Massive Thinks Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Massive Thinks. Here they are! All 100 of them:

They all ordered massive plates of eggs, pancakes, and reindeer sausage, though Frank looked a little worried about the reindeer. "You think it's okay that we're eating Rudolph?" "Dude," Percy said, "I could eat Prancer and Blitzen, too. I'm hungry.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.
Kevin Michel (Moving Through Parallel Worlds To Achieve Your Dreams)
Why is it that everyone else can look like they’re part of a zombie hunting party, but I still have to worry about fashion?” He won’t stop snickering. “You look like a leopard-spotted Shar-Pei.” I think those are the little pug-like dogs drowning in massive folds of skin. “You’re scarring me, you know. It could haunt me for the rest of my life to be called a wrinkly little dog at the tender age of seventeen.” “Yup. A sensitive girl. That just defines you, Penryn.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
The journey starts with a single step—not with thinking about taking a step.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry. 'S-so sweet, Dudders...' she sobbed into his massive chest. 'S-such a lovely b-boy...s-saying thank you...' 'But he hadn't said thank you at all!' said Hestia indignantly. 'He only said he didn't think Harry was a waste of space!' 'Yeah, but coming from Dudley that's like "I love you.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe
Denis Leary
Internet porn makes everything more reasonable -- once you've realized there is a massive subculture of upwardly mobile people who think it's erotic to see an Asian woman giving a hand job to a javelina, nothing else in the world seems crazy.
Chuck Klosterman
Jeevan found himself thinking about how human the city is, how human everything is. We bemoaned the impersonality of the modern world, but that was a lie, it seemed to him; it had never been impersonal at all. There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt. No one delivers fuel to the gas stations or the airports. Cars are stranded. Airplanes cannot fly. Trucks remain at their points of origin. Food never reaches the cities; grocery stores close. Businesses are locked and then looted. No one comes to work at the power plants or the substations, no one removes fallen trees from electrical lines. Jeevan was standing by the window when the lights went out.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
I look out the window again, taking slow, deep breaths into a body too tense to move. And as I stare out at the land, I think that this, if nothing else, is compelling evidence for my parents’ God, that our world is so massive that it is completely out of our control, that we cannot possibly be as large as we feel. -Tris Prior
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Our inability to think beyond our own species, or to be able to co-habit with other life forms in what is patently a massive collaborative quest for survival, is surely a malady that pervades the human soul.
Lawrence Anthony
He looked up as the party emerged and nickered a soft hello to his master, who was dressed in an unfamiliar green cloak and had dirt plastered on his face. Halt glanced at him, brow furrowed, and silently mouthed the words 'shut up'. Abelardshook his mane, which was as close as a horse could come to shruging, and turned away. 'My horse recognized me,' Halt said accusingly out of the side of his mouth to Horace. Horace glanced at the small shagging horse, standing beside his own massive battlehorse. 'Mine didn't,' he replied. 'So that's a fifty-fifty result.' 'I think I'd like odds better than that,' Halt replied. Horace suppressed a grin. 'Don't worry. He can probably smell you.' 'I can smell myself,' Halt replied acerbically. 'I smell of tea and soot.' Horace thought it was wiser not to reply to that.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
...we're told by TV and Reader's Digest that a crisis will trigger massive personal change--and that those big changes will make the pain worthwhile. But from what he could see, big change almost never happens. People simply feel lost. They have no idea what to say or do or feel or think. they become messes and tend to remain messes.
Douglas Coupland (The Gum Thief)
Kayso, Foo finally came home and I jumped into his arms and sort of rode him to the ground with a massive tongue kiss so deep that I could taste the burned cinnamon toast of his soul, but then I slapped him, so he didn't think I was a slut. (Shut up, he had wood.) --Being the Journal of Abby Normal
Christopher Moore (Bite Me (A Love Story, #3))
I turned to leave, then whirled around and flung my arms around Philippe’s massive shoulders. How could such a man ever be broken? “What is it?” Philippe murmured, taken aback. “You will not be alone either, Philippe de Clermont,” I whispered fiercely. “I’ll find a way to be with you in the darkness, I promise. And when you think the whole world has abandoned you, I’ll be there, holding your hand.” “How could it be otherwise,” Philippe said gently, “when you are in my heart?
Deborah Harkness (Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2))
Dear Daci, I wish to ask for Audrey Rose’s hand and fear putting a foot in my mouth instead. The taste of leather soles doesn’t suit me. You know what I think of fools, and I’m the worst sort. Please help. Your massively intelligent yet moronic brother, Thomas
Kerri Maniscalco (Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3.5))
I find that when people laugh it's usually because they're connecting and identifying in a way that they hadn't considered. That's my payoff. I'm not interested in other people thinking differently. I don't care. I'm just like yeast - I eat sugar and I shit alcohol. And there's a huge culture that goes with that. Alcohol creates massive shifts in world history, and it changes people's lives. People get pregnant because of alcohol. But the yeast doesn't give a fuck. The yeast isn't going, "I really want to help people loosen up and bring passion into Irish people's lives".
Louis C.K.
Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich. [...] "But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying on ship's peanut." [...] "So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and...er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
By creating a new mythos - that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave - la mestiza creates a new consciousness. The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject/object duality that keeps her prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
take care with what you think. Because what you think, multiplied by action plus time, will create what you get.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
I feel like I’ve been on this massive long, lonely journey, and none of my friends could ever understand it, even Natalie. I think I kind of hated them for that.
Sophie Kinsella (Finding Audrey)
Don't ever make the mistake [of thinking] that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That's giving your intelligence much too much credit.
Linus Torvalds
The Frays had never been a religiously observant family, but Clary loved Fifth Avenue at Christmas time. The air smelled like sweet roasted chestnuts, and the window displays sparkled with silver and blue, green and red. This year there were fat round crystal snowflakes attached to each lamppost, sending back the winter sunlight in shafts of gold. Not to mention the huge tree at Rockefeller Center. It threw its shadow across them as she and Simon draped themselves over the gate at the side of the skating rink, watching tourists fall down as they tried to navigate the ice. Clary had a hot chocolate wrapped in her hands, the warmth spreading through her body. She felt almost normal—this, coming to Fifth to see the window displays and the tree, had been a winter tradition for her and Simon for as long as she could remember. “Feels like old times, doesn’t it?” he said, echoing her thoughts as he propped his chin on his folded arms. She chanced a sideways look at him. He was wearing a black topcoat and scarf that emphasized the winter pallor of his skin. His eyes were shadowed, indicating that he hadn’t fed on blood recently. He looked like what he was—a hungry, tired vampire. Well, she thought. Almost like old times. “More people to buy presents for,” she said. “Plus, the always traumatic what-to-buy-someone-for-the-first-Christmas-after-you’ve-started-dating question.” “What to get the Shadowhunter who has everything,” Simon said with a grin. “Jace mostly likes weapons,” Clary sighed. “He likes books, but they have a huge library at the Institute. He likes classical music …” She brightened. Simon was a musician; even though his band was terrible, and was always changing their name—currently they were Lethal Soufflé—he did have training. “What would you give someone who likes to play the piano?” “A piano.” “Simon.” “A really huge metronome that could also double as a weapon?” Clary sighed, exasperated. “Sheet music. Rachmaninoff is tough stuff, but he likes a challenge.” “Now you’re talking. I’m going to see if there’s a music store around here.” Clary, done with her hot chocolate, tossed the cup into a nearby trash can and pulled her phone out. “What about you? What are you giving Isabelle?” “I have absolutely no idea,” Simon said. They had started heading toward the avenue, where a steady stream of pedestrians gawking at the windows clogged the streets. “Oh, come on. Isabelle’s easy.” “That’s my girlfriend you’re talking about.” Simon’s brows drew together. “I think. I’m not sure. We haven’t discussed it. The relationship, I mean.” “You really have to DTR, Simon.” “What?” “Define the relationship. What it is, where it’s going. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, just having fun, ‘it’s complicated,’ or what? When’s she going to tell her parents? Are you allowed to see other people?” Simon blanched. “What? Seriously?” “Seriously. In the meantime—perfume!” Clary grabbed Simon by the back of his coat and hauled him into a cosmetics store that had once been a bank. It was massive on the inside, with rows of gleaming bottles everywhere. “And something unusual,” she said, heading for the fragrance area. “Isabelle isn’t going to want to smell like everyone else. She’s going to want to smell like figs, or vetiver, or—” “Figs? Figs have a smell?” Simon looked horrified; Clary was about to laugh at him when her phone buzzed. It was her mother. where are you? It’s an emergency.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Is that all?” he blurted out. Crowley and Halt exchanged slightly puzzled glances. Then Crowley pursed his lips thoughtfully. “Um…it seems to be…Listed your trainging, mentioned a few achievements, made sure you know which end of an arrow is the sharp part…decided your new name…I think that’s…” Then it seemed that understanding dawned on him and his eyes opened wide. “Of course! You have to have you Silver…whatsis, don ‘t you?” He took hold of the chain that held his own Silver Oakleaf around his throat and shook it lightly. It was a badge of a Graduate Ranger. Then he began to search through his pockets, frowning. “Had it here! Had it here! Where the devil is it…wait. I heard something fall on the boards as I came in! Must have dropped it. Just check outside the front door, will you, Will?” Too stunned to talk, Will rose and went to the door. As he set his hand on the latch, he looked back at the two Rangers, still seated at the table. Crowley made a small shooing motion with the back of his hand, urging him to go outside. Will was still looking back at them when he opened the door and stepped through on the verandah. “Congratulations!” The massive cry went up from at least forty throats. He swung around in shock to find all his friends gathered in the clearing outside around the table laid for a feast, their faces beaming with smiles. Baron Arald, Sir Rodney, Lady Pauline and Master Chubb were all there. So were Jenny and George, his former wardmates. There were a dozen others in the Ranger uniform – men he had met worked with over the past five years. And wonder of wonders, there were Erak and Svengal , bellowing his name and waving their huge axes overhead in his praise. Close by them stood Horace and Gilan, both brandishing their swords overhead as well. It looked like a dangerous section of the crowd to be in, Will thought. After the first concerted shout, people began cheering and calling his name, laughing and waving to him. Halt and Crowley joined him on the verandah. The Commandant was doubled over with laughter. “Oh, if you could have seen yourself!” he wheezed. “Your face! Your face! It was priceless! ‘Is that all?’” He mimicked Will’s plaintive tones and doubled over again. Will tuned to Halt accusingly. His teacher grinned at him. “Your face was a study,” he said. “Do you so that to all apprentices?” Will asked. Halt nodded vigorously. “Every one. Stops them getting a swelled head at the last minute. You have to swear never to let an apprentice in on the secret.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day. Stay positive in life. God knows what’s best for you….!’- Anonymous
Benjamin Smith (MINDSET: How Positive Thinking Will Set You Free & Help You Achieve Massive Success In Life)
It’s actually sort of soothing to think of how massive the universe is, and how I could be snuffed out at any minute. I guess I like tricking my brain into disarming things.
