Constructive Criticism Quotes

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An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart and the pluck to tell you what you need to hear.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
NO reader has ANY obligation to an author, whether it be to leave a review or to write a "constructive" one. I put out a product. You are consumers of that product. Since when does that mean you have to kiss my ass? Hey, I like Pop-Tarts and eat them a few times a year; since when does that mean I'm obligated to support Kellogg's in any way except legally purchasing the Pop-Tarts before I eat them? I wasn't aware that purchasing and consuming a product meant I was under some sort of fucking thrall in which I'm only allowed to either praise the Pop-Tart (which to be honest isn't hard, especially the S'mores flavor) or, if I am going to criticize a flavor, offer a specific and detailed analysis as to why, phrased in as inoffensive and gentle a manner as possible so as not to upset the gentle people at Kellogg's." [Something in the Water? (blog post; January 9, 2012)]
Stacia Kane
You have to lift a person up before you can really put them in their place.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
A pure heart does not demean the spirit of an individual, it, instead, compels the individual to examine his spirit.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Constructive criticism and self-criticism are extremely important for any revolutionary organization. Without them, people tend to drown in their mistakes, not learn from them.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old fillms, small victories, people hated, people loved; perhaps it is because our sense of what is the case is constructed from such inadequate materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to death.
Salman Rushdie (Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991)
I would have assumed you understood, despite our vague suggestions otherwise, we do not welcome constructive criticism.
David Thorne
Being a critic is easy. But if the critic tries to run the operation, he soon understands that nothing is as easy as his criticisms. Criticism without a solution is merely an inflation of the critic's ego.
Haemin Sunim (The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World)
With no positivity, there is no hope; with no negativity, there is no improvement.
Criss Jami (Healology)
I suspect that most authors don't really want criticism, not even constructive criticism. They want straight-out, unabashed, unashamed, fulsome, informed, naked praise, arriving by the shipload every fifteen minutes or so.
Neil Gaiman
One who utters speech that isn't rough But instructive and truthful So that he offends no one, Him I call Brahmin.
Anonymous (The Dhammapada)
Female is real, and it’s sex, and femininity is unreal, and it’s gender.
Germaine Greer
I do not take constructive criticism from people who have never constructed anything.
Eric Thomas
We're stuck. We're stuck between the East and the West. Between the past and the future. On the one hand there are the secular modernists, so proud of the regime they constructed, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the army and half of the state on their side. On the other hand there are the conventional traditionalist, so infatuated with the Ottoman past, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the general public and the remaining half of the state on their side.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
Widespread intellectual and moral docility may be convenient for leaders in the short term, but it is suicidal for nations in the long term. One of the criteria for national leadership should therefore be a talent for understanding, encouraging, and making constructive use of vigorous criticism.
Carl Sagan
Criticizing and objecting to everything means an attempt to destruction. If you do not like something, try to make something better than it. Being destructive causes ruins, while being constructive brings about prosperity.
M. Fethullah Gülen
Are small, critical actions enough? Small gestures make us feel good—about ourselves, about others. Small things connect us. They feel like everything. A lot depends on them. It’s not unlike religion and God. We believe in certain constructs that help us understand life. Not only to understand it, but as a means of providing comfort.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
I, too, feel the need to reread the books I have already read," a third reader says, "but at every rereading I seem to be reading a new book, for the first time. Is it I who keep changing and seeing new things of which I was not previously aware? Or is reading a construction that assumes form, assembling a great number of variables, and therefore something that cannot be repeated twice according to the same pattern? Every time I seek to relive the emotion of a previous reading, I experience different and unexpected impressions, and do not find again those of before. At certain moments it seems to me that between one reading and the next there is a progression: in the sense, for example, of penetrating further into the spirit of the text, or of increasing my critical detachment. At other moments, on the contrary, I seem to retain the memory of the readings of a single book one next to another, enthusiastic or cold or hostile, scattered in time without a perspective, without a thread that ties them together. The conclusion I have reached is that reading is an operation without object; or that its true object is itself. The book is an accessory aid, or even a pretext.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler)
But human beings do not perceive things whole; we are not gods but wounded creatures, cracked lenses, capable only of fractured perceptions. Partial beings, in all the senses of that phrase. Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old films, small victories, people hated, people loved; perhaps it is because our sense of what is the case is constructed from such inadequate materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to the death.
Salman Rushdie (Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991)
The truth is: Everyone will judge you. But this depends upon your intellectual capacity whether you are able to distinguish constructive criticism between an insult coming from other people's opinions about you.
Anonymous
Value those who give you constructive criticism, because without them doing so, you will never reach the peak of what you are do.
Unarine Ramaru
Ultimately, a richer language is essential to the skill of constructive criticism.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Introspection precedes constructive criticism. Introspeksi mendahului kritik yang membangun.
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
A perceptive French critic has argued that in an age of deepening illiteracy, when even the educated have only a smattering of classical or theological knowledge, erudition is of itself a kind of fantasy, a surrealistic construct.
George Steiner
The whole idea of a democratic application of skepticism is that everyone should have the essential tools to effectively and constructively evaluate claims to knowledge.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
There is no such thing as constructive criticism,” says John Gottman. “All criticism is painful.” He is correct. We never like to hear that there is something “wrong” with us, or that something needs changing, especially if this message is coming from the loved one we most depend on. Psychologist Jill Hooley’s work at Harvard measures the impact of critical, hostile comments made by loved ones and shows just how venomous disparagement by those we rely on can be. This censure may even trigger relapse of mental illness, such as depression.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships (The Dr. Sue Johnson Collection Book 2))
Are small, critical actions enough? Small gestures make us feel good—about ourselves, about others. Small things connect us. They feel like everything. A lot depends on them. It’s not unlike religion and God. We believe in certain constructs that help us understand life. Not only to understand it, but as a means of providing comfort. The idea that we are better off with one person for the rest of our lives is not an innate truth of existence. It’s a belief we want to be true.
Iain Reid (I'm Thinking of Ending Things)
Last week my boss told me to rewrite a twenty-page proposal on engagement benchmarking. I turned it in and he wrote a note on the cover that just said, "No, no. Not this." I had no idea what he wanted, so I just put it off, and then when he came in this morning and told me he needed the final draft in a half-hour I printed out the exact same one as before, but this time on prettier paper. This afternoon he brought the whole team together to tell everyone I was the perfect example of being able to listen to constructive criticism.
Jenny Lawson
Criticise privately but compliment publicly.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Suffering is a cutting edge political design.
