Eminent Personality Quotes

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Paine suffered then, as now he suffers not so much because of what he wrote as from the misinterpretations of others... He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds - or on persons devoted to them - have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life. When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a 'dirty little atheist' he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. If Paine had ceased his writings with 'The Rights of Man' he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution. But 'The Age of Reason' cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen - a greater loss to them than to Tom Paine. I was always interested in Paine the inventor. He conceived and designed the iron bridge and the hollow candle; the principle of the modern central draught burner. The man had a sort of universal genius. He was interested in a diversity of things; but his special creed, his first thought, was liberty. Traducers have said that he spent his last days drinking in pothouses. They have pictured him as a wicked old man coming to a sorry end. But I am persuaded that Paine must have looked with magnanimity and sorrow on the attacks of his countrymen. That those attacks have continued down to our day, with scarcely any abatement, is an indication of how strong prejudice, when once aroused, may become. It has been a custom in some quarters to hold up Paine as an example of everything bad. The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
I really never cared about any occupation or stream. I just wanted to be an eminent personality.
Bharat Budhani
There is a special department of Hell for students of probability. In this department there are many typewriters and many monkeys. Every time that a monkey walks on a typewriter, it types by chance one of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Bertrand Russell (Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories)
I am sometimes asked about the concept or definition of a 'public intellectual,' and though I find the whole idea faintly silly, I believe it should ideally mean that the person so identified is self-sustaining and autonomously financed. Susan was pre-eminently one such.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
In my view, he alone wins who does not desire to win, and he who wants to win loses.If someone is desiring and striving to win in life, it means that deep down he is lacking something, that he is suffering from an inferiority complex. Deep down, such a person is aware of the inferiority he is trying to cover through winning. And if, on the other hand, someone is not out to win it means he is already established in his eminence, there is not even a shade of inferiority in him to disprove by resorting to winning.
Osho (Krishna: The Man and his Philosophy)
Ascribing personal responsibility to the obese individual is not a rational argument for an eminently practical reason: it fails to advance any efforts to change it. The obesity pandemic is due to our altered biochemistry, which is a result of our altered environment.
Robert H. Lustig
As, in the serious style, Homer is pre-eminent among poets, for he alone combined dramatic form with excellence of imitation, so he too first laid down the main lines of Comedy, by dramatising the ludicrous instead of writing personal satire.
Aristotle (Poetics)
There is, I reflected tritely, an infinite deal of pathos in the state of an eminent person who has come down in the world.
H.P. Lovecraft (H.P. Lovecraft: The Definitive Collection (164 STORIES!!!))
Arguably the mos intriguing characteristic assessed by the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), a widely used test developed by the University of Minnesota's eminent psychologist Auke Tellegen, is "absorption," which describes a particular style of focusing. If you get a high score in this trait, you're naturally inclined toward what he calls a "respondent" or "experiential" way of focusing.
Winifred Gallagher
Tungnath's lonely eminence gives it a magic of its own. To get there (or beyond), one passes through some of the most delightful temperate forest in the Garhwal Himalaya. Pilgrim, or trekker, or just plain rambler such as myself, one comes away a better person, forest-refreshed, and more aware of what the world was really like before mankind began to strip it bare. Duiri
Ruskin Bond (Roads to Mussoorie)
After an injunction had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said false doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture — I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this new doctrine already condemned, and adduce arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these, and for this reason I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves: Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error, heresy, and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church, and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that should I know any heretic, or person suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor or Ordinary of the place where I may be. Further, I swear and promise to fulfill and observe in their integrity all penances that have been, or that shall be, imposed upon me by this Holy Office. And, in the event of my contravening, any of these my promises and oaths, I submit myself to all the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents.
Galileo Galilei (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican)
We must be careful to make a distinction between the intellectual and the person of intellectual achievement. The two are very, very different animals. There are people of intellectual achievement who increase the sum of human knowledge, the powers of human insight, and analysis. And then there are the intellectuals. An intellectual is a person knowledgeable in one field who speaks out only in others. Starting in the early twentieth century, for the first time an ordinary storyteller, a novelist, a short story writer, a poet, a playwright, in certain cases a composer, an artist, or even an opera singer could achieve a tremendous eminence by becoming morally indignant about some public issue. It required no intellectual effort whatsoever. Suddenly he was elevated to a plane from which he could look down upon ordinary people. Conversely — this fascinates me — conversely, if you are merely a brilliant scholar, merely someone who has added immeasurably to the sum of human knowledge and the powers of human insight, that does not qualify you for the eminence of being an intellectual.
Tom Wolfe
Never trust the occultist who tells you that he is the head of a tradition, because if he were, in the first place, he would not tell the fact to the uninitiated, and in the second place he would in all probability be living in great seclusion and inaccessible to all but his immediate subordinates. If a man is a great artist he does not need to inform us of the fact; we shall know him by his pictures that are hung in the galleries of the nation, and we shall, moreover, find that he guards himself from casual acquaintances because of the inroads on his time to which his fame renders him liable. The more eminent a person, the harder he is to approach, not out of any spirit of pride and exclusiveness, but because so many people want to see him that discrimination has to be used in admitting them.
Dion Fortune (Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate)
The capital ... shall form a fund, the interest of which shall be distributed annually as prizes to those persons who shall have rendered humanity the best services during the past year. ... One-fifth to the person having made the most important discovery or invention in the science of physics, one-fifth to the person who has made the most eminent discovery or improvement in chemistry, one-fifth to the one having made the most important discovery with regard to physiology or medicine, one-fifth to the person who has produced the most distinguished idealistic work of literature, and one-fifth to the person who has worked the most or best for advancing the fraternization of all nations and for abolishing or diminishing the standing armies as well as for the forming or propagation of committees of peace.
Alfred Nobel
The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes. Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realise that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer. Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp. But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilising mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do. If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws. Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
Caitlin Moran
A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a Fellow of the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7 per cent believe in a personal God.[52] This overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost the exact opposite of the profile of the American population at large, of whom more than 90 per cent are believers in some sort of supernatural being.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
When I like a black person, they dislike me. When I like a white person, they despise me. When I like a mixed person, they harass me. When I like an illiterate person, they revile me. When I like an educated person, they attack me. When I like a weak person, they berate me. When I like a strong person, they condemn me. When I like a lowly person, they denounce me. When I like an eminent person, they renounce me. When I like a famous person, they disparage me. When I like a rich person, they trouble me. When I like a poor person, they hassle me. When I like an obscure person, they pester me. When I like a young person, they deride me. When I like an old person, they hate me. When I like myself, they slander me. Age doesn't separate us, maturity does. Ethnicity doesn't separate us, prejudice does. Tradition doesn't separate us, bigotry does. Ancestry doesn't separate us, character does. Religion doesn't separate us, ignorance does. Tribe doesn't separate us, intolerance does. Culture doesn't separate us, misunderstanding does. Sex doesn't separate us, bias does. Race doesn't separate us, injustice does. Class doesn't separate us, poverty does. Politics doesn't separate us, corruption does. Gender doesn't separate us, mentality does. Wealth doesn't separate us, greed does. Appearance doesn't separate us, attitude does. Power doesn't separate us, ambition does. Fame doesn't separate us, ego does.
Matshona Dhliwayo
It is one of the great examples,” as Friedrich Meinecke, the eminent German historian, said, “of the singular and incalculable power of personality in historical life.”10
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
Fiction is an art that calls for the strictest attention to the real - whether the writer is writing a naturalistic story or a fantasy. I mean that we always begin with what is or with what has an eminent possibility of truth about it. Even when one writes a fantasy, reality is the proper basis of it. A thing is fantastic because it is so real, so real that it is fantastic. Graham Greene has said that he can't write, "I stood over a bottomless pit," because that couldn't be true, or "Running down the stairs I jumped into a taxi," because that couldn't be true either. But Elizabeth Bowen can write about one of her characters that "she snatched at her hair as if she heard something in it," because that is eminently possible. I would even go so far as to say that the person writing a fantasy has to be even more strictly attentive to the concrete detail than someone writing in a naturalistic vein - because the greater the story's strain on the credulity, the more convincing the properties in it have to be.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics))
That concentration camps were ultimately provided for the same groups in all countries, even though there were considerable differences in the treatment of their inmates, was all the more characteristic as the selection of the groups was left exclusively to the initiative of the totalitarian regimes: if the Nazis put a person in a concentration camp and if he made a successful escape, say, to Holland, the Dutch would put him in an internment camp. Thus, long before the outbreak of the war the police in a number of Western countries, under the pretext of "national security," had on their own initiative established close connections with the Gestapo and the GPU [Russian State security agency], so that one might say there existed an independent foreign policy of the police. This police-directed foreign policy functioned quite independently of the official governments; the relations between the Gestapo and the French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blum's popular-front government, which was guided by a decidedly anti-German policy. Contrary to the governments, the various police organizations were never overburdened with "prejudices" against any totalitarian regime; the information and denunciations received from GPU agents were just as welcome to them as those from Fascist or Gestapo agents. They knew about the eminent role of the police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, they knew about its elevated social status and political importance, and they never bothered to conceal their sympathies. That the Nazis eventually met with so disgracefully little resistance from the police in the countries they occupied, and that they were able to organize terror as much as they did with the assistance of these local police forces, was due at least in part to the powerful position which the police had achieved over the years in their unrestricted and arbitrary domination of stateless and refugees.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Only through the pure contemplation . . . which becomes absorbed entirely in the object, are the Ideas comprehended; and the nature of genius consists precisely in the pre-eminent ability for such contemplation. . . . (T)his demands a complete forgetting of our own person.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Meanwhile, two other great currents in political thought, had a decisive significance on the development of socialist ideas: Liberalism, which had powerfully stimulated advanced minds in the Anglo-Saxon countries, Holland and Spain in particular, and Democracy in the sense. to which Rousseau gave expression in his Social Contract, and which found its most influential representatives in the leaders of French Jacobinism. While Liberalism in its social theories started off from the individual and wished to limit the state's activities to a minimum, Democracy took its stand on an abstract collective concept, Rousseau's general will, which it sought to fix in the national state. Liberalism and Democracy were pre-eminently political concepts, and since most of the original adherents of both did scarcely consider the economic conditions of society, the further development of these conditions could not be practically reconciled with the original principles of Democracy, and still less with those of Liberalism. Democracy with its motto of equality of all citizens before the law, and Liberalism with its right of man over his own person, both were wrecked on the realities of capitalist economy. As long as millions of human beings in every country have to sell their labour to a small minority of owners, and sink into the most wretched misery if they can find no buyers, the so-called equality before the law remains merely a pious fraud, since the laws are made by those who find themselves in possession of the social wealth. But in the same way there can be no talk of a right over one's own person, for that right ends when one is compelled to submit to the economic dictation of another if one does not want to starve.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism)
Fate looks at nothing. It has no discretion. He no longer considered it eminently desirable all round to establish publicly the identity of the man who had blown himself up that morning with such horrible completeness. But he was not certain of the view his department would take. A department is to those it employs a complex personality with ideas and even fads of its own. It depends on the loyal devotion of its servants, and the devoted loyalty of trusted servants is associated with a certain amount of affectionate contempt, which keeps it sweet, as it were. By a benevolent provision of Nature no man is a hero to his valet, or else the heroes would have to brush their own clothes. Likewise no department appears perfectly wise to the intimacy of its workers. A department does not know so much as some of its servants. Being a dispassionate organism, it can never be perfectly informed. It would not be good for its efficiency to know too much. Chief Inspector Heat got out of the train in a state of thoughtfulness entirely untainted with disloyalty, but not quite free of that jealous mistrust which so often springs on the ground of perfect devotion, whether to women or to institutions.
