Origins Of Famous Quotes

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Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
To make an exceptional living with a career as a writer, you need multiple sources of writing income to sustain lifelong earnings. Never depend on only one origin of income as a novelist.
Chris Mentillo
Stars ink your fingers with a lexicon of flame blazing rare knowledge.
Aberjhani (The River of Winged Dreams)
It doesn't matter what gender, race or world you originated from. It doesn't matter if you are strong or weak, famous or not famous. Anything is okay. What I am looking for is passion. I hope you have the passion to see the end of this damn story with me." - Kim Dokja
Singshong (Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint, Vol. 1)
Then let me ask you this famous question: Would you rather live in a world without technology…or in a world without religion? Would you rather live without medicine, electricity, transportation, and antibiotics…or without zealots waging war over fictional tales and imaginary spirits?
Dan Brown (Origin (Robert Langdon, #5))
The ceaseless, senseless demand for original scholarship in a number of fields, where only erudition is now possible, has led either to sheer irrelevancy, the famous knowing of more and more about less and less, or to the development of a pseudo-scholarship which actually destroys its object.
Hannah Arendt
Zach, this isn't a game, you know. I don't just write it. I live it. I'm a Domme, a female Dominant. There aren't a lot of us around. Most Dominants are men. Technically I'm Switch since I can top and bottom, but if I show up on your doorstep, get ready to say ouch. I'm not good at it - I'm amazing at it. So good at it that I'm as famous down here for my skills with a whip as I am in the straight world for my skills with a pen.
Tiffany Reisz (The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1))
Positive. In other news, Marcie's throwing a Halloween party here at the farmhouse." Patch smiled. "Grey - Millar family drama?" "The theme is famous couples from history. Could she be any less original? Worse, she's roped my mom into this. They went shopping for decorations today. For three whole hours. It's like they're suddenly best friends." I picked up another apple slice and made a face at it. "Marcie is ruining everything. I wanted Scott to go with Vee, but Marcie already convinced him to go with her." Patch's smile widened. I aimed my best sulky look at him. "This isn't funny. Marcie is destroying my life. Whose side are you on anyway?" Patch raised his hands in surrender. "I'm staying out of this.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
The “pursuit of happiness” is such a key element of the “American (ideological) dream” that one tends to forget the contingent origin of this phrase: “We holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Where did the somewhat awkward “pursuit of happiness” come from in this famous opening passage of the US Declaration of Independence? The origin of it is John Locke, who claimed that all men had the natural rights of life, liberty, and property— the latter was replaced by “the pursuit of happiness” during negotiations of the drafting of the Declaration, as a way to negate the black slaves’ right to property.
Slavoj Žižek (In Defense of Lost Causes)
As a member of the Protestant British squirearchy ruling Ireland, he was touchy about his Irish origins. When in later life an enthusiastic Gael commended him as a famous Irishman, he replied "A man can be born in a stable, and yet not be an animal.
Arthur Wellesley
For economists, Argentina is a perplexing country. To illustrate how difficult it was to understand Argentina, the Nobel Prize–winning economist Simon Kuznets once famously remarked that there were four sorts of countries: developed, underdeveloped, Japan, and Argentina.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
James Baldwin famously said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced.
Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story)
Once upon a time,” Nora said, as she fluttered a series of kisses over his shoulders that sent every nerve in his body reeling, “a very poor girl from a fucked-up family became a famous writer with a wicked pen and an even more wicked tongue who made seven figures a year. And she went everywhere she wanted to and did everything she wanted to. And nobody ever tried to stop her. And she had her own pet Angel who needed to learn how to talk. So guess what she did?” “What?” Michael asked. He laughed in surprise as Nora slammed him down onto his back and slid on top of him. She brought her mouth onto his and forced his lips apart. “She gave him her tongue.
Tiffany Reisz (The Angel (The Original Sinners, #2))
There is a famous black-and-white photograph from the era of the Third Reich. It is a picture taken in Hamburg, Germany, in 1936, of shipyard workers, a hundred or more, facing the same direction in the light of the sun. They are heiling in unison, their right arms rigid in outstretched allegiance to the Führer. If you look closely, you can see a man in the upper right who is different from the others. His face is gentle but unyielding. Modern-day displays of the photograph will often add a helpful red circle around the man or an arrow pointing to him. He is surrounded by fellow citizens caught under the spell of the Nazis. He keeps his arms folded to his chest, as the stiff palms of the others hover just inches from him. He alone is refusing to salute. He is the one man standing against the tide. Looking back from our vantage point, he is the only person in the entire scene who is on the right side of history. Everyone around him is tragically, fatefully, categorically wrong. In that moment, only he could see it. His name is believed to have been August Landmesser. At the time, he could not have known the murderous path the hysteria around him would lead to. But he had already seen enough to reject it.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
It is the kind of stoicism which had been seen as characteristic of Anglo-Saxon poetry, perhaps nowhere better expressed than in 'The Battle of Maldon' where the most famous Saxon or English cry has been rendered - 'Courage must be the firmer, heart the bolder, spirit must be the greater, as our strength grows less'. That combination of bravery and fatalism, endurance and understatement, is the defining mood of Arhurian legend.
Peter Ackroyd (Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination)
It is true that the original of this story is put into new words, and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little altered; particularly she is made to tell her own tale in modester words that she told it at first, the copy which came first to hand having been written in language more like one still in Newgate than one grown penitent and humble, as she afterwards pretends to be.
Daniel Defoe (Moll Flanders)
Having seen this reproduction, one can go to the National Gallery to look at the original and discover what the reproduction lacks. Alternatively one can forget about the quality of the reproduction and simply be reminded, when one sees the original, that it is a famous painting of which somewhere one has already seen a reproduction. But in either case the uniqueness of the original now lies in it being the original of a reproduction.
John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
In one of his most famous quotations, King sadly said, “I am [ashamed] and appalled that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in Christian America.
Jim Wallis (America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America)
biblical history did not take place in either the particular era or the manner described. Some of the most famous events in the Bible clearly never happened at all.
Israel Finkelstein (The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Sacred Texts)
. Even Proust—there’s a famous passage where Odette opens the door with a cold, she’s sulky, her hair is loose and undone, her skin is patchy, and Swann, who has never cared about her until that moment, falls in love with her because she looks like a Botticelli girl from a slightly damaged fresco. Which Proust himself only knew from a reproduction. He never saw the original, in the Sistine Chapel. But even so—the whole novel is in some ways about that moment. And the damage is part of the attraction, the painting’s blotchy cheeks. Even through a copy Proust was able to re-dream that image, re-shape reality with it, pull something all his own from it into the world. Because—the line of beauty is the line of beauty. It doesn’t matter if it’s been through the Xerox machine a hundred times.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
He told me that in 1886 he had invented an original system of numbering and that in a very few days he had gone beyond the twenty-four-thousand mark. He had not written it down, since anything he thought of once would never be lost to him. His first stimulus was, I think, his discomfort at the fact that the famous thirty-three gauchos of Uruguayan history should require two signs and two words, in place of a single word and a single sign. He then applied this absurd principle to the other numbers. In place of seven thousand thirteen he would say (for example) Maximo Pérez; in place of seven thousand fourteen, The Railroad; other numbers were Luis Melián Lafinur, Olimar, sulphur, the reins, the whale, the gas, the caldron, Napoleon, Agustin de Vedia. In place of five hundred, he would say nine. Each word had a particular sign, a kind of mark; the last in the series were very complicated...
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings)
That was originally what I had loved him for: that at a period when our native land was nude and crude and provincial, when the famous 'atmosphere' it is supposed to lack was not even missed, when literature was lonely there and art and form akmost impossible, he had found the means to live and write like one of the first; to be free and general and not at all afraid; to feel, understand, and express everything.
Henry James (The Aspern Papers)
1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will—until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us—or was it we who presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
It was Freud's ambition to discover the cause of hysteria, the archetypal female neurosis of his time. In his early investigations, he gained the trust and confidence of many women, who revealed their troubles to him.Time after time, Freud's patients, women from prosperous, conventional families, unburdened painful memories of childhood sexual encounters with men they had trusted: family friends, relatives, and fathers. Freud initially believed his patients and recognized the significance of their confessions. In 1896, with the publication of two works, The Aetiology of Hysteria and Studies on Hysteria, he announced that he had solved the mystery of the female neurosis. At the origin of every case of hysteria, Freud asserted, was a childhood sexual trauma. But Freud was never comfortable with this discovery, because of what it implied about the behavior of respectable family men. If his patients' reports were true, incest was not a rare abuse, confined to the poor and the mentally defective, but was endemic to the patriarchal family. Recognizing the implicit challenge to patriarchal values, Freud refused to identify fathers publicly as sexual aggressors. Though in his private correspondence he cited "seduction by the father" as the "essential point" in hysteria, he was never able to bring himself to make this statement in public. Scrupulously honest and courageous in other respects, Freud falsified his incest cases. In The Aetiology of Hysteria, Freud implausibly identified governessss, nurses, maids, and children of both sexes as the offenders. In Studies in Hysteria, he managed to name an uncle as the seducer in two cases. Many years later, Freud acknowledged that the "uncles" who had molested Rosaslia and Katharina were in fact their fathers. Though he had shown little reluctance to shock prudish sensibilities in other matters, Freud claimed that "discretion" had led him to suppress this essential information. Even though Freud had gone to such lengths to avoid publicly inculpating fathers, he remained so distressed by his seduction theory that within a year he repudiated it entirely. He concluded that his patients' numerous reports of sexual abuse were untrue. This conclusion was based not on any new evidence from patients, but rather on Freud's own growing unwillingness to believe that licentious behavior on the part of fathers could be so widespread. His correspondence of the period revealed that he was particularly troubled by awareness of his own incestuous wishes toward his daughter, and by suspicions of his father, who had died recently. p9-10
Judith Lewis Herman (Father-Daughter Incest (with a new Afterword))
Rawls became famous for creating a new definition of justice, which boils down to this: a society is fair if it looks like something we would design before knowing how we would come into the world. He imagined a fictional “original position,” the position we would be in if we were told we were about to be born, but were not told about the circumstances we would be born into—how tall or short we would be, or of what race or nationality, or what resources or personal qualities we would have. This vision of justice is often compared to being asked how you would want a cake to be divided if you did not know which piece will be yours: equally, of course.
