Working Remotely Quotes

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It was a movie about American bombers in World War II and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers , and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star. But every one of those stars is a sun, often far more brilliant and glorious than the small, nearby star we call the Sun. And many--perhaps most--of those alien suns have planets circling them. So almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, back to the first ape-man, his own private, world-sized heaven--or hell. How many of those potential heavens and hells are now inhabited, and by what manner of creatures, we have no way of guessing; the very nearest is a million times farther away than Mars or Venus, those still remote goals of the next generation. But the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day we shall meet our equals, or our masters, among the stars. Men have been slow to face this prospect; some still hope that it may never become reality. Increasing numbers, however are asking; 'Why have such meetings not occurred already, since we ourselves are about to venture into space?' Why not, indeed? Here is one possible answer to that very reasonable question. But please remember: this is only a work of fiction. The truth, as always, will be far stranger.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Listen closely. There’s a remote possibility that you might learn something: First, I don’t give a damn if my work is commercial or not…I’m the writer. If what I write is good, then people will read it. That’s why literature exists. An author puts his heart and guts on the page. For your information, a good novel can change the world. Keep that in mind before you attempt to sit down at a typewriter. Never waste time on something you don’t believe in yourself.
John Fante
The great thing about remote or dead masters is that they can't refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
That’s why hiring consultants doesn’t work. Part-time employees don’t work. Even working remotely should be avoided, because misalignment can creep in whenever colleagues aren’t together full-time, in the same place, every day. If you’re deciding whether to bring someone on board, the decision is binary. Ken Kesey was right: you’re either on the bus or off the bus.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
The great radio telescopes of the world are constructed in remote locations for the same reason Paul Gauguin sailed to Tahiti: For them to work well they must be far from civilization.
Carl Sagan (Contact)
When I asked my shrink if I was a control freak, he finished saying “Absolutely” before I finished saying “freak.” I told him that I once worked with a woman who carried a remote control in her purse. Whenever she got worried or angry, she took it out and stroked it like a gerbil. My shrink said that if I keep comparing myself to severe neurotics, I’ll think that anything is permissible.
Erika Krouse
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
In other words, the unique value of the 'authentic' work of art has its basis in ritual, the location of its original use value. This ritualistic basis, however remote, is still recognizable as secularized ritual even in the most profane forms of the cult of beauty.
Walter Benjamin
But it so happens that everything on this planet is, ultimately, irrational; there is not, and cannot be, any reason for the causal connexion of things, if only because our use of the word "reason" already implies the idea of causal connexion. But, even if we avoid this fundamental difficulty, Hume said that causal connexion was not merely unprovable, but unthinkable; and, in shallower waters still, one cannot assign a true reason why water should flow down hill, or sugar taste sweet in the mouth. Attempts to explain these simple matters always progress into a learned lucidity, and on further analysis retire to a remote stronghold where every thing is irrational and unthinkable. If you cut off a man's head, he dies. Why? Because it kills him. That is really the whole answer. Learned excursions into anatomy and physiology only beg the question; it does not explain why the heart is necessary to life to say that it is a vital organ. Yet that is exactly what is done, the trick that is played on every inquiring mind. Why cannot I see in the dark? Because light is necessary to sight. No confusion of that issue by talk of rods and cones, and optical centres, and foci, and lenses, and vibrations is very different to Edwin Arthwait's treatment of the long-suffering English language. Knowledge is really confined to experience. The laws of Nature are, as Kant said, the laws of our minds, and, as Huxley said, the generalization of observed facts. It is, therefore, no argument against ceremonial magic to say that it is "absurd" to try to raise a thunderstorm by beating a drum; it is not even fair to say that you have tried the experiment, found it would not work, and so perceived it to be "impossible." You might as well claim that, as you had taken paint and canvas, and not produced a Rembrandt, it was evident that the pictures attributed to his painting were really produced in quite a different way. You do not see why the skull of a parricide should help you to raise a dead man, as you do not see why the mercury in a thermometer should rise and fall, though you elaborately pretend that you do; and you could not raise a dead man by the aid of the skull of a parricide, just as you could not play the violin like Kreisler; though in the latter case you might modestly add that you thought you could learn. This is not the special pleading of a professed magician; it boils down to the advice not to judge subjects of which you are perfectly ignorant, and is to be found, stated in clearer and lovelier language, in the Essays of Thomas Henry Huxley.
Aleister Crowley
you can’t let your employees work from home out of fear they’ll slack off without your supervision, you’re a babysitter, not a manager. Remote work is very likely the least of your problems.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God's son? The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed - whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions - is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the function and ignominy of the cross -- how ghoulishly all this touches us, as if from the tomb of a primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed?
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
Like chess masters and firefighters, premodern villagers relied on things being the same tomorrow as they were yesterday. They were extremely well prepared for what they had experienced before, and extremely poorly equipped for everything else. Their very thinking was highly specialized in a manner that the modern world has been telling us is increasingly obsolete. They were perfectly capable of learning from experience, but failed at learning without experience. And that is what a rapidly changing, wicked world demands—conceptual reasoning skills that can connect new ideas and work across contexts. Faced with any problem they had not directly experienced before, the remote villagers were completely lost. That is not an option for us. The more constrained and repetitive a challenge, the more likely it will be automated, while great rewards will accrue to those who can take conceptual knowledge from one problem or domain and apply it in an entirely new one.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
The great thing about dead or remote masters is that they can’t refuse you as an apprentice. You can learn whatever you want from them. They left their lesson plans in their work.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
And mage and sailor are not so far apart; both work with the powers of sky and sea, and bend great winds to the uses of their hands, bringing near what was remote.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
This is one big problem with working remotely: no one believes you have a job at all.
Scott Berkun (The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work)
Termite, you're young, and I'm not sure if you're going to understand what I'm about to say, but here's the nugget: Without the heart, nothing else matters. She could be the Goddess of Love, you could have all the mind-blowing sex you could physically handle, but when the shooting is over, and you're starting to think about getting a bite to eat, smoking a cigarette, or what you do with her now, you're just lying in bed with a woman who means little more to you than the remote control for your TV. Love is not tool; neither is a woman's heart. What I'm talking about, you won't find in that magazine." "How would you know? You just said you've only loved one woman. I think you need to test-drive a few cars before you buy one." "You can buy that lie if you want, but if you're working for a bank, you don't study the counterfeit to know the real thing. You study the real thing to know the counterfeit." Reese talking to Termite, pg. 109-110
Charles Martin (When Crickets Cry)
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Prayer is based on the remote possibility that someone is actually listening; but so is a lot of conversation. If the former seems far-fetched, consider the latter: even if someone is listening to your story, and really hearing, that person will disappear from existence in the blink of a cosmic eye, so why bother to tell this perhaps illusory and possibly un-listening person something he or she is unlikely to truly understand, just before the two of you blip back out of existence? We like to talk to people who answer us, intelligently if possible, but we do talk without needing response or expecting comprehension. Sometimes, the event is the word, the act of speaking. Once we pull that apart a bit, the action of talking becomes more important than the question of whether the talking is working-because we know, going in, that the talking is not working. That said, one might as well pray.
Jennifer Michael Hecht (Doubt: A History)
written works do not produce fast reactions as pictures and sculptures and music do. it takes no effort to see or hear. but to read - to grasp what the writer has done - requires commitment. engagement. as is the case with most art, the relationship between the maker and the audience is remote in time and space. the writer is nowhere to be seen when the reader takes up the book, or even dead. but most often, books go unread...thus the writer, knowing this as writers do, is even more alone...yet writers write. and knowing what they know makes their isolation almost a sacrament.
Anneli Rufus (Party of One)
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were the shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so that they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
Some people think 1963's a long time ago; when a dead American in the jungle was an event, a grim thrilling novelty. It was spookwar then, adventure; not exactly soldiers, not even advisors yet, but Irregulars, working in remote places with little direct authority, acting out their fantasies with more freedom than most men ever know.
