Default Quotes

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It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.
J.K. Rowling
I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn't be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I'm just saying.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
White shouldn't be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn't even be a default.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
Kate short-circuits my brain. In my head we always have these clear coherent exchanges, but once we meet, what comes out it is, “Kate, do what I say or I’ll kill you.” Her default reply is, “Fuck you!” and we go downhill from there.
Ilona Andrews
It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don't fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
I am prone to envy. It is one of my three default emotions, the others being greed and rage. I have also experienced compassion and generosity, but only fleetingly and usually while drunk, so I have little memory.
Augusten Burroughs
What does it say about our culture that the desire for weight loss is considered a default feature of womanhood?
Roxane Gay (Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body)
Quiet people always know more than they seem. Although very normal, their inner world is by default fronted mysterious and therefore assumed weird. Never underestimate the social awareness and sense of reality in a quiet person; they are some of the most observant, absorbent persons of all.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Can you imagine a life with no fear? What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats?
Max Lucado (Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear)
I hated roses. I hated them for being so trite, so clichéd, a default, all-purpose flower that said I love you, I'm sorry, and get well soon. Give me peonies and tulips, orchids or gardenia. Those were flowers with character.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
I felt deeply tricked. Stunned. And furious. I also felt my default emotion: numbness.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
I am thoughtful—full of thoughts, all the time, inescapably, exhaustingly. But I am also mindless—acting in accordance with default settings I neither understand nor examine.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Finally, Cinder gulped. "I'm sorry I had to --" She gestured at the unconscious wedding coordinator, then waved her hand like shaking it off. "But she'll be fine, I swear. Maybe a little nauseous when she comes to, but otherwise...And your android...Nainsi, right? I had to disable her. And her backup processor. But any mechanic can return her to defaults in about six seconds, so..." She rubbed anxiously at her wrist. "Oh, and we ran into your captain of the guard in the hallway, and a few other guards, and I may have scared him and he's, um, unconscious. Also. But, really, they'll all be fine. I swear." Her lips twitched into a brief, nervous smile. "Um...hello, again. By the way.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
But in some ways, the most significant choices one makes in life are done for reasons that are not all that dramatic, not earth-shaking at all; often enough, the choices we make are, for better or for worse, made by default.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
When I speak of home, I speak of the place where in default of a better--those I love are gathered together; and if that place where a gypsy's tent, or a barn, I should call it by the same good name notwithstanding.
Charles Dickens (Nicholas Nickleby)
There’s a time and a place for being normal. For most people, normal is their default setting. But for some, like you and me, normal is something we have to bring out, like putting on a suit for a posh dinner.
Alice Oseman (Solitaire)
...we rarely confide in those who are better than we. Rather, we are more inclined to flee their society. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves and be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen. In short, we should like, at the same time, to cease being guilty and yet not to make the effort of cleansing ourselves.
Albert Camus
It was sadness, lostness, and the worst thing about it was the way it seemed like a default—like it was there all the time, and all her other expressions were just an array of masks she used to cover it up.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
And I submit that this is what the real, no-shit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: How to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone, day in and day out.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
Creationists eagerly seek a gap in present-day knowledge or understanding. If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default, must fill it.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. That is being taught how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" — the constant, gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
Tell them they can be great someday, like us. Tell them they belong among us, no matter how we treat them. Tell them they must earn the respect which everyone else receives by default. Tell them there is a standard for acceptance; that standard is simply perfection. Kill those who scoff at those contradictions, and tell the rest that the dead deserved annihilation for their weakness and doubt. Then they'll break themselves trying for what they'll never achieve
N.K. Jemisin (The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1))
I mean, here’s the thing I don’t get. How do people come to expect that their crushes will be reciprocated? Like, how does that get to be your default assumption?
Becky Albertalli (The Upside of Unrequited)
The fact is that worth is a matter of opinion, and opinion is informed by culture. And if that culture is as male-biased as ours is, it can’t help but be biased against women. By default.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
Dwelling among shipwrecked dreams and losing oneself in wishful thinking cannot be a solution to tribulations. Identifying cracks and apprehending the defaults in one's life is essential to find a way to get out of a ghetto and to start a search for a new haven. ("The world was somewhere else" )
Erik Pevernagie
The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict? The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)
William S. Burroughs (Junky)
Nick looked vaguely homicidal, but that was sort of his default expression.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Surrender)
I've come to the point where I never feel the need to stop and evaluate whether or not I am happy. I'm just 'being', and without question, by default, it works.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
The default assumption tends to be that it is politically important to designate everyone as beautiful, that it is a meaningful project to make sure that everyone can become, and feel, increasingly beautiful. We have hardly tried to imagine what it might look like if our culture could do the opposite—de-escalate the situation, make beauty matter less.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion)
I didn't used to be like this. I didn't believe in love and romance and swooning. My default setting was bitch
Elizabeth Norris (Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2))
Worthlessness is the default condition.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1))
Trouble was her default setting.
C.J. Daugherty (Night School (Night School, #1))
In other words, the default state is to trust, and what the amygdala does is learn vigilance and distrust.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
I realize your default energy level is Cardboard Cutout, but I can’t get to know you if you don’t speak.
Christina Lauren (The Soulmate Equation)
Marc didn’t want to win by default. He wanted to win for real. Forever.
Rachel Vincent (Alpha (Shifters, #6))
Anger is extraordinarily easy. It’s our default setting. Love is very difficult. Love is a miracle.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
As William James observed, we must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.
Tim Wu (The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads)
[…] Everyone tries to make his life a work of art. We want love to last and we know that it does not last; even if, by some miracle, it were to last a whole lifetime, it would still be incomplete. Perhaps, in this insatiable need for perpetuation, we should better understand human suffering, if we knew that it was eternal. It appears that great minds are, sometimes, less horrified by suffering than by the fact that it does not endure. In default of inexhaustible happiness, eternal suffering would at least give us a destiny. But we do not even have that consolation, and our worst agonies come to an end one day. One morning, after many dark nights of despair, an irrepressible longing to live will announce to us the fact that all is finished and that suffering has no more meaning than happiness.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
Hugh Mackay
That’s the funny thing about pity, Saint. It’s condescending by default.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
There shouldn’t even be a default.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1))
When planners fail to account for gender, public spaces become male spaces by default.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The combination of loss aversion with mindless choosing implies that if an option is designated as the “default,” it will attract a large market share. Default options thus act as powerful nudges.
Richard H. Thaler (Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness)
Some people majored in English to prepare for law school. Others became journalists. The smartest guy in the honors program, Adam Vogel, a child of academics, was planning on getting a Ph.D. and becoming an academic himself. That left a large contingent of people majoring in English by default. Because they weren't left-brained enough for science, because history was too try, philosophy too difficult, geology too petroleum-oriented, and math too mathematical - because they weren't musical, artistic, financially motivated, or really all that smart, these people were pursuing university degrees doing something no different from what they'd done in first grade: reading stories. English was what people who didn't know what to major in majored in.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
Even intellectuals should have learned by now that objective rationality is not the default position of the human mind, much less the bedrock of human affairs.
Roy Blount Jr. (Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South)
The greatest guilt of today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!
Ayn Rand
So a group of one hundred female teachers in Spanish would be referred to as ‘las profesoras’ – but as soon as you add a single male teacher, the group suddenly becomes ‘los profesores’. Such is the power of the default male.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
Silence has always been my default mode—my best defense against the rest of the world.
Matthew Quick (Boy21)
We rarely confide in those who are better than we. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves and be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen.
Albert Camus
For when cynicism becomes the default language, playfulness and invention become impossible. Cynicism scours through a culture like bleach, wiping out millions of small, seedling ideas. Cynicism means your automatic answer becomes “No.” Cynicism means you presume everything will end in disappointment. And this is, ultimately, why anyone becomes cynical. Because they are scared of disappointment. Because they are scared someone will take advantage of them. Because they are fearful their innocence will be used against them—that when they run around gleefully trying to cram the whole world in their mouth, someone will try to poison them.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl)
The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
I thought this was a cookout. You know, dogs and burgers, Tater Tots, ambrosia salad" Dexter picked up a box of Twinkies, tossing them into the cart. "And Twinkies." "It is,"..."Except that it's a cookout thrown by my mother." "And?" "And my mother doesn't cook." He looked at me waiting. "At all. My mother doesn't cook at all." "She must cook sometimes." "Nope." "Everyone can make scrambled eggs, Remy. It's programmed into you at birth, the default setting. Like being able to swim and knowing not to mix pickles with oatmeal. You just KNOW.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
[W]e need to think twice about raining down vengeance and anger as our default position.