Pete Buttigieg (Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future)
As economist Joseph Schumpeter famously observed, originality is an act of creative destruction. Advocating for new systems often requires demolishing the old way of doing things, and we hold back for fear of rocking the boat.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
Absurdism is a philosophy centered on embracing the meaninglessness of life while simultaneously rebelling against it and embracing what life can offer us. Camus is most famously attributed with this statement “Life is meaningless.” While that quote may seem depressing on its own, it changes when we realize that what he is really saying is that we are the creators of meaning in our lives. Meaning does not originate from life, we assign meaning to life and everything within it. We get to make it up.
Andrew Horn
When the missionaries came to Africa,” Desmond Tutu famously (though not originally: that honor belongs to Jomo Kenyatta) remarked, “they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.
Simon Winchester (Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World)
The country through which we had been travelling for days has an original beauty. Wide plains were diversified by stretches of hilly country with low passes. We often had to wade through swift running ice-cold brooks. It has long since we had seen a glacier, but as we were approaching the tasam at Barka, a chain of glaciers gleaming in the sunshine came into view. The landscape was dominated by the 25,000-foot peak of Gurla Mandhata; less striking, but far more famous, was the sacred Mount Kailash, 3,000 feet lower, which stands in majestic isolation apart from the Himalayan range.
Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet)
Ending up with that gigantic outsized brain must have taken some sort of runaway evolutionary process, something that would push and push without limits. And today's scientists had a pretty good guess at what that runaway evolutionary process had been. Harry had once read a famous book called Chimpanzee Politics. The book had described how an adult chimpanzee named Luit had confronted the aging alpha, Yeroen, with the help of a young, recently matured chimpanzee named Nikkie. Nikkie had not intervened directly in the fights between Luit and Yeroen, but had prevented Yeroen's other supporters in the tribe from coming to his aid, distracting them whenever a confrontation developed between Luit and Yeroen. And in time Luit had won, and become the new alpha, with Nikkie as the second most powerful... ...though it hadn't taken very long after that for Nikkie to form an alliance with the defeated Yeroen, overthrow Luit, and become the new new alpha. It really made you appreciate what millions of years of hominids trying to outwit each other - an evolutionary arms race without limit - had led to in the way of increased mental capacity. 'Cause, y'know, a human would have totally seen that one coming.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
It is possible that the city of London was initially named for ravens or a raven-deity. According to the Oxford Companion to the English Language, the designation comes from “Londinium,” a Romanized version of an earlier Celtic name. But the word closely resembles “Lugdunum,” the Roman name for both the city of Lyon in France and Leiden in the Netherlands. That Roman name, in turn, was derived from the Celtic “Lugdon,” which meant, literally, “hill, or town, of the god Lugh” or, alternatively, “…of ravens.” The site of Lyon was initially chosen for a town when a flock of ravens, avatars of the god, settled there. Whether or not “Lugdunum” was the origin of “London,” ravens were important for inhabitants of Britain for both practical and religious reasons.
Boria Sax (City of Ravens: The Extraordinary History of London, its Tower and Its Famous Ravens)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story , you, upon hearing the words 'soccer' and 'neighbor' in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say, not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein
Karen: It was a man's world. The whole world was a man's world but the recording industry .... it wasn't easy. You had to get some guy's approval to do just about anything and it seemed there were two ways to go about it. You either acted like one of the boys, which is the way I had found. Or you acted real girlie and flirty and batted your eyelashes. They liked that. But Daisy, from the beginning, was sort of outside of all that. She was just sort of "Take me or leave me." Daisy: I didn't care if I was famous or not. I didn't care if I got to sing on your record or not. All I wanted to do was make something interesting and original and cool.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
The famous ‘Abra Kadabra’ originates from Aramaic, which was spoken in biblical times, and means: I will create with my words.
Mor M. Cohen (The 4 Foundations of Love: Reshape your relationship and make it last forever)
(The famous peace symbol, it is often forgotten, originally came from the semaphore code for N–D, meaning nuclear disarmament.)
Shirley Chisholm (The Good Fight)
Plato, in his famous fight against the ancient Sophists, discovered that their “universal art of enchanting the mind by arguments” (Phaedrus 261) had nothing to do with truth but aimed at opinions which by their very nature are changing, and which are valid only “at the time of the agreement and as long as the agreement lasts” (Theaetetus 172). He also discovered the very insecure position of truth in the world, for from “opinions comes persuasion and not from truth” (Phaedrus 260). The most striking difference between ancient and modern sophists is that the ancients were satisfied with a passing victory of the argument at the expense of truth, whereas the moderns want a more lasting victory at the expense of reality.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Part of the beauty—and it is the original flaw in this type of literature, from which the famous Lundis are not exempt—lies in the impression made on the readers. It is a collective Venus, of which we have but one truncated limb if we confine ourselves to the thought of the author, for it is fully realised only in the minds of his readers. In them it finds completion.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time: The Complete Masterpiece)
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Anton Ego, from Disney Pixar's 'Ratatouille'
The practice of making claims that appear to be scientific, but do not actually follow the scientific method of testability and falsification of hypotheses, is usually called pseudoscience.
Daniel Loxton (Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids)
Indeed, the point of the famous story about the king and the waves, as originally told, was not to illustrate his stupidity, but rather to prove what a good Christian he had been. ‘Let all the world know’, says a damp Cnut, having conspicuously failed to stop the tide from rising, ‘that the power of kings is empty and worthless, and there is no king worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven, earth and sea obey eternal laws.’2
Marc Morris (The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England)
Daphne du Maurier was the fifth-generation descendant of a French master craftsman who settled in England during the Revolution. The Glass-Blowers, the fictionalized story of his family, was originally published in 1963, but du Maurier first conceived of writing about her French forebears in the mid-1950s. She had recently completed her novel about Mary Anne Clarke, her famous great-great-grandmother, and a complementary work about the French side of her family seemed logical.
Daphne du Maurier (The Glass-Blowers)
Last fall, I was sitting at the kitchen table of two friends who have been together since 1972. They tell me a story about how they got together. She couldn't decide between two suitors, so she left New York City to spend the summer in an ashram. (Did I mention was 1972?) One of the suitors sent her postcards while she was gone, the famous postcards that came inside the sleeve of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street. Needless to say, he was the suitor that won her hand. They tell me this story, laughing and interrupting each other, as their teenage daughter walks through the kitchen on her way out to a Halloween party. I've heard of these postcards - over the years, I've heard plenty of record-collector guys boast that they own the original vinyl Exile on Main Street with the original postcards, intact and pristine in the virgin sleeve. I've never heard of anybody getting rid of their prized Exile postcards, much less actually writing on them and sending them through the mail to a girl. I watch these two, laughing over this story at the same kitchen table they've shared for thirty years. I realize that I will never fully understand the millions of bizarre ways that music brings people together.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
For the sake of comfort we give up knowing the world" This is something that has been in my head since I was a teenager and I cannot be sure it is original. In the book, I have credited it to that famous wit "anon". Does anybody know the source?
Anonymous
The question of what a dog is thinking is actually an old metaphysical debate, which has its origins in Descartes’s famous saying cogito ergo sum—“I think, therefore I am.” Our entire human experience exists solely inside our heads. Photons may strike our retinas, but it is only through the activity of our brains that we have the subjective experience of seeing a rainbow or the sublime beauty of a sunset over the ocean. Does a dog see those things? Of course. Do they experience them the same way? Absolutely not.
Gregory Berns (How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain)
Maria Orsic, a stunning beauty and an unusual medium was not an obscure personality. She was known to many celebrities of the era and had a fleet of very powerful admirers and friends both in Germany and abroad; famous, brilliant and influential people like Charles Lindbergh, Nikola Tesla, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Henry Ford, Eva Peron, and the most illustrious figures in the spiritualism, parapsychological and psychical research in Great Britain. This was reported by Allies intelligence and documented by OSS operatives in Europe.
Jean-Maximillien De La Croix de Lafayette (Volume I. UFOs: MARIA ORSIC, THE WOMAN WHO ORIGINATED AND CREATED EARTH’S FIRST UFOS (Extraterrestrial and Man-Made UFOs & Flying Saucers Book 1))
this had originally been the HQ of the famous Halifax Building Society, before mutuality had largely been abandoned in the greedy years since Thatcher. Carter smiled at his boss’s political reference but it meant little to him; he couldn’t remember the time before Thatcher.
J.R. Ellis (The Quartet Murders (Yorkshire Murder Mysteries, #2))
...he used to speak of how with very great paintings it's possible to know them deeply, inhabit them almost, even through copies. Even Proust -- there's a famous passage where Odette opens the door with a cold, she's sulky, her hair is loose and undone, her skin is patchy, and Swann, who has never cared about her until that moment, falls in love with her because she looks like a Botticelli girl from a slightly damaged fresco. Which Proust himself only knew from a reproduction. He never saw the original, in the Sistine Chapel. But even so -- the whole novel is in some ways about that moment. And the damage is part of the attraction, the painting's blotchy cheeks. Even through a copy Proust was able to re-dream the image, re-shape reality with it, pull something all his own from it into the world. Because -- the line of beauty is the line of beauty. It doesn't matter if it's been through the Xerox machine a hundred times.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Adam was sent to bring Good News to the world. It was his mission, as it was the mission of Jesus. Adam was—very simply, quietly, and uniquely—there! He was a person, who by his very life announced the marvelous mystery of our God: I am precious, beloved, whole, and born of God. Adam bore silent witness to this mystery, which has nothing to do with whether or not he could speak, walk, or express himself, whether or not he made money, had a job, was fashionable, famous, married or single. It had to do with his being. He was and is a beloved child of God. It is the same news that Jesus came to announce, and it is the news that all those who are poor keep proclaiming in and through their very weakness. Life is a gift. Each one of us is unique, known by name, and loved by the One who fashioned us. Unfortunately, there is a very loud, consistent, and powerful message coming to us from our world that leads us to believe that we must prove our belovedness by how we look, by what we have, and by what we can accomplish. We become preoccupied with “making it” in this life, and we are very slow to grasp the liberating truth of our origins and our finality. We need to hear the message announced and see the message embodied, over and over again. Only then do we find the courage to claim it and to live from it.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Adam: God's Beloved)
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Walt Disney Company
In a now famous thought experiment, the philosopher Derek Parfit asks us to imagine a teleportation device that can beam a person from Earth to Mars. Rather than travel for many months on a spaceship, you need only enter a small chamber close to home and push a green button, and all the information in your brain and body will be sent to a similar station on Mars, where you will be reassembled down to the last atom. Imagine that several of your friends have already traveled to Mars this way and seem none the worse for it. They describe the experience as being one of instantaneous relocation: You push the green button and find yourself standing on Mars—where your most recent memory is of pushing the green button on Earth and wondering if anything would happen. So you decide to travel to Mars yourself. However, in the process of arranging your trip, you learn a troubling fact about the mechanics of teleportation: It turns out that the technicians wait for a person’s replica to be built on Mars before obliterating his original body on Earth. This has the benefit of leaving nothing to chance; if something goes wrong in the replication process, no harm has been done. However, it raises the following concern: While your double is beginning his day on Mars with all your memories, goals, and prejudices intact, you will be standing in the teleportation chamber on Earth, just staring at the green button. Imagine a voice coming over the intercom to congratulate you for arriving safely at your destination; in a few moments, you are told, your Earth body will be smashed to atoms. How would this be any different from simply being killed? To
Sam Harris (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion)
Before the rise of Christianity, did the Ancient Greeks consume a secret psychedelic sacrament during their most famous and well-attended religious rituals? Did the Ancient Greeks pass a version of their sacrament along to the earliest, Greek-speaking Christians, for whom the original Holy Communion or Eucharist was, in fact, a psychedelic Eucharist?
