Speed Work Quotes

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Your mind is working at its best when you're being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.
Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall)
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
people had been working for so many years to make the world a safe, organized place. nobody realized how boring it would become. with the whole world property-lined and speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with everyone tested and registered and addressed and recorded. nobody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the kind you could buy. on a roller coaster. at a movie. still, it would always be that kind of faux excitement. you know the dinosaurs aren't going to eat the kids. the test audiences have outvoted any chance of even a major faux disaster. and because there's no possibility of real disaster, real risk, we're left with no chance for real salvation. real elation. real excitement. Joy. Discovery. Invention. the laws that keep us safe, these same laws condemn us to boredom. without access to true chaos, we'll never have true peace.
Chuck Palahniuk (Asfixia)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.
Stephen M.R. Covey (The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything)
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Mediocrity is always in a rush; but whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing with consideration. For genius is nothing more nor less than doing well what anyone can do badly.
Amelia E. Barr
I know a man who drives 600 yards to work. I know a woman who gets in her car to go a quarter of a mile to a college gymnasium to walk on a treadmill, then complains passionately about the difficulty of finding a parking space. When I asked her once why she didn't walk to the gym and do five minutes less on the treadmill, she looked at me as if I were being willfully provocative. 'Because I have a program for the treadmill,' she explained. 'It records my distance and speed, and I can adjust it for degree of difficulty.' It hadn't occurred to me how thoughtlessly deficient nature is in this regard.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
I wandered over to the motorbike and read the work Triumph on the side. 'How long has he had it?' I asked Jack. 'No. Over my dead body.' Jack's expression was hard. […] '[…] I told Dad I'd keep you safe and the Alex you know is not the Alex who drives that bike. He's not known to respect the speed limit.' Now I definitely wanted to go on it.
Sarah Alderson (Hunting Lila (Lila, #1))
Just because things happen slow doesn't mean you'll be ready for them. If they happened fast, you'd be alert for all kinds of suddenness, aware that speed was trump. "Slow" works in an altogether different principle, on the deceptive impression that there's plenty of time to prepare, which conceals the central fact, that no matter how slow things go, you'll always be slower.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
We are the third world not because the sun rises on the West and sets in the East but because we have engaged the reverse gear and we are moving with jet like speed in the wrong direction -we must change this by rolling up our sleeves and working for the growth of our country.
Patrick L.O. Lumumba
It took me years to learn to sit at my desk for more than two minutes at a time, to put up with the solitude and the terror of failure, and the godawful silence and the white paper. And now that I can take it . . . now that I can finally do it . . . I'm really raring to go. I was in my study writing. I was learning how to go down into myself and salvage bits and pieces of the past. I was learning how to sneak up on the unconscious and how to catch my seemingly random thoughts and fantasies. By closing me out of his world, Bennett had opened all sorts of worlds inside my own head. Gradually I began to realize that none of the subjects I wrote poems about engaged my deepest feelings, that there was a great chasm between what I cared about and what I wrote about. Why? What was I afraid of? Myself, most of all, it seemed. "Freedom is an illusion," Bennett would have said and, in a way, I too would have agreed. Sanity, moderation, hard work, stability . . . I believed in them too. But what was that other voice inside of me which kept urging me on toward zipless fucks, and speeding cars and endless wet kisses and guts full of danger? What was that other voice which kept calling me coward! and egging me on to burn my bridges, to swallow the poison in one gulp instead of drop by drop, to go down into the bottom of my fear and see if I could pull myself up? Was it a voice? Or was it a thump? Something even more primitive than speech. A kind of pounding in my gut which I had nicknamed my "hunger-thump." It was as if my stomach thought of itself as a heart. And no matter how I filled it—with men, with books, with food—it refused to be still. Unfillable—that's what I was. Nymphomania of the brain. Starvation of the heart.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean when you think about it jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane it defies the gravity of a entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that seems tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research blood sweat tears and lives have gone into the history of air travel and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who in the face of all that incredible achievement will be willing to complain about the drinks.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
Fortunately for me, I know well enough what I want, and am basically utterly indifferent to the criticism that I work to hurriedly. In answer to that, I have done some things even more hurriedly theses last few days.
Vincent van Gogh
Unfortunately, the Best Lord had condemned both vehicles as unsafe and instead I now leased a Pack Jeep I called Hector. Equipped with dual engines, Hector worked during magic or tech. He didn't go very fast, especially during magic, but so far he hadn't stalled on me either. As long as our high-speed chases stayed under forty-five miles an hour, we would be all set.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5))
what do you do when you build yourself—only to realize you built yourself with the wrong things? You rip it up and start again. That is the work of your teenage years—to build up and tear down and build up again, over and over, endlessly, like speeded-up film of cities during boom times and wars. To be fearless, and endless, in your reinventions—to keep twisting on nineteen, going bust, and dealing in again, and again. Invent, invent, invent.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl)
I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
Love is not the same thing as a marriage or a relationship or having children. Love is not work. Love is a feeling, pure and simple. It’s a feeling you can have one moment, in which you believe you could throw yourself in front of a speeding train for someone; and it can vanish the next, when they tear your heart out and steal every last beat for themselves.
Renee Carlino (Nowhere but Here)
There was no discussion between them; it was as if the bugs had worked out this whole scenario long ago. Temp put on a burst of speed for the end of the bridge, and Tick turned to face down the army of rats alone.
Suzanne Collins (Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1))
I recently hurt myself on a treadmill and it wasn’t even on. I was adjusting my speed and stepped wrong and twisted my ankle. I felt a moment of frustration filled with immediate relief. I didn’t have to actually work out, but I still got credit for trying. It was a gym snow day.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections--with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed)
After joyfully working each morning, I would leave off around midday to challenge myself to a footrace. Speeding along the sunny paths of the Jardin du Luxembourg, ideas would breed like aphids in my head—for creative invention is easy and sublime when air cycles quickly through the lungs and the body is busy at noble tasks.
Roman Payne (Rooftop Soliloquy)
I shut up everything inside. Everything." Words ground out through clenched teeth. "I thought if I could hold it, just hold it, it would be fine. But it's not." "Why?" she asked. "Why are you losing control so badly?" The answer, when it came, broke Sascha's heart. "Hawke." It was an almost soundless whisper. "Oh, Sienna." She stroked her hand over the girl's hair, even as her mind worked at piercing speed. "Has it been cumulative?" Sienna nodded. "The second I met him, everything crumbled, my shields, my conditioning, everything!
Nalini Singh (Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling, #6))
Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.
Douglas Adams
I'm miserable, Ridge. I hate it. I work on it for hours every day, and I just want to take a bat to my computer and go all Office Space on it. If this thesis were a child, I'd put it up for adoption and not think twice about it. If this thesis were a cute, fuzzy puppy, I'd drop it off in the middle of a busy intersection and speed away.
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
This is the one thing I hope: that she never stopped. I hope when her body couldn’t run any farther she left it behind like everything else that tried to hold her down, she floored the pedal and she went like wildfire, streamed down night freeways with both hands off the wheel and her head back screaming to the sky like a lynx, white lines and green lights whipping away into the dark, her tires inches off the ground and freedom crashing up her spine. I hope every second she could have had came flooding through that cottage like speed wind: ribbons and sea spray, a wedding ring and Chad’s mother crying, sun-wrinkles and gallops through wild red brush, a baby’s first tooth and its shoulder blades like tiny wings in Amsterdam Toronto Dubai; hawthorn flowers spinning through summer air, Daniel’s hair turning gray under high ceilings and candle flames and the sweet cadences of Abby’s singing. Time works so hard for us, Daniel told me once. I hope those last few minutes worked like hell for her. I hope in that half hour she lived all her million lives.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
Extroverts are more likely to take a quick-and-dirty approach to problem-solving, trading accuracy for speed, making increasing numbers of mistakes as they go, and abandoning ship altogether when the problem seems too difficult or frustrating. Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately. Introverts and extroverts also direct their attention differently: if you leave them to their own devices, the introverts tend to sit around wondering about things, imagining things, recalling events from their past, and making plans for the future. The extroverts are more likely to focus on what's happening around them. It's as if extroverts are seeing "what is" while their introverted peers are asking "what if.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
But genius, and even great talent, springs less from seeds of intellect and social refinement superior to those of other people than from the faculty of transforming and transposing them. To heat a liquid with an electric lamp requires not the strongest lamp possible, but one of which the current can cease to illuminate, can be diverted so as to give heat instead of light. To mount the skies it is not necessary to have the most powerful of motors, one must have a motor which, instead of continuing to run along the earth's surface, intersecting with a vertical line the horizontal line which it began by following, is capable of converting its speed into lifting power. Similarly, the men who produce works of genius are not those who live in the most delicate atmosphere, whose conversation is the most brilliant or their culture the most extensive, but those who have had the power, ceasing suddenly to live only for themselves, to transform their personality into a sort of mirror, in such a way that their life, however mediocre it may be socially and even, in a sense, intellectually, is reflected by it, genius consisting in reflecting power and not int he intrinsic quality of the scene reflected.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same sort of tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write more. Do that, and the next day's work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed-and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Speed is not always a constituent to great work, the process of creation should be given time and thought.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
...Nobody rose in Packingtown by doing good work. You could lay that down for a rule—if you met a man who was rising in Packingtown, you met a knave. That man who had been sent to Jurgis' father by the boss, he would rise; the man who told tales and spied upon his fellows would rise; but the man who minded his own business and did his work—why, they would "speed him up" till they had worn him out, and then they would throw him into the gutter.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
"Um, so, how do I work in the panties and toothbrush? I mean, it's not something you share over dinner," I pointed out, trying not to blush but feeling the heat. "He's got his tongue in your mouth," Krys began, "and he'll have his tongue in your mouth. You're on the couch, and you'll be on the couch. When he takes his tongue out of your mouth, find a way to whisper it in his ear. That'll speed things up." "Real quick," Twyla agreed on a short nod.
Kristen Ashley (Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4))
For Every Fierce Woman Who Has Tried To Be Tame I know you. I know that you have always felt different –a little bit more restless than perhaps you ought to be as a child. A little less timid, a tad bit too brash. I know you’ve grown up with inklings of suspicion –that your mind does not work the way it should, perhaps. Your thoughts whirl around at strange speeds and you cannot seem to reel yourself in.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
For a while, Criticism travels side by side with the Work, then Criticism vanishes and it's the Readers who keep pace. The journey may be long or short. Then the Readers die one by one and the Work continues on alone, although a new Criticism and new Readers gradually fall into step with it along its path. Then Criticism dies again and the Readers die again and the Work passes over a trail of bones on its journey toward solitude. To come near the work, to sail in her wake, is a sign of certain death, but new Criticism and new Readers approach her tirelessly and relentlessly and are devoured by time and speed. Finally the Work journeys irremediably alone in the Great Vastness. And one day the Work dies, as all things must die and come to an end: the Sun and the Earth and the Solar System and the Galaxy and the farthest reaches of man's memory. Everything that begins as comedy ends in tragedy.
Roberto Bolaño (The Savage Detectives)
It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work. This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines... I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
The multiplication of technologies in the name of efficiency is actually eradicating free time by making it possible to maximize the time and place for production and minimize the unstructured travel time in between…Too, the rhetoric of efficiency around these technologies suggests that what cannot be quantified cannot be valued-that that vast array of pleasures which fall into the category of doing nothing in particular, of woolgathering, cloud-gazing, wandering, window-shopping, are nothing but voids to be filled by something more definite, more production, or faster-paced…I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
For the rest of history, for most of us, our bright promise will always fall short of being actualised; it will never earn us bountiful sums of money or beget exemplary objects or organisations.... Most of us stand poised at the edge of brilliance, haunted by the knowledge of our proximity, yet still demonstrably on the wrong side of the line, our dealings with reality undermined by a range of minor yet critical psychological flaws (a little too much optimism, an unprocessed rebelliousness, a fatal impatience or sentimentality). We are like an exquisite high-speed aircraft which for lack of a tiny part is left stranded beside the runway, rendered slower than a tractor or a bicycle.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
People had been working for so many years to make the world a safe, organized place. Nobody realized how boring it would become. With the whole world property-lined and speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with everyone tested and registered and adressed and recorded. Nobody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the kind you could buy. [...] The laws that keep us safe, these same laws condemn us to boredom.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Like a bee in a flower bed, the human brain naturally flits from one thought to the next. In the high-speed workplace, where data and headlines come thick and fast, we are all under pressure to think quickly. Reaction, rather than reflection, is the order of the day. To make the most of our time, and to avoid boredom, we fill up every spare moment with mental stimulation…Keeping the mind active makes poor use of our most precious resource. True, the brain can work wonders in high gear. But it will do so much more if given the chance to slow down from time to time. Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively.
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed)
We don’t know how it works. But some people are able to read us telepathically. You know, our bare souls. Our sum of intentions. Our feelings. Our thought processes.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
It isn't about miracles or proof or having God on speed dial. You want to be close to God? Reach down and help your neighbor. Faith without works is dead...
Sean Chercover (The Trinity Game (Daniel Byrne #1))
I try so hard, and it is still not working. I wear the same clothes as the others. I say the same words at the same times: good morning, hi, how are you, I'm fine, good night, please, thank you, you're welcome, no thank you, not right now. I obey the traffic laws; I obey the rules. I have ordinary furniture in my apartment, and I play my unusual music very softly or use headphones. But it is not enough. Even as hard as I try, the real people still want me to change, to be like them.
Elizabeth Moon (The Speed of Dark)
Many a night that summer she left Dr. Archie's office with a desire to run and run about those quiet streets until she wore out her shoes, or wore out the streets themselves; when her chest ached and it seemed as if her heart were spreading all over the desert. When she went home, it was not to go to sleep. She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window -- or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation. It was on such nights that Thea Kronborg learned the thing that old Dumas meant when he told the Romanticists that to make a drama he needed but one passion and four walls.
Willa Cather (The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2))
You, Doctor Martin, walk from breakfast to madness. Late August, I speed through the antiseptic tunnel where the moving dead still talk of pushing their bones against the thrust of cure. And I am queen of this summer hotel or the laughing bee on a stalk of death. We stand in broken lines and wait while they unlock the doors and count us at the frozen gates of dinner. The shibboleth is spoken and we move to gravy in our smock of smiles. We chew in rows, our plates scratch and whine like chalk in school. There are no knives for cutting your throat. I make moccasins all morning. At first my hands kept empty, unraveled for the lives they used to work. Now I learn to take them back, each angry finger that demands I mend what another will break tomorrow. Of course, I love you; you lean above the plastic sky, god of our block, prince of all the foxes. The breaking crowns are new that Jack wore. Your third eye moves among us and lights the separate boxes where we sleep or cry. What large children we are here. All over I grow most tall in the best ward. Your business is people, you call at the madhouse, an oracular eye in our nest. Out in the hall the intercom pages you. You twist in the pull of the foxy children who fall like floods of life in frost. And we are magic talking to itself, noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins forgotten. Am I still lost? Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself, counting this row and that row of moccasins waiting on the silent shelf.
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay - that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live - that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road - that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up - that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts: who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait.
John Milton (The Sonnets of John Milton)
When a sex tape gets made a star is born with a publicity agent on speed dial a six figure payout and a line of tacky lingerie in the works
Saira Viola (Jukebox: a stylish London crime novel)
Salander assessed the situation and saw that it was anything but under control. Her brain was working at high speed. Click, click, click.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3))
Understand this clearly: you can teach a man to draw a straight line, and to carve it; and to copy and carve any number of given lines or forms, with admirable speed and perfect precision; and you find his work perfect of its kind: but if you ask him to think about any of those forms, to consider if he cannot find any better in his own head, he stops; his execution becomes hesitating; he thinks, and ten to one he thinks wrong; ten to one he makes a mistake in the first touch he gives to his work as a thinking being. But you have made a man of him for all that. He was only a machine before, an animated tool.
John Ruskin (The Stones of Venice)
I sincerely believe that only those who are financially free can produce great works of art. Poor artists are too bothered about money and fame, which hampers their creativity. An artist shouldn’t have any financial pressure. One can’t create something poetic if commercial success is all one is concerned about.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
When it comes to forming opinions on works of art, people look to others. Most people end up liking paintings, songs and movies just because the majority have a favourable opinion about them. Ultimately it’s all about the brand value of the artist.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
The rules of the track work well for life. Roller derby is life in a tiny circle. You can only go forward, even if you find yourself turned around, facing the wrong way. There's speed, unpredictability, and danger. You can't be sure what's going to happen, you don't always know when you'll stop, and it appears most people are out to get you. You will fall. You will get hurt. But you will get up again.
