Intellectual Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Intellectual. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
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Charles Bukowski
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Some lose all mind and become soul,insane. some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual. some lose both and become accepted
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Charles Bukowski
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Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
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Isaac Asimov
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An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.
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Albert Camus
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There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
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Isaac Asimov
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An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.
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Aldous Huxley
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Thank you for explaining that my eye cancer isn't going to make me deaf. I feel so fortunate that an intellectual giant like yourself would deign to operate on me.
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John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
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With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word 'intellectual,' of course, became the swear word it deserved to be.
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Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
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The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist; a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.
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Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)
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Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.
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George Orwell (1984)
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Give me lust, baby. Flash. Give me malice. Flash. Give me detached existentialist ennui. Flash. Give me rampant intellectualism as a coping mechanism. Flash.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
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It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.
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Noam Chomsky
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What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
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Salman Rushdie
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My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
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George Washington
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We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.
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Cornel West (Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life)
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Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
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Albert Einstein
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One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.
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Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
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Like many intellectuals, he was incapable of saying a simple thing in a simple way
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Marcel Proust
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Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.
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Susan Sontag
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I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated. I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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It was culture as class performance, literature fetishised for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterwards feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about.
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Sally Rooney (Normal People)
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My favourite definition of an intellectual: 'Someone who has been educated beyond his/her intelligence. [Sources and Acknowledgements: Chapter 19]
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Arthur C. Clarke (3001: The Final Odyssey)
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There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.
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George Orwell
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Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.
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Tom Robbins
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Dignity /ˈdignitΔ“/ noun 1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache. 2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. 3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. 4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter. 5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself. 6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it. 7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don't want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable. 8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission. 9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from. 10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.
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Shannon L. Alder
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The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.
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Mark Twain (What is Man?)
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I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
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Isaac Asimov
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They are so damn 'intellectual' and rotten that I can't stand them anymore....I [would] rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those 'artistic' bitches of Paris.
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Frida Kahlo
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To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
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Henri Cartier-Bresson (The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers)
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You don't reason with intellectuals. You shoot them.
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NapolΓ©on Bonaparte (Napoleon's Memoirs)
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Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of them.
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Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
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The area dividing the brain and the soul Is affected in many ways by experience -- Some lose all mind and become soul: insane. Some lose all soul and become mind: intellectual. Some lose both and become: accepted.
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Charles Bukowski
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Never confuse faith, or beliefβ€”of any kindβ€”with something even remotely intellectual.
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John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
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Where the questions of religion are concerned people are guilty of every possible kind of insincerity and intellectual misdemeanor.
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Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
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God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than He is of any other slacker.
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C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
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Intellect is not wisdom.
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Thomas Sowell (Intellectuals and Society)
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Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.
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Thomas Sowell
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...when dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.
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Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger Volume I: Final Secret of the Illuminati)
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Intellectual passion drives out sensuality.
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Leonardo da Vinci
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Anything that makes weak - physically, intellectually and spiritually, reject it as poison.
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Vivekananda
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Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
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Thomas Sowell (The Thomas Sowell Reader)
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I am passionate about everything in my life--first and foremost, passionate about ideas. And that's a dangerous person to be in this society, not just because I'm a woman, but because it's such a fundamentally anti-intellectual, anti-critical thinking society. --bell hooks
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bell hooks
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To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.
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Chinua Achebe
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Excuse me for being so intellectual. I know you would prefer something nice and feminine and affectionate.
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Zelda Fitzgerald (Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)
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A woman can be beautiful as well as intellectual.
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Audrey Hepburn
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There weren't any curtains in the windows, and the books that didn't fit into the bookshelf lay piled on the floor like a bunch of intellectual refugees.
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Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
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Whenever you feel a negative emotion be alone in a room and just sit down with it and feel. Don't judge it, criticize it, intellectualize it, explain it away. Allow yourself to feel the pain. It's okay. Accompany it - breathe into it - and after a while, you'll feel the anger or fear or sadness lose it's urgency and power. Allow God to tenderly embrace you in your pain. And then, at the right time, you can let go.
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Bo SΓ‘nchez (You Have The Power to Create Love: Take Another Step on the Simple Path to Happiness)
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Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.
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George Orwell
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The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.
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Malcolm Muggeridge
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But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Karma Repair Kit Items 1-4. 1.Get enough food to eat, and eat it. 2.Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there. 3.Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it. 4.
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Richard Brautigan
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With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.
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Robert Louis Stevenson (L'estrany cas del Dr. Jekyll i Mr. Hyde)
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Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.
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David Quammen (The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder)
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I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
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Martha Graham
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I read in the newspapers they are going to have 30 minutes of intellectual stuff on television every Monday from 7:30 to 8. to educate America. They couldn't educate America if they started at 6:30.
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Groucho Marx (The Groucho Letters)
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I may turn out an intellectual, but I'll never write anything but mediocre poetry.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
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In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.
