Population Problem Quotes

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People often ask, "What is the single most important environmental population problem facing the world today?" A flip answer would be, "The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem!
Jared Diamond (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed)
She gave me the jabs and said I was covered for every worst-case scenario, including being bitten by a dirty chimp. I told her this is why we have over-population problems. Why are idiots who annoy dirty chimps being protected?
Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington)
This was a time when the government had implemented birth control policies called “family planning” to keep population growth under control. Abortion due to medical problems had been legal for ten years at that point, and checking the sex of the fetus and aborting females was common practice, as if “daughter” was a medical problem.
Cho Nam-joo (Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982)
The first problem of living is to minimize friction with the crowds that surround you on all sides.
Isaac Asimov (The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1))
Democracy requires the ability of a population to pay attention long enough to identify real problems, distinguish them from fantasies, come up with solutions, and hold their leaders accountable if they fail to deliver them.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention - and How to Think Deeply Again)
Of all the problems which will have to be faced in the future, in my opinion, the most difficult will be those concerning the treatment of the inferior races of mankind.
Leonard Darwin
Our Negro problem, therefore, is not of the Negro's making. No group in our population is less responsible for its existence. But every group is responsible for its continuance.... Both races need to understand that their rights and duties are mutual and equal and their interests in the common good are idential.... There is no help or healing in apparaising past responsibilities or in present apportioning of praise or blame. The past is of value only as it aids in understanding the present; and an understanding of the facts of the problem--a magnanimous understanding by both races--is the first step toward its solution.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
Once, [Rabbi Chanoch] Teller was traveling with 16 of his [18] offspring ... while changing planes in Frankfurt, Teller noticed a German woman gaping. 'Are all of these your children?' the woman asked. 'From one wife?' 'Yes, God has blessed me with all these children,' the rabbi replied. 'Haven't you heard about the population problem?'the woman sniffed. 'How many more children do you want to have?' Rabbi Teller paused and looked the woman in the eye: 'About 6 million,' he said.
Lynn Vincent
Mine is a very matter-of-fact approach to the problem. If you can select a population and they're educated and they're properly brought up, then you don't have to use too much of the stick because they would already have been trained. It's like with dogs. You train it in a proper way from small. It will know that it's got to leave, go outside to pee and to defecate. No, we are not that kind of society. We had to train adult dogs who even today deliberately urinate in the lifts.
Lee Kuan Yew
Unless we realize that the present market society, structured around the brutally competitive imperative of “grow or die,” is a thoroughly impersonal, self-operating mechanism, we will falsely tend to blame technology as such or population growth as such for environmental problems. We will ignore their root causes, such as trade for profit, industrial expansion, and the identification of “progress” with corporate self-interest. In short, we will tend to focus on the symptoms of a grim social pathology rather than on the pathology itself, and our efforts will be directed toward limited goals whose attainment is more cosmetic than curative.
Murray Bookchin
So you have a new baby sister, huh Charlie Brown? Yes, and I'm so happy... Happy?! I suppose it's never occurred to you that over-population is a serious problem?!
Charles M. Schulz
The world has a very serious problem, my friend' Shiva went on. 'Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich -- like me -- live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we're pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though...
Ramez Naam (Crux (Nexus, #2))
[T]he problem was too much information. The population was being inundated with conflicting versions of increasingly complex events. People were giving up on understanding anything. The glut of information was dulling awareness, not aiding it. Overload. It encouraged passivity, not involvement.
Jerry Mander (Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television)
There are growing domestic social and economic problems, in fact, maybe catastrophes. Nobody in power has any intention of doing anything about them. If you look at the domestic programs of the administrations of the past ten years-I include here the Democratic opposition-there's really no serious proposal about what to do about the severe problems of health, education, homelessness, joblessness, crime, soaring criminal populations, jails, deterioration in the inner cities - the whole raft of problems... In such circumstances you've got to divert the bewildered herd, because if they start noticing this they may not like it, since they're the ones suffering from it. Just having them watch the Superbowl and the sitcoms may not be enough. You have to whip them up into fear of enemies. In the 1930s Hitler whipped them into fear of the Jews and gypsies. You had to crush them to defend yourselves. We have our ways, too. Over the last ten years, every year ot two, some major monster is constructed that we have to defend ourselves against.
Noam Chomsky (Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda)
Dictatorships usually exist primarily because of the internal power distribution in the home country. The population and society are too weak to cause the dictatorship serious problems, wealth and power are concentrated in too few hands. Although dictatorships may benefit from or be somewhat weakened by international actions, their continuation is dependent primarily on internal factors.
Gene Sharp (From Dictatorship to Democracy)
But it was one thing to release a population of virtual agents inside a computer's memory to solve a problem. It was another thing to set real agents free in the real world.
Michael Crichton (Prey)
The state of our civilization manifests itself both in the non-problems that terrify us beyond all reason - rising sea levels - and in the real problems we pay no heed to [population decline]...In reality, much of the planet will be uninhabited long before it's uninhabitable
Mark Steyn (America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It)
I believe that my theory is correct; for whatever be the question upon which I am arguing, whether it be religious, philosophical, political, or economical; whether it affects well-being, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, property, labor, exchange, capital, wages, taxes, population, credit, or Government; at whatever point of the scientific horizon I start from, I invariably come to the same thing—the solution of the social problem is in liberty.
Frédéric Bastiat
Anthropologists,” Heckenberger said, “made the mistake of coming into the Amazon in the twentieth century and seeing only small tribes and saying, ‘Well, that’s all there is.’ The problem is that, by then, many Indian populations had already been wiped out by what was essentially a holocaust from European contact. That’s why the first Europeans in the Amazon described such massive settlements that, later, no one could ever find.
David Grann (The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon)
Between 1990 and 2005, a new prison opened in the United States every ten days. Prison growth and the resulting “prison-industrial complex”—the business interests that capitalize on prison construction—made imprisonment so profitable that millions of dollars were spent lobbying state legislators to keep expanding the use of incarceration to respond to just about any problem. Incarceration became the answer to everything—health care problems like drug addiction, poverty that had led someone to write a bad check, child behavioral disorders, managing the mentally disabled poor, even immigration issues generated responses from legislators that involved sending people to prison. Never before had so much lobbying money been spent to expand America’s prison population, block sentencing reforms, create new crime categories, and sustain the fear and anger that fuel mass incarceration than during the last twenty-five years in the United States.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)
The problem with call-in shows is quite simple, if you only dare to admit it: Democracy is best when not everyone can be heard all the time. If we are constantly reminded of all the stupid things that people say and think, it becomes rather difficult to remember the good and noble arguments for everyone to be able to participate and decide.
Johan Hakelius
The solutions put forth by imperialism are the quintessence of simplicity...When they speak of the problems of population and birth, they are in no way moved by concepts related to the interests of the family or of society...Just when science and technology are making incredible advances in all fields, they resort to technology to suppress revolutions and ask the help of science to prevent population growth. In short, the peoples are not to make revolutions, and women are not to give birth. This sums up the philosophy of imperialism.
Fidel Castro
Apparently these three had left half of the surviving population of China seriously pissed off at them, as well as making mortal enemies with a rogue, defrocked Russian organized crime figure. In their spare time they had stolen money from millions of T’Rain players, created huge problems for a large multinational corporation that owned the game, and, finally—warming to the task—mounted a frontal assault on al-Qaeda.
Neal Stephenson (Reamde (Crypto, #2))
A population of four million is not quantitatively but qualitatively different from an individual, because it involves systems of interaction among the individuals.
Paul Watzlawick (Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution)
Feminism, which is supposedly for everybody, apparently has no place for conservative women. Why would feminists need to exclude entire swaths of the population? Because they know their ideology cannot stand up to challenges, they know they themselves do not understand it, and they know that to accomplish their goals they cannot allow discussion to occur....To pretend that your ideology is impenetrable and the obvious answer to modern social problems and then to turn around and exclude people from the discussion only creates more holes in the theories themselves and serves to demonstrate the liberal superiority complex.
Chris Sardegna
The poverty in India is not because of spirituality, but because of not practicing spirituality and not knowing the technique of integrating spirituality with external life. Those leading the country now should become aware of this fact. India suffers because the leaders and people of the country today still do not have a unified vision for uplifting the country as a whole. They do not have an answer to the population problem, nor does there seem to be any immediate solution. I think India is surviving
Swami Rama (Living With the Himalayan Masters)
To fret about political, social, or economic inequality in a free society is to fret about the problem of freedom itself, for in the presence of freedom there will always be inequality of some kind.
Jonah Goldberg (Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy)
At the end of the day, the problem is education. Without an educated population, it doesn't matter what other problems you try to tackle. It's not gonna work. Think of how much less powerful campaign contributions would be if people had the critical thinking skills to see through advertising? Think of how many of our problems are based just on pure ignorance, whether it's antiscience people or bigots or whatever.
Brennan Lee Mulligan (Strong Female Protagonist: Book One)
One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies.
Noam Chomsky
Beavers, the animal that doubles as an ecosystem, are ecological and hydrological Swiss Army knives, capable, in the right circumstances, of tackling just about any landscape-scale problem you might confront. Trying to mitigate floods or improve water quality? There’s a beaver for that. Hoping to capture more water for agriculture in the face of climate change? Add a beaver. Concerned about sedimentation, salmon populations, wildfire? Take two families of beaver and check back in a year. If that all sounds hyperbolic to you, well, I’m going to spend this book trying to change your mind.