Emily R. Austin (Interesting Facts about Space)
Latter-day capitalism. Like it or not, it's the society we live in. Even the standard of right and wrong has been subdi-vided, made sophisticated. Within good, there's fashionable good and unfash-ionable good, and ditto for bad. Within fashionable good, there's formal and then there's casual; there's hip, there's cool, there's trendy, there's snobbish. Mix 'n' match. Like pulling on a Missoni sweater over Trussardi slacks and Pollini shoes, you can now enjoy hybrid styles of morality. It's the way of the world—philosophy starting to look more and more like business administration. Although I didn't think so at the time, things were a lot simpler in 1969. All you had to do to express yourself was throw rocks at riot police. But with today's sophistication, who's in a position to throw rocks? Who's going to brave what tear gas? C'mon, that's the way it is. Everything is rigged, tied into that massive capital web, and beyond this web there's another web. Nobody's going anywhere. You throw a rock and it'll come right back at you.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance)
If you are slightly different, if your face doesn’t fit, they judge you and consign you and throw away the fucking key. They never, ever stop to think that THEY might be wrong, that THEY are making a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been the victim of a massive miscarriage of justice - I’m not saying that - BUT I know what it’s like to be stinking judged before people have even bothered to find out what you are about. They have boxed me off into the ugly group even before I have opened my gob. SOCIETY IS SHIT.
Rae Earl (My Mad Fat Diary (Rae Earl, #1))
See that?” “No.” “Exactly. Earlier there was a big, huge food chunk right here.” She pointed at her front tooth. “And nobody told me. Nobody. Oh wait, Mark told me after I’d been talking to him for five minutes.” I laughed. “You would’ve told me, right? Tricia should have told me. It’s girl code. I think Tricia likes Mark, too. That’s the problem here.” “Maybe she didn’t see the food.” “Lil, people on the space station saw this chunk of food. It was massive. And right on my front tooth.” “That was rude of the people on the space station not to tell you about it.” “Ha-ha.
Kasie West (P.S. I Like You)
This is a massive world, I think, and in each centimeter of it, a different drama unfolds every second of the day. But we live on as if the next moment in our lives will be no different than the last. How foolish we all are.
Mahbod Seraji (Rooftops of Tehran)
A system just can’t respond to short-term changes when it has long term delays. That’s why a massive central-planning system, such as the Soviet Union or General Motors, necessarily functions poorly.
Donella H. Meadows (Thinking in Systems: A Primer)
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The Earl of Woolsey was indeed completely nude. He did not seem particularly perturbed by this fact, but Miss Tarabotti felt the sudden need to close her eyes tight and think about asparagus or something equally mundane. Coiled about him as she was, her chin wedged over one of his massive shoulders, she was being forced to look down, directly at a nicely round, but embarrassing bare, moon. And not the kind that caused werewolves to change either. Although it did seem to be changing aspects of her own anatomy that she would rather not think about. It was all a very heady - or bottomy? -experience.
Gail Carriger (Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1))
Behind them, there was a massive bang, and they all turned as a young man welled and dropped something to the ground, which smoked and hissed. "My Sensor exploded", he growled. "I think we can assume some very serious demonic activity," Edgar said.
Cassandra Clare (The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles, #5))
Think outside the box? Indeed. But to add balance to that, one should not in the process forget what the inside of the box looks like as well. Those who are best at thinking outside the box do it not to puff themselves up, but to see how small they really are. As a contented fish in its fish tank appears to have a small, boring existence to us, imagine a larger, more perceptive kingdom (even by scientific taxonomy) to whom our contented existences may appear to be small and boring. This is where true creativity and massive perceptive abilities spawn a sense of intellectual humility; the kind which God adores.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Trying to get rid of an unwanted habit is a bit like trying not to think about an elephant (the more you try not to think about it, the more you think about it). That’s because what you focus on, grows. Which is why people who put a lot of energy into focusing on what they don’t want, by talking about it, thinking about it, complaining about it, or fretting about it, usually get precisely that unwanted thing. It’s tough to get rid of the habit you don’t want by facing it head on. The way to accomplish it is to replace the unwanted habit with another habit that you do want. And creating new and better habits, ones that empower and serve you, is something you know how to do. You do it the same way you built any habit you have: one step at a time. Baby steps. The slight edge.
Jeff Olson (The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness)
Before being taken to the Morgue, the body is left for a while on the embankment so they can try reviving it. A massive crowd gathers round the body. Those unable to see because they are at the back jostle those in front as best they can. Each thinks: “I wouldn’t be drowning myself, not I.” They pity the young suicide, admire him, but do not imitate him. He, however, found it quite natural to give himself death, deeming nothing on earth able to content him, and aspiring higher.
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
You may experience waves of disbelief after each memory you retrieve. Whether as a phase or waves, the disbelief is usually accompanied by massive self-hate and guilt. ‘How can I even think such a thing? I must really be warped,’ you tell yourself.
Renee Fredrickson (Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse (Fireside Parkside Books))
If you think atomic explosions in Asia wouldn't affect Americans, consider this. A study published in Scientific American in 2010 looked at the probable impact of a "small" nuclear war, one in which India and Pakistan each dropped fifty atomic bombs. The scientists concluded that the explosions would ignite massive firestorms, sending enormous amounts of dust and smoke into the atmosphere. This would block some of the sun's light from reaching the earth, making the planet colder and darker - for about ten years. Farming would collapse, and people all over the globe would starve to death. And that's if only half of one percent of all the atomic bombs on earth were used. In the end, this is a difficult story to sum up. The making of the atomic bomb is one of history's most amazing examples of teamwork and genius and poise under pressure. But it's also the story of how humans created a weapon capable of wiping our species off the planet. It's a story with no end in sight. And, like it or not, you're in it.
Steve Sheinkin (Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon)
Well, well, well,” Santa said once the elf had retreated. “Come and sit on my lap, little boy.” This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. He wasn’t fucking around. “I’m not really a little boy,” I pointed out. “Get on my lap, then, big boy.” I walked up to him. There wasn’t much lap under his belly. And even though he tried to disguise it, as I went up there, I swear he adjusted his crotch. “Ho ho ho!” he chortled. I sat gingerly on his knee, like it was a subway seat with gum on it. “Have you been a good little boy this year?” he asked. I didn’t feel that I was the right person to determine my own goodness or badness, but in the interest of speeding along this encounter, I said yes. He actually wobbled with joy. “Good! Good! Then what can I bring you this Christmas?” I thought it was obvious. “A message from Lily,” I said. “That’s what I want for Christmas. But I want it right now.” “So impatient!” Santa lowered his voice and whispered in my ear. “But Santa does have a little something for you”—he shifted a little in his seat—“right under his coat. If you want to have your present, you’ll have to rub Santa’s belly.” “What?” I asked. He gestured with his eyes down to his stomach. “Go ahead.” I looked closely and saw the faint outline of an envelope beneath his red velvet coat. “You know you want it,” he whispered. The only way I could survive this was to think of it as the dare it was. Fuck off, Lily. You can’t intimidate me. I reached right under Santa’s coat. To my horror, I found he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. It was hot, sweaty, Geshy, hairy … and his belly was this massive obstacle, blocking me from the envelope. I had to lean over to angle my arm in order to reach it, the whole time having Santa laugh, “Oh ho ho, ho ho oh ho!” in my ear. I heard the elf scream, “What the hell!” and various parents start to shriek. Yes, I was feeling up Santa. And now the corner of the envelope was in my hand. He tried to jiggle it away from me, but I held tight and yanked it out, pulling some of his white belly hair with me. “OW ho ho!” he cried. I jumped o1 his lap. “Security’s here!” the elf proclaimed. The letter was in my hand, damp but intact. “He touched Santa!” a young child squealed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I really do forget about everything. Because that’s what a moment like this does to you. It makes you feel like something so small inside of something so massive that it’s beyond comprehension. It strips away all of your problems, all of your hardships, all of your worldly needs and wants and desires, forcing you to realize just how insignificant all of it really is. It’s like the Earth becomes completely silent and still, and all that your mind can understand or feel is the vastness of the Universe and you gasp thinking about your place within it. Who needs psychiatrists? Who needs grief counselors and life coaches and motivational speakers? Fuck all that. Just stare at the night sky and let yourself get lost in it every now and then.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2))
Although I didn't think so at the time, things were a lot simpler in 1969. All you had to do to express yourself was throw rocks at riot police. But with today's sophistication, who's in a position to throw rocks? Who's going to brave what tear gas? C'mon, that's the way it is. Everything is rigged, tied into that massive capital web, and beyond this web there's another web. Nobody's going anywhere. You throw a rock and it'll come right back at you.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance)
I think most historians would agree that the part played by impulses of selfish, individual aggression in the holocausts of history was small; first and foremost, the slaughter was meant as an offering to the gods, to king and country, or the future happiness of mankind. The crimes of a Caligula shrink to insignificance compared to the havoc wrought by Torquemada. The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapists, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy or correct ideology. Heretics were tortured and burnt not in anger but in sorrow, for the good of their immortal souls. Tribal warfare was waged in the purported interest of the tribe, not of the individual. Wars of religion were fought to decide some fine point in theology or semantics. Wars of succession dynastic wars, national wars, civil wars, were fought to decide issues equally remote from the personal self-interest of the combatants. Let me repeat: the crimes of violence committed for selfish, personal motives are historically insignificant compared to those committed ad majorem gloriam Dei, out of a self-sacrificing devotion to a flag, a leader, a religious faith or a political conviction. Man has always been prepared not only to kill but also to die for good, bad or completely futile causes. And what can be a more valid proof of the reality of the self-transcending urge than this readiness to die for an ideal?