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Edith Wharton
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It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.
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David Attenborough
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To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spiritual or intellectual.
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Gautama Buddha
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Mates are a waste of fucking time. They are always ready to drag you down tae their level of social, sexual and intellectual mediocrity.
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Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
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I think you are wrong, Basil, but I won't argue with you. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
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William S. Burroughs
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Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness - an act of trust in the unknown.
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Alan W. Watts (The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
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Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
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There's a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn't happen all the time. It's these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unaloneβ€”intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I'm in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don't with other art.
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David Foster Wallace
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Absurdity is the ecstasy of intellectualism.
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Criss Jami (SalomΓ©: In Every Inch In Every Mile)
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In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ... It is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow.
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Stefan Zweig (Chess Story)
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What a lover’s heart knows let no man’s brain dispute.
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Aberjhani (Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black)
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Criticism - however valid or intellectually engaging - tends to get in the way of a writer who has anything personal to say. A tightrope walker may require practice, but if he starts a theory of equilibrium he will lose grace (and probably fall off).
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J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
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I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist.
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William Golding
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Give me rampant intellectualism as a coping mechanism.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
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Is my paranoia getting completely out of hand, or are you mongoloids really talking about me?
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John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
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Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.
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Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
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The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.
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John Maynard Keynes
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In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise.
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Sam Harris
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All struggles are essentially power struggles. Who will rule? Who will lead? Who will define, refine, confine, design? Who will dominate? All struggles are essentially power struggles, and most are no more intellectual than two rams knocking their heads together.
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Octavia E. Butler
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The intellectual was rejected and persecuted at the precise moment when the facts became incontrovertible, when it was forbidden to say that the emperor had no clothes.
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Michel Foucault
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The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong.
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Sydney J. Harris (Pieces Of Eight)
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A word to the unwise. Torch every book. Char every page. Burn every word to ash. Ideas are incombustible. And therein lies your real fear.
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Ellen Hopkins
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Beer's intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it. - The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse
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Ray Bradbury (The October Country)
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The best way to measure the loss of intellectual sophistication - this "nerdification," to put it bluntly - is in the growing disappearance of sarcasm, as mechanic minds take insults a bit too literally.
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
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To learn to see- to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Twilight of the Idols)
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Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers.
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Janis Joplin
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Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels - the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams,and personality.
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Myles Munroe (Waiting and Dating: Your Practical Guide to a Fulfilling Relationship)
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My ego had always been an issue. I knew that intellectual attainment was morally neutral at best, but when bad things happened to me I made myself feel better by thinking about how smart I was.
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Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
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There was just something about her dying that I had understood but not really understood, if you know what I mean. I mean, you can know someone is dying on an intellectual level, but emotionally it hasn't really hit you, and then when it does, that's when you feel like shit.
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Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
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Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness.
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Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
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My pacifism is an instinctive feeling, a feeling that possesses me because the murder of men is disgusting. My attitude is not derived from any intellectual theory but is based on my deepest antipathy to every kind of cruelty and hatred.
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Albert Einstein
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One can never read too little of bad, or too much of good books: bad books are intellectual poison; they destroy the mind. In order to read what is good one must make it a condition never to read what is bad; for life is short, and both time and strength limited.
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Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
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The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.
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Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell)
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Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose- a point on which the soul can focus its intellectual eye
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
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Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back
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John Maynard Keynes
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I regret nothing. No woman with any self-respect would have done less. The question of good and evil will always be one of philosophy's most intriguing problems, up there with the problem of existence itself. I'm not quarreling with your choice of issues, only with your intellectually diminished approach. If evil means to be self-motivated, to live on one's own terms, then every artist, every thinker, every original mind, is evil. Because we dare to look through our own eyes rather than mouth cliches lent us from the so-called Fathers. To dare to see is to steal fire from the Gods. This is mankind's destiny, the engine which fuels us as a race.
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Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
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To seek "causes" of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.
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Jane Jacobs
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I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.
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Henry David Thoreau
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I don’t care how intelligent or attractive someone is, if he zaps your energy, he isn’t for you. True chemistry is more than intellectual compatibility. Beyond surfaces, you must be intuitively at ease.
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Judith Orloff
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What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance)
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The work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).
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Michel Foucault
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Academics were not intellectuals; they were not curious, they built their stolid tents of specialized knowledge and stayed securely in them.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
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Intellectuals are naturally attracted by the idea of a planned society, in the belief that they will be in charge of it.
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Roger Scruton (Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left)
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the area dividing the brain and the soul is affected in many ways by experience – some lose all mind and become soul: insane. some lose all soul and become mind: intellectual. some lose both and become: accepted.
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Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense)
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First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called β€œHell Drop,” β€œTower of Torture,” or β€œThe Death Spiral Rock β€˜N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. β€œMy mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. β€œMy mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
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Tina Fey (Bossypants)
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If only everyone could know and live with their inner craziness. Would the world be a worse place for it? No, people would be fairer and happier.
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Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
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When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments! You are one whole person! What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done. Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.
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Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
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Every time we make jokes about how jologs someone's school is, we are not insulting the poor student's intellectual abilities but their parents' financial capacity.
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Lourd Ernest H. de Veyra (The Best of This Is A Crazy Planets)
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Before going back to college, i knew i didn't want to be an intellectual, spending my life in books and libraries without knowing what the hell is going on in the streets. Theory without practice is just as incomplete as practice without theory. The two have to go together.
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Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
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I think, therefore I am is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches. I feel, therefore I am is a truth much more universally valid, and it applies to everything that's alive. My self does not differ substantially from yours in terms of its thought. Many people, few ideas: we all think more or less the same, and we exchange, borrow, steal thoughts from one another. However, when someone steps on my foot, only I feel the pain. The basis of the self is not thought but suffering, which is the most fundamental of all feelings. While it suffers, not even a cat can doubt its unique and uninterchangeable self. In intense suffering the world disappears and each of us is alone with his self. Suffering is the university of egocentrism.
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Milan Kundera (Immortality)
β€œ
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)
β€œ
I’ve always known, on a purely intellectual level, that our separateness and isolation are an illusion. We’re all made of the same thingβ€”the blown-out pieces of matter formed in the fires of dead stars.
”
”
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
β€œ
Embrace relational uncertainty. It's called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It's called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It's called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It's called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It's called revelation.
”
”
Mark Batterson (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars)
β€œ
Reading is my passion and my escape since I was 5 years old. Overall, children don't realize the magic that can live inside their own heads. Better even then any movie.
”
”
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
β€œ
Respect isn’t something you command through intimidation and intellectual bullying. It’s something you build through a long life of treating people how you want to be treated
”
”
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
β€œ
[The public school system is] usually a twelve year sentence of mind control. Crushing creativity, smashing individualism, encouraging collectivism and compromise, destroying the exercise of intellectual inquiry, twisting it instead into meek subservience to authority.
”
”
Walter Karp
β€œ
It's clearly a crisis of two things: of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it's not easy.
”
”
Terence McKenna
β€œ
It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have a huge variety of needs and dangers.
”
”
H.G. Wells (The Time Machine)
β€œ
When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from out friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
β€œ
Gross well says that children are young because they play, and not vice versa; and he might have added, men grow old because they stop playing, and not conversely, for play is, at bottom, growth, and at the top of the intellectual scale it is the eternal type of research from sheer love of truth.
”
”
G. Stanley Hall (Adolescence - Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, and Religion (1931))
β€œ
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person -- sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty -- and you get to pick three of those things. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.
”
”
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
β€œ
It's a lucky man, a very lucky man, who is committed to what he believes, who has stifled intellectual detachment and can relax in the luxury of his emotions - like a tipsy traveller resting for the night at wayside inn.
”
”
Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin)
β€œ
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
”
”
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience.
”
”
Oswald Chambers
β€œ
If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good
”
”
Ezra Pound
β€œ
I mean, we're all going to die. We know that on an intellectual level. We figure it out when we're still fairly young, and it scares us so badly that we convince ourselves we're immortal for more than a decade afterwards.
”
”
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
β€œ
You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.
”
”
AnaΓ―s Nin
β€œ
Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!
”
”
Douglas Adams
β€œ
Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.
”
”
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
β€œ
What we can and should change is ourselves: our impatience, our egoism (including intellectual egoism), our sense of injury, our lack of love and forbearance. I regard every other attempt to change the world, even if it springs from the best intentions, as futile.
”
”
Hermann Hesse
β€œ
When you feel perpetually unmotivated, you start questioning your existence in an unhealthy way; everything becomes a pseudo intellectual question you have no interest in responding whatsoever. This whole process becomes your very skin and it does not merely affect you; it actually defines you. So, you see yourself as a shadowy figure unworthy of developing interest, unworthy of wondering about the world - profoundly unworthy in every sense and deeply absent in your very presence.
”
”
Ingmar Bergman
β€œ
We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our booksβ€”some oppressive government, some censor gone off the railsβ€”we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.
”
”
Cory Doctorow
β€œ
If we are not prepared to spell out clearly the content of our thinking or to β€˜name’ undisputedly the quality of the cold hard facts, we deserve to be disentitled, intellectually. ("Even if the world goes down, my mobile will save me" )
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
When considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. Religion is one area of our lives where people imagine that some other standard of intellectual integrity applies.
”
”
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation (Unabridged))
β€œ
And that must end us, that must be our cure: To be no more. Sad cure! For who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity, To perish, rather, swallowed up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night Devoid of sense and motion?
”
”
John Milton (Paradise Lost)
β€œ
If I show up at your house ten years from now and find nothing in your living room but The Readers Digest, nothing on your bedroom night table but the newest Dan Brown novel, and nothing in your bathroom but Jokes for the John, I’ll chase you down to the end of your driveway and back, screaming β€˜Where are your books? You graduated college ten years ago, so how come there are no damn books in your house? Why are you living on the intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese?
”
”
Stephen King
β€œ
It feels intellectually unserious to concern himself with fictional people marrying one another. But there it is: literature moves him. One of his professors calls it β€œthe pleasure of being touched by great art.” In those words it almost sounds sexual.
”
”
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
β€œ
The Net’s interactivity gives us powerful new tools for finding information, expressing ourselves, and conversing with others. It also turns us into lab rats constantly pressing levers to get tiny pellets of social or intellectual nourishment.
”
”
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
β€œ
We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image β€” as opposed to a symbol β€” is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.
”
”
Andrei Tarkovsky
β€œ
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.
”
”
Karl Marx (The German Ideology / Theses on Feuerbach / Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy)
β€œ
Breeze strolled over to the table and chose a seat with his characteristic decorum. The portly man raised his dueling cane, pointing it at Ham. 'I see that my period of intellectual respite has come to an end.' Ham smiled. 'I thought up a couple beastly questions while I was gone, and I've been saving them just for you, Breeze.' 'I'm dying of anticipation,' Breeze said. He turned his cane toward Lestibournes. 'Spook, drink.' Spook rushed over and fetched Breeze a cup of wine. 'He's such a fine lad,' Breeze noted, accepting the drink. 'I barely even have to nudge him Allomantically. If only the rest of you ruffians were so accommodating.' Spook frowned. 'Niceing the not on the playing without.' 'I have no idea what you just said, child,' Breeze said. 'So I'm simply going to pretend it was coherent, then move on.' Kelsier rolled his eyes. 'Losing the stress on the nip,' he said. 'Notting without the needing of care.' 'Riding the rile of the rids to the right,' Spook said with a nod. 'What are you two babbling about?' Breeze said testily. 'Wasing the was of brightness,' Spook said. 'Nip the having of wishing of this.' 'Ever wasing the doing of this,' Kelsier agreed. 'Ever wasing the wish of having the have,' Ham added with a smile. 'Brighting the wish of wasing the not.' Breeze turned to Dockson with exasperation. 'I believe our companions have finally lost their minds, dear friend.' Dockson shrugged. Then, with a perfectly straight face, he said, 'Wasing not of wasing is.
”
”
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
β€œ
We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, β€œYou can be anything,” and we heard, β€œYou have to be everything.
”
”
Courtney Martin
β€œ
Through their intellectual disability or mental illiteracy, some cannot free themselves from the imprisonment of irrevocable idiocy and feel condemned to find gratifying compensation by extracting the vilest qualities from the deep quarters of their dark self. ("Ugly mug offense")
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
I believe that it is impossible for two individuals not committed to their own and each other’s well being to sustain a healthy and enduring relationship.
”
”
bell hooks (Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life)
β€œ
Ruins stood for what was lost, and yet there were beautiful-peaceful, historic, intellectual. Not tragic or regrettable. Lena tried to keep hers that way too, and she succeeded to some extent. Why not celebrate what you had rather than spend your time mourning its passing? There could be joy in things that ended.
”
”
Ann Brashares (Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood, #4))
β€œ
Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
”
”
Victor Hugo (Intellectual Autobiography: Ideas on Literature, Philosophy and Religion)
β€œ
Huh,” said Kit, thinking of the Cold Peace. β€œAre you a prisoner?” β€œNo,” said the faerie. β€œI’m Mark’s lover.” Oh, Kit thought. The person he went into Faerie to save. He tried to stifle a look of amusement at the way faeries talked. Intellectually, he knew the word β€œlover” was part of traditional speech, but he couldn’t help it: He was from Los Angeles, and as far as he was concerned, Kieran had just said, Hello, I have sex with Mark Blackthorn. What about you?
”
”
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
β€œ
Most people write me off when they see me. They do not know my story. They say I am just an African. They judge me before they get to know me. What they do not know is The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins; The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people; The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community; The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance; The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it. Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning. So you think I am nothing? Don’t worry about what I am now, For what I will be, I am gradually becoming. I will raise my head high wherever I go Because of my African pride, And nobody will take that away from me.
”
”
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for all Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams)
β€œ
Develop some intellectual curiosity. If you have it, you will never be bored. If you haven't, cultivate it, hold fast to it. Never let it go. To the intellectually curious, the world will always be full of magic, full of wonder. You will be interesting to your friends, to your spouse, and a joy to your children. You will be alive to all the wonderful possibilities of this world.
”
”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley
β€œ
It smells terrible in here.' Well, what do you expect? The human body, when confined, produces certain odors which we tend to forget in this age of deodorants and other perversions. Actually, I find the atmosphere of this room rather comforting. Schiller needed the scent of apples rotting in his desk in order to write. I, too, have my needs. You may remember that Mark Twain preferred to lie supinely in bed while composing those rather dated and boring efforts which contemporary scholars try to prove meaningful. Veneration of Mark Twain is one of the roots of our current intellectual stalemate.
”
”
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
β€œ
The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him, and that is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force which ever oppressed people and their literature: it created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, sterility.
”
”
AnaΓ―s Nin (The Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947)
β€œ
I was starting to wonder if I was ready to be a writer, not someone who won prizes, got published and was given the time and space to work, but someone who wrote as a course of life. Maybe writing wouldn't have any rewards. Maybe the salvation I would gain through work would only be emotional and intellectual. Wouldn't that be enough, to be a waitress who found an hour or two hidden in every day to write?
”
”
Ann Patchett (Truth And Beauty)
β€œ
Misfortunes make us wise
”
”
Mary Norton (The Borrowers Afield (The Borrowers #2))
β€œ
Yes, books are dangerous. They should be dangerous - they contain ideas.
”
”
Pete Hautman
β€œ
It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview-however heroic the efforts of redactors- is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.
”
”
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
β€œ
Should happiness and success be hidden, in view of the misery and poverty around. Would it be a sign of selfishness and un-intellectual behavior, if we admit to a pursuit of happiness? Could it, on the contrary, not work out as a motivation and an incentive? When giving voice to our happiness, could it not be perceived as a positive challenge? Could happiness not be contagious and become a salutary infectious syndrome? A beneficial infection. ( "Happy days are back again" )
”
”
Erik Pevernagie
β€œ
People don't want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they'll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue - a highly intellectual virtue - out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness and their guilt... They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear
”
”
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
β€œ
According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency.
”
”
Sam Harris
β€œ
If God existed (a question concerning which Jubal maintained a meticulous intellectual neutrality) and if He desired to be worshiped (a proposition which Jubal found inherently improbable but conceivably possible in the dim light of his own ignorance), then (stipulating affirmatively both the above) it nevertheless seemed wildly unlikely to Jubal to the point of reductio ad absurdum that a God potent to shape galaxies would be titillated and swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered Him as "worship.
”
”
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
β€œ
Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.
”
”
Ludwig von Mises
β€œ
I know you, I know you. You're the only serious person in the room, aren't you, the only one who understands, and you can prove it by the fact that you've never finished a single thing in your life. You're the only well-educated person, because you never went to college, and you resent education, you resent social ease, you resent good manners, you resent success, you resent any kind of success, you resent God, you resent Christ, you resent thousand-dollar bills, you resent Christmas, by God, you resent happiness, you resent happiness itself, because none of that's real. What is real, then? Nothing's real to you that isn't part of your own past, real life, a swamp of failures, of social, sexual, financial, personal...spiritual failure. Real life. You poor bastard. You don't know what real life is, you've never been near it. All you have is a thousand intellectualized ideas about life. But life? Have you ever measured yourself against anything but your own lousy past? Have you ever faced anything outside yourself? Life! You poor bastard.
”
”
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
β€œ
Television, radio, and all the sources of amusement and information that surround us in our daily lives are also artificial props. They can give us the impression that our minds are active, because we are required to react to stimuli from the outside. But the power of those external stimuli to keep us going is limited. They are like drugs. We grow used to them, and we continuously need more and more of them. Eventually, they have little or no effect. Then, if we lack resources within ourselves, we cease to grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually. And we we cease to grow, we begin to die.
”
”
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading)
β€œ
We cannot know the consequences of suppressing a child's spontaneity when he is just beginning to be active. We may even suffocate life itself. That humanity which is revealed in all its intellectual splendor during the sweet and tender age of childhood should be respected with a kind of religious veneration. It is like the sun which appears at dawn or a flower just beginning to bloom. Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.
”
”
Maria Montessori
β€œ
Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn't trust the evidence of one's eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the latest mission civilizatrice.
”
”
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
β€œ
Many people suffer all their lives from this oppressive feeling of guilt, the sense of not having lived up to their parents' expectations. This feeling is stronger than any intellectual insight they might have, that it is not a child's task or duty to satisfy his parents needs. No argument can overcome these guilt feelings, for they have their beginnings in life's earliest periods, and from that they derive their intensity and obduracy.
”
”
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
β€œ
I feel with some passion that what we truly are is private, and almost infinitely complex, and ambiguous, and both external and internal, and double- or triple- or multiply natured, and largely mysterious even to ourselves; and furthermore that what we are is only part of us, because identity, unlike "identity", must include what we do. And I think that to find oneself and every aspect of this complexity reduced in the public mind to one property that apparently subsumes all the rest ("gay", "black", "Muslim", whatever) is to be the victim of a piece of extraordinary intellectual vulgarity.