Bruno De Oliveira (Constructed To Rot: A Critical Reflection On Homelessness)
I hope you can take some constructive criticism.” “Sure.” “It sounds like you are trying to make too many people happy.” Court looked to the carpet a moment. “Welcome to my world.
Mark Greaney (Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man, #6))
Is constructive criticism really constructive? Not really. You can't make a child better by pointing out what you think is wrong with him or her. Criticism either crushes spirit or elicits defensiveness. Constructive criticism is an interesting combination of words. "Construct" means "to build." "Criticism" means "to tear down" It creates defiance and anger as well.
H. Norman Wright
One of the tests for positive thinking, for constructive thinking, is to test one’s idle moments. At those times, is one’s mind turning over negative critical thoughts; fighting battles that have been won or lost; rehashing senseless arguments? If so, then one is out of tune. But if one is thinking how to improve a situation or a procedure, how to gain a worthwhile objective, then one is on the constructive side of life.
Paul Davis
PRINCIPLE Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism. It can even stifle someone’s sense of self-preservation. Often, the most difficult ego to deal with is your own.
Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win)
The emphasis and the reason for a pure humility is to result in love for others; not always necessarily the belittlement of self. When there is pride and self-righteousness and being pretentiously too far above, generally, one has a difficult time reaching the compassionate side of love for others, the side that understands (or at least attempts to understand): 'I am aware that I am not so far from falling in the same way.' Humility seeks to understand, and sometimes even relate; and in result, the love lovingly, properly, effectively wills the removal of the destructive sins of another as from oneself.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
They [homeless people] are constructed ideologically to be oppressed to the level of losing their humanity. It is not by chance it is a design.
Bruno De Oliveira (Constructed To Rot: A Critical Reflection On Homelessness)
Market forces which are driven by self indulgent needs designing the ultimate human experiences such as intimacy, love, solidarity and commitment as not enough and no longer needed, resulting in an ongoing emptiness and on the illusion of endless enjoyment.
Bruno De Oliveira (Constructed To Rot: A Critical Reflection On Homelessness)
We have a bad habit of seeing books as sort of cheaply made movies where the words do nothing but create visual narratives in our heads. So too often what passes for literary criticism is "I couldn't picture that guy", or "I liked that part", or "this part shouldn't have happened." That is, we've left language so far behind that sometimes we judge quality solely based on a story's actions. So we can appreciate a novel that constructs its conflicts primarily through plot - the layered ambiguity of a fatal car accident caused by a vehicle owned by Gatsby but driven by someone else, for instance. But in this image-drenched world, sometimes we struggle to appreciate and celebrate books where the quality arises not exclusively from plot but also from the language itself.
John Green
If we wanted to construct a basic philosophical attitude from these scientific utterances of Pauli's, at first we would be inclined to infer from them an extreme rationalism and a fundamentally skeptical point of view. In reality however, behind this outward display of criticism and skepticism lay concealed a deep philosophical interest even in those dark areas of reality of the human mind which elude the grasp of reason. And while the power of fascination emanating from Pauli's analyses of physical problems was admittedly due in some measure to the detailed and penetrating clarity of his formulations, the rest was derived from a constant contact with the field of creative processes, for which no rational formulation as yet exists.
Werner Heisenberg (Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science)
To ensure that we are leading with our feet firmly planted on the soil of what is, we must live by the seven commandments of current reality: Thou shalt not pretend. Though shalt not turn a blind eye. Thou shalt not exaggerate. Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news. Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers. Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism. Thou shalt not isolate thyself. Attempting to lead while turning a blind eye to reality is like treading water: It can only go on for so long, eventually you will sink. As a next generation leader, be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. And if you don’t like what you see, change it.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
Sadly, at a time when so much sophisticated cultural criticism by hip intellectuals from diverse locations extols a vision of cultural hybridity, border crossing, subjectivity constructed out of plurality, the vast majority of folks in this society still believe in a notion of identity that is rooted in a sense of essential traits and characteristics that are fixed and static.
bell hooks (Art on My Mind: Visual Politics)
Children have fewer rights than almost any other group and fewer institutions protecting these rights. Consequently, their voices and needs are almost completely absent from the debates, policies, and legislative practices that are constructed in terms of their needs.
Henry A. Giroux (On Critical Pedagogy (Critical Pedagogy Today Book 1))
There is no such thing as constructive criticism. There is constructive advice, constructive guidance, constructive counsel, encouragement, suggestion, and instruction. Criticism, however, is not constructive but a destructive means of faultfinding that cripples all parties involved. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Never listen to destructive criticism - it's only meant to silence you.
Stewart Stafford
we adopt an inclusive identity, we are more likely to see how other groups can help us and are more willing to receive constructive criticism from them.
Christena Cleveland (Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart)
I need Thee, O Lord, for a curb on my tongue; when I am tempted to making carping criticisms and cruel judgements, keep me from speaking barbed words that hurt, and in which I find perverted satisfaction. Keep me from unkind words and from unkind silences. Restrain my judgements. Make my criticisms kind, generous, and constructive. Make me sweet inside, that I may be gentle with other people, gentle in the things I say, kind in what I do. Create in me that warmth of mercy that shall enable others to find Thy strength for their weakness, Thy peace for their strife, Thy joy for their sorrow, Thy love for their hatred, Thy compassion for their weakness. In thine own strong name, I pray. Amen.
Peter Marshall
A Christian approach to any field needs to be both critical and constructive. We cannot simply borrow from the results of secular scholarship as though that were spiritually neutral territory discovered by people whose minds are completely open and objective- that is, *as though the fall had never happened*.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity)
While self-interest arising from the enjoyment of meat eating is obviously one reason for its entrenchment, and inertia another, a process of language usage engulfs discussions about meat by constructing the discourse in such a way that these issues need never be addressed. Language distances us from the reality of meat eating, thus reinforcing the symbolic meaning of meat eating, a symbolic meaning that is intrinsically patriarchal and male-oriented. Meat becomes a symbol for what is not seen but is always there--patriarchal control of animals and of language.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
He suffered incessantly from the fact that his critical faculties transcended his constructive capacities. In a manner of speaking, his critical sense robbed him of his love for the offspring of his own mind even before they were born.
Albert Einstein (Essays in Humanism)
Employers who understand human nature, get the best there is in men, not by criticism, but by constructive suggestion.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich (Start Motivational Books))
Some criticism, no doubt, is constructive, but too much is a subtle poison.
