part a social construction of the alliance between feminists and male predators that we see today. It narrows and distorts the human potentiality for something nobler and more satisfying than the bare minimum. The hook-up culture denounced by conservatives is the very same rape culture denounced by feminists. Who wants it? Most college women do not; they ignore hookups and lament the loss of dating. Many men will not turn down the offer of an available woman, but what they really want is a girlfriend. The predatory males are a small minority among men who are the main beneficiaries of the feminist norm. It’s not the fault of men that women want to join them in excess rather than calm them down, for men too are victims of the rape culture. Nor is it the fault of women. Women are so far from wanting hook-ups that they must drink themselves into drunken consent — in order to overcome their natural modesty, one might suggest. Not having a sociable drink but getting blind drunk is today’s preliminary to sex. Beautifully romantic, isn’t it?
Harvey Mansfield Jr.
As we’ve seen, one of the most frequently pursued paths for achievement-minded college seniors is to spend several years advancing professionally and getting trained and paid by an investment bank, consulting firm, or law firm. Then, the thought process goes, they can set out to do something else with some exposure and experience under their belts. People are generally not making lifelong commitments to the field in their own minds. They’re “getting some skills” and making some connections before figuring out what they really want to do. I subscribed to a version of this mind-set when I graduated from Brown. In my case, I went to law school thinking I’d practice for a few years (and pay down my law school debt) before lining up another opportunity. It’s clear why this is such an attractive approach. There are some immensely constructive things about spending several years in professional services after graduating from college. Professional service firms are designed to train large groups of recruits annually, and they do so very successfully. After even just a year or two in a high-level bank or consulting firm, you emerge with a set of skills that can be applied in other contexts (financial modeling in Excel if you’re a financial analyst, PowerPoint and data organization and presentation if you’re a consultant, and editing and issue spotting if you’re a lawyer). This is very appealing to most any recent graduate who may not yet feel equipped with practical skills coming right out of college. Even more than the professional skill you gain, if you spend time at a bank, consultancy, or law firm, you will become excellent at producing world-class work. Every model, report, presentation, or contract needs to be sophisticated, well done, and error free, in large part because that’s one of the core value propositions of your organization. The people above you will push you to become more rigorous and disciplined, and your work product will improve across the board as a result. You’ll get used to dressing professionally, preparing for meetings, speaking appropriately, showing up on time, writing official correspondence, and so forth. You will be able to speak the corporate language. You’ll become accustomed to working very long hours doing detail-intensive work. These attributes are transferable to and helpful in many other contexts.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
The German economic system as it existed before the war depended on three main factors: I. Overseas commerce as represented by her mercantile marine, her colonies, her foreign investments, her exports, and the overseas connections of her merchants; II. The exploitation of her coal and iron and the industries built upon them; III. Her transport and tariff system. Of these the first, while not the least important, was certainly the most vulnerable. The Treaty aims at the systematic destruction of all three, but principally of the first two. I (1) Germany has ceded to the Allies all the vessels of her mercantile marine exceeding 1600 tons gross, half the vessels between 1000 tons and 1600 tons, and one quarter of her trawlers and other fishing boats.[9] The cession is comprehensive, including not only vessels flying the German flag, but also all vessels owned by Germans but flying other flags, and all vessels under construction as well as those afloat.[10] Further, Germany undertakes, if required, to build for the Allies such types of ships as they may specify up to 200,000 tons[11] annually for five years, the value of these ships being credited to Germany against what is due from her for Reparation.[12]
John Maynard Keynes (The Economic Consequences of the Peace)
Now, I suggest four tests to judge whether the Government is progressive, and, further, whether it is continuously progressive. The first test that I would apply is what measures it adopts for the moral and material improvement of the mass of the people, and under these measures I do not include those appliances of modern Governments which the British Government has applied in this country, because they were appliances necessary for its very existence, though they have benefited the people, such as the construction of Railways, the introduction of Post and Telegraphs, and things of that kind. By measures for the moral and material improvement of the people, I mean what the Government does for education, what the Government does for sanitation, what the Government does for agricultural development, and so forth. That is my first test. The second test that I would apply is what steps the Government takes to give us a larger share in the administration of our local affairs—in municipalities and local boards. My third test is what voice the Government gives us in its Councils—in those deliberate assemblies, where policies are considered. And, lastly, we must consider how far Indians are admitted into the ranks of the public service. A
Annie Besant (The Case for India)
Ask any number of people to describe a moment of “perfect” happiness. Some will talk about moments of deep peace experienced in a harmonious natural setting, of a forest dappled in sunshine, of a mountain summit looking out across a vast horizon, of the shores of a tranquil lake, of a night walk through snow under a starry sky, and so on. Others will refer to a long-awaited event: an exam they’ve aced, a sporting victory, meeting someone they’ve longed to meet, the birth of a child. Still others will speak of a moment of peaceful intimacy with their family or a loved one, or of having made someone else happy. The common factor to all of these experiences would seem to be the momentary disappearance of inner conflicts. The person feels in harmony with the world and with herself. Someone enjoying such an experience, such as walking through a serene wilderness, has no particular expectations beyond the simple act of walking. She simply is, here and now, free and open. For just a few moments, thoughts of the past are suppressed, the mind is not burdened with plans for the future, and the present moment is liberated from all mental constructs. This moment of respite, from which all sense of emotional urgency has vanished, is experienced as one of profound peace.