Pamela Ribon (Going in Circles)
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Astray from a deep sleep chronic as I write by phonics, like insomnia I will always live the onyx night for revealing, and, upon it, still I'll steal the bright light of day right away just to keep building at speeds hypersonic.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Encounters between people, it often seems to me, are like trains passing at breakneck speed in the night. We cast fleeting looks at the passengers sitting behind dull glass in dim light, who disappear from our field of vision almost before we perceive them. Was it really a man and a woman who flashed past like phantoms, who came out of nothing into the empty dark, without meaning or purpose? Did they know each other? Did they talk? Laugh? Cry? People will say: That's how it is when strangers pass one another in rain and wind and there might be something in the comparison. But we sit opposite people for longer, we eat and work together, lie next to each other, live under the same roof. Where is the haste? Yet everything that gives the illusion of permanence, familiarity, and intimate knowledge: isn't it a deception invented to reassure, with which we try to conceal and ward off the flickering, disturbing haste because it could be impossible to live with all the time. Isn't every exchange of looks between people like the ghostly brief meeting of eyes between travellers passing one another, intoxicated by the inhuman speed and the shock of air pressure that makes everything shudder and clatter? Don't our looks bounce off others, as in the hasty encounter of the night, and leave us with nothing but conjectures, slivers of thoughts and imagined qualities? Isn't it true that it's not people who meet, but rather the shadows cast by their imaginations?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
Work on your goals, one step at a time. Remain focused and do not stop. You will be amazed how much you can accomplish over the years. In most things in life, it is not the speed but the consistency that matters.
Roopleen
If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model and the San Fernando Valley is her teenybopper sister, then New York is their cousin. Her hair is dyed autumn red or aubergine or Egyptian henna, depending on her mood. Her skin is pale as frost and she wears beautiful Jil Sander suits and Prada pumps on which she walks faster than a speeding taxi (when it is caught in rush hour, that is). Her lips are some unlikely shade of copper or violet, courtesy of her local MAC drag queen makeup consultant. She is always carrying bags of clothes, bouquets of roses, take-out Chinese containers, or bagels. Museum tags fill her pockets and purses, along with perfume samples and invitations to art gallery openings. When she is walking to work, to ward off bums or psychos, her face resembles the Statue of Liberty, but at home in her candlelit, dove-colored apartment, the stony look fades away and she smiles like the sterling roses she has brought for herself to make up for the fact that she is single and her feet are sore.
Francesca Lia Block (I Was a Teenage Fairy)
I like Russian trains. Not for comfort, of which there is none, nor speed, of which there is barely any to be spoken about, particularly when you relate it to the size of the country that must be crossed. Not even, particularly, for the view, which is inevitably repetitive, as Mother Nature decrees that her works of wonder can only occur so frequently across such a vast and cultivated space. I like Russian trains, or at least those I travelled on in the early spring of 1956, so many centuries after I gunned Lisle down in cold blood; I like the trains for the sense of unity that all these hardships create in its passengers. I suspect the experience is relative.
Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
So he said to young Sam: "if you lose your cow you should report this to the Watch under Demonic & Farmyard Animals (Lost) Act of 1804. They will swing into action with keenness and speed. Your cow will be found. If it has been impersonating other animals, it may be arrested. If you are a stupid person, do not look for your cow yourself. Never try to milk a chicken. It hardly ever works.
Terry Pratchett (Where's My Cow? (Discworld, #34.5))
How can it be described? How can any of it be described? The trip and the story of the trip are two different things. The narrator is the one who has stayed home, but then, afterward, presses her mouth upon the traveler’s mouth, in order to make the mouth work, to make the mouth say, say, say. One cannot go to a place and speak of it; one cannot both see and say, not really. One can go, and upon returning make a lot of hand motions and indications with the arms. The mouth itself, working at the speed of light, at the eye’s instructions, is necessarily struck still; so fast, so much to report, it hangs open and dumb as a gutted bell. All that unsayable life! That’s where the narrator comes in. The narrator comes with her kisses and mimicry and tidying up. The narrator comes and makes a slow, fake song of the mouth’s eager devastation.
Lorrie Moore (Birds of America: Stories)
Whenever we come across a famous painting by an acclaimed artist, we tend to reason with ourselves. That it ought to be good, for everyone thinks highly of it. But had we not known who the artist was, we wouldn’t have appreciated the work that much. We don’t know whom this society and the media would put on a pedestal next. It could very well be you.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
The main fuel to speed the world’s progress is our stock of knowledge, and the brake is our lack of imagination.
Erik Brynjolfsson (The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies)
I myself have dreamed up a structure intermediate between Dyson spheres and planets. Build a ring 93 million miles in radius - one Earth orbit - around the sun. If we have the mass of Jupiter to work with, and if we make it a thousand miles wide, we get a thickness of about a thousand feet for the base. And it has advantages. The Ringworld will be much sturdier than a Dyson sphere. We can spin it on its axis for gravity. A rotation speed of 770 m/s will give us a gravity of one Earth normal. We wouldn't even need to roof it over. Place walls one thousand miles high at each edge, facing the sun. Very little air will leak over the edges. Lord knows the thing is roomy enough. With three million times the surface area of the Earth, it will be some time before anyone complains of the crowding.
Larry Niven
Perfection is crucial in building an aircraft, a bridge, or a high-speed train. The code and mathematics residing just below the surface of the Internet is also this way. Things are either perfectly right or they will not work. So much of the world we work and live in is based upon being correct, being perfect.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I've sequenced the questions for maximum speed of elimination,’ I explained. ‘I believe I can eliminate most women in less than forty seconds. Then you can choose the topic of discussion for the remaining time.’ ‘But then it won’t matter,’ said Frances. ‘I’ll have been eliminated.’ ‘Only as a potential partner. We may still be able to have an interesting discussion.’ ‘But I’ll have been eliminated.’ I nodded. ‘Do you smoke?’ ‘Occasionally,’ she said. I put the questionnaire away. ‘Excellent.’ I was pleased that my question sequencing was working so well. We could have wasted time talking about ice-cream flavours and make-up only to find that she smoked. Needless to say, smoking was not negotiable. ‘No more questions. What would you like to discuss?
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project)
You know, having a child changes everything. The father starts loving the soul-sucking job he so detested. The mother begins to find the daily mundane tasks she is assigned as pleasurable. Parents realize that they are accountable to their kid. They, therefore, do things out of responsibility and not out of one’s liking for it.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
She felt high, as if she had consumed some inappropriate and presumably illegal substance. She focused her gaze on the street lamp outside the window and sat still while her brain worked at top speed.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
LET MY LOVE ENFOLD YOU in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones. Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step. HEBREWS 13:15; 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18; PSALM 73:23–24
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
If you wanted to predict how people would behave, Munger said, you only had to look at their incentives. FedEx couldn’t get its night shift to finish on time; they tried everything to speed it up but nothing worked—until they stopped paying night shift workers by the hour and started to pay them by the shift. Xerox created a new, better machine only to have it sell less well than the inferior older ones—until they figured out the salesmen got a bigger commission for selling the older one. “Well, you can say, ‘Everybody knows that,’ ” said Munger. “I think I’ve been in the top five percent of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
Bill looked for four characteristics in people. The person has to be smart, not necessarily academically but more from the standpoint of being able to get up to speed quickly in different areas and then make connections. Bill called this the ability to make “far analogies.” The person has to work hard, and has to have high integrity. Finally, the person should have that hard-to-define characteristic: grit. The ability to get knocked down and have the passion and perseverance to get up and go at it again.
Eric Schmidt (Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell)
the man who told tales and spied upon his fellows would rise; but the man who minded his own business and did his work—why, they would "speed him up" till they had worn him out, and then they would throw him into the gutter.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Extroverts are more likely to take a quick-and-dirty approach to problem-solving, trading accuracy for speed, making increasing numbers of mistakes as they go, and abandoning ship altogether when the problem seems too difficult or frustrating. Introverts think before they act, digest information thoroughly, stay on task longer, give up less easily, and work more accurately.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
It’s not possible to move from one activity to the next at blinding speed and be reflective at the same time. The more complex and demanding the work we do, the wider, deeper and longer the perspective we require to do it well. It’s almost impossible to do that when we create no white space in our lives.
Tony Schwartz
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Before I sleep, I drink a tonic laden with processing enhancers and speed-listen to The Colors, The Iliad, Ulysses, Metamorphosis, the Theban plays, The Draconic Labels, Anabasis, and restricted works like The Count of Monte Cristo, Lord of the Flies, Lady Casterly’s Penance, 1984, and The Great Gatsby. I wake knowing three thousand years of literature and legal code and history.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
Then I said to myself, "If the centuries are going by, mine will come too, and will pass, and after a time the last century of all will come, and then I shall understand." And I fixed my eyes on the ages that were coming and passing on; now I was calm and resolute, maybe even happy. Each age brought its share of light and shade, of apathy and struggle, of truth and error, and its parade of systems, of new ideas, of new illusions; in each of them the verdure of spring burst forth, grew yellow with age, and then, young once more, burst forth again. While life thus moved with the regularity of a calendar, history and civilization developed; and man, at first naked and unarmed, clothed and armed himself, built hut and palace, villages and hundred-gated Thebes, created science that scrutinizes and art that elevates, made himself an orator, a mechanic, a philosopher, ran all over the face of the globe, went down into the earth and up to the clouds, performing the mysterious work through which he satisfied the necessities of life and tried to forget his loneliness. My tired eyes finally saw the present age go by end, after it, future ages. The present age, as it approached, was agile, skillful, vibrant, proud, a little verbose, audacious, learned, but in the end it was as miserable as the earlier ones. And so it passed, and so passed the others, with the same speed and monotony.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
A balanced life has a rhythym. But we live in a time, and in a culture, that encourages everyone to just move faster. I'm learning that if I don't take the time to tune in to my own more deliberate pace, I end up moving to someone else's, the speed of events around me setting a tempo that leaves me feeling scattered and out of touch with myself. I know now that I can't write fast; that words, my own thoughts and ideas, come to the surface slowly and in silence. A close relationship with myself requires slowness. Intimacy with my husband and guarded teenage sons requires slowness. A good conversation can't be hurried, it needs time in which to meander its way to revelation and insight. Even cooking dinner with care and attention is slow work. A thoughtful life is not rushed.
Katrina Kenison (The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir)
Magic. I want magic. I want magic that works. THere is no doctor that can make the creature back into my daddy. No therapy that can make him into what he should have been. No going back to the beginning and rewriting. He is what he is and if I have to write what I know, I'm doomed, because I can never write about this, never.
Carla Speed McNeil (Finder, Vol. 04: Talisman)
You may be speeding through book after book trying to find the next secret, or next technique which you think can help speed up your manifestations while glossing over the harder parts. The harder parts are about working on yourself, about cultivating your inner state, and about having the discipline to focus entirely inwards during the crucial gestation period of your manifestations! That is the hard inner work that most people usually eschew in favor of the easier outer techniques. But until and unless you do the inner work necessary, things are not going to get any better for you.
Richard Dotts (Come and Sit with Me: How to Desire Nothing and Manifest Everything)
In addition to conformity as a way to relieve the anxiety springing from separateness, another factor of contemporary life must be considered: the role of the work routine and the pleasure routine. Man becomes a 'nine to fiver', he is part of the labour force, or the bureaucratic force of clerks and managers. He has little initiative, his tasks are prescribed by the organisation of the work; there is even little difference between those high up on the ladder and those on the bottom. They all perform tasks prescribed by the whole structure of the organisation, at a prescribed speed, and in a prescribed manner. Even the feelings are prescribed: cheerfulness, tolerance, reliability, ambition, and an ability to get along with everybody without friction. Fun is routinised in similar, although not quite as drastic ways. Books are selected by the book clubs, movies by the film and theatre owners and the advertising slogans paid for by them; the rest is also uniform: the Sunday ride in the car, the television session, the card game, the social parties. From birth to death, from Monday to Monday, from morning to evening - all activities are routinised, and prefabricated. How should a man caught up in this net of routine not forget that he is a man, a unique individual, one who is given only this one chance of living, with hopes and disappointments, with sorrow and fear, with the longing for love and the dread of the nothing and separateness?
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
The next time you check the box “S” for single, remember this: singleness is no longer a lack of options but a choice—a choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status and to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out. Whether or not you have someone in the passenger seat, you are still the driver of your own life and can take whatever road you choose. So the next time you hit a speed bump, otherwise known as the age-old question, “Why are you still single?” look ’em in the eye and say, “Because I’m too strong, too smart, and too fabulous to settle.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Remember no matter how fast you run, you can't be the winner if you don't finish. As someone said, to be the first to finish, you must finish first! Go, take the strike!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
That destruction o’er you hovers; Lustful Man and crafty Devil Will combine to work your evil; And from earth by sorrows driven, Soon your Soul must speed to heaven.
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
He bade the slave ships speed from coast to coast, Fanned by the wings of the Holy Ghost.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol. 1 (of 12) Dresden Edition-Lectures)
When you are intense, you will do things persistently and with speed
Sunday Adelaja
Hard work is the Darth Vader of success—you can’t become Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, without it.
Steve Windsor (Nine Day Novel: Writing Faster: 10K a Day, How to Write a Novel in 9 Days, Structuring Your Novel For Speed)
Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed. Let’s
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
The ultimate work of energy production is accomplished not in any specialized organ but in every cell of the body. A living cell, like a flame, burns fuel to produce the energy on which life depends. The analogy is more poetic than precise, for the cell accomplishes its ‘burning’ with only the moderate heat of the body’s normal temperature. Yet all these billions of gently burning little fires spark the energy of life. Should they cease to burn, ‘no heart could beat, no plant could grow upward defying gravity, no amoeba could swim, no sensation could speed along a nerve, no thought could flash in the human brain,’ said the chemist Eugene Rabinowitch.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
Fascinating ... The whole thing [the school dance] seems to work on a similar principle to a supercollider. You know, two streams of opposingly charged particles accelerated till they're just under the speed of light, and then crashed into each other? Only here alcohol, accentuated secondary sexual characteristics and primitive "rock and roll" beats take the place of velocity.
Paul Murray (Skippy Dies)
Everyone needs a change of mental environment at regular periods, the same as a change and variety of food are essential. The mind becomes more alert, more elastic and more ready to work with speed and accuracy after it has been bathed in new ideas, outside of one's own field of daily labor.
Napoleon Hill (The Law of Success)
greatest surprises I have encountered has been that the people who seem wisest about the necessity of placing limits on the newest technologies are, often, precisely the ones who helped develop those technologies, which have bulldozed over so many of the limits of old. The very people, in short, who have worked to speed up the world are the same ones most sensitive to the virtue of slowing down.
Pico Iyer (The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (TED Books))
right nostril is a gas pedal. When you’re inhaling primarily through this channel, circulation speeds up, your body gets hotter, and cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase. This happens because breathing through the right side of the nose activates the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism that puts the body in a more elevated state of alertness and readiness. Breathing through the right nostril will also feed more blood to the opposite hemisphere of the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, which has been associated with logical decisions, language, and computing. Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
She has the kind of beauty that takes your breath from your lungs, tears from your eyes and speeds your heart each time you look at her. She has the kind of beauty reserved for works of art, where men spend years of their life mastering their craft to replicate. She is beauty, stunning, transcendent, right down through to the bone, the unfathomable depth of her heart. She is Muse. She is wonder. She is sublime.
Kirk Diedrich (Junk Shop Heart)
And as to being quick, why, bless you! That is only a matter of habit; if you get into the habit of being quick, it is just as easy as being slow; easier, I should say; in fact, it don't agree with my health to be hulking about over a job twice as long as it need take. Bless you! I couldn't whistle if I crawled over my work as some folks do!
Anna Sewell (Black Beauty)
Productivity is in large part a matter of consistency. Once you get it out of your head that you have to work at breakneck speed, you can focus on the process. Short of superhuman willpower, that’s the only way you’ll keep at it.
Ryder Carroll (The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future)
The force of your gaze has a weight. Even sunlight resting on the ground weighs something. Your attention presses against its object, your eye projects it like a headlight. There's a flip side to it. Learn to go down inside yourself, dim the force of your presence. People's eyes will skate right over you. They'll see you; they just won'tnotice you. This works even if they're looking for you.
Carla Speed McNeil (Finder, Vol. 03: King of the Cats)
There is something living deep within us all that welcomes, even relishes, the role of victimhood for ourselves. There is no cause in the world more righteously embraced than our own when we feel someone has wronged us. Perhaps it is a psychological leftover from early childhood, when we felt the primeval terror of the world around us and yearned for the intervention of a mother/protector to keep us safe. Perhaps it makes it easier to explain away our personal failures when the work of an enemy can be blamed. Perhaps we just get tired of long explanations and like the cleanliness of an easy solution. It is for wiser people than me to say. Whatever its allure, this primitive ideology of Hutu Power swept through Rwanda in 1993 and early 1994 with the speed of flame through dry grass.