Arthur Gordon (A Touch of Wonder)
Insofar as the theorist wins, therefore, by constructing an increasingly closed and terrifying machine, to that very degree he loses, since the critical capacity of his work is thereby paralysed, and the impulses of negation and revolt, not to speak of those of social transformation, are increasingly perceived as vain and trivial in the face of the model itself.
Fredric Jameson (Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism)
The next time you are part of a conversation that goes awry, ask for feedback. Let the other person know that the exchange didn’t go as you hoped and you wonder if you could have phrased things differently, or if you were focused on the wrong things, or if you didn’t understand their point. Then listen. Listen to what they have to say without taking offense. Maybe start with someone you know well, like a sibling or a friend. Listening to constructive criticism is never easy, but if your goal is to become better at conversations, it’s important to get an honest assessment of the areas most in need of improvement.
Celeste Headlee (We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter)
Unrelenting criticism, especially when it is ground in with parental rage and scorn, is so injurious that it changes the structure of the child’s brain. Repeated messages of disdain are internalized and adopted by the child, who eventually repeats them over and over to himself. Incessant repetitions result in the construction of thick neural pathways of self-hate and self-disgust. Over time a self-hate response attaches to more and more of the child’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Eventually, any inclination toward authentic or vulnerable self-expression activates internal neural networks of self-loathing. The child is forced to exist in a crippling state of self-attack, which eventually becomes the equivalent of full-fledged self-abandonment. The ability to support himself or take his own side in any way is decimated. With ongoing parental reinforcement, these neural pathways expand into a large complex network that becomes an Inner Critic that dominates mental activity. The inner critic’s negative perspective creates many programs of self-rejecting perfectionism. At the same time, it obsesses about danger and catastrophizes incessantly.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
Be constructively self-critical. Don’t run away from inadequacies. Be like the real professionals. They seek out their faults and weaknesses, then correct them. That’s what makes them professionals.
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
In our relationships, weatherproofing typically plays itself out like this: You meet someone and all is well. You are attracted to his or her appearance, personality, intellect, sense of humor, or some combination of these traits. Initially, you not only approve of your differences with this person, you actually appreciate them. You might even be attracted to the person, in part because of how different you are. You have different opinions, preferences, tastes, and priorities. After a while, however, you begin to notice little quirks about your new partner (or friend, teacher, whoever), that you feel could be improved upon. You bring it to their attention. You might say, “You know, you sure have a tendency to be late.” Or, “I’ve noticed you don’t read very much.” The point is, you’ve begun what inevitably turns into a way of life—looking for and thinking about what you don’t like about someone, or something that isn’t quite right. Obviously, an occasional comment, constructive criticism, or helpful guidance isn’t cause for alarm. I have to say, however, that in the course of working with hundreds of couples over the years, I’ve met very few people who didn’t feel that they were weatherproofed at times by their partner. Occasional harmless comments have an insidious tendency to become a way of looking at life. When you are weatherproofing another human being, it says nothing about them—but it does define you as someone who needs to be critical. Whether you have a tendency to weatherproof your relationships, certain aspects of your life, or both, what you need to do is write off weatherproofing as a bad idea. As the habit creeps into your thinking, catch yourself and seal your lips. The less often you weatherproof your partner or your friends, the more you’ll notice how super your life really is.
Richard Carlson (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life)
Fashionable academic movements like postmodernism and critical theory (not to be confused with critical thinking) hold that reason, truth, and objectivity are social constructions that justify the privilege of dominant groups.
Steven Pinker (Rationality)
Some critics of trans people have told us that we shouldn’t feel this pain of being denied the legitimacy of our own selves; gender is, of course, just a social construct. I wonder if these people also tell widows not to bother grieving their husbands, because marriage is also just another social construct.
C.N. Lester
…he is invariably a kind of super-size but unmistakably ‘classical’ neurotic, an aberrant who only occasionally, and never deeply, wishes to surrender his aberration; or, in English, a Sick Man who not at all seldom, though he’s reported to childishly deny it, gives out terrible cries of pain, as if he would wholeheartedly let go of both his art and soul to experience what passes in other people for wellness, and yet (the rumor continues) when his unsalutary-looking little room is broken into and someone - not infrequently, at that, someone who actually loves him - passionately asks him where the pain is, he either declines or seems unable to discuss it an any constructive critical length, and in the morning, when even great poets and painters presumably feel a bit more chipper than usual, he looks more perversely determined than ever to see his sickness run its course, as though by the light of another, presumably working day he had remembered that all men, the healthy ones included, eventually die, but that he, lucky man, is at least being done in by the most stimulating companion, disease or no, he has ever known.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
The notion of literature as only one of several avenues to a single type of propositional knowledge is, of course, hardly the winning ticket in lit-crit today. More typical are sentiments that see such a notion as not even admissible, if at all desirable. The world of these academic refuseniks is, however, a bleak and sterile place. Disarmed by their own epistemic fiat, scholars cannot assert anything since they deny the idea of objective rationality. If they arrive at an insight whose truth they wish to defend – for example that truth and rationality are passé – they can’t do so because truth and rationality are constructed to be constructed.
Peter Swirski (Of Literature and Knowledge: Explorations in Narrative Thought Experiments, Evolution, and Game Theory)
If you don’t teach that dog to sit, she’s going to die!” said the tall bearded man in blue jeans standing next to me. He pointed at the ground, bent down to get in Belvy’s face, and bellowed at her, “SIT!!” To my astonishment, Belvy sat. She didn’t just sit, she pounded her butt into the pavement, and looked up at the man wagging her tail. The man was in my face now. “See? It’s not mean, it’s clear.” The light changed, and the man strode across the street, leaving me with words to live by.
Kim Malone Scott (Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity)
Not to grow up properly is to retain our 'caterpillar' quality from childhood (where it is a virtue) into adulthood (where it becomes a vice). In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time, our caterpillar nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists and quacks. The genius of the human child, mental caterpillar extraordinary, is for soaking up information and ideas, not for criticizing them. If critical faculties later grow it will be in spite of, not because of, the inclinations of childhood. The blotting paper of the child's brain is the unpromising seedbed, the base upon which later the sceptical attitude, like a struggling mustard plant, may possibly grow. We need to replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive scepticism of adult science.
Richard Dawkins (Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder)
A bitter critic is the sweetest corrector.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
Manhood is constructed in our culture, in part, by access to meat eating and control of other bodies.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
Your frequent claim that we must understand religious belief as a “social construct,” produced by “societal causes,” dependent upon “social and cultural institutions,” admitting of “sociological questions,” and the like, while it will warm the hearts of most anthropologists, is either trivially true or obscurantist. It is part and parcel of the double standard that so worries me—the demolition of which is the explicit aim of The Reason Project. Epidemiology is also a “social construct” with “societal causes,” etc.—but this doesn’t mean that the germ theory of disease isn’t true or that any rival “construct”—like one suggesting that child rape will cure AIDS—isn’t a dangerous, deplorable, and unnecessary eruption of primeval stupidity. We either have good reasons or bad reasons for what we believe; we can be open to evidence and argument, or we can be closed; we can tolerate (and even seek) criticism of our most cherished views, or we can hide behind authority, sanctity, and dogma. The main reason why children are still raised to think that the universe is 6,000 years old is not because religion as a “social institution” hasn’t been appropriately coddled and cajoled, but because polite people (and scientists terrified of losing their funding) haven’t laughed this belief off the face of the earth. We did not lose a decade of progress on stem-cell research in the United States because of religion as a “social construct”; we lost it because of the behavioural and emotional consequences of a specific belief. If there were a line in the book of Genesis that read – “The soul enters the womb on the hundredth day (you idiots)” – we wouldn’t have lost a step on stem-cell research, and there would not be a Christian or Jew anywhere who would worry about souls in Petri dishes suffering the torments of the damned. The beliefs currently rattling around in the heads of human beings are some of the most potent forces on earth; some of the craziest and most divisive of these are “religious,” and so-dubbed they are treated with absurd deference, even in the halls of science; this is a very bad combination—that is my point.
Sam Harris
The popular distinction between 'constructive' and 'destructive' criticism is a sentimentality: the mind too weak to perceive in what respects the bad fails is not strong enough to appreciate in what the good succeeds. To be without discrimination is to be unable to praise. The critic who lets you know that he always looks for something to like in works he discusses is not telling you anything about the works or about art; he is saying 'see what a nice person I am.
Brigid Brophy (Fifty Works of English Literature We Could Do Without)
Never hide from adverse criticism. Mockery, indifference, misunderstanding— welcome the lot. Criticism of your work is much the same as criticism of yourself, you know, your work being an extension of yourself, and there's nothing like good slashing personal criticism for begetting humility.
Elizabeth Goudge (Pilgrim's Inn (Eliots of Damerosehay, #2))
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
Irony got dangerous when it became a habit. Wallace quoted Lewis Hyde…”Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time, it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy the cage.” Then he continued: This is because irony, entertaining as it is, serves an almost exclusively negative function. It’s critical and destructive, a ground clearing…. Irony’s singularly unuseful when it comes to constructing anything to replace the hypocrisies it debunks. That was it exactly—Irony was defeatist, timid, the telltale of a generation too afraid to say what it meant, and so in danger of forgetting it had anything to say.
Lewis Hyde
Equitable and righteous thoughts are essential. A humble person who seeks an authentic life overlooks errors of other people, accepts criticism, and assumes exclusive responsibility for performing the necessary task in his or her own life. A person with integrity throws off darkness and feeds his or her soul.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
The hope is that here, as in other respects, the reader is invited into a critical and collaborative venture, seeing what Dante sees and constructing along with him (as he himself asks his reader to do, for instance, in Paradiso 13: 1–18) the relationships that define us humans in our own participation in existence.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso)
While the range of people, organizations, resources, and conditions involved in an entrepreneurial ecosystem are useful to understand, they are not the most critical construct. Instead, the interaction between each of the components is what matters.
Brad Feld (The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (Techstars))
That which struck the present writer most forcibly on his first perusal of the 'Origin of Species' was the conviction that Teleology, as commonly understood, had received its deathblow at Mr. Darwin's hands. For the teleological argument runs thus: an organ or organism (A) is precisely fitted to perform a function or purpose (B); therefore it was specially constructed to perform that function.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Criticism on "The Origin of Species")
I am not sure whether you could call this abuse, but when I was (long ago) abroad in the world of dry men, I saw parents, usually upscale and educated and talented and functional and white, patient and loving and supportive and concerned and involved in their children’s lives, profilgate with compliments and diplomatic with constructive criticism, loquacious in their pronouncements of unconditional love for and approval of their children, conforming to every last jot-tittle in any conceivably definition of a good parent, I saw parent after unimpeachable parent who raised kids who were (a) emotionally retarded or (b) lethally self-indulgent or (c) chronically depressed or (d) borderline psychotic or (e) consumed with narcissistic self-loathing or (f) neurotically driven/addicted or (g) variously psychosomatically Disabled or (h) some conjunctive permutation of (a) … (g). Why is this. Why do many parents who seem relentlessly bent on producing children who feel they are good persons deserving of love produce children who grow to feel they are hideous persons not deserving of love who just happen to have lucked into having parents so marvelous that the parents love them even though they are hideous? Is it a sign of abuse if a mother produces a child who believes not that he is innately beautiful and lovable and deserving of magnificent maternal treatment but somehow that he is a hideous unlovable child who has somehow lucked in to having a really magnificent mother? Probably not. But could such a mother then really be all that magnificent, if that’s the child’s view of himself? ...I think, Mrs. Starkly, that I am speaking of Mrs. Avril M.-T. Incandenza, although the woman is so multileveled and indictment-proof that it is difficult to feel comfortable with any sort of univocal accusation of anything. Something just was not right, is the only way to put it. Something creepy, even on the culturally stellar surface.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
But some survive. Many of us have lived to tell our stories, to create Lesbian texts, to read Lesbian texts, even to write commentaries and criticisms of Lesbian texts. All of these activities must be pluralized, multiplied, complicated, and pluralized again, because there is no single, narrow, one-sentence definition of "The Lesbian." The sexologists may have been the ones to name us, but we can, and do, create ourselves. Our of a mishmash of disinformation, misinformation and outright lies, each Lesbian constructs some story about who she is and who she might someday be...
Julia Penelope (Call Me Lesbian: Lesbian Lives, Lesbian Theory)
A mood of constructive criticism being upon me, I propose forthwith that the method of choosing legislators now prevailing in the United States be abandoned and that the method used in choosing juries be substituted. That is to say, I propose that the men who make our laws be chosen by chance and against their will, instead of by fraud and against the will of all the rest of us, as now... ...that the names of all the men eligible in each assembly district be put into a hat (or, if no hat can be found that is large enough, into a bathtub), and that a blind moron, preferably of tender years, be delegated to draw out one... The advantages that this system would offer are so vast and obvious that I hesitate to venture into the banality of rehearsing them. It would in the first place, save the commonwealth the present excessive cost of elections, and make political campaigns unnecessary. It would in the second place, get rid of all the heart-burnings that now flow out of every contest at the polls, and block the reprisals and charges of fraud that now issue from the heart-burnings. It would, in the third place, fill all the State Legislatures with men of a peculiar and unprecedented cast of mind – men actually convinced that public service is a public burden, and not merely a private snap. And it would, in the fourth and most important place, completely dispose of the present degrading knee-bending and trading in votes, for nine-tenths of the legislators, having got into office unwillingly, would be eager only to finish their duties and go home, and even those who acquired a taste for the life would be unable to increase the probability, even by one chance in a million, of their reelection. The disadvantages of the plan are very few, and most of them, I believe, yield readily to analysis. Do I hear argument that a miscellaneous gang of tin-roofers, delicatessen dealers and retired bookkeepers, chosen by hazard, would lack the vast knowledge of public affairs needed by makers of laws? Then I can only answer (a) that no such knowledge is actually necessary, and (b) that few, if any, of the existing legislators possess it... Would that be a disservice to the state? Certainly not. On the contrary, it would be a service of the first magnitude, for the worst curse of democracy, as we suffer under it today, is that it makes public office a monopoly of a palpably inferior and ignoble group of men. They have to abase themselves to get it, and they have to keep on abasing themselves in order to hold it. The fact reflects in their general character, which is obviously low. They are men congenitally capable of cringing and dishonorable acts, else they would not have got into public life at all. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule among them, but how many? What I contend is simply that the number of such exceptions is bound to be smaller in the class of professional job-seekers than it is in any other class, or in the population in general. What I contend, second, is that choosing legislators from that populations, by chance, would reduce immensely the proportion of such slimy men in the halls of legislation, and that the effects would be instantly visible in a great improvement in the justice and reasonableness of the laws.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
You simply do not understand the human condition,” said the robot. Hah! Do you think you do, you conceited hunk of animated tin?” Yes, I believe so, thanks ot my study of the authors, poets, and critics who devote their lives to the exploration and description of Man. Your Miss Forelle is a noble soul. Ever since I looked upon my first copy of that exquisitely sensitive literary quarterly she edits, I have failed to understand what she sees in you. To be sure,” IZK-99 mused, “the relationship is not unlike that between the nun and the Diesel engine in Regret for Two Doves, but still… At any rate, if Miss Forelle has finally told you to go soak your censored head in expurgated wastes and then put the unprintable thing in an improbable place, I for one heartily approve. Tunny, who was no mamma’s boy — he had worked his way through college as a whale herder and bossed construction gangs on Mars — was so appalled by the robot’s language that he could only whisper, “She did not. She said nothing of the sort.” I did not mean it literally,” IZK-99 explained. “I was only quoting the renunciation scene in Gently Come Twilight. By Stichling, you know — almost as sensitive a writer as Brochet.
Poul Anderson
At that shameful stage in the development of our criticism, literary abuse would overstep all limits of decorum; literature itself was a totally extraneous matter in critical articles: they were pure invective, a vulgar battle of vulgar jokes, double-entendres, the most vicious calumnies and offensive constructions. It goes without saying, that in this inglorious battle, the only winners were those who had nothing to lose as far as their good name was concerned. My friends and I were totally deluded. We imagined ourselves engaged in the subtle philosophical disputes of the portico or the academy, or at least the drawing room. In actual fact we were slumming it.
Vladimir Odoyevsky
One very important difference between white people and black people is that white people think you are your work...Now, a black person has more sense than that because he knows that what I am doing doesn't have anything to do with what I want to do to what I do when I am doing for myself. Now, black people think that my work is just what I have to do to get what I want." Ms. Madison's perspective criticizes definitions of work that grant White men more status and human worth because they are employed in better-paid occupations. She recognizes that work is a contested construct and that evaluating individual worth by the type of work performed is a questionable practice in systems based on race and gender inequality.
Patricia Hill Collins (Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment)
When The Matrix debuted in 1999, it was a huge box-office success. It was also well received by critics, most of whom focused on one of two qualities—the technological (it mainstreamed the digital technique of three-dimensional “bullet time,” where the on-screen action would freeze while the camera continued to revolve around the participants) or the philosophical (it served as a trippy entry point for the notion that we already live in a simulated world, directly quoting philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 reality-rejecting book Simulacra and Simulation). If you talk about The Matrix right now, these are still the two things you likely discuss. But what will still be interesting about this film once the technology becomes ancient and the philosophy becomes standard? I suspect it might be this: The Matrix was written and directed by “the Wachowski siblings.” In 1999, this designation meant two brothers; as I write today, it means two sisters. In the years following the release of The Matrix, the older Wachowski (Larry, now Lana) completed her transition from male to female. The younger Wachowski (Andy, now Lilly) publicly announced her transition in the spring of 2016. These events occurred during a period when the social view of transgender issues radically evolved, more rapidly than any other component of modern society. In 1999, it was almost impossible to find any example of a trans person within any realm of popular culture; by 2014, a TV series devoted exclusively to the notion won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. In the fifteen-year window from 1999 to 2014, no aspect of interpersonal civilization changed more, to the point where Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner attracted more Twitter followers than the president (and the importance of this shift will amplify as the decades pass—soon, the notion of a transgender US president will not seem remotely implausible). So think how this might alter the memory of The Matrix: In some protracted reality, film historians will reinvestigate an extremely commercial action movie made by people who (unbeknownst to the audience) would eventually transition from male to female. Suddenly, the symbolic meaning of a universe with two worlds—one false and constructed, the other genuine and hidden—takes on an entirely new meaning. The idea of a character choosing between swallowing a blue pill that allows him to remain a false placeholder and a red pill that forces him to confront who he truly is becomes a much different metaphor. Considered from this speculative vantage point, The Matrix may seem like a breakthrough of a far different kind. It would feel more reflective than entertaining, which is precisely why certain things get remembered while certain others get lost.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
There’s nothing about me on the jacket because I have no credentials. I majored in English at school, but I only took one creative writing class. I think I got a B. And I never really thought about getting an MFA. I’m too spiteful to take criticism constructively and I’m only comfortable being honest about people behind their backs, so workshops or group critiques were never what I was looking for. For years I just wrote in journals and didn’t really worry about turning any of it into stories or stuff for other people to read, so I guess I developed my writing style by talking to myself, like some homeless people do. Only I used a pen and paper instead of just freaking out on the street. If they switched to a different medium they might be better off. It would probably help if they had someplace to live too.
