Modify Quotes

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Imagine a society that subjects people to conditions that make them terribly unhappy then gives them the drugs to take away their unhappiness. Science fiction It is already happening to some extent in our own society. Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed modern society gives them antidepressant drugs. In effect antidepressants are a means of modifying an individual's internal state in such a way as to enable him to tolerate social conditions that he would otherwise find intolerable.
Theodore J. Kaczynski
In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing 1. Never open a book with weather. 2. Avoid prologues. 3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely. 5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose." 7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. 9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. 10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. My most important rule is one that sums up the 10. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard
Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.
Stanley Wolpert (Jinnah of Pakistan)
Although you may not always be able to avoid difficult situations,you can modify the extent to which you can suffer by how you choose to respond to the situation.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.
John Williams (Stoner)
To transform the world, we must begin with ourselves; and what is important in beginning with ourselves is the intention. The intention must be to understand ourselves and not to leave it to others to transform themselves or to bring about a modified change through revolution, either of the left or of the right. It is important to understand that this is our responsibility, yours and mine...
Jiddu Krishnamurti
Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break....I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness)
Satanism advocates practicing a modified form of the Golden Rule. Our interpretation of this rule is: "Do unto others as they do unto you"; because if you "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and they, in turn, treat you badly, it goes against human nature to continue to treat them with consideration. You should do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but if your courtesy is not returned, they should be treated with the wrath they deserve.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
Man, wow, there's so many things to do, so many things to write! How to even begin to get it all down and without modified restraints and all hung-up on like literary inhibitions and grammatical fears...
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
I wonder at my incapacity for easy banter, smooth conversation, empty words to fill awkward moments. I don't have a closet filled with umms and ellipses ready to insert at the beginnings and ends of sentences. I don't know how to be a verb, an adverb, any kind of modifier. I'm a noun through and through.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Passing time adds false memories and modifies real ones.
Stephen King (Joyland)
What if the puzzle of the world was a shape you didn't fit into? And the only way to survive was to mutilate yourself, carve away your corners, sand yourself down, modify yourself to fit? How come we haven't been able to change the puzzle instead?
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
Charles T. Munger
Dear Human: You've got it all wrong. You didn't come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you'll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty Love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of... messing up. Often. You didn't come here to be perfect, you already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And rising again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives. It doesn't require modifiers. It doesn't require the condition of perfection. It only asks you to show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. Its enough. It's Plenty.
Courtney A. Walsh
Why should we think upon things that are lovely Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.
William James
The individual appears for an instant, joins the community of thought, modifies it and dies; but the species, that dies not, reaps the fruit of his ephemeral existence.
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
Death to all modifiers, he declared one day, and out of every letter that passed through his hands went every adverb and every adjective.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different. And while we're on the subject, I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. As if "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in. If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn't you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real. As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.
Neil Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction)
The only thing that guarantees an open-ended collaboration among human beings, the only thing that guarantees that this project is truly open-ended, is a willingness to have our beliefs and behaviors modified by the power of conversation.
Sam Harris
You do have the idea of being ‘just good friends?’” He gave her a sideways look. “For so high and honorable an estate,” Roshaun said, “ ‘just’ seems a poor modifier to choose.
Diane Duane (Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8))
A slightly modified version of the Serenity Prayer: Lord, grant me the serenity to ignore the assholes I cannot avoid; The luck to avoid the ones I can; And the self-awareness not to be one myself
Kelly Williams Brown (Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps)
To the world’s most perfect woman.’ It was lucky my father was not present. Perfect is an absolute that cannot be modified, like unique or pregnant. My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman, #2))
You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills
Jim Rohn
One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history—the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end. The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be descibed differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is futher complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father. Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life.
Norman Cousins
I must say that, beyond occasionally exposing me to laughter, my constitutional shyness has been no dis-advantage whatever. In fact I can see that, on the contrary, it has been all to my advantage. My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words. I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. And I can now give myself the certificate that a thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or pen. I do not recollect ever having had to regret anything in my speech or writing. I have thus been spared many a mishap and waste of time. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man, and silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word. We find so many people impatient to talk. There is no chairman of a meeting who is not pestered with notes for permission to speak. And whenever the permission is given the speaker generally exceeds the time-limit, asks for more time, and keeps on talking without permission. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth.
Mahatma Gandhi
A person whose desires and impulses are his own—are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture—is said to have a character. One whose desires and impulses are not his own, has no character, no more than a steam-engine has character…
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
Practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food. There are no wild, seedless watermelons. There's no wild cows.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The revolution taught me not to be consoled by other people's miseries, not to feel thankful because so many others had suffered more. Pain and loss, like love and joy, are unique and personal; they cannot be modified by comparison to others.
Azar Nafisi (Things I've Been Silent About)
In the critic's vocabulary, the word "precursor" is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotations of polemic or rivalry. The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future." -- Essay: "Kafka and his Precursors
Jorge Luis Borges
But once an original book has been written-and no more than one or two appear in a century-men of letters imitate it, in other words, they copy it so that hundreds of thousands of books are published on exactly the same theme, with slightly different titles and modified phraseology. This should be able to be achieved by apes, who are essentially imitators, provided, of course, that they are able to make use of language.
Pierre Boulle (Planet of the Apes)
The romantic interplay that we were having wasn't the real game--it was a modified version of the game. It was a version invented for two friends so that they can get some practice and pass the time divertingly while they eat in the station for their train to arrive
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
The progress of the world can certainly never come at all save by the modified action of the individual beings who compose the world.
George Eliot
I don't like people who like me because I'm a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one's own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done. I want to be an honest man and a good writer.
James Baldwin (Notes of a Native Son)
Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Education may well be, as of right, the instrument whereby every individual, in a society like our own, can gain access to any kind of discourse. But we well know that in its distribution, in what it permits and in what it prevents, it follows the well-trodden battle-lines of social conflict. Every educational system is a political means of maintaining or of modifying the appropriation of discourse, with the knowledge and the powers it carries with it.
Michel Foucault
By first believing in Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny, then the Tooth Fairy, Rant Casey was recognizing that those myths are more than pretty stories and traditions to delight children. Or to modify behavior. Each of those three traditions asks a child to believe in the impossible in exchange for a reward. These are stepped-up tests to build a child's faith and imagination. The first test is to believe in a magical person, with toys as the reward. The second test is to trust in a magical animal, with candy as the reward. The last test is the most difficult, with the most abstract reward: To believe, trust in a flying fairy that will leave money. From a man to an animal to a fairy. From toys to candy to money. Thus, interestingly enough, transferring the magic of faith and trust from sparkling fairy-dom to clumsy, tarnished coins. From gossamer wings to nickels... dimes... and quarters. In this way, a child is stepped up to greater feats of imagination and faith as he or she matures. Beginning with Santa in infancy, and ending with the Tooth Fairy as the child acquires adult teeth. Or, plainly put, beginning with all the possibility of childhood, and ending with an absolute trust in the national currency.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant)
It is time we recognized that the only thing that permits human beings to collaborate with one another in a truly open-minded way is their willingness to have their beliefs modified by new facts.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
The words of a dead man Are modified in the guts of the living.
W.H. Auden
I take the lighter and resist the urge to hug him. Tristan says I can be a little too touchy-feely. Actually, his term is touchy-fucky but I modify it to make myself feel better.
Leisa Rayven (Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1))
The race will find that capitalists and communists modify themselves so much during the ages that they end by being indistinguishable as democrats...
T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him.
Norman Vincent Peale
I wish people used wishes to modify themselves instead of others. Wish to be low maintenance. Wish to be autonomous, even.
Dan Harmon
One must drop all presuppositions and dogmas and rules - for there only lead to stalemate or disaster; one must cease to regard all patients as replicas, and honor each one with individual reactions and propensities; and, in this way, with the patient as one's equal, one's co-explorer, not one's puppet, one may find therapeutic ways which are better than other ways, tactics which can be modified as occasion requires.
Oliver Sacks (Awakenings)
[Raymond Roussel] said that after his first book he expected that the next morning there would be a kind of aura around his person and that everyone in the street would be able to see that he had written a book. This is the obscure desire harboured by everyone who writes. It is true that the first text one writes is neither written for others, nor because one is what one is: one writes to become other than what one is. One tries to modify one's way of being through the act of writing.
Michel Foucault
Yes, he is here in this open field, in sunlight, among the few young trees set out to modify the bare facts-- he's here, but only because we are here. When we go, he goes with us to be your hands that never do violence, your eyes that wonder, your lives that daily praise life by living it, by laughter. He is never alone here, never cold in the field of graves.
Denise Levertov
The concept of humanity is an especially useful ideological instrument of imperialist expansion, and in its ethical-humanitarian form it is a specific vehicle of economic imperialism. Here one is reminded of a somewhat modified expression of Proudhon’s: whoever invokes humanity wants to cheat. To confiscate the word humanity, to invoke and monopolize such a term probably has certain incalculable effects, such as denying the enemy the quality of being human and declaring him to be an outlaw of humanity; and a war can thereby be driven to the most extreme inhumanity.
Carl Schmitt
Well. Who wouldn't break? I broke. You broke.' 'And we both emerged stronger.' 'We both emerged', I modified his words.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3))
Faith is unlearning this senseless worries and misguided beliefs that keep us captive. It is far more complex than simply modifying behavior. Faith is rewiring the human brain. We are literally upgrading our minds by downloading the mind of Christ.
Mark Batterson (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars)
I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Fall of the House of Usher)
Agitaion over happenings which we are powerless to modify, either because they have not occured, or else are occuring at an inaccesible distance from us, achieves nothing beyond the onoculation of here and now with the remote or anticipated evil that is the object of our distress.
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
Saw you walking barefoot taking a long look at the new moon's eyelid later spread sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair asleep but not oblivious of the unslept unsleeping elsewhere Tonight I think no poetry will serve Syntax of rendition: verb pilots the plane adverb modifies action verb force-feeds noun submerges the subject noun is choking verb disgraced goes on doing now diagram the sentence
Adrienne Rich (Tonight No Poetry Will Serve)
the way they put it, we as a society have decided not to modify the society but to modify the children.
Noam Chomsky (Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power)
Whoever has the power takes the noun while the less powerful get an adjective. No one wants her achievements modified.We all just want to be the noun.
Sheryl Sandberg
Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man and silence is necessary in order to surmount it.
Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography - The Story of My Experiments With Truth)
Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn't create... Neo-Darwinists say that new species emerge when mutations occur and modify an organism. I was taught over and over again that the accumulation of random mutations led to evolutionary change [which] led to new species. I believed it until I looked for evidence.
Lynn Margulis
Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people whom you come in contact everyday.
Orison Swett Marden
I have been accused of a habit of changing my opinions. I am not myself in any degree ashamed of having changed my opinions. What physicist who was already active in 1900 would dream of boasting that his opinions had not changed during the last half century? In science men change their opinions when new knowledge becomes available; but philosophy in the minds of many is assimilated rather to theology than to science. The kind of philosophy that I value and have endeavoured to pursue is scientific, in the sense that there is some definite knowledge to be obtained and that new discoveries can make the admission of former error inevitable to any candid mind. For what I have said, whether early or late, I do not claim the kind of truth which theologians claim for their creeds. I claim only, at best, that the opinion expressed was a sensible one to hold at the time when it was expressed. I should be much surprised if subsequent research did not show that it needed to be modified. I hope, therefore, that whoever uses this dictionary will not suppose the remarks which it quotes to be intended as pontifical pronouncements, but only as the best I could do at the time towards the promotion of clear and accurate thinking. Clarity, above all, has been my aim.
