Review Us Quotes

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Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from Birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty. [Response to questionnaire in Saturday Review, October 29 1960]
John F. Kennedy
Just because life is hard, and always ends in a bad way, doesn't mean that all stories have to, even if that's what they tell us in school and in the New York Times Review. In fact, it's a good thing that stories are as different as we are, one from another.
James Patterson (Sundays at Tiffany's)
You can't see the future coming--not the terrors, for sure, but you also can't see the wonders that are coming, the moments of light-soaked joy that await each of us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I'll never again speak to many of the people who loved me into this moment, just as you will never speak to many of the people who loved you into your now. So we raise a glass to them--and hope that perhaps somewhere, they are raising a glass to us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
It's not the tragedies that kill us; it's the messes.
Dorothy Parker (The Portable Dorothy Parker)
But depression wasn't the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn't he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Just because life is hard and always ends in a bad way doesn't mean that all stories have to. Even if that's what they tell us in school and the New York Book Review.
James Patterson (Sundays at Tiffany's)
I know the world will survive us - and in some ways it will be more alive.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Pictures pass me in long review,-- Marching columns of dead events. I was tender, and, often, true; Ever a prey to coincidence. Always knew I the consequence; Always saw what the end would be. We're as Nature has made us -- hence I loved them until they loved me.
Dorothy Parker
How difficult it is to save the bark of reputation from the rocks of negative reviews.
CR Risk Advisory
There's a certain way I talk about the things I don't talk about. Maybe that's true for all of us. We have ways of closing off the conversation so that we don't ever get directly asked what we can't bear to answer.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Miss Temminnick, you are in receipt of the highest marks we have ever given in a six-month review. Your mind seems designed for espionage. Nevertheless, you veer away from perfect in matters of etiquette. Do not let these marks go to your head; there are many girls at this school who are better than you. Our biggest concern is what you get up to when we are not watching. Because, if nothing else, this test has told us you are probably spying on us, as well as everyone around you.
Gail Carriger (Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2))
I think two of the fundamental facts of being a person are 1. We must go on, and 2. None of us ever walks alone. We may feel alone (in fact, we will feel alone), but even in the crushing grind of isolation, we aren't alone.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash. (writing about US President Warren G. Harding)
H.L. Mencken
Here's to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes." - commentary on Castles on the Sand
E.M. Tippetts
Too often do reviewers remind us of the mob of Astrologers, Chaldeans, and Soothsayers gathered before 'the writing on the wall' and unable to read the characters or make known the interpretation.
Charlotte Brontë
I will keep constant watch over myself and—most usefully—will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil—that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 83.2
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom, so common with novel-writers, of degrading, by their contemptuous censure, the very performances to the number of which they are themselves adding; joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronised by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another- we are an injured body.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
You can’t see the future coming—not the terrors, for sure, but you also can’t see the wonders that are coming, the moments of light-soaked joy that await each of us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
An analysis of 248 performance reviews collected from a variety of US-based tech companies found that women receive negative personality criticism that men simply don’t.7 Women are told to watch their tone, to step back. They are called bossy, abrasive, strident, aggressive, emotional and irrational. Out of all these words, only aggressive appeared in men’s reviews at all – ‘twice with an exhortation to be more of it’.
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
There is a common misunderstanding that emotions cause us to think illogically But recent scientific thinking, reviewed by psychologist Roy Baumeister and his colleagues, has placed emotion at the center of wisdom. One reason is that most emotion is felt after an event, which apparently serves to help us remember what happened and learn from it. The more upset we are by a mistake, the more we think about it and will be able to avoid it the next time. The more delighted we are by a success, the more we think and talk about it and how we did it, causing us to be more likely to be able to repeat it.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
The world's Redeemer was treated as we deserve to be treated, in order that we might be treated as he deserved to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins upon his own divine soul that we might receive his imputed righteousness. He was condemned for our sins, in which he had no share, that we might be justified by his righteousness, in which we had no share. The world's Redeemer gave himself for us. Who was he? The Majesty of heaven, pouring out his blood upon the altar of justice for the sins of guilty man. We should know our relationship to Christ and his relationship to us. The Review and Harold 3-21-91 PR-06
Ellen Gould White
After the death of the poet Jane Kenyon, her husband Donald Hall wrote, “We did not spend our days gazing into each other’s eyes. We did that gazing when we made love or when one of us was in trouble, but most of the time our gazes met and entwined as they looked at a third thing. Third things are essential to marriages, objects or practices or habits or arts or institutions or games or human beings that provide a site of joint rapture or contentment. Each member of a couple is separate; the two come together in double attention.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
If we wear our worst reviews like a backpack, they travel with us.
Jennifer Love Hewitt (The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello, My Name Is Jennifer Love Hewitt and I'm a Love-aholic)
You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the future predicted by Chapter One is always inexorably the actuality of Chapter Thirteen. But novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame, for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for pride, for curiosity, for amusement: as skilled furniture makers enjoy making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy's back. I could fill a book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all. Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine. We also know that a genuinely created world must be independent of its creator; a planned world (a world that fully reveals its planning) is a dead world. It is only when our characters and events begin to disobey us that they begin to live.
John Fowles (The French Lieutenant's Woman)
And I think about the many broad seas that have roared between me and the past— seas of neglect, seas of time, seas of death. I'll never again speak to many of the people who loved me into this moment, just as you will never speak to many of the people who loved you into your now. So we raise a glass to them— and hope that perhaps, somewhere, they are raising a glass to us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I remember as a child hearing phrases like "Only the strong survive" and "survival of the fittest" and feeling terrified, because I knew I was neither strong nor fit. I didn't yet understand that when humanity protects the frail among us, and works to ensure their survival, the human project as a whole gets stronger.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
With such a vast and wonderful library spread out before us, we often skim books or read just the reviews. We might already have encountered the Greatest Idea, the insight that would have transformed us had we savored it, taken it to heart, and worked it into our lives.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.
Bill Wilson
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
I know the world will survive us—and in some ways it will be more alive. More birdsong. More creatures roaming around. More plants cracking through our pavement, rewilding the planet we terraformed. I imagine coyotes sleeping in the ruins of the homes we built. I imagine our plastic still washing up on beaches hundreds of years after the last of us is gone. I imagine moths, having no artificial lights toward which to fly, turning back to the moon.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
It is only the immeasurable, the limitless that terrifies us. That which is set within defined, fixed limits is a challenge to our powers, comes to be the measure of our strength.
Stefan Zweig (Beware of Pity (New York Review Books Classics))
The acomodador or giving-up point: there is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a particularly bitter defeat, a disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not quite understand, can make cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing his hidden powers, the shaman must first free himself from that giving-up point and, to do so, he must review his while life and find out where it occured.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
I want to say before I go on that I have never previously told anyone my sordid past in detail. I haven't done it now to sound as though I might be proud of how bad, how evil, I was. But people are always speculating-why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth, must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient. Today, when everything that I do has an urgency, I would not spend one hour in the preparation of a book which had the ambition to perhaps titillate some readers. But I am spending many hours because the full story is the best way that I know to have it seen, and understood, that I had sunk to the very bottom of the American white man's society when-soon now, in prison-I found Allah and the religion of Islam and it completely transformed my life.
Malcolm X (The Autobiography of Malcolm X)
As the poet Robert Frost put it, "The only way out is through/" And the only good way through is together. Even when circumstances separate us - in fact, especially when they do - the way through is together.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Sometimes the things we do second time around are better and hold more value because we take the time to reflect and review, and revive them through a higher love. Don't be afraid to try again and do-over with greater wisdom, a fresh set of eyes, and a renewed hope. Life is not a straight line of first time successes. It's the road that is paved with failure and seemingly wrong turns that provides us with character, emotional grit and inner muscle to find new perspectives. The only expiry date to your dreams, intentions or goals is the one you allow to soak into your soul.
Christine Evangelou (Stardust and Star Jumps: A Motivational Guide to Help You Reach Toward Your Dreams, Goals, and Life Purpose)
[O]ne has to have endured a few decades before wanting, let alone needing, to embark on the project of recovering lost life. And I think it may be possible to review 'the chronicles of wasted time.' William Morris wrote in The Dream of John Ball that men fight for things and then lose the battle, only to win it again in a shape and form that they had not expected, and then be compelled again to defend it under another name. We are all of us very good at self-persuasion and I strive to be alert to its traps, but a version of what Hegel called 'the cunning of history' is a parallel commentary that I fight to keep alive in my mind.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
But 'I worked hard on this' doesn’t exempt you from criticism. Those harsh reviews aren’t about anyone being out to get me. It’s not an Authors vs. Reviewers thing. It’s people taking the time to express their opinions because they care about this stuff." [Us vs. Them vs. Grow the Hell Up (Blog post, September 1, 2013)]
Jim C. Hines
It's the Yelp effect. Every halfwit who eats food suddenly thinks he's a food critic. And don't get me started on people “reviewing” books they didn't even read. Who needs information, when you can have an uninformed opinion?
Oliver Markus Malloy (Why Creeps Don't Know They're Creeps - What Game of Thrones can teach us about relationships and Hollywood scandals (Educated Rants and Wild Guesses, #2))
Consider this your job review and your pre-pink slip warning. Support our movement or move out of our way. You are with us or against us—if you’re against us, you will be fired.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
After researching, reviewing, considering, and contemplating with continued attention; I have concluded that the beast is among us.
A.K. Kuykendall
Reviewing the history of official racial classifications reminds us that these categories are not natural—and neither are the institutional inequities that race undergirds.
Dorothy Roberts (Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century)
Poetry reveals to us the loveliness of nature, brings back the freshness of youthful feelings, reviews the relish of simple pleasures, keeps unquenched the enthusiasm which warmed the springtime of our being, refines youthful love, strengthens our interest in human nature, by vivid delineations of its tenderest and softest feelings, and through the brightness of its prophetic visions, helps faith to lay hold on the future life.
William Ellery Channing
Emperors, kings, artisians, peasens, big people---at the bottom we are all alike and all the same; all just alike on the inside, and when our clothes are off, nobody can tell which of us is which.
Mark Twain (What is Man ? and Other Essays)
Yes, we call it recursive, the act of reading, of looping the loop, of continually returning to an earlier group of words, behaving like Penelope by moving our mind back and forth, forth and back, reweaving what’s unwoven, undoing what’s been done; and language, which regularly returns us to its origin, which starts us off again on the same journey, older, altered, Columbus one more time, but better prepared each later voyage, knowing a bit more, ready for more, equal to a greater range of tasks, calmer, confident—after all, we’ve come this way before, have habits that help, and a favoring wind—language like that is the language which takes us inside, inside the sentence—inside—inside the mind—inside—inside, where meanings meet and are modified, reviewed and revised, where no perception, no need, no feeling or thought need be scanted or shunted aside.
William H. Gass (A Temple of Texts)
With a song like a dying balloon and a penchant for attacking humans, the Canada goose is hard to love. But then again, so are most of us.*
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Even though the discples were not aware of it, the presence was with them while they were reviewing the scriptures together on the road. Henceforth, we will catch only a fleeting glimpse of it -- in the study of sacred writings, in other human beings, in liturgy, and in communion with strangers. But these moments remain us that our fellow men and women are themselves sacred; there is something about them taht is worthy of absolute reverence, is in the last resort mysterious, and we will always elude us.
Karen Armstrong (The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness)
PROFESSOR EMERITUS WOTAN Ulm, of the University of Oxford East 5, author of the bestselling if controversial memoir Peer Reviewers and Other Idiots: A Life In Academia, had consented to give a recorded lecture on von Neumann replicators to be carried as briefing material on the US Navy twain USS Brian Cowley.
Terry Pratchett (The Long Utopia (The Long Earth #4))
These days, after drinking from the internet's fire hose for thirty years, I've begun to feel more of those negative effects. I don't know if it's my age, or the fact that the internet is no longer plugged into the wall and now travels with me everywhere I go, but I find myself thinking of that Wordsworth poem that begins, "The world is too much with us; late and soon.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious — because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe — some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others — some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe him.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Great writers are not those who tell us we shouldn’t play with fire, but those who make our fingers burn.
Stephen Vizinczey (Truth and Lies in Literature: Essays and Reviews)
…when humanity protects the frail among us, and works to insure their survival, the human project as a whole gets stronger.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
When we’re unsure about what to do or buy, we look to testimonials, ratings, and reviews to tell us how to behave.
Susan M. Weinschenk (100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices That Matter))
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. . . . On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. . . . Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by A.A. Members for A.A. Members)
People like me who want to abolish prisons and police, however, have a vision of a different society, built on cooperation instead of individualism, on mutual aid instead of self-preservation. What would the country look like if it had billions of extra dollars to spend on housing, food, and education for all? This change in society wouldn’t happen immediately, but the protests show that many people are ready to embrace a different vision of safety and justice. When the streets calm and people suggest once again that we hire more Black police officers or create more civilian review boards, I hope that we remember all the times those efforts have failed.
Mariame Kaba (We Do This 'Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice (Abolitionist Papers Book 1))
The writer, without softening his vision, is obliged to capture or conjure readers. And this means any kind of reader. It means whatever is there. I used to think that it should be possible to write for some supposed elite, for the people who attend the universities and sometimes know how to read, but I have since found that though you may publish your stories in the Yale Review, if they are any good at all you are eventually going to get a letter from some old lady in California, or some inmate of the Federal Penitentiary, or the state in sane asylum, or the local poorhouse, telling you where you have failed to meet his needs. And his need of course is to be lifted up. There is something in us as story-tellers, and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance of restoration. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but he has forgotten the cost of it. His sense of evil is deluded or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. He has forgotten the price of truth, even in fiction.
Flannery O'Connor
There is a saturation of books on Amazon due to a sudden get-rich-quick surge in "everyone can be authors" seminars similar to the house flipping ones in the early 2000s which led to the housing bubble and an economic slowdown in the U.S. To distinguish quality books from those get-rich-quick ones, look at the author's track record - worldwide recognition as books that garnered credible awards, authors who speak at book industry events, authors who speak at schools, authors whose books are reference materials and reading sources at school and libraries. Get-rich books have a system to get over 500 reviews quickly, manipulates the Kindle Unlimited algorithm, and encourage collusion in the marketplace to knock out rivals. Be wary of trolls who are utilized to knock down the rankings of rival's books too. Once people have heard there is money to be made as a self-published author, just like house flipping, a cottage industry has risen to take advantage of it and turn book publishing into a get rich scheme, which is a shame for all the book publishers and authors, like me, who had published for the love of books, to write to help society, and for the love of literature. Kailin Gow, Parents and Books
Kailin Gow
Books are just like Rorschach tests. The patterns we find in a book’s ink reveal far more about us than they do about them. Our feelings, reviews, perceptions, and understandings of a book — as well as the meaning, value, and patterns we find within them — always say more about us than they do about the book.