Joseph Conrad (The Secret Agent)
This is the exact opposite of that lazy acquiescence in irrationality which is sometimes urged by those who only know that psychoanalysis has shown the prevalence of irrational beliefs, and who forget or ignore that its purpose is to diminish this prevalence by a definite method of medical treatment. A closely similar method can cure the irrationalities of those who are not recognized lunatics, provided they will submit to treatment by a practitioner free from their delusions. Presidents, Cabinet Ministers, and Eminent Persons, however, seldom fulfil this condition, and therefore remain uncured.
Bertrand Russell (The Will to Doubt)
A scholar came to me the other day and said "sir, why do you laugh so much - you are an eminent thinker of our century - you should appear more serious and composed" - hearing this, I burst out in yet another brief laughter and then said to him gently "my dear sir, why can't I laugh in front of my people, my own kind, my humanity, whom I hold most dear - what do I have to hide with the veil of seriousness - I would rather infect another person with a bit of joy through my laughter, than make them desperately serious, with pompous words - a good laughter is as uplifting as a good teaching, for it is simply meditation.
Abhijit Naskar
the most critical ingredient of an intimate relationship is trust. You have to know that the other person means what he or she says, won’t let you down, and wants what’s best for you and not just what’s convenient for them. Jesus is eminently trustworthy, and a relationship with him requires trust in who he is.
Winston T. Smith (Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change through Ordinary Moments)
Tom was General of one of these armies, Joe Harper (a bosom friend) General of the other. These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person—that being better suited to the still smaller fry—but sat together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through aides-de-camp.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
I started a lyric for this song “Godwhacker,” which Walter and I completed and recorded for a Steely Dan CD. It’s about an elite squad of assassins whose sole assignment is to find a way into heaven and take out God. If the Deity actually existed, what sane person wouldn’t consider this to be justifiable homicide?
Donald Fagen (Eminent Hipsters)
rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages. The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society. Of this description are the love of power or the desire of pre-eminence and dominion—the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. There are others which have a more circumscribed though an equally operative influence within their spheres. Such are the rivalships and competitions of commerce between commercial nations. And there are others, not less numerous than either of the former, which take their origin entirely in private passions; in the attachments, enmities, interests, hopes, and fears of leading individuals in the communities of which they are members. Men of this class, whether the favorites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquillity to personal advantage or personal gratification.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Dispute: The Original Arguments For Each)
Koskocaman bir çölde, Uçsuz bucaksız bir kum denizinde, Arıyorum, Yitik yolu arıyorum, Bulamadığım o yolu. Ruhum kâh orada dolaşıyor kâh burada, Dört bir yanda, Bu koskocaman boşluğun içinde Bitmek bilmeyen bu boşlukta, Göz kamaştırıcı ve boğucu, Yeknesak ve kasvetli, Ufka doğru sonsuzca uzanan, Bu kumda, Arıyor ve bulamıyorum aradığımı.
Bertrand Russell (Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories)
No one who follows their conscience ever does wrong, Your Eminence. The consequences may not turn out as we intend; it may prove in time that we made a mistake. But that is not the same as being wrong. The only guide to a person’s actions can ever be their conscience, for it is in our conscience that we most clearly hear the voice of God.
Robert Harris (Conclave)
One of the difficulties that a man has to cope with as he goes through life is what to do about the persons with whom he has once been intimate and whose interest for him has in due course subsided. If both parties remain in a modest station the break comes about naturally, and no ill feeling subsists, but if one of them achieves eminence the position is awkward.
W. Somerset Maugham (Cakes and Ale)
An eminent philosopher among my friends, who can dignify even your ugly furniture by lifting it into the serene light of science, has shown me this pregnant little fact. Your pier-glass or extensive surface of polished steel made to be rubbed by a housemaid, will be minutely and multitudinously scratched in all directions; but place now against it a lighted candle as a centre of illumination, and lo! the scratches will seem to arrange themselves in a fine series of concentric circles round that little sun. It is demonstrable that the scratches are going everywhere impartially and it is only your candle which produces the flattering illusion of a concentric arrangement, its light falling with an exclusive optical selection. These things are a parable. The scratches are events, and the candle is the egoism of any person now absent— of Miss Vincy, for example. Rosamond had a Providence of her own who had kindly made her more charming than other girls, and who seemed to have arranged Fred's illness and Mr. Wrench's mistake in order to bring her and Lydgate within effective proximity. It
George Eliot (Middlemarch (ShandonPress))
Amongst various sects so numerous in America today who find their fundamental basis in occultism, the Theosophist stands pre-eminent both in intelligence and point of numbers. Theosophy is not a religion. Its followers are simply “searchers after Truth”. The Theosophists, in fact, are the dissatisfied with the world, dissenters from all creeds. They owe their origin to the wise men of India, and are numerous, not only in the far famed mystic East, but in England, France, Germany and Russia. They admit the existence of a God – not necessarily of a personal God. To them God is Nature and Nature is God…But despite this, if Christianity is Truth, as our education has taught us to believe, there can be no menace to it in Theosophy.
L. Frank Baum
But they bear the burden of being unpopular as proof of their importance - and these eminences turn the suspicion that less elevated customers are careful to disguise as courtesy into naked contempt and disdain. All the people one doesn't need right now are - for the person who will need them in a year's time - no more than air which he breathes but doesn't need to see.
Joseph Roth
Liberalism and Democracy were pre-eminently political concepts, and, since the great majority of the original adherents of both maintained the right of ownership in the 'old sense, these had to renounce them both when economic development took a course which could not be practically reconciled with the original principles of Democracy, and still less with those of Liberalism. Democracy with its motto of " equality of all citizens before the law," and Liberalism with its " right of man over his own person," both shipwrecked on the realities of the capitalist economic form. So long as millions of human beings in every country had to sell their labour-power to a small minority of owners, and to sink into the most wretched misery if they could find no buyers, the so-called "equality before the law" remains merely a pious fraud, since the laws are made by those who find themselves in possession of the social wealth. But in the same way there can also be no talk of a " right over one's own person," for that right ends when one is compelled to submit to the economic dictation of another if he does not want to starve.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice (Working Classics))
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers (Illustrated))
He was amazed to find that the Karmapa, an eminent spiritual leader known the world over, treated him as though his visit were one of the most important things that had ever happened to the Karmapa in his life. This treatment did not manifest through grandiose gestures or ceremony, but rather through the simplicity and completeness of the Karmapa’s presence, which offered my friend an experience of being completely loved. When I heard this story, I thought about how many conversations I have had during which my attention was halfhearted. I might be thinking about the next thing I had to do or the next person I had to talk to. How unfair that lack of attention now seems! The simple act of being completely present to another person is truly an act of love—no drama is required.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Classics))
[T]he candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically re-signed their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.
Abraham Lincoln (First and second inaugural addresses/message, July 5, 1861/proclamation, January 1, 1863/Gettysburg address, November 19, 1863)
Valentine’s concept of introversion includes traits that contemporary psychology would classify as openness to experience (“thinker, dreamer”), conscientiousness (“idealist”), and neuroticism (“shy individual”). A long line of poets, scientists, and philosophers have also tended to group these traits together. All the way back in Genesis, the earliest book of the Bible, we had cerebral Jacob (a “quiet man dwelling in tents” who later becomes “Israel,” meaning one who wrestles inwardly with God) squaring off in sibling rivalry with his brother, the swashbuckling Esau (a “skillful hunter” and “man of the field”). In classical antiquity, the physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments—and destinies—were a function of our bodily fluids, with extra blood and “yellow bile” making us sanguine or choleric (stable or neurotic extroversion), and an excess of phlegm and “black bile” making us calm or melancholic (stable or neurotic introversion). Aristotle noted that the melancholic temperament was associated with eminence in philosophy, poetry, and the arts (today we might classify this as opennessto experience). The seventeenth-century English poet John Milton wrote Il Penseroso (“The Thinker”) and L’Allegro (“The Merry One”), comparing “the happy person” who frolics in the countryside and revels in the city with “the thoughtful person” who walks meditatively through the nighttime woods and studies in a “lonely Towr.” (Again, today the description of Il Penseroso would apply not only to introversion but also to openness to experience and neuroticism.) The nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer contrasted “good-spirited” people (energetic, active, and easily bored) with his preferred type, “intelligent people” (sensitive, imaginative, and melancholic). “Mark this well, ye proud men of action!” declared his countryman Heinrich Heine. “Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” Because of this definitional complexity, I originally planned to invent my own terms for these constellations of traits. I decided against this, again for cultural reasons: the words introvert and extrovert have the advantage of being well known and highly evocative. Every time I uttered them at a dinner party or to a seatmate on an airplane, they elicited a torrent of confessions and reflections. For similar reasons, I’ve used the layperson’s spelling of extrovert rather than the extravert one finds throughout the research literature.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
When you look in the mirror, I hope you say to the person staring back at you that you are eminently proud. Proud of all you had to do to survive. Every obstacle you defeated, just to make it to this point in your life. The endless tears you have dried. All the internal battles you’ve endured. How much you've fought to heal from the pain, pain you never deserved to suffer. For bravely showing up, every single day, even though the world is messy and your soul aches.