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Thinking and talking about love leads to Love, which is the enemy. Do not consort with the enemy. Even if those hot-ass actors in the movies make it look cuddly and nice and tempting, don’t fall for it. It’s the biggest bad in the world, the worst villain ever created by hormone-pumped pubescent morons. It’s the Joker, Lex Luthor, that one overweight guy who’s always messing with the Scooby-Doo gang. It’s the final boss in the massive joke of a video game you call your life.
Sara Wolf (Lovely Vicious (Lovely Vicious, #1))
What pet name would you like me to call you?” “Whatever makes you the happiest. Just pick one.” In that moment, the effect of the baby came back with a vengeance. “I don’t know,” I said, kicking that one out of my head. “I guess one in Spanish makes sense. Bollito? Cuchi cuchi? Pocholito?” “Bollito?” “It’s little bun.” I smiled. “Like those bread buns that are spongey and shiny and so cute that—" “Okay, no.” He frowned. “I think it’s better if we stick to our names,” he said, taking both drinks from the attendant who had just reappeared and placing mine in front of me. “I don’t think I can trust you to pick one in Spanish without knowing what it means.” “I’m very trustworthy—you should know that by now.” I brought a finger to my chin, tapping it a few times. “How about conejito? That’s little bunny.” With a long sigh, Aaron let his massive body fall deeper into the seat. “You are right; you are not a bunny.” I paused. “Osito?” I made a show of looking him up and down, as if I were testing the name on him. “Yeah, that one is way more fitting. You are more of a bear.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
This left Musk searching for an industry that had tons of money and inefficiencies that he and the Internet could exploit. Musk began thinking back to his time as an intern at the Bank of Nova Scotia. His big takeaway from that job, that bankers are rich and dumb, now had the feel of a massive opportunity.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
There go the crazy eyes again,” he whispered. “Shit.” I shut my eyes tight. Lizzy walking in on me and my boyfriend seven years ago had been pretty damn embarrassing, especially given that she then ran and told mom. Not that mom had been coherent enough to care. This, however, topped it. “Your cheeks have gone all rosy. Are you thinking rude thoughts about me, Anne?” “No.” “Liar,” he taunted in a soft voice. “You’re totally thinking of me with no pants on.” I totally was. “That’s just gross, dude. A massive invasion of my privacy.” He leaned in closer, his breath warming my ear. “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s bigger.” “I’m not imagining anything.” “I’m serious. It’s basically a monster. I cannot control it.” “Malcolm–” “You’re pretty much going to need a whip and chair to tame it, Anne.” “Stop it.” “That okay with you?
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
The evangelical with his "minority complex" often forgets that he is part of a massive historical movement much larger than his own kind of church. Catholic and Protestant thought of various sorts, and Eastern Orthodoxy, can all be of help, for they share with him the basics of Biblical theism. The evangelical tends to see himself today standing alone, he supposes that nobody ever faced such issues as he now faces, and he therefore thinks in a vacuum.
Arthur F. Holmes (All Truth Is God's Truth)
I still can’t believe we are tracking Bigfoot,” Sophie whispered as she stared at the giant footprint in the muddy soil. Each massive toe was as wide as her arm, and the print formed a deep, mucky puddle. Dex laughed, flashing two perfect dimples as he stood on his tiptoes to examine a scuff in the bark of a nearby tree. “Do humans really think there’s a giant hairy ape-man running around trying to eat them?” Sophie turned away, pulling her blond hair around her face to hide her flushing cheeks. “Pretty crazy, right?
Shannon Messenger (Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #2))
If," ["the management consultant"] said tersely, “we could for a moment move on to the subject of fiscal policy. . .” “Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect. “Fiscal policy!" The management consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied. “Fiscal policy. . .” he repeated, “that is what I said.” “How can you have money,” demanded Ford, “if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know.” “If you would allow me to continue.. .” Ford nodded dejectedly. “Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.” Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed. “But we have also,” continued the management consultant, “run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship’s peanut." Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The management consultant waved them down. “So in order to obviate this problem,” he continued, “and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and. . .er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances." The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the management consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable autumn aloft and it got an appreciative round from the crowd.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
I remember watching you from the back seat with those same big hands gripping the steering wheel, and all I could think was someday I want those massive arms to hold me. I knew nothing bad could happen to me wrapped in those unbelievable arms.
Tess Oliver (Clutch (Custom Culture, #2))
Pundits, opponents, and disillusioned supporters would blame Obama for squandering the promise of his administration. Certainly he and his administration made their share of mistakes. But it is hard to think of another president who had to face the kind of guerrilla warfare waged against him almost as soon as he took office. A small number of people with massive resources orchestrated, manipulated, and exploited the economic unrest for their own purposes. They used tax-deductible donations to fund a movement to slash taxes on the rich and cut regulations on their own businesses. While they paid focus groups and seasoned operatives to frame these self-serving policies as matters of dire public interest, they hid their roles behind laws meant to protect the anonymity of philanthropists, leaving more folksy figures like Santelli to carry the message.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each. Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime. There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful. If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene deceased To Ray deceased To Francy permanent psychosis To Kathy permanent brain damage To Jim deceased To Val massive permanent brain damage To Nancy permanent psychosis To Joanne permanent brain damage To Maren deceased To Nick deceased To Terry deceased To Dennis deceased To Phil permanent pancreatic damage To Sue permanent vascular damage To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage . . . and so forth. In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
He surveyed me, his eyes half closed, as if wondering if I were a delicious snack. I had an image of a massive dragon circling me slowly, eyes full of magic fixed on me as he moved, considering if he should bite me in half. “Dragons.” Rogan snapped his fingers. Oh crap. “I wondered why I kept getting dragons around you.” He leaned forward. His eyes lit up, turning back to their clear sky blue. “You think I’m a dragon.” “Don’t be ridiculous.” My face felt hot. I was probably blushing. Damn it. His smile went from amused to sexual, so charged with promise that carnal was the only way to describe it. I almost bolted out of my chair. “Big powerful scary dragon.” “You have delusions of grandeur.” “Do I have a lair? Did I kidnap you to it from your castle?” I stared straight at him, trying to frost my voice. “You have some strange fantasies, Rogan. You may need professional help.” “Would you like to volunteer?” “No. Besides, dragons kidnap virgins, so I’m out.” And why had I just told him I was not a virgin? Why did I even go there? “It doesn’t matter if I’m the first. It only matters that I’ll be the last.” “You won’t be the first, the last, or anything in between. Not in a million years.” He laughed. “Rogan,” I ground out through my teeth. “I’m on the clock. My client is in the next room mourning his wife. Stop flirting with me.” “Stop? I haven’t even started.
Ilona Andrews (White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2))
Mari looked at the woman and took a breath. “I’m an abolitionist, which means I’m interested in investing in communities to address problems rather than carceral answers that don’t serve communities at all. Murderers and rapists do great harm,” Mari said, “but the carceral institutions in this country do little to mitigate that harm. In fact, they do more harm to individuals and communities. The carceral state depends on a dichotomy between innocent and guilty, or good and bad, so that they can then define harm on their terms, in the name of justice, and administer it on a massive scale to support a capitalistic, violent, and inherently inequitable system.” And though this was what she said, and had said so many times, a part of her even then understood what this reporter was getting at. There were some people who she did not think should be released. Her father had been one of them.
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Chain-Gang All-Stars)
The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, lies in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but one that could in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Borderlands/La Frontera : La Nueva Mestiza)
[Obamacare] was almost the perfect example of politics in the Bubble Era, where the time horizon for anyone with real power is always close to zero, long-term thinking is an alien concept, and even the most massive and ambitious undertakings are motivated entirely by short-term rewards. A radical reshaping of the entire economy, for two election cycles’ worth of campaign cash – that was what this bill meant. It sounds absurdly reductive to say so, but there’s no other explanation that makes any sense.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Battered and bloody, we join Cassius, Lysander, and Sevro before the door leading out of the Sovereign's inner sanctum as Cassius types in the Olympic code to open the doors. He pauses to sniff the air. 'What's that smell?' 'Smells like a sewer,' I say. Sevro stares intensely at the razors he's taken from Aja, including the one belonging to Lorn. 'I think it smells like victory.' 'Did you shit your pants?' Cassius squints at him. 'You did.' 'Sevro...' Mustang says. 'It's an involuntary muscle reaction when you're fake executed and swallow massive amounts ofhaemanthus oil,' Sevro snaps. 'You think I would do that on purpose?' Cassius and I look at each other. I shrug. 'Well, maybe.' 'Yeah, actually.' He flips us the crux and makes a face, twisting his lips till it looks like he's going to explode. 'What's happening?' I ask. 'Are you... still...' 'No!
Pierce Brown
His massive frame occupies most of the doorway. He looks like a linebacker, or is it a quarterback I'm thinking of? The point is, he's a total Sasquatch. His t-shirt and preppy knit cardigan clash with his gargantuan body. Still, he's a decent eye candy. "What can I help you with?" she asks. Her eyes dart back and forth between me and the yeti.
Steph Campbell (Grounding Quinn)
Liar,” he taunted in a soft voice. “You’re totally thinking of me with no pants on.” I totally was. “That’s just gross, dude. A massive invasion of my privacy.” He leaned in closer, his breath warming my ear. “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s bigger.” “I’m not imagining anything.” “I’m serious. It’s basically a monster. I cannot control it.” “Malcolm–” “You’re pretty much going to need a whip and chair to tame it, Anne.” “Stop it.