Paul Neilan
There are people out there who don't have the energy to help people get better. They just accept the other person's flaws, and sure, there's less conflict to deal with, but it's almost like living out a lie. Then there are people who aren’t afraid to point out something’s wrong—even something as little as a typo. In the end, you’re making something better, and that’s more than other people are willing to do.
Loan Le (A Pho Love Story)
Moreover, it is not just that the early documents are silent about so much of Jesus that came to be recorded in the gospels, but that they view him in a substantially different way -- as a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past, 'emptied' then of all his supernatural attributes (Phil.2:7), and certainly not a worker of prodigious miracles which made him famous throughout 'all Syria' (Mt.4:24). I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure, amply documented in the earlier Jewish literature, who sought an abode on Earth, but was there rejected, rather than from information concerning a recently deceased historical individual. The influence of the Wisdom literature is undeniable; only assessment of what it amounted to still divides opinion.
George Albert Wells
Not Locke, nor Hume, nor Smith, nor Burke, could ever have argued, as Bentham did, that “every law is an evil for every law is an infraction of liberty.” Their argument was never a complete laissez faire argument, which, as the very words show, is also part of the French rationalist tradition and in its literal sense was never defended by any of the English classical economists. They knew better than most of their later critics that it was not some sort of magic but the evolution of “well-constructed institutions,” where the “rules and principles of contending interests and compromised advantages” would be reconciled, that had successfully channeled individual efforts to socially beneficial aims. In fact, their argument was never antistate as such, or anarchistic, which is the logical outcome of the laissez faire doctrine; it was an argument that accounted both for the proper functions of the state and for the limits of state action.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Constitution of Liberty)
Yes, O’Reilly had some legitimate grievances about the liberal values of some major news outlets. But in the Trump years most constructive sorts of media criticism were replaced by destructive attacks. They didn’t even buy what they were selling half the time: The same Fox talkers who called The New York Times “failing” relied on it for story ideas and background information. The same hosts who bashed CNN texted me links to their latest segments, hoping for coverage from CNN.
Brian Stelter (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth)
Criticism is not a Popperian quick kill, by refutation. Important criticism is always constructive: there is no refutation without a better theory. Kuhn is wrong in thinking that scientific revolutions are sudden, irrational changes in vision. The history of science refutes both Popper and Kuhn: on close inspection both Popperian crucial experiments and Kuhnian revolutions turn out to be myths: what normally happens is that progressive research programmes replace degenerating ones.
Imre Lakatos (Philosophical Papers, Volume 1: The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes)
Meanwhile, Mme Mao and her cohorts were renewing their efforts to prevent the country from working. In industry, their slogan was: "To stop production is revolution itself." In agriculture, in which they now began to meddle seriously: "We would rather have socialist weeds than capitalist crops." Acquiring foreign technology became "sniffing after foreigners' farts and calling them sweet." In education: "We want illiterate working people, not educated spiritual aristocrats." They called for schoolchildren to rebel against their teachers again; in January 1974, classroom windows, tables, and chairs in schools in Peking were smashed, as in 1966. Mme Mao claimed this was like "the revolutionary action of English workers destroying machines in the eighteenth century." All this demagoguery' had one purpose: to create trouble for Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiao-ping and generate chaos. It was only in persecuting people and in destruction that Mme Mao and the other luminaries of the Cultural Revolution had a chance to "shine." In construction they had no place. Zhou and Deng had been making tentative efforts to open the country up, so Mme Mao launched a fresh attack on foreign culture. In early 1974 there was a big media campaign denouncing the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni for a film he had made about China, although no one in China had seen the film, and few had even heard of it or of Antonioni. This xenophobia was extended to Beethoven after a visit by the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the two years since the fall of Lin Biao, my mood had changed from hope to despair and fury. The only source of comfort was that there was a fight going on at all, and that the lunacy was not reigning supreme, as it had in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. During this period, Mao was not giving his full backing to either side. He hated the efforts of Zhou and Deng to reverse the Cultural Revolution, but he knew that his wife and her acolytes could not make the country work. Mao let Zhou carry on with the administration of the country, but set his wife upon Zhou, particularly in a new campaign to 'criticize Confucius." The slogans ostensibly denounced Lin Biao, but were really aimed at Zhou, who, it was widely held, epitomized the virtues advocated by the ancient sage. Even though Zhou had been unwaveringly loyal, Mao still could not leave him alone. Not even now, when Zhou was fatally ill with advanced cancer of the bladder.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Cats catch mice, small birds and the like, very well. Teleology tells us that they do so because they were expressly constructed for so doing—that they are perfect mousing apparatuses, so perfect and so delicately adjusted that no one of their organs could be altered, without the change involving the alteration of all the rest. Darwinism affirms on the contrary, that there was no express construction concerned in the matter; but that among the multitudinous variations of the Feline stock, many of which died out from want of power to resist opposing influences, some, the cats, were better fitted to catch mice than others, whence they throve and persisted, in proportion to the advantage over their fellows thus offered to them. Far from imagining that cats exist 'in order' to catch mice well, Darwinism supposes that cats exist 'because' they catch mice well—mousing being not the end, but the condition, of their existence. And if the cat type has long persisted as we know it, the interpretation of the fact upon Darwinian principles would be, not that the cats have remained invariable, but that such varieties as have incessantly occurred have been, on the whole, less fitted to get on in the world than the existing stock.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Criticism on "The Origin of Species")
Rationalism is at bottom nothing but criticism, and the critic is the reverse of a creator: he dissects and he reassembles; conception and birth are alien to him. Accordingly his work is artificial and lifeless, and when brought into contact with real life, it kills. All these systems and organizations are paper productions; they are methodical and absurd and live only on the paper they are written on. The process began at the time of Rousseau and Kant with philosophical ideologies that lost themselves in generalities; passed in the nineteenth century to scientific constructions with scientific, physical, Darwinian methods - sociology, economics, materialistic history-writing - and lost itself in the twentieth in the literary output of problem novels and party programs.
Oswald Spengler (The Hour of Decision: Germany and World-Historical Evolution)
We are focus-points of consciousness, [...] enormously creative. When we enter the self-constructed hologrammetric arena we call spacetime, we begin at once to generate creativity particles, imajons, in violent continuous pyrotechnic deluge. Imajons have no charge of their own but are strongly polarized through our attitudes and by the force of our choice and desire into clouds of conceptons, a family of very-high-energy particles which may be positive, negative or neutral. [...] Some common positive conceptions are exhilarons, excytons, rhapsodons, jovions. Common negative conceptions include gloomons, tormentons, tribulons, agonons, miserons. "Indefinite numbers of conceptions are created in nonstop eruption, a thundering cascade of creativity pouring from every center of personal consciousness. They mushroom into conception clouds, which can be neutral or strongly charged - buoyant, weightless or leaden, depending on the nature of their dominant particles. "Every nanosecond an indefinite number of conception clouds build to critical mass, then transform in quantum bursts to high-energy probability waves radiating at tachyon speeds through an eternal reservoir of supersaturated alternate events. Depending on their charge and nature, the probability waves crystallize certain of these potential events to match the mental polarity of their creating consciousness into holographic appearance. [...] "The materialized events become that mind's experience, freighted with all the aspects of physical structure necessary to make them real and learningful to the creating consciousness. This autonomic process is the fountain from which springs every object and event in the theater of spacetime. "The persuasion of the imajon hypothesis lies in its capacity for personal verification. The hypothesis predicts that as we focus our conscious intention on the positive and life-affirming, as we fasten our thought on these values, we polarize masses of positive conceptions, realize beneficial probability-waves, bring useful alternate events to us that otherwise would not have appeared to exist. "The reverse is true in the production of negative events, as is the mediocre in-between. Through default or intention, unaware or by design, we not only choose but create the visible outer conditions that are most resonant to our inner state of being [...]
Richard Bach (Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit)
Of all the chemical transmitter substances sloshing around in your brain, it appears that dopamine may be the most directly related to the neural correlates of belief. Dopamine, in fact, is critical in association learning and the reward system of the brain that Skinner discovered through his process of operant conditioning, whereby any behavior that is reinforced tends to be repeated. A reinforcement is, by definition, something that is rewarding to the organism; that is to say, it makes the brain direct the body to repeat the behavior in order to get another positive reward.
Michael Shermer (The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths)
One clue’s to be found in the fact that irony is still around, bigger than ever after 30 long years as the dominant mode of hip expression. It’s not a rhetorical mode that wears well. As Hyde (whom I pretty obviously like) puts it, “Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time, it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage.” 32 This is because irony, entertaining as it is, serves an almost exclusively negative function. It’s critical and destructive, a ground-clearing. Surely this is the way our postmodern fathers saw it. But irony’s singularly unuseful when it comes to constructing anything to replace the hypocrisies it debunks. This is why Hyde seems right about persistent irony being tiresome. It is unmeaty. Even gifted ironists work best in sound bites. I find gifted ironists sort of wickedly fun to listen to at parties, but I always walk away feeling like I’ve had several radical surgical procedures. And as for actually driving cross-country with a gifted ironist, or sitting through a 300 page novel full of nothing but trendy sardonic exhaustion, one ends up feeling not only empty but somehow… oppressed. Think, for a moment, of Third World rebels and coups. Third World rebels are great at exposing and overthrowing corrupt hypocritical regimes, but they seem noticeably less great at the mundane, non-negative task of then establishing a superior governing alternative. Victorious rebels, in fact, seem best at using their tough, cynical rebel-skills to avoid being rebelled against themselves—in other words, they just become better tyrants.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
You go against popular feelings; you criticise a hero, a great man who is generally believed to be above criticism. What happens? No one will answer your arguments in a rational way; rather you will be considered vainglorious. Its reason is mental insipidity. Merciless criticism and independent thinking are the two necessary traits of revolutionary thinking. As Mahatmaji is great, he is above criticism; as he has risen above, all that he says in the field of politics, religion, Ethics is right. You agree or not, it is binding upon you to take it as truth. This is not constructive thinking. We do not take a leap forward; we go many steps back.
Bhagat Singh (The Selected Works of Bhagat Singh)
Thought Control * Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth * Adopt the group’s “map of reality” as reality * Instill black and white thinking * Decide between good versus evil * Organize people into us versus them (insiders versus outsiders) * Change a person’s name and identity * Use loaded language and clichés to constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords * Encourage only “good and proper” thoughts * Use hypnotic techniques to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age-regress the member to childhood states * Manipulate memories to create false ones * Teach thought stopping techniques that shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts. These techniques include: * Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking * Chanting * Meditating * Praying * Speaking in tongues * Singing or humming * Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism * Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy * Label alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful * Instill new “map of reality” Emotional Control * Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish * Teach emotion stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt * Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault * Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as: * Identity guilt * You are not living up to your potential * Your family is deficient * Your past is suspect * Your affiliations are unwise * Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish * Social guilt * Historical guilt * Instill fear, such as fear of: * Thinking independently * The outside world * Enemies * Losing one’s salvation * Leaving * Orchestrate emotional highs and lows through love bombing and by offering praise one moment, and then declaring a person is a horrible sinner * Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins * Phobia indoctrination: inculcate irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority * No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group * Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc. * Shun those who leave and inspire fear of being rejected by friends and family * Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll * Threaten harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family)
Steven Hassan
And while speaking up against these explicitly racist actions is critical, we must also be careful not to use them to keep ourselves on the “good” side of a false binary. I have found it much more useful to think of myself as on a continuum. Racism is so deeply woven into the fabric of our society that I do not see myself escaping from that continuum in my lifetime. But I can continually seek to move further along it. I am not in a fixed position on the continuum; my position is dictated by what I am actually doing at a given time. Conceptualizing myself on an active continuum changes the question from whether I am or am not racist to a much more constructive question: Am I actively seeking to interrupt racism in this context? And perhaps even more importantly, how do I know?
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The case I’ve presented in this book suggests that humans are undergoing what biologists call a major transition. Such transitions occur when less complex forms of life combine in some way to give rise to more complex forms. Examples include the transition from independently replicating molecules to replicating packages called chromosomes or, the transition from different kinds of simple cells to more complex cells in which these once-distinct simple cell types came to perform critical functions and become entirely mutually interdependent, such as the nucleus and mitochondria in our own cells. Our species’ dependence on cumulative culture for survival, on living in cooperative groups, on alloparenting and a division of labor and information, and on our communicative repertoires mean that humans have begun to satisfy all the requirements for a major biological transition. Thus, we are literally the beginnings of a new kind of animal.1 By contrast, the wrong way to understand humans is to think that we are just a really smart, though somewhat less hairy, chimpanzee. This view is surprisingly common. Understanding how this major transition is occurring alters how we think about the origins of our species, about the reasons for our immense ecological success, and about the uniqueness of our place in nature. The insights generated alter our understandings of intelligence, faith, innovation, intergroup competition, cooperation, institutions, rituals, and the psychological differences between populations. Recognizing that we are a cultural species means that, even in the short run (when genes don’t have enough time to change), institutions, technologies, and languages are coevolving with psychological biases, cognitive abilities, emotional responses, and preferences. In the longer run, genes are evolving to adapt to these culturally constructed worlds, and this has been, and is now, the primary driver of human genetic evolution. Figure 17.1.
Joseph Henrich (The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter)
Donald Saari uses a combination of stories and questions to challenge students to think critically about calculus. “When I finish this process,” he explained, “I want the students to feel like they have invented calculus and that only some accident of birth kept them from beating Newton to the punch.” In essence, he provokes them into inventing ways to find the area under the curve, breaking the process into the smallest concepts (not steps) and raising the questions that will Socratically pull them through the most difficult moments. Unlike so many in his discipline, he does not simply perform calculus in front of the students; rather, he raises the questions that will help them reason through the process, to see the nature of the questions and to think about how to answer them. “I want my students to construct their own understanding,” he explains, “so they can tell a story about how to solve the problem.
Ken Bain (What the Best College Teachers Do)
HINT 3: ONLY WORK FOR AN 80/20 BOSS What is an 80/20 boss? Someone who consciously or unconsciously follows the principle. By their works you shall know them: They focus on very few things—the ones that make a BIG difference to their customers, and, if they still have them, their bosses (hopefully a temporary arrangement—the best 80/20 bosses are not themselves constrained by a boss). They are going places fast. They are rarely short of time, and never flustered. They are usually relaxed and happy, not workaholics. They look to their people for a few valuable outputs. They pay no attention to inputs such as time and sweat. They take the time to explain to you what they are doing, and why. They encourage you to focus on what delivers the greatest results with the least effort. They praise you when you deliver great results, but are constructively critical when you don’t—and suggest that you either stop doing something unimportant or do something important in a more effective way. When they trust you, they leave you alone and encourage you to come to them when you need guidance.
Richard Koch (The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less)
The story of the “exquisite cadavers” is as follows. In the aftermath of the First World War, a collection of surrealist poets—which included André Breton, their pope, Paul Eluard, and others—got together in cafés and tried the following exercise (modern literary critics attribute the exercise to the depressed mood after the war and the need to escape reality). On a folded piece of paper, in turn, each one of them would write a predetermined part of a sentence, not knowing the others’ choice. The first would pick an adjective, the second a noun, the third a verb, the fourth an adjective, and the fifth a noun. The first publicized exercise of such random (and collective) arrangement produced the following poetic sentence: The exquisite cadavers shall drink the new wine. (Les cadavres exquis boiront le vin nouveau.) Impressive? It sounds even more poetic in the native French. Quite impressive poetry has been produced in such a manner, sometimes with the aid of a computer. But poetry has never been truly taken seriously outside of the beauty of its associations, whether they have been produced by the random ranting of one or more disorganized brains, or the more elaborate constructions of one conscious creator.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto Book 1))
Any relationship will have its difficulties, but sometimes those problems are indicators of deep-rooted problems that, if not addressed quickly, will poison your marriage. If any of the following red flags—caution signs—exist in your relationship, we recommend that you talk about the situation as soon as possible with a pastor, counselor or mentor. Part of this list was adapted by permission from Bob Phillips, author of How Can I Be Sure: A Pre-Marriage Inventory.1 You have a general uneasy feeling that something is wrong in your relationship. You find yourself arguing often with your fiancé(e). Your fiancé(e) seems irrationally angry and jealous whenever you interact with someone of the opposite sex. You avoid discussing certain subjects because you’re afraid of your fiancé(e)’s reaction. Your fiancé(e) finds it extremely difficult to express emotions, or is prone to extreme emotions (such as out-of-control anger or exaggerated fear). Or he/she swings back and forth between emotional extremes (such as being very happy one minute, then suddenly exhibiting extreme sadness the next). Your fiancé(e) displays controlling behavior. This means more than a desire to be in charge—it means your fiancé(e) seems to want to control every aspect of your life: your appearance, your lifestyle, your interactions with friends or family, and so on. Your fiancé(e) seems to manipulate you into doing what he or she wants. You are continuing the relationship because of fear—of hurting your fiancé(e), or of what he or she might do if you ended the relationship. Your fiancé(e) does not treat you with respect. He or she constantly criticizes you or talks sarcastically to you, even in public. Your fiancé(e) is unable to hold down a job, doesn’t take personal responsibility for losing a job, or frequently borrows money from you or from friends. Your fiancé(e) often talks about aches and pains, and you suspect some of these are imagined. He or she goes from doctor to doctor until finding someone who will agree that there is some type of illness. Your fiancé(e) is unable to resolve conflict. He or she cannot deal with constructive criticism, or never admits a mistake, or never asks for forgiveness. Your fiancé(e) is overly dependant on parents for finances, decision-making or emotional security. Your fiancé(e) is consistently dishonest and tries to keep you from learning about certain aspects of his or her life. Your fiancé(e) does not appear to recognize right from wrong, and rationalizes questionable behavior. Your fiancé(e) consistently avoids responsibility. Your fiancé(e) exhibits patterns of physical, emotional or sexual abuse toward you or others. Your fiancé(e) displays signs of drug or alcohol abuse: unexplained absences of missed dates, frequent car accidents, the smell of alcohol or strong odor of mouthwash, erratic behavior or emotional swings, physical signs such as red eyes, unkempt look, unexplained nervousness, and so on. Your fiancé(e) has displayed a sudden, dramatic change in lifestyle after you began dating. (He or she may be changing just to win you and will revert back to old habits after marriage.) Your fiancé(e) has trouble controlling anger. He or she uses anger as a weapon or as a means of winning arguments. You have a difficult time trusting your fiancé(e)—to fulfill responsibilities, to be truthful, to help in times of need, to make ethical decisions, and so on. Your fiancé(e) has a history of multiple serious relationships that have failed—a pattern of knowing how to begin a relationship but not knowing how to keep one growing. Look over this list. Do any of these red flags apply to your relationship? If so, we recommend you talk about the situation as soon as possible with a pastor, counselor or mentor.
David Boehi (Preparing for Marriage: Discover God's Plan for a Lifetime of Love)