Matthieu Ricard (Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill)
This was a talk to an anarchist conference, and in my view the libertarian movements have been very shortsighted in pursuing doctrine in a rigid fashion without being concerned about the human consequences. So it's perfectly proper… I mean, in my view, and that of a few others, the state is an illegitimate institution. But it does not follow from that that you should not support the state. Sometimes there is a more illegitimate institution which will take over if you do not support this illegitimate institution. So, if you're concerned with the people, let's be concrete, let's take the United States. There is a state sector that does awful things, but it also happens to do some good things. As a result of centuries of extensive popular struggle there is a minimal welfare system that provides support for poor mothers and children. That's under attack in an effort to minimize the state. Well, anarchists can't seem to understand that they are to support that. So they join with the ultra-right in saying "Yes, we've got to minimize the state," meaning put more power into the hands of private tyrannies which are completely unaccountable to the public and purely totalitarian. It's kind of reminiscent of an old Communist Party slogan back in the early thirties "The worse, the better." So there was a period when the Communist Party was refusing to combat fascism on the theory that if you combat fascism, you join the social democrats and they are not good guys, so "the worse, the better." That was the slogan I remember from childhood. Well, they got the worse: Hitler. If you care about the question of whether seven-year-old children have food to eat, you'll support the state sector at this point, recognizing that in the long term it's illegitimate. I know that a lot of people find that hard to deal with and personally I'm under constant critique from the left for not being principled. Principle to them means opposing the state sector, even though opposing the state sector at this conjuncture means placing power into the hands of private totalitarian organizations who would be delighted to see children starve. I think we have to be able to keep those ideas in our heads if we want to think constructively about the problems of the future. In fact, protecting the state sector today is a step towards abolishing the state because it maintains a public arena in which people can participate, and organize, and affect policy, and so on, though in limited ways. If that's removed, we'd go back to a [...] dictatorship or say a private dictatorship, but that's hardly a step towards liberation.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
Throughout the autumn and the winter activity increased in the Beaulieu area, and with it came mysteries. Lepe House, the mansion at the entrance to the river, was taken over by the Navy and became full of secretive Naval officers; it became known that this was part of a mysterious Navel entity called 'Force J'. Near Lepe House and at the very mouth of the river a construction gang began work in full strength to make a hard, sloping concrete platform running down into the river where the flat-bottomed landing craft could beach to refuel and let their ramps down to embark the vehicles and tanks. This place was about two miles from 'Mastodon'. A mile or so along the coast a country house was occupied by a secret Naval party who did strange things with tugs and wires and winches, and with what looked like a gigantic reel of cotton floating in the sea; this was 'Pluto', Pipe Line Under The Ocean, which was to lay pipes from England to France to carry petrol to supply the armies which were due to land in Normandy. On a bare beach nearby a thousand navvies were camped making huge concrete structures known as 'Phoenix', one of many such sites all along the coast. It was not till after the invasion that it became known that these were a part of the artificial harbour 'Mulberry' on the north coast of France.
Nevil Shute (Requiem for a Wren)
My unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do? If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you. If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece, "Over! Under! Through!” (If you’re under forty, you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of, “over,” and “under,” and “through” by filming toddlers crawling around an abandoned construction site. They don’t show it anymore because someone has since realized that’s nuts.) If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk. If you’re lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground- like the rifle range or a car sales total board or the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I pull into the driveway outside of my father's house and shut off the engine. I sit behind the wheel for a moment, studying the house. He'd called me last night and demanded that I come over for dinner tonight. Didn't request. He demanded. What struck me though, was that he sounded a lot more stressed out and harried than he did when he interrupted my brunch with Gabby to demand my presence at a “family”dinner. Yeah, that had been a fun night filled with my father and Ian badgering me about my job. For whatever reason, they'd felt compelled to make a concerted effort to belittle what I do –more so than they usually do anyway -- try to undermine my confidence in my ability to teach, and all but demand that I quit and come to work for my father's company. That had been annoying, and although they were more insistent than normal, it's pretty par for the course with those two. They always think they know what's best for me and have no qualms about telling me how to live my life. When he'd called me last night though, and told me to come to dinner tonight, there was something in my father's voice that had rattled me. It took me a while to put a finger on what it was I heard in his voice, but when I figured it out, it really shook me. I heard fear. Outright fear. My father isn't a man who fears much or is easily intimidated. In fact, he's usually the one doing the intimidating. But, something has him really spooked and even though we don't always see eye-to-eye or get along, hearing that fear in his voice scared me. In all my years, I've never known him to sound so downright terrified. With a sigh and a deep sense of foreboding, I climb out of my car and head to the door, trying to steel myself more with each step. Call me psychic, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a long, miserable night. “Good evening, Miss Holly,”Gloria says as she opens the door before I even have a chance to knock. “Nice to see you again.”“It's nice to see you too, Gloria,”I say and smile with genuine affection. Gloria has been with our family for as far back as I can remember. Honestly, after my mother passed away from ovarian cancer, Gloria took a large role in raising me. My father had plunged himself into his work –and had taken Ian under his wing to help groom him to take over the empire one day –leaving me to more or less fend for myself. It was like I was a secondary consideration to them. Because I'm a girl and not part of the testosterone-rich world of construction, neither my father nor Ian took much interest in me or my life. Unless they needed something from me, of course. The only time they really paid any attention to me was when they needed me to pose for family pictures for company literature.
R.R. Banks (Accidentally Married (Anderson Brothers, #1))
The Sputnik moment for the Open Classroom movement came in 1983, when a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Education, T. H. Bell, delivered a scathing report, entitled, A Nation at Risk, whose famously ominous conclusion warned that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” The response this time was a fervent and growing bipartisan campaign for more accountability from schools, mostly in the form of more of those standardized tests. And by 2001, “accountability” had become a buzzword. Under President George W. Bush that year, the “No Child Left Behind” Act tied federal funding to students’ performance on tests. Eight years later, President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top” program sought similar results, although this time using carrots instead of sticks. However the federal policy was constructed, the message was becoming clear: for schools to survive, their students would have to score high on mandated tests. Teachers consequently understood that to preserve their own jobs, they’d have to spend more time and energy on memorization and drills. The classrooms of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution began to look ever more like the dreary common schools of the turn of the twentieth century, and the spirit of Emile retreated once again.
