Deep Intellectual Conversation Quotes

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There's a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn't happen all the time. It's these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unalone—intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I'm in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don't with other art.
David Foster Wallace
I have seldom heard people engaging in deep intellectual conversations. Most chats are either about mundane life decisions [...] or juicy gossip.
Gad Saad (The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature)
But their overall effect was to overemphasize immediate personal conversion to Christ instead of a studied period of reflection and conviction; emotional, simple, popular preaching instead of intellectually careful and doctrinally precise sermons; and personal feelings and relationship to Christ instead of a deep grasp of the nature of Christian teaching and ideas.
J.P. Moreland (Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul)
There’s a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn’t happen all the time. It’s these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unalone—intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I’m in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don’t with other art.
David Foster Wallace (David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview: and Other Conversations (The Last Interview Series))
You had the unimaginable luxury of thinking deep thoughts and pursuing endless intellectual conversations, of reveling in simple pleasures with the implicit permission to be totally self-absorbed. Then you grew up, and life hit you in the face with a two-by-four.
Kate Hewitt (Redemption Falls (Littleton #1))
The problem with racial discrimination, though, is not the inference of a person's race from their genetic characteristics. It is quite the opposite: it is the inference of a person's characteristics from their race. The question is not, can you, given an individual's skin color, hair texture, or language, infer something about their ancestry or origin. That is a question of biological systematics -- of lineage, taxonomy, of racial geography, of biological discrimination. Of course you can -- and genomics as vastly refined that inference. You can scan any individual genome and infer rather deep insights about a person's ancestry, or place of origin. But the vastly more controversial question is the converse: Given a racial identity -- African or Asian, say -- can you infer anything about an individual's characteristics: not just skin or hair color, but more complex features, such as intelligence, habits, personality, and aptitude? /I/ Genes can certainly tell us about race, but can race tell us anything about genes? /i/ To answer this question, we need to measure how genetic variation is distributed across various racial categories. Is there more diversity _within_ races or _between_ races? Does knowing that someone is of African versus European descent, say, allow us to refine our understanding of their genetic traits, or their personal, physical, or intellectual attributes in a meaningful manner? Or is there so much variation within Africans and Europeans that _intraracial_ diversity dominates the comparison, thereby making the category "African" or "European" moot? We now know precise and quantitative answers to these questions. A number of studies have tried to quantify the level of genetic diversity of the human genome. The most recent estimates suggest that the vast proportion of genetic diversity (85 to 90 percent) occurs _within_ so-called races (i.e., within Asians or Africans) and only a minor proportion (7 percent) within racial groups (the geneticist Richard Lewontin had estimated a similar distribution as early as 1972). Some genes certainly vary sharply between racial or ethnic groups -- sickle-cell anemia is an Afro-Caribbean and Indian disease, and Tay-Sachs disease has a much higher frequency in Ashkenazi Jews -- but for the most part, the genetic diversity within any racial group dominates the diversity between racial groups -- not marginally, but by an enormous amount. The degree of interracial variability makes "race" a poor surrogate for nearly any feature: in a genetic sense, an African man from Nigria is so "different" from another man from Namibia that it makes little sense to lump them into the same category.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Believe me, there is none fraught with such deep, such vital interest. If you talk, indeed, of the capricious inclination awakened by the mere charm of perishable beauty, I grant it to be idle in the extreme; but that love which springs from the concordant sympathies of virtuous hearts; that love which is awakened by the perception of moral excellence, and fed by meditation on intellectual as well as personal beauty; that is a passion which refines and ennobles the human heart. Oh, where is there a sight more nearly approaching to the intercourse of angels, than that of two young beings, free from the sins and follies of the world, mingling pure thoughts, and looks, and feelings, and becoming as it were soul of one soul and heart of one heart! How exquisite the silent converse that they hold; the soft devotion of the eye, that needs no words to make it eloquent! Yes, my friend, if there be anything in this weary world worthy of heaven, it is the pure bliss of such a mutual affection!
Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories)
Tristan Mack Wilds: One of the conversations from Ed that I remember the absolute most, it was during my audition. We've had deep, intellectual conversations and we've had ones where he'll say a few words that will stick with you for the rest of your life. This is one of the joints that stick with you for the rest of your life. I was in the middle of auditions, and i twas kind of the last audition for the character of Michael ... Ed pulled me out. He's kind of sitting there, kind of just thinking. He said, 'Less is more. Remember that for the rest of your life. ... The less you do, the more everybody will feel it. Because we're so prone to seeing so much. With acting, with life, whatever. W'ere so prone to seeing so much more more. But when there's less, the mystery behind it, it leaves people guessing. It feels so much more. (227)
Jonathan Abrams (All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire)
Q: What do you think is magical about fiction? DFW: ... The first line of attack for that question is that there is this existential loneliness in the real world. I don't know what you're thinking or what it's like inside you and you don't know what it's like inside me. In fiction I think we can leap over that wall itself in a certain way... There's another level... A really great piece of fiction for me may or may not take me away and make me forget that I'm sitting in a chair. There's real commercial stuff can do that, and a riveting plot can do that, but it doesn't make me feel less lonely... There's a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn't happen all the time. It's these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unalone--intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I'm in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don't with other art.
David Foster Wallace
Yeah because he don't want to debate me, I'm too intellectual. One thing about me, you know, I'm the equivalent of an Obama, you know what I'm saying. My intellect is very deep. I have linguistics and dialects that he probably couldn't comprehend. My mental gymnastics which is overcapacitate his train of thought. So I wouldn't you know even be in the same vocabulary with him. You know. It would hurt him for him to have me on television and me to have more conversation and more intellect than him. And him being some old, blue eyed, whatever the fuck coloured hair guy bald spot having dick sucking son of a bitch.
Snoop Dogg
The silliest questions are those seeking to be "deep" and/or "intelligent" and that, in fact, are absolutely hollow and stupid. For example: "What do you think is the situation of the Latin American intellectual?" What can I say in response to such generalities? My answer: "I do not know, nor do I care to know.
Fernando Sorrentino (A Conversation with Fernando Sorrentino)
It began to be apparent to me that although Benjamin and Dora recognized the supremacy of the religious sphere of revelation (and for me this was still tantamount to the acceptance of the Ten Commandments as an absolute value in the moral world), they did not feel bound by it; rather, they undermined it dialectically, where their concrete relationship to the circumstances of their lives was concerned. This was first revealed during a long conversation about the question to what extent we had a right to exploit our parents financially. Benjamin’s attitude toward the bourgeois world was so unscrupulous and had such nihilistic features that I was outraged. He recognized moral categories only in the sphere of living that he had fashioned about himself and in the intellectual world. Both of them reproached me for my naiveté, telling me that I let myself be dominated by my gestures and that I offended with an “outrageous wholesomeness” that I did not have but that had me. Benjamin declared that people like us had obligations only to our own kind and not to the rules of a society we repudiated. He said that my ideas of honesty—for example, where our parents’ demands were involved—should be rejected totally. Often I was utterly surprised to find a liberal dash of Nietzsche in his speeches. What was strange about all this was that such arguments, no matter how vehemently they were conducted, often ended with particular cordiality on Benjamin’s part. After one such tempest, both he and Dora were of an “almost heavenly kindness,” and when Benjamin saw me out, he clasped my hand for a long time and looked deep into my eyes.
