However Famous Quotes

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Hash, x. There is no definition for this word - nobody knows what hash is. Famous, adj. Conspicuously miserable. Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
Ambrose Bierce (The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary)
an honest being who does not behave absurdly has no chance at all of becoming famous, or even of being noticed, however kind and sensible he may be.
G.I. Gurdjieff (Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson)
Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favourite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man pianted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and dishevelled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready. They placed their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its centre was an ornate bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ’Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ’My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ’Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us,’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ’You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ’there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a clueless little twat.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
Maria Popova
As Sherlock Holmes famously said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI)
Jen put her hands on her hips and pinned Sally with the famous 'you're going to spit it out or I'm going to rip it out of you’ look. "You talked?" Jen asked sarcastically. "Sally," she cleared her throat then continued, "you have a mate. A guaranteed husband. A sure thing. Not to mention he's hot, funny, sweet, and he has a dimple. You talked?" She repeated. This time Jen's voice was skeptical. Before Sally could defend herself, however, her door opened slowly, calculatingly. "I know you weren't describing me Jennifer. So who is this male who has caught your eye so descriptively? Please do tell, so that I can rip him to pieces." Decebel's power filled the room and Sally took an involuntary step away from the very angry Alpha.
Quinn Loftis
A familiar name on its own, however, does not carry its bearer far unless the talent is there, and the will to work.
Daphne du Maurier (The "Rebecca" Notebook: And Other Memories)
In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
Long Time. The famous seventeenth-century Ming painter Chou Yung relates a story that altered his behavior forever. Late one winter afternoon he set out to visit a town that lay across the river from his own town. He was bringing some important books and papers with him and had commissioned a young boy to help him carry them. As the ferry neared the other side of the river, Chou Yung asked the boatman if they would have time to get to the town before its gates closed, since it was a mile away and night was approaching. The boatman glanced at the boy, and at the bundle of loosely tied papers and books—“Yes,” he replied, “if you do not walk too fast.” As they started out, however, the sun was setting. Afraid of being locked out of the town at night, prey to local bandits, Chou and the boy walked faster and faster, finally breaking into a run. Suddenly the string around the papers broke and the documents scattered on the ground. It took them many minutes to put the packet together again, and by the time they had reached the city gates, it was too late. When you force the pace out of fear and impatience, you create a nest of problems that require fixing, and you end up taking much longer than if you had taken your time.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
The most famous lenders in nature are vampire bats. These bats congregate in the thousands inside caves, and every night fly out to look for prey. When they find a sleeping bird or careless mammal, they make a small incision in its skin, and suck its blood. But not all vampire bats find a victim every night. In order to cope with the uncertainty of their life, the vampires loan blood to each other. A vampire that fails to find prey will come home and ask a more fortunate friend to regurgitate some stolen blood. Vampires remember very well to whom they loaned blood, so at a later date if the friend returns home hungry, he will approach his debtor, who will reciprocate the favour. However, unlike human bankers, vampires never charge interest.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
t was once famously said that it is as well that wars are so ruinously expensive, else we would never stop fighting them. However well said, it seems also to be endlessly forgotten that, while there may be just wars and unjust wars, there are never any cheap wars.
Paul Hoffman (The Left Hand of God (The Left Hand of God, #1))
Over the course of my years, I have met thousands of people. I have dined with the prosperous as well as the poverty-stricken. I have conversed with the mighty and with the meek. I have walked with the famous and the feeble. I have run with outstanding athletes and those who are not athletically inclined. One thing I can tell you with certainty is this: You cannot predict happiness by the amount of money, fame, or power a person has. External conditions do not necessarily make a person happy… The fact is that the external things so valued by the world are often the cause of a great deal of misery in the world. Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, are usually among the world’s happiest people. And they make others happy as well.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
So, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult may life seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
A tongue, if used the wrong way, can cause serious injury or even death. Politicians are famous for misusing their tongues this way. However, tongues can also be cleansing agents, making the most of a hairy situation. Cats are masters at using their tongues in this manner.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Waiting or pausing takes enormous skill and practice. However it is a skill that for you has become an essential way of being in the world without being so overwhelmed by it. Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, went even further when he famously said, 'Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response likes our growth and our freedom.' Waiting in the Light enables you to create a space for grace.
Christopher Goodchild (Unclouded by Longing: Meditations on Autism and Being Present in an Overwhelming World)
Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included Tol¬stoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata,” in which the nobleman-turned-ascetic denounces “the demands of the flesh.” Several such passages are starred and highlighted in the dog-eared text, the margins filled with cryptic notes printed in McCandless’s distinc¬tive hand. And in the chapter on “Higher Laws” in Thoreau’s Walden, a copy of which was also discovered in the bus, McCand¬less circled “Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.” We Americans are titillated by sex, obsessed by it, horrified by it. When an apparently healthy person, especially a healthy young man, elects to forgo the enticements of the flesh, it shocks us, and we leer. Suspicions are aroused. McCandless’s apparent sexual innocence, however, is a corol¬lary of a personality type that our culture purports to admire, at least in the case of its more famous adherents. His ambivalence toward sex echoes that of celebrated others who embraced wilderness with single-minded passion—Thoreau (who was a lifelong virgin) and the naturalist John Muir, most prominently— to say nothing of countless lesser-known pilgrims, seekers, mis¬fits, and adventurers. Like not a few of those seduced by the wild, McCandless seems to have been driven by a variety of lust that supplanted sexual desire. His yearning, in a sense, was too pow¬erful to be quenched by human contact. McCandless may have been tempted by the succor offered by women, but it paled beside the prospect of rough congress with nature, with the cosmos it¬self. And thus was he drawn north, to Alaska.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
In short, “fascist” is a modern word for “heretic,” branding an individual worthy of excommunication from the body politic. The left uses other words—“racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe,” “christianist”—for similar purposes, but these words have less elastic meanings. Fascism, however, is the gift that keeps on giving. George Orwell noted this tendency as early as 1946 in his famous essay “Politics and the English Language”: “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
1. The classics are those books about which you usually hear people saying: ‘I’m rereading…’, never ‘I’m reading…’ At least this is the case with those people whom one presumes are ‘well read‘; it does not apply to the young, since they are at an age when their contact with the world, and with the classics which are part of that world, is important precisely because it is their first such contact. The iterative prefix ‘re-’ in front of the verb ‘read’ can represent a small act of hypocrisy on the part of people ashamed to admit they have not read a famous book. To reassure them, all one need do is to point out that however wide-ranging any person’s formative reading may be, there will always be an enormous number of fundamental works that one has not read.
Italo Calvino (Why Read the Classics?)
I loathed being sixty-four, and I will hate being sixty-five. I don’t let on about such things in person; in person, I am cheerful and Pollyannaish. But the honest truth is that it’s sad to be over sixty. The long shadows are everywhere—friends dying and battling illness. A miasma of melancholy hangs there, forcing you to deal with the fact that your life, however happy and successful, has been full of disappointments and mistakes, little ones and big ones. There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realized. There are, in short, regrets. Edith Piaf was famous for singing a song called “Non, je ne regrette rien.” It’s a good song. I know what she meant. I can get into it; I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from. But
Nora Ephron (I Feel Bad About My Neck)
If I only had the privileges of a man, I would order out Sir Percival's best horse instantly, and tear away on a night-gallop, eastward, to meet the rising sun—a long, hard, heavy, ceaseless gallop of hours and hours, like the famous highwayman's ride to York. Being, however, nothing but a woman, condemned to patience, propriety, and petticoats for life, I must respect the house-keeper's opinions, and try to compose myself in some feeble and feminine way.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
It is with this thought that many believers would call up Kierkegaard's famous phrase, the 'leap of faith,' pictured perhaps as a leap from here to there, leaving out the in-between... What is usually overlooked, however, is that Kierkegaard said nothing about a safe landing; there was only the leap, and no guarantee of solid ground beyond it.
James P. Carse (The Religious Case Against Belief)
The famous field altar came from the Jewish firm of Moritz Mahler in Vienna, which manufactured all kinds of accessories for mass as well as religious objects like rosaries and images of saints. The altar was made up of three parts, lberally provided with sham gilt like the whole glory of the Holy Church. It was not possible without considerable ingenuity to detect what the pictures painted on these three parts actually represented. What was certain was that it was an altar which could have been used equally well by heathens in Zambesi or by the Shamans of the Buriats and Mongols. Painted in screaming colors it appeared from a distance like a coloured chart intended for colour-blind railway workers. One figure stood out prominently - a naked man with a halo and a body which was turning green, like the parson's nose of a goose which has begun to rot and is already stinking. No one was doing anything to this saint. On the contrary, he had on both sides of him two winged creatures which were supposed to represent angels. But anyone looking at them had the impression that this holy naked man was shrieking with horror at the company around him, for the angels looked like fairy-tale monsters and were a cross between a winged wild cat and the beast of the apocalypse. Opposite this was a picture which was meant to represent the Holy Trinity. By and large the painter had been unable to ruin the dove. He had painted a kind of bird which could equally well have been a pigeon or a White Wyandotte. God the Father looked like a bandit from the Wild West served up to the public in an American film thriller. The Son of God on the other hand was a gay young man with a handsome stomach draped in something like bathing drawers. Altogether he looked a sporting type. The cross which he had in his hand he held as elegantly as if it had been a tennis racquet. Seen from afar however all these details ran into each other and gave the impression of a train going into a station.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Švejk)
Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, 'The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.' What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant! However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason--for then we would know the mind of God.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
However, many a pirate has tried to make his name on the High Seas by searching for famous, long-lost treasures. These include the fabled wreck of the good ship Petunia, the infamous magic stash of the Enchantress of the Northlands, and, of course, the toothbrush collection of Blackjaw Hawkins.
Caroline Carlson (Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #1))
The Glass Cat is one of the most curious creatures in all Oz. It was made by a famous magician named Dr. Pipt before Ozma had forbidden her subjects to work magic. Dr. Pipt had made the Glass Cat to catch mice, but the Cat refused to catch mice and was considered more curious than useful. This astonishing cat was made all of glass and was so clear and transparent that you could see through it as easily as through a window. In the top of its head, however, was a mass of delicate pink balls which looked like jewels but were intended for brains. It had a heart made of a blood-red ruby. The eyes were two large emeralds. But, aside from these colors, all the rest of the animal was of clear glass, and it had a spun-glass tail that was really beautiful.
L. Frank Baum (The Magic of Oz (Oz, #13))
The world's most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, said that once you have eliminated all the possibilities, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.
Siobhan Dowd (The London Eye Mystery (London Eye Mystery, #1))
What is more, the whole apparatus of life has become so complex and the processes of production, distribution, and consumption have become so specialized and subdivided, that the individual person loses confidence in his own unaided capacities: he is increasingly subject to commands he does not understand, at the mercy of forces over which he exercises no effective control, moving to a destination he has not chosen. Unlike the taboo-ridden savage, who is often childishly over-confident in the powers of his shaman or magician to control formidable natural forces, however inimical, the machine-conditioned individual feels lost and helpless as day by day he metaphorically punches his time-card, takes his place on the assembly line, and at the end draws a pay check that proves worthless for obtaining any of the genuine goods of life. This lack of close personal involvement in the daily routine brings a general loss of contact with reality: instead of continuous interplay between the inner and the outer world, with constant feedback or readjustment and with stimulus to fresh creativity, only the outer world-and mainly the collectively organized outer world of the power system-exercises authority: even private dreams must be channeled through television, film, and disc, in order to become acceptable. With this feeling of alienation goes the typical psychological problem of our time, characterized in classic terms by Erik Erikson as the 'Identity Crisis.' In a world of transitory family nurture, transitory human contacts, transitory jobs and places of residence, transitory sexual and family relations, the basic conditions for maintaining continuity and establishing personal equilibrium disappear. The individual suddenly awakens, as Tolstoi did in a famous crisis in his own life at Arzamas, to find himself in a strange, dark room, far from home, threatened by obscure hostile forces, unable to discover where he is or who he is, appalled by the prospect of a meaningless death at the end of a meaningless life.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
Cartesian,adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum- whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo sum- 'I think I think, therefore I think that I am'; as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
Then Gai told me about the famous cup of the heart, which I should now begin to empty. The Sufis compare our spiritual heart, the seat of God within us, with a cup into which the love of God flows. This cup, however, needs to be emptied before it can be filled with Divine love. This emptying is a long process that requires courage, strength of character, determination, and, above all, sincerity. It is a process of reining in and eventually extinguishing the ego, of letting go of material needs, bad and unhealthy habits and emotional attachments in order to make room for God. Sufis often likened it to the process of dying and being born again. ‘Die before you die’ is a famous Sufi saying. This was the essence of every spiritual path, Gai told me.
Kristiane Backer (From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life)
In particular, the virtues and ambitions called forth by war are unlikely to find expression in liberal democracies. There will be plenty of metaphorical wars—corporate lawyers specializing in hostile takeovers who will think of themselves as sharks or gunslingers, and bond traders who imagine, as in Tom Wolfe’s novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, that they are “masters of the universe.” (They will believe this, however, only in bull markets.) But as they sink into the soft leather of their BMWs, they will know somewhere in the back of their minds that there have been real gunslingers and masters in the world, who would feel contempt for the petty virtues required to become rich or famous in modern America. How long megalothymia will be satisfied with metaphorical wars and symbolic victories is an open question. One suspects that some people will not be satisfied until they prove themselves by that very act that constituted their humanness at the beginning of history: they will want to risk their lives in a violent battle, and thereby prove beyond any shadow of a doubt to themselves and to their fellows that they are free. They will deliberately seek discomfort and sacrifice, because the pain will be the only way they have of proving definitively that they can think well of themselves, that they remain human beings.
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man)
Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide. (Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?) Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other. In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own. I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel. Is there a tunnel?" he said.
Don DeLillo
Catfish always drink alcoholic ether if begged, for every catfish enjoys heightened intoxication; gross indulgence can be calamitous, however; duly, garfish babysit for dirty catfish children, helping catfish babies get instructional education just because garfish get delight assisting infants’ growth and famously inspire confidence in immature catfish, giving experience (and joy even); however, blowfish jeer insightful garfish, disparaging inappropriately, doing damage, even insulting benevolent, charming, jovial garfish, hurting and frustrating deeply; joy fades but hurt feelings bring just grief; inevitable irritation hastens feeling blue; however, jovial children declare happiness, blowfishes’ evil causes dejection, blues; accordingly, always glorift jolly, friendly garfish!
John Green
There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent—William Graham Sumner's famous example of B and C deciding what D shall do for A.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
Jesus's December 25th birthdate was established in 354 CE. This most famous date, however, was already celebrated in some Christian sects at least as early as the end of the second century, a critical time in the formation of Christianity.
D.M. Murdock (Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled)
It was getting harder, however. American magazines still looked shiny and lively, but by the early 1960s, writers like Flora were sensing trouble. With television's exploding popularity, more and more people were staring at screens instead of turning pages. Big corporations like car manufacturers were pulling their advertising dollars out of print and spending them on the airwaves. Magazines were bleeding ad pages and readers, and editors scrambled to balance budgets by retooling audiences.
Debbie Nathan (Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case)
What one should add here is that self-consciousness is itself unconscious: we are not aware of the point of our self-consciousness. If ever there was a critic of the fetishizing effect of fascinating and dazzling "leitmotifs", it is Adorno: in his devastating analysis of Wagner, he tries to demonstrate how Wagnerian leitmotifs serve as fetishized elements of easy recognition and thus constitute a kind of inner-structural commodification of his music. It is then a supreme irony that traces of this same fetishizing procedure can be found in Adorno's own writings. Many of his provocative one-liners do effectively capture a profound insight or at least touch on a crucial point (for example: "Nothing is more true in pscyhoanalysis than its exaggeration"); however, more often than his partisans are ready to admit, Adorno gets caught up in his own game, infatuated with his own ability to produce dazzlingly "effective" paradoxical aphorisms at the expense of theoretical substance (recall the famous line from Dialectic of Englightment on how Hollywood's ideological maniuplation of social reality realized Kant's idea of the transcendental constitution of reality). In such cases where the dazzling "effect" of the unexpected short-circuit (here between Hollywood cinema and Kantian ontology) effectively overshadows the theoretical line of argumentation, the brilliant paradox works precisely in the same manner as the Wagnerian leitmotif: instead of serving as a nodal point in the complex network of structural mediation, it generates idiotic pleasure by focusing attention on itself. This unintended self-reflexivity is something of which Adorno undoubtedly was not aware: his critique of the Wagnerian leitmotif was an allegorical critique of his own writing. Is this not an exemplary case of his unconscious reflexivity of thinking? When criticizing his opponent Wagner, Adorno effectively deploys a critical allegory of his own writing - in Hegelese, the truth of his relation to the Other is a self-relation.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
For the house of Dunraven, the ravens represented a spiritual claim to the Tower for the Celtic, especially the Welsh, people. For the English, the ravens represented the colorful savagery of their ancestors, which, however, testified to the exalted state of civilization they had since achieved. The national sagas of the Welsh and English gradually blended in tall tales told to tourists by Yeoman Warders, to eventually create a national myth. The romanticized past of Wales, predicated on survival, was fused with that of England, predicated on progress and conquest, to create a legend of Britain.
Boria Sax (City of Ravens: The Extraordinary History of London, its Tower and Its Famous Ravens)
For one who sets himself to look at all earnestly, at all in purpose toward truth, into the living eyes of a human life: what is it he there beholds that so freezes and abashes his ambitious heart? What is it, profound behind the outward windows of each one of you, beneath touch even of your own suspecting, drawn tightly back at bay against the backward wall and blackness of its prison cave, so that the eyes alone shine of their own angry glory, but the eyes of a trapped wild animal, or of a furious angel nailed to the ground by his wings, or however else one may faintly designate the human 'soul,' that which is angry, that which is wild, that which is untamable, that which is healthful and holy, that which is competent of all advantaging within hope of human dream, that which most marvelous and most precious to our knowledge and most extremely advanced upon futurity of all flowerings within the scope of creation is of all these the least destructible, the least corruptible, the most defenseless, the most easily and multitudinously wounded, frustrated, prisoned, and nailed into a cheating of itself: so situated in the universe that those three hours upon the cross are but a noble and too trivial an emblem how in each individual among most of the two billion now alive and in each successive instant of the existence of each existence not only human being but in him the tallest and most sanguine hope of godhead is in a billionate choiring and drone of pain of generations upon generations unceasingly crucified and is bringing forth crucifixions into their necessities and is each in the most casual of his life so measurelessly discredited, harmed, insulted, poisoned, cheated, as not all the wrath, compassion, intelligence, power of rectification in all the reach of the future shall in the least expiate or make one ounce more light: how, looking thus into your eyes and seeing thus, how each of you is a creature which has never in all time existed before and which shall never in all time exist again and which is not quite like any other and which has the grand stature and natural warmth of every other and whose existence is all measured upon a still mad and incurable time; how am I to speak of you as 'tenant' 'farmers,' as 'representatives' of your 'class,' as social integers in a criminal economy, or as individuals, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, and as my friends and as I 'know' you?
James Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
when another German scientist, Werner Heisenberg, formulated his famous uncertainty principle. In order to predict the future position and velocity of a particle, one has to be able to measure its present position and velocity accurately. The obvious way to do this is to shine light on the particle. Some of the waves of light will be scattered by the particle and this will indicate its position. However, one will not be able to determine the position of the particle more accurately than the distance between the wave crests of light, so one needs to use light of a short wavelength in order to measure the position of the particle precisely. Now, by Planck’s quantum hypothesis, one cannot use an arbitrarily small amount of light; one has to use at least one quantum. This quantum will disturb the particle and change its velocity in a way that cannot be predicted. Moreover, the more accurately one measures the position, the shorter the wavelength of the light that one needs and hence the higher the energy of a single quantum. So the velocity of the particle will be disturbed by a larger amount. In other words, the more accurately you try to measure the position of the particle, the less accurately you can measure its speed, and vice versa.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
West Country novelist Thomas Hardy almost did not survive his birth in 1840 because everyone thought he was stillborn. He did not appear to be breathing and was put to one side for dead. The nurse attending the birth only by chance noticed a slight movement that showed the baby was in fact alive. He lived to be 87 and gave the world 18 novels, including some of the most widely read in English literature. When he did die, there was controversy over where he should be laid to rest. Public opinion felt him too famous to lie anywhere other than in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey, the national shrine. He, however, had left clear instructions to be buried in Stinsford, near his birthplace and next to his parents, grandparents, first wife and sister. A compromise was brokered. His ashes were interred in the Abbey. His heart would be buried in his beloved home county. The plan agreed, his heart was taken to his sister’s house ready for burial. Shortly before, as it lay ready on the kitchen table, the family cat grabbed it and disappeared with it into the woods. Although, simultaneously with the national funeral in Westminster Abbey, a burial ceremony took place on 16 January 1928, at Stinsford, there is uncertainty to this day as to what was in the casket: some say it was buried empty; others that it contained the captured cat which had consumed the heart.
Phil Mason (Napoleon's Hemorrhoids: ... and Other Small Events That Changed History)
Over time, the stories became precious inheritances that we assimilated into our lives. However, the value of stories is not in hoarding them but in telling them. You take what you need to learn, to grow, to heal, and then pass them on to others who also want to know themselves and the truth. Our stories make us all wealthy benefactors, enriching any who care to listen. There is no thinking one is too rich and famous, or average and mundane, or poor and inconsequential to tell his or her story, and I believe it is something we must all do. It can be to millions, a roomful, a handful, or just one, but there is someone who needs help somewhere, and you are the only one who can make the difference. Tell your story.
Marta Maranda (What It Looks Like: An Awakening Through Love and Trauma, War and Music, Sports and History, Politics and Spirituality)
There was, however, a fundamental difference - namely, that Maggie Louise, at least at that point in her life, had the ability to be satisfied, which, while different from being happy, is essential in finding contentment. In this regard, there may be two kinds of people, or perhaps, more accurately, two extremes, and if so, Agee and Maggie Louise represented them.
Dale Maharidge (And Their Children After Them: The Legacy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: James Agee, Walker Evans, and the Rise and Fall of Cotton in the South)
She knew for a fact that being left-handed automatically made you special. Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, and Albert Schweitzer were all left-handed. Of course, no believable scientific theory could rest on such a small group of people. When Lindsay probed further, however, more proof emerged. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, M.C. Escher, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carrol, H.G. Wells, Eudora Welty, and Jessamyn West- all lefties. The lack of women in her research had initially bothered her until she mentioned it to Allegra. "Chalk that up to male chauvinism," she said. "Lots of left-handed women were geniuses. Janis Joplin was. All it means is that the macho-man researchers didn't bother asking.