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
Clint stared down at him. He was wearing what appeared to be a massive, lopsided and jewel-encrusted crown, holding a scepter and surrounded by a floating mass of Roombas. “Welcome to the sovereign nation of Bartonia,” he said, with a straight face. “My subjects, the Roombas, the drones and one random mechanical bird thing that I found, and I welcome you, and ask you what the fuck you think you're doing here, you are seriously a fucking moron.” “I'm here,” Tony gritted out, “to rescue you, and what kind of fucking attitude is that?.” “A little short for a storm trooper, aren't you?” Clint said, arching an eyebrow. He offered Tony a hand. “Are you wearing a crown? Seriously? Where did you get a- Why are you wearing a crown?” Tony asked, taking it and allowing Clint to help lever him back to his feet. “Listen, dude, I have learned something about myself today. Mostly, I have learned that if I end up in some sort of alien rubbish dump surrounded by neurotic robots and without a clue as to if I'm ever going to make it home, if I find a crown, I'm putting that bad boy on. There should never be a time when you do not wear a crown. Find a crown, you wear it and declare sovereignty over the vast mechanical wastes.” Clint waved his scepter around a bit, making the Roombas dodge. “Thus, Bartonia.
Scifigrl47 (Ordinary Workplace Hazards, Or SHIELD and OSHA Aren't On Speaking Terms (In Which Tony Stark Builds Himself Some Friends (But His Family Was Assigned by Nick Fury), #2))
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
There’s this thing about speed that feels great…. Part of why we feel absorbed in this is that it’s awesome, right? You get to feel that you are connected to the whole world, and you feel that anything that happens on the topic, you can find out about it and learn about it.” But we told ourselves we could have a massive expansion in the amount of information we are exposed to, and the speed at which it hits us, with no costs. This is a delusion: “It becomes exhausting.” More importantly, Sune said, “what we are sacrificing is depth in all sorts of dimensions…. Depth takes time. And depth takes reflection. If you have to keep up with everything and send emails all the time, there’s no time to reach depth.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention - and How to Think Deeply Again)
As a predatory competition for hoarding profit, neoliberalism produces massive inequality in wealth and income, shifts political power to financial elites, destroys all vestiges of the social contract, and increasingly views “unproductive” sectors—most often those marginalized by race, class, disability, resident status, and age—as suspicious, potentially criminal, and ultimately disposable. It thus criminalizes social problems and manufactures profit by commercializing surveillance, policing, and prisons.
Henry A. Giroux (The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights Open Media))
After three of four years of schooling, the nucleus basalis, which forms sharp memories in the brain, falls into disuse and decays. This is the part of the brain that makes learning so effortless for small children, and it is always activated in undomesticated humans. But neuroplasticity research has shown that damage to the nucleus basalis can be reversed by reintroducing activities involving highly focused attention, which results in massive increases in production of acetylcholine and dopamine. Using new skills under conditions of intense focus rewires billions of neural connections and reactivates the nucleus basalis. Loss of function in this part of the brain is not a natural stage of development--we are supposed to retain and even increase it throughout our lives. Until very recently in human history, we did.
Tyson Yunkaporta (Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World)
In discussion with Dr O I have learned that it blossoms from two things. The first is that this feeling of massive vulnerability and wretchedness still persists and I cannot stand it. I think this is peculiar to me because God has made me brilliant but He wishes to remind me of my mortality and therefore causes me to feel such a horrendous pain when I am attacked. It sickens me and leaves me wracked with agony.
H.G. Tudor (Confessions of a Narcissist)
The vision of this massive body of water with towering monoliths jutting straight upward to the heavens, stole our ability to think.Colors that made the wildflowers look dull, streaked up and down across the great pillars of hardened rock. The clouds and sky were mirrored in the glassy surface of the deep expanse of lake.
Danielle Rohr (Water Falls Down)
Oh,bleep no. "Jack! What are you-" He lit both wicks and grabbed one of the bottles. Grinning maniacally at me, he turned and hurled his bottle. It spun lazily,a trail of light until it disappeared behind the deck of the ship.Maybe it wouldn't work.Maybe- A massive fireball billowed up, scorching the air and flowering along the boat. "Evie?You might want to throw that thing." I looked down in horror at my own burning Molotov cocktail,then flung it as far from myself as I could. It smashed against the side of the boat, most of the falmes falling down into the silver water. Which proceeded to catch fire. "Wow.Didn't expect that!" Jack nodded appreciatively as the flames spread, eating their way outward along the top of the lake.The boat,now engulfed, creaked and groanded its death cries. "Adding a touch of faerie liguor to the petrol gave it the extra kick,I think." An unearthly shriek ripped through the air, jarring me to the bones.I did not want to meet the owner of that voice. Jack laughed,taking my trembling hand. "This is the part where we run.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
I think about the sheer number of people who pulled together just to save my sorry ass, and I can barely comprehend it. My crewmates sacrificed a year of their lives to come back for me. Countless people at NASA worked day and night to invent rover and MAV modifications. All of JPL busted their asses to make a probe that was destroyed on launch. Then, instead of giving up, they made another probe to resupply Hermes. The China National Space Administration abandoned a project they'd worked on for years just to provide a booster. The cost for my survival must have been hundreds of millions of dollar. All to save one dorky botanist. Why bother? Well, okay. I know the answer to that. Part of it might be what I represent: progress, science, and the interplanetary future we've dreamed of for centuries. But really, they did it because every human being has a basic instinct to help each other out. It might not seem that way sometimes, but it's true. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don't care, but they're massively outnumbered by the people who do. And because of that, I had billions of people on my side. Pretty cool, eh?
Andy Weir (The Martian)
I can't explain the birds to you even if I tried. In the early morning, when the sun's rays peek over the mountain and subtly light up the landscape in a glow that, if audible, would sound like a hum, the birds sing. They sing in a layered symphony, hundreds deep. You really can't believe how beautiful it is. You hear bass notes from across the farm and soprano notes from the tree in front of you all at once, at varying volumes, like a massive choir that stretches across fifty acres of land. I love birds. But not as much as my wife loves them. My wife thinks about them, whereas I only notice them once they call for attention. But she looks for them, builds fountains for them, and saves them after they crash into windows. I've seen her save many birds. She holds them gently in the palm of her hand, and she takes them to one of the fountains she's built especially for them and holds their beaks up to the gentle trickle of water to let them drink, to wake them up from their dazed stupor. No matter how much time it takes, she doesn't leave them until they recover. And they mostly always do.
Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain)
All are architects of Fate, Working in these walls of Time; Some with massive deeds and great, Some with ornaments of rhyme. Nothing useless is, or low; Each thing in its place is best; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest. For the structure that we raise, Time is with materials filled; Our todays and yesterdays Are the blocks with which we build. Truly shape and fashion these; Leave no yawning gaps between; Think not, because no man sees, Such things will remain unseen. In the elder days of Art, Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part; For the gods see everywhere. Let us do our work as well, Both the unseen and the seen; Make the house where gods may dwell Beautiful, entire, and clean. Else our lives are incomplete, Standing in these walls of Time, Broken stairways, where the feet Stumble, as they seek to climb. Build today, then, strong and sure, With a firm and ample base; And ascending and secure Shall tomorrow find its place. Thus alone can we attain To those turrets, where the eye Sees the world as one vast plain, And one boundless reach of sky.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Our Valley We don't see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost believe something is waiting beyond the Pacheco Pass, something massive, irrational, and so powerful even the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it. You probably think I'm nuts saying the mountains have no word for ocean, but if you live here you begin to believe they know everything. They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine, a silence that grows in autumn when snow falls slowly between the pines and the wind dies to less than a whisper and you can barely catch your breath because you're thrilled and terrified. You have to remember this isn't your land. It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside and thought was yours. Remember the small boats that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men who carved a living from it only to find themselves carved down to nothing. Now you say this is home, so go ahead, worship the mountains as they dissolve in dust, wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.
Philip Levine (News of the World)
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water. But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
At what point will I be able to write an e-mail to my grandson in Bahrain merely by thinking it?" "Thinking it?" Alif smiled contemptuously. "I expect never. Quantum computing will be the next thing, but I don't think it will be capable of transcribing thought." "Quantum? Oh dear, I've never heard of that." It will use qubits instead of-well, that's kind of complicated. Regular computers use a binary language to figure things out and talk to each other-ones and zeroes. Quantum computers could use ones and zeroes in an unlimited number of states, so in theory, they could store massive amounts of data and perform tasks that regular computers can't perform." "States?" "Positions in space and time. Ways of being." "Now it is you who are metaphysical. Let me rephrase what I think you have said in language from my own field of study: they say that each word in the Quran has seven thousand layers of meaning, each of which, though some might seem contrary or simply unfathomable to us, exist equally at all times without cosmological contradiction. Is this similar to what you mean?" "Yes," he said. "That is exactly what I mean. I've never heard anybody make that comparison.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
In a later chapter he describes a massive failure of intuition: Americans elected President Harding, whose only qualification for the position was that he perfectly looked the part. Square jawed and tall, he was the perfect image of a strong and decisive leader. People voted for someone who looked strong and decisive without any other reason to believe that he was. An intuitive prediction of how Harding would perform as president arose from substituting one question for another. A reader of this book should expect such an intuition to be held with confidence.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I really do forget about everything. Because that's what a moment like this does to you. It makes you feel like something so small inside of something so massive that it's beyond comprehension. It strips away all of your problems, all of your hardships, all of your worldly needs and wants and desires, forcing you to realize just how insignificant all of it really is. It's like the Earth becomes completely silent and still, and all that your mind can understand or feel is the vastness of the universe and you gasp thinking about your place within it. Who needs psychiatrists? Who needs grief counselors and life coaches and motivational speakers? Fuck all that. Just stare at the night sky and let yourself get lost in it every now and then.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2))
Justin: I am falling so in love with you. Her body electrified. Celeste wiped her eyes and read his text again. The drone of the plane disappeared; the turbulence was no more. There was only Justin and his words. Justin: I lose myself and find myself at the same time with you. Justin: I need you, Celeste. I need you as part of my world, because for the first time, I am connected to someone in a way that has meaning. And truth. Maybe our distance has strengthened what I feel between us since we’re not grounded in habit or daily convenience. We have to fight for what we have. Justin: I don’t know if I can equate what I feel for you with anything else. Except maybe one thing, if this makes any sense. Justin: I go to this spot at Sunset Cliffs sometimes. It’s usually a place crowded with tourists, but certain times of year are quieter. I like it then. And there’s a high spot on the sandstone cliff, surrounded by this gorgeous ice plant, and it overlooks the most beautiful water view you’ve ever seen. I’m on top of the world there, it seems. Justin: And everything fits, you know? Life feels right. As though I could take on anything, do anything. And sometimes, when I’m feeling overcome with gratitude for the view and for what I have, I jump so that I remember to continue to be courageous because not every piece of life will feel so in place. Justin: It’s a twenty-foot drop, the water is only in the high fifties, and it’s a damn scary experience. But it’s a wonderful fear. One that I know I can get through and one that I want. Justin: That’s what it’s like with you. I am scared because you are so beyond anything I could have imagined. I become so much more with you beside me. That’s terrifying, by the way. But I will be brave because my fear only comes from finally having something deeply powerful to lose. That’s my connection with you. It would be a massive loss. Justin: And now I am in the car and about to see you, so don’t reply. I’m too flipping terrified to hear what you think of my rant. It’s hard not to pour my heart out once I start. If you think I’m out of mind, just wave your hands in horror when you spot the lovesick guy at the airport. Ten minutes went by. He had said not to reply, so she hadn’t. Justin: Let’s hope I don’t get pulled over for speeding… but I’m at a stoplight now. Justin: God, I hope you aren’t… aren’t… something bad. Celeste: Hey, Justin? Justin: I TOLD YOU NOT TO REPLY! Justin: I know, I know. But I’m happy you did because I lost it there for a minute. Celeste: HEY, JUSTIN? Justin: Sorry… Hey, Celeste? Celeste: I am, unequivocally and wholly falling in love with you, too. Justin: Now I’m definitely speeding. I will see you soon.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2))
The woman who left abusive husbands in the 60's and 70's improved the institution of marriage because men now know that women can leave their husbands and the women or men who stay in abusive relationships are a massive advertisement to non- consequentiality of abuse. So, if you stay in a abusive relationship you are signaling to everyone who ever comes in contact with you or hears about you that abusers face no consequences to their abuse therefore by staying in an abusive relationship you are encouraging and subsidizing abuse. By getting out of abusive relationships you are saying the whole world over that abusers can't get away with it. That there are negative consequences to child, adult, or spousal abuse. You name it. It just doesn't have consequences for you, it has consequences for other people. When you break out and reject abusive and irredeemable relationships you are sending a clear signal which all abusers are listening for at all times. "Can I get away with it?" That's all they're thinking. It is my hope that abusers hear this and say "Oh shit. The game is up.