Ben Goldfarb (Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter)
The problem arises when a society respects its scholars lesser and lesser and replaces intellectualism with anti-intellectualism. Such society forces the most intellectual members of its, toward alienation and instead develops populism and irrationalism and then calls it anti-elitism. On the other hand, scholars, due to being undermined by the society, find any effort hopeless and isolate themselves into their work. For a scholar, personally, nothing changes because the scholar always is a scholar no matter having someone to share the knowledge with or not, but the true problem forms in the most ordinary sections of the society, which eventually creates an opportunity for propaganda, conspiracy theories, rhetoric, and bogus.
Kambiz Shabankare
One of the greatest myths of addiction is that it’s interesting. There is a slight glamour in the beginning, a feeling of doing something wrong, of indulging in a weird world populated by ghosts who used to be struggling musicians but don’t make music anymore, or writers who never write. And then your whole life is getting high and being numb, and there’s absolutely no reason to leave your bed except to get more money. Your life becomes a triangle of elemental needs: get money, get drugs, get home.
Jade Sharma (Problems)
For the next several minutes we forgot about scones and lollipops and SATs and politicians and the Secret Service and hovered in a blissful place, population of two—Max and me. When I was kissing Max, the rest of the world, and all my problems faded away.
Cassidy Calloway (Secrets of a First Daughter (First Daughter, #2))
Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. The Hebrew word for fruitful means more than just sexual reproduction; it refers to being fruitful in either a literal or a figurative sense. Fruitfulness can be qualitative in nature as well as quantitative. Mankind has never had a problem being procreative—a current global population of over six billion is proof of that—but we do have a problem with being fruitful in the other ways God desires. Essentially, being fruitful means releasing our potential. Fruit is an end product. An apple tree may provide cool shade and be beautiful to look at, but until it produces apples it has not fulfilled its ultimate purpose. Apples contain the seeds of future apple trees and, therefore, future apples. However, apples also have something else to offer: a sweet and nourishing food to satisfy human physical hunger. In this sense, fruit has a greater purpose than simply reproducing; fruit exists to bless the world. Every person is born with a seed of greatness. God never tells us to go find seed; it is already within us. Inside each of us is the seed potential for a full forest—a bumper crop of fruit with which to bless the world. We each were endowed at birth with a unique gift, something we were born to do or become that no one else can achieve the way we can. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Humans, like all mammals, are heat engines; surviving means having to continually cool off, as panting dogs do. For that, the temperature needs to be low enough for the air to act as a kind of refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin so the engine can keep pumping. At seven degrees of warming, that would become impossible for portions of the planet’s equatorial band, and especially the tropics, where humidity adds to the problem. And the effect would be fast: after a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out. At eleven or twelve degrees Celsius of warming, more than half the world’s population, as distributed today, would die of direct heat. Things almost certainly won’t get that hot anytime soon, though some models of unabated emissions do bring us that far eventually, over centuries. But at just five degrees, according to some calculations, whole parts of the globe would be literally unsurvivable for humans. At six, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the United States east of the Rockies would suffer more from heat than anyone, anywhere, in the world today. New York City would be hotter than present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
However, sexual anorexics do have a definite profile that separates them from the larger population of those having difficulty being sexual: They are often extremely competent people who are committed to doing things very well and have a fear of making mistakes and being human.
Patrick J. Carnes (Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred)
You need to take a step back from the problem in order to see it in global perspective. At present there are five and a half billion of you here, and, though millions of you are starving, you’re producing enough food to feed six billion. And because you’re producing enough food for six billion, it’s a biological certainty that in three or four years there will be six billion of you. By that time, however (even though millions of you will still be starving), you’ll be producing enough food for six and a half billion—which means that in another three or four years there will be six and a half billion. But by that time you’ll be producing enough food for seven billion (even though millions of you will still be starving), which again means that in another three or four years there will be seven billion of you. In order to halt this process, you must face the fact that increasing food production doesn’t feed your hungry, it only fuels your population explosion.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit)
They say there’s so much beauty in the world, but I don’t see it. Perhaps that’s my problem. Am I crazy for having major depressive disorder, or is the rest of the population crazy for not having it? How do you even define sanity? Is it the will to live another day in spite of a lifetime of failures? Or is it the desire to keep going after you’ve lost everything you really, truly cared about?
Miley Styles (I See The Devil)
This was a time when the government had implemented birth control policies called ‘family planning’ to keep population growth under control. Abortion due to medical problems had been legal for ten years at that point, and checking the sex of the foetus and aborting females was common practice, as if ‘daughter’ was a medical problem.1 This went on throughout the 1980s, and in the early 1990s, the very height of the male-to-female ratio
Cho Nam-joo (Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982)
Medical research has revealed that in about one-tenth of the population, the liver processes alcohol differently, releasing a chemical messenger that creates the craving for another drink; once that second drink is taken, the desire is doubled. But the real problem of the alcoholic is actually centered in the mind, because we can’t remember why it was such a bad idea to pick up that first drink. Once we start, we can’t stop; and when we stop, we can’t remember why we shouldn’t start again. It is a form of mental illness, like a manic-depressive who, after being stabilized on medication for a while, suddenly decides she is fine and no longer needs her pills.
Kaylie Jones (Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir)
Still, while condemning Plato, we must acknowledge that neither Christianity, nor any other form of religion and society, has hitherto been able to cope with this most difficult of social problems, and that the side from which Plato regarded it is that from which we turn away. Population is the most untameable force in the political and social world.
Plato (The Republic)
America isn't breaking apart at the seams. The American dream isn't dying. Our new racial and ethnic complexion hasn't triggered massive outbreaks of intolerance. Our generations aren't at each other's throats. They're living more interdependently than at any time in recent memory, because that turns out to be a good coping strategy in hard times. Our nation faces huge challenges, no doubt. So do the rest of the world's aging economic powers. If you had to pick a nation with the right stuff to ride out the coming demographic storm, you'd be crazy not to choose America, warts and all.
Pew Research Center (The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown)
A policing of sex: that is, not the rigor of a taboo, but the necessity of regulating sex through useful and public discourses. A few examples will suffice. One of the great innovations in the techniques of power in the eighteenth century was the emergence of “population” as an economic and political problem: population as wealth, population as manpower or labor capacity, population balanced between its own growth and the resources it commanded. Governments perceived that they were not dealing simply with subjects, or even with a “people,” but with a “population,” with its specific phenomena and its peculiar variables: birth and death rates, life expectancy, fertility, state of health, frequency of illnesses, patterns of diet and habitation.
Michel Foucault (The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction)
Wherever I'm going, I'll be there to apply the formula. I'll keep the secret intact. It's simple arithmetic. It's a story problem. If a new car built by my company leaves Chicago traveling west at 60 miles per hour, and the rear differential locks up, and the car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside, does my company initiate a recall? You take the population of vehicles in the field (A) and multiple it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average cost of an out-of-court settlement (C). A times B times C equals X. This is what it will cost if we don't initiate a recall. If X is greater than the cost of a recall, we recall the cars and no one gets hurt. If X is less than the cost of a recall, then we don't recall.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
These are the Cluster B personality disorders, and based on the statistics above, they are found in more than one in every seven people—over 15 percent of the population (I’m rounding down, to account for comorbidity). Now consider that most of these people are highly functional, nonincarcerated, active members of society. So given the raw numbers, it’s highly likely that you unknowingly pass by one of these cunning manipulators every day on your way to work—perhaps even today, when they served you your morning coffee. So what’s the problem? The problem is that the general public knows virtually nothing about these incredibly pervasive disorders.
Jackson MacKenzie (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other Toxic People)
It seems to me that this is theoretically right, for whatever the question under discussion -- whether religious, philosophical, political, or economic; whether it concerns prosperity, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, cooperation, property, labor, trade, capital, wages, taxes, population, finance, or government -- at whatever point on the scientific horizon I begin my researches, I invariably reach this one conclusion: The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
After Darwin, human morality became a scientific mystery. Natural selection could explain how intelligent, upright, linguistic, not so hairy, bipedal primates could evolve, but where did our morals come from? Darwin himself was absorbed by this question. Natural selection, it was thought, promotes ruthless self-interest. Individuals who grab up all the resources and destroy the competition will survive better, reproduce more often, and thus populate the world with their ruthlessly selfish offspring. How, then, could morality evolve in a world that Tennyson famously described as “red in tooth and claw”? We now have an answer. Morality evolved as a solution to the problem of cooperation, as a way of averting the Tragedy of the Commons: Morality is a set of psychological adaptations that allow otherwise selfish individuals to reap the benefits of cooperation.