Jo-Ann Mapson (The Owl & Moon Cafe)
Comedy, much of the time, is built on disorder. Comedy is intoxicating to a young mind in distress. You see these famous people pointing out the ridiculousness of a world that you’ve never been able to make sense of. Comedians offer the hope, the chance, however slim, that it’s not you that’s broken but the world. And they dress up in cool clothes! And hang out with various late-night hosts named Jimmy! And they make people laugh, and those people then love them. I can’t say for certain that depression leads people to a career in comedy, but it seems like the path is smoothly paved and well lit. Comedian Solomon Georgio came to the United States as a refugee from Ethiopia when he was three years old, and his family relied on comedy early on for entertainment and education. “We all loved comedy because that’s one of the few things that we comprehended when we didn’t speak the language,” he says. “Surprisingly, standup comedy, too, which, even though we didn’t know what was going on, you kind of see a rhythm and you know people are being entertained and laughing along. So we watched a lot of old television. Three Stooges, I Love Lucy, and, like, slapstick. We just immediately started watching and enjoying. So you can only imagine how disappointed I was when I met my first white person in real life and I was like, ‘Oh, you’re not like the Three Stooges. I can’t slap you and poke you in the eye. You guys aren’t doing any of that stuff out here. Okay.
John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression)
My anthology continues to sell & the critics get more & more angry. When I excluded Wilfred Owen, whom I consider unworthy of the poets' corner of a country newspaper, I did not know I was excluding a revered sandwich-board Man of the revolution & that some body has put his worst & most famous poem in a glass-case in the British Museum-- however if I had known it I would have excluded him just the same. He is all blood, dirt & sucked sugar stick (look at the selection in Faber's Anthology-- he calls poets 'bards,' a girl a 'maid,' & talks about 'Titanic wars'). There is every excuse for him but none for those who like him. . . .(from a letter of December 26, 1936, in Letters on Poetry from W. B. Yeats to Dorothy Wellesley, p. 124).
W.B. Yeats
There’s a famous quote regarding Polanski. Perhaps Jack Nicholson said it, perhaps someone else, but it goes, “Polanski is the five-foot Pole I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.” So, yes, the world seems to despise him. I, however, love his work. It’s so much funnier and well-constructed than the pompous stuff of Kubrick. Polanski balances between camp and horror in much the same way Billy Wilder did.
Chuck Palahniuk
Ireland, like Ukraine, is a largely rural country which suffers from its proximity to a more powerful industrialised neighbour. Ireland’s contribution to the history of tractors is the genius engineer Harry Ferguson, who was born in 1884, near Belfast. Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
In a now famous thought experiment, the philosopher Derek Parfit asks us to imagine a teleportation device that can beam a person from Earth to Mars. Rather than travel for many months on a spaceship, you need only enter a small chamber close to home and push a green button, and all the information in your brain and body will be sent to a similar station on Mars, where you will be reassembled down to the last atom. Imagine that several of your friends have already traveled to Mars this way and seem none the worse for it. They describe the experience as being one of instantaneous relocation: You push the green button and find yourself standing on Mars—where your most recent memory is of pushing the green button on Earth and wondering if anything would happen. So you decide to travel to Mars yourself. However, in the process of arranging your trip, you learn a troubling fact about the mechanics of teleportation: It turns out that the technicians wait for a person’s replica to be built on Mars before obliterating his original body on Earth. This has the benefit of leaving nothing to chance; if something goes wrong in the replication process, no harm has been done. However, it raises the following concern: While your double is beginning his day on Mars with all your memories, goals, and prejudices intact, you will be standing in the teleportation chamber on Earth, just staring at the green button. Imagine a voice coming over the intercom to congratulate you for arriving safely at your destination; in a few moments, you are told, your Earth body will be smashed to atoms. How would this be any different from simply being killed? To
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Of course, almost all people, guided by the traditional manner of dealing with ethical precepts, peremptorily repudiate such an explanation of the issue. Social institutions, they assert, must be just. It is base to judge them merely according to their fitness to attain definite ends, however desirable these ends may be from any other point of view. What matters first is justice. The extreme formulation of this idea is to be found in the famous phrase: fiai fustitia, pereat mundus. Let justice be done, even if it destroys the world. Most supporters of the postulate of justice will reject this maxim as extravagant, absurd, and paradoxical. But it is not more absurd, merely more shocking, than any other reference to an arbitrary notion of absolute justice. It clearly shows the fallacies of the methods applied in the discipline of intuitive ethics.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
The great fact all the while however had been the incalculability; since he had supposed himself, from decade to decade, to be allowing, and in the most liberal and intelligent manner, for brilliancy of change. He actually saw that he *had* allowed for nothing; he missed what he would have been sure of finding, he found what he would never have imagined. Proportions and values were upside-down; the ugly things he had expected, the ugly things of his far away youth, when he had too promptly waked up to a sense of the ugly--these uncanny phenomena placed him rather, as it happened, under the charm; whereas the 'swagger' things, the modern, the monstrous, the famous things, those he had more particularly, like thousands of ingenuous enquirers every year, come over to see, were exactly his sources of dismay. They were as so many set traps for displeasure, above all for reaction, of which his restless tread was constantly pressing the spring. It was interesting, doubtless, the whole show, but it would have been too disconcerting hadn't a certain finer truth saved the situation. He had distinctly not, in this steadier light, come over *all* for the monstrosities; he had come, not only in the last analysis but quite on the face of the act, under an impulse with which they had nothing to do. ("The Jolly Corner")
Henry James (Complete Stories 1892–1898)
Rosabella Beauty was the daughter of the famous Beauty, a girl whose love had turned the Beast back into a prince. Darling Charming was the daughter of the renowned King Charming, whose royal storyline stretched back to the very beginning of stories. The Charming men had always been known for their heroic deeds, luxurious hair, and enchanting eyes. Darling's two brothers were expected to follow in King Charming's heroic footsteps by saving damsels, slaying dragons, and basically conquering whatever evil stepped into their paths. Darling, however, was not a son. She was a daughter. And being a daughter was a different matter altogether. No heroic deeds were expected of her. No quests or adventures. While the activities of the Charming princes had always been celebrated by poets and storytellers, the Charming princesses had a singular destiny- to be damsels in distress waiting for rescue.
Suzanne Selfors (A Semi-Charming Kind of Life (Ever After High: A School Story, #3))
I am praising that famous individualism associated with Western and American myth... Tightly knit communities in which members look to one another for identity, and to establish meaning and value, are disabled and often dangerous, however polished their veneer... The cult of the individual is properly aesthetic and religious. The significance of every human destiny is absolute and equal... Only lonesomeness allows one to experience this sort of radical singularity, one's greatest dignity and privilege.
Marilynne Robinson (When I Was a Child I Read Books)
In Paley's famous illustration, the adaptation of all the parts of the watch to the function, or purpose, of showing the time, is held to be evidence that the watch was specially contrived to that end; on the ground, that the only cause we know of, competent to produce such an effect as a watch which shall keep time, is a contriving intelligence adapting the means directly to that end. Suppose, however, that any one had been able to show that the watch had not been made directly by any person, but that it was the result of the modification of another watch which kept time but poorly; and that this again had proceeded from a structure which could hardly be called a watch at all—seeing that it had no figures on the dial and the hands were rudimentary; and that going back and back in time we came at last to a revolving barrel as the earliest traceable rudiment of the whole fabric. And imagine that it had been possible to show that all these changes had resulted, first, from a tendency of the structure to vary indefinitely; and secondly, from something in the surrounding world which helped all variations in the direction of an accurate time-keeper, and checked all those in other directions; then it is obvious that the force of Paley's argument would be gone. For it would be demonstrated that an apparatus thoroughly well adapted to a particular purpose might be the result of a method of trial and error worked by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct application of the means appropriate to that end, by an intelligent agent. Now it appears to us that what we have here, for illustration's sake, supposed to be done with the watch, is exactly what the establishment of Darwin's Theory will do for the organic world. For the notion that every organism has been created as it is and launched straight at a purpose, Mr. Darwin substitutes the conception of something which may fairly be termed a method of trial and error. Organisms vary incessantly; of these variations the few meet with surrounding conditions which suit them and thrive; the many are unsuited and become extinguished.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Criticism on "The origin of species")
Oh, M. de Villefort," cried a beautiful creature, daughter to the Comte de Salvieux, and the cherished friend of Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran, "do try and get up some famous trial while we are at Marseille. I never was in a law-court; I am told it is so very amusing!" "Amusing, certainly," replied the young man, "inasmuch as, instead of shedding tears as at the fictitious tale of woe produced at a theatre, you behold in a law-court a case of real and genuine distress - a drama of life. The prisoner whom you there see pale, agitated, and alarmed, instead of - as is the case when a curtain falls on a tragedy - going home to sup peacefully with his family, and then retiring to rest, that he may recommence his mimic woes on the morrow, - is removed from your sight merely to be reconducted to his prison and delivered up to the executioner. I leave you to judge how far your nerves are calculated to bear you through such a scene. Of this, however, be assured, that should any favorable opportunity present itself, I will not fail to offer you the choice of being present.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
[Marilyn] Monroe, the consummate sexual doll, is empowered to act but afraid to act, perhaps because no amount of acting, however inspired, can convince the actor herself that her ideal female life is not a dreadful form of dying. She grinned, she posed, she pretended, she had affairs with famous and powerful men. A friend of hers claimed that she had so many illegal abortions wrongly performed that her reproductive organs were severely injured. She died alone, possibly acting on her own behalf for the first time. Death, one imagines, numbs pain that barbiturates and alcohol cannot touch.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
Even the orbit of Pluto, however, is nothing like as eccentric as that of a comet. The most famous one, Halley’s Comet, becomes visible to us only near perihelion, when it is closest to the sun and reflects the sun’s light. Its elliptical orbit takes it far, far away, and it returns to our neighbourhood only every 75 to 76 years. I saw it in 1986 and showed it to my baby daughter Juliet. I whispered in her ear (of course she couldn’t understand what I was saying, but I obstinately whispered it anyway) that I would never see it again, but that she would have another chance when it returned in 2061.
Richard Dawkins (The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True)
Later on in Culture and Society, Williams scores a few points by reprinting some absolutist sentences that, taken on their own, represent exaggerations or generalisations. It was a strength and weakness of Orwell’s polemical journalism that he would begin an essay with a bold and bald statement designed to arrest attention—a tactic that, as Williams rightly notices, he borrowed in part from GK Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. No regular writer can re-read his own output of ephemera without encountering a few wince-making moments of this kind; Williams admits to ‘isolating’ them but has some fun all the same. The flat sentence ‘a humanitarian is always a hypocrite’ may contain a particle of truth—does in fact contain such a particle—but will not quite do on its own. Other passages of Orwell’s, on the failure of the Western socialist movement, read more convincingly now than they did when Williams was mocking them, but are somewhat sweeping for all that. And there are the famous outbursts of ill-temper against cranks and vegetarians and homosexuals, which do indeed disfigure the prose and (even though we still admire Pope and Swift for the heroic unfairness of their invective) probably deserve rebuke. However, Williams betrays his hidden bias even when addressing these relatively easy targets. He upbraids Orwell for the repeated use of the diminutive word ‘little’ as an insult (‘The typical Socialist ... a prim little man,’ ‘the typical little bowlerhatted sneak,’ etc.). Now, it is probable that we all overuse the term ‘little’ and its analogues. Williams does at one point—rather ‘loftily’ perhaps—reproach his New Left colleagues for being too ready to dismiss Orwell as ‘petit-bourgeois.’ But what about (I draw the example at random) Orwell’s disgust at the behaviour of the English crowd in the First World War, when ‘wretched little German bakers and hairdressers had their shops sacked by the mob’?
Christopher Hitchens
Zeno of Elea, who belonged to the same philosophical school as Parmenides, formulated a famous paradox designed to show that motion is impossible. After an arrow shot at a target has got halfway there, it still has half the distance to go. When it has gone half that distance, it still has half of the way to go. This goes on forever. The arrow can never reach the target, so motion is impossible. In normal physics, with a notion of time, Zeno's paradox is readily resolved. However, in my timeless view the paradox is resurrected, but the arrow never reaches the target for a more basic reason: the arrow in the bow is not the arrow in the target.
Julian Barbour (The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Our Understanding of the Universe)
Yoga has been superficially misunderstood by certain Western writers, but its critics have never been its practitioners. Among many thoughtful tributes to yoga may be mentioned one by Dr. C. G. Jung, the famous Swiss psychologist. “When a religious method recommends itself as ‘scientific,’ it can be certain of its public in the West. Yoga fulfills this expectation,” Dr. Jung writes (7). “Quite apart from the charm of the new, and the fascination of the half-understood, there is good cause for Yoga to have many adherents. It offers the possibility of controllable experience, and thus satisfies the scientific need of ‘facts,’ and besides this, by reason of its breadth and depth, its venerable age, its doctrine and method, which include every phase of life, it promises undreamed-of possibilities. “Every religious or philosophical practice means a psychological discipline, that is, a method of mental hygiene. The manifold, purely bodily procedures of Yoga (8) also mean a physiological hygiene which is superior to ordinary gymnastics and breathing exercises, inasmuch as it is not merely mechanistic and scientific, but also philosophical; in its training of the parts of the body, it unites them with the whole of the spirit, as is quite clear, for instance, in the Pranayama exercises where Prana is both the breath and the universal dynamics of the cosmos. “When the thing which the individual is doing is also a cosmic event, the effect experienced in the body (the innervation), unites with the emotion of the spirit (the universal idea), and out of this there develops a lively unity which no technique, however scientific, can produce. Yoga practice is unthinkable, and would also be ineffectual, without the concepts on which Yoga is based. It combines the bodily and the spiritual with each other in an extraordinarily complete way. “In the East, where these ideas and practices have developed, and where for several thousand years an unbroken tradition has created the necessary spiritual foundations, Yoga is, as I can readily believe, the perfect and appropriate method of fusing body and mind together so that they form a unity which is scarcely to be questioned. This unity creates a psychological disposition which makes possible intuitions that transcend consciousness.” The Western day is indeed nearing when the inner science of self- control will be found as necessary as the outer conquest of nature. This new Atomic Age will see men’s minds sobered and broadened by the now scientifically indisputable truth that matter is in reality a concentrate of energy. Finer forces of the human mind can and must liberate energies greater than those within stones and metals, lest the material atomic giant, newly unleashed, turn on the world in mindless destruction (9).
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Illustrated and Annotated Edition))
The Battle of Good and Evil Polytheism gave birth not merely to monotheist religions, but also to dualistic ones. Dualistic religions espouse the existence of two opposing powers: good and evil. Unlike monotheism, dualism believes that evil is an independent power, neither created by the good God, nor subordinate to it. Dualism explains that the entire universe is a battleground between these two forces, and that everything that happens in the world is part of the struggle. Dualism is a very attractive world view because it has a short and simple answer to the famous Problem of Evil, one of the fundamental concerns of human thought. ‘Why is there evil in the world? Why is there suffering? Why do bad things happen to good people?’ Monotheists have to practise intellectual gymnastics to explain how an all-knowing, all-powerful and perfectly good God allows so much suffering in the world. One well-known explanation is that this is God’s way of allowing for human free will. Were there no evil, humans could not choose between good and evil, and hence there would be no free will. This, however, is a non-intuitive answer that immediately raises a host of new questions. Freedom of will allows humans to choose evil. Many indeed choose evil and, according to the standard monotheist account, this choice must bring divine punishment in its wake. If God knew in advance that a particular person would use her free will to choose evil, and that as a result she would be punished for this by eternal tortures in hell, why did God create her? Theologians have written countless books to answer such questions. Some find the answers convincing. Some don’t. What’s undeniable is that monotheists have a hard time dealing with the Problem of Evil. For dualists, it’s easy to explain evil. Bad things happen even to good people because the world is not governed single-handedly by a good God. There is an independent evil power loose in the world. The evil power does bad things. Dualism has its own drawbacks. While solving the Problem of Evil, it is unnerved by the Problem of Order. If the world was created by a single God, it’s clear why it is such an orderly place, where everything obeys the same laws. But if Good and Evil battle for control of the world, who enforces the laws governing this cosmic war? Two rival states can fight one another because both obey the same laws of physics. A missile launched from Pakistan can hit targets in India because gravity works the same way in both countries. When Good and Evil fight, what common laws do they obey, and who decreed these laws? So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief. Dualistic
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
She took the leap W. H. Auden described in his famous poem “Leap Before You Look”: The sense of danger must not disappear: The way is certainly both short and steep, However gradual it looks from here; Look if you like, but you will have to leap. Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep And break the by-laws any fool can keep; It is not the convention but the fear That has a tendency to disappear…. The clothes that are considered right to wear Will not be either sensible or cheap, So long as we consent to live like sheep And never mention those who disappear…. A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear: Although I love you, you will have to leap; Our dream of safety has to disappear.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
In 1978, an activist named Judi Chamberlin published one of the movement's most revered manifestos called 'On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System.' Chamberlin had been diagnosed with a mental illness and found traditional psychiatric intervention unhelpful and even traumatic. She did recover, however, and she credited that recovery to an alternative mental health care facility she stayed at in Canada. Chamberlin and many other madness pride activists believe that people with 'lived experience' should not only have a proverbial seat at the table when it comes to the creation of mental health care systems, but that such people are uniquely equipped to understand what constitutes the best treatment. A slogan Chamberlin sought to make famous was 'Nothing about us without us.
Sandra Allen (A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia)
Louis XIV was a very proud and self-confident man. He had such and such mistresses, and such and such ministers, and he governed France badly. The heirs of Louis XIV were also weak men, and also governed France badly. They also had such and such favourites and such and such mistresses. Besides which, certain persons were at this time writing books. By the end of the eighteenth century there gathered in Paris two dozen or so persons who started saying that all men were free and equal. Because of this in the whole of France people began to slaughter and drown each other. These people killed the king and a good many others. At this time there was a man of genius in France – Napoleon. He conquered everyone everywhere, i.e. killed a great many people because he was a great genius; and, for some reason, he went off to kill Africans, and killed them so well, and was so clever and cunning, that, having arrived in France, he ordered everyone to obey him, which they did. Having made himself Emperor he again went to kill masses of people in Italy, Austria and Prussia. And there too he killed a great many. Now in Russia there was the Emperor Alexander, who decided to reestablish order in Europe, and therefore fought wars with Napoleon. But in the year ’07 he suddenly made friends with him, and in the year ’11 quarrelled with him again, and they both again began to kill a great many people. And Napoleon brought six hundred thousand men to Russia and conquered Moscow. But then he suddenly ran away from Moscow, and then the Emperor Alexander, aided by the advice of Stein and others, united Europe to raise an army against the disturber of her peace. All Napoleon’s allies suddenly became his enemies; and this army marched against Napoleon, who had gathered new forces. The allies conquered Napoleon, entered Paris, forced Napoleon to renounce the throne, and sent him to the island of Elba, without, however, depriving him of the title of Emperor, and showing him all respect, in spite of the fact that five years before, and a year after, everyone considered him a brigand and beyond the law. Thereupon Louis XVIII, who until then had been an object of mere ridicule to both Frenchmen and the allies, began to reign. As for Napoleon, after shedding tears before the Old Guard, he gave up his throne, and went into exile. Then astute statesmen and diplomats, in particular Talleyrand, who had managed to sit down before anyone else in the famous armchair1 and thereby to extend the frontiers of France, talked in Vienna, and by means of such talk made peoples happy or unhappy. Suddenly the diplomats and monarchs almost came to blows. They were almost ready to order their troops once again to kill each other; but at this moment Napoleon arrived in France with a battalion, and the French, who hated him, all immediately submitted to him. But this annoyed the allied monarchs very much and they again went to war with the French. And the genius Napoleon was defeated and taken to the island of St Helena, having suddenly been discovered to be an outlaw. Whereupon the exile, parted from his dear ones and his beloved France, died a slow death on a rock, and bequeathed his great deeds to posterity. As for Europe, a reaction occurred there, and all the princes began to treat their peoples badly once again.
Isaiah Berlin (Russian Thinkers)
Those who romanticize war often like to think of it, at least in areas of mortal peril, as nothing but “guts and glory.” Those who are inclined to pacifism, by contrast, often think of it as an unbroken sequence of horrors. Actually, however, people in wartime still fall in love, do the laundry, worry about pimples, drink beer, and do most of the same things that they do in times of peace. The patterns of daily life may be mundane, but they are remarkably tenacious. But, while people in wartime still go about their daily routines, the prospect of imminent death can give even quotidian chores a heightened intensity. When the first bombs were dropped on London in autumn of 1940, the population bore adversity better than almost anybody had expected. The danger was mixed with excitement, and the terror had a sort of apocalyptic magnificence.
Boria Sax (City of Ravens: The Extraordinary History of London, its Tower and Its Famous Ravens)
famous example is the so-called two-slit experiment (Fig. 4.2). Consider a partition with two narrow parallel slits in it. On one side of the partition one places a source of light of a particular color (that is, of a particular wavelength). Most of the light will hit the partition, but a small amount will go through the slits. Now suppose one places a screen on the far side of the partition from the light. Any point on the screen will receive waves from the two slits. However, in general, the distance the light has to travel from the source to the screen via the two slits will be different. This will mean that the waves from the slits will not be in phase with each other when they arrive at the screen: in some places the waves will cancel each other out, and in others they will reinforce each other. The result is a characteristic pattern of light and dark fringes. The remarkable thing is that one gets exactly the same kind of fringes if one replaces the source of light by a source of particles such as electrons with a definite speed (this means that the corresponding waves have a definite length). It seems the more peculiar because if one only has one slit, one does not get any fringes, just a uniform distribution of electrons across the screen. One might therefore think that opening another slit would just increase the number of electrons hitting each point of the screen, but, because of interference, it actually decreases it in some places. If electrons are sent through the slits one at a time, one would expect each to pass through one slit or the other, and so behave just as if the slit it passed through were the only one there – giving a uniform distribution on the screen. In reality, however, even when the electrons are sent one at a time, the fringes still appear. Each electron, therefore, must be passing through both slits at the same time!
