Standards So High Quotes

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It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
God set His standards this high so that we won't make the mistake of aiming low. He made them unreachable so that we would never have the excuse to stop growing.
Alex Harris
Billy covered his head with his blanket. He always covered his head when his mother came to see him in the mental ward - always got much sicker until she went away. It wasn’t that she was ugly, or had bad breath or a bad personality. She was a perfectly nice, standard-issue, brown-haired, white woman with a high school education. She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone through so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
My darling, patient friends tell me that I'm still single only because I'm picky, and because I haven't met the right person yet. This would feel truer if I hadn't been shut down by quite so many wrong people that I, despite my allegedly high standards, chased after.
Katie Heaney (Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date)
Yet if women are so flighty, fickle, changeable, susceptible, and inconstant (as some clerks would have us believe), why is it that their suitors have to resort to such trickery to have their way with them? And why don't women quickly succumb to them, without the need for all this skill and ingenuity in conquering them? For there is no need to go to war for a castle that is already captured. (...) Therefore, since it is necessary to call on such skill, ingenuity, and effort in order to seduce a woman, whether of high or humble birth, the logical conclusion to draw is that women are by no means as fickle as some men claim, or as easily influenced in their behaviour. And if anyone tells me that books are full of women like these, it is this very reply, frequently given, which causes me to complain. My response is that women did not write these books nor include the material which attacks them and their morals. Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart's content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence. But if women had written these books, I know full well the subject would have been handled differently. They know that they stand wrongfully accused, and that the cake has not been divided up equally, for the strongest take the lion's share, and the one who does the sharing out keeps the biggest portion for himself.
Christine de Pizan (Der Sendbrief vom Liebesgott / The Letter of the God of Love (L'Epistre au Dieu d'Amours))
People are not uniform Emaline. There is no such thing as any other girl. So stop holding yourself to some ridiculous high standard, would you please?
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
....I understood why those who had lived through war or economic disasters, and who had built for themselves a good life and a high standard of living, were rightly proud to be able to provide for their children those things which they themselves had not had. And why their children, inevitably, took those things for granted. It meant that new values and new expectations had crept into our societies along with new standards of living. Hence the materialistic and often greedy and selfish lifestyle of so many young people in the Western world, especially in the United States.
Jane Goodall (Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey)
For many generations…they obeyed the laws and loved the divine to which they were akin…they reckoned that qualities of character were far more important than their present prosperity. So they bore the burden of their wealth and possessions lightly, and did not let their high standard of living intoxicate them or make them lose their self-control… But when the divine element in them became weakened…and their human traits became predominant, they ceased to be able to carry their prosperity with moderation.
Plato (Timaeus)
Besides, all evil is relative. Something that is evil at one level of evolution can be good at an earlier stage because it provides the essential stimulus for development. But you want to judge everything by your own standards. You have reached a comparatively high level and so you see what you fight against as evil. Just think of the others, those who are at an earlier stage of development. Do not bar them from the path toward progress and evolution.
P.D. Ouspensky (Talks With a Devil)
It's so screwed up, the standards...You should like it, but you shouldn't like it too much or talk about how much you like it. You should do it, but you shouldn't do it with too many people or talk about how much you're doing it. It's like there are so many rules, but none of them make sense.
Kody Keplinger (Shut Out (Hamilton High, #2))
That’s how it must be when someone’s standards are so impossibly high and their capacity for empathy so limited ; they are cruel to others, and cruelest to themselves.
Helen Hoang (The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3))
It occurs to me to wonder: do I believe in any god, or even positively not believe, as James does? I believe in systems and methods. I believe in the beauties of philosophy and poetry. I believe that the work we do and leave behind us is our afterlife; and I believe that history lies, but sometimes so well that I can't bring myself to resent it. I believe that truth is beauty, but not, I'm afraid, the reverse. It doesn't seem sufficient to sustain one in life's rigorous moments. Perhaps I shall embrace Islam. Its standards for poetry seem very high.
Emma Bull (Freedom & Necessity)
As Nietzsche wrote, “The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it—what it costs us.” Perhaps you will attain your goal, and a worthy goal at that, but at what price? Apply this standard to everything, including whether to collaborate with other people or come to their aid. In the end, life is short, opportunities are few, and you have only so much energy to draw on. And in this sense time is as important a consideration as any other. Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay. Power
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Unfairness – this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it – not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let’s be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don’t. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don’t get literary praise. It’s ok. I don’t look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It’s ok. Don’t let unfairness kill your spark
Chetan Bhagat
How happy is the lot of the mathematician! He is judged solely by his peers, and the standard is so high that no colleague or rival can ever win a reputation he does not deserve. No cashier writes a letter to the press complaining about the incomprehensibility of Modern Mathematics and comparing it unfavorably with the good old days when mathematicians were content to paper irregularly shaped rooms and fill bathtubs without closing the waste pipe.
W.H. Auden
A writer’s job is to tell the truth. His standard of fidelity to the truth should be so high that his invention, out of his experience, should produce a truer account than anything factual can be. For facts can be observed badly; but when a good writer is creating something, he has time and scope to make an absolute truth.6
Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms)
Nobody wakes up when they want to. Nobody did all of their reading (except maybe the crazy people who win the prizes...). We have these impossibly high standards and we'll probably never live up to our perfect fantasies of our future selves. But I feel like that's okay. We're so young. We're so young. We're twenty-two years old. We have so much time.
Marina Keegan
Of course, he showed me this one afternoon when he was skipping class. When trolls cut classes, you think they are losers. When the beautiful and/or reasonably erudite do the same thing to sit on the library steps and read poetry, you think they are on to something deep. You see only deep brown wavy hair and strong legs, well honed by years of Ultimate Frisbee. You see that book of T. S. Eliot poems held by the hand with the long, graceful fingers, and you never stop to think that it shouldn't take half a semester to read one book of poems... that maybe he is not so much reading as getting really high every morning and sleeping it off on the library steps, forcing the people who actually go to class to step or trip over him.
Maureen Johnson (Zombies Vs. Unicorns)
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour, ice-clad, outbound, a craft for a prince. They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear. I have never heard before of a ship so well furbished with battle tackle, bladed weapons and coats of mail. The massed treasure was loaded on top of him: it would travel far on out into the ocean's sway. They decked his body no less bountifully with offerings than those first ones did who cast him away when he was a child and launched him alone over the waves. And they set a gold standard up high above his head and let him drift to wind and tide, bewailing him and mourning their loss. No man can tell, no wise man in hall or weathered veteran knows for certain who salvaged that load.
Seamus Heaney (Beowulf)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
I don't life that Priscilla blaming herself when she did all that she could, all that anyone could, really. But I guess that's how it must be when someone's standards are so impossibly high and their capacity for empathy so limited. They are cruel to others, and cruelest to themselves.
Helen Hoang (The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3))
She has impossibly high standards.' 'So do you.' 'Yeah, well, not impossibly high. Someone did come along who meets them.' 'Your problem is thinking no one else ever will.
Eric Lindstrom
A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's? I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question -- such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? -- not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.
C.P. Snow
Lift the breasts high, but not so high that they tower over the men. They do not like it if a woman is taller than them. So shrink. Be young. Never ever grow old. Don't live, don't breed without permission, but always give pleasure.
K.P. Kulski (Fairest Flesh)
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better. Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing. Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever. Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them. Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides. Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not. Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to. Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced. Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real. There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body. I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body. And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap. You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real. Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me
Hanne Blank
And yes, I say, I do like girls. I don't pursue them, though, and there are a lot of reasons for that. It's gotten me in trouble before, but I also think I have ridiculously high standards because the whole dating, fooling around thing seems so complicated. And not in a good way. I hate obligations, and if you want to be with a girl, it's like you're expected to do certain things. And do them a certain way.
Stephanie Kuehn (Charm & Strange)
I find that some philosophers think that my whole approach to qualia is not playing fair. I don’t respect the standard rules of philosophical thought experiments. “But Dan, your view is so counterintuitive!” No kidding. That’s the whole point. Of course it is counterintuitive. Nowhere is it written that the true materialist theory of consciousness should be blandly intuitive. I have all along insisted that it may be very counterintuitive. That’s the trouble with “pure” philosophical method here. It has no resources for developing, or even taking seriously, counterintuitive theories, but since it is a very good bet that the true materialist theory of consciousness will be highly counterintuitive (like the Copernican theory--at least at first), this means that “pure” philosophy must just concede impotence and retreat into conservative conceptual anthropology until the advance of science puts it out of its misery. Philosophers have a choice: they can play games with folk concepts (ordinary language philosophy lives on, as a kind of aprioristic social anthropology) or they can take seriously the claim that some of these folk concepts are illusion-generators. The way to take that prospect seriously is to consider theories that propose revisions to those concepts.
Daniel C. Dennett (Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness (Jean Nicod Lectures))
History, of course, makes a president big news and the assassination of one more so. However, I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead: men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideals. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job--meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be over concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?
Charles Bukowski (Bukowski In The Bathtub: Recollections Of Charles Bukowski With John Thomas)
They didn’t become great guys by choosing the easy road. So meeting a woman who has high standards only makes them more attracted to her. They love women who have strong personal boundaries and are confident enough to know what they want and demand it. High-quality men always respect women who do not tolerate manipulative games and have solid standards. Those standards need to be realistic, of course. Some women have impossible standards.   Both
Brian Keephimattracted (F*CK Him! - Nice Girls Always Finish Single)
This would feel truer if I hadn’t been shut down by quite so many wrong people that I, despite my allegedly high standards, chased after. In any case, it’s a nice thought.
Katie Heaney (Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date)
The standards of beauty in America's über-culture are purposefully set too high so that we will buy anything in our frantic scramble to become attractive. We are meant to feel crushed, inadequate, and less-than so that we'll buy more and more things in the vain hope of "fixing" ourselves.