Sean Norris (Heaven and Hurricanes)
But you've never wanted that. You wanted a mirror. People want nothing but mirrors around them. To reflect them while they're reflecting too. You know, like the senseless infinity you get from two mirrors facing each other across a narrow passage. Usually in the more vulgar kind of hotels. Reflections of reflections and echoes of echoes. No beginning and no end. No center and no purpose. I gave you what you wanted. I became what you are, what your friends are, what most of humanity is so busy being--only without the trimmings. I didn't go around spouting book reviews to hide my emptiness of judgment--I said I had no judgment. I didn't borrow designs to hide my creative impotence--I created nothing. I didn't say that equality is a noble conception and unity the chief goal of mankind--I just agreed with everybody. You call it death, Peter? That kind of death--I've imposed it on you and on everyone around us. But you--you haven't done that. People are comfortable with you, they like you, they enjoy your presence. You've spared them the blank death. Because you've imposed it--on yourself.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
A person is not born as a finished product; we create ourselves every day. Resembling reality, no person is a fixed and unchangeable entity. Each of us is in the process of becoming. A person’s perspective on their life experiences depends upon reviewing and integrating an emotional gamut of reconciling values with applied effort.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
and if a rainy morning deprived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves up, to read novels together. Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel–writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding — joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers. And while the abilities of the nine–hundredth abridger of the History of England, or of the man who collects and publishes in a volume some dozen lines of Milton, Pope, and Prior, with a paper from the Spectator, and a chapter from Sterne, are eulogized by a thousand pens — there seems almost a general wish of decrying the capacity and undervaluing the labour of the novelist, and of slighting the performances which have only genius, wit, and taste to recommend them. “I am no novel–reader — I seldom look into novels — Do not imagine that I often read novels — It is really very well for a novel.” Such is the common cant. “And what are you reading, Miss — ?” “Oh! It is only a novel!” replies the young lady, while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. “It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda”; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best–chosen language. Now, had the same young lady been engaged with a volume of the Spectator, instead of such a work, how proudly would she have produced the book, and told its name; though the chances must be against her being occupied by any part of that voluminous publication, of which either the matter or manner would not disgust a young person of taste: the substance of its papers so often consisting in the statement of improbable circumstances, unnatural characters, and topics of conversation which no longer concern anyone living; and their language, too, frequently so coarse as to give no very favourable idea of the age that could endure it.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
There's no harm in reviewing the past from time to time; knowing where you've been is part of knowing where you are, and all that happy horse shit. But the American media have an absolute fixation on this. They rob us of the present by insisting on the past. If they were able, I'm sure they would pay equal attention to the future. Trouble is, they don't have any film on it.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
Most of us know intuitively that a score on a personality test, a rank on a standardized assessment, a grade point average, or a rating on a performance review doesn’t reflect your, or your child’s, or your students’, or your employees’ abilities. Yet the concept of average as a yardstick for measuring individuals has been so thoroughly ingrained in our minds that we rarely question it seriously.
Todd Rose (The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness)
Karma, which originally meant “action” or “deed” in Sanskrit, is about this system of reviewing our previous deeds and choosing differently. Karma doesn’t get back to us unexpectedly. We get back to karma for our highest good. It’s like going back to where we bookmarked.
Akemi G. (Why We Are Born: Remembering Our Purpose through the Akashic Records)
Read -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My rating: The Strength In Us All by Sara Henderson 3.94 · rating details · 31 ratings · 1 review All the strength you need to achieve anything is within you. Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there...and light the bloody thing yourself!
Sara Henderson (From strength to strength: An autobiography)
There’s a certain way I talk about the things I don’t talk about. Maybe that’s true for all of us. We have ways of closing off the conversation so that we don’t ever get directly asked what we can’t bear to answer.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Once I started trying to give positive reviews, though, I began to understand how much happiness I took from the joyous ones in my life---and how much effort it must take for them to be consistently good=tempered and positive. It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light. We nonjoyous types suck energy and cheer from the joyous ones; we rely on them to buoy us with their good spirit and to cushion our agitation and anxiety. At the same time, because of a dark element in human nature, we're sometimes provoked to try to shake the enthusiastic, cheery folk out of their fog of illusion---to make them see that the play was stupid, the money was wasted, the meeting was pointless. Instead of shielding their joy, we blast it.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project)
It is a mistake to think of the expatriate as someone who abdicates, who withdraws and humbles himself, resigned to his miseries, his outcast state. On a closer look, he turns out to be ambitious, aggressive in his disappointments, his very acrimony qualified by his belligerence. The more we are dispossessed, the more intense our appetites and illusions become. I even discern some relation between misfortune and megalomania. The man who has lost everything preserves as a last resort the hope of glory, or of literary scandal. He consents to abandon everything, except his name. [ . . . ] Let us say a man writes a novel which makes him, overnight, a celebrity. In it he recounts his sufferings. His compatriots in exile envy him: they too have suffered, perhaps more. And the man without a country becomes—or aspires to become—a novelist. The consequence: an accumulation of confusions, an inflation of horrors, of frissons that date. One cannot keep renewing Hell, whose very characteristic is monotony, or the face of exile either. Nothing in literature exasperates a reader so much as The Terrible; in life, it too is tainted with the obvious to rouse our interest. But our author persists; for the time being he buries his novel in a drawer and awaits his hour. The illusion of surprise, of a renown which eludes his grasp but on which he reckons, sustains him; he lives on unreality. Such, however, is the power of this illusion that if, for instance, he works in some factory, it is with the notion of being freed from it one day or another by a fame as sudden as it is inconceivable. * Equally tragic is the case of the poet. Walled up in his own language, he writes for his friends—for ten, for twenty persons at the most. His longing to be read is no less imperious than that of the impoverished novelist. At least he has the advantage over the latter of being able to get his verses published in the little émigré reviews which appear at the cost of almost indecent sacrifices and renunciations. Let us say such a man becomes—transforms himself—into an editor of such a review; to keep his publication alive he risks hunger, abstains from women, buries himself in a windowless room, imposes privations which confound and appall. Tuberculosis and masturbation, that is his fate. No matter how scanty the number of émigrés, they form groups, not to protect their interests but to get up subscriptions, to bleed each other white in order to publish their regrets, their cries, their echoless appeals. One cannot conceive of a more heart rending form of the gratuitous. That they are as good poets as they are bad prose writers is to be accounted for readily enough. Consider the literary production of any "minor" nation which has not been so childish as to make up a past for itself: the abundance of poetry is its most striking characteristic. Prose requires, for its development, a certain rigor, a differentiated social status, and a tradition: it is deliberate, constructed; poetry wells up: it is direct or else totally fabricated; the prerogative of cave men or aesthetes, it flourishes only on the near or far side of civilization, never at the center. Whereas prose demands a premeditated genius and a crystallized language, poetry is perfectly compatible with a barbarous genius and a formless language. To create a literature is to create a prose.
Emil M. Cioran (The Temptation to Exist)
Caring for others tends to be the first cut when we review our personal time budget. It does not necessarily fulfill the goals of my ambition; it will not pave the way for my success; it takes away from my own depleted emotional resources. It is an imposition in every way. To some of us, it is an inconvenience from which we unashamedly run. We have become experts in maintaining a grand scope of friendships and amateurs in genuine intimacy and care. Unwittingly, we have sacrificed everything on the altar of self-sufficiency—only to discover that we have sold our souls to isolation.
Sandy Oshiro Rosen (Bare: The Misplaced Art of Grieving and Dancing)
Impostorism causes us to overthink and second-guess. It makes us fixate on how we think others are judging us (in these fixations, we’re usually wrong), then fixate some more on how those judgments might poison our interactions. We’re scattered—worrying that we underprepared, obsessing about what we should be doing, mentally reviewing what we said five seconds earlier, fretting about what people think of us and what that will mean for us tomorrow.
Amy Cuddy (Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges)
And I think about the many broad seas that have roared between me and the past--seas of neglect, seas of time, seas of death. I'll never again speak to many of the people who loved me into this moment, just as you will never speak to many of the people who have loved you into your now. So we raise a glass to them--and hope that perhaps somewhere, they are raising a glass to us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Reading may be the last secretive behavior that is neither pathological or prosecutable. It is certainly the last refuge from the real-time epidemic. For the stream of a narrative overflows the banks of the real. Story strips its reader, holding her in a place time can't reach. A book's power lies in its ability to erase us, to expand or contract without limit, to circle inside itself without beginning or end, to defy our imaginary timetables and lay us bare to a more basic ticking. The pages we read are a nowhen, unfolding far outside the public arena. As long as we remain in them, now reveals itself to be the baldest of inventions.
Richard Powers (The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators, and Waiting Rooms)
So,Batman,eh?" Effing St. Clair. I cross my arms and slouch into one of the plastic seats. I am so not in the mood for this.He takes the chair next to me and drapes a relaxed arm over the back of the empty seat on his other side. The man across from us is engrossed in his laptop,and I pretend to be engrossed in his laptop,too. Well,the back of it. St. Clair hums under his breath. When I don't respond,he sings quietly. "Jingle bells,Batman smells,Robin flew away..." "Yes,great,I get it.Ha ha. Stupid me." "What? It's just a Christmas song." He grins and continues a bit louder. "Batmobile lost a wheel,on the M1 motorway,hey!" "Wait." I frown. "What?" "What what?" "You're singing it wrong." "No,I'm not." He pauses. "How do you sing it?" I pat my coat,double-checking for my passport. Phew. Still there. "It's 'Jingle bells, Batman smells,Robin laid an egg'-" St. Clair snorts. "Laid an egg? Robin didn't lay an egg-" "'Batmobile lost a wheel,and the Joker got away.'" He stares at me for a moment,and then says with perfect conviction. "No." "Yes.I mean,seriously,what's up with the motorway thing?" "M1 motorway. Connects London to Leeds." I smirk. "Batman is American. He doesn't take the M1 motorway." "When he's on holiday he does." "Who says Batman has time to vacation?" "Why are we arguing about Batman?" He leans forward. "You're derailing us from the real topic.The fact that you, Anna Oliphant,slept in today." "Thanks." "You." He prods my leg with a finger. "Slept in." I focus on the guy's laptop again. "Yeah.You mentioned that." He flashes a crooked smile and shrugs, that full-bodied movement that turns him from English to French. "Hey, we made it,didn't we? No harm done." I yank out a book from my backpack, Your Movie Sucks, a collection of Roger Ebert's favorite reviews of bad movies. A visual cue for him to leave me alone. St. Clair takes the hint. He slumps and taps his feet on the ugly blue carpeting. I feel guilty for being so harsh. If it weren't for him,I would've missed the flight. St. Clair's fingers absentmindedly drum his stomach. His dark hair is extra messy this morning. I'm sure he didn't get up that much earlier than me,but,as usual, the bed-head is more attractive on him. With a painful twinge,I recall those other mornings together. Thanksgiving.Which we still haven't talked about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
But I tell you, nothing is pointless, and nothing is meaningless if the artist will face it. And it’s his business to face it. He hasn’t got the right to sidestep it like that. Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist—the only thing he’s good for—is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. Even if it’s only his view of a meaning. That’s what he’s for—to give his view of life. Surely, we understand very little of what is happening to us at any given moment. But by remembering, comparing, waiting to know the consequences, we can sometimes see what an event really meant, what it was trying to teach us.
Katherine Anne Porter (Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews, 2nd Series)
It can sometimes feel like loving the beauty that surrounds us is somehow disrespectful to the many horrors that also surround us. But mostly, I think I'm just scared that if I show the world my belly, it will devour me. And so I wear the armor of cynicism, and hide behind the great walls of irony, and only glimpse beauty with my back turned to it...
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Though parted from all his soul held dear, and though often yearning for what lay beyond, still was he never positively and consciously miserable; for, so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly)
[...] if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all. [review of The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life, Nature 442, 983-984 (31 August 2006)]
Jerry A. Coyne
the reunion show at London’s O2 arena. To ignore that might be perceived as skimping. So . . . What a huge success it was – although I say so, who shouldn’t. I refuse to be modest. Ten audiences of 16,000 loved it and gave us ten great warm, happy standing ovations, and I’ve only heard three snotty comments altogether (apart from the Daily Mail, who panned the show, claiming we had ‘mixed reviews’ – they were about as mixed as Hitler’s reviews at Nuremberg, a reference which the Mail, as a formerly pro-Nazi paper, should easily get).
John Cleese (So, Anyway...: The Autobiography)
I don’t like crowds, but I like this one because I am a part of an “us” that doesn’t require a “them.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Hearing about pain that we do not feel takes us to the limits of empathy, the place where it all breaks down. I can only know my pain, and you can only know yours.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Devil’s advocate reviews. Premortems. Conversations with a skeptical discussion partner. A cognitive checklist that reminds us of our biggest biases and our past mistakes.
William P. Green (Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World's Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life)
Writers live for reviews. Praise keeps us motivated. Want to kick an author in the ass? Review our books.
Ricky Ginsburg
Reflections, Musings and reviewing personal experiences through different angles of light... What is inside us is out there as well. (Zoltan Galos)
Z.J. Galos
But at sunset, the light travels through the atmosphere longer before it reaches us, so that much of the blue and purple has been scattered away, leaving the sky to our eyes rich in reds and pinks and oranges. As the artist Tacita Dean put it, 'Color is a fiction of light.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Let us leave it to the reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans.
Jane Austen
[About John Updike's Rabbit Run] The author fails to convince us that his puppets are interesting in themselves, or that their plight has implications that transcend their narrow world.
Chicago Tribune
We cannot do the hard work of imagining a better world into existence unless we reckon honestly with what governments and corporations want us to believe, and why they want us to believe it.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I wonder if you have people like that in your life, people whose love keeps you going even though they are distant now because of time and geography and everything else that comes between us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Asked to elaborate, Lisak explained, “One of the things that is difficult for most of us, frankly, to understand about a rape, is that there doesn’t have to be a gun to the head, there doesn’t have to be a knife present, there doesn’t have to be a verbalized threat for the act itself to be enormously terrifying and threatening….There is a difference between sexual violence and other forms of assault. Sexual violence is so intimate.” When your body is penetrated by another person against your will, Lisak said, it often induces a uniquely powerful kind of terror. According to many peer-reviewed studies, a large percentage of the victims of non-stranger rapes “actually feared they were going to be killed,” even when “there was no weapon and no overt violence.
Jon Krakauer (Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town)
One day God will review your answers to these life questions. Did you put Jesus at the center of your life? Did you develop his character? Did you devote your life to serving others? Did you communicate his message and fulfill his mission? Did you love and participate in his family? These are the only issues that will count. As Paul said, “Our goal is to measure up to God’s plan for us.”21
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?)
