Basics Best Quotes

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A lot of people want a shortcut. I find the best shortcut is the long way, which is basically two words: work hard.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
Ralph G. Nichols
The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.
Thomas Sowell
Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Music at its best...is the grand archeology into and transfiguration of our guttural cry, the great human effort to grasp in time our deepest passions and yearnings as prisoners of time. Profound music leads us--beyond language--to the dark roots of our scream and the celestial heights of our silence.
Cornel West (Cornel West Reader (Basic Civitas Book))
I'm basically one of the best people I know.
Jeff Kinney (The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #3))
Hey, Mikey? You get her hurt and I'll end you.' 'You let anything happen to Eve and I'll do the same,' Michael said. He'd just finished kissing Eve, too. 'While you're at it, don't get yourself killed, either, bro.' 'Ditto. And don't kiss me.' Claire cocked her head at him, exasperated. 'Seriously, Shane? Ditto? That's the best you can do?' Shane and Michael exchanged identical looks and shrugs. Guys. 'Let me show you idiots how it's done,' Eve said, and hugged Claire fiercely. She kissed her on the cheek. 'I love you, CB. Please take care of yourself, okay?' 'I love you, too,' Claire said, and suddenly her throat felt tight and her eyes burned with tears. 'I really do.' Shane and Michael watched them with identical expressions of blank bemusement, and finally Shane said, 'So basically, it's what I said. Ditto.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
That is life, isn’t it? Fate. Luck. Chance. A long series of what-if’s that lead from one moment to the next, time never pausing for you to catch your breath, to make sense of the cards that have been handed to you. And all you can do is play your cards and hope for the best, because in the end, it all comes back to those three basics. Fate. Luck. Chance.
Kelseyleigh Reber (If I Fall)
Whether one is rich or poor, educated or illiterate, religious or nonbelieving, man or woman, black, white, or brown, we are all the same. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, we are all equal. We all share basic needs for food, shelter, safety, and love. We all aspire to happiness and we all shun suffering. Each of us has hopes, worries, fears, and dreams. Each of us wants the best for our family and loved ones. We all experience pain when we suffer loss and joy when we achieve what we seek. On this fundamental level, religion, ethnicity, culture, and language make no difference.
Dalai Lama XIV (Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World's Religions Can Come Together)
Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that. Ideally, though, we’re lucky, and we find our soul mate and enjoy that life-changing mother lode of happiness. But a soul mate is a very hard thing to find.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance)
I would advise you against defensiveness on priciple. it precludes the best eventualities along with the worst. At the most basic level it expresses a lack of faith.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead (Gilead, #1))
Seriously, Shane? Ditto? That's the best you can do?" Shane and Michael exchanged identical looks and shrugs. Guys. "Let me show you idiots how it's done," Eve said, and hugged Claire fiercely. She kissed her on the cheek. "I love you, CB. Please take care of yourself, okay?" "I love you, too," Claire said, and suddenly her throat felt tight and her eyes burned with tears. "I really do." Shane and Michael watched them with identical expressions of blank bemusement, and finally Shane said, "So basically, it's what I said. Ditto.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
Basically, do your best to mock and deride their connection to and appreciation of you because, deep down, you dislike yourself enough that you cannot imagine anyone worthwhile actually wanting to be with you. I mean, if they like you, there must be something wrong with them, right?
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Every woman is different. Basically they seem to be a combination of the best and the worst—both magic and terrible. I’m glad that they exist, however.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Oh, I almost forgot. In case that anyone besides big-headed Near or the deluded murderer is reading these notes, then I shall at least perform the basic courtesy of introducing myself, here at the end of the prologue, I am your narrator, your navigator, your storyteller. For anyone else but those two, my identity may be of no interest to you, but I am the world's runner-up, the best dresser that died like a dog, Mihael Keehl. I once called myself Mello and was addressed by that name, but that was a long time ago. Good memories and nightmares.
NisiOisiN (Death Note: Another Note - The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
We should get a move on you know... ask someone. He's right. We don't want to end up with a pair of trolls." Hermione let out a sputter of indignation. "A pair of... what excuse me?" "Well - you know," said Ron shrugging. "I'd rather go alone than with - with Eloise Midgen, say." "Her acne's loads better lately - and she's really nice." "Her nose's off-centre," said Ron. "Oh I see," Hermione said bristling. "So basically you're going to take the best-looking girl who'll have you even if she's completely horrible?" "Er - yeah that sounds about right." said Ron. "I'm going to bed," Hermione snapped and she swept off toward the girls' staircase without another word.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
And the thing about grace, real grace, is that it stings. It stings because if it's real it means we don't "deserve" it. ... And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
The market doesn’t care what’s best for us
Andrew Yang (The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future)
I really don’t have a plan when I sit down to write—other than having a basic outline. The best way I can describe it is that I just start typing and let the story go where it needs to
Vivian Barz (Forgotten Bones (Dead Remaining #1))
You might be an intelligent person, but once you let someone else filter the world for you, you have no way to critically analyze what you’re hearing. At best, absolute best case scenario, if they blatantly contradict themselves, you can spot that. But if they take basic care to maintain an internal logical consistency, which they all do, you’ve got nothing. You’ve delegated the ability to make up your mind.
Max Barry (Lexicon)
The pillars of traditional healing were 1) connection to clan and the natural world; 2) regulating rhythm through dance, drumming, and song; 3) a set of beliefs, values, and stories that brought meaning to even senseless, random trauma; and 4) on occasion, natural hallucinogens or other plant-derived substances used to facilitate healing with the guidance of a healer or elder. It is not surprising that today’s best practices in trauma treatment are basically versions of these four things
Oprah Winfrey (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
And even if you don’t have material possessions, pretending like you have your shit together is the best way to have your shit together until you actually do.
The Betches (Nice Is Just a Place in France: How to Win at Basically Everything)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
Basically all the religions,sciences and powers of the world boil down to a simple truth. The Best Story Teller will win in the end!
Stanley Victor Paskavich
Because it was the right thing?" "Oh shit, I hope not." "Afraid of becoming noble?" he asked, his eyes twinkling. "That too. But basically, that's the worst reason I can think of for killing. 'That its the right thing to do'. You kill out of outrage or fury or to keep from dying or something like it, that's fine. Hell, kill them rather than bother with them - or be bothered by them. But if you're killing them because 'its the right thing to do', its only the right thing because you've done so many wrong things up until then to make that spot. It's not the right thing to do. It's the best of the last of your choices." "That's the longest I've ever heard you talk at one time." "That's because you never ask me about my hair.
John Steakley (Armor)
I never think anyone in love is foolish. We do the best we can.