Joshua Greene (Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them)
The evidence that women are being let down by the medical establishment is overwhelming. The bodies, symptoms and diseases that affect half the world’s population are being dismissed, disbelieved and ignored. And it’s all a result of the data gap combined with the still prevalent belief, in the face of all the evidence that we do have, that men are the default humans. They are not. They are, to state the obvious, just men. And data collected on them does not, cannot, and should not, apply to women. We need a revolution in the research and the practice of medicine, and we need it yesterday. We need to train doctors to listen to women, and to recognise that their inability to diagnose a woman may not be because she is lying or being hysterical: the problem may be the gender data gaps in their knowledge. It’s time to stop dismissing women, and start saving them.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
It’s not the drug that causes the junkie it’s the laws that causes the junkie because of course the drug laws means that he can’t go and get help because he is afraid of being arrested. He also can’t have a normal life because the war on drugs has made drugs so expensive and has made drug contracts unenforceable which means they can only be enforced through criminal violence. It becomes so profitable to sell drugs to addicts that the drug dealers have every incentive to get people addicted by offering free samples and to concentrate their drug to the highest possible dose to provoke the greatest amount of addiction as possible. Overall it is a completely staggering and completely satanic human calamity. It is the new gulag and in some ways much more brutal than the soviet gulag. In the soviet gulags there was not a huge prison rape problem and in this situation your life could be destroyed through no fault of your own through sometimes, no involvement of your own and the people who end up in the drug culture are walled off and separated as a whole and thrown into this demonic, incredibly dangerous, underworld were the quality of the drugs can’t be verified. Were contracts can’t be enforced except through breaking peoples kneecaps and the price of drugs would often led them to a life of crime. People say “well, I became a drug addict and I lost my house, family, and my job and all that.” It’s not because you became a drug addict but, because there is a war on drugs which meant that you had to pay so much for the drugs that you lost your house because you couldn't go and find help or substitutes and ended up losing your job. It’s all nonsense. The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons for heaven’s sakes. The war on drugs is not designed to be won. Its designed to continue so that the government can get the profits of drug running both directly through the CIA and other drug runners that are affiliated or through bribes and having the power of terrorizing the population. To frame someone for murder is pretty hard but to palm a packet of cocaine and say that you found it in their car is pretty damn easy and the government loves having that power." -Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux
The motto here is that sometimes the apparently inferior choice has a better upgrade path: Evolution can’t know this, and we aren’t particularly good at recognizing it ourselves. On the genetic level, it translates as follows: Natural selection may solve the same problems differently in different populations, and what appears to be the most elegant solution at the time may not in fact turn out to be the one that works best in the long run. The seemingly inferior choice
Gregory Cochran (The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution)
One of the least meaningful and most overused words in the English language is 'sustainability.' For most Americans, it means something like 'pretty much the way I live right now, though maybe with a different car.' A good test of any activity or product described as sustainable is to multiply it by 300 million (the approximate current population of the United States) and then by 9 or 10 billion (the expected population of the world by midcentury) and see if it still seems green. This is not an easy test to pass
David Owen (The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse)
write these pages, Japan and the U.S. are still practicing widespread selective denial of major problems. Japan currently acknowledges some problems (its large government debt and aging population), and incompletely acknowledges the issue of Japanese women’s role. But Japan still denies other problems: its lack of accepted alternatives to immigration for solving its demographic difficulties; the historical causes of Japan’s tense relations with China and Korea; and denial that Japan’s traditional policy of seeking to grab overseas natural resources rather than to help manage them sustainably is now outdated. The U.S., as I write, is still in widespread denial of our own major problems: political polarization, low voter turnout, obstacles to voter registration, inequality, limited socio-economic mobility, and decreasing government investment in public goods.
Jared Diamond (Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis)
Now I have very little respect for the electoral system in the United States. I could have respected it in the early days, when the country was small and we had small population. The system that we have in the United States was set up at a time when the total population was the population of Tennessee. We've stretched it to try to make it work for different kind of problems and in stretching and adapting it, we've lost its meaning. We still have the form but not the meaning. There's a lot of things that we have to look at critically that might have been useful at one time that are no longer useful I think there's some good in everything. There's some bad in everything. But there's so little good in some things that you know for practical purposes they're useless. They're beyond salvation. There's so much good in some things, even though there's bad, that we build on that.
Myles Horton (We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change)
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered. In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck. Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system […] is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called 'gifted' are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students. This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not. The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
Christopher Michael Langan
Douglas Adams amusingly satirized computer addiction of exactly the kind that hit me. The target of his satire was the programmer who had a particular problem X, which needed solving. He could have written a program in five minutes to solve X and then got on and used his solution. But instead of just doing that, he spent days and weeks writing a more general program that could be used by anybody at any time to solve all similar problems of the general class of X. The fascination lies in the generality and in the purveying of an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly product for the benefit of a population of hypothetical and very probably non-existent users – not in actually finding the answer to the particular problem X.
Richard Dawkins (An Appetite For Wonder: The Making Of A Scientist)
I am a person suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and I am appalled that it has been given such a trivial name. Here is a disease that totally disables most of its victims; a disease that causes balance disorders, resulting in some of us requiring wheelchairs, cognitive disorders that leave us unable to perform formerly simple mental tasks, and immune disorders that lay us open to multiple infections and to autoimmune problems. And all the medical profession can come up with to define this syndrome to the general population is "fatigue!
Jane Cuozzo
The only answer that I can give to this problem is based on Darwin’s principle of natural selection. The idea is that in any population of self-reproducing organisms, there will be variations in the genetic material and upbringing that different individuals have. These differences will mean that some individuals are better able than others to draw the right conclusions about the world around them and to act accordingly. These individuals will be more likely to survive and reproduce and so their pattern of behavior and thought will come to dominate. It
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
There are many reasons for increased spending on health care, including an aging population, technological change, perverse incentives, supply-induced demand, and fear of malpractice litigation. The broader point is that the basic underlying problem does not entail misbehavior or incompetence but rather stems from the nature of the provision of labor-intensive services.
William J. Baumol (The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't)
Declaring war on Skaal increased patriotism among the people, made them forget about all their other problems, killed off some of the excess population, often resulted in the acquisition of some valuable booty, and — most importantly — relieved Boric’s crushing boredom. It was too bad about the killing, of course, but most of the peasants were probably going to die of plague or starvation anyway.
Robert Kroese (Disenchanted (Land of Dis, #1))
A hunter-gatherer mother who is shifting camp can carry only one child, along with her few possessions. She cannot afford to bear her next child until the previous toddler can walk fast enough to keep up with the tribe and not hold it back. In practice, nomadic hunter-gatherers space their children about four years apart by means of lactational amenorrhea, sexual abstinence, infanticide, and abortion. By contrast, sedentary people, unconstrained by problems of carrying young children on treks, can bear and raise as many children as they can feed. The birth interval for many farm peoples is around two years, half that of hunter-gatherers. That higher birthrate of food producers, together with their ability to feed more people per acre, lets them achieve much higher population densities than hunter-gatherers.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (20th Anniversary Edition))
Look around. The hantavirus is waiting for you. Ebola and the tropical rainforest is cooking up all kinds of brews to make sure that the population is kept in control. All these things are necessary. Why is there an increase in sexual deviance right now? Because it goes against procreative sex. Mother Nature does not want more children. This is not a time of birth. It is not a time to give birth, it's a time to die. The Bible says all things under heaven and that includes death as well as life. You out there, you comfortable ones, you point the finger. You say the junkie is the problem, you say the sexual deviant, serial killer, racist, and the man who hates his fellow man is the problem. But they ain't the problem. You're the problem. The sexual deviant, the murderer, the serial killer, the taker of human life is the cure, you're the problem.
Joe Coleman
What are the adaptive benefits of ritual participation, if any? One potential function of rituals is the role they play in generating social glue and driving cooperation. This glue appears to come in two main varieties: a very strong adhesive that motivates extreme self-sacrifice in small bands when facing challenging collective action problems such as outgroup threat, and a less powerful but highly spreadable adhesive that motivates conformism in much larger ‘imagined’ communities (such as nations or world religions), where group survival depends on being able to amass and centralize resources gathered from widely distributed populations.
Harvey Whitehouse (The Ritual Animal: Imitation and Cohesion in the Evolution of Social Complexity)
To begin with, there is an almost compulsive promiscuity associated with homosexual behavior. 75% of homosexual men have more than 100 sexual partners during their lifetime. More than half of these partners are strangers. Only 8% of homosexual men and 7% of homosexual women ever have relationships lasting more than three years. Nobody knows the reason for this strange, obsessive promiscuity. It may be that homosexuals are trying to satisfy a deep psychological need by sexual encounters, and it just is not fulfilling. Male homosexuals average over 20 partners a year. According to Dr. Schmidt, The number of homosexual men who experience anything like lifelong fidelity becomes, statistically speaking, almost meaningless. Promiscuity among homosexual men is not a mere stereotype, and it is not merely the majority experience—it is virtually the only experience. Lifelong faithfulness is almost non-existent in the homosexual experience. Associated with this compulsive promiscuity is widespread drug use by homosexuals to heighten their sexual experiences. Homosexuals in general are three times as likely to be problem drinkers as the general population. Studies show that 47% of male homosexuals have a history of alcohol abuse and 51% have a history of drug abuse. There is a direct correlation between the number of partners and the amount of drugs consumed. Moreover, according to Schmidt, “There is overwhelming evidence that certain mental disorders occur with much higher frequency among homosexuals.” For example, 40% of homosexual men have a history of major depression. That compares with only 3% for men in general. Similarly 37% of female homosexuals have a history of depression. This leads in turn to heightened suicide rates. Homosexuals are three times as likely to contemplate suicide as the general population. In fact homosexual men have an attempted suicide rate six times that of heterosexual men, and homosexual women attempt suicide twice as often as heterosexual women. Nor are depression and suicide the only problems. Studies show that homosexuals are much more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual men. Whatever the causes of these disorders, the fact remains that anyone contemplating a homosexual lifestyle should have no illusions about what he is getting into. Another well-kept secret is how physically dangerous homosexual behavior is.