Tom Little (Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools)
Concern for one's political community is, of course, right and proper, and Christians can hardly be faulted for wishing to correct their nation's deficiencies. At the same time, this variety of Christian nationalism errs on at least four counts. First, it unduly applies biblical promises intended for the body of Christ as a whole to one of many particular geographic concentrations of people bound together under a common political framework. Once again this requires a somewhat dubious biblical hermeneutic. Second, it tends to identify God's norms for political and cultural life with a particular, imperfect manifestation of those norms at a specific period of a nation's history. Thus, for example, pro-family political activists tend to identify God's norms for healthy family life with the nineteenth-century agrarian family or the mid-twentieth-century suburban nuclear family. Similarly, a godly commonwealth is believed by American Christian nationalists to consist of a constitutional order limiting political power through a system of checks and balances, rather than one based on, in Walter Bagehot's words, a "fusion of powers" in the hands of a cabinet responsible to a parliament. Thus Christian nationalists, like their conservative counterparts, tend to judge their nation's present actions, not by transcendent norms given by God for its life, but by precedents in their nation's history deemed to have embodied these norms. Third, Christian nationalists too easily pay to their nation a homage due only to God. They make too much of their country's symbols, institutions, laws and mores.They see its history as somehow revelatory of God's ways and are largely blind to the outworkings of sin in that same history. When they do detect national sin, they tend to attribute it not to something defective in the nation's ideological underpinnings, but to its departure from a once solid biblical foundation during an imagined pre-Fall golden age. If the nation's beginnings are not as thoroughly Christian as they would like to believe, they will seize whatever evidence is available in this direction and construct a usable past serviceable 34 to a more Christian future. Fourth, and finally, those Christians most readily employing the language of nationhood often find it difficult to conceive the nation in limited terms. Frequently, Christian nationalists see the nation as an undifferentiated community with few if any constraints on its claims to allegiance. 45 Once again this points to the recognition of a modest place for the nation, however it be defined, and away from the totalitarian pretensions of nationalism. Whether the nation is already linked to the body politic or to an ethnically defined people seeking political recognition, it must remain within the normative limits God has placed on everything in his creation.
David T. Koyzis (Political Visions & Illusions: A Survey & Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies)
The beef cattle industry provides a good example of how a fragmented industry can change in structure. The industry has historically been characterized by a large number of small ranchers grazing cattle on rangelands and transporting them to a meat-packer for processing. Raising cattle has traditionally involved few economies of scale; if anything, there could well be diseconomies of controlling a very large herd and moving it from area to area. However, technological developments have led to the wider use of the feedlot as an alternative process for fattening cattle. Under carefully controlled conditions, the feedlot has proven to be a far cheaper way to put weight on animals. Constructing feedlots requires large capital outlays, though, and there appear to be significant economies of scale in their operation. As a result, some large beef growers, such as Iowa Beef and Monfort, are emerging and the industry is concentrating. These large growers are beginning to be large enough to backward integrate into processing of feeds and to forward integrate into meat processing and distribution. The latter has led to the development of brand names. In this industry the fundamental cause of fragmentation was the production technology utilized for fattening cattle. Once this impediment to consolidation was removed, a process of structural change was triggered which has encompassed many elements of industry structure going far beyond feedlots alone.
Michael E. Porter (Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors)
Many models are constructed to account for regularly observed phenomena. By design, their direct implications are consistent with reality. But others are built up from first principles, using the profession’s preferred building blocks. They may be mathematically elegant and match up well with the prevailing modeling conventions of the day. However, this does not make them necessarily more useful, especially when their conclusions have a tenuous relationship with reality. Macroeconomists have been particularly prone to this problem. In recent decades they have put considerable effort into developing macro models that require sophisticated mathematical tools, populated by fully rational, infinitely lived individuals solving complicated dynamic optimization problems under uncertainty. These are models that are “microfounded,” in the profession’s parlance: The macro-level implications are derived from the behavior of individuals, rather than simply postulated. This is a good thing, in principle. For example, aggregate saving behavior derives from the optimization problem in which a representative consumer maximizes his consumption while adhering to a lifetime (intertemporal) budget constraint.† Keynesian models, by contrast, take a shortcut, assuming a fixed relationship between saving and national income. However, these models shed limited light on the classical questions of macroeconomics: Why are there economic booms and recessions? What generates unemployment? What roles can fiscal and monetary policy play in stabilizing the economy? In trying to render their models tractable, economists neglected many important aspects of the real world. In particular, they assumed away imperfections and frictions in markets for labor, capital, and goods. The ups and downs of the economy were ascribed to exogenous and vague “shocks” to technology and consumer preferences. The unemployed weren’t looking for jobs they couldn’t find; they represented a worker’s optimal trade-off between leisure and labor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these models were poor forecasters of major macroeconomic variables such as inflation and growth.8 As long as the economy hummed along at a steady clip and unemployment was low, these shortcomings were not particularly evident. But their failures become more apparent and costly in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–9. These newfangled models simply could not explain the magnitude and duration of the recession that followed. They needed, at the very least, to incorporate more realism about financial-market imperfections. Traditional Keynesian models, despite their lack of microfoundations, could explain how economies can get stuck with high unemployment and seemed more relevant than ever. Yet the advocates of the new models were reluctant to give up on them—not because these models did a better job of tracking reality, but because they were what models were supposed to look like. Their modeling strategy trumped the realism of conclusions. Economists’ attachment to particular modeling conventions—rational, forward-looking individuals, well-functioning markets, and so on—often leads them to overlook obvious conflicts with the world around them.
Dani Rodrik (Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science)
The world is dead, The Samurai, moving among the inert metal of pumps and lines and distillation columns, over the concrete apron in which the plants were constructed, over gravel brought from the Prospect quarries. it is a world of age-old stones - picking up a piece of gravel in which glinted minerals unknown to him - of basalt chiped from mountains long ago, lying around on roads, lying under hills waiting to be plundered. And laughing at humans. These dead rocks were all of them older than the human race which trod them. each fragment had an immortality. Humans rotted away into the soil in an instant of time. What was the power he had that enabled him to lift this fragment of eternity in his hand and decide where to throw it? What had been breathed into his fragile dust that seemed for his instant of life to mock the inertia of the rock? Was his own existence supported by a paper warrant somewhere? He drew back from following these thoughts. There was a power in him, or rather power came to him that made him stronger than he needed to be. A power that blew up certain feelings to an enormous size, a secret power. Was he so different from the men around him? What was the mission that he had been born to perform? He deliberately relaxed. As he looked about him with a new mood the whole world filled with love. Even the dirt underfoot was sympathetic and grateful. he could love these random stones, these heaps of inert, formed metal so far now from where they were mined. He could love the soil itself and everything that was. He needed, at the moment, no written justification of his existence.