Michael Herr (Dispatches)
I find it difficult now to recall and understand the dreams which then filled my imagination. Even when I can recall them, I find it hard to believe that my dreams were just like that: they were so strange and so remote from life.
Leo Tolstoy (Great Short Works of Leo Tolstoy)
I argue that it is not Woolf's remoteness that puts people off but her nearness that terrifies them. Her language is not a woolly blanket it is a sharp sword. The Waves, which is the most difficult of her works, is a strong-honed edge through the cloudiness most of us call life. It is uncomfortable to have the thick padded stuff ripped away. There is no warm blanket to be had out of Virginia Woolf; there is wind and sun and you naked. It is not remoteness of feeling in Woolf, it is excess; the unbearable quiver of nerves and the heart pounding. It is exposure. And it is exactness.
Jeanette Winterson (Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery)
If a student works rigorously, no topic is truly foolish, and the student can draw useful conclusions even from a remote or peripheral topic.
Umberto Eco (How to Write a Thesis (MIT Press))
When a company sets out to participate, rather than win, it will inevitably fail to make the tough choices and the significant investments that would make winning even a remote possibility.
A.G. Lafley (Playing to win: How strategy really works)
Most of Arbus's work lies within the Warhol aesthetic, that is, defines itself in relation to the twin poles of boringness and freakishness; but it doesn't have the Warhol style. Arbus had neither Warhol's narcissism and genius for publicity nor the self-protective blandness with which he insulates himself from the freaky nor his sentimentality. It is unlikey that Warhol, who comes from a working-class family, ever felt any ambivalence toward success which afflicted the children of the Jewish upper middle classes in the 1960s. To someone raised as a Catholic, like Warhol (and virtually everyone in his gang), a fascination with evil comes much more genuinely than it does to someone from a Jewish background. Compared with Warhol, Arbus seems strikingly vulnerable, innocent--and certainly more pessimistic. Her Dantesque vision of the city (and the suburbs) has no reserves of irony. Although much of Arbus's material is the same as that depicted in, say, Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966)...For Arbus, both freaks and Middle America were equally exotic: a boy marching in a pro-war parade and a Levittown housewife were as alien as a dwarf or a transvestite; lower-middle-class suburbia was as remote as Times Square, lunatic asylums, and gay bars. Arbus's work expressed her turn against what was public (as she experienced it), conventional, safe, reassuring--and boring--in favor of what was private, hidden, ugly, dangerous, and fascinating. These contrasts, now, seem almost quaint. What is safe no long monopolizes public imagery. The freakish is no longer a private zone, difficult of access. People who are bizarre, in sexual disgrace, emotionally vacant are seen daily on the newsstands, on TV, in the subways. Hobbesian man roams the streets, quite visible, with glitter in his hair.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
That’s the great irony of letting passionate people work from home. A manager’s natural instinct is to worry about his workers not getting enough work done, but the real threat is that too much will likely get done. And because the manager isn’t sitting across from his worker anymore, he can’t look in the person’s eyes and see burnout.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
I only know myself as a human entity; the scene, so to speak, of thoughts and affections; and I'm sensible of a certain doubleness by which I can stand as remote from myself as another. However intense my experience, I am conscious of the presence and criticism of a part of me, which, as it were, is not a part of me, but spectator, sharing no experience, but taking note of it; and that is no more I than it is you. When the play, it may be the tragedy, of life is over, the spectator goes his way. It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only..
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Parts are not to be examined till the whole has been surveyed; there is a kind of intellectual remoteness necessary for the comprehension of any great work in its full design and its true proportions; a close approach shews the smaller niceties, but the beauty of the whole is discerned no longer.
Samuel Johnson (Preface to Shakespeare)
When we are in love with a woman we simply project on to her a state of our own soul; that consequently the important thing is not the worth of the women but the profundity of the state; and that the emotions which a perfectly ordinary girl arouses in us can enable us to bring to the surface of our consciousness some of the innermost parts of our being, more personal, more remote, more quintessential that any that might might be evoked by the pleasure we derive from the conversation of a great man or even from the admiring contemplation of his work.
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove, Part 2)
And I, too, am the same… only there is no love in my heart, or desire for love, no interest in work, not contentment in myself. And how remote and impossible my old religious enthusiasms seem now… and my former abounding life! What once seemed so plain and right – that happiness lay in living for others – is unintelligible now. Why live for others, when life has not attractions even for oneself?
Leo Tolstoy (Family Happiness and Other Stories)
make an agreement to exercise mutual control over each other. The unspoken pact between them is, “It’s my job to make you happy, and your job to make me happy. And the best way to get you to work on my life is to act miserable. The more miserable I am, the more you will have to try to make me feel better.” Powerless people use various tactics, such as getting upset, withdrawing, nagging, ridiculing, pouting, crying, or getting angry, to pressure, manipulate, and punish one another into keeping this pact. However, this ongoing power play does nothing to make them happy and mitigate their anxiety in the long term. In fact, their anxiety only escalates by continually affirming that they are not actually powerful. Any sense of love and safety they feel by gaining or surrendering control is tenuous and fleeting. A relational bond built on mutual control simply cannot produce anything remotely like safety, love, or trust. It can only produce more fear, pain, distrust, punishment, and misery. And when taken to an extreme, it produces things like domestic violence.
Danny Silk (Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries)
Bowman was aware of some changes in his behavior patterns; it would have been absurd to expect anything else in the circumstances. He could no longer tolerate silence; except when he was sleeping, or talking over the circuit to Earth, he kept the ship's sound system running at almost painful loudness. / At first, needing the companionship of the human voice, he had listened to classical plays--especially the works of Shaw, Ibsen, and Shakespeare--or poetry readings from Discovery's enormous library of recorded sounds. The problems they dealt with, however, seemed so remote, or so easily resolved with a little common sense, that after a while he lost patience with them. / So he switched to opera--usually in Italian or German, so that he was not distracted even by the minimal intellectual content that most operas contained. This phase lasted for two weeks before he realized that the sound of all these superbly trained voices was only exacerbating his loneliness. But what finally ended this cycle was Verdi's Requiem Mass, which he had never heard performed on Earth. The "Dies Irae," roaring with ominous appropriateness through the empty ship, left him completely shattered; and when the trumpets of Doomsday echoed from the heavens, he could endure no more. / Thereafter, he played only instrumental music. He started with the romantic composers, but shed them one by one as their emotional outpourings became too oppressive. Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, lasted a few weeks, Beethoven rather longer. He finally found peace, as so many others had done, in the abstract architecture of Bach, occasionally ornamented with Mozart. / And so Discovery drove on toward Saturn, as often as not pulsating with the cool music of the harpsichord, the frozen thoughts of a brain that had been dust for twice a hundred years.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey)
Those who spend sufficient time on the mystical quest, and with sufficient keenness and guidance, find it infinitely inspiring because it links them—however remotely weakly and momentarily—with an infinite power, an infinite wisdom, an infinite goodness.
Paul Brunton (A Hermit in the Himalayas: The Classic Work of Mystical Quest)
Meaningful work, creative work, thoughtful work, important work—this type of effort takes stretches of uninterrupted time to get into the zone. But in the modern office such long stretches just can’t be found. Instead, it’s just one interruption after another.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
I've never written a book, except my first, without at some point considering that I might die before it was completed. This is all part of the superstition, the folklore, the mania of the business, the fetishistic fuss.....Dying in the middle of a wo(rd), or three-fifths of the way through a nov(el). My friend the nov(el)ist Brian Moore used to fear this as well, though for an extra reason: "Because some bastard will come along and finish it for you." Here is a novelist's would-you-rather. Would you rather die in the middle of a book, and have some bastard finish it for you, or leave behind a work in progress that not a single bastard in the whole world was remotely interested in finishing?
Julian Barnes (Nothing to Be Frightened Of)
Suffice it to say that the LOR has usurped the place of my own work, now adorned with cobwebs and dust in a remote corner of my office.