William Lane Craig
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (Encounter Broadsides))
Walking around today, I wondered if the problem wasn’t that the market had changed as the fact Gabriel had changed. It’s still populated by sixteen-year-olds, embracing the sunshine, sprawled on either side of the canal, a jumble of bodies—boys in rolled-up shorts with bare chests, girls in bikinis or bras—skin everywhere, burning, reddening flesh. The sexual energy was palpable—their hungry, impatient thirst for life. I felt a sudden desire for Gabriel—for his body and his strong legs, his thick thighs lain over mine. When we have sex, I always feel an insatiable hunger for him—for a kind of union between us—something that’s bigger than me, bigger than us, beyond words—something holy.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
What has Capitalism resolved? It has solved no problems. It has looted the world. It has left us with all this poverty. It has created lifestyles and models of consumerism that are incompatible with reality. It has poisoned the waterways. Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, Seas, the Atmosphere, the Earth. It has produced an incredible waste of resources. I always cite one example; imagine every person in China owned a Car, or aspired to own a Car. Everyone of the 1.1 Billion people in China, or that everyone of the 800 million people in India wished to own a Car, this method, this lifestyle, and Africa did the same, and nearly 450 million Latin Americans did the same. How long would Oil last? How long would Natural Gas last? How long would natural resources last? What would be left of the Ozone layer? What would be left of Oxygen on Earth? What would happen with Carbon Dioxide? And all these phenomenon that are changing the ecology of our world, they are changing Earth, they are making life on our Planet more and more difficult all the time. What model has Capitalism given the world to follow? An example for societies to emulate? Shouldn’t we focus on more rational things, like the education of the whole population? Nutrition, health, a respectable lodging, an elevated culture? Would you say capitalism, with it’s blind laws, it’s selfishness as a fundamental principle, has given us something to emulate? Has it shown us a path forward? Is humanity going to travel on the course charted thus far? There may be talk of a crisis in socialism, but, today, there is an even greater crises in capitalism, with no end in sight.
Fidel Castro
The breakdown of the neighborhoods also meant the end of what was essentially an extended family....With the breakdown of the extended family, too much pressure was put on the single family. Mom had no one to stay with Granny, who couldn't be depended on to set the house on fire while Mom was off grocery shopping. The people in the neighborhood weren't there to keep an idle eye out for the fourteen-year-old kid who was the local idiot, and treated with affection as well as tormented....So we came up with the idea of putting everybody in separate places. We lock them up in prisons, mental hospitals, geriatric housing projects, old-age homes, nursery schools, cheap suburbs that keep women and the kids of f the streets, expensive suburbs where everybody has their own yard and a front lawn that is tended by a gardener so all the front lawns look alike and nobody uses them anyway....the faster we lock them up, the higher up goes the crime rate, the suicide rate, the rate of mental breakdown. The way it's going, there'll be more of them than us pretty soon. Then you'll have to start asking questions about the percentage of the population that's not locked up, those that claim that the other fifty-five per cent is crazy, criminal, or senile. WE have to find some other way....So I started imagining....Suppose we built houses in a circle, or a square, or whatever, connected houses of varying sizes, but beautiful, simple. And outside, behind the houses, all the space usually given over to front and back lawns, would be common too. And there could be vegetable gardens, and fields and woods for the kids to play in. There's be problems about somebody picking the tomatoes somebody else planted, or the roses, or the kids trampling through the pea patch, but the fifty groups or individuals who lived in the houses would have complete charge and complete responsibility for what went on in their little enclave. At the other side of the houses, facing the, would be a little community center. It would have a community laundry -- why does everybody have to own a washing machine?-- and some playrooms and a little cafe and a communal kitchen. The cafe would be an outdoor one, with sliding glass panels to close it in in winter, like the ones in Paris. This wouldn't be a full commune: everybody would have their own way of earning a living, everybody would retain their own income, and the dwellings would be priced according to size. Each would have a little kitchen, in case people wanted to eat alone, a good-sized living space, but not enormous, because the community center would be there. Maybe the community center would be beautiful, lush even. With playrooms for the kids and the adults, and sitting rooms with books. But everyone in the community, from the smallest walking child, would have a job in it.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into responding to each new problem by demanding that the government should act. That we should be constantly demanding that an institution we rather despise should solve large problems argues a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of times past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to help 'ordinary people' solve daily problems in their lives. This strange aspiration is a very large change in public life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded with derision to politicians seeking power in order to solve our problems. Todays, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (Encounter Broadsides))
Is it possible to describe as a culture what may simply be, after all, a history of oppression? That is, is this history and these present facts, which involve so many millions of people who are divided from each other by so many miles of the globe, which operates, and has operated, under such very different conditions, to such different effects, and which has produced so many different subhistories, problems, traditions, possibilities, aspirations, assumptions, languages, hybrids—is this history enough to have made of the earth’s black populations anything that can legitimately be described as a culture? For what, beyond the fact that all black men at one time or another left Africa, or have remained there, do they really have in common?
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
I had recently read to my dismay that they have started hunting moose again in New England. Goodness knows why anyone would want to shoot an animal as harmless and retiring as the moose, but thousands of people do—so many, in fact, that states now hold lotteries to decide who gets a permit. Maine in 1996 received 82,000 applications for just 1,500 permits. Over 12,000 outof-staters happily parted with a nonrefundable $20 just to be allowed to take part in the draw. Hunters will tell you that a moose is a wily and ferocious forest creature. Nonsense. A moose is a cow drawn by a three-year-old. That’s all there is to it. Without doubt, the moose is the most improbable, endearingly hopeless creature ever to live in the wilds. Every bit of it—its spindly legs, its chronically puzzled expression, its comical oven-mitt antlers—looks like some droll evolutionary joke. It is wondrously ungainly: it runs as if its legs have never been introduced to each other. Above all, what distinguishes the moose is its almost boundless lack of intelligence. If you are driving down a highway and a moose steps from the woods ahead of you, he will stare at you for a long minute (moose are notoriously shortsighted), then abruptly try to run away from you, legs flailing in eight directions at once. Never mind that there are several thousand square miles of forest on either side of the highway. The moose does not think of this. Clueless as to what exactly is going on, he runs halfway to New Brunswick before his peculiar gait inadvertently steers him back into the woods, where he immediately stops and takes on a startled expression that says, “Hey—woods. Now how the heck did I get here?” Moose are so monumentally muddle-headed, in fact, that when they hear a car or truck approaching they will often bolt out of the woods and onto the highway in the curious hope that this will bring them to safety. Amazingly, given the moose’s lack of cunning and peculiarly-blunted survival instincts, it is one of the longest-surviving creatures in North America. Mastodons, saber-toothed tigers, wolves, caribou, wild horses, and even camels all once thrived in eastern North America alongside the moose but gradually stumbled into extinction, while the moose just plodded on. It hasn’t always been so. At the turn of this century, it was estimated that there were no more than a dozen moose in New Hampshire and probably none at all in Vermont. Today New Hampshire has an estimated 5,000 moose, Vermont 1,000, and Maine anywhere up to 30,000. It is because of these robust and growing numbers that hunting has been reintroduced as a way of keeping them from getting out of hand. There are, however, two problems with this that I can think of. First, the numbers are really just guesses. Moose clearly don’t line up for censuses. Some naturalists think the population may have been overstated by as much as 20 percent, which means that the moose aren’t being so much culled as slaughtered. No less pertinent is that there is just something deeply and unquestionably wrong about killing an animal that is so sweetly and dopily unassuming as a moose. I could have slain this one with a slingshot, with a rock or stick—with a folded newspaper, I’d almost bet—and all it wanted was a drink of water. You might as well hunt cows.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
We are all of us exposed to grief: the people we love die, as we shall ourselves in due course; expectations are disappointed and ambitions are thwarted by circumstance. Finally, there are some who insist upon feeling guilty over the ill they have done or simply on account of the ugliness which they perceive in their own souls. A solution of a kind has been found to this problem in the form of sedatives and anti-depressant drugs, so that many human experiences which used to be accepted as an integral part of human life are now defined and dealt with as medical problems. The widow who grieves for a beloved husband becomes a 'case', as does the man saddened by the recollection of the napalm or high explosives he has dropped on civilian populations. One had thought that guilt was a way, however indirect, in which we might perceive the nature of reality and the laws which govern our human experience; but it is now an illness that can be cured. Death however, remains incurable. Though we might be embarrassed by Victorian death-bed scenes or the practices of mourning among people less sophisticated than ourselves, the fact of death tells us so much about the realities of our condition that to ignore it or try to forget it is to be unaware of the most important thing we need to know about our situation as living creatures. Equally, to witness and participate in the dying of our fellow men and women is to learn what we are and, if we have any wisdom at all, to draw conclusions which must in their way affect our every thought and our every act.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (King of the Castle: Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World (Islamic Texts Society))
Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the masses in poverty by restricting the output of goods. This happened to a great extent during the final phase of capitalism, roughly between 1920 and 1940. The economy of many countries was allowed to stagnate, land went out of cultivation, capital equipment was not added to, great blocks of the population were prevented from working and kept half alive by State charity. But this, too, entailed military weakness, and since the privations it inflicted were obviously unnecessary, it made opposition inevitable. The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare. The
George Orwell (1984)
I once saw a woman wearing a low-cut dress; she had a glazed look in her eyes, and she was walking the streets of Ljubljana when it was five degrees below zero. I thought she must be drunk, and I went to help her, but she refused my offer to lend her my jacket. Perhaps in her world it was summer and her body was warmed by the desire of the person waiting for her. Even if that person only existed in her delirium, she had the right to live and die as she wanted, don’t you think?” Veronika didn’t know what to say, but the madwoman’s words made sense to her. Who knows; perhaps she was the woman who had been seen half-naked walking the streets of Ljubljana? “I’m going to tell you a story,” said Zedka. “A powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which all the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad. “The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take no notice of them. “When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. They marched on the castle and called for his abdication. “In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.’ “And that was what they did: The king and the queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such wisdom, why not allow him to continue ruling the country? “The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.” Veronika laughed. “You don’t seem crazy at all,” she said. “But I am, although I’m undergoing treatment since my problem is that I lack a particular chemical. While I hope that the chemical gets rid of my chronic depression, I want to continue being crazy, living my life the way I dream it, and not the way other people want it to be. Do you know what exists out there, beyond the walls of Villete?” “People who have all drunk from the same well.” “Exactly,” said Zedka. “They think they’re normal, because they all do the same thing. Well, I’m going to pretend that I have drunk from the same well as them.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
The extreme intellectual elegance of the proposal to legalize the distribution and consumption of drugs, touted as the solution to so many problems at once (AIDS, crime, overcrowding in the prisons, and even the attractiveness of drugs to foolish young people) should give rise to skepticism. Social problems are not usually like that. Analogies with the Prohibition era, often drawn by those who would legalize drugs, are false and inexact: it is one thing to attempt to ban a substance that has been in customary use for centuries by at least nine-tenths of the adult population, and quite another to retain a ban on substances that are still not in customary use, in an attempt to ensure that they never do become customary. Surely we have already slid down enough slippery slopes in the last thirty years without looking for more such slopes to slide down.