David Ireland
Yet a much more fundamentally political dimension of the socially constructed nature of capital - nothing less than the specification of a parallel universe with its own natural laws and rules for the physical existence and subsistence of financial capital and its interaction with the other factors of production - has also often been overlooked in contemporary academic literature. Under the current monetary arrangements financial capital is a peculiar creature indeed. Money can be created ex nihilo at the stroke of a pen - or a keyboard - by a specific type of legal person entrusted with the task, not other legal or natural person. With the socially constructed ability to attract compound interest in a world where physical assets rot and break, it does not share the same physical reality with the mere mortal factors of production: even in cases where productive investments which enable the payment of interest in real terms can be identified, the compounding of interest on financial capital is not temporally limited to the period that the relevant physical assets can continue to produce exponential returns in real terms. Rather than representing accumulated wealth that could be "saved" to finance investment, the bulk of money disappears as soon as other factors of production are not willing to pay a tribute to induce its continuing circulation in the form of interest payments. In addition to the inherently political nature of specifications of money have been detached from virtually any substantive connection to the rules or the realities experienced by other factors of production in the physical world that is nonetheless supposed to achieve economic efficiency and a host of other objectives through monetary calculation and monetarily mediated social relationships deserves particular scrutiny.
Tero Auvinen (On Money)
The imperialist found it useful to incorporate the credible and seemingly unimpeachable wisdom of science to create a racial classification to be used in the appropriation and organization of lesser cultures. The works of Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Buffon, and Georges Cuvier, organized races in terms of a civilized us and a paradigmatic other. The other was uncivilized, barbaric, and wholly lower than the advanced races of Europe. This paradigm of imaginatively constructing a world predicated upon race was grounded in science, and expressed as philosophical axioms by John Locke and David Hume, offered compelling justification that Europe always ought to rule non-Europeans. This doctrine of cultural superiority had a direct bearing on Zionist practice and vision in Palestine. A civilized man, it was believed, could cultivate the land because it meant something to him; on it, accordingly, he produced useful arts and crafts, he created, he accomplished, he built. For uncivilized people, land was either farmed badly or it was left to rot. This was imperialism as theory and colonialism was the practice of changing the uselessly unoccupied territories of the world into useful new versions of Europe. It was this epistemic framework that shaped and informed Zionist attitudes towards the Arab Palestinian natives. This is the intellectual background that Zionism emerged from. Zionism saw Palestine through the same prism as the European did, as an empty territory paradoxically filled with ignoble or, better yet, dispensable natives. It allied itself, as Chaim Weizmann said, with the imperial powers in carrying out its plans for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The so-called natives did not take well to the idea of Jewish colonizers in Palestine. As the Zionist historians, Yehoshua Porath and Neville Mandel, have empirically shown, the ideas of Jewish colonizers in Palestine, this was well before World War I, were always met with resistance, not because the natives thought Jews were evil, but because most natives do not take kindly to having their territory settled by foreigners. Zionism not only accepted the unflattering and generic concepts of European culture, it also banked on the fact that Palestine was actually populated not by an advanced civilization, but by a backward people, over which it ought to be dominated. Zionism, therefore, developed with a unique consciousness of itself, but with little or nothing left over for the unfortunate natives. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Palestine had been occupied by one of the well-established industrialized nations that ruled the world, then the problem of displacing German, French, or English inhabitants and introducing a new, nationally coherent element into the middle of their homeland would have been in the forefront of the consciousness of even the most ignorant and destitute Zionists. In short, all the constitutive energies of Zionism were premised on the excluded presence, that is, the functional absence of native people in Palestine; institutions were built deliberately shutting out the natives, laws were drafted when Israel came into being that made sure the natives would remain in their non-place, Jews in theirs, and so on. It is no wonder that today the one issue that electrifies Israel as a society is the problem of the Palestinians, whose negation is the consistent thread running through Zionism. And it is this perhaps unfortunate aspect of Zionism that ties it ineluctably to imperialism- at least so far as the Palestinian is concerned. In conclusion, I cannot affirm that Zionism is colonialism, but I can tell you the process by which Zionism flourished; the dialectic under which it became a reality was heavily influenced by the imperialist mindset of Europe. Thank you. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.
R.F. Georgy (Absolution: A Palestinian Israeli Love Story)
Shortly before you were born, I was pulled over by the PG County police, the same police that all the D.C. poets had warned me of. They approached on both sides of the car, shining their flashing lights through the windows. They took my identification and returned to the squad car. I sat there in terror. By then I had added to the warnings of my teachers what I’d learned about PG County through reporting and reading the papers. And so I knew that the PG County police had killed Elmer Clay Newman, then claimed he’d rammed his own head into the wall of a jail cell. And I knew that they’d shot Gary Hopkins and said he’d gone for an officer’s gun. And I knew they had beaten Freddie McCollum half-blind and blamed it all on a collapsing floor. And I had read reports of these officers choking mechanics, shooting construction workers, slamming suspects through the glass doors of shopping malls. And I knew that they did this with great regularity, as though moved by some unseen cosmic clock. I knew that they shot at moving cars, shot at the unarmed, shot through the backs of men and claimed that it had been they who’d been under fire. These shooters were investigated, exonerated, and promptly returned to the streets, where, so emboldened, they shot again. At that point in American history, no police department fired its guns more than that of Prince George’s County. The FBI opened multiple investigations—sometimes in the same week. The police chief was rewarded with a raise. I replayed all of this sitting there in my car, in their clutches. Better to have been shot in Baltimore, where there was the justice of the streets and someone might call the killer to account. But these officers had my body, could do with that body whatever they pleased, and should I live to explain what they had done with it, this complaint would mean nothing. The officer returned. He handed back my license. He gave no explanation for the stop.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