Julie Schumacher (Dear Committee Members)
It won't be as easy, but lots of things that are worth doing aren't easy. It just takes commitment, discipline, and, most important, faith that it's all going to work out.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
soon you’ll see that it’s the work—not the clock—that matters.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
The prevalence of hybrid work is good for the advancement of a permaculture economy.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth (Business Essentials)
• Starting with trust and giving employees great autonomy and flexibility allows people to feel independent and empowered while still feeling like a part of something bigger. This leads to happy, loyal employees with a rich quality of life, which in turn leads to an amazing culture.
Larry English (Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams)
And that is also the way the human mind works — by the compounding of old ideas into new structures that become new ideas that can themselves be used in compounds, and round and round endlessly, growing ever more remote from the basic earthbound imagery that is each language’s soil.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop)
Speaking of libraries: A big open-stack academic or public library is no small pleasure to work in. You're, say, trying to do a piece on something in Nevada, and you go down to C Floor, deep in the earth, and out to what a miner would call a remote working face. You find 10995.497S just where the card catalog and the online computer thought it would be, but that is only the initial nick. The book you knew about has led you to others you did not know about. To the ceiling the shelves are loaded with books about Nevada. You pull them down, one at a time, and sit on the floor and look them over until you are sitting on a pile five feet high, at which point you are late home for dinner and you get up and walk away. It's an incomparable boon to research, all that; but it is also a reason why there are almost no large open-stack libraries left in the world.
John McPhee
When someone wants to demonstrate a new feature they’re working on at 37signals, often the easiest way is to record a screencast and narrate the experience. A screencast is basically just a recording of your screen that others can play back later as a movie. It can be used in several ways, including for presenting the latest sales figures or elaborating on a new marketing strategy.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
however many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead, or rather not alive. You may throw cells together at random, over and over again for a billion years, and not once will you get a conglomeration that flies or swims or burrows or runs, or does anything, even badly, that could remotely be construed as working to keep itself alive.
Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker)
When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this: You take a hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of such whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such a manner that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs, thus cut off, be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requires some exactness, but the professor assured us, "that if it were dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible." For he argued thus: "that the two half brains being left to debate the matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon come to a good understanding, and produce that moderation, as well as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of those, who imagine they come into the world only to watch and govern its motion: and as to the difference of brains, in quantity or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor assured us, from his own knowledge, that "it was a perfect trifle.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.)
As Sir Richard Branson commented in his ode to working remotely: “To successfully work with other people, you have to trust each other. A big part of this is trusting people to get their work done wherever they are, without supervision.”fn3
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
Now as you plumb out into the universe and explore it astronomically, it gets very strange. You begin to see things in the depths that at first sight seem utterly remote. How could they have anything to do with us. They are so far off and so unlikely. And in the same way, when you start probing into the inner workings of the human body you come across all kinds of funny little monsters and wiggly things that bear no resemblance to what we recognize as the human image. Look at a spermatozoon under a microscope. That little tadpole! And how can that have any connection with a grown human being. It’s so unlike, you see. It’s foreign feeling. And you get the creeps, a foreign feeling, about yourself...But what we will always find out in the end when we meet the very strange thing, there will one day be the dawning recognition: Why that’s me.
Alan W. Watts
In short order, I became America’s foremost “irregardless” apologist. I recorded a short video for Merriam-Webster’s website refuting the notion that “irregardless” wasn’t a word; I took to Twitter and Facebook and booed naysayers who set “irregardless” up as the straw man for the demise of English. I continued to find evidence of the emphatic “irregardless” in all sorts of places—even in the oral arguments of a Supreme Court case. One incredulous e-mail response to my video continued to claim “irregardless” wasn’t a real word. “It’s a made-up word that made it into the dictionary through constant use!” the correspondent said, and I cackled gleefully before responding. Of course “irregardless” is a made-up word that was entered into the dictionary through constant use; that’s pretty much how this racket works. All words are made-up: Do you think we find them fully formed on the ocean floor, or mine for them in some remote part of Wales? I began telling correspondents that “irregardless” was much more complex than people thought, and it deserved a little respectful respite, even if it still was not part of Standard English. My mother was duly horrified. “Oh, Kory,” she tutted. “So much for that college education.” —
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Today, most translation work happens remotely, and translators can live almost anywhere. The up and down nature of most freelancers' work loads also lends itself to using free time to take classes, pursue hobbies, travel or spend time with family.
Corinne McKay (How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator)
The Amy of today was abrasive enough to want to hurt, sometimes. I speak specifically of the Amy of today, who was only remotely like the woman I fell in love with. It had been an awful fairy-tale reverse transformation. Over just a few years, the old Amy, the girl of the big laugh and the east ways, literally shed herself, a pile of skin and soul on the floor, and out stepped this new, brittle, bitter Amy. My wife was no longer my wife but a razor-wire knot daring me to unloop her, and I was not up to the job with my thick, numb, nervous fingers. Country fingers. Flyover fingers untrained in the intricate, dangerous work of solving Amy. When I'd hold up the bloody stumps, she'd sigh and turn to her secret mental notebook on which she tallied all my deficiencies, forever noting disappointments, frailties, shortcomings. My old Amy, damn, she was fun. She was fun. She made me laugh. I'd forgotten that. And she laughed, From the bottom of her throat, from right behind that small finger-shaped hollow, which is the best place to laugh from. She released her grievances like handfuls of birdseed: They are there, and they are gone.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Put it on record --I am an Arab And the number of my card is fifty thousand I have eight children And the ninth is due after summer. What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. --I am an Arab Working with comrades of toil in a quarry. I have eight childern For them I wrest the loaf of bread, The clothes and exercise books From the rocks And beg for no alms at your doors, --Lower not myself at your doorstep. --What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. --I am an Arab. I am a name without a tide, Patient in a country where everything Lives in a whirlpool of anger. --My roots --Took hold before the birth of time --Before the burgeoning of the ages, --Before cypess and olive trees, --Before the proliferation of weeds. My father is from the family of the plough --Not from highborn nobles. And my grandfather was a peasant --Without line or genealogy. My house is a watchman's hut --Made of sticks and reeds. Does my status satisfy you? --I am a name without a surname. Put it on Record. --I am an Arab. Color of hair: jet black. Color of eyes: brown. My distinguishing features: --On my head the 'iqal cords over a keffiyeh --Scratching him who touches it. My address: --I'm from a village, remote, forgotten, --Its streets without name --And all its men in the fields and quarry. --What's there to be angry about? Put it on record. --I am an Arab. You stole my forefathers' vineyards --And land I used to till, --I and all my childern, --And you left us and all my grandchildren --Nothing but these rocks. --Will your government be taking them too --As is being said? So! --Put it on record at the top of page one: --I don't hate people, --I trespass on no one's property. And yet, if I were to become starved --I shall eat the flesh of my usurper. --Beware, beware of my starvation. --And of my anger!
Mahmoud Darwish
My refusal to remove the book from the library was backed by a majority of the Board of Governors. I wrote back to Mr Malfoy, explaining my decision: So-called pure-blood families maintain their alleged purity by disowning, banishing or lying about Muggles or Muggle-borns on their family trees. They then attempt to foist their hypocrisy upon the rest of us by asking us to ban works dealing with the truths they deny. There is not a witch or wizard in existence whose blood has not mingled with that of Muggles, and I should therefore consider it both illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the subject from our students' store of knowledge.(4) This exchange marked the beginning of Mr Malfoy's long campaign to have me removed from my post as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and of mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort's Favourite Death Eater. (4)My response prompted several further letters from Mr Malfoy, but as they consisted mainly of opprobrious remarks on my sanity, parentage and hygiene, their relevance to this commentary is remote.
J.K. Rowling (The Tales of Beedle the Bard)
As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated–if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.