Brian C. Muraresku (The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name)
Alfred Adler was a member of Freud’s original inner circle, but broke away because he disagreed that sex was the prime mover behind human behavior. He was more interested in how our early environments shape us, believing that we all seek greater power by trying to make up for what we perceive we lacked in childhood—his famous theory of “compensation.
Tom Butler-Bowdon (50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books (50 Classics))
As most young candidates for the pains and penalties of whaling stop at this same New Bedford, thence to embark on their voyage, it may as well be related that I, for one, had no idea of so doing. For my mind was made up to sail in no other than a Nantucket craft, because there was a fine, boisterous something about everything connected with that famous old island, which amazingly pleased me. Besides though New Bedford has of late been gradually monopolizing the business of whaling, and though in this matter poor old Nantucket is now much behind her, yet Nantucket was her great original— the Tyre of this Carthage;—the place where the first dead American whale was stranded. Where else but from Nantucket did those aboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally out in canoes to give chase to the Leviathan? And where but from Nantucket, too, did that first adventurous little sloop put forth, partly laden with imported cobblestones—so goes the story— to throw at the whales, in order to discover when they were nigh enough to risk a harpoon from the bowsprit?
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick)
Marcus Brutus was the original tragic hero of the play ‘Julius Caesar’, Aditya concluded. Perhaps, Shakespeare should have named his play ‘Marcus Brutus’. But then again, it all must have boiled down to saleability and marketing; Julius Caesar being the more famous and thus bankable name. Ironical it was, Aditya smiled. The same Shakespeare had once said-‘What’s in a name...
Anurag Shourie (Half A Shadow)
Pope John Paul II famously articulated the idea in a message delivered to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in October 1996, in which the Holy Father declared that the human body might originate from preexisting living matter, but the spiritual soul is a direct creation of God. Explaining the mind as a product of evolution, claimed the pope, was incompatible with the truth about man.
Julien Musolino (The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain From Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs)
Before he got famous for being a sexual degenerate, Louis C.K. said this dumb thing about marriage: 'Divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.' The reality is that every marriage is a partnership of two broken assholes with good intentions and varying degrees of ability to deliver. Marriage is as much a mystery to me now as the origins of the universe and the laws that govern the behavior of matter. What makes one work is just as strange as what makes one not. But I possess more information now than I had when this all began. We both do. Lauren has had to come to terms with some difficult truths, such as how her husband has grown a mustache, and I have had to grapple with other truths, such as how my wife left me for the human equivalent of Diet Mountain Dew.
Harrison Scott Key (How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told)
But life is fragile. Earth’s occasional encounters with large, wayward comets and asteroids, a formerly common event, wreaks intermittent havoc upon our ecosystem. A mere sixty-five million years ago (less than two percent of Earth’s past), a ten-trillion-ton asteroid hit what is now the Yucatan Peninsula and obliterated more than seventy percent of Earth’s flora and fauna—including all the famous outsized dinosaurs. Extinction. This ecological catastrophe enabled our mammal ancestors to fill freshly vacant niches, rather than continue to serve as hors d’oeuvres for T. rex. One big-brained branch of these mammals, that which we call primates, evolved a genus and species (Homo sapiens) with sufficient intelligence to invent methods and tools of science—and to deduce the origin and evolution of the universe.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
SOCIAL/GENERAL ICEBREAKERS 1. What do you think of the movie/restaurant/party? 2. Tell me about the best vacation you’ve ever taken. 3. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? 4. If you could replay any moment in your life, what would it be? 5. What one thing would you really like to own? Why? 6. Tell me about one of your favorite relatives. 7. What was it like in the town where you grew up? 8. What would you like to come back as in your next life? 9. Tell me about your kids. 10. What do you think is the perfect age? Why? 11. What is a typical day like for you? 12. Of all the places you’ve lived, tell me about the one you like the best. 13. What’s your favorite holiday? What do you enjoy about it? 14. What are some of your family traditions that you particularly enjoy? 15. Tell me about the first car you ever bought. 16. How has the Internet affected your life? 17. Who were your idols as a kid? Have they changed? 18. Describe a memorable teacher you had. 19. Tell me about a movie/book you’ve seen or read more than once. 20. What’s your favorite restaurant? Why? 21. Tell me why you were named ______. What is the origin of your last name? 22. Tell me about a place you’ve visited that you hope never to return to. get over your mom’s good intentions. 23. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received? 24. What’s the neatest surprise you’ve ever planned and pulled off for someone else? 25. Skiing here is always challenging. What are some of your favorite places to ski? 26. Who would star as you in a movie about your life? Why that person? 27. Who is the most famous person you’ve met? 28. Tell me about some of your New Year’s resolutions. 29. What’s the most antiestablishment thing you’ve ever done? 30. Describe a costume that you wore to a party. 31. Tell me about a political position you’d like to hold. 32. What song reminds you of an incident in your life? 33. What’s the most memorable meal you’ve eaten? 34. What’s the most unforgettable coincidence you’ve experienced or heard about? 35. How are you able to tell if that melon is ripe? 36. What motion picture star would you like to interview? Why? 37. Tell me about your family. 38. What aroma brings forth a special memory? 39. Describe the scariest person you ever met. 40. What’s your favorite thing to do alone? 41. Tell me about a childhood friend who used to get you in trouble. 42. Tell me about a time when you had too much to eat or drink. 43. Describe your first away-from-home living quarters or experience. 44. Tell me about a time that you lost a job. 45. Share a memory of one of your grandparents. 46. Describe an embarrassing moment you’ve had. 47. Tell me something most people would never guess about you. 48. What would you do if you won a million dollars? 49. Describe your ideal weather and why. 50. How did you learn to ski/hang drywall/play piano?
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!)
Valentine’s concept of introversion includes traits that contemporary psychology would classify as openness to experience (“thinker, dreamer”), conscientiousness (“idealist”), and neuroticism (“shy individual”). A long line of poets, scientists, and philosophers have also tended to group these traits together. All the way back in Genesis, the earliest book of the Bible, we had cerebral Jacob (a “quiet man dwelling in tents” who later becomes “Israel,” meaning one who wrestles inwardly with God) squaring off in sibling rivalry with his brother, the swashbuckling Esau (a “skillful hunter” and “man of the field”). In classical antiquity, the physicians Hippocrates and Galen famously proposed that our temperaments—and destinies—were a function of our bodily fluids, with extra blood and “yellow bile” making us sanguine or choleric (stable or neurotic extroversion), and an excess of phlegm and “black bile” making us calm or melancholic (stable or neurotic introversion). Aristotle noted that the melancholic temperament was associated with eminence in philosophy, poetry, and the arts (today we might classify this as opennessto experience). The seventeenth-century English poet John Milton wrote Il Penseroso (“The Thinker”) and L’Allegro (“The Merry One”), comparing “the happy person” who frolics in the countryside and revels in the city with “the thoughtful person” who walks meditatively through the nighttime woods and studies in a “lonely Towr.” (Again, today the description of Il Penseroso would apply not only to introversion but also to openness to experience and neuroticism.) The nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer contrasted “good-spirited” people (energetic, active, and easily bored) with his preferred type, “intelligent people” (sensitive, imaginative, and melancholic). “Mark this well, ye proud men of action!” declared his countryman Heinrich Heine. “Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” Because of this definitional complexity, I originally planned to invent my own terms for these constellations of traits. I decided against this, again for cultural reasons: the words introvert and extrovert have the advantage of being well known and highly evocative. Every time I uttered them at a dinner party or to a seatmate on an airplane, they elicited a torrent of confessions and reflections. For similar reasons, I’ve used the layperson’s spelling of extrovert rather than the extravert one finds throughout the research literature.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
If democracy becomes plutocracy, those who are not rich are effectively disenfranchised. Justice Louis Brandeis famously argued that the United States could have either democracy or wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but not both. The political equality that is required by democracy is always under threat from economic inequality, and the more extreme the economic inequality, the greater the threat to democracy.