personal equation. Thorndyke's brain was not an ordinary brain. Facts of which his mind instantly perceived the relation remained to other people unconnected and without meaning. His powers of observation and rapid inference were almost incredible, as I had noticed again and again, and always with undiminished wonder. He seemed to take in everything at a single glance and in an instant to appreciate the meaning of everything that he had seen. Here was a case in point. I had myself seen all that he had seen, and, indeed, much more; for I had looked on the very people and witnessed their actions, whereas he had never set eyes on any of them. I had examined the little handful of rubbish that he had gathered up so carefully, and would have flung it back under the grate without a qualm. Not a glimmer of light had I perceived in the cloud of mystery, nor even a hint of the direction in which to seek enlightenment. And yet Thorndyke had, in some incomprehensible manner, contrived to piece together facts that I had probably not even observed, and that so completely that he had already, in these few days, narrowed down the field of inquiry to quite a small area. From these reflections I returned to the objects on the table. The spectacles, as things of which I had some expert knowledge, were not so profound a mystery to me. A pair of spectacles might easily afford good evidence for identification; that I perceived clearly enough. Not a ready-made pair, picked up casually at a shop, but a pair constructed by a skilled optician to remedy a particular defect of vision and to fit a particular face. And such were the spectacles before me. The build of the frames was peculiar; the existence of a cylindrical lens—which I could easily make out from the remaining fragments—showed that one glass had been cut to a prescribed shape and almost certainly ground to a particular formula, and also that the distance between centres must have
R. Austin Freeman (The Mystery of 31 New Inn)
The town knew about darkness. It knew about the darkness that comes on the land when rotation hides the land from the sun, and about the darkness of the human soul. The town is an accumulation of three parts which, in sum, are greater than the sections. The town is the people who live there, the buildings which they have erected to den or do business in, and it is the land. The people are Scotch-English and French. There are others, of course - a smattering, like a fistful of pepper thrown in a pot of salt, but not many. This melting point never melted very much. The buildings are nearly all constructed of honest wood. Many of the older houses are saltboxes and most of the stores are false-fronted, although no one could have said why. The people know there is nothing behind those false facades just as most of them know that Loretta Starcher wears falsies. The land is granite-bodied and covered with a thin, easily ruptured skin of topsoil. Farming it is a thankless, sweaty, miserable, crazy business. The harrow turns up great chunks of the granite underlayer and breaks on them. In May you take out your truck as soon as the ground is dry enough to support it, and you and your boys fill it up with rocks perhaps a dozen times before harrowing and dump them in the great weed-choked pile where you have dumped them since 1955, when you first took this tiger by the balls. And when you have picked them until the dirt won't come out from under your nails when you wash and your fingers feel huge and numb and oddly large-pored, you hitch your harow to your tractor and before you've broken two rows you bust one of the blades on a rock you missed. And putting on a new blade, getting your oldest boy to hold up the hitch so you can get at it, the first mosquito of the new season buzzes bloodthirstily past your ear with that eye-watering hum that always makes you think it's the sound loonies must hear before they kill all their kids or close their eyes on the interstate and put the gas pedal to the floor or tighten their toe on the trigger of the .30-.30 they just jammed into their quackers; and then your boy’s sweat-slicked fingers slip and one of the other round harrow blades scrapes skin from your arm an d looking around in that kind of despairing, heartless flicker of time, when it seems you could just give it all over and take up drinking or go down to the bank that holds your mortgage and declare bankruptcy, at that moment of hating the land the soft suck of gravity that holds you to it, you also love it and understand how it knows darkness and has always known it. The land has got you, locked up solid got you, and the house, and the woman you fell in love with when you started high school (only she was a girl then, and you didn't know for shit about girls except you got one and hung on to her and she wrote your name all over her book covers and first you broke her in and then she broke you in and then neither one of you had to worry about that anymore), and the kids have got you, the kids that were started in the creaky double bed with the splintered headboard. You and she made the kids after the darkness fell - six kids, or seven, or ten. The bank has you, and the car dealership, and the Sears store in Lewiston, and John Deere in Brunswick. But most of all the town has you because you know it the way you know the shape of your wife's breast. You know who will be hanging around Crossen’s store in the daytime because Knapp Shoe laid him off and you know who is having woman trouble even before he knows it, the way Reggie Sawyer is having it, with that phone-company kid dipping his wick in Bonnie Sawyer’s barrel; you know where the roads go and where, on Friday afternoon, you and Hank and Nolly Gardener can go and park and drink a couple of sixpacks or a couple of cases. You know how the ground lies and you know how to get through the Marshes in April without getting the tops of your boots wet. You know it all.
Stephen King
The negative perception of a changed city aligned with dispensational eschatology. A drastic change from above would be required to stop the flood of secularism and societal decay. With their embrace of dispensationalism, evangelicals shifted their focus radically from social amelioration to individual regeneration. Having diverted their attention from the construction of the millennial realm, evangelicals concentrated on the salvation of souls and, in so doing, neglected reform efforts.8 An individualistic soul-saving soteriology emerged from a dispensational theology. Theologically conservative Christians had shifted their priority from concern for both the individual and larger society to more exclusively a concern for the individual, and the first half of the twentieth century witnessed the formation of this shift. In The Great Reversal, David Moberg asserts that “there was a time when evangelicals had a balanced position that gave proper attention to both evangelism and social concern, but a great reversal in the [twentieth] century led to a lopsided emphasis upon evangelism and omission of most aspects of social involvement.”9 Marsden notes that “the ‘Great Reversal’ took place from about 1900 to about 1930, when all progressive social concern, whether political or private, became suspect among revivalist evangelicals and was relegated to a very minor role.”10 Fundamentalists developed a suspicion about social engagement and withdrew from social concerns spurred by their rejection of larger society. This rejection of secular culture arose from anxiety about the changes that occurred in the early part of the twentieth century when fundamentalists felt they were under siege from secular society. Marsden recognizes that “fundamentalism was the response of traditionalist evangelicals who declared war on these modernizing trends. In fundamentalist eyes the war had to be all-out and fought on several fronts. At stake was nothing less than the gospel of Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”11 The twentieth century witnessed fearful white Protestants yielding to the temptation to withdraw from the city and engaging in the exact opposite behavior demanded by Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.” There was an intentional abandonment of the city in favor of safety and comfort. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in the suburbs.