Frankie Riley (All The Dark Places)
If man is but a biological organism and biology itself may be reduced to a set of physical and chemical laws, it should be possible to build up a biological science, a kind of biological mechanics, whose laws would rule the working and repair of the several pieces of the human machine. In such a case, there would be a 'medicine' or 'medical science'; and the doctor's task would consist in acquiring and maintaining an adequate knowledge of the laws of such a science and applying them so to speak in a uniform and automatic way, with hardly any meddling from his own personal criterion. If, on the contrary, man is above all an eminently living being, every specimen of which is ever new and original, a being strongly influenced by ultra-physical faculties -- spirit, intellect, emotions -- if, in one word, man is a whole that can only be ruled from its own centre, medicine, then, will be but an art or a craft to be applied in each case to a concrete individual. And then, rather than 'medicine', there will be medicine-men. Truth lies between these two poles, but gravitates definitely towards the second.
Salvador de Madariaga (Essays with a Purpose)
It is one of the great examples,” as Friedrich Meinecke, the eminent German historian, said, “of the singular and incalculable power of personality in historical life.”10 To some Germans and, no doubt, to most foreigners it appeared that a charlatan had come to power in Berlin. To the majority of Germans Hitler had—or would shortly assume—the aura of a truly charismatic leader. They were to follow him blindly, as if he possessed a divine judgment, for the next twelve tempestuous years. THE ADVENT OF ADOLF HITLER Considering his origins and his early life,
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
manic-depressive illness can confer advantages on both the individual and society. The disease, in both its severe and less severe forms, appears to convey its advantages not only through its relationship to the artistic temperament and imagination, but through its influence on many eminent scientists, as well as business, religious, military, and political leaders. Subtler effects—such as those on personality, thinking style, and energy—are also involved because it is a common illness with a wide range of temperamental, behavioral, and cognitive expression.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
To the enormous majority of persons who risk themselves in literature, not even the smallest measure of success can fall. They had better take to some other profession as quickly as may be, they are only making a sure thing of disappointment, only crowding the narrow gates of fortune and fame. Yet there are others to whom success, though easily within their reach, does not seem a thing to be grasped at. Of two such, the pathetic story may be read, in the Memoir of A Scotch Probationer, Mr. Thomas Davidson, who died young, an unplaced Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1869. He died young, unaccepted by the world, unheard of, uncomplaining, soon after writing his latest song on the first grey hairs of the lady whom he loved. And she, Miss Alison Dunlop, died also, a year ago, leaving a little work newly published, Anent Old Edinburgh, in which is briefly told the story of her life. There can hardly be a true tale more brave and honourable, for those two were eminently qualified to shine, with a clear and modest radiance, in letters. Both had a touch of poetry, Mr. Davidson left a few genuine poems, both had humour, knowledge, patience, industry, and literary conscientiousness. No success came to them, they did not even seek it, though it was easily within the reach of their powers. Yet none can call them failures, leaving, as they did, the fragrance of honourable and uncomplaining lives, and such brief records of these as to delight, and console and encourage us all. They bequeath to us the spectacle of a real triumph far beyond the petty gains of money or of applause, the spectacle of lives made happy by literature, unvexed by notoriety, unfretted by envy. What we call success could never have yielded them so much, for the ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, make a name, and therewith about one-tenth of the wealth which is ungrudged to physicians, or barristers, or stock-brokers, or dentists, or electricians. If literature and occupation with letters were not its own reward, truly they who seem to succeed might envy those who fail. It is not wealth that they win, as fortunate men in other professions count wealth; it is not rank nor fashion that come to their call nor come to call on them. Their success is to be let dwell with their own fancies, or with the imaginations of others far greater than themselves; their success is this living in fantasy, a little remote from the hubbub and the contests of the world. At the best they will be vexed by curious eyes and idle tongues, at the best they will die not rich in this world’s goods, yet not unconsoled by the friendships which they win among men and women whose faces they will never see. They may well be content, and thrice content, with their lot, yet it is not a lot which should provoke envy, nor be coveted by ambition.
Andrew Lang (How to Fail in Literature: A Lecture)
The efficiency of the hospital was a perfect illustration of Dunbar’s number – that magic number of 150. The size of our brain, Robin Dunbar, an eminent evolutionary anthropologist at Oxford University, has argued (and the brain size of other primates), is determined by the size of our ‘natural’ social group, when humans and their brains evolved in small hunting and gathering groups. We have the largest brains among primates, and the largest social group. We can relate to about 150 people on an informal, personal basis, but beyond that leadership, impersonal rules and job descriptions become necessary. So
Henry Marsh (Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon (Life as a Surgeon))
(I may say too—but this, the young reader may skip without disadvantage—by way of explanation of a peculiarity which has lately been much remarked as characteristic of those records of human history contemptuously called fiction, i.e., the unimportance, or ill-report, or unjust disapproval of the mother in records of this description—that it is almost impossible to maintain her due rank and character in a piece of history, which has to be kept within certain limits—and where her daughter the heroine must have the first place. To lessen her pre-eminence by dwelling at length upon the mother, unless that mother is a fool, or a termagant, or something thoroughly contrasting with the beauty and virtues of the daughter—would in most cases be a mistake in art. For one thing the necessary incidents are wanting, for I strongly object, and so I think do most people, to mothers who fall in love, or think of marriage, or any such vanity in their own person, and unless she is to interfere mischievously with the young lady's prospects, or take more or less the part of the villain, how is she to be permitted any importance at all? For there cannot be two suns in one sphere, or two centres to one world. Thus the mother has to be sacrificed to the daughter: which is a parable; or else it is the other way, which is against all the principles and prepossessions of life.) Elinor
Mrs. Oliphant (The Marriage of Elinor)
[Love, basically, is love of God]: a delightful and affectionate sense of the divine perfections, which makes the soul resign and sacrifice itself wholly unto him, desiring above all things to please him, and delighting in nothing so much as in fellowship and communion with him, and being ready to do or suffer anything for his sake, or at his pleasure ... A soul thus possessed with divine love must needs be enlarged towards all mankind ... this is ... charity ... under which all parts of justice, all the duties we owe to our neighbour, are eminently comprehended; for he who doth truly love all the world ... so far from wrongdoing or injuring any person ... will resent any evil that befalls others, as if it happened to himself.
Henry Scougal (The Life of God in the Soul of Man)
I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution. I have suffered very little pain from my disorder; and what is more strange have, notwithstanding the great decline of my person, never suffered a moment's abatement of spirits; insomuch that were I to name the period of my life which I should most choose to pass over again, I might be tempted to point to this later period. I possess the same ardour as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company; I consider, besides, that a man of sixty-five, by dying, cuts off only a few years of infirmities; and though I see many symptoms of my literary reputation's breaking out at last with additional lustre, I know that I could have but few years to enjoy it. It is difficult to be more detached from life than I am at present. "To conclude historically with my own character, I am, or rather was (for that is the style I must now use in speaking of myself); I was, I say, a man of mild dispositions, of command of temper, of an open, social, and cheerful humour, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity, and of great moderation in all my passions. Even my love of literary fame, my ruling passion, never soured my temper, notwithstanding my frequent disappointments. My company was not unacceptable to the young and careless, as well as to the studious and literary; and as I took a particular pleasure in the company of modest women, I had no reason to be displeased with the reception I met with from them. In a word, though most men any wise eminent, have found reason to complain of calumny, I never was touched or even attacked by her baleful tooth; and though I wantonly exposed myself to the rage of both civil and religious factions, they seemed to be disarmed in my behalf of their wonted fury. My friends never had occasion to vindicate any one circumstance of my character and conduct; not but that the zealots, we may well suppose, would have been glad to invent and propagate any story to my disadvantage, but they could never find any which they thought would wear the face of probability. I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but I hope it is not a misplaced one; and this is a matter of fact which is easily cleared and ascertained.
David Hume (Essays)
As Dr. Gunnar Biörck, an eminent Swedish professor of medicine and head of the department Of medicine at a major Swedish hospital, has written:   The setting in which medicine has been practiced during thousands of years has been one in which the patient has been the client and employer of the physician. Today the State, in one manifestation or the other, claims to be the employer and, thus, the one to prescribe the conditions under which the physician has to carry out his work. These conditions may not—and will eventually not—be restricted to working hours, salaries and certified drugs; they may invade the whole territory of the patient-physician relationship.... If the battle of today is not fought and not won, there will be no battle to fight tomorrow.20
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
XXIV. But Molon, who had a great dislike to Plato, says “There is not so much to wonder at in Dionysius being at Corinth, as in Plato’s being in Sicily.” Xenophon, too, does not appear to have been very friendlily disposed towards him: and accordingly they have, as if in rivalry of one another, both written books with the same title, the Banquet, the Defence of Socrates, Moral Reminiscences. Then, too, the one wrote the Cyropædia and the other a book on Politics; and Plato in his Laws says, that the Cyropædia is a mere romance, for that Cyrus was not such a person as he is described in that book. And though they both speak so much of Socrates, neither of them ever mentions the other, except that Xenophon once speaks of Plato in the third book of his Reminiscences.