Whitney Otto (Eight Girls Taking Pictures (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series))
So basically be careful never to be too awesome or you will be mysteriously executed just like Martin Luther King and Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln and JFK and Malcolm X and Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and... wow why are we so mean to our best people?
Cory O'Brien (George Washington Is Cash Money: A No-Bullshit Guide to the United Myths of America)
My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits. The best way to show this is to demonstrate the limits and even the irrationality of some rules which she, or he, is likely to regard as basic. In the case that induction (including induction by falsification) this means demonstrating how well the counterinductive procedure can be supported by argument.
Paul Karl Feyerabend (Against Method)
Prophetic pragmatism attempts to keep alive the sense of alternative ways of life and of struggle based on the best of the past. In this sense, the praxis of prophetic pragmatism is tragic action with revolutionary intent, usually reformist consequences and always visionary outlook.
Cornel West (Cornel West Reader (Basic Civitas Book))
I DIDN’T STOP giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it. For three years, I gave the best hand job in the tristate area. The key is to not overthink it. If you start worrying about technique, if you begin analyzing rhythm and pressure, you lose the essential nature of the act. You have to mentally prepare beforehand, and then you have to stop thinking and trust your body to take over. Basically, it’s like a golf swing.
Gillian Flynn (The Grownup)
Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Basic Writings of Nietzsche)
Words are not just wind. Words have something to say. But if what they have to say is not fixed, then do they really say something? Or do they say nothing? People suppose that words are different from the peeps of baby birds, but is there any difference, or isn't there? What does the Way rely upon, that we have true and false? What do words rely upon, that we have right and wrong? How can the Way go away and not exist? How can words exist and not be acceptable? When the Way relies on little accomplishments and words reply on vain show, then we have rights and wrongs of the Confucians and the Mo-ists. What one calls right the other calls wrong; what one calls wrong the other calls right. But if we want to right their wrongs and wrong their rights, then the best to use is clarity.
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings)
I don’t want to overestimate myself. Basically I’ve been lucky. I’m simply a polite, lucky man. That might be the best way to think of it.
Haruki Murakami (Men Without Women)
For half of the world's population, roughly three billion people around the world living on less than two dollars a day, an election is at best a means, not an end; a starting point, not deliverance. These people are looking less for an "electocracy" than for the basic elements that for most of us define a decent life--food, shelter, electricity, basic health care, education for their children, and the ability to make their way through life without having to endure corruption, violence, or arbitrary power.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
For Schwartz this formed the paradox at the heart of baseball, or football, or any other sport. You loved it because you considered it an art: an apparently pointless affair, undertaken by people with special aptitude, which sidestepped attempts to paraphrase its value yet somehow seemed to communicate something true or even crucial about The Human Condition. The Human Condition being, basically, that we're alive and have access to beauty, can even erratically create it, but will someday be dead and will not. Baseball was an art, but to excel at it you had to become a machine. It didn't matter how beautifully you performed SOMETIMES, what you did on your best day, how many spectacular plays you made. You weren't a painter or a writer--you didn't work in private and discard your mistakes, and it wasn't just your masterpieces that counted.
Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding)
Blue must be worn for protection. Moonstones were useful in connecting with the living, topaz to contact the dead. Copper, sacred to Venus, will call a man to you, and black tourmaline will eliminate jealousy. When it came to love, you must always be careful. If you dropped something belonging to the man you loved into a candle flame, then added pine needles and marigold flowers, he would arrive on your doorstep by morning, so you would do well to be certain you wanted him there. The most basic and reliable love potion was made from anise, rosemary, honey, and cloves boiled for nine hours on the back burner of the old stove. It had always cost $9.99 and was therefore called Love Potion Number Nine, which worked best on the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month.
Alice Hoffman (The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic, #0.2))
Guess where that left me? That's right: between Ryder, my boyfriend, who hated Lucian with the proverbial fiery passion and J, my best friend, who wanted Lucian around, so, basically in hell.
Ramona Wray (Hex: A Witch and Angel Tale)
We... we are basically good." "Haven't you been paying attention, Littlepip? Deep inside, we're all raiders." "No! That's not true." "No? Even the best of us fall to evil at the drop of a hat.
kkat (Fallout: Equestria)
This was not Newt's fault; in his younger days he would go every couple of months to the barber's shop on the corner, clutching a photograph he's carefully torn from a magazine which showed someone with an impressively cool haircut grinning at the camera and he would show the picture to the barber, and ask to be made to look like that, please. And the barber, who knew his job, would take one look and then give Newt the basic, all-purpose, short-back-and-sides. After a year of this, Newt realized that he obviously didn't have the face for haircuts. The best Newton Pulsifer could hope for after a haircut was shorter hair.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Democracies work best—and survive longer—where constitutions are reinforced by unwritten democratic norms. Two basic norms have preserved America’s checks and balances in ways we have come to take for granted: mutual toleration, or the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals, and forbearance, or the idea that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
Feminism is a political practice of fighting male supremacy in behalf of women as a class, including all the women you don't like, including all the women you don't want to be around, including all the women who used to be your best friends whom you don't want anything to do with anymore. It doesn't matter who the individual women are. They all have the same vulnerability to rape, to battery, as children to incest. Poorer women have more vulnerability to prostitution, which is basically a form of sexual exploitation that is intolerable in an egalitarian society, which is the society we are fighting for.
Andrea Dworkin
Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild." “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
I distrust plot for two reasons: first, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible. It’s best that I be as clear about this as I can—I want you to understand that my basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves. The job of the writer is to give them a place to grow (and to transcribe them, of course). If you can see things this way (or at least try to), we can work together comfortably. If, on the other hand, you decide I’m crazy, that’s fine. You won’t be the first.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
It was in 1982 that Milton Friedman wrote the highly influential passage that best summarizes the shock doctrine. " Only a crisis-actual or percieved-produces real change. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
But it is not necessarily the case that liberal democracy is the political system best suited to resolving social conflicts per se. A democracy's ability to peacefully resolve conflicts is greatest when those conflicts arise between socalled "interest groups" that share a larger, pre-existing consensus on the basic values or rules of the game, and when the conflicts are primarily economic in nature. But there are other kinds of non-economic conflicts that are far more intractable, having to do with issues like inherited social status and nationality, that democracy is not particularly good at resolving.
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man)
25. Whenever two human beings spend time together, sooner or later they will probably irritate one another. This is true of best friends, married couples, parents and children, or teachers and students. The question is: How do they respond when friction occurs? There are four basic ways they can react: • They can internalize the anger and send it downward into a memory bank that never forgets. This creates great pressure within and can even result in disease and other problems. • They can pout and be rude without discussing the issues. This further irritates the other person and leaves him or her to draw his or her own conclusions about what the problem may be. • They can blow up and try to hurt the other person. This causes the death of friendships, marriages, homes, and businesses. • Or they can talk to one another about their feelings, being very careful not to attack the dignity and worth of the other person. This approach often leads to permanent and healthy relationships.