Angus Deaton (The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality)
Among the famous sayings of the Church fathers none is better know than Augustine’s ‘Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.’ The great saint states here in few words the origin and interior history of the human race. God made us for Himself: that is the only explanation that satisfies the heart of a thinking man, whatever his wild reason may say. Should faulty education and perverse reasoning lead a man to conclude otherwise, there is little that any Christian can do for him. For such a man I have no message. My appeal is addressed to those who have been previously taught in secret by the wisdom of God; I speak to thirsty hearts whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them, and such as they need no reasoned proof. Their restless hearts furnish all the proof they need.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Stevenson’s most famous novel was first published in 1886 and concerns the unfortunate Dr. Jekyll (pronounced ‘Jeekill’), whose attempts to understand the ‘thorough and primitive duality of man’ lead him to ingest a potion that splits him into two people. To the novel’s original readers, this summary would constitute a fatal spoiler – but so legendary has the novel become that there can be few modern readers unaware of its central twist.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Delphi Complete Works of Robert Louis Stevenson (Illustrated))
My original intention with The 4-Hour Workweek (4HWW), The 4-Hour Body (4HB), and The 4-Hour Chef (4HC) was to create a trilogy themed after Ben Franklin’s famous quote: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” People constantly ask me, “What would you put in The 4-Hour Workweek if you were to write it again? How would you update it?” Ditto for 4HB and 4HC. Tools of Titans contains most of the answers for all three.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Perhaps as he was lying awake then, his life may have passed before him—his early hopeful struggles, his manly successes and prosperity, his downfall in his declining years, and his present helpless condition—no chance of revenge against Fortune, which had had the better of him—neither name nor money to bequeath—a spent-out, bootless life of defeat and disappointment, and the end here! Which, I wonder, brother reader, is the better lot, to die prosperous and famous, or poor and
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair: A Novel Without A Hero (with Original Illustrations, and Audiobook link))
In Paley's famous illustration, the adaptation of all the parts of the watch to the function, or purpose, of showing the time, is held to be evidence that the watch was specially contrived to that end; on the ground, that the only cause we know of, competent to produce such an effect as a watch which shall keep time, is a contriving intelligence adapting the means directly to that end. Suppose, however, that any one had been able to show that the watch had not been made directly by any person, but that it was the result of the modification of another watch which kept time but poorly; and that this again had proceeded from a structure which could hardly be called a watch at all—seeing that it had no figures on the dial and the hands were rudimentary; and that going back and back in time we came at last to a revolving barrel as the earliest traceable rudiment of the whole fabric. And imagine that it had been possible to show that all these changes had resulted, first, from a tendency of the structure to vary indefinitely; and secondly, from something in the surrounding world which helped all variations in the direction of an accurate time-keeper, and checked all those in other directions; then it is obvious that the force of Paley's argument would be gone. For it would be demonstrated that an apparatus thoroughly well adapted to a particular purpose might be the result of a method of trial and error worked by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct application of the means appropriate to that end, by an intelligent agent. Now it appears to us that what we have here, for illustration's sake, supposed to be done with the watch, is exactly what the establishment of Darwin's Theory will do for the organic world. For the notion that every organism has been created as it is and launched straight at a purpose, Mr. Darwin substitutes the conception of something which may fairly be termed a method of trial and error. Organisms vary incessantly; of these variations the few meet with surrounding conditions which suit them and thrive; the many are unsuited and become extinguished.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Criticism on "The Origin of Species")
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the Saudi regime saw an opportunity to rid itself, however temporarily, of the holy warriors it had nurtured for nearly a century. With economic and military support from the United States and tactical training provided by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the Saudis began funneling a steady stream of radical Islamic militants (known as the Mujahadin, or “those who make jihad”) from Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East into Afghanistan, where they could be put to use battling the godless communists. The intention, as President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, famously put it, was to “give the USSR its own Vietnam” by keeping the Soviet army bogged down in an unwinnable war in hostile territory. The United States considered the Mujahadin to be an important ally in the Great Game being played out against the Soviet Union and, in fact, referred to these militants as “freedom fighters.” President Ronald Reagan even compared them to America’s founding fathers.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
Earlier that night, after dinner, I had sung a few folk songs for Paul. He had inquired about what I had learned during the school year and, already steeped in summer and drawing a blank, I offered a few songs I had memorized from Lan. I sang, in my best effort, a classic lullaby Lan used to sing. The song, originally performed by the famous Khanh Ly, describes a woman singing among corpses strewn across sloping leafy hills. Searching the faces of the dead, the singer asks in the song's refrain, "And which of you, which of you are my sister?
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Rumours about Finnish beer prices are a little exaggerated, and there’s a big social drinking scene that’s great to take part in, particularly in student-filled Turku. Finns lose that famous reserve after a tuoppi (half-litre glass) or three of beer and are keen to chat to visitors; it’s a great way to meet locals. Finland's cities are full of original and offbeat bars and you’ll soon find a favourite Suomi tipple, whether Finnish ciders, microbrewed beers, sweet-and-sour combinations, or unusual shots such as salty liquorice vodka or cloudberry liqueur.
Lonely Planet Finland
As we stated, after their initial conquest, the Milesians began assimilating the gnosis of their predecessors. Of course they were no lovers of the Druids. After all, the British Druids were collaborators with their dire enemies, the Amenists. Nevertheless, returning to the ancient homeland was a most important step for the displaced and despised Atonists. Owning and controlling the wellspring of knowledge proved to be exceptionally politically fortunate for them. It was a key move on the grand geopolitical chessboard, so to speak. From their new seats in the garden paradise of Britain they could set about conquering the rest of the world. Their designs for a “New World Order,” to replace one lost, commenced from the Western Isles that had unfortunately fallen into their undeserving hands. But why all this exertion, one might rightly ask? Well, a close study of the Culdees and the Cistercians provides the answer. Indeed, a close study of history reveals that, despite appearances to the contrary, religion is less of a concern to despotic men or regimes than politics and economics. Religion is often instrumental to those secretly attempting to attain material power. This is especially true in the case of the Milesian-Atonists. The chieftains of the Sun Cult did not conceive of Christianity for its own sake or because they were intent on saving the world. They wanted to conquer the world not save it. In short, Atonist Christianity was devised so the Milesian nobility could have unrestricted access to the many rich mines of minerals and ore existing throughout the British Isles. It is no accident the great seats of early British Christianity - the many famous churches, chapels, cathedrals and monasteries, as well as forts, castles and private estates - happen to be situated in close proximity to rich underground mines. Of course the Milesian nobility were not going to have access to these precious territories as a matter of course. After all, these sites were often located beside groves and earthworks considered sacred by natives not as irreverent or apathetic as their unfortunate descendants. The Atonists realized that their materialist objectives could be achieved if they manufactured a religion that appeared to be a satisfactory carry on of Druidism. If they could devise a theology which assimilated enough Druidic elements, then perhaps the people would permit the erection of new religious sites over those which stood in ruins. And so the Order of the Culdees was born. So, Christianity was born. In the early days the religion was actually known as Culdeanism or Jessaeanism. Early Christians were known as Culdeans, Therapeuts or suggestively as Galileans. Although they would later spread throughout Europe and the Middle East, their birthplace was Britain.
Michael Tsarion (The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume One: The Servants of Truth: Druidic Traditions & Influence Explored)
Did you ever hear what happened to Oliver Cromwell’s head? It was originally lashed to the roof of Westminster Hall as a potent warning not to mess with the government of the day, but in 1685 a violent storm blew it off its perch and a captain of the guard had it away and hid it up his chimney, where it stayed until he admitted the crime on his death bed. So can you picture the scene? Cromwell died in 1658. 27 years later this geezer nicks his head and shoves it up his chimney. He’s about to croak it, the whole family’s gathered around his death bed, everybody’s in tears and they’re all wondering if he’ll come out with any famous last words. Perhaps, “Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your father,” or maybe, “Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees,” or even, “Don’t let it end like this, tell them I said something.” Not this fucking joker! No! What does he say? He says, “Here Jackie, the sausages tasted a bit off tonight. Did I ever tell you I nicked Oliver Cromwell’s head and shoved it up the chimney? It’s still there,” and he draws back the veil of his earthly life and succumbs to eternal peace. They all look at each other, “What did he fucking say?” “He said he nicked Oliver Cromwell’s head.” “What do you mean; he nicked Oliver Cromwell’s head?” “That’s what he said, don’t blame me!” “Fuck’s sake!” “Well, do you think we should look?” “Don’t talk bollocks! You honestly want to look up the chimney to see if Oliver Cromwell’s head’s up there?” “I’m just saying …..” Anyway, one of them had a look up the chimney, found the head and by 1710 it was appearing in a freak show under the banner, ‘The Monster’s Head.’ True story
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
In the past few years, more and more passionate debates about the nature of SFF and YA have bubbled to the surface. Conversations about race, imperialism, gender, sexuality, romance, bias, originality, feminism and cultural appropriation are getting louder and louder and, consequently, harder to ignore. Similarly, this current tension about negative reviews is just another fissure in the same bedrock: the consequence of built-up pressure beneath. Literary authors feud with each other, and famously; yet genre authors do not, because we fear being cast as turncoats. For decades, literary writers have also worked publicly as literary reviewers; yet SFF and YA authors fear to do the same, lest it be seen as backstabbing when they dislike a book. (Small wonder, then, that so few SFF and YA titles are reviewed by mainstream journals.) Just as a culture of sexual repression leads to feelings of guilt and outbursts of sexual moralising by those most afflicted, so have we, by denying and decrying all criticism that doesn’t suit our purposes, turned those selfsame critical impulses towards censorship. Blog post: Criticism in SFF and YA
Foz Meadows
In another curious and roundabout way, however, the Nazis gave a propaganda answer to the question of what their future role would be, and that was in their use of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a model for the future organization of the German masses for “world empire.” The use of the Protocols was not restricted to the Nazis; hundreds of thousands of copies were sold in postwar Germany, and even their open adoption as a handbook of politics was not new. Nevertheless, this forgery was mainly used for the purpose of denouncing the Jews and arousing the mob to the dangers of Jewish domination. In terms of mere propaganda, the discovery of the Nazis was that the masses were not so frightened by Jewish world rule as they were interested in how it could be done, that the popularity of the Protocols was based on admiration and eagerness to learn rather than on hatred, and that it would be wise to stay as close as possible to certain of their outstanding formulas, as in the case of the famous slogan: “Right is what is good for the German people,” which was copied from the Protocols’ “Everything that benefits the Jewish people is morally right and sacred”.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Elrond knew all about runes of every kind. That day he looked at the swords they had brought from the trolls' lair, and he said: "These are not troll-make. They are old swords, very old swords of High Elves of the West, my kin. They were made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. They must have come from a dragon's hoard or goblin plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city many ages ago. This, Thorin, the runes name Orcrist, the Goblin-cleaver in the ancient tongue of Gondolin; it was a famous blade. This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foe-hammer that the kind of Gondolin once wore. Keep them well!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Forty years ago, at the dawn of molecular biology, the French biologist Jacques Monod wrote his famous book Chance and Necessity, which argues bleakly that the origin of life on earth was a freak accident, and that we are alone in an empty universe. The final lines of his book are close to poetry, an amalgam of science and metaphysics: The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose. Since
Nick Lane (The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?)