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses)
For four decades, since my time as a graduate student, I have been preoccupied by these kinds of stories about the myriad ways in which people depart from the fictional creatures that populate economic models. It has never been my point to say that there is something wrong with people; we are all just human beings—homo sapiens. Rather, the problem is with the model being used by economists, a model that replaces homo sapiens with a fictional creature called homo economicus, which I like to call an Econ for short. Compared to this fictional world of Econs, Humans do a lot of misbehaving, and that means that economic models make a lot of bad predictions, predictions that can have much more serious consequences than upsetting a group of students. Virtually no economists saw the financial crisis of 2007–08 coming,* and worse, many thought that both the crash and its aftermath were things that simply could not happen.
Richard H. Thaler (Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics)
Once again I draw your attention to the difficulties India has had to encounter and her struggle to overcome them. Her problem was the problem of the world in miniature. India is too vast in its area and too diverse in its races. It is many countries packed in one geographical receptacle. It is just the opposite of what Europe truly is, namely, one country made into many. Thus Europe in its culture and growth has had the advantage of the strength of the many as well as the strength of the one. India, on the contrary, being naturally many, yet adventitiously one, has all along suffered from the looseness of its diversity and the feebleness of its unity. A true unity is like a round globe, it rolls on, carrying its burden easily; but diversity is a many-cornered thing which has to be dragged and pushed with all force. Be it said to the credit of India that this diversity was not her own creation; she has had to accept it as a fact from the beginning of her history. In America and Australia, Europe has simplified her problem by almost exterminating the original population. Even in the present age this spirit of extermination is making itself manifest, in the inhospitable shutting out of aliens, by those who themselves were aliens in the lands they now occupy. But India tolerated difference of races from the first, and that spirit of toleration has acted all through her history. Her caste system is the outcome of this spirit of toleration. For India has all along been trying experiments in evolving a social unity within which all the different peoples could be held together, while fully enjoying the freedom of maintaining their own differences. The tie has been as loose as possible, yet as close as the circumstances permitted. This has produced something like a United States of a social federation, whose common name is Hinduism. India
Rabindranath Tagore (Nationalism)
In addition to these physical problems, sexually transmitted diseases are rampant among the homosexual population. 75% of homosexual men carry one or more sexually transmitted diseases, wholly apart from AIDS. These include all sorts of non-viral infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial infections, and parasites. Also common among homosexuals are viral infections like herpes and hepatitis B (which afflicts 65% of homosexual men), both of which are incurable, as well as hepatitis A and anal warts, which afflict 40% of homosexual men. And I haven’t even included AIDS. Perhaps the most shocking and frightening statistic is that, leaving aside those who die from AIDS, the life expectancy for a homosexual male is about 45 years of age. That compares to a life expectancy of around 70 for men in general. If you include those who die of AIDS, which now infects 30% of homosexual men, the life expectancy drops to 39 years of age. So I think a very good case can be made out on the basis of generally accepted moral principles that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is horribly self-destructive and injurious to another person. Thus, wholly apart from the Bible’s prohibition, there are sound, sensible reasons to regard homosexual activity as wrong.
William Lane Craig
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems, and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this. James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this. If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of "the wealth of the nation," those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire (American Empire Project))
Men's rights activists tend to make a series of valid observations from which they proceed to a single, 180-degree-wrong conclusion. They are correct to point out that, worldwide, suicide is the most common form of death for men under fifty. It's also true that men are more likely than women to have serious problems with alcohol, that men die younger, that the prison population is 95 per cent male and that the lack of support for our returning frontline soldiers is a national disgrace. So far, so regrettably true. They are incorrect, however, to lay any of this at the door of 'feminism', a term which they use almost interchangeably with 'women'. [...] No, sir. No, lads. No, Daddy. That won't help us and it won't help anyone else. Men in trouble are often in trouble precisely because they are trying to Get a Grip and Act Like a Man. We are at risk of suicide because the alternative is to ask for help, something we have been repeatedly told is unmanly. We are in prison because the traditional breadwinning expectation of manhood can't be met, or the pressure to conform is too great, or the option of violence has been frowned upon but implicitly sanctioned since we were children. [...] We die younger than women because, for one thing, we don't go to the doctor. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We don't want to be thought self-indulgent. The mark of a real man is being able to tolerate a chest infection for three months before laying off the smokes or asking for medicine.
Robert Webb (How Not To Be a Boy)
In fact, I think all of this screaming about "Political Correctness" that we hear these days in the elite culture is basically just a tantrum over the fact that it has been impossible to crush all of the dissidence and the activism and the concern that's developed in the general population in the last thirty years. I mean, it's not that some of these "P.C." things they point out aren't true-yeah, sure, some of them are true. But the real problem is that the huge right-wing effort to retake control of the ideological system didn't work―and since their mentality is basically totalitarian, any break in their control is considered a huge tragedy: 98 percent control isn't enough, you have to have 100 percent control; these are totalitarian strains. But they couldn't get it, especially among the general population. They have not been able to beat back all of the gains of the popular movements since the 1960s, which simply led to a lot of concern about sexism, and racism, and environmental issues, respect for other cultures, and all this other bad stuff. And it's led to real hysteria among elites, so you get this whole P.C. comedy.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Dr. Chanter, in his brilliant History of Human Thought in the Twentieth Century, has made the suggestion that only a very small proportion of people are capable of acquiring new ideas of political or social behaviour after they are twenty-five years old. On the other hand, few people become directive in these matters until they are between forty and fifty. Then they prevail for twenty years or more. The conduct of public affairs therefore is necessarily twenty years or more behind the living thought of the times. This is what Dr. Chanter calls the "delayed realisation of ideas". In the less hurried past this had not been of any great importance, but in the violent crises of the Revolutionary Period it became a primary fact. It is evident now that whatever the emergency, however obvious the new problem before our species in the nineteen-twenties, it was necessary for the whole generation that had learned nothing and could learn nothing from the Great War and its sequelae, to die out before any rational handling of world affairs could even begin. The cream of the youth of the war years had been killed; a stratum of men already middle-aged remained in control, whose ideas had already set before the Great War. It was, says Chanter, an inescapable phase. The world of the Frightened Thirties and the Brigand Forties was under the dominion of a generation of unteachable, obstinately obstructive men, blinded men, miseducating, misleading the baffled younger people for completely superseded ends. If they could have had their way, they would have blinded the whole world for ever. But the blinding was inadequate, and by the Fifties all this generation and its teachings and traditions were passing away, like a smoke-screen blown aside. Before a few years had passed it was already incredible that in the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century the whole political life of the world was still running upon the idea of competitive sovereign empires and states. Men of quite outstanding intelligence were still planning and scheming for the "hegemony" of Britain or France or Germany or Japan; they were still moving their armies and navies and air forces and making their combinations and alliances upon the dissolving chess-board of terrestrial reality. Nothing happened as they had planned it; nothing worked out as they desired; but still with a stupefying inertia they persisted. They launched armies, they starved and massacred populations. They were like a veterinary surgeon who suddenly finds he is operating upon a human being, and with a sort of blind helplessness cuts and slashes more and more desperately, according to the best equestrian rules. The history of European diplomacy between 1914 and 1944 seems now so consistent a record of incredible insincerity that it stuns the modern mind. At the time it seemed rational behaviour. It did not seem insincere. The biographical material of the period -- and these governing-class people kept themselves in countenance very largely by writing and reading each other's biographies -- the collected letters, the collected speeches, the sapient observations of the leading figures make tedious reading, but they enable the intelligent student to realise the persistence of small-society values in that swiftly expanding scene. Those values had to die out. There was no other way of escaping from them, and so, slowly and horribly, that phase of the moribund sovereign states concluded.
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
Women have always been the most important part of monster movies. As I walked home one night, I realized why. Making my way down dark city streets to my apartment in Brooklyn, I was alert and on edge. I was looking for suspicious figures, men that could be rapists, muggers or killers. I felt like Laurie Strode in Halloween. Horror is a pressure valve for society's fears and worries: monsters seeking to control our bodies, villains trying to assail us in the darkness, disease and terror resulting from the consequences of active sexuality, death. These themes are the staple of horror films. There are people who witness these problems only in scary movies. But for much of the population, what is on the screen is merely an exaggerated version of their everyday lives. These are forces women grapple with daily. Watching Nancy Thompson escape Freddy Krueger's perverted attacks reminds me of how I daily fend off creeps asking me to smile for them on the subway. Women are the most important part of horror because, by and large, women are the ones the horror happens to. Women have to endure it, fight it, survive it — in the movies and in real life. They are at risk of attack from real-life monsters. In America, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds. Horror films help explore these fears and imagine what it would be like to conquer them. Women need to see themselves fighting monsters. That’s part of how we figure out our stories. But we also need to see ourselves behind-the-scenes, creating and writing and directing. We need to tell our stories, too.
Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick)
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that there is higher crime in some cities where larger minority populations live. Yes, black men are more likely to commit a violent offense than white men. No, this is not “black-on-black” or “brown-on-brown” crime. Those terms are 100 percent racist. It’s crime. We don’t call crime that happens in white communities “white-on-white” crime, even though the majority of crimes against white people are perpetrated by other white people. Crime is a problem within communities. And communities with higher poverty, fewer jobs, and less infrastructure are going to have higher crime, regardless of race. When the average black American has one-thirteenth the net worth and the average Hispanic American has one-tenth the net worth of the average white American,10 and when the poverty rate among Native Americans is over three times that of whites,11 it is a strong bet that neighborhoods of color are more likely to be poor neighborhoods with higher crime and that higher-priced neighborhoods with easier access to jobs and more funding for education that lead to less crime would be more likely to be populated by comparatively wealthier white people.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)
That’s because both the job title and the job itself have never existed before. We used the term ‘ground-breaking’ to describe this position because that is exactly what it is.” Leonard Scott leaned forward. “The current Administration is committed to solving the greatest problems of our time—climate change, sustainability, the deficit, the impending crisis stemming from shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare, healthcare, and the problems that our nation faces as a result of an aging population. We are implementing a plan that will address all of these issues and will revolutionize the way that this country looks at retirement. Rather than continuing on in a bankrupt, broken system that meets the needs of no one, we are going to introduce American seniors to a new way of life—a holistic community that will engage them like nothing ever has before.
Alexandra Swann (The Planner)
In this world, as in our own, nearly all the chief means of production, nearly all the land, mines, factories, railways, ships, were controlled for private profit by a small minority of the population. These privileged individuals were able to force the masses to work for them on pain of starvation. The tragic farce inherent in such a system was already approaching. The owners directed the energy of the workers increasingly towards the production of more means of production rather than to the fulfilment of the needs of individual life. For machinery might bring profit to the owners; bread would not. With the increasing competition of machine with machine, profits declined, and therefore wages, and therefore effective demand for goods. Marketless products were destroyed, though bellies were unfed and backs unclad. Unemployment, disorder, and stern repression increased as the economic system disintegrated. A familiar story! As conditions deteriorated, and the movements of charity and state-charity became less and less able to cope with the increasing mass of unemployment and destitution, the new pariah-race became more and more psychologically useful to the hate-needs of the sacred, but still powerful, prosperous. The theory was spread that these wretched beings were the result of secret systematic race-pollution by riff-raff immigrants, and that they deserved no consideration whatever. They were therefore allowed only the basest forms of employment and the harshest conditions of work. When unemployment had become a serious social problem, practically the whole pariah stock was workless and destitute. It was of course easily believed that unemployment, far from being due to the decline of capitalism, was due to the worthlessness of the pariahs.
Olaf Stapledon (Star Maker (S.F. MASTERWORKS Book 52))
TRUTH: And yet no scientist today would debate that a single germ could wipe out all human life on the planet. Why then is it so naïve to believe a single toxic ideology could do the same? List the world’s problems and you will find the same theme running underneath. Why was Africa exploited for her resources? Did Westerners see Africans as family members or separate? What about Haiti when she was turned into a slave colony? Was she populated with extended family to be nurtured or laborers to be exploited? What about slaves themselves—today’s slaves and yesterday’s, as well—are they family members or just another means to achieve self-seeking ends? What about the homeless in need of medical care? What about a child who is bullied or even a river that is polluted? Do you not see, Fear, that all of these toxic branches of the human story grow out of a single contaminated root?
Tom Shadyac (Life's Operating Manual: With the Fear and Truth Dialogues)
But what lies ahead for those who are young now? I can say with confidence that their future will depend more on science and technology than any previous generation’s has done. They need to know about science more than any before them because it is part of their daily lives in an unprecedented way. Without speculating too wildly, there are trends we can see and emerging problems that we know must be dealt with, now and into the future. Among the problems I count global warming, finding space and resources for the massive increase in the Earth’s human population, rapid extinction of other species, the need to develop renewable energy sources, the degradation of the oceans, deforestation and epidemic diseases—just to name a few. There are also the great inventions of the future, which will revolutionise the ways we live, work, eat, communicate and travel. There is such enormous scope for innovation in every area of life. This is exciting. We could be mining rare metals on the Moon, establishing a human outpost on Mars and finding cures and treatments for conditions which currently offer no hope. The huge questions of existence still remain unanswered—how did life begin on Earth? What is consciousness? Is there anyone out there or are we alone in the universe? These are questions for the next generation to work on.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals. The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15-25%, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75% of them - peaceful people. But when you look at 15-25% of the world Muslim population, you're looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization. That is as big as the United States. So why should we worry about the radical 15-25%? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre. When you look throughout history, when you look at all the lessons of history, most Germans were peaceful. Yet the Nazis drove the agenda. And as a result, 60 million people died, almost 14 million in concentration camps. 6 million were Jews. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Russia, most Russians were peaceful as well. Yet the Russians were able to kill 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at China for example, most Chinese were peaceful as well. Yet the Chinese were able to kill 70 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. When you look at Japan prior to World War II, most Japanese were peaceful as well. Yet, Japan was able to butcher its way across Southeast Asia, killing 12 million people, mostly killed by bayonets and shovels. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. On September 11th in the United States we had 2.3 million Arab Muslims living in the United States. It took 19 hijackers - 19 radicals - to bring America down to its knees, destroy the World Trade Center, attack the Pentagon and kill almost 3000 Americans that day. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. So for all our power of reason, and for all us talking about moderate and peaceful Muslims, I'm glad you're here. But where are the others speaking out? And since you are the only Muslim representative in here, you took the limelight instead of speaking about why our government - I assume you're an American (the Muslim says yes) - As an American citizen, you sat in this room, and instead of standing up and saying a question, or asking something about our four Americans that died and what our government is doing to correct the problem, you stood there to make a point about peaceful, moderate Muslims. I wish you had brought ten with you to question about how we could hold our government responsible. It is time we take political correctness and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.” - Brigette Gabriel (transcript from Benghazi Accountability Coalition - Heritage Foundation)
J.K. Sheindlin (The People vs Muhammad - Psychological Analysis)
The conceptual problem at the center of contemporary healthcare is the confusion between disease processes and disease origins. Instead of asking why an illness occurs and trying to remove the conditions that led to it, medical researchers try to understand the mechanisms through which the disease operates, so that they can then interfere with them. These mechanisms, rather than the true origins, are seen as the causes of disease in current medical thinking. In the process of reducing illness to disease, the attention of physicians has moved away from the patient as a whole person. By concentrating on smaller and smaller fragments of the body – shifting its perspective from the study of bodily organs and their functions to that of cells and, finally, to the study of molecules – modern medicine often loses sight of the human being, and having reduced health to mechanical functioning, it is no longer able to deal with the phenomenon of healing. Over the past four decades, the dissatisfaction with the mechanistic approach to health and healthcare has grown rapidly both among healthcare professionals and the general public. At the same time, the emerging systems view of life has given rise to a corresponding systems view of health, as we discuss in Chapter 15, while health consciousness among the general population has increased dramatically in many countries. The
Fritjof Capra (The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision)
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY Before the 1857 uprising it was recognized that British rule in India could not be sustained without a large number of supporters and collaborators from within the Indian population. Recognizing this, it was influential men like Thomas Babbington Macaulay, who, as Chairman of the Education Board, sought to set up an educational system modeled after the British system, which, in the case of India, would serve to undermine the Hindu tradition. While not a missionary himself, Macaulay came from a deeply religious family steeped in the Protestant Christian faith. His father was a Presbyterian minister and his mother a Quaker. He believed that the conversion of Hindus to Christianity held the answer to the problems of administering India. His idea was to create a class of English educated elite that would repudiate its tradition and become British collaborators. In 1836, while serving as chairman of the Education Board in India, he enthusiastically wrote his father about his idea and how it was proceeding: “Our English schools are flourishing wonderfully. The effect of this education on the Hindus is prodigious... It is my belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolator among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, by natural operation of knowledge and reflection. I heartily rejoice in the project.
Stephen Knapp (The Aryan Invasion Theory: The Final Nail in its Coffin)
I would walk round that beautiful, unspoilt little island, with its population of under a hundred and where there isn’t a single tarmac road, thinking about how he would truly sound. Perhaps the quietness of the island helped me do so. ‘Everybody thinks he’s French,’ I said to myself as I walked across the great stones that littered the beach at Rushy Bay, or stomped over the tussocky grass of Heathy Hill, with its famous dwarf pansies. ‘The only reason people think Poirot is French is because of his accent,’ I muttered. ‘But he’s Belgian, and I know that French-speaking Belgians don’t sound French, not a bit of it.’" "I also was well aware of Brian Eastman’s advice to me before I left for Bryher: ‘Don’t forget, he may have an accent, but the audience must be able to understand exactly what he’s saying.’ There was my problem in a nutshell." "To help me, I managed to get hold of a set of Belgian Walloon and French radio recordings from the BBC. Poirot came from Liège in Belgium and would have spoken Belgian French, the language of 30 per cent of the country’s population, rather than Walloon, which is very much closer to the ordinary French language. To these I added recordings of English-language stations broadcasting from Belgium, as well as English-language programmes from Paris. My principal concern was to give my Poirot a voice that would ring true, and which would also be the voice of the man I heard in my head when I read his stories. I listened for hours, and then gradually started mixing Walloon Belgian with French, while at the same time slowly relocating the sound of his voice in my body, moving it from my chest to my head, making it sound a little more high-pitched, and yes, a little more fastidious. After several weeks, I finally began to believe that I’d captured it: this was what Poirot would have sounded like if I’d met him in the flesh. This was how he would have spoken to me – with that characteristic little bow as we shook hands, and that little nod of the head to the left as he removed his perfectly brushed grey Homburg hat. The more I heard his voice in my head, and added to my own list of his personal characteristics, the more determined I became never to compromise in my portrayal of Poirot.