Paul Rusesabagina (An Ordinary Man)
So as technology continues to speed ahead, I continue to read slowly, knowing that I am respecting the author's work and the story's lasting power. And I read slowly to drown out the noise and remember those who came before me, who were probably the first people who finally learned to control fire and circled their new power of flame and light and heat. And I read slowly to remember the Selfish Giant, how he finally tore that wall down and let the children run free through his garden. And I read slowly to pay homage to my ancestors, who were not allowed to read at all. They, too, must have circled fires, speaking softly of their dreams, their hopes, their futures. Each time we read, write or tell a story, we step inside their circle, and it remains unbroken. And the power of story lives on.
Jacqueline Woodson
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water. But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
The general public have a warped view of the speed at which an investigation proceeds. They like to imagine tense conversations going on behind the venetian blinds and unshaven, but ruggedly handsome, detectives working themselves with single-minded devotion into the bottle and marital breakdown. The truth is that at the end of the day, unless you've generated some sort of lead, you go home and get on with the important things in life - like drinking and sleeping, and if you're lucky, a relationship with the gender and sexual orientation of your choice.
Ben Aaronovitch (Moon Over Soho (Rivers of London #2))
With hand gestures, you can fill in a lot of gaps, and the words thing and stuff and -ness also help: patientness instead of patience, fastness instead of speed, honestness instead of honesty. With these choices, many words can be indicated, and pointing or gesticulating usually works.
Aimee Bender (The Color Master: Stories)
Keep Boxes don’t work. They let me put off making a final decision. I can temporarily place a particularly difficult item inside, confident that the future version of me will know what to do with it. Future Me doesn’t deserve that much credit, and honestly, she doesn’t appreciate the pressure.
Dana K. White (Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff)
These changes are all fundamentally Darwinian. This point is worth repeating: taking any fast or instant evolutionary shifts as a refutation of the slow, gradual changes we associate with Darwin's vision is a fatal mistake because these quick shifts are still powered by gradualism. The woodrats might have been able to resist creosote by picking up the right bacteria, but those strains had to evolve the ability to break the insecticide on their own. Form their perspective, evolution proceeded through the usual stepwise way; from the host's perspective, everything happened in a flash. That is the power of symbiosis: it allows gradual mutations in microbes to produce instant mutations in hosts. We can let bacteria do the slow work for us, and then quickly change ourselves by associating with them. And if these alliances are beneficial enough, they can spread with blinding speed.
Ed Yong (I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life)
You know,” Wayne said, “I’m an Allomancer too.” The man said nothing. “I figured you’d want to know,” Wayne said, “since it seems like this is your religion and all. In case you wanted someone else to worship.” Again no reply. “I’m a Slider,” Wayne said. “Speed bubbles, you know? Those fancy titles would work for me just fine, I think. Handsome One. Smart One. Um … Guy wif the Great Hat.” The only sound was that of their footfalls and the gusting wind. “Now, see,” Wayne said, “this is unfair. Wax doesn’t want you to worship him, right? But you gotta have someone to worship. It’s human nature. It’s ingratiated in us. So, I’m willin’ to be accommodatin’ and let you—” “He can’t understand you, Wayne,” Marasi said, marching past. “He’s swapped metalminds to keep himself warm.” Wayne stopped in place as they all hiked onward. “Well, when he gets his brain back, someone tell him I’m a god, all right?” “Will do,” Wax called from up ahead.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
Because memory…is everything. Physically speaking, a memory is nothing but a specific combination of neurons firing together—a symphony of neural activity. But in actuality, it’s the filter between us and reality. You think you’re tasting this wine, hearing the words I’m saying, in the present, but there’s no such thing. The neural impulses from your taste buds and your ears get transmitted to your brain, which processes them and dumps them into working memory—so by the time you know you’re experiencing something, it’s already in the past. Already a memory.” Helena leans forward, snaps her fingers. “Just what your brain does to interpret a simple stimulus like that is incredible. The visual and auditory information arrive at your eyes and ears at different speeds, and then are processed by your brain at different speeds. Your brain waits for the slowest bit of stimulus to be processed, then reorders the neural inputs correctly, and lets you experience them together, as a simultaneous event—about half a second after what actually happened. We think we’re perceiving the world directly and immediately, but everything we experience is this carefully edited, tape-delayed reconstruction.
Blake Crouch (Recursion)
DEE DEE RAMONE: Sid Vicious followed me all over the place...the worst time was one night when we had a big party...They were serving beer and wine, and everybody was bombed. The whole bathroom was filled with puke -- in the sink, in the toilets, on the floor. It was really disgusting...All of a sudden I had a huge amount of speed in my hand. I started sniffing it like crazy. I was so high. And then I saw Sid and he said, 'Do you have anything to get high?' I said, 'Yeah, I got some speed'. So Sid pulled out a set of works and put a whole bunch of speed in the syringe and then stuck the needle in the toilet with all the puke and piss in there and loaded it. He didn't cook it up. He just shook it, stuck it in his arm, and got off. I just looked at him. I'd seen it all by then. He just looked at me kind of dazed and said, 'Man, where did you get this stuff?'.
Legs McNeil (Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk)
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Being informed that it was not garrisoned, he tried to storm it directly he arrived, but the width of the moat and the height of the wall enabled the few defenders to repel his assault. After constructing a camp, therefore, he formed a line of mantlets and set about the usual preparations for a siege. But the next night, before his preparations were completed, the whole fugitive army of the Suessiones came crowding into the place. When they saw the mantlets rushed up to the wall, earth shovelled into the moat, and siege towers erected, they were alarmed by the impressive size of this apparatus, which had never before been seen or heard of in Gaul, and by the speed with which the Romans worked.
Gaius Julius Caesar (The Conquest of Gaul)
Right now I’m aiming at increasing the distance I run, so speed is less of an issue. As long as I can run a certain distance, that’s all I care about. Sometimes I run fast when I feel like it, but if I increase the pace I shorten the amount of time I run, the point being to let the exhilaration I feel at the end of each run carry over to the next day. This is the same tack I find necessary when writing a novel. I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write no more. Do that, and the next day’s work goes surprisingly smoothly. I think Ernest Hemmingway did something like that. To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm. This is the important thing for long-term projects. Once you set the pace, the rest will follow. The problem is getting the flywheel to spin at a set speed – and to get to that point takes as much concentration and effort as you can manage.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Women did such things and went on doing them while the sun died because in all of women's lives there were so many moments that would kill the mind if one thought about them, which would suck the heart and the life out of one, and engrave lines in the face and put gray in the hair if ever one let one's mind work; but there was in the rhythm and the fascination of the stitches a loss of thought, a void, a blank, that was only numbers and not even that, because the mind did not need to count, the fingers did, the length of a thread against the finger measured evenly as a ruler could divide it, the slight difference in tension sensed finely as a machine could sense, the exact number of stitches keeping pattern without really the need to count, but something inward and regular as the beat of a heart, as the slow passing of time which could be frozen in such acts, or speeded past.
C.J. Cherryh (The Collected Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh)
Economic Values that people typically consider when evaluating a potential purchase. They are: 1. Efficacy—How well does it work? 2. Speed—How quickly does it work? 3. Reliability—Can I depend on it to do what I want? 4. Ease of Use—How much effort does it require? 5. Flexibility—How many things does it do? 6. Status—How does this affect the way others perceive me? 7. Aesthetic Appeal—How attractive or otherwise aesthetically pleasing is it? 8. Emotion—How does it make me feel? 9. Cost—How much do I have to give up to get this?
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people. That was me on the staircase to Chicago-Over-Chicago. Yes, I was standing on nothing but congealed starlight. Yes, I was walking up through a savage storm, the wind threatening to tear me off and throw me into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan far below. Yes, I was using a legendary and enchanted means of travel to transcend the border between one dimension and the next, and on my way to an epic struggle between ancient and elemental forces. But all I could think to say, between panting breaths, was, 'Yeah. Sure. They couldn’t possibly have made this an escalator.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
Wesley Crusher: Say goodbye, Data. Lt. Cmdr. Data: Goodbye, Data. [crew laughs] Lt. Cmdr. Data: Was that funny? Wesley Crusher: [laughs] Lt. Cmdr. Data: Accessing. Ah! Burns and Allen, Roxy Theater, New York City, 1932. It still works. [pauses] Lt. Cmdr. Data: Then there was the one about the girl in the nudist colony, that nothing looked good on? Lieutenant Worf: We're ready to get under way, sir. Lt. Cmdr. Data: Take my Worf, please. Commander William T. Riker: [to Captain Picard] Warp speed, sir? Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Please.
Star Trek The Next Generation
Here’s a handy list of warning signs of the worst people on the road. Some are tuned-out menaces, others are just assholes. Be alert, and if you see this on a vehicle close to you, get away now. STICK FIGURE FAMILY: I hereby decree that you are allowed to accelerate to ramming speed every time you see a minivan with a silhouette of the family and their names on the rear window. We get it, you didn’t pull out. Is that information you really think I’m interested in? I know you’re a parent. You’re driving a Plymouth Voyager with two hundred thousand miles on it; do you imagine I’m behind you thinking, “Who is that gay entrepreneur?” Even worse is the theme family. Oh, you’re into snowboarding? Oh, you’ve got cats? Oh, they’ve all got Mickey ears, they must really love Disney. You know what I love? Driving more than fifty-three miles an hour. How about a stick figure depiction of your family moving the fuck over and letting me get to work on time?
Adam Carolla (President Me: The America That's In My Head)
Doth God exact day-labor, light denied,' I fondly ask; but patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, 'God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts, who best Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best, his state Is kingly. Thousands at His bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait.' ~Sonnet 19: On His Blindness (1655)~
John Milton (Paradise Lost and Other Poems)
Well. Um. The thing is…” I inhale, then continue with rapid-fire speed. “Imnotahockeyfan.” A wrinkle appears in his forehead. “What?” I repeat myself, slowly this time, with actual pauses between each word. “I’m not a hockey fan.” Then I hold my breath and await his reaction. He blinks. Blinks again. And again. His expression is a mixture of shock and horror. “You don’t like hockey?” I regretfully shake my head. “Not even a little bit?” Now I shrug. “I don’t mind it as background noise—” “Background noise?” “—but I won’t pay attention to it if it’s on.” I bite my lip. I’m already in this deep—might as well deliver the final blow. “I come from a football family.” “Football,” he says dully. “Yeah, my dad and I are huge Pats fans. And my grandfather was an offensive lineman for the Bears back in the day.” “Football.” He grabs his water and takes a deep swig, as if he needs to rehydrate after that bombshell. I smother a laugh. “I think it’s awesome that you’re so good at it, though. And congrats on the Frozen Four win.” Logan stares at me. “You couldn’t have told me this before I asked you out? What are we even doing here, Grace? I can never marry you now—it would be blasphemous.” His twitching lips make it clear that he’s joking, and the laughter I’ve been fighting spills over. “Hey, don’t go canceling the wedding just yet. The success rate for inter-sport marriages is a lot higher than you think. We could be a Pats-Bruins family.” I pause. “But no Celtics. I hate basketball.” “Well, at least we have that in common.” He shuffles closer and presses a kiss to my cheek. “It’s all right. We’ll work through this, gorgeous. Might need couples counseling at some point, but once I teach you to love hockey, it’ll be smooth sailing for us.” “You won’t succeed,” I warn him. “Ramona spent years trying to force me to like it. Didn’t work.” “She gave up too easily then. I, on the other hand, never give up
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Calais took all of a fraction of a second—I've yet to learn how to gauge his speed—to appear beside me, taking the alarm clock and shutting it down. Then he worked on my bonds, leaving my gag for last because he wanted to sneak in a kiss. Which he did. Too bad I was too annoyed and cramped to respond, so I just made like a limp doll that made a face at him while he got all Romeo on me.
Hayden Thorne (Curse of Arachnaman (Masks #4))
Supposing We Really Found Him? It is always shocking to meet life where we thought we were alone. ‘Look out!’ we cry, ‘it’s alive’. And therefore this is the very point at which so many draw back—I would have done so myself if I could—and proceed no further with Christianity. An ‘impersonal God’—well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads—better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap—best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband—that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (‘Man’s search for God!’) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?
C.S. Lewis (A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works)
In accepting and defending the social institution of slavery, the Greeks were harder-hearted than we but clearer-headed; they knew that labor as such is slavery, and that no man can feel a personal pride in being a laborer. A man can be proud of being a worker – someone, that is, who fabricates enduring objects, but in our society, the process of fabrication has been so rationalized in the interests of speed, economy and quantity that the part played by the individual factory employee has become too small for it to be meaningful to him as work, and practically all workers have been reduced to laborers. It is only natural, therefore, that the arts which cannot be rationalized in this way – the artist still remains personally responsible for what he makes – should fascinate those who, because they have no marked talent, are afraid, with good reason, that all they have to look forward to is a lifetime of meaningless labor. This fascination is not due to the nature of art itself, but to the way in which an artists works; he, and in our age, almost nobody else, is his own master. The idea of being one’s own master appeals to most human beings, and this is apt to lead to the fantastic hope that the capacity for artistic creation is universal, something nearly all human beings, by virtue, not by some special talent, but due to their humanity, could do if they tried.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
Yeah, I'm a drug addict. And a prostitute. The whole world knows. Not because I robbed my own family. Not because I ended up behind bars. Not because I've been hassled by the cops when soliciting customers from a local street corner. Not because I'm shooting up in the public bathrooms at your city park. Everyone knows because I told them all. I never tried to hide any of it. I never felt the need to.
Ashly Lorenzana (Speed Needles)
Time has become a melding of minutes and months and the feeling of seasons. […] Leon says it is the Bhutan Time Warp and I know what he means. Time does not hurl itself forward at breakneck speed here. Change happens very slowly. A grandmother and her granddaughter wear the same kind of clothes, they do the same work, they know the same songs. The granddaughter does not find her grandmother an embarrassing, boring relic.
Jamie Zeppa (Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey Into Bhutan)
1. Efficacy—How well does it work? 2. Speed—How quickly does it work? 3. Reliability—Can I depend on it to do what I want? 4. Ease of Use—How much effort does it require? 5. Flexibility—How many things does it do? 6. Status—How does this affect the way others perceive me? 7. Aesthetic Appeal—How attractive or otherwise aesthetically pleasing is it? 8. Emotion—How does it make me feel? 9. Cost—How much do I have to give up to get this?
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Speed is about time, but it’s also closely related to endurance and effort. The faster the speed, the thinking goes, the less endurance or effort required. Patience, on the other hand, requires endurance and effort. It’s defined as “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” Of course, much of life is made up of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, and pain; in psychology, patience might be thought of as the bearing of these difficulties for long enough to work through them. Feeling your sadness or anxiety can also give you essential information about yourself and your world.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Try to go a whole seven days without having to control everything, without stressing when things don't work out as you thought they would or should. As you do this, any time you feel the need to take charge, try to relax out of it, just to see what happens. Look for the good that happened precisely because things didn't work out the way you thought they would or should. And take your time. There really is no desperate hurry. When we constantly pursue perfection, our life speeds up. We make hasty decisions and snap judgments. Wabi sabi offers an opportunity to pause, reflect, check in with yourself and move from there. You'll likely feel relived, and make better choices.
Beth Kempton (Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life)
There can be no question that Musk has mastered the art of getting the most out of his employees. Interview three dozen SpaceX engineers and each one of them will have picked up on a managerial nuance that Musk has used to get people to meet his deadlines. One example from Brogan: Where a typical manager may set the deadline for the employee, Musk guides his engineers into taking ownership of their own delivery dates. “He doesn’t say, ‘You have to do this by Friday at two P.M.,’” Brogan said. “He says, ‘I need the impossible done by Friday at two P.M. Can you do it?’ Then, when you say yes, you are not working hard because he told you to. You’re working hard for yourself. It’s a distinction you can feel. You have signed up to do your own work.” And by recruiting hundreds of bright, self-motivated people, SpaceX has maximized the power of the individual. One person putting in a sixteen-hour day ends up being much more effective than two people working eight-hour days together. The individual doesn’t have to hold meetings, reach a consensus, or bring other people up to speed on a project. He just keeps working and working and working. The ideal SpaceX employee is someone like Steve Davis, the director of advanced projects at SpaceX. “He’s been working sixteen hours a day every day for years,” Brogan said. “He gets more done than eleven people working together.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
Come on in, I’ve got a sale on scratch and dent dreams, whole cases of imperfect ambitions stuff the idealists couldn't sell. Yeah, I know none of its got price tags, you decide how much its worth. And none of its got glossy colored packaging but it all works just fine. I’ve got rainy day swing sets good night kisses and stationary stars still flying at the speed of light. And over there out back if you dig down through those alabaster stoplights and those old 45’s you’ll find a whole crate of second hand hope. Yeah right there, that’s no chrome, you just gotta work, polish it up a little bit. Most folks give up too easy, trade it in for some injection mold and here and now.