Richard Hofstadter (The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays)
Well, now,” Mrs. Havisham said, all but purring as she leaned forward, ample cleavage on display. “You’ve grown up, haven’t you? Tell me, Gustavo. What are your thoughts on having an experienced lover?” “Not many,” Gus said. “In fact, none at all. Also? I came out when I was thirteen. You were there. As was the whole town. Pastor Tommy announced it at the Fall Harvest Festival. On stage. Into a microphone. There was apple pie afterward.” “Still?” she said with an exaggerated pout. “Yes,” Gus said, deadpan as he could make it. “Still. Funny how that works.” “Well, if you change your mind, you know where to find me,” she said, dragging a pink fingernail down his arm. “My door is always open. Like my body.” “That’s not even remotely healthy,” Gus said with a sniff. “Maybe that’s why I need your protein,” she said with a wink. “Nope,” Gus said. “Nope, nope, nope.” “You sure about that?” “Maybe you should close that door. And your legs.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
They were posted to a country neither knew much about beyond the space it occupied on the map of East Africa between Kenya and Rwanda. After four years working in the remote Usambara Mountains, they moved to Moshi, which means “smoke” in Swahili, where the family was billeted by their Lutheran missionary society in a Greek gun dealer’s sprawling cinder-block home, which had been seized by the authorities. And with the sort of serendipity that so often rewards impetuousness, the entire family fell fiercely in love with the country that would be renamed Tanzania after independence in 1961. “The older I get, the more I appreciate my childhood. It was paradise,” Mortenson says
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
Every human being is an incalculable force, bearing within him something of the future. To the end of time, our daily words and actions will bear fruit, either good or bad; nothing that we have once given of ourselves will perish, but our words and works, handed on from one to another, will continue to do good or harm to remote generations. This is why life is a sacred thing, and we ought not to pass through it thoughtlessly, but to appreciate its value and use it so that, when we are gone, the sum total of good in the world may be greater.
Elisabeth Leseur (Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur)
It so happens that the work which is likely to be our most durable monument, and to convey some knowledge of us to the most remote posterity, is a work of bare utility; not a shrine, not a fortress, not a palace, but a bridge. —MONTGOMERY SCHUYLER IN HARPER’S WEEKLY, MAY 24, 1883
David McCullough (The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge)
daughter of the servants.” “Gee, you must have been lonely, Judge, having nobody to play with.” “I played with Sam Westing—chess. Hour after hour I sat staring down at that chessboard. He lectured me, he insulted me, and he won every game.” The judge thought of their last game: She had been so excited about taking his queen, only to have the master checkmate her in the next move. Sam Westing had deliberately sacrificed his queen and she had fallen for it. “Stupid child, you can’t have a brain in that frizzy head to make a move like that.” Those were the last words he ever said to her. The judge continued: “I was sent to boarding school when I was twelve. My parents visited me at school when they could, but I never set foot in the Westing house again, not until two weeks ago.” “Your folks must have really worked hard,” Sandy said. “An education like that costs a fortune.” “Sam Westing paid for my education. He saw that I was accepted into the best schools, probably arranged for my first job, perhaps more, I don’t know.” “That’s the first decent thing I’ve heard about the old man.” “Hardly decent, Mr. McSouthers. It was to Sam Westing’s advantage to have a judge in his debt. Needless to say, I have excused myself from every case remotely connected with
Ellen Raskin (The Westing Game)
When he thought of the old man he could see him suddenly in a field in the spring, trying to move a gray boulder. He always knew instinctively the ones you could move, even though the greater part was buried in the earth, and he expected you to move the rock and not discuss it. A hard and silent man, an honest man, a noble man. Little humor but sometimes the door opened and you saw the warmth within a long way off, a certain sadness, a slow, remote, unfathomable quality as if the man wanted to be closer to the world but did not know how. Once Chamberlain had a speech memorized from Shakespeare and gave it proudly, the old man listening but not looking, and Chamberlain remembered it still: 'What a piece of work is action how like an angel!' And the old man, grinning, had scratched his head and then said stiffly, 'Well, boy, if he's an angel, he's sure a murderin' angel.' And Chamberlain had gone on to school to make an oration on the subject: Man, the Killer Angel. And when the old man heard about it he was very proud, and Chamberlain felt very good remembering it. The old man was proud of his son, the colonel.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
Well -- there are two kinds of loneliness, aren't there? There's the loneliness of absolute solitude -- the physical fact of living alone, working alone, as I have always done. This need not be painful. For many writers it's necessary. Others need a female staff of family servants to type their bloody books and keep the their egos afloat. Being alone for most of the day means that you listen to different rhythms, which are not determined by other people. I think it's better so. But there is another kind of loneliness which is terrible to endure....And that is the loneliness of seeing a different world from that of the people around you. Their lives remain remote from yours. You can see the gulf and they can't. You live among them. They walk on earth. You walk on glass. They reassure themselves with conformity, with carefully constructed resemblances. You are masked, aware of your absolute difference.
Patricia Duncker (Hallucinating Foucault)
Writers who complain most vociferously about the way their work has been pigeonholed because of a particular personal attribute—their race, say, or sexual orientation, or even their physical beauty—are always the writers whose work (the reception to whose work) has most directly benefited from this attribute.
David Shields (Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity)
The ability to be alone with your thoughts is, in fact, one of the key advantages of working remotely. When you work on your own, far away from the buzzing swarm at headquarters, you can settle into your own productive zone. You can actually get work done—the same work that you couldn’t get done at work! Yes,
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
Something quite remote from anything the builders intended has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time: a small red flame -- a beaten-copper lamp of deplorable design, relit before the beaten-copper doors of a tabernacle; the flame which the old knights saw from their tombs, which they saw put out; that flame burns again for other soldiers, far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem. It could not have been lit but for the builders and the tragedians, and there I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones.
Evelyn Waugh
Publicity is effective precisely because it feeds upon the real. Clothes, food, cars, cosmetics, baths, sunshine are real things to be enjoyed in themselves. Publicity begins by working on a natural appetite for pleasure. But it cannot offer the real object of pleasure and there is no convincing substitute for a pleasure in that pleasure's own terms. The more convincingly publicity conveys the pleasure of bathing in a warm, distant sea, the more the spectator-buyer will become aware that he is hundreds of miles away from that sea and the more remote the chance of bathing in it will seem to him. This is why publicity can never really afford to be about the product or opportunity it is proposing to the buyer who is not yet enjoying it. Publicity is never a celebration of a pleasure-in-itself. Publicity is always about the future buyer. It offers him an image of himself made glamorous by the product or opportunity it is trying to sell. The image then makes him envious of himself as he might be. Yet what makes this self-which-he-might-be enviable? The envy of others. Publicity is about social relations, not objects. Its promise is not of pleasure, but of happiness : happiness as judged from the outside by others. The happiness of being envied is glamour. Being envied is a solitary form of reassurance. It depends precisely upon not sharing your experience with those who envy you. You are observed with interest but you do not observe with interest - if you do, you will become less enviable. ... ... The spectator-buyer is meant to envy herself as she will become if she buys the product. She is meant to imagine herself transformed by the product into an object of envy for others, an envy which will then justify her loving herself. One could put this another way : the publicity images steals her love of herself as she is, and offers it back to her for the price of the product. (P. 128)
John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
Somewhere deep in the background I always knew that I was two persons. One was the son of my parents, who went to school and was less intelligent, attentive, hard-working, decent, and clean than many other boys. The other was grown up—old, in fact—skeptical, mistrustful, remote from the world of men, but close to nature, the earth, the sun, the moon, the weather, all living creatures, and above all close to the night, to dreams, and to whatever “God” worked directly in him.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
More than anyone else, perhaps, the miner can stand as the type of the manual worker, not only because his work is so exaggeratedly awful, but also because it is so vitally necessary and yet so remote from our experience, so invisible, as it were, that we are capable of forgetting it as we forget the blood in our veins.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
The psychologist Daniel Wegner has this beautiful concept called transactive memory, which is the observation that we don’t just store information in our minds or in specific places. We also store memories and understanding in the minds of the people we love. You don’t need to remember your child’s emotional relationship to her teacher because you know your wife will; you don’t have to remember how to work the remote because you know your daughter will. That’s transactive memory. Little bits of ourselves reside in other people’s minds. Wegner has a heartbreaking riff about what one member of a couple will often say when the other one dies—that some part of him or her died along with the partner. That, Wegner says, is literally true. When your partner dies, everything that you have stored in that person’s brain is gone.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War)
Forcing everyone into the office every day is an organizational SPoF (Single Point of Failure). If the office loses power or Internet or air conditioning, it's no longer functional as a place to do work. If a company doesn't have any training or infrastructure to work around that, it means it's going to be unavailable to its customers.