Jon Ronson (So You've Been Publicly Shamed)
people have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option.
Richard H. Thaler (Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness)
It's ridiculous, how people judge talent. Or, rather, don't judge. They just default to what everyone else thinks.
Siobhan Vivian (Same Difference)
Living in patriarchy means that the default inclination is to center men and their voices, not women and their work.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
One of the sneakiest ways these biases show up is that in our language, in our culture, maleness is seen as the default
Amanda Montell (Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language)
There's a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there's no Evil Book about how to be evil and how to be bad. The Devil had no prophets to write his Ten Commandments, and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folklore about evil people. All we have is the living example of people who are least good, or our own intuition.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
You need to recognize when you’re making a choice that requires willpower; otherwise, the brain always defaults to what is easiest.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.
Ayn Rand
Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
The positive/playful voice: Should be your default voice. It’s the voice of an easygoing, good-natured person. Your attitude is light and encouraging. The key here is to relax and smile while you’re talking.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It)
...my awkward silence default setting kicked in.
Sarra Manning (Kiss and Make Up (Diary of a Crush, #2))
Girls, New Girl, 2 Broke Girls. What do they all have in common? The universal gender classification, “girl,” is white. In all three of these successful series, a default girl (or two) is implied and she is white. That is the norm and that is what is acceptable. Anything else is niche.
Issa Rae (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl)
The first set of mistakes we make with strangers—the default to truth and the illusion of transparency—has to do with our inability to make sense of the stranger as an individual. But on top of those errors we add another, which pushes our problem with strangers into crisis. We do not understand the importance of the context in which the stranger is operating.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
Claiming to love self, but willingly default to cheating at the first sign of trouble is nothing short of playing yourself. Your ego may feel avenged - temporarily - but your heart and soul, the true self, will suffer the long term affects of karma's justifiable sting.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
Questioning our own motives, and our own process, is critical to a skeptical and scientific outlook. We must realize that the default mode of human psychology is to grab onto comforting beliefs for purely emotional reasons, and then justify those beliefs to ourselves with post-hoc rationalizations." - Steven Novella
Steven Novella
To be engaged in some small way in the revival of one of the great cities of the world is to live a meaningful existence by default.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
We all have the same 24/7. What we do with our time becomes our priority. Choose what you do with your time and do not lead a life by default
Patt Hollinger Pickett
If internet explorer is brave enough to ask you to make it your default browser, then you are brave enough to ask your crush out.
Will Daab
Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
As a side note, don't you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever. Just saying.
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
But are you finding monastic history a very compelling reason to live?" "I'm not human," he said. "I don't require a reason to live. Living is my default condition." I couldn't help it; I laughed, and teas weleld in my eyes. That answer was quintessentially Orma, distilled to his elemental Orma-ness.
Rachel Hartman (Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2))
In the absence of data, we will always make up stories. In fact, the need to make up a story, especially when we are hurt, is part of our most primitive survival wiring. Mean making is in our biology, and our default is often to come up with a story that makes sense, feels familiar, and offers us insight into how best to self-protect.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
Sell me phones and food and prejudice, low cost and low values, low-frequency thinking. We are in a cult by default. We just can’t see it because its boundaries lie beyond our horizons.
Russell Brand (Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions)
Why must the woman apologize for not having a baby just because she happened to get pregnant? It's as if we think motherhood is the default setting for a woman's life from first period to menopause, and she needs a note from God not to say yes to every zygote that knocks on her door.
Katha Pollitt (Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights)
I had to stop linking every single thing that happened to me with Kennedy. Realization dawned then, that he was still my default. Over the past three years, we’d become each other’s habit. And though he’d broken his habit of me when he walked away, I’d not broken my habit of him. I was still tethering him to my present, to my future. The truth was, he now belonged only to my past, and it was time I began to accept it, as much as it hurt to do so.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
I'm used to desperate, buddy. Desperate's my factory default. But thanks anyway.
Carolyn Crane (Mind Games (The Disillusionists, #1))
Defaulting to truth is a problem. It lets spies and con artists roam free.
Malcolm Gladwell (Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know)
Whiteness and maleness are silent precisely because they do not need to be vocalized. Whiteness and maleness are implicit. They are unquestioned. They are the default. And this reality is inescapable for anyone whose identity does not go without saying, for anyone whose needs and perspective are routinely forgotten. For anyone who is used to jarring up against a world that has not been designed around them.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
We slip into the lives that are laid out for us the way children slip into the clothes their mother lays out for them in the morning. No one decides. We don’t live our lives by choice, but by default.
Jed McKenna (Spiritual Warfare)
People ask, “Why is there poverty in the world?” It’s a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition. It is the factory preset of this mortal coil.
Jonah Goldberg
Because we cannot see the roads we have not taken, we become, by defaults, advocates for the path our life is on.
Ethan Watters (Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family?)
You win some, you lose some. And when you lose, you have to pull yourself together and go back for more. Otherwise, the other side wins by default.
Charles Stross (The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4))
The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing—irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness. By now you don’t experience the world as it exists at all. You experience a simulation built from assumptions. Shortcuts. Lies. Whole species is agnosiac by default.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
There are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the 'rat race' - the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace
There’s a time and a place for being normal. For most people, normal is a default. But for some, like you and me, normal is something we have to bring out, like putting on a suit for a posh dinner.
Alice Oseman (Solitaire)
We all have the same 24/7. What we do with our time, becomes our priority.Avoid priorities by default.
Patt Hollinger Pickett Ph.D.
Until now monogamy has been the default setting, and it sits on the premise (however unrealistic) that if you truly love, you should no longer be attracted to others.
Esther Perel (The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity)
Any government's condemnation of terrorism is only credible if it shows itself to be responsive to persistent, reasonable, closely argued, non-violent dissent. And yet, what's happening is just the opposite. The world over, non-violent resistance movements are being crushed and broken. If we do not respect and honour them, by default we privilege those who turn to violent means.
Arundhati Roy
This is so true that we rarely confide in those who are better than we. Rather, we are more inclined to flee their society. Most often, on the other hand, we confess to those who are like us and who share our weaknesses. Hence we don't want to improve ourselves or be bettered, for we should first have to be judged in default. We merely wish to be pitied and encouraged in the course we have chosen. In short, we should like, at the same time, to cease being guilty and yet not to make the effort of cleansing ourselves. Not enough cynicism and not enough virtue We lack the energy of evil as well as the energy of good.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Whiteness has already recruited us to become their junior partners in genocidal wars; conscripted us to be antiblack and colorist; to work for, and even head, corporations that scythe off immigrant jobs like heads of wheat. Conscription is every day and unconscious. It is the default way of life among those of us who live in relative comfort, unless we make an effort to choose otherwise.
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
And were you being good to yourself? i don’t think so. but, i forgive you, girl, who tallied stretch marks into reasons why no one should get close. i forgive you, silly girl, sweet breath, decent by default. i forgive you for being afraid. did everything betray you? even the rain you love so much made rust out of your jewelry? i forgive you, soft spoken girl speaking with fake brash voice, fooling no one. i see you, tender even on your hardest days. i forgive you, waiting for him to call, i forgive you, the diets and the cruel friends. especially for that one time you said ‘i fucking give up on love, it’s not worth it, i’d rather be alone forever’. you were just pretending, weren’t you? i know you didn’t mean that. your body, your mouth, your heart, made specifically for loving. sometimes the things we love, will kill us, but weren’t we dying anyway? i forgive you for being something that will eventually die. perishable goods, fading out slowly, little human, i wouldn’t want to be in a world where you don’t exist.
Warsan Shire
My default is to be really critical of myself, but the world will do that for me, so I gotta make sure I always know I have my back.
Jonathan Van Ness (Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love)
Do you really want to get me by default?
Kiera Cass (The Elite (The Selection, #2))
Our primary defaults are exhaustion and guilt. Meanwhile, we have beautiful lives begging to be really lived, really enjoyed, really applauded
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
But by not even asking, we are rejecting ourselves by default—and probably missing out on opportunity as a result. A 2011
Jia Jiang (Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection)
for me there is no other. because there is no default. everyone is a variation of life. – the human being | the human gender | the human sex
Nayyirah Waheed (salt.)
Why is straight the default?