Kate Bornstein (Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws)
Because of that, she has some insanely high standard that she thinks we should all aspire to. I wonder how long it’ll take her to realize that the fictional men she adores so much are all written by women.
Catharina Maura (The Wrong Bride (The Windsors, #1))
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism — group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long. With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc. That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.
Noam Chomsky
It seems to be one of the fundamental features of nature that fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power, needing quite a high standard of mathematics for one to understand it. You may wonder: Why is nature constructed along these lines? One can only answer that our present knowledge seems to show that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe. Our feeble attempts at mathematics enable us to understand a bit of the universe, and as we proceed to develop higher and higher mathematics we can hope to understand the universe better.
Paul A.M. Dirac
It wasn’t that she was ugly, or had bad breath or a bad personality. She was a perfectly nice, standard-issue, brown-haired, white woman with a high-school education. She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
And whether or not the educators who are trying to raise up America's students can actually set and meet higher academic standards, our cultural values make their job next to impossible. It's so much easier for pundits and politicians to point out figures and blame the people who are in the trenches every day than it is to get in there with them, or even to find out what actually goes on in those trenches. It's so much easier for parents to blame teachers when their kids get in trouble than to do the heavy lifting required at home to keep kids on track. And it's so much easier for us as a nation to cross our fingers and hope that we'll "get lucky" with the innovative "solutions" being tested on America's schools today than it is for us to roll up our sleeves and invest our own time, talent, and money in the schools that are even now-- with or without us-- shaping our nation's future.
Tony Danza (I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High)
If you are interested in success, it’s easy to set your standards in terms of other people’s accomplishments and then let other people measure you by those standards. But the standards you set for yourself are always more important. They should be higher than the standards anyone else would set for you, because in the end you have to live with yourself, and judge yourself, and feel good about yourself. And the best way to do that is to live up to your highest potential. So set your standards high and keep them high, even if you think no one else is looking. Somebody out there will always notice, even if it’s just you.
John C. Maxwell (Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent)
Shorn of unattractive language about "robots" who will be producing taxes and not burglarizing homes, the general idea that schools in ghettoized communities must settle for a different set of goals than schools that serve the children of the middle class and upper middle class has been accepted widely. And much of the rhetoric of "rigor" and "high standards" that we hear so frequently, no matter how egalitarian in spirit it may sound to some, is fatally belied by practices that vulgarize the intellects of children and take from their education far too many of the opportunities for cultural and critical reflectiveness without which citizens become receptacles for other people's ideologies and ways of looking at the world but lack the independent spirits to create their own.
Jonathan Kozol (The Shame of the Nation)
To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer’s shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and ‘blended’ butter in an grocer’s; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
It goes something like this: I am one person among 6.5 billion people on Earth at the moment. That's one person among 6,500,000,000 people. That'a lot of Wembley Stadiums full of people, and even more double-decker buses (apparently the standard British measurements for size). And we live on an Earth that is spinning at 67,000 miles an hour through space around a sun that is the centre of our solar system (and our solar system is spinning around the centre of the Milky Way at 530,000 mph). Just our solar system (which is a tiny speck within the entire universe) is very big indeed. If Earth was a peppercorn and Jupiter was a chestnut (the standard American measurements), you'd have to place them 100 metres apart to get a sense of the real distance between us. And this universe is only one of many. In fact, the chances are that there are many, many more populated Earths - just like ours - in other universes. And that's just space. Have a look at time, too. If you're in for a good run, you may spend 85 years on this Earth. Man has been around for 100,000 years, so you're going to spend just 0.00085 percent of man's history living on this Earth. And Man's stay on Earth has been very short in the context of the life of the Earth (which is 4.5 billion years old): if the Earth had been around for the equivalent of a day (with the Big Bang kicking it all off at midnight), humans didn't turn up until 11.59.58 p.m. That means we've only been around for the last two seconds. A lifetime is gone in a flash. There are relatively few people on this Earth that were here 100 years ago. Just as you'll be gone (relatively) soon. So, with just the briefest look at the spatial and temporal context of our lives, we are utterly insignificant. As the Perspective Machine lifts up so far above the woods that we forget what the word means, we see just one moving light. It is beautiful. A small, gently glowing light. It is a firefly lost somewhere in the cosmos. And a firefly - on Earth - lives for just one night. It glows beautifully, then goes out. And up there so high in our Perspective Machine we realize that our lives are really just like that of the firefly. Except the air is full of 6.5 billion fireflies. They're glowing beautifully for one night. Then they are gone. So, Fuck It, you might as well REALLY glow.
John C. Parkin (F**k It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
These are among the people I've tried to know twice, the second time in memory and language. Through them, myself. They are what I've become, in ways I don't understand but which I believe will accrue to a rounded truth, a second life for me as well as them. Cracking jokes in the mandatory American manner of people self-concious about death. This is the humor of violent surprise. How do you connect things? Learn their names. It was a strange conversation, full of hedged remarks and obscure undercurrents, perfect in its way. I was not a happy runner. I did it to stay interested in my body, to stay informed, and to set up clear lines of endeavor, a standard to meet, a limit to stay within. I was just enough of a puritan to think there must be some virtue in rigorous things, although I was careful not to overdo it. I never wore the clothes. the shorts, tank top, high socks. Just running shoes and a lightweight shirt and jeans. I ran disguised as an ordinary person. -When are you two going to have children? -We're our own children. In novels lately the only real love, the unconditional love I ever come across is what people feel for animals. Dolphins, bears, wolves, canaries. I would avoid people, stop drinking. There was a beggar with a Panasonic. This is what love comes down to, things that happen and what we say about them. But nothing mattered so much on this second reading as a number of spirited misspellings. I found these mangled words exhilarating. He'd made them new again, made me see how they worked, what they really were. They were ancient things, secret, reshapable.The only safety is in details. Hardship makes the world obscure. How else could men love themselves but in memory, knowing what they know? The world has become self-referring. You know this. This thing has seeped into the texture of the world. The world for thousands of years was our escape, was our refuge. Men hid from themselves in the world. We hid from God or death. The world was where we lived, the self was where we went mad and died. But now the world has made a self of its own.
Don DeLillo (The Names)
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered. In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck. Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system […] is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called 'gifted' are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students. This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not. The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
Christopher Michael Langan
Living up to other people's expectations, limits your potential. You'll either find they are unreasonably high, or set so low you should consider it an insult. Only you should determine how far you're prepared to go and what you'll do to get there. And no one can lay claim when you achieve success. Don't worry about meeting the standard when you are the standard
Carlos Wallace (Life Is Not Complicated-You Are: Turning Your Biggest Disappointments Into Your Greatest Blessings)
I was raised in the Marine Corps and I was taught as a boy that you feed your own men before you feed yourself. It was my belief then, and it remains so today, that my platoon who loves and respect me will slaughter your platoon that hates you. But here is the great lesson I took from the plebe system—it let me know exactly the kind of man I wanted to become. It made me ache to be a contributing citizen in whatever society I found myself in, to live out a life I could be proud of, and always to measure up to what I took to be the highest ideal of a Citadel man—or, now, a Citadel woman. The standards were clear to me and they were high, and I took my marching orders from my college to take my hard-won education and go out to try to make the whole world a better place.
Pat Conroy (A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life)
When you feel disappointed, and you see it’s because you expected something from someone else, consider why it is that you often rely on others to make you happy. Why is your self-reliance so low? Does it maybe relate to how you were brought up, or to a past trauma? Do you have a strong need for approval or attention from others? If you often feel disappointed in yourself, ask why you hold yourself to such a high standard. Are your expectations reasonable? When you understand yourself better, you might find it easier to deal with disappointment, and to accept and love yourself.
Haemin Sunim (Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection)
I got some funny reactions, a lot of irate reactions, as if I were somehow taking people's fun away from them. I have nothing against sports. I like to watch a good basketball game and that sort of thing. On the other hand, we have to recognise that the mass hysteria about spectator sports plays a significant role. First of all, spectator sports make people more passive, because you're not doing them; you're watching somebody doing them. Secondly, they engender jingoist and chauvinist attitudes, sometimes to quite an extreme degree. I saw something in the newspapers just a day or two ago about how high-school teams are now so antagonistic and passionately committed to winning at all costs that they had to abandon the standard handshake before or after the game. These kids can't even do civil things like greeting one another because they're ready to kill one another. It's spectator sports that engender those attitudes, particularly when they're designed to organise a community to be hysterically committed to their gladiators. That's very dangerous, and it has lots of deleterious effects.
Noam Chomsky (The Quotable Chomsky)
The O.T.O. is an initiatory order similar to freemasonry. It doesn't provide educational monographs or standardized tests. Rather, it offers members the opportunity to experience a series of dramatic and magical initiations artfully designed to awaken and unfold the candidates' spiritual potentialities. If a member did nothing else with the O.T.O. career but undergo these degree experiences, they would be immeasurably rewarded. Serious members know, however, that there is much more to the O.T.O.'s magick than a two-hour ceremony performed once or twice a year. So profound are the Order's inner mysteries that to penetrate them requires not only a rich magical and spiritual education, but also a high level of meditative attainment. Members who wish to truly affiliate at this level are expected to seize responsibility for their own magical education and eventually rend the veil of the Order's mysteries for themselves.
Lon Milo DuQuette (My Life With the Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician)
Of course, his athletic record was good enough to have secured him a post on the staff of almost any school in the land, except the few where the standard is so high that besides the necessary athletics, some scholarship also is demanded.
E.R. Punshon (Information Received (The Bobby Owen Mysteries, #1))
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point, not to a small thing or a large one, but to a thing with no size at all, so that to it all the cosmic things are what they really are — of immeasurable stature. That the trees are high and the grasses short is a mere accident of our own foot-rules and our own stature. But to the spirit which has stripped off for a moment its own idle temporal standards the grass is an everlasting forest, with dragons for denizens; the stones of the road are as incredible mountains piled one upon the other; the dandelions are like gigantic bonfires illuminating the lands around; and the heath-bells on their stalks are like planets hung in heaven each higher than the other.