David Heinemeier Hansson (Remote: Office Not Required)
Everything seemed to be falling apart. I had to stop myself and recognize all the good, plain people around me. But it seemed that more and more people were spoiling. And this gut feeling was hard to shake. Just listening to the news, I found myself throwing things across the room, full force—the remote, my work pager, small things I resented.
Jonathan Epps (No Winter Lasts Forever)
In attempting to say who Jesus is, the best we can do is to utter words provoked by the collective attempts to do so over the centuries-- a choral work we cannot possibly translate back into a few phrases, any more than we can assume that a concert is adequately described by its listing in the program, or that a painting is interchangeable with its title. Reading the program or the museum's catalogue, we have no notion of what actually was performed or displayed. We can extend the metaphor: a literal reading of the Bible amounts to little more than what we learn from a concert program, or even the score. It is the symphonic whole that bears the meaning that nothing less can remotely capture.
James P. Carse (The Religious Case Against Belief)
I'm not sure we should get camera phones, that's all." She hit the remote and the car doors unlocked. She reached for the door handle. Matt hesitated. Olivia looked at him. "What?" he asked. "If we both get camera phones," Olivia said, "I could send you nuddies when you're at work." Matt opened the door. "Verizon on Sprint?" from The Innocent
Harlan Coben
Phury laid a hard one on the male’s mouth, the kiss a punch between faces, not anything even remotely sexual. And he did it only to wipe the expression off the bastard’s face. It worked. The Reverend stiffened and growled, and Phury knew he’d called the guy’s bluff. But just to make sure the lesson was learned, he clipped the male’s lower lip with a fang.
J.R. Ward (Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3))
Always be prepared to get work done. Every time you have a moment to yourself, don’t play with your phone, but instead, squeeze in some work. Even if it’s only 8 minutes.
Darius Foroux (Highly Productive Remote Work)
Maintaining high levels of authentic engagement with remote workers is key to the success of the teams
Henry Kurkowski (Remote Work Technology: Keeping Your Small Business Thriving From Anywhere)
It wasn´t the work that was stressing them out; it was constantly having to stop working so they could talk about the work they were just distracted from doing
David Burkus (Leading From Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams)
pulling seven people away from their work for an hour is worth seven hours of lost productivity.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
remote work has opened the door to a new era of freedom and luxury. A brave new world beyond the industrial-age belief in The Office.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
One of the secret benefits of hiring remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
for he could scarcely make them move together to grip a twig, and they seemed remote from his body and from him. 
Jack London (The Collected Works of Jack London: The Complete Works PergamonMedia (Highlights of World Literature))
What are you doing?" my mom asked. One side of her mouth curled up. "I'm trying to move that cup." My parents laughed. I concentrated on the coffee cup, but it didn't budge. "I guess I'll have to work on this telekinesis thing. It'll come in handy when Ben is hogging the TV remote and forcing me to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the fifty-millionth time.
Michelle K. Pickett (Milayna (Milayna, #1))
of the purely sensuous instinct of boyhood had been transformed by the workings of the imagination, changed into something that seemed to the lad himself to be remote from sense, and was for that
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The safe thing always is to run. To just assume you’re too fucked up to do anything that remotely resembles normal. The good wife. The doting father. The safe thing to do is to be satisfied with being abnormal. To accept being fucked up. And to be alone in your abnormality and fucked-uppedness. To know that you are bad and alone and there’s no fixing it or even wanting to. To not do the work.
Stacey May Fowles (Infidelity)
This book is a work of fiction that was given to a pirate after it was retrieved from the future by exotically beautiful Eastern European girls. Then diabolical Eastern European scientists worked tirelessly to ensure that every name, character, place, and incident in the world which, even remotely, resembled one within the book was "erased." (How? Ninjas.) If any similarity still exists, it's purely accidental (and suggests you live in an alternate dimension). Any lingering resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living, dead, or undead, is entirely coincidental and highly unlikely.
James Marshall (Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies)
Mustering this sad, mutinous little force, I drove them before me up the Linar gorge, cursing the lot of them. It was not difficult for me to work up a rage at this moment. All of a sudden I felt that revulsion against an alien way of life that anyone who travels in remote places experiences from time to time. I longed for clean clothes; the company of people who meant what they said, and did it. I longed for a hot bath and a drink.
Eric Newby (A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush)
This last benefit—flexibility of scheduling—is particularly invaluable for remote workers who have to negotiate the demands of work and family at the same time and is often touted as one of its more appealing benefits.
Tsedal Neeley (Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere)
The headline in the Washington Post read, “You’ll Never Have to Go to Work Again.” The article described how innovations in IT make it possible to choose whatever location you want to do your work from. The year was 1969.
Peter Cappelli (The Future of the Office: Work from Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face)
research has found that, with the flick of the TV’s remote, our thinking brains shut off. Within thirty seconds, we lose our sense of self, and our alpha waves become no more active than if we were staring at a blank wall.
Brigid Schulte (Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time)
I suspect that it refers to that friend of our childhood, the prince of the old folk tale; the young man who travels for seven miles and comes to seven gates guarded by seven dragons, and passes through all sorts of perils, which are marked at once by moral heroism and mathematical symmetry. It is he who is to be exhibited in as a despot and oppressor; as a despot of elfland and an oppressor of seven-headed dragons. As he is rather a remote as well as a romantic figure, it may be a little difficult for historians to discover what were his true colours. His true colours, so far as I am concerned, are silver and gold and crimson, and all the colours of the rainbow.
G.K. Chesterton (The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton Volume 32: The Illustrated London News, 1920-1922)
The advantage of knowing where insights come from is that it can make it easier to generate insights in the first place. When we’re struggling with seemingly impossible problems, it’s important to find time to unwind, to eavesdrop on all those remote associations coming from the right hemisphere. Instead of drinking another cup of coffee, indulge in a little daydreaming. Rather than relentlessly focusing, take a warm shower, or play some Ping-Pong, or walk on the beach.
Jonah Lehrer (Imagine: How Creativity Works)
When I reflect, my dear cousin,' said she, 'on the miserable death of Justine Moritz, I no longer see the world and its works as they before appeared to me. Before, I looked upon the accounts of vice and injustice, that I read in books or heard from others as tales of ancient days or imaginary evils; at least they were remote, and more familiar to reason than to the imagination; but now misery has come home, and men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other's blood.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
While my library contains the works of travel writers, I have mostly searched for those who speak about their own place in the world. But the world is changing and many people have no place to call home. Some of the most important kinds of travel writing now are stories of flight, written by people who belong to the millions of asylum seekers in the world. These are stories that are almost too hard to tell, but which, once read, will never be forgotten. Some of these stories had to be smuggled out of detention centres, or were caught covertly on smuggled mobiles in snatches of calls on weak connections from remote and distant prisons. Why is this writing important? Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and human rights campaigner who has been detained on Manus Island for over three years with no hope for release yet in sight, puts it plainly in a message to the world in the anthology Behind the Wire. It is, he wrote, ‘because we need to change our imagination’.
Alexis Wright
Jack rolled onto his stomach and clutched a pillow over his head. Sure, no problem. Testify against some drug lords. All in a day's work. Get a new name and get yourself relocated thousands of miles away. No sweat. Assassins coming after you? Check. Conscience-ridden hit men spiriting you away? Check. Hiding out in a remote cabin? Oh, got that one covered. Develop unseemly crush on ruthless hired killer? Jack sighed. I am one incurable illness away from a Lifetime Movie of the Week.