In sum, then a conservative tech writer offers a really attractive way of looking at viewer passivity and TV's institutionalization of irony, narcissism, nihilism, stasis. It's not our fault! It's outmoded technology's fault! If TV-dissemination were up to date, it would be impossible for it to "institutionalize" anything through its demonic "mass psychology"! Let's let Joe B., the little lonely guy, be his own manipulator or video-bits! Once all experience is finally reduced to marketable image, once the receiving user of user-friendly receivers can choose freely, Americanly, from an Americanly infinite variety of moving images hardly distinguishable from real-life images, and can then choose further just how he wishes to store, enhance, edit, recombine, and present those images to himself, in the privacy of his very own home and skull, TV's ironic, totalitarian grip on the American psychic cajones will be broken!" E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction" (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, 1993)
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
Metaphorically speaking: While unfortunate, corruption, and evil will always exist in our story, driven by the force of greed, power, hate, and ignorance. Don't stop at the end of the chapter because love, kindness, faith, and cliques— still abound— all around us if we only continue to read. We must always believe that good will triumph over bad for a five-star review by the end of our book. -Lisa Higgins
Lisa Higgins (The Shipping Heiress (The Heiress Trilogy, #1))
All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber. Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college. Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter could be said to remedy anything. Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information. Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I pity those reviewers above, and people like them, who ridicule authors like R.A. Boulay and other proponents of similar Ancient Astronaut theories, simply for putting forth so many interesting questions (because that's really what he often throughout openly admits is all he does does) in light of fascinating and thought-provoking references which are all from copious sources. Some people will perhaps only read the cover and introduction and dismiss it as soon as any little bit of information flies in the face of their beliefs or normalcy biases. Some of those people, I'm sure, are some of the ones who reviewed this book so negatively without any constructive criticism or plausible rebuttal. It's sad to see how programmed and indoctrinated the vast majority of humanity has become to the ills of dogma, indoctrination, unverified status quos and basic ignorance; not to mention the laziness and conformity that results in such acquiescence and lack of critical thinking or lack of information gathering to confirm or debunk something. Too many people just take what's spoon fed to them all their lives and settle for it unquestioningly. For those people I like to offer a great Einstein quote and one of my personal favorites and that is: "Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance" I found this book to be a very interesting gathering of information and collection of obscure and/or remote antiquated information, i.e. biblical, sacred, mythological and otherwise, that we were not exactly taught to us in bible school, or any other public school for that matter. And I am of the school of thought that has been so for intended purposes. The author clearly cites all his fascinating sources and cross-references them rather plausibly. He organizes the information in a sequential manner that piques ones interest even as he jumps from one set of information to the next. The information, although eclectic as it spans from different cultures and time periods, interestingly ties together in several respects and it is this synchronicity that makes the information all the more remarkable. For those of you who continue to seek truth and enlightenment because you understand that an open mind makes for and lifelong pursuit of such things I leave you with these Socrates quotes: "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
Socrates
The sheer vital energy of the Woolfs always astonishes me when I stop to consider what they accomplished on any given day. Fragile she may have been, living on the edge of psychic disturbance, but think what she managed to do nonetheless -- not only the novels (every one a breakthrough in form), but all those essays and reviews, all the work of the Hogarth Press, not only reading mss. and editing, but, at least at the start, packing the books to go out! And besides all that, they lived such an intense social life. (When I went there for tea, they were always going out for dinner and often to a party later on.) The gaiety and the fun of it all, the huge sense of life! The long, long walks through London that Elizabeth Bowen told me about. And two houses to keep going! Who of us could accomplish what she did? There may be a lot of self-involvement in A Writer's Diary, but there is no self-pity (and what has to be remembered is that what Leonard published at that time was only a small part of all the journals, the part that concerned her work, so it had to be self-involved). It is painful that such genius should evoke such mean-spirited response at present. Is genius so common that we can afford to brush it aside? What does it matter if she is major or minor, whether she imitated Joyce (I believe she did not), whether her genius was a limited one, limited by class? What remains true is that one cannot pick up a single one of her books and read a page without feeling more alive. If art is not to be life-enhancing, what is it to be?
May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude)
People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten top to bottom. Putting your time in at the office; dutifully spawning your two point five; smiling politely at your retirement party; then chewing on your bedsheet and choking on your canned peaches at the nursing home. It was better never to have been born—never to have wanted anything, never to have hoped for anything. And all this mental thrashing and tossing
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Live knowing that you are already dust, long gone, already outside time and looking in, reviewing life, finally understanding every déja vu, your own guardian angel. Know that the scorched-black demons and the pristine, fluttering seraphs are in some sense naught but you yourself unpacked, unfolded in a higher space from whence the myriad gods unfurl, not bygone legends but your once and future selves, your attributes blossomed into their purest and most potent symbol-forms. And these, with all their beast-heats, crowns and lightings, all their different colors, are become combined into the single whiteness that is godhead. That is all. This, then, is revelation. All is one, and all is deity, this beautiful undying fire of being that is everywhere about us; that we are. O man, o woman, know yourself, and know you are divine. Respect yourself, respect the least phenomenon of your existence as it were the breath of God. Know that our universe is all one place, a single firelit room, all time a single moment. Know that there has only ever been one person here. Know you are everything, forever. Know I love you.
Alan Moore (Promethea, Vol. 5)
I wonder if you have people like that in your life, people whose love keeps you going even though they are distant now because of time and geography and everything else that comes between us. Todd and I have both floated down through the decades—he’s a doctor now—but the courses of our lives were shaped by those moments we shared upstream.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
One such individual was Amos Tutuola, who was a talented writer. His most famous novels, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, published in 1946, and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, in 1954, explore Yoruba traditions and folklore. He received a great deal of criticism from Nigerian literary critics for his use of “broken or Pidgin English.” Luckily for all of us, Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet and writer, was enthralled by Tutuola’s “bewitching literary prose” and wrote glowing reviews that helped Tutuola’s work attain international acclaim. I still believe that Tutuola’s critics in Nigeria missed the point. The beauty of his tales was fantastical expression of a form of an indigenous Yoruba, therefore African, magical realism. It is important to note that his books came out several decades before the brilliant Gabriel García Márquez published his own masterpieces of Latin American literature, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Chinua Achebe (There Was a Country: A Memoir)
also have a new meeting minutes process. Everyone takes their own notes, but one person in the meeting volunteers to capture minutes. These are narrowed down to: Date: Meeting intention: Attendees: Key decisions: Tasks and ownership: The great thing about this new practice is that everyone in the meeting is responsible for stopping to say “Let’s capture this in the minutes”—not just the minute taker. And we now stop meetings five minutes early to review and agree on the minutes before we leave. Before we walk out of the meeting, the minute taker Slacks them to all of us and puts them in any other relevant channel so there isn’t any clean-up or synthesizing guesswork after we’ve dispersed.
Brené Brown (Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.)
Wake up in the morning with a specific goal to look forward to. Creative individuals don’t have to be dragged out of bed; they are eager to start the day. This is not because they are cheerful, enthusiastic types. Nor do they necessarily have something exciting to do. But they believe that there is something meaningful to accomplish each day, and they can’t wait to get started on it. Most of us don’t feel our actions are that meaningful. Yet everyone can discover at least one thing every day that is worth waking up for. It could be meeting a certain person, shopping for a special item, potting a plant, cleaning the office desk, writing a letter, trying on a new dress. It is easier if each night before falling asleep, you review the next day and choose a particular task that, compared to the rest of the day, should be relatively interesting and exciting. Then next morning, open your eyes and visualize the chosen event—play it out briefly in your mind, like an inner videotape, until you can hardly wait to get dressed and get going. It does not matter if at first the goals are trivial and not that interesting. The important thing is to take the easy first steps until you master the habit, and then slowly work up to more complex goals. Eventually most of the day should consist of tasks you look forward to, until you feel that getting up in the morning is a privilege, not a chore.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention)
The American critic Dale Peck, author of Hatchet Jobs (2004), argues that reviewing finds its true character in critical GBH such as Fischer's [review of Martin Amis's Yellow Dog]. It represents a return to the prehistoric origins of reviewing in Zoilism - a kind of pelting of pretentious literature with dung, lest the writers get above themselves; it is to the novelist what the gown of humiliation was to the Roman politician - a salutary ordeal. Less grandly, bad reviews are fun, so long as you are not the author. There is, it must be admitted, a kind of furtive blood sport pleasure in seeing a novelist suffer. You read on. Whereas most of us stop reading at the first use of the word 'splendid' or 'marvellous' in a review.
John Sutherland
Let the passions and cupidities and dreams and kinks and ideals and greed and hopes and foul corruptions of all men and women have their day and the world will still be better off, for there is more good than bad in the sum of us and our workings.
Norman Mailer (Huckleberry Finn, Alive at 100)
Private sector networks in the United States, networks operated by civilian U.S. government agencies, and unclassified U.S. military and intelligence agency networks increasingly are experiencing cyber intrusions and attacks,” said a U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report to Congress that was published the same month Conficker appeared. “. . . Networks connected to the Internet are vulnerable even if protected with hardware and software firewalls and other security mechanisms. The government, military, businesses and economic institutions, key infrastructure elements, and the population at large of the United States are completely dependent on the Internet. Internet-connected networks operate the national electric grid and distribution systems for fuel. Municipal water treatment and waste treatment facilities are controlled through such systems. Other critical networks include the air traffic control system, the system linking the nation’s financial institutions, and the payment systems for Social Security and other government assistance on which many individuals and the overall economy depend. A successful attack on these Internet-connected networks could paralyze the United States [emphasis added].
Mark Bowden (Worm: The First Digital World War)
I’ll never again speak to many of the people who loved me into this moment, just as you will never speak to many of the people who loved you into your now. So we raise a glass to them—and hope that perhaps somewhere, they are raising a glass to us.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
There is nothing,” Naudé wrote, “that renders a Library more recommendable, than when every man finds in it that which he is looking for and cannot find anywhere else; therefore the perfect motto is, that there exists no book, however bad or badly reviewed, that may not be sought after in some future time by a certain reader.” These remarks demand from us an impossibility, since every library is, by needs, an incomplete creation, a work-in-progress, and every empty shelf announces the books to come.
Alberto Manguel (The Library at Night)
Of course, we still know almost nothing about what’s coming—neither for us as individuals nor for us as a species. Perhaps that’s why I find it so comforting that we do know when Halley will return, and that it will return, whether we are here to see it or not.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Reviewing of our faults, an activity we feel to be virtuous, can sometimes be a snare laid for us by the Evil One, who tempts us to think we are resolving to make amends when what we are really doing, under cover of piety, is dwelling upon the pleasure of the sin.
Guibert de Nogent
But what if you can’t find a colleague with a compatible schedule? When Taylor went away to speak at a conference for a week, I needed to re-create the experience of making an effort pact with another person. Thankfully, I found Focusmate. With a vision to help people around the world stay focused, they facilitate effort pacts via a one-to-one video conferencing service. While Taylor was away, I signed up at Focusmate.com and was paired with a Czech medical school student named Martin. Because I knew he would be waiting for me to co-work at our scheduled time, I didn’t want to let him down. While Martin was hard at work memorizing human anatomy, I stayed focused on my writing. To discourage people from skipping their meeting times, participants are encouraged to leave a review of their focus mate.5 Effort pacts make us less likely to abandon the task at hand. Whether we make them with friends and colleagues, or via tools like Forest, SelfControl, Focusmate, or kSafe, effort pacts are a simple yet highly effective way to keep us from getting distracted.
Nir Eyal (Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life)
I understand that it’s disheartening to pour effort and money into a work of art and find that others do not value it with the same intensity. I’ve been to this rodeo more than a few times, and yes, it’s painful and hard on the soul. It is also the sort of thing that grown-ups do every day. Anyone deluded enough to think they are owed monetary success because they bled for their art is in for some hard, hard knocks and buckets full of tears. There will be many cries of “unfair” and much jealousy and hatred. And to be fair, all authors go through this every time they watch their books ride the waves of bestseller charts and the ego torture chamber known as Goodreads reviews. Even the most well-adjusted of us watch that horrible piece of shit book beat our baby to pieces and gnash our teeth and shout at our monitors demanding to know what brain-donors are shopping on amazon.com these days. But holy Smart Bitch on a cracker, Batman, to write a post about how stupid readers are and worse to actually put it out there on the internet is so beyond the pale there’s a special hell for that kind of idiocy. Let me repeat: authors exist at the pleasure of readers. Without the people who buy and read my books, I am just another dizzy broad writing shit down. Readers aren’t just an author’s audience; they are her lifeblood. --
Heidi Cullinan
Nearly every writer writes a book with a great amount of attention and intention and hopes and dreams. And it's important to take that effort seriously and to recognize that a book may have taken ten years of a writer's life, that the writer has put heart and soul into it. And it behooves us, as book-review-editors, to treat those books with the care and attention they deserve, and to give the writer that respect." Pamela Paul, New York Times Book Review editor, in a Poets & Writer's interview (something for all reviewers to think about)
Madeline Sharples (Leaving the Hall Light On)
These days, after drinking from the internet's fire hose for thirty years, I've begun to feel more of those negative effects. I don't know if it's my age, or the fact that the internet is no longer plugged into the wall and now travels with me everywhere I go, but I find myself thinking of that Wordsworth poem that begins, "The world is too much with us; late and soon.” What does it say that I can't imagine my life or my work without the internet? What does it mean to have my way of thinking, and my way of being, so profoundly shaped my machine logic? What does it mean that, having been part of the internet for so long, the internet is also part of me? My friend Stan Muller tells me that when you're living in the middle of history, you never know what it means. I am living in the middle of the internet. I have no idea what it means.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Richard Lynn was able to assemble eleven studies in his 1991 review of the literature. He estimated the median black African IQ to be 75, approximately 1.7 standard deviations below the U.S. overall population average, about 10 points lower than the current figure for American blacks.
Richard J. Herrnstein (The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life)
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” wrote James Madison about the checks and balances in a democratic government, and that is how other institutions steer communities of biased and ambition-addled people toward disinterested truth. Examples include the adversarial system in law, peer review in science, editing and fact-checking in journalism, academic freedom in universities, and freedom of speech in the public sphere. Disagreement is necessary in deliberations among mortals. As the saying goes, the more we disagree, the more chance there is that at least one of us is right.
Steven Pinker (Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters)
Here's the plain truth, at least as it has been shown to me: We are never far from wonders. I remember when my son was about two, we were walking in the woods one November morning. We were along a ridge, looking down at a forest in the valley below, where a cold haze seemed to hug the forest floor. I kept trying to get my oblivious two-year-old to appreciate the landscape. At one point, I picked him up and pointed out toward the horizon and said, "Look at that, Henry, just look at it!" And he said, "Weaf!" I said, "What?" And again he said, "Weaf," and then reached out and grabbed a single brown oak leaf from the little tree next to us. I wanted to explain to him that you can see a brown oak leaf anywhere in the eastern United States in November, that nothing in the forest was less interesting. But after watching him look at it, I began to look as well, and I soon realized it wasn't just a brown leaf. Its veins spidered out red and orange and yellow in a pattern too complex for my brain to synthesize, and the more I looked at that leaf with Henry, the more I was compelled into an aesthetic contemplation I neither understood nor desired, face-to-face with something commensurate to my capacity for wonder. Marveling at the perfection of that leaf, I was reminded that aesthetic beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see. From the quark to the supernova, the wonders do not cease. It is our attentiveness that is in short supply, our ability and willingness to do the work that awe requires.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I flip on my blinker. “I like reading reviews. I feel like business reviews are a reflection of the owner, and I want to know what people think of my restaurants. The constructive criticism helps. I haven’t had the kitchen experience a lot of chefs have, and critics are some of the best teachers.” “What do you get out of reading reviews about other people’s businesses?” “Nothing, really. I just find it entertaining.” “Do I have any bad ones?” Lily looks away from me, half turning so that she’s facing forward again. “Never mind, don’t answer that. I’m just going to pretend they’re all good and that everyone loves my flowers.