James C. Dobson (Life on the Edge: The Next Generation's Guide to a Meaningful Future)
Hinduism is great for encouraging social peace, because everyone basically believes their suffering in this life is the result of misdeeds in a past one... So Hinduism is the best antidote to Marxism.
Shashi Tharoor (Riot)
Phones with numerical keypads worked best for dialing phone calls. Incidentally, phone calls tend to be the primary function of a phone. 'Smartphones' completely ignore these basic facts, resulting in some of the least intelligent devices I've seen yet. Oh the irony.
Ashly Lorenzana
Some current critics of the U.S. Supreme Court like to point out that it does not allow the Ten Commandments, though written upon the walls of its own chambers, to be displayed in public schools. But where do we find churches, right or left, that put them on their walls? The Ten Commandments really aren’t very popular anywhere. This is so in spite of the fact that even a fairly general practice of them would lead to a solution of almost every problem of meaning and order now facing Western societies. They are God’s best information on how to lead a basically decent human existence.
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
Don't wear those trousers with that shirt. What are you thinking?" "I'm going to a bust, not a party." "That's no reason not to look your best. Let's see, what's the well-dressed cop wearing these days to take down a major terrorist organization? You can't go wrong with basic black." "Is this a joke?" she asked as he selected another shirt. "Good fashion sense is never a joke." He handed her the shirt, slid a finger down the dent in her chin. "But it's good to see you smile again, Lieutenant. Oh, and wear the black boots, not the brown." "I don't have any black boots." He reached in, pulled out a pair of sturdy black leather. "You do now.
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
It needs more than ever to be stressed that the best and truest educators are parents under God. The greatest school is the family. In learning, no act of teaching in any school or university compares to the routine task of mothers in teaching a babe who speaks no language the mother tongue in so short a time. No other task in education is equal to this. The moral training of the children, the discipline of good habits, is an inheritance from the parents to the children which surpasses all other. The family is the first and basic school of man.
Rousas John Rushdoony (The Institutes of Biblical Law, Volume 1 of 3)
Pimps make the best librarians. Psycho killers, the worst. Ditto con men. Gangsters, gunrunners, bank robbers- adept at crowd control, at collaborating with a small staff, at planning with deliberation and executing with contained fury- all possess the librarian's basic skill set.
Avi Steinberg (Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian)
We have been made to believe that a baby is basically a magical agent of change and that having one will, in one fell swoop, make your husband love you more, make your life more meaningful and, above all else, is the best thing you will ever do as a woman. I didn’t care about any of it
Radhika Vaz (Unladylike: A Memoir)
Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle withing which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious for immediate wealth... But even democracy ruins itself by excess-of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses... The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so love flattery, it is so "hungry for honey," that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the "protector of the people" rises to supreme power.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
You do not need to do many different exercises to get strong - you need to get strong on a very few important exercises, movements that train the whole body as a system, not as a collection of separate body parts. The problem with the programs advocated by all the national exercise organizations is that they fail to recognize this basic principle: the body best adapts as a whole organism to stress applied to the whole organism. The more stress that can be applied to as much of the body at one time as possible, the more effective and productive the adaptation will be.
Mark Rippetoe (Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training)
So how can we determine what’s real and what’s not? We can’t. We can just pick and choose what we want to believe and rationalize it as best we can. Reality, after all, is basically a movie projected inside our heads. It’s based on the colors our senses permit us to see, the sounds they permit us to hear and whatever else our brains let slip through the gates. But outside our limited senses, surrounding us, there is, unquestionably, a much greater reality, a universe we live in but cannot see. Well, most of us, anyway. Out there, in the dark, All Things Are Possible.
Richard B. Spence (The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy)
Naturally, the educated man does not believe in propa­ganda; he shrugs and is convinced that propaganda has no effect on him. This is, in fact, one of his great weaknesses, and propa­gandists are well aware that in order to reach someone, one must first convince him that propaganda is ineffectual and not very clever. Because he is convinced of his own superiority, the intellectual is much more vulnerable than anybody else to this maneu­ver, even though basically a high intelligence, a broad culture, a constant exercise of the critical faculties, and full and objective information are still the best weapons against propaganda.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
What does Christian know about love? Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind: Yes, Ana. Hell, what do you need? A neon sign flashing on his forehead? She thinks Christian loves me, but then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that. She thinks I deserve the best of everything. I frown. It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it. It’s very simple; I want his love. I need Christian Grey to love me. This is why I am so reticent about our relationship – because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2))
The absolute basic belief that every child of God must come to is that if he or she lives in obedience to God's Word and in joyous harmony with our Father, nothing can impinge on his life except by His permission. To live in close communion with Christ is to experience daily the calm assurance of God's complete care and management of every detail in our walk with Him. No matter if trials or turmoil come. No matter if there is trouble. No matter if there is pain or poverty. Each is for a supreme purpose understood best by my Father, but allowed to impact me for my ultimate benefit, and for His honor.
W. Phillip Keller (Strength of Soul: The Sacred Use of Time)
...this is the first time in the history of humankind where we are trying to experience sexuality in the long term, not because we want 14 children, for which we need to have even more because many of them won't make it, and not because it is exclusively a woman's marital duty. This is the first time that we want sex over time about pleasure and connection that is rooted in desire. So what sustains desire, and why is it so difficult? And at the heart of sustaining desire in a committed relationship, I think is the reconciliation of two fundamental human needs... So reconciling our need for security and our need for adventure into one relationship, or what we today like to call a passionate marriage, used to be a contradiction in terms. Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it's a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.
Esther Perel
But even the best lives need a vacation and, let’s face it, renting a house with your family at a ski resort is not a vacation. It’s basically moving your life from one location to another. Unless someone else is making the beds, doing the laundry, and cooking, it’s just the same old life with the added inconvenience of not knowing where anything is in the kitchen.