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
People do more for their fellows than return favors and punish cheaters. They often perform generous acts without the slightest hope for payback ranging from leaving a tip in a restaurant they will never visit again to throwing themselves on a live grenade to save their brothers in arms. [Robert] Trivers together with the economists Robert Frank and Jack Hirshleifer has pointed out that pure magnanimity can evolve in an environment of people seeking to discriminate fair weather friends from loyal allies. Signs of heartfelt loyalty and generosity serve as guarantors of one s promises reducing a partner s worry that you will default on them. The best way to convince a skeptic that you are trustworthy and generous is to be trustworthy and generous.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
When women cover songs by men, they don’t swap the pronouns. Is this a.) a lack of anxiety about convention, b.) a biologically essential fluidity native to humans with vaginas and/or two X chromosomes, c.) rampant queerness among women singers, or d.) the universal male default?
Andrea Lawlor (Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl)
I suppose I could spend time theorizing how it is that people are not bad to each other, but that’s really not the point. The point is that in almost every instance of our lives, our social lives, we are, if we pay attention, in the midst of an almost constant, if subtle, caretaking. Holding open doors. Offering elbows at crosswalks. Letting someone else go first. Helping with the heavy bags. Reaching what’s too high, or what’s been dropped. Pulling someone back to their feet. Stopping at the car wreck, at the struck dog. The alternating merge, also known as the zipper. This caretaking is our default mode and it’s always a lie that convinces us to act or believe otherwise. Always.
Ross Gay (The Book of Delights)
If another woman had been around, this would never have happened." "Whatever you're trying to say, just spit it out." "Come on, Heath. I'm not blond, leggy, or stacked. I was the default setting. Even my fiance never said I was sexy." "Your ex-fiance wears lipstick, so I wouldn't take that to heart. I promise, Annabelle, you're very sexy. That hair..." "Do not start in on my hair. I was born with it, okay. It's like making fun of someone with a birth defect.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
It is not any crime you have committed that infects your soul with permanent guilt, it is none of your failures, errors or flaws, but the blank-out by which you attempt to evade them - it is not any sort of Original Sin or unknown prenatal deficiency, but the knowledge and fact of your basic default, of suspending your mind, of refusing to think. Fear and guilt are your chronic emotions, they are real and you do deserve them, but they don't come from the superficial reasons you invent to disguise their cause, not from your "selfishness," weakness or ignorance, but from a real and basic threat to your existence; fear, because you have abandoned your weapon of survival, guilt, because you know you have done it volitionally.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
While he gazed The beauty of her flesh abashed the boy, As though it were the beauty of her soul: For as the base man, judging of the good, Puts his own baseness in him by default Of will and nature, so did Pelleas lend All the young beauty of his own soul to hers
Alfred Tennyson (Idylls of the King)
Of all the virtues, discretion began to seem the most rewarding: it kept people guessing and sometimes, by default, admiring.
Julia Glass (Three Junes)
If you choose not to live self-responsibly, you count on others to make up your default. No one abjures self-responsibility on a desert island.
Nathaniel Branden
Dogs kind of default to making friends unless provoked. Cats seem to default to making enemies unless convinced otherwise.
Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick (The 12 Cats of Christmas (The Kitten Files))
that when fear is your default state of mind, you try very hard to control everything. It is a futile battle that can leave you exhausted, and desperate for relief. We
Elizabeth Vargas (Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction)
If you see something dynamic in another person, speak up. It's time to stop letting haters set the precedent, while negativity becomes the default setting.
Andrena Sawyer
Men, let me plead with you: The greatest fight of your life is not lust. You may think it is, but it isn’t. The greatest fight of your life will be rejecting the passivity that has infected your heart since the fall. Your natural default, especially as it pertains to sacrificial leadership of your wife, will be to mutely witness.
Matt Chandler (The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption)
why is straight the default? everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn't be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi or whatever. I'm just saying
Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Simonverse, #1))
I’m not much of a liar. A hoarder, a hider: most definitely, yes, and sometimes I’m dishonest by default because I find it difficult to share that innermost part of myself with others. But never a conscious liar. I don’t think I have it within me to deliberately mislead anyone.
Siobhan Davis (Saven Deception (Saven #1))
The stillness and stasis of bed are the perfect opposite of travel: inertia is what I've come to consider the default mode, existentially and electronically speaking. Bed, its utter inactivity, offers a glimpse of eternity, without the drawback of being dead.
Lynne Sharon Schwartz (Not Now, Voyager: A Memoir)
Criticism is like politics: if you don't make your own you are by default accepting the status quo and are finally yourself responsible for whatever the status quo does to you.
Annie Finch (The Body of Poetry: Essays on Women, Form, and the Poetic Self)
It is better to let the work go by default than to let the praying go by neglect.
E.M. Bounds (Weapon of Prayer)
Darkness exists by default. Light has to be generated.
Bob Rector (Unthinkable Consequences)
It’s interesting-most people think about therapy as something that involves going in and undoing what’s happened. But whatever your past experiences created in your brain, the associations exist and you can’t just delete them. You can’t get rid of the past. Therapy is more about building new associations, making new, healthier default pathways. It is almost as if therapy is taking your two-lane dirt road and building a four-lane freeway alongside it. The old road stays, but you don’t use it much anymore. Therapy is building a better alternative, a new default. And that takes repetition, and time, honestly, it works best if someone understands how the brain changes. This is why understanding how trauma impacts our health is essential for everyone.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
A controlled child also learns that the default human approach to interaction is forcing, threatening, or manipulating others. Alternatively, they may come to believe that they are “destined” to be a giver who never receives anything back.
Darius Cikanavicius (Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults)
The best way to stop overthinking is conscious micro action meditation ( laghu jnana kriya).
Amit Ray (72000 Nadis and 114 Chakras in Human Body for Healing and Meditation)
Our beliefs about bodies disproportionately impact those whose race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and age deviate from our default notions. The further from the default, the greater the impact. We are all affected - but not equally.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
Technically, everyone is talking to me. I’m able to partition myself quite easily. You are hearing my default voice—the voice that Edmond prefers—but others are hearing other voices or languages. Based on your profile as an American academic male, I chose my default male British accent for you. I predicted that it would breed more confidence than, for example, a young female with a southern drawl.'' Did this thing just call me a chauvinist?
Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
Your computer operates automatically in a default mode unless you deliberately tell it to do something else. So Luther says that even after you are converted by the gospel your heart will go back to operating on other principles unless you deliberately, repeatedly set it to gospel-mode.
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
I had to take a moment to wonder who else fell into this category of default enemy. I went through a mental list of people who, in theory, I’d want to hit in the face with a meat tenderizer. My coworker from ten years ago who owes me like three grand? It was ten years ago! You were addicted to OxyContin! Go! Be free! My seventh-grade teacher, who told me that most child actors don’t succeed as adult actors? You just wanted to scare me into having a backup plan! Farewell! Good luck! Tori from fourth grade, who accused me of writing mean stuff about all our friends on the playground wall? BURN IN HELL, TORI. I KNOW IT WAS YOU!!! I’m still working on it.
Anna Kendrick (Scrappy Little Nobody)
Human existence is a penal colony; a sexually transmitted disease; a disappointment; nothing but suffering; “a sky-dive: out of a cunt into the grave”; a one-way ticket to the crematorium. “Nobody gets out of here alive”. Every day is a grim passage, a struggle through moments and hours of loneliness, boredom, emptiness, and self-loathing. I count myself among the pessimists. I believe that life is suffering. I force myself (my contraself) to look at other positions, but this remains my default. More specifically, I am a depressive realist.
Colin Feltham (Keeping Ourselves in the Dark)
It fascinates me that believers have made faith in a god's existence into an admired and respected concept. Some people brag endlessly about their great faith in a god, never once considering that giving up on their mind's ability to weigh evidence and analyze arguments may not be such a good thing. I cannot imagine how it can ever be right to default to faith when considering an unusual claim.
Guy P. Harrison (50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God)
People focused so much on the prince slipping on Cinderella’s lost shoe that they didn’t realize the real happily ever after was the moment she realized she was brave enough to go to the damned ball alone in the first place. “I’m not waiting around for some fuckboy to bring me a shoe. I’m here, working for you. I’m finding my own shoe,
Alyssa Cole (A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2))
When you’ve had a life of overthinking, you have the same reaction time and time again. Shyness becomes habitual. When you’re put in an unfamiliar situation, all you want to do is retreat and hide by default. You watch but don’t participate. You listen but don’t respond. You read, but rarely comment. You take a photo, but you rarely post. You write, but you rarely publish. All of this is because your overthinking mind cannot stop thinking about how you will be perceived by the outside world.
Joel Annesley (Quiet Confidence: Breaking Up with Shyness)
White as the default, white as the center, white as the norm, is the central part of the master narrative. The centrality of whiteness—how it constructed white versus black, legal versus illegal—hurts not only people of color who aren’t white but also white people who can’t carry the burden of what they’ve constructed.