G.K. Chesterton (The Defendant)
It was his belief, furthermore, that this religion, so elevated and simple, had repeatedly been corrupted and debased by man, and especially outraged by idolatry; wherefore a succession of prophets, each inspired by a revelation from the Most High, had been sent from time to time, and at distant periods, to restore it to its original purity. Such was Noah, such was Abraham, such was Moses, and such was Jesus Christ. By each of these, the true religion had been reinstated upon earth, but had again been vitiated by their followers. The faith, as taught and practiced by Abraham when he came out of the land of Chaldea, seems especially to have formed a religious standard in his mind, from his veneration for the patriarch as the father of Ishmael, the progenitor of his race.
Washington Irving (Life of Mohammed)
Humans are a special breed with the rare ability to find laughter in darkness, horror in the light, hope amidst turmoil, and fear in times of peace. We are the contrarians, the restless ones, the pessimistic optimists, those who surprise ourselves with our own bravery when really we should expect it from each other. Our standards are so low and high at the same time that we manage to feel satisfied and dissatisfied in the same breath. And that, I realize, is what makes us worth saving. We may be far from perfect—and by far I mean the distance from one galaxy to the next—but that’s what makes life interesting. The good is only good because of the bad, and happiness all the sweeter because of the pain. We are brave; we are strong; we are despicable; we are scum; we are kind; we are mean; We are human.
David Estes (Burn (Salem's Revenge, #3))
This much is clear to me: insofar as I am capable of feeling such pleasures as I believe Nick felt, I am strong; insofar as I am dependent on the pleasures made available by my salary and the things I own, I am weak. I feel much more secure in those pleasures for which I am dependent on the world, as Nick was for most of his, than in those for which I am dependent on the government or on a power company or on the manufacturers of appliances. And I am far from conceding anything to those who assume that the poor or anyone else can be improved by recourse to that carnival of waste and ostentation and greed known as “our high standard of living.” As Thoreau so well knew, and so painstakingly tried to show us, what a man most needs is not a knowledge of how to get more, but a knowledge of the most he can do without, and of how to get along without it. The essential cultural discrimination is not between having and not having or haves and have-nots, but between the superfluous and the indispensable. Wisdom, it seems to me, is always poised upon the knowledge of minimums; it might be thought to be the art of minimums.
Wendell Berry (The Hidden Wound)
A neurosurgeon once told me about operating on the brain of a young man with epilepsy. As is customary in this kind of operation, the patient was wide awake, under only local anesthesia, while the surgeon delicately explored his exposed cortex, makingsure that the parts tentatively to be removed were not absolutely vital by stimulating them electrically and asking the patient what he experienced. Some stimulations provoked visual flashes or hand-raisings, others a sort of buzzing sensation, but one spot produced a delighted response from the patient: "It's 'Outta Get Me' by Guns N' Roses. my favorite heavy metal band!" I asked the neurosurgeon If he had asked the patient to sing or hum along with the music, since it would be fascinating to learn how "high fidelity" the provoked memory was, would it be in exactly the same key and tempo as the record? Such a song (unliken"Silent Night") has one canonical version. so we could simply have superimposed a recording of the patients humming with the standard record and compared the results. Unfortunately, even though a tape recorder had been running during the operation, thesurgeon hadn't asked the patient to sing along. ''Why not?" I asked, and he replied: "I hate rock music!' Later in the conversation the neurosurgeon happened to remark that he was going to have to operate again on the same young man. and I expressed the hope that he would just check to see if he could restimulate the rock music, and this time ask the fellow to sing along. "I can't do it." replied the neurosurgeon. "since I cut out that part." "It was part of the epileptic focus?" I asked. "No,'' the surgeon replied, ''I already told you — I hate rock music.
Wilder Penfield
1:16 — I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. We must never feel ashamed of our connection to Christ or the salvation He freely offers to all. It is a high privilege to represent Him, and we must do so with boldness and enthusiasm.
Charles F. Stanley (NASB, The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible)
Women rule each other. They say that behind every great man there's a great woman, and that may well be right, but behind that woman is a not-so-great one, bawling her eyes out. She's not crying because she didn't meet the man's standards; she's crying because the other woman made them too high
Lucy V. Morgan (The Whored's Prayer (Whored, #2))
Goodbye,Nick," she said, starting to close the door. "And thank you for stopping by." He accepted her decision with a slight inclination of his head, and Lauren made herself finish closing the door. She forced herself to walk away on legs that felt like lead, reminding herself at the same time how insane it would be to let him near her. But halfway across the living room she lost the internal battle. Pivoting on her heel, she raced for the door, yanked it open and hurtled straight into Nick's chest. He was lounging with one hand braced high against the doorframe, gazing down at her flushed face with a knowing, satisfied grin. "Hello,Lauren.I happened to be in the neighborhood and decided to drop by." "What do you want,Nick?" she sighed, her blue eyes searching his. "You." Resolutely she started to close the door again, but his hand shot out to stop her. "Do you really want me to go?" "I told you on Wednesday that what I want has nothing to do with it. What matters is what's best for me, and-" He interrupted her with a boyish grin. "I promise I'll never wear your clothes,and I won't steal your allowances or your boyfriends either." Lauren couldn't help starting to smile as he finished, "And if you swear never to call me Nicky again, I won't bite you." She stepped aside and let him in, then took his jacket and hung it in the closet. When she turned, Nick was leaning against the closed front door, his arms crossed over his chest. "On second thought," he grinned, "I take part of that back.I'd love to bite you." "Pervert!" she returned teasingly, her heart thumping so much with excitement that she hardly knew what she was saying. "Come here and I'll show you just how perverted I can be," he invited smoothly. Lauren took a cautious step backward. "Absolutely not.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Then there are those of us who are simply self-critical. Even without comparing ourselves to the world’s greatest, we set such high standards for ourselves that neither we nor anyone else could ever meet them—and nothing is more destructive to creativity than this. We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives. ​Chapter 13 Mastering the Commonplace Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences. To put it more starkly, it has robbed us of countless hours of the time of our lives. We awaken in the morning and hurry to get dressed. (Getting dressed doesn’t count.) We hurry to eat breakfast so that we can leave for work. (Eating breakfast doesn’t count.) We hurry to get to work. (Getting to work doesn’t count.) Maybe work will be interesting and satisfying and we won’t have to simply endure it while waiting for lunchtime to come. And maybe lunch will bring a warm, intimate meeting, with fascinating conversation. But
George Leonard (Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment)
Do you want to hold her?” Qhuinn asked. Xcor recoiled as if someone had inquired whether he’d like a hot poker in his hands. Then he recovered, shaking his head as he made a manly show of scrubbing his tears away like they were permanent marker on his cheeks. “I don’t think I’m quite ready for that. She looks…so delicate.” “She’s strong, though. She’s got her mahmen’s blood in her, too.” Qhuinn looked at Blay. “And she’s got good parents. They both do. We’re in this together, people, three fathers and one mom, two kids. Bam!” Xcor’s voice got low. “A father…?” He laughed softly. “I went from having no family, to having a mate, a brother, and now…” Qhuinn nodded. “A son and a daughter. As long as you are Layla’s hellren, you are their father, too.” Xcor’s smile was transformative, so wide that it stretched his face into something she had never seen. “A son and a daughter.” “That’s right,” Layla whispered with joy. But then instantly that expression on his face was gone, his lips thinning out and his brows dropping down like he was ready to go on the attack. “She is never dating. I don’t care who he is—” “Right!” Qhuinn put his palm out for a high five. “That’s what I’m talking about!” “Now, hold on,” Blay interjected as they clapped hands. “She has every right to live her life as she chooses.” “Yes, come on,” Layla added. “This double-standard stuff is ridiculous. She’s going to be allowed…” As the argument started up, she and Blay fell in beside each other, and Qhuinn and Xcor lined up shoulder to shoulder, their massive forearms crossed over their chests. “I’m good with a gun,” Xcor said like that was the end of things. “And I can handle the shovel,” Qhuinn tacked on. “They’ll never find the body.” The two of them pounded knuckles and looked so dead serious that Layla had to roll her eyes. But then she was smiling. “You know something?” she said to the three of them. “I really believe…that it’s all going to be okay. We’re going to work it out, together, because that’s what families do.” As she rose up on her tiptoes and kissed her male, she said, “Love has a way of fixing everything…even your daughter starting to date.” “Which is not going to happen,” Xcor countered. “Ever.” “My man,” Qhuinn said, backing him up. “I knew I liked you—” “Oh, for the love,” Layla muttered as the debate resumed, and Blay started laughing and Qhuinn and Xcor continued bonding. -Qhuinn, Xcor, Layla, & Blay
J.R. Ward (The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15))
[What is honor]—I suspect that if, after reading this book, you were to go and ask the question of your friends and acquaintances, you might experience some difficultly finding someone who could give you, off the cuff, an accurate and adequate definition of honor. Those who do respond will probably offer synonyms, digging into their memories for other words that are seldom used in today's world, like integrity, probity, morality, and self-sufficiency based upon an ethical and moral code. Some might even refine that further to include a conscience, but no one has ever really succeeded in defining honor absolutely, because it is a very personal phenomenon, resonating differently in everyone who is aware of it. We seldom speak of it today, in our post-modern, post-everything society. It is an anachronism, a quaint, mildly amusing concept from a bygone time, and those of us who do speak of it and think of it are regarded benevolently, and condescendingly, as eccentrics. But honor, in every age except, perhaps, our own, has been highly regarded and greatly respected, and it has always been one of those intangible attributes that everyone assumes they possess naturally and in abundance. The standards established for it have always been high, and often artificially so, and throughout history battle standards have been waved as symbols of the honor and prowess of their owners. But for men and women of goodwill, the standard of honor has always been individual, jealously guarded, intensely personal, and uncaring of what others may think, say, or do.