Laurie Gelman (Class Mom)
Look, I wanted to mention something to you," I said. Play it off as casual. Play it off as no big deal. Be cool. Her lips curled up in an amused smile. "Okay?" "You know what a horrible prankster Will can be." She nodded and I continued: "I may have just done something to get back at him and I swear," I said, resting a hand on her shoulder, "I swear, Hanna, you'll think it's hilarious... eventually." "Eventually?" "Absolutely. Eventually." She considered me through narrowed eyes. "This is just a prank, right? No shaved heads or scars?" I pulled back to study her. "That was a very specific question. Scars?" I shook my head, clearing it. "And no, no, no, no. Just a silly little prank." I gave Hanna my best smile, the one Chloe said made panties drop. But apparently it only made Hanna more suspicious. Her eyes narrowed further. "What would I need to do?" "Nothing," I said. "You'll probably see some weird stuff but just... go along with it." "So, basically be oblivious." "Exactly," I said. "And this will be funny?" "Hilarious." She thought about it for a full ten seconds before reaching out to shake my hand. "You're on.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Beginning (Beautiful Bastard, #3.5))
It is customary for adults to forget how hard and dull school is. The learning by memory all the basic things one must know is the most incredible and unending effort. Learning to read is probably the most difficult and revolutionary thing that happens to the human brain and if you don't believe that watch an illiterate adult try to do it. School is not so easy and it is not for the most part very fun, but then, if you are very lucky, you may find a teacher. Three real teachers in a lifetime is the very best of luck. I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit. My three had these things in common. They all loved what they were doing. They did not tell - they catalyzed a burning desire to know. Under their influence, the horizons sprung wide and fear went away and the unknown became knowable. But most important of all, the truth, that dangerous stuff, became beautiful and precious.
John Steinbeck
Many amateurs believe that plants and animals reproduce on a one-way route toward perfection. Translating the idea in social terms, they believe that companies and organizations are, thanks to competition (and the discipline of the quarterly report), irreversibly heading toward betterment. The strongest will survive; the weakest will become extinct. As to investors and traders, they believe that by letting them compete, the best will prosper and the worst will go learn a new craft (like pumping gas or, sometimes, dentistry). Things are not as simple as that. We will ignore the basic misuse of Darwinian ideas in the fact that organizations do not reproduce like living members of nature—Darwinian ideas are about reproductive fitness, not about survival.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto))
The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars. One of the basic and difficult lessons every artist must learn is that even the failed pieces are essential. X-rays of famous paintings reveal that even master artists sometimes made basic mid-course corrections (or deleted really dumb mistakes) by overpainting the still-wet canvas. The point is that you learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about — and lots of it!
David Bayles (Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
If we get rid of all wishful thinking and dubious metaphysical speculations, we can hardly doubt that – at a time not too distant – each one of us will simply cease to be. It won’t be like going into darkness forever, for there will be neither darkness, nor time, nor sense of futility, nor anyone to feel anything about it. Try as best you can to imagine this, and keep at it. The universe will, supposedly, be going on as usual, but for each individual it will be as if it had never happened at all; and even that is saying too much, because there won’t be anyone for whom it never happened. Make this prospect as real as possible: the one total certainty. You will be as if you had never existed, which was, however, the way you were before you did exist – and not only you but everything else. Nevertheless, with such an improbable past, here we are. We begin from nothing and end in nothing. You can say that again. Think it over and over, trying to conceive the fact of coming to never having existed. After a while you will begin to feel rather weird, as if this very apparent something that you are is at the same time nothing at all. Indeed, you seem to be rather firmly and certainly grounded in nothingness, much as your sight seems to emerge from that total blankness behind your eyes. The weird feeling goes with the fact that you are being introduced to a new common sense, a new logic, in which you are beginning to realize the identity of ku and shiki, void and form. All of a sudden it will strike you that this nothingness is the most potent, magical, basic, and reliable thing you ever thought of, and that the reason you can’t form the slight idea of it is that it’s yourself. But not the self you thought you were.
Alan W. Watts
If our best-educated citizens have no idea how to answer these basic questions, we will struggle to build a democracy that can solve the problems we face, whether they are what to do about climate change, the world’s poor, the problems of Australia’s Indigenous people, or the prospect of a future in which we can genetically modify our offspring. An education in the humanities is as valuable today as it was in Plato’s time.
Peter Singer (Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter)
Pimps make the best librarians. Psycho killers, the worst. Ditto conmen. Gangsters, gun runners, bank robbers – adept at crowd control, at collaborating with a small staff, at planning with deliberation and executing with contained fury – all possess the librarian’s basic skill set. Scalpers and loan sharks certainly have a role to play. But even they lack that something, the je ne sais quoi, the elusive it. What would a pimp call it? Yes: the love.
Avi Steinberg (Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian)
Four brothers,” Daphne said, shoving the wicket into the ground, “provide quite a marvelous education.” “The things you must have learned,” Kate said, quite impressed. “Can you give a man a black eye? Knock him to the ground?” Daphne grinned wickedly. “Ask my husband.” “Ask me what?” the duke called out from where he and Colin were placing a wicket on a tree root on the opposite side of the tree. “Nothing,” the duchess called out innocently. “I’ve also learned,” she whispered to Kate, “when it’s best just to keep one’s mouth shut. Men are much easier to manage once you understand a few basic facts about their nature.” “Which are?” Kate prompted. Daphne leaned forward and whispered behind her cupped hand, “They’re not as smart as we are, they’re not as intuitive as we are, and they certainly don’t need to know about fifty percent of what we do.” She looked around. “He didn’t hear that, did he?” Simon stepped out from behind the tree. “Every word.” Kate choked on a laugh as Daphne jumped a foot. “But it’s true,” Daphne said archly. Simon crossed his arms. “I’ll let you think so.” He turned to Kate. “I’ve learned a thing or two about women over the years.” “Really?” Kate asked, fascinated. He nodded and leaned in, as if imparting a grave state secret. “They’re much easier to manage if one allows them to believe that they are smarter and more intuitive than men. And,” he added with a superior glance at his wife, “our lives are much more peaceful if we pretend that we’re only aware of about fifty percent of what they do.” Colin approached, swinging a mallet in a low arc. “Are they having a spat?” he asked Kate. “A discussion,” Daphne corrected. “God save me from such discussions,” Colin muttered.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
At its most basic, the logic of 'meritocracy' is ironclad: putting the most qualified, best equipped people into the positions of greates responsibility and import...But my central contention is that our near-religious fidelity to the meritocratic model comes with huge costs. We overestimate the advantages of meritocracy and underappreciate its costs, because we don't think hard enough about the consequences of the inequality it produces. As Americans, we take it as a given that unequal levels of achievement are natural, even desirable. Sociologist Jermole Karabel, whose work looks at elite formation, once said he 'didnt think any advanced democracy is as obsessed with equality of opportunity or as relatively unconcerned with equality of condition' as the United States. This is our central problem. And my proposed solution for correcting the excesses of our extreme version of meritocracy is quite simple: make America more equal
Christopher L. Hayes (Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy)
Your motivations--get that promotion, throw the best parties, run for public office--aren't impersonal abstractions but powerfully reflect who you are and what you focus on. An individual's goals figure prominently in the theories of personality first developed by the Harvard psychologist Henry Murray. According to his successor David McClelland, what Friedrich Nietzsche called "the will to power," which he considered the major driving force behind human behavior, is one of the three basic motivations, along with achievement and affiliation, that differentiate us as individuals. A simple experiment show show these broad emotional motivations can affect what you pay attention to or ignore on very basic levels. When they examine images of faces that express different kinds of emotion, power-oriented subjects are drawn to nonconfrontational visages, such as "surprise faces," rather than to those that suggest dominance, as "anger faces" do. In contrast, people spurred by affiliation gravitate toward friendly or joyful faces.