Eric Darby (The Secret Dream-lives of Engineers)
A few words in defense of military scientists. I agree that squad leaders are in the best position to know what and how much their men and women need to bring on a given mission. But you want those squad leaders to be armed with knowledge, and not all knowledge comes from experience. Sometimes it comes from a pogue at USUHS who’s been investigating the specific and potentially deadly consequences of a bodybuilding supplement. Or an army physiologist who puts men adrift in life rafts off the dock at a Florida air base and discovers that wetting your uniform cools you enough to conserve 74 percent more of your body fluids per hour. Or the Navy researcher who comes up with a way to speed the recovery time from travelers’ diarrhea. These things matter when it’s 115 degrees and you’re trying to keep your troops from dehydrating to the point of collapse. There’s no glory in the work. No one wins a medal. And maybe someone should.
Mary Roach (Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War)
To make a good man, God has to use all of his skill. Some of the goodness of God himself goes into such a man. And when the man is ready to take his place on the earth, God must feel the pride that I feel when I look at the rug I am weaving, at the strands that bind closely together and knot and make a pattern, and at the beauty of the colours. Such a long day's work to make a good man! And yet, one bullet that takes a second to speed through the air and strike a man will kill him in an instant. How can God forgive such a thing? And yet He can, so it is said, for His heart is great and His forgiveness infinite, if the sinner repents. But I am not God and I cannot forgive the man who killed my brother.
Najaf Mazari (The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif)
Nowhere is the hostility of the Anglo-American tradition toward the dialectical more apparent, however, than in the widespread notion that the style of these works is obscure and cumbersome, indigestible, abstract-or, to sum it all up in a convenient catchword, Germanic. It can be admitted that it does not conform to the canons of clear and fluid journalistic writing taught in the schools. But what if those ideals of clarity and simplicity have come to serve a very different ideological purpose, in our present context, from the one Descartes had in mind? What if, in this period of the overproduction of printed matter and the proliferation of methods of quick reading, they were intended to speed the reader across a sentence in such a way that he can salute a readymade idea effortlessly in passing, without suspecting that real thought demands a descent into the materiality of language and a consent to time itself in the form of the sentence?
Fredric Jameson
This was the first thing I ever said, "All right, I'm gonna try to do the very best I can." Instead of doing this, "All right, I'll work at like three-quarters speed, and then I can always figure that if I just hadn't been a fuckup, the book coulda been really good." You know that defense system? You write the paper the night before, so if it doesn't get a great grade, you know that it could've been better. And this worked--I worked as hard as I could on this. And in a weird way, you might think that would make me more nervous about whether people would like it. But there was this weird--you know like when you work out really well, there's this kind of tiredness that's real pleasant, and it's sort of placid.
David Lipsky (Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace)
It’s easy to put the links between the increases in mental illness, depression, ADHD, and the like, with the speed of the modern world. People never get the chance to do nothing, or when they do, they lack the control to prevent their mind from racing off in a thousand different directions. So much so that their doing nothing becomes a thousand different things and the thousand different things becomes stress, anxiety, worry and fear. Left untreated these simple everyday things become well entrenched in our psyches and start to dominate our lives. We have a chronic addiction with doing and we love to use our busyness as a stamp of our hard work and hectic lives and we get stuck in this busy trap of always doing.
Evan Sutter (Solitude: How Doing Nothing Can Change the World)
Others will always show you exactly where you are stuck. They say or do something and you automatically get hooked into a familiar way of reacting—shutting down, speeding up, or getting all worked up. When you react in the habitual way, with anger, greed, and so forth, it gives you a chance to see your patterns and work with them honestly and compassionately. Without others provoking you, you remain ignorant of your painful habits and cannot train in transforming them into the path of awakening.
Pema Chödrön (Always Maintain a Joyful Mind: And Other Lojong Teachings on Awakening Compassion and Fearlessness)
These debauched folks, these intemperate, depraved, corrupt lowlifes, know the speed at which Karma works. They don’t care about their next lives (even if they believe in reincarnation). All they care about is now. And why wouldn’t they? As I told you, they wouldn’t be them in their next lives. This is why even the most metaphysical of them live like there is no tomorrow. They hurt, they cheat, they gormandize, they lead a lecherous life with utter disregard for others, all because they know this is a Devil’s world.
Abhaidev (The World's Most Frustrated Man)
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
The commercialization of molecular biology is the most stunning ethical event in the history of science, and it has happened with astonishing speed. For four hundred years since Galileo, science has always proceeded as a free and open inquiry into the workings of nature. Scientists have always ignored national boundaries, holding themselves above the transitory concerns of politics and even wars. Scientists have always rebelled against secrecy in research, and have even frowned on the idea of patenting their discoveries, seeing themselves as working to the benefit of all mankind. And for many generations, the discoveries of scientists did indeed have a peculiarly selfless quality... Suddenly it seemed as if everyone wanted to become rich. New companies were announced almost weekly, and scientists flocked to exploit genetic research... It is necessary to emphasize how significant this shift in attitude actually was. In the past, pure scientists took a snobbish view of business. They saw the pursuit of money as intellectually uninteresting, suited only to shopkeepers. And to do research for industry, even at the prestigious Bell or IBM labs, was only for those who couldn't get a university appointment. Thus the attitude of pure scientists was fundamentally critical toward the work of applied scientists, and to industry in general. Their long-standing antagonism kept university scientists free of contaminating industry ties, and whenever debate arose about technological matters, disinterested scientists were available to discuss the issues at the highest levels. But that is no longer true. There are very few molecular biologists and very few research institutions without commercial affiliations. The old days are gone. Genetic research continues, at a more furious pace than ever. But it is done in secret, and in haste, and for profit.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
Everything becomes a blur when you travel beyond a certain speed. Distant objects may still be clear in outline, but the blurred foreground makes it impossible to attend to them. This landscape is unreal and the passengers in the express train turn to their books, their thoughts or their private fantasies. The subjectivism of our age has a good deal to do with this imprisonment in a speeding vehicle, and the fact that we made this vehicle ourselves, with all the tireless care that children give to a contrivance of wood and wire, does not save us from the sense of being trapped without hope of escape. A further effect of such vertiginous speed is a kind of anaesthesia, entirely natural when the operation of the senses by which we normally make contact with our environment is suspended. With no opportunity to assimilate what is going on, our powers of assimilation are inevitably weakened and certain numbness sets in; nothing is fully savoured and nothing is properly understood. Even fear (which exists to forewarn us of danger) is suspended. This would be so even if speed of change were the only factor involved, but the kind of environment in which a large part of humanity lives today --- the environment created by technology at the service of immediate, short-term needs – does much to intensify this effect. Outside of works of art which embody something beyond our physical needs, our own constructions bore us. Those who, when they have built something and admired the finished product for a decent moment, are ready to pull it down and start on something new have good sense on their side.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (King of the Castle: Choice and Responsibility in the Modern World)
The train is speeding into a luminous future. Lenin is at the controls. Suddenly—stop, the tracks come to an end. Lenin calls on the people for additional, Saturday work, tracks are laid down, and the train moves on. Now Stalin is driving it. Again the tracks end. Stalin orders half the conductors and passengers shot, and the rest he forces to lay down new tracks. The train starts again. Khrushchev replaces Stalin, and when the tracks come to an end, he orders that the ones over which the train has already passed be dismantled and laid down before the locomotive. Brezhnev takes Khrushchev’s place. When the tracks end again, Brezhnev decides to pull down the window blinds and rock the cars in such a way that the passengers will think the train is still moving forward. (Yurii Boriev, Staliniad, 1990)
Ryszard Kapuściński (Imperium)
In The Terrible Speed of Mercy, Jonathan Rogers’s wonderful biography of Flannery O’Connor, he writes about her willingness to tell the stories she was called to tell, even if it meant the critics and the audience sometimes missed her point entirely. She took a long view, and though it was painful, stayed true to her calling and trusted that it was God’s business what he did with her stories after they were written. She wrote, “God may use my work to save some people and to test the faith of others, but that’s His business and none of mine.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
I thought about how for a long time scientists were puzzled by the fact that the sky is dark at night, even though there are billions of stars in the universe and there must be stars in every direction you look, so that the sky should be full of starlight because there is very little in the way to stop the light from reaching earth. Then they worked out that the universe was expanding, that the stars were all rushing away from one another after the Big Bang, and the further the stars were away from us the faster they were moving, some of them nearly as fast as the speed of light, which was why their light never reached us. I like this fact. It is something you can work out in your own mind just by looking at the sky above your head at night and thinking without having to ask anyone. And when the universe has finished exploding, all the stars will slow down, like a ball that has been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall toward the center of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us from seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving toward us, gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
When Congress approved the decision to retire the SR-71, the Smithsonian Institution requested that a Blackbird be delivered for eventual display in the Air and Space Museum in Washington and that we set a new transcontinental speed record delivering it from California to Dulles. I had the honor of piloting that final flight on March 6, 1990, for its final 2,300-mile flight between L.A. and D.C. I took off with my backseat navigator, Lt. Col. Joe Vida, at 4:30 in the morning from Palmdale, just outside L.A., and despite the early hour, a huge crowd cheered us off. We hit a tanker over the Pacific then turned and dashed east, accelerating to 2.6 Mach and about sixty thousand feet. Below stretched hundreds of miles of California coastline in the early morning light. In the east and above, the hint of a red sunrise and the bright twinkling lights from Venus, Mars, and Saturn. A moment later we were directly over central California, with the Blackbird’s continual sonic boom serving as an early wake-up call to the millions sleeping below on this special day. I pushed out to Mach 3.3.
Ben R. Rich (Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed)
We needed a man to repair the machines, to keep them going and everything. And the army was always going to send this fellow they had, but he was always delayed. Now, we always were in a hurry. Everything we did, we tried to do as quickly as possible. In this particular case, we worked out all the numerical steps that the machines were supposed to do—multiply this, and then do this, and subtract that. Then we worked out the program, but we didn’t have any machine to test it on. So we set up this room with girls in it. Each one had a Marchant: one was the multiplier, another was the adder. This one cubed—all she did was cube a number on an index card and send it to the next girl. We went through our cycle this way until we got all the bugs out. It turned out that the speed at which we were able to do it was a hell of a lot faster than the other way, where every single person did all the steps. We got speed with this system that was the predicted speed for the IBM machine. The only difference is that the IBM machines didn’t get tired and could work three shifts. But the girls got tired after a while.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character)
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ‘I have a dream that one day, on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down to gether at the table of brotherhood – I have a dream. ‘That one day even the state of Mississippi – a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of op pression – will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream.’ He had hit a rhythm, and two hundred thousand people felt it sway their souls. It was more than a speech: it was a poem and a canticle and a prayer as deep as the grave. The heartbreaking phrase ‘I have a dream’ came like an amen at the end of each ringing sentence. ‘. . . That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character – I have a dream today. ‘I have a dream that one day down in Alabama – with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification – one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers – I have a dream today. ‘With this faith we will be able to hew, out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope. ‘With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. ‘With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.’ Looking around, Jasper saw that black and white faces alike were running with tears. Even he felt moved, and he had thought himself immune to this kind of thing. ‘And when this happens; when we allow freedom to ring; when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city; we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands . . .’ Here he slowed down, and the crowd was almost silent. King’s voice trembled with the earthquake force of his passion. ‘. . . and sing, in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! ‘Free at last! ‘Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3))
Online search engines, which work with such astonishing speed and power, are algorithms, and so equivalent to Turing machines. They are also descendants of the particular algorithms, using sophisticated logic, statistics and parallel processing, that Turing expertly pioneered for Enigma-breaking. These were search engines for the keys to the Reich. But he asked for, and received, very little public credit for what has subsequently proved an all-conquering discovery: that all algorithms can be programmed systematically, and implemented on a universal machine.
Andrew Hodges (Alan Turing: The Enigma)
The best description of this book is found within the title. The full title of this book is: "This is the story my great-grandfather told my father, who then told my grandfather, who then told me about how The Mythical Mr. Boo, Charles Manseur Fizzlebush Grissham III, better known as Mr. Fizzlebush, and Orafoura are all in fact me and Dora J. Arod, who sometimes shares my pen, paper, thoughts, mind, body, and soul, because Dora J. Arod is my pseudonym, as he/it incorporates both my first and middle name, and is also a palindrome that can be read forwards or backwards no matter if you are an upright man in the eyes of God or you are upside down in a tank of water wearing purple goggles and grape jelly discussing how best to spread your time between your work, your wife, and the toasted bread being eaten by the man you are talking to who goes by the name of Dendrite McDowell, who is only wearing a towel on his head and has an hourglass obscuring his “time machine”--or the thing that he says can keep him young forever by producing young versions of himself the way I avert disaster in that I ramble and bumble like a bee until I pollinate my way through flowery situations that might otherwise have ended up being more than less than, but not equal to two short parallel lines stacked on top of each other that mathematicians use to balance equations like a tightrope walker running on a wire stretched between two white stretched limos parked on a long cloud that looks like Salt Lake City minus the sodium and Mormons, but with a dash of pepper and Protestants, who may or may not be spiritual descendents of Mr. Maynot, who didn’t come over to America in the Mayflower, but only because he was “Too lazy to get off the sofa,” and therefore impacted this continent centuries before the first television was ever thrown out of a speeding vehicle at a man who looked exactly like my great-grandfather, who happens to look exactly like the clone science has yet to allow me to create
Jarod Kintz (This is the story my great-grandfather told my father, who then told my grandfather, who then told me about how The Mythical Mr. Boo, Charles Manseur Fizzlebush Grissham III, better known as Mr. Fizzlebush, and Orafoura are all in fact me...)
The right nostril is a gas pedal. When you’re inhaling primarily through this channel, circulation speeds up, your body gets hotter, and cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate all increase. This happens because breathing through the right side of the nose activates the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism that puts the body in a more elevated state of alertness and readiness. Breathing through the right nostril will also feed more blood to the opposite hemisphere of the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, which has been associated with logical decisions, language, and computing. Inhaling through the left nostril has the opposite effect: it works as a kind of brake system to the right nostril’s accelerator. The left nostril is more deeply connected to the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax side that lowers blood pressure, cools the body, and reduces anxiety. Left-nostril breathing shifts blood flow to the opposite side of the prefrontal cortex, to the area that influences creative thought and plays a role in the formation of mental abstractions and the production of negative emotions.
James Nestor (Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art)
When we combine the adaptation principle with the discovery that people’s average level of happiness is highly heritable,11 we come to a startling possibility: In the long run, it doesn’t much matter what happens to you. Good fortune or bad, you will always return to your happiness setpoint—your brain’s default level of happiness—which was determined largely by your genes. In 1759, long before anyone knew about genes, Adam Smith reached the same conclusion: In every permanent situation, where there is no expectation of change, the mind of every man, in a longer or shorter time, returns to its natural and usual state of tranquility. In prosperity, after a certain time, it falls back to that state; in adversity, after a certain time, it rises up to it.12 If this idea is correct, then we are all stuck on what has been called the “hedonic treadmill.”13 On an exercise treadmill you can increase the speed all you want, but you stay in the same place. In life, you can work as hard as you want, and accumulate all the riches, fruit trees, and concubines you want, but you can’t get ahead. Because you can’t change your “natural and usual state of tranquility,” the riches you accumulate will just raise your expectations and leave you no better off than you were before. Yet, not realizing the futility of our efforts, we continue to strive, all the while doing things that help us win at the game of life. Always wanting more than we have, we run and run and run, like hamsters on a wheel.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Robotics, however, is much more difficult. It requires a delicate interplay of mechanical engineering, perception AI, and fine-motor manipulation. These are all solvable problems, but not at nearly the speed at which pure software is being built to handle white-collar cognitive tasks. Once that robot is built, it must also be tested, sold, shipped, installed, and maintained on-site. Adjustments to the robot’s underlying algorithms can sometimes be made remotely, but any mechanical hiccups require hands-on work with the machine. All these frictions will slow down the pace of robotic automation.
Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
I always wondered, though, what the fathers felt as they drove up the street they used to drive down every night, and whether they really saw their former houses, whether they noticed how things got frayed and flaky around the edges now that they were gone. I wondered it again as I pulled up to the house I’d grown up in. It was, I noticed, looking even more Joad-like than usual. Neither my mother nor the dread life partner, Tanya, was much into yard work, and so the lawn was littered with drifts of dead brown leaves. The gravel on the driveway was as thin as an old man’s hair combed across an age-spotted scalp, and as I parked I could make out the faint glitter of old metal from behind the little toolshed. We used to park our bikes in there. Tanya had “cleaned” it by dragging all the old bikes, from tricycles to discarded ten-speeds, out behind the shed, and leaving them there to rust. “Think of it as found art,” my mother had urged us when Josh complained that the bike pile made us look like trailer trash. I wonder if my father ever drove by, if he knew about my mother and her new situation, if he thought about us at all, or whether he was content to have his three children out there in the world, all grown up, and strangers.
Jennifer Weiner (Good in Bed (Cannie Shapiro, #1))
Psychologists often approach personality by measuring basic traits such as the “big five”: neuroticism, extroversion, openness to new experiences, agreeableness (warmth/niceness), and conscientiousness.15 These traits are facts about the elephant, about a person’s automatic reactions to various situations. They are fairly similar between identical twins reared apart, indicating that they are influenced in part by genes, although they are also influenced by changes in the conditions of one’s life or the roles one plays, such as becoming a parent.16 But psychologist Dan McAdams has suggested that personality really has three levels... The third level of personality is that of the “life story.” Human beings in every culture are fascinated by stories; we create them wherever we can. (See those seven stars up there? They are seven sisters who once . . . ) It’s no different with our own lives. We can’t stop ourselves from creating what McAdams describes as an “evolving story that integrates a reconstructed past, perceived present, and anticipated future into a coherent and vitalizing life myth.”18 Although the lowest level of personality is mostly about the elephant, the life story is written primarily by the rider. You create your story in consciousness as you interpret your own behavior, and as you listen to other people’s thoughts about you. The life story is not the work of a historian—remember that the rider has no access to the real causes of your behavior; it is more like a work of historical fiction that makes plenty of references to real events and connects them by dramatizations and interpretations that might or might not be true to the spirit of what happened. Adversity may be necessary for growth because it forces you to stop speeding along the road of life, allowing you to notice the paths that were branching off all along, and to think about where you really want to end up.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
I always felt that someone, a long time ago, organized the affairs of the world into areas that made sense-catagories of stuff that is perfectible, things that fit neatly in perfect bundles. The world of business, for example, is this way-line items, spreadsheets, things that add up, that can be perfected. The legal system-not always perfect, but nonetheless a mind-numbing effort to actually write down all kinds of laws and instructions that cover all aspects of being human, a kind of umbrella code of conduct we should all follow. Perfection is crucial in building an aircraft, a bridge, or a high-speed train. The code and mathematics residing just below the surface of the Internet is also this way. Things are either perfectly right or they will not work. So much of the world we work and live in is based upon being correct, being perfect. But after this someone got through organizing everything just perfectly, he (or probably a she) was left with a bunch of stuff that didn't fit anywhere-things in a shoe box that had to go somewhere. So in desperation this person threw up her arms and said, 'OK! Fine. All the rest of this stuff that isn't perfectible, that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else, will just have to be piled into this last, rather large, tattered box that we can sort of push behind the couch. Maybe later we can come back and figure where it all is supposed to fit in. Let's label the box ART.' The problem was thankfully never fixed, and in time the box overflowed as more and more art piled up. I think the dilemma exists because art, among all the other tidy categories, most closely resembles what it is like to be human. To be alive. It is our nature to be imperfect. The have uncategorized feelings and emotions. To make or do things that don't sometimes necessarily make sense. Art is all just perfectly imperfect. Once the word ART enters the description of what you're up to , it is almost getting a hall pass from perfection. It thankfully releases us from any expectation of perfection. In relation to my own work not being perfect, I just always point to the tattered box behind the couch and mention the word ART, and people seem to understand and let you off the hook about being perfect a go back to their business.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
Fear seems to exist only in our imagination. Without imagination, without the ability to see our place in the future, to work out the consequence of a particular event in all its gruesome detail, we would be quite fearless. I suppose that is why serious violent accidents, such as car crashes, avalanches, and long bouncing falls are frequently described as not frightening while actually taking place. It’s as if so much is happening to you, so much information is rushing into your mind that you have no time to imagine what the outcome might be. Things seem to happen in slow motion, as if the speed at which your mind is operating is affecting your perception of time. The future is simply a matter of fact, an emotionless reality – you will be dead – and that is that. Only the present, what is happening to you at this very instant, concerns you. Because of this, you are unable to extrapolate what the future will be like as a result of what is happening to you now. All you can do is to experience the present, nothing more. Deprived of the ability to imagine the future, you are fearless; suddenly there is nothing to be scared about. You have no time to ponder on death’s significance or fear what it may feel like. In the cataclysmic violence of the accident you lose not only the future but the past as well. You lose all possible reasons for fear, unable as you are
Joe Simpson (This Game of Ghosts)
As students in this earth school, some of us may be in the first grade, the sixth grade, or high school, but eventually, with enough education, we will all graduate and leave this school behind. And then there are other schools, higher dimensions or levels where we continue our spiritual progression. But until we all graduate, none of us does, for we are all one. We may come back voluntarily to help other people, or animals, or sentient beings to evolve. Or we may help out from the other side even if we do not incarnate in physical bodies, and there we will continue to work to assist those other souls with whom we have been connected for eons of time. Do not be concerned with how many millennia it takes you to complete your classes. If you are progressing to be a kinder, more loving, less selfish, less violent person, then you are moving in the right direction. The direction is more important than the speed. It makes no difference if this is your first lifetime or your last, or if you have many more to go. Only the end matters. Of
Brian L. Weiss (Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories)
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Jodiya's shoulders shook in a silent laugh. Slowly, she lowered her pistol. And flung the grenade she held in her other hand. The fuse kindled in midair, burning unnaturally fast. No chance to outrun the explosion. Instead, Isyllt caught it. She hissed at the pain in her left hand, at the precious fraction of fuse being consumed. As soon as iron touched her skin, he magic began to work. Rust bloomed across damp metal, corroding at preternatural speed. Within heartbeats the iron shell crumbled in her hands, black powder hissing to the ground. She turned her head just in time as the fuse caught the last of the gunpowder and sprayed her with sparks. Her hand twisted with the pain of it, but she bared her teeth at Jodiya. "Again?"
Amanda Downum (The Drowning City (The Necromancer Chronicles, #1))
Dell pulled out his cell phone, speed-dialed a number, and put the phone on speaker. A woman answered with a professionally irritated tone: “What do you need now?” “Jade,” Dell said. “Nope, it’s the Easter Bunny. And your keys are on your desk.” Dell shook his head. “Now darlin’, I don’t always call you just because I’ve lost my keys.” “I’m sorry, you’re right. You wallet’s on your desk, too. As for your little black book, you’re on your own with that one, Dr. Flirt. I’m at lunch.” Dell sighed. “What did we say about you and the whole power-play thing?” “That it’s good for your ego to have at least one woman in your life that you can’t flash a smile at and have them drop their panties?” Dell grinned. “I really like it when you say ‘panties.’ And for the record, I knew where my keys and wallet were.” “No you didn’t.” “Okay, I didn’t, but that’s not why I’m calling. Can you bring burgers and fries for me and Brady? Oh, and Adam, too, or he’ll bitch like a little girl.” “You mean ‘Jade, will you pretty please bring us burgers and fries?’” “Yes,” Dell said, nodding. “That. And Cokes.” He looked at Brady, who nodded. “And don’t forget the ketchup.” “You forgot the nice words.” “Oh, I’m sorry,” Dell said. “You look fantastic today, I especially love the attitude and sarcasm you’re wearing.” Jade’s voice went saccharine sweet. “So some low-fat chicken salads, no dressing, and ice water to go, then?” “Fine,” Dell said, and sighed. “Can we please have burgers and fries?" “You forgot the ‘Thank you, Goddess Jade,’ but we’ll work on that. Later, boss.
Jill Shalvis (Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism, #1))
This might baffle you, but despite not being a physician, I do have some pride. Although most certainly not enough to withstand the kind of beating you're capable of dealing it. The kind of beating you've repeatedly dealt it from the first time we've met. You're right, I value honesty, so I'll tell you that I make it a practice not to find women who insult me at every opportunity attractive." Color flooded her cheeks and traveled down her neck. Finally, she stepped away from him, too, and found the back of a chair to clutch. She looked entirely devastated. Had no one ever denied her anything? He hated the hurt in her eyes. But it was done now. "How is telling you I'm attracted to you an insult?" He pressed the back of his hand into his forehead. It made him feel like a drama queen in some sort of musical farce. Which this had to be. "Telling me how unworthy I am of your attraction, that's the insulting part. And, no, that's not all it is. Even if you hadn't told me at every opportunity how inferior to you I am... all I do is cook... every assumption you've made about me is insulting. Culinary school is definitely college. And Le Cordon Bleu is one of the most competitive institutions in the world. The fact that that's so wholly incomprehensible to you... that's the insulting part. And it wasn't thrown in my overly privileged lap either. I had to work my bottom off to make it in." Ammaji had sold her dowry jewels to pay for his application, something her family would have thrown her out on the street for had they found out. Trisha squared her shoulders, the devastation draining fast from her face, leaving behind the self-possession he was so much more used to. And the speed with which she gathered herself shook something inside him. "I might not do what you see as important work, but I work hard at being a decent human being, and I would need anyone I'm with to be that first and foremost. Even if I didn't find snobbery in general incredibly unattractive, I would never go anywhere near a person as self-absorbed and arrogant as you, Dr. Raje. I would have to be insane to subject myself to your view of me and the world." "Wow." She was panting, or maybe it was him. He couldn't be sure. "You wanted honesty. I'm sorry if I hurt you." She cleared her throat. "I'm surprised you think someone as... as... self-absorbed and arrogant as me is even capable of being hurt.
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
meant to be a scaled-down version of your previously full-time job, can be something of a trap. Or at least that’s how it played out for me. At work, I was still attending all the meetings I always had while also grappling with most of the same responsibilities. The only real difference was that I now made half my original salary and was trying to cram everything into a twenty-hour week. If a meeting ran late, I’d end up tearing home at breakneck speed to fetch Malia so that we could arrive on time (Malia eager and happy, me sweaty and hyperventilating) to the afternoon Wiggleworms class at a music studio on the North Side. To me, it felt like a sanity-warping double bind. I battled guilt when I had to take work calls at home. I battled a different sort of guilt when I sat at my office distracted by the idea that Malia might be allergic to peanuts. Part-time work was meant to give me more freedom, but mostly it left me feeling as if I were only half doing everything, that all the lines in my life had been blurred. Meanwhile, it seemed that Barack had hardly missed a stride. A few months after Malia’s birth, he’d been reelected to a four-year term in the state senate, winning with 89 percent of the vote.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
In 2012, I turned fifty-six. Hugh and his longtime girlfriend took me out to dinner. On the way home I remembered a bit of old folklore—probably you’ve heard it—about how to boil a frog. You put it in cold water, then start turning up the heat. If you do it gradually, the frog is too stupid to jump out. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I decided it was an excellent metaphor for growing old. When I was a teenager, I looked at over-fifties with pity and unease: they walked too slow, they talked too slow, they watched TV instead of going out to movies and concerts, their idea of a great party was hotpot with the neighbors and tucked into bed after the eleven o’clock news. But—like most other fifty-, sixty-, and seventysomethings who are in relative good health—I didn’t mind it so much when my turn came. Because the brain doesn’t age, although its ideas about the world may harden and there’s a greater tendency to run off at the mouth about how things were in the good old days. (I was spared that, at least, because most of my so-called good old days had been spent as a full-bore, straight-on-for-Texas drug addict.) I think for most people, life’s deceptive deliriums begin to fall away after fifty. The days speed up, the aches multiply, and your gait slows down, but there are compensations. In calmness comes appreciation, and—in my case—a determination to be as much of a do-right-daddy as possible in the time I had left. That meant ladling out soup once a week at a homeless shelter in Boulder, and working for three or four political candidates with the radical idea that Colorado should not be paved over.
Stephen King (Revival)
At first Alexander could not believe it was his Tania. He blinked and tried to refocus his eyes. She was walking around the table, gesturing, showing, leaning forward, bending over. At one point she straightened out and wiped her forehead. She was wearing a short-sleeved yellow peasant dress. She was barefoot, and her slender legs were exposed above her knee. Her bare arms were lightly tanned. Her blonde hair looked bleached by the sun and was parted into two shoulder-length braids tucked behind her ears. Even from a distance he could see the summer freckles on her nose. She was achingly beautiful. And alive. Alexander closed his eyes, then opened them again. She was still there, bending over the boy’s work. She said something, everyone laughed loudly, and Alexander watched as the boy’s arm touched Tatiana’s back. Tatiana smiled. Her white teeth sparkled like the rest of her. Alexander didn’t know what to do. She was alive, that was obvious. Then why hadn’t she written him? And where was Dasha? Alexander couldn’t very well continue to stand under a lilac tree. He went back out onto the main road, took a deep breath, stubbed out his cigarette, and walked toward the square, never taking his eyes off her braids. His heart was thundering in his chest, as if he were going into battle. Tatiana looked up, saw him, and covered her face with her hands. Alexander watched everyone get up and rush to her, the old ladies showing unexpected agility and speed. She pushed them all away, pushed the table away, pushed the bench away, and ran to him. Alexander was paralyzed by his emotion. He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled. Tatiana sprang into his open arms, and Alexander, lifting her off her feet with the force of his embrace, couldn’t hug her tight enough, couldn’t breathe in enough of her. She flung her arms around his neck, burying her face in his bearded cheek. Dry sobs racked her entire body. She was heavier than the last time he felt her in all her clothes as he lifted her into the Lake Ladoga truck. She, with her boots, her clothes, coats, and coverings, had not weighed what she weighed now. She smelled incredible. She smelled of soap and sunshine and caramelized sugar. She felt incredible. Holding her to him, Alexander rubbed his face into her braids, murmuring a few pointless words. “Shh, shh…come on, now, shh, Tatia. Please…” His voice broke. “Oh, Alexander,” Tatiana said softly into his neck. She was clutching the back of his head. “You’re alive. Thank God.” “Oh, Tatiana,” Alexander said, hugging her tighter, if that were possible, his arms swaddling her summer body. “You’re alive. Thank God.” His hands ran up to her neck and down to the small of her back. Her dress was made of very thin cotton. He could almost feel her skin through it. She felt very soft. Finally he let her feet touch the ground. Tatiana looked up at him. His hands remained around her little waist. He wasn’t letting go of her. Was she always this tiny, standing barefoot in front of him? “I like your beard,” Tatiana said, smiling shyly and touching his face. “I love your hair,” Alexander said, pulling on a braid and smiling back. “You’re messy…” He looked her over. “And you’re stunning.” He could not take his eyes off her glorious, eager, vivid lips. They were the color of July tomatoes— He bent to her—
Paullina Simons
The laws of nature are a description of how things actually work in the past, present and future. In tennis, the ball always goes exactly where they say it will. And there are many other laws at work here too. They govern everything that is going on, from how the energy of the shot is produced in the players’ muscles to the speed at which the grass grows beneath their feet. But what’s really important is that these physical laws, as well as being unchangeable, are universal. They apply not just to the flight of a ball, but to the motion of a planet, and everything else in the universe. Unlike laws made by humans, the laws of nature cannot be broken—that’s why they are so powerful and, when seen from a religious standpoint, controversial too. If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn’t take long to ask: what role is there for God? This is a big part of the contradiction between science and religion, and although my views have made headlines, it is actually an ancient conflict. One could define God as the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of as God. They mean a human-like being, with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe, and how insignificant and accidental human life is in it, that seems most implausible.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
I turn on my heel, which is no easy feat in a gravel parking lot. Not losing eye contact with Galen, I stare him down until I get to the door he's opened for me. He seems unconcerned. In fact, he seems downright emotionless. "This better be good," I tell him as I plop down. "You should have returned my calls. Or my texts," he says, his voice tight. As he backs out of the parking space, I yank my cell out of my purse, perusing the texts. "Well, doesn't look like anyone died, so why the hell did you ruin my date?" It's the first time I've ever cursed at royalty and it's liberating. "Or is this a kidnapping? Is Grom in the trunk? Are you taking us on our honeymoon?" You're supposed to be hurting him, not yourself, moron. My lip trembles like the traitor it is. Even though I'm looking away, I can tell Galen's impassive expression has softened because of the way he says, "Emma." "Leave me alone, Galen." He pulls my chin to face him. I knock his hand away. "You can't go forty miles an hour on the interstate, Galen. You need to speed up.” He sighs and presses the gas. By the time we reach a less-embarrassing speed, I’ve abandoned my hurt for rage-o-plenty, struck by the realization that I’ve turned into “that girl.” Not the one who exchanges her doctorate for some kids and a three-bedroom two-bath, but the other kind. That girl who exchanges her dignity and chances for happiness for some possessive loser who beats her when she makes eye contact with some random guy working the hot dog stand. Not that Galen beats me, but after his little show, what will people think? He acted like a lunatic tonight, stalking me to Atlantic City, blowing up my phone, and threatening my date with physical violence. He made serial-killer eyes, for crying out loud. That might be acceptable in the watery grave, but by dry-land standards, it’s the ingredients for a restraining order. And why are we getting off the interstate? “Where are you taking me? I told you I want to go home.” “We need to talk,” he says quietly, taking a dark road just off the exit. “I’ll take you home after I feel you understand.” “I don’t want to talk. You might have realized that when I didn’t answer your calls.” He pulls over on the shoulder of Where-Freaking-Are-We Street. Shutting off the engine, he turns to me, putting his arm around the back of my seat. “I don’t want to break up.” One Mississippi…two Mississippi…”You followed me like a crazy person to tell me that? You ruined my date for that? Mark is a nice guy. I deserve a nice guy, don’t I, Galen?” “Absolutely. But I happen to be a nice guy, too.” Three Mississippi…four Mississippi…”Don’t you mean Grom? And you’re not a nice guy. You threatened Mark with physical pain.” “You threw Rayna through a window. Call it even?” “When are you going to get over that? Besides, she provoked me!” “Mark provoked me, too. He put his hand on your leg. We won’t even talk about the kiss on your cheek. Don’t think I didn’t hear you give him permission either.” “Oh, now that’s rich,” I snort, getting out of the car. Slamming the door, I scream at him. “Now you’re acting jealous on behalf of your brother,” I say, spinning in place. “Can Grom do anything without the almighty Galen helping him?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Interruptions are especially destructive to people who need to concentrate – knowledge workers like hardware engineers, graphic designers, lawyers, writers, architects, accountants, and so on. Research by Gloria Mark and her colleagues shows that it takes people an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from an interruption and return to the task they had been working on – which happens because interruptions destroy their train of thought and divert attention to other tasks. A related study shows that although employees who experience interruptions compensate by working faster when they return to what they were doing, this speed comes at a cost, including feeling frustrated, stressed, and harried. Some interruptions are unavoidable and are part of the work – but as a boss, the more trivial and unnecessary intrusions you can absorb, the more work your people will do and the less their mental health will suffer.