David Suchet (Poirot and Me)
The responsibility/fault fallacy allows people to pass off the responsibility for solving their problems to others. This ability to alleviate responsibility through blame gives people a temporary high and a feeling of moral righteousness. Unfortunately, one side effect of the Internet and social media is that it’s become easier than ever to push responsibility—for even the tiniest of infractions—onto some other group or person. In fact, this kind of public blame/shame game has become popular; in certain crowds it’s even seen as “cool.” The public sharing of “injustices” garners far more attention and emotional outpouring than most other events on social media, rewarding people who are able to perpetually feel victimized with ever-growing amounts of attention and sympathy. “Victimhood chic” is in style on both the right and the left today, among both the rich and the poor. In fact, this may be the first time in human history that every single demographic group has felt unfairly victimized simultaneously. And they’re all riding the highs of the moral indignation that comes along with it. Right now, anyone who is offended about anything—whether it’s the fact that a book about racism was assigned in a university class, or that Christmas trees were banned at the local mall, or the fact that taxes were raised half a percent on investment funds—feels as though they’re being oppressed in some way and therefore deserve to be outraged and to have a certain amount of attention. The current media environment both encourages and perpetuates these reactions because, after all, it’s good for business. The writer and media commentator Ryan Holiday refers to this as “outrage porn”: rather than report on real stories and real issues, the media find it much easier (and more profitable) to find something mildly offensive, broadcast it to a wide audience, generate outrage, and then broadcast that outrage back across the population in a way that outrages yet another part of the population. This triggers a kind of echo of bullshit pinging back and forth between two imaginary sides, meanwhile distracting everyone from real societal problems. It’s no wonder we’re more politically polarized than ever before. The biggest problem with victimhood chic is that it sucks attention away from actual victims. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. The more people there are who proclaim themselves victims over tiny infractions, the harder it becomes to see who the real victims actually are. People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good. As political cartoonist Tim Kreider put it in a New York Times op-ed: “Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but over time devour us from the inside out. And it’s even more insidious than most vices because we don’t even consciously acknowledge that it’s a pleasure.” But
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
She could envision Shakespeare's sister. But she imagined a violent, an apocalyptic end for Shakespeare's sister, whereas I know that isn't what happened. You see, it isn't necessary. I know that lots of Chinese women, given in marriage to men they abhorred and lives they despised, killed themselves by throwing themselves down the family well. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm only saying that isn't what usually happens. It it were, we wouldn't be having a population problem. And there are so much easier ways to destroy a woman. You don't have to rape or kill her; you don't even have to beat her. You can just marry her. You don't even have to do that. You can just let her work in your office for thirty-five dollars a week. Shakespeare's sister did...follow her brother to London, but she never got there. She was raped the first night out, and bleeding and inwardly wounded, she stumbled for shelter into the next village she found. Realizing before too long that she was pregnant, she sought a way to keep herself and her child safe. She found some guy with the hots for her, realized he was credulous, and screwed him. When she announced her pregnancy to him, a couple months later, he dutifully married her. The child, born a bit early, makes him suspicious: they fight, he beats her, but in the end he submits. Because there is something in the situation that pleases him: he has all the comforts of home including something Mother didn't provide, and if he has to put up with a screaming kid he isn't sure is his, he feels now like one of the boys down at the village pub, none of whom is sure they are the children of the fathers or the fathers of their children. But Shakespeare's sister has learned the lesson all women learn: men are the ultimate enemy. At the same time she knows she cannot get along in the world without one. So she uses her genius, the genius she might have used to make plays and poems with, in speaking, not writing. She handles the man with language: she carps, cajoles, teases, seduces, calculates, and controls this creature to whom God saw fit to give power over her, this hulking idiot whom she despises because he is dense and fears because he can do her harm. So much for the natural relation between the sexes. But you see, he doesn't have to beat her much, he surely doesn't have to kill her: if he did, he'd lose his maidservant. The pounds and pence by themselves are a great weapon. They matter to men, of course, but they matter more to women, although their labor is generally unpaid. Because women, even unmarried ones, are required to do the same kind of labor regardless of their training or inclinations, and they can't get away from it without those glittering pounds and pence. Years spent scraping shit out of diapers with a kitchen knife, finding places where string beans are two cents less a pound, intelligence in figuring the most efficient, least time-consuming way to iron men's white shirts or to wash and wax the kitchen floor or take care of the house and kids and work at the same time and save money, hiding it from the boozer so the kid can go to college -- these not only take energy and courage and mind, but they may constitute the very essence of a life. They may, you say wearily, but who's interested?...Truthfully, I hate these grimy details as much as you do....They are always there in the back ground, like Time's winged chariot. But grimy details are not in the background of the lives of most women; they are the entire surface.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
cause of cavities, even more damaging than sugar consumption, bad diet, or poor hygiene. (This belief had been echoed by other dentists for a hundred years, and was endorsed by Catlin too.) Burhenne also found that mouthbreathing was both a cause of and a contributor to snoring and sleep apnea. He recommended his patients tape their mouths shut at night. “The health benefits of nose breathing are undeniable,” he told me. One of the many benefits is that the sinuses release a huge boost of nitric oxide, a molecule that plays an essential role in increasing circulation and delivering oxygen into cells. Immune function, weight, circulation, mood, and sexual function can all be heavily influenced by the amount of nitric oxide in the body. (The popular erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil, known by the commercial name Viagra, works by releasing nitric oxide into the bloodstream, which opens the capillaries in the genitals and elsewhere.) Nasal breathing alone can boost nitric oxide sixfold, which is one of the reasons we can absorb about 18 percent more oxygen than by just breathing through the mouth. Mouth taping, Burhenne said, helped a five-year-old patient of his overcome ADHD, a condition directly attributed to breathing difficulties during sleep. It helped Burhenne and his wife cure their own snoring and breathing problems. Hundreds of other patients reported similar benefits. The whole thing seemed a little sketchy until Ann Kearney, a doctor of speech-language pathology at the Stanford Voice and Swallowing Center, told me the same. Kearney helped rehabilitate patients who had swallowing and breathing disorders. She swore by mouth taping. Kearney herself had spent years as a mouthbreather due to chronic congestion. She visited an ear, nose, and throat specialist and discovered that her nasal cavities were blocked with tissue. The specialist advised that the only way to open her nose was through surgery or medications. She tried mouth taping instead. “The first night, I lasted five minutes before I ripped it off,” she told me. On the second night, she was able to tolerate the tape for ten minutes. A couple of days later, she slept through the night. Within six weeks, her nose opened up. “It’s a classic example of use it or lose it,” Kearney said. To prove her claim, she examined the noses of 50 patients who had undergone laryngectomies, a procedure in which a breathing hole is cut into the throat. Within two months to two years, every patient was suffering from complete nasal obstruction. Like other parts of the body, the nasal cavity responds to whatever inputs it receives. When the nose is denied regular use, it will atrophy. This is what happened to Kearney and many of her patients, and to so much of the general population. Snoring and sleep apnea often follow.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
Almost a year after the start of the corona crisis, how is the mental health of the population? MD: For the time being, there are few figures that show the evolution of possible indicators such as the intake of antidepressants and anxiolytics or the number of suicides. But it is especially important to place mental well-being in the corona crisis in its historical continuity. Mental health had been declining for decades. There has long been a steady increase in the number of depression and anxiety problems and the number of suicides. And in recent years there has been an enormous growth in absenteeism due to psychological suffering and burnouts. The year before the corona outbreak, you could feel this malaise growing exponentially. This gave the impression that society was heading for a tipping point where a psychological 'reorganization' of the social system was imperative. This is happening with corona. Initially, we noticed people with little knowledge of the virus conjure up terrible fears, and a real social panic reaction became manifested. This happens especially if there is already a strong latent fear in a person or population. The psychological dimensions of the current corona crisis are seriously underestimated. A crisis acts as a trauma that takes away an individual's historical sense. The trauma is seen as an isolated event in itself, when in fact it is part of a continuous process. For example, we easily overlook the fact that a significant portion of the population was strangely relieved during the initial lockdown, feeling liberated from stress and anxiety. I regularly heard people say: "Yes these measures are heavy-handed, but at least I can relax a bit." Because the grind of daily life stopped, a calm settled over society. The lockdown often freed people from a psychological rut. This created unconscious support for the lockdown. If the population had not already been exhausted by their life, and especially their jobs, there would never have been support for the lockdown. At least not as a response to a pandemic that is not too bad compared to the major pandemics of the past. You noticed something similar when the first lockdown came to an end. You then regularly heard statements such as "We are not going to start living again like we used to, get stuck in traffic again" and so on. People did not want to go back to the pre-corona normal. If we do not take into account the population's dissatisfaction with its existence, we will not understand this crisis and we will not be able to resolve it. By the way, I now have the impression that the new normal has become a rut again, and I would not be surprised if mental health really starts to deteriorate in the near future. Perhaps especially if it turns out that the vaccine does not provide the magical solution that is expected from it.
Mattias Desmet
Tris,” he says. “What did they do to you? You’re acting like a lunatic.” “That’s not very nice of you to say,” I say. “They put me in a good mood, that’s all. And now I really want to kiss you, so if you could just relax--” “I’m not going to kiss you. I’m going to figure out what’s going on,” he says. I pout my lower lip for a second, but then I grin as the pieces come together in my mind. “That’s why you like me!” I exclaim. “Because you’re not very nice either! It makes so much more sense now.” “Come on,” he says. “We’re going to see Johanna.” “I like you, too.” “That’s encouraging,” he replies flatly. “Come on. Oh, for God’s sake. I’ll just carry you.” He swings me into his arms, one arm under my knees and the other around my back. I wrap my arms around his neck and plant a kiss on his cheek. Then I discover that the air feels nice on my feet when I kick them, so I move my feet up and down as he walks us toward the building where Johanna works. When we reach her office, she is sitting behind a desk with a stack of paper in front of her, chewing on a pencil eraser. She looks up at us, and her mouth drifts open slightly. A hunk of dark hair covers the left side of her face. “You really shouldn’t cover up your scar,” I say. “You look prettier with your hair out of your face.” Tobias sets me down too heavily. The impact is jarring and hurts my shoulder a little, but I like the sound my feet made when they hit the floor. I laugh, but neither Johanna nor Tobias laughs with me. Strange. “What did you do to her?” Tobias says, terse. “What in God’s name did you do?” “I…” Johanna frowns at me. “They must have given her too much. She’s very small; they probably didn’t take her height and weight into account.” “They must have given her too much of what?” he says. “You have a nice voice,” I say. “Tris,” he says, “please be quiet.” “The peace serum,” Johanna says. “In small doses, it has a mild, calming effect and improves the mood. The only side effect is some slight dizziness. We administer it to members of our community who have trouble keeping the peace.” Tobias snorts. “I’m not an idiot. Every member of your community has trouble keeping the peace, because they’re all human. You probably dump it into the water supply.” Johanna does not respond for a few seconds. She folds her hands in front of her. “Clearly you know that is not the case, or this conflict would not have occurred,” she says. “But whatever we agree to do here, we do together, as a faction. If I could give the serum to everyone in this city, I would. You would certainly not be in the situation you are in now if I had.” “Oh, definitely,” he says. “Drugging the entire population is the best solution to our problem. Great plan.” “Sarcasm is not kind, Four,” she says gently. “Now, I am sorry about the mistake in giving too much to Tris, I really am. But she violated the terms of our agreement, and I’m afraid that you might not be able to stay here much longer as a result. The conflict between her and the boy--Peter--is not something we can forget.” “Don’t worry,” says Tobias. “We intend to leave as soon as humanly possible.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
People always feel sorry for you if you’re physically sick. It doesn’t matter if you have cancer or a cold. People always feel sorry for you and ask you if you’re okay. You need money? You got it! You want to meet a celebrity? Of course you can! You want to go to a convention, ComiCon, Disney World, anywhere in the world? You’re going to go there. That doesn’t happen when you’re mentally ill. If you’re mentally ill, people look at you differently. People roll their eyes when you talk about how sad you are. People won’t lift a finger to help you. “Get a job,” they’ll tell you. “Stop being so lazy. Be grateful you don’t have cancer. Get over it. It’s in the past. You have no reason to be sad.” And that isn’t how it works. But, of course, they wouldn’t know that. They’ve never been mentally ill, they don’t know how you can be so permanently damaged by your past that your present is painful and your future looks bleak. They don’t understand that most days getting out of bed is a chore. They don’t get that sometimes getting a job is out of the question because you’re just too damn afraid to even speak to anyone. That isn’t something you can just get over. But no one knows that because mental illnesses aren’t a real problem apparently. Apparently, the fact that over 800,000 million people die from suicide each year isn’t a real problem. Apparently, the fact that 15% of the adolescent population self-harms isn’t a real problem either. And, apparently, it isn’t a cause to worry that one in 200 American women suffer from an eating disorder. And, as I stand on the balcony, staring at the glittering city, thinking about the short time I spent in Paperthin Hearts, meeting all of the damaged children, I wonder how in the world people don’t understand what a mistake they’re making when they assume that having cancer is worse than being depressed or anxious or wanting to starve yourself to the point of death. How is that a mystery to anyone? Cancer patients are told they’re brave. They’re all made out to be martyrs. They’re given everything they need. Almost all of them. Mental health patients? They’re lucky if they get the right treatment they need before their broken, bleeding hearts, desperate only for love, destroy a part of them that can never be repaired.
Annie Ortiz (StarBright (Paperthin Hearts, #2))
Free spirits, the ambitious, ex-socialists, drug users, and sexual eccentrics often find an attractive political philosophy in libertarianism, the idea that individual freedom should be the sole rule of ethics and government. Libertarianism offers its believers a clear conscience to do things society presently restrains, like make more money, have more sex, or take more drugs. It promises a consistent formula for ethics, a rigorous framework for policy analysis, a foundation in American history, and the application of capitalist efficiencies to the whole of society. But while it contains substantial grains of truth, as a whole it is a seductive mistake. . . . The most fundamental problem with libertarianism is very simple: freedom, though a good thing, is simply not the only good thing in life. . . . Libertarians try to get around this fact that freedom is not the only good thing by trying to reduce all other goods to it through the concept of choice, claiming that everything that is good is so because we choose to partake of it. Therefore freedom, by giving us choice, supposedly embraces all other goods. But this violates common sense by denying that anything is good by nature, independently of whether we choose it. . . . So even if the libertarian principle of “an it harm none, do as thou wilt,” is true, it does not license the behavior libertarians claim. Consider pornography: libertarians say it should be permitted because if someone doesn’t like it, he can choose not to view it. But what he can’t do is choose not to live in a culture that has been vulgarized by it. . . . There is no need to embrace outright libertarianism just because we want a healthy portion of freedom, and the alternative to libertarianism is not the USSR, it is America’s traditional liberties. . . . Paradoxically, people exercise their freedom not to be libertarians. The political corollary of this is that since no electorate will support libertarianism, a libertarian government could never be achieved democratically but would have to be imposed by some kind of authoritarian state, which rather puts the lie to libertarians’ claim that under any other philosophy, busybodies who claim to know what’s best for other people impose their values on the rest of us. . . . Libertarians are also naïve about the range and perversity of human desires they propose to unleash. They can imagine nothing more threatening than a bit of Sunday-afternoon sadomasochism, followed by some recreational drug use and work on Monday. They assume that if people are given freedom, they will gravitate towards essentially bourgeois lives, but this takes for granted things like the deferral of gratification that were pounded into them as children without their being free to refuse. They forget that for much of the population, preaching maximum freedom merely results in drunkenness, drugs, failure to hold a job, and pregnancy out of wedlock. Society is dependent upon inculcated self-restraint if it is not to slide into barbarism, and libertarians attack this self-restraint. Ironically, this often results in internal restraints being replaced by the external restraints of police and prison, resulting in less freedom, not more. This contempt for self-restraint is emblematic of a deeper problem: libertarianism has a lot to say about freedom but little about learning to handle it. Freedom without judgment is dangerous at best, useless at worst. Yet libertarianism is philosophically incapable of evolving a theory of how to use freedom well because of its root dogma that all free choices are equal, which it cannot abandon except at the cost of admitting that there are other goods than freedom. Conservatives should know better.
Robert Locke
The imperialist found it useful to incorporate the credible and seemingly unimpeachable wisdom of science to create a racial classification to be used in the appropriation and organization of lesser cultures. The works of Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Buffon, and Georges Cuvier, organized races in terms of a civilized us and a paradigmatic other. The other was uncivilized, barbaric, and wholly lower than the advanced races of Europe. This paradigm of imaginatively constructing a world predicated upon race was grounded in science, and expressed as philosophical axioms by John Locke and David Hume, offered compelling justification that Europe always ought to rule non-Europeans. This doctrine of cultural superiority had a direct bearing on Zionist practice and vision in Palestine. A civilized man, it was believed, could cultivate the land because it meant something to him; on it, accordingly, he produced useful arts and crafts, he created, he accomplished, he built. For uncivilized people, land was either farmed badly or it was left to rot. This was imperialism as theory and colonialism was the practice of changing the uselessly unoccupied territories of the world into useful new versions of Europe. It was this epistemic framework that shaped and informed Zionist attitudes towards the Arab Palestinian natives. This is the intellectual background that Zionism emerged from. Zionism saw Palestine through the same prism as the European did, as an empty territory paradoxically filled with ignoble or, better yet, dispensable natives. It allied itself, as Chaim Weizmann said, with the imperial powers in carrying out its plans for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The so-called natives did not take well to the idea of Jewish colonizers in Palestine. As the Zionist historians, Yehoshua Porath and Neville Mandel, have empirically shown, the ideas of Jewish colonizers in Palestine, this was well before World War I, were always met with resistance, not because the natives thought Jews were evil, but because most natives do not take kindly to having their territory settled by foreigners. Zionism not only accepted the unflattering and generic concepts of European culture, it also banked on the fact that Palestine was actually populated not by an advanced civilization, but by a backward people, over which it ought to be dominated. Zionism, therefore, developed with a unique consciousness of itself, but with little or nothing left over for the unfortunate natives. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Palestine had been occupied by one of the well-established industrialized nations that ruled the world, then the problem of displacing German, French, or English inhabitants and introducing a new, nationally coherent element into the middle of their homeland would have been in the forefront of the consciousness of even the most ignorant and destitute Zionists. In short, all the constitutive energies of Zionism were premised on the excluded presence, that is, the functional absence of native people in Palestine; institutions were built deliberately shutting out the natives, laws were drafted when Israel came into being that made sure the natives would remain in their non-place, Jews in theirs, and so on. It is no wonder that today the one issue that electrifies Israel as a society is the problem of the Palestinians, whose negation is the consistent thread running through Zionism. And it is this perhaps unfortunate aspect of Zionism that ties it ineluctably to imperialism- at least so far as the Palestinian is concerned. In conclusion, I cannot affirm that Zionism is colonialism, but I can tell you the process by which Zionism flourished; the dialectic under which it became a reality was heavily influenced by the imperialist mindset of Europe. Thank you. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.
R.F. Georgy (Absolution: A Palestinian Israeli Love Story)