Bertrand Russell (Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals)
Privilege is provisional. Privilege can be denied, withheld, offered grudgingly and summarily withdrawn. Entitlement is impervious to the kinds of verbs that modify privilege. Our people have had to work, scrape for privilege, gobble it down when those who would snatch it away weren’t looking. Keep a close watch.
Margo Jefferson (Negroland: A Memoir)
The mourner is in fact ill, but because this state of mind is common and seems so natural to us, we do not call mourning an illness…. To put my conclusion more precisely: I should say that in mourning the subject goes through a modified and transitory manic-depressive state and overcomes it.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
The fact is that every author creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
Jorge Luis Borges
I locked the door, for what good it would do me, and went to bed. The Browning Hi-Power was in its second home, a modified holster strapped to the headboard of my bed. The crucifix was cool metal around my neck. I was as safe as I was going to be and almost too tired to care. I took one more thing to bed with me, a stuffed toy penguin named Sigmund. I don't sleep with him often, just every once in a while after someone tries to kill me. Everyone has their weaknesses. Some people smoke. I collect stuffed penguins. If you won't tell, I won't.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1))
[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the application of knowledge to practical life, the development of thought capable of modifying the original guiding idea in the light of ever-changing situations; it is the art of acting under the pressure of the most difficult conditions. HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800–1891
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies of War)
He never looked at her; and yet, the careful avoidance of his eyes betokened that in some way he knew exactly where, if they fell by chance, they would rest on her. If she spoke, he gave no sign of attention, and yet his next speech to any one else was modified by what she had said; sometimes there was an express answer to what she had remarked, but given to another person as though unsuggested by her. It was not the bad manners of ignorance: it was the willful bad manners arising from deep offense. It was willful at the time; repented of afterwards. But no deep plan, no careful cunning could have stood him in such good stead. Margaret thought about him more than she had ever done before; not with any tinge of what is called love, but with regret that she had wounded him so deeply, — and with a gentle, patient striving to return to their former position of antagonistic friendship; for a friend’s position was what she found that he had held in her regard, as well as in that of the rest of the family.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
A hundred and fifty years before, when the parochial disagreements between Earth and Mars had been on the verge of war, the Belt had been a far horizon of tremendous mineral wealth beyond viable economic reach, and the outer planets had been beyond even the most unrealistic corporate dream. Then Solomon Epstein had built his little modified fusion drive, popped it on the back of his three-man yacht, and turned it on. With a good scope, you could still see his ship going at a marginal percentage of the speed of light, heading out into the big empty. The best, longest funeral in the history of mankind. Fortunately, he’d left the plans on his home computer. The Epstein Drive hadn’t given humanity the stars, but it had delivered the planets.
James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1))
Adding anxiety to depression is a bit like adding cocaine to alcohol. It presses fast-forward on the whole experience. If you have depression on its own your mind sinks into a swamp and loses momentum, but with anxiety in the cocktail, the swamp is still a swamp but the swamp now has whirlpools in it. The monsters that are there, in the muddy water, continually move like modified alligators at their highest speed. You are continually on guard. You are on guard to the point of collapse every single moment, while desperately trying to keep afloat, to breathe the air that the people on the bank all around you are breathing as easily as anything.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Man’s life is a line that nature commands him to describe upon the surface of the earth, without his ever being able to swerve from it, even for an instant. He is born without his own consent; his organization does in nowise depend upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily; his habits are in the power of those who cause him to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by causes, whether visible or concealed, over which he has no control, which necessarily regulate his mode of existence, give the hue to his way of thinking, and determine his manner of acting. He is good or bad, happy or miserable, wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for any thing in these various states.
Paul Henri Thiry
We can't control on how each day will fall, but we can control how we fall into each day. Learn to make adjustments to match the circumstances.
Anthony Liccione
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially when my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to a bookstore as soon as I can. That is my substitute for the pistol and ball.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
All of us desire a better state of society. But society cannot become better before two great tasks are performed.Unless peace can be firmly established and the prevailing obsession with money and power profoundly modified, there is no hope of any desirable change being made.
Aldous Huxley
...the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic has assumed, of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Mystery of Marie Rogêt - a C. Auguste Dupin Short Story (C. Auguste Dupin #2))
There is no part of one’s beliefs about oneself which cannot be modified by sufficiently powerful psychological techniques. There is nothing about oneself which cannot be taken away or changed. The proper stimuli can, if correctly applied, turn communists into fascists, saints into devils, the meek into heroes, and vice-versa. There is no sovereign sanctuary within ourseles which represents our real nature. There is nobody at home in the internal fortress. Everything we cherish as our ego, everything we believe in, is just what we have cobbled together out of the accident of our birth and subsequent experiences. With drugs, brainwashing, and other techniques of extreme persuasion, we can quite readily make a man a devotee of a different ideology, the patriot of a different country, or the follower of a different religion.
Peter J. Carroll
In every area of thought we must rely ultimately on our judgments, tested by reflection, subject to correction by the counterarguments of others, modified by the imagination and by comparison with alternatives.
Thomas Nagel (Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False)
I understand the mechanism of my own thinking. I know precisely how I know, and my understanding is recursive. I understand the infinite regress of this self-knowing, not by proceeding step by step endlessly, but by apprehending the limit. The nature of recursive cognition is clear to me. A new meaning of the term "self-aware." Fiat logos. I know my mind in terms of a language more expressive than any I'd previously imagined. Like God creating order from chaos with an utterance, I make myself anew with this language. It is meta-self-descriptive and self-editing; not only can it describe thought, it can describe and modify its own operations as well, at all levels. What Gödel would have given to see this language, where modifying a statement causes the entire grammar to be adjusted. With this language, I can see how my mind is operating. I don't pretend to see my own neurons firing; such claims belong to John Lilly and his LSD experiments of the sixties. What I can do is perceive the gestalts; I see the mental structures forming, interacting. I see myself thinking, and I see the equations that describe my thinking, and I see myself comprehending the equations, and I see how the equations describe their being comprehended. I know how they make up my thoughts. These thoughts.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Olvidar un hecho, es modificar el pasado.
Oscar Wilde
Ophelia said, Isn't there even one for you?They're all adjectives, they make me feel modified (Eve Babitz)
Lili Anolik (Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.)
to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habits’ routines, and find alternatives.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
Sometimes I'd see my father, walking past my building on his way to another nowhere. I could have given him a key, offered a piece of my floor. A futon. A bed. But I never did. If I let him inside I would become him, the line between us would blur, my own slow-motion car wreck would speed up. The slogan on the side of a moving company truck read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING PLACES--modified by a vandal or a disgruntled employee to read TOGETHER WE ARE GOING DOWN. If I went to the drowning man the drowning man would pull me under. I couldn't be his life raft.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
George Washington
Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.
Neil Gaiman
When you get down to the bottom of it, only about half of what we remember really happened. We tend to modify things to make ourselves look better in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. Then, if what we did wasn't really very admirable, we tend to forget that it ever happened. A normal human being's grasp on reality is very tenuous at best. Our imaginary lives are usually much nicer.
David Eddings
During my sixteen years as a teacher of writing, I removed many adverbs and adverbial phrases from students' writing. I decided long ago that a writer who needlessly modifies words is either a nervous writer who does not believe in the worth of what they are writing or a vain writer who wants to be seen as discriminating and sensitive to nuances or meaning.
Gerald Murnane
Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear—the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break.
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
The First [Friend] is the alter ego, the man who first reveals to you that you are not alone in the world by turning out (beyond hope) to share all your most secret delights. There is nothing to be overcome in making him your friend; he and you join like raindrops on a window. But the Second Friend is the man who disagrees with you about everything. He is not so much the alter ego as the antiself. Of course he shares your interests; otherwise he would not become your friend at all. But he has approached them all at a different angle. He has read all the right books but has got the wrong thing out of every one. It is as if he spoke your language but mispronounced it. How can he be so nearly right and yet, invariably, just not right? He is as fascinating (and infuriating) as a woman. When you set out to correct his heresies, you will find that he forsooth to correct yours! And then you go at it, hammer and tongs, far into the night, night after night, or walking through fine country that neither gives a glance to, each learning the weight of the other's punches, and often more like mutually respectful enemies than friends. Actually (though it never seems so at the time) you modify one another's thought; out of this perpetual dogfight a community of mind and a deep affection emerge.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
They told me that nothing was a sin, just a poor life choice. Poor impulse control. That nothing is evil. Any concept of right versus wrong, according to them, is merely a cultural construct relative to one specific time and place. They said that if anything should force us to modify our personal behavior it should be our allegiance to a social contract, not some vague, externally imposed threat of flaming punishment.
Chuck Palahniuk (Damned (Damned, #1))
The second coming of Christ will be so revolutionary that it will change every aspect of life on this planet. Christ will reign in righteousness. Disease will be arrested. Death will be modified. War will be abolished. Nature will be changed. Man will live as it was originally intended he should live.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
Ginger, truth or dare?” “Dare.” “Forgive me for taking the idea from Kai, but I dare you to snog Blake—” She modified the request at the insistent stare from her sister. “Oh, come on! Just the teeniest peck on the lips.” I thought she would still refuse, but apparently she wasn't one to outright turn down a dare. She turned to Blake and pointed a finger at him. “Try to cop a feel and I'll make Anna's chair flip look angelic,” she warned. He grinned and she leaned in, both closing their eyes as she pressed her lips against his for one, two, three seconds. It appeared innocent, but they were shy when they pulled away and sat back. “Right,” Ginger said, clearing her throat. “My turn. Jay, truth or dare?” “Truth.” “Do you fancy Marna?” “I'm not sure what that means, but if you're asking if I like her and think she's the most beautiful girl I've ever met and I wish she would move here, then yes.” Marna and I giggled at his brazen, smitten openness.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Men have their virtues and their vices, their heroisms and their perversities; men are neither wholly good nor wholly bad, but possess and practice all that there is of good and bad here below. Such is the general rule. Temperament, education, the accidents of life, are modifying factors. Outside of this, everything is ordered arrangement, everything is chance. Such has been my rule of expectation and it has usually brought me success.
Napoléon Bonaparte
As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
There is only one Education, and it has only one goal: the freedom of the mind. Anything that needs an adjective, be it civics education, or socialist education, or Christian education, or whatever-you-like education, is not education, and it has some different goal. The very existence of modified "educations" is testimony to the fact that their proponents cannot bring about what they want in a mind that is free. An "education" that cannot do its work in a free mind, and so must "teach" by homily and precept in the service of these feelings and attitudes and beliefs rather than those, is pure and unmistakable tyranny.
Richard Mitchell
In the newspapers the row about the prospect of genetically modified food raged on, and yet here were consumers effectively demanding lambs with four back legs.
Rose Prince
A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.
Mark Twain
Destiny is powerful but self-effort can modify it. Truth is all powerful.
Vanamali (The Complete Life of Krishna: Based on the Earliest Oral Traditions and the Sacred Scriptures)
The Vonnegut was a heavily modified Firefly-class transport vessel, modeled after the Serenity in the classic Firefly TV series.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
It was written in the ancient RUNIX spell-language, and is read-only and can't be modified.
Jasper Fforde (The Last Dragonslayer (The Last Dragonslayer, #1))
A computer program can modify itself but it cannot violate its own instructions — it can at best change some parts of itself by *obeying* its own instructions.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid)
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. — Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475
Norman Cousins
Most good decisions will involve these steps: Figure out your goal or goals. Evaluate the importance of each goal. Array the options. Evaluate how likely each of the options is to meet your goals. Pick the winning option. Later use the consequences of your choice to modify your goals, the importance you assign them, and the way you evaluate future possibilities.