Winifred Gallagher (Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life)
Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.6
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
Blame your body. The whole biological purpose of existence is to mate, so from the time we hit puberty, our hormones are demanding us to couple up. Maybe it’s basic instinct to feel inadequate if you’re single." "That’s what sucks. There’s so many more interesting things than guys, but guys are what we spend most of our time talking about." "I think that’s just the way it is, though. No matter what we do, it’s always more special if there’s a boyfriend to share it with." "Or a best friend.
Daria Snadowsky (Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy, #2))
A Roman came to Rabbi Gimzo the Water Carrier, and asked, "What is this study of the law that you Jews engage in?" and Gimzo replied, "I shall explain. There were two men on a roof, and they climbed down the chimney. One's face became sooty. The other's not. Which one washed his face?" The Roman said, "That's easy, the sooty one, of course." Gimzo said, "No. The man without the soot looked at his friend, saw that the man's face was dirty, assumed that his was too, and washed it." Cried the Roman, "Ah ha! So that's the study of law. Sound reasoning." But Gimzo said, "You foolish man, you don't understand. Let me explain again. Two men on a roof. They climb down a chimney. One's face is sooty, the other's not. Which one washes?" The Roman said, "As you just explained, the man without the soot." Gimzo cried,"No, you foolish one! There was a mirror on the wall and the man with the dirty face saw how sooty it was and washed it." The Roman said, "Ah ha! So that's the study of law! Conforming to the logical." But Rabbi Gimzo said, "No, you foolish one. Two men climbed down the chimney. One's face became sooty? The other's not? That's impossible. You're wasting my time with such a proposition." And the Roman said, "So that's the law! Common sense." And Gimzo said, "You foolish man! Of course it was possible. When the first man climbed down the chimney he brushed the soot away. So the man who followed found none to mar him." And the Roman cried, "That's brilliant, Rabbi Gimzo. Law is getting at the basic facts." And for the last time Gimzo said, "No, you foolish man. Who could brush all the soot from a chimney? Who could ever understand all the facts?" Humbly the Roman asked, "Then what is the law?" And Gimzo said quietly, "It's doing the best we can to ascertain God's intention, for there were indeed two men on a roof, and they did climb down the same chimney. The first man emerged completely clean while it was the second who was covered with soot, and neither man washed his face, because you forgot to ask me whether there was any water in the basin. There was none.
James A. Michener (The Source)
A reporter once asked me why I think progressive men who earn significantly less than their breadwinning wives still won't quit their jobs to take care of their children. Why do they still hold on to their careers, even if taking care of the children would make more financial sense because the cost of childcare is higher than their net salary? I think I know the answer to that now, and it sucks. Women are not expected to live a life for themselves. When women dedicate their lives to children, it is deemed a worthy and respectable choice. When women dedicate themselves to a passion outside of the family that doesn't involve worshiping their husbands or taking care of their kids, they're seen as selfish, cold, or unfit mothers. But when a man spends hours grueling over a craft, profession, or project, he's admired and seen as a genius. And when a man finds a woman who worships him, who dedicates her life to serving him, he's lucky. But when a man dedicates himself to taking care of his children it's seen as a last resort. That it must be because he ran out of other options. That it's plan Z. That it's an indicator of his inability to provide for his family. Basically, that he's a fucking loser. I think it's one of the most important falsehoods we need to shatter when talking about women's rights.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
So if the ending of apartheid is now universally agreed to be a good thing, and Cuba played such a central role, how is it still possible to have such differing views of Castro and Mandela and of Cuba and South Africa? The short answer is that the mainstream media has been so successful in distorting basic historical facts that many are so blinded by Cold War hangovers that they are entirely incapable of critical thought, but the other answer is rather more Machiavellian. The reality is that apartheid did not die, and thus the reason so many white conservatives now love Mandela is essentially that he let their cronies "get away with it". The hypocritical worship of black freedom fighters once they are no longer seen to pose a danger or are safely dead - Martin Luther King might be the best example of this - is one of the key ways of maintaining a liberal veneer over what in reality is brutal intent.
Akala (Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire)
But even democracy ruins itself by excess—of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses (588). “As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them” (
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
Church is messed up. I know that. People, including me, have been hurt by it. But as my United Church of  Christ pastor friend Heather says, “Church isn’t perfect. It’s practice.” Among God’s people, those who have been knocked on their asses by the grace of  God, we practice giving and receiving the undeserved. And receiving grace is basically the best shitty feeling in the world. I don’t want to need it. Preferably I could just do it all and be it all and never mess up. That may be what I would prefer, but it is never what I need. I need to be broken apart and put back into a different shape by that merging of things human and divine, which is really screwing up and receiving grace and love and forgiveness rather than receiving what I really deserve. I need the very thing that I will do everything I can to avoid needing. The sting of grace is not unlike the sting of  being loved well, because when we are loved well, it is inextricably linked to all the times we have not been loved well, all the times we ourselves have not loved others well, and all the things we’ve done or not done that feel like evidence against our worthiness.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
I will tell you sincerely and without exaggeration that the best part of lunch today at the NASA Ames cafeteria is the urine. It is clear and sweet, though not in the way mountain streams are said to be clear and sweet. More in the way of Karo syrup. The urine has been desalinated by osmotic pressure. Basically it swapped molecules with a concentrated sugar solution. Urine is a salty substance (though less so than the NASA Ames chili), and if you were to drink it in an effort to rehydrate yourself, it would have the opposite effect. But once the salt is taken care of and the distasteful organic molecules have been trapped in an activated charcoal filter, urine is a restorative and surprisingly drinkable lunchtime beverage. I was about to use the word unobjectionable, but that's not accurate. People object. They object a lot.