”
”
Philip Pullman
β€œ
Has anyone provided proof of God’s inexistence? Not even close. Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here? Not even close. Have our sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life? Not even close. Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought? Close enough. Has rationalism and moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral? Not close enough. Has secularism in the terrible 20th century been a force for good? Not even close, to being close. Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy in the sciences? Close enough. Does anything in the sciences or their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational? Not even in the ball park. Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on.
”
”
David Berlinski (The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions)
β€œ
Philosophy is a necessary activity because we, all of us, take a great number of things for granted, and many of these assumptions are of a philosophical character; we act on them in private life, in politics, in our work, and in every other sphere of our lives -- but while some of these assumptions are no doubt true, it is likely, that more are false and some are harmful. So the critical examination of our presuppositions -- which is a philosophical activity -- is morally as well as intellectually important.
”
”
Karl Popper
β€œ
As for the Republicans -- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.
”
”
H.P. Lovecraft
β€œ
Great writers, I discovered, were not to be bowed down before and worshipped, but embraced and befriended. Their names resounded through history not because they had massive brows and thought deep incomprehensible thoughts, but because they opened windows in the mind, they put their arms round you and showed you things you always knew but never dared to believe. Even if their names were terrifyingly foreign and intellectual sounding, Dostoevsky, Baudelaire or Cavafy, they turned out to be charming and wonderful and quite unalarming after all.
”
”
Stephen Fry (The Library Book)
β€œ
How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won't talk to rednecks, or if they're rednecks won't talk to intellectuals, people who're afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar's Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk's seek, and seeking, when it's mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren't afraid to look and won't turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they'll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth's sweet gas.
”
”
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
β€œ
The following proposition seems to me in a high degree probableβ€”namely, that any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well developed, as in man. For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them.
”
”
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
β€œ
You know that apple Adam ate in the Garden of Eden, referred to in the Bible?' he asked. 'You know what was in that apple? Logic. Logic and intellectual stuff. That was all that was in it. Soβ€”this is my pointβ€”what you have to do is vomit it up if you want to see things as they really are....' The trouble is,' Teddy said, 'most people don't want to see things the way they are. They don't even want to stop getting born and dying all the time, instead of stopping and staying with God, where it's really nice.' He reflected. 'I never saw such a bunch of apple-eaters,' he said. He shook his head.
”
”
J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories)
β€œ
At least I was true. My intellectual abilities gave me a release, and an excuse. I shunned company because I preferred books; and the dreams I confided to my father were of becoming a scholar in good earnest, and going to University. It was unheard-of several shocked governesses were only too quick to tell me, when I spoke a little too boldly -- but my father nodded and smiled and said, 'We'll see.' Since I believed my father could do anything -- except of course make me pretty -- I worked and studied with passionate dedication, lived in hope, and avoided society and mirrors.
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Robin McKinley (Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast)
β€œ
-BDB on the board- VAMPIRES WITH ONE EYEBROW ARE SEXY May 8, 2006 Vishous (Back in the Pit, posting in Rhage's room on the board) Hi! My name is Rhage.....:) I'm starting a new trend in facial hair. Having one eyebrow is COOL. Having one eyebrow is SEXY. Having one eyebrow is very INTELLECTUAL. Come. Join me. Rhage: (In his bedroom) 1. He immobilized me, the motherfucker. Or I woud have gone to work on the goatee. AND IF HE WERE SO TOUGH HE WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO PUT A WHAMMY ON MY ASS TO GET AT ME. 2. My hair grows back VERY fast. I should be BACK TO NORMAL in a couple of days. 3. Even if it takes me the rest of this month...he has SO got it coming for him. Vishous: Rhage! What happened to your eyebrow? Why...it's gone. Did you slip while you were shaving? Hey....lemme ask you something...Does your head feel off-kilter? You know, heavier on one side?
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J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
β€œ
The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. And even a cursory glance at the history of the biological sciences during the last quarter of a century is sufficient to justify the assertion, that the most potent instrument for the extension of the realm of natural knowledge which has come into men's hands, since the publication of Newton's β€˜Principia’, is Darwin's β€˜Origin of Species.
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Thomas Henry Huxley
β€œ
We have undoubtedly achieved Pakistan, and that too without bloody war, practically peacefully, by moral and intellectual force, and with the power of the pen, which is no less mighty than that of the sword and so our righteous cause has triumphed. Are we now going to besmear and tarnish this greatest achievement for which there is no parallel in the history of the world? Pakistan is now a fait accompli and it can never be undone, besides, it was the only just, honourable, and practical solution of the most complex constitutional problem of this great subcontinent. Let us now plan to build and reconstruct and regenerate our great nation...
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Muhammad Ali Jinnah
β€œ
The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …
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George Orwell
β€œ
It is a sad thing to think of, but there is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value.
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Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
β€œ
Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted. [For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, 1789]
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Benjamin Franklin (Writings: The Autobiography / Poor Richard’s Almanack / Bagatelles, Pamphlets, Essays & Letters)
β€œ
If women allow themselves to be consoled for their culturally determined lack of access to the modes of intellectual debate by the invocation of hypothetical great goddesses, they are simply flattering themselves into submission (a technique often used on them by men). All the mythic versions of women, from the myth of the redeeming purity of the virgin to that of the healing, reconciliatory mother, are consolatory nonsenses; and consolatory nonsense seems to me a fair definition of myth, anyway. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place.
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Angela Carter (The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography)
β€œ
The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.
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Parley P. Pratt
β€œ
I told them we’re tired of the culture wars, tired of Christianity getting entangled with party politics and power. Millennials want to be known by what we’re for, I said, not just what we’re against. We don’t want to choose between science and religion or between our intellectual integrity and our faith. Instead, we long for our churches to be safe places to doubt, to ask questions, and to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. We want to talk about the tough stuffβ€”biblical interpretation, religious pluralism, sexuality, racial reconciliation, and social justiceβ€”but without predetermined conclusions or simplistic answers. We want to bring our whole selves through the church doors, without leaving our hearts and minds behind, without wearing a mask.
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Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
β€œ
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
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Banksy
β€œ
To all the talented young men who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: 'Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write. Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy almost all your energies.' I do not recommend this course of action to everyone, but only to those who suffer from the disease which Mr Krutch diagnoses. I believe that, after some years of such an existence, the ex-intellectual will fin that in spite of is efforts he can no longer refrain from writing, and when this time comes his writing will not seem to him futile.
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Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness)
β€œ
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
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Milan Kundera
β€œ
Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the rabbi who asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days whereas nowadays nobody ever sees him. The rabbi replied: "Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough." This answer hits the nail on the head. We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions. The Buddhist discards the world of unconscious fantasies as useless illusions; the Christian puts his Church and his Bible between himself and his unconscious; and the rational intellectual does not yet know that his consciousness is not his total psyche.
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C.G. Jung
β€œ
We are the world. The world is you and me, the world is not separate from you and me. We have created this world - the world of violence, the world of wars, the world of religious divisions, sex, anxieties, the utter lack of communication with each other, with no sense of compassion, consideration for another. Wherever one goes in any country throughout the world, human beings, that is, you and another, suffer; we are anxious, we are uncertain, we don’t know what is going to happen. Everything has become uncertain. Right through the world as human beings we are in sorrow, fear, anxiety, violence, uncertain of everything, insecure. There is a common relationship between us all. We are the world essentially, basically, fundamentally. The world is you, and you are the world. Realizing that fundamentally, deeply, not romantically, not intellectually but actually, then we see that our problem is a global problem. It is not my problem or your particular problem, it is a human problem.
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J. Krishnamurti
β€œ
I remained a socialist for several years, even after my rejection of Marxism; and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society. It took some time before I recognized this as no more than a beautiful dream; that freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.
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Karl Popper (Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography)
β€œ
Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about controlabout who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship's bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don't want just to make sure it's kept from my kid; I want to make sure it's kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: "If it's bad for me and my family, it's bad for everyone's family." Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out of school libraries as a result of this idea, I'm never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don't get mad, get even. Don't spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don't walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they're trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that's exactly what you need to know.
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Stephen King
β€œ
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
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Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
β€œ
I hope that you will listen, but not with the memory of what you already know; and this is very difficult to do. You listen to something, and your mind immediately reacts with its knowledge, its conclusions, its opinions, its past memories. It listens, inquiring for a future understanding. Just observe yourself, how you are listening, and you will see that this is what is taking place. Either you are listening with a conclusion, with knowledge, with certain memories, experiences, or you want an answer, and you are impatient. You want to know what it is all about, what life is all about, the extraordinary complexity of life. You are not actually listening at all. You can only listen when the mind is quiet, when the mind doesn't react immediately, when there is an interval between your reaction and what is being said. Then, in that interval there is a quietness, there is a silence in which alone there is a comprehension which is not intellectual understanding. If there is a gap between what is said and your own reaction to what is said, in that interval, whether you prolong it indefinitely, for a long period or for a few seconds - in that interval, if you observe, there comes clarity. It is the interval that is the new brain. The immediate reaction is the old brain, and the old brain functions in its own traditional, accepted, reactionary, animalistic sense. When there is an abeyance of that, when the reaction is suspended, when there is an interval, then you will find that the new brain acts, and it is only the new brain that can understand, not the old brain
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J. Krishnamurti
β€œ
A NATION'S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS LEADER To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick. Pick a leader from among the people who is heart-driven, one who identifies with the common man on the street and understands what the country needs on every level. Do not pick a leader who is only money-driven and does not understand or identify with the common man, but only what corporations need on every level. Pick a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies. Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first, not those of multinational corporations. Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader. And lastly, pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
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Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
β€œ
[..]Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species." Yes? Why is that?" Because it means the end of innovation," Malcolm said. "This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behaviour. We innovate new behaviour to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. [..]
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Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
β€œ
Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry. But that is how I see it.
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Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
β€œ
The biologist and intellectual E. O. Wilson was once asked what represented the most hindrance to the development of children; his answer was the soccer mom. He did not use the notion of the Procrustean bed, but he outlined it perfectly. His argument is that they repress children's natural biophilia, their love of living things. But the problem is more general; soccer moms try to eliminate the trial and error, the antifragility, from children's lives, move them away from the ecological and transform them into nerds working on preexisting (soccer-mom-compatible) maps of reality. Good students, but nerds--that is, they are like computers except slower. Further, they are now totally untrained to handle ambiguity. As a child of civil war, I disbelieve in structured learning . . . . Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all those things that make life worth living, compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock.
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
β€œ
For me, the last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you're in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. You get all your friends over and throw this wild disgusting fabulous party. For a while it's great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown, a cat's-away-let's-play Dionysian revel. But then time passes and the party gets louder and louder, and you run out of drugs, and nobody's got any money for more drugs, and things get broken and spilled, and there's cigarette burn on the couch, and you're the host and it's your house too, and you gradually start wishing your parents would come back and restore some fucking order in your house. It's not a perfect analogy, but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever is that it's 3:00 A.M. and the couch has several burn-holes and somebody's thrown up in the umbrella stand and we're wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We're kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we're uneasy about the fact that we wish they'd come back--I mean, what's wrong with us? Are we total pussies? Is there something about authority and limits we actually need? And then the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually to realize that parents in fact aren't ever coming back--which means we're going to have to be the parents.
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”
David Foster Wallace
β€œ
But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
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Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
β€œ
No settled family or community has ever called its home place an β€œenvironment.” None has ever called its feeling for its home place β€œbiocentric” or β€œanthropocentric.” None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as β€œecological,” deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of β€œecology” and β€œecosystems.” But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people. And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is β€œwork.” We are connected by work even to the places where we don’t work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is β€œgood work,” for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth. The name of our present society’s connection to the earth is β€œbad work” – work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.
”
”
Wendell Berry
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Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities. "You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood. If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . . We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperament, you must be by now completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.
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AnaΓ―s Nin (Delta of Venus)
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In my own professional work I have touched on a variety of different fields. I’ve done work in mathematical linguistics, for example, without any professional credentials in mathematics; in this subject I am completely self-taught, and not very well taught. But I’ve often been invited by universities to speak on mathematical linguistics at mathematics seminars and colloquia. No one has ever asked me whether I have the appropriate credentials to speak on these subjects; the mathematicians couldn’t care less. What they want to know is what I have to say. No one has ever objected to my right to speak, asking whether I have a doctor’s degree in mathematics, or whether I have taken advanced courses in the subject. That would never have entered their minds. They want to know whether I am right or wrong, whether the subject is interesting or not, whether better approaches are possible… the discussion dealt with the subject, not with my right to discuss it. But on the other hand, in discussion or debate concerning social issues or American foreign policy…. The issue is constantly raised, often with considerable venom. I’ve repeatedly been challenged on grounds of credentials, or asked, what special training do I have that entitles you to speak on these matters. The assumption is that people like me, who are outsiders from a professional viewpoint, are not entitled to speak on such things. Compare mathematics and the political sciences… it’s quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content.
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Noam Chomsky
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Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person. Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either. It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy. And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.
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Christopher Hitchens
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When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there may be no great characters in his book, but it is possible that his book will remain as a whole; as an entity; as a novel. If the people the writer is making talk of old masters; of music; of modern painting; of letters; or of science then they should talk of those subjects in the novel. If they do not talk of these subjects and the writer makes them talk of them he is a faker, and if he talks about them himself to show how much he knows then he is showing off. No matter how good a phrase or a simile he may have if he puts it in where it is not absolutely necessary and irreplaceable he is spoiling his work for egotism. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. For a writer to put his own intellectual musings, which he might sell for a low price as essays, into the mouths of artificially constructed characters which are more remunerative when issued as people in a novel is good economics, perhaps, but does not make literature. People in a novel, not skillfully constructed characters, must be projected from the writer’s assimilated experience, from his knowledge, from his head, from his heart and from all there is of him. If he ever has luck as well as seriousness and gets them out entire they will have more than one dimension and they will last a long time. A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge. There are some things which cannot be learned quickly and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. Every novel which is truly written contributes to the total of knowledge which is there at the disposal of the next writer who comes, but the next writer must pay, always, a certain nominal percentage in experience to be able to understand and assimilate what is available as his birthright and what he must, in turn, take his departure from. If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
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Ernest Hemingway (Death in the Afternoon)