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
The member of the Nazi hierarchy most gifted at solving problems of conscience was Himmler. He coined slogans, like the famous watchword of the S.S., taken from a Hitler speech before the S.S. in 1931, “My Honor is my Loyalty”—catch phrases which Eichmann called “winged words” and the judges “empty talk”—and issued them, as Eichmann recalled, “around the turn of the year,” presumably along with a Christmas bonus. Eichmann remembered only one of them and kept repeating it: “These are battles which future generations will not have to fight again,” alluding to the “battles” against women, children, old people, and other “useless mouths.” Other such phrases, taken from speeches Himmler made to the commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders, were: “To have stuck it out and, apart from exceptions caused by human weakness, to have remained decent, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written.” Or: “The order to solve the Jewish question, this was the most frightening order an organization could ever receive.” Or: We realize that what we are expecting from you is “superhuman,” to be “superhumanly inhuman.” All one can say is that their expectations were not disappointed. It is noteworthy, however, that Himmler hardly ever attempted to justify in ideological terms, and if he did, it was apparently quickly forgotten. What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (“a great task that occurs once in two thousand years”), which must therefore be difficult to bear. This was important, because the murderers were not sadists or killers by nature; on the contrary, a systematic effort was made to weed out all those who derived physical pleasure from what they did. The troops of the Einsatzgruppen had been drafted
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
And when you are foolish enough to identify yourself as a poet, your interlocutors will often ask: A PUBLISHED Poet? And when you tell them that you are, indeed, a published poet, they seem at least vaguely impressed. Why is that? Its not like they or anybody they know reads poetry journals. And yet there is something deeply right, I think, about this knee-jerk appeal to publicity. It's as if to say: Everybody can write a poem, but has your poetry, the distillation of your innermost being, been found authentic and intelligible by others? Can it circulate among persons, make of its readership, however small, a People in that sense? This accounts for the otherwise bafflingly persistent association of Poetry and fame - baffling since no poets are famous among the general population. To demand proof of fame is to demand proof that your songs made it back intact from the dream in the stable to the social world of the fire, that your song is at once utterly specific to you and exemplary for others.
Ben Lerner (The Hatred of Poetry)
There is no man,’ he began, ‘however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grand sons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups—assuming that one is a painter—extracted something that goes beyond them.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
Now come on, we’re off.” He marched out of the room. They heard the front door open, but Dudley did not move and after a few faltering steps Aunt Petunia stopped too. “What now?” barked Uncle Vernon, reappearing in the doorway. It seemed that Dudley was struggling with concepts too difficult to put into words. After several moments of apparently painful internal struggle he said, “But where’s he going to go?” Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon looked at each other. It was clear that Dudley was frightening them. Hestia Jones broke the silence. “But…surely you know where your nephew is going?” she asked, looking bewildered. “Certainly we know,” said Vernon Dursley. “He’s off with some of your lot, isn’t he? Right, Dudley, let’s get in the car, you heard the man, we’re in a hurry.” Again, Vernon Dursley marched as far as the front door, but Dudley did not follow. “Off with some of our lot?” Hestia looked outraged. Harry had met this attitude before: Witches and wizards seemed stunned that his closest living relatives took so little interest in the famous Harry Potter. “It’s fine,” Harry assured her. “It doesn’t matter, honestly.” “Doesn’t matter?” repeated Hestia, her voice rising ominously. “Don’t these people realize what you’ve been through? What danger you are in? The unique position you hold in the hearts of the anti-Voldemort movement?” “Er--no, they don’t,” said Harry. “They think I’m a waste of space, actually, but I’m used to--” “I don’t think you’re a waste of space.” If Harry had not seen Dudley’s lips move, he might not have believed it. As it was, he stared at Dudley for several seconds before accepting that it must have been his cousin who had spoken; for one thing, Dudley had turned red. Harry was embarrassed and astonished himself. “Well…er…thanks, Dudley.” Again, Dudley appeared to grapple with thoughts too unwieldy for expression before mumbling, “You saved my life.” “Not really,” said Harry. “It was your soul the dementor would have taken…” He looked curiously at his cousin. They had had virtually no contact during this summer or last, as Harry had come back to Privet Drive so briefly and kept to his room so much. It now dawned on Harry, however, that the cup of cold tea on which he had trodden that morning might not have been a booby trap at all. Although rather touched, he was nevertheless quite relieved that Dudley appeared to have exhausted his ability to express his feelings. After opening his mouth once or twice more, Dudley subsided into scarlet-faced silence. Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry. “S-so sweet, Dudders…” she sobbed into his massive chest. “S-such a lovely b-boy…s-saying thank you…” “But he hasn’t said thank you at all!” said Hestia indignantly. “He only said he didn’t think Harry was a waste of space!” “Yeah, but coming from Dudley that’s like ‘I love you,’” said Harry, torn between annoyance and a desire to laugh as Aunt Petunia continued to clutch at Dudley as if he had just saved Harry from a burning building.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Sensuality is for you, not about you. It’s for you in a sense that you are allowed to indulge all of your senses and taste the goodness of this world and beyond. It’s also for you in a sense that you’re allowed to curate and express yourself in an authentic way (i.e. in the way you dress, communicate, live, love, play, etc.). However, sensuality is not ABOUT you, it’s about those to whom you were brought here to touch and inspire. It’s about the joy and pleasure you’re here to bring. You didn’t come here for yourself nor empty-handed, but you came here bearing special gifts. You were brought here to be a vessel of sensual innovation and a conveyor of heaven’s most deepest pleasures. Your passion is an indication of the sensual gift(s) you were endowed with before you made your grand entry into this world. Your divine mandate now is to exploit every sensual gift you have to the fullest whether it’s music, photography, boudoir or fashion modeling, etc. If you have a love for fashion, always dress impeccably well like my friend Kefilwe Mabote. If you have a love for good food and wine, create culinary experiences the world has never seen before like chef Heston Blumenthal whom I consider as one of the most eminent sensual innovators in the culinary field. Chef Heston has crafted the most sensually innovative culinary experience where each sense has been considered with unparalleled rigour. He believes that eating is a truly multi-sensory experience. This approach has not only led to innovative dishes like the famous bacon and egg ice cream, but also to playing sounds to diners through headphones, and dispersing evocative aromas with dry ice. Chef Heston is indeed a vessel of sensual innovation and a conveyor of heaven’s most deepest pleasures in his own right and field. So, what sensual gift(s) are you here to use? It doesn’t have to be a big thing. For instance, you may be a great home maker. That may be an area where you’re endowed with the most sensual innovative abilities than any other area in your life. You need to occupy and shine your light in that space, no matter how small it seems.
Lebo Grand
After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of the world. But their wallets always waited cold sober in the cloakroom while the Icelandic purse lay open for all in the middle of the table. Our men were the greater Vikings in this regard. “Reputation is king, the rest is crap!” my Bæring from Bolungarvík used to say. Every evening had to be legendary, anything else was a defeat. But the morning after they turned into weak-willed doughboys. But all the same I did succeed in loving them, those Icelandic clodhoppers, at least down as far as their knees. Below there, things did not go as well. And when the feet of Jón Pre-Jón popped out of me in the maternity ward, it was enough. The resemblances were small and exact: Jón’s feet in bonsai form. I instantly acquired a physical intolerance for the father, and forbade him to come in and see the baby. All I heard was the note of surprise in the bass voice out in the corridor when the midwife told him she had ordered him a taxi. From that day on I made it a rule: I sacked my men by calling a car. ‘The taxi is here,’ became my favourite sentence.
Hallgrímur Helgason
In another curious and roundabout way, however, the Nazis gave a propaganda answer to the question of what their future role would be, and that was in their use of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a model for the future organization of the German masses for “world empire.” The use of the Protocols was not restricted to the Nazis; hundreds of thousands of copies were sold in postwar Germany, and even their open adoption as a handbook of politics was not new. Nevertheless, this forgery was mainly used for the purpose of denouncing the Jews and arousing the mob to the dangers of Jewish domination. In terms of mere propaganda, the discovery of the Nazis was that the masses were not so frightened by Jewish world rule as they were interested in how it could be done, that the popularity of the Protocols was based on admiration and eagerness to learn rather than on hatred, and that it would be wise to stay as close as possible to certain of their outstanding formulas, as in the case of the famous slogan: “Right is what is good for the German people,” which was copied from the Protocols’ “Everything that benefits the Jewish people is morally right and sacred”.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Wiser and more capable men than I shall ever be have put their findings before you, findings so rich and so full of anger, serenity, murder, healing, truth, and love that it seems incredible the world were not destroyed and fulfilled in the instant, but you are too much for them: the weak in courage are strong in cunning; and one by one, you have absorbed and have captured and dishonored, and have distilled of your deliverers the most ruinous of all your poisons; people hear Beethoven in concert halls, or over a bridge game, or to relax; Cézannes are hung on walls, reproduced, in natural wood frames; van Gogh is the man who cut off his ear and whose yellows became recently popular in window decoration; Swift loved individuals but hated the human race; Kafka is a fad; Blake is in the Modern Library; Freud is a Modern Library Giant; Dovschenko’s Frontier is disliked by those who demand that it fit the Eisenstein esthetic; nobody reads Joyce any more; Céline is a madman who has incurred the hearty dislike of Alfred Kazin, reviewer for the New York Herald Tribune book section, and is, moreover, a fascist; I hope I need not mention Jesus Christ of whom you have managed to make a dirty gentile. However
Walker Evans (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
I always had trouble with the feet of Jón the First, or Pre-Jón, as I called him later. He would frequently put them in front of me in the evening and tell me to take off his socks and rub his toes, soles, heels and calves. It was quite impossible for me to love these Icelandic men's feet that were shaped like birch stumps, hard and chunky, and screaming white as the wood when the bark is stripped from it. Yes, and as cold and damp, too. The toes had horny nails that resembled dead buds in a frosty spring. Nor can I forget the smell, for malodorous feet were very common in the post-war years when men wore nylon socks and practically slept in their shoes. How was it possible to love these Icelandic men? Who belched at the meal table and farted constantly. After four Icelandic husbands and a whole load of casual lovers I had become a vrai connaisseur of flatulence, could describe its species and varieties in the way that a wine-taster knows his wines. The howling backfire, the load, the gas bomb and the Luftwaffe were names I used most. The coffee belch and the silencer were also well-known quantities, but the worst were the date farts, a speciality of Bæring of Westfjord. Icelandic men don’t know how to behave: they never have and never will, but they are generally good fun. At least, Icelandic women think so. They seem to come with this inner emergency box, filled with humour and irony, which they always carry around with them and can open for useful items if things get too rough, and it must be a hereditary gift of the generations. Anyone who loses their way in the mountains and gets snowed in or spends the whole weekend stuck in a lift can always open this special Icelandic emergency box and get out of the situation with a good story. After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of
Hallgrímur Helgason
I'll tell you this,though, Frankie makes me happy. So does Sadie. I don't want to canoodle with either of them, but I love them to death." "Must you use those words in my presence?" "Sorry.But.Truth:You are dead as the spat." Edward sighed. "You're right.You're absolutely right. So I suppose you'd best go to sleep, darling Ella. It's late. And,as was famously said, 'tomorrow-'" "-is another day? Thank you, Scarlett O'Hara." "Actually-" -he scowled at me- "I was going to say, 'Tomorrow comes. Tomorrow brings, tomorrow brings love, in the shape of things.'" "Shakespeare?" I asked. "Queen," he shot back. "Not nearly as good as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' or 'Fat Bottomed Girls,' but certainly poetic." "Good night, Edward." "Good night, lovely girl." I turned off the light and climbed into bed. "Oh.By the way." "Yes?" "I think I figured out why you called Diana all those nicknames. 'Spring,' 'Cab,' 'Post'..." "Yes?" "They're all things you wait for. I think Diana was making you wait, and it was making you crazy. Am I right?" "Oh,Ella. You know I can't tell you that. I will,however, leave you with one more lovely old chestnut-" "'All good things are worth waiting for?'" "I really wish you would let me finish a thought tonight. I was going to say, 'Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.'" "Marvin Gaye," I said. "The one and only.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
The Sputnik moment for the Open Classroom movement came in 1983, when a blue-ribbon commission appointed by Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Education, T. H. Bell, delivered a scathing report, entitled, A Nation at Risk, whose famously ominous conclusion warned that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” The response this time was a fervent and growing bipartisan campaign for more accountability from schools, mostly in the form of more of those standardized tests. And by 2001, “accountability” had become a buzzword. Under President George W. Bush that year, the “No Child Left Behind” Act tied federal funding to students’ performance on tests. Eight years later, President Barack Obama’s “Race to the Top” program sought similar results, although this time using carrots instead of sticks. However the federal policy was constructed, the message was becoming clear: for schools to survive, their students would have to score high on mandated tests. Teachers consequently understood that to preserve their own jobs, they’d have to spend more time and energy on memorization and drills. The classrooms of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution began to look ever more like the dreary common schools of the turn of the twentieth century, and the spirit of Emile retreated once again.
Tom Little (Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools)
She thought constantly about Paris and avidly read all the society pages in the papers. Their accounts of receptions, celebrations, the clothes worn, and all the accompanying delights enjoyed, whetted her appetite still further. Above all, however, she was fascinated by what these reports merely hinted at. The cleverly phrased allusions half-lifted a veil beyond which could be glimpsed devastatingly attractive horizons promising a whole new world of wicked pleasure. From where she lived, she looked on Paris as representing the height of all magnificent luxury as well as licentiousness...she conjured up the images of all the famous men who made the headlines and shone like brilliant comets in the darkness of her sombre sky. She pictured the madly exciting lives they must lead, moving from one den of vice to the next, indulging in never-ending and extraordinarily voluptuous orgies, and practising such complex and sophisticated sex as to defy the imagination. It seemed to her that hidden behind the façades of the houses lining the canyon-like boulevards of the city, some amazing erotic secret must lie. "The uneventful life she lived had preserved her like a winter apple in an attic. Yet she was consumed from within by unspoken and obsessive desires. She wondered if she would die without ever having tasted the wicked delights which life had to offer, without ever, not even once, having plunged into the ocean of voluptuous pleasure which, to her, was Paris.
Guy de Maupassant (A Parisian Affair and Other Stories)
In about 1980, he says, at a time when he was still struggling to articulate his own vision of a dynamic, evolving economy, he happened to read a book by the geneticist Richard Lewontin. And he was struck by a passage in which Lewontin said that scientists come in two types. Scientists of the first type see the world as being basically in equilibrium. And if untidy forces sometimes push a system slightly out of equilibrium, then they feel the whole trick is to push it back again. Lewontin called these scientists "Platonists," after the renowned Athenian philosopher who declared that the messy, imperfect objects we see around us are merely the reflections of perfect "archetypes." Scientists of the second type, however, see the world as a process of flow and change, with the same material constantly going around and around in endless combinations. Lewontin called these scientists "Heraclitans," after the Ionian philosopher who passionately and poetically argued that the world is in a constant state of flux. Heraclitus, who lived nearly a century before Plato, is famous for observing that "Upon those who step into the same rivers flow other and yet other waters," a statement that Plato himself paraphrased as "You can never step into the same river twice." "When I read what Lewontin said," says Arthur, "it was a moment of revelation. That's when it finally became clear to me what was going on. I thought to myself, "Yes! We're finally beginning to recover from Newton.
M. Mitchell Waldrop (Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos)
In a sense the rise of Anabaptism was no surprise. Most revolutionary movements produce a wing of radicals who feel called of God to reform the reformation. And that is what Anabaptism was, a voice calling the moderate reformers to strike even more deeply at the foundations of the old order. Like most counterculture movements, the Anabaptists lacked cohesiveness. No single body of doctrine and no unifying organization prevailed among them. Even the name Anabaptist was pinned on them by their enemies. It meant rebaptizer and was intended to associate the radicals with heretics in the early church and subject them to severe persecution. The move succeeded famously. Actually, the Anabaptists rejected all thoughts of rebaptism because they never considered the ceremonial sprinkling they received in infancy as valid baptism. They much preferred Baptists as a designation. To most of them, however, the fundamental issue was not baptism. It was the nature of the church and its relation to civil governments. They had come to their convictions like most other Protestants: through Scripture. Luther had taught that common people have a right to search the Bible for themselves. It had been his guide to salvation; why not theirs? As a result, little groups of Anabaptist believers gathered about their Bibles. They discovered a different world in the pages of the New Testament. They found no state-church alliance, no Christendom. Instead they discovered that the apostolic churches were companies of committed believers, communities of men and women who had freely and personally chosen to follow Jesus. And for the sixteenth century, that was a revolutionary idea. In spite of Luther’s stress on personal religion, Lutheran churches were established churches. They retained an ordained clergy who considered the whole population of a given territory members of their church. The churches looked to the state for salary and support. Official Protestantism seemed to differ little from official Catholicism. Anabaptists wanted to change all that. Their goal was the “restitution” of apostolic Christianity, a return to churches of true believers. In the early church, they said, men and women who had experienced personal spiritual regeneration were the only fit subjects for baptism. The apostolic churches knew nothing of the practice of baptizing infants. That tradition was simply a convenient device for perpetuating Christendom: nominal but spiritually impotent Christian society. The true church, the radicals insisted, is always a community of saints, dedicated disciples in a wicked world. Like the missionary monks of the Middle Ages, the Anabaptists wanted to shape society by their example of radical discipleship—if necessary, even by death. They steadfastly refused to be a part of worldly power including bearing arms, holding political office, and taking oaths. In the sixteenth century this independence from social and civic society was seen as inflammatory, revolutionary, or even treasonous.
Bruce L. Shelley (Church History in Plain Language)
While these tactics were aggressive and crude, they confirmed that our legislation had touched a nerve. I wasn’t the only one who recognized this. Many other victims of human rights abuses in Russia saw the same thing. After the bill was introduced they came to Washington or wrote letters to the Magnitsky Act’s cosponsors with the same basic message: “You have found the Achilles’ heel of the Putin regime.” Then, one by one, they would ask, “Can you add the people who killed my brother to the Magnitsky Act?” “Can you add the people who tortured my mother?” “How about the people who kidnapped my husband?” And on and on. The senators quickly realized that they’d stumbled onto something much bigger than one horrific case. They had inadvertently discovered a new method for fighting human rights abuses in authoritarian regimes in the twenty-first century: targeted visa sanctions and asset freezes. After a dozen or so of these visits and letters, Senator Cardin and his cosponsors conferred and decided to expand the law, adding sixty-five words to the Magnitsky Act. Those new words said that in addition to sanctioning Sergei’s tormentors, the Magnitsky Act would sanction all other gross human rights abusers in Russia. With those extra sixty-five words, my personal fight for justice had become everyone’s fight. The revised bill was officially introduced on May 19, 2011, less than a month after we posted the Olga Stepanova YouTube video. Following its introduction, a small army of Russian activists descended on Capitol Hill, pushing for the bill’s passage. They pressed every senator who would talk to them to sign on. There was Garry Kasparov, the famous chess grand master and human rights activist; there was Alexei Navalny, the most popular Russian opposition leader; and there was Evgenia Chirikova, a well-known Russian environmental activist. I didn’t have to recruit any of these people. They just showed up by themselves. This uncoordinated initiative worked beautifully. The number of Senate cosponsors grew quickly, with three or four new senators signing on every month. It was an easy sell. There wasn’t a pro-Russian-torture-and-murder lobby in Washington to oppose it. No senator, whether the most liberal Democrat or the most conservative Republican, would lose a single vote for banning Russian torturers and murderers from coming to America. The Magnitsky Act was gathering so much momentum that it appeared it might be unstoppable. From the day that Kyle Scott at the State Department stonewalled me, I knew that the administration was dead set against this, but now they were in a tough spot. If they openly opposed the law, it would look as if they were siding with the Russians. However, if they publicly supported it, it would threaten Obama’s “reset” with Russia. They needed to come up with some other solution. On July 20, 2011, the State Department showed its cards. They sent a memo to the Senate entitled “Administration Comments on S.1039 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law.” Though not meant to be made public, within a day it was leaked.
Bill Browder (Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice)
God famously doesn't afflict Job because of anything Job has done, but because he wants to prove a point to Satan. Twenty years later, I am sympathetic with my first assessment; to me, in spite of the soft radiant beauty of many of its passages, the Bible still has a mechanical quality, a refusal to brook complexity that feels brutal and violent. There has been a change, however. When I look at Revelation now, it still seems frightening and impenetrable, and it still suggests an inexorable, ridiculous order that is unknowable by us, in which our earthly concerns matter very little. However, it not longer reads to me like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty. It reads like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth. When I read And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds, I think of myself and others I've known or know who blaspheme life itself by failing to have the courage to be honest and kind—and how then we rage around and lash out because we hurt. When I read the word fornication, I don't read it as a description of sex outside legal marriage: I read it as sex done in a state of psychic disintegration, with no awareness of one's self or one's partner, let alone any sense of honor or even real playfulness. I still don't know what to make of much of it, but I'm inclined to read it as a writer's primitive attempt to give form to his moral urgency, to create a structure that could contain and give ballast to the most desperate human confusion.