Mary Roach (Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void)
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are a bunch of practical jokers who meet somewhere and decide to have a contest. They invent a character, agree on a few basic facts, and then each one's free to take it and run with it. At the end, they'll see who's done the best job. The four stories are picked up by some friends who act as critics: Matthew is fairly realistic, but insists on that Messiah business too much: Mark isn't bad, just a little sloppy: Luke is elegant, no denying that; and John takes the philosophy a little too far. Actually, though, the books have an appeal, they circulate, and when the four realize what's happening, it's too late, Paul has already met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Pliny begins his investigation ordered by the worried emperor, and a legion of apocryphal writers pretends also to know plenty....It all goes to Peter's head; he takes himself seriously. John threatens to tell the truth, Peter and Paul have him chained up on the island of Patmos.
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
Women are not expected to live a life for themselves. When women dedicate their lives to children, it is deemed a worthy and respectable choice. When women dedicate themselves to a passion outside of the family that doesn’t involve worshipping their husbands or taking care of their kids, they’re seen as selfish, cold, or unfit mothers. But when a man spends hours grueling over a craft, profession, or project, he’s admired and seen as a genius. And when a man finds a woman who worships him, who dedicates her life to serving him, he’s lucky. But when a man dedicates himself to taking care of his children it’s seen as a last resort. That it must be because he ran out of other options. That it’s plan Z. That it’s an indicator of his inability to provide for his family. Basically, that he’s a fucking loser.
Ali Wong (Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life)
I know you're scared. And maybe you really meant all those things you said about our friendship, just wanting to be friends, and if you did, I'll accept that. But I feel maybe it's possible you said those things, at least in some way, because you wanted me to make the other case. As if I would come out and say, please, Eileen, don't do this to me, I've been in love with you all along, I don't know how to live without you. Or whatever, whatever you wanted me to say. Not that it's not true, of course it's true. And maybe even when you're getting angry at Alice, saying that she doesn't care about you — I don't know, maybe it's the same idea. At some level you want her to say, oh but Eileen, I love you very much, you're my best friend. But the problem is that you seem to be drawn to people who aren't very good at giving you those responses. I mean, anyone could have told you — certainly Felix and myself both knew — that Alice was never going to react that way just now. And maybe it's the same with me, in a way. If you tell me you don't want to be with me, I might feel very hurt and humiliated, but I'm not going to start begging and pleading with you. At some level, I actually think you know I won't. But then you get left with the impression that I don't love you, or I don't want you, because you're not getting this response from me — this response that you basically know you won't get, because I'm not the type of person who can give it to you.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
John—my brother—was a homosexual,” Elizabeth said. “Oh,” he said, as if now he understood. “I’m sorry.” She propped herself up on one elbow and peered at him in the darkness. “What is that supposed to mean?” she shot back. “Well, but—how did you know? Surely he didn’t tell you he was.” “I’m a scientist, Calvin, remember? I knew. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality; it’s completely normal—a basic fact of human biology. I have no idea why people don’t know this. Does no one read Margaret Mead anymore? The point is, I knew John was a homosexual, and he knew I knew. We talked about it. He didn’t choose it; it was simply part of who he was. The best part was,” she said wistfully, “he knew about me, too.” “Knew you were—” “A scientist!” Elizabeth snapped.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
Historically one of the main defects of constitutional government has been the failure to insure the fair value of political liberty. The necessary corrective steps have not been taken, indeed, they never seem to have been seriously entertained. Disparities in the distribution of property and wealth that far exceed what is compatible with political equality have generally been tolerated by the legal system. Public resources have not been devoted to maintaining the institutions required for the fair value of political liberty. Essentially the fault lies in the fact that the democratic political process is at best regulated rivalry; it does not even in theory have the desirable properties that price theory ascribes to truly competitive markets. Moreover, the effects of injustices in the political system are much more grave and long lasting than market imperfections. Political power rapidly accumulates and becomes unequal; and making use of the coercive apparatus of the state and its law, those who gain the advantage can often assure themselves of a favored position. Thus inequities in the economic and social system may soon undermine whatever political equality might have existed under fortunate historical conditions. Universal suffrage is an insufficient counterpoise; for when parties and elections are financed not by public funds but by private contributions, the political forum is so constrained by the wishes of the dominant interests that the basic measures needed to establish just constitutional rule are seldom properly presented. These questions, however, belong to political sociology. 116 I mention them here as a way of emphasizing that our discussion is part of the theory of justice and must not be mistaken for a theory of the political system. We are in the way of describing an ideal arrangement, comparison with which defines a standard for judging actual institutions, and indicates what must be maintained to justify departures from it.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
I had decided ages ago that I would not continue my education after school, what we learned was just rubbish, basically what life was about was living, and living in the way you want, in other words, enjoying your life. Some enjoyed their lives best by working, others by not working. OK, I was aware that I would need money, which meant that I would also have to work, but not all the time and not on something that would deplete all my energy and eat into my soul, leaving me like one of the middleaged halfwits who guarded their hedges and peered across at their neighbours to see if their status symbols were as wonderful as their own. I didn’t want that. But money was a problem.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 4 (Min kamp, #4))
Direct questions are the worst. Cops must know this--when someone asks you a question, it is really, really hard not to answer it. It's even harder when people dig up old tweets and put them side by side with new ones and you can't really explain the discrepancy. And then other people see the discrepancy and they start liking and retweeting and rephrasing. And they also see your silence, and your silence looks like an answer. It's an extremely effective interrogation tactic, and most people make either a tearful apology or an enraged counterattack. This is why Twitter callouts tend to end so badly. Apology is never enough (and probably shouldn't be), so you're basically being asked to willingly give up power for no clear end. The best people actually do that. But the real shitfucks go on the offense, and then their communities get an infusion of victimhood narratives straight into their veins.
Hank Green (A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2))
In the context of the autism world (and my outlook in general) this is were I stand equality is for everyone, everybody in the world - I look at both sides of the the coin and take into account peoples realities (that makes me neutral/moderate/in the middle). That means that you look in a more three dimensional perspective of peoples diverse realities you cannot speak for all but one can learn from EACH OTHER through listening and experiencing. I also try my best to live with the good cards I was given not over-investing in my autism being the defining factor of my being (but having a healthy acknowledgement of it) that it's there but also thinking about other qualities I have such as being a writer, poet and artist. I do have disability, I do have autism and I have a "mild" learning disability that is true but I a human being first and foremost. And for someone to be seen as person equal to everyone else is a basic human right.