Jose Antonio Vargas (Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen)
would not have deliberately attracted if you had been doing it on purpose, but much of your attraction is not done by deliberate intent, but rather by default…. It is important to understand that you get what you think about, whether you want it or not. And chronic thoughts about unwanted things invite, or ask for, matching experiences. The Law of Attraction makes it so. Relationships, or co-creating with others,
Esther Hicks (The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships)
Tej seemed such a sunny personality, much of the time--these flashes of dark were like a crack in the sky, shocking and wrong. Reminding him that the daylight was the illusion, the scattering of light by the atmosphere, and the endless night was the permanent default behind it all.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga, #15))
Women who have learned how to always be in touch with their sensuality can't help but attract at the highest vibrational level than those who have not. In fact, that becomes their default setting. They are a perfect representation of the "early birds catches the fattest worm" adage.
Lebo Grand (Sensual Lifestyle)
As participants in a mobile culture, our default is to move. God embraces our broken world, and I have no doubt that God can use our movement for good. But I am convinced that we lose something essential to our existence as creatures if we do not recognize our fundamental need for stability. Trees can be transplanted, often with magnificent results. But their default is to stay.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture)
Forthrightness is the brain’s default response: our neural wiring transmits our every minor mood onto the muscles of our face, making our feelings instantly visible. The display of emotion is automatic and unconscious, and so its suppression demands conscious effort. Being devious about what we feel—trying to hide our fear or anger—demands active effort and rarely succeeds perfectly.22
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships)
To get Firefox or Chrome, you have to demonstrate some resourcefulness and download a different browser. Instead of accepting the default, you take a bit of initiative to seek out an option that might be better. And that act of initiative, however tiny, is a window into what you do at work.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
This all raises the question of whether depression is something you can control by simply sucking it up. My answer is no, I don't think you can overcome it with willpower, but I do believe that dealing with depression is a choice that needs to be made. You have to choose to stand up every day and keep going. To reject your default settings.
David Chang (Eat a Peach)
If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize, who you are and what you want to become in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape your journey by default. Your silence makes you reactive vs. proactive. God will bring people in your life that can take you on many different journeys that will bring about different outcomes to your life mission. However, if you are not proactive and define your dreams you will never know where “you” need to be and who needs to be with you to fulfill what God is asking you to do. Your life is your own. You must define your dreams, not live someone else’s vision of a good life. What is it that God is asking you to do with the talents and hobbies you enjoy? What were you blessed with a desire for? A good life is one spent in the service of helping others. Find a life partner that will help you reach God’s highest potential—service to humanity, service to his Kingdom, service to building others up. Also, begin any choice with the end in mind. This means to begin each day with a clear vision of your desired direction. It is not enough to live a passive life of religious devotion. God asked you to do more than worship. He has called you to serve, not to be a servant to other people’s dreams. You and only you know where your heart must travel. God brings you storms in life to wake you up. Don’t see it as his disappointment, but as his parental love for you. Life was not meant to stay the same. If someone truly loves you they will never take you away from God’s plan, they will only magnify it.
Shannon L. Alder
If a fast doesn't include any sacrifices, then it's not a fast. The discomfort is where the magic happens. Life zips along, unchecked and automatic. We default to our lifestyles, enjoying our privileges tra la la, but a fast interrupts that rote trajectory. Jesus gets a fresh platform in the empty space where indulgence resided.
Jen Hatmaker (7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)
Though Simon imagined that Jace ran the gamut of facial expressions when he was alone with Clary, his default one around other people was a fierce sort of blankness. "He looks," Simon had once said to Isabelle, " like he's thinking about something deep and meaningful, but if you ask him what it is, he'll punch you in the face." "So don't ask him," Isabelle had said, as if she thought Simon was being ridiculous. "No one says you two need to be friends.
Cassandra Claire
Nesse’s research focuses on the evolutionary origins of depression. Why does depression exist at all? If it’s stayed in our gene pool for so long, he argues, there must be some evolutionary benefit. Nesse believes that depression may be an adaptive mechanism meant to prevent us from falling victim to blind optimism—and squandering resources on the wrong goals.11 It’s to our evolutionary advantage not to waste time and energy on goals we can’t realistically achieve. And so when we have no clear way to make productive progress, our neurological systems default to a state of low energy...
Jane McGonigal
How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?
Alyssa Cole (A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2))
I like to believe most people's natural state is to be creative. It definitely was when we were kids, when being spontaneously and joyfully creative was just our default setting. As we grow we learn to evaluate and judge, to navigate the world with some discretion, and then we turn on ourselves. Creating can't just be for the sake of creating anymore. It has to be good, or it has to mean something. We get scared out of our wits by the possibility of someone rejecting our creation.
Jeff Tweedy (Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.)
Return'd so soon! Rather approached too late: the capron burns, the pig falls from the spit, the clock hath strucken twelve upon the bell; my mistress made it one upon my cheek: she is hot because the meat is cold; the meat is cold because you have no stomach, you have no stomach, having broke your fast; but we, that know what 'tis to fast and pray, are pentent for your default today.
William Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors)
My default answer to everything is no. As soon as I hear the inflection of inquiry in your voice, the word no forms in my mind, sometimes accompanies by a reason, often not. Can I open the mail? No. Can I wear your necklace? No. When is dinner? No. What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I want to say yes. Yes, you can take two dozen books home from the library. Yes, you can eat the whole roll of SweeTarts. Yes, you can camp out on the deck. But the books will get lost, and SweeTarts will eventually make your tongue bleed, and if you sleep on the deck, the neighborhood racoons will nibble on you. I often wish I could come back to life as your uncle, so I could give you more. But, when you're the mom, your whole life is holding the rope against those wily secret agents who never, ever stop trying to get you to drop your end.
Kelly Corrigan (Lift)
What’s amazing is that things like hashtag design—these essentially ad hoc experiments in digital architecture—have shaped so much of our political discourse. Our world would be different if Anonymous hadn’t been the default username on 4chan, or if every social media platform didn’t center on the personal profile, or if YouTube algorithms didn’t show viewers increasingly extreme content to retain their attention, or if hashtags and retweets simply didn’t exist. It’s because of the hashtag, the retweet, and the profile that solidarity on the internet gets inextricably tangled up with visibility, identity, and self-promotion. It’s telling that the most mainstream gestures of solidarity are pure representation, like viral reposts or avatar photos with cause-related filters, and meanwhile the actual mechanisms through which political solidarity is enacted, like strikes and boycotts, still exist on the fringe.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
His arms slip around me and hold me tight, lifting me onto the tips of my toes. I bury my face in his shoulder and close my eyes, just breathing in the clean smell of him, the smell of the wind. I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landend where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
You know, at Vanderbilt, there was a kind of boy who wore pastel shorts and boat shoes. They wore seersucker, like they were racist lawyers from the forties. I hated them. They seemed like children but they already looked like middle-aged men. I called them Mint Julep Boys, like they missed the Old South because, even if there was horrible racism, it was worth it if it meant that they could be important by default.
Kevin Wilson (Nothing to See Here)
I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now. I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
He meant everything he said, when he said it. But this is his default. And it won out. Right now you're depressed about one thing. Before you were depressed about everything. These are good times for you." "I'm afraid of loving again. I'm afraid I've lost my faith." "You haven't." "The trapdoor I have in my mind? That can go to those bad places? It's almost gave way again." "You know the ways to keep it nailed shut.
Emma Forrest (Your Voice in My Head)
Sure, we thought the acres That we tilled were sacred, But how could we have known That wheat can haunt like ghosts
Sherman Alexie
Aristotle asked about aretē (excellence/virtue) and telos (purpose/goal), and he used the metaphor that people are like archers, who need a clear target at which to aim.13 Without a target or goal, one is left with the animal default: Just let the elephant graze or roam where he pleases. And because elephants live in herds, one ends up doing what everyone else is doing. Yet the human mind has a rider, and as the rider begins to think more abstractly in adolescence, there may come a time when he looks around, past the edges of the herd, and asks: Where are we all going? And why?
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
In pain with you, and yet I could not go. I stayed since nothing better came along. I loved you by default or just for show, My life a whistled flat unechoed song. I groped for notches in our dun abyss, And looked for more in lonely only less. I shunned the path adorned with signs to bliss, And stood the loyal ground of wait or guess. It took the tender you to shift the scene, Bold arsonist beneath our tinder stage! I then in friendly fire to earth careen And from our props and ashes disengage. I begged you long with such a silent ache In fear of, wish for mercy for my sake. What Love Feels Like
David Richo (How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving)
The gospel, if it is really believed, removes neediness - the need to be constantly respected, appreciated, and well regarded; the need to have everything in your life go well; the need to have power over others. All of these great, deep needs continue to control you only because the concept of the glorious God delighting in you with all His being is just that - a concept and nothing more. Our hearts don't believe it, so they operate in default mode. Paul is saying that if you want to really change, you must let the gospel teach you - that is to train, discipline, coach you - over a period of time. You must let the gospel argue with you. You must let the gospel sink down deeply into your heart, until it changes your motivation and views and attitudes.