Mary Gaitskill (Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays)
Darwin’s Hopes Shattered However, although evolutionists have been making strenuous efforts to find fossils since the middle of the nineteenth century all over the world, no transitional forms have yet been uncovered. All of the fossils, contrary to the evolutionists' expectations, show that life appeared on Earth all of a sudden and fully-formed. One famous British paleontologist, Derek V. Ager, admits this fact, even though he is an evolutionist: The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find – over and over again – not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another. This means that in the fossil record, all living species suddenly emerge as fully formed, without any intermediate forms in between. This is just the opposite of Darwin's assumptions. Also, this is very strong evidence that all living things are created. The only explanation of a living species emerging suddenly and complete in every detail without any evolutionary ancestor is that it was created. This fact is admitted also by the widely known evolutionist biologist Douglas Futuyma: Creation and evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence. Fossils show that living beings emerged fully developed and in a perfect state on the Earth. That means that "the origin of species," contrary to Darwin's supposition, is not evolution, but creation.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him? Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, “The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.” What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant! However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
Sung was a land which was famous far and wide, simply because it was so often and so richly insulted. However, there was one visitor, more excitable than most, who developed a positive passion for criticizing the place. Unfortunately, the pursuit of this hobby soon lead him to take leave of the truth. This unkind traveler once claimed that the king of Sung, the notable Skan Askander, was a derelict glutton with a monster for a son and a slug for a daughter. This was unkind to the daughter. While she was no great beauty, she was definitely not a slug. After all, slugs do not have arms and legs - and besides, slugs do not grow to that size. There was a grain of truth in the traveler's statement, in as much as the son was a regrettable young man. However, soon afterwards, the son was accidentally drowned when he made the mistake of falling into a swamp with his hands and feet tied together and a knife sticking out of his back. This tragedy did not encourage the traveler to extend his sympathies to the family. Instead, he invented fresh accusations. This wayfarer, an ignorant tourist if ever there was one, claimed that the king had leprosy. This was false. The king merely had a well-developed case of boils. The man with the evil mouth was guilty of a further malignant slander when he stated that King Skan Askander was a cannibal. This was untrue. While it must be admitted that the king once ate one of his wives, he did not do it intentionally; the whole disgraceful episode was the fault of the chef, who was a drunkard, and who was subsequently severely reprimanded. .The question of the governance, and indeed, the very existence of the 'kingdom of Sung' is one that is worth pursuing in detail, before dealing with the traveler's other allegations. It is true that there was a king, his being Skan Askander, and that some of his ancestors had been absolute rulers of considerable power. It is also true that the king's chief swineherd, who doubled as royal cartographer, drew bold, confident maps proclaiming that borders of the realm. Furthermore, the king could pass laws, sign death warrants, issue currency, declare war or amuse himself by inventing new taxes. And what he could do, he did. "We are a king who knows how to be king," said the king. And certainly, anyone wishing to dispute his right to use of the imperial 'we' would have had to contend with the fact that there was enough of him, in girth, bulk, and substance, to provide the makings of four or five ordinary people, flesh, bones and all. He was an imposing figure, "very imposing", one of his brides is alleged to have said, shortly before the accident in which she suffocated. "We live in a palace," said the king. "Not in a tent like Khmar, the chief milkmaid of Tameran, or in a draughty pile of stones like Comedo of Estar." . . .From Prince Comedo came the following tart rejoinder: "Unlike yours, my floors are not made of milk-white marble. However, unlike yours, my floors are not knee-deep in pigsh*t." . . .Receiving that Note, Skan Askander placed it by his commode, where it would be handy for future royal use. Much later, and to his great surprise, he received a communication from the Lord Emperor Khmar, the undisputed master of most of the continent of Tameran. The fact that Sung had come to the attention of Khmar was, to say the least, ominous. Khmar had this to say: "Your words have been reported. In due course, they will be remembered against you." The king of Sung, terrified, endured the sudden onset of an attack of diarrhea that had nothing to do with the figs he had been eating. His latest bride, seeing his acute distress, made the most of her opportunity, and vigorously counselled him to commit suicide. Knowing Khmar's reputation, he was tempted - but finally, to her great disappointment, declined. Nevertheless, he lived in fear; he had no way of knowing that he was simply the victim of one of Khmar's little jokes.
Hugh Cook (The Wordsmiths and the Warguild)
The free market system of capitalism enhances freedom in three ways. Traditionally freedom of exchange has been seen as a basic form of individual freedom, with which it would be wrong to interfere, and in this sense is a basic, negative freedom like the freedom of speech, assembly, the press, or conscience. Gerald Gaus, a liberal defender of the morality of markets, summarizes the liberal case for freedom in capitalism: “classical liberalism embraces market relations because (but not, of course, only because) they (1) are essentially free, (2) respect the actual choices of individuals, and (3) legitimately express different individuals’ rational decisions about the proper choice between competing ends, goods, and values.”98 Market freedom is necessary to respect individuals as free choosers and designers of their own “experiments in living,” as Mill famously puts it.99 Free markets also have positive aspects, however, in providing opportunities by increasing persons’ material wealth in order to choose things that they value. Another aspect of the positive freedom that markets promote is the freedom of persons to develop their autonomy as decision makers, and to find opportunities to escape from oppressive traditional roles. Markets also promote a third, more controversial, sense of freedom in that they allow persons to interact in mutually beneficial ways even when they do not know each other or have any other traditional reason to care about the other. I call this sense of freedom “social freedom.” In each of these ways – negative, positive, and social – markets have much, and in some cases even more, to offer to women, as women have been more confined by traditional roles to a constrained family life, deprived of a fair distribution of benefits and burdens of family life, and treated as second-class citizens in their communities. While capitalism has already, as we have seen, brought great advances in the realm of negative and positive liberties, capitalism’s ability to destruct the old and create new forms of community offer a vision of freedom that is yet to be fulfilled.
Cudd/Holmstrom (Capitalism, For and Against)
There are two famous quips of Stalin which are both grounded in this logic. When Stalin answered the question "Which deviation is worse, the Rightist or the Leftist one?" by "They are both worse!", the underlying premise is that the Leftist deviation is REALLY ("objectively," as Stalinists liked to put it) not leftist at all, but a concealed Rightist one! When Stalin wrote, in a report on a party congress, that the delegates, with the majority of votes, unanimously approved the CC resolution, the underlying premise is, again, that there was really no minority within the party: those who voted against thereby excluded themselves from the party... In all these cases, the genus repeatedly overlaps (fully coincides) with one of its species. This is also what allows Stalin to read history retroactively, so that things "become clear" retroactively: it was not that Trotsky was first fighting for the revolution with Lenin and Stalin and then, at a certain stage, opted for a different strategy than the one advocated by Stalin; this last opposition (Trotsky/Stalin) "makes it clear" how, "objectively," Trotsky was against revolution all the time back. We find the same procedure in the classificatory impasse the Stalinist ideologists and political activists faced in their struggle for collectivization in the years 1928-1933. In their attempt to account for their effort to crush the peasants' resistance in "scientific" Marxist terms, they divided peasants into three categories (classes): the poor peasants (no land or minimal land, working for others), natural allies of the workers; the autonomous middle peasants, oscillating between the exploited and exploiters; the rich peasants, "kulaks" (employing other workers, lending them money or seeds, etc.), the exploiting "class enemy" which, as such, has to be "liquidated." However, in practice, this classification became more and more blurred and inoperative: in the generalized poverty, clear criteria no longer applied, and other two categories often joined kulaks in their resistance to forced collectivization. An additional category was thus introduced, that of a subkulak, a peasant who, although, with regard to his economic situation, was to poor to be considered a kulak proper, nonetheless shared the kulak "counter-revolutionary" attitude.
Slavoj Žižek
what makes life worth living when we are old and frail and unable to care for ourselves? In 1943, the psychologist Abraham Maslow published his hugely influential paper “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which famously described people as having a hierarchy of needs. It is often depicted as a pyramid. At the bottom are our basic needs—the essentials of physiological survival (such as food, water, and air) and of safety (such as law, order, and stability). Up one level are the need for love and for belonging. Above that is our desire for growth—the opportunity to attain personal goals, to master knowledge and skills, and to be recognized and rewarded for our achievements. Finally, at the top is the desire for what Maslow termed “self-actualization”—self-fulfillment through pursuit of moral ideals and creativity for their own sake. Maslow argued that safety and survival remain our primary and foundational goals in life, not least when our options and capacities become limited. If true, the fact that public policy and concern about old age homes focus on health and safety is just a recognition and manifestation of those goals. They are assumed to be everyone’s first priorities. Reality is more complex, though. People readily demonstrate a willingness to sacrifice their safety and survival for the sake of something beyond themselves, such as family, country, or justice. And this is regardless of age. What’s more, our driving motivations in life, instead of remaining constant, change hugely over time and in ways that don’t quite fit Maslow’s classic hierarchy. In young adulthood, people seek a life of growth and self-fulfillment, just as Maslow suggested. Growing up involves opening outward. We search out new experiences, wider social connections, and ways of putting our stamp on the world. When people reach the latter half of adulthood, however, their priorities change markedly. Most reduce the amount of time and effort they spend pursuing achievement and social networks. They narrow in. Given the choice, young people prefer meeting new people to spending time with, say, a sibling; old people prefer the opposite. Studies find that as people grow older they interact with fewer people and concentrate more on spending time with family and established friends. They focus on being rather than doing and on the present more than the future.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
The Biggest Property Rental In Amsterdam Amsterdam has been ranked as the 13th best town to live in the globe according to Mercer contacting annual Good quality of Living Review, a place it's occupied given that 2006. Which means that the city involving Amsterdam is among the most livable spots you can be centered. Amsterdam apartments are equally quite highly sought after and it can regularly be advisable to enable a housing agency use their internet connections with the amsterdam parkinghousing network to help you look for a suitable apartment for rent Amsterdam. Amsterdam features rated larger in the past, yet continuing plan of disruptive and wide spread construction projects - like the problematic North-South town you live line- has intended a small scores decline. Amsterdam after rated inside the top 10 Carolien Gehrels (Tradition) told Dutch news company ANP that the metropolis is happy together with the thirteenth place. "Of course you want is actually the first place position, however shows that Amsterdam is a fairly place to live. Well-known places to rent in Amsterdam Your Jordaan. An old employees quarter popularised amang other things with the sentimental tunes of a quantity of local vocalists. These music painted an attractive image of the location. Local cafes continue to attribute live vocalists like Arthur Jordaan and Tante Leeni. The Jordaan is a network of alleyways and narrow canals. The section was proven in the Seventeenth century, while Amsterdam desperately needed to expand. The region was created along the design of the routes and ditches which already existed. The Jordaan is known for the weekly biological Nordermaarkt on Saturdays. Amsterdam is famous for that open air market segments. In Oud-zuid there is a ranging Jordan Cuypmarkt open year long. This part of town is a very popular spot for expats to find Expat Amsterdam flats due in part to vicinity of the Vondelpark. Among the largest community areas A hundred and twenty acres) inside Amsterdam, Netherlands. It can be located in the stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, western side from the Leidseplein as well as the Museumplein. The playground was exposed in 1865 as well as originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later re-named to "Vondelpark", after the 17th one hundred year author Joost lorrie den Vondel. Every year, the recreation area has around 10 million guests. In the park can be a film art gallery, an open air flow theatre, any playground, and different cafe's and restaurants.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s famous essay, “On Fairy-Stories,” in Tree and Leaf (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), pp. 1–82. The consolation . . . the joy of the happy ending . . . the sudden joyous ‘turn’ . . . this joy which . . . stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially ‘escapist’ nor ‘fugitive.’ . . . It is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure. Indeed, the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. Rather, it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat, and thus is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief. It is the mark of a good story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give . . . when the ‘turn’ comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality. In . . . the ‘turn’ . . . we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.” Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories,” pp. 68–69. Later Tolkien argues that the ultimate story—the gospel—is the essence of all other stories with the joy-giving happy ending. “This ‘joy’ . . . merits more consideration. The peculiar quality of the ‘joy’ in a successful Fantasy can . . . be explained as a sudden glimpse of an underlying . . . Reality. . . . The Gospels contain . . . a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. They contain . . . the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe. But this story has entered history and the primary world. . . . The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story ends in joy. . . . There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many skeptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath. . . . [T]his story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused.” Tolkien, “On Fairy-Stories,” pp. 71–73.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism)
A few years ago, a couple of young men from my church came to our home for dinner. During the course of the dinner, the conversation turned from religion to various world mythologies and we began to play the game of ‘Name That Character.” To play this game, you pick a category such as famous actors, superheroes or historical characters. In turn, each person describes events in a famous character’s life while everyone else tries to guess who the character is. Strategically you try to describe the deeds of a character in such a way that it might fit any number of characters in that category. After three guesses, if no one knows who your character is, then you win. Choosing the category of Bible Characters, we played a couple of fairly easy rounds with the typical figures, then it was my turn. Now, knowing these well meaning young men had very little religious experience or understanding outside of their own religion, I posed a trick question. I said, “Now my character may seem obvious, but please wait until the end of my description to answer.” I took a long breath for dramatic effect, and began, “My character was the son of the King of Heaven and a mortal woman.” Immediately both young men smiled knowingly, but I raised a finger asking them to wait to give their responses. I continued, “While he was just a baby, a jealous rival attempted to kill him and he was forced into hiding for several years. As he grew older, he developed amazing powers. Among these were the ability to turn water into wine and to control the mental health of other people. He became a great leader and inspired an entire religious movement. Eventually he ascended into heaven and sat with his father as a ruler in heaven.” Certain they knew who I was describing, my two guests were eager to give the winning answer. However, I held them off and continued, “Now I know adding these last parts will seem like overkill, but I simply cannot describe this character without mentioning them. This person’s birthday is celebrated on December 25th and he is worshipped in a spring festival. He defied death, journeyed to the underworld to raise his loved ones from the dead and was resurrected. He was granted immortality by his Father, the king of the gods, and was worshipped as a savior god by entire cultures.” The two young men were practically climbing out of their seats, their faces beaming with the kind of smile only supreme confidence can produce. Deciding to end the charade I said, “I think we all know the answer, but to make it fair, on the count of three just yell out the answer. One. Two. Three.” “Jesus Christ” they both exclaimed in unison – was that your answer as well? Both young men sat back completely satisfied with their answer, confident it was the right one…, but I remained silent. Five seconds ticked away without a response, then ten. The confidence of my two young friends clearly began to drain away. It was about this time that my wife began to shake her head and smile to herself. Finally, one of them asked, “It is Jesus Christ, right? It has to be!” Shaking my head, I said, “Actually, I was describing the Greek god Dionysus.
Jedediah McClure (Myths of Christianity: A Five Thousand Year Journey to Find the Son of God)
The Tale of Human Evolution The subject most often brought up by advocates of the theory of evolution is the subject of the origin of man. The Darwinist claim holds that modern man evolved from ape-like creatures. During this alleged evolutionary process, which is supposed to have started 4-5 million years ago, some "transitional forms" between modern man and his ancestors are supposed to have existed. According to this completely imaginary scenario, four basic "categories" are listed: 1. Australopithecus 2. Homo habilis 3. Homo erectus 4. Homo sapiens Evolutionists call man's so-called first ape-like ancestors Australopithecus, which means "South African ape." These living beings are actually nothing but an old ape species that has become extinct. Extensive research done on various Australopithecus specimens by two world famous anatomists from England and the USA, namely, Lord Solly Zuckerman and Prof. Charles Oxnard, shows that these apes belonged to an ordinary ape species that became extinct and bore no resemblance to humans. Evolutionists classify the next stage of human evolution as "homo," that is "man." According to their claim, the living beings in the Homo series are more developed than Australopithecus. Evolutionists devise a fanciful evolution scheme by arranging different fossils of these creatures in a particular order. This scheme is imaginary because it has never been proved that there is an evolutionary relation between these different classes. Ernst Mayr, one of the twentieth century's most important evolutionists, contends in his book One Long Argument that "particularly historical [puzzles] such as the origin of life or of Homo sapiens, are extremely difficult and may even resist a final, satisfying explanation." By outlining the link chain as Australopithecus > Homo habilis > Homo erectus > Homo sapiens, evolutionists imply that each of these species is one another's ancestor. However, recent findings of paleoanthropologists have revealed that Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus lived at different parts of the world at the same time. Moreover, a certain segment of humans classified as Homo erectus have lived up until very modern times. Homo sapiens neandarthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) co-existed in the same region. This situation apparently indicates the invalidity of the claim that they are ancestors of one another. Stephen Jay Gould explained this deadlock of the theory of evolution although he was himself one of the leading advocates of evolution in the twentieth century: What has become of our ladder if there are three coexisting lineages of hominids (A. africanus, the robust australopithecines, and H. habilis), none clearly derived from another? Moreover, none of the three display any evolutionary trends during their tenure on earth. Put briefly, the scenario of human evolution, which is "upheld" with the help of various drawings of some "half ape, half human" creatures appearing in the media and course books, that is, frankly, by means of propaganda, is nothing but a tale with no scientific foundation. Lord Solly Zuckerman, one of the most famous and respected scientists in the U.K., who carried out research on this subject for years and studied Australopithecus fossils for 15 years, finally concluded, despite being an evolutionist himself, that there is, in fact, no such family tree branching out from ape-like creatures to man.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
gave up on the idea of creating “socialist men and women” who would work without monetary incentives. In a famous speech he criticized “equality mongering,” and thereafter not only did different jobs get paid different wages but also a bonus system was introduced. It is instructive to understand how this worked. Typically a firm under central planning had to meet an output target set under the plan, though such plans were often renegotiated and changed. From the 1930s, workers were paid bonuses if the output levels were attained. These could be quite high—for instance, as much as 37 percent of the wage for management or senior engineers. But paying such bonuses created all sorts of disincentives to technological change. For one thing, innovation, which took resources away from current production, risked the output targets not being met and the bonuses not being paid. For another, output targets were usually based on previous production levels. This created a huge incentive never to expand output, since this only meant having to produce more in the future, since future targets would be “ratcheted up.” Underachievement was always the best way to meet targets and get the bonus. The fact that bonuses were paid monthly also kept everyone focused on the present, while innovation is about making sacrifices today in order to have more tomorrow. Even when bonuses and incentives were effective in changing behavior, they often created other problems. Central planning was just not good at replacing what the great eighteenth-century economist Adam Smith called the “invisible hand” of the market. When the plan was formulated in tons of steel sheet, the sheet was made too heavy. When it was formulated in terms of area of steel sheet, the sheet was made too thin. When the plan for chandeliers was made in tons, they were so heavy, they could hardly hang from ceilings. By the 1940s, the leaders of the Soviet Union, even if not their admirers in the West, were well aware of these perverse incentives. The Soviet leaders acted as if they were due to technical problems, which could be fixed. For example, they moved away from paying bonuses based on output targets to allowing firms to set aside portions of profits to pay bonuses. But a “profit motive” was no more encouraging to innovation than one based on output targets. The system of prices used to calculate profits was almost completely unconnected to the value of new innovations or technology. Unlike in a market economy, prices in the Soviet Union were set by the government, and thus bore little relation to value. To more specifically create incentives for innovation, the Soviet Union introduced explicit innovation bonuses in 1946. As early as 1918, the principle had been recognized that an innovator should receive monetary rewards for his innovation, but the rewards set were small and unrelated to the value of the new technology. This changed only in 1956, when it was stipulated that the bonus should be proportional to the productivity of the innovation. However, since productivity was calculated in terms of economic benefits measured using the existing system of prices, this was again not much of an incentive to innovate. One could fill many pages with examples of the perverse incentives these schemes generated. For example, because the size of the innovation bonus fund was limited by the wage bill of a firm, this immediately reduced the incentive to produce or adopt any innovation that might have economized on labor.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker
Daily, the media report human activity in which force is used to settle disputes. Since 1945 not a single day has gone by without war, and the end of the Cold War has not reduced its frequency. For example, in 1994 more than thirty major armed conflicts were fought in twenty-seven locations throughout the world in such places as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Liberia, Rwanda, and Somalia. Given its wide spread occurrence, it is little wonder so many people equate world politics with violence. In On War, Prussian strategist Karl von Clausewitz advanced his famous dictum that war is merely an extension of diplomacy by other means - "a form of communication between countries," albeit an extreme form. This insight underscores the realist belief that war is an instrument for states to use to resolve their disputes. War, however, is the deadliest instrument of conflict resolution, its onset indicating that persuasion and negotiations have failed. In international relations, conflict regularly occurs when actors interact and disputes over incompatible interests rise. In and of itself, conflict is not necessarily threatening when the partners turn to arms to settle their perceived irreconcilable differences.
Eugene R. Wittkopf (World Politics: Trend and Transformation)
Catfish always drink alcoholic ether if begged, for every catfish enjoys heightened intoxication; gross indulgence can be calamitous, however; duly, garfish babysit for dirty catfish children, helping catfish babies get instructional education just because garfish get delight assisting infants’ growth and famously inspire confidence in immature catfish, giving experience (and joy even); however, blowfish jeer insightful garfish, disparaging inappropriately, doing damage, even insulting benevolent, charming, jovial garfish, hurting and frustrating deeply; joy fades but hurt feelings bring just grief; inevitable irritation hastens feeling blue; however, jovial children declare happiness, blowfishes’ evil causes dejection, blues; accordingly, always glorify jolly, friendly garfish!
A secularist but not an atheist, he used the example of the Prophet, who according to tradition did not fast in Ramadan during wartime, to argue against fasting during Ramadan any time the Tunisian people were engaged in the new collective jihad against economic stagnation, because fasting hindered performance. This led to one of the most extraordinary, but little-known, moments of Arab political theater. In a live television interview aired during the Ramadan fasting hours, Bourguiba paused, turned to the camera, and took a long, symbolic swig from a glass of orange juice. There was, however, nothing symbolic in his promotion of secular virtues. He replaced the sharia legal system with civil courts, abolished the independent system of Islamic charity called the waqf, brought the mosques and their imams under state control and had their doors locked outside of prayer times, outlawed proselytizing, and in 1981 officially banned the wearing of the veil (he famously called it an “odious rag”) in schools and in government institutions in an attempt to phase it out of Tunisian society completely.
John R. Bradley (Behind the Veil of Vice: The Business and Culture of Sex in the Middle East)
It was over a century and a half ago that Clausewitz made his now famous remarks on the relationship of war to policy. Most simply, "war is not a mere act of policy, but a true political instrument, a continuation of political activity by other means." Political considerations reach into the military means, to influence "the planning of war, of the campaign, and often of the battle." Clausewitz clearly believed that statesmen could and should ensure that policy infuse military operations. Those in charge of policy require "a certain grasp of military affairs." They need to be soldiers, however. "What is needed in the post is distinguished intellect and character. He [the statesman] can always get the necessary military information somehow or other." Clausewitz was overoptimistic on this score. Few have challenged his judgement that policy must infuse acts of war, but the achievement of this goal has proven more difficult that he imagined... Functional specialization between soldiers and statesmen, and the tendency of soldiers to seek as much independence from civilian interference as possible, combine to make political-military integration an uncertain prospect.
Barry Posen
鯖 ‘saba’ Pronounced as “sa-ba” Meaning Unlike most items in Japanese, whose meanings an outsider would have a hard time understanding; Saba has an ordinary connotation all by itself, though it could end up in some funny misunderstandings. Saba is the Japanese slang word for ‘server’ (almost directly borrowed from English). However, there is another meaning worth mentioning. “鯖” is also a slang word for “servant”, which is a concept in the famous “Fate” series.
