Individual Contribution Quotes

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As a community, great things can happen when each individual contributes, according to their strengths, toward a common goal.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.
Eleanor Roosevelt
[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome.
Slavoj Žižek
It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
I measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her fellow human beings.
Margaret Mead
I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers to care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic -- it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potentiality and a contribution of some kind to one's world.
Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
Every individual has a unique contribution.
Jack Kornfield
The beautiful wooden board on a stand in my father’s study. The gleaming ivory pieces. The stern king. The haughty queen. The noble knight. The pious bishop. And the game itself, the way each piece contributed its individual power to the whole. It was simple. It was complex. It was savage; it was elegant. It was a dance; it was a war. It was finite and eternal. It was life.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, no one fails entirely, but everyone says something true about the nature of all things, and while individually they contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed.
Aristotle (Metaphysics)
Samadhi is the journey from individual to collective consciousness. The steps of Samadhi are the steps towards reaching the collective consciousness. In meditation, the more we radiate love, compassion, peace, harmony and tranquility, the more is our contribution towards the collective consciousness. The more we positively contribute towards the collective consciousness the more is our progress in Samadhi.
Amit Ray (Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style)
Let my assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities. First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments. Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings. Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.
David O. McKay
The only unique contribution you can offer the world is to be who you actually are and no one else.
Ashly Lorenzana
individual thought is mostly the result of collective thought and of interaction with other people. The language is entirely collective, and most of the thoughts in it are. Everybody does his own thing to those thoughts – he makes a contribution. But very few change them very much.
David Bohm (On Dialogue (Routledge Classics))
Children, even when very young, have the capacity for inventive thought and decisive action. They have worthwhile ideas. They make perceptive connections. They’re individuals from the start: a unique bundle of interests, talents, and preferences. They have something to contribute. They want to be a part of things. It’s up to us to give them the opportunity to express their creativity, explore widely, and connect with their own meaningful work.
Lori McWilliam Pickert
Especially threatening, therefore, are the industrious, independent, and successful, for they demonstrate what is actually possible under current societal conditions—achievement, happiness, and fulfillment—thereby contradicting and endangering the utopian campaign against what was or is. They must be either co-opted and turned into useful contributors to or advocates for the state, or neutralized through sabotage or other means. Indeed, the individual’s contribution to society must be downplayed, dismissed, or denounced, unless the contribution is directed by the state and involves self-sacrifice for the utopian cause.
Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
There is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some people will test you, some will use you, some will bring out the best in you, but everyone will teach you something about yourself. Both positive and negative relationships teach you valuable lessons. This is an incredible step toward expanding your consciousness. The road to self-discovery requires help from others. As humans we are always seeking feedback and approval from others. That is how we learn and become better as individuals. No relationship is a waste of time. The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones. Appreciate everyone that enters your life because they are contributing to your growth and happiness.
John Geiger
We must never forget our teachers, our lecturers and our mentors. In their individual capacities have contributed to our academic, professional and personal development.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
In a truly free society, individuals are granted responsibility for themselves. Freedom necessitates that we learn how to provide for ourselves, contributing value in whatever form, to generate personal income. We then decide how we wish to spend or save earned income; freedom is the reward for fulfilling personal responsibilities.
Candace Owens (Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation)
Every politician, clergyman, educator, or physician, in short, anyone dealing with human individuals, is bound to make grave mistakes if he ignores these two great truths of population zoology: (1) no two individuals are alike, and (2) both environment and genetic endowment make a contribution to nearly every trait.
Ernst W. Mayr
I hope that each of you girls will become an individual of significant worth and a person of virtue so that your contributions are maintained in both human and eternal terms.
James E. Faust
We must never forget our teachers and our lecturers. In their individual capacities have contributed to our academic, professional and personal development.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Work in classrooms isn’t significant work; it fails to satisfy real needs pressing on the individual; it doesn’t answer real questions experience raises in the young mind; it doesn’t contribute to solving any problem encountered in actual life. The net effect of making all schoolwork external to individual longings, experiences, questions, and problems is to render the victim listless.
John Taylor Gatto (The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation Into the Prison of Modern Schooling)
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than “die,” “pass away,” the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
The lesson here is clear: If you want people to understand that you value their contributions and that they are important, the recognition and praise you provide must have meaning that is specific to each individual.
Tom Rath (How Full Is Your Bucket?)
Elizabeth [Alexander] is right, of course. It’s a stirring fact that our slave ancestors left behind not documents of property but an incredible amount of cultural wealth. It is a tragedy that we are only able to imagine their individual contributions to that collective wealth- and the worlds they might have made had they been free.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered Their Pasts)
Life in society requires consensus as an indispensable condition. But consensus, to be productive, requires that each individual contribute independently out of of his experience and insight.
Solomon E. Asch
As we’ve seen, all criticism, attack, insults, and judgments vanish when we focus attention on hearing the feelings and needs behind a message. The more we practice in this way, the more we realize a simple truth: behind all those messages we’ve allowed ourselves to be intimidated by are just individuals with unmet needs appealing to us to contribute to their well-being. When we receive messages with this awareness, we never feel dehumanized by what others have to say to us. We only feel dehumanized when we get trapped in derogatory images of other people or thoughts of wrongness about ourselves. As
Marshall B. Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships (Nonviolent Communication Guides))
If we imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community, it is fair to think of vaccination as a kind of banking of immunity. Contributions to this bank are donations to those who cannot or will not be protected by their own immunity. This is the principle of herd immunity, and it is through herd immunity that mass vaccination becomes far more effective than individual vaccination.
Eula Biss (On Immunity: An Inoculation)
The little open door of each individual’s inferior function is what contributes to the sum of collective evil in the world.
Marie-Louise von Franz (Lectures on Jung's Typology)
The work of each individual contributes to a totality, and so becomes an undying part of the totality. That totality of human lives—past and present and to come—forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens of thousands of years and has been growing more elaborate and, on the whole, more beautiful in all that time. Even the Spacers are an offshoot of the tapestry and they, too, add to the elaborateness and beauty of the pattern. An individual life is one thread in the tapestry and what is one thread compared to the whole? Daneel, keep your mind fixed firmly on the tapestry and do not let the trailing off of a single thread affect you.
Isaac Asimov (Robots and Empire (Robot, #4))
Thousands of individuals unknowingly contribute to the creation of our lives. Over the years, these serendipitous exchanges made imprints on my mind and heart and served as catalysts for my ongoing growth and development.
Kristin S. Kaufman (Is This Seat Taken?: Random Encounters That Change Your Life)
As I would learn later on, developed countries will always welcome the Einsteins of this world -- those individuals whose talents are already recognized and deemed to have value. This welcome doesn't usually extend to the poor and uneducated people seeking to enter the country. But the truth, supported by the facts of history and the richness of immigrant contribution to America's distinction in the world, is that the most entrepreneurial, innovative, motivated citizen is the one who has been given an opportunity and wants to repay the debt.
Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa (Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon)
Oh, they may be tough individuals, but it takes more than personal toughness to be good leaders. The methods and goals have to contribute to the toughness.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
The basic error of fundamentalism is that it overlooks the contribution of the receptive side in the revelatory situation and consequently identifies one individual and conditioned form of receiving the divine with the divine itself.
Paul Tillich (Biblical Religion and the Search for Ultimate Reality)
Work of each individual contributes to a totality and so becomes undying part of a totality. That totality is human life. Past and present and to come forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens and thousands of years. And has been growing more elaborate, and on the whole more beautiful.
Isaac Asimov (Robots and Empire (Robot, #4))
Man was, and is, too shallow and cowardly to endure the fact of the mortality of everything living. He wraps it up in rose-coloured progress-optimism, he heaps upon it the flowers of literature, he crawls behind the shelter of ideals so as not to see anything. But impermanence, the birth and the passing, is the form of all that is actual -- from the stars, whose destiny is for us incalculable, right down to the ephemeral concourses on our planet. The life of the individual -- whether this be animal or plant or man -- is as perishable as that of peoples of Cultures. Every creation is foredoomed to decay, every thought, every discovery, every deed to oblivion. Here, there, and everywhere we are sensible of grandly fated courses of history that have vanished. Ruins of the "have-been" works of dead Cultures lie all about us. The hybris of Prometheus, who thrust his hand into the heavens in order to make the divine powers subject to man, carries with it his fall. What, then, becomes of the chatter about "undying achievements"?
Oswald Spengler (Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life)
Some people point to me as the cause of all society's problems, others as if I am the benefactor, responsible for everything good, but I am neither the former nor the latter. I am but a man in particular circumstances, and the most beautiful part is that an individual human life is capable of contributing to the growth, the awakening of the collective strength. That is what matters!
Hugo Chávez (Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution: Hugo Chavez Talks to Marta Harnecker)
the history that makes the books is written by the victors. The poor never were and never will be victorious in any version of history, and change comes so slowly that individual contributions are always lost in the great gradual tide.
April White (An Urchin of Means (Baker Street, #1))
Alignment begins with a constituency of one. These are the individuals whose substance is real, pure and nonnegotiable. They share their vulnerabilities and fears in complement to their strengths. They are comfortable weaving all parts of their lives together in an integrated way. Our level of effectiveness, contribution and integrity of work and life are in direct correlation with our level of integration, self-actualization and total alignment fo body, mind and spirit.
Kristin S. Kaufman (Is This Seat Taken?: Random Encounters That Change Your Life)
Although social and personal circumstances will play their part in contributing to how an individual suffers, in Buddhist thought blame is seen as a "poison" that will only lead to negative actions and will do nothing to reduce suffering.
Desmond Biddulph (Teachings of the Buddha: The Wisdom of The Dharma, from The Pali Canon to The Sutras)
I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic — it has no conscience. It rings a bell and the young man in the middle of writing a poem must close his notebook and move to a different cell where he must memorize that humans and monkeys derive from a common ancestor.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
If you educate a man, you educate an individual; education contributes to his individual growth; it becomes his ‘private property’, as it were. But when you educate a woman, you educate the entire family!
Dada J.P. Vaswani
All criticism, attack, insults, and judgments vanish when we focus attention on hearing the feelings and needs behind a message. The more we practice in this way, the more we realize a simple truth: behind all those messages we've allowed ourselves to be intimidated by are just individuals with unmet needs appealing to us to contribute to their well-being.
Marshall B. Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life)
The best man, then, must legislate, and laws must be passed, but these laws will have no authority when they miss the mark, though in all other cases retaining their authority. But when the law cannot determine a point at all, or not well, should the one best man or should all decide? According to our present practice assemblies meet, sit in judgment, deliberate, and decide, and their judgments an relate to individual cases. Now any member of the assembly, taken separately, is certainly inferior to the wise man. But the state is made up of many individuals. And as a feast to which all the guests contribute is better than a banquet furnished by a single man, so a multitude is a better judge of many things than any individual.
Aristotle (Politics)
I've noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.
John Taylor Gatto
The ideas that the whole human race is, in a sense, one thing- one huge organism, like a tree-must not be confused with the idea that individual difference is not important or that real people, Tom and Nobby and Kate, are some how less important than collective things like classes, races and so forth. Indeed the two ideas are opposites. Things which are parts of a single organism may be very different form one another: things which are not, may be very alike. Six pennies are quite separate and very alike: my nose and my lungs are very different but they are only alive at all because they are parts of my body and share its common life. Christianity thinks of individuals not as mere members of a group or items in a list, but as organs in a body- different from one another and each contributing what no other could.
C.S. Lewis
I do not believe ADD leads to creativity any more than creativity causes ADD. Rather, they both originate in the same inborn trait: sensitivity. For creativity, a temperamental sensitivity is indispensable. The sensitive individual, as we have seen, draws into herself the unseen emotional and psychic communications of her environment. On some levels of the unconscious, she will, therefore, have a deeper awareness of the world. She may also be more attuned to particular sensory input, such as sound, color or musical tone. Thus the sensitivity provides her with the raw materials her mind will rework and reshape. Thus sensitivity contributes to the emergence of attention deficit disorder, as well as to creativity. Colin,
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do About It)
It is the responsibility, yet the individual choice, of each of us to use the light we have to dispel the work of darkness, because if we do not, the power of falsehood rises. Through our inaction it becomes stronger, and a more potent force. It can even lead to the dimming of the light of all humanity born on this planet. That is why we struggle. That is why we fight to contribute to the confirmation of what is good, to seal our compact with love within our own lives and within our world.
John Lewis (Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America)
...the first question to be asked and answered in every contingency of life being: "How will this thought or action contribute to, or interfere with, the achievement, by me and the greatest possible number of other individuals, of man's Final End?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
If you hear someone at the water cooler say, “black people are always late,” you can definitely say, “Hey, that’s racist” but you can also add, “and it contributes to false beliefs about black workers that keeps them from even being interviewed for jobs, while white workers can be late or on time, but will always be judged individually with no risk of damaging job prospects for other white people seeking employment.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Individual progress must contribute to the collective progress of a people, otherwise, it's of no consequence in the vast ocean of space and motion.
Abhijit Naskar (Build Bridges not Walls: In the name of Americana)
Split management and technical tracks. It’s pretty obvious in this day and age that you need separate tracks for management and individual contribution.
Camille Fournier (The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change)
Happiness, as far as we are concerned, is achieved through living a meaningful life, a life that is filled with passion and freedom, a life in which we can grow as individuals and contribute to other people in meaningful ways. Growth and contribution: those are the bedrocks of happiness. Not stuff. This may not sound sexy or marketable or sellable, but it’s the cold truth. Humans are happy if we are growing as individuals and if we are contributing beyond ourselves. Without growth, and without a deliberate effort to help others, we are just slaves to cultural expectations, ensnared by the trappings of money and power and status and perceived success.
Joshua Fields Millburn (Minimalism: Essential Essays)
The system begins to display something other than synchronicity, it begins to act as a unit, to have behaviors. And just as a study of the parts of a self-organized whole cannot give an idea of the larger whole’s nature, so too the study of the smaller parts’ behaviors cannot give an idea of the larger system’s behavior. As Camazine et al. note, “an emergent property cannot be understood simply by examining in isolation the properties of the system’s components. . . . Emergence refers to a process by which a system of interacting subunits acquires qualitatively new properties that cannot be understood as a simple addition of their individual contributions.”6 Or as systems researcher Yaneer Bar-Yam puts it, “A complex system is formed out of many components whose behavior is emergent, that is, the behavior of the system cannot be simply inferred from the behavior of its components. . . . Emergent properties cannot be studied by physically taking a system apart and looking at the parts (reductionism).
Stephen Harrod Buhner (Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth)
Unless you contribute beyond yourself, your life will feel perpetually self-serving. It’s okay to operate in your own self-interest, but doing so exclusively creates an empty existence. A life without contribution is a life without meaning. The truth is that giving is living. We only feel truly alive when we are growing as individuals and contributing beyond ourselves. That’s what a real life is all about.
Joshua Fields Millburn (Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life)
Under normal conditions people react to a threat with a temporary increase in their stress hormones. As soon as the threat is over, the hormones dissipate and the body returns to normal. The stress hormones of traumatized people, in contrast, take much longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli. The insidious effects of constantly elevated stress hormones include memory and attention problems, irritability, and sleep disorders. They also contribute to many long-term health issues, depending on which body system is most vulnerable in a particular individual.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Every individual is multicultural; cultures are not monolithic islands but criss-crossed alluvial plains. Individual identity stems from the encounter of multiple collective identities within one and the same person; each of our various affiliations contributes to the formation of the unique creature that we are. Human beings are not all similar, or entirely different; they are all plural within themselves, and share their constitutive traits with very varied groups, combining them in an individual way. The cohabitation of different types of belonging within each one of us does not in general cause any problems- and this ought , in turn, to arouse admiration: like a juggler, we keep all the balls of our identity in the air at once, with the greatest ease! Individual identity results from the interweaving of several collective identities; it is not alone in this respect. What is the origin of the culture of a human group? The reply- paradoxically- is that it comes from previous cultures. A new culture arises from the encounter between several smaller cultures, or from the decomposition of a bigger culture, or from interaction with neighboring culture. There is never a human life prior to the advent of culture.