Barry Schwartz (The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less)
The whole world is dying. Just too slowly and naturally for my liking. Somebody should poison the food by genetically modifying it somehow. But even if that happened, nobody would be stupid enough to buy it—let alone eat it—would they?
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
According to Claparède, feelings appoint a goal for behaviour, while intelligence merely provides the means (the "technique"). But there exists an awareness of ends as well as of means, and this continually modifies the goals of action.
Jean Piaget (The Psychology of Intelligence (Routledge Classics))
Technique has penetrated the deepest recesses of the human being. The machine tends not only to create a new human environment, but also to modify man's very essence. The milieu in which he lives is no longer his. He must adapt himself, as though the world were new, to a universe for which he was not created. He was made to go six kilometers an hour, and he goes a thousand. He was made to eat when he was hungry and to sleep when he was sleepy; instead, he obeys a clock. He was made to have contact with living things, and he lives in a world of stone. He was created with a certain essential unity, and he is fragmented by all the forces of the modern world.
Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society)
Hence if man goes on selecting, and thus augmenting, any peculiarity, he will almost certainly modify unintentionally other parts of the structure, owing to the mysterious laws of correlation.
Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species)
The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn't to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain.
George W. Buchanan
I know the answer to the question now, by the way: why bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It came from my inner editor, the part of me that forces the wordy writer in me to dump ninety percent of all modifiers: Ask both questions again, minus the adjectives. "Why do things happen to people?" Just because.
Chris Crutcher (King of the Mild Frontier: An Ill-Advised Autobiography)
For the last fifty years or so, The Novel’s demise has been broadcast on an almost weekly basis. Yet it strikes me that whatever happens, however else the geography of the imagination might modify in the future in, say, the digital ether, The Novel will continue to survive for some long time to come because it is able to investigate and cherish two things that film, music, painting, dance, architecture, drama, podcasts, cellphone exchanges, and even poetry can’t in a lush, protracted mode. The first is the intricacy and beauty of language—especially the polyphonic qualities of it to which Bakhtin first drew our attention. And the second is human consciousness. What other art form allows one to feel we are entering and inhabiting another mind for hundreds of pages and several weeks on end?
Lance Olsen
BASICS OF DIET AND HEALTH The basic principles of good diets are so simple that I can summarize them in just ten words: eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. For additional clarification, a five-word modifier helps: go easy on junk foods.
Marion Nestle (What to Eat)
There is nothing wrong with entertainment. As some psychiatrist once put it, we all build castles in the air. The problems come when we try to live in them. The communications media of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with telegraphy and photography at their center, called the peek-a-boo world into existence, but we did not come to live there until television. Television gave the epistemological biases of the telegraph and the photograph their most potent expression, raising the interplay of image and instancy to an exquisite and dangerous perfection. And it brought them into the home. We are by now well into a second generation of children for whom television has been their first and most accessible teacher and, for many, their most reliable companion and friend. To put it plainly, television is the command center of the new epistemology. There is no audience so young that it is barred from television. There is no poverty so abject that it must forgo television. There is no education so exalted that it is not modified by television. And most important of all, there is no subject of public interest—politics, news, education, religion, science, sports—that does not find its way to television. Which means that all public understanding of these subjects is shaped by the biases of television.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Unquestionably the discovery of the Mississippi is a datable fact which considerably mellows and modifies the shiny newness of our country, and gives her a most respectable outside-aspect of rustiness and antiquity.
Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)
Every human being has a personal dream of life, and that dream is completely different from anyone else’s dream. We dream according to all the beliefs that we have, and we modify our dream according to the way we judge, according to the way we are victimized. That is why dreams are never the same for any two people. In a relationship, we can pretend to be the same, to think the same, to feel the same, to dream the same, but there is no way that can happen. There are two dreamers with two dreams. Every dreamer is going to dream in his own way. That is why we need to accept the differences that exist between two dreamers; we need to respect each other’s dream.
Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship --Toltec Wisdom Book)
The child brings with him into the world, not character, but disposition. He has tendencies which may need only to be strengthened, or, again, to be diverted or even repressed. His character — the efflorescence of the man wherein the fruit of his life is a-preparing — is original disposition, modified, directed, expanded by education; by circumstances; later, by self-control and self-culture; above all, by the supreme agency of the Holy Ghost, even where that agency is little suspected, and as little solicited.
Charlotte M. Mason (Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series Volume 2 - Parents and Children)
Class is a bubble, formed by privilege, shaping and manipulating your concept of reality. But it can at least be brought to mind; acknowledged comprehended, even atoned for through transformative action. By comparing your privilege with that of others you may be able to modify both your world and the worlds outside your world - if the will is there to do it. Suffering is not like that. Suffering has an absolution relation to the suffering individual - it cannot be easily mediated by a third term like ‘privilege’.
Zadie Smith (Intimations)
If the existence of Nuclear weapons has taught us anything it would simply be that just because we possess powerful technologies, it does not necessarily mean that we should use them. Unfortunately, we are currently on course to learn similarly grave lessons from other devastating technologies such Genetically Modified Foods, Chemtrails and HAARP.
Gary Hopkins
I'd sit at my kitchen table and start scanning help-wanted ads on my laptop, but then a browser tab would blink and I'd get distracted and follow a link to a long magazine article about genetically modified wine grapes. Too long, actually, so I'd add it to my reading list. Then I'd follow another link to a book review. I'd add the review to my reading list, too, then download the first chapter of the book—third in a series about vampire police. Then, help-wanted ads forgotten, I'd retreat to the living room, put my laptop on my belly, and read all day. I had a lot of free time.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
I should stop apologizing for being overly analytical about this, even though I am sorry (not to you but in a deeper way, sorry for my brain chemistry and who I am. I do what I can that isn’t heroin to modify it but I was born as anxious and obsessive as any incredibly gorgeous child ever could be.)
Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned")
Well, I will tell you, and you must understand if you can. You belong to a singular race. Every man is a suffering-machine and a happiness- machine combined. The two functions work together harmoniously, with a fine and delicate precision, on the give-and-take principle. For every happiness turned out in the one department the other stands ready to modify it with a sorrow or a pain--maybe a dozen. In most cases the man's life is about equally divided between happiness and unhappiness. When this is not the case the unhappiness predominates--always; never the other. Sometimes a man's make and disposition are such that his misery- machine is able to do nearly all the business. Such a man goes through life almost ignorant of what happiness is. Everything he touches, everything he does, brings a misfortune upon him. You have seen such people? To that kind of a person life is not an advantage, is it? It is only a disaster. Sometimes for an hour's happiness a man's machinery makes him pay years of misery. Don't you know that? It happens every now and then.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
Modern wheat, despite all the genetic alterations to modify hundreds, if not thousands, of its genetically determined characteristics, made its way to the worldwide human food supply with nary a question surrounding its suitability for human consumption.
William Davis (Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health)
I believed, rather more accurately, that a work resolutely thought out and sought for in the hazards of the mind, systematically, and through a determined analysis of definite and previously prescribed conditions, whatever its value might be once it had been produced, did not leave the mind of its creator without having modified him, and forced him to recognize and in some way reorganize himself. I said to myself that it was not the accomplished work, and its appearance and effect in the world, that can fulfill and edify us; but only the way in which we have done it.
Paul Valéry (Selected Writings)
Certainly we’ve made important innovations, chief among them the systematic use of the scientific method,” he said at one point, “but the primitive groundwork is still there, dominating the pattern of our lives. We’re modified anthropoid apes inhabiting night clubs and battleships. What else could you expect us to be?
Fritz Leiber (Conjure Wife)
Another very good test some readers may want to look up, which we do not have space to describe here, is the Casimir effect, where forces between metal plates in empty space are modified by the presence of virtual particles. Thus virtual particles are indeed real and have observable effects that physicists have devised ways of measuring. Their properties and consequences are well established and well understood consequences of quantum mechanics.
Gordon L. Kane
...every new genetically engineered plant is a unique event in nature, bringing its own set of genetic contingencies. This means that the reliability or safety of one genetically modified plant doesn't necessarily guarantee the reliability or safety of the next.
Michael Pollan
Why not eliminate schooling between age 12-16? It’s biologically + psychologically too turbulent a time to be cooped up inside, made to sit all the time. During these years, kids would live communally – doing some work, anyway being physically active, in the countryside(...) This simple change in the age specificity of schooling would a) reduce adolescent discontent, anomie, boredom, neurosis; b) radically modify the almost inevitable process by which people at 50 are psychologically and intellectually ossified (...) After all, since most people from now on are going to live to be 70, 75, 80, why should all their schooling be bunched together in the first 1/3 or 1/4 of their lives – so that it’s downhill all the way
Susan Sontag
If our neighbors were white, they’d be victims of the same crime that plagues black folk. You are right, however, about those proportions. Ninety-three percent of black folk who are killed are killed by other black folk. But 84 percent of white folk who are killed are killed by other white folk. It’s not necessary to modify the noun murder with the adjective black. It happens in the white world too.
Michael Eric Dyson (Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America)
The Qur’an sought to reform, not to destroy and start from scratch, to salvage what was useful and then to modify and build on it. The task was to get the Arabs to think about religion in a novel way, to inculcate in them a new conceptual frame of reference, to transfer them from one worldview to another, and higher, one. This process of transformation took them from traditionalism to individualism, from impulsiveness to discipline, from supernaturalism to science, from intuition to conscious reasoning and, in the end, ideally, harmonized the whole.
Jeffrey Lang (Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam)
Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. He brought no pressure to bear on any inquirer. He sent irresponsible enthusiasts away empty. Luke tells of three men who either volunteered, or were invited, to follow Jesus; but no one passed the Lord’s test. The rich young ruler, too, moral, earnest and attractive, who wanted eternal life on his own terms, went away sorrowful, with his riches intact but with neither life nor Christ as his possession…The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called “nominal Christianity.” In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism…The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do
John R.W. Stott (Basic Christianity)
Maud considered. She said, 'In every age, there must be truths people can't fight - whether or not they want to, whether or not they will go on being truths in the future. We live in the truth of what Freud discovered. Whether or not we like it. However we've modified it. We aren't really free to suppose - to imagine - he could possibly have been wrong about human nature. In particulars, surely - but not in the large plan -
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
A world without adjectives would still have the sun rising and setting, the flowers blooming, the trees bearing fruits, the birds singing, and the bees stinging.
A.A. Patawaran (Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator)
Never attribute to malice, that which can be explained through ignorance.
Robert A. Heinlein
For Socrates, all virtues were forms of knowledge. To train someone to manage an account for Goldman Sachs is to educate him or her in a skill. To train them to debate stoic, existential, theological, and humanist ways of grappling with reality is to educate them in values and morals. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death. Morality is the product of a civilization, but the elites know little of these traditions. They are products of a moral void. They lack clarity about themselves and their culture. They can fathom only their own personal troubles. They do not see their own bases or the causes of their own frustrations. They are blind to the gaping inadequacies in our economic, social, and political structure and do not grasp that these structures, which they have been taught to serve, must be radically modified or even abolished to stave off disaster. They have been rendered mute and ineffectual. “What we cannot speak about” Ludwig Wittgenstein warned “we must pass over in silence.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
Is not our body in itself nothing but a common central effect of our senses—if we have mastery over our senses—if we are able to transform them into activity at will—to center them at a common point, then it only depends on us—to give ourselves the body we want. Indeed, in our senses are nothing other than modifications of the mental organ—of the absolute element—then with mastery over this element we shall also be able to modify and direct our senses as we please.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Yes, we call it recursive, the act of reading, of looping the loop, of continually returning to an earlier group of words, behaving like Penelope by moving our mind back and forth, forth and back, reweaving what’s unwoven, undoing what’s been done; and language, which regularly returns us to its origin, which starts us off again on the same journey, older, altered, Columbus one more time, but better prepared each later voyage, knowing a bit more, ready for more, equal to a greater range of tasks, calmer, confident—after all, we’ve come this way before, have habits that help, and a favoring wind—language like that is the language which takes us inside, inside the sentence—inside—inside the mind—inside—inside, where meanings meet and are modified, reviewed and revised, where no perception, no need, no feeling or thought need be scanted or shunted aside.