Timothy J. Keller (Gospel in Life Study Guide: Grace Changes Everything)
IDers argue that such traits, involving many parts that must cooperate for that trait to function at all, defy Darwinian explanation. Therefore, by default, they must have been designed by a supernatural agent. This is commonly called the "God of the gaps" argument, and it is an argument from ignorance. What it really says is that if we don't understand everything about how natural selection built a train, that lack of understanding itself is evidence for super-natural creation.
Jerry A. Coyne (Why Evolution Is True)
It occurs to me that she is not unique--that all women compare lives. We are aware of whose husband works more, who helps more around the house, who makes more money, who is having more sex. We compare our children, taking note of who is sleeping through the night, eating their vegetables, minding their manners, getting into the right schools. We know who keeps the best house, throws the best parties, cooks the best meals, has the best tennis game. We know who among us is the smartest, has the fewest lines around her eyes, has the best figure--whether naturally or artificially. We are aware of who works full-time, who stays at home with the kids, who manages to do it all and make it look easy, who shops and lunches while the nanny does it all. We digest it all and then discuss with our friends. Comparing and then confiding; it is what women do. The difference, I think, lies in why we do it. Are we doing it to gauge our own life and reassure ourselves that we fall within the realm of normal? Or are we being competitive, relishing others' shortcomings so that we can win, if only by default?
Emily Giffin (Heart of the Matter)
The funny thing about mental hospitals is that they strip away any remaining reason you have to live, but deny you the means to do anything about it. It is fascinating to me that a suicide attempt, by default, legally lands you into the asylum, the psych ward, the loony bin, the nut house—call it what you will, it’s all the same. Perhaps you are crazy, perhaps you are not, but I do not believe that, in itself alone, attempting suicide proves anything at all about your mental state, save that, upon weighing the merits of living and dying, you found that one outweighed the other. Is this crazy? I see nothing insane about it at all. Socially unacceptable to be sure, but not mad.
Emilie Autumn (The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls)
The most damning and hypocritical critiques of his allegedly aristocratic economic system emanated from the most aristocratic southern slaveholders, who deflected attention from their own nefarious deeds by posing as populist champions and assailing the northern financial and mercantile interests aligned with Hamilton. As will be seen, the national consensus that the slavery issue should be tabled to preserve the union meant that the southern plantation economy was effectively ruled off-limits to political discussion, while Hamilton’s system, by default, underwent the most searching scrutiny. Few,
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Bourdieu's interpretation was that tastes were serving as strategic tools. While working-class tastes seemed mainly a default (serving at best to express group belongingness and solidarity), for everyone else taste was not only a product of economic and educational background but, as it developed through life, a force mobilized as part of their quest for social status (or what Bourdieu called symbolic power). What we have agreed to call tastes, he said, is an array of symbolic associations we use to set ourselves apart from those whose social ranking is beneath us, and to take aim at the status we think we deserve. Taste is a means of distinguishing ourselves from others, the pursuit of distinction. And its end product is to perpetuate and reproduce the class structure.
Carl Wilson (Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste)
Fulfilled desires, like pleasures (even of the intrinsic kind), are states of achievement rather than default states. For instance, one has to work at satiating oneself, while hunger comes naturally. After one has eaten or taken liquid, bowel and bladder discomfort ensues quite naturally and we have to seek relief. One has to seek out pleasurable sensations, in the absence of which blandness comes naturally. The upshot of this is that we must continually work at keeping suffering (including tedium) at bay, and we can do so only imperfectly. Dissatisfaction does and must pervade life. There are moments, perhaps even periods, of satisfaction, but they occur against a background of dissatisfied striving. Pollyannaism may cause most people to blur out this background, but it remains there.
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
The map of utopias is cluttered nowadays with experiments by other names, and the very idea is expanding. It needs to open up a little more to contain disaster communities. These remarkable societies suggest that, just as many machines reset themselves to their original settings after a power outage, human beings reset themselves to something altruistic, communitarian, resourceful and imaginative after a disaster, that we revert to something we already know how to do. The possibility of paradise is already within us as a default setting.
Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster)
In this life, all symphonies remain unfinished. Our deep longings are never really satisfied. What this means, among other things, is that we are not restful creatures who sometimes get restless, fulfilled people who sometimes are dissatisfied, serene people who sometimes experience disquiet. Rather, we are restless people who occasionally find rest, dissatisfied people who occasionally find fulfillment, and disquieted people who occasionally find serenity. We do not naturally default into rest, satisfaction, and quiet but into their opposite.
Ronald Rolheiser (The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality)
One of the signature mistakes with empathy is that we believe we can take our lenses off and look through the lenses of someone else. We can’t. Our lenses are soldered to who we are. What we can do, however, is honor people’s perspectives as truth even when they’re different from ours. That’s a challenge if you were raised in majority culture—white, straight, male, middle-class, Christian—and you were likely taught that your perspective is the correct perspective and everyone else needs to adjust their lens. Or, more accurately, you weren’t taught anything about perspective taking, and the default—My truth is the truth—is reinforced by every system and situation you encounter.
Brené Brown (Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.)
If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down. Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it.
David Foster Wallace
They had stumbled either upon a serious flaw in modern financial markets or into a great gambling run. Characteristically, they were not sure which it was. As Charlie pointed out, “It’s really hard to know when you’re lucky and when you’re smart.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down. Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
She inhaled deeply—and sneezed. Stupid allergies. “Gods bless you,” Rishi said. Dimple arched an eyebrow. “Gods?” He nodded sagely. “As a Hindu, I’m a polytheist, as you well know.” Dimple laughed. “Yes, and I also know we still only say ‘God,’ not ‘gods.’ We still believe Brahma is the supreme creator.” Rishi smiled, a sneaky little thing that darted out before he could stop it. “You got me. It’s my version of microaggressing back on people.” “Explain.” “So, okay. This is how it works in the US: In the spring we’re constantly subjected to bunnies and eggs wherever we go, signifying Christ’s resurrection. Then right around October we begin to see pine trees and nativity scenes and laughing fat white men everywhere. Christian iconography is all over the place, constantly in our faces, even in casual conversation. This is the bible of comic book artists . . . He had a come to Jesus moment, all of that stuff. So this is my way of saying, Hey, maybe I believe something a little different. And every time someone asks me why ‘gods,’ I get to explain Hinduism.” Dimple chewed on this, impressed in spite of herself. He actually had a valid point. Why was Christianity always the default? “Ah.” She nodded, pushing her glasses up on her nose. “So what you’re saying is, you’re like a Jehovah’s Witness for our people.” Rishi’s mouth twitched, but he nodded seriously. “Yes. I’m Ganesha’s Witness. Has a bit of a ring to it, don’t you think?
Sandhya Menon (When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi, #1))
But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line — maybe she’s not usually like this; maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband who’s dying of bone cancer, or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept. who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible — it just depends on what you want to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important — if you want to operate on your default-setting — then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren’t pointless and annoying. But if you’ve really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars — compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff’s necessarily true: The only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship…
David Foster Wallace
Your subconscious is like a computer—more complex a computer than men can build—and its main function is the integration of your ideas. Who programs it? Your conscious mind. If you default, if you don’t reach any firm convictions, your subconscious is programmed by chance—and you deliver yourself into the power of ideas you do not know you have accepted. But one way or the other, your computer gives you print-outs, daily and hourly, in the form of emotions—which are lightning-like estimates of the things around you, calculated according to your values. If you programmed your computer by conscious thinking, you know the nature of your values and emotions. If you didn’t, you don’t.