Tzvetan Todorov
The longstanding effort to "colorize" feminist theory by inserting the experiences of women of color represents at best genuine efforts to reduce bias in Women's Studies. But at its worst, colorization also contains elements of both voyeurism and academic colonialism. As a result of new technologies and perceived profitability, we can now watch black-and-white movie classics in color. While the tinted images we are offered may be more palatable to the modern viewer, we are still watching the same old movie that was offered to us before. Movie colorization adds little of substance-its contributions remain cosmetic. Similarly, women of color allegedly can teach White feminists nothing about feminism, but must confine ourselves to "colorizing" preexisting feminist theory. Rather than seeing women of color as fully human individuals, we are treated as the additive sum of our categories.
Patricia Hill Collins (On Intellectual Activism)
Our schools are no closer in connecting the education of children to their development as human beings: each child as an individual with a unique contribution to make to the world. Until this is done, our schools will fail to help children become active learners, connected to their society, and empowered to accomplish things within it.
Paula Polk Lillard (Montessori Today: A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood)
Science is a field which grows continuously with ever expanding frontiers. Further, it is truly international in scope. Any particular advance has been preceded by the contributions of those from many lands who have set firm foundations for further developments. The Nobel awards should be regarded as giving recognition to this general scientific progress as well as to the individuals involved. Further, science is a collaborative effort. The combined results of several people working together is often much more effective than could be that of an individual scientist working alone.
John Bardeen
Chronic threat and stress damage regions of the brain that are involved in planning and the pursuit of goals. The principle is clear: powerlessness undermines the individual’s ability to contribute to society (Principle 19). On Kayo Drive, this could be seen in the difficulties kids had sitting still and concentrating, in their bad grades, and in the depressions so common among their parents. Powerlessness robs people of their promise for making a difference in the world.
Dacher Keltner (The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence)
Nor can the one day of suffering Jesus supposedly endured compare with the Holocaust, the genocide of Native Americans or the pain of those who were tortured during the Inquisition. His supposed contribution to the world hardly compares with the hard work, sacrifice and discipline of intelligent individuals who have dedicated their lives to science and medicine. Just because Jesus was considered a Higher Power does not make his alleged suffering any higher than yours or mine.
Dan Barker (Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists)
The more aware individuals are of the themes that are central to their own sense of personal identity, the better they can recognize the dimensions of similarity and difference in other people that will contribute to intimate relationships.
Barbara M. Newman (Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach)
The intellectual climate of the 1970s, for which the 1950s had already paved the way, contributed to this. A theory was even finally developed at that time that pedophilia should be viewed as something positive. Above all, however, the thesis was advocated-and this even infiltrated Catholic moral theology-that there was no such thing as something that is bad in itself. There were only things that were "relatively" bad. What was good or bad depended on the consequences. In such a context, where everything is relative and nothing intrinsically evil exists, but only relative good and relative evil, people who have an inclination to such behavior are left without no solid footing. Of course pedophilia is first rather a sickness of individuals, but the fact that it could become so active and so widespread was linked also to an intellectual climate through which the foundations of moral theology, good and evil, became open to question in the Church. Good and evil became interchangeable; they were no longer absolutely clear opposites.
Benedict XVI (Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times - A Conversation with Peter Seewald)
[Young] adults who take gap years tended to be less motivated than their peers before the gap year. But after their gap year, most of them find new motivation. They had higher performance outcomes, career choice formation, improved employability, and a variety of life skills. The gap year can be seen as an educational process in which skills and critical reflection contribute to an individual's development.
Rich Karlgaard (Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement)
The goal for us as individuals is to know our WHY so that we can more easily find the right tree and the right nest. The goal for an organization is to know its WHY in order to attract the right birds. And the goal for each team within the company is to make sure that they have the right birds in each nest—those who will work together most effectively to contribute to the organization’s higher purpose and cause.
Simon Sinek (Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team)
Individuals start to see themselves reflected in their work and to understand their full status as human beings through the object created, through the work accomplished. Work no longer entails surrendering a part of one's being in the form of labor power sold, which no longer belongs to the individual, but becomes an expression of oneself, a contribution to the common life in which one is reflected, the fulfillment of one's social duty.
Ernesto Che Guevara (Che Guevara Reader: Writings on Politics & Revolution)
Carl Jung never said: “There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” What Dr. Jung said in two separate and unrelated statements was: Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain. ~Carl Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, P. 193 People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 99.
C.G. Jung
We, proudly, were the only campaign not to have a super PAC. In a manner unprecedented in American history, we received some 8 million individual campaign contributions. The average contribution was $27. These donations came from 2.5 million Americans, the vast majority of whom were low- or moderate-income people.
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
Everyone belongs to a society, whether he wishes it or not, whether he chooses it or not, whether he contributes constructively to its development or does the reverse. Community, on the contrary, implies one's relating one's self to others affirmatively and responsibly. Community in the economic sense implies an emphasis on the social values and functions of work. Community in the psychological sense involves the individual's relating himself to others in love as well as creativity.
Rollo May (The Meaning of Anxiety)
We are all Masters. Every thought, word, and action creates our individual reality from one moment to the next. Each individual’s creation, combines to form a shared reality that we all experience…. Consciousness. Being Masters requires us to take responsibility and great care in all that we do, so that the greater, combined consciousness is not hindered by our individual limitations. As Masters, we all have the ability to create, and live in Nirvana. Actively engaging in this personal responsibility, gives each of us the power to live harmoniously as well as to contribute positive re-enforcement to the greater Consciousness that we all share
Gary Hopkins
In the American way of life pleasure involves comfort, convenience, and sexual stimulation. Pleasure, so defined, has little to do with the past and views the future as no more than a repetition of a hedonistically driven present. This market morality stigmatizes others as objects for personal pleasure or bodily stimulation. The reduction of individuals to objects of pleasure is especially evident in the culture industries--television, radio, video, music. Like all Americans, African Americans are influenced greatly by the images of comfort. These images contribute to the predominance of the market-inspired way of life over all others and thereby edge out nonmarket values--love, care, service to others--handed down by preceding generations. The predominance of this way of life among those living in poverty-ridden conditions, with a limited capacity to ward of self-contempt and self-hatred, results in the possible triumph of the nihilistic threat in black America.
Cornel West
Your body of work is everything you create, contribute, affect, and impact. For individuals, it is the personal legacy you leave at the end of your life, including all the tangible and intangible things you have created. Individuals who structure their careers around autonomy, mastery, and purpose will have a powerful body of work.
Pamela Slim (Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together)
I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions. Although teachers do care and do work very, very hard, the institution is psychopathic — it has no conscience.
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Note that the best rationalizations are those that have an element of truth. Whether you vote or not will almost certainly have no influence on the outcome of an election. Nor will the amount of carbon you personally put into the atmosphere make a difference in the fate of the planet. And perhaps it really should be up to governments rather than the charities that are soliciting your contributions to feed the hungry and homeless in America or save children around the world from crushing poverty and abuse. But the fact that these statements are true doesn't mean they aren't also rationalizations that you and others use to justify questionable behavior. This uncomfortable truth is crucial to an understanding of the link between rationalization and evil—an understanding that starts with the awareness that sane people rarely, if ever, act in a truly evil manner unless they can successfully rationalize their actions... [The] process of rationalizing evil deeds committed by whole societies is a collective effort rather than a solely individual enterprise.
Thomas Gilovich (The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights)
It is not easy to recognize, the talent of the individual who contributes to the lives of others by sharing a natural gift in everyday life.
Lydia Clar (Out of Darkness into Light:My Personal Journey Into the Realm of Spirit)
Create history and write your own.
Amit Abraham
The problems presented by difficult individuals contribute to your growth and evolution—another reason for filling yourself with gratitude, appreciation, and love!
Susan Barbara Apollon (An Inside Job: A Psychologist Shares Healing Wisdom for Your Cancer Journey)
Success is individual. It is aligning who you are with how you choose to contribute in the world.
Kristin Kaufman
Collaboration requires focusing on everything from vision and values to how individuals can feel they are making a real contribution.
Jane Ripley (Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster)
Surely the Germans must be the ugliest-looking people in Europe, individually. Not a decent-looking woman in the whole Linden. Their awful clothes probably contribute to one’s impression.
William L. Shirer (Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-41)
Modernity is the condition a society reaches when life is no longer conceived as cyclical. In a premodern society, where the purpose of life is understood to be the reproduction of the customs and practices of the group, and where people are expected to follow the life path their parents followed, the ends of life are given at the beginning of life. People know what their life's task is, and they know when it has been completed. In modern societies, the reproduction of the custom is no longer understood to be one of the chief purposes of existence, and the ends of life are not thought to be given; they are thought to be discovered or created. Individuals are not expected to follow the life path of their parents, and the future of the society is not thought to be dictated entirely by its past. Modern societies do not simply repeat and extend themselves; they change in unforeseeable directions, and the individual's contributions to these changes is unspecifiable in advance. To devote oneself to the business of preserving and reproducing the culture of one's group is to risk one of the most terrible fates in modern societies, obsolescence.
Louis Menand (The Metaphysical Club)
Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually. It is no great surprise, then, that humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.
Patrick Lencioni (The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues)
It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and habilities he must go out of himself to appreciate. The accidents in my life have often afforded me this advantage, but never with more fulness and variety than during my continuance in office.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
It was only because men learned to cooperate that we could make the great discovery of the division of labor; a discovery which is the chief security for the welfare of mankind. To preserve human life would not be possible if each individual attempted to wrest a living from the earth by himself with no cooperation and no results of cooperation in the past. Through the division of labor we can use the results of many different kinds of training and organize many different abilities so that all of them contribute to the common welfare and guarantee relief from insecurity and increased opportunity for all the members of society. It
Alfred Adler (WHAT LIFE COULD MEAN TO YOU (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 196))
But instead, I decided to give a speech about the pride of giving and the importance of doing things without waiting for the government to do it for you. I pointed out that when individuals or private groups were involved in helping the needy, none of the contributions were spent on overhead or administrative costs, unlike government relief programs where $2 was often spent on overhead for every $1 that went to needy people.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life)
Radical feminist work around the world daily strengthens political solidarity between women beyond the boundaries of race/ethnicity and nationality. Mainstream mass media rarely calls attention to these positive interventions. In Hatreds: Radicalized and Sexualized Conflicts in the 21st Century, Zillah Eisenstein shares the insight: Feminism(s) as transnational - imagined as the rejection of false race/gender borders and falsely constructed 'other' - is a major challenge to masculinist nationalism, the distortions of statist communism and 'free'-market globalism. It is a feminism that recognizes individual diversity, and freedom, and equality, defined through and beyond north/west and south/east dialogues. No one who has studied the growth of global feminism can deny the important work women are doing to ensure our freedom. No one can deny that Western women, particularly women in the United States, have contributed much that is needed to this struggle and need to contribute more. The goal of global feminism is to reach out and join global struggles to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.
bell hooks (Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics)
If you believe in the lone genius myth, creativity is an antisocial act, performed by only a few great figures — mostly dead men with names like Mozart, Einstein, or Picasso. The rest of us are left to stand around and gawk in awe at their achievements. Under the "scenius" model, great ideas are often birthed by a group of creative individuals — artists, curators, thinkers, theorists, and other tastemakers — who make up an “ecology of talent.” Being a valuable part of a scenius is not necessarily about how smart or talented you are, but about what you have to contribute—the ideas you share, the quality of the connections you make, and the conversations you start. If we forget about genius and think more about how we can nurture and contribute to a scenius, we can adjust our own expectations and the expectations of the worlds we want to accept us. We can stop asking what others can do for us, and start asking what we can do for others. Think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others. Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing. Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts, no matter how bad they are at first. . . . Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.
Austin Kleon (Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered)
The minute a business groups people into categories, it diminishes their unique individuality, which is the most sustainable source of their motivation and desire to contribute. It also puts a box around the workers’ potential.
Carol Sanford (The Regenerative Business: Redesign Work, Cultivate Human Potential, Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes)
Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi. I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals--politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs. My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative “norms” of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.
Forrest J. Ackerman
Since the dawn of time, several billion human (or humanlike) beings have lived, each contributing a little genetic variability to the total human stock. Out of this vast number, the whole of our understanding of human prehistory is based on the remains, often exceedingly fragmentary, of perhaps five thousand individuals. You could fit it all into the back of a pickup truck if you didn't mind how much you jumbled everything up, Ian Tattersall, the bearded and friendly curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, replied when I asked him the size of the total world archive of hominid and early human bones. The shortage wouldn't be so bad if the bones were distributed evenly through time and space, but of course they are not. They appear randomly, often in the most tantalizing fashion. Homo erectus walked the Earth for well over a million years and inhabited territory from the Atlantic edge of Europe to the Pacific side of China, yet if you brought back to life every Homo erectus individual whose existence we can vouch for, they wouldn't fill a school bus. Homo habilis consists of even less: just two partial skeletons and a number of isolated limb bones. Something as short-lived as our own civilization would almost certainly not be known from the fossil record at all. In Europe, Tattersall offers by way of illustration, you've got hominid skulls in Georgia dated to about 1.7 million years ago, but then you have a gap of almost a million years before the next remains turn up in Spain, right on the other side of the continent, and then you've got another 300,000-year gap before you get a Homo heidelbergensis in Germany and none of them looks terribly much like any of the others. He smiled. It's from these kinds of fragmentary pieces that you're trying to work out the histories of entire species. It's quite a tall order. We really have very little idea of the relationships between many ancient species which led to us and which were evolutionary dead ends. Some probably don't deserve to be regarded as separate species at all.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
But inherited wealth reaches its utmost value when it falls to the individual endowed with mental powers of a high order, who is resolved to pursue a line of life not compatible with the making of money; for he is then doubly endowed by fate and can live for his genius; and he will pay his debt to mankind a hundred times, by achieving what no other could achieve, by producing some work which contributes to the general good, and redounds to the honor of humanity at large.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Wisdom of Life (Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer))
Perhaps Jung’s most compelling contribution is the idea of individuation, that is, the lifelong project of becoming more nearly the whole person we were meant to be—what the gods intended, not the parents, or the tribe, or, especially, the easily intimidated or the inflated ego. While revering the mystery of others, our individuation summons each of us to stand in the presence of our own mystery, and become more fully responsible for who we are in this journey we call our life.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Jesus’s final prayer was oriented around a vision for unity, and he commissioned his church to be the healing agent that brings the ministry of reconciliation into broken and fractured places in society. And yet an honest assessment raises more questions than answers. Is the church at large, and are we as individuals, currently making any contribution to healing the divisions? Or are we making things worse? Have we come to grips with our role in creating this divide, or are we stuck in a state of denial?
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
Straining to see the world through triangle-shaped lenses, Pythagoreans argued that in heredity too a triangular harmony was at work. The mother and the father were two independent sides and the child was the third—the biological hypotenuse to the parents’ two lines. And just as a triangle’s third side could arithmetically be derived from the two other sides using a strict mathematical formula, so was a child derived from the parents’ individual contributions: nature from father and nurture from mother. A
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
The U.S. Senate presented the most powerful obstacle to any progressive reform. Because senators at the time were elected by state legislatures rather than by popular vote, the majority of senators owed their positions to their state machines. These organizations, William Allen White observed, were in thrall to the business interests that filled their coffers through campaign contributions or blatant bribery. In a number of states, the bosses made themselves senators; in others, wealthy individuals purchased their seats
Doris Kearns Goodwin (The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism)
Most people are honest, loyal, law-abiding citizens who focus their energy on making a living, raising a family, and contributing to society. Others are more selfish, concerned only about themselves, and appear to lack a moral compass. These individuals display little regard for others, allowing their need for power and prestige to override their sense of fairness and equity.1 Unfortunately, some individuals in the business world allow the responsibilities of leadership and the perquisites of power to override their moral sense.