Soong-Chan Rah (Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times)
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But if the same man is in a quiet corner of a bar, drinking alone, he will get more depressed. Now there’s nothing to distract him. Drinking puts you at the mercy of your environment. It crowds out everything except the most immediate experiences.2 Here’s another example. One of the central observations of myopia theory is that drunkenness has its greatest effect in situations of “high conflict”—where there are two sets of considerations, one near and one far, that are in opposition. So, suppose that you are a successful professional comedian. The world thinks you are very funny. You think you are very funny. If you get drunk, you don’t think of yourself as even funnier. There’s no conflict over your hilariousness that alcohol can resolve. But suppose you think you are very funny and the world generally doesn’t. In fact, whenever you try to entertain a group with a funny story, a friend pulls you aside the next morning and gently discourages you from ever doing it again. Under normal circumstances, the thought of that awkward conversation with your friend keeps you in check. But when you’re drunk? The alcohol makes the conflict go away. You no longer think about the future corrective feedback regarding your bad jokes. Now it is possible for you to believe that you are actually funny. When you are drunk, your understanding of your true self changes. This is the crucial implication of drunkenness as myopia. The old disinhibition idea implied that what was revealed when someone got drunk was a kind of stripped-down, distilled version of their sober self—without any of the muddying effects of social nicety and propriety. You got the real you. As the ancient saying goes, In vino veritas: “In wine there is truth.” But that’s backward. The kinds of conflicts that normally keep our impulses in check are a crucial part of how we form our character. All of us construct our personality by managing the conflict between immediate, near considerations and more complicated, longer-term considerations. That is what it means to be ethical or productive or responsible. The good parent is someone who is willing to temper their own immediate selfish needs (to be left alone, to be allowed to sleep) with longer-term goals (to raise a good child). When alcohol peels away those longer-term constraints on our behavior, it obliterates our true self. So who were the Camba, in reality? Heath says their society was marked by a singular lack of “communal expression.” They were itinerant farmworkers. Kinship ties were weak. Their daily labor tended to be solitary, the hours long.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
Roosevelt wouldn't interfere even when he found out that Moses was discouraging Negroes from using many of his state parks. Underlying Moses' strikingly strict policing for cleanliness in his parks was, Frances Perkins realized with "shock," deep distaste for the public that was using them. "He doesn't love the people," she was to say. "It used to shock me because he was doing all these things for the welfare of the people... He'd denounce the common people terribly. To him they were lousy, dirty people, throwing bottles all over Jones Beach. 'I'll get them! I'll teach them!' ... He loves the public, but not as people. The public is just The Public. It's a great amorphous mass to him; it needs to be bathed, it needs to be aired, it needs recreation, but not for personal reasons -- just to make it a better public." Now he began taking measures to limit use of his parks. He had restricted the use of state parks by poor and lower-middle-class families in the first place, by limiting access to the parks by rapid transit; he had vetoed the Long Island Rail Road's proposed construction of a branch spur to Jones Beach for this reason. Now he began to limit access by buses; he instructed Shapiro to build the bridges across his new parkways low -- too low for buses to pass. Bus trips therefore had to be made on local roads, making the trips discouragingly long and arduous. For Negroes, whom he considered inherently "dirty," there were further measures. Buses needed permits to enter state parks; buses chartered by Negro groups found it very difficult to obtain permits, particularly to Moses' beloved Jones Beach; most were shunted to parks many miles further out on Long Island. And even in these parks, buses carrying Negro groups were shunted to the furthest reaches of the parking areas. And Negroes were discouraged from using "white" beach areas -- the best beaches -- by a system Shapiro calls "flagging"; the handful of Negro lifeguards [...] were all stationed at distant, least developed beaches. Moses was convinced that Negroes did not like cold water; the temperature at the pool at Jones Beach was deliberately icy to keep Negroes out. When Negro civic groups from the hot New York City slums began to complain about this treatment, Roosevelt ordered an investigation and an aide confirmed that "Bob Moses is seeking to discourage large Negro parties from picnicking at Jones Beach, attempting to divert them to some other of the state parks." Roosevelt gingerly raised the matter with Moses, who denied the charge violently -- and the Governor never raised the matter again.
Robert A. Caro (The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York)
Situated in the center of family values debates is an imagined traditional family ideal. Formed through a combination of marital and blood ties, "normal" families should consist of heterosexual, racially homogeneous couples who produce their own biological children. Such families should have a specific authority structure, namely, a father-head earning an adequate family wage, a stay-at-home wife and mother, and children. Idealizing the traditional family as a private haven from a public world, family is seen as being held together through primary emotional bonds of love and caring. assuming a relatively fixed sexual division of labor, wherein women's roles are defined as primarily in the home with men's in the public world of work, the traditional family ideal also assumes the separation of work and family. Defined as a natural or biological arrangement based on heterosexual attraction, instead this monolithic family type is actually supported by government policy. It is organized not around a biological core, but a state-sanctioned, heterosexual marriage that confers legitimacy not only on the family structure itself but on children born in this family. In general, everything the imagined traditional family ideal is thought to be, African-American families are not. Two elements of the traditional family ideal are especially problematic for African-American women. First, the assumed split between the "public" sphere of paid employment and the "private" sphere of unpaid family responsibilities has never worked for U.S. Black women. Under slavery, U.S. Black women worked without pay in the allegedly public sphere of Southern agriculture and had their family privacy routinely violated. Second, the public/private binary separating the family households from the paid labor market is fundamental in explaining U.S. gender ideology. If one assumes that real men work and real women take care of families, then African-Americans suffer from deficient ideas concerning gender. in particular, Black women become less "feminine," because they work outside the home, work for pay and thus compete with men, and their work takes them away from their children. Framed through this prism of an imagined traditional family ideal, U.S. Black women's experiences and those of other women of color are typically deemed deficient. Rather than trying to explain why Black women's work and family patterns deviate from the seeming normality of the traditional family ideal, a more fruitful approach lies in challenging the very constructs of work and family themselves. Understandings of work, like understandings of family, vary greatly depending on who controls the definitions.