I think it is almost impossible that he [Prophet Muhammad (saas)] could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years with very complicated and advanced technological methods that this is the case. Somebody who did not know something about nuclear physics 1400 years ago could not, I think, be in a position to find out from his own mind for instance that the earth and the heavens had the same origin, or many others of the questions that we have discussed here. (Alfred Kroner, Professor of the Department of Geosciences, University of Mainz, Germany. One of the world's most famous geologists)
Harun Yahya (Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an)
Our most heated argument concerned the preponderance of women in my epic and Athene’s ubiquity, and the precedence given to famous women when Odysseus meets the ghosts of the departed. I had mentioned only Tyro, Antiope, Alcmene, Jocasta, Chloris, Leda, Iphimedeia, Phaedra, Procris, Ariadne, Maera, Clymene and, naturally, Eriphyle, and let Odysseus describe them to Alcinous. “My dear Princess,” said Phemius, “if you really think that you can pass off this poem as the work of a man, you deceive yourself. A man would give pride of place to the ghosts of Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Odysseus’s old comrades, and other more ancient heroes such as Minos, Orion, Tityus, Salmoneus, Tantalus, Sisyphus and Hercules; and mention their wives and mothers incidentally, if at all; and make at least one god help Odysseus at some stage or other.” I admitted the force of his argument, which explains why, now, Odysseus first meets a comrade who has fallen off a roof at Circe’s house—I call him Elpenor—and cracks a mild joke about Elpenor’s having come more quickly to the Grove of Persephone by land than he by sea. I also allow Alcinous to ask after Agamemnon, Achilles and the rest, and Odysseus to satisfy his curiosity. For Phemius’s sake I have even let Hermes supply the moly in passages adapted from my uncle Mentor’s story of Ulysses. In my original version I had given all the credit to Athene.
Robert Graves (Homer's Daughter)
Fresh seafood stock made from shrimp and crab... It's hot and spicy- and at the same time, mellow and savory! Visions of lush mountains, cool springs and the vast ocean instantly come to mind! She brought out the very best flavors of each and every ingredient she used! "I started with the fresh fish and veggies you had on hand... ... and then simmered them in a stock I made from seafood trimmings until they were tender. Then I added fresh shrimp and let it simmer... seasoning it with a special blend I made from spices, herbs like thyme and bay leaves, and a base of Worcestershire sauce. I snuck in a dash of soy sauce, too, to tie the Japanese ingredients together with the European spices I used. Overall, I think I managed to make a curry sauce that is mellow enough for children to enjoy and yet flavorful enough for adults to love!" "Yum! Good stuff!" "What a surprise! To take the ingredients we use here every day and to create something out of left field like this!" "You got that right! This is a really delicious dish, no two ways about it. But what's got me confused... ... is why it seems to have hit him way harder than any of us! What on earth is going on?!" This... this dish. It... it tastes just like home! It looks like curry, but it ain't! It's gumbo!" Gumbo is a family dish famously served in the American South along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. A thick and spicy stew, it's generally served over steamed rice. At first glance, it closely resembles Japan's take on curry... but the gumbo recipe doesn't call for curry powder. Its defining characteristic is that it uses okra as its thickener. *A possible origin for the word "gumbo" is the Bantu word for okra-Ngombu.*
Yūto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 31 [Shokugeki no Souma 31] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #31))
Among the famous sayings of the Church fathers none is better known than Augustine's, "Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee." The great saint states here in few words the origin and interior history of the human race. God made us for Himself: that is the only explanation that satisfies the heart of a thinking man, whatever his wild reason may say. Should faulty education and perverse reasoning lead a man to conclude otherwise, there is little that any Christian can do for him. For such a man I have no message. My appeal is addressed to those who have been previously taught in secret by the wisdom of God; I speak to thirsty hearts whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them, and such as they need no reasoned proof. Their restless hearts furnish all the proof they need.
Anonymous
Anything Bunny wrote was bound to be alarmingly original, since he began with such odd working materials and managed to alter them further by his befuddled scrutiny, but the John Donne paper must have been the worst of all the bad papers he ever wrote (ironic, given that it was the only thing he ever wrote that saw print. After he disappeared, a journalist asked for an excerpt from the missing young scholar's work and Marion gave him a copy of it, a laboriously edited paragraph of which eventually found its way into People magazine). Somewhere, Bunny had heard that John Donne had been acquainted with Izaak Walton, and in some dim corridor of his mind this friendship grew larger and larger, until in his mind the two men were practically interchangeable. We never understood how this fatal connection had established itself: Henry blamed it on Men of Thought and Deed, but no one knew for sure. A week or two before the paper was due, he had started showing up in my room about two or three in the morning, looking as if he had just narrowly escaped some natural disaster, his tie askew and his eyes wild and rolling. 'Hello, hello,' he would say, stepping in, running both hands through his disordered hair. 'Hope I didn't wake you, don't mind if I cut on the lights, do you, ah, here we go, yes, yes…' He would turn on the lights and then pace back and forth for a while without taking off his coat, hands clasped behind his back, shaking his head. Finally he would stop dead in his tracks and say, with a desperate look in his eye: 'Metahemeralism. Tell me about it. Everything you know. I gotta know something about metahemeralism.' 'I'm sorry. I don't know what that is.' 'I don't either,' Bunny would say brokenly. 'Got to do with art or pastoralism or something. That's how I gotta tie together John Donne and Izaak Walton, see.' He would resume pacing. 'Donne. Walton. Metahemeralism. That's the problem as I see it.' 'Bunny, I don't think "metahemeralism" is even a word.' 'Sure it is. Comes from the Latin. Has to do with irony and the pastoral. Yeah. That's it. Painting or sculpture or something, maybe.' 'Is it in the dictionary?' 'Dunno. Don't know how to spell it. I mean' – he made a picture frame with his hands – 'the poet and the fisherman. Parfait. Boon companions. Out in the open spaces. Living the good life. Metahemeralism's gotta be the glue here, see?' And so it would go, for sometimes half an hour or more, with Bunny raving about fishing, and sonnets, and heaven knew what, until in the middle of his monologue he would be struck by a brilliant thought and bluster off as suddenly as he had descended. He finished the paper four days before the deadline and ran around showing it to everyone before he turned it in. 'This is a nice paper, Bun -,' Charles said cautiously. 'Thanks, thanks.' 'But don't you think you ought to mention John Donne more often? Wasn't that your assignment?' 'Oh, Donne,' Bunny had said scoffingly. 'I don't want to drag him into this.' Henry refused to read it. 'I'm sure it's over my head, Bunny, really,' he said, glancing over the first page. 'Say, what's wrong with this type?' 'Triple-spaced it,' said Bunny proudly. 'These lines are about an inch apart.' 'Looks kind of like free verse, doesn't it?' Henry made a funny little snorting noise through his nose. 'Looks kind of like a menu,' he said. All I remember about the paper was that it ended with the sentence 'And as we leave Donne and Walton on the shores of Metahemeralism, we wave a fond farewell to those famous chums of yore.' We wondered if he would fail.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
The Pythagoreans were fascinated by the regular solids, symmetrical three-dimensional objects all of whose sides are the same regular polygon. The cube is the simplest example, having six squares as sides. There are an infinite number of regular polygons, but only five regular solids. (The proof of this statement, a famous example of mathematical reasoning, is given in Appendix 2.) For some reason, knowledge of a solid called the dodecahedron having twelve pentagons as sides seemed to them dangerous. It was mystically associated with the Cosmos. The other four regular solids were identified, somehow, with the four “elements” then imagined to constitute the world; earth, fire, air and water. The fifth regular solid must then, they thought, correspond to some fifth element that could only be the substance of the heavenly bodies. (This notion of a fifth essence is the origin of our word quintessence.) Ordinary people were to be kept ignorant of the dodecahedron.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
For some years, Trieste was a murky exchange for the commodities most coveted in the deprived societies of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia. Jeans, for example, were then almost a currency of their own, so terrific was the demand on the other side of the line, and the trestle tables of the Ponterosso market groaned with blue denims of dubious origin ("Jeans Best for Hammering, Pressing and Screwing", said a label I noted on one pair). There was a thriving traffic in everything profitably resellable, smuggleable or black-marketable - currencies, stamps, electronics, gold. Not far from the Ponterosso market was Darwil's, a five-storey jewellers' shop famous among gold speculators throughout central Europe. Dazzling were its lights, deafening was its rock music, and through its blinding salons clutches of thick-set conspiratorial men muttered and wandered, inspecting lockets through eye-glasses, stashing away watches in suitcases, or coldly watching the weighing of gold chains in infinitesimal scales.
Jan Morris (Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere)
Freud famously saw the ‘horror’ of Medusa’s head as a symbol of male castration, but the original trauma in the Medusa story is not castration but rape. Most scholars and historians dismiss Poseidon’s rape of Medusa as an insignificant detail, merely one among so many rapes of mortal, immortal and semi-divine women committed by male gods. However, myths which glorify rape as a strategy ‘to enact the principle of domination by means of sex’ are comparatively recent, becoming widespread in Attica around the 5th century BCE. It is likely that myths celebrating rape reflect a devastating historical shift in cultural values, the change from a society based on equality and partnership to a hierarchical structure based on unequal distribution of resources and the need to control women’s sexuality. Joseph Campbell describes the myth of Perseus and Medusa as reflecting ‘an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma’ which occurred in the early thirteenth century B.C.E. The myth may refer to the overrunning of the peaceful, sedentary, matrifocal and most likely matrilineal early civilizations of Old Europe by patriarchal warlike Indo-European invaders.
Laura Shannon (Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine Wisdom)
It is almost necessary to say nowadays that a saint means a very good man. The notion of an eminence merely moral, consistent with complete stupidity or unsuccess, is a revolutionary image grown unfamiliar by its very familiarity, and needing, as do so many things of this older society, some almost preposterous modern parallel to give its original freshness and point. If we entered a foreign town and found a pillar like the Nelson Column, we should be surprised to learn that the hero on the top of it had been famous for his politeness and hilarity during a chronic toothache. If a procession came down the street with a brass band and a hero on a white horse, we should think it odd to be told that he had been very patient with a half-witted maiden aunt. Yet some such pantomime impossibility is the only measure of the innovation of the Christian idea of a popular and recognized saint. It must especially be realized that while this kind of glory was the highest, it was also in a sense the lowest. The materials of it were almost the same as those of labour and domesticity: it did not need the sword or sceptre, but rather the staff or spade. It was the ambition of poverty. All this must be approximately visualized before we catch a glimpse of the great effects of the story which lay behind the Canterbury Pilgrimage.