Jane Seville (Zero at the Bone (Zero at the Bone #1))
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so that they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
American planes full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires gathered them into cylindrical steel containers and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though German fighters came up again made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America where factories were operating night and day dismantling the cylinders separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground to hide them cleverly so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
The people who adjust best to remote work train themselves to be more proactive, entrepreneurial, and motivated. The best remote workers are uncomfortable with the status quo. They avoid complacency and are not afraid to disrupt themselves when necessary.
Rohit Bhargava (The Non-Obvious Guide to Working Remotely: (Being Productive Without Getting Distracted, Lonely or Bored))
My master likewise mentioned another Quality which his Servants had discovered in several Yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable. He said, a Fancy would sometimes take a Yahoo, to retire into a Corner, to lie down and howl, and groan, and spurn away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, wanted neither Food nor Water; nor did the Servants imagine what could possibly ail him. And the only Remedy they found was to set him to hard Work, after which he would infallibly come to himself. To this I was silent out of Partiality to my own Kind; yet here I could plainly discover the true Seeds of Spleen, which only seizeth on the Lazy, the Luxurious, and the Rich; who, if they were forced to undergo the same Regimen I would undertake for the Cure.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.)
In remote work especially, managers don’t always witness the positive contributions that people make. Peers do. Recognitions that capture teammates’ positive contributions create a culture of gratitude and positive reinforcement of the values that members espouse.
Tsedal Neeley (Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere)
I’ve learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself. It is not, of course, translated into another language but it is a translation from the images in the author’s mind to that which he is able to put down on paper. Here’s a secret. Many novelists, if they are pressed and if they are being honest, will admit that the finished book is a rather rough translation of the book they’d intended to write. It’s one of the heartbreaks of writing fiction. You have, for months or years, been walking around with the idea of a novel in your mind, and in your mind it’s transcendent, it’s brilliantly comic and howlingly tragic, it contains everything you know, and everything you can imagine, about human life on the planet earth. It is vast and mysterious and awe-inspiring. It is a cathedral made of fire. But even if the book in question turns out fairly well, it’s never the book that you’d hoped to write. It’s smaller than the book you’d hoped to write. It is an object, a collection of sentences, and it does not remotely resemble a cathedral made of fire. It feels, in short, like a rather inept translation of a mythical great work. The translator, then, is simply moving the book another step along the translation continuum. The translator is translating a translation.
Michael Cunningham
To become what one is, one must not have the faintest notion what one is. From this point of view even the blunders of life have their own meaning and value—the occasional side roads and wrong roads, the delays, “modesties,” seriousness wasted on tasks that are remote from the task. All this can express a great prudence, even the supreme prudence: where "nosce te ipsum" would be the recipe for ruin, forgetting oneself, misunderstanding oneself, making oneself smaller, narrower, mediocre, become reason itself. Morally speaking: neighbor love, living for others, and other things can be a protective measure for preserving the hardest self-concern. This is the exception where, against my wont and conviction, I side with the “selfless” drives: here they work in the service of self-love, of self-discipline.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Q: Assume everything about your musical tastes was reversed overnight. Everything you once loved, you now hate; everything you once hated, you now love. For example, if your favorite band has always been R.E.M., they will suddenly sound awful to you; they will become the band you dislike the most. By the same token, if you’ve never been remotely interested in the work of Yes and Jethro Tull, those two groups will instantly seem fascinating. If you generally dislike jazz today, you’ll generally like jazz tomorrow. If you currently consider the first album by Veruca Salt to be slightly above average, you will abruptly find it to be slightly below average. Everything will become its opposite, but everything will remain in balance (and the rest of your personality will remain unchanged). So—in all likelihood—you won’t love music any less (or any more) than you do right now. There will still be artists you love and who make you happy; they will merely be all the artists you currently find unlistenable. Now, I concede that this transformation would make you unhappy. But explain why.
Chuck Klosterman (Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas)
This same trend holds for the growing number of fields where technology makes productive remote work possible—consulting, marketing, writing, design, and so on. Once the talent market is made universally accessible, those at the peak of the market thrive while the rest suffer.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
At the same time, however, for antiquity the holiest sign of the presence of God, the cross, is the symbol of utter disgrace and remoteness from God. Antiquity becomes our historical heritage in this twofold relationship to Christ, in its nearness and its opposition to Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Ethics (Works, Vol 6))
Are you falling asleep before midnight?" Cassie leaned over the edge of the couch to look at Jack. He was stretched out on the floor, his head resting against a pillow near the center of the couch, his eyes closed. She was now wide awake and headache free. He wasn't in so good a shape. "The new year is eighteen minutes away." "Come kiss me awake in seventeen minutes." She blinked at that lazy suggestion, gave a quick grin, and dropped Benji on his chest. He opened one eye to look up at her as he settled his hand lightly on the kitten. "That's a no?" She smiled. She was looking forward to dating him, but she was smart enough to know he'd value more what he had to work at. He sighed. "That was a no. How much longer am I going to be on the fence with you?" "Is that a rhetorical question or do you want an answer?" If this was the right relationship God had for her future, time taken now would improve it, not hurt it. She was ready to admit she was tired of being alone. He scratched Benji under the chin and the kitten curled up on his chest and batted a paw at his hand. "Rhetorical. I'd hate to get my hopes up." She leaned her chin against her hand, looking down at him. "I like you, Jack." "You just figured that out?" "I'll like you more when you catch my mouse." "The only way we are going to catch T.J. is to turn this place into a cheese factory and help her get so fat and slow that she can no longer run and hide." Or you could move your left hand about three inches to the right right and catch her." Jack opened one eye and glanced toward his left. The white mouse was sitting motionless beside the plate he had set down earlier. "Let her have the cheeseburger. You put mustard on it." "You're horrible." He smiled. "I'm serious." "So am I." Jack leaned over, caught Cassie's foot, and tumbled her to the floor. "Oops." "That wasn't fair. You scared my mouse." Jack set the kitten on the floor. "Benji, go get her mouse." The kitten took off after it. "You're teaching her to be a mouser." "Working on it. Come here. You owe me a kiss for the new year." "Do I?" She reached over to the bowl of chocolates on the table and unwrapped a kiss. She popped the chocolate kiss into his mouth. "I called your bluff." He smiled and rubbed his hand across her forearm braced against his chest. "That will last me until next year." She glanced at the muted television. "That's two minutes away." "Two minutes to put this year behind us." He slid one arm behind his head, adjusting the pillow. She patted his chest with her hand. "That shouldn't take long." She felt him laugh. "It ended up being a very good year," she offered. "Next year will be even better." "Really? Promise?" "Absolutely." He reached behind her ear and a gold coin reappeared. "What do you think? Heads you say yes when I ask you out, tails you say no?" She grinned at the idea. "Are you cheating again?" She took the coin. "This one isn't edible," she realized, disappointed. And then she turned it over. "A real two-headed coin?" "A rare find." He smiled. "Like you." "That sounds like a bit of honey." "I'm good at being mushy." "Oh, really?" He glanced over her shoulder. "Turn up the TV. There's the countdown." She grabbed for the remote and hit the wrong button. The TV came on full volume just as the fireworks went off. Benji went racing past them spooked by the noise to dive under the collar of the jacket Jack had tossed on the floor. The white mouse scurried to run into the jacket sleeve. "Tell me I didn't see what I think I just did." "I won't tell you," Jack agreed, amused. He watched the jacket move and raised an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to rescue the kitten or the mouse?
Dee Henderson (The Protector (O'Malley, #4))
significantly in his work by psychologist Mary Ainsworth, a Canadian researcher who helped give shape to his ideas and test them. Together, they identified four elements of attachment: •We seek out, monitor, and try to maintain emotional and physical connection with our loved ones. Throughout life, we rely on them to be emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged with us. •We reach out for our loved ones particularly when we are uncertain, threatened, anxious, or upset. Contact with them gives us a sense of having a safe haven, where we will find comfort and emotional support; this sense of safety teaches us how to regulate our own emotions and how to connect with and trust others. •We miss our loved ones and become extremely upset when they are physically or emotionally remote; this separation anxiety can become intense and incapacitating. Isolation is inherently traumatizing for human beings. •We depend on our loved ones to support us emotionally and be a secure base as we venture into the world and learn and explore. The more we sense that we are effectively connected, the more autonomous and separate we can be.