Patricia Hill Collins (Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment)
Enter, therefore, a new and ingenious variant of Ultimatum, this one called Dictator. Once again, a small pool of money is divided between two people. But in this case, only one person gets to make a decision. (Thus the name: the “dictator” is the only player who matters.) The original Dictator experiment went like this. Annika was given $20 and told she could split the money with some anonymous Zelda in one of two ways: (1) right down the middle, with each person getting $10; or (2) with Annika keeping $18 and giving Zelda just $2. Dictator was brilliant in its simplicity. As a one-shot game between two anonymous parties, it seemed to strip out all the complicating factors of real-world altruism. Generosity could not be rewarded, nor could selfishness be punished, because the second player (the one who wasn’t the dictator) had no recourse to punish the dictator if the dictator acted selfishly. The anonymity, meanwhile, eliminated whatever personal feeling the donor might have for the recipient. The typical American, for instance, is bound to feel different toward the victims of Hurricane Katrina than the victims of a Chinese earthquake or an African drought. She is also likely to feel different about a hurricane victim and an AIDS victim. So the Dictator game seemed to go straight to the core of our altruistic impulse. How would you play it? Imagine that you’re the dictator, faced with the choice of giving away half of your $20 or giving just $2. The odds are you would . . . divide the money evenly. That’s what three of every four participants did in the first Dictator experiments. Amazing! Dictator and Ultimatum yielded such compelling results that the games soon caught fire in the academic community. They were conducted hundreds of times in myriad versions and settings, by economists as well as psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists. In a landmark study published in book form as Foundations of Human Sociality, a group of preeminent scholars traveled the world to test altruism in fifteen small-scale societies, including Tanzanian hunter-gatherers, the Ache Indians of Paraguay, and Mongols and Kazakhs in western Mongolia. As it turns out, it didn’t matter if the experiment was run in western Mongolia or the South Side of Chicago: people gave. By now the game was usually configured so that the dictator could give any amount (from $0 to $20), rather than being limited to the original two options ($2 or $10). Under this construct, people gave on average about $4, or 20 percent of their money. The message couldn’t have been much clearer: human beings indeed seemed to be hardwired for altruism. Not only was this conclusion uplifting—at the very least, it seemed to indicate that Kitty Genovese’s neighbors were nothing but a nasty anomaly—but it rocked the very foundation of traditional economics. “Over the past decade,” Foundations of Human Sociality claimed, “research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition)
I’m exactly as unlikely to blab our secrets to an anonymous flunky as I am to a Court decoration with a reputation as a gambler and a fop,” I said finally. “’Court decoration’?” he repeated, with a faint smile. The strengthening light of dawn revealed telltale marks under his eyes. So he was tired. I was obscurely glad. “Yes,” I said, pleased to expand on my insult. “My father’s term.” “You’ve never wished to meet a…Court decoration for yourself?” “No.” Then I added cheerily, “Well, maybe when I was a child.” The Marquis of Shevraeth, Galdran’s commander-in-chief, grinned. It was the first real grin I’d seen on his face, as if he were struggling to hold in laughter. Setting his cup down, he made a graceful half-bow from his seat on the other side of the fire and said, “Delighted to make your acquaintance, Lady Meliara.” I sniffed. “And now that I’ve been thoroughly put in my place,” he said, “let us leave my way of life and proceed to yours. I take it your revolt is not engineered for the benefit of your fellow-nobles, or as an attempt to reestablish your mother’s blood claim through the Calahanras family. Wherefore is it, then?” I looked up in surprise. “There ought to be no mystery obscuring our reasons. Did you not trouble to read the letter we sent to Galdran Merindar before he sent Debegri against us? It was addressed to the entire Court, and our reasons were stated as plainly as we could write them--and all our names signed to it.” “Assume that the letter was somehow suppressed,” he said dryly. “Can you summarize its message?” “Easy,” I said promptly. “We went to war on behalf of the Hill Folk, whose Covenant Galdran wants to break. But not just for them. We also want to better the lives of the people of Remalna: the ordinary folk who’ve been taxed into poverty, or driven from their farms, or sent into hastily constructed mines, all for Galdran’s personal glory. And I guess for the rest of yours as well, for whose money are you spending on those fabulous Court clothes you never wear twice? Your father still holds the Renselaeus principality--or has he ceded it to Galdran at last? Isn’t it, too, taxed and farmed to the bone so that you can outshine all the rest of those fools at Court?” All the humor had gone out of his face, leaving it impossible to read. He said, “Since the kind of rumor about Court life that you seem to regard as truth also depicts us as inveterate liars, I will not waste time attempting to defend or deny. Let us instead discuss your eventual goal. Supposing,” he said, reaching to pour more tea into my cup--as if we were in a drawing room, and not sitting outside in the chill dawn, in grimy clothes, on either side of a fire just as we were on either side of a war--“Supposing you were to defeat the King. What then? Kill all the nobles in Athanarel and set yourselves up as rustic King and Queen?” I remembered father’s whisper as he lay dying: You can take Remalna, and you will be better rulers than any Merindar ever was. It had sounded fine then, but the thought of giving any hint of that to this blank-faced Court idler made me uncomfortable. I shook my head. “We didn’t want to kill anyone. Not even Galdran, until he sent Debegri to break the Covenant and take our lands. As for ruling, yes we would, if no one else better came along. We were doing it not for ourselves but for the kingdom. Disbelieve it all you want, but there’s the truth of it.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
How Google Works (Schmidt, Eric) - Your Highlight on Location 3124-3150 | Added on Sunday, April 5, 2015 10:35:40 AM In late 1999, John Doerr gave a presentation at Google that changed the company, because it created a simple tool that let the founders institutionalize their “think big” ethos. John sat on our board, and his firm, Kleiner Perkins, had recently invested in the company. The topic was a form of management by objectives called OKRs (to which we referred in the previous chapter), which John had learned from former Intel CEO Andy Grove.173 There are several characteristics that set OKRs apart from their typical underpromise-and-overdeliver corporate-objective brethren. First, a good OKR marries the big-picture objective with a highly measurable key result. It’s easy to set some amorphous strategic goal (make usability better … improve team morale … get in better shape) as an objective and then, at quarter end, declare victory. But when the strategic goal is measured against a concrete goal (increase usage of features by X percent … raise employee satisfaction scores by Y percent … run a half marathon in under two hours), then things get interesting. For example, one of our platform team’s recent OKRs was to have “new WW systems serving significant traffic for XX large services with latency < YY microseconds @ ZZ% on Jupiter.”174 (Jupiter is a code name, not the location of Google’s newest data center.) There is no ambiguity with this OKR; it is very easy to measure whether or not it is accomplished. Other OKRs will call for rolling out a product across a specific number of countries, or set objectives for usage (e.g., one of the Google+ team’s recent OKRs was about the daily number of messages users would post in hangouts) or performance (e.g., median watch latency on YouTube videos). Second—and here is where thinking big comes in—a good OKR should be a stretch to achieve, and hitting 100 percent on all OKRs should be practically unattainable. If your OKRs are all green, you aren’t setting them high enough. The best OKRs are aggressive, but realistic. Under this strange arithmetic, a score of 70 percent on a well-constructed OKR is often better than 100 percent on a lesser one. Third, most everyone does them. Remember, you need everyone thinking in your venture, regardless of their position. Fourth, they are scored, but this scoring isn’t used for anything and isn’t even tracked. This lets people judge their performance honestly. Fifth, OKRs are not comprehensive; they are reserved for areas that need special focus and objectives that won’t be reached without some extra oomph. Business-as-usual stuff doesn’t need OKRs. As your venture grows, the most important OKRs shift from individuals to teams. In a small company, an individual can achieve incredible things on her own, but as the company grows it becomes harder to accomplish stretch goals without teammates. This doesn’t mean that individuals should stop doing OKRs, but rather that team OKRs become the more important means to maintain focus on the big tasks. And there’s one final benefit of an OKR-driven culture: It helps keep people from chasing competitors. Competitors are everywhere in the Internet Century, and chasing them (as we noted earlier) is the fastest path to mediocrity. If employees are focused on a well-conceived set of OKRs, then this isn’t a problem. They know where they need to go and don’t have time to worry about the competition. ==========