Paul Babiak (Snakes in Suits, Revised Edition: When Psychopaths Go to Work)
When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty. I certainly don't advocate for traumatization to build character, but since trauma is almost a given at some point in our lives, the image of the tree can be a valuable mirror.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Shortly after Bush took office, a government scientist prepared testimony for a Congressional committee on the dangerous effects of industrial uses of coal and other fossil fuels in contributing to “global warming,” a depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer. The White House changed the testimony, over the scientist’s objections, to minimize the danger (Boston Globe, October 29, 1990). Again, business worries about regulation seemed to override the safety of the public. The ecological crisis in the world had become so obviously serious that Pope John Paul II felt the need to rebuke the wealthy classes of the industrialized nations for creating that crisis: “Today, the dramatic threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness, both individual and collective, are contrary to the order of creation.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
The paths we take in our lives are also in the hands of God, and He can guide our steps. Elder Richard G. Scott said, “The Lord has a purpose for you, individually. . . . Discover it and fulfill it. It will likely not be revealed all at once but will be unfolded line upon line. As you pray and work hard, you will find threads of understanding that will lead you to the path the Lord wants you to follow for the greatest enduring, meaningful attainment, contribution, joy, and peace of mind. Faithfully and courageously follow those threads of understanding and direction.”2
Brad Wilcox (52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon)
In fact the system of collective contribution, levy of a tenth, and redistribution to the participants, is the schema of the sacrificial rite (one provides the victim; the god, the temple, the priests levy a tenth, then redistribution takes place: redistribution that imparts a new strength and power to those who benefit from it, deriving from the sacrifice itself). The game — sacrifice, division, levy, redistribution — is a religious form of individual and group invigoration which has been transposed into a social practice involving the resolution of a class conflict.
Michel Foucault (Lectures on the Will to Know: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1970-1971, & Oedipal Knowledge)
Since the values of the market were the highest criteria, persons also became valued as commodities which could be bought and sold. A person's worth is then his salable market value, whether it is skill or 'personality' that is up for sale. [...] The market value, then, becomes the individual's valuation of himself, so that self-confidence and 'self-feeling' (ones experience of identity with one's self) are largely reflections of what others think of one, in this case the 'others' being those who represent the market. Thus contemporary economic processes have contributed not only to an alienation of man from man, but likewise to 'self-alienation' - an alienation of the individual from himself. As Fromm very well summarizes the point: Since modern man experiences himself both as the seller and as the commodity to be sold on the market, his self-esteem depends on conditions beyond his control. If he is 'successful,' he is valuable; if he is not, he is worthless. The degree of insecurity which results from this orientation can hardly be overestimated. If one feels that one's own value is not constituted primarily by the human qualities one possesses, but by one's succes on a competitive market with ever-changing conditions, one's self-esteem is bound to be shaky and in constant need of confirmation by others. [Erich Fromm, Man for himself] In such a situation one is driven to strive relentlessly for 'succes'; this is the chief way to validate ones self and to allay anxiety. And any failure in the competitive struggle is a threat to the quasi-esteem for one's self - which, quasi though it be, is all one has in such a situation. This obviously leads to powerful feelings of helplessness and inferiority. [p.169f]
Rollo May (The Meaning of Anxiety)
We believe people are basically good. We recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual. We believe everyone has something to contribute. We encourage people to treat others the way they want to be treated. We believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people.
Meg Whitman (The Power of Many: Values for Success in Business and in Life)
Each breaker, she supposed, was as unique as a human soul. Each made its own run up onto the shore, being the very embodiment of vigor and power at the start. But each slowed, spread thin, faltered, dissolved into a hissing ribbon of gray foam, and got buried under the next. The end result of all their noisy, pounding, repetitious efforts was the beach. Seen through a lens, the particular arrangement of sand-grains that made up the beach presumably was complicated, and reflected the individual contributions of every single wave that had ended its life here; but seen from the level of Eliza’s head it was unspeakably flat,
Neal Stephenson (Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1))
Those five characteristics are:    1. Reactivity: the vicious cycle of intense reactions of each member to events and to one another.    2. Herding: a process through which the forces for togetherness triumph over the forces for individuality and move everyone to adapt to the least mature members.    3. Blame displacement: an emotional state in which family members focus on forces that have victimized them rather than taking responsibility for their own being and destiny.    4. A quick-fix mentality: a low threshold for pain that constantly seeks symptom relief rather than fundamental change.    5. Lack of well-differentiated leadership: a failure of nerve that both stems from and contributes to the first four. To reorient oneself away from a focus on technology toward a focus on emotional process requires that, like Columbus, we think in ways that not only are different from traditional routes but that also sometimes go in the opposite direction. This chapter will thus also serve as prelude to the three that follow, which describe the “equators” we have to cross in our time: the “learned” fallacies or emotional barriers that keep an Old World orientation in place and cause both family and institutional leaders to regress rather than venture in new directions.
Edwin H. Friedman (A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix)
How much did GE contribute to government criminals? Spent on lobbying: $39,290,000 (2010). Number of Lobbyists: 12,982 (2010). Political contributions: $2,696,141 (2010). Contributions to individual politicians: $6,723,281 (2010). Total contributions 1990 to 2010: $19,725,132.00. Party Breakdown: 52% to Democrats, 48% to Republicans
Joseph Befumo (The Republicrat Junta: How Two Corrupt Parties, in Collusion with Corporate Criminals, have Subverted Democracy, Deceived the People, and Hijacked Our Constitutional Government)
This kind of for-getfulness was called repression, and is the normal mechanism by which nature protects the individual from such painful feelings as are caused by unpleasant and unacceptable experiences and thoughts, the recognition of his egoistic nature, and the often quite unbearable conflict of his weaknesses with his feelings of idealism.
C.G. Jung (Psychology of the Unconscious: A Study of the Transformations and Symbolisms of the Libido, A Contribution to the History of the Evolution of Thought)
Power, according to Hobbes, is the accumulated control that permits the individual to fix prices and regulate supply and demand in such a way that they contribute to his own advantage. The individual will consider his advantage in complete isolation, from the point of view of an absolute minority, so to speak; he will then realize that he can pursue and achieve his interest only with the help of some kind of majority. Therefore, if man is actually driven by nothing but his individual interests, desire for power must be the fundamental passion of man. It regulates the relations between individual and society, and all other ambitions as well, for riches, knowledge, and honor follow from it.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Finally, methods of control can be direct if a government is able to implement rewards and punishments based on behavior. Such a system treats people as reinforcement learning algorithms, training them to optimize the objective set by the state. The temptation for a government, particularly one with a top-down, engineering mind-set, is to reason as follows: it would be better if everyone behaved well, had a patriotic attitude, and contributed to the progress of the country; technology enables measurement of individual behavior, attitudes, and contributions; therefore, everyone will be better off if we set up a technology-based system of monitoring and control based on rewards and punishments.
Stuart Russell (Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control)
Under the guise of helping the sick, oppressed and hopeless, psychiatry is paving the way for authoritarian governments to suppress a whole society furthermore, with drugs and obscene practices that promote, not only hypnotic suggestions, but also highly suggestible individuals which, otherwise, would oppose a whole repressive system that threatens both their existence and the existence of future generations on Earth. And so, one can very well say that, psychiatry, aided by pharmaceutical corporations and power-driven governments, or merely governments fearful of their own people and the extinction of immoral politics, will contribute vastly to the extermination and full extinction of the human race.
Robin Sacredfire
This country," said Eliot, "had tremendous research projects devoted to fighting odors. They were supported by individual contributions given to mothers who marched on Sundays from door to door. The ideal of the research was to find a specific chemical deodorant for every odor. But then the hero, who was also the country's dictator, made a wonderful scientific breakthrough, even though he wasn't a scientist, and they didn't need the projects any more. He went right to the root of the problem." "Uh huh," said the Senator. He couldn't stand stories by Kilgore Trout, was embarassed by his son. "He found one chemical that would eliminate all odors?" "No. As I say, the hero was dictator, and he simply eliminated noses.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Did I live? The human world is like a vast musical instrument on which we play our individual part while simultaneously listening to the compositions of others in an effort to contribute to the whole. We don't chose whether to engage, only how to; we either harmonize or create dissonance. Our words, our deeds, our very presence create and leave impressions in the minds of others just as a writer makes impressions with their words. Who you are is an unfolding narrative. You came from nothing and will return there eventually. Instead of taking ourselves so seriously all the time, we can discover the playful irony of a story that has never been told in quite this way before. -- Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs
Stephen Batchelor
Wallace Stegner was a man who lived under the obligation of trying his best to be a “good man,” and his writing was part and parcel of that effort. For him, the individual, insofar as his or her capabilities allow, must not only take charge of his or her own destiny, but take on the responsibility of contributing to the welfare of others in family, community and society.
Jackson J. Benson (Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work)
Industrial society will open the way to a new civilization only by restoring to the worker the dignity of a creator; in other words, by making him apply his interest and his intelligence as much to the work itself as to what it produces. The type of civilization that is inevitable will not be able to separate, among classes as well as among individuals, the worker from the creator; any more than artistic creation dreams of separating form and substance, history and the mind. In this way it will bestow on everyone the dignity that rebellion affirms. It would be unjust, and moreover Utopian, for Shakespeare to direct the shoemakers' union. But it would be equally disastrous for the shoemakers' union to ignore Shakespeare. Shakespeare without the shoemaker serves as an excuse for tyranny. The shoemaker without Shakespeare is absorbed by tyranny when he does not contribute to its propagation. Every act of creation, by its mere existence, denies the world of master and slave. The appalling society of tyrants and slaves in which we survive will find its death and transfiguration only on the level of creation.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). H. pylori is frequently accused of contributing to the development and progression of autoimmune disease (and is also one of the best-understood persistent infections). As mentioned in the previous section, H. pylori is a bacterium found in the upper gastrointestinal tract of approximately 50 percent of the population and is known to cause stomach ulcers in susceptible individuals. It also modulates the adaptive immune system through a very complex interaction. In fact, the interaction is so complex that acquiring H. pylori early in life prevents immune and autoimmune diseases. By contrast, acquiring H. pylori as an adult (which is more common in Western countries) increases the risk of immune dysfunction.
Sarah Ballantyne (The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body)
bears remembering that the purpose of a free press, like the purpose of free speech, is to nurture the mind, communicate ideas, challenge ideologies, share notions, inspire creativity, and advocate and reinforce America’s founding principles—that is, to contribute to a vigorous, productive, healthy, and happy individual and to a well-functioning civil society and republic.
Mark R. Levin (Unfreedom of the Press)
When the culture of the East, its chief characteristic, is added to the strength of body and the strength of mind of the agricultural center, its special contribution, and these two great characteristics are constantly imbued with the spirit of independence and love of liberty which lives in the hearts of the dwellers of the mountains, their main quality added to the national character, there is every reason to believe that we shall have a people and institutions such as will be permanent; with such wealth of resources, of such high education and intelligence, and of such vitality, of such longevity, of such devotion to freedom and hostility to centralization and tyranny as shall enable this Nation of ours to stand indefinitely; and to maintain in the future years its manifest destiny of leading the peoples and nations of earth in the principles of free government, constitutional security and individual liberty. Under these and under these alone, the faculties, the aspirations and inspirations of mankind may be unfolded into their full flowering to the fruition of an ever greater and more humane civilization.
Charles Edwin Winter (Four Hundred Million Acres: The Public Lands And Resources)
Because a hunter's labor did not augment the food supply but could only reduce it, one who heroically labored overtime to kill more animals or pick more fruit than could be eaten before it spoiled contributed nothing to prosperity. To the contrary, overkill reduced the prospects of finding food in the future, and thus had a detrimental impact on the well-being of the group.
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)
Table 1-1 Sources of Private Contributions: 2011 Source of Income Amount of Total Giving in Billions Percentage of Total Giving Individuals $217.79 73% Foundations $41.67 14% Bequests $24.41 8% Corporations $14.55 5% Total $298.42 100% Source: Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2011 (2012). Chicago: Giving USA Foundation. Fundraising for fun and profit
Stan Hutton (Nonprofit Kit For Dummies)
It bears remembering that the purpose of a free press, like the purpose of free speech, is to nurture the mind, communicate ideas, challenge ideologies, share notions, inspire creativity, and advocate and reinforce America’s founding principles—that is, to contribute to a vigorous, productive, healthy, and happy individual and to a well-functioning civil society and republic.
Mark R. Levin (Unfreedom of the Press)
The great misfortune of our generation is that the direction which by the amazing progress of the natural sciences has been given to its interests is not one which assists us in comprehending the larger process of which as individuals we form merely a part or in appreciating how we constantly contribute to a common effort without either directing it or submitting to orders of others.
Friedrich A. Hayek
Jung made clear that far from simply rejecting society’s norms and “dropping out,” “individuators” had a responsibility to create new values and achieve new levels of inner discipline. Although “individuation is exclusive adaptation to inner reality and hence an allegedly ‘mystical’ process,” society has a right to “condemn the individuant if he fails to create equivalent values, for he is a disease.”14 Individuating means “stepping over into solitude, into the cloister of the inner self . . . inner adaptation leads to the conquest of inner realities, from which values are won for the reparation of the collective. Individuation remains a pose so long as no positive values are created. Whosoever is not creative enough must re-establish collective conformity . . . otherwise he remains an empty waster and windbag . . . society has a right to expect realizable values . . . ”15 Jung’s terminology sounds abstract, but his meaning is simple. It’s not enough to withdraw from society and seek your own salvation, your own individuation. The individuator must return to society (“collectivity”) to contribute his or her new insights, his or her new values, which must be at least equal to if not greater than the norm.
Gary Lachman (Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life & Teachings)
Individual natural human rights are considered one of the great contributions of the glorious Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, so the professor thought he was on safe ground in asking such a thing of the miserable Middle Ages. Well, what do you know; a few years later, medievalist Brian Tierney’s The Idea of Natural Rights traced this concept back to medieval philosophers, including St. Thomas Aquinas.
Diane Moczar (Seven Lies About Catholic History)
In focusing on “cultural change” and “conflict between cultures,” these studies avoid fundamental questions about the formation of the United States and its implications for the present and future. This approach to history allows one to safely put aside present responsibility for continued harm done by that past and the questions of reparations, restitution, and reordering society.9 Multiculturalism became the cutting edge of post-civil-rights-movement US history revisionism. For this scheme to work—and affirm US historical progress—Indigenous nations and communities had to be left out of the picture. As territorially and treaty-based peoples in North America, they did not fit the grid of multiculturalism but were included by transforming them into an inchoate oppressed racial group, while colonized Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans were dissolved into another such group, variously called “Hispanic” or “Latino.” The multicultural approach emphasized the “contributions” of individuals from oppressed groups to the country’s assumed greatness. Indigenous peoples were thus credited with corn, beans, buckskin, log cabins, parkas, maple syrup, canoes, hundreds of place names, Thanksgiving, and even the concepts of democracy and federalism. But this idea of the gift-giving Indian helping to establish and enrich the development of the United States is an insidious smoke screen meant to obscure the fact that the very existence of the country is a result of the looting of an entire continent and its resources. The fundamental unresolved issues of Indigenous lands, treaties, and sovereignty could not but scuttle the premises of multiculturalism.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
I also find Mill’s words to be of use when considering relationships. Often we want our friends, partners and people we love to be like us, because that allows us to feel validated and accepted. It is a powerful thing to find people in this world who share our values and instincts. But it is also important to celebrate the differences between our partners and us. Would we really want to be in a relationship where the other person reminds us every day of ourselves? Wouldn’t it just be like having rich chocolate cake every day? Do we even especially like people who are very much like us? Don’t we find ourselves cynical of their motives, believing we can see right through them? Love seems to come without a template. We may think we know what we want in a partner and then one day find ourselves in love for very different reasons. In the same way that differing, developed individuals contribute to Mill’s view of society and make it worth belonging to, so too the differences between people in a relationship can be precisely the substance of what makes it valuable. And then, rather than falling for that old fallacy of entering into a relationship thinking you will ‘change’ the other person to more comfortably reflect your values, you might see the qualities that separate them from you as precisely the features to celebrate. These qualities can complement our own: our laid-back approach to life can be challenged by the more active, dynamic ambition we might see in a partner, or vice versa. When the time comes, it will be useful to have them in mind as a role model. And to echo Mill: as our partners develop their own unique qualities, they can become of more value to themselves and therefore to the relationship as a whole.
Derren Brown (Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine)
King’s Salary It Is inhuman to talk of a million sterling a year, paid out of the public taxes of any country, for the support of an individual, whilst thousands who are forced to contribute thereto, are pining with want and struggling with misery. Govt does not consist in a contract between prisons and palaces,14 between poverty and pomp; it is not instituted to rob the needy of his mite and increase the worthlessness of the wretched.
Bhagat Singh (Jail Notebook and Other Writings)
Our individual souls hum actively within a kind of global soul comprising all life on the planet. Our words, thoughts, deeds, and visions influence our individual health just as they affect the health of everyone around us. As a vital part of a larger, universal spirit, we each have been put here on earth to fulfill a Sacred Contract that enhances our personal spiritual growth while contributing to the evolution of the entire global soul.
Caroline Myss (Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential)
Alongside the development of theatres came the growth of an acting culture; in essence it was the birth of the acting profession. Plays had generally been performed by amateurs - often men from craft guilds. Towards the end of the sixteenth century there developed companies of actors usually under the patronage of a powerful or wealthy individual. These companies offered some protection against the threat of Puritan intervention, censorship, or closure on account of the plague. They encouraged playwrights to write drama which relied on ensemble playing rather than the more static set pieces associated with the classical tradition. They employed boys to play the parts of women and contributed to the development of individual performers. Audiences began to attend the theatre to see favourite actors, such as Richard Burbage or Will Kempe, as much as to see a particular play. Although the companies brought some stability and professionalism to the business of acting - for instance, Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's, subsequently the King's, Men, continued until the theatres closed (1642) - they offered little security for the playwright. Shakespeare was in this respect, as in others, the exception to the rule that even the best-known and most successful dramatists of the period often remained financially insecure.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
To hold on to hygge, we learn to listen and to speak up. We hone the art of conversation and attempt to master an evenness of flow (an equal share of contributions and turns), and to maintain a sense of mutual involvement. Those of us who are more introverted can relax in the knowledge that no one is expected to take centre stage. For an occasion to work well for everyone, the desire for hygge has to be balanced with a respect for individuality.
Louisa Thomsen Brits (The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well)
To the accepted Christian tradition that man must be free to follow his conscience in moral matters if his actions are to be of any merit, the economists added the further argument that he should be free to make full use of his knowledge and skill, that he must be allowed to be guided by his concern for the particular things of which he knows and for which he cares, if he is to make as great a contribution to the common purposes of society as he is capable of making.
Friedrich A. Hayek (Individualism and Economic Order)
One of the best things about gratitude is that it serves both you and the one to whom you are giving thanks. When you share your feelings of being blessed and grateful, not only do you vibrate at higher level, but your expression contributes to an increase in the energy of those around you, and especially serves the individual to whom you have expressed your thanks. The result is that you raise the level of universal well-being by choosing to focus with gratitude on your blessings.
Susan Barbara Apollon (An Inside Job: A Psychologist Shares Healing Wisdom for Your Cancer Journey)
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
Each of us has a role to play, and we all need to contribute to making the world a better place. You cannot sit back and do nothing and hope for change; one person can make the biggest difference. Throughout history people have tried to say that we need love and we need to work together, which we do, but you cannot truly love anything unless you learn to love yourself. It all boils down to you, the individual. When individuals accept themselves, they are liberated from their suffering, and are capable of fully embracing the world around them. You are the only one who can change your life. When the people recognize this, real change will come. Do not wait around for someone else to save the world. You are unique and you have knowledge from your own experience that no one else has. You have ideas and passions that nobody else can claim. You could be the one to help us out of the dreadful situation that we are in, but if you do not act on your ambition the world will never know.
Joseph P. Kauffman (Conscious Collective: An Aim for Awareness)
35. The personal self seeks to feast on life, through a failure to perceive the distinction between the personal self and the spiritual man. All personal experience really exists for the sake of another: namely, the spiritual man. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on experience for the sake of the Self, comes a knowledge of the spiritual man. The divine ray of the Higher Self, which is eternal, impersonal and abstract, descends into life, and forms a personality, which, through the stress and storm of life, is hammered into a definite and concrete self-conscious individuality. The problem is, to blend these two powers, taking the eternal and spiritual being of the first, and blending with it, transferring into it, the self-conscious individuality of the second; and thus bringing to life a third being, the spiritual man, who is heir to the immortality of his father, the Higher Self, and yet has the self-conscious, concrete individuality of his other parent, the personal self. This is the true immaculate conception, the new birth from above, "conceived of the Holy Spirit." Of this new birth it is said: "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit: ye must be born again." Rightly understood, therefore, the whole life of the personal man is for another, not for himself. He exists only to render his very life and all his experience for the building up of the spiritual man. Only through failure to see this, does he seek enjoyment for himself, seek to secure the feasts of life for himself; not understanding that he must live for the other, live sacrificially, offering both feasts and his very being on the altar; giving himself as a contribution for the building of the spiritual man. When he does understand this, and lives for the Higher Self, setting his heart and thought on the Higher Self, then his sacrifice bears divine fruit, the spiritual man is built up, consciousness awakes in him, and he comes fully into being as a divine and immortal individuality.
Patañjali (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. the Book of the Spiritual Man)
He recognized that need, in Odonian terms, as his "cellular function." the analogic term for the individual's individuality, the work he can do best, therefore his best contribution to his society. A healthy society would let him exercise that optimum function freely, in the coordination of all such functions finding its adaptability and strength. That was a central idea of Odo's Analogy. That the Odonian society on Anarres had fallen short of the ideal did not, in his eyes, lessen his responsibility to it; just the contrary. With the myth of the State out of the way, the real mutuality and reciprocity of society and the individual became clear. Sacrifice mught be demanded of the individual, but never compromise: for though only the society could give security and stability, only the individual, the person, had the power of moral choice -- the power of change, the essential function of life. The Odonian society was conceived as a permanent revolution, and revolution begins in the thinking mind.
Urusla K Le Guin
Buchanan took pride in what he called his academic entrepreneurship. Contributions from corporations such as General Electric and several oil companies and right-wing individuals flowed in, as anti–New Deal foundations provided funds to lure promising graduate students.53 Before long, the cofounders of the center were able to seize an opportunity to prove their enterprise’s value to the Byrd Organization on the issue that mattered most to its stalwarts in these years: the future of the public schools.
Nancy MacLean (Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America)
A common and traditionally masculine marital problem is created by the husband who, once he is married, devotes all his energies to climbing mountains and none to tending to his marriage, or base camp, expecting it to be there in perfect order whenever he chooses to return to it for rest and recreation without his assuming any responsibility for its maintenance. Sooner or later this “capitalist” approach to the problem fails and he returns to find his untended base camp a shambles, his neglected wife having been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown, having run off with another man, or in some other way having renounced her job as camp caretaker. An equally common and traditionally feminine marital problem is created by the wife who, once she is married, feels that the goal of her life has been achieved. To her the base camp is the peak. She cannot understand or empathize with her husband’s need for achievements and experiences beyond the marriage and reacts to them with jealousy and never-ending demands that he devote increasingly more energy to the home. Like other “communist” resolutions of the problem, this one creates a relationship that is suffocating and stultifying, from which the husband, feeling trapped and limited, may likely flee in a moment of “mid-life crisis.” The women’s liberation movement has been helpful in pointing the way to what is obviously the only ideal resolution: marriage as a truly cooperative institution, requiring great mutual contributions and care, time and energy, but existing for the primary purpose of nurturing each of the participants for individual journeys toward his or her own individual peaks of spiritual growth. Male and female both must tend the hearth and both must venture forth. As an adolescent I used to thrill to the words of love the early American poet Ann Bradstreet spoke to her husband: “If ever two were one, then we.”20 As I have grown, however, I have come to realize that it is the separateness of the partners that enriches the union. Great marriages cannot be constructed by individuals
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The American Revolution and its aftermath coincided with two great transformations in the late eighteenth century. In the political sphere, there had been a repudiation of royal rule, fired by a new respect for individual freedom, majority rule, and limited government. If Hamilton made distinguished contributions in this sphere, so did Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. In contrast, when it came to the parallel economic upheavals of the period—the industrial revolution, the expansion of global trade, the growth of banks and stock exchanges—Hamilton was an American prophet without peer. No other founding father straddled both of these revolutions—only Franklin even came close—and therein lay Hamilton’s novelty and greatness. He was the clear-eyed apostle of America's economic future, setting forth a vision that many found enthralling, others unsettling, but that would ultimately prevail. He stood squarely on the modern side of a historical divide that seemed to separate him from other founders. Small wonder he aroused such fear and confusion.
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Why is it that all individuals today, at least all who are socially conscious, are in one way or another tortured by social guilt? Because whatever they do is fatally false, falsified by the pressure of an utterly false society. If you live solely for individual contacts and personal service, then you betray your obligation to the suffering millions with whom you have no contact. If you live for economic or social and political action to cure the sick world, then, either you will be entirely ineffective, or else you will gain power, and so be corrupted by power; and then you will contribute to the burden of the institutionalism and mechanized tyranny that is turning all men into robots. If you withdraw from the world to purge your soul of the world’s poison, seeking a lone salvation in religious discipline and contemplation, then again you betray your immediate obligation to your fellows, even if you innocently suppose you will discover truth invaluable to a future generation. No! As I see it, do what you will, you are damned, just because you are all of a piece with a damned world, a damned species.
Olaf Stapledon (A Man Divided)
What is the difference between Utilitarianism and Communitarianism? Let me explain to you based on my modest and humblest understanding by using an analogy of Ham Sandwich and Egg Sandwich. To prepare and serve a Ham Sandwich, a poor pig’s life must be sacrificed to serve the majority of the consumers—that is Utilitarianism. To serve an Egg Sandwich, on the other hand, a cheerful hen must dutifully lay an egg every day to serve the majority of the consumers—that is Communitarianism. In utilitarianism, the means is not important, as long as it produces the beneficial result (consequentialism) for the majority, then it is ethically and morally justifiable. It does not matter if you bomb the enemy’s innocent women and children, so long as it maims the enemy’s capability to retaliate, then your act is defensible for the greater good of your country. In communitarianism, however, individual life and individual contribution to the community are both important. As long as you continue laying eggs willingly and happily, you contribute to the common good of the community as a dependable and responsible hen, I mean, individual. (Danny Castillones Sillada, Inusara Journal, October 8, 2016).
Danny Castillones Sillada
When Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, old age was defined as sixty-five years, yet estimated life expectancy in the United States at the time was sixty-one years for males and sixty-four years for females.62 A senior citizen today, however, can expect to live eighteen to twenty years longer. The downside is that he or she also should expect to die more slowly. The two most common causes of death in 1935 America were respiratory diseases (pneumonia and influenza) and infectious diarrhea, both of which kill rapidly. In contrast, the two most common causes of death in 2007 America were heart disease and cancer (each accounted for about 25 percent of total deaths). Some heart attack victims die within minutes or hours, but most elderly people with heart disease survive for years while coping with complications such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, general weakness, and peripheral vascular disease. Many cancer patients also remain alive for several years following their diagnosis because of chemo-therapy, radiation, surgery, and other treatments. In addition, many of the other leading causes of death today are chronic illnesses such as asthma, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease, and there has been an upsurge in the occurrence of nonfatal but chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis, gout, dementia, and hearing loss.63 Altogether, the growing prevalence of chronic illness among middle-aged and elderly individuals is contributing to a health-care crisis because the children born during the post–World War II baby boom are now entering old age, and an unprecedented percentage of them are suffering from lingering, disabling, and costly diseases. The term epidemiologists coined for this phenomenon is the “extension of morbidity.
Daniel E. Lieberman (The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease)
... nothing is easier than to distance ourselves from great figures, whether through a negative interpretation or through idealization. Denigration and idealization are twins with the same basic motive: to avoid taking responsibility for the discoveries before us and to avoid taking responsibility for emulating the lives of great individuals. If we find severe flaws in the personality of the "genius," we can look upon him as some kind of genetic freak, closely linked to the madman, whose contributions were almost an incidental offshoot of his weird personality. If we consider the great man a triumphant genius with a basically unflawed personality, we can make small demands upon ourselves since we lack genius and possess flaws. Still another way of dealing with the great man is simply through indifference. One explains his loneliness and suffering through the kind of cliches Reich hated: "A genius is always one hundred years ahead of his time," or, "A genius always meets opposition in his lifetime." The need for distance from greatness is especially intense when we are dealing with persons who make the implicit demand: You must change your life if you are truly to understand what I have discovered.
Myron R. Sharaf (Fury On Earth: A Biography Of Wilhelm Reich)
One of the best-known studies of availability suggests that awareness of your own biases can contribute to peace in marriages, and probably in other joint projects. In a famous study, spouses were asked, “How large was your personal contribution to keeping the place tidy, in percentages?” They also answered similar questions about “taking out the garbage,” “initiating social engagements,” etc. Would the self-estimated contributions add up to 100%, or more, or less? As expected, the self-assessed contributions added up to more than 100%. The explanation is a simple availability bias: both spouses remember their own individual efforts and contributions much more clearly than those of the other, and the difference in availability leads to a difference in judged frequency. The bias is not necessarily self-serving: spouses also overestimated their contribution to causing quarrels, although to a smaller contribution to causing quarrels, although to a smaller extent than their contributions to more desirable outcomes. The same bias contributes to the common observation that many members of a collaborative team feel they have done more than their share and also feel that the others are not adequately grateful for their individual contributions
Daniel Kahneman
The same thing, notes Brynjolfsson, happened 120 years ago, in the Second Industrial Revolution, when electrification—the supernova of its day—was introduced. Old factories did not just have to be electrified to achieve the productivity boosts; they had to be redesigned, along with all business processes. It took thirty years for one generation of managers and workers to retire and for a new generation to emerge to get the full productivity benefits of that new power source. A December 2015 study by the McKinsey Global Institute on American industry found a “considerable gap between the most digitized sectors and the rest of the economy over time and [found] that despite a massive rush of adoption, most sectors have barely closed that gap over the past decade … Because the less digitized sectors are some of the largest in terms of GDP contribution and employment, we [found] that the US economy as a whole is only reaching 18 percent of its digital potential … The United States will need to adapt its institutions and training pathways to help workers acquire relevant skills and navigate this period of transition and churn.” The supernova is a new power source, and it will take some time for society to reconfigure itself to absorb its full potential. As that happens, I believe that Brynjolfsson will be proved right and we will start to see the benefits—a broad range of new discoveries around health, learning, urban planning, transportation, innovation, and commerce—that will drive growth. That debate is for economists, though, and beyond the scope of this book, but I will be eager to see how it plays out. What is absolutely clear right now is that while the supernova may not have made our economies measurably more productive yet, it is clearly making all forms of technology, and therefore individuals, companies, ideas, machines, and groups, more powerful—more able to shape the world around them in unprecedented ways with less effort than ever before. If you want to be a maker, a starter-upper, an inventor, or an innovator, this is your time. By leveraging the supernova you can do so much more now with so little. As Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation at Havas Media, observed in a March 3, 2015, essay on “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
And in the individual too, justice is effective coördination, the harmonious functioning of the elements in a man, each in its fit place and each making its coöperative contribution to behavior. Every individual is a cosmos or a chaos of desires, emotions and ideas; let these fall into harmony, and the individual survives and succeeds; let them lose their proper place and function, let emotion try to become the light of action as well as its heat (as in the fanatic), or let thought try to become the heat of action as well as its light (as in the intellectual)—and disintegration of personality begins, failure advances like the inevitable night.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
All of us share conscious recognition of our individual self. Each of us is more than a product of our conscious thoughts. The dictation of our unconscious mind also affects our behavior. The unconsciousness cogitates upon problems that are too harsh to submit to conscious resolution. The unconscious mind frequently directs us to take action that a rational, conscious mind would eschew. Resembling a two-sided coin, both our conscious and unconscious minds contribute to our thought processes. Collaborative thoughts lead to action, and repeated actions result in the development of behavior patterns, and ingrained behavior patterns lead to a sense of identity.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
After the New Deal, economists began referring to America’s retirement-finance model as a “three-legged stool.” This sturdy tripod was composed of Social Security, private pensions, and combined investments and savings. In recent years, of course, two of those legs have been kicked out. Many Americans saw their assets destroyed by the Great Recession; even before the economic collapse, many had been saving less and less. And since the 1980s, employers have been replacing defined-benefit pensions that are funded by employers and guarantee a monthly sum in perpetuity with 401(k) plans, which often rely on employee contributions and can run dry before death. Marketed as instruments of financial liberation that would allow workers to make their own investment choices, 401(k)s were part of a larger cultural drift in America away from shared responsibilities toward a more precarious individualism. Translation: 401(k)s are vastly cheaper for companies than pension plans. “Over the last generation, we have witnessed a massive transfer of economic risk from broad structures of insurance, including those sponsored by the corporate sector as well as by government, onto the fragile balance sheets of American families,” Yale political scientist Jacob S. Hacker writes in his book The Great Risk Shift. The overarching message: “You are on your own.