Sue Johnson (Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships)
TIDY UP YOUR WORKSPACE BEFORE YOU CALL IT A DAY. When you go to an office, you can leave your messy home, well, at home. Not so for remote workers. And this is a problem, because working in a messy space zaps your concentration. Research shows clutter can trigger the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). Messy homes are also linked to increased procrastination. Before you clock out each night, spend five minutes putting things away, organizing your papers, and removing dirty glasses. You’ll appreciate your efforts when you sit down to your desk the next morning.
Aja Frost (Work-from-Home Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Get Organized, Stay Productive, and Maintain a Work-Life Balance While Working from Home!)
Mental discipline, prayer and remoteness from the world and its disturbing visions reduce temptation to a minimum, but they can never entirely abolish it. In medieval traditions, abbeys and convents were always considered to be expugnable centres of revolt against infernal dominion on earth. They became, accordingly, special targets. Satan, issuing orders at nightfall to his foul precurrers, was rumoured to dispatch to capital cities only one junior fiend. This solitary demon, the legend continues, sleeps at his post. There is no work for him; the battle was long ago won. But monasteries, those scattered danger points, become the chief objectives of nocturnal flight; the sky fills with the beat of sable wings as phalanx after phalanx streams to the attack, and the darkness crepitates with the splintering of a myriad lances against the masonry of asceticism.
Patrick Leigh Fermor (A Time to Keep Silence (New York Review Books Classics))
Robotics, however, is much more difficult. It requires a delicate interplay of mechanical engineering, perception AI, and fine-motor manipulation. These are all solvable problems, but not at nearly the speed at which pure software is being built to handle white-collar cognitive tasks. Once that robot is built, it must also be tested, sold, shipped, installed, and maintained on-site. Adjustments to the robot’s underlying algorithms can sometimes be made remotely, but any mechanical hiccups require hands-on work with the machine. All these frictions will slow down the pace of robotic automation.
Kai-Fu Lee (Ai Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order)
In the light of present-day thinking, I need to caution readers regarding the use of the word God in the present work. We tend easily to forget that when we use the word God, we are referring to our concept of God, and whatever this concept is, it cannot fail to be either anthropomorphic or so remote as to prove elusive.
Vilayat Inayat Khan (The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing: A Manual of Meditation)
His lips fell back against mine and in the blink of an eye, our bathing suits were shed. He fisted my hair and tilted my head off to the side, nibbling down my neck as he sucked marks against my skin. I felt my pussy heating for him. I felt my toes curling as he kissed down the valley of my breasts. He cupped them forcefully, massaging and tweaking my puckered peaks as I moaned and squealed and whimpered. “Teo,” I whispered. He growled. “Already so wet for me.” He slid two fingers inside of my body and my back arched dangerously. He crooked them against that pebbled spot as his thumb slid against my clit, and already I felt my ending approaching. I fisted the bed sheets as he pumped his dexterous fingers, tickling that sweet spot that made my eyes widen and my jaw unhinge with silent pleasure. An unearthly drone bubbled up the back of my throat as my orgasm crashed over me. But, nothing felt even remotely wonderful compared to the feeling of his cock sliding between my legs. “Holy fuck,” he growled. He pinned my wrists above my head and pounded against my body. My tits jumped for his viewing pleasure as he planted his knees into the mattress. My legs locked around him as I opened myself up for his assault. His thick dick, sliding against my walls as they clamped around him. My body, puckering at every movement and every sound he graced me with. All I knew was pleasure. All I understood was his presence. And the only name that came to mind as my second orgasm approached was his name. “Teo! Holy shit!” I exclaimed. He grunted. “Come for me. Squeeze that tight little pussy ar—ound—oh, shit.” He slowed his movements long enough to work me through an ecstasy that crashed so hard against my body that my vision tunneled. My body shook and tensed. Contracted and released. Then finally, my back collapsed to the bed. I felt physically spent until Teo’s dick slid from between my legs. And automatically, I missed him.
Callie Vincent (Monster (Sold to the Don, #1))
To start building your remote culture, establish and share some basic rules. The first and most important rule is mutual trust between the company and its workers. The rules after that? As few as possible. Tell your employees they will be treated like adults with the flexibility to get the job done however is best for them.
Larry English (Office Optional: How to Build a Connected Culture with Virtual Teams)
In fact, even fleeting feelings of delight can lead to dramatic increases in creativity. After watching a short, humorous video — Beeman uses a clip of Robin Williams doing standup — subjects have significantly more epiphanies, at least when compared with those who were shown scary or boring videos. Because positive moods allow us to relax, we focus less on the troubling world and more on these remote associations. Another ideal moment for insights, according to Beeman and John Kounios, is the early morning, shortly after waking up. The drowsy brain is unwound and disorganized, open to all sorts of unconventional ideas. The right hemisphere is also unusually active.
Jonah Lehrer (Imagine: How Creativity Works)
Homer's Hymn to the Moon Published by Mrs. Shelley, "Poetical Works", 1839, 2nd edition; dated 1818. Daughters of Jove, whose voice is melody, Muses, who know and rule all minstrelsy Sing the wide-winged Moon! Around the earth, From her immortal head in Heaven shot forth, Far light is scattered—boundless glory springs; Where'er she spreads her many-beaming wings The lampless air glows round her golden crown. But when the Moon divine from Heaven is gone Under the sea, her beams within abide, Till, bathing her bright limbs in Ocean's tide, Clothing her form in garments glittering far, And having yoked to her immortal car The beam-invested steeds whose necks on high Curve back, she drives to a remoter sky A western Crescent, borne impetuously. Then is made full the circle of her light, And as she grows, her beams more bright and bright Are poured from Heaven, where she is hovering then, A wonder and a sign to mortal men. The Son of Saturn with this glorious Power Mingled in love and sleep—to whom she bore Pandeia, a bright maid of beauty rare Among the Gods, whose lives eternal are. Hail Queen, great Moon, white-armed Divinity, Fair-haired and favourable! thus with thee My song beginning, by its music sweet Shall make immortal many a glorious feat Of demigods, with lovely lips, so well Which minstrels, servants of the Muses, tell.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley)
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
His voice grew more remote. She wondered if he was calling from his condominium, where he’d lost his best friend, or from Avalon, where he’d lost himself. “I like you, Billie. You’re a nice person. Good company. But tonight was a mistake.” She flung an arm over her eyes and swallowed the lump of tears that had lodged in her throat. “Oh? Which part? The part where you introduced me to your family and exposed yourself as coming from a perfectly average, wholesome background? Or the part where you touched me and turned me inside-out while swaying in a hammock in the rich, beautiful woods—one of the most searing sexual experiences of my life? Which part do you regret, Adrian?” “All of it. I can’t have those things with you. You know what I am.” “Yes, Adrian, I know what you are. A gentle man. A likable one. Smart. Cultured. Sexy. I know what you are.” “But the other part—” “What about the other part? You hide behind the other part.” She yanked the pillow out from beneath her head and winged it across the bedroom, furious suddenly. “Did you call to tell me I’m not going to see you anymore? Because if that’s the case, hurry up and say it. Then hang up and go back to work, and don’t worry one bit about me. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I’m tougher than you think. I won’t cling to any man who’d rather be a-a—” She stumbled, bit back the ugly words rushing to her lips. “A what?” he countered softly. “A whore? A gigolo? Go ahead and say it, Billie. If you’re going to waste your time caring about me, then you’d better get used to the idea, because I can’t change. I won’t. Not for you or anyone.” She bit back a sound of pure derision. “How about for you? Think you could walk the straight and narrow for yourself?” He didn’t reply. He didn’t have to. Billie already knew the answer. “You’re afraid.” She sat up among the sheets as cold realization washed through her. “Afraid to live without women clambering to pay top dollar for you. All that money…it’s a measure of your value, right? It’s your self-esteem. What would happen if you were paid in love instead of cash? Would the world end? My God, Adrian. You’re running scared.” The half-whispered accusation seemed to permeate his impassivity. “I was fine before you.” His voice came low and furious. Finally, finally. True emotion. “Damn it, Billie. I want my life back.” “Then hang up and don’t call me again, because I’m not going to pay you for sex, Adrian. What I offer is a worthless currency in your world.
