Classic Status Quotes

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Remember to act always as if you were at a symposium. When the food or drink comes around, reach out and take some politely; if it passes you by don't try pulling it back. And if it has not reached you yet, don't let your desire run ahead of you, be patient until your turn comes. Adopt a similar attitude with regard to children, wife, wealth and status, and in time, you will be entitled to dine with the gods. Go further and decline these goods even when they are on offer and you will have a share in the gods' power as well as their company. That is how Diogenes, Heraclitus and philosophers like them came to be called, and considered, divine.
Epictetus (The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness)
What gets lost in bestowing of classical status on a work, is the book's original freshness, the element of surprise…of newness, of productive stimulus that is the hallmark of such works...the passionate quality of a great masterpiece.
Bertolt Brecht
It was important for a Roman of this period to get his Greek mythology right. Being able to identify who was who and what was what was a sign that the viewer was a person of culture and status.
Helen Morales (Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction)
How’s this for fascinating: Heritability of various aspects of cognitive development is very high (e.g., around 70 percent for IQ) in kids from high–socioeconomic status (SES) families but is only around 10 percent in low-SES kids. Thus, higher SES allows the full range of genetic influences on cognition to flourish, whereas lower-SES settings restrict them. In other words, genes are nearly irrelevant to cognitive development if you’re growing up in awful poverty—poverty’s adverse effects trump the genetics.fn24 Similarly, heritability of alcohol use is lower among religious than nonreligious subjects—i.e., your genes don’t matter much if you’re in a religious environment that condemns drinking. Domains like these showcase the potential power of classical behavior genetics.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Government as we now know it in the USA and other economically advanced countries is so manifestly horrifying, so corrupt, counterproductive, and outright vicious, that one might well wonder how it continues to enjoy so much popular legitimacy and to be perceived so widely as not only tolerable but indispensable. The answer, in overwhelming part, may be reduced to a two-part formula: bribes and bamboozlement (classically "bread and circuses"). Under the former rubric falls the vast array of government "benefits" and goodies of all sorts, from corporate subsidies and privileges to professional grants and contracts to welfare payments and health care for low-income people and other members of the lumpenproletariat. Under the latter rubric fall such measures as the government schools, the government's lapdog news media, and the government's collaboration with the producers of professional sporting events and Hollywood films. Seen as a semi-integrated whole, these measures give current governments a strong hold on the public's allegiance and instill in the masses and the elites alike a deep fear of anything that seriously threatens the status quo.
Robert Higgs
Historical research has the same status as all background information. The author must know it, even if it does not appear directly in the novel. Otherwise, the characters won’t seem like people, and the setting won’t seem like a place.
Howard Mittelmark (How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide)
Especially for upwardly mobile young females, declaring one's enthusiasm for Austen (whose heroines almost always move up in social and economic status as a result of the sterling marital alliances they form) has been a classic means of indicating one's purported good taste, good breeding, and good sense: I am an especially adorable member of the ruling class.
Terry Castle
New Age spirituality purports to promote change – its mantra is ‘transformation’ – but, in reality, it endorses the status quo. It preaches changing oneself to accept the world as it is. New Agers are too busy with their affirmations and introspections to do anything like take direct action. Indeed, in some books the advice to unleash one’s inner goddess turns out to be little more than to bring back the old ‘domestic goddess’. Using myth as one’s personal charter is nothing new (as we saw in Chapter 3), but when Alexander the Great chose Achilles, the psychopathic hero of Homer’s Iliad, to revere and emulate, he did so with action in mind. Alexander used classical myth as his ‘life coach’ and changed the world. New Agers use classical myth to ensure that the spirit is soothed, the horoscope reassuring, and the house clean, but the world stays the same.
Helen Morales (Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction)
Social primates like you and I have a strong and wholly nonrational propensity to force-fit our problems into a social mode – no matter what’s happening, we want to put a face on it, which in practice amounts to blaming it on the troop over there, or the baboons at the top of our troop’s hierarchy, or maybe the ones at the bottom. We also like to define any problem so that its apparent solution doesn’t make us feel that the fulfillment of such basic biological appetites as food, sex, status, and security are put in question. Add to those distorting factors a widespread ignorance of logic and history, and a great deal of straightforward dishonesty on all sides of the political continuum, and you’ve got a pretty fair mess. Thus we’ve arrived as a society, and at a very late stage in the game, at the same point that classical philosophy reached as the Roman Empire began to falter, when it became uncomfortably clear that having a small minority of people passionately interested in asking and answering the right questions was no guarantee against catastrophic levels of collective stupidity. The answer that theurgic Neoplatonism offered was a personal answer, rooted in the systematic practice of a set of magical disciplines meant to make clear thinking and decisive action possible for anyone with the self-discipline, patience, and persistence to do the necessary work.
John Michael Greer (The Blood of the Earth: An essay on magic and peak oil)
Of all of Hofstede’s Dimensions, though, perhaps the most interesting is what he called the “Power Distance Index” (PDI). Power distance is concerned with attitudes toward hierarchy, specifically with how much a particular culture values and respects authority. To measure it, Hofstede asked questions like “How frequently, in your experience, does the following problem occur: employees being afraid to express disagreement with their managers?” To what extent do the “less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally?” How much are older people respected and feared? Are power holders entitled to special privileges? “In low–power distance index countries,” Hofstede wrote in his classic text Culture’s Consequences: power is something of which power holders are almost ashamed and they will try to underplay. I once heard a Swedish (low PDI) university official state that in order to exercise power he tried not to look powerful. Leaders may enhance their informal status by renouncing formal symbols. In (low PDI) Austria, Prime Minister Bruno Kreisky was known to sometimes take the streetcar to work. In 1974, I actually saw the Dutch (low PDI) prime minister, Joop den Uyl, on vacation with his motor home at a camping site in Portugal. Such behavior of the powerful would be very unlikely in high-PDI Belgium or France.*
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
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and here instead’s another version of what was happening that morning, as if from a novel in which sophia is the kind of character she’d choose to be, prefer to be, a character in a much more classic sort of story, perfectly honed and comforting, about how sombre yet bright the major-symphony of winter is and how beautiful everything looks under a high frost, how every grassblade is enhanced and silvered into individual beauty by it, how even the dull tarmac of the roads, the paving under our feet, shines when the weather’s been cold enough and how something at the heart of us, at the heart of all our cold and frozen states, melts when we encounter a time of peace on earth, goodwill to all men; a story in which there’s no room for severed heads; a work in which sophia’s perfectly honed minor-symphony modesty and narrative decorum complement the story she’s in with the right kind of quiet wisdom-from-experience ageing-female status, making it a story that’s thoughtful, dignified, conventional in structure thank god, the kind of quality literary fiction where the slow drift of snow across the landscape is merciful, has a perfect muffling decorum of its own, snow falling to whiten, soften, blur and prettify even further a landscape where there are no heads divided from bodies hanging around in the air or anywhere, either new ones, from new atrocities or murders or terrorisms, or old ones, left over from old historic atrocities and murders and terrorisms and bequeathed to the future as if in old french revolution baskets, their wickerwork brown with the old dried blood, placed on the doorsteps of the neat and central-heating-interactive houses of now with notes tied to the handles saying please look after this head thank you, well, no, thank you, thank you very much:
Ali Smith (Winter (Seasonal #2))