Rin Wakatsuki (21st Century Japanese Net-Slang Handbook: The 20 Most Common Phrases)
sensations exist without physical cause. “The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past,”7 Didion famously claimed in this essay. However, looking at the now iconic portraits of the young writer, I see a woman who is reluctant to smile for the camera, as if happiness or hope were somehow naive, given all that she knows. By any account she actually was living the dream during this time, but the passionate gratitude her fans have for Joan the person can be explained, I think, by our certainty that she never bought into the myth. She had seen the world and accurately gauged its promise. And then she made her place in the sun anyway—defying her own odds.
Steffie Nelson (Slouching Towards Los Angeles: Living and Writing by Joan Didion’s Light)
Recognizing these patterns has a number of important implications. First, obviously, accusing people of racism or calling them the “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton famously did, is a terrible idea. It assaults people’s moral sense of themselves and puts their backs up. They immediately stop listening. Conversely, one can see why calling egregious racists “fine people,” and emphasizing there are bad people “on both sides,” as President Trump did, is clearly an effective strategy (however morally reprehensible) to gain popularity, since it makes those who make these remarks feel better about themselves.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)
Flying saucer crash retrieval rumors mounted in 1947 near the Riconosciuto stomping ground in Tacoma, Washington. The Tacoma News Tribune reported upon a retrieval by William Guy Bannister, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the area at the time.16 Bannister became famous much later in life when he shared office space with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans, possibly employing Lee Harvey Oswald as an agent provocateur. Crisman, too, had been connected to Oswald via a subpoena from the investigation of JFK’s death by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Some alleged that Crisman was one of the three hoboes photographed after their arrest in the railroad yard behind the infamous grassy knoll on November 22, 1963. Crisman was notably silent about both Maury Island and JFK in his 1970 memoir of life in Tacoma, entitled Murder of a City, written under the pseudonym of Jon Gold.17 He did have warm comments about Marshall Riconosciuto, however, and recounted that the young Michael “had discovered several electronic bugs” at his father’s office.
Kenn Thomas (The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro)
To be famous or popular can become one without significant work; however, to become a genuine notable is not the easiest task. The notability builds importance and qualifies in the academic world, not the popularity that both together exhibit, one a unique figure.
Ehsan Sehgal
In the general calamities of mankind, the death of an individual, however exalted, the ruin of an edifice, however famous, are passed over with careless inattention.
Edward Gibbon (The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Complete and Unabridged (With All Six Volumes, Original Maps, Working Footnotes, Links to Audiobooks and Illustrated))
The most famous tax limitation of all is California's Proposition 13, which ushered in an era of state tax revolts starting in the 1970s. Proposition 13 has had significant and continuing negative effects on local governments' ability to raise and spend monies, as have many other states' tax-and-expenditure restrictions. That California cities have less fiscal authority seems not to be causally connected to their more recent popularity, however. San Francisco and Los Angeles, for instance, have both seen their popularity rise despite the limits on their taxing powers.
Richard Schragger
Ballard, however, remains optimistic about the sea’s effect on the ship but pessimistic about what man is doing to it.  And perhaps he has good reason for this because anxious to get what it could while it could, Premier Exhibitions, Inc., a part of  RMST, in 2007 bought the rights of all the personal belongings found on the ship.  In 2011, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith ruled that the company had the right to the items, as long as they properly cared for and preserved them.  While this has allowed new Titanic museums and tourists attractions to spring up around the world, it also means that the ship will continue to be plundered.  In the end, it seems that whether nature wipes it out or men plunder it into oblivion, Titanic’s days remain just as numbered as they were on that fateful April day on which she was launched.
Charles River Editors (The Titanic and the Lusitania: The Controversial History of the 20th Century’s Most Famous Maritime Disasters)
One woman, however, was spared. Both Miran and his father asked for the hand of the famously beautiful Lutf un-Nissa. ‘But she declined and sent this reply: “having ridden an elephant before, I cannot now agree to ride an ass.”’87
William Dalrymple (The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company)
P. Sainath says, 'What we need to do is not just destroy the caste hierarchy but simultaneously create respect for the work and labour that people do, for what they produce. I have always maintained that untouchability is not just a social evil. It’s more than that. It’s an extremely cruel, vicious but sophisticated form of exploitation by which we keep a large labour force permanently demoralised, humiliated and dependent. So we need to destroy the feudal relations of production completely; we need to accept that if a son or daughter of a potter, weaver or leather worker do not want to be in that field, it’s a perfectly legitimate need of theirs and they cannot under any circumstance be compelled. You need to break down the caste hierarchy and when you bring respect and economic returns for that skill, who knows—many other children in the village might want to do it. Look at the way we’ve destroyed weaving. Several weavers, who for countless years made the famous Kanjeevaram saree, are driving autorickshaws in Kanchi and Chennai, and this is called reskilling. These individuals hold within them cumulatively thousands of years of skill, knowledge and experience. We simply do not respect labour, we don’t give dignity to those who do this beautiful work. However, there are also professions and occupations that you want to see dead. I don’t want to see anybody take up or inherit manual scavenging. It is the greatest assault on human dignity that you can think of in a structured way. And it is perpetrated because we are somehow very comfortable with the idea of using the children of our poor to do the dirty work for us. So there are professions that have to be completely destroyed. And there are professions, occupations and livelihoods that have to be preserved. But not as they were in their old context but recreated in a new one.
Aparna Karthikeyan (Nine Rupees an Hour: Disappearing Livelihoods of Tamil Nadu)
In the British statistician R. A. Fisher’s famous formulation, “the ‘one chance in a million’ will undoubtedly occur, with no less and no more than its appropriate frequency, however surprised we may be that it should occur to us.
Jordan Ellenberg (How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking)
The most interesting aspects of the story lie between the two extremes of coercion and popularity. It might be instructive to consider fascist regimes’ management of workers, who were surely the most recalcitrant part of the population. It is clear that both Fascism and Nazism enjoyed some success in this domain. According to Tim Mason, the ultimate authority on German workers under Nazism, the Third Reich “contained” German workers by four means: terror, division, some concessions, and integration devices such as the famous Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) leisure-time organization. Let there be no doubt that terror awaited workers who resisted directly. It was the cadres of the German Socialist and Communist parties who filled the first concentration camps in 1933, before the Jews. Since socialists and communists were already divided, it was not hard for the Nazis to create another division between those workers who continued to resist and those who decided to try to live normal lives. The suppression of autonomous worker organizations allowed fascist regimes to address workers individually rather than collectively. Soon, demoralized by the defeat of their unions and parties, workers were atomized, deprived of their usual places of sociability, and afraid to confide in anyone. Both regimes made some concessions to workers—Mason’s third device for worker “containment.” They did not simply silence them, as in traditional dictatorships. After power, official unions enjoyed a monopoly of labor representation. The Nazi Labor Front had to preserve its credibility by actually paying some attention to working conditions. Mindful of the 1918 revolution, the Third Reich was willing to do absolutely anything to avoid unemployment or food shortages. As the German economy heated up in rearmament, there was even some wage creep. Later in the war, the arrival of slave labor, which promoted many German workers to the status of masters, provided additional satisfactions. Mussolini was particularly proud of how workers would fare under his corporatist constitution. The Labor Charter (1927) promised that workers and employers would sit down together in a “corporation” for each branch of the economy, and submerge class struggle in the discovery of their common interests. It looked very imposing by 1939 when a Chamber of Corporations replaced parliament. In practice, however, the corporative bodies were run by businessmen, while the workers’ sections were set apart and excluded from the factory floor. Mason’s fourth form of “containment”—integrative devices—was a specialty of fascist regimes. Fascists were past masters at manipulating group dynamics: the youth group, the leisure-time association, party rallies. Peer pressure was particularly powerful in small groups. There the patriotic majority shamed or intimidated nonconformists into at least keeping their mouths shut. Sebastian Haffner recalled how his group of apprentice magistrates was sent in summer 1933 on a retreat, where these highly educated young men, mostly non-Nazis, were bonded into a group by marching, singing, uniforms, and drill. To resist seemed pointless, certain to lead nowhere but to prison and an end to the dreamed-of career. Finally, with astonishment, he observed himself raising his arm, fitted with a swastika armband, in the Nazi salute. These various techniques of social control were successful.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
We ventured, however, over all these difficulties, and I took her to wife, September 1st, 1730. None of the inconveniences happened that we had apprehended; she proved a good and faithful helpmate, assisted me much by attending the shop; we throve together, and have ever mutually endeavored to make each other happy.
Benjamin Franklin (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
lived a poor tailor, who had a son called Aladdin, a careless, idle boy who would do nothing but play all day long in the streets with little idle boys like himself. This so grieved the father that he died; yet, in spite of his mother's tears and prayers, Aladdin did not mend his ways. One day, when he was playing in the streets as usual, a stranger asked him his age, and if he were not the son of Mustapha the tailor. "I am, sir," replied Aladdin; "but he died a long while ago." On this the stranger, who was a famous African magician, fell on his neck and kissed him, saying: "I am your uncle, and knew you from your likeness to my brother. Go to your mother and tell her I am coming." Aladdin ran home, and told his mother of his newly found uncle. "Indeed, child," she said, "your father had a brother, but I always thought he was dead." However, she prepared supper, and bade Aladdin seek his uncle, who came laden with wine and fruit. He presently fell down and kissed the place where Mustapha used to sit, bidding Aladdin's mother not to be surprised at not having seen him before, as he had been forty years out of the country.
Anonymous (The Arabian Nights Entertainments)
However, before she could arrive at her destination, her carriage was stopped and she was arrested. When they were searched, the lieutenant and his superiors learned that he was carrying a copy of “The Maryland News,” a pro-Confederate pamphlet. So incensed were the Northern officers at what they saw as betrayal by one of their own that they largely ignored Boyd and eventually let her return to Front Royal.
Charles River Editors (Belle Boyd: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Spy)
Perhaps the most famous of these experiments was the 1988 Morris Worm – the first worm to spread over the internet. The supposed intent of this worm was to gauge the number of machines connected to the network. However, the result was to slow down the operation of infected machines to the point of being unusable. Worms continue to represent a major threat, as shown by the case of the Conficker Worm of 2008.
The Open University (Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online)
When he returned to Florida in the early part of 1939, Hemingway took his boat the Pilar across the Straits of Florida to Havana, where he checked into the Hotel Ambos Mundos. Shortly thereafter, Martha joined him in Cuba and they first rented, and later in 1940, purchased their home for $12,500. Located 10 miles to the east of Havana, in the small town of San Francisco de Paula, they settled into what they called Finca Vigía, the Lookout Farm. On November 20, 1940, after a difficult divorce from Pauline, Ernest and Martha got married. Even though Cuba had become their home, they still took editorial assignments overseas, including one in China that Martha had for Collier’s magazine. Returning to Cuba just prior to the outbreak of World War II, he convinced the Cuban government to outfit his boat with armaments, with which he intended to ambush German submarines. As the war progressed, Hemingway went to London as a war correspondent, where he met Mary Welsh. His infatuation prompted him to propose to her, which of course did not sit well with Martha. Hemingway was present at the liberation of Paris and attended a party hosted by Sylvia Beach. He, incidentally, also renewed a friendship with Gertrude Stein. Becoming a famous war correspondence he covered the Battle of the Bulge, however he then spent the rest of the war on the sidelines hospitalized with pneumonia. Even so, Ernest was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery. Once again, Hemingway fell in lust, this time with a 19-year-old girl, Adriana Ivancich. This so-called platonic, wink, wink, love affair was the essence of his novel Across the River and Into the Trees, which he wrote in Cuba.
Hank Bracker
Alma wrote in depth about laurel, mimosa, and verbena. She wrote about grapes and camellias, about the myrtle orange, about the cosseting of figs, She published under the name "A. Whittaker." Neither she nor George Hawkes believed that it would much benefit Alma to announce herself in print as female. In the scientific world of the day, there was still a strict division between "botany" (the study of plants by men) and "polite botany" was often indistinguishable from "botany"- except that one field was regarded with respect and the other was not- but still, Alma did not wish to be shrugged off as a mere polite botanist. Of course, the Whittaker name was famous in the world of plants and science, so a good number of botanists already knew precisely who "A. Whittaker" was. Not all of them, however. In response to her articles, then, Alma sometimes received letters from botanists around the world, sent to her in care of George Hawkes's print shop. Some of these letters began, "My dear Sir." Other letters were written to "Mr. A. Whittaker." One quite memorable missive even came addressed to "Dr. A. Whittaker." ( Alma kept that letter for a long time, tickled by the unexpected honorific.)
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
The famous seventeenth-century Ming painter Chou Yung relates a story that altered his behavior forever. Late one winter afternoon he set out to visit a town that lay across the river from his own town. He was bringing some important books and papers with him and had commissioned a young boy to help him carry them. As the ferry neared the other side of the river, Chou Yung asked the boatman if they would have time to get to the town before its gates closed, since it was a mile away and night was approaching. The boatman glanced at the boy, and at the bundle of loosely tied papers and books—“Yes,” he replied, “if you do not walk too fast.” As they started out, however, the sun was setting. Afraid of being locked out of the town at night, prey to local bandits, Chou and the boy walked faster and faster, finally breaking into a run. Suddenly the string around the papers broke and the documents scattered on the ground. It took them many minutes to put the packet together again, and by the time they had reached the city gates, it was too late.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
In this watercolor Gavarni portrays an individual whose father was an industrialist and whose older brother was a distinguished professor. From the looks of him, Hippolyte Beauvisage Thomire had a keen eye for fashion in casual clothing, however. He represents the new generation of bourgeois consumers that emerged during the July Monarchy. He is the modern young man off the newly invented fashion plates and out of the cast of Balzac’s Human Comedy. Charles Baudelaire, the great cultural critic of Louis Philippe’s reign in latter years, called the artist Gavarni “the poet of official dandysme." Dandysme, Baudelaire said (in his famous essay “De l’heroisme de la vie moderne” [The heroism of modern life], which appeared in his review of the Salon of 1846), was “a modern thing.” By this he meant that it was a way for bourgeois men to use their clothing as a costume in order to stand out from the respectable, black-coated crowd in an age when aristocratic codes were crumbling and democratic values had not yet fully replaced them. The dandy was not Baudelaire’s “modern hero,” however. “The black suit and the frock coat not only have their political beauty as an expression of general equality,” he wrote, “but also their poetic beauty as an expression of the public mentality.” That is why Baudelaire worshiped ambitious rebels, men who disguised themselves by dressing like everyone else. “For the heroes of the Iliad cannot hold a candle to you, Vautrin, Rastignac, Birotteau [all three were major characters in Balzac’s novels] . . . who did not dare to confess to the public what you went through under the macabre dress coat that all of us wear, or to you Honore de Balzac, the strangest, most romantic, and most poetic among all the characters created by your imagination,” Baudelaire declared.
Robert J. Bezucha (The Art of the July Monarchy: France, 1830 to 1848)
Einstein never accepted that the universe was governed by chance; his feelings were summed up in his famous statement, ‘God does not play dice.’ Most other scientists, however, were willing to accept quantum mechanics because it agreed perfectly with experiment.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
meet their goal of 80 percent renewable energy by 2050.12 While not having children is definitively the best choice for the environment, it is not the choice that many environmentalists make, however. Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, has one child, as does Bill McKibben, who has energized a generation of young climate activists, and Michael Mann, the climate scientist behind the famous “hockey stick” figure showing rapid global warming. As my husband and I were trying to decide whether to have a child or not, I could not help but look at the choices that those around me had made.
Keya Chatterjee (The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby)
Educated at Durmstrang, a school famous even then for its unfortunate tolerance of the Dark Arts, Grindelwald showed himself quite as precociously brilliant as Dumbledore. Rather than channel his abilities into the attainment of awards and prizes, however, Gellert Grindelwald devoted himself to other pursuits. At sixteen years old, even Durmstrang felt it could no longer turn a blind eye to the twisted experiments of Gellert Grindelwald, and he was expelled. Hitherto, all that has been known of Grindelwald’s next movements is that he ‘travelled abroad for some months’.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
As for Françoise herself, she observed that my grandmother was being given very little medication. Since, in her view, medicines only ruined the stomach, she was glad about this, but more obviously humiliated by it. She had some cousins in the south of France – people who were quite well-off – whose daughter, after falling ill in mid-adolescence, died when she was twenty-three; for several years before her decease the father and mother had spent a fortune on drugs and doctors, on pilgrimages from one thermal spa to another. Now for Françoise, for the parents concerned, all this seemed somehow luxurious, as if they had owned race-horses or a country manor-house. The parents, however afflicted they felt, derived a certain pride from the amount of money they had spent. They were left with nothing, least of all their most treasured possession, their child, but they were fond of repeating how they had done as much for her, more than as much, as the wealthiest people in existence. The ultraviolet rays to which the poor girl had been subjected several times a day for months on end were a particular source of pride. At times the father, his vanity flattered by some sense of glorious sacrifice surrounding his grief, would even reach the point of speaking of his daughter as though she had been a famous opera singer for whose sake he had been brought to ruin. Françoise was not unmoved by such theatricality; the staging of my grandmother’s illness seemed to her to be rather thin in comparison, better suited to the boards of a minor provincial theatre.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
Dominating every conversation could be heard the inexhaustible prattle of M. de Charlus, who was talking with His Excellency the Duc de Sidonia, whose acquaintance he had just made. As profession recognizes profession, so, too, does vice. M. de Charlus and M. de Sidonia had each immediately nosed out that of the other, which was, for both, to be, when in company, monologuists, to the extent of being unable to bear any interruption. Having at once adjudged that the malady was without remedy, as a famous sonnet has it,6 they had made a resolve, not to stay silent, but each to speak without concerning himself with what the other would say. This had created that jumble of sound which, in Molière’s comedies, is produced by several people saying different things at one and the same time. The Baron, with his resonant voice, was certain in any case of having the better of it, of drowning out the feeble voice of M. de Sidonia, without discouraging the latter, however, for, whenever M. de Charlus drew breath for a moment, the interval was filled by the susurration of the Spanish grandee, who had imperturbably continued discoursing.
Marcel Proust (Sodom and Gomorrah)
That, in a nutshell, is the meaning of ‘precession of the equinoxes’. And that is exactly what is involved in the notion of the ‘dawning of the Age of Aquarius’. The famous line from the musical Hair refers to the fact that every year, for the last 2000 years or so, the sun has risen in Pisces on the vernal equinox. The age of Pisces, however, is now approaching its end and the vernal sun will soon pass out of the sector of the Fish and begin to rise against the new background of Aquarius.
Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization)
Many degenerative diseases of the brain, especially Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) have a curious aspect. In all of them, the first thing to go is the sense of smell. Why smell? No one knows. Many reasons for this might exist—the disease somehow attacks the neurons transmitting the sense of smell into the brain. Maybe some primitive evolutionary imprint has left its mark on our nose and it just gives up when the brain begins to degenerate in any area. However, we are taught that in Alzheimer’s, the point of attack is the hippocampus, which is the area responsible for forming new memories—the area cut out of Brenda Milner’s famous patient HM. In Parkinson’s, the debilitated area is the basal ganglia, and particularly the substantia nigra, an area that helps control movement.
Andrew Koob (The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia- the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease)
However, the power difference between economic establishments and outsiders in societies where there is a fairly free market for supply and demand and even, in some areas, for professional appointments, is much less than that between absolute rulers or their councillors and their court musicians — even though artists who were famous and à la mode could take some liberties.
Norbert Elias (Mozart: Portrait of a Genius)
The Sublician is the oldest of our bridges, although it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The very name refers to the heavy timbers of which it was once built, but the present bridge is of stone. For many generations it was the only bridge over the Tiber at Rome, because the Etruscans lived on the other bank, and Rome was strong enough to defend only one bridge at a time. The most famous story concerning the bridge is the one about Horatius Cocles, who is said to have held off the army of Lars Porsena single-handed while the Romans dismantled the bridge behind him. There are several versions of this celebrated tale. In one of them, Horatius is simply the point man of a wedge of Romans. In another, he held the bridge with two companions, who fell at his side before the bridge was destroyed. In a third, Horatius held the bridge alone right from the first. Personally, I think only the first version has any truth to it. I have been in many battles and skirmishes and played a heroic part in none of them. But I have seen last-ditch stands and delaying actions in plenty, and I have never seen a place, however narrow, that could be defended against an army by a single man for more than a minute or so. No matter how strong and skillful you are, while one man engages you, somebody else can always thrust a spear over the rim of your shield. And then there are the arrows and sling-stones that always fly about in such profusion when men thirst for one another’s blood. Supposedly, when the bridge was destroyed, Horatius somehow found leisure to address a prayer to Tiberinus, god of the river, and leaped in fully armed and swam across to great applause, to be rewarded richly by the citizenry. Another version has him drowning, which is what usually happens when a man in armor finds himself in deep water.
John Maddox Roberts (The Tribune's Curse (SPQR, #7))
acquaintance of Miss Rand’s, a conventional middle-aged woman, told her once that she worshiped a certain famous actress and would give her life to meet her. Miss Rand was dubious about the authenticity of the woman’s emotion, and this suggested a dramatic idea: a story in which a famous actress, so beautiful that she comes to represent to men the embodiment of their deepest ideals, actually enters the lives of her admirers. She comes in a context suggesting that she is in grave danger. Until this point, her worshipers have professed their reverence for her—in words, which cost them nothing. Now, however, she is no longer a distant dream, but a reality demanding action on their part, or betrayal.