Jack Whyte (Standard of Honor (Templar Trilogy, #2))
In a democracy, so the saying goes, the people get the government they deserve. Part of Obama’s genius is a remarkable ability to soothe race consciousness among whites. Any black person who’s worked in the professional world is well acquainted with this trick. But never has it been practiced at such a high level, and never have its limits been so obviously exposed. This need to talk in dulcet tones, to never be angry regardless of the offense, bespeaks a strange and compromised integration indeed, revealing a country so infantile that it can countenance white acceptance of blacks only when they meet an Al Roker standard.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
It wasn't that Harry had gone down the wrong path, it wasn't that the road to sanity lay somewhere outside of science. But reading science papers hadn't been enough. All the cognitive psychology papers about known bugs in the human brain and so on had helped, but they hadn't been sufficient. He'd failed to reach what Harry was starting to realise was a shockingly high standard of being so incredibly, unbelievably rational that you actually started to get things right,as opposed to having a handy language in which to describe afterwards everything you'd just done wrong. Harry could look back now and apply ideas like 'motivated cognition' to see where he'd gone astray over the last year. That counted for something, when it came to being saner in the future. That was better than having no idea what he'd done wrong. But that wasn't yet being the person who could pass through Time's narrow keyhole, the adult form whose possibility Dumbledore had been instructed by seers to create.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Most curable sickness can now be diagnosed and treated by laymen. People find it so difficult to accept this statement because the complexity of medical ritual has hidden from them the simplicity of its basic procedures. It took the example of the barefoot doctor in China to show how modern practice by simple workers in their spare time could, in three years, catapult health care in China to levels unparalleled elsewhere. In most other countries health care by laymen is considered a crime. A seventeen-year-old friend of mine was recently tried for having treated some 130 of her high-school colleagues for VD. She was acquitted on a technicality by the judge when expert counsel compared her performance with that of the U.S. Health Service. Nowhere in the U.S.A. can her achievement be considered "standard," because she succeeded in making retests on all her patients six weeks after their first treatment. Progress should mean growing competence in self-care rather than growing dependence. 5
Ivan Illich (Tools for Conviviality)
Of course, I hated my fellow clerks one and all, and I despised them all, yet at the same time I was, as it were, afraid of them. In fact, it happened at times that I thought more highly of them than of myself. It somehow happened quite suddenly that I alternated between despising them and thinking them superior to myself. A cultivated and decent man cannot be vain without setting a fearfully high standard for himself, and without despising and almost hating himself at certain moments. But whether I despised them or thought them superior I dropped my eyes almost every time I met anyone. I even made experiments whether I could face so and so's looking at me, and I was always the first to drop my eyes.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
So you open your mouth and listen to yourself say, “I want eight thousand a day. Plus expenses.” This is the polite, industry-standard way of saying “piss off, I’m not interested.” You did the math over your morning coffee: You want to earn 100K a year, what with those bonuses you’ve been pulling on top of your salary. (Besides, a euro doesn’t buy what it used to.) There are 250 working days in a year, and a contractor works for roughly 40 per cent of the time, so you need to charge yourself out at 2.5 times your payroll rate, or 1000 a day in order to meet your target. Not interested in the job? Pitch unrealistically high. You never know… “Done,” says Mr. Pin-Stripe, staring at you expressionlessly. And it is at that point that you realize you are well and truly fucked.
Charles Stross (Halting State (Halting State, #1))
Go uses garbage collection (GC). Generally, people have one of two reactions to this. If you come from a high-level language, like Java, C#, Ruby, Python, or Smalltalk, then your reaction is likely to be “So what? It’s a standard language feature these days.” People coming from C or C++, in contrast, tend to regard GC as a decadent luxury and a sign of incompetence among programmers in general. Oh, and they also want you to get off their lawn.
David Chisnall (Go Programming Language Phrasebook, The (Developer's Library))
Winfree came from a family in which no one had gone to college. He got started, he would say, by not having proper education. His father, rising from the bottom of the life insurance business to the level of vice president, moved family almost yearly up and down the East Coast, and Winfree attended than a dozen schools before finishing high school. He developed a feeling that the interesting things in the world had to do with biology and mathematics and a companion feeling that no standard combination of the two subjects did justice to what was interesting. So he decided not to take a standard approach. He took a five-year course in engineering physics at Cornell University, learning applied mathematics and a full range of hands-on laboratory styles. Prepared to be hired into military-industrial complex, he got a doctorate in biology, striving to combine experiment with theory in new ways.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
No amount of black girl magic, no repeated proclamations of our worth can fully treat the wound – although acknowledging its persistence is a beginning. The ultimate remedy, as I see it is supernatural. I look daily toward heaven for restoration, for spiritual healing. My true identity isn’t rooted in our history, grievous and glorious as it is. It is grounded in my designation as a Child of God, the Daughter of the Great Physician. In His care I find my cure. My hope for you is the same one I carry for myself. I pray that amid the heartache of our ancestry you can grant yourself the grace so seldom extended to us. I pray that you can pass that compassion on to your children and to their children so that it slathers comfort on our sore spots. I pray that, as a people, we can give ourselves a soft place to land. I pray even as we rightly express our fury as being regarded as sub-human, that we don’t dwell in that space. That we don’t allow anger to poison our spirits. That we embrace love as our One True Antidote. I hope, too, that you recognize your specialness, the distinctiveness the Creator has imbued us with. I see you as clearly as history has, and in unison with it, I nod. I know that swivel in your hips, that fervor in your testimony, that ebullience in your stride, that flair in your song. The fact that others are constantly trying to diminish you, ever attempting to dismiss your talents even as they mimic you, is proof of your uniqueness! No one bothers to undermine you unless they recognize your brilliance. More than anything, I pray that you can carve out a purpose for yourself, a calling beyond your own survival, a sweet offering to the world. You gain a life by giving yours away. Not everyone is meant to raise a picket sign, and yet each of us can choose a path of impact. Rearing your children with affection and warmth is a form of activism. Honoring your word impeccably is a way to raise your voice. Performing your job with excellence, with your chin high and your standards higher is as powerful as any protest march. Sowing into the lives of young people is a worthy crusade. That is what it means to leave this world of ours more lit up than we found it. It’s also what it means to lead a magnificent life, even if an unlikely one.
Cicely Tyson (Just as I Am)
There can have been no doubt in Eleanor's mind as to what was expected of her as a wife. In her day, women were supposed to be chaste both inside and outside marriage, virginity and celibacy being highly prized states. When it came to fornication, women were usually apportioned the blame, because they were the descendants of Eve, who had tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden, with such dire consequences. Women, the Church taught, were the weaker vessel, the gateway to the Devil, and therefore the source of all lechery. St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: "To live with a woman without danger is more difficult than raising the dead to life." Noblewomen, he felt, were the most dangerous so fall. Women were therefore kept firmly in their place in order to prevent them from luring men away from the paths of righteousness. Promiscuity--and its often inevitable consequence, illicit pregnancy--brought great shame upon a woman and her family, and was punishable by fines, social ostracism, and even, in the case of aristocratic and royal women, execution. Unmarried women who indulged in fornication devalued themselves on the marriage market. In England, women who were sexually experienced were not permitted to accuse men of rape in the King's court. Female adultery was seen as a particularly serious offence, since it jeopardized the laws of inheritance. Men, however, often indulged in casual sex and adultery with impunity. Because the virtue of high-born women was jealously guarded, many men sought sexual adventures with lower-class women. Prostitution was common and official brothels were licensed and subject to inspection in many areas. There was no effective contraception apart from withdrawal, and the Church frowned upon that anyway: this was why so many aristocratic and royal bastards were born during this period.
Alison Weir (Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life (World Leaders Past & Present))
Like here it was that I entered that stage when a child overcomes naivite enough to realize an adult's emotional reaction as somethimes freakish for its inconsistencies, so can, on his own reasoning canvas, paint those early pale colors of judgement, resulting from initial moments of ability to critically examine life's perplexities, in tentative little brain-engine stirrings, before they faded to quickly join that train of remembered experience carrying signals indicating existence which itself far outweighs traction effort by thinking's soon slipping drivers to effectively resist any slack-action advantage, for starting so necessitates continual cuts on the hauler - performed as if governed lifelong by the tagwork of a student-green foreman who, crushed under on rushing time always building against his excessive load of emotional contents, is forever a lost ball in the high weeds of personal developments - until, with ever changing emphasis through a whole series of grades of consciousness (leading up from root-beginnings of obscure childish inconscious soul within a world), early lack - for what child sustains logic? - reaches a point of late fossilization, resultant of repeated wrong moves in endless switching of dark significances crammed inside the cranium, where, through such hindering habits, there no longer is the flexibility for thought transfer and unloading of dead freight that a standard gauge would afford and thus, as Faustian Destiny dictates, is an inept mink, limited, being in existence firmly tracked just above the constant "T" biased ballast supporting wherever space yearnings lead the worn rails of civilized comprehension, so henceforth is restricted to mere pickups and setouts of drab distortion, while traveling wearily along its familiar Western Thinking right-of-way. But choo-choo nonsense aside, ...
Neal Cassady (The First Third)
The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessnes.