William H. Gass (A Temple of Texts)
Controlling the position of one's body and keeping a straight back are not contemplation, but can in fact become an obstacle to contemplation. ...when leaving the body 'uncontrolled' is spoken of, what is meant is simply allowing the body to remain in an authentic, uncorrected condition, in which it is not necessary to modify or improve anything. This is because, since all our attempts at correcting the body come from the reasoning mind, they are all false and artificial.
Namkhai Norbu (Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State)
Brothers in one great family, children lose their common features only when they lose their innocence, which is the same everywhere. Then the passions, modified by climate, government and customs, differentiate the nations; the human race ceases to speak and hear the same language: society is the true tower of Babel.
François-René de Chateaubriand (Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe)
Not sleeping enough, which for a portion of the population is a voluntary choice, significantly modifies your gene transcriptome—that is, the very essence of you, or at least you as defined biologically by your DNA. Neglect sleep, and you are deciding to perform a genetic engineering manipulation on yourself each night, tampering with the nucleic alphabet that spells out your daily health story.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams)
The story we are told of women is not this one. The story of women is the story of love, of foundering into another. A slight deviation: longing to founder and being unable to. Being left alone in the foundering, and taking things into one’s own hands: rat poison, the wheels of a Russian train. Even the smoother and gentler story is still just a modified version of the above. In the demotic, in the key of bougie, it’s the promise of love in old age for all the good girls of the world.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
Human beings have always been an unfinished species, a story in the middle, a succession of families, tribes, and societies in transition to new awarenesses. Although we have always prided ourselves on our willingness to adapt to all habitats, and on our skill at prospering and making ourselves comfortable wherever we are -- in a meadow, in a desert, on the tundra, or out on the ocean -- we don't just adapt to places, or modify them in order to ease our burdens. We're the only species that over and over again has deliberately transformed our surroundings in order to stretch our capacity for understanding and provoke new accomplishments. And our growing and enhanced understanding is our most valuable, and our most vulnerable, inheritance.
Anthony Hiss (The Experience of Place: A New Way of Looking at and Dealing with our Radically Changing Cities and Countryside)
The whole concatenation of wild and artificial things, the natural ecosystem as modified by people over the centuries, the build environment layered over layers, the eerie mix of sounds and smells and glimpses neither natural nor crafted- all of it is free for the taking, for the taking in. Take it, take it in, take in more every weekend, every day, and quickly it becomes the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it. Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary. Outside lies unprogrammed awareness that at times becomes directed serendipity. Outside lies magic.
John R. Stilgoe
Scientists still do not appear to understand sufficiently that all earth sciences must contribute evidence toward unveiling the state of our planet in earlier times, and that the truth of the matter can only be reached by combing all this evidence. ... It is only by combing the information furnished by all the earth sciences that we can hope to determine 'truth' here, that is to say, to find the picture that sets out all the known facts in the best arrangement and that therefore has the highest degree of probability. Further, we have to be prepared always for the possibility that each new discovery, no matter what science furnishes it, may modify the conclusions we draw.
Alfred Wegener (The Origin of Continents and Oceans)
... the powerful changes that happen in the life of a disciple never come from the disciple working hard at doing anything. They come from arriving at a place where Jesus is everything, and we are simply overwhelmed with the gift. Sometimes it seems as if God loves us too much. His love goes far beyond our ability to stop being moral, religious, obedient, and victorious, and we just collapse in his arms. Out of the gospel that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and humanity comes a Christian life that looks like Jesus, a life Jesus would recognize. It's a life that looks like Jesus, because Jesus does everything, and all we do is accept his gift. And to accept his gift, we have to give up trying to be Jesus. Out of that discovery comes a Christian life that is free from the tyranny of unnecessary adjectives - even my preferred modified, Jesus-shaped - and simply follows after the One who loves us beyond words or repayment.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
When our ideas on any subject, material, intellectual, or social, undergo a thorough change in consequence of new observations, I call that movement of the mind revolution. If the ideas are simply extended or modified, there is only progress. Thus the system of Ptolemy was a step in astronomical progress, that of Copernicus was a revolution.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (What Is Property?)
The growth of a passion is a very peculiar thing. In highly organized intellectual and artistic types it is so often apt to begin with keen appreciation of certain qualities, modified by many, many mental reservations. The egoist, the intellectual, gives but little of himself and asks much. Nevertheless, the lover of life, male or female, finding himself or herself in sympathetic accord with such a nature, is apt to gain much.
Theodore Dreiser
In the end I came to see that the true prophet of the modern world was Samuel Butler: when he suggested that the machine was an evolutionary development, destined to supersede man as the dominant species and reduce him to greenfly status, the status of machine-minder, homo mechanicus instead of homo sapiens; and to modify his nature accordingly.
Robert Aickman (The Attempted Rescue)
There was only one bar of that name, in a back street of an inner suburb. I had already modified the day’s schedule, cancelling my market trip to catch up on the lost sleep. I would purchase a ready-made dinner instead. I am sometimes accused of being inflexible, but I think this demonstrates an ability to adapt to even the strangest of circumstances.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
We can’t tweak the genes of the food we eat without suspicion,” Erskine added. “We can pick and choose the naturally mutated ones until a blade of grass is a great ear of corn, but we can’t do it with purpose. Vic had dozens of examples like these. He rattled them off in the cafeteria that day.” Erskine ticked his fingers as he counted. “Vaccines versus natural immunities, cloning versus twins, modified foods. Or course he was perfectly right. The bastard always was. It was the manmade part that would have caused the chaos. It would be knowing that people were out to get us, that there was danger in the air we breathed.
Hugh Howey (Second Shift: Order (Shift, #2))
The foundation of government is . . . laid, not in imaginary rights of men, (which at best is a confusion of judicial with civil principles,) but in political convenience, and in human nature; either as that nature is universal, or as it is modified by local habits and social aptitudes. The foundation of government . . . is laid in a provision for our wants, and in a conformity to our duties; it is to purvey for the one; it is to enforce the other.
Edmund Burke
But what is [the] quality of originality? It is very hard to define or specify. Indeed, to define originality would in itself be a contradiction, since whatever action can be defined in this way must evidently henceforth be unoriginal. Perhaps, then, it will be best to hint at it obliquely and by indirection, rather than to try to assert positively what it is. One prerequisite for originality is clearly that a person shall not be inclined to impose his preconceptions on the fact as he sees it. Rather, he must be able to learn something new, even if this means that the ideas and notions that are comfortable or dear to him may be overturned. But the ability to learn in this way is a principle common to the whole of humanity. Thus it is well known that a child learns to walk, to talk, and to know his way around the world just by trying something out and seeing what happens, then modifying what he does (or thinks) in accordance with what has actually happened. In this way, he spends his first few years in a wonderfully creative way, discovering all sorts of things that are new to him, and this leads people to look back on childhood as a kind of lost paradise. As the child grows older, however, learning takes on a narrower meaning. In school, he learns by repetition to accumulate knowledge, so as to please the teacher and pass examinations. At work, he learns in a similar way, so as to make a living, or for some other utilitarian purpose, and not mainly for the love of the action of learning itself. So his ability to see something new and original gradually dies away. And without it there is evidently no ground from which anything can grow.
David Bohm (On Creativity)
Rome became a republic in 509 B.C., after driving out its king and abolishing the monarchy. The next two centuries saw a long struggle for power between a group of noble families, patricians, and ordinary citizens, plebeians, who were excluded from public office. The outcome was a apparent victory for the people, but the old aristocracy, supplemented by rich pledeian nobles, still controlled the state. What looked in many ways like democracy was, in fact, an oligarcy modified by elections.
Anthony Everitt (Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor)
Nothing whatsoever, not even the existence of God to His lovers, can be proved, but that every man, if he is to live at all finely, must deliberately adopt certain assertions as true, and those assertions should, for the sake of the enrichment of the human race, always be creative ones. He may, as life goes on, modify his beliefs, but he must never modify them on the side of destruction. It may be difficult, in the face of the problem of human suffering, to believe in God... but if you destroy God you do not solve your problem but merely leave yourself alone with it.... A ghastly loneliness.
Elizabeth Goudge (A City of Bells (Torminster, #1))
He had no document but his memory; the training he had acquired with each added hexameter gave him a discipline unsuspected by those who set down and forget temporary, incomplete paragraphs. He was not working for posterity or even for God, whose literary tastes were unknown to him. Meticulously, motionlessly, secretly, he wrought in time his lofty, invisible labyrinth. He worked the third act over twice. He eliminated certain symbols as over-obvious, such as the repeated striking of the clock, the music. Nothing hurried him. He omitted, he condensed, he amplified. In certain instances he came back to the original version. He came to feel affection for the courtyard, the barracks; one of the faces before him modified his conception of Roemerstadt's character. He discovered that the wearying cacophonies that bothered Flaubert so much are mere visual superstitions, weakness and limitation of the written word, not the spoken...He concluded his drama. He had only the problem of a single phrase. He found it. The drop of water slid down his cheek. He opened his mouth in a maddened cry, moved his face, dropped under the quadruple blast.
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings)
It's not entirely absurd to think that somewhere in the past of mankind someone, for the first time, did in his mind the equivalent of putting an adjective to a noun, and saw, not only a relationship, but this special relationship between two things of different kinds....In sum, all the seemingly complicated kinds of modification in English are just ways of thinking and seeing how things go with each other or reflect each other. Modifiers in our language are not aids to understanding relationships; they are the ways to understand relationships. A mistake in this matter either comes from or causes a clouded mind. Usually it's both.
Richard Mitchell (Less Than Words Can Say (Common Reader Editions))
If our best-educated citizens have no idea how to answer these basic questions, we will struggle to build a democracy that can solve the problems we face, whether they are what to do about climate change, the world’s poor, the problems of Australia’s Indigenous people, or the prospect of a future in which we can genetically modify our offspring. An education in the humanities is as valuable today as it was in Plato’s time.
Peter Singer (Ethics in the Real World: 86 Brief Essays on Things that Matter)
Although my body and I have reached if not peace, at least a state of détente, “fat” remains how I experience anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment. I feel “fat” if I can’t master a task at work. I feel “fat” if I can’t please those I love. “Fat” is how I blame myself for my failures. “Fat” is how I express my anxieties. A psychologist once told me, “Fat is not a feeling.” If only it were that simple. As for so many women, the pathology of self-loathing is permanently ingrained in me. I can give in to it, I can modify it, I can react against it with practiced self-acceptance, but I cannot eradicate it. It frustrates me to consider what else I might have done with the years of mental energy I have wasted on this single, senseless issue.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
As Brother Francis readily admitted, his mastery of pre-Deluge English was far from masterful yet. The way nouns could sometimes modify other nouns in that tongue had always been one of his weak points. In Latin, as in most simple dialects of the region, a construction like servus puer meant about the same thing as puer servus, and even in English slave boy meant boy slave. But there the similarity ended. He had finally learned that house cat did not mean cat house, and that a dative of purpose or possession, as in mihi amicus, was somehow conveyed by dog food or sentry box even without inflection. But what of a triple appositive like fallout survival shelter? Brother Francis shook his head. The Warning on Inner Hatch mentioned food, water, and air; and yet surely these were not necessities for the fiends of Hell. At times, the novice found pre-Deluge English more perplexing than either Intermediate Angelology or Saint Leslie's theological calculus.