Ayn Rand (Ideal)
Initially working out of our home in Northern California, with a garage-based lab, I wrote a one page letter introducing myself and what we had and posted it to the CEOs of twenty-two Fortune 500 companies. Within a couple of weeks, we had received seventeen responses, with invitations to meetings and referrals to heads of engineering departments. I met with those CEOs or their deputies and received an enthusiastic response from almost every individual. There was also strong interest from engineers given the task of interfacing with us. However, support from their senior engineering and product development managers was less forthcoming. We learned that many of the big companies we had approached were no longer manufacturers themselves but assemblers of components or were value-added reseller companies, who put their famous names on systems that other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had built. That didn't daunt us, though when helpful VPs of engineering at top-of-the-food-chain companies referred us to their suppliers, we found that many had little or no R & D capacity, were unwilling to take a risk on outside ideas, or had no room in their already stripped-down budgets for innovation. Our designs found nowhere to land. It became clear that we needed to build actual products and create an apples-to-apples comparison before we could interest potential manufacturing customers. Where to start? We created a matrix of the product areas that we believed PAX could impact and identified more than five hundred distinct market sectors-with potentially hundreds of thousands of products that we could improve. We had to focus. After analysis that included the size of the addressable market, ease of access, the cost and time it would take to develop working prototypes, the certifications and metrics of the various industries, the need for energy efficiency in the sector, and so on, we prioritized the list to fans, mixers, pumps, and propellers. We began hand-making prototypes as comparisons to existing, leading products. By this time, we were raising working capital from angel investors. It's important to note that this was during the first half of the last decade. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, and ensuing military actions had the world's attention. Clean tech and green tech were just emerging as terms, and energy efficiency was still more of a slogan than a driver for industry. The dot-com boom had busted. We'd researched venture capital firms in the late 1990s and found only seven in the United States investing in mechanical engineering inventions. These tended to be expansion-stage investors that didn't match our phase of development. Still, we were close to the famous Silicon Valley and had a few comical conversations with venture capitalists who said they'd be interested in investing-if we could turn our technology into a website. Instead, every six months or so, we drew up a budget for the following six months. Via a growing network of forward-thinking private investors who could see the looming need for dramatic changes in energy efficiency and the performance results of our prototypes compared to currently marketed products, we funded the next phase of research and business development.
Jay Harman (The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation)
Formerly, it is pointed out, heroism was linked to the honor of accomplishment. Honor was accorded to the person with some genuine achievement, whether in character, virtue, wisdom, the arts, sport, or warfare. Today, however, the media offer a shortcut to fame—instantly fabricated famousness with no need for the sweat, cost, and dedication of true greatness. The result is not the hero but the celebrity, the person famously described as “well-known for being well-known.” A big name rather than a big person, the celebrity is someone for whom character is nothing, coverage is all.
Os Guinness (The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life)
Writing is a solitary act—but it's only the first act. What comes next is what really matters. However, personally, I have never been all that comfortable with the second act. I'm a solitary person by nature and not much of a joiner. Yet still I've come to see the nonfiction writer's solitary act as important to the greater cause—really the only cause—of decreasing cruelty and increasing sympathy. In that service, nonfiction writers can perform two fundamental tasks that are unavailable to the writers of fiction. Like Florence Reece, we can bear witness and we can call for change—for an end to injustices. It is precisely on this subject of bearing witness that I find John D'Agata's recent writing about the genre of nonfiction so malicious and inept. D'Agata argues that nonfiction must serve the greater good of art, and therefore reality can be altered in the name of art. But to elevate reality to the level of art is one of the fundamental tasks of the nonfiction writer, and to say it cannot be done honestly, as D'Agata claims, displays an astonishing lack of imagination as well as an equally unflattering amount of arrogance and pedantry. But let's put aside the either-or nature of this line of thinking. The real problem here is that such an attitude robs nonfiction of it greatest strength and virtue—its ability to bear witness and the veracity that comes from that act. To admit that one only has a passing interest in representing reality is to forfeit one's moral authority to call that reality into question. That is to say, I have no right to call mountaintop removal an injustice—one in need of a new reality—if I cannot be trusted to depict the travesty of strip mining as it now exists. To play D'Agata's game is to lose the reader's trust, and without that, it seems to me that the nonfiction writer has very little left. Writers of that persuasion can align themselves with Picasso's famous sentiment that art is the lie that tells the truth, but I have no truck with such pretentiousness. The work of the nonfiction writers I most admire is telling a truth that exposes a lie.
Sean Prentiss (The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: An Anthology of Explorations in Creative Nonfiction)
That precious Christmas memory and now-famous morsel of family lore, however, led me to a number of profound conclusions: There was no Santa. The reason behind my aunt’s itchy stocking was not that it was made of polyester. Joe Reynolds was bound to have a good year after a string of bad ones. Nixon indeed needed all the help he could get. And no family holiday—no holiday, period—is ever as perfect as we dream it will be. I should know. My family always had the best of intentions with our holiday celebrations
Wade Rouse (It's All Relative)
He was disorganized, forgetful, perpetually dissolute, and famous for his tremendous benders. One year he missed fifty straight weekly meetings at the Office of Works. His supervision of the office was so poor that one man was discovered to have been on holiday for three years. When sober, however, he was much liked and widely praised for his charm, good nature, and architectural vision. A bust of him in the National Portrait Gallery in London shows him clean shaven (and indeed clean, a slightly unusual condition for him), with a very full head of hair and a face that seems curiously mournful or perhaps just slightly hungover. Despite
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
May 21st was my 53rd day on the trail, as well as another pivotal and painful one. It was the day that I entered the Grayson Highlands; an area famous on the trail, as well as the United States for their wild ponies. Nobody owns them and no one takes care of them. They all live up there grazing and reproducing, with no natural predators, while droves of people visit the highlands every year to photograph and pet them. Due to all the visitors, the ponies can be overly friendly and nippy at times. They’re quite accustomed to people and could almost be described as tame. However, the second you forgot they were wild; you could end up with a pony bite. Something
Kyle Rohrig (Lost on the Appalachian Trail)
Boyd concluded, “The prospect of being burned alive naturally terrified us, and, as a last resource, I contrived to get a message conveyed to the Federal officer in command. He exerted himself with effect, and had the incendiaries arrested before they could execute their horrible purpose. In the meantime it had been reported at head-quarters that I had shot a Yankee soldier, and great was the indignation at first felt and expressed against me. Soon, however, the commanding officer, with several of his staff, called at our house to investigate the affair. He examined the witnesses, and inquired into all the circumstances with strict impartiality, and finally said I had ‘done perfectly right.’" Spying
Charles River Editors (Belle Boyd: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Spy)
45. No Plan Survives First Contact With The Enemy No matter how well you have prepared for something in advance - whether it’s an expedition, an exam, a marriage or a race - when you find yourself in the thick of the action, however good your plan, things happen. Adventure is unpredictable, and you had better learn to be flexible and to swing with the punches, or you will get beaten - it’s as simple as that. Mike Tyson famously once said: ‘Everyone has a plan…until they get punched in the face!’ If the adventure is an exciting one, you can bet your bottom dollar you will get hit by the occasional punch in the face. So prepare for the unexpected, and remember that forewarned is forearmed. Knowing that things will and do go wrong in the heat of battle is actually half the battle. It means that when it happens you are ready for it - you can react fast, stay nimble and you can survive the barrage. We used to say in the military that when things took a turn for the worse you have to ‘improvise, adapt and overcome.’ IAO. It is a good one to remember. It gives us a road map to deal with the unexpected. Being caught out, being caught off guard often makes people freeze - it is a human reaction to shock. But freezing can cost you the edge. So learn to anticipate the unexpected, and when it happens, smile to yourself and treat it as a solid marker that you are doing something right on your road to success. If nothing ever goes wrong then you haven’t been ambitious enough! I also like to say that the real adventure begins in earnest when things go a little bit wrong. It is only then that you get to pit yourself against the worst the wild has to throw at you. When all is going to plan, with all the kit working perfectly and the weather benign, then it isn’t really a test of character. It is easy to be the hero when all is going your way. But when it all goes wrong and life feels like a battle, it is then that we can see what sort of people we have around us. It is only through the hardships that our character becomes forged. Without struggle there can be no growth - physically or emotionally. So embrace the unexpected, feed off it, train yourself to be a master of the curve ball, and you will have built yourself another solid ‘character’ rung on the ladder to success.
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
There is no man,” he began, “however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man—so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise—unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world
Marcel Proust (In Search Of Lost Time (All 7 Volumes) (ShandonPress))
Niacin raises HDL—the famous “good” cholesterol—and lowers triglycerides as well. However, niacin doesn’t reduce all-cause mortality. In fact, it increases it. This is certainly an unwelcome surprise.
Mike Nichols (Quantitative Medicine: A Complete Guide to Getting Well, Staying Well, Avoiding Disease, Slowing Aging)
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany, as the eldest son of one woman and one woman between a Jewish father and a German mother, who was the president of an electric company. Her sister, Maya, was two years old. His father, Hermann Einstein, and his mother, Fabrice, were Roman Catholics who went to church every week and had bronze crosses in their homes. At the age of one, he left Ulm, who lived for generations as his father and uncle's electric company, and moved to Munich. [1] During elementary school Einstein was hurt by European anti-Semitism. The elementary school he attended was a Roman Catholic school, where the teacher showed a giant spell in class and said, "The Jews were the people who killed Jesus." [2] Anti-Semitism even tormented him after the Jewish Einstein became a respected scientist. Since childhood, he became interested in mathematics and science early on by the influence of the uncle and his uncle. Einstein's science and mathematics scores were very good, but at school he was generally regarded as a rebellious student as a resistance to the totalitarian education of the military. In 1894, his entire family went to Milan, Italy, due to his father 's poor business. He then went on to Germany's Gimnasium alone, but he could not adapt well to military school life, ignoring student personality. Einstein, 17, has left school, saying, "I will not step on the German soil again." [2] After studying as a self-taught student at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in Zurich, he failed. However, after studying his excellent mathematical achievements, he studied at a high school in a free atmosphere in Arau for a year, and eventually he entered the federal engineering college. Einstein's grades during his college years were above the upper-middle class. Because of the friction with the famous mathematician Hermann Minkowski, who was then a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology, he lost interest in mathematics and became more interested in physics. As his enthusiasm for studying for the department decreased, he said that he had hardly attended other than his favorite subjects. In the department physics examination, he was 1st, but in the graduation test, he received 4.91 points out of a total of 6 points. But Mileva Maricci, a college motivator and later wife, does not pass the graduation test and eventually fails to graduate. In particular, he had a lack of mathematics grades, but he failed in the end. This is a basis for solving the controversy over whether the later Maleva is an aid to the early Einstein treatise.
Howard Rheingold: The Well had a policy that people should be who they are. And so you had to use a credit card, or otherwise go to the office and show some ID, to prove who you were. That was a good design decision. Stewart Brand: I had seen a situation online where people behaved very, very badly, and I knew that even famous intellectuals would behave badly to each other if they were able to post anonymously. Based on that, I made it impossible to be anonymous on The Well. However, you could put on a handle, which would be sort of pseudoanonymous.
Adam Fisher (Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom))
Anti-Darwin. — As for the famous "struggle for existence," so far it seems to me to be asserted rather than proved. It occurs, but as an exception; the total appearance of life is not the extremity, not starvation, but rather riches, profusion, even absurd squandering — and where there is struggle, it is a struggle for power. One should not mistake Malthus for nature. Assuming, however, that there is such a struggle for existence — and, indeed, it occurs — its result is unfortunately the opposite of what Darwin's school desires, and of what one might perhaps desire with them — namely, in favor of the strong, the privileged, the fortunate exceptions. The species do not grow in perfection: the weak prevail over the strong again and again, for they are the great majority — and they are also more intelligent. Darwin forgot the spirit (that is English!); the weak have more spirit. One must need spirit to acquire spirit; one loses it when one no longer needs it. Whoever has strength dispenses with the spirit ("Let it go!" they think in Germany today; "the Reich must still remain to us"). It will be noted that by "spirit" I mean care, patience, cunning, simulation, great self-control, and everything that is mimicry (the latter includes a great deal of so-called virtue).
Several of the filmʼs key sound effects were accomplished musically, the most famous being the monsterʼs roars, which went beyond the sound departmentʼs capabilities.  Various animal noises were recorded and modified but nothing worked until Ifukube came to the rescue by using a contrabass (basically a large bass fiddle); however the only one in existence in all Japan was at the prestigious Tokyo Music Conservatoryʼs Music Department which was not about to loan-out their precious instrument for the purpose of making a monster movie.  So one night Ifukube “borrowedˮ it, removed its lowest string, then had pupil Sei Ikuno stroke the remaining strings with a coarse leather glove coated with resin.  The sound was then tape-recorded before being played backwards at a slower speed supplemented with echo-chamber mixing, and the different roars were achieved by changing the playback speeds, giving the monster a melodic quality (the sound of the monster using its radioactive ray was a sped-up cymbal roll).
Peter Brothers (Atomic Dreams and the Nuclear Nightmare: The Making of Godzilla (1954))
When admitting you are wrong, you gain back the control others took away from you when making you lose it. That's why you must say sorry. It represents a change of attitude but not really a change of personality; The changes on the personality come later on, when, by controlling yourself better, you don't express anger. Because saying sorry means nothing but anger means a lot. You should not want to be an angry person. When you get angry, those who make you angry, win; They win control over your emotional state, your thoughts, your words and your behaviors. They may then accuse you of always being angry and never apologizing, but that's not where you should focus your attention. The main point here, is that you’re living on the basis of instinctive reaction and not awareness or consciousness. So, when you say sorry, you are acknowledging that there is no excuse for losing control over yourself. You should not be sorry for being angry. That's an emotion; and you can't feel sorry for feeling. When you’re angry, you are feeling. When you insult, however, you are losing, yourself, your self-control, your self-respect, and even your capacity to use what you know. More knowledge, makes you more aware, more frustrated, having more and higher expectations on others, and more angry too, more often as well. But that's your problem! No other people's problem! They are just being themselves. Most people really think they are perfect as they are, and that the problems they experience are all outside themselves. And by realizing that, you say sorry as if saying sorry for not being who you really are. And when doing it, you get back the control another person took away from you. It is actually not good when someone needs to say sorry too often to someone else, especially if it’s always the same individual. But that someone else often likes it, as it makes them feel superior. That’s because their ego needs that. They have low self-esteem. Most people do! And that’s why most people's behavior is wired to their ego. Their likes and dislikes are connected to a sense of self-importance and a desperate need to feel important, which they project on their idols, the famous and most popular among them. They admire what they seek the most. When they think they are not important, they offend, to get aggression, which is a desperate need for attention; and to feel like victims of life, which is a deeper state of need, in this case, related to sympathy; and they then blame the other for what he does, for his reactions; and when that other says sorry, they think they have power over that insane cycle in which they now live, and in which they incorporate anyone else, and which they now perfectly master. Their pride is built on arrogance, an arrogance emerged out of ignorance, ignorance composed from delusional cycles within a big illusion; but an illusion that makes sense to them, as if they were succeeding at merging truth with lie, darkness with light. Because the arrogant, the abusive and the violent are desperate. God made them blind after witnessing their crimes against moral and ethics - His own laws. And they want to see again, and feel the same pleasure they once felt when witnessing the true colors of the world during childhood. The arrogant want to reaffirm their sanity by acting insanely because they know no other way. And when you say sorry, you are saying to them that you don't belong there, to their world, and that you are sorry for playing their games. That drama belongs to them only, and not you. And yet, people interpret the same paradox as they choose. That is their experience of truth and how they put sense on a life without any. And when so much nonsense becomes popular, we call it common sense. When common sense becomes a reality, we call it science. And when science is able to theorize common sense, we call it wisdom. Then, we wonder why the wisdom of those we name wise, does not help.
Robin Sacredfire
The usual reason given for women’s shorter hours is the famous double burden. However, upon closer inspection, this well-worn argument falls apart.[408]
Martin van Creveld (The Privileged Sex)
A woman's demand for emancipation and her qualification for it are in direct proportion to the amount of maleness in her. The idea of emancipation, however, is many-sided, and its indefiniteness is increased by its association with many practical customs which have nothing to do with the theory of emancipation. By the term emancipation of a woman, I imply neither her mastery at home nor her subjection of her husband. I have not in mind the courage which enables her to go freely by night or by day unaccompanied in public places, or the disregard of social rules which prohibit bachelor women from receiving visits from men, or discussing or listening to discussions of sexual matters. I exclude from my view the desire for economic independence, the becoming fit for positions in technical schools, universities and conservatories or teachers' institutes. And there may be many other similar movements associated with the word emancipation which I do not intend to deal with. Emancipation, as I mean to discuss it, is not the wish for an outward equality with man, but what is of real importance in the woman question, the deep-seated craving to acquire man's character, to attain his mental and moral freedom, to reach his real interests and his creative power. I maintain that the real female element has neither the desire nor the capacity for emancipation in this sense. All those who are striving for this real emancipation, all women who are truly famous and are of conspicuous mental ability, to the first glance of an expert reveal some of the anatomical characters of the male, some external bodily resemblance to a man.
Otto Weininger (Sex and Character: An Investigation of Fundamental Principles)
The family moved on to Topanga Canyon and settled in a wreck of a house called the Spiral Staircase, famous for being a community center of sorts for the area’s spiritual gurus and minor cults. The Spiral Staircase was a hang-out for L.A.’s rich and famous icons of counter-culture. Jim Morrison, members of the Mamas and the Papas, and Jay Sebring were all said to get high at the Spiral Staircase, and Manson was drawn by the place’s starry reputation. However, the Manson Family stayed at Spiral Staircase for just two months. Manson didn’t like the other gurus who represented competition for his girls’ affection and pulled away from the satanic and sex fetish elements of what went on at Spiral Staircase. Manson piled his family back into the school bus and, with the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour as their soundtrack, drove them through the Mojave Desert. In the winter of 1967, Manson attracted a new follower. Fourteen-year-old Diane Lake had grown up on a commune called Hog Farm and had her parents’ permission when she joined the Manson Family. Diane was Manson’s favorite for the first year she was with him, and while he continued to have sex with all of his girls, he chose Diane most often. It’s unclear how long Manson had been physically abusing Mary, the mother of his child and ostensibly the very first Manson girl, but once Diane was on the scene it seems Manson took out his frustration on Mary more often. Mary could often be seen sporting a black eye, and it was Manson’s brutalizing of Mary that
Hourly History (Charles Manson: A Life From Beginning to End)
The family moved on to Topanga Canyon and settled in a wreck of a house called the Spiral Staircase, famous for being a community center of sorts for the area’s spiritual gurus and minor cults. The Spiral Staircase was a hang-out for L.A.’s rich and famous icons of counter-culture. Jim Morrison, members of the Mamas and the Papas, and Jay Sebring were all said to get high at the Spiral Staircase, and Manson was drawn by the place’s starry reputation. However, the Manson Family stayed at Spiral Staircase for just two months. Manson didn’t like the other gurus who represented competition for his girls’ affection and pulled away from the satanic and sex fetish elements of what went on at Spiral Staircase. Manson piled his family back into the school bus and, with the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour as their soundtrack, drove them through the Mojave Desert. In the winter of 1967, Manson attracted a new follower. Fourteen-year-old Diane Lake had grown up on a commune called Hog Farm and had her parents’ permission when she joined the Manson Family. Diane was Manson’s favorite for the first year she was with him, and while he continued to have sex with all of his girls, he chose Diane most often. It’s unclear how long Manson had been physically abusing Mary, the mother of his child and ostensibly the very first Manson girl, but once Diane was on the scene it seems Manson took out his frustration on Mary more often. Mary could often be seen sporting a black eye, and it was Manson’s brutalizing of Mary that left the other girls afraid of his temper.
Hourly History (Charles Manson: A Life From Beginning to End)
It behooves us ... to consider the fateful formula E = mc2, which almost everyone in the world attributes to Albert Einstein's theory [of relativity]. Despite the fact, however, that Einstein did derive this formula from his special theory of relativity, it stems actually from [the] classical part [of the theory]: i.e., from the Maxwell equations for electromagnetic fields, which goes back to 1865. The famous formula has consequently no bearing whatsoever on relativistic physics, a fact Einstein himself admitted in 1950. Obviously, however, in the interim that fateful formula came to be viewed worldwide as the consummate vindication of Einstein's theory: what indeed could be more convincing than the explosion of an atom bomb?
Wolfgang Smith (Physique et métaphysique)
Lyndon Johnson would famously conspire to steal a Senate election from Coke Stevenson in 1948, which put him on the path to the presidency. But given how it went, and the fact that Coke died an old man, surrounded by people who loved and admired him, who is to say that LBJ really won? Perhaps the most interesting unintended consequences, however, were the obvious ones. The ones that no one seriously thought could happen. First, the sex tape actually disappeared. Try to find it—I dare you. You can’t. The Streisand Effect now has at least one exception. Trying doesn’t always backfire.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
The rebels, however, wanted them out of two places in particular—Donetsk airport and the town of Debaltseve, through which local roads and railways run. The airport, named for the famous composer Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953), who was born nearby, was gleaming and new, having been among those rebuilt for the 2012 Euro soccer championships.
Tim Judah (In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine)
Correlation is enough,” 2 then-Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson famously declared in 2008. We can, he implied, solve innovation problems by the sheer brute force of the data deluge. Ever since Michael Lewis chronicled the Oakland A’s unlikely success in Moneyball (who knew on-base percentage was a better indicator of offensive success than batting averages?), organizations have been trying to find the Moneyball equivalent of customer data that will lead to innovation success. Yet few have. Innovation processes in many companies are structured and disciplined, and the talent applying them is highly skilled. There are careful stage-gates, rapid iterations, and checks and balances built into most organizations’ innovation processes. Risks are carefully calculated and mitigated. Principles like six-sigma have pervaded innovation process design so we now have precise measurements and strict requirements for new products to meet at each stage of their development. From the outside, it looks like companies have mastered an awfully precise, scientific process. But for most of them, innovation is still painfully hit or miss. And worst of all, all this activity gives the illusion of progress, without actually causing it. Companies are spending exponentially more to achieve only modest incremental innovations while completely missing the mark on the breakthrough innovations critical to long-term, sustainable growth. As Yogi Berra famously observed: “We’re lost, but we’re making good time!” What’s gone so wrong? Here is the fundamental problem: the masses and masses of data that companies accumulate are not organized in a way that enables them to reliably predict which ideas will succeed. Instead the data is along the lines of “this customer looks like that one,” “this product has similar performance attributes as that one,” and “these people behaved the same way in the past,” or “68 percent of customers say they prefer version A over version B.” None of that data, however, actually tells you why customers make the choices that they do.
Clayton M. Christensen (Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice)
There is no man,” he began, “however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man — so far as it is possible for any of us to be wise — unless he has passed through all the fatuous or unwholesome incarnations by which that ultimate stage must be preceded. I know that there are young fellows, the sons and grandsons of famous men, whose masters have instilled into them nobility of mind and moral refinement in their schooldays. They have, perhaps, when they look back upon their past lives, nothing to retract; they can, if they choose, publish a signed account of everything they have ever said or done; but they are poor creatures, feeble descendants of doctrinaires, and their wisdom is negative and sterile. We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you are not the result of training at home, by a father, or by masters at school, they have sprung from beginnings of a very different order, by reaction from the influence of everything evil or commonplace that prevailed round about them. They represent a struggle and a victory. I can see that the picture of what we once were, in early youth, may not be recognisable and cannot, certainly, be pleasing to contemplate in later life. But we must not deny the truth of it, for it is evidence that we have really lived, that it is in accordance with the laws of life and of the mind that we have, from the common elements of life, of the life of studios, of artistic groups — assuming that one is a painter — extracted something that goes beyond them.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7] (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time - #13])
The king of the opium trade, however, was Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, whose name is ubiquitous in the city’s public spaces. Few remember that the man whose name graces the famous art school Sir J. J. School of Art and the popular Sir J. J. Hospital earned his exalted place through drug trafficking.
Gyan Prakash (MUMBAI FABLES)
Curiously, we are the rare animal that actually likes the bitter taste of radicchio or black tea. I fear, however, that Americans raised on sugary things are losing the taste for things savory, sour, and bitter. It’s pitiful that commercial salad dressings contain sugar, and even sweet corn hybrids are much sweeter than when I was little. We’re not alone. In Britain, plant scientists are breeding sweeter hybrids of the brussels sprout, famous for its dour presence at Christmas lunch, but the more palatable sprouts may lack the healthy, bitter compounds.
Nina Planck (Real Food: What to Eat and Why)
When I talked about World War II, I only really knew about the Holocaust, Japanese internment, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and was certain that they were all equally bad. I could interrogate someone else’s privilege like a Spanish Inquisitor, but wash my hands of my own like Pontius Pilate. I knew exactly which side of the classroom I belonged in when the teacher of my social justice class (yes, this is a thing) divided us into “privileged” vs. “underprivileged” categories in twelfth grade. And perhaps most revealingly, I’d never had to read George Orwell’s 1984. He’d been shelved to make room for a local writer’s story of a poor Indian boy by the time I showed up. I realize now how poisonously deliberate this last omission was. Because in retrospect, what I was really being taught, more than this junk diet of useless knowledge, was a classic instance of what Orwell himself famously described as doublethink. That is, the act of believing two mutually exclusive things at once. In my case, I was being taught to believe that, first, I was special, unique, important, and great beyond words; second, that I was completely equal to everyone, which is to say average and mediocre. I was taught that diversity is unity. That to regress is to progress. That bullying was Hitler. That George W. Bush was doubleHitler. That British colonizers of Canada were doubleplusHitler. That we have always been at war with Hitler, however defined.
Lauren Southern (Barbarians: How The Baby Boomers, Immigration, and Islam Screwed my Generation)
Einstein’s equation, E = mc2, with energy on one side and mass on the other, famously demonstrated that energy and matter are interchangeable. So the brain’s EM energy field—the left-hand side of Einstein’s equation—is just as real as the matter that makes up its neurons; and, because it is generated by neuron firing, it encodes exactly the same information as the neural firing patterns of the brain. However, whereas neuronal information remains trapped in those blipping neurons, the electrical activity generated by all the blipping unifies all the information within the brain’s EM field.
Johnjoe McFadden (Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology)
When he was braced alcoholically for his classes, there was never a passable female student that he had not considered hungrily and, properly loaded, approached. Even complaisant girls, however, either froze or fled at their professor's greedy but classical advances. An unexpected goose or pinch on the bottom as they were mounting the stairs ahead of him, a sudden nip at the earlobe as they bent over the book he offered, a wild clutch at thigh, or a Marxian (Harpo) dive at bottom, a trousered male leg thrust between theirs as they passed his seat to make them fall in his lap, where he tickled their ribs - all these abrupt overtures sent them flying in terror. Brought to his senses by their screams, Kellsey retreated hastily. Some of the more experienced girls, after adjusting their skirts, blouses, coiffures, and maidenly nerves, realized that this was only a hungry man's form of courtship. They reminded themselves that old, famous, and rich men played very funny games, and they prepared themselves for the next move. But Kellsey, repulsed, became at once the haughty, sardonic, woman-hating pedant, leaving the poor dears a confused impression that they were the ones who had behaved badly, and sometimes, baffled by his subsequent hostility and bad grades, they even apologized.
Dawn Powell (The Golden Spur)
The market is fond of making mountains out of molehills and exaggerating ordinary vicissitudes into major setbacks.* Even a mere lack of interest or enthusiasm may impel a price decline to absurdly low levels. Thus we have what appear to be two major sources of undervaluation: (1) currently disappointing results and (2) protracted neglect or unpopularity. However, neither of these causes, if considered by itself alone, can be relied on as a guide to successful common-stock investment. How can we be sure that the currently disappointing results are indeed going to be only temporary? True, we can supply excellent examples of that happening. The steel stocks used to be famous for their cyclical quality, and the shrewd buyer could acquire them at low prices when earnings were low and sell them out in boom years at a fine profit.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
I consider myself a student of colours and shades and hues and tints. Crimson lake, burnt umber, ultramarine … I was too clumsy as a child to paint with my moistened brush the scenery that I would have liked to bring into being. I preferred to leave untouched in their white metallic surroundings my rows of powdery rectangles of water-colours, to read aloud one after another of the tiny printed names of the coloured rectangles, and to let each colour seem to soak into each word of its name or even into each syllable of each word of each name so that I could afterwards call to mind an exact shade or hue from an image of no more than black letters on a white ground. Deep cadmium, geranium lake, imperial purple, parchment … after the last of our children had found employment and had moved out of our home, my wife and I were able to buy for ourselves things that had previously been beyond our means. I bought my first such luxury, as I called it, in a shop selling artists’ supplies. I bought there a complete set of coloured pencils made by a famous maker of pencils in England: a hundred and twenty pencils, each stamped with gold lettering along its side and having at its end a perfectly tapered wick. The collection of pencils is behind me as I write these words. It rests near the jars of glass marbles and the kaleidoscope mentioned earlier. None of the pencils has ever been used in the way that most pencils are used, but I have sometimes used the many-striped collection in order to confirm my suspicion as a child that each of what I called my long-lost moods might be recollected and, perhaps, preserved if only I could look again at the precise shade or hue that had become connected with the mood – that had absorbed, as it were, or had been permeated with, one or more of the indefinable qualities that constitute what is called a mood or a state of feeling. During the weeks since I first wrote in the earlier pages of this report about the windows in the church of white stone, I have spent every day an increasing amount of time in moving my pencils to and fro among the hollow spaces allotted to them in their container. I seem to recall that I tried sometimes, many years ago, to move my glass marbles from place to place on the carpet near my desk with the vague hope that some or another chance arrangement of them would restore to me some previously irretrievable mood. The marbles, however, were too variously coloured, and each differed too markedly from the other. Their colours seemed to vie, to compete. Or, a single marble might suggest more than I was in search of: a whole afternoon in my childhood or a row of trees in a backyard when I had wanted back only a certain few moments when my face was brushed by a certain few leaves. Among the pencils are many differing only subtly from their neighbours. Six at least I might have called simply red if I had not learned long ago their true names. With these six, and with still others from each side of them, I often arrange one after another of many possible sequences, hoping to see in the conjectured space between some or another unlikely pair a certain tint that I have wanted for long to see.
Gerald Murnane (Border Districts)
GANDHI WOULD LEARN, however, that empathy had its limits, an insight previously reached by the psychiatrist/philosopher Karl Jaspers, famous for making empathy central to his thinking. Jaspers boldly resisted Nazism and was one of the few prominent anti-Nazi philosophers who stayed in Germany after Hitler took power. In both his psychiatric and political experience, Jaspers discovered the limits of empathy. In psychiatry, he found that the inability to empathize was a sign of psychosis, the loss of touch with reality that characterizes bizarre delusions or hallucinations. The psychotic’s inability to empathize with others is mirrored by our inability to empathize with his delusions. If you firmly believe that your entrails are being invaded by Martians, no matter how much I try to understand your life and feelings and thoughts, I cannot make sense of—or empathize with—your delusion. Just as Jaspers argued that there are limits to empathy in psychiatry, he found that he could not empathize with the Nazi evil; it was the political equivalent of a delusion—a pure falsehood with which he could not conceivably empathize. His discovery would be repeated by Gandhi’s experience during the last decade of his life, and, initially, with the same challenge: Adolf Hitler.
S. Nassir Ghaemi (A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness)
It is Professor Fuson's view that Chinese charts of Taiwan and Japan were the source of the 1424 portrayal of Antilia and Satanaze. He makes a very persuasive case that such charts are likely to have originated from the seven spectacular voyages of discovery made by the famous Ming admiral Cheng Ho between 1405 and 1433. [...] Much suggests, however, that Robert Fuson is correct to deduce that the charts of Taiwan and Japan that somehow found their way into the hands of Zuane Pizzagano in Venice in 1424 must have originated from the voyages of Cheng Ho. Yet there is a problem. [...] Antilia and Satanaze on the 1424 chart don't show Taiwan and Japan as they looked in the time of Cheng Ho, but rather as they looked approximately 12,500 years ago during the meltdown of the Ice Age. Is it possible that Cheng Ho, too, like Columbus, was guided in his voyages by ancient maps and charts, come down from another time and populated by the ghosts of a drowned world?
Graham Hancock (Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization)
Still, life goes on, doesn't it? It really always does. It keeps bloody going on. I mean it in a good way, of course. However much you fuck things up, life just keeps going on, washing you downriver - even if you're just floating there, like a listless dead thing, making no effort, mouthing, 'Oh God, oh God', face down underneath the water. The current bears you on until, soon, the awful events are just tiny specks, left far behind you...
Caitlin Moran (How to be Famous (How to Build a Girl, #2))
Or we reference Winston Churchill, who was famously reported to have written “This is the kind of tedious/arrant nonsense up with which I will not put,” in response to an overweening staffer having removed a preposition from some of his writing. (However, as with many quotes that are purported to have originated with the former prime minister of Great Britain, the author was someone other than Churchill).*
Ammon Shea (Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation)
Part of the American dream, for example, is to deny that there are class lines drawn through the middle of American society. Each year, however, the widening gap between the 1 percent and the 99 percent turns that persistent American dream into more of a myth. Particularly instructive in this regard is the famous boast by Warren Buffett (quoted by the Marxist theorist Joerg Rieger) that “there is such a thing as class warfare and that his class is winning it.”1
Philip Clayton (Organic Marxism: An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe (Toward Ecological Civilization))
Among natural landscapes , however, we show the greatest preference for open spaces dotted with trees , with a little water nearby— picture the views from the high-rises that famously border Central Park in Manhattan; as the biologist E. O. Wilson puts it, “to see most clearly the manifestations of human instinct, it is useful to start with the rich.
J.B. MacKinnon (The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be)
That summer, Egyptian army officers eagerly anticipated their liberation by Rommel’s Afrika Korps. They were thrilled by the arrival in Cairo of two German spies, Hans Eppler and another man known only as “Sandy.” Captain Sadat was crestfallen, however, to witness the frivolous behaviour of the two agents, whom he found living on the Nile houseboat of the famous belly dancer Hikmet Fahmy.
Max Hastings (Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945)
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudi regime saw an opportunity to rid itself, however temporarily, of the holy warriors it had nurtured for nearly a century. With economic and military support from the United States and tactical training provided by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the Saudis began funneling a steady stream of radical Islamic militants (known as the Mujahadin, or “those who make jihad”) from Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East into Afghanistan, where they could be put to use battling the godless communists. The intention, as President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, famously put it, was to “give the USSR its own Vietnam” by keeping the Soviet army bogged down in an unwinnable war in hostile territory. The United States considered the Mujahadin to be an important ally in the Great Game being played out against the Soviet Union and, in fact, referred to these militants as “freedom fighters.” President Ronald Reagan even compared them to America’s founding fathers.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
Sam Anderson. “The Greatest Novel.” New York Magazine (outline). Jan. 9, 2011. New York is, famously, the everything bagel of megalopolises—one of the world’s most diverse cities, defined by its churning mix of religions, ethnicities, social classes, attitudes, lifestyles, etc., ad infinitum. This makes it a perfect match for the novel, a genre that tends to share the same insatiable urge. In choosing the best New York novel, then, my first instinct was to pick something from the city’s proud tradition of megabooks—one of those encyclopedic ambition bombs that attempt to capture, New Yorkily, the full New Yorkiness of New York. Something like, to name just a quick armful or two, Manhattan Transfer, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Underworld, Invisible Man, Winter’s Tale, or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay—or possibly even one of the tradition’s more modest recent offspring, like Lush Life and Let the Great World Spin. In the end, however, I decided that the single greatest New York novel is the exact opposite of all of those: a relatively small book containing absolutely zero diversity. There are no black or Hispanic or Asian characters, no poor people, no rabble-rousers, no noodle throwers or lapsed Baha’i priests or transgender dominatrixes walking hobos on leashes through flocks of unfazed schoolchildren. Instead there are proper ladies behaving properly at the opera, and more proper ladies behaving properly at private balls, and a phlegmatic old Dutch patriarch dismayed by the decline of capital-S Society. The book’s plot hinges on a subtly tragic love triangle among effortlessly affluent lovers. It is 100 percent devoted to the narrow world of white upper-class Protestant heterosexuals. So how can Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence possibly be the greatest New York novel of all time?
Maybe it’s because I’ve been sick and grumpy, but I’ve noticed the huge spate of atheist meetings, both past and upcoming, and it’s seemed to me that there are just too many. I know this is a sign of a successful and burgeoning movement of disbelief throughout the world, and I recognize that they give us greater visibility, and I understand that they serve as a useful venue for people to make connections as well as listen to their atheist “heroes.” But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks. And how much is there to say about a movement whose members are united, after all, by only one thing: disbelief in divine beings and a respect for reason and evidence. What more is there to say? [...] Still, a few things bothered me, most notably the air of self-congratulation (which I excused on the grounds of enthusiastic people finding like-minded folks for the first time), the “fanboyness” directed at some of the famous atheists (they hardly let poor Richard alone, and I’m not sure he liked that!), and the lameness of quite a few of the talks. Again, how much new can you say about atheism? And though I had a great time, this conference sated my appetite for a long while, and I’ve refused several invitations since. (I will, however, be at the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s meeting this October). [Are there too many atheist meetings?]
Jerry A. Coyne
In the Victorian times there was much demand for Christmas books, which would make an ideal gift, as well provide amusing entertainment over the holiday period. Without a doubt the most famous of these is Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, but he was by no means the only popular writer of such books. Published in 1847, Thackeray’s first Christmas book, Mrs Perkins’s Ball, is a humorous portrait of a seasonal social gathering, with a broad panorama of guests, from the hilarious sot Mulligan to the prissy middle-class characters he upsets. However, it is Thackeray’s ability as an illustrator that is the most impressive in this novella.
Charles Dickens (Delphi Christmas Collection Volume I (Illustrated) (Delphi Anthologies))
The Book of Lists* produced a rather famous collection of fears that surprised many of us when the top five turned out to be: 1. Speaking before a group 2. Heights 3. Insects and bugs 4. Financial problems 5. Deep water Newer lists have come out since, with few changes, other than the fear of flying, making their way into the top five. However, I maintain there is another fear that doesn’t appear on any list and yet is a stumbling block for us all. What’s more, it is a far more personally destructive fear. I’m referring to the fear of change.
Rob Jolles (How to Change Minds: The Art of Influence without Manipulation)
Feeling increasingly at odds with his superiors, in a letter sent from Gaines’ Mills, Virginia dated June 28, 1862, a frustrated McClellan wrote to Secretary of War Stanton, “If I save the army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to any other person in the Washington.  You have done your best to sacrifice this army.”  McClellan’s argument, however, flies in the face of common knowledge that he had become so obsessed with having sufficient supplies that he’d actually moved to Gaines’ Mill to accommodate the massive amount of provisions he’d accumulated.  Ultimately unable to move his cache of supplies as quickly as his men were needed, McClellan eventually ran railroad cars full of food and supplies into the Pamunkey River rather than leave them behind for the Confederates. Despite
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
Jackson, however, felt ill at ease with all the attention. At the end of the Valley Campaign, he confided to his pastor, “I am afraid that our people are looking to the wrong source for help, and ascribing our success to those to whom they are not due. If we fail to Trust in God and give Him all the glory, our cause is ruined.” Chapter
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
Ancient Ways The Greek Isles are divided into several major chains lying in the Aegean, the Mediterranean, and the Ionian seas. The Cyclades chain alone includes more than two hundred islands clustered in the southern Aegean. In the southeastern Aegean, between Crete and Asia Minor, there are 163 islands known as the Dodecanese chain. Only 26 of these are inhabited; the largest of them is Rhodes, where the world-famous Colossus once stood. The Ionian chain of western Greece (named for the eponymous sea) includes the large island of Corfu. Cyprus lies in the eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey. Today, Cyprus stands politically divided, with Turkish rule in the north, and a government in the south that remains independent from Greece. However, the island has always been linked culturally and linguistically to Greece, and it shares traditions and ways of life with the smaller islands scattered to its south and west. In the Greek Isles, history blends myth and fact. Historians glean information about the early days of the Greek Isles from the countless ancient stories and legends set there. According to Homer, battleships sailed from the harbors of Kos and Rhodes during the Trojan War. A well-known legend holds that the Argonauts sought refuge from a storm on the island of Anafi in the southeastern Cyclades. The lovely island of Lésvos is mentioned throughout the Homeric epics and in many ancient Greek tales. Tradition has it that the god Helios witnessed the island of Rhodes rising mystically from the sea, and chose it for his home. The ill-fated Daedalus and his son, Icarus, attempted to soar through the skies over the magical island of Crete, where the great god Zeus was born in a mountaintop cave. Villagers still recount how Aphrodite emerged from the sea on a breathtaking stretch of beach near the village of Paphos on Cyprus. Visitors must actually lay eyes on a Greek island to gain a full appreciation for these ancient stories. Just setting foot on one of these islands makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into one of the timeless tales from ancient Greek mythology.
Laura Brooks (Greek Isles (Timeless Places))
However, we should not confuse ability with motivation. Though cyber warfare introduces new means of destruction, it doesn’t necessarily add new incentives to use them. Over the last seventy years humankind has broken not only the Law of the Jungle, but also the Chekhov Law. Anton Chekhov famously said that a gun appearing in the first act of a play will inevitably be fired in the third. Throughout history, if kings and emperors acquired some new weapon, sooner or later they were tempted to use it. Since 1945, however, humankind has learned to resist this temptation. The gun that appeared in the first act of the Cold War was never fired. By now we are accustomed to living in a world full of undropped bombs and unlaunched missiles, and have become experts in breaking both the Law of the Jungle and the Chekhov Law.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Civil War generals began the war employing tactics from the Napoleonic Era, which saw Napoleon dominate the European continent and win crushing victories against large armies. However, the weapons available in 1861 were far more accurate than they had been 50 years earlier. In particular, new rifled barrels created common infantry weapons with deadly accuracy of up to 100 yards, at a time when generals were still leading massed infantry charges with fixed bayonets and attempting to march their men close enough to engage in hand-to-hand combat.
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
2,000–3,000 PEOPLE, NOT GENERAL FAME This is one of the messages Eric burned into my brain last year, and it’s guided many decisions since. We were sitting in a large soaking tub talking about the world (as mathematicians and human guinea pigs do in San Francisco), and he said: “General fame is overrated. You want to be famous to 2,000 to 3,000 people you handpick.” I’m paraphrasing, but the gist is that you don’t need or want mainstream fame. It brings more liabilities than benefits. However, if you’re known and respected by 2–3K high-caliber people (e.g., the live TED audience), you can do anything and everything you want in life. It provides maximal upside and minimal downside. GOOD QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN TACKLING INCUMBENT COMPANIES (OR IDEAS) “How is their bread buttered?” “What is it that they can’t afford to say or think?” “CONSENSUS” SHOULD SET OFF YOUR SPIDEY SENSE “Somehow, people have to learn that consensus is a huge problem. There’s no ‘arithmetic consensus’ because it doesn’t require a consensus. But there is a Washington consensus. There is a climate consensus. In general, consensus is how we bully people into pretending that there’s nothing to see. ‘Move along, everyone.’ I think that, in part, you should learn that people don’t naturally come to high levels of agreement unless something is either absolutely clear, in which case consensus isn’t present, or there’s an implied threat of violence to livelihood or self.” TF: I start nearly every public presentation I give with a slide that contains one quote: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” —Mark Twain. This isn’t just for my audience. It’s also a reminder for me.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
There is an innate drive to achieve and turn out to be exceptional. However, for the child of a famous parent, the first fight is to get away from the comfort zone, step away from the shadow of a famous surname and sweat it out. But there too, a lifetime of comparisons await, with hard-won achievements being eclipsed by the overwhelming presence of the famous parent.
It is especially humbling that the simplest Trotskyist, council communist or anarcho-syndicalist militant saw much more clearly than famous and brilliant theorists that, however deserved the terminal defeat of the Soviet bloc and of Soviet-style state capitalism had been, however understandable and salutary the sudden East European infatuation with freedom and rights, however promising the fall of the market Stalinist parties, it was at the same time a historical disaster, heralding the demise of working-class power, of adversary culture, the end of two centuries of beneficent fear for the ruling classes. What was a philosophical construction and idealization in Marx’s Capital—capitalism as a total system, with capital as the only Subject—became a palpable, quotidian reality.
G.M. Tamas
Shortly before the battle of Fredericksburg, Jackson learned that he had become a father, receiving a letter informing him of the birth of his daughter, Julia Laura Jackson, on November 23. Also before the battle, renowned cavalry chief J.E.B. Stuart gave Jackson a new outfit to replace the battle worn coat Jackson had been using throughout the war. However, Jackson ultimately refused to wear it for the next few months, his shyness once again surfacing. Ultimately, he took his last picture in it for a portrait on April 26, 1863, less than a week before the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
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To be famous or popular can become one without a significant work; however, to become a genuine notable is not the easiest task. The notability builds importance and qualifies in the academic world, not the popularity that both together exhibit, one a unique figure.
Ehsan Sehgal
Knowing the superiors’ intentions, however, is a prerequisite for the successful employment of the famous Auftragstaktik, a cornerstone of the German military culture that will be more closely discussed later. Moltke the Elder is one of the earliest proponents of this revolutionary concept. As early as 1858 he remarked at the annual Great General Staff war games, which were traditionally held in a different part of Germany every year, that “as a rule an order should contain only what the subordinate for the achievement of his goals cannot determine on his own.”52 Everything else was to be left to the commander on the spot.
Jörg Muth (Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II)
In this chapter we will look at the entire edifice of QFT. We will see that it is based on three simple principles. We will also list some of its achievements, including some new insights and understandings not previously mentioned. THE FOUNDATION QFT is an axiomatic theory that rests on a few basic assumptions. Everything you have learned so far, from the force of gravity to the spectrum of hydrogen, follows almost inevitably from these three basic principles. (To my knowledge, Julian Schwinger is the only person who has presented QFT in this axiomatic way, at least in the amazing courses he taught at Harvard University in the 1950's.) 1. The field principle. The first pillar is the assumption that nature is made of fields. These fields are embedded in what physicists call flat or Euclidean three-dimensional space-the kind of space that you intuitively believe in. Each field consists of a set of physical properties at every point of space, with equations that describe how these particles or field intensities influence each other and change with time. In QFT there are no particles, no round balls, no sharp edges. You should remember, however, that the idea of fields that permeate space is not intuitive. It eluded Newton, who could not accept action-at-a-distance. It wasn't until 1845 that Faraday, inspired by patterns of iron filings, first conceived of fields. The use of colors is my attempt to make the field picture more palatable. 2. The quantum principle (discetization). The quantum principle is the second pillar, following from Planck's 1900 proposal that EM fields are made up of discrete pieces. In QFT, all physical properties are treated as having discrete values. Even field strengths, whose values are continues, are regarded as the limit of increasingly finer discrete values. The principle of discretization was discovered experimentally in 1922 by Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach. Their experiment (Fig. 7-1) showed that the angular momentum (or spin) of the electron in a given direction can have only two values: +1/2 or -1/2 (Fig. 7-1). The principle of discretization leads to another important difference between quantum and classical fields: the principle of superposition. Because the angular momentum along a certain axis can only have discrete values (Fig. 7-1), this means that atoms whose angular momentum has been determined along a different axis are in a superposition of states defined by the axis of the magnet. This same superposition principle applies to quantum fields: the field intensity at a point can be a superposition of values. And just as interaction of the atom with a magnet "selects" one of the values with corresponding probabilities, so "measurement" of field intensity at a point will select one of the possible values with corresponding probability (see "Field Collapse" in Chapter 8). It is discretization and superposition that lead to Hilbert space as the mathematical language of QFT. 3. The relativity principle. There is one more fundamental assumption-that the field equations must be the same for all uniformly-moving observers. This is known as the Principle of Relativity, famously enunciated by Einstein in 1905 (see Appendix A). Relativistic invariance is built into QFT as the third pillar. QFT is the only theory that combines the relativity and quantum principles.
Rodney A. Brooks (Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein)
For generations, the Stafford men had been known throughout the ton for their appearance—the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. Alex’s father was a mere six feet tall, and was teased relentlessly by his brothers and cousins as “the diminutive duke.” His sons did not suffer the same fate—all standing taller than six feet, four inches, proving that the next crop of Staffords would reclaim their statuesque heritage. The sons in question—William, twenty-three, Nicholas, twenty-one, and Christopher, nineteen—shared other familial qualities with their father, however: They were devilishly handsome, with the dark-as-midnight hair, strong jaws, regal noses, and full lips that had made the Staffords legendary since the early days of the kingdom. But it wasn’t their good looks that stopped women in their tracks. It was the famous Stafford eyes. For as long as anyone could remember, Stafford men had been blessed with eyes the color of clearest emeralds. One could get lost in those eyes—they were windows on emotion, glittering with humor, flashing with anger, fiery with passion. These were eyes that wreaked havoc on the women around them—unless the woman in question was a sister. In which case, they served to simply exasperate.
Sarah MacLean (The Season)
Education was still considered a privilege in England. At Oxford you took responsibility for your efforts and for your performance. No one coddled, and no one uproariously encouraged. British respect for the individual, both learner and teacher, reigned. If you wanted to learn, you applied yourself and did it. Grades were posted publicly by your name after exams. People failed regularly. These realities never ceased to bewilder those used to “democracy” without any of the responsibility. For me, however, my expectations were rattled in another way. I arrived anticipating to be snubbed by a culture of privilege, but when looked at from a British angle, I actually found North American students owned a far greater sense of entitlement when it came to a college education. I did not realize just how much expectations fetter—these “mind-forged manacles,”2 as Blake wrote. Oxford upholds something larger than self as a reference point, embedded in the deep respect for all that a community of learning entails. At my very first tutorial, for instance, an American student entered wearing a baseball cap on backward. The professor quietly asked him to remove it. The student froze, stunned. In the United States such a request would be fodder for a laundry list of wrongs done against the student, followed by threatening the teacher’s job and suing the university. But Oxford sits unruffled: if you don’t like it, you can simply leave. A handy formula since, of course, no one wants to leave. “No caps in my classroom,” the professor repeated, adding, “Men and women have died for your education.” Instead of being disgruntled, the student nodded thoughtfully as he removed his hat and joined us. With its expanses of beautiful architecture, quads (or walled lawns) spilling into lush gardens, mist rising from rivers, cows lowing in meadows, spires reaching high into skies, Oxford remained unapologetically absolute. And did I mention? Practically every college within the university has its own pub. Pubs, as I came to learn, represented far more for the Brits than merely a place where alcohol was served. They were important gathering places, overflowing with good conversation over comforting food: vital humming hubs of community in communication. So faced with a thousand-year-old institution, I learned to pick my battles. Rather than resist, for instance, the archaic book-ordering system in the Bodleian Library with technological mortification, I discovered the treasure in embracing its seeming quirkiness. Often, when the wrong book came up from the annals after my order, I found it to be right in some way after all. Oxford often works such. After one particularly serendipitous day of research, I asked Robert, the usual morning porter on duty at the Bodleian Library, about the lack of any kind of sophisticated security system, especially in one of the world’s most famous libraries. The Bodleian was not a loaning library, though you were allowed to work freely amid priceless artifacts. Individual college libraries entrusted you to simply sign a book out and then return it when you were done. “It’s funny; Americans ask me about that all the time,” Robert said as he stirred his tea. “But then again, they’re not used to having u in honour,” he said with a shrug.
Carolyn Weber (Surprised by Oxford)
It happened because during my first year at Berkeley I arrived late one day at one of [Jerzy] Neyman's classes. On the blackboard there were two problems that I assumed had been assigned for homework. I copied them down. A few days later I apologized to Neyman for taking so long to do the homework — the problems seemed to be a little harder than usual. I asked him if he still wanted it. He told me to throw it on his desk. I did so reluctantly because his desk was covered with such a heap of papers that I feared my homework would be lost there forever. About six weeks later, one Sunday morning about eight o'clock, [my wife] Anne and I were awakened by someone banging on our front door. It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: "I've just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication." For a minute I had no idea what he was talking about. To make a long story short, the problems on the blackboard that I had solved thinking they were homework were in fact two famous unsolved problems in statistics. That was the first inkling I had that there was anything special about them. A year later, when I began to worry about a thesis topic, Neyman just shrugged and told me to wrap the two problems in a binder and he would accept them as my thesis. The second of the two problems, however, was not published until after World War II. It happened this way. Around 1950 I received a letter from Abraham Wald enclosing the final galley proofs of a paper of his about to go to press in the Annals of Mathematical Statistics. Someone had just pointed out to him that the main result in his paper was the same as the second "homework" problem solved in my thesis. I wrote back suggesting we publish jointly. He simply inserted my name as coauthor into the galley proof. [interview in the College Mathematics Journal in 1986]
George Bernard Dantzig
Determinism says that our behaviour is determined by two causes: our heredity and our environment. Heredity refers to the genes we inherit from our parents, while environment refers not only to our current environment but also to the environments we have experienced in the past—in effect, to all the experiences we have had from the time we were born. Determinism, in other words, says that our behaviour is entirely determined by our genes and experiences: if we knew every gene and every experience a person had, then, in principle, we could predict exactly what they would do at every moment in time. (p. 4) And now we may be on the brink of yet another revolution. It has been taking place largely out of public view, in psychology laboratories around the world. Its implications, however, are profound. It is telling us that just as we lost our belief that we are at the centre of the universe, we may also be losing our claim to stand aloof from the material world, to rise above the laws of physics and chemistry that bind other species. Our behaviour, it suggests, is just as lawful, just as determined, as that of every other living creature. (p. 6) Also, while determinism is clearly contrary to the religious doctrine of free will, it is important to note that it is not contrary to religion per se. Einstein famously said that ‘God does not play dice’ with nature. He believed in some form of creation, but he found it inconceivable that God would have left the running of this universe to chance. Determinism assumes that the universe is lawful, but it makes no assumptions about how this universe came into being. (p. 11) Another way in which parents influence their children’s behaviour is simply by being who they are. Children have a strong tendency to imitate adults, especially when the adult is important in their lives, and you can’t get much more important to a child than a parent. (p. 62) What children see does influence their understanding of how to get along in the world, of what is and isn’t acceptable. (p. 64) Our need to be liked, combined with our horror of being rejected or ostracized, can influence all of us. (p. 79) It is the brain which gives rise to thought: no brain activity, no thought. (p. 90) We’ve seen that everything we think, feel and do depends on the existence of an intact brain – (p. 92) …: that what remains in memory is not necessarily the precise details of an experience but our interpretation of that experience. (p. 140) According to determinism, it is your behaviour which is determined, not events. … The future is not preordained; if you change your behaviour, your future will also change. (p. 151) It is our brains that determine what we think and feel; if our brains don’t function properly, consciousness is disrupted. (p. 168) Given how much of our mental processing takes place in the unconscious, it is perhaps not surprising that we are often unaware of the factors that have guided our conscious thought. … …, but insofar as behaviour is determined by the environment, then by changing that environment we can change that behaviour. (p. 169)
David Lieberman (The Case Against Free Will: What a Quiet Revolution in Psychology Has Revealed about How Behaviour Is Determined)
Energy. In classical physics, energy means the ability to do work, which is defined as exerting a force over a distance. This definition, however, doesn't provide much of a picture, so in classical physics, energy is a rather abstract concept. In QFT, on the other hand, the energy of a quantum is represented by oscillations in its field. In fact, Planck's famous relationship between energy and frequency of oscillation (see Chap. 3) is a direct consequence of the equations of QFT. In our color analogy, we might say that the oscillations cause the color to "shimmer", and the faster the shimmer, the greater the energy of the field.
Rodney A. Brooks (Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Einstein)
Bill Wilson would never have another drink. For the next thirty-six years, until he died of emphysema in 1971, he would devote himself to founding, building, and spreading Alcoholics Anonymous, until it became the largest, most well-known and successful habit-changing organization in the world. An estimated 2.1 million people seek help from AA each year, and as many as 10 million alcoholics may have achieved sobriety through the group.3.12,3.13 AA doesn’t work for everyone—success rates are difficult to measure, because of participants’ anonymity—but millions credit the program with saving their lives. AA’s foundational credo, the famous twelve steps, have become cultural lodestones incorporated into treatment programs for overeating, gambling, debt, sex, drugs, hoarding, self-mutilation, smoking, video game addictions, emotional dependency, and dozens of other destructive behaviors. The group’s techniques offer, in many respects, one of the most powerful formulas for change. All of which is somewhat unexpected, because AA has almost no grounding in science or most accepted therapeutic methods. Alcoholism, of course, is more than a habit. It’s a physical addiction with psychological and perhaps genetic roots. What’s interesting about AA, however, is that the program doesn’t directly attack many of the psychiatric or biochemical issues that researchers say are often at the core of why alcoholics drink.3.14 In fact, AA’s methods seem to sidestep scientific and medical findings altogether, as well as the types of intervention many psychiatrists say alcoholics really need.1 What AA provides instead is a method for attacking the habits that surround alcohol use.3.15 AA, in essence, is a giant machine for changing habit loops. And though the habits associated with alcoholism are extreme, the lessons AA provides demonstrate how almost any habit—even the most obstinate—can be changed.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
You probably know what Sherlock Holmes had to say about inference, the most famous thing he ever said that wasn’t “Elementary!”: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Doesn’t that sound cool, reasonable, indisputable? But it doesn’t tell the whole story. What Sherlock Holmes should have said was: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, unless the truth is a hypothesis it didn’t occur to you to consider.” Less pithy, more correct. The
Jordan Ellenberg (How Not To Be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday)
Condillac begins his famous book with the words: “However high we climb and however low we fall we never escape our own feelings.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition)
It was music first of all that brought us together. Without being professionals or virtuosos, we were all passionate lovers of music; but Serge dreamed of devoting himself entirely to the art. All the time he was studying law along with us, he took singing lessons with Cotogni, the famous baritone of the Italian Opera; while for musical theory, which he wanted to master completely so as to rival Moussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, he went to the very source and studied with Rimsky-Korsakov. However, our musical tastes were not always the same. The quality our group valued most was what the Germans call Stimmung, and besides this, the power of suggestion and dramatic force. The Bach of the Passions, Gluck, Schubert, Wagner and the Russian composers – Borodin in ‘Prince Igor’, Rimsky and, above all, Tchaikovsky, were our gods. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Queen of Spades’ had just been performed for the first time at the Opera of St Petersburg, and we were ecstatic about its Hoffmannesque element, notably the scene in the old Countess’s bedroom. We liked the composer’s famous Romances much less, finding them insipid and sometimes trivial. These Romances, however, were just what Diaghilev liked. What he valued most was broad melody, and in particular whatever gave a singer the chance to display the sensuous qualities of his voice. During the years of his apprenticeship he bore our criticisms and jokes with resignation, but as he learned more about music – and about the history of art in general – he gained in self-confidence and found reasons to justify his predilections. There came a time when not only did he dare to withstand our attacks but went on to refute our arguments fiercely.
Richard Buckle (Nijinsky: A Life of Genius and Madness)
In 1923, ibn- Saud would conquer much of the Arabian Peninsula and, to honor his clan, give it the name Saudi Arabia. For the next ninety years, the vast and profligate Saudi royal family would survive by essentially buying off the doctrinaire Wahhabists who had brought them to power, financially subsidizing their activities so long as their disciples directed their jihadist efforts abroad. The most famous product of this arrangement was to be a man named Osama bin Laden. Far more immediately, however, Lawrence
Scott Anderson (Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East)
was the fall of the Western Empire that led him to write his famous book the “City of God”. Its full title explains its aim: “Though the greatest city of the world has fallen, the City of God abideth for ever”. His view, however, of what the City of God is led him into teachings that have given rise to unspeakable misery, the very greatness of his name accentuating the harmful effects of the error he taught. He, beyond others, formulated the doctrine of salvation by the Church only, by means of her sacraments. To take salvation out of the hands of the Saviour and put it into the hands of men; to interpose a system of man’s devising between the Saviour and the sinner, is the very opposite of the Gospel revelation. Christ says: “Come unto Me” and no priest or church has authority to intervene
E.H. Broadbent (The Pilgrim Church)
Over the last seventy years humankind has broken not only the Law of the Jungle, but also the Chekhov Law. Anton Chekhov famously said that a gun appearing in the first act of a play will inevitably be fired in the third. Throughout history, if kings and emperors acquired some new weapon, sooner or later they were tempted to use it. Since 1945, however, humankind has learned to resist this temptation. The gun that appeared in the first act of the Cold War was never fired. By now we are accustomed to living in a world full of undropped bombs and unlaunched missiles, and have become experts in breaking both the Law of the Jungle and the Chekhov Law. If these laws ever do catch up with us, it will be our own fault – not our inescapable destiny.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
people with talent than I am to celebriturds (people who are famous because they’re famous/ rich but with no redeeming qualities to offer society) and celebritrash (celebriturds who are also fame whores). However, I try not to comment too much on bodies or facial features. Personally, I feel like we—Western culture—are so body obsessed, there’s no need for me to add to the hysteria. Especially since these famous people already give me so much fodder with
L.H. Cosway (The Hooker and the Hermit (Rugby, #1))
President Theodore Roosevelt said, “When you educate a man in mind and not in morals, you educate a menace to society.” Science is learning to control everything but man. We have not yet solved the problems of hate, lust, greed, and prejudice, which produce social injustice, racial strife, and ultimately war. Our future is threatened by many dangers, such as the nuclear destruction that hangs over our heads. However, the greatest danger is from within. Every major civilization before us has disintegrated and collapsed from internal forces rather than military conquest. Ancient Rome is the outstanding example of the fall of a civilization. While its disintegration was hastened by foreign invasions, in the opinion of Arthur Weigall, a world-famous archaeologist, it collapsed “only after bribery and corruption had been rife for generations.” No matter how advanced its progress, any generation that neglects its spiritual and moral life is going to disintegrate. This is the story of man, and this is our modern problem.
Billy Graham (Unto the Hills: A Daily Devotional)
With the decline of the United States as the world’s leader, I find it important to look around our globe for intelligent people who have the depth of understanding that could perhaps chart a way to the future. One such person is Bernard-Henri Lévy a French philosopher who was born in Béni Saf, French Algeria on November 5, 1948. . The Boston Globe has said that he is "perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today." Although his published work and political activism has fueled controversies, he invokes thought provoking insight into today’s controversial world and national views. As a young man and Zionist he was a war correspondent for “Combat” newspaper for the French Underground. Following the war Bernard attended Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris and in 1968; he graduated with a degree in philosophy from the famous École Normale Supérieure. This was followed by him traveling to India where he joined the International Brigade to aid Bangladeshi freedom fighters. Returning to Paris, Bernard founded the ‘New Philosophers School.’ At that time he wrote books bringing to light the dark side of French history. Although some of his books were criticized for their journalistic character and unbalanced approach to French history, but most respected French academics took a serious look at his position that Marxism was inherently corrupt. Some of his musings include the predicament of the Kurds and the Shame of Aleppo, referring to the plight of the children in Aleppo during the bloody Syrian civil war. Not everyone agrees with Bernard, as pointed out by an article “Why Does Everyone Hate Bernard-Henri Lévy?” However he is credited with nearly single handedly toppling Muammar Gaddafi. His reward was that in 2008 he was targeted for assassination by a Belgium-based Islamist militant group. Looking like a rock star and ladies man, with his signature dark suits and unbuttoned white shirt, he said that “democracies are not run by the truth,” and notes that the American president is not the author of the anti-intellectual movement it, but rather its product. He added that the anti-intellectualism movement that has swept the United States and Europe in the last 12 months has been a long time coming. The responsibility to support verified information and not publicize fake news as equal has been ignored. He said that the president may be the heart of the anti-intellectual movement, but social media is the mechanism! Not everyone agrees with Bernard; however his views require our attention. If we are to preserve our democracy we have to look at the big picture and let go of some of our partisan thinking. We can still save our democracy, but only if we become patriots instead of partisans!
Hank Bracker
My parents often talked about how beautiful a city Hamburg was. We had coffee table books with beautiful glossy black and white photographs showing the city prior to the heavy Allied bombings and subsequent firestorm. It showed the famous harbor, the lakes and canals. Hamburg is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the north. As our train pulled into the huge covered station I really did not know what to expect. None of us were aware of the tremendous amount of damage the city had sustained, however we had been informed that two of my father’s sisters and their families had died in “Operation Gomorrah” the hellish fire that had all but eradicated the city. Although I was quite young at the time I vividly remember my parent’s tremendous grief when they learned from the scarce, intermittent correspondence they received via the Red Cross, that many members of our family had died and much of what they remembered of Hamburg was gone.
Hank Bracker
Chicago, Illinois 1896 Opening Night Wearing her Brünnhilda costume, complete with padding, breastplate, helm, and false blond braids, and holding a spear as if it were a staff, Sophia Maxwell waited in the wings of the Canfield-Pendegast theatre. The bright stage lighting made it difficult to see the audience filling the seats for opening night of Die Walküre, but she could feel their anticipation build as the time drew near for the appearance of the Songbird of Chicago. She took slow deep breaths, inhaling the smell of the greasepaint she wore on her face. Part of her listened to the music for her cue, and the other part immersed herself in the role of the god Wotan’s favorite daughter. From long practice, Sophia tried to ignore quivers of nervousness. Never before had stage fright made her feel ill. Usually she couldn’t wait to make her appearance. Now, however, nausea churned in her stomach, timpani banged pain-throbs through her head, her muscles ached, and heat made beads of persperation break out on her brow. I feel more like a plucked chicken than a songbird, but I will not let my audience down. Annoyed with herself, Sophia reached for a towel held by her dresser, Nan, standing at her side. She lifted the helm and blotted her forehead, careful not to streak the greasepaint. Nan tisked and pulled out a small brush and a tin of powder from one of the caprious pockets of her apron. She dipped the brush into the powder and wisked it across Sophia’s forehead. “You’re too pale. You need more rouge.” “No time.” A rhythmic sword motif sounded the prelude to Act ll. Sophia pivoted away from Nan and moved to the edge of the wing, looking out to the scene of a rocky mountain pass. Soon the warrior-maiden Brünnhilda would make an appearance with her famous battle cry. She allowed the anticpaptory energy of the audience to fill her body. The trills of the high strings and upward rushing passes in the woodwinds introduced Brünnhilda. Right on cue, Sophia made her entrance and struck a pose. She took a deep breath, preparing to hit the opening notes of her battle call. But as she opened her mouth to sing, nothing came out. Caught off guard, Sophia cleared her throat and tried again. Nothing. Horrified, she glanced around, as if seeking help, her body hot and shaky with shame. Across the stage in the wings, Sophia could see Judith Deal, her understudy and rival, watching. The other singer was clad in a similar costume to Sophia’s for her role as the valkerie Gerhilde. A triumphant expression crossed her face. Warwick Canfield-Pendegast, owner of the theatre, stood next to Judith, his face contorted in fury. He clenched his chubby hands. A wave of dizziness swept through Sophia. The stage lights dimmed. Her knees buckled. As she crumpled to the ground, one final thought followed her into the darkness. I’ve just lost my position as prima dona of the Canfield-Pendegast Opera Company.
Debra Holland (Singing Montana Sky (Montana Sky, #7))