Robert I. Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best... and Learn from the Worst)
Many systems require slack in order to work well. Old reel-to-reel tape recorders needed an extra bit of tape fed into the mechanism to ensure that the tape wouldn’t rip. Your coffee grinder won’t grind if you overstuff it. Roadways operate best below 70 percent capacity; traffic jams are caused by lack of slack. In principle, if a road is 85 percent full and everybody goes at the same speed, all cars can easily fit with some room between them. But if one driver speeds up just a bit and then needs to brake, those behind her must brake as well. Now they’ve slowed down too much, and, as it turns out, it’s easier to reduce a car’s speed than to increase it again. This small shock—someone lightly deviating from the right speed and then touching her brakes—has caused the traffic to slow substantially. A few more shocks, and traffic grinds to a halt. At 85 percent there is enough road but not enough slack to absorb the small shocks.
Sendhil Mullainathan (Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much)
How long will it take to get to Venice?" she asked. "It shouldn't be too much longer," Daniel almost whispered into her ear. "You sound like a pilot who's been in a holding pattern for an hour, telling his passengers 'just another ten minutes' for the fifth time," Luce teased. When Daniel didn't respond, she looked up at him. He was frowning in confusion. The metaphor was lost on him. "You've never been on a plane," she said. "Why should you when you can do this?" She gestured at his gorgeous beating wings. "All the waiting and taxiing would probably drive you crazy." "I'd like to go on a plane with you. Maybe we'll take a trip to the Bahamas. People fly there, right?" "Yes." Luce swallowed. "Let's." She couldn't help thinking how many impossible things had to happen in precisely the right way for the two of them to be able to travel like a normal couple. It was too hard to think about the future right now, when so much was at stake. The future was as blurry and distant as the ground below-and Luce hoped it would be as beautiful. "How long will it really take?" "Four, maybe five hours at this speed." "But won't you need to rest? Refuel?" Luce shrugged, still embarrassingly unsure of how Daniel's body worked. "Won't your arms get tired?" He chuckled. "What?" "I just flew in from Heaven, and boy, are my arms tired." Daniel squeezed her waist, teasing. "The idea of my arms ever tiring of holding you is absurd.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
As engine vibrated under him, he tried to tell himself it was all going to work out. It had to. Now that he’d found The One, there was no way in hell he was letting her get away. If that meant he had to move heaven and earth to find a good life for her and her pack mates here in the city, he’d do it. If being with Jayna meant he had to empty out his bank account and sell everything he owned, he was okay with that too. He had friends in other places he could turn to, Family too. His parents owned a huge house and a lot of land outside of Denver. If he showed up with Jayna, her pack, and no job, his family would welcome them with open arms. Okay, maybe his mom would be a little shocked when she found out his girlfriend came with an extended family, but she’d overlook it if there was a possibility of a grandchild in the near future. Becker was still daydreaming about kids with Jayna someday when headlights suddenly appeared in his rear- view mirror. He glanced over, swearing when he saw two vehicles speeding up behind him and closing fast.
Paige Tyler (In the Company of Wolves (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team, #3))
our lives. First, we’ll look at practicing the power of being present. Which sounds a lot cooler, hipper, New Age, and Zen than I intend, because what I’m talking about, as you’ll see, is simply a fundamental awareness of God’s presence in each moment of our lives. The second area is one you may know but don’t practice regularly: taking a Sabbath. Notice I said “taking” instead of “observing” the Sabbath. Knowing how to rest, to unplug, to unwind is as much a spiritual discipline as prayer or fasting. As weird as it may sound, God commands us to rest. It’s not an option to keep going at the pace, intensity, and speed at which most of us live our lives. Busyness will remain the standard for many people for years to come. But we’re called to a different standard, a way of prioritizing our time that may seem weird to everyone around us. When we follow Jesus, we’re about our Father’s business, not about the world’s busyness. Check your watch. It’s time to get weird. Chapter 2 NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. — HENRY D
Craig Groeschel (WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working)
I gestured upward, which told Adam to tell my brother to speed up. Adam knew what I planned to do and shook his head at me. What a pain, to stop the boat and argue with him about it. He didn’t consult anyone before he tried a trick and busted ass. If we stopped, Sean would insist my turn was over, and I’d be done for the day. I wasn’t done. So I nodded my head vigorously. Adam shook his finger at me, scolding. Then he turned around and spoke to my brother. The drone pitched higher as the boat sped up. I relaxed, relaxed, relaxed and let the boat and the wave do the work for me. My muscles remembered what they’d tried to do last summer, and this time they were able to do it. I caught miles of air, a huge thrill, and one glance at the boat: four boys with their mouths open. Then I almost panicked as I lost my balance when my board hit its high point behind me. Almost- but I kept myself together. I rode gravity down the opposite wave. Immediately I arced out and back to pick up speed, and did a 360 with a grab. Landed it. Then a 540. Landed it. I thought I might be pushing my luck. I’d probably break my leg climbing back into the boat.
Jennifer Echols (Endless Summer (The Boys Next Door, #1-2))
The world has been changing even faster as people, devices and information are increasingly connected to each other. Computational power is growing and quantum computing is quickly being realised. This will revolutionise artificial intelligence with exponentially faster speeds. It will advance encryption. Quantum computers will change everything, even human biology. There is already one technique to edit DNA precisely, called CRISPR. The basis of this genome-editing technology is a bacterial defence system. It can accurately target and edit stretches of genetic code. The best intention of genetic manipulation is that modifying genes would allow scientists to treat genetic causes of disease by correcting gene mutations. There are, however, less noble possibilities for manipulating DNA. How far we can go with genetic engineering will become an increasingly urgent question. We can’t see the possibilities of curing motor neurone diseases—like my ALS—without also glimpsing its dangers. Intelligence is characterised as the ability to adapt to change. Human intelligence is the result of generations of natural selection of those with the ability to adapt to changed circumstances. We must not fear change. We need to make it work to our advantage. We all have a role to play in making sure that we, and the next generation, have not just the opportunity but the determination to engage fully with the study of science at an early level, so that we can go on to fulfil our potential and create a better world for the whole human race. We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be and to make sure we plan for how it can be. We all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting, if precarious, place to be, and we are the pioneers. When we invented fire, we messed up repeatedly, then invented the fire extinguisher. With more powerful technologies such as nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and strong artificial intelligence, we should instead plan ahead and aim to get things right the first time, because it may be the only chance we will get. Our future is a race between the growing power of our technology and the wisdom with which we use it. Let’s make sure that wisdom wins.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
If you want to predict how happy someone is, or how long she will live (and if you are not allowed to ask about her genes or personality), you should find out about her social relationships. Having strong social relationships strengthens the immune system, extends life (more than does quitting smoking), speeds recovery from surgery, and reduces the risks of depression and anxiety disorders. It’s not just that extroverts are naturally happier and healthier; when introverts are forced to be more outgoing, they usually enjoy it and find that it boosts their mood. Even people who think they don’t want a lot of social contact still benefit from it. And it’s not just that “we all need somebody to lean on”; recent work on giving support shows that caring for others is often more beneficial than is receiving help. We need to interact and intertwine with others; we need the give and the take; we need to belong. An ideology of extreme personal freedom can be dangerous because it encourages people to leave homes, jobs, cities, and marriages in search of personal and professional fulfillment, thereby breaking the relationships that were probably their best hope for such fulfillment.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
[Lemaire] has been working on the thirteenth-root challenge for a number of years. Previously, his best time had been a sluggish 77 seconds. Afterward, he told the press, "The first digit is very easy, the last digit is very easy, but the inside numbers are extremely difficult. I use an artificial intelligence system on my own brain instead of on a computer. I believe most people can do it,but I also have a high-speed mind. My brain works sometimes very, very fast.... I use a process to improve my skills to behave like a computer. It's like running a program in my head to control my brain." "Sometimes," he said, "when I do multiplication my brain works so fast that I need to take medication. I think somebody without a very fast brain can also do this kind of multiplication but this may be easier for me because my brain is faster." He practices math regularly. So that he can think faster, he exercises, doesn't drink caffeine or alcohol, and avoids foods that are high in sugar or fat. His experience of math is so intense that he also has to take regular time off to rest his brain. Otherwise, he thinks there is a danger that too much math could be bad for his health and his heart.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
In Darwin's work, time moves at two speeds: there is the vast abyss of time in which generations change and animals mutate and evolve; and then there is the gnat's-breath, hummingbird-heart time of creaturely existence, where our children are born and grow and, sometimes, die before us...The space between the tiny but heartfelt time of human life and the limitless time of Nature became Darwin's implicit subject. Religion had always reconciled quick time and deep time by pretending that the one was in some way a prelude to the other - a prelude or a porlogue or a trial or a treatment. Artists of the Romantic period, in an increasingly secularized age, thought that through some vague kind of transcendence they could bridge the gap. They couldn't. Nothing could. The tragedy of life is not that there is no God but that the generations through which it progresses are too tiny to count very much. There isn't a special providence in the fall of a sparrow, but try telling that to the sparrows. The human challenge that Darwin felt, and that his work still presents, is to see both times truly - not to attempt to humanize deep time, or to dismiss quick time, but to make enough of both without overlooking either.
Adam Gopnik
The Sinsar Dubh popped up on my radar, and it was moving straight toward us. At an extremely high rate of speed. I whipped the Viper around, tires smoking on the pavement. There was nothing else I could do. Barrons looked at me sharply. “What? Do you sense it?” Oh, how ironic, he thought I’d turned us toward it. “No,” I lied, “I just realized I forgot my spear tonight. I left it back at the bookstore. Can you believe it? I never forget my spear. I can’t imagine what I was thinking. I guess I wasn’t. I was talking to my dad while I was getting dressed and I totally spaced it.” I worked the pedals, ripping through the gears. He didn’t even try to pat me down. He just said, “Liar.” I sped up, pasting a blushing, uncomfortable look on my face. “All right, Barrons. You got me. But I do need to go back to the bookstore. It’s . . . well . . . it’s personal.” The bloody, stupid Sinsar Dubh was gaining on me. I was being chased by the thing I was supposed to be chasing. There was something very wrong with that. “It’s . . . a woman thing . . . you know.” “No, I don’t know, Ms. Lane. Why don’t you enlighten me?” A stream of pubs whizzed by. I was grateful it was too cold for much pedestrian traffic. If I had to slow down, the Book would gain on me, and I already had a headache the size of Texas that was threatening to absorb New Mexico and Oklahoma. “It’s that time. You know. Of the month.” I swallowed a moan of pain. “That time?” he echoed softly. “You mean time to stop at one of the multiple convenience stores we just whizzed past so you can buy tampons? Is that what you’re telling me?” I was going to throw up. It was too close. Saliva was pooling in my mouth. How far behind me was it? Two blocks? Less? “Yes,” I cried. “That’s it! But I use a special kind and they don’t carry it.” “I can smell you, Ms. Lane,” he said, even more softly. “The only blood on you is from your veins, not your womb.” My head whipped to the left and I stared at him. Okay, that was one of the more disturbing things he’d ever said to me. “Ahhh!” I cried, letting go of both the wheel and the gearshift to clutch my head. The Viper ran up on the sidewalk and took out two newspaper stands and a streetlamp before crashing to a stop against a fire hydrant. And the blasted, idiotic Book was still coming. I began foaming at the mouth, wondering what would happen if it passed within a few feet of me. Would I die? Would my head really explode?
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
I reached into my bag and pulled out the macaroons, holding them between us. “Here. These are for you.” He glanced at the white bakery box, his frown even more severe than before. He didn’t take the box. “What’s in there?” The look of suspicion made me smile in spite of myself. “Cookies.” “Where’d you get them?” “I made them.” His expression cleared and he snatched the box from my hands. “You did? What kind?” “Macaroons.” “Coconut!” He’d ripped open the box with impressive speed, his eyes widening with what looked like elation. “Come to me,” he said reverently to the cookies. “I hate coconut,” Derek said conversationally, coming to stand next to me. “She didn’t bring them for you, did she?” Matt said, his head doing an unexpected, sassy bobbing movement. I rolled my lips between my teeth, breathing through my nose while my eyes bounced between the two men. “Maybe she will, next time.” Derek grinned at me. “I like chocolate.” Matt’s eyes cut to mine. “Are you making a mental note? You look like you’re making a mental note. Don’t. Don’t make a mental note. Don’t bring him cookies.” “Gentlemen.” I pasted on my best professional smile. “I will be happy to bring cookies, to you both, but first I need to see what you’ve been working on.” “Fine.
Penny Reid (Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6))
In good truth he had started in London with some vague idea that as his life in it would not be of long continuance, the pace at which he elected to travel would be of little consequence; but the years since his first entry into the Metropolis were now piled one on top of another, his youth was behind him, his chances of longevity, spite of the way he had striven to injure his constitution, quite as good as ever. He had come to that period of existence, to that narrow strip of tableland, whence the ascent of youth and the descent of age are equally discernible - when, simply because he has lived for so many years, it strikes a man as possible he may have to live for just as many more, with the ability for hard work gone, with the boon companions scattered, with the capacity for enjoying convivial meetings a mere memory, with small means perhaps, with no bright hopes, with the pomp and the circumstance and the fairy carriages, and the glamour which youth flings over earthly objects, faded away like the pageant of yesterday, while the dreary ceremony of living has to be gone through today and tomorrow and the morrow after, as though the gay cavalcade and the martial music, and the glittering helmets and the prancing steeds were still accompanying the wayfarer to his journey's end. Ah! my friends, there comes a moment when we must all leave the coach with its four bright bays, its pleasant outside freight, its cheery company, its guard who blows the horn so merrily through villages and along lonely country roads. Long before we reach that final stage, where the black business claims us for its own speecial property, we have to bid goodbye to all easy, thoughtless journeying and betake ourselves, with what zest we may, to traversing the common of reality. There is no royal road across it that ever I heard of. From the king on his throne to the laborer who vaguely imagines what manner of being a king is, we have all to tramp across that desert at one period of our lives, at all events; and that period is usually when, as I have said, a man starts to find the hopes, and the strength, and the buoyancy of youth left behind, while years and years of life lie stretching out before him. The coach he has travelled by drops him here. There is no appeal, there is no help; therefore, let him take off his hat and wish the new passengers good speed without either envy or repining. Behld, he has had his turn, and let whosoever will, mount on the box-seat of life again, and tip the coachman and handle the ribbons - he shall take that journey no more, no more for ever. ("The Banshee's Warning")
Charlotte Riddell
Keep in mind a distinction that is being imported into more and more scientific thinking, that between ‘complicated’ and ‘complex’. ‘Complicated’ means a whole set of simple things working together to produce some effect, like a clock or an automobile: each of the components – brakes, engine, body-shell, steering – contributes to what the car does by doing its own thing, pretty well. There are some interactions, to be sure. When the engine is turning fast, it has a gyroscopic effect that makes the steering behave differently, and the gearbox affects how fast the engine is going at a particular car speed. To see human development as a kind of car assembly process, with the successive genetic blueprints ‘defining’ each new bit as we add them, is to see us as only complicated. A car being driven, however, is a complex system: each action it takes helps determine future actions and is dependent upon previous actions. It changes the rules for itself as it goes. So does a garden. As plants grow, they take nutrients from the soil, and this affects what else can grow there later. But they also rot down, adding nutrients, providing habitat for insects, grubs, hedgehogs … A mature garden has a very different dynamic from that of a new plot on a housing estate. Similarly, we change our own rules as we develop.