Colleen Hoover (It Starts with Us (It Ends with Us, #2))
Anyone who values truth should stop worshipping reason. We all need to take a cold hard look at the evidence and see reasoning for what it is. The French cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber recently reviewed the vast research literature on motivated reasoning (in social psychology) and on the biases and errors of reasoning (in cognitive psychology). They concluded that most of the bizarre and depressing research findings make perfect sense once you see reasoning as having evolved not to help us find truth but to help us engage in arguments, persuasion, and manipulation in the context of discussions with other people. As
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
while he spoke, “he never even made it in front of the ethics review. Quit the day before. Made a lot of fuss, walking through the lab and yelling that we weren’t going to be able to push him around anymore. That he had a bigwig corporate job with all the funding and resources he wanted. Called us small-minded pencil pushers
James S.A. Corey (Caliban's War (Expanse, #2))
To God’s Honor and Praise We know that no Bible translation is perfect or final; but we also know that God uses imperfect and inadequate things to his honor and praise. So to our triune God and to his people we offer what we have done, with our prayers that it may prove useful, with gratitude for much help given, and with ongoing wonder that our God should ever have entrusted to us so momentous a task. Soli Deo Gloria!—To God alone be the glory! The Translation Oversight Committee* *A complete list of the Translation Oversight Committee, the Translation Review Scholars, and the Advisory Council, is available upon request from Crossway. Explanation of
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
And against whom is this censorship directed? By way of answer, think back to the big subcultural debates of 2011 – debates about how gritty fantasy isn’t really fantasy; how epic fantasy written from the female gaze isn’t really fantasy; how women should stop complaining about sexism in comics because clearly, they just hate comics; how trying to incorporate non-Eurocentric settings into fantasy is just political correctness gone wrong and a betrayal of the genre’s origins; how anyone who finds the portrayal of women and relationships in YA novels problematic really just wants to hate on the choices of female authors and readers; how aspiring authors and bloggers shouldn’t post negative reviews online, because it could hurt their careers; how there’s no homophobia in publishing houses, so the lack of gay YA protagonists can only be because the manuscripts that feature them are bad; how there’s nothing problematic about lots of pretty dead girls on YA covers; how there’s nothing wrong with SF getting called ‘dystopia’ when it’s marketed to teenage girls, because girls don’t read SF. Most these issues relate to fear of change in the genre, and to deeper social problems like sexism and racism; but they are also about criticism, and the freedom of readers, bloggers and authors alike to critique SFF and YA novels without a backlash that declares them heretical for doing so. It’s not enough any more to tiptoe around the issues that matter, refusing to name the works we think are problematic for fear of being ostracized. We need to get over this crushing obsession with niceness – that all fans must act nicely, that all authors must be nice to each other, that everyone must be nice about everything even when it goes against our principles – because it’s not helping us grow, or be taken seriously, or do anything other than throw a series of floral bedspreads over each new room-hogging elephant. We, all of us, need to get critical. Blog post: Criticism in SFF and YA
Foz Meadows
People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
January 22nd THE DAY IN REVIEW “I will keep constant watch over myself and—most usefully—will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil—that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.” —SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 83.2
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
REVIEW: Like a master artisan, Weisberger weaves together threads of anthropology, botany, ecology and psychology in an inspiring tapestry of ideas sure to keep discerning readers warm and hopeful in these cold and desolate times.Unlike other texts, which ordinarily prescribe structural (ie. social, political, economic) solutions to the global crisis of environmental destruction, Rainforest Medicine hones in on the root cause of Western schizophrenia: spiritual poverty, and the resultant alienation of the individual from his environment. This incisive perception is married to a message of hope: that the keys to the door leading to promising new human vistas are held in the humblest of hands; those of the spiritual masters of the Amazon and the traditional cultures from which they hail. By illumining the ancient practices of authentic indigenous Amazonian shamanism, Weisberger supplies us with a manual for conservation of both the rainforest and the soul. And frankly, it could not have arrived at a better time.
Jonathon Miller Weisberger (Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon)
I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
But more land and more water are devoted to the cultivation of lawn grass in the United States than to corn and wheat combined. There are around 163,000 square kilometers of lawn in the U.S., greater than the size of Ohio, or the entire nation of Italy. Almost one-third of all residential water use in the U.S.—clean, drinkable water—is dedicated to lawns.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
It should come as absolutely no surprise that research has ignored women for so long because the establishment: the journal publishers, the reviewers and the funding agencies has rewarded it. Although the things are changing for the better in the US federal agencies will no longer fund clinical trials involving humans that do not include women... there is still a long way to go [..] Thoughtful, carefully done research on females still takes longer and costs more and is often times harder to interpret than research conducted only on males. So when people's careers depend on their publication rate rather than the need for answers to the questions they are asking, women and the issues they care about most - loose.
Sarah E. Hill (This Is Your Brain on Birth Control: The Surprising Science of Women, Hormones, and the Law of Unintended Consequences)
Is it being said too often how much we in the West have suffered because of the long wars between Islam and Christianity, leaving us biased and with gaps in our information? I think not.
Doris Lessing (Time Bites: Views and Reviews)
It is the responsibility of all of us to invest time and effort in uncovering our biases and in verifying our sources of information. As noted in earlier chapters, we cannot investigate everything ourselves. But precisely because of that, we need at least to investigate carefully our favourite sources of information – be they a newspaper, a website, a TV network or a person. In Chapter 20 we will explore in far greater depth how to avoid brainwashing and how to distinguish reality from fiction. Here I would like to offer two simple rules of thumb. First, if you want reliable information – pay good money for it. If you get your news for free, you might well be the product. Suppose a shady billionaire offered you the following deal: ‘I will pay you $30 a month, and in exchange, you will allow me to brainwash you for an hour every day, installing in your mind whichever political and commercial biases I want.’ Would you take the deal? Few sane people would. So the shady billionaire offers a slightly different deal: ‘You will allow me to brainwash you for one hour every day, and in exchange, I will not charge you anything for this service. The second rule of thumb is that if some issue seems exceptionally important to you, make the effort to read the relevant scientific literature. And by scientific literature I mean peer-reviewed articles, books published by well-known academic publishers, and the writings of professors from reputable institutions. Science obviously has its limitations, and it has got many things wrong in the past. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been our most reliable source of knowledge for centuries. If you think that the scientific community is wrong about something, that’s certainly possible, but at least know the scientific theories you are rejecting, and provide some empirical evidence to support your claim.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
The complicated interplay between the so-called physical and the so-call psychological reminds us that the mind/body dichotomy isn't overly simplistic; it's complete bullshit. The body is always deciding what the brain will think about, and the brain is all the time deciding what the body will do and feel. Our brains are made out of meat, and our bodies experience thoughts.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
for, so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
In time, the aliens would come to understand almost everything about us—our ceaseless yearning, our habit of wandering, how we love the feeling of the sun’s light on our skin. At last, they would have only one question remaining: “We have noted that there is a green god that you keep in front of and behind your houses, and we have seen how you are devoted to the care of this ornamental plant god. You call it Kentucky bluegrass, although it is neither blue nor from Kentucky. Here is what we are wondering: Why do you worship this species? Why do you value it over all the other plants?
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Every exam, every tournament, every match, every recital—there’s always some wrinkle, some misplaced calculator or sudden headache, a glaring sun or an unexpected essay question. At bottom, interleaving is a way of building into our daily practice not only a dose of review but also an element of surprise. “The brain is exquisitely tuned to pick up incongruities, all of our work tells us that,” said Michael Inzlicht, a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto. “Seeing something that’s out of order or out of place wakes the brain up, in effect, and prompts the subconscious to process the information more deeply: ‘Why is this here?’ ” Mixed-up practice doesn’t just build overall dexterity and prompt active discrimination. It helps prepare us for life’s curveballs, literal and figurative.
Benedict Carey (How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens)
Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid impact caused a dust cloud so huge that darkness may have pervaded Earth for two years, virtually stopping photosynthesis and leading to the extinction of 75 percent of land animals. Measured against these disasters, we're just not that important. When Earth is done with us, it'll be like, "Well, that Human Pox wasn't great, but at least I didn't get Large Asteroid Syndrome.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
In winter, everything dies, though preparations continue. The tasks of winter include: • Getting the financials in order; • Squaring accounts with lenders for last years’ crops and lining up next year’s money; • Repairing equipment and getting it ready for next year; • Preparing fields for the upcoming year; and • Reviewing the successes and failures of the past year and tweaking things to do everything better next year.
Henry Cloud (Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward)
Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that, sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Pathways toward a New Shabbat Do 1. Stay at home. Spend quality time with family and real friends. 2. Celebrate with others: at the table, in the synagogue, with friends or community. 3. Study or read something that will edify, challenge, or make you grow. 4. Be alone. Take some time for yourself. Check in with yourself. Review your week. Ask yourself where you are in your life. 5. Mark the beginning and end of this sacred time by lighting candles and making kiddush on Friday night and saying havdalah on Saturday night. Don’t 6. Don’t do anything you have to do for your work life. This includes obligatory reading, homework for kids (even without writing!), unwanted social obligations, and preparing for work as well as doing your job itself. 7. Don’t spend money. Separate completely from the commercial culture that surrounds us so much. This includes doing business of all sorts. No calls to the broker, no following up on ads, no paying of bills. It can all wait. 8. Don’t use the computer. Turn off the iPhone or smartphone or whatever device has replaced it by the time you read this. Live and breathe for a day without checking messages. Declare your freedom from this new master of our minds and our time. Find the time for face-to-face conversations with people around you, without Facebook. 9. Don’t travel. Avoid especially commercial travel and places like airports, hotel check-ins, and similar depersonalizing encounters. Stay free of situations in which people are likely to tell you to “have a nice day” (Shabbat already is a nice day, thank you). 10. Don’t rely on commercial or canned video entertainment, including the TV as well as the computer screen. Discover what there is to do in life when you are not being entertained.
Arthur Green (Judaism's Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers)
Summer Between Terms" The day's so calm and muggy I sweat tears, the summer's cloudcap and the summer's heat... surely good writers write all possible wrong-- are we so conscience-dark and cataract-blind, we only blame in others what they blame in us? (The sentence writes we, when charity wants I...) It takes such painful mellowing to use error... I have stood too long on a chair or ladder, branch-lightening forking through my thought and veins-- I cannot hang my heavy picture straight. I can't see myself...in the cattery, the tomcats doze till the litters are eatable, then find their kittens and chew off their breakable heads. They told us by harshness to win the stars. Planes, trains, lorries simmer through the garden, the reviewer sent by God to humble me ransacking my bags of dust for silver spoons-- he and I go on typing to go on living. There are ways to live on words in England-- reading for trainfare, my host ruined on wine, my ear gone bad from clinging to the ropes. I'd take a lower place, eat my toad hourly; even big frauds wince at fraudulence, and squirm from small incisions in the self-- they live on timetable with no time to tell. I'm sorry, I run with the hares now, not the hounds. I waste hours writing in and writing out a line, as if listening to conscience were telling the truth
Robert Lowell
Why could Tolkien not be more like Sir Thomas Malory, asked [Edwin] Muir, in the third Observer review of those cited above, and give us heroes and heroines like Lancelot and Guinevere, who ' knew temptation, were sometimes unfaithful to their vows,' were engagingly marked by adulterous passion? But T.H. White had already considered that paradigm, was indeed rewriting it at the same time as Tolkien in The Once and Future King; and he had seen the core of Malory's work not in romantic vice but in the human urge to murder. In White the poisonous adder that provokes the last disastrous battle is no adder but a harmless grass-snake, and the flash of the sword which brings on the two armies is not natural self-defense but natural blood-lust, creating a continuum from cruelty to animals to world wars and holocausts. Malory has to be rewritten to encompass a new view of evil.
Tom Shippey (J.r.r. Tolkien: Author of the Century)
About those gender binaries that still govern the world most of us live in: it’s important that in fanfiction, women are largely running the show. Where else is that true? Today, less than 30 percent of television writers are women;2 in film, that figure is below 20 percent.3 Oscar-nominated women directors? Four. In 2012, women comprised roughly 30 percent of the writers reviewed by the combined forces of the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Paris Review.4 Women dominate in romance writing (sometimes, even in the romances themselves)—only to have their accomplishments derided or ignored by the broader literary culture whose efforts their profits nonetheless help underwrite. In sum, those numbers mean there’s a lot of variously talented women we haven’t been hearing from. A great many of these women are writing fic.
Anne Jamison (Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World)
To review briefly, in the late 1960s, men got paid more than women (usually double) for doing the exact same job. Women could get credit cards in their husband's names but not their own, and many divorced, single and separated women could not get cards at all. Women could not get mortgages on their own and if a couple applied for a mortgage, only the husband's income was considered. Women faced widespread and consistent discrimination in education, scholarship awards, and on the job. In most states the collective property of a marriage was legally the husband's since the wife had allegedly not contributed to acquiring it. Women were largely kept out of a whole host of jobs--doctor, college professor, bus driver, business manager--that women today take for granted. They were knocked out in the delivery room... once women got pregnant they were either fired from their jobs or expected to quit. If they were women of color, it was worse on all fronts--work education, health care. (And talk about slim pickings. African American men were being sent to prison and cut out of jobs by the millions.) Most women today, having seen reruns of The Brady Bunch and Father Knows Best, and having heard of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, the bestseller that attacked women's confinement to the home, are all too familiar with the idealized yet suffocating media images of happy, devoted housewives. In fact, most of us have learned to laugh at them, vacuuming in their stockings and heels, clueless about balancing a checkbook, asking dogs directions to the neighbor's. But we should not permit our ability to distance ourselves from these images to erase the fact that all women--and we mean all women--were, in the 1950s and '60s supposed to internalize this ideal, to live it and believe it.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
interview from Ross E. Cheit about The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children (Oxford University Press, February 2014). In the foreword to your book you mention a book titled Satan’s Silence was the catalyst for your research. Tell us about that. Cheit: Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker solidified the witch-hunt narrative in their 1995 book, Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt, which included some of these cases. I was initially skeptical of the book’s argument for personal reasons. It seemed implausible to me that we had overreacted to child abuse because everything in my own personal history said we hadn’t. When I read the book closely, my skepticism increased. Satan’s Silence has been widely reviewed as meticulously researched. As someone with legal training, I looked for how many citations referred to the trial transcripts. The answer was almost none. Readers were also persuaded by long list of [presumably innocent] convicted sex offenders to whom they dedicated the book. If I’m dedicating a book to fifty-four people, all of whom I think have been falsely convicted, I’m going to mention every one of these cases somewhere in the book. Most weren’t mentioned at all beyond that dedication. The witch-hunt narrative is so sparsely documented that it’s shocking.