Anonymous
In provisionally characterizing the object which serves as the theme of our investigation (the Being of entities, or the meaning of Being in general), it seems that we have also delineated the method to be employed. The task of ontology is to explain Being itself and to make the Being of entities stand out in full relief. And the method of ontology remains questionable in the highest degree as long as we merely consult those ontologies which have come down to us historically, or other essays of that character. Since the term "ontology" is used in this investigation in a sense which is formally broad, any attempt to clarify the method of ontology by tracing its history is automatically ruled out. When, moreover, we use the term "ontology," we are not talking about some definite philosophical discipline standing in interconnection with the others. Here one does not have to measure up to the tasks of some discipline that has been presented beforehand; on the contrary, only in terms of the objective necessities of definite questions and the kind of treatment which the 'things themselves' require, can one develop such a discipline. With the question of the meaning of Being, our investigation comes up against the fundamental question of philosophy. This is one that must be treated *phenomenologically*. Thus our treatise does not subscribe to a 'standpoint' or represent any special 'direction'; for phenomenology is nothing of either sort, nor can it become so as long as it understands itself. The expression 'phenomenology' signifies primarily a *methodological conception*. This expression does not characterize the what of the objects of philosophical research as subject-matter, but rather the *how* of that research. The more genuinely a methodological concept is worked out and the more comprehensively it determines the principles on which a science is to be conducted, all the more primordially is it rooted in the way we come to terms with the things themselves, and the farther is it removed from what we call "technical devices," though there are many such devices even in the theoretical disciplines. Thus the term 'phenomenology' expresses a maxim which can be formulated as 'To the things themselves!' It is opposed to all free-floating constructions and accidental findings; it is opposed to taking over any conceptions which only seem to have been demonstrated; it is opposed to those pseudo-questions which parade themselves as 'problems', often for generations at a time. Yet this maxim, one may rejoin, is abundantly self-evident, and it expresses, moreover, the underlying principle of any scientific knowledge whatsoever. Why should anything so self-evident be taken up explicitly in giving a title to a branch of research? In point of fact, the issue here is a kind of 'self-evidence' which we should like to bring closer to us, so far as it is important to do so in casting light upon the procedure of our treatise. We shall expound only the preliminary conception [Vorbegriff] of phenomenology. This expression has two components: "phenomenon" and "logos." Both of these go back to terms from the Greek: φαινόμενον and λόγος. Taken superficially, the term "phenomenology" is formed like "theology," "biology," "sociology"―names which may be translated as "science of God," "science of life," "science of society." This would make phenomenology the *science of phenomena*. We shall set forth the preliminary conception of phenomenology by characterizing what one has in mind in the term's two components, 'phenomenon' and 'logos', and by establishing the meaning of the name in which these are *put together*. The history of the word itself, which presumably arose in the Wolffian school, is here of no significance." ―from_Being and Time_. Translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson, pp. 49-51
Martin Heidegger
The word “Building” makes a completed structure seem under construction. Once a building is finished, it should be called a “Built.” Similarly, a brick is complete in and of itself, but it is also a part of the process of building, and a part of the end result, a newly constructed built. 

Jarod Kintz (A brick and a blanket walk into a bar)
destiny is like the cruise control systems you have in your car. You set the speed and the momentum carries you through no matter if the road is under construction or freshly paved. As the driver, you decide how smooth the ride is by steering into or around (the road hazards) or even choosing to remain on the road at all. Destiny is a driving force that can be altered by freewill.
Jamie Butler (With Love & Light: True Story About an Uncommon Gift)
It is a scandal—or, rather, it should be a scandal and one wonders why it isn’t—that the US prison population, after reaching a postwar low in the early 1970s, has since grown more than 500 percent. The United States locks up a higher percentage of its own population than any other nation in the world. Even with extraordinary prison construction projects over the last decades, the cells are still overfull. This massive expansion cannot be explained by a growing criminality of the US population or the enhanced efficiency of law enforcement. In fact, US crime rates in this period have remained relatively constant. The scandal of US prison expansion is even more dramatic when one observes how it operates along race divisions. Latinos are incarcerated at a rate almost double that of whites, and African Americans at a rate almost six times as high. The racial imbalance of those on death row is even more extreme. It is not hard to find shocking statistics. One in eight black US males in their twenties, for instance, is in jail or prison on any given day. The number of African Americans under correctional control today, Michelle Alexander points out, is greater than the number of slaves in the mid-nineteenth century. Some authors refer to the racially skewed prison expansion as a return to elements of the plantation system or the institution of new Jim Crow laws. Keep in mind that this differential racial pattern of imprisonment is not isolated to the United States. In Europe and elsewhere, if one considers immigrant detention centers and refugee camps as arms of the carceral apparatus, those with darker skin are disproportionately in captivity.
Michael Hardt (Declaration)
The One you’re praying to is watching to see if you’ll pray “through.
Cherie Hill (Faith Under Construction)
It used to be a universally accepted axiom that the Palestinian Israeli conflict is an intractable and immovable impasse of epic proportion. Its Sisyphean nature cemented its reputation as an insoluble focal point of hatred and endless violence. Such universal truths, of course, derive their power and resonance from within the constraints of geography, ideology, and the construction of the imagination that is always trapped under the feeble nature of temporal movement. One can certainly say that Jewish history is filled with the grotesquery of blind hatred; that Jews were singularly reduced to an alienated other. Their disjointed and fractured identity was preserved only by the portability of a religion that would help them survive the darkest hours.
R.F. Georgy (Absolution: A Palestinian Israeli Love Story)
The road to success is always under construction.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Do you ever smile, Carlos?” She saw his frown deepen. “What do you mean?” he replied and moved the folder from one hand to the other. “You seem to have a permanent frown etched in your face,” she said and the corners of her lips turned up. Those lines on his forehead did make him look rather dangerous and mysterious, but maybe that was not something she needed in a contractor. She’d rather work with a nice, ordinary sort of fellow who looked safe. Carlos seemed the antithesis of that and more.
Mila Rossi Under Construction