Terry Pratchett (The Globe: The Science of Discworld II (Science of Discworld, #2))
On Easter Monday there was a great display of fireworks from the Castle of St. Angelo. We hired a room in an opposite house, and made our way, to our places, in good time, through a dense mob of people choking up the square in front, and all the avenues leading to it; and so loading the bridge by which the castle is approached, that it seemed ready to sink into the rapid Tiber below. There are statues on this bridge (execrable works), and, among them, great vessels full of burning tow were placed: glaring strangely on the faces of the crowd, and not less strangely on the stone counterfeits above them. The show began with a tremendous discharge of cannon; and then, for twenty minutes or half an hour, the whole castle was one incessant sheet of fire, and labyrinth of blazing wheels of every colour, size, and speed: while rockets streamed into the sky, not by ones or twos, or scores, but hundreds at a time. The concluding burst - the Girandola - was like the blowing up into the air of the whole massive castle, without smoke or dust. In half an hour afterwards, the immense concourse had dispersed; the moon was looking calmly down upon her wrinkled image in the river; and half - a - dozen men and boys with bits of lighted candle in their hands: moving here and there, in search of anything worth having, that might have been dropped in the press: had the whole scene to themselves.
Charles Dickens
About five miles back I had a brush with the CHP. Not stopped or pulled over: nothing routine. I always drive properly. A bit fast, perhaps, but always with consummate skill and a natural feel for the road that even cops recognize. No cop was ever born who isn't a sucker for a finely-executed hi-speed Controlled Drift all the way around one of those cloverleaf freeway interchanges. Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him ... and then he will start apologizing, begging for mercy. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do – when you're running along about 100 or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your tail – what you want to do then is accelerate. Never pull over with the first siren-howl. Mash it down and make the bastard chase you at speeds up to 120 all the way to the next exit. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker-signal that says you're about to turn right. This is to let him know you're looking for a proper place to pull off and talk ... keep signaling and hope for an off-ramp, one of those uphill side-loops with a sign saying "Max Speed 25" ... and the trick, at this point, is to suddenly leave the freeway and take him into the chute at no less than 100 miles an hour. He will lock his brakes about the same time you lock yours, but it will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180-degree turn at this speed ... but you will be ready for it, braced for the Gs and the fast heel-toe work, and with any luck at all you will have come to a complete stop off the road at the top of the turn and be standing beside your automobile by the time he catches up. He will not be reasonable at first ... but no matter. Let him calm down. He will want the first word. Let him have it. His brain will be in a turmoil: he may begin jabbering, or even pull his gun. Let him unwind; keep smiling. The idea is to show him that you were always in total control of yourself and your vehicle – while he lost control of everything.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
One way to get a life and keep it is to put energy into being an S&M (success and money) queen. I first heard this term in Karen Salmansohn’s fabulous book The 30-Day Plan to Whip Your Career Into Submission. Here’s how to do it: be a star at work. I don’t care if you flip burgers at McDonald’s or run a Fortune 500 company. Do everything with totality and excellence. Show up on time, all the time. Do what you say you will do. Contribute ideas. Take care of the people around you. Solve problems. Be an agent for change. Invest in being the best in your industry or the best in the world! If you’ve been thinking about changing professions, that’s even more reason to be a star at your current job. Operating with excellence now will get you back up to speed mentally and energetically so you can hit the ground running in your new position. It will also create good karma. When and if you finally do leave, your current employers will be happy to support you with a great reference and often leave an open door for additional work in the future. If you’re an entrepreneur, look at ways to enhance your business. Is there a new product or service you’ve wanted to offer? How can you create raving fans by making your customer service sparkle? How can you reach more people with your product or service? Can you impact thousands or even millions more? Let’s not forget the M in S&M. Getting a life and keeping it includes having strong financial health as well. This area is crucial because many women delay taking charge of their financial lives as they believe (or have been culturally conditioned to believe) that a man will come along and take care of it for them. This is a setup for disaster. You are an intelligent and capable woman. If you want to fully unleash your irresistibility, invest in your financial health now and don’t stop once you get involved in a relationship. If money management is a challenge for you, I highly recommend my favorite financial coach: David Bach. He is the bestselling author of many books, including The Automatic Millionaire, Smart Women Finish Rich, and Smart Couples Finish Rich. His advice is clear-cut and straightforward, and, most important, it works.
Marie Forleo (Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You'll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself!)
We've reached a point in human history where higher education no longer works. As a result of technology, higher education in its traditional college setting no longer works. It will never be effective or progressive enough to keep up with the growing needs of employers who look to college institutions for their future employees. I can appreciate the good intent the college system set out to achieve. For previous generations, the formula actually worked. Students enrolled into universities that were affordable, they gained marketable skills and they earned good jobs. Since there was a proven track record of success, parents instilled the value of college in their children thinking they would achieve the same success story they did, but unfortunately Wall Street was watching. Wall Street, the federal government and the college system ganged up and skyrocketed the cost of tuition to record highs. This was easy to do because not only did they have posters blanketing high schools showing kids what a loser they would be if they didn't go to college, they also had Mom and Dad at home telling them the same thing. This system - spending 4+ years pursuing a college education when the world is changing at the speed of light - no longer works and it's not fixable. We now have the biggest employer's market in human history, where employers have their pick of the litter, and because of this employees will get paid less and less and benefits will continue to erode.
Michael Price
When President Obama asked to meet with Steve Jobs, the late Apple boss, his first question was ‘how much would it cost to make the iPhone in the United States, instead of overseas?’ Jobs was characteristically blunt, asserting that ‘those jobs are never coming back’. In point of fact, it’s been estimated that making iPhones exclusively in the US would add around $65 to the cost of each phone – not an unaffordable cost, or an unthinkable drop in margin for Apple, if it meant bringing jobs back home.  But American workers aren’t going to be making iPhones anytime soon, because of the need for speed, and scale, in getting the product on to shelves around the world. When Apple assessed the global demand for the iPhone it estimated that it would need almost 9,000 engineers overseeing the production process to meet demand. Their analysts reported that it would take nine months to recruit that many engineers in the US – in China, it took 15 days. It’s these kind of tales that cause US conservative media outlets to graphically describe Asia as ‘eating the lunch’ off the tables of patriotic, if sleep-walking, American citizens. If Apple had chosen to go to India, instead of China, the costs may have been slightly higher, but the supply of suitably qualified engineers would have been just as plentiful. While China may be the world’s biggest manufacturing plant, India is set to lead the way in the industry that poses the biggest threat to western middle-class parents seeking to put their sons or daughters through college: knowledge.
David Price (Open: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future)
What else can you do with the law of gravitation? If we look at the moons of Jupiter we can understand everything about the way they move around that planet. Incidentally, there was once a certain difficulty with the moons of Jupiter that is worth remarking on. These satellites were studied very carefully by Rømer, who noticed that the moons sometimes seemed to be ahead of schedule, and sometimes behind. (One can find their schedules by waiting a very long time and finding out how long it takes on the average for the moons to go around.) Now they were ahead when Jupiter was particularly close to the earth and they were behind when Jupiter was farther from the earth. This would have been a very difficult thing to explain according to the law of gravitation—it would have been, in fact, the death of this wonderful theory if there were no other explanation. If a law does not work even in one place where it ought to, it is just wrong. But the reason for this discrepancy was very simple and beautiful: it takes a little while to see the moons of Jupiter because of the time it takes light to travel from Jupiter to the earth. When Jupiter is closer to the earth the time is a little less, and when it is farther from the earth, the time is more. This is why moons appear to be, on the average, a little ahead or a little behind, depending on whether they are closer to or farther from the earth. This phenomenon showed that light does not travel instantaneously, and furnished the first estimate of the speed of light. This was done in 1676.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. I: The New Millennium Edition: Mainly Mechanics, Radiation, and Heat: Volume 1)
In theory, if some holy book misrepresented reality, its disciples would sooner or later discover this, and the text’s authority would be undermined. Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If you used a time machine to send a modern scientist to ancient Egypt, she would not be able to seize power by exposing the fictions of the local priests and lecturing the peasants on evolution, relativity and quantum physics. Of course, if our scientist could use her knowledge in order to produce a few rifles and artillery pieces, she could gain a huge advantage over pharaoh and the crocodile god Sobek. Yet in order to mine iron ore, build blast furnaces and manufacture gunpowder the scientist would need a lot of hard-working peasants. Do you really think she could inspire them by explaining that energy divided by mass equals the speed of light squared? If you happen to think so, you are welcome to travel to present-day Afghanistan or Syria and try your luck. Really powerful human organisations – such as pharaonic Egypt, the European empires and the modern school system – are not necessarily clear-sighted. Much of their power rests on their ability to force their fictional beliefs on a submissive reality. That’s the whole idea of money, for example. The government makes worthless pieces of paper, declares them to be valuable and then uses them to compute the value of everything else. The government has the power to force citizens to pay taxes using these pieces of paper, so the citizens have no choice but to get their hands on at least some of them. Consequently, these bills really do become valuable, the government officials are vindicated in their beliefs, and since the government controls the issuing of paper money, its power grows. If somebody protests that ‘These are just worthless pieces of paper!’ and behaves as if they are only pieces of paper, he won’t get very far in life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
There is an inherent, humbling cruelty to learning how to run white water. In most other so-called "adrenaline" sports—skiing, surfing and rock climbing come to mind—one attains mastery, or the illusion of it, only after long apprenticeship, after enduring falls and tumbles, the fatigue of training previously unused muscles, the discipline of developing a new and initially awkward set of skills. Running white water is fundamentally different. With a little luck one is immediately able to travel long distances, often at great speeds, with only a rudimentary command of the sport's essential skills and about as much physical stamina as it takes to ride a bicycle downhill. At the beginning, at least, white-water adrenaline comes cheap. It's the river doing the work, of course, but like a teenager with a hot car, one forgets what the true power source is. Arrogance reigns. The river seems all smoke and mirrors, lots of bark (you hear it chortling away beneath you, crunching boulders), but not much bite. You think: Let's get on with it! Let's run this damn river! And then maybe the raft hits a drop in the river— say, a short, hidden waterfall. Or maybe a wave reaches up and flicks the boat on its side as easily as a horse swatting flies with its tail. Maybe you're thrown suddenly into the center of the raft, and the floor bounces back and punts you overboard. Maybe you just fall right off the side of the raft so fast you don't realize what's happening. It doesn't matter. The results are the same. The world goes dark. The river— the word hardly does justice to the churning mess enveloping you— the river tumbles you like so much laundry. It punches the air from your lungs. You're helpless. Swimming is a joke. You know for a fact that you are drowning. For the first time you understand the strength of the insouciant monster that has swallowed you. Maybe you travel a hundred feet before you surface (the current is moving that fast). And another hundred feet—just short of a truly fearsome plunge, one that will surely kill you— before you see the rescue lines. You're hauled to shore wearing a sheepish grin and a look in your eye that is equal parts confusion, respect, and raw fear. That is River Lesson Number One. Everyone suffers it. And every time you get the least bit cocky, every time you think you have finally figured out what the river is all about, you suffer it all over again.
Joe Kane (Running the Amazon)
5. Move toward resistance and pain A. Bill Bradley (b. 1943) fell in love with the sport of basketball somewhere around the age of ten. He had one advantage over his peers—he was tall for his age. But beyond that, he had no real natural gift for the game. He was slow and gawky, and could not jump very high. None of the aspects of the game came easily to him. He would have to compensate for all of his inadequacies through sheer practice. And so he proceeded to devise one of the most rigorous and efficient training routines in the history of sports. Managing to get his hands on the keys to the high school gym, he created for himself a schedule—three and a half hours of practice after school and on Sundays, eight hours every Saturday, and three hours a day during the summer. Over the years, he would keep rigidly to this schedule. In the gym, he would put ten-pound weights in his shoes to strengthen his legs and give him more spring to his jump. His greatest weaknesses, he decided, were his dribbling and his overall slowness. He would have to work on these and also transform himself into a superior passer to make up for his lack of speed. For this purpose, he devised various exercises. He wore eyeglass frames with pieces of cardboard taped to the bottom, so he could not see the basketball while he practiced dribbling. This would train him to always look around him rather than at the ball—a key skill in passing. He set up chairs on the court to act as opponents. He would dribble around them, back and forth, for hours, until he could glide past them, quickly changing direction. He spent hours at both of these exercises, well past any feelings of boredom or pain. Walking down the main street of his hometown in Missouri, he would keep his eyes focused straight ahead and try to notice the goods in the store windows, on either side, without turning his head. He worked on this endlessly, developing his peripheral vision so he could see more of the court. In his room at home, he practiced pivot moves and fakes well into the night—such skills that would also help him compensate for his lack of speed. Bradley put all of his creative energy into coming up with novel and effective ways of practicing. One time his family traveled to Europe via transatlantic ship. Finally, they thought, he would give his training regimen a break—there was really no place to practice on board. But below deck and running the length of the ship were two corridors, 900 feet long and quite narrow—just enough room for two passengers. This was the perfect location to practice dribbling at top speed while maintaining perfect ball control. To make it even harder, he decided to wear special eyeglasses that narrowed his vision. For hours every day he dribbled up one side and down the other, until the voyage was done. Working this way over the years, Bradley slowly transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in basketball—first as an All-American at Princeton University and then as a professional with the New York Knicks. Fans were in awe of his ability to make the most astounding passes, as if he had eyes on the back and sides of his head—not to mention his dribbling prowess, his incredible arsenal of fakes and pivots, and his complete gracefulness on the court. Little did they know that such apparent ease was the result of so many hours of intense practice over so many years.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
A wealth of research confirms the importance of face-to-face contact. One experiment performed by two researchers at the University of Michigan challenged groups of six students to play a game in which everyone could earn money by cooperating. One set of groups met for ten minutes face-to-face to discuss strategy before playing. Another set of groups had thirty minutes for electronic interaction. The groups that met in person cooperated well and earned more money. The groups that had only connected electronically fell apart, as members put their personal gains ahead of the group’s needs. This finding resonates well with many other experiments, which have shown that face-to-face contact leads to more trust, generosity, and cooperation than any other sort of interaction. The very first experiment in social psychology was conducted by a University of Indiana psychologist who was also an avid bicyclist. He noted that “racing men” believe that “the value of a pace,” or competitor, shaves twenty to thirty seconds off the time of a mile. To rigorously test the value of human proximity, he got forty children to compete at spinning fishing reels to pull a cable. In all cases, the kids were supposed to go as fast as they could, but most of them, especially the slower ones, were much quicker when they were paired with another child. Modern statistical evidence finds that young professionals today work longer hours if they live in a metropolitan area with plenty of competitors in their own occupational niche. Supermarket checkouts provide a particularly striking example of the power of proximity. As anyone who has been to a grocery store knows, checkout clerks differ wildly in their speed and competence. In one major chain, clerks with differing abilities are more or less randomly shuffled across shifts, which enabled two economists to look at the impact of productive peers. It turns out that the productivity of average clerks rises substantially when there is a star clerk working on their shift, and those same average clerks get worse when their shift is filled with below-average clerks. Statistical evidence also suggests that electronic interactions and face-to-face interactions support one another; in the language of economics, they’re complements rather than substitutes. Telephone calls are disproportionately made among people who are geographically close, presumably because face-to-face relationships increase the demand for talking over the phone. And when countries become more urban, they engage in more electronic communications.