Ross E. Cheit
With the explosion of technology over the last 15+ years, we are in the process of a complete paradigm shift in regards to how we communicate in our marketing, public relations and advertising. Social Media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate and the beauty of it is that, through your channels, you can reach your audience directly and at lightning speed. Social Media has also changed the way customers make their buying decisions. Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, have made it easy to find and connect with others who share similar interests, to read product reviews and to connect with potential clients. Within these networks there is an amazing and wide open space for your unique voice to be heard. As the web interacts with us in more personal ways and with greater portability, there is no time better than the present to engage with and rally your community.
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek (Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing)
[On Love After Love by Derek Walcott] I read this poem often, once a month at least. In the madness and mayhem of modern life, where every man seems committed to an endless search for the approval and esteem of his fellows and peers, no matter what the cost, this poem reminds me of a basic truth: that we are, as we are, "enough". Most of us are motivated deep down by a sense of insufficiency, a need to be better stronger, faster; to work harder; to be more committed, more kind, more self-sufficient, more successful. But this short poem by Derek Walcott is like a declaration of unconditional love. It's like the embrace of an old friend. He brings us to an awareness of the present moment, calm and peaceful, and to a feeling of gratitude for everything we have. I have read it to my dearest friends after dinner once, and to my family at Christmas, and they started crying, which always, unfailingly, makes me cry.
Tom Hiddleston
We did not spend our days gazing into each other’s eyes. We did that gazing when we made love or when one of us was in trouble, but most of the time our gazes met and entwined as they looked at a third thing. Third things are essential to marriages, objects or practices or habits or arts or institutions or games or human beings that provide a site of joint rapture or contentment. Each member of a couple is separate; the two come together in double attention.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Dear lady, ... dear gentleman, reader, [it's] not right ... to put down this writer on his writing ... And I'll tell you why, too: it hurts, that's why.... People try to understand why writers commit suicide by jumping off boats or by alcoholism or by being heroic continuously or by rope or gun or drug or knife or water, and ... I can tell you straight out, ... it is reading slurring remarks about their writing that drives writers to the grave. Dirty remarks passed by ... dirty but damned nicely educated and very highly-paid ladies and gentlemen have the effect of killing writers. Yes, that's right. Dirty words ... in slick paper magazines read by smart people do assassinate writers. ... And boy let me tell you I am all for it, even when by some ... misunderstanding the dirty words are directed to me rather than to the party really deserving them. Accidents happen, dear clever reviewer or critic, and let it not be said that William Saroyan is one not to see a situation from the point of view of the other party, ... and I shall be the first to defend your right to be critical and even sarcastic, knowing full well that it is not about me and my writing, although my name is by mistake taken in vain by you. ... But go on, go on, do your good clever writing, every one of you, I am home, your are home, and we are each of us not yet on Variety's Necrology list, so if we can't take it, who can?
William Saroyan
And the more I thought of what had happened, the wilder and darker it grew. I reviewed the whole extraordinary sequence of events as I rattled on through the silent gas-lit streets. There was the original problem: that at least was pretty clear now. The death of Captain Morstan, the sending of the pearls, the advertisement, the letter,—we had had light upon all those events. They had only led us, however, to a deeper and far more tragic mystery. The Indian treasure, the curious plan found among Morstan's baggage, the strange scene at Major Sholto's death, the rediscovery of the treasure immediately followed by the murder of the discoverer, the very singular accompaniments to the crime, the footsteps, the remarkable weapons, the words upon the card, corresponding with those upon Captain Morstan's chart,—here was indeed a labyrinth in which a man less singularly endowed than my fellow-lodger might well despair of ever finding the clue.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Sign of the Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2))
I haven’t slept in two days so I feel tired now, lying on my sleeping bag. My feet are very cold but I am ok. In the long transition to sleep I entertain a complex paranoia about a group of people who will be assigned to review each action I have taken throughout my life. And once dead, I’ll meet them in council. There will be a group assigned to review my “thank-yous said” to “those not said.” There will be a group assigned to review every face I’ve made just after waking up. There will be a group assigned to review how I treated people who asked me for help. And a group assigned to review the times I felt bad but didn’t tell anyone. A group assigned to review the times I deliberately threw crayons into the small fan my third grade bus driver positioned by his face. And a group assigned to review bugs I needlessly stepped on. A group for this nap I’m taking too. And in the paranoia, I see myself getting dressed-up to go before them and answer questions. I’m very nervous before each council but I try to be brave. “This nap you took—” someone says. “Yes?” A mean-looking woman in the middle of the panel, she clasps her hands together and she says, “Tell us about this nap.” When I wake up, one of my legs is numb. And I remain awake in my sleeping bag, staring at the blinds until the black behind gets more blue, then lighter blue, then white. Sometimes I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment but it’s never after accomplishing something.
Sam Pink (Person)
Mr. Morris's poem is ushered into the world with a very florid birthday speech from the pen of the author of the too famous Poems and Ballads,—a circumstance, we apprehend, in no small degree prejudicial to its success. But we hasten to assure all persons whom the knowledge of Mr. Swinburne's enthusiasm may have led to mistrust the character of the work, that it has to our perception nothing in common with this gentleman's own productions, and that his article proves very little more than that his sympathies are wiser than his performance. If Mr. Morris's poem may be said to remind us of the manner of any other writer, it is simply of that of Chaucer; and to resemble Chaucer is a great safeguard against resembling Swinburne.
Henry James (Views and Reviews (Project Gutenberg, #37424))
why do we talk about police brutality like it is about race? At its core, police brutality is about power and corruption. Police brutality is about the intersection of fear and guns. Police brutality is about accountability. And the power and corruption that enable police brutality put all citizens, of every race, at risk. But it does not put us at risk equally, and the numbers bear that out. My fear, as a black driver, is real. The fact is that black drivers are 23 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers1, between 1.5 and 5 times more likely to be searched (while shown to be less likely than whites to turn up contraband in these searches),2 and more likely to be ticketed3 and arrested4 in those stops. This increase in stops, searches, and arrests also leads to a 3.5–4 times higher probability that black people will be killed by cops (this increase is the same for Native Americans interacting with police, a shamefully underreported statistic). Even when we aren’t arrested or killed, we are still more likely to be abused and dehumanized in our stops. A 2016 review of a thirteen-month period showed that Oakland police handcuffed 1,466 black people in nonarrest traffic stops, and only 72 white people5, and a 2016 study by the Center for Policing Equity found that blacks were almost 4 times more likely to be subject to force from police—including force by hand (such as hitting and choking), pepper spray, tazer, and gun—than white people.6
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
But another type of life review happens to all of us when we die and our consciousness leaves the physical body at the end of each lifetime. This time it is not done with a therapist, but rather with our spiritual guides or other wise beings; it is not a clinical life review but a karmic one. As we are replenished by the beautiful light, our awareness is directed to review the results of our actions while we were on the physical plane. We see the people we have harmed and we feel their emotional reactions, magnified greatly. Similarly, we feel the emotions, again enhanced, of those we have aided and loved. In this manner, we examine all our relationships, and we deeply experience all the anger, hurt, and despair that we have caused—but also all the gratitude, appreciation, love, and hope that we have elicited. This life review is not done in a spirit of punishment or guilt. By truly understanding the result of our behavior, we learn the importance of loving-kindness and compassion. As
Brian L. Weiss (Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories)
Which is probably one of the reasons those of us who love contemporary fiction love it as we do. We’re alone with it. It arrives without references, without credentials we can trust. Givers of prizes (not to mention critics) do the best they can, but they may—they probably will—be scoffed at by their children’s children. We, the living readers, whether or not we’re members of juries, decide, all on our own, if we suspect ourselves to be in the presence of greatness. We’re compelled to let future generations make the more final decisions, which will, in all likelihood, seem to them so clear as to produce a sense of bafflement over what was valued by their ancestors; what was garlanded and paraded, what carried to the temple on the shoulders of the wise.
Michael Cunningham
Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells awaited them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that, sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten top to bottom. Putting your time in at the office; dutifully spawning your two point five; smiling politely at your retirement party; then chewing on your bedsheet and choking on your canned peaches at the nursing home. It was better never to have been born—never to have wanted anything, never to have hoped for anything.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
In any case, Klossowski, mentioned again during Acéphale's sessional meeting of 25 July 1938, would later return to his opposition between Nietzsche and Bataille in a lecture given in 1941 at the end of a retreat in a Dominican monastery, 'Le Corps du néant', later printed in the first edition of his book Sade my Neighbour (1947) and which Bataille later told him he 'does not like'. Here Klossowski recapitulated the two stages in the evolution of Nietzsche's thought outlined in Löwith's essay 'Nietzsche and the doctrine of the Eternal Return', which he had reviewed in Acéphale 2: 1. Liberation from the Christian YOU MUST to achieve the I WANT of supra-nihilism; 2. Liberation from the I WANT to attain the I AM of superhumanity in the eternal return. It is precisely in this 'cyclical movement', according to Klossowski, that man 'takes on the immeasurable responsibility of the death of God'. Furthermore, he associates Bataille's negation of God with the negation of utility upon which the notion of expenditure was founded, and hence the source of his 'absolute political nihilism'. His conclusion, however, was a little more ambiguous: 'In his desire to relive the Nietzschean experience of the death of God [...] he did not have the privilege [...] of suffering Nietzsche's punishment: the delirium that transfigures the executioner into a victim [...] To be guilty or not to be, that is his dilemma. His acephality expresses only the unease of a guilt in which conscience has become alienated because he has put faith to sleep: and this is to experience God in the manner of demons, as St. Augustine said'. Unlike Nietzsche. who 'accused himself' of causing the death of God 'in the name of all men' and paid for his guilt with madness, unlike Kirillov, the nihilist in Dostoyevsky's Demons who chose to commit suicide so as to kill men's fear of death and thus kill God himself, Bataille shows us this frightful torment of not being able to make his guilt real and so attain that state of responsibility that gives knowledge of the path to absolution.
Georges Bataille (The Sacred Conspiracy: The Internal Papers of the Secret Society of Acéphale and Lectures to the College of Sociology)
And I wonder, therefore, how James Atlas can have been so indulgent in his recent essay ‘The Changing World of New York Intellectuals.’ This rather shallow piece appeared in the New York Times magazine, and took us over the usual jumps. Gone are the days of Partisan Review, Delmore Schwartz, Dwight MacDonald etc etc. No longer the tempest of debate over Trotsky, The Waste Land, Orwell, blah, blah. Today the assimilation of the Jewish American, the rise of rents in midtown Manhattan, the erosion of Village life, yawn, yawn. The drift to the right, the rediscovery of patriotism, the gruesome maturity of the once iconoclastic Norman Podhoretz, okay, okay! I have one question which Atlas in his much-ballyhooed article did not even discuss. The old gang may have had regrettable flirtations. Their political compromises, endlessly reviewed, may have exhibited naivety or self-regard. But much of that record is still educative, and the argument did take place under real pressure from anti-semitic and authoritarian enemies. Today, the alleged ‘neo-conservative’ movement around Jeane Kirkpatrick, Commentary and the New Criterion can be found in unforced alliance with openly obscurantist, fundamentalist and above all anti-intellectual forces. In the old days, there would at least have been a debate on the proprieties of such a united front, with many fine distinctions made and brave attitudes struck. As I write, nearness to power seems the only excuse, and the subject is changed as soon it is raised. I wait for the agonised, self-justifying neo-conservative essay about necessary and contingent alliances. Do I linger in vain?
Christopher Hitchens (Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports)
In his book Real Presences, George Steiner asks us to "imagine a society in which all talk about the arts, music and literature is prohibited." In such a society there would be no more essays on whether Hamlet was mad or only pretending to be, no reviews of the latest exhibitions or novels, no profiles of writers or artists. There would be no secondary, or parasitic, discussion - let alone tertiary: commentary on commentary. We would have, instead, a "republic for writers and readers" with no cushion of professional opinion-makers to come between creators and audience. While the Sunday papers presently serve as a substitute for the experiencing of the actual exhibition or book, in Steiner's imagined republic the review pages would be turned into listings:catalogues and guides to what is about to open, be published, or be released. What would this republic be like? Would the arts suffer from the obliteration of this ozone of comment? Certainly not, says Steiner, for each performance of a Mahler symphony is also a critique of that symphony. Unlike the reviewer, however, the performer "invests his own being in the process of interpretation." Such interpretation is automatically responsible because the performer is answerable to the work in a way that even the most scrupulous reviewer is not. Although, most obviously, it is not only the case for drama and music; all art is also criticism. This is most clearly so when a writer or composer quotes or reworks material from another writer or composer. All literature, music, and art "embody an expository reflection which they pertain". In other words it is not only in their letters, essays, or conversation that writers like Henry James reveal themselves also to be the best critics; rather, The Portrait of a Lady is itself, among other things, a commentary on and a critique of Middlemarch. "The best readings of art are art." No sooner has Steiner summoned this imaginary republic into existence than he sighs, "The fantasy I have sketched is only that." Well, it is not. It is a real place and for much of the century it has provided a global home for millions of people. It is a republic with a simple name: jazz.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz)
It’s clear that media, politicians, and often the assessment reports themselves blatantly misrepresent what the science says about climate and catastrophes. Those failures indict the scientists who write and too-casually review the reports, the reporters who uncritically repeat them, the editors who allow that to happen, the activists and their organizations who fan the fires of alarm, and the experts whose public silence endorses the deception. The constant repetition of these and many other climate fallacies turns them into accepted “truths.
Steven E. Koonin (Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters)
Dogs are mute and obedient, but they have watched us and know us and can smell how pitiful we are. It should astonish us, move us, overwhelm us that our dogs continue, incredibly, to follow us and obey us. Maybe they despise us. Maybe they forgive us. Or maybe they like having no responsibility. We’ll never know. Maybe they see us as some sort of unfortunate race of overgrown, misshapen beings, like huge sluggish beetles. Not gods. Dogs must have seen through us, they must possess a crushing insight that thousands of years of obedience holds in check.
Tove Jansson (The True Deceiver (New York Review Books (Paperback)))
Where are your free and compulsory schools? Does every one know how to read in the land of Dante and of Michael Angelo? Have you made public schools of your barracks? Have you not, like ourselves, an opulent war-budget and a paltry budget of education? Have not you also that passive obedience which is so easily converted into soldierly obedience? military establishment which pushes the regulations to the extreme of firing upon Garibaldi; that is to say, upon the living honor of Italy? Let us subject your social order to examination, let us take it where it stands and as it stands, let us view its flagrant offences, show me the woman and the child. It is by the amount of protection with which these two feeble creatures are surrounded that the degree of civilization is to be measured. Is prostitution less heartrending in Naples than in Paris? What is the amount of justice springs from your tribunals? Do you chance to be so fortunate as to be ignorant of the meaning of those gloomy words: public prosecution, legal infamy, prison, the scaffold, the executioner, the death penalty? Italians, with you as with us, Beccaria is dead and Farinace is alive. And then, let us scrutinize your state reasons. Have you a government which comprehends the identity of morality and politics? You have reached the point where you grant amnesty to heroes! Something very similar has been done in France. Stay, let us pass miseries in review, let each one contribute in his pile, you are as rich as we. Have you not, like ourselves, two condemnations, religious condemnation pronounced by the priest, and social condemnation decreed by the judge? Oh, great nation of Italy, thou resemblest the great nation of France! Alas! our brothers, you are, like ourselves, Misérables.
