Constructive Alignment Quotes

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I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mortal tribulations; that in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we care to admit; and that the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
The truth is, I’ve never been a big believer in destiny. I worry that it encourages resignation in the down-and-out and complacency among the powerful. I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mortal tribulations; that in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we care to admit; and that the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. … Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life. People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge. Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
REAL Leadership is the building of belief, that activates and aligns the full potential, for a meaningful cause
Tony Dovale
If originality is a “sense of novelty and freshness” then, in the act of constructing ourselves, originality is not the goal. We construct a self-portrait, relying on existing objects – books, quotes from authors and artists, images, art – that we are more than happy to show off to others for them to use as masturbation material or for the material by which they align themselves. This is the new action painting – the curational archive. The referential self portrait. The portrait of any other artist could be readily used to explain yourself, just reblog it and caption it with “same.” The past consistently becomes the present, not through linear time, but through the constant reconstruction and relabeling of it.
Gabby Bess
The Orion constellation was very significant to the ancient Egyptians. Years earlier, a construction engineer, Robert Bauval, had noticed that the three pyramids at Giza, including the great pyramid, were aligned in a fashion that looked similar to the way that the three stars of Orion’s belt were aligned.
Hunt Kingsbury (The Moses Riddle (Treasure Hunter (Bimini Road Publishing)))
Character is like 'Structural Integrity' in the field of engineering. A construction is believed to have structural integrity when it can withstand 'impact' from anywhere and anything, functioning adequately for its desired purposes and service life, until a physical collapse proves otherwise. 'Integrity' springs from the original Latin root 'integrum', which means "Intact". A man has INTEGRITY when he remains INTACT, despite the IMPACT of forces that seek to sidetrack him. He will never confuse "what is" with "what ought to be", EVEN WHEN "what is" will work in his favour. A man who will choose, not what the world forces his hands to choose, but what aligns with his destiny and will propel him to become what he is meant to become. Such men are few, such men should be me and you.
Olaotan Fawehinmi (The Soldier Within)
As actor and comedian Lily Tomlin once said, “The road to success is always under construction.” So don’t allow yourself to be detoured from getting to your ONE Thing. Pave your way with the right people and place. BIG IDEAS Start saying “no.” Always remember that when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to everything else. It’s the essence of keeping a commitment. Start turning down other requests outright or saying, “No, for now” to distractions so that nothing detracts you from getting to your top priority. Learning to say no can and will liberate you. It’s how you’ll find the time for your ONE Thing. Accept chaos. Recognize that pursuing your ONE Thing moves other things to the back burner. Loose ends can feel like snares, creating tangles in your path. This kind of chaos is unavoidable. Make peace with it. Learn to deal with it. The success you have accomplishing your ONE Thing will continually prove you made the right decision. Manage your energy. Don’t sacrifice your health by trying to take on too much. Your body is an amazing machine, but it doesn’t come with a warranty, you can’t trade it in, and repairs can be costly. It’s important to manage your energy so you can do what you must do, achieve what you want to achieve, and live the life you want to live. Take ownership of your environment. Make sure that the people around you and your physical surroundings support your goals. The right people in your life and the right physical environment on your daily path will support your efforts to get to your ONE Thing. When both are in alignment with your ONE Thing, they will supply the optimism and physical lift you need to make your ONE Thing happen. Screenwriter Leo Rosten pulled everything together for us when he said, “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” Live with Purpose, Live by Priority, and Live for Productivity. Follow these three for the same reason you make the three commitments and avoid the four thieves—because you want to leave your mark. You want your life to matter. 18
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results)
Why the ancient civilizations who built the place did not use the easier, nearby rocks remains a mystery. But the skills and knowledge on display at Stonehenge are not. The major phases of construction took a total of a few hundred years. Perhaps the preplanning took another hundred or so. You can build anything in half a millennium - I don't care how far you choose to drag your bricks. Furthermore, the astronomy embodied in Stonehenge is not fundamentally deeper than what can be discovered with a stick in the ground. Perhaps these ancient observatories perennially impress modern people because modern people have no idea how the Sun, Moon, or stars move. We are too busy watching evening television to care what's going on in the sky. To us, a simple rock alignment based on cosmic patterns looks like an Einsteinian feat. But a truly mysterious civilization would be one that made no cultural or architectural reference to the sky at all.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries)