Stefan Molyneux
Across the road from my cabin was a huge clear-cut--hundreds of acres of massive spruce stumps interspersed with tiny Douglas firs--products of what they call "Reforestation," which I guess makes the spindly firs en masse a "Reforest," which makes an individual spindly fir a "Refir," which means you could say that Weyerhauser, who owns the joint, has Refir Madness, since they think that sawing down 200-foot-tall spruces and replacing them with puling 2-foot Refirs is no different from farming beans or corn or alfalfa. They even call the towering spires they wipe from the Earth's face forever a "crop"--as if they'd planted the virgin forest! But I'm just a fisherman and may be missing some deeper significance in their nomenclature and stranger treatment of primordial trees.
David James Duncan (The River Why)
Network = Net Worth Your network: That is the #1 key to success. You become the sum of the five people with whom you spend the most time. If you don’t walk away from a conversation feeling bigger or more empowered, then you need to hang around with some new folks. That’s the #1 mistake that young people make. They hang around with the wrong crowd for the wrong set of reasons, and they end up living a smaller life because the people they are around do not think big thoughts. –David Wood
Austin Netzley (Make Money, Live Wealthy: 75 Successful Entrepreneurs Share the 10 Simple Steps to True Wealth)
What we must think about is an agriculture with a human face. We must give standing to the new pioneers, the homecomers bent on the most important work for the next century - a massive salvage operation to save the vulnerable but necessary pieces of nature and culture and to keep the good and artful examples before us. It is time for a new breed of artists to enter front and center, for the point of art, after all, is to connect. This is the homecomer I have in mind: the scientist, the accountant who converses with nature, a true artist devoted to the building of agriculture and culture to match the scenery presented to those first European eyes.
Wes Jackson (Becoming Native to This Place)
Where are you?” she shouted. “Don’t you see us?” taunted the woman’s voice. “I thought Hecate chose you for your skill.” Another bout of queasiness churned through Hazel’s gut. On her shoulder, Gale barked and passed gas, which didn’t help. Dark spots floated in Hazel’s eyes. She tried to blink them away, but they only turned darker. The spots consolidated into a twenty-foot-tall shadowy figure looming next to the Doors. The giant Clytius was shrouded in the black smoke, just as she’d seen in her vision at the crossroads, but now Hazel could dimly make out his form—dragon-like legs with ash-colored scales; a massive humanoid upper body encased in Stygian armor; long, braided hair that seemed to be made from smoke. His complexion was as dark as Death’s (Hazel should know, since she had met Death personally). His eyes glinted cold as diamonds. He carried no weapon, but that didn’t make him any less terrifying. Leo whistled. “You know, Clytius…for such a big dude, you’ve got a beautiful voice.” “Idiot,” hissed the woman. Halfway between Hazel and the giant, the air shimmered. The sorceress appeared. She wore an elegant sleeveless dress of woven gold, her dark hair piled into a cone, encircled with diamonds and emeralds. Around her neck hung a pendant like a miniature maze, on a cord set with rubies that made Hazel think of crystallized blood drops. The woman was beautiful in a timeless, regal way—like a statue you might admire but could never love. Her eyes sparkled with malice. “Pasiphaë,” Hazel said. The woman inclined her head. “My dear Hazel Levesque.” Leo coughed. “You two know each other? Like Underworld chums, or—” “Silence, fool.” Pasiphaë’s voice was soft, but full of venom. “I have no use for demigod boys—always so full of themselves, so brash and destructive.” “Hey, lady,” Leo protested. “I don’t destroy things much. I’m a son of Hephaestus.” “A tinkerer,” snapped Pasiphaë. “Even worse. I knew Daedalus. His inventions brought me nothing but trouble.” Leo blinked. “Daedalus…like, the Daedalus? Well, then, you should know all about us tinkerers. We’re more into fixing, building, occasionally sticking wads of oilcloth in the mouths of rude ladies—” “Leo.” Hazel put her arm across his chest. She had a feeling the sorceress was about to turn him into something unpleasant if he didn’t shut up. “Let me take this, okay?
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
That’s what you really think you are?” He smirked. “The bigger person?” Why is he always so tempting when he smirks like that? “Yes.” I crossed my arms. “I think I’ve always been the—” The rest of my sentence stalled on my tongue as he dropped his towel to the floor, as I caught sight of his massive cock for the first time. I felt my jaw dropping, as my mind attempted to make sense of what I was seeing. OH. MY. GOD. He’s definitely nine inches … I cleared my throat and tried to look away from him and his cock, to pick up right where I left off, but I couldn’t. “You were saying?” he asked. “Something about you being the bigger person in this relationship?” I couldn’t get a single word to fall out of my mouth if I tried. I could only blush and stare.
Whitney G. (Thirty Day Boyfriend)
Fame requires every kind of excess. I mean true fame, a devouring neon, not the somber renown of waning statesmen or chinless kings. I mean long journeys across gray space. I mean danger, the edge of every void, the circumstance of one man imparting an erotic terror to the dreams of the republic. Understand the man who must inhabit these extreme regions, monstrous and vulval, damp with memories of violation. Even if half-mad he is absorbed into the public's total madness; even if fully rational, a bureaucrat in hell, a secret genius of survival, he is sure to be destroyed by the public's contempt for survivors. Fame, this special kind, feeds itself on outrage, on what the counselors of lesser men would consider bad publicity-hysteria in limousines, knife fights in the audience, bizarre litigation, treachery, pandemonium and drugs. Perhaps the only natural law attaching to true fame is that the famous man is compelled, eventually, to commit suicide. (Is it clear I was a hero of rock'n'roll?) Toward the end of the final tour it became apparent that our audience wanted more than music, more even than its own reduplicated noise. It's possible the culture had reached its limit, a point of severe tension. There was less sense of simple visceral abandon at our concerts during these last weeks. Few cases of arson and vandalism. Fewer still of rape. No smoke bombs or threats of worse explosives. Our followers, in their isolation, were not concerned with precedent now. They were free of old saints and martyrs, but fearfully so, left with their own unlabeled flesh. Those without tickets didn't storm the barricades, and during a performance the boys and girls directly below us, scratching at the stage, were less murderous in their love of me, as if realizing finally that my death, to be authentic, must be self-willed- a succesful piece of instruction only if it occured by my own hand, preferrably ina foreign city. I began to think their education would not be complete until they outdid me as a teacher, until one day they merely pantomimed the kind of massive response the group was used to getting. As we performed they would dance, collapse, clutch each other, wave their arms, all the while making absolutely no sound. We would stand in the incandescent pit of a huge stadium filled with wildly rippling bodies, all totally silent. Our recent music, deprived of people's screams, was next to meaningless, and there would have been no choice but to stop playing. A profound joke it would have been. A lesson in something or other. In Houston I left the group, saying nothing, and boarded a plane for New York City, that contaminated shrine, place of my birth. I knew Azarian would assume leadership of the band, his body being prettiest. As to the rest, I left them to their respective uproars- news media, promotion people, agents, accountants, various members of the managerial peerage. The public would come closer to understanding my disappearance than anyone else. It was not quite as total as the act they needed and nobody could be sure whether I was gone for good. For my closest followers, it foreshadowed a period of waiting. Either I'd return with a new language for them to speak or they'd seek a divine silence attendant to my own. I took a taxi past the cemetaries toward Manhattan, tides of ash-light breaking across the spires. new York seemed older than the cities of Europe, a sadistic gift of the sixteenth century, ever on the verge of plague. The cab driver was young, however, a freckled kid with a moderate orange Afro. I told him to take the tunnel. Is there a tunnel?" he said.