Edward L. Glaeser (Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier)
I don’t like stories. I like moments. I like night better than day, moon better than sun, and here-and-now better than any sometime-later. I also like birds, mushrooms, the blues, peacock feathers, black cats, blue-eyed people, heraldry, astrology, criminal stories with lots of blood, and ancient epic poems where human heads can hold conversations with former friends and generally have a great time for years after they’ve been cut off. I like good food and good drink, sitting in a hot bath and lounging in a snowbank, wearing everything I own at once, and having everything I need close at hand. I like speed and that special ache in the pit of the stomach when you accelerate to the point of no return. I like to frighten and to be frightened, to amuse and to confound. I like writing on the walls so that no one can guess who did it, and drawing so that no one can guess what it is. I like doing my writing using a ladder or not using it, with a spray can or squeezing the paint from a tube. I like painting with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. I like drawing the outline first and then filling it in completely, so that there’s no empty space left. I like letters as big as myself, but I like very small ones as well. I like directing those who read them here and there by means of arrows, to other places where I also wrote something, but I also like to leave false trails and false signs. I like to tell fortunes with runes, bones, beans, lentils, and I Ching. Hot climates I like in the books and movies; in real life, rain and wind. Generally rain is what I like most of all. Spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain. Any rain, anytime. I like rereading things I’ve read a hundred times over. I like the sound of the harmonica, provided I’m the one playing it. I like lots of pockets, and clothes so worn that they become a kind of second skin instead of something that can be taken off. I like guardian amulets, but specific ones, so that each is responsible for something separate, not the all-inclusive kind. I like drying nettles and garlic and then adding them to anything and everything. I like covering my fingers with rubber cement and then peeling it off in front of everybody. I like sunglasses. Masks, umbrellas, old carved furniture, copper basins, checkered tablecloths, walnut shells, walnuts themselves, wicker chairs, yellowed postcards, gramophones, beads, the faces on triceratopses, yellow dandelions that are orange in the middle, melting snowmen whose carrot noses have fallen off, secret passages, fire-evacuation-route placards; I like fretting when in line at the doctor’s office, and screaming all of a sudden so that everyone around feels bad, and putting my arm or leg on someone when asleep, and scratching mosquito bites, and predicting the weather, keeping small objects behind my ears, receiving letters, playing solitaire, smoking someone else’s cigarettes, and rummaging in old papers and photographs. I like finding something lost so long ago that I’ve forgotten why I needed it in the first place. I like being really loved and being everyone’s last hope, I like my own hands—they are beautiful, I like driving somewhere in the dark using a flashlight, and turning something into something completely different, gluing and attaching things to each other and then being amazed that it actually worked. I like preparing things both edible and not, mixing drinks, tastes, and scents, curing friends of the hiccups by scaring them. There’s an awful lot of stuff I like.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)
Although Daisy was the mildest-tempered of all the Bowmans, she was by no means a coward. And she would not accept defeat without a fight. “You’re forcing me to take desperate measures,” she said. His reply was very soft. “There’s nothing you can do.” He had left her no choice. Daisy turned the key in the lock and carefully withdrew it. The decisive click was abnormally loud in the silence of the room. Calmly Daisy tugged the top edge of her bodice away from her chest. She held the key above the narrow gap. Matthew’s eyes widened as he understood what she intended. “You wouldn’t.” As he started around the dresser, Daisy dropped the key into her bodice, making certain it slipped beneath her corset. She sucked in her stomach and midriff until she felt the cold metal slide to her navel. “Damn it!” Matthew reached her with startling speed. He reached out to touch her, then jerked his hands back as if he had just encountered open flame. “Take it out,” he commanded, his face dark with outrage. “I can’t.” “I mean it, Daisy!” “It’s fallen too far down. I’ll have to take my dress off.” It was obvious he wanted to kill her. But she could also feel the force of his longing. His lungs were working like bellows, and scorching heat radiated from his body. His whisper contained the ferocity of a roar. “Don’t do this to me.” Daisy waited patiently. The next move was his. He turned his back to her, the seams of his coat straining over bunched muscles. His fists clenched as he struggled to master himself. He took a shuddering breath, and another, and when he spoke his voice sounded thick, as if he had just awakened from a heavy sleep. “Take off your gown.” Trying not to antagonize him any more than was necessary, Daisy replied in an apologetic tone. “I can’t do it by myself. It buttons up the back.” Matthew said something in a muffled voice that sounded very foul. After an eternity of silence he turned to face her. His jaw could have been cast in iron. “I’m not going to fall apart that easily. I can resist you, Daisy. I’ve had years of practice. Turn around.” Daisy obeyed. As she bent her head forward, she could actually feel his gaze travel over the endless row of pearl buttons. “How do you ever get undressed?” he muttered. “I’ve never seen so many blasted buttons on one garment.” “It’s fashionable.” “It’s ridiculous.” “You can send a letter of protest to Godey’s Lady’s Book,” she suggested. Giving a scornful snort, Matthew began on the top button. He tried to unfasten it while avoiding contact with her body. “It helps if you slide your fingers beneath the placket,” Daisy said. “And then you can pop the button through the—” “Quiet,” he snapped. She closed her mouth.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
If the interest of a scientific expositor ought to be measured by the importance of the subject, I shall be applauded for my choice. In fact, there are few questions which touch more closely the very existence of man than that of animated motors—those docile helps whose power or speed he uses at his pleasure, which enjoy to some extent his intimacy, and accompany him in his labors and his pleasures. The species of animal whose coöperation we borrow are numerous, and vary according to latitude and climate. But whether we employ the horse, the ass, the camel, or the reindeer, the same problem is always presented: to get from the animal as much work as possible, sparing him, as far as we can, fatigue and suffering. This identity of standpoint will much simplify my task, as it will enable me to confine the study of animated motors to a single species: I have chosen the horse as the most interesting type. Even with this restriction the subject is still very vast, as all know who are occupied with the different questions connected therewith. In studying the force of traction of the horse, and the best methods of utilizing it, we encounter all the problems connected with teams and the construction of vehicles. But, on a subject which has engaged the attention of humanity for thousands of years, it seems difficult to find anything new to say. If in the employment of the horse we consider its speed and the means of increasing it, the subject does not appear less exhausted. Since the chariot-races, of which Greek and Roman antiquity were passionately fond, to our modern horse-races, men have never ceased to pursue with a lively interest the problem of rapid locomotion. What tests and comparisons have not been made to discover what race has most speed, what other most bottom, what crossings, what training give reason to expect still more speed?
Etienne-Jules Marey
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live—that productive work is the process by which man’s consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one’s purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one’s values—that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others—that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human—that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind’s full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay—that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live—that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road—that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up—that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction. “Pride
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Instead, I gave them the only salute I could think of. Two middle fingers. Held high for emphasis. The six fiery orbs winked out at once. Hopefully, they’d died from affront. Ben eyed me sideways as he maneuvered from shore. “What in the world are you doing?” “Those red-eyed jerks were on the cliff,” I spat, then immediately felt silly. “All I could think of.” Ben made an odd huffing sound I couldn’t interpret. For a shocked second, I thought he was furious with me. “Nice work, Victoria.” Ben couldn’t hold the laughter inside. “That oughta do it!” I flinched, surprised by his reaction. Ben, cracking up at a time like this? He had such a full, honest laugh—I wished I heard it more. Infectious, too. I couldn’t help joining in, though mine came out in a low Beavis and Butthead cackle. Which made Ben howl even more. In an instant, we were both in stitches at the absurdity of my one-finger salutes. At the insanity of the evening. At everything. Tears wet my eyes as Sewee bobbed over the surf, circling the southeast corner of the island. It was a release I desperately needed. Ben ran a hand through his hair, then sighed deeply. “I love it,” he snickered, steering Sewee through the breakers, keeping our speed to a crawl so the engine made less noise. “I love you, sometimes.” Abruptly, his good humor cut off like a guillotine. Ben’s body went rigid. I felt a wave of panic roll from him, as if he’d accidently triggered a nuclear bomb. I experienced a parallel stab of distress. My stomach lurched into my throat, and not because of the rolling ocean swells. Did he just . . . what did he mean when . . . Oh crap. Ben’s eyes darted to me, then shot back to open water. Even in the semidarkness, I saw a flush of red steal up his neck and into his cheeks. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Shifted again. Debated going over the side. Did he really mean to say he . . . loved me? Like, for real? The awkward moment stretched longer than any event in human history. He said “sometimes,” which is a definite qualifier. I love Chinese food “sometimes.” Mouth opened as I searched for words that might defuse the tension. Came up with nothing. I felt trapped in a nightmare. Balanced on a beam a hundred feet off the ground. Sinking underwater in a sealed car with no idea how to get out. Ben’s lips parted, then worked soundlessly, as if he, too, sought to break the horrible awkwardness. A verbal retreat, or some way to reverse time. Is that what I want? For Ben to walk it back? A part of me was astounded by the chaos a single four-word utterance could create. Ben gulped a breath, seemed to reach a decision. As his mouth opened a second time, all the adrenaline in creation poured into my system. “I . . . I was just saying that . . .” He trailed off, then smacked the steering wheel with his palm. Ben squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head sharply as if disgusted by the effort. Ben turned. Blasted me with his full attention. “I mean it. I’m not going to act—
Kathy Reichs (Terminal (Virals, #5))
GRAHAM CRACKER CAKE Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. ½ cup salted butter, softened (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) ¾ cup white (granulated) sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 2 and ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 cup whole milk 1 cup chopped nuts (measure after chopping—I used walnuts)   8 and ¾ ounce can crushed pineapple WITH juice ¼ cup white (granulated) sugar Hannah’s Note: You can either crush your own graham cracker crumbs by placing graham crackers in a bag and rolling the bag with a rolling pin, crushing them in the food processor by using the steel blade, or you can buy ready-made graham cracker crumbs at the store. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle the inside with flour. Shake out excess flour. You may also use Pam spray for baking, which contains a coating of flour. Both will work well. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar, adding the sugar gradually with the mixer on MEDIUM speed. Add the vanilla extract and mix it in thoroughly. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating the first egg before you add the second. Add the baking powder and the salt, beating until they’re thoroughly mixed. Mix in half of the graham cracker crumbs with half of the milk. Beat well. Mix in the other half of the graham cracker crumbs with the remaining half of the milk. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chopped nuts by hand. Pour the Graham Cracker Cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake your cake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Take your cake out of the oven, turn off the oven, and place the cake on a wire rack to await its topping. In a saucepan on the stovetop, combine the contents of the can of crushed pineapple and juice with the white sugar. Cook the pineapple mixture over MEDIUM HIGH heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Turn the burner down to LOW and cook the pineapple mixture for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour the hot pineapple sauce over the hot cake. Cool in the pan. Serve the Graham Cracker Cake with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Joanne Fluke (Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #17))
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. ….. Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator: Il grande dittatore di Charlie Chaplin)
I try to catch my breath and calm myself down, but it isn’t easy. I was dead. I was dead, and then I wasn’t, and why? Because of Peter? Peter? I stare at him. He still looks so innocent, despite all that he has done to prove that he is not. His hair lies smooth against his head, shiny and dark, like we didn’t just run for a mile at full speed. His round eyes scan the stairwell and then rest on my face. “What?” he says. “Why are you looking at me like that?” “How did you do it?” I say. “It wasn’t that hard,” he says. “I dyed a paralytic serum purple and switched it out with the death serum. Replaced the wire that was supposed to ready your heartbeat with a dead one. The bit with the heart monitor was harder; I had to get some Erudite help with a remote and stuff--you wouldn’t understand it if I explained it to you.” “Why did you do it?” I say. “You want me dead. You were willing to do it yourself? What changed?” He presses his lips together and doesn’t look away, not for a long time. Then he opens his mouth, hesitates, and finally says, “I can’t be in anyone’s debt. Okay? The idea that I owed you something made me sick. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to vomit. Indebted to a Stiff? It’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. And I couldn’t have it.” “What are you talking about? You owed me something?” He rolls his eyes. “The Amity compound. Someone shot me--the bullet was at head level; it would have hit me right between the eyes. And you shoved me out of the way. We were even before that--I almost killed you during initiation, you almost killed me during the attack simulation; we’re square, right? But after that…” “You’re insane,” says Tobias. “That’s not the way the world works…with everyone keeping score.” “It’s not?” Peter raises his eyebrows. “I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine, people only do things for you for one of two reasons. The first is if they want something in return. And the second is if they feel like they owe you something.” “Those aren’t the only reasons people do things for you,” I say. “Sometimes they do them because they love you. Well, maybe not you, but…” Peter snorts. “That’s exactly the kind of garbage I expect a delusional stiff to say.” “I guess we just have to make sure you owe us,” says Tobias. “Or you’ll go running to whoever offers you the best deal.” “Yeah,” Peter says. “That’s pretty much how it is.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
5236 rue St. Urbain The baby girl was a quick learner, having synthesized a full range of traits of both of her parents, the charming and the devious. Of all the toddlers in the neighbourhood, she was the first to learn to read and also the first to tear out the pages. Within months she mastered the grilling of the steaks and soon thereafter presented reasons to not grill the steaks. She was the first to promote a new visceral style of physical comedy as a means of reinvigorate the social potential of satire, and the first to declare the movement over. She appreciated the qualities of movement and speed, but also understood the necessity of slowness and leisure. She quickly learned the importance of ladders. She invented games with numerous chess-boards, matches and glasses of unfinished wine. Her parents, being both responsible and duplicitous people, came up with a plan to protect themselves, their apartment and belongings, while also providing an environment to encourage the open development of their daughter's obvious talents. They scheduled time off work, put on their pajamas and let the routines of the apartment go. They put their most cherished books right at her eye-level and gave her a chrome lighter. They blended the contents of the fridge and poured it into bowls they left on the floor. They took to napping in the living room, waking only to wipe their noses on the picture books and look blankly at the costumed characters on the TV shows. They made a fuss for their daughter's attention and cried when she wandered off; they bit or punched each other when she out of the room, and accused the other when she came in, looking frustrated. They made a mess of their pants when she drank too much, and let her figure out the fire extinguisher when their cigarettes set the blankets smoldering. They made her laugh with cute songs and then put clothes pins on the cat's tail. Eventually things found their rhythm. More than once the three of them found their faces waxened with tears, unable to decide if they had been crying, laughing, or if it had all been a reflex, like drooling. They took turns in the bath. Parents and children--it is odd when you trigger instinctive behaviour in either of them--like survival, like nurture. It's alright to test their capabilities, but they can hurt themselves if they go too far. It can be helpful to imagine them all gorging on their favourite food until their bellies ache. Fall came and the family went to school together.
Lance Blomgren (Walkups)
MT: But you are. You are justifying it. RG: I'm trying to show that there's meaning at precisely the point where the nihilistic temptation is strongest today. I'm saying: there's a Revelation, and people are free to do with it what they will. But it too will keep reemerging. It's stronger than them. And, as we have seen, it's even capable of putting mimetic phenomena to work on its behalf, since today everyone is competing to see who is the most “victimized.” Revelation is dangerous. It's the spiritual equivalent of nuclear power. What's most pathetic is the insipidly modernized brand of Christianity that bows down before everything that's most ephemeral in contemporary thought. Christians don't see that they have at their disposal an instrument that is incomparably superior to the whole mishmash of psychoanalysis and sociology that they conscientiously feed themselves. It's the old story of Esau sacrificing his inheritance for a plate of lentils. All the modes of thought that once served to demolish Christianity are being discredited in turn by more “radical” versions of the same critique. There's no need to refute modern thought because, as each new trend one-ups its predecessors, it's liquidating itself at high speed. The students are becoming more and more skeptical, but, and above all in America, the people in power, the department chairs, the “chairpersons,” as they say, are fervent believers. They're often former sixties' radicals who've made the transition to administrative jobs in academia, the media, and the church. For a long time, Christians were protected from this insane downward spiral, and, when they finally dive in, you can recognize them by their naïve modernist faith. They're always one lap behind. They always choose the ships that the rats are in the midst of abandoning. They're hoping to tap into the hordes of people who have deserted their churches. They don't understand that the last thing that can attract the masses is a Christian version of the demagogic laxity in which they're already immersed. Today, it's thought that playing the social game, whether on the individual or the group level, is more indispensable than thinking…it's thought that there are truths that shouldn't be spoken. In America, it's become impossible to be unapologetically Christian, white, or European without running the risk of being accused of “ethnocentrism.” To which I reply that the eulogists of “multiculturalism” place themselves, to the contrary, in the purest of Western traditions. The West is the only civilization ever to have directed such criticisms against itself. The capital of the Incas had a name that I believe meant “the navel of the world.
René Girard (When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture))