Informal Quotes

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If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
Mark Twain
You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.
Harlan Ellison
My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.' 'You are mistaken,' said he gently, 'that is not good company, that is the best.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
Mark Twain
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Frank Zappa
Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose (FSG Classics))
So I am to sit here and feed you information,” Cardan says, leaning against a hickory tree. “And you’re to go charm royalty? That seems entirely backward.” I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?” He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air #1))
If I give you a hint and tell you it's a hint, it will be information.
Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1))
Magnus sighed. "Alexander, I've been alive for hundreds of years. I've been with men, been with women - with faeries and warlocks and vampires, and even a djinn or two." He looked sideways at Maryse, who looked mildly horrified. "Too much information?
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Give me just enough information so that I can lie convincingly.
Stephen King
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)
History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
Bill Watterson
We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.
Jean Baudrillard (Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism))
Unknowing ignorance is preferable to informed stupidity.
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1))
In this world of numbness and information overload, the ability to feel, my boy, is a rare gift indeed.
Patrick Ness (The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2))
Information is not knowledge.
Albert Einstein
How it is we have so much information, but know so little?
Noam Chomsky
We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. We are monkeys with money and guns.
Tom Waits
You have these lines you won’t cross. But then you cross them. And suddenly you possess the very dangerous information that you can break the rule and the world won’t instantly come to an end. You’ve taken a big, black, bold line and you’ve made it a little bit gray. And now every time you cross it again, it just gets grayer and grayer until one day you look around and you think, There was a line here once, I think.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
If you ever know a man who tries to drown his sorrows, kindly inform him his sorrows know how to swim.
Pittacus Lore (The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2))
The advancement of science and the diffusion of information [is] the best aliment to true liberty.
James Madison
When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness)
As long as you keep secrets and suppress information, you are fundamentally at war with yourself…The critical issue is allowing yourself to know what you know. That takes an enormous amount of courage.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.
Bruce Coville
Wrong way, Bones. The men's showers are in the opposite direction." I'll file that away with all the other information that doesn't pertain to me" was Bones' mocking reply.
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
Ms. Wormwood: Calvin, can you tell us what Lewis and Clark did? Calvin: No, but I can recite the secret superhero origin of each member of Captain Napalm's Thermonuclear League of Liberty. Ms. Wormwood: See me after class, Calvin. Calvin: [retrospectively] I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
Bill Watterson
The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations)
Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,' Holly advised him. 'That was Doc's mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky." "She's drunk," Joe Bell informed me. "Moderately," Holly confessed....Holly lifted her martini. "Let's wish the Doc luck, too," she said, touching her glass against mine. "Good luck: and believe me, dearest Doc -- it's better to look at the sky than live there. Such an empty place; so vague. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories)
In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
Jasnah had once defined a fool as a person who ignored information because it disagreed with desired results.
Brandon Sanderson (Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2))
When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?
John Maynard Keynes
Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
Gertrude Stein
Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.
Terence McKenna
Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.
Arthur C. Clarke
I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you're tellin' me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I'm not of that opinion, myself.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
How long have you been with Raphael?” “You ask a lot of questions for a dead woman.” “What can I say? I prefer to die well-informed.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
Just so you know,” I inform him, “one day, I’m going to get tired of sharing your affection with that coffee table and I’m going to make you choose.” “Just so you know,” he mimics me, “I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
Children are not less intelligent than adults; what they are is less informed.
Philip Pullman
When Great Trees Fall When great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. When great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, promised walks never taken. Great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. Our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. Our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, fall away. We are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of dark, cold caves. And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.
Maya Angelou
Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.
Albert Einstein
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Too little information and you're blind, too much and you're blinded.
Stuart Turton (The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
Aside from the obvious, Francesca, what do you want in return for supplying information?” Bones asked, getting back to the subject. “You to take me,” she replied at once. “Not gonna happen!” I spat, squeezing him possessively. Three sets of widened eyes fixed on me. That’s when I realized that what I had a firm grip on was no longer his hand.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
United Nations (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off.
Spider Robinson
Why are you limping like that?' Nicholas demanded. 'I'm swaggering,' I informed him. 'You look like you're wearing a diaper.' Charming. And I had a crush on this guy. Wait. I had a crush on this guy? 'Now what?' he asked. 'You're making weird faces.' 'Nothing,' I said quickly. 'Never mind.
Alyxandra Harvey (My Love Lies Bleeding (Drake Chronicles, #1))
The highly sensitive [introverted] tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive. They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions--sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments--both physical and emotional--unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss--another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Stop staring at my dick," he growled. Oh, yes it was definitely an illusion. "Barrons loved me staring at his dick,"I informed it. "he would have been happy if I'd stared at his dick all day long, composing odes to its perfection.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
A coward talks to everyone but YOU.
Shannon L. Alder
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us, "All men are created equal." All "men," except Indians, niggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what's known as being stunningly--and embarrassingly--full of shit.
George Carlin
How do you get your information, Mister Brekker?" "You might say I'm a lockpick." "You must be a very gifted one." "I am indeed." Kaz leaned back slightly. "You see, every man is a safe, a vault of secrets and longings. Now, there are those who take the brute's way, but I prefer a gentler approach - the right pressure applied at the right moment, in the right place. It's a delicate thing." "Do you always speak in metaphors, Mister Brekker?" Kaz smiled. "It's not a metaphor." He was out of his chair before his chains hit the ground.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
Abraham Lincoln
How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it and why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?
Søren Kierkegaard
Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.
Michael Ellner
Seniors get to do all the jolly things," Owen complained as they walked to archery practice that first day. Neal glared at the chubby second-year with all the royal disdain of a vexed lion. He was limping from a staff blow to the knee. "You are a bloody minded-savage," he informed Owen sternly. "I hope you are kidnapped by centaurs.
Tamora Pierce (Page (Protector of the Small, #2))
In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. [...] In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
The phone at my ass started ringing, I leaned forward and pulled it out. “Don’t answer that,” Noah ordered. “Fuck you,” I shot back, saw the display said “Luke calling” and flipped it open. “Yo.” “Babe,” Luke replied. “I’ve been kidnapped again,” I informed him. “I know. I’m following.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick, #5))
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
My muscles informed me they did not want to go through any more exercise today. So I suggest that maybe he should let me off this time. He laughed, and I'm pretty sure it was at me...not with me. "Why is that funny?" "Oh," he said, his smile dropping. "You were serious." "Of course I was! Look, I've technically been awake for two days. Why do we have to start this training now? Let me go to bed." I whined. "It's just one hour." "How do you feel right now?" "I hurt like hell." "You'll feel worse tomorrow." "So?" "So, better get a jump on it while you still feel...not as bad." "What kind of logic is that?" I retorted.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
What do you mean? Is she in a coma?” “Not anymore.” She braced herself for his reaction. “But she’s a cyborg.” His eyes widened, but then his attention was darting around the room as though he couldn’t look at Cinder while he adjusted to that information. “I see,” he said slowly, before meeting her gaze again. “But … is she all right?” The question caught her by surprise and she couldn’t help a startled laugh. “Oh, yeah, she’s great. I mean, half the people in the world want to kill her and the other half want to chain her to a throne on the moon, which is just what she’s always wanted. So she’s fantastic.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Will!” he shouted. “Will, she bit me!” “Did she, Henry?” Will, looking amused as usual, appeared like a summoned spirit from the chaos of smoke and flames. . .Will raised an eyebrow in Tessa’s direction. “It’s bad form to bite,” he informed her. “Rude, you know. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?” “It’s also rude to go about grabbing at ladies you haven’t been introduced to,” Tessa said stiffly. “Hasn’t anyone told you that?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
She was heartily ashamed of her ignorance - a misplaced shame. Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well−informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
We look for medicine to be an orderly field of knowledge and procedure. But it is not. It is an imperfect science, an enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line. There is science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists. And this gap complicates everything we do.
Atul Gawande (Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science)
We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares. But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us. This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Theodore Dalrymple
What is your friend: the things you know, or the things you don't know. First of all, there's a lot more things you don't know. And second, the things you don't know is the birthplace of all your new knowledge! So if you make the things you don't know your friend, rather than the things you know, well then you're always on a quest in a sense. You're always looking for new information in the off chance that somebody who doesn't agree with you will tell you something you couldn't have figured out on your own! It's a completely different way of looking at the world. It's the antithesis of opinionated.
Jordan B. Peterson
We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past, like ancient stars that have burned out, are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn. New styles, new information, new technology, new terminology … But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Right," Chaol said. "So you're just...memorizing that information now?" "If you're suggesting that I have no reason to be here and to leave, then tell me to go." "I'm just trying to figure out what's so boring that you dozed off 10 minutes ago." She propped herself up onto her elbows. "I did not!" His eyebrows rose. "I heard you snoring." "You're a liar, Chaol Westfall." She threw her paper at him at ploppedback on the couch. "I only closed my eyes for a minute." He shook his head again and went back to work. Celaena blushed. "I didn't really snore, did I?" His face was utterly serious as he said, "Like a bear.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It's proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or "accessing" what we now call "information" - which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.
Wendell Berry
Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put food on the table; a responsibility at the very least to inform yourself about power. Beyond that, it is a question of whether you believe in moral certainties or not.
Noam Chomsky
The endless cycle of idea and action, Endless invention, endless experiment, Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness; Knowledge of speech, but not of silence; Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word. All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, All our ignorance brings us nearer to death, But nearness to death no nearer to God. Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
T.S. Eliot
You don’t think he’s our man?” asked Adam. It occurred to him that Ramsbottom was not exactly forthcoming with information. “I didn’t say that,” Ramsbottom said. “In fact he is behaving very cautiously indeed, which makes me feel very suspicious.” “He has probably figured out that you are following him,” said Adam. “One can hardly fail to notice you hanging around all the time.” “That may be so,” said Ramsbottom. “Can’t you get a disguise or something?” asked Adam. “So he does not recognise you.
Max Nowaz (Get Rich or Get Lucky)
My favourite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantle piece, in order to prove it could be done. This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favourite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees. However, this is not relevant to what is currently on my mind because it concerns sloths, whereas the Branwell Brontë piece of information concerns writers and feeling like death and doing things to prove they can be done, all of which are pertinent to my current situation to a degree that is, frankly, spooky.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
If you have feelings for someone, let them know. It doesn’t matter if they can be in your life or not. Maybe, it is just enough for both of you to release the truth, so healing can occur. The opposite is true, as well. If you don’t have feelings for someone then never let another person suggest that you do. Protect your reputation and be responsible for the wrong information spread about you. Never allow anyone to live with a false belief or unfounded hope about you. An honorable person sets the record straight, so that person can move on with their life.
Shannon L. Alder
If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.
John Bytheway (How to Be Totally Miserable: A Self-Hinder Book)
Yeah, about the test... The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that, when taken together, will make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it. ...I know, right?
John Green
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Huxley added, "people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us".
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
A rumor is a social cancer: it is difficult to contain and it rots the brains of the masses. However, the real danger is that so many people find rumors enjoyable. That part causes the infection. And in such cases when a rumor is only partially made of truth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information may have gone wrong. It is passed on and on until some brave soul questions its validity; that brave soul refuses to bite the apple and let the apple eat him. Forced to start from scratch for the sake of purity and truth, that brave soul, figuratively speaking, fully amputates the information in order to protect his personal judgment. In other words, his ignorance is to be valued more than the lie believed to be true.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them.
George Carlin
From The Twelve Enlightenments Observe your own body. It breathes. You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. Who, then, is breathing? The collection of information that you mistakenly think it’s you is not the main protagonist in this drama called the breath. In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. The expression, “My life” is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t posses life; life expresses itself through you. Your body is a flower that life let bloom, a phenomenon created by life.
Ilchi Lee
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear this disease incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we not take a trip; a trip takes us.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
People like me are aware of their so-called genius at ten, eight, nine. . . . I always wondered, ``Why has nobody discovered me?'' In school, didn't they see that I'm cleverer than anybody in this school? That the teachers are stupid, too? That all they had was information that I didn't need? I got fuckin' lost in being at high school. I used to say to me auntie ``You throw my fuckin' poetry out, and you'll regret it when I'm famous, '' and she threw the bastard stuff out. I never forgave her for not treating me like a fuckin' genius or whatever I was, when I was a child. It was obvious to me. Why didn't they put me in art school? Why didn't they train me? Why would they keep forcing me to be a fuckin' cowboy like the rest of them? I was different I was always different. Why didn't anybody notice me? A couple of teachers would notice me, encourage me to be something or other, to draw or to paint - express myself. But most of the time they were trying to beat me into being a fuckin' dentist or a teacher
John Lennon
Since every country stands in numerous and various relations with the other countries of the world, and many, our own among the number, exercise actual authority over some of these, a knowledge of the established rules of international morality is essential to the duty of every nation, and therefore of every person in it who helps to make up the nation, and whose voice and feeling form a part of what is called public opinion. Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject. It depends on the habit of attending to and looking into public transactions, and on the degree of information and solid judgment respecting them that exists in the community, whether the conduct of the nation as a nation, both within itself and towards others, shall be selfish, corrupt, and tyrannical, or rational and enlightened, just and noble.
John Stuart Mill (Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867 (Collected Works))
There is a distinct difference between "suspense" and "surprise," and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I'll explain what I mean. We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let's suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, "Boom!" There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o'clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: "You shouldn't be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!" In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.
Alfred Hitchcock
But depression wasn't the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn't he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's definition of "Universe": The Universe is a very big thing that contains a great number of planets and a great number of beings. It is Everything. What we live in. All around us. The lot. Not nothing. It is quite difficult to actually define what the Universe means, but fortunately the Guide doesn't worry about that and just gives us some useful information to live in it. Area: The area of the Universe is infinite. Imports: None. This is a by product of infinity; it is impossible to import things into something that has infinite volume because by definition there is no outside to import things from. Exports: None, for similar reasons as imports. Population: None. Although you might see people from time to time, they are most likely products of your imagination. Simple mathematics tells us that the population of the Universe must be zero. Why? Well given that the volume of the universe is infinite there must be an infinite number of worlds. But not all of them are populated; therefore only a finite number are. Any finite number divided by infinity is zero, therefore the average population of the Universe is zero, and so the total population must be zero. Art: None. Because the function of art is to hold a mirror up to nature there can be no art because the Universe is infinite which means there simply isn't a mirror big enough. Sex: None. Although in fact there is quite a lot, given the zero population of the Universe there can in fact be no beings to have sex, and therefore no sex happens in the Universe.
Douglas Adams
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)