Don DeLillo
When an animal dies, another of the same species may cling to the body, eat the body, or look bored. Bees expel dead bodies from the hive or, if that is impossible, embalm them in honey. Elephants "say" a ritualistic good-bye, and touch their dead before slowly walking away. Corvids often accept the death of a companion without much fuss, but they at times have “funerals,” where scores of birds lament over the corpse of a deceased crow. But it is a bit odd that people should investigate whether animals “comprehend death,” as if human beings understood what it means to die. Is death a prelude to reincarnation? A portal to Heaven or Hell? Complete extinction? Union with all life? Or something else? All of these views can at times be comforting, yet people usually fear death, quite regardless of what they claim to believe. In the natural world, killing seems a casual affair. Human beings, of course, kill on a massive scale, but most of us can only kill, if at all, by softening the impact of the deed through rituals such as drink or prayer. The strike of a spider, a heron, or a cat is swift and, seemingly, without inhibition or remorse. They pounce with a confidence that could indicate ignorance, indifference, or else profound knowledge. Could this be, perhaps, because animals cannot conceive of killing, since they are not aware of death? Could it be because they understand death well, far better than do human beings? If animals envision the world not in terms of abstract concepts but sensuous images, the soul might appear as a unique scent, a rhythmic motion, or a tone of voice. Death would be the absence of these, though without that absolute finality that we find so severe. Perhaps the heron that snaps a fish thinks his meal lives on, as he one day will, in the form of currents in the pond.
Boria Sax (The Raven and the Sun: Poems and Stories)
Every woman who chooses--joyfully, thoughtfully, calmly, of her own free will and desire--not to have a child does womankind a massive favor in the long term. We need more women who are allowed to prove their worth as people, rather than being assessed merely for their potential to create new people. After all, half of those new people we go on to create are also women--presumably themselves to be judged, in their futures, for not making new people. And so it will go on, and on... While motherhood is an incredible vocation, it has no more inherent worth than a childless woman simply being who she is, to the utmost of her capabilities. To think otherwise betrays a belief that being a thinking, creative, productive, and fulfilled woman is, somehow, not enough. That no action will ever be the equal of giving birth.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
This one is bigger than the other by at least a quarter,” he said. “That’s perspective,” Will replied stubbornly. “The left one is closer, so it looks bigger.” “If it’s perspective, and it’s that much bigger, your handcart would have to be about five meters wide,” Horace told him. “Is that what you’re planning?” Again, Will studied the drawing critically. “No. I thought maybe two meters. And three meters long.” He quickly sketched in a smaller version of the left wheel, scrubbing over the first attempt as he did so. “Is that better?” “Could be rounder,” Horace said. “You’d never get a wheel that shape to roll. It’s sort of pointy at one end.” Will’s temper flared as he decided his friend was simply being obtuse for the sake of it. He slammed the charcoal down on the table. “Well, you try drawing a perfect circle freehand!” he said angrily. “See how well you do! This is a concept drawing, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be perfect!” Malcolm chose that moment to enter the room. He had been outside, checking on MacHaddish, making sure the general was still securely fastened to the massive log that held him prisoner. He glanced now at the sketch as he passed by the table. “What’s that?” he asked. “It’s a walking cart,” Horace told him. “You get under it, so the spears won’t hit you, and go for a walk.” Will glared at Horace and decided to ignore him. He turned his attention to Malcolm. “Do you think some of your people could build me something like this?” he asked. The healer frowned thoughtfully. “Might be tricky,” he said. “We’ve got a few cart wheels, but they’re all the same size. Did you want this one so much bigger than the other?” Now Will switched his glare to Malcolm. Horace put a hand up to his face to cover the grin that was breaking out there. “It’s perspective. Good artists draw using perspective,” Will said, enunciating very clearly. “Oh. Is it? Well, if you say so.” Malcolm studied the sketch for a few more seconds. “And did you want them this squashed-up shape? Our wheels tend to be sort of round. I don’t think these ones would roll too easily, if at all.” Truth be told, Malcolm had been listening outside the house for several minutes and knew what the two friends had been discussing. Horace gave vent to a huge, indelicate snort that set his nose running. His shoulders were shaking, and Malcolm couldn’t maintain his own straight face any longer. He joined in, and the two of them laughed uncontrollably. Will eyed them coldly. “Oh, yes. Extremely amusing,” he said.
John Flanagan (The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6))
Deep thinking and learning is also taxing on our energy stores, and so we require simplification and reinforcement. Our minds, through repetition or emotion, learn things and then, having committed them to memory, rely on this information and often never question it again; we put our energy into other things we deem more important. Like building a structure with a strong base, we make our mental models the foundation for adding newer information. We notice things that match our view and we dismiss things that do not. As we build our narrow knowledge on top of that foundation, we might not even realize when the foundation itself is weak. And so, as we go on with our lives, filtering a massive amount of information, we can easily become blind to important information, caught in our own bubbles, disregarding some information or alternative views, even when it might be helpful to us. Our decisions are shaped by what we regard as the facts, and if new information emerges that belies what we believe, it often hardens us to our original view.
Jeff Booth (The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future)
Information about toxicity in food is widely available, but people don’t want to hear it. Once in a while a story is spectacular enough to break through and attract media attention, but the swell quickly subsides into the general glut of bad news over which we, as citizens, have so little control. Coming at us like this — in waves, massed and unbreachable—knowledge becomes symbolic of our disempowerment—becomes bad knowledge—so we deny it, riding its crest until it subsides from consciousness. . . . In this root sense, ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over and over again, especially when information overwhelms and knowledge has become synonymous with impotence. I would like to think of my “ignorance” less as a personal failing and more as a massive cultural trend, an example of doubling, of psychic numbing, that characterises the end of the millennium. If we can’t act on knowledge, then we can’t survive without ignorance. So we cultivate the ignorance, go to great lengths to celebrate it, even. The faux-dumb aesthetic that dominates TV and Hollywood must be about this. Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
Do you want to hold her?” Qhuinn asked. Xcor recoiled as if someone had inquired whether he’d like a hot poker in his hands. Then he recovered, shaking his head as he made a manly show of scrubbing his tears away like they were permanent marker on his cheeks. “I don’t think I’m quite ready for that. She looks…so delicate.” “She’s strong, though. She’s got her mahmen’s blood in her, too.” Qhuinn looked at Blay. “And she’s got good parents. They both do. We’re in this together, people, three fathers and one mom, two kids. Bam!” Xcor’s voice got low. “A father…?” He laughed softly. “I went from having no family, to having a mate, a brother, and now…” Qhuinn nodded. “A son and a daughter. As long as you are Layla’s hellren, you are their father, too.” Xcor’s smile was transformative, so wide that it stretched his face into something she had never seen. “A son and a daughter.” “That’s right,” Layla whispered with joy. But then instantly that expression on his face was gone, his lips thinning out and his brows dropping down like he was ready to go on the attack. “She is never dating. I don’t care who he is—” “Right!” Qhuinn put his palm out for a high five. “That’s what I’m talking about!” “Now, hold on,” Blay interjected as they clapped hands. “She has every right to live her life as she chooses.” “Yes, come on,” Layla added. “This double-standard stuff is ridiculous. She’s going to be allowed…” As the argument started up, she and Blay fell in beside each other, and Qhuinn and Xcor lined up shoulder to shoulder, their massive forearms crossed over their chests. “I’m good with a gun,” Xcor said like that was the end of things. “And I can handle the shovel,” Qhuinn tacked on. “They’ll never find the body.” The two of them pounded knuckles and looked so dead serious that Layla had to roll her eyes. But then she was smiling. “You know something?” she said to the three of them. “I really believe…that it’s all going to be okay. We’re going to work it out, together, because that’s what families do.” As she rose up on her tiptoes and kissed her male, she said, “Love has a way of fixing everything…even your daughter starting to date.” “Which is not going to happen,” Xcor countered. “Ever.” “My man,” Qhuinn said, backing him up. “I knew I liked you—” “Oh, for the love,” Layla muttered as the debate resumed, and Blay started laughing and Qhuinn and Xcor continued bonding. -Qhuinn, Xcor, Layla, & Blay
J.R. Ward (The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15))
It's almost unbelievable when you think of it, how they live there in all that ice and sand and mountainous wilderness. Look at it,' he says. 'Huge barren deserts, huge oceans. How do they endure all those terrible things? The floods alone. The earthquakes alone make it crazy to live there. Look at those fault systems. They're so big, there's so many of them. The volcanic eruptions alone. What could be more frightening than a volcanic eruption? How do they endure avalanches, year after year, with numbing regularity? It's hard to believe people live there. The floods alone. You can see whole huge discolored areas, all flooded out, washed out. How do they survive, where do they go? Look at the cloud buildups. Look at that swirling storm center. What about the people who live in the path of a storm like that? It must be packing incredible winds. The lightning alone. People exposed on beaches, near trees and telephone poles. Look at the cities with their spangled lights spread in all directions. Try to imagine the crime and violence. Look at the smoke pall hanging low. What does that mean in terms of respiratory disorders? It's crazy. Who would live there? The deserts, how they encroach. Every year they claim more and more arable land. How enormous those snowfields are. Look at the massive storm fronts over the ocean. There are ships down there, small craft, some of them. Try to imagine the waves, the rocking. The hurricanes alone. The tidal waves. Look at those coastal communities exposed to tidal waves. What could be more frightening than a tidal wave? But they live there, they stay there. Where could they go?