For years, black political leaders in New York City aligned themselves with labor unions to block the construction of a Walmart in a low-income community with persistently high unemployment. According to a Marist poll taken in 2011, 69 percent of blacks in New York would welcome a Walmart in their neighborhood. Yet these black leaders put the interests of Big Labor, which doesn’t like the retailer’s stance toward unions, ahead of the interests of struggling black people who could use the jobs and low-priced goods.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Yet just eighty years ago it still seemed an impossible mission when U.S. President Herbert Hoover was tasked with beating back the Great Depression with only a mixed bag of numbers, ranging from share values to the price of iron to the volume of road transport. Even his most important metric – the “blast-furnace index” – was little more than an unwieldy construct that attempted to pin down production levels in the steel industry. If you had asked Hoover how “the economy” was doing, he would have given you a puzzled look. Not only because this wasn’t among the numbers in his bag, but because he would have had no notion of our modern understanding of the word “economy.” “Economy” isn’t really a thing, after all – it’s an idea, and that idea had yet to be invented. In 1931, Congress called together the country’s leading statisticians and found them unable to answer even the most basic questions about the state of the nation. That something was fundamentally wrong seemed evident, but their last reliable figures dated from 1929. It was obvious that the homeless population was growing and that companies were going bankrupt left and right, but as to the actual extent of the problem, nobody knew. A few months earlier, President Hoover had dispatched a number of Commerce Department employees around the country to report on the situation. They returned with mainly anecdotal evidence that aligned with Hoover’s own belief that economic recovery was just around the bend. Congress wasn’t reassured, however. In 1932, it appointed a brilliant young Russian professor by the name of Simon Kuznets to answer a simple question: How much stuff can we make? Over the next few years, Kuznets laid the foundations of what would later become the GDP. His
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
The negative perception of a changed city aligned with dispensational eschatology. A drastic change from above would be required to stop the flood of secularism and societal decay. With their embrace of dispensationalism, evangelicals shifted their focus radically from social amelioration to individual regeneration. Having diverted their attention from the construction of the millennial realm, evangelicals concentrated on the salvation of souls and, in so doing, neglected reform efforts.8 An individualistic soul-saving soteriology emerged from a dispensational theology. Theologically conservative Christians had shifted their priority from concern for both the individual and larger society to more exclusively a concern for the individual, and the first half of the twentieth century witnessed the formation of this shift. In The Great Reversal, David Moberg asserts that “there was a time when evangelicals had a balanced position that gave proper attention to both evangelism and social concern, but a great reversal in the [twentieth] century led to a lopsided emphasis upon evangelism and omission of most aspects of social involvement.”9 Marsden notes that “the ‘Great Reversal’ took place from about 1900 to about 1930, when all progressive social concern, whether political or private, became suspect among revivalist evangelicals and was relegated to a very minor role.”10 Fundamentalists developed a suspicion about social engagement and withdrew from social concerns spurred by their rejection of larger society. This rejection of secular culture arose from anxiety about the changes that occurred in the early part of the twentieth century when fundamentalists felt they were under siege from secular society. Marsden recognizes that “fundamentalism was the response of traditionalist evangelicals who declared war on these modernizing trends. In fundamentalist eyes the war had to be all-out and fought on several fronts. At stake was nothing less than the gospel of Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”11 The twentieth century witnessed fearful white Protestants yielding to the temptation to withdraw from the city and engaging in the exact opposite behavior demanded by Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.” There was an intentional abandonment of the city in favor of safety and comfort. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in the suburbs.
Soong-Chan Rah (Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times)
Lordship and the (re-)construction of affinities: A lord’s familia (his aggregate dependents) has been likened to a series of concentric circles, with the lord at the centre, and inner, middle, and outer circles... This description of concentric circles is merely illustrative since members of an affinity often overlapped between these categories, and the rings in themselves obviously lacked clear boundaries which makes the definitive assigning of individuals to such groupings difficult (p. 78). …though it seems a reasonable assumption to base strength of attachment on frequency of involvement, it is impossible to tell whether one client was less strongly attached than another; thus, irrespective of frequency, all clients require consideration… As a result of these uncertainties and limitations, the reconstruction of affinities is something of an imprecise art. Connection construction is not a simple task; the difficulties, and awareness of the subtleties, mean that there are few, if any, certainties regarding clients, so it is necessary to speak of only possibilities, probabilities, and likelihoods (p. 83). …This continuity of connections indicates how alignments continually changed and altered, were recreated and reshaped. While the politics and alignments of one decade or series of several years might appear evanescent, in reality, beneath the tumultuous surface of the manoeuvrings of local politics, affinities proved to be a durable foundation. Thus, perhaps, we should refer not so much to great-magnate-commanded affinities as to leading-gentry-led affiliations (p. 350).
Robert E. Stansfield-Cudworth (Political Elites in South-West England, 1450–1500: Politics, Governance, and the Wars of the Roses)
Their common denominator is not merely success, but rather success that came about by redrawing boundaries and aligning partners in new ways. Each disrupted the structure of an ecosystem, but always through actions consistent with the three principles of ecosystem construction: MVE, staged expansion, and ecosystem carryover. These are the keys to partner alignment, and to transforming ambitious vision into coherent, coordinated, collaborative reality.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
Successful platforms are constructed, not simply launched. The absence of a clear MVE and a staged approach to adding partners is a signal that alignment is being presumed rather than planned.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
When the entry of an ecosystem disruptor does eventually trigger a competitive response, imitation is often flawed because incumbents focus on the shape of the offer, rather than on the process by which the value architecture was constructed, and through which the critical partners were aligned.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
In 2020–22, we entered a time in which the post–World War II organizing principle of human affairs, the democratic nation-state, was being intentionally diluted in power and undermined in the interest of constructing a replacement meta-structure of unaccountable loosely aligned global nonprofits, Big Tech corporations, the WEF, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Naomi Wolf (The Bodies of Others: The New Authoritarians, COVID-19 and The War Against the Human)
With the backing of Soviet first secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Erich Honecker now took on the mantle of leadership, ruling with his small clique, including the minister of state security, Erich Mielke. Ulbricht retained the official title of head of state, but this new leadership was now closely aligned with Moscow. The ailing and somewhat bitter Ulbricht would suffer a stroke and pass away in August 1973. The Wall was his legacy, and by 1976 construction of a fourth-generation Wall began. “Grenzmauer 75” would be state-of-the-art in design and construction, a world away from the prefab first version of 1961. The new iteration was speedily installed, comprising L-shaped reinforced concrete sections
Iain MacGregor (Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, the Berlin Wall and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth)
I felt super-frustrated. We’d hired all these talented people and were spending tons of money, but we weren’t going any faster. Things came to a head over a top-priority marketing OKR for personalized emails with targeted content. The objective was well constructed: We wanted to drive a certain minimum number of monthly active users to our blog. One important key result was to increase our click-through rate from emails. The catch was that no one in marketing had thought to inform engineering, which had already set its own priorities that quarter. Without buy-in from the engineers, the OKR was doomed before it started. Even worse, Albert and I didn’t find out it was doomed until our quarterly postmortem. (The project got done a quarter late.) That was our wake-up call, when we saw the need for more alignment between teams. Our OKRs were well crafted, but implementation fell short. When departments counted on one another for crucial support, we failed to make the dependency explicit. Coordination was hit-and-miss, with deadlines blown on a regular basis. We had no shortage of objectives, but our teams kept wandering away from one another. The following year, we tried to fix the problem with periodic integration meetings for the executive team. Each quarter our department heads presented their goals and identified dependencies. No one left the room until we’d answered some basic questions: Are we meeting everyone’s needs for buy-in? Is a team overstretched? If so, how can we make their objectives more realistic?
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
Despite all the Christian rhetoric, our society in America has never been configured around the way of Jesus Christ. The centralized figure in our culture has not been the crucified and risen Lord. The one our lives revolve around is not the image of the Son. The body to which everyone else has had to align and conform has been the white, wealthy, Western male image. Assumed to be balanced, objective, measured, and well–reasoned, this elite white male image has been sitting at the top of the social hierarchy, and it has organized life for all of us. White men themselves do not even live up to the myth, but the constructed image nonetheless has justified white men’s superiority to other people groups and women for centuries.
Drew G.I. Hart (Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism)
We are angry because we would like to change something in the world (or maybe in ourselves), something that seems to be unjust. A feeling of rage doe very little to rectify the perceived injustice. An artist sees the world and notices a difference between how she feels it should be and how it actually is. The work of art she creates is a way of bridging the gap: a physical manifestation of that discrepancy. The emotions she experiences, which might of course, be very pleasant and far from anger, are nonetheless channeled into something constructive, and the observer of the final piece might be challenged to pay attention to the issues in question and align himself with the artist's motivations.
Derren Brown (Happy: Why more or less everything is absolutely fine)
While the passive stance we take in the initial construction of our persona can make it feel like a permanent part of our being, we do have the ability to re-sculpt the masks we wear in public. Rather than being the man or woman who others want us to be, we can heed the ancient wisdom to “become who we are” and we can construct a persona more aligned with our values and the strengths of our character. For as Jung points out, in the construction of one’s persona there are two sources around which to orient it. It can be oriented around “the expectations and demands of society”, which is the path of the conformist, or it can be oriented around “the social aims and aspirations of the individual”, which is the path we must take if we are dissatisfied with our role on the stage of life.
Academy of Ideas
When someone violates you sexually, it does not simply haunt and aggrieve you; it alters the very shape of your soul. And altered I was. Contrary to the mythology surrounding the unflinching nature of African-American women, we, too, experience trauma. Black women—our essence, our emotional intricacies, the indignities we carry in our bones—are the most deeply misunderstood human beings in history. Those who know nothing about us have had the audacity to try to introduce us to ourselves, in the unsteady strokes of caricature, on stages, in books, and through their distorted reflections of us. The resulting Fun House image, a haphazard depiction sketched beneath the dim light of ignorance, allows ample room for our strength, our rage and tenacity, to stand at center stage. When we express anger, the audience of the world applauds. That expression aligns with their portrait of us. As long as we play our various designated roles—as court jesters and as comic relief, as Aunt Jemimas and as Jezebels, as maids whisking aperitifs into drawing rooms, as shuckin’ and jivin’ half-wits serving up levity—we are worthy of recognition in their meta-narrative. We are obedient Negroes. We are dutiful and thus affirmable. But when we dare tiptoe outside the lines of those typecasts, when we put our full humanity on display, when we threaten the social constructs that keep others in comfortable superiority, we are often dismissed. There is no archetype on file in which a Black woman is simultaneously resolute and trembling, fierce and frightened, dominant and receding. My mother, a woman who, amid abuse, stuffed hope and a way out into the slit of a mattress, is the very face of fortitude. I am an heir to her remarkable grit. However, beneath that tough exterior, I’ve also inherited my mother’s tender femininity, that part of her spirit susceptible to bruising and bleeding, the doleful Dosha who sat by the window shelling peanuts, pondering how to carry on. The myth of the Strong Black Woman bears a kernel of truth, but it is only a half-seed. The other half is delicate and ailing, all the more so because it has been denied sunlight.
Cicely Tyson (Just as I Am: A Memoir)
1.  Declaration of Intent: Hand lifting to the sky The first step is the collective declaration of intent to reestablish Kintuadi between Creator, Catalyst and Creation. That collective intent was implemented and manifested by the physical act of hand lifting to the sky.   Objective: To first acknowledge that we are lost due to a false start and to seek the alignment and the Kintuadi of 3 Components; Creator, Catalyst and Creation (CCC).   2.  Commitment and Decision: Cross Jumping The second step is the collective commitment and decision to abandon sinful, flesh and material driven life, and jump to the side of the creator and Christ. That collective commitment and decision was implemented and manifested by the physical act of cross jumping.   Objective: To stop and commit to a change of direction.   3.  Fasting and Meditation: Spiritual Retreat The third step is the collective fasting and meditation to gradually reduce total dependency on flesh and material driven life. This is the step of seeking spiritual enlightment, guidance and purpose for life. It is achieved by a temporary but frequent isolation and spiritual retreats. During this step, the body and soul are cleansed and fed with spiritual food.   Objective: To stop dependency on human guidance but seeks spiritual guidance and direction.   4.  Devotion and Service to God: Temple Construction (1987) The fourth step is the collective devotion and service to God. Now that body and soul are cleansed and fed spiritually, man devotion and service to god is manifested by the construction of the temple as an offering to God. The real temple is the body of Christ, the supreme sacrifice.   Objective: To regain God’s trust by gradually training the flesh and material wealth to serve God.   5.  Prayers and Faith Consolidation: Spiritual Soiree (1990s) Now that body and soul have constructed the sanctuary, the place of reunion and spiritual communion with God. This fifth step is the step of collective prayers and faith consolidation at the sanctuary, the place of invocation and the real body of Christ, our Catalyst.   Objective: To repair and reestablish communication between Creator, Catalyst and Creation.   6.  Redemption: The Begging for forgiveness; December 24, 1992 In the name of all humanity, on December 24, 1992 followers of Simon Kimbangu lead by Papa Dialungana Kiangani (Kimbangu son) gathered inside the temple in Nkamba, all wearing sac clothes and begged for the forgiveness of Adamus and eve original sin. After asking for forgiveness that Adamus himself did not have the courage to ask, the Kimbanguists burned all sac clothes. In 1994, Adeneho Nana Oduro Numapau II, President of the Ghana National House of Chiefs, initiated ceremonies in Africa and the Americas to beg forgiveness of African Americans for his ancestors ‘involvement in the slave trade.   Objective: To reestablish and maintain interconnectivity between Creator, Catalyst and Creation.   7.  Return to Eden, the Realm of Kintuadi (Oneness) December 24th, 1992 marked the beginning of a new spiritual era for mankind in general but for Africans in particular. The chains of physical and spiritual slavery were broken on that date. The spiritual exodus from Egypt, the land of Slavery to Eden, the Promised Land also started that date. On May 10, 1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first black President of South Africa, Africa most powerful country. On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama was inaugurated as the first African American president of the United States, the most powerful country on earth.   Objective: To enjoy the Oneness between Creator, Catalyst and Creation.  Chapter 27  Kimbangu’s Wife, 3 sons  and 30 Grand Children As stated in chapter 11, few months after Kimbangu’s birth, his mother Luezi died, so Kimbangu did not know his biological mother and was raised by Kinzembo, his maternal aunt.
Dom Pedro V (The Quantum Vision of Simon Kimbangu: Kintuadi in 3D)
Let’s begin with ISIS. As of the writing of this book, the terrorists of ISIS—once known as al-Qaeda in Iraq—control territory as large as an entire nation-state, with much of northern Syria and northern Iraq under its control. It is threatening Baghdad and the Kurdish capital city of Erbil, and it recently controlled (and still threatens) a poorly constructed dam near Mosul (one of Iraq’s largest cities). If that dam is blown, it would drown an entire region in a wall of water, killing hundreds of thousands. ISIS is brutal beyond imagination to anyone—Christian, Jew, Yazidi, and even Shiite Muslim—who is not aligned with its jihadist form of Sunni Islam. In Syria, ISIS has slaughtered Shiites, Christians, and Alawites (an obscure Islamic sect). In Iraq, it has done the same, giving Christians in conquered territories a chilling ultimatum: “Convert, leave your homes, or die.
Jay Sekulow (Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can't Ignore)
We think that there are people who are normal over here, and then there’s the pathological ones who have depression, anxiety, addiction or schizophrenia or Bipolar disorder or ADHD or any number of other conditions. What I see is a continuum; that we are all on a continuum. These traits to one degree or another are present in almost everybody. And it’s a mythology to think that there’s the normal and then there’s the abnormal. According to the research the best place to be a schizophrenic in the world is not North America with all its pharmacopoeia. It’s actually a village in Africa or India - where there’s acceptance, where people make room for your differentness, where connection is not broken but is maintained, where you’re not excluded and ostracized but where you’re welcomed. And where there’s room for you to act out whatever you need to act out or to express whatever you need to express - where the whole community would sing with you or chant with you or hold ceremony with you, and maybe find some meaning in your “craziness”. So, it’s contextual and it’s cultural. So, disease is not an isolated phenomenon of an individual - it’s in fact culturally manufactured or culturally constructed. A society that cuts us off from our spirituality; that cuts us off from society by idealizing individualism, and by destroying social contexts (which is what our society does), ignoring our emotional needs - it’s going to be a society that generates pathology. And I think that has to do with the very nature of the economic system that says that what matters is not who you are, but how you’re valued by others. It’s a materialistic society, which specifically means that what we value is not who people are, but what they produce and what they consume. And the people that neither consume nor produce are shunned to the side and they’re totally devalued. Hence the rejection of the old and the poor because they no longer pursue to produce and they’re not rich enough to consume a lot either. So the very nature of this materialistic society dictates or generates and promotes the separation from ourselves. There is an intelligence - I’m not speaking of an operative creature up there or out there somewhere doing things and deciding things. But there is an intelligence in Nature and creation that if we ignore we create suffering for ourselves and other people. And aligning with that intelligence and aligning with that connection is really how we’re meant to be. Whether we do so consciously or whether we do so because we’re called to do that which manifests compassion, connection and love - that’s the way we’re meant to be. So, recognizing that and striving for that is what I call spirituality. Fundamentally, there’s this spiritual nature that if we ignore it we’re actually ignoring an essential part of ourselves.
Gabor Maté
The Scriptures talk a lot about the “head of the corner” or the “chief cornerstone.” God uses the illustration of cornerstones to draw our attention to the Cornerstone He has chosen to build His house. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Isaiah 28:16 Typically, a cornerstone is the first stone to be set in place whenever a structure is built, and all other stones in the building are aligned to it. Cornerstones mark the beginning point of construction, unite walls at intersections, and determine the positioning of the building. They support and set the reference point for how an entire framework comes together. Cornerstones often represent “the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved with the date and laid in place with appropriate ceremonies.”20 You may have seen the famous picture of George Washington laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building. These stones can be symbolic or ceremonial in nature, and many times, they are inscribed with information about the building’s importance and why it was built. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Ephesians 2:19-21
Mark Cahill (Ten Questions from the King)
In truth, there will never be enough power in the presidency for an incumbent to make good on a purely constructive leadership project, and it is unlikely that there will ever be another president stretched so thinly by a determination to use great power to do just that. Lyndon Johnson was a full-service president who had at his disposal an alignment of political resources, economic resources, international resources, and military resources unmatched in the annals of presidential history. The problem is that in a full-service presidency, where no interest of political significance is denied a modicum of legitimacy, resources turn fickle; the exercise of power consumes authority. Committed to a wholly affirmative result, Johnson could not rest content to let anyone carry the brunt of change.
Stephen Skowronek (The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton)
construction – and how they were aligned so precisely with the aid of astronomy – leave us with more questions than answers. Like anything the Egyptians did, there were many rituals surrounding the building of a pyramid tomb. The first ritual, dating back to the 2nd dynasty, was called “stretching the cord” and it was done at night. The building was precisely aligned by careful astronomical observations. There are several ways in which this could have been done. A tool called a “market” or “merket” could have been used.
Robert Carlson (Egyptian Mythology: A Concise Guide)
aligned text units by definition combine a figural and a narratorial perspective, then onto which narrative level do readers actually project their origo in aligned text segments? This issue has been
Susanne Klinger (Translation and Linguistic Hybridity: Constructing World-View (Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies Book 7))
first level, which he terms recognition, “concerns the way in which we individuate and reidentify characters—that is, perceive them as unique and distinct from other characters, and as continuous across the narrative” (2005:97). Alignment, the second level of engagement, “describes the way in which our access to the thoughts, feelings, and actions of characters is controlled and organized” (2005:97). The third and highest level of engagement, allegiance, “describes an emotional reaction that arises out of the moral structuring of the film, that is, the way the film invites us to respond with regard to characters morally” (2005:97). In other words, “[w]hile alignment denotes our knowledge of a character’s actions, feelings, and states of mind, allegiance refers to our evaluation of and emotional response to such actions, feelings, and states of mind” (2005:97). Our
Susanne Klinger (Translation and Linguistic Hybridity: Constructing World-View (Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies Book 7))
TT shifts in linguistic hybridity can erase the narrator’s alignment with this particular culture. If no discordancy markers are present, this alignment is concordant (i.e. the default assumption). When the alignment is concordant and the TT erases the ST’s alignment, it simultaneously also erases the narrator’s sympathetic allegiance with this culture. Erasing the narrator’s sympathetic allegiance, as we have seen in the previous section, can in turn prevent the TT reader from forming a sympathetic response towards this culture on the level of allegiance.
Susanne Klinger (Translation and Linguistic Hybridity: Constructing World-View (Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies Book 7))
We often struggle to conceive of and describe the scope and scale of new technologies, meaning that we have trouble even thinking them. What is needed is not new technology, but new metaphors: a metalanguage for describing the world that complex systems have wrought. A new shorthand is required, one that simultaneously acknowledges and addresses the reality of a world in which people, politics, culture and technology are utterly enmeshed. We have always been connected - unequally, illogically, and some more than others - but entirely and inevitably. What changes in the network is that this connection is visible and undeniable. We are confronted at all times by the radical interconnectedness of things and our selves, and we must reckon with this realization in new ways. It is insufficient to speak of the internet or amorphous technologies, alone and unaccountable, as causing or accelerating the chasm in our understanding and agency. For want of a better term, I use the word 'network' to include us and our technologies in one vast system - to include human and nonhuman agency and understanding, knowing and unknowing, within the same agential soup. The chasm is not between us and our technologies, but within the network itself, and it is through the network that we come to know it. Finally, systemic literacy permits, performs, and responds to critique. The systems that we will be discussing are too critical to be thought, understood, designed and enacted by the few, especially when those few all too easily align themselves with, or are subsumed by, older elites and power structures. There is a concrete and causal relationship between the complexity of the systems we encounter every day; the opacity with which most of those systems are constructed or described; and fundamental, global issues of inequality, violence, populism and fundamentalism, All too often, new technologies are presented as inherently emancipatory. But this is itself an example of computational thinking, of which we are all guilty. Those of us who have been early adopters and cheerleaders of new technologies, who have experienced their manifold pleasures and benefitted from their opportunities, and who have consequently argued, often naively, for their wider implementation, are in no less danger from their uncritical deployment. But the argument for critique cannot be made from individual threats, nor from identification with the less fortunate or less knowledgeable. Individualism and empathy are both insufficient in the network. Survival and solidarity must be possible without understanding.
James Bridle (New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future)
Braid groups have many important practical applications. For example, they are used to construct efficient and robust public key encryption algorithms.7 Another promising direction is designing quantum computers based on creating complex braids of quantum particles known as anyons. Their trajectories weave around each other, and their overlaps are used to build “logic gates” of the quantum computer.8 There are also applications in biology. Given a braid with n threads, we can number the nails on the two plates from 1 to n from left to right. Then, connect the ends of the threads attached to the nails with the same number on the two plates. This will create what mathematicians call a “link”: a union of loops weaving around each other. In the example shown on this picture, there is only one loop. Mathematicians’ name for it is “knot.” In general, there will be several closed threads. The mathematical theory of links and knots is used in biology: for example, to study bindings of DNA and enzymes.9 We view a DNA molecule as one thread, and the enzyme molecule as another thread. It turns out that when they bind together, highly non-trivial knotting between them may occur, which may alter the DNA. The way they entangle is therefore of great importance. It turns out that the mathematical study of the resulting links sheds new light on the mechanisms of recombination of DNA. In mathematics, braids are also important because of their geometric interpretation. To explain it, consider all possible collections of n points on the plane. We will assume that the points are distinct; that is, for any two points, their positions on the plane must be different. Let’s choose one such collection; namely, n points arranged on a straight line, with the same distance between neighboring points. Think of each point as a little bug. As we turn on the music, these bugs come alive and start moving on the plane. If we view the time as the vertical direction, then the trajectory of each bug will look like a thread. If the positions of the bugs on the plane are distinct at all times – that is, if we assume that the bugs don’t collide – then these threads will never intersect. While the music is playing, they can move around each other, just like the threads of a braid. However, we demand that when we stop the music after a fixed period of time, the bugs must align on a straight line in the same way as at the beginning, but each bug is allowed to end up in a position initially occupied by another bug. Then their collective path will look like a braid with n threads. Thus, braids with n threads may be viewed as paths in the space of collections of n distinct points on the plane.10
Edward Frenkel (Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality)
Transforming Culture It is easier to kill an organization than it is to change it. —Tom Peters Every gathering of people, every organization has a culture. Though a local church is much more than just an organization, every church has a culture. Some church cultures are healthy and some are unhealthy, but every church has a culture. Healthy church cultures are conducive for leadership development. They don’t merely say they value leadership development; they actually believe the Church is responsible to develop and deploy leaders, and they align their actions to this deeply held conviction. Culture ultimately begins with the actual beliefs and values that undergird all the actions and behavior. A church’s capacity for developing leaders relies on the collective worldview of the church and whether it is compatible with the ambition. A church’s culture has the power to significantly impede or empower its effectiveness in the Great Commission and the call to multiplication. Leaders create culture and culture shapes leaders and churches, even without recognizing it. Ministry leaders must understand the transformative power of culture if they want to have mature communities of faith.1 Organizational culture, and more pertinently church culture, is intensely potent. Church culture is a powerful force in the hands of those who shape a local church according to God’s design. If you are reading this book in any type of building, rebar is likely holding the building up and connecting the structure together. Glance up from the book and look for the rebar (short for reinforcing bar). You can’t see it, but it is impacting everything you see. You often can’t see culture, not in the same way you can see the doctrinal statement (the expressed convictions) or the leadership pipeline (the expressed constructs), but it holds everything in place. For better or worse, culture impacts your church more than you often realize. Building on the expert work of Edgar Schein, church culture can be seen in three layers, each layer building and depending on the layer below it.2 These layers move from actual beliefs to articulated beliefs, to the expression of those beliefs (called artifacts). All three layers make up the culture in a church. Actual beliefs are what the group collectively believes, not merely says they believe.
Eric Geiger (Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development)
Herein lies the power of heuristics; they are the rules of influence. Once you know what they are and you begin to sell in accordance with them, your ability to influence others will be enhanced. Why? Because you are behaving in ways that are aligned with how the brain constructs choices.
David Hoffeld (The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal)
After we discard the white, elite, Western Jesus, a human construct used for sociopolitical domination, we open ourselves up to the divine revelation of the poor, oppressed, Jewish, and ultimately crucified Messiah. And in a life of discipleship, we will find the way that can dismantle and dis-align the racial hierarchy and order upon which our lives are built.
Drew G.I. Hart (Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism)
The idea of enlightenment can be broken down into two simple forms, the mind, and the self. The mind is that constant voice that has been molded and constructed based on the world around you in this life. Self is that inner being that is separate from the meat of your body and does not change based on any teachings or experiences that life brings you. Your real self is what can be understood to travel from life to life during reincarnation. In different belief systems, these are given names, such as the soul, though what name you give it isn’t important. It is merely important that you recognize that these two parts of you exist and that, if you are unhappy in your life, the harmony or balance is missing and that’s where Buddhism helps you to align these values so that both parts of you are in harmony with each other. Each
Michael Williams (Buddhism: Beginner's Guide to Understanding & Practicing Buddhism to Become Stress and Anxiety Free)
To understand the origin and construction of feelings, and to appreciate the contribution they make to the human mind, we need to set them in the panorama of homeostasis. The alignment of pleasant and unpleasant feelings with, respectively, positive and negative ranges of homeostasis is a verified fact. Homeostasis in good or even optimal ranges expresses itself as well-being and even joy, while the happiness caused by love and friendship contributes to more efficient homeostasis and promotes health. The negative examples are just as clear. The stress associated with sadness is caused by calling into action the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and by releasing molecules whose consequence is reducing homeostasis and actually damaging countless body parts such as blood vessels and muscular structures. Interestingly, the homeostatic burden of physical disease can activate the same hypothalamic-pituitary axis and cause release of dynorphin, a molecule that induces dysphoria.
António R. Damásio (The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of the Cultural Mind)
When the construction of Skyway Stage 3 started, I was a freshman at law school. Almost every day, I’d pass by the same alignment which, if completed, would cut travel time from North Luzon Expressway to South Luzon Expressway from 2.5 hours to only 30 minutes. At the time, I was still working for United Nations and our Manila Office was located at the RCBC Plaza on HV dela Costa on Ayala Avenue. There were many days I hoped they’d fast-track the construction. The promise of reduced travel time from Makati to QC meant more time to study, dine, shower, or sleep. Little did I know that I’d be part of the project about two years later.
Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo , Night Owl: A Nationbuilder’s Manual