Jules Henry
The real difference between the Marxian and the romantic Outsider is that one would like to bring heaven down to earth, the other dreams of raising earth up to heaven. To the Outsider, the Marxian seems hopelessly short-sighted in his requirements for a heaven on earth; his notions seem to be based on a total failure to understand human psychology. (Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Zamyatin’s We are typical expressions of Outsider criticism of social idealism.) Now George Fox combined the practical-mindedness of the Marxian with the Outsider’s high standard for a ‘heaven on earth’, and in so far as he was practical-minded, he failed to penetrate to the bottom of the Outsider’s ideal. What did he achieve? He founded the Society of Friends, a very fine thing in itself, but lacking the wearing-quality of older established sects; he conquered his Outsider’s sense of exile. And there we have it! As a religious teacher, he accepted himself and the world, and no Outsider can afford to do this. He accepted an essentially optimistic philosophy.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
And then come and join us in a toast. I'm about to whisk Lauren off to Las Vegas to get married. The plane is being refueled and checked out right now." "Does Lauren know about this?" Mary said, frowning. "She's downstairs in Jim's office, hard at work." "I'll convince her of the wisdom of the plan." "When the plane is airborne and she has no choice," Ericka put in with a knowing smile. "Exactly." Nick grinned in high good spirits. He had missed her so much that he'd called her three times a day, every day, like a lovesick schoolboy.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
Women are indoctrinated from infancy about beauty. We feel we must be Superwoman and have it all: beauty, brains, a good work ethic, great with children, a good cook. The list is long, isn’t it? I think it’s particularly hard for women to accept the unconditional love God offers. We are so used to being held to such a high standard—and failing—that we feel we can never measure up. What a blessing when we realize that we don’t have to. God loves us, warts and all. We are safe in his arms. Safe to tell him our dreams, our fears, our failings. Safe to relax in his unconditional love.
Colleen Coble (Safe in His Arms (Under Texas Stars, #2))
The term ‘political correctness’ has evolved out of the Marxist and Freudian philosophies of the 1930s to become a tool for multicultural-ism, multisexualism, multitheism, and multi-anythingism. It was created to discourage bias and prejudiced thinking that discriminates against an individual or group. It has become society’s way of not offending anyone, whether it is an individual, a group, or a nation. In many instances, however, it is a simple, disarming way of ignoring or deflecting the truth about a situation. Today, the use of political correctness has become so abused that anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to ‘politically correct think’ is immediately tagged with some form of disparaging label, such as racist and bigot. This exploitation has gotten so out of control that this name-calling accusation is used as a simple and mindless means to manipulate academic, social, or political discussion. The result is a social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression. It’s like living in a totalitarian state in which you are afraid to say what you think. Now who wants to suffer that? So people keep quiet. Their opinions are held captive to fear. How handy for the Islamo-fascists, the American-hating, Jew-killing, Israel-destroying, women-abusing, multireligious-intolerant Muslims. Oh! Excuse me. Did I say something not quite PC? This social paranoia is similar to the attitude that developed in the late 1980s and 1990s, when people became so concerned about children’s self-esteem that failure could not be acknowledged or misbehavior corrected. ‘Now, let’s not hurt their feelings’ was the standard approach. This degree of concern led to teachers giving passing grades for poor performance and youth sport activities where no one kept score. And what has been the fallout of all that psychobabble? High school kids who can’t read their diploma or make change for a dollar, internationally embarrassing scholastic performance scores, and young adults ill equipped to face the competitive lifestyle the world has to offer. They are left watching the television show The Apprentice, not competing to be an apprentice. America got itself into a mess by not upholding the high standards and expectations it once had, instead giving in to mediocrity; and we’re getting into a mess now with political correctness.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
Omnipotence is a status that is fragile at best. By its very own standard meaning of unlimited power, unlimited authority, unlimited presence, and unlimited meaning; it still follows within its own realm of self-defeat, being overwhelmingly defeated, unlimited defeat, being crippled, being negated, being surpassed, being unable to do, and etc. And of course, one can twist metalogic, add in paradoxes, add in metapotence, but it's usually as a means to maintain the belief of something so high, that it cannot be reached. Unfortunately, it's been reached, and it has been defeated by finite conditions.
Lionel Suggs
[WAIT—IT WON’T LET ME REDACT THESE LITTLE SUBHEADING THINGS? THAT’S SUPER ANNOYING!] [FINE, I’LL JUST GIVE YOU MY SUMMARY.] [SO, WHOEVER WROTE THIS WAS ALL BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-STELLARLUNE-SOMETHING-SOMETHING-LEGACY. BUT SERIOUSLY, NO ONE WANTS TO READ ABOUT THE CREEPY STUFF MY MOM DID BEFORE SHE GOT PREGNANT WITH ME! (AND WE’RE ALL SUPER SICK OF HEARING ABOUT MY “LEGACY,” AMIRITE?) SO, LET’S JUST LEAVE IT AT THIS: MY MOM IS EVIL. SHE THINKS SHE’S WAY SMARTER THAN SHE IS. AND NOTHING SHE DID IS GOING TO AFFECT MY GENERAL AWESOMENESS, OKAY?] A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY: [WOW, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH SUCH A CLEVER TITLE?!] [AND YEAH, I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. NOT SURE WHY ANYONE CARES. BUT IT DOES COME IN HANDY DURING MIDTERMS AND FINALS.] AHEAD OF THE GAME: [BASICALLY: I’M A GENIUS. I SKIPPED LEVEL ONE AT FOXFIRE. YES, YOU SHOULD BE IMPRESSED.] UNREASONABLY HIGH STANDARDS: [GOTTA ADMIT, I WAS TEMPTED TO LEAVE THIS ONE ALONE, SINCE WHOEVER WROTE IT ACTUALLY GOT THINGS PRETTY MUCH RIGHT. I GUESS EVEN THE COUNCIL KNOWS MY DAD’S A JERK WHO FREAKS OUT ALL THE TIME BECAUSE I’M NOT A LITTLE MINI-HIM. WHO KNEW?] A POWERFUL EMPATH: [UGH, THAT’S THE BEST YOU COULD DO FOR THIS SUBHEADING???] [HOW ABOUT “LORD OF THE FEELS”? OR “TRUST THE EMPATH”! OR “HE KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE FEELING—AND YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF”?] [OOO! I’VE GOT IT! “HE KNOWS FOSTER BETTER THAN YOU DO! BETTER THAN SHE EVEN KNOWS HERSELF!”] [THOUGH… KEEPING IT REAL? THE FOSTER OBLIVION CAN BE KINDA NOT COOL SOMETIMES.] THE HEART OF THE MATTER: [I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU GUYS NAMED A SECTION OF MY FILE AFTER MY FATHER’S SUPER-BORING BOOK—AND THEN RAMBLED ON FOR TWO PAGES ABOUT HIS SUPER-BORING THEORY!!!!!] [YOU DON’T NEED TWO PAGES ON IT. YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TWO SENTENCES. HERE’S ALLLLLL YOU NEED TO KNOW—BESIDES THE FACT THAT HE’S TOTALLY NOT THE FIRST PERSON TO COME UP WITH THIS (JUST THE ONE WHO LOVES TO TAKE CREDIT): OUR HEADS AND OUR HEARTS SOMETIMES FEEL DIFFERENT EMOTIONS, AND WHAT’S IN OUR HEARTS IS PROBABLY STRONGER.] [THAT’S IT!] [WELL… OKAY… I GUESS HE ALSO GOES ON A BIT ABOUT HOW EMPATHS PROBABLY ONLY READ THE EMOTIONS FROM THE HEAD.] [AND THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT HEART EMOTIONS BEING PURER BECAUSE NO ONE CAN CONTROL THEM.] [BUT THAT’S IT.] [AND DON’T TELL LORD BORINGPANTS I READ HIS DUMB BOOK! I MOSTLY SKIMMED.] PRANKSTER AND TROUBLEMAKER: [100 PERCENT ACCURATE. ALSO, I’M LEAVING YOUR LITTLE ATTACHED DETENTION RECORD BECAUSE IT’S THE GREATEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE!!!!]
Shannon Messenger (Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8.5))
Notwithstanding the wickedness of the antediluvian world, that age was not, as has often been supposed, an era of ignorance and barbarism. The people were granted the opportunity of reaching a high standard of moral and intellectual attainment. They possessed great physical and mental strength, and their advantages for acquiring both religious and scientific knowledge were unrivaled. It is a mistake to suppose that because they lived [83] to a great age their minds matured late; their mental powers were early developed, and those who cherished the fear of God and lived in harmony with his will continued to increase in knowledge and wisdom throughout their life. Could illustrious scholars of our time be placed in contrast with men of the same age who lived before the Flood, they would appear as greatly inferior in mental as in physical strength. As the years of man have decreased, and his physical strength has diminished, so his mental capacities have lessened. There are men who now apply themselves to study during a period of from twenty to fifty years, and the world is filled with admiration of their attainments. But how limited are these acquirements in comparison with those of men whose mental and physical powers were developing for centuries!
Ellen Gould White (Patriarchs and Prophets (Conflict of the Ages Book 1))
But historically the fourth dimension has been considered a mere curiosity by physicists. No evidence has ever been found for higher dimensions. This began to change in 1919 when physicist Theodor Kaluza wrote a highly controversial paper that hinted at the presence of higher dimensions. He started with Einstein's theory of general relativity, but placed it in five dimensions (one dimension of time and four dimensions of space; since time is the fourth space-time dimension, physicists now refer to the fourth spatial dimension as the fifth dimension). If the fifth dimension were made smaller and smaller, the equations magically split into two pieces. One piece describes Einstein's standard theory of relativity, but the other piece becomes Maxwell's theory of light! This was a stunning revelation. Perhaps the secret of light lies in the fifth dimension! Einstein himself was shocked by this solution, which seemed to provide an elegant unification of light and gravity. (Einstein was so shaken by Kaluza's proposal that he mulled it over for two years before finally agreeing to have this paper published.) Einstein wrote to Kaluza, "The idea of achieving [a unified theory] by means of a five-dimensional cylinder world never dawned on me...At first glance, I like your idea enormously...The formal unity of your theory is startling.
Michio Kaku (Physics of the Impossible)
Coopersmith’s study with adolescent boys indicates that children develop self-trust, adventuresomeness and the ability to deal with adversity if they are treated with respect and are provided with well-defined standards of values, demands for competence and guidance toward solutions of problems. The development of individual self-reliance is fostered by a well-structured, demanding environment, rather than by largely unlimited permissiveness and freedom to explore in an unfocused way. The research of both Stanley Coopersmith and Morris Rosenberg has led them to believe that pupils with high self-esteem perceive themselves as successful. They are relatively free of anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms, and can realistically assess their abilities. They are confident that their efforts will meet with success, while being fully aware of their limitations. Persons with high self-esteem are outgoing and socially successful and expect to be well received. They accept others and others tend to accept them. On the other hand, according to Coopersmith and Rosenberg, pupils with low self-esteem are easily discouraged and sometimes depressed. They feel isolated, unloved and unlovable. They seem incapable of expressing themselves or defending their inadequacies. They are so preoccupied with their self-consciousness and anxiety that their capacity for self-fulfillment can be easily destroyed.4
Janet Geringer Woititz (Adult Children of Alcoholics: Expanded Edition)
You’ve said, “You can lie or distort the story of the French Revolution as long as you like and nothing will happen. Propose a false theory in chemistry and it will be refuted tomorrow.” How does your approach to the world as a scientist affect and influence the way you approach politics? Nature is tough. You can’t fiddle with Mother Nature, she’s a hard taskmistress. So you’re forced to be honest in the natural sciences. In the soft fields, you’re not forced to be honest. There are standards, of course; on the other hand, they’re very weak. If what you propose is ideologically acceptable, that is, supportive of power systems, you can get away with a huge amount. In fact, the difference between the conditions that are imposed on dissident opinion and on mainstream opinion is radically different. For example, I’ve written about terrorism, and I think you can show without much difficulty that terrorism pretty much corresponds to power. I don’t think that’s very surprising. The more powerful states are involved in more terrorism, by and large. The United States is the most powerful, so it’s involved in massive terrorism, by its own definition of terrorism. Well, if I want to establish that, I’m required to give a huge amount of evidence. I think that’s a good thing. I don’t object to that. I think anyone who makes that claim should be held to very high standards. So, I do extensive documentation, from the internal secret records and historical record and so on. And if you ever find a comma misplaced, somebody ought to criticize you for it. So I think those standards are fine. All right, now, let’s suppose that you play the mainstream game. You can say anything you want because you support power, and nobody expects you to justify anything. For example, in the unimaginable circumstance that I was on, say, Nightline, and I was asked, “Do you think Kadhafi is a terrorist?” I could say, “Yeah, Kadhafi is a terrorist.” I don’t need any evidence. Suppose I said, “George Bush is a terrorist.” Well, then I would be expected to provide evidence—“Why would you say that?” In fact, the structure of the news production system is, you can’t produce evidence. There’s even a name for it—I learned it from the producer of Nightline, Jeff Greenfield. It’s called “concision.” He was asked in an interview somewhere why they didn’t have me on Nightline. First of all, he says, “Well, he talks Turkish, and nobody understands it.” But the other answer was, “He lacks concision.” Which is correct, I agree with him. The kinds of things that I would say on Nightline, you can’t say in one sentence because they depart from standard religion. If you want to repeat the religion, you can get away with it between two commercials. If you want to say something that questions the religion, you’re expected to give evidence, and that you can’t do between two commercials. So therefore you lack concision, so therefore you can’t talk. I think that’s a terrific technique of propaganda. To impose concision is a way of virtually guaranteeing that the party line gets repeated over and over again, and that nothing else is heard.
Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism)
It is often the case that people of noble character and great mental gifts betray a strange lack of worldly wisdom and a deficiency in the knowledge of men, more especially when they are young; with the result that it is easy to deceive or mislead them; and that, on the other hand, natures of the commoner sort are more ready and successful in making their way in the world. The reason of this is that, when a man has little or no experience, he must judge by his own antecedent notions; and in matters demanding judgment, an antecedent notion is never on the same level as experience. For, with the commoner sort of people, an antecedent notion means just their own selfish point of view. This is not the case with those whose mind and character are above the ordinary; for it is precisely in this respect — their unselfishness — that they differ from the rest of mankind; and as they judge other people's thoughts and actions by their own high standard, the result does not always tally with their calculation. But if, in the end, a man of noble character comes to see, as the effect of his own experience, or by the lessons he learns from others, what it is that may be expected of men in general, — namely, that five-sixths of them are morally and intellectually so constituted that, if circumstances do not place you in relation with them, you had better get out of their way and keep as far as possible from having anything to do with them, — still, he will scarcely ever attain an adequate notion of their wretchedly mean and shabby nature: all his life long he will have to be extending and adding to the inferior estimate he forms of them; and in the meantime he will commit a great many mistakes and do himself harm.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Counsels and Maxims (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer))
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))
Are you chuckling yet? Because then along came you. A big, broad meat eater with brash blond hair and ruddy skin that burns at the beach. A bundle of appetites. A full, boisterous guffaw; a man who tells knock know jokes. Hot dogs - not even East 86th Street bratwurst but mealy, greasy big guts that terrifying pink. Baseball. Gimme caps. Puns and blockbuster movies, raw tap water and six-packs. A fearless, trusting consumer who only reads labels to make sure there are plenty of additives. A fan of the open road with a passion for his pickup who thinks bicycles are for nerds. Fucks hard and talks dirty; a private though unapologetic taste for porn. Mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction; a subscription to National Geographic. Barbecues on the Fourth of July and intentions, in the fullness of time, to take up golf. Delights in crappy snack foods of ever description: Burgles. Curlies. Cheesies. Squigglies - you're laughing - but I don't eat them - anything that looks less like food than packing material and at least six degrees of separation from the farm. Bruce Springsteen, the early albums, cranked up high with the truck window down and your hair flying. Sings along, off-key - how is it possible that I should be endeared by such a tin ear?Beach Boys. Elvis - never lose your roots, did you, loved plain old rock and roll. Bombast. Though not impossibly stodgy; I remember, you took a shine to Pearl Jam, which was exactly when Kevin went off them...(sorry). It just had to be noisy; you hadn't any time for my Elgar, my Leo Kottke, though you made an exception for Aaron Copeland. You wiped your eyes brusquely at Tanglewood, as if to clear gnats, hoping I didn't notice that "Quiet City" made you cry. And ordinary, obvious pleasure: the Bronx Zoo and the botanical gardens, the Coney Island roller coaster, the Staten Island ferry, the Empire State Building. You were the only New Yorker I'd ever met who'd actually taken the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You dragged me along once, and we were the only tourists on the boat who spoke English. Representational art - Edward Hopper. And my lord, Franklin, a Republican. A belief in a strong defense but otherwise small government and low taxes. Physically, too, you were such a surprise - yourself a strong defense. There were times you were worried that I thought you too heavy, I made so much of your size, though you weighed in a t a pretty standard 165, 170, always battling those five pounds' worth of cheddar widgets that would settle over your belt. But to me you were enormous. So sturdy and solid, so wide, so thick, none of that delicate wristy business of my imaginings. Built like an oak tree, against which I could pitch my pillow and read; mornings, I could curl into the crook of your branches. How luck we are, when we've spared what we think we want! How weary I might have grown of all those silly pots and fussy diets, and how I detest the whine of sitar music!
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
His was the sort of physical beauty that attracted even as any great work of art ensnared the eye. One did not have to wish to own such a creation, often it was enough just to study and appreciate it. Only a little above average height, his form was well proportioned and well muscled, with not an extra jot of flesh. He had a fencer’s easy play of movement. But it was his face that first and last attached the eye. It was a lean countenance, the ivory white skin so taut across the fine bone structure as to appear to have been stretched to fit. Feature by feature, it was not a classic visage, but the sum more than compensated for the parts. His cheekbones were high and perhaps too pronounced. The nose was straight, a trifle too long and thin, the mouth not at all the full, plump standard of Greek statuary, for while well cut it was thin as well, and bore at times a half-quirked, sensuous smile. The eyes were long and almond-shaped and pulled down slightly at the corners, rather than tilting upward in classical fashion. But despite the astonishing thick, bright-silver-tipped gilt hair and slightly darker brows, it was the eyes that one’s gaze returned to again and again. From afar, or even in shadow, Lord North’s eyes were unexceptional save for their keen expression. But in clear light and up close it could be seen that they were extraordinary. For to speak with the nobleman from his right side, one would look for answer in his grave gray eye. Yet to approach him from the left, one would seek response from his cool blue orb. His eyes were not so dissimilar as to shock, but seeing him once, the viewer would be troubled by some nagging discrepancy and turn to search his face until his varicolored eyes were at last discovered, and the viewer amazed and enchanted. To see him once was to remember him forever, to hear his name was to recall him instantly. His reputation was as varied and colorful as his strange countenance. He was said to be a libertine, he was whispered to be beyond mere libertine.
Edith Layton (Lord of Dishonor)
Love Your Enemies 27“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic [2] either. 30Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
Sri Lankan Socioeconomics 101 If people stopped chasing after power and connections and realized that they have all the power they need within themselves, to create whatever they want with their lives: there will be more friendships than contacts, less gold-diggers, more marriages based on love, better family lives, stable and enriched childhoods leading to a well endowed, disciplined and better educated workforce. There will be loyalty and ingenuity and better standards of education. Abundance of well educated individuals => pressure to innovate =>increased entrepreneurship, improved economy.High functioning economy attracting more foreign capital => export surplus. Educated workforce + increased involvement in international business => pressure to improve foreign allies and foreign policy => pressure to improve transparency => decrease in corruption. So stop sitting around complaining about corruption and (with all due respect,) get off your ass and do something for yourself. Stop chasing after other people's power and chase after your own dreams and you will have all the power you need.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi
Maybe I've put too much high hopes and expectations on you, or started holding you to an unreachable standard." "That isn't fair," he says, his own breath coming quicker. He's starting to look less confused and more straight-up angry. Join the club, bud. "I probably should have told you before Geoffrey and Aiden, but I was excited, and you've been ignoring all my attempts to talk since UltiCon. And I really didn't think you would take the news this way. I thought it was a good thing and truthfully? I think you're overreacting." The little porcupine quills that I imagine live just beneath my skin, primed to shoot up and protect me at a moment's notice, are at the ready now. Except they feel more like Wolverine claws in this case, and Norberto Beneventi's about to feel their wrath. "Overreacting, huh? Love to hear that. Sorry I'm not over the moon, shooting rainbows out my eyeballs because I'm so delighted for you. Sorry I'm not a selfless little woman whose only goal in life is to see her man shine, that I have real feelings and ambitions for myself." "Reese, for the love of---" he shouts, throwing his hands up in the air and walking in a tight circle before returning to stand in front of me. He adjusts his cap with a long-suffering sigh. "You know what? I think you've been waiting for this. I think you figured out that there was more to say after our last conversation, and you know this is not that big of a deal, but you've been scared for so long, and angry, and the world's been unfair to you. And I bet whether you realize it or not, you've been waiting for the first excuse to get rid of me for good. You're used to being alone and it's easier than letting another person in, so all you needed was the smallest hint that something may not be perfect and boom---no more Benny. Am I right?" I scoff, moving to pass him for real this time and not stopping when his hand brushes my shoulder. "You just know me so well, don't you? Please, tell me more about how I'm feeling, why I do the things I do. But you'll have to send it in another message, because I don't have to stay here and listen to it." I hoist my bag farther onto my shoulder and stomp away from him, my own fury nearly blocking out his parting words. "Go on, then. Maybe you can move back across the country. See if running from your problems works the second time around.
Kaitlyn Hill (Love from Scratch)
By the way," he said, so casually that Lauren was instantly on guard, "a magazine reporter called me this morning. They know who you are and they know we're getting married. When the story breaks, I'm afraid the press will start hounding you." "How did they find out?" Lauren gasped. He shot her a glinting smile. "I told them." Everything was happening so quickly that Lauren felt dazed. "Did you happen to tell them when and where we're getting married?" she chided. "I told them soon." He closed his briefcase and drew her out of the chair in which she had just sat down. "Do you want a big church wedding with a cast of hundreds-or could you settle for me in a little chapel somewhere, with just your family and a few friends? When we come back from our honeymoon we could throw a huge party,and that would satisfy our social obligations to everyone else we know." Lauren quickly considered the burden a big church wedding would place on her father's health and nonexistent finances, and the highly desirable alternative of becoming Nick's wife right away. "You and a chapel," she said. "Good." He grinned. "Because I would go quietly insane waiting to make you mine. I'm not a patient man." "Really?" She straightened the knot in his tie so that she'd have an excuse to touch him. "I never noticed that." "Brat," he said affectionately.
Judith McNaught (Double Standards)
I wonder what kind of men we might encounter in Scotland.Perhaps the reason we have not found our anyone in England is because they have been waiting for us up north." Bryonwyn gave in to the compulsion to roll her eyes.Leave it to Lily to twist a situation into something positive-and related to love. "You will find admirers wherever you go.And you,too, Edythe, will be adored by many." Bronwyn added with confidence as she rose and went to the door, indicating that tonight's chat was over. Edythe shook her head. "Lily desires not a man, but an impossibility. A person just cannot be responsible and spontaneous at the same time." "Well,you drive all your men away with your seriousness," Lily countered, looking to Bronwyn for support as she strolled up to the door. Sighing,Bronwyn leaned against the jamb and picked up a lock of Lily's dark hair. "You,Lily,need to find a way to mature without losing your optimism,and Edythe,you set a standard so high and can be so critical of those who do not meet it." Edythe opened her mouth and then closed it as she joined Lily at the door. "And what about you?" she demanded. "And don't say you are alone because you lack beauty,for you could be quite pretty if you tried wearing something other than dreary colors and keeping your hair in a net all the time." "Unfair,because you know that I could do as you ask,change my clothes and hair,but it wouldn't matter.The kind of man I want doesn't want me," Bronwyn uttered matter-of-factly, making shooing motions to get them to leave.
Michele Sinclair (The Christmas Knight)
It is quite unfathomable why the EU leadership fails to anticipate these potentially catastrophic possibilities, and fails to respond to popular concerns with more moderate immigration policies. One possible explanation for these perverse policies that has been put forward by highly regarded scholars, such as Samuel Huntington, is that the current leadership of the EU is composed of left-wing authoritarians who are enemies of the Western liberal tradition. According to Huntington, “Multiculturalism is in its essence anti-European... "and opposes its civilization. The official repression of dissent and pursuance of unpopular policies by undemocratic means suggests that such ideologues wish to turn the EU into a centrally controlled empire similar to the Soviet Union. If that is the case, then their current policies make a good deal of sense, in that they flood the continent with people who have lived under autocratic regimes and never lived in democratic republics. Such people may well be willing to tolerate repressive regimes provided they can maintain a moderate standard of living and their own traditional religious practices. As Hunnngton points out, imperial regimes often promote ethnic conflict among their minority citizens to strengthen the power of the central authority, with the not unrealistic claim that a powerful central authority is essential to maintain civil order. But if that is the case, then Europe will be transformed into an authoritarian and illiberal multiethnic empire, undemocratic, economically crippled and culturally retrograde. Is it any wonder that so many see Europe as committing suicide and its end coming "not with a bang, but a whimper?
Byron M. Roth (The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature)
If you want to make money at some point, remember this, because this is one of the reasons startups win. Big companies want to decrease the standard deviation of design outcomes because they want to avoid disasters. But when you damp oscillations, you lose the high points as well as the low. This is not a problem for big companies, because they don't win by making great products. Big companies win by sucking less than other big companies.” - “The place to fight design wars is in new markets, where no one has yet managed to establish any fortifications. That's where you can win big by taking the bold approach to design, and having the same people both design and implement the product. Microsoft themselves did this at the start. So did Apple. And Hewlett- Packard. I suspect almost every successful startup has.” - “Great software, likewise, requires a fanatical devotion to beauty. If you look inside good software, you find that parts no one is ever supposed to see are beautiful too.” - “The right way to collaborate, I think, is to divide projects into sharply defined modules, each with a definite owner, and with interfaces between them that are as carefully designed and, if possible, as articulated as programming languages. Like painting, most software is intended for a human audience. And so hackers, like painters, must have empathy to do really great work. You have to be able to see things from the user's point of view.” - “It turns out that looking at things from other people's point of view is practically the secret of success.” - “Part of what software has to do is explain itself. So to write good software you have to understand how little users understand. They're going to walk up to the software with no preparation, and it had better do what they guess it will, because they're not going to read the manual.
Paul Graham (Hackers and Painters)
Thoughts for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review If you had been a security policy-maker in the world’s greatest power in 1900, you would have been a Brit, looking warily at your age-old enemy, France. By 1910, you would be allied with France and your enemy would be Germany. By 1920, World War I would have been fought and won, and you’d be engaged in a naval arms race with your erstwhile allies, the U.S. and Japan. By 1930, naval arms limitation treaties were in effect, the Great Depression was underway, and the defense planning standard said ‘no war for ten years.’ Nine years later World War II had begun. By 1950, Britain no longer was the world’s greatest power, the Atomic Age had dawned, and a ‘police action’ was underway in Korea. Ten years later the political focus was on the ‘missile gap,’ the strategic paradigm was shifting from massive retaliation to flexible response, and few people had heard of Vietnam. By 1970, the peak of our involvement in Vietnam had come and gone, we were beginning détente with the Soviets, and we were anointing the Shah as our protégé in the Gulf region. By 1980, the Soviets were in Afghanistan, Iran was in the throes of revolution, there was talk of our ‘hollow forces’ and a ‘window of vulnerability,’ and the U.S. was the greatest creditor nation the world had ever seen. By 1990, the Soviet Union was within a year of dissolution, American forces in the Desert were on the verge of showing they were anything but hollow, the U.S. had become the greatest debtor nation the world had ever known, and almost no one had heard of the internet. Ten years later, Warsaw was the capital of a NATO nation, asymmetric threats transcended geography, and the parallel revolutions of information, biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, and high density energy sources foreshadowed changes almost beyond forecasting. All of which is to say that I’m not sure what 2010 will look like, but I’m sure that it will be very little like we expect, so we should plan accordingly. Lin Wells
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Television* means ‘to see from a distance’. The desire in man to do so has been there for ages. In the early years of the twentieth century many scientists experimented with the idea of using selenium photosensitive cells for converting light from pictures into electrical signals and transmitting them through wires. The first demonstration of actual television was given by J.L. Baird in UK and C.F. Jenkins in USA around 1927 by using the technique of mechanical scanning employing rotating discs.However, the real breakthrough occurred with the invention of the cathode ray tube and the success of V.K. Zworykin of the USA in perfecting the first camera tube (the iconoscope) based on the storage principle. By 1930 electromagnetic scanning of both camera and picture tubes and other ancillary circuits such as for beam deflection, video amplification, etc. were developed. Though television broadcast started in 1935, world political developments and the second world war slowed down the progress of television. With the end of the war, television rapidly grew into a popular medium for dispersion of news and mass entertainment. Television Systems At the outset, in the absence of any international standards, three monochrome (i.e. black and white) systems grew independently. These are the 525 line American, the 625 line European and the 819 line French systems. This naturally prevents direct exchange of programme between countries using different television standards.Later, efforts by the all world committee on radio and television (CCIR) for changing to a common 625 line system by all concerned proved ineffective and thus all the three systems have apparently come to stay. The inability to change over to a common system is mainly due to the high cost of replacing both the transmitting equipment and the millions of receivers already in use. However the UK, where initially a 415 line monochrome system was in use, has changed to the 625 line system with some modification in the channel bandwidth. In India, where television transmission started in 1959, the 625-B monochrome system has been adopted.
Anonymous
The Deliverator's car has enough potential energy packed into its batteries to fire a pound of bacon into the Asteroid Belt. Unlike a bimbo box or a Burb beater, the Deliverator's car unloads that power through gaping, gleaming, polished sphincters. When the Deliverator puts the hammer down, shit happens. You want to talk contact patches? Your car's tires have tiny contact patches, talk to the asphalt in four places the size of your tongue. The Deliverator's car has big sticky tires with contact patches the size of a fat lady's thighs. The Deliverator is in touch with the road, starts like a bad day, stops on a peseta. Why is the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a role model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it -- talking trade balances here -- once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here -- once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel -- once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity -- y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else: * music * movies * microcode (software) * high-speed pizza delivery The Deliverator used to make software. Still does, sometimes. But if life were a mellow elementary school run by well-meaning education Ph.D.s, the Deliverator's report card would say: "Hiro is so bright and creative but needs to work harder on his cooperation skills." So now he has this other job. No brightness or creativity involved -- but no cooperation either. Just a single principle: The Deliverator stands tall, your pie in thirty minutes or you can have it free, shoot the driver, take his car, file a class-action suit. The Deliverator has been working this job for six months, a rich and lengthy tenure by his standards, and has never delivered a pizza in more than twenty-one minutes.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
ELEANOR OLSON’S OATMEAL COOKIES Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, ½ pound) salted butter, softened 1 cup brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 1 cup white (granulated) sugar 2 eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 and ½ cups flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it) 3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (I used Quaker Quick 1-Minute) ½ cup chopped nuts (optional) (Eleanor used walnuts) ½ cup raisins or another small, fairly soft sweet treat (optional) Hannah’s 1st Note: The optional fruit or sweet treats are raisins, any dried fruit chopped into pieces, small bites of fruit like pineapple or apple, or small soft candies like M&M’s, Milk Duds, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or any other flavored chips. Lisa and I even used Sugar Babies once—they’re chocolate-covered caramel nuggets—and everyone was crazy about them. You can also use larger candies if you push one in the center of each cookie. Here, as in so many recipes, you are only limited by the selection your store has to offer and your own imagination. Hannah’s 2nd Note: These cookies are very quick and easy to make with an electric mixer. Of course you can also mix them by hand. Mix the softened butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on HIGH speed until they’re light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and mix them in on MEDIUM speed. Turn the mixer down to LOW speed and add the vanilla extract, the salt, and the baking soda. Mix well. Add the flour in half-cup increments, beating on MEDIUM speed after each addition. With the mixer on LOW speed, add the oatmeal. Then add the optional nuts, and/or the optional fruit or sweet treat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, take the bowl out of the mixer, and give the cookie dough a final stir by hand. Let it sit, uncovered, on the counter while you prepare your cookie sheets. Spray your cookie sheets with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Alternatively, you can line them with parchment paper and spray that lightly with cooking spray. Get out a tablespoon from your silverware drawer. Wet it under the faucet so that the dough won’t stick to it, and scoop up a rounded Tablespoon of dough. Drop it in mounds on the cookie sheet, 12 mounds to a standard-size sheet. Bake Eleanor Olson’s Oatmeal Cookies at 350 degrees F. for 9 to 11 minutes, or until they’re nice and golden on top. (Mine took 10 minutes.) Yield: Approximately 3 dozen chewy, satisfying oatmeal cookies.
Joanne Fluke (Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen, #15))
Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the highly competitive P.S. 334, the Anderson School on West 84th in New York City. Slim as they get, Thomas recently had his long sandy-blond hair cut short to look like the new James Bond (he took a photo of Daniel Craig to the barber). Unlike Bond, he prefers a uniform of cargo pants and a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of one of his heroes: Frank Zappa. Thomas hangs out with five friends from the Anderson School. They are “the smart kids.” Thomas is one of them, and he likes belonging. Since Thomas could walk, he has constantly heard that he’s smart. Not just from his parents but from any adult who has come in contact with this precocious child. When he applied to Anderson for kindergarten, his intelligence was statistically confirmed. The school is reserved for the top 1 percent of all applicants, and an IQ test is required. Thomas didn’t just score in the top 1 percent. He scored in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. But as Thomas has progressed through school, this self-awareness that he’s smart hasn’t always translated into fearless confidence when attacking his schoolwork. In fact, Thomas’s father noticed just the opposite. “Thomas didn’t want to try things he wouldn’t be successful at,” his father says. “Some things came very quickly to him, but when they didn’t, he gave up almost immediately, concluding, ‘I’m not good at this.’ ” With no more than a glance, Thomas was dividing the world into two—things he was naturally good at and things he wasn’t. For instance, in the early grades, Thomas wasn’t very good at spelling, so he simply demurred from spelling out loud. When Thomas took his first look at fractions, he balked. The biggest hurdle came in third grade. He was supposed to learn cursive penmanship, but he wouldn’t even try for weeks. By then, his teacher was demanding homework be completed in cursive. Rather than play catch-up on his penmanship, Thomas refused outright. Thomas’s father tried to reason with him. “Look, just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you don’t have to put out some effort.” (Eventually, Thomas mastered cursive, but not without a lot of cajoling from his father.) Why does this child, who is measurably at the very top of the charts, lack confidence about his ability to tackle routine school challenges? Thomas is not alone. For a few decades, it’s been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students (those who score in the top 10 percent on aptitude tests) severely underestimate their own abilities. Those afflicted with this lack of perceived competence adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent.
Po Bronson (NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children)
In opting for large scale, Korean state planners got much of what they bargained for. Korean companies today compete globally with the Americans and Japanese in highly capital-intensive sectors like semiconductors, aerospace, consumer electronics, and automobiles, where they are far ahead of most Taiwanese or Hong Kong companies. Unlike Southeast Asia, the Koreans have moved into these sectors not primarily through joint ventures where the foreign partner has provided a turnkey assembly plant but through their own indigenous organizations. So successful have the Koreans been that many Japanese companies feel relentlessly dogged by Korean competitors in areas like semiconductors and steel. The chief advantage that large-scale chaebol organizations would appear to provide is the ability of the group to enter new industries and to ramp up to efficient production quickly through the exploitation of economies of scope.70 Does this mean, then, that cultural factors like social capital and spontaneous sociability are not, in the end, all that important, since a state can intervene to fill the gap left by culture? The answer is no, for several reasons. In the first place, not every state is culturally competent to run as effective an industrial policy as Korea is. The massive subsidies and benefits handed out to Korean corporations over the years could instead have led to enormous abuse, corruption, and misallocation of investment funds. Had President Park and his economic bureaucrats been subject to political pressures to do what was expedient rather than what they believed was economically beneficial, if they had not been as export oriented, or if they had simply been more consumption oriented and corrupt, Korea today would probably look much more like the Philippines. The Korean economic and political scene was in fact closer to that of the Philippines under Syngman Rhee in the 1950s. Park Chung Hee, for all his faults, led a disciplined and spartan personal lifestyle and had a clear vision of where he wanted the country to go economically. He played favorites and tolerated a considerable degree of corruption, but all within reasonable bounds by the standards of other developing countries. He did not waste money personally and kept the business elite from putting their resources into Swiss villas and long vacations on the Riviera.71 Park was a dictator who established a nasty authoritarian political system, but as an economic leader he did much better. The same power over the economy in different hands could have led to disaster. There are other economic drawbacks to state promotion of large-scale industry. The most common critique made by market-oriented economists is that because the investment was government rather than market driven, South Korea has acquired a series of white elephant industries such as shipbuilding, petrochemicals, and heavy manufacturing. In an age that rewards downsizing and nimbleness, the Koreans have created a series of centralized and inflexible corporations that will gradually lose their low-wage competitive edge. Some cite Taiwan’s somewhat higher overall rate of economic growth in the postwar period as evidence of the superior efficiency of a smaller, more competitive industrial structure.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
Can't Hold Us Down" (feat. Lil' Kim) So what am I not supposed to have an opinion Should I be quiet just because I'm a woman Call me a bitch cos I speak what's on my mind Guess it's easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled When a female fires back Suddenly big talker don't know how to act So he does what any little boy would do Making up a few false rumors or two That for sure is not a man to me Slanderin' names for popularity It's sad you only get your fame through controversy But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Shout out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave them proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down Nobody can hold us down Nobody can hold us down Nobody can hold us down Never can, never will So what am I not supposed to say what I'm saying Are you offended by the message I'm bringing Call me whatever cos your words don't mean a thing Guess you ain't even a man enough to handle what I sing If you look back in history It's a common double standard of society The guy gets all the glory the more he can score While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore I don't understand why it's okay The guy can get away with it & the girl gets named All my ladies come together and make a change Start a new beginning for us everybody sing This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard What do we do girls? Shout Out Loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down [Lil' Kim:] Check it - Here's something I just can't understand If the guy have three girls then he's the man He can either give us some head, sex a roar If the girl do the same, then she's a whore But the table's about to turn I'll bet my fame on it Cats take my ideas and put their name on it It's airight though, you can't hold me down I got to keep on movin' To all my girls with a man who be tryin to mack Do it right back to him and let that be that You need to let him know that his game is whack And Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera got your back But you're just a little boy Think you're so cute, so coy You must talk so big To make up for smaller things So you're just a little boy All you'll do is annoy You must talk so big To make up for smaller things This is for my girls... This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Shout out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down This is for my girls all around the world Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth Thinking all women should be seen, not heard So what do we do girls? Should out loud! Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud Take a deep breath and say it loud Never can, never will, can't hold us down Spread the word, can't hold us down
Christina Aguilera