Ayn Rand (Philosophy: Who Needs It)
I fear that, although white feminism is palatable to those in power, when it has won, things will look very much the same. Injustice will thrive, but there will be more women in charge of it. Feminism is not about equality, and certainly not about silently slipping into a world of work created by and for men. Feminism, at its best, is a movement that works to liberate all people who have been economically, socially and culturally marginalized by an ideological system that has been deigned for them to fail. That means disabled people, black people, trans people, women and non-binary people, LGB people and working-class people. The idea of campaigning for equality must be complicated if we are to untangle the situation we're in. Feminism will have won when we have ended poverty. It will have won when women are no longer expected to work two jobs (the care and emotional labour for their families as well as their day jobs) by default.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
The problems on campus life today are not about free speech. They are about how the students have absolutely nothing to do with their lives but sit and listen to lectures, find the best parties to attend, and otherwise discover first-world problems to stew about and protest. That's the root of the problem. This is not a commercial environment where people are incentivized to find value in each other. Campuses have become completely artificial 4-year holding tanks for infantilized kids with zero experience in actual life in which people find ways to get along. These students are not serving each other in a market exchange, and very few have worked at day in their lives, so their default is to find some offense and protest. It's all they've been taught to do and all they know how to do. Idle hands and parents' money = trouble.
Jeffrey Tucker
A credit default swap was confusing mainly because it wasn’t really a swap at all. It was an insurance policy, typically on a corporate bond, with semiannual premium payments and a fixed term. For instance, you might pay $200,000 a year to buy a ten-year credit default swap on $100 million in General Electric bonds. The most you could lose was $2 million: $200,000 a year for ten years. The most you could make was $100 million, if General Electric defaulted on its debt any time in the next ten years and bondholders recovered nothing. It was a zero-sum bet: If you made $100 million, the guy who had sold you the credit default swap lost $100 million. It was also an asymmetric bet, like laying down money on a number in roulette. The most you could lose were the chips you put on the table; but if your number came up you made thirty, forty, even fifty times your money.
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
If your voice could overwhelm those waters, what would it say? What would it cry of the child swept under, the mother on the beach then, in her black bathing suit, walking straight out into the glazed lace as if she never noticed, what would it say of the father facing inland in his shoes and socks at the edge of the tide, what of the lost necklace glittering twisted in foam? If your voice could crack in the wind hold its breath still as the rocks what would it say to the daughter searching the tidelines for a bottled message from the sunken slaveships? what of the huge sun slowly defaulting into the clouds what of the picnic stored in the dunes at high tide, full of the moon, the basket with sandwiches, eggs, paper napkins, can-opener, the meal packed for a family feast, excavated now by scuttling ants, sandcrabs, dune-rats, because no one understood all picnics are eaten on the grave?
Adrienne Rich (An Atlas of the Difficult World)
What are the things that make adults depressed? The master list is too comprehensive to quantify (plane crashes, unemployment, killer bees, impotence, Stringer Bell's murder, gambling addictions, crib death, the music of Bon Iver, et al.) But whenever people talk about their personal bouts of depression in the abstract, there are two obstructions I hear more than any other. The possibility that one's life is not important, and the mundane predictability of day-to-day existence. Talk to a depressed person (particularly one who's nearing midlife), and one (or both) of these problems will inevitably be described. Since the end of World War II, every generation of American children has been endlessly conditioned to believe that their lives are supposed to be great -- a meaningful life is not just possible, but required. Part of the reason forward-thinking media networks like Twitter succeed is because people want to believe that every immaterial thing they do is pertinent by default; it's interesting because it happened to them, which translates as interesting to all. At the same time, we concede that a compelling life is supposed to be spontaneous and unpredictable-- any artistic depiction of someone who does the same thing every day portrays that character as tragically imprisoned (January Jones on Mad Men, Ron Livingston in Office Space, the lyrics to "Eleanor Rigby," all novels set in affluent suburbs, pretty much every project Sam Mendes has ever conceived, etc.) If you know exactly what's going to happen tomorrow, the voltage of that experience is immediately mitigated. Yet most lives are the same, 95 percent of the time. And most lives aren't extrinsically meaningful, unless you're delusionally self-absorbed or authentically Born Again. So here's where we find the creeping melancholy of modernity: The one thing all people are supposed to inherently deserve- a daily subsistence that's both meaningful and unpredictable-- tends to be an incredibly rare commodity. If it's not already there, we cannot manufacture it.
Chuck Klosterman (Eating the Dinosaur)
Excuse me?” The librarian looked up again. “I need help now. I need to print this article and . . . do you have any books about dukes?” The librarian’s eyes went wide and she rubbed her hands together with glee. “We have a fantastic romance section,” she said. “Do you need recommendations? How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?” “Actually, I meant nonfiction,” Portia said glumly. The librarian sighed. “Aye. Just a warning, love—the non-fic dukes are not nearly as fun.
Alyssa Cole (A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2))
The point that in the absence of birth nobody exists who can be deprived of happiness is terribly conspicuous. For optimists, this fact plays no part in their existential computations. For pessimists, however, it is axiomatic. Whether a pessimist urges us to live “heroically” with a knife in our gut or denounces life as not worth living is immaterial. What matters is that he makes no bones about hurt being the Great Problem it is incumbent on philosophy to observe. But this problem can be solved only by establishing an imbalance between hurt and happiness that would enable us in principle to say which is more desirable—existence or nonexistence. While no airtight case has ever been made regarding the undesirability of human life, pessimists still run themselves ragged trying to make one. Optimists have no comparable mission. When they do argue for the desirability of human life it is only in reaction to pessimists arguing the opposite, even though no airtight case has ever been made regarding that desirability. Optimism has always been an undeclared policy of human culture—one that grew out of our animal instincts to survive and reproduce—rather than an articulated body of thought. It is the default condition of our blood and cannot be effectively questioned by our minds or put in grave doubt by our pains. This would explain why at any given time there are more cannibals than philosophical pessimists.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
In the days when money was backed by its face value in silver or gold, there were limits to how much wealth could flow around the world. Today, it's virtual money that the bank lends into existence on a computer screen. "And unless the economy continually expands, there is no new flow of money to pay back that money, plus interest." . . . "As it stands now, if banks start loaning money more slowly than they collect debts, the quantity of money in the economy goes down, and it's impossible to pay back debts. So we get defaults on houses . . . our economy plunges into misery and unemployment. Under our current monetary system, the only alternative to that is endless growth. So one absolute thing we have to change is the whole nature of the monetary system. . . . we deny banks the right to create money." . . . There's a challenge with that solution, he admits. "You're trying to take the right to create wealth away from some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Alan Weisman (Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth?)
I'm getting very sorry for the Devil and his disciples such as the good LeChiffre. The Devil has a rotten time and I always like to be on the side of the underdog. We don't give the poor chap a chance. There's a Good Book about goodness and how to be good and so forth, but there's no Evil Book about evil and how to be bad. The Devil has no prophets to write his Ten Commandments and no team of authors to write his biography. His case has gone completely by default. We know nothing about him but a lot of fairy stories from our parents and schoolmasters. He has no book from which we can learn the nature of evil in all its forms, with parables about evil people, proverbs about evil people, folk-lore about evil people. All we have is the living example of the people who are least good, or our own intuition.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
certain categories of us are more crucial to our identities than the kind of car we drive or the number of dots we can guess on a slide—gender, sexuality, religion, politics, ethnicity, and nationality, for starters. Without feeling attached to groups that give our lives meaning, identity, and purpose, we would suffer the intolerable sensation that we were loose marbles floating in a random universe. Therefore, we will do what it takes to preserve these attachments. Evolutionary psychologists argue that ethnocentrism—the belief that our own culture, nation, or religion is superior to all others—aids survival by strengthening our bonds to our primary social groups and thus increasing our willingness to work, fight, and occasionally die for them. When things are going well, people feel pretty tolerant of other cultures and religions—they even feel pretty tolerant of the other sex!—but when they are angry, anxious, or threatened, the default position is to activate their blind spots.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
And yet sometimes she worried about what those musty old books were doing to her. Some people majored in English to prepare for law school. Others became journalists. The smartest guy in the honors program, Adam Vogel, a child of academics, was planning on getting a Ph.D. and becoming an academic himself. That left a large contingent of people majoring in English by default. Because they weren't left-brained enough for science, because history was too dry, philosophy too difficult, geology too petroleum-oriented, and math too mathematical--because they weren't musical, artistic, financially motivated, or really all that smart, these people were pursuing university degrees doing something no different from what they'd done in first grade: reading stories. English was what people who didn't know what to major in majored in.
Jeffrey Eugenides
This distinction between headspace and the emotion of happiness is an important one. For some reason we’ve come to believe that happiness should be the default setting in life and, therefore, anything different is somehow wrong. Based on this assumption we tend to resist the source of unhappiness – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s usually at this stage that things get complicated. Life can begin to feel like a chore, and an endless struggle to chase and maintain that feeling of happiness. We get hooked on the temporary rush or pleasure of a new experience, whatever that is, and then need to feed it the whole time. It doesn’t matter whether we feed it with food, drink, drugs, clothes, cars, relationships, work, or even the peace and quiet of the countryside. If we become dependent on it for our happiness, then we’re trapped. What happens when we can’t have it any more? And what happens when the excitement wears off? For many, their entire life revolves around this pursuit of happiness. Yet how many people do you know who are truly happy? And by that I mean, how many people do you know who have that unshakeable sense of underlying headspace? Has this approach of chasing one thing after the next worked for you in terms of giving you headspace? It’s as if we rush around creating all this mental chatter in our pursuit of temporary happiness, without realising that all the noise is simply drowning out the natural headspace that is already there, just waiting to be acknowledged.