Don DeLillo (The Angel Esmeralda)
But now I speculate re the ants' invisible organ of aggregate thought... if, in a city park of broad reaches, winding paths, roadways, and lakes, you can imagine seeing on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon the random and unpredictable movement of great numbers of human beings in the same way... if you watch one person, one couple, one family, a child, you can assure yourself of the integrity of the individual will and not be able to divine what the next moment will bring. But when the masses are celebrating a beautiful day in the park in a prescribed circulation of activities, the wider lens of thought reveals nothing errant, nothing inconstant or unnatural to the occasion. And if someone acts in a mutant un-park manner, alarms go off, the unpredictable element, a purse snatcher, a gun wielder, is isolated, surrounded, ejected, carried off as waste. So that while we are individually and privately dyssynchronous, moving in different ways, for different purposes, in different directions, we may at the same time comprise, however blindly, the pulsing communicating cells of an urban over-brain. The intent of this organ is to enjoy an afternoon in the park, as each of us street-grimy urbanites loves to do. In the backs of our minds when we gather for such days, do we know this? How much of our desire to use the park depends on the desires of others to do the same? How much of the idea of a park is in the genetic invitation on nice days to reflect our massive neuromorphology? There is no central control mechanism telling us when and how to use the park. That is up to us. But when we do, our behavior there is reflective, we can see more of who we are because of the open space accorded to us, and it is possible that it takes such open space to realize in simple form the ordinary identity we have as one multicellular culture of thought that is always there, even when, in the comparative blindness of our personal selfhood, we are flowing through the streets at night or riding under them, simultaneously, as synaptic impulses in the metropolitan brain. Is this a stretch? But think of the contingent human mind, how fast it snaps onto the given subject, how easily it is introduced to an idea, an image that it had not dreamt of thinking of a millisecond before... Think of how the first line of a story yokes the mind into a place, a time, in the time it takes to read it. How you can turn on the radio and suddenly be in the news, and hear it and know it as your own mind's possession in the moment's firing of a neuron. How when you hear a familiar song your mind adopts its attitudinal response to life before the end of the first bar. How the opening credits of a movie provide the parameters of your emotional life for its ensuing two hours... How all experience is instantaneous and instantaneously felt, in the nature of ordinary mind-filling revelation. The permeable mind, contingently disposed for invasion, can be totally overrun and occupied by all the characteristics of the world, by everything that is the case, and by the thoughts and propositions of all other minds considering everything that is the case... as instantly and involuntarily as the eye fills with the objects that pass into its line of vision.
E.L. Doctorow (City of God)
For instance, have you ever been going about your business, enjoying your life, when all of sudden you made a stupid choice or series of small choices that ultimately sabotaged your hard work and momentum, all for no apparent reason? You didn’t intend to sabotage yourself, but by not thinking about your decisions—weighing the risks and potential outcomes—you found yourself facing unintended consequences. Nobody intends to become obese, go through bankruptcy, or get a divorce, but often (if not always) those consequences are the result of a series of small, poor choices. Elephants Don’t Bite Have you ever been bitten by an elephant? How about a mosquito? It’s the little things in life that will bite you. Occasionally, we see big mistakes threaten to destroy a career or reputation in an instant—the famous comedian who rants racial slurs during a stand-up routine, the drunken anti-Semitic antics of a once-celebrated humanitarian, the anti-gay-rights senator caught soliciting gay sex in a restroom, the admired female tennis player who uncharacteristically threatens an official with a tirade of expletives. Clearly, these types of poor choices have major repercussions. But even if you’ve pulled such a whopper in your past, it’s not extraordinary massive steps backward or the tragic single moments that we’re concerned with here. For most of us, it’s the frequent, small, and seemingly inconsequential choices that are of grave concern. I’m talking about the decisions you think don’t make any difference at all. It’s the little things that inevitably and predictably derail your success. Whether they’re bone-headed maneuvers, no-biggie behaviors, or are disguised as positive choices (those are especially insidious), these seemingly insignificant decisions can completely throw you off course because you’re not mindful of them. You get overwhelmed, space out, and are unaware of the little actions that take you way off course. The Compound Effect works, all right. It always works, remember? But in this case it works against you because you’re doing… you’re sleepwalking.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
In the history of philosophy, the term “rationalism” has two distinct meanings. In one sense, it signifies an unbreached commitment to reasoned thought in contrast to any irrationalist rejection of the mind. In this sense, Aristotle and Ayn Rand are preeminent rationalists, opposed to any form of unreason, including faith. In a narrower sense, however, rationalism contrasts with empiricism as regards the false dichotomy between commitment to so-called “pure” reason (i.e., reason detached from perceptual reality) and an exclusive reliance on sense experience (i.e., observation without inference therefrom). Rationalism, in this sense, is a commitment to reason construed as logical deduction from non-observational starting points, and a distrust of sense experience (e.g., the method of Descartes). Empiricism, according to this mistaken dichotomy, is a belief that sense experience provides factual knowledge, but any inference beyond observation is a mere manipulation of words or verbal symbols (e.g., the approach of Hume). Both Aristotle and Ayn Rand reject such a false dichotomy between reason and sense experience; neither are rationalists in this narrow sense. Theology is the purest expression of rationalism in the sense of proceeding by logical deduction from premises ungrounded in observable fact—deduction without reference to reality. The so-called “thinking” involved here is purely formal, observationally baseless, devoid of facts, cut off from reality. Thomas Aquinas, for example, was history’s foremost expert regarding the field of “angelology.” No one could match his “knowledge” of angels, and he devoted far more of his massive Summa Theologica to them than to physics.
Andrew Bernstein
When he was in college, a famous poet made a useful distinction for him. He had drunk enough in the poet's company to be compelled to describe to him a poem he was thinking of. It would be a monologue of sorts, the self-contemplation of a student on a summer afternoon who is reading Euphues. The poem itself would be a subtle series of euphuisms, translating the heat, the day, the student's concerns, into symmetrical posies; translating even his contempt and boredom with that famously foolish book into a euphuism. The poet nodded his big head in a sympathetic, rhythmic way as this was explained to him, then told him that there are two kinds of poems. There is the kind you write; there is the kind you talk about in bars. Both kinds have value and both are poems; but it's fatal to confuse them. In the Seventh Saint, many years later, it had struck him that the difference between himself and Shakespeare wasn't talent - not especially - but nerve. The capacity not to be frightened by his largest and most potent conceptions, to simply (simply!) sit down and execute them. The dreadful lassitude he felt when something really large and multifarious came suddenly clear to him, something Lear-sized yet sonnet-precise. If only they didn't rush on him whole, all at once, massive and perfect, leaving him frightened and nerveless at the prospect of articulating them word by scene by page. He would try to believe they were of the kind told in bars, not the kind to be written, though there was no way to be sure of this except to attempt the writing; he would raise a finger (the novelist in the bar mirror raising the obverse finger) and push forward his change. Wailing like a neglected ghost, the vast notion would beat its wings into the void. Sometimes it would pursue him for days and years as he fled desperately. Sometimes he would turn to face it, and do battle. Once, twice, he had been victorious, objectively at least. Out of an immense concatenation of feeling, thought, word, transcendent meaning had come his first novel, a slim, pageant of a book, tombstone for his slain conception. A publisher had taken it, gingerly; had slipped it quietly into the deep pool of spring releases, where it sank without a ripple, and where he supposes it lies still, its calm Bodoni gone long since green. A second, just as slim but more lurid, nightmarish even, about imaginary murders in an imaginary exotic locale, had been sold for a movie, though the movie had never been made. He felt guilt for the producer's failure (which perhaps the producer didn't feel), having known the book could not be filmed; he had made a large sum, enough to finance years of this kind of thing, on a book whose first printing was largely returned.
John Crowley (Novelty: Four Stories)
Hey Pete. So why the leave from social media? You are an activist, right? It seems like this decision is counterproductive to your message and work." A: The short answer is I’m tired of the endless narcissism inherent to the medium. In the commercial society we have, coupled with the consequential sense of insecurity people feel, as they impulsively “package themselves” for public consumption, the expression most dominant in all of this - is vanity. And I find that disheartening, annoying and dangerous. It is a form of cultural violence in many respects. However, please note the difference - that I work to promote just that – a message/idea – not myself… and I honestly loath people who today just promote themselves for the sake of themselves. A sea of humans who have been conditioned into viewing who they are – as how they are seen online. Think about that for a moment. Social identity theory run amok. People have been conditioned to think “they are” how “others see them”. We live in an increasing fictional reality where people are now not only people – they are digital symbols. And those symbols become more important as a matter of “marketing” than people’s true personality. Now, one could argue that social perception has always had a communicative symbolism, even before the computer age. But nooooooothing like today. Social media has become a social prison and a strong means of social control, in fact. Beyond that, as most know, social media is literally designed like a drug. And it acts like it as people get more and more addicted to being seen and addicted to molding the way they want the world to view them – no matter how false the image (If there is any word that defines peoples’ behavior here – it is pretention). Dopamine fires upon recognition and, coupled with cell phone culture, we now have a sea of people in zombie like trances looking at their phones (literally) thousands of times a day, merging their direct, true interpersonal social reality with a virtual “social media” one. No one can read anymore... they just swipe a stream of 200 character headlines/posts/tweets. understanding the world as an aggregate of those fragmented sentences. Massive loss of comprehension happening, replaced by usually agreeable, "in-bubble" views - hence an actual loss of variety. So again, this isn’t to say non-commercial focused social media doesn’t have positive purposes, such as with activism at times. But, on the whole, it merely amplifies a general value system disorder of a “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT HOW GREAT I AM!” – rooted in systemic insecurity. People lying to themselves, drawing meaningless satisfaction from superficial responses from a sea of avatars. And it’s no surprise. Market economics demands people self promote shamelessly, coupled with the arbitrary constructs of beauty and success that have also resulted. People see status in certain things and, directly or pathologically, use those things for their own narcissistic advantage. Think of those endless status pics of people rock climbing, or hanging out on a stunning beach or showing off their new trophy girl-friend, etc. It goes on and on and worse the general public generally likes it, seeking to imitate those images/symbols to amplify their own false status. Hence the endless feedback loop of superficiality. And people wonder why youth suicides have risen… a young woman looking at a model of perfection set by her peers, without proper knowledge of the medium, can be made to feel inferior far more dramatically than the typical body image problems associated to traditional advertising. That is just one example of the cultural violence inherent. The entire industry of social media is BASED on narcissistic status promotion and narrow self-interest. That is the emotion/intent that creates the billions and billions in revenue these platforms experience, as they in turn sell off people’s personal data to advertisers and governments. You are the product, of course.