Jessica Bruder (Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century)
Godwin on Fenelon and his Valet * Following is an excerpt from William Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, Book II, Chapter II: “Of Justice”: In a loose and general view I and my neighbour are both of us men; and of consequence entitled to equal attention. But, in reality, it is probable that one of us is a being of more worth and importance than the other. A man is of more worth than a beast; because, being possessed of higher faculties, he is capable of a more refined and genuine happiness. In the same manner the illustrious archbishop of Cambray was of more worth than his valet, and there are few of us that would hesitate to pronounce, if his palace were in flames, and the life of only one of them could be preserved, which of the two ought to be preferred. But there is another ground of preference, beside the private consideration of one of them being further removed from the state of a mere animal. We are not connected with one or two percipient beings, but with a society, a nation, and in some sense with the whole family of mankind. Of consequence that life ought to be preferred which will be most conducive to the general good. In saving the life of Fenelon, suppose at the moment he conceived the project of his immortal Telemachus, should have been promoting the benefit of thousands, who have been cured by the perusal of that work of some error, vice and consequent unhappiness. Nay, my benefit would extend further than this; for every individual, thus cured, has become a better member of society, and has contributed in his turn to the happiness, information, and improvement of others. Suppose I had been myself the valet; I ought to have chosen to die, rather than Fenelon should have died. The life of Fenelon was really preferable to that of the valet. But understanding is the faculty that perceives the truth of this and similar propositions; and justice is the principle that regulates my conduct accordingly. It would have been just in the valet to have preferred the archbishop to himself. To have done otherwise would have been a breach of justice. Suppose the valet had been my brother, my father, or my benefactor. This would not alter the truth of the proposition. The life of Fenelon would still be more valuable than that of the valet; and justice, pure, unadulterated justice, would still have preferred that which was most valuable. Justice would have taught me to save the life of Fenelon at the expense of the other. What magic is there in the pronoun “my,” that should justify us in overturning the decisions of impartial truth? My brother or my father may be a fool or a profligate, malicious, lying or dishonest. If they be, of what consequence is it that they are mine?
William Godwin
The traditions of . . . bygone times, even to the smallest social particular, enable one to understand more clearly the circumstances with contributed to the formation of character. The daily life into which people are born, and into which they are absorbed before they are well aware, forms chains which only one in a hundred has moral strength enough to despise, and to break when the right time comes - when an inward necessity for independent individual action arises, which is superior to all outward conventionalities. Therefore it is well to know what were the chains of daily domestic habit which were the natural leading-strings of our forefathers before they learnt to go alone.
Elizabeth Gaskell (Ruth)
The young athlete would be well advised to keep athletics in its place. Be passionately involved in the activity, exert yourself to succeed. Gain from competing the massive satisfaction that competing offers. Yet be a well-rounded, sensitive, literate human being. It is not the job of athletics to produce people who know or care for nothing except athletics. Keep it in its place, behind your family, your concern for the general life of the world, and your education. There are athletes and coaches who prepare to act as if athletics were life; it is not. It is but a corner—and a rich one—of life which will contribute immensely to the holistic development of the individual. -- Joe I. Vigil
Pat Melgares (Chasing Excellence: The Remarkable Life and Inspiring Vigilosophy of Coach Joe I. Vigil)
Evolution, or its driving engine natural selection, has no foresight. In every generation within every species, the individuals best equipped to survive and reproduce contribute more than their fair share of genes to the next generation. The consequence, blind as it is, is the nearest approach to foresight that nature permits. [...] It is always tinkering: here shrinking a bit, there expanding a bit, constantly adjusting, putting on and taking off, optimising immediate reproductive success. Survival in future centuries doesn’t enter into the calculation, for the good reason that it isn’t really a calculation at all. It all happens automatically, as some genes survive in the gene pool and others don’t.
Richard Dawkins (The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution)
The Arabic Qur'an and authoritative Christian translations of the Bible into a limited number of languages contributed profoundly to the universalisation of a single ethnic religious—linguistic community in the Muslim case and to the distinction between major written languages and dialectic vernaculars in the Christian case. While the Islamic socio-political impact was thus in principle almost entirely anti-ethnic and anti-national, the Christian impact was more complex. Its willingness to translate brought with it, undoubtedly, a reduction in the number of ethnicities and vernaculars, but then a confirmation of the individual identity of those that remained: Christianity in fact helped turn ethnicities into nations.
Adrian Hastings (The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism)
You are something new in this world. Never before, since the beginning of time, has there ever been anybody exactly like you; and never again throughout all the ages to come will there ever be anybody exactly like you again. The science of genetics informs us that you are what you are largely as a result of twenty-four chromosomes contributed by your father and twenty-four chromosomes contributed by your mother. These forty-eight chromosomes comprise everything that determines what you inherit. In each chromosome there may be, says Amram Scheinfeld, ‘anywhere from scores to hundreds of genes – with a single gene, in some cases, able to change the whole life of an individual.’ Truly, we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made.
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
We who, in our familiar individual sphere are able to regard all conceivable tragedy not merely with fortitude but with exultation, are obscurely conscious that as the racial mind we have looked into an abyss of evil such as we cannot now conceive, and could not endure to conceive. Yet even this hell we know to have been acceptable as an organic member in the austere form of the cosmos. We remember obscurely, and yet with a strange conviction, that all the age-long striving of the human spirit, no less than the petty cravings of individuals, was seen as a fair component in something far more admirable than itself; and that man ultimately defeated, no less than man for a while triumphant, contributes to this higher excellence.
Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future)
A trauma is a place where it becomes impossible to remain connected in and to the present moment. Trauma is a part of the human condition! Healing is also a part of the human condition, and we have the capacity to transform difficult experiences into a wellspring of personal and spiritual power. Trauma occurs when there is a rupture in our boundary system and our capacity to metabolize an experience is compromised. Every single human being on earth has trauma. It's an interruption of our ability to stay in the present moment, anything that lags or is not harmonized on the layers of body/mind/spirit/soul/psyche. Rachael Maddox has called it an" embodied interpersonal violation hangover." Ale Duarte called it "an open loop." Lately, many people have been telling me their stories and then telling me how they are "lucky," that "it's not that bad" compared to other people's situations. All of those statements happen in the mind, and they are largely attempts to keep ourselves from feeling the depth of our pain or sorrow. We may have white privilege, we may have class privilege, we may have had homebirth privilege—the animals of our bodies don't actually understand mental and philosophical constructs like privilege. What those constructs contribute to on an individual healing level is a lot of confusion, shame and guilt, that in spite of everything we "have," we may have still experienced helplessness, hurt, anger, or outrage or collapse, or whatever it is that our system felt. We actually cannot control those responses.
Kimberly Ann Johnson
One of the best-known studies of availability suggests that awareness of your own biases can contribute to peace in marriages, and probably in other joint projects. In a famous study, spouses were asked, “How large was your personal contribution to keeping the place tidy, in percentages?” They also answered similar questions about “taking out the garbage,” “initiating social engagements,” etc. Would the self-estimated contributions add up to 100%, or more, or less? As expected, the self-assessed contributions added up to more than 100%. The explanation is a simple availability bias: both spouses remember their own individual efforts and contributions much more clearly than those of the other, and the difference in availability leads to a difference in judged frequency.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
This is an obvious, terrible fact, a challenge that must be met completely—that is, to realize that we are the world with all its ugliness, that we have contributed to all this, that we are responsible for all this, all that is happening in the Middle East, in Africa and all the craziness that is going on in this world, we are responsible for it. We may not be responsible for the deeds of our grandfathers and greatgrandfathers—slavery, thousands of wars, the brutality of empires—but we are part of it. If we don’t feel our responsibility, which means being utterly responsible for ourselves, for what we do, what we think, how we behave, then it becomes rather hopeless, knowing what the world is, knowing that we cannot individually, separately, solve this problem of terrorism.
Jiddu Krishnamurti
Liberty and Property are words expressing all those of our possessions which are not of an intellectual nature. There are two kinds of property. Firstly, natural property, or that which comes to us from the Creator of the universe-such as the earth, air, water. Secondly, artificial or acquired property-the invention of men. In the latter, equality is impossible; for to distribute it equally it would be necessary that all should have contributed in the same proportion, which can never be the case; and this being the case, every individual would hold on to his own property, as his right share. Equality of natural property is the subject of this little essay. Every individual in the world is born therein with legitimate claims on a certain kind of property, or its equivalent. -Agrarian Justice
Thomas Paine
Cleckley reported that psychopaths never experience grief, honesty, deep joy, or genuine despair. From my own experience, I would add to Cleckley’s observations that the psychopath never ruminates on anything. Rumination is a process that often contributes to depression and in extreme forms to obsessive-compulsive disorder. The process of rumination is often associated with some anxiety or subjective feeling of concern or worry, and this can help precipitate change in the individual in order to reduce the anxiety. The psychopath experiences none of this. Indeed, if you ask a psychopath if he has ever worried about whether he left the house with the stove on (a common problem among those with obsessive-compulsive disorder), he will look at you like you are an alien, in stunned disbelief.
Kent A. Kiehl (The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience)
Our northern brethren buried their dead, were skilled toolmakers, kept fires going, and took care of the infirm just like early humans. The fossil record shows survival into adulthood of individuals afflicted with dwarfism, paralysis of the limbs, or the inability to chew. Going by exotic names such as Shanidar I, Romito 2, the Windover Boy, and the Old Man of La Chapelle-aux-Saints, our ancestors supported individuals who contributed little to society. Survival of the weak, the handicapped, the mentally retarded, and others who posed a burden is seen by paleontologists as a milestone in the evolution of compassion. This communitarian heritage is crucial in relation to this book’s theme, since it suggests that morality predates current civilizations and religions by at least a hundred millennia.
Frans de Waal (The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates)
But of all the things which I have mentioned that which most contributes to the permanence of constitutions is the adaptation of education to the form of government, and yet in our own day this principle is universally neglected. The best laws, though sanctioned by every citizen of the state, will be of no avail unless the young are trained by habit and education in the spirit of the constitution, if the laws are democratical, democratically or oligarchically, if the laws are oligarchical. For there may be a want of self-discipline in states as well as in individuals. Now, to have been educated in the spirit of the constitution is not to perform the actions in which oligarchs or democrats delight, but those by which the existence of an oligarchy or of a democracy is made possible. Whereas among ourselves the sons of the ruling class in an oligarchy live in luxury, but the sons of the poor are hardened by exercise and toil, and hence they are both more inclined and better able to make a revolution. And in democracies of the more extreme type there has arisen a false idea of freedom which is contradictory to the true interests of the state. For two principles are characteristic of democracy, the government of the majority and freedom. Men think that what is just is equal; and that equality is the supremacy of the popular will; and that freedom means the doing what a man likes. In such democracies every one lives as he pleases, or in the words of Euripides, 'according to his fancy.' But this is all wrong; men should not think it slavery to live according to the rule of the constitution; for it is their salvation.
Aristotle (Politics)
In addition to this there is the pluralization of the world in which we live through the division between public and private spheres, and also the plurality of institutions within the public sphere. Each of them forms a world in itself, so that individuals have to move to and fro between different worlds. The integration of this plurality of aspects of the world, which used to be achieved by religion, no longer takes place in the public world of secular culture but has to be achieved by the individual. The basis of this is meant to be the private sphere of life, the world of the family. But in many cases this cannot stand up to the burdens imposed by modern life. The growth of urban living has contributed to an increase of pluralization in the private sphere also, making the task of integration increasingly difficult.
Wolfhart Pannenberg (Christianity in a Secularized World)
Each person carries a hidden poetic unity that reflects the mysterious continuity of the Soul of the World. In the depths of the soul, we are each an old soul able to survive the troubles of the world and contribute to its healing and renewal. The key to what we miss and secretly long for is hidden within us. Medicine men and healers of all kinds from cultures around the world have used various techniques to not only “heal” the soul, but also to restore individuals to their proper place in the world and in their culture. To heal means to “make whole,” and when we feel whole we are in touch with the whole world. When in touch with our underlying soul, we are naturally in touch with nature and the Soul of the World. We are the missing ingredient in the solutions needed for all that ails us, if we but awaken to the nature of our own souls.
Michael Meade (Awakening the Soul)
I took care to replace the Compendium in its correct pamphlet, and in doing so dislodged a slim pamphlet by Grastrom, one of the most eccentric authors in Solarist literature. I had read the pamphlet, which was dictated by the urge to understand what lies beyond the individual, man, and the human species. It was the abstract, acidulous work of an autodidact who had previously made a series of unusual contributions to various marginal and rarefied branches of quantum physics. In this fifteen-page booklet (his magnum opus!), Grastrom set out to demonstrate that the most abstract achievements of science, the most advanced theories and victories of mathematics represented nothing more than a stumbling, one or two-step progression from our rude, prehistoric, anthropomorphic understanding of the universe around us. He pointed out correspondences with the human body-the projections of our sense, the structure of our physical organization, and the physiological limitations of man-in the equations of the theory of relativity, the theorem of magnetic fields and the various unified field theories. Grastrom’s conclusion was that there neither was, nor could be any question of ‘contact’ between mankind and any nonhuman civilization. This broadside against humanity made no specific mention of the living ocean, but its constant presence and scornful, victorious silence could be felt between every line, at any rate such had been my own impression. It was Gibarian who drew it to my attention, and it must have been Giarian who had added it to the Station’s collection, on his own authority, since Grastrom’s pamphlet was regarded more as a curiosity than a true contribution to Solarist literature” (pg.170).
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
How seriously would we take person who said, "I have faith in Adolf Hitler, or in John Dilinger. I can't explain why they did the things they did, but I can't believe they would have done them without a good reason." Yet people try to justify the deaths and tragedies God inflicts on innocent victims with almost these same words. Furthermore, my religious commitment to the supreme value of an individual life makes it hard for me to accept an answer that is not scandalized by an innocent person's pain, that condones human pain because it supposedly contributes to an overall work of esthetic value. If a human artist or employer made children suffer so that something immensely impressive or valuable could come to pass, we would put him in prison. Why then should we excuse God for causing such undeserved pain, no matter how wonderful the ultimate result may be?
Harold S. Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
It will place a high value on communal life, more open leadership structures, and the contribution of all the people of God. It will be radical in its attempts to embrace biblical mandates for the life of locally based faith communities without feeling as though it has to reconstruct the first-century church in every detail. We believe the missional church will be adventurous, playful, and surprising. Leonard Sweet has borrowed the term “chaordic” to describe the missional church’s inclination toward chaos and improvisation within the constraints of broadly held biblical values. It will gather for sensual-experiential-participatory worship and be deeply concerned for matters of justice-seeking and mercy-bringing. It will strive for a type of unity-in-diversity as it celebrates individual differences and values uniqueness, while also placing a high premium on community.
Michael Frost (Shaping of Things to Come, The: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church)
Viktor Frankl, the psychiatrist and Nazi concentration camp survivor who wrote the classic Man’s Search for Meaning, drew a similar social-psychological conclusion: deceitful, inauthentic individual existence is the precursor to social totalitarianism. Sigmund Freud, for his part, analogously believed that “repression” contributed in a non-trivial manner to the development of mental illness (and the difference between repression of truth and a lie is a matter of degree, not kind). Alfred Adler knew it was lies that bred sickness. C.G. Jung knew that moral problems plagued his patients, and that such problems were caused by untruth. All these thinkers, all centrally concerned with pathology both individual and cultural, came to the same conclusion: lies warp the structure of Being. Untruth corrupts the soul and the state alike, and one form of corruption feeds the other.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
As these remarks indicate, the Social Security program involves a transfer from the young to the old. To some extent such a transfer has occurred throughout history—the young supporting their parents, or other relatives, in old age. Indeed, in many poor countries with high infant death rates, like India, the desire to assure oneself of progeny who can provide support in old age is a major reason for high birth rates and large families. The difference between Social Security and earlier arrangements is that Social Security is compulsory and impersonal—earlier arrangements were voluntary and personal. Moral responsibility is an individual matter, not a social matter. Children helped their parents out of love or duty. They now contribute to the support of someone else’s parents out of compulsion and fear. The earlier transfers strengthened the bonds of the family; the compulsory transfers weaken them.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
As these remarks indicate, the Social Security program involves a transfer from the young to the old. To some extent such a transfer has occurred throughout history—the young supporting their parents, or other relatives, in old age. Indeed, in many poor countries with high infant death rates, like India, the desire to assure oneself of progeny who can provide support in old age is a major reason for high birth rates and large families. The difference between Social Security and earlier arrangements is that Social Security is compulsory and impersonal—earlier arrangements were voluntary and personal. Moral responsibility is an individual matter, not a social matter. Children helped their parents out of love or duty. They now contribute to the support of someone else's parents out of compulsion and fear. The earlier transfers strengthened the bonds of the family; the compulsory transfers weaken them.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
But what about women who have contributed directly to culture? There aren't many. And in those cases where individual women have participated in male culture, they have had to do so on male terms. And it shows. Because they have had to compete as men, in a male game - while still be pressured to prove themselves in the old female roles, a role at odds with their self-appointed ambitions - it is not surprising that they are seldom as skilled as men at the game of culture. Women have no means of coming to an understanding of what their experience is, or even that it is different from male experience. The tool for representing, for objectifying one's experience in order to deal with it, culture, is so saturated with male bias that women almost never have a chance to see themselves culturally through their own eyes. So that finally, signals from their direct experience that conflict with the prevailing (male) culture are denied and repressed.
Shulamith Firestone (The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution)
He recognized that need, in Odonian terms, as his "cellular function." the analogic term for the individual's individuality, the work he can do best, therefore his best contribution to his society. A healthy society would let him exercise that optimum function freely, in the coordination of all such functions finding its adaptability and strength. That was a central idea of Odo's Analogy. That the Odonian society on Anarres had fallen short of the ideal did not, in his eyes, lessen his responsibility to it; just the contrary. With the myth of the State out of the way, the real mutuality and reciprocity of society and the individual became clear. Sacrifice mught be demanded of the individual, but never compromise: for though only the society could give security and stability, only the individual, the person, had the power of moral choice -- the power of change, the essential function of life. The Odonian society was conceived as a permanent revolution, and revolution begins in the thinking mind
Ursula K. Le Guin
Embrace Reality and Deal with It 1.1 Be a hyperrealist. a. Dreams + Reality + Determination = A Successful Life. 1.2 Truth—or, more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality—is the essential foundation for any good outcome. 1.3 Be radically open-minded and radically transparent. a. Radical open-mindedness and radical transparency are invaluable for rapid learning and effective change. b. Don’t let fears of what others think of you stand in your way. c. Embracing radical truth and radical transparency will bring more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships. 1.4 Look to nature to learn how reality works. a. Don’t get hung up on your views of how things “should” be because you will miss out on learning how they really are. b. To be “good,” something must operate consistently with the laws of reality and contribute to the evolution of the whole; that is what is most rewarded. c. Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything. d. Evolve or die. 1.5 Evolving is life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest reward. a. The individual’s incentives must be aligned with the group’s goals. b. Reality is optimizing for the whole—not for you. c. Adaptation through rapid trial and error is invaluable. d. Realize that you are simultaneously everything and nothing—and decide what you want to be. e. What you will be will depend on the perspective you have. 1.6 Understand nature’s practical lessons. a. Maximize your evolution. b. Remember “no pain, no gain.” c. It is a fundamental law of nature that in order to gain strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful. 1.7 Pain + Reflection = Progress. a. Go to the pain rather than avoid it. b. Embrace tough love. 1.8 Weigh second- and third-order consequences. 1.9 Own your outcomes. 1.10 Look at the machine from the higher level. a. Think of yourself as a machine operating within a machine and know that you have the ability to alter your machines to produce better outcomes. b. By comparing your outcomes with your goals, you can determine how to modify
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
The exchangeability that is expressed in money must inevitably have repercussions upon the quality of commodities themselves, or must interact with it. The disparagement of the interest in the individuality of a commodity leads to a disparagement of individuality itself. If the two sides to a commodity are its quality and it s price, then it seems logically impossible for the interest to be focused on only one of these sides: for cheapness is an empty word if it does not imply a low price for a relative good quality, and good quality is an economic attraction only for a correspondingly fair price. And yet this conceptual impossibility is psychologically real and effective. The interest in the one side can be so great that its logically necessary counterpart completely disappears. The typical instance of one of these case s is the ‘fifty cents bazaar’. The principle of valuation in the mode rn money economy finds its clearest expression here. It is not the commodity that is the centre of interest here but the price—a principle that in former times not only would have appeared shameless but would have been absolutely impossible. It has been rightly pointed out that the medieval town, despite all the progress it embodied, still lacked the extensive capital economy, and that this was the reason for seeking the ideal of the economy not so much in the expansion (which is possibly only through cheapness) but rather in the quality of the goods offered; hence the great contributions of the applied arts, the rigorous control of production, the strict policing of basic necessities, etc. Such is one extreme pole of the series, whose other pole is characterized by the slogan, ‘cheap and bad’—a synthesis that is possibly only if we are hypnotized by cheapness and are not aware of anything else. The levelling of objects to that of money reduces the subjective interest first in their specific qualities and then, as a further consequence, in the objects themselves. The production of cheap trash is, as it were, the vengeance of the objects for the fact that they have been ousted from the focal point of interest by a merely indifferent means.
Georg Simmel (The Philosophy of Money)
Despite these criticisms of his criticisms, my stance has a major problem, one that causes Morse to conclude that the contributions of neuroscience to the legal system “are modest at best and neuroscience poses no genuine, radical challenges to concepts of personhood, responsibility, and competence.”25 The problem can be summarized in a hypothetical exchange: Prosecutor: So, professor, you’ve told us about the extensive damage that the defendant sustained to his frontal cortex when he was a child. Has every person who has sustained such damage become a multiple murderer, like the defendant? Neuroscientist testifying for the defense: No. Prosecutor: Has every such person at least engaged in some sort of serious criminal behavior? Neuroscientist: No. Prosecutor: Can brain science explain why the same amount of damage produced murderous behavior in the defendant? Neuroscientist: No. The problem is that, even amid all these biological insights that allow us to be snitty about those silly homunculi, we still can’t predict much about behavior. Perhaps at the statistical level of groups, but not when it comes to individuals.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
From another corner of neuroscience, we’re learning about a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Though there are more than fifty neurotransmitters (that we know of), scientists studying substance problems have given dopamine much of their attention. The brain’s reward system and pleasure centers—the areas most impacted by substance use and compulsive behaviors—have a high concentration of dopamine. Some brains have more of it than others, and some people have a capacity to enjoy a range of experiences more than others, owing to a combination of genetics and environment. The thing about dopamine is that it makes us feel really good. We tend to want more of it. It is naturally generated through ordinary, pleasurable activities like eating and sex, and it is the brain’s way of rewarding us—or nature’s way of rewarding the brain—for activities necessary to our survival, individually or as a species. It is the “mechanism by which ‘instinct’ is manifest.” Our brains arrange for dopamine levels to rise in anticipation and spike during a pleasurable activity to make sure we do it again. It helps focus our attention on all the cues that contributed to our exposure to whatever felt good (these eventually become triggers to use, as we explain later). Drugs and alcohol (and certain behaviors) turn on a gushing fire hose of dopamine in the brain, and we feel good, even euphoric. Dopamine produced by these artificial means, however, throws our pleasure and reward systems out of whack immediately. Flooding the brain repeatedly with dopamine has long-term effects and creates what’s known as tolerance—when we lose our ability to produce or absorb our own dopamine and need more and more of it artificially just to feel okay. Specifically, the brain compensates for the flood of dopamine by decreasing its own production of it or by desensitizing itself to the neurotransmitter by reducing the number of dopamine receptors, or both. The brain is just trying to keep a balance. The problem with the brain’s reduction in natural dopamine production is that when you take the substance or behavior out of the picture, there’s not enough dopamine in the brain to make you feel good. Without enough dopamine, there is no interest or pleasure. Then not only does the brain lose the pleasure associated with using, it might not be able to enjoy a sunset or a back rub, either. A lowered level of dopamine, combined with people’s longing for the rush of dopamine they got from using substances, contributes to “craving” states. Cravings are a physiological process associated with the brain’s struggle to regain its normal dopamine balance, and they can influence a decision to keep using a substance even when a person is experiencing negative consequences that matter to him and a strong desire to change. Depending on the length of time and quantities a person has been using, these craving states can be quite uncomfortable and compelling. The dopamine system can and does recover, starting as soon as we stop flooding it. But it takes time, and in the time between shutting off the artificial supply of dopamine and the brain’s rebuilding its natural resources, people tend to feel worse (before they feel better). On a deep, instinctual level, their brains are telling them that by stopping using, something is missing; something is wrong. This is a huge factor in relapse, despite good intentions and effort to change. Knowing this can help you and your loved one make it across this gap in brain reward systems.
Jeffrey Foote (Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change)
made some teams much better than others. What they found was that individual intelligence (as measured by IQ) didn’t make the big difference. Having a high aggregate intelligence or just one or two superstars wasn’t critical. The groups that surfaced more and better solutions shared three key qualities. First, they gave one another roughly equal time to talk. This wasn’t monitored or regulated, but no one in these high-achieving groups dominated or was a passenger. Everyone contributed and nothing any one person said was wasted. The second quality of the successful groups was social sensitivity: these individuals were more tuned in to one another, to subtle shifts in mood and demeanor. They scored more highly on a test called Reading the Mind in the Eyes, which is broadly considered a test for empathy. These groups were socially alert to one another’s needs. And the third distinguishing feature was that the best groups included more women, perhaps because that made them more diverse, or because women tend to score more highly on tests for empathy. What this (and much more) research highlights is just how critical the role of social connectedness can be. Reading the research, I
Margaret Heffernan (Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED))
Integration is a mentality which automatically gives the seeker a sense of inferiority. Integrationists desire to change from what they are into something better. No one in their right mind aspires to be integrated with an inferior. Those on a quest to be integrated are searching for a state of mind, any state of mind or being, that is superior to the one they currently exhibit or feel characterizes them as powerless and without a worthy identity. They feel that integration will somehow transform them from an inferior into the superior beings who dominate them. This makes integration focused individuals blind to the illnesses, inconsistencies and, specifically in reference to our discussion, peculiarities and immoralities of those they wish to be integrated (become like) into. Integrationists accept all of whom they want to be like as qualities they want to assume and be characterized by. They do not distinguish between the good and bad qualities of their model. They want the baby and the dirty bathwater. They assume that all of the characteristics and qualities of their reference group have good reason and that they all contribute to the superiority of those whom they want to be like. Perversion
Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti (Homosexuality and the Effeminization of Afrikan Males)
Healing is the way of the heart. This book is an invitation to open our heart. Healing is a love affair with life. Healing is pure love. Love is what creates healing. Spiritual healing is to be one with ourselves. And to be one with ourselves is to be in joy. Healing is to develop our inner being. Healing is to discover that which is already perfect within ourselves. It is to rediscover our inner life source. Spiritual healing is to be one with life. We are never really alone, it is our idea of a separate "I" that creates the feeling of being separate from life, from the Whole. In reality there is only one heart, a pulsating Existential heart. Our own heart pulsates in unity with the Existential heartbeats. We are all notes in the Existential music, and without our unique note the music would not be complete. We are all needed in the Whole; we all have our unique fragrance, quality and gifts to contribute to the Whole. More than 30 years ago, I had an individual consultation with a spiritual teacher. I did not have time to sit down before I got the question: "You are interested in healing, are you not?" It was the first time that I encountered the topic that would become my way and deep source of joy in life. This spiritual teacher finished the consultation saying: "You will be a fine healer." The art of healing is the psychology of being, the science of inner transformation. The psychology of being begins where Western psychology ends. It goes beyond Skinner, Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow and humanistic psychology. The psychology of being is the psychology of consciousness, a psychology for inner transformation. It is not basically a question of psychology, it is a question of being. The psychology of being begins where we are, and take us to everything that we can be. The underlying theme the psychology of being is meditation - but not meditation as a static technique - but as the capacity to BE with ourselves and others in a quality of watchful awareness, acceptance and realization. The art of being is a search beyond the personality. It a search beyond the thoughts, the emotions and the learned attitudes of the personality, to the inner being, to the depth within, which is hidden in ourselves. The inner being is a deep acceptance of ourselves as we are; the inner being is to be available to life. The inner being is to be in unity with life. This book is an invitation to meet the inner being, our inner source of love, joy, acceptance, humor, intuition, understanding, wisdom, truth, silence and creativity.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
Qualities such as honesty, determination, and a cheerful acceptance of stress, which can all be identified through probing questionnaires and interviews, may be more important to the company in the long run than one's college grade-point average or years of "related experience." Every business is only as good as the people it brings into the organization. The corporate trainer should feel his job is the most important in the company, because it is. Exalt seniority-publicly, shamelessly, and with enough fanfare to raise goosebumps on the flesh of the most cynical spectator. And, after the ceremony, there should be some sort of permanent display so that employees passing by are continuously reminded of their own achievements and the achievements of others. The manager must freely share his expertise-not only about company procedures and products and services but also with regard to the supervisory skills he has worked so hard to acquire. If his attitude is, "Let them go out and get their own MBAs," the personnel under his authority will never have the full benefit of his experience. Without it, they will perform at a lower standard than is possible, jeopardizing the manager's own success. Should a CEO proclaim that there is no higher calling than being an employee of his organization? Perhaps not-for fear of being misunderstood-but it's certainly all right to think it. In fact, a CEO who does not feel this way should look for another company to manage-one that actually does contribute toward a better life for all. Every corporate leader should communicate to his workforce that its efforts are important and that employees should be very proud of what they do-for the company, for themselves, and, literally, for the world. If any employee is embarrassed to tell his friends what he does for a living, there has been a failure of leadership at his workplace. Loyalty is not demanded; it is created. Why can't a CEO put out his own suggested reading list to reinforce the corporate vision and core values? An attractive display at every employee lounge of books to be freely borrowed, or purchased, will generate interest and participation. Of course, the program has to be purely voluntary, but many employees will wish to be conversant with the material others are talking about. The books will be another point of contact between individuals, who might find themselves conversing on topics other than the weekend football games. By simply distributing the list and displaying the books prominently, the CEO will set into motion a chain of events that can greatly benefit the workplace. For a very cost-effective investment, management will have yet another way to strengthen the corporate message. The very existence of many companies hangs not on the decisions of their visionary CEOs and energetic managers but on the behavior of its receptionists, retail clerks, delivery drivers, and service personnel. The manager must put himself and his people through progressively challenging courage-building experiences. He must make these a mandatory group experience, and he must lead the way. People who have confronted the fear of public speaking, and have learned to master it, find that their new confidence manifests itself in every other facet of the professional and personal lives. Managers who hold weekly meetings in which everyone takes on progressively more difficult speaking or presentation assignments will see personalities revolutionized before their eyes. Command from a forward position, which means from the thick of it. No soldier will ever be inspired to advance into a hail of bullets by orders phoned in on the radio from the safety of a remote command post; he is inspired to follow the officer in front of him. It is much more effective to get your personnel to follow you than to push them forward from behind a desk. The more important the mission, the more important it is to be at the front.
Dan Carrison (Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way)
One of the most important tools in this quest is provided by psychology. Up to now the main contribution of this fledgling science has been to discover how past events shed light on present behavior. It has made us aware that adult irrationality is often the result of childhood frustrations. But there is another way that the discipline of psychology can be put to use. It is in helping answer the question: Given that we are who we are, with whatever hang-ups and repressions, what can we do to improve our future? To overcome the anxieties and depressions of contemporary life, individuals must become independent of the social environment to the degree that they no longer respond exclusively in terms of its rewards and punishments. To achieve such autonomy, a person has to learn to provide rewards to herself. She has to develop the ability to find enjoyment and purpose regardless of external circumstances. This challenge is both easier and more difficult than it sounds: easier because the ability to do so is entirely within each person’s hands; difficult because it requires a discipline and perseverance that are relatively rare in any era, and perhaps especially in the present. And before all else, achieving control over experience requires a drastic change in attitude about what is important and what is not.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
I will begin by describing the nature of an emotional regression and showing how in any society, no matter how advanced its state of technology, chronic anxiety can induce an approach to life that is counter-evolutionary. One does not need dictators in order to create a totalitarian (that, is totalistic) society. Then, employing five characteristics of chronically anxious personal families, I will illustrate how those same characteristics are manifest throughout the greater American family today, demonstrating their regressive effects on the thinking and functioning, the formation and the expression, of leadership among parents and presidents. Those five characteristics are:    1. Reactivity: the vicious cycle of intense reactions of each member to events and to one another.    2. Herding: a process through which the forces for togetherness triumph over the forces for individuality and move everyone to adapt to the least mature members.    3. Blame displacement: an emotional state in which family members focus on forces that have victimized them rather than taking responsibility for their own being and destiny.    4. A quick-fix mentality: a low threshold for pain that constantly seeks symptom relief rather than fundamental change.    5. Lack of well-differentiated leadership: a failure of nerve that both stems from and contributes to the first four. To
Edwin H. Friedman (A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix)
In The Lucifer Effect, Philip Zimbardo, citing decades of research, details all of the ways that ordinary, average individuals—whether they be soldiers in Guatemala, doctors in Nazi Germany, Hutus in Rwanda—can be stripped of their values, their morality, their souls. After elaborating on the variables that contribute to this process—isolation, drug use, denying people identities—he declares that the most important variable, far and away more important than the others, is the fear of being excluded from the in-group. Manipulating this fear, he asserts, is the most effective way people are transformed from ordinary human beings into human beings capable of evil. We tend to associate the desire for acceptance by the in-group with high school, but according to Zimbardo, this need does not stop at adolescence but continues through adulthood. He cites people’s willingness to suffer painful and or humiliating initiation rites in return for acceptance in fraternities, cults, social clubs, or the military. When the desire to be included is coupled with the terror of being excluded, Zimbardo writes that it can cripple initiative, negate personal autonomy, and lead people to do virtually anything to avoid rejection. “Authorities can command total obedience not through punishment or rewards but by means of the double-edged weapon: the lure of acceptance coupled with the threat of rejection.
Nikki Meredith (The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Morality, and Murder)
Neoliberal economics, the logic of which is tending today to win out throughout the world thanks to international bodies like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund and the governments to whom they, directly or indirectly, dictate their principles of ‘governance’,10 owes a certain number of its allegedly universal characteristics to the fact that it is immersed or embedded in a particular society, that is to say, rooted in a system of beliefs and values, an ethos and a moral view of the world, in short, an economic common sense, linked, as such, to the social and cognitive structures of a particular social order. It is from this particular economy that neoclassical economic theory borrows its fundamental assumptions, which it formalizes and rationalizes, thereby establishing them as the foundations of a universal model. That model rests on two postulates (which their advocates regard as proven propositions): the economy is a separate domain governed by natural and universal laws with which governments must not interfere by inappropriate intervention; the market is the optimum means for organizing production and trade efficiently and equitably in democratic societies. It is the universalization of a particular case, that of the United States of America, characterized fundamentally by the weakness of the state which, though already reduced to a bare minimum, has been further weakened by the ultra-liberal conservative revolution, giving rise as a consequence to various typical characteristics: a policy oriented towards withdrawal or abstention by the state in economic matters; the shifting into the private sector (or the contracting out) of ‘public services’ and the conversion of public goods such as health, housing, safety, education and culture – books, films, television and radio – into commercial goods and the users of those services into clients; a renunciation (linked to the reduction in the capacity to intervene in the economy) of the power to equalize opportunities and reduce inequality (which is tending to increase excessively) in the name of the old liberal ‘self-help’ tradition (a legacy of the Calvinist belief that God helps those who help themselves) and of the conservative glorification of individual responsibility (which leads, for example, to ascribing responsibility for unemployment or economic failure primarily to individuals, not to the social order, and encourages the delegation of functions of social assistance to lower levels of authority, such as the region or city); the withering away of the Hegelian–Durkheimian view of the state as a collective authority with a responsibility to act as the collective will and consciousness, and a duty to make decisions in keeping with the general interest and contribute to promoting greater solidarity. Moreover,
Pierre Bourdieu (The Social Structures of the Economy)
Our actions and the problems they create are connected, all around the world. Goats in the Mongolian desert add to air pollution in California; throwing away a computer helps create an illegal economy that makes people sick in Ghana; a loophole in a treaty contributes to deforestation in the American South to generate electricity in England; our idea of the perfect carrot could mean that many others rot in the fields. We can’t pretend anymore that the things we do and wear and eat and use exist only for us, that they don’t have a wider impact beyond our individual lives, which also means that we’re all in this together. • A lack of transparency on the part of governments and corporations has meant that our actions have consequences we are unaware of (see above), and if we knew about them, we would be surprised and angry. (Now, maybe, you are.) • It’s important to understand your actions and larger social, cultural, industrial, and economic processes in context, because then you can better understand which specific policies and practices would make a difference, and what they would achieve. • Living in a way that honors your values is important, even if your personal habits aren’t going to fix everything. We need to remember what is at stake, and the small sacrifices we make may help us do that, if you need reminding. If we know what our sacrifices mean and why they might matter, we might be more willing to make them.
Tatiana Schlossberg (Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have)
There's no science that can't be used for good or for evil. Science could be used by whoever has the power to use it and desire to use it. If you make people knowledgeable about these sciences and don't point out this fact, then you're saying, I withdraw from the battle, from the discussion of the ethics involved. I just stick to the facts. And that of course means that you've surrendered to the strongest forces. You say you're neutral in what you do, you aren't that concerned with it. If the Pentagon is using your discoveries, that's not your problem. It's unavoidable that you have some responsibility, it seems to me, regardless of what you teach or what your subject is or what your skill is. Whatever you have to contribute has a social dimension. And I think it's ineffective to try to impose that on anybody. Sharing it with them is one thing, but trying to impose it is another. You honestly say these are my ideas and I have a right to my opinion, and if I have a right to my opinion then you have a right to your opinion. "You can't have an individual right. It has to be a universal right. I have no rights that everybody else doesn't have. There's no right I could claim that anybody else in the world can't claim, and I have to fight for their exercising that right just like I have to fight for my own. That doesn't mean I have to impose my ideas on people, but it means I have a responsibility to provide whatever light I can on the subject and share my ideas with people.
Myles Horton (We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change)
It was this situation that led mathematician Chris Hauert and his colleagues to consider another possibility in an important evolutionary model published in Science in 2002. In Axelrod's study and in most previous theoretical models, individuals were forced to interact with each other. But what if they could choose not to interact? Rather than attempting to cooperate and risking being taken advantage of, a person could fend for herself. In other words, she could sever her connections to others in the network. Hauert called the people who adopt this strategy "loners." Using some beautiful mathematics, Hauert and his colleagues showed that in a world full of loners it is easy for cooperation to evolve because there are no people to take advantage of the cooperators that appear. The loners fend for themselves, and the cooperators form networks with other cooperators. Soon, the cooperators take over the population because they always do better together than the loners. But once the world is full of cooperators, it is very easy for free riders to evolve and enjoy the fruits of cooperation without contributing (like parasites). As the free riders become the dominant type in the population, there is no one left for them to take advantage of; then, the loners once again take over -- because they want nothing to do, as it were, with those bastards. In short, cooperating can emerge because we can do more together than we can apart. But because of the free-rider problem, cooperation is not guaranteed to succeed.
Nicholas A. Christakis
There has been a revolution in the way people think. They have just noticed, without daring to say it, that the old paradigm, according to which ‘the fate of humanity, individual and collective, is getting better every day, thanks to science, democratisation, and egalitarian emancipation’, is false. The age that believed it is over. This illusion has fallen. This progress (debatable anyhow according to people like Ivan Illich)[203] lasted probably less than a century. Today, the unintended consequences of mass technology are beginning to be felt: new resistant viruses, the toxicity of processed food, the exhaustion of the soil and the shrinking of the world’s agricultural production, the general and rapid degradation of the environment, the threat of the invention of new weapons of mass destruction to add to nuclear weapons, and so on. In addition, technology is entering its baroque age. The fundamental inventions were discovered by the end of the 1950s. The improvements to them made in later decades have contributed fewer and fewer concrete ameliorations, like so many useless decorative motifs added to the superstructure of a monument. The Internet has probably had fewer revolutionary effects than the telegraph or the telephone. The Internet is a significant improvement applied to a pan-communication that was already substantially realised. Techno-science is following the ‘80-20’ power law. At the beginning it takes 20 units of energy to obtain 60 units of force. Later it takes 80 units of energy to realise only 20 units of force.
Guillaume Faye (Convergence of Catastrophes)
I find that most people serve practical needs. They have an understanding of the difference between meaning and relevance. And at some level my mind is more interested in meaning than in relevance. That is similar to the mind of an artist. The arts are not life. They are not serving life. The arts are the cuckoo child of life. Because the meaning of life is to eat. You know, life is evolution and evolution is about eating. It's pretty gross if you think about it. Evolution is about getting eaten by monsters. Don't go into the desert and perish there, because it's going to be a waste. If you're lucky the monsters that eat you are your own children. And eventually the search for evolution will, if evolution reaches its global optimum, it will be the perfect devourer. The thing that is able to digest anything and turn it into structure to sustain and perpetuate itself, for long as the local puddle of negentropy is available. And in a way we are yeast. Everything we do, all the complexity that we create, all the structures we build, is to erect some surfaces on which to out compete other kinds of yeast. And if you realize this you can try to get behind this and I think the solution to this is fascism. Fascism is a mode of organization of society in which the individual is a cell in the superorganism and the value of the individual is exactly the contribution to the superorganism. And when the contribution is negative then the superorganism kills it in order to be fitter in the competition against other superorganisms. And it's totally brutal. I don't like fascism because it's going to kill a lot of minds I like. And the arts is slightly different. It's a mutation that is arguably not completely adaptive. It's one where people fall in love with the loss function. Where you think that your mental representation is the intrinsically important thing. That you try to capture a conscious state for its own sake, because you think that matters. The true artist in my view is somebody who captures conscious states and that's the only reason why they eat. So you eat to make art. And another person makes art to eat. And these are of course the ends of a spectrum and the truth is often somewhere in the middle, but in a way there is this fundamental distinction. And there are in some sense the true scientists which are trying to figure out something about the universe. They are trying to reflect it. And it's an artistic process in a way. It's an attempt to be a reflection to this universe. You see there is this amazing vast darkness which is the universe. There's all these iterations of patterns, but mostly there is nothing interesting happening in these patterns. It's a giant fractal and most of it is just boring. And at a brief moment in the evolution of the universe there are planetary surfaces and negentropy gradients that allow for the creation of structure and then there are some brief flashes of consciousness in all this vast darkness. And these brief flashes of consciousness can reflect the universe and maybe even figure out what it is. It's the only chance that we have. Right? This is amazing. Why not do this? Life is short. This is the thing we can do.
Joscha Bach
But now the rub for man. If sex is a fulfillment of his role as an animal in the species, it reminds him that he is nothing himself but a link in the chain of being, exchangeable with any other and completely expendable in himself. Sex represents, then, species consciousness and, as such, the defeat of individuality, of personality. But it is just this personality that man wants to develop: the idea of himself as a special cosmic hero with special gifts for the universe. He doesn't want to be a mere fornicating animal like any other-this is not a truly human meaning, a truly distinctive contribution to world life. From the very beginning, then, the sexual act represents a double negation: by physical death and of distinctive personal gifts. This point is crucial because it explains why sexual taboos have been at the heart of human society since the very beginning. They affirm the triumph of human personality over animal sameness. With the complex codes for sexual self-denial, man was able to impose the cultural map for personal immortality over the animal body. He brought sexual taboos into being because he needed to triumph over the body, and he sacrificed the pleasures of the body to the highest pleasure of all: self-perpetuation as a spiritual being through all eternity. This is the substitution that Roheim was really describing when he made his penetrating observation on the Australian aborigines: "The repression and sublimation of the primal scene is at the bottom of totemistic ritual and religion," that is, the denial of the body as the transmitter of peculiarly human life.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Frankly, we hesitate to pile on the data, since even when numbers are persuasive, they are not galvanizing. A growing collection of psychological studies show that statistics have a dulling effect, while it is individual stories that move people to act. In one experiment, research subjects were divided into several group, and each person was asked to donate $5 to alleviate hunger abroad. One group was told the money would go to Rokia, a seven-year-old girl in Mali. Another group was told that the money would go to address malnutrition among 21 million Africans. The third group was told that the donations would go to Roka, as in the first group, but this time her own hunger was presented as part of a background tapestry of global hunger, with some statistics thrown in. People were much more willing to donate to Rokia than to 21 million hungry people, and even a mention of the larger problem made people less inclined to help her. In another experiment, people were asked to donate to a $300,000 fund to fight cancer. One group was told that the money would be used to save the life of one child, while another group was told it would save the lives of eight children. People contributed almost twice as much to save one child as to save eight. Social psychologists argue that all this reflects the way our consciences and ethical systems are based on individual stories and are distinct from the parts of our brain concerned with logical and rationality. Indeed, when subjects in experiments are first asked to solve math problems, thus putting in play the parts of the brain that govern logic, afterward they are less generous to the needy.
Nicholas D. Kristof
The anarchists cannot consider, like the collectivists, that a remuneration which would be proportionate to the hours of labour spent by each person in the production of riches may be an ideal, or even an approach to an ideal, society. Without entering here into a discussion as to how far the exchange value of each merchandise is really measured now by the amount of labour necessary for its production—a separate study must be devoted to the subject—we must say that the collectivist ideal seems to us merely unrealizable in a society which has been brought to consider the necessaries for production as a common property. Such a society would be compelled to abandon the wage-system altogether. It appears impossible that the mitigated individualism of the collectivist school could co-exist with the partial communism implied by holding land and machinery in common—unless imposed by a powerful government, much more powerful than all those of our own times. The present wage-system has grown up from the appropriation of the necessaries for production by the few; it was a necessary condition for the growth of the present capitalist production; and it cannot outlive it, even if an attempt be made to pay to the worker the full value of his produce, and hours-of-labour-checks be substituted for money. Common possession of the necessaries for production implies the common enjoyment of the fruits of the common production; and we consider that an equitable organization of society can only arise when every wage-system is abandoned, and when everybody, contributing for the common well-being to the full extent of his capacities, shall enjoy also from the common stock of society to the fullest possible extent of his needs.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Anarchism: A Collection of Revolutionary Writings)
We have been thinking and doing a post jobs-system economy in Detroit for more than two decades. In fall 2011, several hundred people from Detroit and around the nation came together to share the lessons we have derived from our struggles to distinguish “work” from “jobs.” I noted that people moved from the farm to the city to take “jobs.” They went from making clothes and growing food to buying clothes and buying food. Humans changed from producers to consumers, and their models and ideals of work became factory oriented. Olga Bonfiglio, a professor at Kalamazoo College, wrote a thoughtful response to my presentation and the many others comprising our Reimagining Work conference. “Basically, work is about one’s calling in life and contributions to the community while jobs are more about the specific tasks people perform for an organization,” she remarked. “ ‘Jobs’ have a dehumanizing effect as people fill interchangeable slots in a big machine. In today’s global economy workers can be easily replaced with those willing to work for lower wages. So, transformation to any new system of ‘work’ must begin with one’s own personal discernment about identity and purpose in this life.” We know we have not been alone in Detroit. All over the planet more and more people are thinking beyond making a living to making a life—a life that respects Earth and one another. Just as we need to reinvent democracy, now is the time for us to reimagine work and reimagine life. The new paradigm we must establish is about creating systems that bring out the best in each of us, instead of trying to harness the greed and selfishness of which we are capable. It is about a new balance of individual, family, community, work, and play that makes us better humans.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
As I see it, the War on Drugs—more than any other government program or political initiative—gave rise to mass incarceration as defined above. Although the political dynamics that gave birth to the system date back to slavery, the drug war marked an important turning point in American history, one that cannot be measured simply by counting heads in prisons and jails. The declaration and escalation of the War on Drugs marked a moment in our past when a group of people defined by race and class was viewed and treated as the “enemy.” A literal war was declared on a highly vulnerable population, leading to a wave of punitiveness that permeated every aspect of our criminal justice system and redefined the scope of fundamental constitutional rights. The war mentality resulted in the militarization of local police departments and billions invested in drug law enforcement at the state and local levels. It also contributed to astronomical expenditures for prison building for people convicted of all crimes and the slashing of billions from education, public housing and welfare programs, as well as a slew of legislation authorizing legal discrimination against millions of people accused of drug offenses, denying them access to housing, food stamps, credit, basic public benefits, and financial aid for schooling. This war did not merely increase the number of people in prisons and jails. It radically altered the life course of millions, especially black men who were the primary targets in the early decades of the war. Their lives and families were destroyed for drug crimes that were largely ignored on the other side of town. Those who define “mass incarceration” narrowly, to include only individuals currently locked in prisons or jails, erase from public view the overwhelming majority of
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (10th Anniversary Edition))
In short the only fully rational world would be the world of wishing-caps, the world of telepathy, where every desire is fulfilled instanter, without having to consider or placate surrounding or intermediate powers. This is the Absolute's own world. He calls upon the phenomenal world to be, and it IS, exactly as he calls for it, no other condition being required. In our world, the wishes of the individual are only one condition. Other individuals are there with other wishes and they must be propitiated first. So Being grows under all sorts of resistances in this world of the many, and, from compromise to compromise, only gets organized gradually into what may be called secondarily rational shape. We approach the wishing-cap type of organization only in a few departments of life. We want water and we turn a faucet. We want a kodak-picture and we press a button. We want information and we telephone. We want to travel and we buy a ticket. In these and similar cases, we hardly need to do more than the wishing—the world is rationally organized to do the rest. But this talk of rationality is a parenthesis and a digression. What we were discussing was the idea of a world growing not integrally but piecemeal by the contributions of its several parts. Take the hypothesis seriously and as a live one. Suppose that the world's author put the case to you before creation, saying: "I am going to make a world not certain to be saved, a world the perfection of which shall be conditional merely, the condition being that each several agent does its own 'level best.' I offer you the chance of taking part in such a world. Its safety, you see, is unwarranted. It is a real adventure, with real danger, yet it may win through. It is a social scheme of co-operative work genuinely to be done. Will you join the procession? Will you trust yourself and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?" Should you in all seriousness, if participation in such a world were proposed to you, feel bound to reject it as not safe enough? Would you say that, rather than be part and parcel of so fundamentally pluralistic and irrational a universe, you preferred to relapse into the slumber of nonentity from which you had been momentarily aroused by the tempter's voice? Of course if you are normally constituted, you would do nothing of the sort. There is a healthy- minded buoyancy in most of us which such a universe would exactly fit. We would therefore accept the offer—"Top! und schlag auf schlag!" It would be just like the world we practically live in; and loyalty to our old nurse Nature would forbid us to say no. The world proposed would seem 'rational' to us in the most living way. Most of us, I say, would therefore welcome the proposition and add our fiat to the fiat of the creator. Yet perhaps some would not; for there are morbid minds in every human collection, and to them the prospect of a universe with only a fighting chance of safety would probably make no appeal. There are moments of discouragement in us all, when we are sick of self and tired of vainly striving. Our own life breaks down, and we fall into the attitude of the prodigal son. We mistrust the chances of things. We want a universe where we can just give up, fall on our father's neck, and be absorbed into the absolute life as a drop of water melts into the river or the sea. The peace and rest, the security desiderated at such moments is security against the bewildering accidents of so much finite experience. Nirvana means safety from this everlasting round of adventures of which the world of sense consists. The hindoo and the buddhist, for this is essentially their attitude, are simply afraid, afraid of more experience, afraid of life. And to men of this complexion, religious monism comes with its consoling words: "All is needed and essential—even you with your sick soul and heart. All are one
William James (Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking)
Have I really been in a battle?” wondered Stendhal’s hero after many hours blundering around the field of Waterloo, and many people today share a similar perplexity. Like Stendhal’s hero, they eat and drink and sustain the business of life, but the meaning of it all depends upon their conviction of contributing to the liberation of workers, women, the colonized, or other varieties of the oppressed. Like Fabrizio del Dongo, they find a regiment and tag along—the Hussars against Patriarchy, the Dragoon Guards of the Proletariat, and so on. Quite where the real battle lies is hotly disputed, but its significance is agreed to be a final end to oppression. (…) My argument, then, is an exploration of the hypothesis that there is a pure theory of ideology, and while from one point of view it is a critique, from another it is a do-it-yourself ideology kit. It begins with some suggestions about how ideology was generated from eighteenth-century social theory. The long central section is an attempt to characterize ideologies as forms of understanding. The last section develops the view that, although ideology must take on political trappings in order to transform the world, its real character is entirely antithetical to the practice of politics. Ideology is to reality, I suggest, as (in Tolstoy’s opinion) the reports of battles are to the concrete experience of individuals in the field. In ideological moods, we think we see in social and political life those clear lines from the history books depicting the battle order of the antagonists in massed array. They have neat, clear names like bourgeois and proletarian, colonialist and national, city-dweller and producer, in a word, oppressor and oppressed. The actual reality, however, is messy. Things change all the time, and it becomes impossible to keep any clear and distinct identities in focus. Confronting the arguments of ideology, we are forced to transform the Stendhalian question: Is it really a battle that we are in?
Kenneth Minogue (Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Ideology)
Just as the printing press led to the appearance of a new set of possibilities for democracy, beginning five hundred years ago—and just as the emergence of electronic broadcasting reshaped those possibilities, beginning in the first quarter of the twentieth century—the Internet is presenting us with new possibilities to reestablish a healthy functioning self-government, even before it rivals television for an audience. In fact, the Internet is perhaps the greatest source of hope for reestablishing an open communications environment in which the conversation of democracy can flourish. It has extremely low entry barriers for individuals. The ideas that individuals contribute are dealt with, in the main, according to the rules of a meritocracy of ideas. It is the most interactive medium in history and the one with the greatest potential for connecting individuals to one another and to a universe of knowledge. An important distinction to make is that the Internet is not just another platform for disseminating the truth. It’s a platform for pursuing the truth, and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas, in the same way that markets are a decentralized mechanism for the creation and distribution of goods and services. It’s a platform, in other words, for reason. But just as it is important to avoid romanticizing the printing press and the information ecosystem it created, it is also necessary to keep a clear-eyed view of the Internet’s problems and abuses. It is hard to imagine any human evil that is not somehow abundantly displayed somewhere on the Internet. Parents of young children are often horrified to learn what obscene, grotesque, and savage material is all too easily available to children whose Web-surfing habits are not supervised or electronically limited. Teen suicides, bullying, depravity, and criminal behavior of all descriptions are described and—some would argue—promoted on the Internet. As with any tool put at the disposal of humankind, it can be, and is, used for evil as well as good purposes. And as always, it is up to us—particularly those of us who live in a democracy—to make intelligent choices about how and for what we use this incredibly powerful tool.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
Power is seeping away from autocrats and single-party systems whether they embrace reform or not. It is spreading from large and long-established political parties to small ones with narrow agendas or niche constituencies. Even within parties, party bosses who make decisions, pick candidates, and hammer out platforms behind closed doors are giving way to insurgents and outsiders—to new politicians who haven’t risen up in the party machine, who never bothered to kiss the ring. People entirely outside the party structure—charismatic individuals, some with wealthy backers from outside the political class, others simply catching a wave of support thanks to new messaging and mobilization tools that don’t require parties—are blazing a new path to political power. Whatever path they followed to get there, politicians in government are finding that their tenure is getting shorter and their power to shape policy is decaying. Politics was always the art of the compromise, but now politics is downright frustrating—sometimes it feels like the art of nothing at all. Gridlock is more common at every level of decision-making in the political system, in all areas of government, and in most countries. Coalitions collapse, elections take place more often, and “mandates” prove ever more elusive. Decentralization and devolution are creating new legislative and executive bodies. In turn, more politicians and elected or appointed officials are emerging from these stronger municipalities and regional assemblies, eating into the power of top politicians in national capitals. Even the judicial branch is contributing: judges are getting friskier and more likely to investigate political leaders, block or reverse their actions, or drag them into corruption inquiries that divert them from passing laws and making policy. Winning an election may still be one of life’s great thrills, but the afterglow is diminishing. Even being at the top of an authoritarian government is no longer as safe and powerful a perch as it once was. As Professor Minxin Pei, one of the world’s most respected experts on China, told me: “The members of the politburo now openly talk about the old good times when their predecessors at the top of the Chinese Communist Party did not have to worry about bloggers, hackers, transnational criminals, rogue provincial leaders or activists that stage 180,000 public protests each year. When challengers appeared, the old leaders had more power to deal with them. Today’s leaders are still very powerful but not as much as those of a few decades back and their powers are constantly declining.”3
Moisés Naím (The End of Power)
SELF-MANAGEMENT Trust We relate to one another with an assumption of positive intent. Until we are proven wrong, trusting co-workers is our default means of engagement. Freedom and accountability are two sides of the same coin. Information and decision-making All business information is open to all. Every one of us is able to handle difficult and sensitive news. We believe in collective intelligence. Nobody is as smart as everybody. Therefore all decisions will be made with the advice process. Responsibility and accountability We each have full responsibility for the organization. If we sense that something needs to happen, we have a duty to address it. It’s not acceptable to limit our concern to the remit of our roles. Everyone must be comfortable with holding others accountable to their commitments through feedback and respectful confrontation. WHOLENESS Equal worth We are all of fundamental equal worth. At the same time, our community will be richest if we let all members contribute in their distinctive way, appreciating the differences in roles, education, backgrounds, interests, skills, characters, points of view, and so on. Safe and caring workplace Any situation can be approached from fear and separation, or from love and connection. We choose love and connection. We strive to create emotionally and spiritually safe environments, where each of us can behave authentically. We honor the moods of … [love, care, recognition, gratitude, curiosity, fun, playfulness …]. We are comfortable with vocabulary like care, love, service, purpose, soul … in the workplace. Overcoming separation We aim to have a workplace where we can honor all parts of us: the cognitive, physical, emotional, and spiritual; the rational and the intuitive; the feminine and the masculine. We recognize that we are all deeply interconnected, part of a bigger whole that includes nature and all forms of life. Learning Every problem is an invitation to learn and grow. We will always be learners. We have never arrived. Failure is always a possibility if we strive boldly for our purpose. We discuss our failures openly and learn from them. Hiding or neglecting to learn from failure is unacceptable. Feedback and respectful confrontation are gifts we share to help one another grow. We focus on strengths more than weaknesses, on opportunities more than problems. Relationships and conflict It’s impossible to change other people. We can only change ourselves. We take ownership for our thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions. We don’t spread rumors. We don’t talk behind someone’s back. We resolve disagreements one-on-one and don’t drag other people into the problem. We don’t blame problems on others. When we feel like blaming, we take it as an invitation to reflect on how we might be part of the problem (and the solution). PURPOSE Collective purpose We view the organization as having a soul and purpose of its own. We try to listen in to where the organization wants to go and beware of forcing a direction onto it. Individual purpose We have a duty to ourselves and to the organization to inquire into our personal sense of calling to see if and how it resonates with the organization’s purpose. We try to imbue our roles with our souls, not our egos. Planning the future Trying to predict and control the future is futile. We make forecasts only when a specific decision requires us to do so. Everything will unfold with more grace if we stop trying to control and instead choose to simply sense and respond. Profit In the long run, there are no trade-offs between purpose and profits. If we focus on purpose, profits will follow.
Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness)
If I as Pekwa Nicholas Mohlala take my family, my brothers and sisters, myself, and our children, combined, we have all the resources, knowledge, skills, and capacity to run a successful, profitable, and sustainable small business. If I take my extended family both maternal and partenal, my aunts and uncles and my cousins, myself, and our children, combined, we have all the resources, knowledge, skills, and capacity to run a successful, profitable, and sustainable medium business. If I take Ba Ga Mohlala family in general, including aunts, uncles, and grandchildren, combined, we have all the resources, knowledge, skills, and capacity to run a successful, profitable, and sustainable Big Business business. If I take Banareng clan including aunts, uncles, and grandchildren, combined, we have all the resources, knowledge, skills, and capacity to run a successful, profitable, and sustainable multinational business. YET, we are not able to do that because of lack of unity, and the lack of unity is caused by selfishness and lack of trust. At the moment what we have is majority of successful independent individuals running their individual successful, profitable and sustainable small businesses and successful individuals pursuing their own fulfilling careers. If ever we want to succeed as families and one united clan, we need to start by addressing the issue of trust, and selfishness. Other than that, anything that we try to do to unite the family will fail. And to succeed in addressing the issue of trust, and selfishness, we must first start by acknowledging that we are related. We must start by living and helping oneanother as relatives, we must first start by creating platforms that will overtime make us to reestablish our genetic bond, and also to build platforms where we can do that. So, let us grab the opportunity to use existing platforms and build new ones, to participate, contribute positively, and add our brothers and sisters, our cousins, and other extended family members to those platforms as a way towards building unity, unity of purpose, purpose of reclaiming our glory and building a legacy. Unity of empowering ourself and our communities. Unity of building a successful and sustainable socioeconomic livelihood for ourselves and our communities. We will keep on preaching this gospel of being self sustainable as Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng in general, until people start to stop and take notice, until people start listening and acting, we will keep on preaching this gospel of being self sustainable as Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng in general, until people take it upon themselves and start organizing themselves around the issue of social and economic development as a family and as a clan, until people realize the importance of self sufficiency as a family and as a clan. In times of election, the media always keep on talking about the election machinery of the ruling parties in refence to branches of the ruling parties which are the power base of those ruling parties. Luckily as Ba Gs Mohlala, we also have Ba Ga Mohlala branches across the country as basic units in addition to family, and extended family units. So, let us use those structures as basic units and building blocks to build up Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng to become successful forces which will play a role in socioeconomic sphere locally, regionally, provinvially, nationally, and internationally. To build Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng to be a force to reckon with locally, provinvially, nationally, and internationally. The platforms are there, it is all up to us, the ball is in our court as a collective Ba Ga Mohlala and Banareng. It must become a norn and a duty to serve the family and the clan, it must become a honour to selflessly serve the family and the clan without expecting anything in return. ALUTA !!!!!!!! "Struggle of selfsuffiency must continue
Pekwa Nicholas Mohlala