G.K. Chesterton (A Short History of England)
Many kinds of animal behavior can be explained by genetic similarity theory. Animals have a preference for close kin, and study after study has shown that they have a remarkable ability to tell kin from strangers. Frogs lay eggs in bunches, but they can be separated and left to hatch individually. When tadpoles are then put into a tank, brothers and sisters somehow recognize each other and cluster together rather than mix with tadpoles from different mothers. Female Belding’s ground squirrels may mate with more than one male before they give birth, so a litter can be a mix of full siblings and half siblings. Like tadpoles, they can tell each other apart. Full siblings cooperate more with each other than with half-siblings, fight less, and are less likely to run each other out of the territory when they grow up. Even bees know who their relatives are. In one experiment, bees were bred for 14 different degrees of relatedness—sisters, cousins, second cousins, etc.—to bees in a particular hive. When the bees were then released near the hive, guard bees had to decide which ones to let in. They distinguished between degrees of kinship with almost perfect accuracy, letting in the closest relatives and chasing away more distant kin. The correlation between relatedness and likelihood of being admitted was a remarkable 0.93. Ants are famous for cooperation and willingness to sacrifice for the colony. This is due to a quirk in ant reproduction that means worker ants are 70 percent genetically identical to each other. But even among ants, there can be greater or less genetic diversity, and the most closely related groups of ants appear to cooperate best. Linepithema humile is a tiny ant that originated in Argentina but migrated to the United States. Many ants died during the trip, and the species lost much of its genetic diversity. This made the northern branch of Linepithema humile more cooperative than the one left in Argentina, where different colonies quarrel and compete with each other. This new level of cooperation has helped the invaders link nests into supercolonies and overwhelm local species of ants. American entomologists want to protect American ants by introducing genetic diversity so as to make the newcomers more quarrelsome. Even plants cooperate with close kin and compete with strangers. Normally, when two plants are put in the same pot, they grow bigger root systems, trying to crowd each other out and get the most nutrients. A wild flower called the Sea Rocket, which grows on beaches, does not do that if the two plants come from the same “mother” plant. They recognize each others’ root secretions and avoid wasteful competition.
Jared Taylor
The father of communism, Karl Marx, famously predicted the “withering away of the state” once the proletarian revolution had achieved power and abolished private property. Left-wing revolutionaries from the nineteeth-century anarchists on thought it sufficient to destroy old power structures without giving serious thought to what would take their place. This tradition continues up through the present, with the suggestion by antiglobalization authors like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri that economic injustice could be abolished by undermining the sovereignty of states and replacing it with a networked “multitude.”17 Real-world Communist regimes of course did exactly the opposite of what Marx predicted, building large and tyrannical state structures to force people to act collectively when they failed to do so spontaneously. This in turn led a generation of democracy activists in Eastern Europe to envision their own form of statelessness, where a mobilized civil society would take the place of traditional political parties and centralized governments. 18 These activists were subsequently disillusioned by the realization that their societies could not be governed without institutions, and when they encountered the messy compromises required to build them. In the decades since the fall of communism, Eastern Europe is democratic, but it is not thereby necessarily happy with its politics or politicians.19 The fantasy of statelessness
Francis Fukuyama (The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution)
Varanasi is the holiest city in Hinduism in India, which is a very unique city in india. The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Often referred to as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals. Ganges is said to have its origins in the tresses of Lord Shiva and in Varanasi, it expands to the mighty river that we know of. The city is a center of learning and civilization for over 3000 years. With Sarnath, the place where Buddha preached his first sermon after enlightenment, just 10 km away, Varanasi has been a symbol of Hindu renaissance. Knowledge, philosophy, culture, devotion to Gods, Indian arts and crafts have all flourished here for centuries. The holy city has many other temples also. The Tulsi Manas mandir is a modern marble temple. The walls of the temple are engraved with verses and scenes from Ramcharitmanas, hindi version of Ramayana, written by Tulsidas ji who lived here. Varanasi has produced numerous famous scholars and intellectuals, who have left their mark in respective fields of activity. Varanasi is home to numerous universities, college, schools, Madarsas and Pathshalas and the Guru Shishya tradition still continue in many institutions. The literary tradition of languages, dialects, newspapers, magazines and libraries continue to even this day. In varanasi one must have to do Boat Ride.
rubyholidays
For years I’ve been asking myself (and my readers) whether these propagandists—commonly called corporate or capitalist journalists—are evil or stupid. I vacillate day by day. Most often I think both. But today I’m thinking evil. Here’s why. You may have heard of John Stossel. He’s a long-term analyst, now anchor, on a television program called 20/20, and is most famous for his segment called “Give Me A Break,” in which, to use his language, he debunks commonly held myths. Most of the rest of us would call what he does “lying to serve corporations.” For example, in one of his segments, he claimed that “buying organic [vegetables] could kill you.” He stated that specially commissioned studies had found no pesticide residues on either organically grown or pesticide-grown fruits and vegetables, and had found further that organic foods are covered with dangerous strains of E. coli. But the researchers Stossel cited later stated he misrepresented their research. The reason they didn’t find any pesticides is because they never tested for them (they were never asked to). Further, they said Stossel misrepresented the tests on E. coli. Stossel refused to issue a retraction. Worse, the network aired the piece two more times. And still worse, it came out later that 20/20’s executive director Victor Neufeld knew about the test results and knew that Stossel was lying a full three months before the original broadcast.391 This is not unusual for Stossel and company.
Derrick Jensen (Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization)
Despite his earthbound approach and his preoccupation with scientific fact, Aristotle had an acute understanding of the nature and importance of religion and mythology. He pointed out that people who had become initiates in the various mystery religions were not required to learn any facts “but to experience certain emotions and to be put in a certain disposition.”35 Hence his famous literary theory that tragedy effected a purification (katharsis) of the emotions of terror and pity that amounted to an experience of rebirth. The Greek tragedies, which originally formed part of a religious festival, did not necessarily present a factual account of historical events but were attempting to reveal a more serious truth. Indeed, history was more trivial than poetry and myth: “The one describes what has happened, the other what might. Hence poetry is something more philosophic and serious than history; for poetry speaks of what is universal, history of what is particular.”36 There may or may not have been a historical Achilles or Oedipus, but the facts of their lives were irrelevant to the characters we have experienced in Homer and Sophocles, which express a different but more profound truth about the human condition. Aristotle’s account of the katharsis of tragedy was a philosophic presentation of a truth that Homo religiosus had always understood intuitively: a symbolic, mythical or ritual presentation of events that would be unendurable in daily life can redeem and transform them into something pure and even pleasurable.
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
Evidently Nehru, though a nationalist at the political level, was intellectually and emotionally drawn to the Indus civilization by his regard for internationalism, secularism, art, technology and modernity. By contrast, Nehru’s political rival, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, neither visited Mohenjo-daro nor commented on the significance of the Indus civilization. Nor did Nehru’s mentor, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, India’s greatest nationalist leader. In Jinnah’s case, this silence is puzzling, given that the Indus valley lies in Pakistan and, moreover, Jinnah himself was born in Karachi, in the province of Sindh, not so far from Mohenjo-daro. In Gandhi’s case, the silence is even more puzzling. Not only was Gandhi, too, an Indus dweller, so to speak, having been born in Gujarat, in Saurashtra, but he must surely also have become aware in the 1930s of the Indus civilization as the potential origin of Hinduism, plus the astonishing revelation that it apparently functioned without resort to military violence. Yet, there is not a single comment on the Indus civilization in the one hundred large volumes of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. The nearest he comes to commenting is a touching remark recorded by the Mahatma’s secretary when the two of them visited the site of Marshall’s famous excavations at Taxila, in northern Punjab, in 1938. On being shown a pair of heavy silver ancient anklets by the curator of the Taxila archaeological museum, ‘Gandhiji with a deep sigh remarked: “Just like what my mother used to wear.
Andrew Robinson (The Indus)
As part of his long-winded bullshit, Baby fell into a genre trope that he had avoided in his first two novels. He started inventing new words. This was a common habit amongst Science Fiction writers. They couldn’t help themselves. They were always inventing new words. Perhaps the most famous example of a Science Fiction writer inventing a new word occurs in Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Part of Heinlein’s vision of horny decentralized alien sex involves the Martian word grok. To grok something is to comprehend that something with effortless and infinite intuition. When you grok something, that something becomes a part of you and you become a part of that something without any troublesome Earthling attempts at knowing. A good example of groking something is the way that members of the social construct of the White race had groked their own piglet pink. They’d groked their skin color so much that it became invisible. It had become part of them and they had become part of it. That was groking. People in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially those who worked in technology like Erik Willems, loved to talk about groking. With time, their overusage stripped away the original meaning and grok became synonymous with simple knowledge of a thing. In a weird way, people in the Bay Area who used the word grok did not grok the word grok. Baby had always been popular with people on the Internet, which was a wonderful place to deny climate change, willfully misinterpret the Bible, and denounce Darwin’s theory of evolution. Now that Baby had coined nonsense neologisms, he had become more than popular. He had become quotable.