Walter M. Miller Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz (St. Leibowitz, #1))
Technos and clerics have much in common. Both take a world that can’t be fully understood and try to explain its fundamental properties. Clerics postulate beliefs that can never be proven; they demand you accept these postulates as your Faith, which will guide your actions and thoughts. It’s a top down way of thinking; start with the big picture and derive rules for living. Fundamental knowledge is static. Even the derived rules rarely change. Technos work from the bottom up. They build a baseline of observations and formulate theories to explain these phenomena. Nothing is sacred; with new observations, theories are discarded or modified to fit the facts. Technos and clerics; how could they not be in conflict? Dan Ronco’s Diary, 2016
Dan Ronco (Unholy Domain (PeaceMaker, #2))
To make amends can be viewed two ways: first, that of repairing damage, for if I have damaged my neighbor’s fence, I “make a mend,” and that is a direct amend; the second way is by modifying my behavior, for if my actions have harmed someone, I make a daily effort to cause no further harm. I “mend my ways,” and that is an indirect amend. Which is the best approach? The only right approach, provided that I am causing no further harm in so doing, is to do both. If harm is done, then I simply “mend my ways.” To take action in this manner assures me of making honest amends.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
Mind control is the process by which individual or collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that involves a set of basic social psychological principles. Conformity, compliance, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, guilt and fear arousal, modeling and identification are some of the staple social influence ingredients well studied in psychological experiments and field studies. In some combinations, they create a powerful crucible of extreme mental and behavioral manipulation when synthesized with several other real-world factors, such as charismatic, authoritarian leaders, dominant ideologies, social isolation, physical debilitation, induced phobias, and extreme threats or promised rewards that are typically deceptively orchestrated, over an extended time period in settings where they are applied intensively.
Steven Hassan (Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults)
When clients relinquish symptoms, succeed in achieving a personal goal, or make healthier choices for themselves, subsequently many will feel anxious, guilty, or depressed. That is, when clients make progress in treatment and get better, new therapists understandably are excited. But sometimes they will also be dismayed as they watch the client sabotage her success by gaining back unwanted weight or missing the next session after an important breakthrough and deep sharing with the therapist. Thus, loyalty and allegiance to symptoms—maladaptive behaviors originally developed to manage the “bad” or painfully frustrating aspects of parents—are not maladaptive to insecurely attached children. Such loyalty preserves “object ties,” or the connection to the “good” or loving aspects of the parent. Attachment fears of being left alone, helpless, or unwanted can be activated if clients disengage from the symptoms that represent these internalized “bad” objects (for example, if the client resolves an eating disorder or terminates a problematic relationship with a controlling/jealous partner). The goal of the interpersonal process approach is to help clients modify these early maladaptive schemas or internal working models by providing them with experiential or in vivo re-learning (that is, a “corrective emotional experience”). Through this real-life experience with the therapist, clients learn that, at least sometimes, some relationships can be different and do not have to follow the same familiar but problematic lines they have come to expect.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions... The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.
Mark Twain
If low price is the only basis of competition with rival products, similarly produced, there ensues a cut-throat competition which can end only by taking all the profit and incentive out of the industry. The logical way out of this dilemma is for the manufacturer to develop some sales appeal other than mere cheapness, to give the product, in the public mind, some other attraction, some idea that will modify the product slightly, some element of originality that will distinguish it from products in the same line. Thus,
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
Talking to oneself is a recognized means to learn, in fact, self-speak may be the seed concept behind human consciousness. Private conversation that we hold with ourselves might represent the preeminent means to provoke the speaker into thinking (a form of cognitive auto-stimulation), modify behavior, and perhaps even amend the functional architecture of the plastic human brain. Writing out our private talks with oneself enables a person to “see” what they think, a process that invites reflection, ongoing thoughtful discourse with the self, and refinement of our thinking patterns and beliefs. Internal sotto voice conversations with our private-self provide several advantages, but most people find it difficult to maintain self-speak for an extended period. Internal dialogue must compete with external distractions. Writing allows a person to resume a personal dialogue where they left off before interrupted by outside stimuli. A written disquisition also provides a permanent record that a person can examine, amend, supplement, update, or reject.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them "The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females"; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them "Murder your mother," and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same. Say to them "It is not improbable that a period may arrive when the narrow if once useful distinction between the anthropoid homo and the other animals, which has been modified on so many moral points, may be modified also even in regard to the important question of the extension of human diet"; say this to them, and beauty born of murmuring sound will pass into their face. But say to them, in a simple, manly, hearty way "Let's eat a man!" and their surprise is quite surprising. Yet the sentences say just the same thing.
G.K. Chesterton (Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State)
...This was probably my biggest mistake: to think that the truth could be captured externally and simply with one's eyes, to imagine a truth exists which can be grasped at once and thereafter remain still and at peace, just like a statue, a truth which contracts and expands depending on the temperature, a truth which eventually erodes, not only modifying the surrounding space but subtly altering thhe composition of the ground on which it stands, shedding minute particles of marble, just as we shed hairs, nail clippings, saliva and the words we speak.
José Saramago (Manual of Painting and Calligraphy)
I thank you, Walton," he said, "for your kind intentions towards to miserable a wretch; but when you speak of new ties and fresh affections think you that any can replace those who are gone? Can any man be to me as Clerval was, or any woman another Elizabeth? Even where the affections are not strongly moved by any superior excellence, the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. They know our infantine dispositions, which, however they may be afterwards modified, are never eradicated; and they can judge of our actions with more certain conclusions as to the integrity of our motives." -- Victor Frankenstein; Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Shakespeare is above all writers, at least above all modern writers, the poet of nature; the poet that holds up to his readers a faithful mirrour of manners and of life. His characters are not modified by the customs of particular places, unpractised by the rest of the world; by the peculiarities of studies or professions, which can operate but upon small numbers; or by the accidents of transient fashions or temporary opinions: they are the genuine progeny of common humanity, such as the world will always supply, and observation will always find. His persons act and speak by the influence of those general passions and principles by which all minds are agitated, and the whole system of life is continued in motion. In the writings of other poets a character is too often an individual; in those of Shakespeare it is commonly a species.
Samuel Johnson (Preface to Shakespeare)
Perhaps it is only in childhood that books have any deep influence on our lives. In later life we admire, we are entertained, we may modify some views we already hold, but we are more likely to find in books merely a confirmation of what it is in our minds already; as in a love affair it is our own features that we see reflected flatteringly back. But in childhood all books are books of divination, telling us about the future, and like the fortune teller who sees a long journey in the cards or death by water they influence the future. I suppose that is why books excited us so much. What do we ever get nowadays from reading to equal the excitement and the revelation in those first fourteen years? . . . It is in those early years that I would look for the crisis, the moment when life took a new slant in its journey towards death.
Graham Greene (The Lost Childhood and Other Essays)
As I discussed in the previous chapter, attachment researchers have shown that our earliest caregivers don't only feed us, dress us, and comfort us when we are upset; they shape the way our rapidly growing brain perceives reality. Our interactions with our caregivers convey what is safe and what is dangerous: whom we can count on and who will let us down; what we need to do to get our needs met. This information is embodied in the warp and woof of our brain circuitry and forms the template of how we think of ourselves and the world around us. These inner maps are remarkably stable across time. This doesn‘t mean, however, that our maps can‘t be modified by experience. A deep love relationship, particularly during adolescence, when the brain once again goes through a period of exponential change, truly can transform us. So can the birth of a child, as our babies often teach us how to love. Adults who were abused or neglected as children can still learn the beauty of intimacy and mutual trust or have a deep spiritual experience that opens them to a larger universe. In contrast, previously uncontaminated childhood maps can become so distorted by an adult rape or assault that all roads are rerouted into terror or despair. These responses are not reasonable and therefore cannot be changed simply by reframing irrational beliefs.
Bessel A. van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Clarence was with me as concerned the revolution, but in a modified way. His idea was a republic, without privileged orders, but with a hereditary royal family at the head of it instead of an elective chief magistrate. He believed that no nation that had ever known the joy of worshiping a royal family could ever be robbed of it and not fade away and die of melancholy. I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughably vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive; finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house, and “Tom VII, or Tom XI, or Tom XIV by the grace of God King,” would sound as well as it would when applied to the ordinary royal tomcat with tights on.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court)
What I call my philosophy of teaching is in fact a philosophy of learning. It comes out of Plato, modified. Before true learning can occur, I believe, there must be in the student's heart a certain yearning for the truth, a certain fire. The true student burns to know. In the teacher she recognizes, or apprehends, the one who has come closer than herself to the truth. So much does she desire the truth embodied in the teacher that she is prepared to burn her old self up to attain it. For his part, the teacher recognizes and encourages the fire in the student, and responds to it by burning with an intenser light. Thus together the two of them rise to a higher realm. So to speak.
J.M. Coetzee (Summertime)
I met Jose Angelico the way I meet many of my customers. I have a workshop on the cemetery road, just past the coffin makers. I specialize in the small, simple stone. I am very aware that my clients have next to nothing, and renting the grave has often taken most of their money. So I modify and modify and get down to the very lowest cost. The dead, however, must have that stone: the reminder, the eternal reminder, that this man, this woman, this child---existed. On some of the graves the name is marked in paint, or even pen, and everyone knows how sad that is. Make something out of stone, I say, and noone touches the grave.The poor are not buried, you see. There is not enough ground here any more, so in the Naravo they build upwards. The graves of the poor are concrete boxes, each just big enough for the coffin. They go up and up---in some parts twenty boxes high. A funeral here is to slide the coffin in and watch the sealing of the compartment. Part of my service is that I cement the stone that I've made into place, and thus seal the chamber.
Andy Mulligan (Trash)
Since my earliest memory, I imagined I would be a chef one day. When other kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons or music videos on YouTube, I was watching Iron Chef,The Great British Baking Show, and old Anthony Bourdain shows and taking notes. Like, actual notes in the Notes app on my phone. I have long lists of ideas for recipes that I can modify or make my own. This self-appointed class is the only one I've ever studied well for. I started playing around with the staples of the house: rice, beans, plantains, and chicken. But 'Buela let me expand to the different things I saw on TV. Soufflés, shepherd's pie, gizzards. When other kids were saving up their lunch money to buy the latest Jordans, I was saving up mine so I could buy the best ingredients. Fish we'd never heard of that I had to get from a special market down by Penn's Landing. Sausages that I watched Italian abuelitas in South Philly make by hand. I even saved up a whole month's worth of allowance when I was in seventh grade so I could make 'Buela a special birthday dinner of filet mignon.
Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High)
Let us not, however, exaggerate our power. Whatever man does, the great lines of creation persist; the supreme mass does not depend on man. He has power over the detail, not over the whole. And it is right that this should be so. The Whole is providential. Its laws pass over our head. What we do goes no farther than the surface. Man clothes or unclothes the earth; clearing a forest is like taking off a garment. But to slow down the rotation of the globe on its axis, to accelerate the course of the globe on its orbit, to add or subtract a fathom on he earth's daily journey of 718,000 leagues around the sun, to modify the precession of the equinoxes, to eliminate one drop of rain--never! What is on high remains on high. Man can change the climate, but not the seasons Just try and make the moon revolve anywhere but in the ecliptic! Dreamers, some of them illustrious, have dreamed of restoring perpetual spring to the earth. The extreme seasons, summer and winter, are produced by the excess of the inclination of the earth's axis over the place of the ecliptic of which we have just spoken. In order to eliminate the seasons it would be necessary only to straighten this axis. Nothing could be simpler. Just plant a stake on the Pole and drive it in to the center of the globe; attach a chain to it; find a base outside the earth; have 10 billion teams, each of 10 billion horses, and get them to pull. THe axis will straighten up, ad you will have your spring. As you can see, an easy task. We must look elsewhere for Eden. Spring is good; but freedom and justice are beter. Eden is moral, not material. To be free and just depends on ourselves.
Victor Hugo (The Toilers of the Sea)
I have not yet been able to stereotype my theological views, and have ceased to expect ever to do so. The idea is preposterous. None but an omniscient mind can continue to maintain a precise identity of views and opinions. Finite minds, unless they are asleep or stultified by prejudice, must advance in knowledge. The discovery of new truth will modify old views and opinions, and there is perhaps no end to this process with finite minds in any world. True Christian consistency does not consist in stereotyping our opinions and views, and in refusing to make any improvement lest we should be guilty of change, but it consists in holding our minds open to receive the rays of truth from every quarter and in changing our views and language and practice as often and as fast, as we can obtain further information. I call this Christian consistency, because this course alone accords with a Christian profession. A Christian profession implies the profession of candour and of a disposition to know and obey all truth. It must follow, that Christian consistency implies continued investigation and change of views and practice corresponding with increasing knowledge. No Christian, therefore, and no theologian should be afraid to change his views, his language, or his practices in conformity with increasing light. The prevalence of such a fear would keep the world, at best, at a perpetual stand-still, on all subjects of science, and consequently all improvements would be precluded.
Charles Grandison Finney (Finney's Systematic Theology)
Polarization is just one of many ways group membership can change an individual. Perhaps the most striking effect of group membership is that it can modify individuals’ perceptions of themselves. Unable to separate their personal introspection from the ways they believe other people perceive them, teenagers may have what psychologists call an “imaginary audience,” meaning they believe that other people are just as attuned to their appearance and behavior as they are (cue any pimple cream commercial). These perceptions can affect various aspects of their lives. For example, psychologists found that when Asian girls were subtly reminded about their Asian identity, they performed better on math tests. When they were subtly reminded about their gender, however, they performed worse.
Alexandra Robbins (The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School)
The concurrence of two elements is necessary for bringing about a revolution; and by revolution I do not mean the street warfare, nor the bloody conflicts of two parties—both being mere incidents dependent upon many circumstances—but the sudden overthrow of institutions which are the outgrowths of centuries past, the sudden uprising of new ideas and new conceptions, and the attempt to reform all political and economical institutions in a radical way—all at the same time. Two separate currents must converge to come to that result: a widely spread economic revolt, tending to change the economical conditions of the masses, and a political revolt, tending to modify the very essence of the political organisation—an economical change, supported by an equally important change of political institutions.
Pyotr Kropotkin
We have seen some gatekeeping or fencing-the-table language already beginning to rear its head in this context. One needed to be baptized to take the meal; one needed to repent to take the meal; one needed a bishop or his subordinate to serve the meal. This was to become especially problematic when the church began to suggest that grace was primarily, if not exclusively, available through the hands of the priest and by means of the sacrament. One wonders what Jesus, dining with sinners and tax collectors and then eating his modified Passover meal with disciples whom he knew were going to deny, desert, and betray him, would say about all this. There needs to be a balance between proper teaching so the sacrament is partaken of in a worthy manner and overly zealous policing of the table or clerical control of it.
Ben Witherington III (Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper)
In the two years after No Logo came out, I went to dozens of teach-ins and conferences, some of them attended by thousands of people (tens of thousands in the case of the World Social Forum), that were exclusively devoted to popular education about the inner workings of global finance and trade. No topic was too arcane: the science of genetically modified foods, trade-related intellectual property rights, the fine print of bilateral trade deals, the patenting of seeds, the truth about certain carbon sinks. I sensed in these rooms a hunger for knowledge that I have never witnessed in any university class. It was as if people understood, all at once, that gathering this knowledge was crucial to the survival not just of democracy but of the planet. Yes, this was complicated, but we embraced that complexity because we were finally looking at systems, not just symbols.
Naomi Klein (No Logo)
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree.I believe this simile largely speaks the truth. The green and budding twigs may represent existing species; and those produced during former years may represent the long succession of extinct species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, and to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have at all times overmastered other species in the great battle for life. The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was young, budding twigs; and this connection of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups. Of the many twigs which flourished when the tree was a mere bush, only two or three, now grown into great branches, yet survive and bear the other branches; so with the species which lived during long-past geological periods, very few have left living and modified descendants. From the first growth of the tree, many a limb and branch has decayed and dropped off; and these fallen branches of various sizes may represent those whole orders, families, and genera which have now no living representatives, and which are known to us only in a fossil state. As we here and there see a thin straggling branch springing from a fork low down in a tree, and which by some chance has been favoured and is still alive on its summit, so we occasionally see an animal like the Ornithorhynchus or Lepidosiren, which in some small degree connects by its affinities two large branches of life, and which has apparently been saved from fatal competition by having inhabited a protected station. As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications.
Charles Darwin
Many „pathogens“ (both chemical and behavioral) can influence how you turn out; these include substance abuse by a mother during pregnancy, maternal stress, and low birth weight. As a child grows, neglect, physical abuse, and head injury can cause problems in mental development. Once the child is grown, substance abuse and exposure to a variety of toxins can damage the brain, modifying intelligence, aggression, and decision-making abilities. The major public health movement to remove lead-based paint grew out of an understanding that even low levels of lead can cause brain damage that makes children less inteligent and, in some cases, more impulsive and aggressive. How you turn out depends on where you´ve been. So when it comes to thinking about blameworthiness, the first difficulty to consider is that people do not choose their own developmental path. It´s problematic to imagine yourself in the shoes of a criminal and conclude, „Well, I wouldn´t have done that“ – because if you weren´t exposed to in utero cocaine, lead poisoning, or physical abuse, and he was, then you and he are not directly comparable.
David Eagleman
My dear WORMWOOD, [...] Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so. We have done this by inculcating The Historical Point of View. The Historical Point of View, put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the ancient writer, and how far the statement is consistent with what he said in other books, and what phase in the writer's development, or in the general history of thought, it illustrates, and how it affected later writers, and how often it has been misunderstood (specially by the learned man's own colleagues) and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the "present state of the question". To regard the ancient writer as a possible source of knowledge - to anticipate that what he said could possibly modify your thoughts or your behaviour - this would be rejected as unutterably simple-minded. And since we cannot deceive the whole human race all the time, it is most important thus to cut every generation off from all others; for where learning makes a free commerce between the ages there is always the danger that the characteristic errors of one may be corrected by the characteristic truths of another. But thanks be to our Father and the Historical Point of View, great scholars are now as little nourished by the past as the most ignorant mechanic who holds that "history is bunk", Your affectionate uncle SCREWTAPE
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
We are violating every aspect of life by turning everything into a ripoff because we have adopted the view that insatiable individualistic greed must run the world. We are living in a very dangerous age in which insatiably greedy men are prepared to sacrifice anybody’s health and tranquility to satisfy their own insatiable greed for money and power. I am aghast at what selfishness, and the drive for power have done to our society. I worry as I find the world so increasingly horrible that I do not see how anything as wonderful as your life can escape. The best thing you can do is to keep some enclaves of satisfying decent life. I am fed up with everything but God and nature and human beings (whom I love and pity, as I always did). I feel glad I am a Christian, glad that I am without allegiance to any bloc, party, or groups, except to our Judeo-Christian tradition (modified by science and common sense). God keep you all and help you to grow.
Carroll Quigley
About my interests: I don’t know if I have any, unless the morbid desire to own a sixteen-millimeter camera and make experimental movies can be so classified. Otherwise, I love to eat and drink – it’s my melancholy conviction that I’ve scarcely ever had enough to eat (this is because it’s impossible to eat enough if you’re worried about the next meal) – and I love to argue with people who do not disagree with me too profoundly, and I love to laugh. I do not like bohemia, or bohemians, I do not like people whose principal aim is pleasure, and I do not like people who are earnest about anything. I don’t like people who like me because I’m a Negro; neither do I like people who find in the same accident grounds for contempt. I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. I think all theories are suspect, that the finest principles may have to be modified, or may even be pulverized by the demands of life, and that one must find, therefore, one’s own moral center and move through the world hoping that this center will guide one aright. I consider that I have many responsibilities, but none greater than this: to last, as Hemingway says, and get my work done.
James Baldwin
The sap rises and, itself a mixture of elements, flowers in a mixture of tones; the trees, the rocks, the granites cast their reflections in the mirror of the water; all the transparent objects seize and imprison colour reflections, both close and distant, as the light passes through them. As the star of day moves, the tones change in value, but always they respect their mutual sympathies and natural hatreds, and continue to live in harmony by reciprocal concessions. The shadows move slowly and drive before them or blot out the tones as the light itself, changing position, sets others vibrating. These mingle their reflections, and, modifying their qualities by casting over them transparent and borrowed glazes, multiply to infinity their melodious marriages and make them easier to achieve. When the great ball of fire sinks into the waters, red fanfares fly in all directions, a blood-red harmony spreads over the horizon, green turns to a deep red. But soon vast blue shadows chase rhythmically before them the crowd of orange and soft tones, which are like the distant and muted echoes of the light. This great symphony of today, which is the eternally renewed variation of the symphony of yesterday, this succession of melodies, where the variety comes always from the infinite, this complex hymn is called colour.
Charles Baudelaire (Selected Writings on Art and Literature)
If Samkhya-Yoga philosophy does not explain the reason and origin of the strange partnership between the spirit and experience, at least tries to explain the nature of their association, to define the character of their mutual relations. These are not real relationships, in the true sense of the word, such as exist for example between external objects and perceptions. The true relations imply, in effect, change and plurality, however, here we have some rules essentially opposed to the nature of spirit. “States of consciousness” are only products of prakriti and can have no kind of relation with Spirit the latter, by its very essence, being above all experience. However and for SamPhya and Yoga this is the key to the paradoxical situation the most subtle, most transparent part of mental life, that is, intelligence (buddhi) in its mode of pure luminosity (sattva), has a specific quality that of reflecting Spirit. Comprehension of the external world is possible only by virtue of this reflection of purusha in intelligence. But the Self is not corrupted by this reflection and does not lose its ontological modalities (impassibility, eternity, etc.). The Yoga-sutras (II, 20) say in substance: seeing (drashtri; i.e., purusha) is absolute consciousness (“sight par excellence”) and, while remaining pure, it knows cognitions (it “looks at the ideas that are presented to it”). Vyasa interprets: Spirit is reflected in intelligence (buddhi), but is neither like it nor different from it. It is not like intelligence because intelligence is modified by knowledge of objects, which knowledge is ever-changing whereas purusha commands uninterrupted knowledge, in some sort it is knowledge. On the other hand, purusha is not completely different from buddhi, for, although it is pure, it knows knowledge. Patanjali employs a different image to define the relationship between Spirit and intelligence: just as a flower is reflected in a crystal, intelligence reflects purusha. But only ignorance can attribute to the crystal the qualities of the flower (form, dimensions, colors). When the object (the flower) moves, its image moves in the crystal, though the latter remains motionless. It is an illusion to believe that Spirit is dynamic because mental experience is so. In reality, there is here only an illusory relation (upadhi) owing to a “sympathetic correspondence” (yogyata) between the Self and intelligence.