Diogenes Laërtius (The Lives and Theories of Eminent Philosophers)
Of course it would be hypocritical for me to pretend that I regret what Abraham did. After all, I’ve scored by it.” He puffed luxuriously at the long Corona he was smoking. “But if I weren’t personally concerned I should be sorry at the waste. It seems a rotten thing that a man should make such a hash of life.” I wondered if Abraham really had made a hash of life. Is to do what you most want, to live under the conditions that please you, in peace with yourself, to make a hash of life; and is it success to be an eminent surgeon with ten thousand a year and a beautiful wife? I suppose it depends on what meaning you attach to life, the claim which you acknowledge to society, and the claim of the individual. But again I held my tongue, for who am I to argue with a knight?
W. Somerset Maugham (The W. Somerset Maugham Collection)
Could the Supreme Court have been relied upon as answering this description? It is much to be doubted, whether the members of that tribunal would at all times be endowed with so eminent a portion of fortitude, as would be called for in the execution of so difficult a task; and it is still more to be doubted, whether they would possess the degree of credit and authority, which might, on certain occasions, be indispensable towards reconciling the people to a decision that should happen to clash with an accusation brought by their immediate representatives. A deficiency in the first, would be fatal to the accused; in the last, dangerous to the public tranquillity. The hazard in both these respects, could only be avoided, if at all, by rendering that tribunal more numerous than would consist with a reasonable attention to economy. The necessity of a numerous court for the trial of impeachments, is equally dictated by the nature of the proceeding. This can never be tied down by such strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutors, or in the construction of it by the judges, as in common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security. There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law, and the party who is to receive or suffer it. The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons. These considerations seem alone sufficient to authorize a conclusion, that the Supreme Court would have been an improper substitute for the Senate, as a court of impeachments.
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
Long ago, an eminent professor of philosophy interrupted a lecture on Descartes to relate this story to the class: “A friend I hadn’t seen for years told me, ‘Do you know what your most obvious personal trait is? It’s this.’ ” The trait itself remained a secret; we had to guess. The professor continued: “I couldn’t believe it. It seemed absurd. Absolutely absurd. When I got home that day I told my wife, ‘Can you believe what my friend described as my most obvious personal trait? This!’ And my wife said, ‘But of course.’ ” Seeing things that are too close instead of too distant to make out clearly is one definition of philosophy and the philosophical method. “How hard I find it,” writes Wittgenstein, “to see what is right in front of my eyes!”14 Authorities agree: we do not know ourselves. So it is no surprise, after all, that we do not know the spectrum that describes our own minds.
David Gelernter (The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness)
THE SCHOOL FOR Wives criticised was first brought out at the theatre of the Palais Royal, on the 1st of June, 1663. It can scarcely be called a play, for it is entirely destitute of action. It is simply a reported conversation of “friends in council; but we cannot be surprised that it had a temporary success on the stage. It was acted as a pendant to The School for Wives, and the two were played together, with much profit to the company, thirty-two consecutive times. Molière, in the Preface to The School for Wives, mentions that the idea of writing The School for Wives criticised was suggested to him by a person of quality, who, it is said, was the Abbé Dubuisson, the grand introducteur des ruelles or, in other words, the Master of the Ceremonies to the Précieuses. Our author had also just been inscribed on the list of pensions which Louis XIV. allowed to eminent literary men, for a sum of a thousand livres.
Molière (Delphi Complete Works of Molière (Illustrated) (Delphi Series Nine Book 18))
Trump is an unintentional master of the art of rectal ventriloquism. No, I don’t mean he’s a champion farter. I mean he talks out of his ass, and the words magically start coming out of other peoples’ mouths. He says eminent domain is wonderful and suddenly conservatives start saying, “Yeah, it’s wonderful!” He floats a new entitlement for child care and almost instantaneously people once opposed to it start bragging about how sensitive they are to the plight of working moms. He says Social Security needs to be more generous and days later once proud tea partiers are saying the same thing, and the rest of us are left to marvel how we didn’t even see Trump’s lips, or cheeks, move. This is a perfect example of the corrupting effect of populism and personality cults. I keep mentioning my favorite line from William Jennings Bryan: “The people of Nebraska are for free silver and I am for free silver. I will look up the arguments later.” For many Trump supporters, the rule of the day is, “Donald Trump is for X and I am for X. I will look up the arguments later (if ever).
Jonah Goldberg
The smartest person to ever walk this Earth in all probability lived and died herding goats on a mountain somewhere, with no way to disseminate their work globally even if they had realised they were super smart and had the means to do something with their abilities. I am not keen on 'who are the smartest' lists and websites because, as Scott Barry Kaufman points out, the concept of genius privileges the few who had the opportunity to see through and promote their life’s work, while excluding others who may have had equal or greater raw potential but lacked the practical and financial support, and the communication platform that famous names clearly had. This is why I am keen to develop, through my research work, a definition of genius from a cognitive neuroscience and psychometric point of view, so that whatever we decide that is and how it should be measured, only focuses on clearly measurable factors within the individual’s mind, regardless of their external achievements, eminence, popularity, wealth, public platform etc. In my view this would be both more equitable and more scientific.
Gwyneth Wesley Rolph
The motor isolation is meant to ensure an interruption of the connection in thought. The normal phenomenon of concentration provides a pretext for this kind of neurotic procedure: what seems to us important in the way of an impression or a piece of work must not be interfered with by the simultaneous claims of any other mental processes or activities. But even a normal person uses concentration to keep away not only what is irrelevant or unimportant, but, above all, what is unsuitable because it is contradictory. He is most disturbed by those elements which once belonged together but which have been torn apart in the course of his development—as, for instance, by manifestations of the ambivalence of his father-complex in his relation to God, or by impulses attached to his excretory organs in his emotions of love. Thus, in the normal course of things, the ego has a great deal of isolating work to do in its function of directing the current of thought. And, as we know, we are obliged, in carrying out our analytic technique, to train it to relinquish that function for the time being, eminently justified as it usually is.
Sigmund Freud (Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety)
I consumed books about social policy and the working poor. One book in particular, a study by eminent sociologist William Julius Wilson called The Truly Disadvantaged, struck a nerve. I was sixteen the first time I read it, and though I didn’t fully understand it all, I grasped the core thesis. As millions migrated north to factory jobs, the communities that sprouted up around those factories were vibrant but fragile: When the factories shut their doors, the people left behind were trapped in towns and cities that could no longer support such large populations with high-quality work. Those who could—generally the well educated, wealthy, or well connected—left, leaving behind communities of poor people. These remaining folks were the “truly disadvantaged”—unable to find good jobs on their own and surrounded by communities that offered little in the way of connections or social support. Wilson’s book spoke to me. I wanted to write him a letter and tell him that he had described my home perfectly. That it resonated so personally is odd, however, because he wasn’t writing about the hillbilly transplants from Appalachia—he was writing about black people in the inner cities.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The VCs were prolific. They talked like nobody I knew. Sometimes they talked their own book, but most days, they talked Ideas: how to foment enlightenment, how to apply microeconomic theories to complex social problems. The future of media and the decline of higher ed; cultural stagnation and the builder’s mind-set. They talked about how to find a good heuristic for generating more ideas, presumably to have more things to talk about. Despite their feverish advocacy of open markets, deregulation, and continuous innovation, the venture class could not be relied upon for nuanced defenses of capitalism. They sniped about the structural hypocrisy of criticizing capitalism from a smartphone, as if defending capitalism from a smartphone were not grotesque. They saw the world through a kaleidoscope of startups: If you want to eliminate economic inequality, the most effective way to do it would be to outlaw starting your own company, wrote the founder of the seed accelerator. Every vocal anti-capitalist person I’ve met is a failed entrepreneur, opined an angel investor. The SF Bay Area is like Rome or Athens in antiquity, posted a VC. Send your best scholars, learn from the masters and meet the other most eminent people in your generation, and then return home with the knowledge and networks you need. Did they know people could see them?
Anna Wiener (Uncanny Valley)
Nietzsche is a favourite, since he made the point explicitly: ‘There are no truths,’ he wrote, ‘only interpretations.’ Either what Nietzsche said is true – in which case it is not true, since there are no truths – or it is false. But it is only from the standpoint of the Enlightenment that this response seems like a refutation. The new curriculum is in the business of marginalizing refutation, just as it marginalizes truth. This explains the appeal of those recent thinkers – Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty – who owe their intellectual eminence not to their arguments but to their role in giving authority to the rejection of authority, and to their absolute commitment to the impossibility of absolute commitments. In each of them you find the view that truth, objectivity, value or meaning are chimerical, and that all we can have, and all we need to have, is the warm security of our own opinion.1 Hence it is in vain to argue against the new authorities. No argument, however rational, can counter the massive ‘will to believe’ that captures their normal readers. After all, a rational argument assumes precisely what they ‘put in question’ – namely, the possibility of rational argument. Each of them owes his reputation to a kind of religious faith: faith in the relativity of all opinions, including this one. For this is the faith on which a new form of membership is founded – a first-person plural of denial.