Victor Hugo
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
A debilitating absence of government machinery was compounded by White failure in the realm of ideas. Red propaganda effectively stamped the Whites as military adventurists, lackeys of foreign powers, restorationists. The Whites mounted their own propaganda, military parades, and troop reviews blessed by Orthodox priests. Their red, white, and blue flags, the national colors of pre-1917 Russia, often had images of Orthodox saints; others had skulls and crossbones. The Whites copied the Bolshevik practice of the agitation trains. But their slogans—“Let us be one Russian people”—did not persuade.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
Nothing belongs to us. Everything and everyone will be gone someday – including you and me! Clinging on to people, material possessions, stances and opinions is a total waste of energy and precious time. If we review our lives closely, deeply, we will find that all our insecurities, our strife, our suffering, comes from whatever we are clinging on to. The moment you let go of whatever is possessing you, consuming you – a habit or a position or an object or a person or a relationship – you are liberated. You are free. It is only when you are free that you can experience Life – and its magic and beauty – fully…and live happily!
AVIS Viswanathan
In the long run, there is no running from your pain. You can try to numb yourself with slow, self-sabotaging methods—excessive eating, drinking, and drugs—or you can end it through suicide. But in the end, these methods don’t heal anything. While I’m reminded here in Spirit that I’m much more than my wounds, being here doesn’t heal the wounds I ran away from. I can gain understanding about how and why the wounds were created, but when I choose another physical body in another physical life, the same wounds will be front and center. Spirited life rejuvenates me, gives me greater perspective and strengthens my power to love myself with the wounds; but I have wounds that can only be worked out in physical form. I’ll strive to remember and bring this fresh perspective back into a new physical life, but I’ll still be subject to the veil of forgetfulness. We choose the physical circumstances that will remind us of what needs to be healed. Everything is orchestrated to provide us with what we need. During my life review, I saw that I’d had countless opportunities to heal the wounds, but because I’d been so afraid of change, I hadn’t even entertained them as possibilities. If I’d acted on the opportunities, I could have taken Physical Bill to his full potential. Instead, I’m now focused on creating another physical life and having to do it over again. Irene: Isn’t reincarnation
Irene Kendig (Conversations with Jerry and Other People I Thought Were Dead: Seven compelling dialogues that will transform the way you think about dying . . . and living)
My dog, Willy, died a few years ago, but one of my great memories of him is watching him play in the front yard of our house at dusk. He was a puppy then, and in the early evenings he would contract a case of the zoomies. He ran in delighted circles around us, yipping and jumping at nothing in particular, and then after a while, he'd get tired, and he'd run over to me and lie down. And then he would do something absolutely extraordinary: He would roll over onto his back, and present his soft belly. I always marveled at the courage of that, his ability to be so absolutely vulnerable to us. He offered us the place ribs don't protect, trusting that we weren't going to bite or stab him. It's hard to trust the world like that, to show it your belly. There's something deep within me, something intensely fragile, that is terrified of turning itself to the world. I’m scared to even write this down, because I worry that having confessed this fragility, you know now where to punch. I know that if I’m hit where I am earnest, I will never recover.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Dawkins is an eloquent science journalist. What else is he? I mean journalism is a high and influential profession. But he’s not a scientist, he’s never done scientific research. My definition of a scientist is that you can complete the following sentence: ‘he or she has shown that…’ I don’t want to go on about this because he and I were friends. There is no debate between us because he’s not in the arena. I’m sorry he’s so upset. He could have distinguished himself by looking at the evidence, that’s what most science journalists do. When a journalist named Dawkins wrote a review in Prospect urging people not to read my book, I thought the last time I heard something like that I think it came from an 18th-century bishop.
Edward O. Wilson
From an interview with Susie Bright: SB: You were recently reviewed by the New York Times. How do you think the mainstream media regards sex museums, schools and cultural centers these days? What's their spin versus your own observations? [Note: Here's the article Susie mentions: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/05/nat... ] CQ: Lots of people have seen the little NY Times article, which was about an event we did, the Belle Bizarre Bazaar -- a holiday shopping fair where most of the vendors were sex workers selling sexy stuff. Proceeds went to our Exotic Dancers' Education Project, providing dancers with skills that will help them maximize their potential and choices. This event got into the Times despite the worries of its author, a journalist who'd been posted over by her editor. She thought the Times was way too conservative for the likes of us, which may be true, except they now have so many column inches to fill with distracting stuff that isn't about Judith Miller! The one thing the Times article does not do is present the spectrum of the Center for Sex & Culture's work, especially the academic and serious side of what we do. This, I think, points to the real answer to your question: mainstream media culture remains quite nervous and touchy about sex-related issues, especially those that take sex really seriously. A frivolous take (or a good, juicy, shocking angle) on a sex story works for the mainstream press: a sex-positive and serious take, not so much. When the San Francisco Chronicle did its article about us a year ago, the writer focused just on our porn collection. Now, we very much value that, but we also collect academic journals and sex education materials, and not a word about those! I think this is one really essential linchpin of sex-negative or erotophobic culture, that sex is only allowed to be either light or heavy, and when it's heavy, it's about really heavy issues like abuse. Recently I gave some quotes about something-or-other for a Cosmo story and the editors didn't want to use the term "sexologist" to describe me, saying that it wasn't a real word! You know, stuff like that from the Times would not be all that surprising, but Cosmo is now policing the language? Please!
Carol Queen (PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality)
I am scared to even say this out loud, because I worry that having confessed this fragility, you now know where to punch. I know that if I am hit where I am earnest, I will never recover. It can sometimes feel like loving the beauty that surrounds us is somehow disrespectful to the many horrors that also surround us. But mostly, I think I'm just scared that if I show the world my belly, it will devour me. And so I wear the armor of cynicism and hide behind the great walls of irony and only glimpse beauty with my back turned to it through the claude glass. But I want to be earnest, even if it's embarrassing. The photographer Alec Soth has said, "to me, the most beautiful thing is vulnerability. I would go a step further and argue that you cannot see the beauty which is enough unless you make yourself vulnerable to it." So I try to turn toward that scattered light, belly out and I tell myself, "this doesn't look like a picture, and it doesn't look like a god. It is a sunset, and it is beautiful." And this whole thing you've been doing where nothing gets five stars because nothing is perfect, that's bullshit. So much is perfect. Starting with this.
John Green
We underestimate the power of science, and overestimate the power of personal observation. A peer-reviewed, journal-published, replicated report is worth far more than what you see with your own eyes. Our own eyes can deceive us. People can fool themselves, hallucinate, and even go insane. The controls on publication in major journals are more trustworthy than the very fabric of your brain. If you see with your own eyes that the sky is blue, and Science says it is green, then sir, I advise that you trust in Science. This is not what most scientists will tell you, of course; but I think it is pragmatically true. Because in real life, what happens is that your eyes have a little malfunction and decide that the sky is green, and science will tell you that the sky is blue.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (The Less Wrong Sequences)
In the Buddhist teachings on compassion there’s a practice called “one at the beginning, and one at the end.” When I wake up in the morning, I do this practice. I make an aspiration for the day. For example, I might say, “Today, may I acknowledge whenever I get hooked.” Or, “May I not speak or act out of anger.” I try not to make it too grandiose, as in, “Today, may I be completely free of all neurosis.” I begin with a clear intention, and then I go about the day with this in mind. In the evening, I review what happened. This is the part that can be so loaded for Western people. We have an unfortunate tendency to emphasize our failures. But when Dzigar Kongtrül teaches about this, he says that for him, when he sees that he has connected with his aspiration even once briefly during the whole day, he feels a sense of rejoicing. He also says that when he recognizes he lost it completely, he rejoices that he has the capacity to see that. This way of viewing ourselves has been very inspiring for me. He encourages us to ask what it is in us, after all, that sees that we lost it. Isn’t it our own wisdom, our own insight, our own natural intelligence? Can we just have the aspiration, then, to identify with the wisdom that acknowledges that we hurt someone’s feelings, or that we smoked when we said we wouldn’t? Can we have the aspiration to identify more and more with our ability to recognize what we’re doing instead of always identifying with our mistakes? This is the spirit of delighting in what we see rather than despairing in what we see. It’s the spirit of letting compassionate self-reflection build confidence rather than becoming a cause for depression. Being
Pema Chödrön (Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears)
We're living in a world in which we're all survived, targeted, herded, and indoctrinated to an unprecedented degree. Our fallen, debased state is ghastly. Our bodies have been transformed into profit-optimized enterprise zones, our minds have been hacked and neutered, our social milieus have been completely leached of authenticity.... [...] Bro, we're living in the Kali Yuga, a Dark Age of petite bourgeoisie ideology whose resources and ruses are infinite and which ubiquitously permeates the world -- high culture, low culture, bienpensant media, prestige literature, pop music, commerce, sports, academia, you name it. The only reasonable response to the situation is to maintain an implacable antipathy toward everything. Denounce everyone. Make war against yourself. Guillotine all groveling intellectuals. That said, I think it's important to maintain a cheery disposition. This will hasten the restoration of Paradise. I've memorized this line from Andre Breton's magnificent homage to Antonin Artaud -- "I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive." Given the state of things, that's what we need to be doing all the time -- negating everything that causes us to be dead while alive.
Mark Leyner
If I know the classical psychological theories well enough to pass my comps and can reformulate them in ways that can impress peer reviewers from the most prestigious journals, but have not the practical wisdom of love, I am only an intrusive muzak soothing the ego while missing the heart. And if I can read tea leaves, throw the bones and manipulate spirits so as to understand the mysteries of the universe and forecast the future with scientific precision, and if I have achieved a renaissance education in both the exoteric and esoteric sciences that would rival Faust and know the equation to convert the mass of mountains into psychic energy and back again, but have not love, I do not even exist. If I gain freedom from all my attachments and maintain constant alpha waves in my consciousness, showing perfect equanimity in all situations, ignoring every personal need and compulsively martyring myself for the glory of God, but this is not done freely from love, I have accomplished nothing. Love is great-hearted and unselfish; love is not emotionally reactive, it does not seek to draw attention to itself. Love does not accuse or compare. It does not seek to serve itself at the expense of others. Love does not take pleasure in other peeople's sufferings, but rejoices when the truth is revealed and meaningful life restored. Love always bears reality as it is, extending mercy to all people in every situation. Love is faithful in all things, is constantly hopeful and meets whatever comes with immovable forbearance and steadfastness. Love never quits. By contrast, prophecies give way before the infinite possibilities of eternity, and inspiration is as fleeting as a breath. To the writing and reading of many books and learning more and more, there is no end, and yet whatever is known is never sufficient to live the Truth who is revealed to the world only in loving relationship. When I was a beginning therapist, I thought a lot and anxiously tried to fix people in order to lower my own anxiety. As I matured, my mind quieted and I stopped being so concerned with labels and techniques and began to realize that, in the mystery of attentive presence to others, the guest becomes the host in the presence of God. In the hospitality of genuine encounter with the other, we come face to face with the mystery of God who is between us as both the One offered One who offers. When all the theorizing and methodological squabbles have been addressed, there will still only be three things that are essential to pastoral counseling: faith, hope, and love. When we abide in these, we each remain as well, without comprehending how, for the source and raison d'etre of all is Love.
Stephen Muse (When Hearts Become Flame: An Eastern Orthodox Approach to the Dia-Logos of Pastoral Counseling)
You're beginning to see, aren't you, Peter? Shall I make it clearer. You've never wanted me to be real. You never wanted anyone to be. But you didn't want to show it. You wanted an act to help your act--a beautiful, complicated act, all twists, trimmings and words. All words. You didn't like what I said about Vincent Knowlton. You liked it when I said the same thing under cover of virtuous sentiments. You didn't want me to believe. You only wanted me to convince you that I believed. My real soul, Peter? It's real only when it's independent--you've discovered that, haven't you? It's real only when it chooses curtains and desserts--you're right about that--curtains, desserts and religions, Peter, and the shapes of buildings. But you've never wanted that. You wanted a mirror. People want nothing but mirrors around them. To reflect them while they're reflecting too. You know, like the senseless infinity you get from two mirrors facing each other across a narrow passage. Usually in the more vulgar kind of hotels. Reflections of reflections and echoes of echoes. No beginning and no end. No center and no purpose. I gave you what you wanted. I became what you are, what your friends are, what most of humanity is so busy being--only with the trimmings. I didn't go around spouting book reviews to hide my emptiness of judgment--I said I had no judgment. I didn't borrow designs to hide my creative impotence--I created nothing. I didn't say that equality is a noble conception and unity the chief goal of mankind--I just agreed with everybody. You call it death, Peter? That kind of death--I've imposed it on you and on everyone around us. But you--you haven't done that. People are comfortable with you, they like you, they enjoy your presence. You've spared them the blank death. Because you've imposed it--on yourself.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
When we live intensely, we run more risks and we become more fragile. We already know that people who do nothing suffer nothing. But avoiding doing things out of fear of getting hurt is not a path to growth. When we mix our fears with reality, we are limiting ourselves. Don’t forget that the decisions we don’t make also cause us pain. Be careful about how you interpret what happens to you. If you don’t have an explanation that brings you peace, don’t make one up. What causes one kind of emotional pain to be more intense than another? Well, it depends on the emotional attachment to the source of the pain. What hurts more intensely is what directly affects us or the people we love. What hurts more is what affects our greatest aspirations and objectives. We are more easily hurt by what affects our desires or fears, and the more intense our desire, the more painful our frustration when we do not achieve it. The emotional involvement determines and explains the intensity of our pain. The greater the emotional involvement, the greater the pain. When pain comes in the door, perspective goes out the window, taking with it our ability to reason properly, to analyze events, and to make good decisions. Each time you remember what happened you transform what happened. None of our experiences is in vain if we are capable of learning from what happened to us and from the suffering and pain it caused us. But we won’t be able to learn from what happened if we don’t look back and review our experiences. Carrying your past is like carrying a huge backpack full of stones that prevents you from walking freely. But to walk through life all you need is a bit of water and food, a dream, and a destination—and, in a pinch, you can probably do without a destination. Let bygones be bygones, learn from what happened, and bring that chapter to a close. Your beliefs feed your decisions, your fears, and your desires. Knowledge will set you free, so make an effort to learn, study, read, travel.
Tomás Navarro (Kintsugi: The Japanese Art of Embracing the Imperfect and Loving Your Flaws)
Richard Lewontin is amazingly candid about this fact. In the New York Review of Books he makes this stunning admission: Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.4
Gregory Koukl (Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions)
A Nasrudin 'joke' may at first seem unfunny, or pointless, but will after study change and begin to reveal itself: you have uncovered the first level of meaning, and will soon observe your thought patterns shift as you watch them; you will have made the first crack in the wall of assumptions, the conditioned thinking (designated 'The Old Villain') which imprisons each and every one of us, the worst of which is to think that the visible world is all there is, that a man's or a mouse's view of life is the true one.