Mircea Eliade (Yoga: Immortality and Freedom)
Our memories are in part reconstructions. Whenever we retrieve a memory, the brain rewrites it a bit, updating the past according to our present concerns and understanding. At the cellular level, LeDoux explains, retrieving a memory means it will be “reconsolidated,” slightly altered chemically by a new protein synthesis that will help store it anew after being updated.40 Thus each time we bring a memory to mind, we adjust its very chemistry: the next time we retrieve it, that memory will come up as we last modified it. The specifics of the new consolidation depend on what we learn as we recall it. If we merely have a flare-up of the same fear, we deepen our fearfulness. But the high road can bring reason to the low. If at the time of the fear we tell ourselves something that eases its grip, then the same memory becomes reencoded with less power over us. Gradually, we can bring the once-feared memory to mind without feeling the rush of distress all over again. In such a case, says LeDoux, the cells in our amygdala reprogram so that we lose the original fear conditioning.41 One goal of therapy, then, can be seen as gradually altering the neurons for learned fear.
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships)
What are the true reasons why the purchaser is planning to spend his money on a new car instead of a piano? Because he has decided that he wants the commodity called locomotion more than he wants the commodity called music? Not altogether. He buys a car, because it is at the moment the group custom to buy cars. The modern propagandist therefore sets to work to create circumstances which will modify that custom . . . He will endeavor to develop public acceptance of the idea of a music room in the home. This he may do, for example, by organizing an exhibition of period music rooms designed by well-known decorators who themselves exert an influence on the buying groups . . . Then, in order to create dramatic interest in the exhibit, he stages an event or ceremony. To this ceremony key people, persons known to influence the buying habits of the public, such as a famous violinist, a popular artist, and a society leader, are invited. These key persons affect other groups, lifting the idea of the music room to a place in the public consciousness which it did not have before. The juxtaposition of these leaders, and the idea which they are dramatizing, are then projected to the wider public through various publicity channels . . . The music room will be accepted because it has been made the thing. And the man or woman who has a music room, or has arranged a corner of the parlor as a musical corner, will naturally think of buying a piano. It will come to him as his own idea.
Edward L. Bernays (Propaganda)
The moment after, I began to respire 20 quarts of unmingled nitrous oxide. A thrilling, extending from the chest to the extremities, was almost immediately produced. I felt a sense of tangible extension highly pleasurable in every limb; my visible impressions were dazzling, and apparently magnified, I heard distinctly every sound in the room and was perfectly aware of my situation. By degrees, as the pleasurable sensations increased, I last all connection with external things; trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind, and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. I existed in a world of newly connected and newly modified ideas. I theorised—I imagined that I made discoveries. When I was awakened from this semi-delirious trance by Dr. Kinglake, who took the bag from my mouth, indignation and pride were the first feelings produced by the sight of the persons about me. My emotions were enthusiastic and sublime; and for a minute I walked round the room, perfectly regardless of what was said to me. As I recovered my former state of mind, I felt an inclination to communicate the discoveries I had made during the experiment. I endeavoured to recall the ideas, they were feeble and indistinct; one collection of terms, however, presented itself: and with the most intense belief and prophetic manner, I exclaimed to Dr Kinglake, 'Nothing exists but thoughts!—the universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures and pains!
Humphry Davy (Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, Chiefly Concerning Nitrous Oxide, or Dephlogisticated Nitrous Air, and Its Respiration.)
Yet like many other human traits that made sense in past ages but cause trouble in the modern age, the knowledge illusion has its downside. The world is becoming ever more complex, and people fail to realise just how ignorant they are of what’s going on. Consequently some who know next to nothing about meteorology or biology nevertheless propose policies regarding climate change and genetically modified crops, while others hold extremely strong views about what should be done in Iraq or Ukraine without being able to locate these countries on a map. People rarely appreciate their ignorance, because they lock themselves inside an echo chamber of like-minded friends and self-confirming newsfeeds, where their beliefs are constantly reinforced and seldom challenged. Providing people with more and better information is unlikely to improve matters. Scientists hope to dispel wrong views by better science education, and pundits hope to sway public opinion on issues such as Obamacare or global warming by presenting the public with accurate facts and expert reports. Such hopes are grounded in a misunderstanding of how humans actually think. Most of our views are shaped by communal groupthink rather than individual rationality, and we hold on to these views out of group loyalty. Bombarding people with facts and exposing their individual ignorance is likely to backfire. Most people don’t like too many facts, and they certainly don’t like to feel stupid. Don’t be so sure that you can convince Tea Party supporters of the truth of global warming by presenting them with sheets of statistical data.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Those on the far right I came to know felt two things. First, they felt the deep story was true. Second, they felt that liberals were saying it was not true, and that they themselves were not feeling the right feelings. Blacks and women who were beneficiaries of affirmative action, immigrants, refugees, and public employees were not really stealing their place in line, liberals said. So don't feel resentful. Obama's help to these groups was not really a betrayal, liberals said. The success of those who cut ahead was not really at the expense of white men and their wives. In other words, the far right felt that the deep story was their real story and that there was a false PC cover-up of that story. They felt scorned. "People think we're not good people if we don't fee sorry for blacks and immigrants and Syrian refugees," one man told me. "But I am a good person and I don't feel sorry for them." With the cover-up, as my new friends explained to me, came the need to manage the appearance of their real feelings and even, to some extent, the feelings themselves. They didn't have to do this with friends, neighbors, and family. But they realized that the rest of America did not agree. ("I know liberals want us to feel sorry for blacks. I know they think they are so idealistic and we aren't," one woman told me.) My friends on the right felt obliged to try to modify their feelings, and they didn't like having to do that; they felt under the watchful eye of the "PC police." In the realm of emotions, the right felt like they were being treated as the criminals, and the liberals had the guns.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
The degree of rigidity is a matter of profound interest in the study of literary fictions. As an extreme case you will find some novel, probably contemporary with yourself, in which the departure from a basic paradigm, the peripeteia in the sense I am now giving it, seems to begin with the first sentence. The schematic expectations of the reader are discouraged immediately. Since by definition one seeks the maximum peripeteia (in this extended sense) in the fiction of one's own time, the best instance I can give is from Alain Robbe-Grillet. He refuses to speak of his 'theory' of the novel; it is the old ones who talk about the need for plot, character, and so forth, who have the theories. And without them one can achieve a new realism, and a narrative in which 'le temps se trouve coupé de la temporalité. Il ne coule plus.' And so we have a novel in which,. the reader will find none of the gratification to be had from sham temporality, sham causality, falsely certain description, clear story. The new novel 'repeats itself, bisects itself, modifies itself, contradicts itself, without even accumulating enough bulk to constitute a past--and thus a "story," in the traditional sense of the word.' The reader is not offered easy satisfactions, but a challenge to creative co-operation.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
For evolution to be true, there would have been innumerable transitional forms between different types of creatures. Therefore, for every known fossil species, many more must have existed to connect it to its ancestors and descendents [sic]. This is yet another example of evolutionary conclusions coming before the evidence. Really, the claim is an implicit admission that large numbers of transitional forms are predicted, which heightens the difficulty for evolutionists, given how few there are that even they could begin to claim were candidates. . . . Evolutionists believe that mutation provides new information for selection. But no known mutation has ever increased genetic information, although there should be many examples observable today if mutation/selection were truly adequate to explain the goo-to-you theory. . . . Adaptation and natural selection are biological facts; amoeba-to-man evolution is not. Natural selection can only work on the genetic information present in a population of organisms--it cannot create new information. For example, since no known reptiles have genes for feathers, no amount of selection will produce a feathered reptile. Mutations in genes can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones. If in a certain environment a lizard survives better with smaller legs, or no legs, then varieties with this trait will be selected for. This might more accurately be called devolution, not evolution. . . . Note that even if such a mutation were ever discovered, evolutionists would still need to find hundreds more to give their theory the observational boost it desperately needs.
Jonathan Sarfati (Refuting Evolution 2)
It was only in South Africa that I got over this shyness, though I never completely overcame it. It was impossible for me to speak impromptu. I hesitated whenever I had to face strange audiences and avoided making a speech whenever I could. Even today I do not think I could or would even be inclined to keep a meeting of friends engaged in idle talk. I must say that, beyond occasionally exposing me to laughter, my constitutional shyness has been no disadvantage whatever. In fact I can see that, on the contrary, it has been all to my advantage. My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words. I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. And I can now give myself the certificate that a thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or pen. I do not recollect ever having had to regret anything in my speech or writing. I have thus been spared many a mishap and waste of time. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man, and silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word. We find so many people impatient to talk. There is no chairman of a meeting who is not pestered with notes for permission to speak. And whenever the permission is given the speaker generally exceeds the time-limit, asks for more time, and keeps on talking without permission. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth.
Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi: An autobiography)
The real core of the feminist vision, its revolutionary kernel if you will, has to do with the abolition of all sex roles - that is, an absolute transformation of human sexuality and the institutions derived from it. In this work, no part of the male sexual model can possibly apply. Equality within the framework of the male sexual model, however that model is reformed or modified, can only perpetuate the model itself and the injustice and bondage which are its intrinsic consequences. I suggest to you that transformation of the male sexual model under which we now all labor and "love" begins where there is a congruence, not a separation, a congruence of feeling and erotic interest; that it begins in what we do know about female sexuality as distinct from male - clitoral touch and sensitivity, multiple orgasms, erotic sensitivity all over the body (which needn't - and shouldn't - be localized or contained genitally), in tenderness, in self-respect and in absolute mutual respect. For men I suspect that this transformation begins in the place they most dread - that is, in a limp penis. I think that men will have to give up their precious erections and begin to make love as women do together. I am saying that men will have to renounce their phallocentric personalities, and the privileges and powers given to them at birth as a consequence of their anatomy, that they will have to excise everything in them that they now value as distinctively "male." No reform, or matching of orgasms, will accomplish this.