Roger Scruton (How to Be a Conservative)
Diotima, “Sadece bir insan olan bir kişinin, sırf Tanrı olduğu zannedildiği için iğrenç şeyler yapmasına göz yumulan yerde çirkinlik vardır.” dedi. Thomas bu sözleri duyunca titreyerek geriledi. “Sadece bir insan mı?” diye sordu. “Kutsal Zahatapolk'u kast etmiyorsun herhalde!” “Kast ediyorum,” dedi Diotima. “Ilahi biri değil. Onu o makama getiren efsane korkuyla yaratılmış. Ölüm korkusu, kaderin indireceği darbelerin korkusu, doğa güçlerinin korkusu, insanın tiranlığının korkusu. Bazen tepemizdeki şu zirvelerden aşağıdaki vadilere ölüm yuvarlanıyor. Zirvelerde hüküm süren güçlerin zalim olduğu düşünülüyor ve onların korkunç acımasızlığını ancak anlayışlı bir zalimliğin yatıştırabileceği sanılıyor. Ancak bütün korkular rezilce, yarattıkları efsaneler rezilce, bu efsanelerin yücelttiği insanlar da rezil. Zahatopolk Tanrı falan değil, iğrenç, çoğu yönden hayvanlardan aşağı bir insan. Freia'nın kurban edildiği ayinin ilahi bir kökeni yok. Hiçbir şeyin ilahi kökeni yok. Tanrılar, korkularımızın gecenin bulanıklığı üzerindeki gölgeleri. İnsanın, onu mahvedebilecek güçler karşısındaki zilletini simgeliyorlar. Zamansal düzende sıradan bir ânı ilahi bir ân olarak değerlendiremeyecek zamana köleliği simgeliyorlar. Bu mağlubiyete teslim olmayacağım. Yaşadığım sürece dağlar gibi dik duracağım. Yoluma felaket çıkarsa, ki hiç kuşkusuz çıkacaktır, ancak dışarıdan gelen bir felaket olur. Olabilecek olanlara duyduğum inancın kalesi yıkılmayacak.
Bertrand Russell (Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories)
If we’re not careful, the automation of mental labor, by changing the nature and focus of intellectual endeavor, may end up eroding one of the foundations of culture itself: our desire to understand the world. Predictive algorithms may be supernaturally skilled at discovering correlations, but they’re indifferent to the underlying causes of traits and phenomena. Yet it’s the deciphering of causation—the meticulous untangling of how and why things work the way they do—that extends the reach of human understanding and ultimately gives meaning to our search for knowledge. If we come to see automated calculations of probability as sufficient for our professional and social purposes, we risk losing or at least weakening our desire and motivation to seek explanations, to venture down the circuitous paths that lead toward wisdom and wonder. Why bother, if a computer can spit out “the answer” in a millisecond or two? In his 1947 essay “Rationalism in Politics,” the British philosopher Michael Oakeshott provided a vivid description of the modern rationalist: “His mind has no atmosphere, no changes of season and temperature; his intellectual processes, so far as possible, are insulated from all external influence and go on in the void.” The rationalist has no concern for culture or history; he neither cultivates nor displays a personal perspective. His thinking is notable only for “the rapidity with which he reduces the tangle and variety of experience” into “a formula.”54 Oakeshott’s words also provide us with a perfect description of computer intelligence: eminently practical and productive and entirely lacking in curiosity,
Nicholas Carr (The Glass Cage: Where Automation is Taking Us)
Two days ago, I was lunching at the Writers Union with the eminent historian Tomashevski. That's the sort of man you should know. Respected, charming, hasn't produced a piece of work in ten years. He has a system, which he explained to me. First, he submits an outline for a biography to the Academy to be absolutely sure his approach is consistent with Party policy. A crucial first step, as you'll see later. Now, the person he studies is always an important figure - that is, someone from Moscow - hence Tomashevski must do his Russian research close to home for two years. But this historical character also traveled, yes, lived for some years in Paris or London; hence Tomashevski must do the same, apply for and receive permission for foreign residence. Four years have passed. The Academy and the Party are rubbing their hands in anticipation of this seminal study of the important figure by the eminent Tomashevski. And now Tomashevski must retire to the solitude of a dacha outside Moscow to tend his garden and creatively brood over his cartons of research. Two more years pass in seminal thought. And just as Tomashevski is about to commit himself to paper, he checks with the Academy again only to learn that Party policy has totally about-faced; his hero is a traitor, and with regrets all around, Tomashevski must sacrifice his years of labor for the greater good. Naturally, they are only too happy to urge Tomashevski to start a new project, to plow under his grief with fresh labor. Tomashevski is now studying a very important historical figure who lived for some time in the South of France. He says there is always a bright future for Soviet historians, and I believe him.
Martin Cruz Smith (Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1))
The book’s secondary message, more implicit than explicit, is this: It is also time to render unto equality that which is appropriate to equality, and unto excellence that which is appropriate to excellence. Equality is a fine ideal, and should have an honored place. To have understood that each person is unique, that each person must be treated as an end and not a means, that each person should be free to live his life as he sees fit, so long as he accords others the same freedom, that each person should be equal before the law and is equal in God’s sight, and to incorporate these principles into the governance of nations—these are among the greatest of all human accomplishments. But equality has nothing to do with the abilities, persistence, zeal, and vision that produce excellence. Equality and excellence inhabit different domains, and allegiance to one need not compete with allegiance to the other. Excellence is not simply a matter of opinion, though judgment enters into its identification. Excellence has attributes that can be identified, evaluated, and compared across works. The judgments reached by those who are most expert in their fields, and who work from standards of excellence that they are willing to specify and subject to the inspection of logic, are highly consistent—so consistent that eminence in the various domains of accomplishment can be gradated with higher reliability than is achieved by almost any other measure in the social and behavioral sciences. When the rating of eminence is scrutinized against the reasons for that eminence, it also becomes apparent that those who rank highest are those who have achieved at the highest levels of their field.
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
GCHQ has traveled a long and winding road. That road stretches from the wooden huts of Bletchley Park, past the domes and dishes of the Cold War, and on towards what some suggest will be the omniscient state of the Brave New World. As we look to the future, the docile and passive state described by Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World is perhaps more appropriate analogy than the strictly totalitarian predictions offered by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bizarrely, many British citizens are quite content in this new climate of hyper-surveillance, since its their own lifestyle choices that helped to create 'wired world' - or even wish for it, for as we have seen, the new torrents of data have been been a source of endless trouble for the overstretched secret agencies. As Ken Macdonald rightly points out, the real drives of our wired world have been private companies looking for growth, and private individuals in search of luxury and convenience at the click of a mouse. The sigint agencies have merely been handed the impossible task of making an interconnected society perfectly secure and risk-free, against the background of a globalized world that presents many unprecedented threats, and now has a few boundaries or borders to protect us. Who, then, is to blame for the rapid intensification of electronic surveillance? Instinctively, many might reply Osama bin Laden, or perhaps Pablo Escobar. Others might respond that governments have used these villains as a convenient excuse to extend state control. At first glance, the massive growth of security, which includes includes not only eavesdropping but also biometric monitoring, face recognition, universal fingerprinting and the gathering of DNA, looks like a sad response to new kinds of miscreants. However, the sad reality is that the Brave New World that looms ahead of us is ultimately a reflection of ourselves. It is driven by technologies such as text messaging and customer loyalty cards that are free to accept or reject as we choose. The public debate on surveillance is often cast in terms of a trade-off between security and privacy. The truth is that luxury and convenience have been pre-eminent themes in the last decade, and we have given them a much higher priority than either security or privacy. We have all been embraced the world of surveillance with remarkable eagerness, surfing the Internet in a global search for a better bargain, better friends, even a better partner. GCHQ vast new circular headquarters is sometimes represented as a 'ring of power', exercising unparalleled levels of surveillance over citizens at home and abroad, collecting every email, every telephone and every instance of internet acces. It has even been asserted that GCHQ is engaged in nothing short of 'algorithmic warfare' as part of a battle for control of global communications. By contrast, the occupants of 'Celtenham's Doughnut' claim that in reality they are increasingly weak, having been left behind by the unstoppable electronic communications that they cannot hope to listen to, still less analyse or make sense of. In fact, the frightening truth is that no one is in control. No person, no intelligence agency and no government is steering the accelerating electronic processes that may eventually enslave us. Most of the devices that cause us to leave a continual digital trail of everything we think or do were not devised by the state, but are merely symptoms of modernity. GCHQ is simply a vast mirror, and it reflects the spirit of the age.
Richard J. Aldrich (GCHQ)
Between the extreme limits of this series would find a place all the forms of prestige resulting from the different elements composing a civilisation -- sciences, arts, literature, &c. -- and it would be seen that prestige constitutes the fundamental element of persuasion. Consciously or not, the being, the idea, or the thing possessing prestige is immediately imitated in consequence of contagion, and forces an entire generation to adopt certain modes of feeling and of giving expression to its thought. This imitation, moreover, is, as a rule, unconscious, which accounts for the fact that it is perfect. The modern painters who copy the pale colouring and the stiff attitudes of some of the Primitives are scarcely alive to the source of their inspiration. They believe in their own sincerity, whereas, if an eminent master had not revived this form of art, people would have continued blind to all but its naïve and inferior sides. Those artists who, after the manner of another illustrious master, inundate their canvasses with violet shades do not see in nature more violet than was detected there fifty years ago; but they are influenced, "suggestioned," by the personal and special impressions of a painter who, in spite of this eccentricity, was successful in acquiring great prestige. Similar examples might be brought forward in connection with all the elements of civilisation. It is seen from what precedes that a number of factors may be concerned in the genesis of prestige; among them success was always one of the most important. Every successful man, every idea that forces itself into recognition, ceases, ipso facto, to be called in question. The proof that success is one of the principal stepping-stones to prestige is that the disappearance of the one is almost always followed by the disappearance of the other. The hero whom the crowd acclaimed yesterday is insulted to-day should he have been overtaken by failure. The re-action, indeed, will be the stronger in proportion as the prestige has been great. The crowd in this case considers the fallen hero as an equal, and takes its revenge for having bowed to a superiority whose existence it no longer admits.
Gustave Le Bon (سيكولوجية الجماهير)
Perceptive and valuable personal explorations of time alone include A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland, Party of One by Anneli Rufus, Migrations to Solitude by Sue Halpern, Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod, Solitude by Robert Kull, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton, and the incomparable Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Adventure tales offering superb insight into solitude, both its horror and its beauty, include The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Alone by Richard E. Byrd. Science-focused books that provided me with further understanding of how solitude affects people include Social by Matthew D. Lieberman, Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, Quiet by Susan Cain, Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, and An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. Also offering astute ideas about aloneness are Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie, The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (especially “Nature” and “Self-Reliance”) and Friedrich Nietzsche (especially “Man Alone with Himself”), the verse of William Wordsworth, and the poems of Han-shan, Shih-te, and Wang Fan-chih. It was essential for me to read two of Knight’s favorite books: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer. This book’s epigraph, attributed to Socrates, comes from the C. D. Yonge translation of Diogenes Laërtius’s third-century A.D. work The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. The Hermitary website, which offers hundreds of articles on every aspect of hermit life, is an invaluable resource—I spent weeks immersed in the site, though I did not qualify to become a member of the hermit-only chat groups. My longtime researcher, Jeanne Harper, dug up hundreds of reports on hermits and loners throughout history. I was fascinated by the stories of Japanese soldiers who continued fighting World War II for decades on remote Pacific islands, though none seemed to be completely alone for more than a few years at a time. Still, Hiroo Onoda’s No Surrender is a fascinating account.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
There are truths which are best recognized by mediocre heads, because they are most appropriate for them; there are truths which have charm and seductive power only for mediocre minds: — at this very point we are pushed back onto this perhaps unpleasant proposition, since the time the spirit of respectable but mediocre Englishmen — I cite Darwin, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer — is successfully gaining pre-eminence in the middle regions of European taste. In fact, who could doubt how useful it is that such spirits rule from time to time? It would be a mistake to think that highly cultivated spirits who fly off to great distances would be particularly skilful at establishing many small, common facts, collecting them, and pushing to a conclusion: — they are, by contrast, as exceptional men, from the very start in no advantageous position vis-à-vis the “rules.” In the final analysis, they have more to do than merely have knowledge — for they have to be something new, to mean something new, to present new values! The gap between knowing something and being able to do something is perhaps greater as well as more mysterious than people think. It’s possible that the man who can act in the grand style, the creating man, will have to be a person who does not know; whereas, on the other hand, for scientific discoveries of the sort Darwin made a certain narrowness, aridity, and conscientious diligence, in short, something English, may not be an unsuitable arrangement. Finally we should not forget that the English with their profoundly average quality have already once brought about a collective depression of the European spirit. What people call “modern ideas” or “the ideas of the eighteenth century” or even “French ideas” — in other words, what the German spirit has risen against with a deep disgust — were English in origin. There’s no doubt of that. The French have been only apes and actors of these ideas, their best soldiers, as well, and at the same time unfortunately their first and most complete victims. For with the damnable Anglomania of “modern ideas” the âme française [French soul] has finally become so thin and emaciated that nowadays we remember almost with disbelief its sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its profoundly passionate power, its resourceful nobility. But with our teeth we must hang on to the following principle of historical fairness and defend it against the appearance of the moment: European noblesse [nobility] — in feeling, in taste, in customs, in short, the word taken in every higher sense — is the work and invention of France; European nastiness, the plebeian quality of modern ideas, the work of England.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
The Extraordinary Persons Project In fact, Ekman had been so moved personally—and intrigued scientifically—by his experiments with Öser that he announced at the meeting he was planning on pursuing a systematic program of research studies with others as unusual as Öser. The single criterion for selecting apt subjects was that they be “extraordinary.” This announcement was, for modern psychology, an extraordinary moment in itself. Psychology has almost entirely dwelt on the problematic, the abnormal, and the ordinary in its focus. Very rarely have psychologists—particularly ones as eminent as Paul Ekman—shifted their scientific lens to focus on people who were in some sense (other than intellectually) far above normal. And yet Ekman now was proposing to study people who excel in a range of admirable human qualities. His announcement makes one wonder why psychology hasn't done this before. In fact, only in very recent years has psychology explicitly begun a program to study the positive in human nature. Sparked by Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania long famous for his research on optimism, a budding movement has finally begun in what is being called “positive psychology”—the scientific study of well-being and positive human qualities. But even within positive psychology, Ekman's proposed research would stretch science's vision of human goodness by assaying the limits of human positivity Ever the scientist, Ekman became quite specific about what was meant by “extraordinary.” For one, he expects that such people exist in every culture and religious tradition, perhaps most often as contemplatives. But no matter what religion they practice, they share four qualities. The first is that they emanate a sense of goodness, a palpable quality of being that others notice and agree on. This goodness goes beyond some fuzzy, warm aura and reflects with integrity the true person. On this count Ekman proposed a test to weed out charlatans: In extraordinary people “there is a transparency between their personal and public life, unlike many charismatics, who have wonderful public lives and rather deplorable personal ones.” A second quality: selflessness. Such extraordinary people are inspiring in their lack of concern about status, fame, or ego. They are totally unconcerned with whether their position or importance is recognized. Such a lack of egoism, Ekman added, “from the psychological viewpoint, is remarkable.” Third is a compelling personal presence that others find nourishing. “People want to be around them because it feels good—though they can't explain why,” said Ekman. Indeed, the Dalai Lama himself offers an obvious example (though Ekman did not say so to him); the standard Tibetan title is not “Dalai Lama” but rather “Kundun,” which in Tibetan means “presence.” Finally, such extraordinary individuals have “amazing powers of attentiveness and concentration.
Daniel Goleman (Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama)
There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?” Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church. There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.” Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said: “The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. . . . He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. . . . “It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.” And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.) Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.” . . . Wouldn’t it be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief and apostasy? . . . Cyprian, a defender of the faith in the Apostolic Period, testified, and I quote, “Into my heart, purified of all sin, there entered a light which came from on high, and then suddenly and in a marvelous manner, I saw certainty succeed doubt.” . . . The Lord issued a warning to those who would seek to destroy the faith of an individual or lead him away from the word of God or cause him to lose his grasp on the “iron rod,” wherein was safety by faith in a Divine Redeemer and his purposes concerning this earth and its peoples. The Master warned: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better … that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6.) The Master was impressing the fact that rather than ruin the soul of a true believer, it were better for a person to suffer an earthly death than to incur the penalty of jeopardizing his own eternal destiny.
Harold B. Lee
The Rothschilds taught the rich men of the earth to smile and be glad to permit such debts to be incurred. But such debts must not be personal debts. They must be debts owed by governments so that entire peoples may thus be mortgaged. And, when entire peoples are mortgaged, what more might a gentle multimillionaire ask? Why should he require that the debt be paid? Better for him and his class that the debt be not paid. So long as the debt stands the people are mortgaged to him. They plant. He reaps. He holds the bond. He can draw interest upon it until the bond is due and then exchange it for another bond and draw interest some more; or he can sell his bond to some other millionaire and thus get his money back. It is really so great a device that these gentlemen themselves assure us that the existence of a national debt is " the first stage of a nation toward civilization." Of course, such assurances are often given, not by the rich personally, but by the eminent political economists who are employed by them to provide wholesome reading matter for the common people.
Had Dr. Johnson written his own life, in conformity with the opinion which he has given, that every man’s life may be best written by himself; had he employed in the preservation of his own history, that clearness of narration and elegance of language in which he has embalmed so many eminent persons, the world would probably have had the most perfect example of biography that was ever exhibited.
Samuel Johnson (Complete Works of Samuel Johnson)
The pre-eminent good which we call moral can therefore consist in nothing else than the conception of law in itself, which certainly is only possible in a rational being, in so far as this conception, and not the expected effect, determines the will. This is a good which is already present in the person who acts accordingly, and we have not to wait for it to appear first in the result. *
Immanuel Kant (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals)
IF THERE is one person to blame for economists’ habit of opining on everything, it is Gary Becker, who died on May 3rd. Not content with studying the world’s economies, he was the first prominent economist to apply economic tools to all aspects of life. His revelation was the sort that seems obvious only in hindsight: that people are often purposeful and rational in their decisions, whether they are changing jobs, taking drugs or divorcing their spouses. This insight, and the work that followed from it, earned him a Nobel prize in 1992. No less an eminence than Milton Friedman declared in 2001 that Mr Becker was “the greatest social scientist who has lived and worked in the last half-century”.
As eminent police psychologist and fellow ILEETA member Dr. Alexis Artwohl, Phd. has stated, “the goal of use of force investigations is: 1) Maximize the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation while; 2) Minimizing the trauma to the officer and their families. Dr. Artwohl expounds that the investigator is not getting a statement about what really happened but is rather getting a statement of witness “perceptions.” Determining the reality of the case or the facts of the case is based on physical evidence and these witness statements. Witnesses interviewed can be participants – the officer(s) and suspect(s) as well as observers. Their perception-based statements are based on what they: saw, heard, felt, smelled, their beliefs, attitudes, biases and expectations. Of course the more you able to learn about the person the better your ability to ascertain their influence on the person’s statements. “The person may be telling the truth and they may be lying. We define a lie as they are deliberately and consciously telling you something that is different than what is in their head.” Dr. Artwohl states that oftentimes police officers are disciplined based on an investigators “interpretation of their intent.
Kevin R. Davis (Use of Force Investigations: A Manual for Law Enforcement)
Eminent jurist Fali S. Nariman very aptly describes it8: ‘Originally an English transplant with Anglo-Saxon roots, the legal system in India has grown over the years, nourished in Indian soil; what was intended to be an English oak has turned into a large, sprawling Indian banyan whose serial roots have descended to the ground to become new trunks.’ This huge banyan tree of our legal system must give shelter to us, including the humblest and weakest person, in our pluralistic society.
Asok Kumar Ganguly (Landmark Judgments That Changed India)
The new world we see being brought into being in the Gospels is one in which the whole grand cosmic architecture of prerogative, power, and eminence has been shaken and even superseded by a new, positively “anarchic” order: an order, that is, in which we see the glory of God revealed in a crucified slave, and in which (consequently) we are enjoined to see the forsaken of the earth as the very children of heaven. In this shockingly, ludicrously disordered order (so to speak), even the mockery visited on Christ—the burlesque crown and robe—acquires a kind of ironic opulence: in the light cast backward upon the scene by the empty tomb, it becomes all at once clear that it is not Christ’s “ambitions” that are laughable, but those emblems of earthly authority whose travesties have been draped over his shoulders and pressed into his scalp. We can now see with perfect poignancy the vanity of empires and kingdoms, and the absurdity of men who wrap themselves in rags and adorn themselves with glittering gauds and promote themselves with preposterous titles and thereby claim license to rule over others. And yet the figure of Christ seems only to grow in dignity. It is tempting to describe this vision of reality as—for want of a better alternative—a total humanism: a vision, that is, of humanity in its widest and deepest scope, one that finds the full nobility and mystery and beauty of the human countenance—the human person—in each unique instance of the common nature. Seen thus, Christ’s supposed descent from the “form of God” into the “form of a slave” is not so much a paradox as a perfect confirmation of the indwelling of the divine image in each soul. And, once the world has been seen in this way, it can never again be what it formerly was.
David Bentley Hart (Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies)
veteran Turkish smuggler claimed in November 2014 that he had sent “more than ten” Islamic State jihadis into Europe. His claim couldn’t be proven, but it was eminently plausible: he said he charged $2,500 for every person he brought out of the Islamic State and into Europe through Turkey, and that the jihadis he had helped get to Europe were pretending to be refugees. But according to the smuggler they are actually jihadis biding their time: “They are waiting for their orders. Just wait. You will see. . . . The Western world thinks there is no ISIS in their countries—that all the jihadis have gone to fight and die in Syria.” He recalled that one of the Islamic State jihadis he helped get to Europe told him about Muslims from Europe who had been killed in Syria, “We are sending our fighters to take their places.” He told the smuggler, “We want you to bring our brothers too.” The smuggler noted that it was easy for them to go to Europe. “They can come to any smuggler and say they are refugees.
Robert Spencer (The Complete Infidel's Guide to ISIS (Complete Infidel's Guides))
One might think that after this trenchant diagnosis of the radical dualism in human thinking, Huxley would urge us to take truth seriously and lean against any way in which we may be tempted to rationalize our needs—as Plato and Aristotle would have recommended. Instead, bizarrely, he goes on to take the very approach he was attacking. He freely admits that he “took it for granted” that the world had no meaning, but he did not discover it, he decided it. “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.”7 His philosophy of meaninglessness was far from disinterested. And the reason? “We objected to morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”8 This admission is extraordinary. To be sure, Huxley and his fellow members of the Garsington Circle near Oxford were not like the Marquis de Sade, who used the philosophy of meaninglessness to justify cruelty, rape and murder. But Huxley’s logic is no different. He too reached his view of the world for nonintellectual reasons: “It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence.” After all, he continues in this public confessional, “The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants, or why his friends should seize political power and govern in a way they find most advantageous to themselves.”9 The eminent contemporary philosopher Thomas Nagel is equally candid. He admits that his deepest objection to Christian faith stems not from philosophy but fear. I am talking about something much deeper—namely the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.10 At least there is no pretense in such confessions. As Pascal wrote long ago, “Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.”11 In Huxley’s case there is no clearer confession of what Ludwig Feuerbach called “projection,” Friedrich Nietzsche called the “will to power,” Sigmund Freud called “rationalization,” Jean-Paul Sartre called “bad faith,” and the sociologists of knowledge call “ideology”—a set of intellectual ideas that serve as social weapons for his and his friends’ interests. Unwittingly, this scion of the Enlightenment pleads guilty on every count, but rather than viewing it as a confession, Huxley trumpets his position proudly as a manifesto. “For myself, no doubt, as for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation.”12 Truth
Os Guinness (Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion)
TOPOPHOBIA The Fear of Situations – Stagefright The average man has a pretty good opinion of himself. Lost in the anonymity of the crowd, protected by the mask he habitually wears against the scrutiny of the outside world, he performs his duties, does his work, fulfills his social obligations, and rests secure in his belief that he is equal to the ordinary emergencies of ordinary life. But take him away from this familiar environment, cut him off from the protective influence of his fellows, set him apart from the crowd, and however agreeable and flattering he may find his momentary distinction, he will miss the familiar devices that adorned his everyday life, the little tricks by which he “got by.” Set on a stage, he is viewed, as it were, naked, and in every gesture he reveals his incompetence. His erstwhile friends gaze at him across an empty space; their expectant air strips him of every studied platitude and leaves him stammering like an idiot. These people, whom he knows so well, are transformed into master-intellects, superior beings to whom he is as the anthropoid ape. Their merciless eyes penetrate to his soul, he feels their scorn as a whip on his back. His naked limbs knock together in terror, his teeth chatter, he feels icy hands clutching at his throat. The fond hopes that lured him to this traitorous pre-eminence desert him, and he babbles incoherencies in place of the golden words that were to win him applause. Back in the days when he was a child and the world was compassed by the walls of his house, he strutted before proud parents, gratifying his need for a stage on which to exhibit himself. Now his old love for personal display brings with it a concentrated fear that is the social punishment for his vanity.
John Vassos (Phobia: An Art Deco Graphic Masterpiece)
It is not only the highly creative who would not whole-heartedly agree with Bowlby’s contention that intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person’s life revolves. For the deeply religious, and especially for those whose vocation demands celibacy, attachment to God takes precedence over attachment to persons. Although such people may succeed in loving their neighbours as themselves, the injunction ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind’ is truly ‘the first and great commandment’.15 Throughout most of Europe’s recorded history, it was assumed that ultimate happiness was not to be expected from human relationships and institutions, but could only be found in man’s relation with the divine. Indeed, many of the devout believed that human relationships were an obstacle to communion with God. The founders of the monastic movement were the hermits of the Egyptian desert, whose ideal of perfection was only to be achieved through renunciation of the world, mortification of the flesh, and a solitary life of contemplation and rigorous discipline. It was recognized very early that the life of the anchorite was not possible for everyone, and so the ‘coenobitic’ tradition arose in which monks no longer lived alone but shared the life of dedication to God in communities. Intimate attachments, or desires for such attachments, are not unknown within the walls of monasteries, but they are regarded as intrusive distractions and firmly discouraged. Although learning was not a necessary feature of monastic life, the libraries of the monasteries preserved the learning of the past, and attracted those monks who had scholarly interests. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the monasteries led an intellectual revival, and were pre-eminent in history and biography.16 Perhaps monastic discipline and the absence of close personal ties not only facilitated the individual’s relation with God, but also fostered scholarship. It would, I think, be quite wrong to assume that all those who have put their relation with God before their relations with their fellows are abnormal or neurotic. Some of those who choose the monastic or celibate life certainly do so for the ‘wrong’ reasons: because their human relationships have failed, or because they dislike taking responsibility, or because they want a secure haven from the world. But this is not true of all; and even if it were so, would not imply that a life in which intimate attachments to other human beings played little part was necessarily incomplete or inferior. The religious person might argue that modern psycho-analysts have idealized intimate attachments; that human relationships are, because of the nature of man, necessarily imperfect; and that encouraging people to look for complete fulfilment in this way has done more harm than good.
Anthony Storr (Solitude: A Return to the Self)
Depression, sexual troubles, anxiety, loneliness, and guilt are the main problems that drive consumers into the recovery movement. Explaining such adult troubles as being caused by victimization during childhood does not accomplish much. Compare “wounded child” as an explanation to some of the other ways you might explain your problems: “depressive,” “anxiety-prone,” or “sexually dysfunctional.” “Wounded child” is a more permanent explanation; “depressive” is less permanent. As we saw in the first section of this book, depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction—unlike being a wounded child—are all eminently treatable. “Wounded child” is also more pervasive in its destructive effects: “Toxic” is the colorful word used to describe its pervasiveness. “Depression,” “anxiety,” and “sexually dysfunctional” are all narrower, less damning labels, and this, in fact, is part of the reason why treatment works. So “wounded child” (unless you believe in catharsis cures) leads to more helplessness, hopelessness, and passivity than the alternatives. But it is less personal—your parents did it to you—than “depressive,” “anxiety-prone,” and “sexually dysfunctional.” Impersonal explanations of bad events raise self-esteem more than personal ones. Therefore “wounded child” is better for raising your self-esteem and for lowering your guilt. Self-esteem has become very important to Americans in the last two decades. Our public schools are supposed to nurture the self-esteem of our children, our churches are supposed to minister to the self-esteem of their congregants, and the recovery movement is supposed to restore the self-esteem of victims. Attaining self-esteem, while undeniably important, is a goal that I have reservations about. I think it is an overinflated idea, and my opinion was formed by my work with depressed people. Depressed people, you will recall, have four kinds of problems: behavioral—they are passive, indecisive, and helpless; emotional—they are sad; bodily—their sleeping, eating, and sex are disrupted; cognitive—they think life is hopeless and that they are worthless. Only the second half of this last symptom amounts to low self-esteem. I have come to believe that lack of self-esteem is the least important of these woes. Once a depressed person becomes active and hopeful, self-esteem always improves. Bolstering self-esteem without changing hopelessness or passivity, however, accomplishes nothing. To put it exactly, I believe that low self-esteem is an epiphenomenon, a mere reflection that your commerce with the world is going badly. It has no power in itself. What needs improving is not self-esteem but your commerce with the world. So the one advantage of labeling yourself a victim—raised self-esteem—is minimal, particularly since victimhood raises self-esteem at the cost of greater hopelessness and passivity, and therefore worsens commerce with the world. This is indeed my main worry about the recovery movement. Young Americans right now are in an epidemic of depression. I have speculated on the causes in the last chapter of my book Learned Optimism, and I will not repeat my conjectures here. Young people are easy pickings for anything that makes them feel better—even temporarily. The recovery movement capitalizes on this epidemic. When it works, it raises self-esteem and lowers guilt, but at the expense of our blaming others for our troubles. Never mind the fact that those we blame did not in fact cause our troubles. Never mind the fact that thinking of ourselves as victims induces helplessness, hopelessness, and passivity. Never mind that there are more effective treatments available elsewhere.
Martin E.P. Seligman (What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement)
the revolutionary party dictatorship had in Lenin an acknowledged individual supreme leader of such pre-eminence that it could properly be described as a “Lenin regime.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
A soul thus possessed with divine love, must needs be enlarged, toward all mankind, in a sincere and unbounded affection, because of the relation they have to God, being his creatures, and having something of his image stamped upon them; and this is that charity I named as the second branch of religion, and under which all the parts of justice, all the duties we owe to our neighbour, are eminently comprehended: for he who doth truly love all the world, will be nearly concerned in the interest of every one; and so far from wronging or injuring any person, that he will resent any evil that befals others, as if it happened to himself.
Henry Scougal (The Life of God in the Soul of Man)
Scholars call what I saw a “microaggression,” a term coined by eminent Harvard psychiatrist Chester Pierce in 1970. Pierce employed the term to describe the constant verbal and nonverbal abuse racist White people unleash on Black people wherever we go, day after day. A White woman grabs her purse when a Black person sits next to her. The seat next to a Black person stays empty on a crowded bus. A White woman calls the cops at the sight of Black people barbecuing in the park. White people telling us that our firmness is anger or that our practiced talents are natural. Mistaking us for the only other Black person around. Calling the cops on our children for selling lemonade on the street. Butchering Ebonics for sport. Assuming we are the help. Assuming the help isn’t brilliant. Asking us questions about the entire Black race. Not giving us the benefit of the doubt. Calling the cops on us for running down the street.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Now the gods, whose principal residence was held at Byzantium, perceived that Odin had tarnished the honour of his divinity by these various lapses from dignity and reckoned he should quit their fraternity. They ensured that he was ousted from his pre-eminence, stripped of his personal titles and worship, and outlawed, believing it better for a scandalous president to be thrown from power than desecrate the character of public religion; nor did they wish to become involved in another’s wickedness and suffer innocently for his guilt.
Saxo Grammaticus (The Danish History, Books I-IX: Legends and Chronicles of Ancient Denmark)
Every one agreed that General Gordon had been avenged at last. Who could doubt it? General Gordon himself, possibly, fluttering, in some remote Nirvana, the pages of a phantasmal Bible, might have ventured on a satirical remark. But General Gordon had always been a contradictious person—even a little off his head, perhaps, though a hero; and besides, he was no longer there to contradict… At any rate, it had all ended very happily—in a glorious slaughter of 20,000 Arabs, a vast addition to the British Empire, and a step in the Peerage for Sir Evelyn Baring.
Lytton Strachey (Eminent Victorians)
My 2005 review of the literature, which summarized studies with varied methodologies, indicates that the association between genius and mental illness has considerable strength. Very creative writers tend to obtain higher scores on the psychopathology-related parts of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality tough-minded. Last, highly eminent scientists tend to score higher on sections of the Cattell 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire that signify they are withdrawn, solemn, internally preoccupied, precise and critical. All told, top performers are not a very normal bunch. Psychiatric studies bolster these results. The rate and intensity of certain psychopathologic symptoms, such as depression and alcoholism, are noticeably higher in very creative individuals than in the general population. Research also suggests that these divergent thinkers are more likely to come from family lines that are at higher risk for psychopathology.
Scientific American (Eureka! The Science of Genius)
Reflecting on my experience, I find myself agreeing with the eminent Cambridge philosopher, Dr C. D. Broad, ‘that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception. The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.’ According
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell)
Personal commitment to the principles of the kingdom must take pre-eminence
Sunday Adelaja
God created you not as an ordinary personality, but eminent, peculiar, and with a special assignment
Sunday Adelaja
The social-personality approach to studying creativity focuses on personality and motivational variables as well as the socio-cultural environment as sources of creativity. Sternberg (2000) states that numerous studies conducted at the societal level indicate that “eminent levels of creativity over large spans of time are statistically linked to variables such as cultural diversity, war, availability of role models, availability of financial support, and competitors in a domain” (p. 9).
Bharath Sriraman (The Characteristics of Mathematical Creativity)
academic chair the following year. In his account of what happened, Lessing acknowledged he could do nothing to prevent being “shouted down, threatened and denigrated” by student activists. He was helpless, he said, “against the murderous bellowing of youngsters who accept no individual responsibilities but pose as spokesman for a group or an impersonal ideal, always talking in the royal ‘we’ while hurling personal insults . . . and claiming that everything is happening in the name of what’s true, good and beautiful.”11 This was fascism, German style, in the 1920s. In March 2017, the eminent political scientist Charles Murray—a former colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute—showed up to give a lecture on class divisions in American society at a progressive bastion, Middlebury College in Vermont. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside McCullough Student Center where Murray was scheduled to speak and engage in dialogue with Middlebury political scientist Allison Stanger. Murray is a libertarian who
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
In respect to contributions for defraying the expences, money will doubtless be wanting; and suppose the rich were to embark a portion of that wealth over which God has made them stewards, in this important undertaking, perhaps there are few ways that would turn to a better account at last. Nor ought it to be confined to the rich; if persons in more moderate circumstances were to devote a portion, suppose a tenth, of their annual increase to the Lord, it would not only correspond with the practice of the Israelites, who lived under the Mosaic Oeconomy, but of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, before that dispensation commenced. Many of our most eminent fore-fathers amongst the Puritans, followed that practice; and if that were but attended to now, there would not only be enough to support the ministry of the gospel at home, and to encourage village preaching in our respective neighbourhoods, but to defray the expences of carrying the gospel into the heathen world.
William Carey (An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens In Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of ... of Further Undertakings, Are Considered)
One German-American friend of mine, an architectural historian my own age, can be counted on to excoriate Woodrow Wilson after he has had several strong drinks. He goes on to say that it was Wilson who persuaded this country that it was patriotic to be stupid, to be proud of knowing only one language, of believing that all other cultures were inferior and ridiculous, offensive to God and common sense alike, that artists and teachers and studious persons in general were ninnies when it came to dealing with problems in life that really mattered, and on and on. This friend says that it was a particular misfortune for this country that the German-Americans had achieved such eminence in the arts and education when it was their turn to be scorned from on high. To hate all they did and stood for at that time, which included gymnastics, by the way, was to lobotomize not only the German-Americans but our culture. "That left American football," says my German-American friend, and someone is elected to drive him home.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage)
Their extended examinations of the prisoner led Hinsie and Glueck to the same conclusion. Irwin’s “fantastic delusional system” conformed completely to a personality pattern encountered “in patients whose diagnosis is unqualifiedly that of the schizophrenia-hebephrenia form. The murders were committed with the delusion that the accomplishment of this act would bring to the patient control of the universe which he had planned for so many years. Under the stress of these delusions and hallucinations, normal intellectual processes played no essential role. Therefore, Irwin at the time of the murders could not know the nature and quality of his act.” As the two eminent psychiatrists were now prepared to attest on the witness stand, Robert Irwin was “both medically and legally insane.”6
Harold Schechter (The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation)
Strangely enough, you’ll find the less sex a person has, the less they masturbate. I have a close friend who assures me she has only masturbated five times in her life. Of course, there is the theory that she doesn’t have a vagina. Then again, I know for a fact that most of her daily life, including her work, is wrapped up in fantasy. Leaving her eyes crystal clear.
Tracey Emin (Strangeland)
Francisco shook his head regretfully. “I don’t know why you should call my behavior rotten. I thought you would recognize it as an honest effort to practice what the whole world is preaching. Doesn’t everyone believe that it is evil to be selfish? I was totally selfless in regard to the San Sebastian project. Isn’t it evil to pursue a personal interest? I had no personal interest in it whatever. Isn’t it evil to work for profit? I did not work for profit—I took a loss. Doesn’t everyone agree that the purpose and justification of an industrial enterprise are not production, but the livelihood of its employees? The San Sebastian Mines were the most eminently successful venture in industrial history: they produced no copper, but they provided a livelihood for thousands of men who could not have achieved, in a lifetime, the equivalent of what they got for one day’s work, which they could not do. Isn’t it generally agreed that an owner is a parasite and an exploiter, that it is the employees who do all the work and make the product possible? I did not exploit anyone. I did not burden the San Sebastian Mines with my useless presence; I left them in the hands of the men who count. I did not pass judgment on the value of that property. I turned it over to a mining specialist. He was not a very good specialist, but he needed the job very badly. Isn’t it generally conceded that when you hire a man for a job, it is his need that counts, not his ability? Doesn’t everyone believe that in order to get the goods, all you have to do is need them? I have carried out every moral precept of our age. I expected gratitude and a citation of honor. I do not understand why I am being damned.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
According to eminent Stanford professor James March, when many of us make decisions, we follow a logical consequence: which course of action will produce the best result? If you’re like [Jackie] Robinson, and you consistently challenge the status quo, you operate differently, using instead of a logic of appropriateness: What does a person like me do in a situation like this? Rather than looking outward in an attempt to predict the outcome, you turn inward to your identity. You base the decision on who you are – or who you want to be. When we use the logic of consequence, we can always find reasons not to take risks. The logic of appropriateness frees us up. We think less about what will guarantee the outcome we want, and act more on a visceral sense of what someone like us ought to do.
Adam Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)