In Amsterdam, I took a room in a small hotel located in the Jordann District and after lunch in a café went for a walk in the western parts of the city. In Flaubert’s Alexandria, the exotic had collected around camels, Arabs peacefully fishing and guttural cries. Modern Amsterdam provided different but analogous examples: buildings with elongated pale-pink bricks stuck together with curiously white mortar, long rows of narrow apartment blocks from the early twentieth century, with large ground-floor windows, bicycles parked outside every house, street furniture displaying a certain demographic scruffiness, an absence of ostentatious buildings, straight streets interspersed with small parks…..In one street lines with uniform apartment buildings, I stopped by a red front door and felt an intense longing to spend the rest of my life there. Above me, on the second floor, I could see an apartment with three large windows and no curtains. The walls were painted white and decorated with a single large painting covered with small blue and red dots. There was an oaken desk against a wall, a large bookshelf and an armchair. I wanted the life that this space implied. I wanted a bicycle; I wanted to put my key in that red front door every evening. Why be seduced by something as small as a front door in another country? Why fall in love with a place because it has trams and its people seldom have curtains in their homes? However absurd the intense reactions provoked by such small (and mute) foreign elements my seem, the pattern is at least familiar from our personal lives. My love for the apartment building was based on what I perceived to be its modesty. The building was comfortable but not grand. It suggested a society attracted to the financial mean. There was an honesty in its design. Whereas front doorways in London are prone to ape the look of classical temples, in Amsterdam they accept their status, avoiding pillars and plaster in favor of neat, undecorated brick. The building was modern in the best sense, speaking of order, cleanliness, and light. In the more fugitive, trivial associations of the word exotic, the charm of a foreign place arises from the simple idea of novelty and change-from finding camels where at home there are horses, for example, or unadorned apartment buildings where at home there are pillared ones. But there may be a more profound pleasure as well: we may value foreign elements not only because they are new but because they seem to accord more faithfully with our identity and commitments than anything our homeland can provide. And so it was with my enthusiasms in Amsterdam, which were connected to my dissatisfactions with my own country, including its lack of modernity and aesthetic simplicity, its resistance to urban life and its net-curtained mentality. What we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
Among foragers, where property is shared, poverty tends to be a nonissue. In his classic book Stone Age Economics, anthropologist Marshall Sahlins explains that “the world’s most primitive people have few possessions, but they are not poor. Poverty is not a certain small amount of goods, nor is it just a relation between means and ends; above all it is a relation between people. Poverty is a social status. As such it is the invention of civilization.”20 Socrates made the same point 2,400 years ago: “He is richest who is content with least, for contentment is the wealth of nature.
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships)
The psychology of the naturalistic drama, in which the characters are interpreted as social phenomena, has its origin in this urge which the spectator feels to identify himself with his social compeers. Now, however much objective truth there may be in such an interpretation of the characters in a play, it leads, when raised to the status of an exclusive principle, to a falsification of the facts. The assumption that men and women are merely social beings results in just as arbitrary a picture of experience as the view according to which every person is a unique and incomparable individual. Both conceptions lead to a stylization and romanticizing of reality. On the other hand, however, there is no doubt that the conception of man held in any particular epoch is socially conditioned and that the choice as to whether man is portrayed in the main as an autonomous personality or as the representative of a class depends in every age on the social approach and political aims of those who happen to be the upholders of culture. When a public wishes to see social origins and class characteristics emphasized in the human portraiture, that is always a sign that that society has become class-conscious, no matter whether the public in question is aristocratic or middle-class. In this context the question whether the aristocrat is only an aristocrat and the bourgeois only a bourgeois is absolutely unimportant.
Arnold Hauser (The Social History of Art: Volume 3: Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism)
Nantucket in 1835. It is, as the title suggests, a history of his island home and gives a concise overview of Nantucket's importance in the development of whaling. Starbuck's The History of the American Whale Fishery, first published in 1876, has achieved classic status and is a sort of bible of whaleships, their
Peter Kurtz (Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William Badger, 1828-1865)
when a man sells his independence of thought for money or status, without realizing it he also sells his capacity for independence of thought; and, like the worn-out columnists and commentators, he must play the same old record over and over, because he has no capacity for taking a fresh point of view.
Arthur C. Clarke (The Ninth Science Fiction Megapack: Classic and Modern Science Fiction)
Facebook’s news feed is a classic multiuser feedback loop. Status updates from producers are served to consumers, whose likes and comments serve as feedback to the producers. The constant flow of value units stimulates still more activity, making the platform increasingly valuable to all participants.
Geoffrey G. Parker (Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You)
Scandal is amplified when a star’s actions violate not only the status quo but the underlying understanding of that star’s image as well: when
Anne Helen Petersen (Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema)
There is something odd, suspiciously odd, about the rapidity with which queer theory–whose claim to radical politics derived from its anti-assimilationist posture, from its shocking embrace of the abnormal and the marginal–has been embraced by, canonized by, and absorbed into our (largely heterosexual) insti- tutions of knowledge, as lesbian and gay studies never were. Despite its im- plicit (and false) portrayal of lesbian and gay studies as liberal, assimilationist, and accommodating of the status quo, queer theory has proven to be much more congenial to established institutions of the liberal academy. The first step was for the “theory” in queer theory to prevail over the “queer,” for “queer” to become a harmless qualifier of “theory”: if it’s theory, progressive academics seem to have reasoned, then it’s merely an extension of what important people have already been doing all along. It can be folded back into the standard practice of literary and cultural studies, without impeding academic business as usual. The next step was to despecify the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or transgressive content of queerness, thereby abstracting “queer” and turning it into a generic badge of subversiveness, a more trendy version of “liberal”: if it’s queer, it’s politically oppositional, so everyone who claims to be progressive has a vested interest in owning a share of it. Finally, queer theory, being a theory instead of a discipline, posed no threat to the monopoly of the established disciplines: on the contrary, queer theory could be incorporated into each of them, and it could then be applied to topics in already established fields. Those working in En- glish, history, classics, anthropology, sociology, or religion would now have the option of using queer theory, as they had previously used Deconstruction, to advance the practice of their disciplines–by “queering” them. The outcome of those three moves was to make queer theory a game the whole family could play. This has resulted in a paradoxical situation: as queer theory becomes more widely diffused throughout the disciplines, it becomes harder to figure out what’s so very queer about it, while lesbian and gay studies, which by con- trast would seem to pertain only to lesbians and gay men, looks increasingly backward, identitarian, and outdated.
David Halperin
whaling. Starbuck's The History of the American Whale Fishery, first published in 1876, has achieved classic status and is a sort of bible of whaleships, their home ports, captains, and oil quotas. But it is chiefly used as a reference work today. Judith Lund's more recent Whaling Masters and Whaling Voyages Sailing from American Ports: A Compilation of Sources (2001) is another excellent reference work.
Peter Kurtz (Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William Badger, 1828-1865)
The gospels of the old Latin Bible were written in a distinctly demotic style, rich in grammatical solecisms and the sort of words that grated on educated ears.44 The loss of meaning was negligible—the ancient equivalent of saying “serviette” rather than “napkin.” The loss of status was intolerable. If this was the word of God, then God seemed to speak with a distinctly common accent.
Catherine Nixey (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World)
Writing for J. Crew a few years ago, Alice shared her decision to simplify her wardrobe to one specific style that she would wear every day—a black long-sleeve shirt and fashionable jeans. She called it her “uniform.” But uniform isn’t the word that got me. Amid her reasons for dressing like this, she stated that having a simple outfit you are known for wearing is “iconic, it’s a cheap and easy way to feel famous.” Iconic. That’s it. Minimalist clothing can convey a classic and memorable sense of personal identity. Alice argues that wearing a similar outfit every day is a way of asserting your status as a protagonist in life. “This is the reason why characters in picture books never change their clothes: Children—like adults, if they’d only admit it—crave continuity.” So along with the ease of no longer having to create a new look every day, you have the comfort of feeling like yourself all the time.
Joshua Becker (The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life)
McCartney II has similarly attained cult status among indie fans and artists who regard it as forward-thinking avant-electronica. But those people didn’t hear McCartney II in the context in which it was released. The album came out four months after McCartney spent nine days in a Japanese jail for possession of 219 grams of weed while on tour with Wings. The band fell apart after the tour was canceled, prompting McCartney to release his solo recordings as McCartney II. It’s not difficult to understand why McCartney was perceived at the time to be sort of dumb and perpetually stoned, and how this perception influenced the opinion that McCartney II was mere folly, rather than visionary genius. I think the truth about McCartney II is somewhere in the middle. I love the album because the songs are good and weird and utterly unlike anything else in McCartney’s catalog. But I also love it because the dumb/stoned aspects of the record are inextricable from the visionary-genius aspects. McCartney II is good because it’s good, and good because it’s bad.
Steven Hyden (Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock)
In 1968, when an actress made it to star status, she automatically rejected all roles that called for nudity. But Fonda broke with convention; she was a major actress who sought out roles that required her to disrobe.
Danny Peary (Cult Sci-Fi Movies: Discover the 10 Best Intergalactic, Astonishing, Far-Out, and Epic Cinema Classics)
Some people argue that economics is an exception to this general story. Economics, they say, provides a much more analytically precise and tightly integrated body of theory—a theory that is explicitly linked to a small set of generally accepted assumptions about human beings’ motivations and decision-making procedures, and that has been rigorously tested against quantified empirical evidence. Among all the social sciences, economics alone, these boosters contend, has a defensible claim to true scientific status. Economics certainly deserves to be regarded as the queen of the social sciences; unlike the others, it has unquestionably produced useful knowledge on a wide range of issues that affect our daily lives. Yet we should be suspicious of its bold claims to scientific status. Modern neoclassical economic theory is firmly grounded in the kind of mechanistic worldview (described in “Complexities”) that sees the economy as a machine, and to explain the operation of this machine it imports many of the concepts of nineteenth-century classical physics. So it stresses the natural tendency of the economy to find a stable equilibrium and the possibility of isolating the effect of changes in different economic factors (like changes in interest rates) on economic performance.25 As well, to achieve its simplicity and elegance, the theory focuses on the behavior of independent individuals operating in a market—individuals who are atomized, rational, similar in preferences, and stripped of any social attributes. But this makes the theory largely asocial and ahistorical: there’s generally no place in it for large-scale historical, cultural, and political forces that sometimes have a huge impact on our economies—forces like the emancipation of women, rising environmental consciousness, or democratization in poor countries. Because it’s insensitive to broad social forces, modern economic theory is also surprisingly insensitive to its own tight relationship with capitalism. Nevertheless, it’s clearly a product of capitalism—a specific, historically rooted economic system—and it only makes sense in the context of capitalism.26
Thomas Homer-Dixon (The Ingenuity Gap: How Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?)
In pointing out this parallel, I do not suggest that Hesiod is somehow the Greek equivalent of Moses or that his Theogony is to be granted the same status as Genesis.
Louis A. Markos (From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics)
Kennedy’s influence was cut short by the assassination, but he weighed in with a memo to LBJ. The problem, Kennedy explained on January 16, was that “most federal programs are directed at only a single aspect of the problem. They are sometimes competitive and frequently aimed at only a temporary solution or provide for only a minimum level of subsistence. These programs are always planned for the poor—not with the poor.” Kennedy’s solution was a new cabinet-level committee to coordinate comprehensive, local programs that “[involve] the cooperation of the poor” Kennedy listed six cities where local “coordinating mechanisms” were strong enough that pilot programs might be operational by fall. “In my judgment,” he added prophetically, “the anti-poverty program could actually retard the solution of these problems, unless we use the basic approach outlined above.” If there was such a thing as a “classical” vision of community action, Kennedy’s memo was its epitaph. On February 1, while Kennedy was in East Asia, Johnson appointed Sargent Shriver to head the war on poverty. It was an important signal that the president would be running the program his way, not Bobby’s. It was also a canny personal slap at RFK—who, according to Ted Sorensen, had “seriously consider[ed] heading” the antipoverty effort. Viewed in this light, Johnson’s choice of Shriver was particularly shrewd. Not only was Shriver hardworking and dynamic—a great salesman—but he was a Kennedy in-law, married to Bobby’s sister Eunice. In Kennedy family photos Shriver stood barrel-chested and beaming, a member of the inner circle, every bit as vigorous, handsome, Catholic, and aristocratic as the rest. By placing Shriver at the helm of the war on poverty, Johnson demonstrated his fealty to the dead president. But LBJ and Bobby both understood that Shriver was very much his own man. After the assassination Shriver signaled his independence from the Kennedys by slipping the new president a note card delineating “What Bobby Thinks.” In 1964, Shriver’s status as a quasi-Kennedy made him Bobby’s rival for the vice presidency, but even before then their relationship was hardly fraternal. Within the Kennedy family Shriver was gently mocked. His liberalism on civil rights earned him the monikers “Boy Scout,” “house Communist,” and “too-liberal in-law.” Bobby’s unease was returned in kind. “Believe me,” RFK’s Senate aide Adam Walinsky observed, “Sarge was no close pal brother-in-law and he wasn’t giving Robert Kennedy any extra breaks.” If Shriver’s loyalty was divided, it was split between Johnson and himself, not Johnson and Kennedy.
Jeff Shesol (Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade)
Adorno echoed the words and works of Karl Marx in his music. Whereas Marx focused on the economic aspect, Adorno placed his emphasis on the role played by culture in maintaining the politically apathetic status quo. Music of the 12-atonal métier would be even more powerful than Marx’s economic assault on western capitalism. Adorno was of course a serious student and polished writer and performer of classical music. He was, perhaps, the most important music “new ground” philosopher, an intellectual giant in modernism in music. While attending the University of Frankfurt in Germany, he became friends with Alban Berg and studied composition under him from 1924. There Adorno learned the “dialectics” of George Hegel and applied it to his compositions. Adorno became Professor of Philosophy at the University of Frankfort.
John Coleman (The Conspirator's Hierarchy: The Committee of 300)
The super-hero is something that I think people struggle to make intensely apolitical. But it cannot help but be political, because the classical role of the super-hero is constantly to return to the status quo. The super-hero cannot help but be a figure for conservatism.
Patrick Meaney (Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews)
hierarchical cultures of business and the state, where status determines access to information, and criticism is met with punishment. Nearly all of us work in hierarchies. Nearly all of us bite our tongues when we should speak freely. Yet few of the classic or modern texts on freedom of speech discuss freedom of speech at work, even though, as the crash of 2008 showed, self-censorship in the workplace can be as great a threat to national security as foreign enemies are.
Nick Cohen (You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom)
Clearly, we have entered a world very different from the world of modernity as previously described. The subject/object distinction has broken down. In this world, foundationalism is a washout;49 the old distinction between fact and opinion is disappearing from view. The quest for certainty, precision, and ahistorical knowledge of objective truth is judged impossible. “Truth” is not an objective entity; the classic dikes between fact and opinion are springing leaks. Of course, not all the tenets of modernity have been sacrificed. Irrationally, philosophical naturalism (for most advocates of this radical hermeneutics), still holds sway; moreover, I must still say something about the place of science in this new model. But some variation of what once held the status of a minority report advanced only by a few intellectuals is now adopted almost everywhere.
D.A. Carson (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism)
Asia’s International Order and China Of all conceptions of world order in Asia, China operated the longest lasting, the most clearly defined, and the one furthest from Westphalian ideas. China has also taken the most complex journey, from ancient civilization through classical empire, to Communist revolution, to modern great-power status—a course which will have a profound impact on mankind.
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
The state of peace among men living side by side is not the natural state (status naturalis); the natural state is one of war. This does not always mean open hostilities, but at least an unceasing threat of war. A state of peace, therefore, must be established, for in order to be secured against hostility it is not sufficient that hostilities simply be not committed; and, unless this security is pledged to each by his neighbor (a thing that can occur only in a civil state), each may treat his neighbor, from whom he demands this security, as an enemy.3
Immanuel Kant (The Immanuel Kant Collection: 8 Classic Works)
In early May 1930, in a classic example of “chain migration,” Mary boarded the RMS Transylvania in order to join two of her sisters who had already settled in the United States. Despite her status as a domestic servant, as a white Anglo-Saxon, Mary would have been allowed into the country even under her son’s draconian new immigration rules introduced nearly ninety years later.
Mary L. Trump (Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man)
Like surveillance and with it, normalization becomes one of the greatest instruments of power at the end of the classical age. For the marks that once indicated status, privilege and affiliation were increasingly replaced – or at least supplemented – by a whole range of decrees of normality indicating membership of a homogenous social body but also playing a part in classification, hierarchization and the distribution of rank. In a sense, the power of normalization imposes homogeneity; but it individualizes by making it possible to measure gaps, to determine levels, to fix specialties and to render the differences useful by fitting them one to another. It is easy to understand how the power of the norm functions within a system of formal equality, since within a homogeneity that is the rule, the norm introduces, as a useful imperative and a result of measurement, all the shading of individual difference.
Michel Foucault (Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison)
1970. Life was so good in the 70s and 80s compared to these days with no cell phones, killer music, awesome movies, classic cars and EVERYONE GOT ALONG GREAT.
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Rise of the New World Order: Book Series Update and Urgent Status Report : Vol. 3 (Rise of the New World Order Status Report))
Eventually I became a tad compulsive about hearing certain songs. At first it was a handful of jazz classics—Miles Davis’s “Freddie Freeloader,” John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things,” Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady.” (Before one primary debate, I must have played that last track two or three times in a row, clearly indicating a lack of confidence in my preparations.) Ultimately it was rap that got my head in the right place, two songs especially: Jay-Z’s “My 1st Song” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Both were about defying the odds and putting it all on the line (“Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it? Or just let it slip…”); how it felt to spin something out of nothing; getting by on wit, hustle, and fear disguised as bravado. The lyrics felt tailored to my early underdog status. And as I sat alone in the back of the Secret Service van on the way to a debate site, in my crisp uniform and dimpled tie, I’d nod my head to the beat of those songs, feeling a whiff of private rebellion, a connection to something grittier and more real than all the fuss and deference that now surrounded me. It was a way to cut through the artifice and remember who I was.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
In a classic study of how names impact people’s experience on the job market, researchers show that, all other things being equal, job seekers with White-sounding first names received 50 percent more callbacks from employers than job seekers with Black-sounding names.5 They calculated that the racial gap was equivalent to eight years of relevant work experience, which White applicants did not actually have; and the gap persisted across occupations, industry, employer size – even when employers included the “equal opportunity” clause in their ads.6 With emerging technologies we might assume that racial bias will be more scientifically rooted out. Yet, rather than challenging or overcoming the cycles of inequity, technical fixes too often reinforce and even deepen the status quo. For example, a study by a team of computer scientists at Princeton examined whether a popular algorithm, trained on human writing online, would exhibit the same biased tendencies that psychologists have documented among humans. They found that the algorithm associated White-sounding names with “pleasant” words and Black-sounding names with “unpleasant” ones.7 Such findings demonstrate what I call “the New Jim Code”: the employment of new technologies that reflect and reproduce existing inequities but that are promoted and perceived as more objective or progressive than the discriminatory systems of a previous era.
Ruha Benjamin (Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code)
A classical Game Theory case. People are not taking vaccines in the hope that everyone else would be vaccinated and they would be safe.
Vineet Raj Kapoor
Women were never absent from film history; they often simply weren’t documented as part of it because they did “
Erin Hill (Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production)
Women were never absent from film history; they often simply weren’t documented as part of it because they did “women's work”, which was—by definition— insignificant, tedious, low status, and noncreative. In the golden age of Hollywood, women could be found in nearly every department of every studio, minding the details that might otherwise get in the way of more important, prestigious, or creative work (a.k.a. men's work). If film historians consider the classical Hollywood era’s mode of production a system, we ought to consider women this system’s main-stay, because studios were built on their low-cost backs and scaled through their brush and keystrokes.
Erin Hill (Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production)