Peter Joseph
Now come on, we’re off.” He marched out of the room. They heard the front door open, but Dudley did not move and after a few faltering steps Aunt Petunia stopped too. “What now?” barked Uncle Vernon, reappearing in the doorway. It seemed that Dudley was struggling with concepts too difficult to put into words. After several moments of apparently painful internal struggle he said, “But where’s he going to go?” Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon looked at each other. It was clear that Dudley was frightening them. Hestia Jones broke the silence. “But…surely you know where your nephew is going?” she asked, looking bewildered. “Certainly we know,” said Vernon Dursley. “He’s off with some of your lot, isn’t he? Right, Dudley, let’s get in the car, you heard the man, we’re in a hurry.” Again, Vernon Dursley marched as far as the front door, but Dudley did not follow. “Off with some of our lot?” Hestia looked outraged. Harry had met this attitude before: Witches and wizards seemed stunned that his closest living relatives took so little interest in the famous Harry Potter. “It’s fine,” Harry assured her. “It doesn’t matter, honestly.” “Doesn’t matter?” repeated Hestia, her voice rising ominously. “Don’t these people realize what you’ve been through? What danger you are in? The unique position you hold in the hearts of the anti-Voldemort movement?” “Er--no, they don’t,” said Harry. “They think I’m a waste of space, actually, but I’m used to--” “I don’t think you’re a waste of space.” If Harry had not seen Dudley’s lips move, he might not have believed it. As it was, he stared at Dudley for several seconds before accepting that it must have been his cousin who had spoken; for one thing, Dudley had turned red. Harry was embarrassed and astonished himself. “Well…er…thanks, Dudley.” Again, Dudley appeared to grapple with thoughts too unwieldy for expression before mumbling, “You saved my life.” “Not really,” said Harry. “It was your soul the dementor would have taken…” He looked curiously at his cousin. They had had virtually no contact during this summer or last, as Harry had come back to Privet Drive so briefly and kept to his room so much. It now dawned on Harry, however, that the cup of cold tea on which he had trodden that morning might not have been a booby trap at all. Although rather touched, he was nevertheless quite relieved that Dudley appeared to have exhausted his ability to express his feelings. After opening his mouth once or twice more, Dudley subsided into scarlet-faced silence. Aunt Petunia burst into tears. Hestia Jones gave her an approving look that changed to outrage as Aunt Petunia ran forward and embraced Dudley rather than Harry. “S-so sweet, Dudders…” she sobbed into his massive chest. “S-such a lovely b-boy…s-saying thank you…” “But he hasn’t said thank you at all!” said Hestia indignantly. “He only said he didn’t think Harry was a waste of space!” “Yeah, but coming from Dudley that’s like ‘I love you,’” said Harry, torn between annoyance and a desire to laugh as Aunt Petunia continued to clutch at Dudley as if he had just saved Harry from a burning building.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
You’ve said, “You can lie or distort the story of the French Revolution as long as you like and nothing will happen. Propose a false theory in chemistry and it will be refuted tomorrow.” How does your approach to the world as a scientist affect and influence the way you approach politics? Nature is tough. You can’t fiddle with Mother Nature, she’s a hard taskmistress. So you’re forced to be honest in the natural sciences. In the soft fields, you’re not forced to be honest. There are standards, of course; on the other hand, they’re very weak. If what you propose is ideologically acceptable, that is, supportive of power systems, you can get away with a huge amount. In fact, the difference between the conditions that are imposed on dissident opinion and on mainstream opinion is radically different. For example, I’ve written about terrorism, and I think you can show without much difficulty that terrorism pretty much corresponds to power. I don’t think that’s very surprising. The more powerful states are involved in more terrorism, by and large. The United States is the most powerful, so it’s involved in massive terrorism, by its own definition of terrorism. Well, if I want to establish that, I’m required to give a huge amount of evidence. I think that’s a good thing. I don’t object to that. I think anyone who makes that claim should be held to very high standards. So, I do extensive documentation, from the internal secret records and historical record and so on. And if you ever find a comma misplaced, somebody ought to criticize you for it. So I think those standards are fine. All right, now, let’s suppose that you play the mainstream game. You can say anything you want because you support power, and nobody expects you to justify anything. For example, in the unimaginable circumstance that I was on, say, Nightline, and I was asked, “Do you think Kadhafi is a terrorist?” I could say, “Yeah, Kadhafi is a terrorist.” I don’t need any evidence. Suppose I said, “George Bush is a terrorist.” Well, then I would be expected to provide evidence—“Why would you say that?” In fact, the structure of the news production system is, you can’t produce evidence. There’s even a name for it—I learned it from the producer of Nightline, Jeff Greenfield. It’s called “concision.” He was asked in an interview somewhere why they didn’t have me on Nightline. First of all, he says, “Well, he talks Turkish, and nobody understands it.” But the other answer was, “He lacks concision.” Which is correct, I agree with him. The kinds of things that I would say on Nightline, you can’t say in one sentence because they depart from standard religion. If you want to repeat the religion, you can get away with it between two commercials. If you want to say something that questions the religion, you’re expected to give evidence, and that you can’t do between two commercials. So therefore you lack concision, so therefore you can’t talk. I think that’s a terrific technique of propaganda. To impose concision is a way of virtually guaranteeing that the party line gets repeated over and over again, and that nothing else is heard.
Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism)
Looking at a situation like the Israel-Palestine conflict, Americans are likely to react with puzzlement when they see ever more violent and provocative acts that target innocent civilians. We are tempted to ask: do the terrorists not realize that they will enrage the Israelis, and drive them to new acts of repression? The answer of course is that they know this very well, and this is exactly what they want. From our normal point of view, this seems incomprehensible. If we are doing something wrong, we do not want to invite the police to come in and try and stop us, especially if repression will result in the deaths or imprisonment of many of our followers. In a terrorist war, however, repression is often valuable because it escalates the growing war, and forces people to choose between the government and the terrorists. The terror/repression cycle makes it virtually impossible for anyone to remain a moderate. By increasing polarization within a society, terrorism makes the continuation of the existing order impossible. Once again, let us take the suicide bombing example. After each new incident, Israeli authorities tightened restrictions on Palestinian communities, arrested new suspects, and undertook retaliatory strikes. As the crisis escalated, they occupied or reoccupied Palestinian cities, destroying Palestinian infrastructure. The result, naturally, was massive Palestinian hostility and anger, which made further attacks more likely in the future. The violence made it more difficult for moderate leaders on both sides to negotiate. In the long term, the continuing confrontation makes it more likely that ever more extreme leaders will be chosen on each side, pledged not to negotiate with the enemy. The process of polarization is all the more probably when terrorists deliberately choose targets that they know will cause outrage and revulsion, such as attacks on cherished national symbols, on civilians, and even children. We can also think of this in individual terms. Imagine an ordinary Palestinian Arab who has little interest in politics and who disapproves of terrorist violence. However, after a suicide bombing, he finds that he is subject to all kinds of official repression, as the police and army hold him for long periods at security checkpoints, search his home for weapons, and perhaps arrest or interrogate him as a possible suspect. That process has the effect of making him see himself in more nationalistic (or Islamic) terms, stirs his hostility to the Israeli regime, and gives him a new sympathy for the militant or terrorist cause. The Israeli response to terrorism is also valuable for the terrorists in global publicity terms, since the international media attack Israel for its repression of civilians. Hamas military commander Salah Sh’hadeh, quoted earlier, was killed in an Israeli raid on Gaza in 2002, an act which by any normal standards of warfare would represent a major Israeli victory. In this case though, the killing provoked ferocious criticism of Israel by the U.S. and western Europe, and made Israel’s diplomatic situation much more difficult. In short, a terrorist attack itself may or may not attract widespread publicity, but the official response to it very likely will. In saying this, I am not suggesting that governments should not respond to terrorism, or that retaliation is in any sense morally comparable to the original attacks. Many historical examples show that terrorism can be uprooted and defeated, and military action is often an essential part of the official response. But terrorism operates on a logic quite different from that of most conventional politics and law enforcement, and concepts like defeat and victory must be understood quite differently from in a regular war.
Philip Jenkins (Images of Terror: What We Can and Can't Know about Terrorism (Social Problems and Social Issues))
KNEE SURGERY I’D FIRST HURT MY KNEES IN FALLUJAH WHEN THE WALL FELL on me. Cortisone shots helped for a while, but the pain kept coming back and getting worse. The docs told me I needed to have my legs operated on, but doing that would have meant I would have to take time off and miss the war. So I kept putting it off. I settled into a routine where I’d go to the doc, get a shot, go back to work. The time between shots became shorter and shorter. It got down to every two months, then every month. I made it through Ramadi, but just barely. My knees started locking and it was difficult to get down the stairs. I no longer had a choice, so, soon after I got home in 2007, I went under the knife. The surgeons cut my tendons to relieve pressure so my kneecaps would slide back over. They had to shave down my kneecaps because I had worn grooves in them. They injected synthetic cartilage material and shaved the meniscus. Somewhere along the way they also repaired an ACL. I was like a racing car, being repaired from the ground up. When they were done, they sent me to see Jason, a physical therapist who specializes in working with SEALs. He’d been a trainer for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After 9/11, he decided to devote himself to helping the country. He chose to do that by working with the military. He took a massive pay cut to help put us back together. I DIDN’T KNOW ALL THAT THE FIRST DAY WE MET. ALL I WANTED to hear was how long it was going to take to rehab. He gave me a pensive look. “This surgery—civilians need a year to get back,” he said finally. “Football players, they’re out eight months. SEALs—it’s hard to say. You hate being out of action and will punish yourselves to get back.” He finally predicted six months. I think we did it in five. But I thought I would surely die along the way. JASON PUT ME INTO A MACHINE THAT WOULD STRETCH MY knee. Every day I had to see how much further I could adjust it. I would sweat up a storm as it bent my knee. I finally got it to ninety degrees. “That’s outstanding,” he told me. “Now get more.” “More?” “More!” He also had a machine that sent a shock to my muscle through electrodes. Depending on the muscle, I would have to stretch and point my toes up and down. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is clearly a form of torture that should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention, even for use on SEALs. Naturally, Jason kept upping the voltage. But the worst of all was the simplest: the exercise. I had to do more, more, more. I remember calling Taya many times and telling her I was sure I was going to puke if not die before the day was out. She seemed sympathetic but, come to think of it in retrospect, she and Jason may have been in on it together. There was a stretch where Jason had me doing crazy amounts of ab exercises and other things to my core muscles. “Do you understand it’s my knees that were operated on?” I asked him one day when I thought I’d reached my limit. He just laughed. He had a scientific explanation about how everything in the body depends on strong core muscles, but I think he just liked kicking my ass around the gym. I swear I heard a bullwhip crack over my head any time I started to slack. I always thought the best shape I was ever in was straight out of BUD/S. But I was in far better shape after spending five months with him. Not only were my knees okay, the rest of me was in top condition. When I came back to my platoon, they all asked if I had been taking steroids.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)