Paul Isaacs (Living Through the Haze)
What to call it - the spark of God? Survival instinct? The souped-up computer of an apex brain evolved from eons in the R&D of natural selection? You could practically see the neurons firing in the kid’s skull. His body was all spring and torque, a bundle of fast-twitch muscles that exuded faint floral whiffs of ripe pear. So much perfection in such a compact little person - Billy had to tackle him from time to time, wrestle him squealing to the ground just to get that little rascal in his hands, just your basic adorable thirty-month-old with big blue eyes clear as chlorine pools and Huggies poking out of his stretchy-waist jeans. So is this what they mean by the sanctity of life? A soft groan escaped Billy when he thought about that, the war revealed in this fresh and gruesome light. Oh. Ugh. Divine spark, image of God, suffer the little children and all that - there’s real power when words attach to actual things. Made him want to sit right down and weep, as powerful as that. He got it, yes he did, and when he came home for good he’d have to meditate on this, but for now it was best to compartmentalize, as they said, or even better not to mentalize at all.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
The idea that there is are all these people who are going to make all these great and wise decisions with guns. Because you know all the people who can make the best decisions in the world always want to be armed; because they are really smart, really wise, know exactly what should be done in society so naturally they want lots of guns. You get how insane that is right? The only people who want to force you to do stuff are people who know their ideas are shit to begin with. "It's a basic fact of life that anyone who wants to force you to do something means their ideas are shit to begin with. Not a lot of rapists are very good lovers because they don't have to sell quality; they got violence. Everyone is mad at Barack Obama's website from hell but they [the government] don't care because if you don't pay them they will throw you in jail. "The people with the best ideas are the most voluntary. The best parents don't beat their children. In fact if you beat your children you are saying 'I'm a shitty parent; I don't know what I'm doing and I'm pretty sadistic.' A rapist is saying I'm not a good boyfriend. Why do we even need to say this? People with guns are saying to your face, 'My ideas suck, I'm a bully, I get a thrill out of power so fucking do what I say or I'll shoot you in the ass.
Stefan Molyneux
New Rule: Now that liberals have taken back the word "liberal," they also have to take back the word "elite." By now you've heard the constant right-wing attacks on the "elite media," and the "liberal elite." Who may or may not be part of the "Washington elite." A subset of the "East Coast elite." Which is overly influenced by the "Hollywood elite." So basically, unless you're a shit-kicker from Kansas, you're with the terrorists. If you played a drinking game where you did a shot every time Rush Limbaugh attacked someone for being "elite," you'd be almost as wasted as Rush Limbaugh. I don't get it: In other fields--outside of government--elite is a good thing, like an elite fighting force. Tiger Woods is an elite golfer. If I need brain surgery, I'd like an elite doctor. But in politics, elite is bad--the elite aren't down-to-earth and accessible like you and me and President Shit-for-Brains. Which is fine, except that whenever there's a Bush administration scandal, it always traces back to some incompetent political hack appointment, and you think to yourself, "Where are they getting these screwups from?" Well, now we know: from Pat Robertson. I'm not kidding. Take Monica Goodling, who before she resigned last week because she's smack in the middle of the U.S. attorneys scandal, was the third-ranking official in the Justice Department of the United States. She's thirty-three, and though she never even worked as a prosecutor, was tasked with overseeing the job performance of all ninety-three U.S. attorneys. How do you get to the top that fast? Harvard? Princeton? No, Goodling did her undergraduate work at Messiah College--you know, home of the "Fighting Christies"--and then went on to attend Pat Robertson's law school. Yes, Pat Robertson, the man who said the presence of gay people at Disney World would cause "earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor," has a law school. And what kid wouldn't want to attend? It's three years, and you have to read only one book. U.S. News & World Report, which does the definitive ranking of colleges, lists Regent as a tier-four school, which is the lowest score it gives. It's not a hard school to get into. You have to renounce Satan and draw a pirate on a matchbook. This is for the people who couldn't get into the University of Phoenix. Now, would you care to guess how many graduates of this televangelist diploma mill work in the Bush administration? On hundred fifty. And you wonder why things are so messed up? We're talking about a top Justice Department official who went to a college founded by a TV host. Would you send your daughter to Maury Povich U? And if you did, would you expect her to get a job at the White House? In two hundred years, we've gone from "we the people" to "up with people." From the best and brightest to dumb and dumber. And where better to find people dumb enough to believe in George Bush than Pat Robertson's law school? The problem here in America isn't that the country is being run by elites. It's that it's being run by a bunch of hayseeds. And by the way, the lawyer Monica Goodling hired to keep her ass out of jail went to a real law school.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Watch movies. Read screenplays. Let them be your guide. […] Yes, McKee has been able to break down how the popular screenplay has worked. He has identified key qualities that many commercially successful screenplays share, he has codified a language that has been adopted by creative executives in both film and television. So there might be something of tangible value to be gained by interacting with his material, either in book form or at one of the seminars. But for someone who wants to be an artist, a creator, an architect of an original vision, the best book to read on screenwriting is no book on screenwriting. The best seminar is no seminar at all. To me, the writer wants to get as many outside voices OUT of his/her head as possible. Experts win by getting us to be dependent on their view of the world. They win when they get to frame the discussion, when they get to tell you there’s a right way and a wrong way to think about the game, whatever the game is. Because that makes you dependent on them. If they have the secret rules, then you need them if you want to get ahead. The truth is, you don’t. If you love and want to make movies about issues of social import, get your hands on Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Network. Read it. Then watch the movie. Then read it again. If you love and want to make big blockbusters that also have great artistic merit, do the same thing with Lawrence Kasdan’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark screenplay and the movie made from it. Think about how the screenplays made you feel. And how the movies built from these screenplays did or didn’t hit you the same way. […] This sounds basic, right? That’s because it is basic. And it’s true. All the information you need is the movies and screenplays you love. And in the books you’ve read and the relationships you’ve had and your ability to use those things.
Brian Koppelman
The degree of rigidity is a matter of profound interest in the study of literary fictions. As an extreme case you will find some novel, probably contemporary with yourself, in which the departure from a basic paradigm, the peripeteia in the sense I am now giving it, seems to begin with the first sentence. The schematic expectations of the reader are discouraged immediately. Since by definition one seeks the maximum peripeteia (in this extended sense) in the fiction of one's own time, the best instance I can give is from Alain Robbe-Grillet. He refuses to speak of his 'theory' of the novel; it is the old ones who talk about the need for plot, character, and so forth, who have the theories. And without them one can achieve a new realism, and a narrative in which 'le temps se trouve coupé de la temporalité. Il ne coule plus.' And so we have a novel in which,. the reader will find none of the gratification to be had from sham temporality, sham causality, falsely certain description, clear story. The new novel 'repeats itself, bisects itself, modifies itself, contradicts itself, without even accumulating enough bulk to constitute a past--and thus a "story," in the traditional sense of the word.' The reader is not offered easy satisfactions, but a challenge to creative co-operation.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
BOOK I 1     [184a] When the objects of an inquiry, in any department, have principles, (10) conditions, or elements, it is through acquaintance with these that knowledge, that is to say scientific knowledge, is attained. For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements. Plainly therefore in the science of Nature, (15) as in other branches of study, our first task will be to try to determine what relates to its principles. The natural way of doing this is to start from the things which are more knowable and obvious to us and proceed towards those which are clearer and more knowable by nature; for the same things are not ‘knowable relatively to us’ and ‘knowable’ without qualification. So in the present inquiry we must follow this method and advance from what is more obscure by nature, (20) but clearer to us, towards what is more clear and more knowable by nature. Now what is to us plain and obvious at first is rather confused masses, the elements and principles of which become known to us later by analysis. Thus we must advance from generalities to particulars; for it is a whole that is best known to sense-perception, (25) and a generality is a kind of whole, comprehending many things within it, like parts. [184b] Much the same thing happens in the relation of the name to the formula. (10) A name, e. g. ‘round’, means vaguely a sort of whole: its definition analyses this into its particular senses. Similarly a child begins by calling all men ‘father’, and all women ‘mother’, but later on distinguishes each of them.