Doris Lessing (Time Bites: Views and Reviews)
In the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the DOD presented its long-range assessment of United States military readiness and plans for the future. By statute, the National Defense Panel (NDP), a nonpartisan ten-member body appointed by Congress, is required to review the QDR’s adequacy. The panel concluded that under the Obama administration’s military plan “there is a growing gap between the strategic objectives the U.S. military is expected to achieve and the resources required to do so.”71 The significant funding shortfall is “disturbing if not dangerous in light of the fact that global threats and challenges are rising, including a troubling pattern of territorial assertiveness and regional intimidation on China’s part, the recent aggression of Russia in Ukraine, nuclear proliferation on the part of North Korea and Iran, a serious insurgency in Iraq that both reflects and fuels the broader sectarian conflicts in the region, the civil war in Syria, and civil strife in the larger Middle East and throughout Africa.
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
Grabbing my hair and pulling it to the point my skull throbs, I rock back and forth while insanity threatens to destroy my mind completely. Father finally did what Lachlan started. Destroyed my spirit. The angel is gone. The monster has come and killed her. Lachlan Sipping his whiskey, Shon gazes with a bored expression at the one-way mirror as Arson lights the match, grazing the skin of his victim with it as the man convulses in fear. “Show off,” he mutters, and on instinct, I slap the back of his head. He rubs it, spilling the drink. “The fuck? We are wasting time, Lachlan. Tell him to speed up. You know if you let him, he can play for hours.” All in good time, we don’t need just a name. He is saving him for a different kind of information that we write down as Sociopath types furiously on his computer, searching for the location and everything else using FBI databases. “Bingo!” Sociopath mutters, picking up the laptop and showing the screen to me. “It’s seven hours away from New York, in a deserted location in the woods. The land belongs to some guy who is presumed dead and the man accrued the right to build shelters for abused women. They actually live there as a place of new hope or something.” Indeed, the center is advertised as such and has a bunch of stupid reviews about it. Even the approval of a social worker, but then it doesn’t surprise me. Pastor knows how to be convincing. “Kids,” I mutter, fisting my hands. “Most of them probably have kids. He continues to do his fucked-up shit.” And all these years, he has been under my radar. I throw the chair and it bounces off the wall, but no one says anything as they feel the same. “Shon, order a plane. Jaxon—” “Yeah, my brothers will be there with us. But listen, the FBI—” he starts, and I nod. He takes a beat and quickly sends a message to someone on his phone while I bark into the microphone. “Arson, enough with the bullshit. Kill him already.” He is of no use to us anyway. Arson looks at the wall and shrugs. Then pours gas on his victim and lights up the match simultaneously, stepping aside as the man screams and thrashes on the chair, and the smell of burning flesh can be sensed even here. Arson jogs to a hose, splashing water over him. The room is designed security wise for this kind of torture, since fire is one of the first things I taught. After all, I’d learned the hard way how to fight with it. “On the plane, we can adjust the plan. Let’s get moving.” They spring into action as I go to my room to get a specific folder to give to Levi before I go, when Sociopath’s hand stops me, bumping my shoulder. “Is this a suicide mission for you?” he asks, and I smile, although it lacks any humor. My friend knows everything. Instead of answering his question, I grip his shoulder tight, and confide, “Valencia is entrusted to you.” We both know that if I want to destroy Pastor, I have to die with him. This revenge has been twenty-three years in the making, and I never envisioned a different future. This path always leads to death one way or another, and the only reason I valued my life was because I had to kill him. Valencia will be forever free from the evils that destroyed her life. I’ll make sure of it. Once upon a time, there was an angel. Who made the monster’s heart bleed.
V.F. Mason (Lachlan's Protégé: A Billionaire Romance (Dark Protégés Book 1))
The book received a wider review in the business press than in academic journals. A few weeks after the U.S. publication I was invited to address the annual meeting of Drexel-Burnham to outline how the new Treasury bill standard of world finance had replaced the gold exchange standard. Herman Kahn was the meeting’s other invited speaker. When I had finished, he got up and said, “You’ve shown how the United States has run rings around Britain and every other empire-building nation in history. We’ve pulled off the greatest rip-off ever achieved.” He hired me on the spot to join him as the Hudson Institute’s economist. I was happy enough to leave my professorship in international economics at the New School for Social Research. My professional background had been on Wall Street as balance-of-payments economist for the Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen. My research along these lines was too political to fit comfortably into the academic economics curriculum, but at the Hudson Institute I set to work tracing how America was turning its payments deficit into an unprecedented element of strength rather than weakness.
Michael Hudson (Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance)
So let’s make this work for us. This Ice Breaker requires that you find large groups of negative people. (In Texas, we call these people family and friends.) Next, you are going to listen to them whine, moan and complain. When they finally take a breath, you’re going to say these exact words: “Would you like to do something about it?” Let’s review. The prospect: 1. Has a problem 2. Knows he has a problem. 3. You have given him a choice, to fix the problem or not. You’re done! What are the two possible answers? “Yes” or “No.” If they say, “Yes, I’d like to do something about it,” ka-ching! You are done. Take the money for their product order, fill out the application, whatever you need to do. The prospect has made a decision to fix his problem. I love this. In a room of 100 people, I can quickly locate the 20 or 30 people who want to fix their problems. Just a simple question: “Do you want to do something about it?” Everything else is easy. Now, they could say, “No, I don’t want to do something about it.” Then I simply say, “And what else bothers you?” The prospect will continue with more negative stuff in his life, but I’ll quietly slip away at the first opportunity.
Tom Schreiter (Ice Breakers! How To Get Any Prospect To Beg You For A Presentation (MLM & Network Marketing Book 1))
If we recognize the power of entheogenic substances to open us to the universal truth and full dimension of human experience, and if we accept the role of the shaman as hierophant and psychopomp into this realm, as enacted for example by the Huichol mara'akame, we have to conclude that today in Western society we are deprived of two key resources for complete human growth. Young people, in their hunger for meaning, will still gravitate toward entheogens. The more experienced among us may try to ease their journey, but in the absence of qualified guides not all will benefit from their experience.
Rick Doblin (Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality)
Every entry, whether revised or reviewed, goes through multiple editing passes. The definer starts the job, then it’s passed to a copy editor who cleans up the definer’s work, then to a bunch of specialty editors: cross-reference editors, who make sure the definer hasn’t used any word in the entry that isn’t entered in that dictionary; etymologists, to review or write the word history; dating editors, who research and add the dates of first written use; pronunciation editors, who handle all the pronunciations in the book. Then eventually it’s back to a copy editor (usually a different one from the first round, just to be safe), who will make any additional changes to the entry that cross-reference turned up, then to the final reader, who is, as the name suggests, the last person who can make editorial changes to the entry, and then off to the proofreader (who ends up, again, being a different editor from the definer and the two previous copy editors). After the proofreaders are done slogging through two thousand pages of four-point type, the production editors send it off to the printer or the data preparation folks, and then we get another set of dictionary pages (called page proofs) to proofread. This process happens continuously as we work through a dictionary, so a definer may be working on batches in C, cross-reference might be in W, etymology in T, dating and pronunciation in the second half of S, copy editors in P (first pass) and Q and R (second pass), while the final reader is closing out batches in N and O, proofreaders are working on M, and production has given the second set of page proofs to another set of proofreaders for the letter L. We all stagger our way through the alphabet until the last batch, which is inevitably somewhere near G, is closed. By the time a word is put in print either on the page or online, it’s generally been seen by a minimum of ten editors. Now consider that when it came to writing the Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, we had a staff of about twenty editors working on it: twenty editors to review about 220,000 existing definitions, write about 10,000 new definitions, and make over 100,000 editorial changes (typos, new dates, revisions) for the new edition. Now remember that the 110,000-odd changes made were each reviewed about a dozen times and by a minimum of ten editors. The time given to us to complete the revision of the Tenth Edition into the Eleventh Edition so production could begin on the new book? Eighteen months.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Idea in Brief Are you an ethical manager? Most would probably say, “Of course!” The truth is, most of us are not. Most of us believe that we’re ethical and unbiased. We assume that we objectively size up job candidates or venture deals and reach fair and rational conclusions that are in our organization’s best interests. But the truth is, we harbor many unconscious—and unethical—biases that derail our decisions and undermine our work as managers. Hidden biases prevent us from recognizing high-potential workers and retaining talented managers. They stop us from collaborating effectively with partners. They erode our teams’ performance. They can also lead to costly lawsuits.
Harvard Business School Press (HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People (with featured article "Leadership That Gets Results," by Daniel Goleman))
Speaking of gendered differences in reaction and action—you’ve talked of a certain “bullying reception” to your book here in New Zealand by a certain set of older male critics. The omniscient narrator, the idea that you “had to be everywhere,” seems to have affronted some male readers, as has the length of the book. Have you experienced this reaction in the UK, too, or in Canada? Has it been a peculiarly New Zealand response, perhaps because of the necessarily small pool of literary competition here? This is a point that has been perhaps overstated. There’s been a lot written about what I said, and in fact the way I think and feel about the reviewing culture we have in New Zealand has changed a lot through reading the responses and objections of others. Initially I used the word “bullying” only to remark that, as we all learn at school, more often than not someone’s objections are more to do with their own shortcomings or failures than with yours, and that’s something that you have to remember when you’re seeing your artistic efforts devalued or dismissed in print. I don’t feel bullied when I receive a negative review, but I do think that some of the early reviewers refused to engage with the book on its own terms, and that refusal seemed to me to have a lot to do with my gender and my age. To even things out, I called attention to the gender and age of those reviewers, which at the time seemed only fair. I feel that it’s very important to say that sexism is a hegemonic problem, written in to all kinds of cultural attitudes that are held by men and women alike. As a culture we are much more comfortable with the idea of the male thinker than the female thinker, simply because there are so many more examples, throughout history, of male thinkers; as an image and as an idea, the male thinker is familiar to us, and acts in most cases as a default. Consequently female thinkers are often unacknowledged and discouraged, sometimes tacitly, sometimes explicitly, sometimes by men, and sometimes by women. I am lucky, following the Man Booker announcement, that my work is now being read very seriously indeed; but that is a privilege conferred for the most part by the status of the prize, and I know that I am the exception rather than the rule. I’d like to see a paradigm shift, and I’m confident that one is on the way, but the first thing that needs to happen is a collective acknowledgment that reviewing culture is gendered—that everything is gendered—and that until each of us makes a conscious effort to address inequality, we will each remain a part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution. Protesting the fact of inequality is like protesting global warming or evolution: it’s a conservative blindness, born out of cowardice and hostility.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
What struck me powerfully was that Mr. Spano had honored every word of his inner contract. Like everyone, he had this right of self determination. We do this when we select a partner who confirms our feelings of unworthiness. When we pick the job that pays us less than we deserve. It is all the same. It is all part of that contract, that even if we didn’t write it for ourselves, we certainly cosigned. I wondered too about my contract with myself. I wondered why the behavior of this self-hating man would rock me for even a second. I thought about how I needed to love myself enough to allow others to fulfill their contract with themselves. Be it Mr. Spano, my ex-husband, my father, my mother, Collin, the hospital administrators, or anyone else. Mr. Spano’s contract demanded that he act in ways that were dismissive of my attempts to help him. A human being can never treat another person better than he treats himself. So, if he says things that are disrespectful, this is his contract. His contract has nothing to do with mine, unless I allow it to. Unless I uncover a clause, in minuscule print on page five. A clause that I overlooked, that stipulates my need to be validated by the Mr. Spanos of the world in order to feel OK about myself. He was kind enough to prompt me to review that section again, to edit out that portion for good. In that way, he was an angel of the shift.
Michele Harper (The Beauty in Breaking)
Psychoanalysis has suffered the accusation of being “unscientific” from its very beginnings (Schwartz, 1999). In recent years, the Berkeley literary critic Frederick Crews has renewed the assault on the talking cure in verbose, unreadable articles in the New York Review of Books (Crews, 1990), inevitably concluding, because nothing else really persuades, that psychoanalysis fails because it is unscientific. The chorus was joined by philosopher of science, Adolf Grunbaum (1985), who played both ends against the middle: to the philosophers he professed specialist knowledge of psychoanalysis; to the psychoanalysts he professed specialist knowledge of science, particularly physics. Neither was true (Schwartz, 1995a,b, 1996a,b, 2000). The problem that mental health clinicians always face is that we deal with human subjectivity in a culture that is deeply invested in denying the importance of human subjectivity. Freud’s great invention of the analytic hour allows us to explore, with our clients, their inner worlds. Can such a subjective instrument be trusted? Not by very many. It is so dangerously close to women’s intuition. Socalled objectivity is the name of the game in our culture. Nevertheless, 100 years of clinical practice have shown psychoanalysis and psychotherapy not only to be effective, but to yield real understandings of the dynamics of human relationships, particularly the reality of transference–countertransference re-enactments now reformulated by our neuroscientists as right brain to right brain communication (Schore, 1999).
Joseph Schwartz (Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
Now in sober truth there is a magnificent idea in these monsters of the Apocalypse. It is, I suppose, the idea that beings really more beautiful or more universal than we are might appear to us frightful and even confused. Especially they might seem to have senses at once more multiplex and more staring; an idea very imaginatively seized in the multitude of eyes. I like those monsters beneath the throne very much. But I like them beneath the throne. It is when one of them goes wandering in deserts and finds a throne for himself that evil faiths begin, and there is (literally) the devil to pay--to pay in dancing girls or human sacrifice. As long as those misshapen elemental powers are around the throne, remember that the thing that they worship is the likeness of the appearance of a man.
G.K. Chesterton
Speaking of debutantes,” Jake continued cautiously when Ian remained silent, “what about the one upstairs? Do you dislike her especially, or just on general principle?” Ian walked over to the table and poured some Scotch into a glass. He took a swallow, shrugged, and said, “Miss Cameron was more inventive than some of her vapid little friends. She accosted me in a garden at a party.” “I can see how bothersome that musta been,” Jake joked, “having someone like her, with a face that men dream about, tryin’ to seduce you, usin’ feminine wiles on you. Did they work?” Slamming the glass down on the table, Ian said curtly, “They worked.” Coldly dismissing Elizabeth from his mind, he opened the deerskin case on the table, removed some papers he needed to review, and sat down in front of the fire. Trying to suppress his avid curiosity, Jake waited a few minutes before asking, “Then what happened?” Already engrossed in reading the documents in his hand, Ian said absently and without looking up, “I asked her to marry me; she sent me a note inviting me to meet her in the greenhouse; I went there; her brother barged in on us and informed me she was a countess, and that she was already betrothed.” The topic thrust from his mind, Ian reached for the quill lying on the small table beside his chair and made a note in the margin of the contract. “And?” Jake demanded avidly. “And what?” “And then what happened-after the brother barged in?” “He took exception to my having contemplated marrying so far above myself and challenged me to a duel,” Ian replied in a preoccupied voice as he made another note on the contract. “So what’s the girl doin’ here now?” Jake asked, scratching his head in bafflement over the doings of the Quality. “Who the hell knows,” Ian murmured irritably. “Based on her behavior with me, my guess is she finally got caught in some sleezy affair or another, and her reputation’s beyond repair.” “What’s that got to do with you?” Ian expelled his breath in a long, irritated sigh and glanced at Jake with an expression that made it clear he was finished answering questions. “I assume,” he bit out, “that her family, recalling my absurd obsession with her two years ago, hoped I’d come up to scratch again and take her off their hands.” “You think it’s got somethin’ to do with the old duke talking about you bein’ his natural grandson and wantin’ to make you his heir?” He waited expectantly, hoping for more information, but Ian ignored him, reading his documents. Left with no other choice and no prospect for further confidences, Jake picked up a candle, gathered up some blankets, and started for the barn. He paused at the door, struck by a sudden thought. “She said she didn’t send you any note about meetin’ her in the greenhouse.” “She’s a liar and an excellent little actress,” Ian said icily, without taking his gaze from the papers. “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get her out of here and off my hands.” Something in Ian’s face made him ask, “Why the hurry? You afraid of fallin’ fer her wiles again?” “Hardly.” “Then you must be made of stone,” he teased. “That woman’s so beautiful she’d tempt any man who was alone with her for an hour-includin’ me, and you know I ain’t in the petticoat line at all.” “Don’t let her catch you alone,” Ian replied mildly. “I don’t think I’d mind.” Jake laughed as he left.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
When the pandemic started, most of the other medical practices in the Detroit area shut down, Dr. David Brownstein told me. “I had a meeting with my staff and my six partners. I told them, ‘We are going to stay open and treat COVID.’ They wanted to know how. I said, ‘We’ve been treating viral diseases here for twenty-five years. COVID can’t be any different.’ In all that time, our office had never lost a single patient to flu or flu-like illness. We treated people in their cars with oral vitamins A, C, and D, and iodine. We administered IV solution outside all winter with IV hydrogen peroxide and vitamin C. We’d have them put their butts out the car window and shot them up with intramuscular ozone. We nebulized them with hydrogen peroxide and Lugol’s iodine. We only rarely used ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. We treated 715 patients and had ten hospitalizations and no deaths. Early treatment was the key. We weren’t allowed to talk about it. The whole medical establishment was trying to shut down early treatment and silence all the doctors who talked about successes. A whole generation of doctors just stopped practicing medicine. When we talked about it, the whole cartel came for us. I’ve been in litigation with the Medical Board for a year. When we posted videos from some of our recovered patients, they went viral. One of the videos had a million views. FTC filed a motion against us, and we had to take everything down.” In July 2020, Brownstein and his seven colleagues published a peer-reviewed article describing their stellar success with early treatment. FTC sent him a letter warning him to take it down. “No one wanted Americans to know that you didn’t have to die from COVID. It’s 100 percent treatable,” says Dr. Brownstein. “We proved it. No one had to die.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health)
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Sometimes what-if fantasies are useful. Imagine that the entirety of Western civilisation’s coding for computer systems or prints of all films ever made or all copies of Shakespeare and the Bible and the Qur’an were encrypted and held on one tablet device. And if that tablet was lost, stolen, burnt or corrupted, then our knowledge, use and understanding of that content, those words and ideas, would be gone for ever – only, perhaps, lingering in the minds of a very few men of memory whose job it had been to keep ideas alive. This little thought-experiment can help us to comprehend the totemic power of manuscripts. This is the great weight of responsibility for the past, the present and the future that the manuscripts of Constantinople carried. Much of our global cultural heritage – philosophies, dramas, epic poems – survive only because they were preserved in the city’s libraries and scriptoria. Just as Alexandria and Pergamon too had amassed vast libraries, Constantinople understood that a physical accumulation of knowledge worked as a lode-stone – drawing in respect, talent and sheer awe. These texts contained both the possibilities and the fact of empire and had a quasi-magical status. This was a time when the written word was considered so potent – and so precious – that documents were thought to be objects with spiritual significance. (...) It was in Constantinople that the book review was invented. Scholars seem to have had access to books within a proto-lending-library system, and there were substantial libraries within the city walls. Thanks to Constantinople, we have the oldest complete manuscript of the Iliad, Aeschylus’ dramas Agamemnon and Eumenides, and the works of Sophocles and Pindar. Fascinating scholia in the margins correct and improve: plucking work from the page ‘useful for the reader . . . not just the learned’, as one Byzantine scholar put it. These were texts that were turned into manuals for contemporary living.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
Recently, a judge of the prestigious 2014 British Forward Prize for Poetry was moved to observe that “there is an awful lot of very powerful, lyrical, and readable poetry being written today,” but we need education, because “we have lost the sense that poetry sits halfway between prose and music—that you can’t expect to read it like a novel.” A few years ago, the New York Times published an op-ed of mine, about learning poetry by heart. The response to it confirmed that people of all ages think about poetry as a kind of inspired music, embodying beauty and insight. On one hand, poetry has always flowed from music, as rap and hip-hop remind us big-time. Rappers know how poetry walks and talks. So we have music, or deeply felt recitations of poems that belong to collective memory. On the other hand, we have overly instructive prose poems, as well as the experiments of certain critical ideologies, or conceptual performance art. These aspects seem to represent the public, Janus face of poetry.
Carol Muske-Dukes
The hard part, evolutionarily, was getting from prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic ones, then getting from single-celled organisms to multi cellar ones. Earth is around 4.5 billion years old, a timescale I simply cannot get my head around. Instead let’s imagine’s Earth’s history as a calendar year, with the formation of Earth being January 1 and today being December 31 at 11:59pm. The first life on Earth emerges around February 25. Photosynthetic organisms first appear in late March. Multicellular life doesn’t appear until August or September. The first dinosaurs like eoraptor show up about 230 million years ago, or December 13 in our calendar year. The meteor impact that heralds the end of the dinosaurs happens around December 26. Homo sapiens aren’t part of the story until December 31 at 11:48 pm. Agriculture and large human communities and the building of monolithic structures all occur within the last minute of this calendar year. The Industrial Revolution, two world wars, the invention of basketball, recorded music, the electric dishwasher, and vehicles that travel faster than horses all happen in the last couple of seconds. Put another way: It took Earth about three billion years to go from single-celled life to multicellular life. It took less than seventy million years to go from Tyrannosaurus rex to humans who can read and write and dig up fossils and approximate the timeline of life and worry about its ending. Unless we somehow manage to eliminate all multicellular life from the planet, Earth won’t have to start all over and it will be okay--- at least until the oceans evaporate and the planet gets consumed by the sun. I know the world will survive us – and in some ways it will be more alive. More birdsong. More creatures roaming around. More plants cracking through our pavement, rewilding the planet we terraformed. I imagine coyotes sleeping in the ruins of the homes we built. I imagine our plastic still washing up on beaches hundreds of years after the last of us is gone. I imagine moths, having no artificial lights toward which to fly, turning back to the moon.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
It's the outgrowth of a natural human contradiction: people want to read good books, but people are also invincibly lazy ... so they read only stupid, easy books, but they still keep feeling the original want - and eventually, that causes them to call the stupid, easy books they actually do read good ... because it seems like such a neat little solution to their problem! And if those stupid, easy books are big enough financial successes or garner a wide enough audience of people trying that same solution, those of us who aren't invincibly lazy and actually do read good books - or at least real books - on a regular basis start to get characterized as cranks and killjoys and snobs, because we still have the nerve to say the Harry Potter books are awful, or that there's no literary worth to anything Stephen King has ever written, or that Susan Sontag is grotesquely overrated, or that nobody should be reading Raymond Carver .... and so on. All those judgements are right, but as the crowds grow larger wanting to elevate what they've settled for, they start to look more and more eccentric ...
Steve Donoghue
In April, Dr. Vladimir (Zev) Zelenko, M.D., an upstate New York physician and early HCQ adopter, reproduced Dr. Didier Raoult’s “startling successes” by dramatically reducing expected mortalities among 800 patients Zelenko treated with the HCQ cocktail.29 By late April of 2020, US doctors were widely prescribing HCQ to patients and family members, reporting outstanding results, and taking it themselves prophylactically. In May 2020, Dr. Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D. published the most comprehensive study, to date, on HCQ’s efficacy against COVID. Risch is Yale University’s super-eminent Professor of Epidemiology, an illustrious world authority on the analysis of aggregate clinical data. Dr. Risch concluded that evidence is unequivocal for early and safe use of the HCQ cocktail. Dr. Risch published his work—a meta-analysis reviewing five outpatient studies—in affiliation with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the American Journal of Epidemiology, under the urgent title, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to Pandemic Crisis.”30 He further demonstrated, with specificity, how HCQ’s critics—largely funded by Bill Gates and Dr. Tony Fauci31—had misinterpreted, misstated, and misreported negative results by employing faulty protocols, most of which showed HCQ efficacy administered without zinc and Zithromax which were known to be helpful. But their main trick for ensuring the protocols failed was to wait until late in the disease process before administering HCQ—when it is known to be ineffective. Dr. Risch noted that evidence against HCQ used late in the course of the disease is irrelevant. While acknowledging that Dr. Didier Raoult’s powerful French studies favoring HCQ efficacy were not randomized, Risch argued that the results were, nevertheless, so stunning as to far outweigh that deficit: “The first study of HCQ + AZ [ . . . ] showed a 50-fold benefit of HCQ + AZ vs. standard of care . . . This is such an enormous difference that it cannot be ignored despite lack of randomization.”32 Risch has pointed out that the supposed need for randomized placebo-controlled trials is a shibboleth. In 2014 the Cochrane Collaboration proved in a landmark meta-analysis of 10,000 studies, that observational studies of the kind produced by Didier Raoult are equal
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health)
The hard part, evolutionarily, was getting from prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic ones, then getting from single-celled organisms to multicellular ones. Earth is around 4.5 billion years old, a timescale I simply cannot get my head around. Instead let’s imagine’s Earth’s history as a calendar year, with the formation of Earth being January 1 and today being December 31 at 11:59pm. The first life on Earth emerges around February 25. Photosynthetic organisms first appear in late March. Multicellular life doesn’t appear until August or September. The first dinosaurs like eoraptor show up about 230 million years ago, or December 13 in our calendar year. The meteor impact that heralds the end of the dinosaurs happens around December 26. Homo sapiens aren’t part of the story until December 31 at 11:48 pm. Agriculture and large human communities and the building of monolithic structures all occur within the last minute of this calendar year. The Industrial Revolution, two world wars, the invention of basketball, recorded music, the electric dishwasher, and vehicles that travel faster than horses all happen in the last couple of seconds. Put another way: It took Earth about three billion years to go from single-celled life to multicellular life. It took less than seventy million years to go from Tyrannosaurus rex to humans who can read and write and dig up fossils and approximate the timeline of life and worry about its ending. Unless we somehow manage to eliminate all multicellular life from the planet, Earth won’t have to start all over and it will be okay--- at least until the oceans evaporate and the planet gets consumed by the sun. But we`ll be gone by then, as will our collective and collected memory. I think part of what scares me about the end of humanity is the end of those memories. I believe that if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, it does make a sound. But if no one is around to play Billie Holiday records, those songs won’t make a sound anymore. We’ve caused a lot of suffering, but we’ve also caused much else. I know the world will survive us – and in some ways it will be more alive. More birdsong. More creatures roaming around. More plants cracking through our pavement, rewilding the planet we terraformed. I imagine coyotes sleeping in the ruins of the homes we built. I imagine our plastic still washing up on beaches hundreds of years after the last of us is gone. I imagine moths, having no artificial lights toward which to fly, turning back to the moon.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
But depression wasn’t the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn’t he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells awaited them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that, sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten top to bottom. Putting your time in at the office; dutifully spawning your two point five; smiling politely at your retirement party; then chewing on your bedsheet and choking on your canned peaches at the nursing home. It was better never to have been born—never to have wanted anything, never to have hoped for anything. And all this mental thrashing and tossing was mixed up with recurring images, or half-dreams, of Popchik lying weak and thin on one side with his ribs going up and down—I’d forgotten him somewhere, left him alone and forgotten to feed him, he was dying—over and over, even when he was in the room with me, head-snaps where I started up guiltily, where is Popchik; and this in turn was mixed up with head-snapping flashes of the bundled pillowcase, locked away in its steel coffin.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
a serious contender for my book of year. I can't believe I only discovered Chris Carter a year ago and I now consider him to be one of my favourite crime authors of all time. For that reason this is a difficult review to write because I really want to show just how fantastic this book is. It's a huge departure from what we are used to from Chris, this book is very different from the books that came before. That said it could not have been more successful in my opinion. After five books of Hunter trying to capture a serial killer it makes sense to shake things up a bit and Chris has done that in best possible way. By allowing us to get inside the head of one of the most evil characters I've ever read about. It is also the first book based on real facts and events from Chris's criminal psychology days and that makes it all the more shocking and fascinating. Chris Carter's imagination knows no bounds and I love it. The scenes, the characters, whatever he comes up with is both original and mind blowing and that has never been more so than with this book. I feel like I can't even mention the plot even just a little bit. This is a book that should be read in the same way that I read it: with my heart in my mouth, my eyes unblinking and in a state of complete obliviousness to the world around me while I was well and truly hooked on this book. This is addictive reading at its absolute best and I was devastated when I turned the very last page. Robert Hunter, after the events of the last few books is looking forward to a much needed break in Hawaii. Before he can escape however his Captain calls him to her office. Arriving, Hunter recognises someone - one of the most senior members of the FBI who needs his help. They have in custody one of the strangest individuals they have ever come across, a man who is more machine than human and who for days has uttered not a single word. Until one morning he utters seven: 'I will only speak to Robert Hunter'. The man is Hunter's roommate and best friend from college, Lucien Folter, and found in the boot of his car are two severed and mutilated heads. Lucien cries innocence and Hunter, a man incredibly difficult to read or surprise is played just as much as the reader is by Lucien. There are a million and one things I want to say but I just can't. You really have to discover how this story unfolds for yourself. In this book we learn so much more about Hunter and get inside his head even further than we have before. There's a chapter that almost brought me to tears such is the talent of Chris to connect the reader with Hunter. This is a character like no other and he is now one of my favourite detectives of all time. We go back in time and learn more about Hunter when he was younger, and also when he was in college with Lucien. Lucien is evil. The scenes depicted in this book are some of the most graphic I've ever read and you know what, I loved it. After five books of some of the scariest and goriest scenes I've ever read I wondered whether Chris could come up with something even worse (in a good way), but trust me, he does. This book is horrifying, terrifying and near impossible to put down until you reach its conclusion. I spent my days like a zombie and my nights practically giving myself paper cuts turning the pages. If when reading this book you think you have an idea of where it will go, prepare to be wrong. I've learnt never to underestimate Chris, keeping readers on their toes he takes them on an absolute rollercoaster of a ride with the twistiest of turns and the biggest of drops you will finish this book reeling. I am on a serious book hangover, what book can I read next that can even compare to this? I have no idea but if you are planning on reading An Evil Mind I cannot reccommend it enough. Not only is this probably my book of the year it is probably the best crime fiction book I have ever read. An exaggeration you might say but my opinion is my own and this real
Ayaz mallah