Andrea Dworkin (Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics)
Ireland, like Ukraine, is a largely rural country which suffers from its proximity to a more powerful industrialised neighbour. Ireland’s contribution to the history of tractors is the genius engineer Harry Ferguson, who was born in 1884, near Belfast. Ferguson was a clever and mischievous man, who also had a passion for aviation. It is said that he was the first man in Great Britain to build and fly his own aircraft in 1909. But he soon came to believe that improving efficiency of food production would be his unique service to mankind. Harry Ferguson’s first two-furrow plough was attached to the chassis of the Ford Model T car converted into a tractor, aptly named Eros. This plough was mounted on the rear of the tractor, and through ingenious use of balance springs it could be raised or lowered by the driver using a lever beside his seat. Ford, meanwhile, was developing its own tractors. The Ferguson design was more advanced, and made use of hydraulic linkage, but Ferguson knew that despite his engineering genius, he could not achieve his dream on his own. He needed a larger company to produce his design. So he made an informal agreement with Henry Ford, sealed only by a handshake. This Ford-Ferguson partnership gave to the world a new type of Fordson tractor far superior to any that had been known before, and the precursor of all modern-type tractors. However, this agreement by a handshake collapsed in 1947 when Henry Ford II took over the empire of his father, and started to produce a new Ford 8N tractor, using the Ferguson system. Ferguson’s open and cheerful nature was no match for the ruthless mentality of the American businessman. The matter was decided in court in 1951. Ferguson claimed $240 million, but was awarded only $9.25 million. Undaunted in spirit, Ferguson had a new idea. He approached the Standard Motor Company at Coventry with a plan, to adapt the Vanguard car for use as tractor. But this design had to be modified, because petrol was still rationed in the post-war period. The biggest challenge for Ferguson was the move from petrol-driven to diesel-driven engines and his success gave rise to the famous TE-20, of which more than half a million were built in the UK. Ferguson will be remembered for bringing together two great engineering stories of our time, the tractor and the family car, agriculture and transport, both of which have contributed so richly to the well-being of mankind.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
Quand je considère ma vie, je suis épouvanté de la trouver informe. L'existence des héros, celle qu'on nous raconte, est simple ; elle va droit au but comme une flèche. Et la plupart des hommes aiment à résumer leur vie dans une formule, parfois dans une vanterie ou dans une plainte, presque toujours dans une récrimination ; leur mémoire leur fabrique complaisamment une existence explicable et claire. Ma vie a des contours moins fermes... Le paysage de mes jours semble se composer, comme les régions de montagne, de matériaux divers entassés pêle-mêle. J'y rencontre ma nature, déjà composite, formée en parties égales d'instinct et de culture. Ça et là, affleurent les granits de l'inévitable ; partout, les éboulements du hasard. Je m'efforce de reparcourir ma vie pour y trouver un plan, y suivre une veine de plomb ou d'or, ou l'écoulement d'une rivière souterraine, mais ce plan tout factice n'est qu'un trompe-l'oeil du souvenir. De temps en temps, dans une rencontre, un présage, une suite définie d'événements, je crois reconnaître une fatalité, mais trop de routes ne mènent nulle part, trop de sommes ne s'additionnent pas. Je perçois bien dans cette diversité, dans ce désordre, la présence d'une personne, mais sa forme semble presque toujours tracée par la pression des circonstances ; ses traits se brouillent comme une image reflétée sur l'eau. Je ne suis pas de ceux qui disent que leurs actions ne leur ressemblent pas. Il faut bien qu'elles le fassent, puisqu'elles sont ma seule mesure, et le seul moyen de me dessiner dans la mémoire des hommes, ou même dans la mienne propre ; puisque c'est peut-être l'impossibilité de continuer à s'exprimer et à se modifier par l'action que constitue la différence entre l'état de mort et celui de vivant. Mais il y a entre moi et ces actes dont je suis fait un hiatus indéfinissable. Et la preuve, c'est que j'éprouve sans cesse le besoin de les peser, de les expliquer, d'en rendre compte à moi-même. Certains travaux qui durèrent peu sont assurément négligeables, mais des occupations qui s'étendirent sur toute la vie ne signifient pas davantage. Par exemple, il me semble à peine essentiel, au moment où j'écris ceci, d'avoir été empereur..." (p.214)
Marguerite Yourcenar (Les Yeux ouverts : Entretiens avec Matthieu Galey)
[ Dr. Lois Jolyon West was cleared at Top Secret for his work on MKULTRA. ] Dr. Michael Persinger [235], another FSMF Board Member, is the author of a paper entitled “Elicitation of 'Childhood Memories' in Hypnosis-Like Settings Is Associated With Complex Partial Epileptic-Like Signs For Women But Not for Men: the False Memory Syndrome.” In the paper Perceptual and Motor Skills,In the paper, Dr. Persinger writes: On the day of the experiment each subject (not more than two were tested per day) was asked to sit quietly in an acoustic chamber and was told that the procedure was an experiment in relaxation. The subject wore goggles and a modified motorcycle helmet through which 10-milligauss (1 microTesla) magnetic fields were applied through the temporal plane. Except for a weak red (photographic developing) light, the room was dark. Dr. Persinger's research on the ability of magnetic fields to facilitate the creation of false memories and altered states of consciousness is apparently funded by the Defense Intelligence Agency through the project cryptonym SLEEPING BEAUTY. Freedom of Information Act requests concerning SLEEPING BEAUTY with a number of different intelligence agencies including the CIA and DEA has yielded denial that such a program exists. Certainly, such work would be of direct interest to BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA and other non-lethal weapons programs. Schnabel [280] lists Dr. Persinger as an Interview Source in his book on remote viewing operations conducted under Stargate, Grill Flame and other cryptonyms at Fort Meade and on contract to the Stanford Research Institute. Schnabel states (p. 220) that, “As one of the Pentagon's top scientists, Vorona was privy to some of the strangest, most secret research projects ever conceived. Grill Flame was just one. Another was code-named Sleeping Beauty; it was a Defense Department study of remote microwave mind-influencing techniques ... [...] It appears from Schnabel's well-documented investigations that Sleeping Beauty is a real, but still classified mind control program. Schnabel [280] lists Dr. West as an Interview Source and says that West was a, “Member of medical oversight board for Science Applications International Corp. remote-viewing research in early 1990s.
Colin A. Ross (The C.I.A. Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists)
DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was; but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me—upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain—upon the bleak walls—upon the vacant eye-like windows—upon a few rank sedges—and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees—with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveler upon opium—the bitter lapse into every-day life—the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart—an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it—I paused to think—what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled luster by the dwelling, and gazed down—but with a shudder even more thrilling than before—upon the remodeled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Best Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe)
The repeated attempts that have been made to improve humanity - in particular to make it more peacable - have failed, because nobody has understood the full depth and vigour of the instincts of aggression innate in each individual. Such efforts do not seek to do more than encourage the positive, well-wishing impulses of the person while denying or suppressing his aggressive ones. And so they have been doomed to failure from the beginning. But psychoanalysis has different means at its disposal for a task of this kind. It cannot, it is true, altogether do away with man's aggressive instinct as such; but it can, by diminishing the anxiety which accentuates those instincts, break up the mutual reinforcement that is going on all the time between his hatred and his fear. When, in our analytic work, we are always seeing how the resolution of early infantile anxiety not only lessens and modifies the child's aggressive impulses, but leads to a more valuable employment and gratification of them from a social point of view; how the child shows an ever-grwing, deeply rooted desire to be loved and to love, and to be at peace with the world about it; and how much pleasure and benefit, and what a lessening of anxiety it derives from the fulfilment of this desire - when we see all this, we are ready to believe that what now would seem a Utopian state of things may well come true in those distant days when, as I hope, child-analysis will become as much a part of every person's upbringing as school-education is now. Then, perhaps, that hostile attitude, springing from fear and suspicion, which is latent more or less strongly in each human being, and which intensifies a hundredfold in him every impulse of destruction, will give way to kindlier and more trustful feelings towards his fellowmen, and people may inhabit the world together in greater peace and goodwill than they do now.
Melanie Klein (Love, Guilt and Reparation: And Other Works 1921-1945)
What Kant took to be the necessary schemata of reality,' says a modern Freudian, 'are really only the necessary schemata of repression.' And an experimental psychologist adds that 'a sense of time can only exist where there is submission to reality.' To see everything as out of mere succession is to behave like a man drugged or insane. Literature and history, as we know them, are not like that; they must submit, be repressed. It is characteristic of the stage we are now at, I think, that the question of how far this submission ought to go--or, to put it the other way, how far one may cultivate fictional patterns or paradigms--is one which is debated, under various forms, by existentialist philosophers, by novelists and anti-novelists, by all who condemn the myths of historiography. It is a debate of fundamental interest, I think, and I shall discuss it in my fifth talk. Certainly, it seems, there must, even when we have achieved a modern degree of clerical scepticism, be some submission to the fictive patterns. For one thing, a systematic submission of this kind is almost another way of describing what we call 'form.' 'An inter-connexion of parts all mutually implied'; a duration (rather than a space) organizing the moment in terms of the end, giving meaning to the interval between tick and tock because we humanly do not want it to be an indeterminate interval between the tick of birth and the tock of death. That is a way of speaking in temporal terms of literary form. One thinks again of the Bible: of a beginning and an end (denied by the physicist Aristotle to the world) but humanly acceptable (and allowed by him to plots). Revelation, which epitomizes the Bible, puts our fate into a book, and calls it the book of life, which is the holy city. Revelation answers the command, 'write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter'--'what is past and passing and to come'--and the command to make these things interdependent. Our novels do likewise. Biology and cultural adaptation require it; the End is a fact of life and a fact of the imagination, working out from the middle, the human crisis. As the theologians say, we 'live from the End,' even if the world should be endless. We need ends and kairoi and the pleroma, even now when the history of the world has so terribly and so untidily expanded its endless successiveness. We re-create the horizons we have abolished, the structures that have collapsed; and we do so in terms of the old patterns, adapting them to our new worlds. Ends, for example, become a matter of images, figures for what does not exist except humanly. Our stories must recognize mere successiveness but not be merely successive; Ulysses, for example, may be said to unite the irreducible chronos of Dublin with the irreducible kairoi of Homer. In the middest, we look for a fullness of time, for beginning, middle, and end in concord. For concord or consonance really is the root of the matter, even in a world which thinks it can only be a fiction. The theologians revive typology, and are followed by the literary critics. We seek to repeat the performance of the New Testament, a book which rewrites and requites another book and achieves harmony with it rather than questioning its truth. One of the seminal remarks of modern literary thought was Eliot's observation that in the timeless order of literature this process is continued. Thus we secularize the principle which recurs from the New Testament through Alexandrian allegory and Renaissance Neo-Platonism to our own time. We achieve our secular concords of past and present and future, modifying the past and allowing for the future without falsifying our own moment of crisis. We need, and provide, fictions of concord.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey, and the lamb, the catfish and the tilapia and, increasingly, even the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn. The eggs are made of corn. The milk and cheese and yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically comes from Holsteins that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machines, eating corn. Head over to the processed foods and you find ever more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles up corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the things together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, and the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di-, and triglycerides, the attractive gold coloring, and even the citric acid that keeps the nugget "fresh" can all be derived from corn. To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink in the supermarket is to have some corn with your corn. Since the 1980s virtually all the sodas and most of the fruit drinks sold in the supermarket have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- after water, corn sweetener is their principal ingredient. Grab a beer for you beverage instead and you'd still be drinking corn, in the form of alcohol fermented from glucose refined from corn. Read the ingredients on the label of any processed food and, provided you know the chemical names it travels under, corn is what you will find. For modified or unmodified starch, for glucose syrup and maltodextrin, for crystalline fructose and ascorbic acid, for lecithin and dextrose, lactic acid and lysine, for maltose and HFCS, for MSG and polyols, for the caramel color and xanthan gum, read: corn. Corn is in the coffee whitener and Cheez Whiz, the frozen yogurt and TV dinner, the canned fruit and ketchup and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes, the frosting and gravy and frozen waffles, the syrups and hot sauces, the mayonnaise and mustard, the hot dogs and the bologna, the margarine and shortening, the salad dressings and the relishes and even the vitamins. (Yes, it's in the Twinkie, too.) There are some forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn. This goes for the nonfood items as well: Everything from the toothpaste and cosmetics to the disposable diapers, trash bags, cleansers, charcoal briquettes, matches, and batteries, right down to the shine on the cover of the magazine that catches your eye by the checkout: corn. Even in Produce on a day when there's ostensibly no corn for sale, you'll nevertheless find plenty of corn: in the vegetable wax that gives the cucumbers their sheen, in the pesticide responsible for the produce's perfection, even in the coating on the cardboard it was shipped in. Indeed, the supermarket itself -- the wallboard and joint compound, the linoleum and fiberglass and adhesives out of which the building itself has been built -- is in no small measure a manifestation of corn.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)