Gershom Scholem (Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship)
The brutality of language conceals the banality of thought and, with certain major exceptions, is indistinguishable from a kind of conformism. Cities, once the initial euphoria of discovery had worn off, were beginning to provoke in her a kind of unease. in New York, there was nothing, deep down, that appealed to her in the mixture of puritanism and megalomania that typified this people without a civilization. What helps you live, in times of helplessness or horror? The necessity of earning or kneading, the bread that you eat, sleeping, loving, putting on clean clothes, rereading an old book, the smell of ripe cranberries and the memory of the Parthenon. All that was good during times of delight is exquisite in times of distress. The atomic bomb does not bring us anything new, for nothing is more ancient than death. It is atrocious that these cosmic forces, barely mastered, should immediately be used for murder, but the first man who took it into his head to roll a boulder for the purpose of crushing his enemy used gravity to kill someone. She was very courteous, but inflexible regarding her decisions. When she had finished with her classes, she wanted above all to devote herself to her personal work and her reading. She did not mix with her colleagues and held herself aloof from university life. No one really got to know her. Yourcenar was a singular an exotic personage. She dressed in an eccentric but very attractive way, always cloaked in capes, in shawls, wrapped up in her dresses. You saw very little of her skin or her body. She made you think of a monk. She liked browns, purple, black, she had a great sense of what colors went well together. There was something mysterious about her that made her exciting. She read very quickly and intensely, as do those who have refused to submit to the passivity and laziness of the image, for whom the only real means of communication is the written word. During the last catastrophe, WWII, the US enjoyed certain immunities: we were neither cold nor hungry; these are great gifts. On the other hand, certain pleasures of Mediterranean life, so familiar we are hardly aware of them - leisure time, strolling about, friendly conversation - do not exist. Hadrian. This Roman emperor of the second century, was a great individualist, who, for that very reason, was a great legist and a great reformer; a great sensualist and also a citizen, a lover obsessed by his memories, variously bound to several beings, but at the same time and up until the end, one of the most controlled minds that have been. Just when the gods had ceased to be, and the Christ had not yet come, there was a unique moment in history, between Cicero and Marcus Aurelius, when man stood alone. We know Yourcenar's strengths: a perfect style that is supple and mobile, in the service of an immense learnedness and a disabused, decorative philosophy. We also know her weakness: the absence of dramatic pitch, of a fictional progression, the absence of effects. Writers of books to which the work ( Memoirs of Hadrian ) or the author can be likened: Walter Pater, Ernest Renan. Composition: harmonious. Style: perfect. Literary value: certain. Degree of interest of the work: moderate. Public: a cultivated elite. Cannot be placed in everyone's hands. Commercial value: weak. People who, like her, have a prodigious capacity for intellectual work are always exasperated by those who can't keep us with them. Despite her acquired nationality, she would never be totally autonomous in the US because she feared being part of a community in which she risked losing her mastery of what was so essential to her work; the French language. Their modus vivendi could only be shaped around travel, accepted by Frick, required by Yourcenar.
Josyane Savigneau (Marguerite Yourcenar, l'invention d'une vie)
Contemporary man seems to have lost, to a certain extent, the flavor of this joy (the joy of penance). He has also lost the deep sense of that spiritual effort that makes it possible to find oneself again in the whole truth of one’s interior being. Many causes and circumstances, which are difficult to analyze,…contribute in this connection. Our civilization—especially in the West—closely connected with the development of science and technology, catches a glimpse of the need of intellectual and physical effort, but it has lost to a considerable extent the sense of the effort of the spirit, the fruit of which is man seen in his interior dimensions. When all is said and done, man living in the currents of this civilization very often loses his own dimension; he loses the interior sense of his own humanity. The effort that leads to the fruit, just mentioned, becomes alien to this man as well as the joy that comes from it: the great joy of finding again and of meeting the joy of conversion (metanoia), the joy of penitence. Discourse at the Vatican, February 28, 1979
Pope John Paul II (A Year with John Paul II: Daily Meditations from His Writings and Prayers)
In most cases, a beautiful woman who aesthetically fascinates you becomes incapable of deep abstract thinking. Really beautiful woman is well-suited for observation but not for conversation. The complicated psychological difficulties of male brain arises from that -- a woman who can trigger sexual areas of this brain cannot transmit such strong impulses to the intellectual circuits of the brain, and vise versa. Consequently, as a sexual being, he dreams of a beautiful woman, as an intellectual being, a brainy woman, but as an intellectual and sexual being, each one simultaneously.
Elmar Hussein