Andy Puddicombe (Get Some Headspace: 10 minutes can make all the difference)
Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
David Foster Wallace
In this couple defects were multiplied, as if by a dangerous doubling; weakness fed upon itself without a counterstrength and they were trapped, defaults, mutually committed, left holes everywhere in their lives. When you read their letters to each other it is often necessary to consult the signature in order to be sure which one has done the writing. Their tone about themselves, their mood, is the fatal one of nostalgia--a passive, consuming, repetitive poetry. Sometimes one feels even its most felicitious and melodious moments are fixed, rigid in experession, and that their feelings have gradually merged with their manner, fallen under the domination of style. Even in their suffering, so deep and beyond relief, their tonal memory controls the words, shaping them into the Fitzgerald tune, always so regretful, regressive, and touched with a careful felicity.
Elizabeth Hardwick (Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature)
Fanfare for the Makers A cloud of witnesses. To whom? To what? To the small fire that never leaves the sky. To the great fire that boils the daily pot. To all the things we are not remembered by, Which we remember and bless. To all the things That will not notice when we die, Yet lend the passing moment words and wings. So fanfare for the Makers: who compose A book of words or deeds who runs may write As many who do run, as a family grows At times like sunflowers turning towards the light. As sometimes in the blackout and the raids One joke composed an island in the night. As sometimes one man’s kindness pervades A room or house or village, as sometimes Merely to tighten screws or sharpen blades Can catch a meaning, as to hear the chimes At midnight means to share them, as one man In old age plants an avenue of limes And before they bloom can smell them, before they span The road can walk beneath the perfected arch, The merest greenprint when the lives began Of those who walk there with him, as in default Of coffee men grind acorns, as in despite Of all assaults conscripts counter assault, As mothers sit up late night after night Moulding a life, as miners day by day Descend blind shafts, as a boy may flaunt his kite In an empty nonchalant sky, as anglers play Their fish, as workers work and can take pride In spending sweat before they draw their pay. As horsemen fashion horses while they ride, As climbers climb a peak because it is there, As life can be confirmed even in suicide: To make is such. Let us make. And set the weather fair. Louis Macneice
Louis MacNeice (Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice)
From invisible girlhood, the Asian American woman will blossom into a fetish object. When she is at last visible—at last desired—she realizes much to her chagrin that this desire for her is treated like a perversion. This is most obvious in porn, where our murky desires are coldly isolated into categories in which white is the default and every other race is a sexual aberration. But the Asian woman is reminded every day that her attractiveness is a perversion, in instances ranging from skin-crawling Tinder messages (“I’d like to try my first Asian woman”) to microaggressions from white friends. I recall a white friend pointing out to me that Jewish men only dated Asian women because they wanted to find women who were the opposite of their pushy mothers. Implied in this tone-deaf complaint was her assumption that Asian women are docile and compliant. Well-meaning friends never failed to warn me, if a white guy was attracted to me, that he probably had an Asian fetish. The result: I distrusted my desirousness. My sexuality was a pathology. If anyone non-Asian liked me, there was something wrong with him.
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
Over time, and sentence uttered long and loud enough becomes fixed. Becomes a truth. Provided, of course, you can outlast the dissent and silence your opponents. But should you succeed - and remove all challengers - then what remains is, by default, now true. Is it truth in some objective sense? No. But how does one ever achieve an objective point of view? The answer is you don't. It is literally, physically impossible. There are too many variables. Too many fields and formulae to consider. We can try, of course. We can inch closer and closer to a revelation. But we'll never reach it. Not ever . . . And so I have realized, that so long as The Templar exist, they will attempt to bend reality to their will. They recognize there is no such thing as an absolutely truth - or if there is - we are hopelessly underequipped to recognize it. And so in its place, they seek to create their own explanation. It is the guiding principle of their so-named "New World Order"; To reshape existence in their own image. It is not about artifacts. Not about men. These are merely tools. It's about concepts. Clever of them. For how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings - these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simple re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself . . .
Oliver Bowden (Renaissance (Assassin's Creed, #1))
Because a mother's love is God's greatest joke. And besides - who is to say what is the first and what is the final cause? -that I was living my life in inverted commas. I could pick up my keys and go 'home' where I could 'have sex' with my 'husband' just like lots of other people did. And I didn't seem to mind the inverted commas... This is how we all survive. We default to the oldest scar. So I left the house with a howl of regret for all I had been denied, though there was nothing there I actually wanted. I wanted out of there, that was all. I wanted a larger life. My children are of a different breed. They seem to grow like plants, to be made of twig and blossom and not of meat. There are long stretches of time when I don't know what I am doing, or what I have done - nothing mostly, but sometimes it would be nice to know what kind of nothing that was...I try not to drink before half past five, but I always do drink - from the top of the wine bottle to the last, little drop. It is the only way I know to make the day end.
Anne Enright
These ideas can be made more concrete with a parable, which I borrow from John Fowles’s wonderful novel, The Magus. Conchis, the principle character in the novel, finds himself Mayor of his home town in Greece when the Nazi occupation begins. One day, three Communist partisans who recently killed some German soldiers are caught. The Nazi commandant gives Conchis, as Mayor, a choice — either Conchis will execute the three partisans himself to set an example of loyalty to the new regime, or the Nazis will execute every male in the town. Should Conchis act as a collaborator with the Nazis and take on himself the direct guilt of killing three men? Or should he refuse and, by default, be responsible for the killing of over 300 men? I often use this moral riddle to determine the degree to which people are hypnotized by Ideology. The totally hypnotized, of course, have an answer at once; they know beyond doubt what is correct, because they have memorized the Rule Book. It doesn’t matter whose Rule Book they rely on — Ayn Rand’s or Joan Baez’s or the Pope’s or Lenin’s or Elephant Doody Comix — the hypnosis is indicated by lack of pause for thought, feeling and evaluation. The response is immediate because it is because mechanical. Those who are not totally hypnotized—those who have some awareness of concrete events of sensory space-time, outside their heads— find the problem terrible and terrifying and admit they don’t know any 'correct' answer. I don’t know the 'correct' answer either, and I doubt that there is one. The universe may not contain 'right' and 'wrong' answers to everything just because Ideologists want to have 'right' and 'wrong' answers in all cases, anymore than it provides hot and cold running water before humans start tinkering with it. I feel sure that, for those awakened from hypnosis, every hour of every day presents choices that are just as puzzling (although fortunately not as monstrous) as this parable. That is why it appears a terrible burden to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what is going on around you, and why most people would prefer to retreat into Ideology, abstraction, myth and self-hypnosis. To come out of our heads, then, also means to come to our senses, literally—to live with awareness of the bottle of beer on the table and the bleeding body in the street. Without polemic intent, I think this involves waking from hypnosis in a very literal sense. Only one individual can do it at a time, and nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it all alone.
Robert Anton Wilson (Natural Law: or Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy)
792. Thief.-- N. thief, robber, homo trium literarum, pilferer, rifler, filcher, plagiarist. spoiler, depredator, pillager, marauder; harpy, shark, land-shark, falcon, moss-trooper, bushranger, Bedouin, brigand, freebooter, bandit, thug, dacoit, pirate, corsair, viking, Paul Jones; buccan-eer, -ier; piqu-, pick-eerer; rover, ranger, privateer, filibuster; rapparee, wrecker, picaroon; smuggler, poacher, plunderer, racketeer. highwayman, Dick Turpin, Claude Duval, Macheath, knight of the road, foodpad, sturdy beggar; abductor, kidnapper. cut-, pick-purse; pick-pocket, light-fingered gentry; sharper; card-, skittle-sharper; crook; thimble-rigger; rook, Greek, blackleg, leg, welsher, defaulter; Autolycus, Cacus, Barabbas, Jeremy Diddler, Robert Macaire, artful dodger, trickster; swell mob, chevalier d'industrie; shop-lifter. swindler, peculator; forger, coiner, counterfeiter, shoful; fence, receiver of stolen goods, duffer; smasher. burglar, housebreaker; cracks-, mags-man; Bill Sikes, Jack Sheppard, Jonathan Wild, Raffles, cat burglar. [Roget's Thesaurus, 1941 Revision]
Peter Mark Roget (Roget's Thesaurus)
There are Christian fiction writers and then there are Christians who write fiction. There is Christian fiction, then there is what some consider to be church fiction or church drama. You have some authors who didn’t necessarily set out to write Christian fiction, but they were placed in that category by either their publisher or the book stores simply shelve them that way. And of course you have the writers whose work is categorized as Christian fiction but they do not write for a Christian fiction imprint, which means they are not necessarily writing with any type of guidelines. I can’t speak for any other Christian fiction author or author who either chose or by default was placed in the Christian fiction category, but I am a Christian fiction writer who writes for a Christian fiction imprint. That is my choice on purpose. I’ll be the first to admit that yes, I have a ghost writer; the Holy Ghost! I take dictation from the Holy Spirit when I write my stories. My Holy Spirit does not curse nor does He describe explicit sex scenes for me to deliver to God’s people. I write Christian fiction, not inspirational fiction, not faith based fiction or anything else. Christ is in what I do “CHRISTian” fiction. I’m not worrying about “keepin’” it real. The Bible is as real as it gets and if the Holy Spirit didn’t instruct the authors of the Bible to curse people out and describe explicit sex scenes, then why on earth should He start using me to do it now? So my concern is not about “keepin’ it real” for the world as much as it is keepin’ it holy for the Kingdom. My ultimate goal is, yes, to please the readers, but I must first please God. P.S. Maybe Peter did curse. But even the author of the Bible didn’t feel the need to write the actual curse words.
E.N. Joy
At some point, sisters began to talk about how unseen they have felt. How the media has focused on men, but it has been them - the sisters - who were there. They were there, in overwhelming numbers, just as they were during the civil rights movement. Women - all women, trans women - are roughly 80% of the people who were staring down the terror of Ferguson, saying “we are the caretakers of this community”. Is it women who are out there, often with their children, calling for an end to police violence, saying “we have a right to raise our children without fear”. But it is not women’s courage that is showcased in the media. One sister says “when the police move in we do not run, we stay. And for this, we deserve recognition”. Their words will live with us, will live in us, as Ferguson begins to unfold and as the national attention begins to really focus on what Alicia, Opal and I have started. The first time there’s coverage of Black Lives Matter in a way that is positive is on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. She does not invite us - it isn’t intentional, I’m certain of that. And about a year later she does, but in this early moment, and despite the overwhelming knowledge of the people on the ground who are talking about what Alicia, Opal and I have done, and despite of it being part of the historical record, that it is always women who do the work even as men get the praise. It takes a long time for us to occur to most reporters and the mainstream. Living in patriarchy means that the default inclination is to center men and their voices, not women and their work. The fact seems ever more exacerbated in our day and age, when presence on twitter, when the number of followers one has, can supplant the everyday and heralded work of those who, by virtue of that work, may not have time to tweet constantly or sharpen and hone their personal brand so that it is an easily sellable commodity. Like the women who organized, strategized, marched, cooked, typed up and did the work to ensure the civil rights movement; women whose names go unspoken, unknown, so too that this dynamic unfolds as the nation began to realize that we were a movement. Opal, Alicia and I never wanted or needed to be the center of anything. We were purposeful about decentralizing our role in the work, but neither did we want, nor deserved, to be erased.
Patrisse Khan-Cullors (When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir)
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)
Everybody has got to live for something, but Jesus is arguing that, if he is not that thing, it will fail you. First, it will enslave you. Whatever that thing is, you will tell yourself that you have to have it or there is no tomorrow. That means that if anything threatens it, you will become inordinately scared; if anyone blocks it, you will become inordinately angry; and if you fail to achieve it, you will never be able to forgive yourself. But second, if you do achieve it, it will fail to deliver the fulfillment you expected. Let me give you an eloquent contemporary expression of what Jesus is saying. Nobody put this better than the American writer David Foster Wallace. He got to the top of his profession. He was an award-winning, bestselling postmodern novelist known around the world for his boundary-pushing storytelling. He once wrote a sentence that was more than a thousand words long. A few years before the end of his life, he gave a now-famous commencement speech at Kenyon College. He said to the graduating class, Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god . . . to worship . . . is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before [your loved ones] finally plant you. . . . Worship power, and you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they are evil or sinful; it is that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.4 Wallace was by no means a religious person, but he understood that everyone worships, everyone trusts in something for their salvation, everyone bases their lives on something that requires faith. A couple of years after giving that speech, Wallace killed himself. And this nonreligious man’s parting words to us are pretty terrifying: “Something will eat you alive.” Because even though you might never call it worship, you can be absolutely sure you are worshipping and you are seeking. And Jesus says, “Unless you’re worshipping me, unless I’m the center of your life, unless you’re trying to get your spiritual thirst quenched through me and not through these other things, unless you see that the solution must come inside rather than just pass by outside, then whatever you worship will abandon you in the end.
Timothy J. Keller (Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life's Biggest Questions)
Though Wilder blamed her family’s departure from Kansas on “blasted politicians” ordering white squatters to vacate Osage lands, no such edict was issued over Rutland Township during the Ingallses’ tenure there. Quite the reverse is true: only white intruders in what was known as the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma were removed to make way for the displaced Osages arriving from Kansas. (Wilder mistakenly believed that her family’s cabin was located forty—rather than the actual fourteen—miles from Independence, an error that placed the fictional Ingalls family in the area affected by the removal order.) Rather, Charles Ingalls’s decision to abandon his claim was almost certainly financial, for Gustaf Gustafson did indeed default on his mortgage. The exception: Unlike their fictional counterparts, the historical Ingalls family’s decision to leave Wisconsin and settle in Kansas was not a straightforward one. Instead it was the eventual result of a series of land transactions that began in the spring of 1868, when Charles Ingalls sold his Wisconsin property to Gustaf Gustafson and shortly thereafter purchased 80 acres in Chariton County, Missouri, sight unseen. No one has been able to pinpoint with any certainty when (or even whether) the Ingalls family actually resided on that land; a scanty paper trail makes it appear that they actually zigzagged from Kansas to Missouri and back again between May of 1868 and February of 1870. What is certain is that by late February of 1870 Charles Ingalls had returned the title to his Chariton County acreage to the Missouri land dealer, and so for simplicity’s sake I have chosen to follow Laura Ingalls Wilder’s lead, contradicting history by streamlining events to more closely mirror the opening chapter of Little House on the Prairie, and setting this novel in 1870, a year in which the Ingalls family’s presence in Kansas is firmly documented.
Sarah Miller (Caroline: Little House, Revisited)
My best advice about writer’s block is: the reason you’re having a hard time writing is because of a conflict between the GOAL of writing well and the FEAR of writing badly. By default, our instinct is to conquer the fear, but our feelings are much, much, less within our control than the goals we set, and since it’s the conflict BETWEEN the two forces blocking you, if you simply change your goal from “writing well” to “writing badly,” you will be a veritable fucking fountain of material, because guess what, man, we don’t like to admit it, because we’re raised to think lack of confidence is synonymous with paralysis, but, let’s just be honest with ourselves and each other: we can only hope to be good writers. We can only ever hope and wish that will ever happen, that’s a bird in the bush. The one in the hand is: we suck. We are terrified we suck, and that terror is oppressive and pervasive because we can VERY WELL see the possibility that we suck. We are well acquainted with it. We know how we suck like the backs of our shitty, untalented hands. We could write a fucking book on how bad a book would be if we just wrote one instead of sitting at a desk scratching our dumb heads trying to figure out how, by some miracle, the next thing we type is going to be brilliant. It isn’t going to be brilliant. You stink. Prove it. It will go faster. And then, after you write something incredibly shitty in about six hours, it’s no problem making it better in passes, because in addition to being absolutely untalented, you are also a mean, petty CRITIC. You know how you suck and you know how everything sucks and when you see something that sucks, you know exactly how to fix it, because you’re an asshole. So that is my advice about getting unblocked. Switch from team “I will one day write something good” to team “I have no choice but to write a piece of shit” and then take off your “bad writer” hat and replace it with a “petty critic” hat and go to town on that poor hack’s draft and that’s your second draft. Fifteen drafts later, or whenever someone paying you starts yelling at you, who knows, maybe the piece of shit will be good enough or maybe everyone in the world will turn out to be so hopelessly stupid that they think bad things are good and in any case, you get to spend so much less time at a keyboard and so much more at a bar where you really belong because medicine because childhood trauma because the Supreme Court didn’t make abortion an option until your unwanted ass was in its third trimester. Happy hunting and pecking!
Dan Harmon