Jarett Kobek (I Hate the Internet)
Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy. One of the benefits of the sequence of five-year plans written and administered by Gosplan was supposed to have been the long time horizon necessary for rational investment and innovation. In reality, what got implemented in Soviet industry had little to do with the five-year plans, which were frequently revised and rewritten or simply ignored. The development of industry took place on the basis of commands by Stalin and the Politburo, who changed their minds frequently and often completely revised their previous decisions. All plans were labeled “draft” or “preliminary.” Only one copy of a plan labeled “final”—that for light industry in 1939—has ever come to light. Stalin himself said in 1937 that “only bureaucrats can think that planning work ends with the creation of the plan. The creation of the plan is just the beginning. The real direction of the plan develops only after the putting together of the plan.” Stalin wanted to maximize his discretion to reward people or groups who were politically loyal, and punish those who were not. As for Gosplan, its main role was to provide Stalin with information so he could better monitor his friends and enemies. It actually tried to avoid making decisions. If you made a decision that turned
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
Darwin’s Hopes Shattered However, although evolutionists have been making strenuous efforts to find fossils since the middle of the nineteenth century all over the world, no transitional forms have yet been uncovered. All of the fossils, contrary to the evolutionists' expectations, show that life appeared on Earth all of a sudden and fully-formed. One famous British paleontologist, Derek V. Ager, admits this fact, even though he is an evolutionist: The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find – over and over again – not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another. This means that in the fossil record, all living species suddenly emerge as fully formed, without any intermediate forms in between. This is just the opposite of Darwin's assumptions. Also, this is very strong evidence that all living things are created. The only explanation of a living species emerging suddenly and complete in every detail without any evolutionary ancestor is that it was created. This fact is admitted also by the widely known evolutionist biologist Douglas Futuyma: Creation and evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence. Fossils show that living beings emerged fully developed and in a perfect state on the Earth. That means that "the origin of species," contrary to Darwin's supposition, is not evolution, but creation.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
The Age Of Reason 1. ‘Well, it’s that same frankness you fuss about so much. You’re so absurdly scared of being your own dupe, my poor boy, that you would back out of the finest adventure in the world rather than risk telling yourself a lie.’ 2. “ I’m not so much interested in myself as all that’ he said simply. ‘I know’, said Marcelle. It isn’t an aim , it’s a means. It helps you to get rid of yourself; to contemplate and criticize yourself: that’s the attitude you prefer. When you look at yourself, you imagine you aren’t what you see, you imagine you are nothing. That is your ideal: you want to be nothing.’’ 3. ‘In vain he repeated the once inspiring phrase: ‘I must be free: I must be self-impelled, and able to say: ‘’I am because I will: I am my own beginning.’’ Empty, pompous words, the commonplaces of the intellectual.’ 4. ‘He had waited so long: his later years had been no more than a stand-to. Oppressed with countless daily cares, he had waited…But through all that, his sole care had been to hold himself in readiness. For an act. A free, considered act; that should pledge his whole life, and stand at the beginning of a new existence….He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind….’ 5. ‘ ‘It was love. This time, it was love. And Mathiue thought:’ What have I done?’ Five minutes ago this love didn’t exist; there was between them a rare and precious feeling, without a name and not expressible in gestures.’ 6. ‘ The fact is, you are beyond my comprehension: you, so prompt with your indignation when you hear of an injustice, you keep this woman for years in a humiliating position, for the sole pleasure of telling yourself that you are respecting your principles. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were true, if you really did adapt your life to your ideas. But, I must tell you once more…you like that sort of life-placid, orderly, the typical life of an official.’ ‘’That freedom consisted in frankly confronting situations into which one had deliberately entered, and accepting all one’s responsibilities.’ ‘Well…perhaps I’m doing you an injustice. Perhaps you haven’t in fact reached the age of reason, it’s really a moral age…perhaps I’ve got there sooner than you have.’ 7. ‘ I have nothing to defend. I am not proud of my life and I’m penniless. My freedom? It’s a burden to me, for years past I have been free and to no purpose. I simply long to exchange it for a good sound of certainty….Besides, I agree with you that no one can be a man who has not discovered something for which he is prepared to die.’ 8. ‘‘I have led a toothless life’, he thought. ‘ A toothless life. I have never bitten into anything. I was waiting. I was reserving myself for later on-and I have just noticed that my teeth have gone. What’s to be done? Break the shell? That’s easily said. Besides, what would remain? A little viscous gum, oozing through the dust and leaving a glistering trail behind it.’ 9.’’ A life’, thought Mathieu, ‘is formed from the future just like the bodies are compounded from the void’. He bent his head: he thought of his own life. The future had made way into his heart, where everything was in process and suspense. The far-off days of childhood, the day when he has said:’I will be free’, the day when he had said: ’I will be famous’, appeared to him even now with their individual future, like a small, circled individual sky above them all, and the future was himself, himself just as he was at present, weary and a little over-ripe, they had claims upon him across the passage of time past, they maintained their insistencies, and he was often visited by attacks of devastating remorse, because his casual, cynical present was the original future of those past days.
Jean-Paul Sartre
The Biggest Property Rental In Amsterdam Amsterdam has been ranked as the 13th best town to live in the globe according to Mercer contacting annual Good quality of Living Review, a place it's occupied given that 2006. Which means that the city involving Amsterdam is among the most livable spots you can be centered. Amsterdam apartments are equally quite highly sought after and it can regularly be advisable to enable a housing agency use their internet connections with the amsterdam parkinghousing network to help you look for a suitable apartment for rent Amsterdam. Amsterdam features rated larger in the past, yet continuing plan of disruptive and wide spread construction projects - like the problematic North-South town you live line- has intended a small scores decline. Amsterdam after rated inside the top 10 Carolien Gehrels (Tradition) told Dutch news company ANP that the metropolis is happy together with the thirteenth place. "Of course you want is actually the first place position, however shows that Amsterdam is a fairly place to live. Well-known places to rent in Amsterdam Your Jordaan. An old employees quarter popularised amang other things with the sentimental tunes of a quantity of local vocalists. These music painted an attractive image of the location. Local cafes continue to attribute live vocalists like Arthur Jordaan and Tante Leeni. The Jordaan is a network of alleyways and narrow canals. The section was proven in the Seventeenth century, while Amsterdam desperately needed to expand. The region was created along the design of the routes and ditches which already existed. The Jordaan is known for the weekly biological Nordermaarkt on Saturdays. Amsterdam is famous for that open air market segments. In Oud-zuid there is a ranging Jordan Cuypmarkt open year long. This part of town is a very popular spot for expats to find Expat Amsterdam flats due in part to vicinity of the Vondelpark. Among the largest community areas A hundred and twenty acres) inside Amsterdam, Netherlands. It can be located in the stadsdeel Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, western side from the Leidseplein as well as the Museumplein. The playground was exposed in 1865 as well as originally named the "Nieuwe Park", but later re-named to "Vondelpark", after the 17th one hundred year author Joost lorrie den Vondel. Every year, the recreation area has around 10 million guests. In the park can be a film art gallery, an open air flow theatre, any playground, and different cafe's and restaurants.
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We are conscious of only a tiny fraction of the information that our brains process in each moment.1 Although we continually notice changes in our experience—in thought, mood, perception, behavior, etc.—we are utterly unaware of the neurophysiological events that produce them. In fact, we can be very poor witnesses to experience itself. By merely glancing at your face or listening to your tone of voice, others are often more aware of your state of mind and motivations than you are. I generally start each day with a cup of coffee or tea—sometimes two. This morning, it was coffee (two). Why not tea? I am in no position to know. I wanted coffee more than I wanted tea today, and I was free to have what I wanted. Did I consciously choose coffee over tea? No. The choice was made for me by events in my brain that I, as the conscious witness of my thoughts and actions, could not inspect or influence. Could I have “changed my mind” and switched to tea before the coffee drinker in me could get his bearings? Yes, but this impulse would also have been the product of unconscious causes. Why didn’t it arise this morning? Why might it arise in the future? I cannot know. The intention to do one thing and not another does not originate in consciousness—rather, it appears in consciousness, as does any thought or impulse that might oppose it. The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously used EEG to show that activity in the brain’s motor cortex can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move.2 Another lab extended this work using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): Subjects were asked to press one of two buttons while watching a “clock” composed of a random sequence of letters appearing on a screen. They reported which letter was visible at the moment they decided to press one button or the other. The experimenters found two brain regions that contained information about which button subjects would press a full 7 to 10 seconds before the decision was consciously made.3 More recently, direct recordings from the cortex showed that the activity of merely 256 neurons was sufficient to predict with 80 percent accuracy a person’s decision to move 700 milliseconds before he became aware of it.4 These findings are difficult to reconcile with the sense that we are the conscious authors of our actions. One fact now seems indisputable: Some moments before you are aware of what you will do next—a time in which you subjectively appear to have complete freedom to behave however you please—your brain has already determined what you will do. You then become conscious of this “decision” and believe that you are in the process of making it. The distinction between “higher” and “lower” systems in the brain offers no relief: I, as the conscious witness of my experience, no more initiate events in my prefrontal cortex than I cause my heart to beat. There will always be some delay between the first neurophysiological events that kindle my next conscious thought and the thought itself. And even if there weren’t—even if all mental states were truly coincident with their underlying brain states—I cannot decide what I will next think or intend until a thought or intention arises. What will my next mental state be? I do not know—it just happens. Where is the freedom in that?
Sam Harris (Free Will)
Late in the nineteenth century came the first signs of a “Politics in a New Key”: the creation of the first popular movements dedicated to reasserting the priority of the nation against all forms of internationalism or cosmopolitanism. The decade of the 1880s—with its simultaneous economic depression and broadened democratic practice—was a crucial threshold. That decade confronted Europe and the world with nothing less than the first globalization crisis. In the 1880s new steamships made it possible to bring cheap wheat and meat to Europe, bankrupting family farms and aristocratic estates and sending a flood of rural refugees into the cities. At the same time, railroads knocked the bottom out of what was left of skilled artisanal labor by delivering cheap manufactured goods to every city. At the same ill-chosen moment, unprecedented numbers of immigrants arrived in western Europe—not only the familiar workers from Spain and Italy, but also culturally exotic Jews fleeing oppression in eastern Europe. These shocks form the backdrop to some developments in the 1880s that we can now perceive as the first gropings toward fascism. The conservative French and German experiments with a manipulated manhood suffrage that I alluded to earlier were extended in the 1880s. The third British Reform Bill of 1884 nearly doubled the electorate to include almost all adult males. In all these countries, political elites found themselves in the 1880s forced to adapt to a shift in political culture that weakened the social deference that had long produced the almost automatic election of upper-class representatives to parliament, thereby opening the way to the entry of more modest social strata into politics: shopkeepers, country doctors and pharmacists, small-town lawyers—the “new layers” (nouvelles couches) famously summoned forth in 1874 by Léon Gambetta, soon to be himself, the son of an immigrant Italian grocer, the first French prime minister of modest origins. Lacking personal fortunes, this new type of elected representative lived on their parliamentarians’ salary and became the first professional politicians. Lacking the hereditary name recognition of the “notables” who had dominated European parliaments up to then, the new politicians had to invent new kinds of support networks and new kinds of appeal. Some of them built political machines based upon middle-class social clubs, such as Freemasonry (as Gambetta’s Radical Party did in France); others, in both Germany and France, discovered the drawing power of anti-Semitism and nationalism. Rising nationalism penetrated at the end of the nineteenth century even into the ranks of organized labor. I referred earlier in this chapter to the hostility between German-speaking and Czech-speaking wage earners in Bohemia, in what was then the Habsburg empire. By 1914 it was going to be possible to use nationalist sentiment to mobilize parts of the working class against other parts of it, and even more so after World War I. For all these reasons, the economic crisis of the 1880s, as the first major depression to occur in the era of mass politics, rewarded demagoguery. Henceforth a decline in the standard of living would translate quickly into electoral defeats for incumbents and victories for political outsiders ready to appeal with summary slogans to angry voters.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
The Tale of Human Evolution The subject most often brought up by advocates of the theory of evolution is the subject of the origin of man. The Darwinist claim holds that modern man evolved from ape-like creatures. During this alleged evolutionary process, which is supposed to have started 4-5 million years ago, some "transitional forms" between modern man and his ancestors are supposed to have existed. According to this completely imaginary scenario, four basic "categories" are listed: 1. Australopithecus 2. Homo habilis 3. Homo erectus 4. Homo sapiens Evolutionists call man's so-called first ape-like ancestors Australopithecus, which means "South African ape." These living beings are actually nothing but an old ape species that has become extinct. Extensive research done on various Australopithecus specimens by two world famous anatomists from England and the USA, namely, Lord Solly Zuckerman and Prof. Charles Oxnard, shows that these apes belonged to an ordinary ape species that became extinct and bore no resemblance to humans. Evolutionists classify the next stage of human evolution as "homo," that is "man." According to their claim, the living beings in the Homo series are more developed than Australopithecus. Evolutionists devise a fanciful evolution scheme by arranging different fossils of these creatures in a particular order. This scheme is imaginary because it has never been proved that there is an evolutionary relation between these different classes. Ernst Mayr, one of the twentieth century's most important evolutionists, contends in his book One Long Argument that "particularly historical [puzzles] such as the origin of life or of Homo sapiens, are extremely difficult and may even resist a final, satisfying explanation." By outlining the link chain as Australopithecus > Homo habilis > Homo erectus > Homo sapiens, evolutionists imply that each of these species is one another's ancestor. However, recent findings of paleoanthropologists have revealed that Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus lived at different parts of the world at the same time. Moreover, a certain segment of humans classified as Homo erectus have lived up until very modern times. Homo sapiens neandarthalensis and Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man) co-existed in the same region. This situation apparently indicates the invalidity of the claim that they are ancestors of one another. Stephen Jay Gould explained this deadlock of the theory of evolution although he was himself one of the leading advocates of evolution in the twentieth century: What has become of our ladder if there are three coexisting lineages of hominids (A. africanus, the robust australopithecines, and H. habilis), none clearly derived from another? Moreover, none of the three display any evolutionary trends during their tenure on earth. Put briefly, the scenario of human evolution, which is "upheld" with the help of various drawings of some "half ape, half human" creatures appearing in the media and course books, that is, frankly, by means of propaganda, is nothing but a tale with no scientific foundation. Lord Solly Zuckerman, one of the most famous and respected scientists in the U.K., who carried out research on this subject for years and studied Australopithecus fossils for 15 years, finally concluded, despite being an evolutionist himself, that there is, in fact, no such family tree branching out from ape-like creatures to man.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
gave up on the idea of creating “socialist men and women” who would work without monetary incentives. In a famous speech he criticized “equality mongering,” and thereafter not only did different jobs get paid different wages but also a bonus system was introduced. It is instructive to understand how this worked. Typically a firm under central planning had to meet an output target set under the plan, though such plans were often renegotiated and changed. From the 1930s, workers were paid bonuses if the output levels were attained. These could be quite high—for instance, as much as 37 percent of the wage for management or senior engineers. But paying such bonuses created all sorts of disincentives to technological change. For one thing, innovation, which took resources away from current production, risked the output targets not being met and the bonuses not being paid. For another, output targets were usually based on previous production levels. This created a huge incentive never to expand output, since this only meant having to produce more in the future, since future targets would be “ratcheted up.” Underachievement was always the best way to meet targets and get the bonus. The fact that bonuses were paid monthly also kept everyone focused on the present, while innovation is about making sacrifices today in order to have more tomorrow. Even when bonuses and incentives were effective in changing behavior, they often created other problems. Central planning was just not good at replacing what the great eighteenth-century economist Adam Smith called the “invisible hand” of the market. When the plan was formulated in tons of steel sheet, the sheet was made too heavy. When it was formulated in terms of area of steel sheet, the sheet was made too thin. When the plan for chandeliers was made in tons, they were so heavy, they could hardly hang from ceilings. By the 1940s, the leaders of the Soviet Union, even if not their admirers in the West, were well aware of these perverse incentives. The Soviet leaders acted as if they were due to technical problems, which could be fixed. For example, they moved away from paying bonuses based on output targets to allowing firms to set aside portions of profits to pay bonuses. But a “profit motive” was no more encouraging to innovation than one based on output targets. The system of prices used to calculate profits was almost completely unconnected to the value of new innovations or technology. Unlike in a market economy, prices in the Soviet Union were set by the government, and thus bore little relation to value. To more specifically create incentives for innovation, the Soviet Union introduced explicit innovation bonuses in 1946. As early as 1918, the principle had been recognized that an innovator should receive monetary rewards for his innovation, but the rewards set were small and unrelated to the value of the new technology. This changed only in 1956, when it was stipulated that the bonus should be proportional to the productivity of the innovation. However, since productivity was calculated in terms of economic benefits measured using the existing system of prices, this was again not much of an incentive to innovate. One could fill many pages with examples of the perverse incentives these schemes generated. For example, because the size of the innovation bonus fund was limited by the wage bill of a firm, this immediately reduced the incentive to produce or adopt any innovation that might have economized on labor.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
Growth was so rapid that it took in generations of Westerners, not just Lincoln Steffens. It took in the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. It even took in the Soviet Union’s own leaders, such as Nikita Khrushchev, who famously boasted in a speech to Western diplomats in 1956 that “we will bury you [the West].” As late as 1977, a leading academic textbook by an English economist argued that Soviet-style economies were superior to capitalist ones in terms of economic growth, providing full employment and price stability and even in producing people with altruistic motivation. Poor old Western capitalism did better only at providing political freedom. Indeed, the most widely used university textbook in economics, written by Nobel Prize–winner Paul Samuelson, repeatedly predicted the coming economic dominance of the Soviet Union. In the 1961 edition, Samuelson predicted that Soviet national income would overtake that of the United States possibly by 1984, but probably by 1997. In the 1980 edition there was little change in the analysis, though the two dates were delayed to 2002 and 2012. Though the policies of Stalin and subsequent Soviet leaders could produce rapid economic growth, they could not do so in a sustained way. By the 1970s, economic growth had all but stopped. The most important lesson is that extractive institutions cannot generate sustained technological change for two reasons: the lack of economic incentives and resistance by the elites. In addition, once all the very inefficiently used resources had been reallocated to industry, there were few economic gains to be had by fiat. Then the Soviet system hit a roadblock, with lack of innovation and poor economic incentives preventing any further progress. The only area in which the Soviets did manage to sustain some innovation was through enormous efforts in military and aerospace technology. As a result they managed to put the first dog, Leika, and the first man, Yuri Gagarin, in space. They also left the world the AK-47 as one of their legacies. Gosplan was the supposedly all-powerful planning agency in charge of the central planning of the Soviet economy. One of the benefits of the sequence of five-year plans written and administered by Gosplan was supposed to have been the long time horizon necessary for rational investment and innovation. In reality, what got implemented in Soviet industry had little to do with the five-year plans, which were frequently revised and rewritten or simply ignored. The development of industry took place on the basis of commands by Stalin and the Politburo, who changed their minds frequently and often completely revised their previous decisions. All plans were labeled “draft” or “preliminary.” Only one copy of a plan labeled “final”—that for light industry in 1939—has ever come to light. Stalin himself said in 1937 that “only bureaucrats can think that planning work ends with the creation of the plan. The creation of the plan is just the beginning. The real direction of the plan develops only after the putting together of the plan.” Stalin wanted to maximize his discretion to reward people or groups who were politically loyal, and punish those who were not. As for Gosplan, its main role was to provide Stalin with information so he could better monitor his friends and enemies. It actually tried to avoid making decisions. If you made a decision that turned out badly, you might get shot. Better to avoid all responsibility. An example of what could happen
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty)
The mixture of a solidly established Romance aristocracy with the Old English grassroots produced a new language, a “French of England,” which came to be known as Anglo-Norman. It was perfectly intelligible to the speakers of other langues d’oïl and also gave French its first anglicisms, words such as bateau (boat) and the four points of the compass, nord, sud, est and ouest. The most famous Romance chanson de geste, the Song of Roland, was written in Anglo-Norman. The first verse shows how “French” this language was: Carles li reis, nostre emperere magnes, set anz tuz pleins ad estéd en Espaigne, Tresqu’en la mer cunquist la tere altaigne… King Charles, our great emperor, stayed in Spain a full seven years: and he conquered the high lands up to the sea… Francophones are probably not aware of how much England contributed to the development of French. England’s court was an important production centre for Romance literature, and most of the early legends of King Arthur were written in Anglo-Norman. Robert Wace, who came from the Channel Island of Jersey, first evoked the mythical Round Table in his Roman de Brut, written in French in 1155. An Englishman, William Caxton, even produced the first “vocabulary” of French and English (a precursor of the dictionary) in 1480. But for four centuries after William seized the English crown, the exchange between Old English and Romance was pretty much the other way around—from Romance to English. Linguists dispute whether a quarter or a half of the basic English vocabulary comes from French. Part of the argument has to do with the fact that some borrowings are referred to as Latinates, a term that tends to obscure the fact that they actually come from French (as we explain later, the English worked hard to push away or hide the influence of French). Words such as charge, council, court, debt, judge, justice, merchant and parliament are straight borrowings from eleventh-century Romance, often with no modification in spelling. In her book Honni soit qui mal y pense, Henriette Walter points out that the historical developments of French and English are so closely related that anglophone students find it easier to read Old French than francophones do. The reason is simple: Words such as acointance, chalenge, plege, estriver, remaindre and esquier disappeared from the French vocabulary but remained in English as acquaintance, challenge, pledge, strive, remain and squire—with their original meanings. The word bacon, which francophones today decry as an English import, is an old Frankish term that took root in English. Words that people think are totally English, such as foreign, pedigree, budget, proud and view, are actually Romance terms pronounced with an English accent: forain, pied-de-grue (crane’s foot—a symbol used in genealogical trees to mark a line of succession), bougette (purse), prud (valiant) and vëue. Like all other Romance vernaculars, Anglo-Norman evolved quickly. English became the expression of a profound brand of nationalism long before French did. As early as the thirteenth century, the English were struggling to define their nation in opposition to the French, a phenomenon that is no doubt the root of the peculiar mixture of attraction and repulsion most anglophones feel towards the French today, whether they admit it or not. When Norman kings tried to add their French territory to England and unify their kingdom under the English Crown, the French of course resisted. The situation led to the first, lesser-known Hundred Years War (1159–1299). This long quarrel forced the Anglo-Norman aristocracy to take sides. Those who chose England got closer to the local grassroots, setting the Anglo-Norman aristocracy on the road to assimilation into English.
Jean-Benoît Nadeau (The Story of French)