Aristotle (The Basic Works of Aristotle)
Take terrorism, one example among the methods used in that struggle. We know that leftist tradition condemns terrorism and political assassination. When the colonized uses them, the leftist colonizer becomes unbearably embarrassed. He makes an effort to separate them from the colonized's voluntary action; to make an epiphenomenon out of his struggle. They are spontaneous outbursts of masses too long oppressed, or better yet, acts by unstable, untrustworthy elements which the leader of the movement has difficulty in controlling. Even in Europe, very few people admitted that the oppression of the colonized was so great, the disproportion of forces so overwhelming, that they had reached the point, whether morally correct or not, of using violent means voluntarily. The leftist colonizer tried in vain to explain actions which seemed incomprehensible, shocking and politically absurd. For example, the death of children and persons outside of the struggle, or even of colonized persons who, without being basically opposed, disapproved of some small aspect of the undertaking. At first he was so disconcerted that the best he could do was to deny such actions; for they would fit nowhere in his view of the problem. That it could be the cruelty of oppression which explained the blind fury of the reaction hardly seemed to be an argument to him; he can't approve acts of the colonized which he condemns in the colonizers because these are exactly why he condemns colonization. Then, after having suspected the information to be false, he says, as a last resort, that such deeds are errors, that is, they should not belong to the essence of the movement. He bravely asserts that the leaders certainly disapprove of them. A newspaper-man who always supported the cause of the colonized, weary of waiting for censure which was not forthcoming, finally called on certain leaders to take a public stand against the outrages, Of course, received no reply; he did not have the additional naïveté to insist.
Albert Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized)
(...) You Sophotechs are smarter than I am; why did you let me do such a foolish thing?” “We answer every question our resources and instruction parameters allow; we are more than happy to advise you, when and if we are asked.” “That’s not what I’m thinking of, and you know it.” “You are thinking we should use force to defend you against yourself against your will? That is hardly a thought worth thinking, sir. Your life has exactly the value you yourself place on it. It is yours to damage or ruin as you wish.” (...) “Is that another hint? Are you saying I’m destroying my life? People at the party, twice now, have said or implied that I’m going to endanger the Oecumene itself. Who stopped me?” “Not I. While life continues, it cannot be made to be without risk. The assessment of whether or not a certain risk is worth taking depends on subjective value-judgments. About such judgments even reasonable men can differ. We Sophotechs will not interfere with such decisions. (...) If we were to overrule your ownership of your own life, your life, would, in effect, become our property, and you, in effect, would become merely the custodian or trustee of that life. Do you think you would value it more in such a case, or less? And if you valued it less, would you not take greater risks and behave more self-destructively? If, on the other hand, each man’s life is his own, he may experiment freely, risking only what is his, till he find his best happiness.” “I see the results of failed experiments all around us, in these cylinders. I see wasted lives, and people trapped in mind sets and life forms which lead nowhere.” “While life continues, experimentation and evolution must also. The pain and risk of failure cannot be eliminated. The most we can do is maximize human freedom, so that no man is forced to pay for another man’s mistakes, so that the pain of failure falls only on he who risks it. And you do not know which ways of life lead nowhere. Even we Sophotechs do not know where all paths lead.” “How benevolent of you! We will always be free to be stupid.” “Cherish that freedom, young master; it is basic to all others.
John C. Wright (The Golden Age (Golden Age, #1))
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2))
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks Not all of us are out of touch with our emotions, but when it comes to talking, all of us are affected by our personality. I have observed two basic personality types. The first I call the “Dead Sea.” In the little nation of Israel, the Sea of Galilee flows south by way of the Jordan River into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea goes nowhere. It receives but it does not give. This personality type receives many experiences, emotions, and thoughts throughout the day. They have a large reservoir where they store that information, and they are perfectly happy not to talk. If you say to a Dead Sea personality, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you talking tonight?” he will probably answer, “Nothing’s wrong. What makes you think something’s wrong?” And that response is perfectly honest. He is content not to talk. He could drive from Chicago to Detroit and never say a word and be perfectly happy. On the other extreme is the “Babbling Brook.” For this personality, whatever enters into the eye gate or the ear gate comes out the mouth gate and there are seldom sixty seconds between the two. Whatever they see, whatever they hear, they tell. In fact, if no one is at home to talk to, they will call someone else. “Do you know what I saw? Do you know what I heard?” If they can’t get someone on the telephone, they may talk to themselves because they have no reservoir. Many times a Dead Sea marries a Babbling Brook. That happens because when they are dating, it is a very attractive match. If you are a Dead Sea and you date a Babbling Brook, you will have a wonderful evening. You don’t have to think, “How will I get the conversation started tonight? How will I keep the conversation flowing?” In fact, you don’t have to think at all. All you have to do is nod your head and say, “Uh-huh,” and she will fill up the whole evening and you will go home saying, “What a wonderful person.” On the other hand, if you are a Babbling Brook and you date a Dead Sea, you will have an equally wonderful evening because Dead Seas are the world’s best listeners. You will babble for three hours. He will listen intently to you, and you will go home saying, “What a wonderful person.” You attract each other. But five years after marriage, the Babbling Brook wakes up one morning and says, “We’ve been married five years, and I don’t know him.” The Dead Sea is saying, “I know her too well. I wish she would stop the flow and give me a break.” The good news is that Dead Seas can learn to talk and Babbling Brooks can learn to listen. We are influenced by our personality but not controlled by it. One way to learn new patterns is to establish a daily sharing time in which each of you will talk about three things that happened to you that day and how you feel about them. I call that the “Minimum Daily Requirement” for a healthy marriage. If you will start with the daily minimum, in a few weeks or months you may find quality conversation flowing more freely between you.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)