Shelby Reed (The Fifth Favor)
After deliberating my options for a split second, I rolled my chair over to watch him tattoo the guy he had hunched over, working on an old pirate ship right smack on the middle of the man’s brawny shoulder. I didn’t say a word as I watched him, not wanting to distract him from the man who had been all too excited to request Slim’s work an hour before. But my friend Slim had other thoughts. His green eyes flashed up at me. “What was that about?” "Huh?" I played stupid. Slim pulled the gun off the customer’s skin, dabbing at the beaded blood before continuing with a shake of his head. "Since when are you guys BFFs?" I’d learned over the last month how chatty all the guys were, well, specifically Slim and Blake. If I answered his question just remotely weird, I’d bet my first born Slim would jump to some kind of crazy conclusion that I wanted no part of. So I went with the truth. “I heard him fart last night. It kind of broke the ice.” The little whistle he let out told me that was good enough. He snorted and raised an eyebrow before getting back to work. “That’ll do it.
Mariana Zapata (Under Locke)
I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think. A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this: “We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry for you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, but we will fight like devils against any improvement of your condition.
George Orwell (Down And Out In Paris And London)
Why is a relaxed state of mind so important for creative insights? When our minds are at ease — when those alpha waves are rippling through the brain — we’re more likely to direct the spotlight of attention inward, toward that stream of remote associations emanating from the right hemisphere. In contrast, when we are diligently focused, our attention tends to be directed outward, toward the details of the problems we’re trying to solve. While this pattern of attention is necessary when solving problems an-alytically, it actually prevents us from detecting the connections that lead to insights. “That’s why so many insights happen during warm showers,” Bhattacharya says. “For many people, it’s the most relaxing part of the day.
Jonah Lehrer (Imagine: How Creativity Works)
….unable to find a title for her last published novel, she wrote six lines which included her eventual title The Birds Fall Down. These lines were attributed to Conway Power (the name she generally appended to her poetry, even in her private notebooks), from a non-existent poem called ‘Guide to a Disturbed Planet.’ When the novel was published she had fun deflecting the enquiries of readers who wanted to know how to find the works of Conway Power. One was told a long story: Conway Power was a landowner in a remote area who had written thousands of poems and destroyed most of them. He had left some of them with her, given his property to a nephew, and gone abroad. ‘If I can trace the book (if there is a book) I’ll let you know.
Victoria Glendinning (Rebecca West : A Life)
For example, missionary linguists are working on modified Roman alphabets for hundreds of New Guinea and Native American languages. Government linguists devised the modified Roman alphabet adopted in 1928 by Turkey for writing Turkish, as well as the modified Cyrillic alphabets designed for many tribal languages of Russia. In a few cases, we also know something about the individuals who designed writing systems by blueprint copying in the remote past. For instance, the Cyrillic alphabet itself (the one still used today in Russia) is descended from an adaptation of Greek and Hebrew letters devised by Saint Cyril, a Greek missionary to the Slavs in the ninth century A.D. The first preserved texts for any Germanic language (the language family that includes English) are in the Gothic alphabet created by Bishop Ulfilas, a missionary living with the Visigoths in what is now Bulgaria in the fourth century A.D. Like Saint Cyril’s invention, Ulfilas’s alphabet was a mishmash of letters borrowed from different sources: about 20 Greek letters, about five Roman letters, and two letters either taken from the runic alphabet or invented by Ulfilas himself. Much
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
Pre-Raphaelites they called themselves; not that they imitated the early Italian masters at all, but that in their work, as opposed to the facile abstractions of Raphael, they found a stronger realism of imagination, a more careful realism of technique, a vision at once more fervent and more vivid, an individuality more intimate and more intense. For it is not enough that a work of art should conform to the aesthetic demands of its age: there must be also about it, if it is to affect us with any permanent delight, the impress of a distinct individuality, an individuality remote from that of ordinary men, and coming near to us only by virtue of a certain newness and wonder in the work, and through channels whose very strangeness makes us more ready to give them welcome.
Oscar Wilde (The English Renaissance of Art)
She'd liked things better when everything had been controlled simply by on and off switches and when push-button telephone and telly remotes were as far as technology had gone. Make a few calls and put the burden of information searching on someone else. That was the ticket. Now, however, things were different. It was the investigator's mental shoe leather that got worn down, not the real thing.
Elizabeth George
They all watched as Genya checked his pulse, his breathing. She shook her head. “Zoya,” said Sturmhond. His voice had the ring of command. Zoya sighed and pushed up her sleeves. “Unbutton his shirt.” “What are you doing?” Kaz asked as Genya undid Kuwei’s remaining buttons. His chest was narrow, his ribs visible, all of it spattered with the pig’s blood they’d encased in the wax bladder. “I’m either going to wake up his heart or cook him from the inside out,” said Zoya. “Stand back.” They did their best to obey in the cramped space. “What exactly does she mean by that?” Kaz asked Nina. “I’m not sure,” Nina admitted. Zoya had her hands out and her eyes closed. The air felt suddenly cool and moist. Inej inhaled deeply. “It smells like a storm.” Zoya opened her eyes and brought her hands together as if in prayer, rubbing her palms against each other briskly. Nina felt the pressure drop, tasted metal on her tongue. “I think … I think she’s summoning lightning.” “Is that safe?” asked Inej. “Not remotely,” said Sturmhond. “Has she at least done it before?” said Kaz. “For this purpose?” asked Sturmhond. “I’ve seen her do it twice. It worked splendidly. Once.” His voice was oddly familiar, and Nina had the sense they’d met before. “Ready?” Zoya asked. Genya shoved a thickly folded piece of fabric between Kuwei’s teeth and stepped back. With a shudder, Nina realized it was to keep him from biting his tongue. “I really hope she gets this right,” murmured Nina. “Not as much as Kuwei does,” said Kaz. “It’s tricky,” said Sturmhond. “Lightning doesn’t like a master. Zoya’s putting her own life at risk too.” “She didn’t strike me as the type,” Kaz said. “You’d be surprised,” Nina and Sturmhond replied in unison. Again, Nina had the eerie sensation that she knew him. She saw that Rotty had squeezed his eyes shut, unable to watch. Inej’s lips were moving in what Nina knew must be a prayer. A faint blue glow crackled between Zoya’s palms. She took a deep breath and slapped them down on Kuwei’s chest.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I wanted peace and quiet, tranquillity, but was too much aboil inside. Somewhere beneath the load of the emotion-freezing ice which my life had conditioned my brain to produce, a spot of black anger glowed and threw off a hot red light of such intensity that had Lord Kelvin known of its existence, he would have had to revise his measurements. A remote explosion had occurred somewhere, perhaps back at Emerson's or that night in Bledsoe's office, and it had caused the ice cap to melt and shift the slightest bit. But that bit, that fraction, was irrevocable. Coming to New York had perhaps been an unconscious attempt to keep the old freezing unit going, but it hadn't worked; hot water had gotten into its coils. Only a drop, perhaps, but that drop was the first wave of the deluge. One moment I believed, I was dedicated, willing to lie on the blazing coals, do anything to attain a position on the campus -- then snap! It was done with, finished, through. Now there was only the problem of forgetting it. If only all the contradictory voices shouting inside my head would calm down and sing a song in unison, whatever it was I wouldn't care as long as they sang without dissonance; yes, and avoided the uncertain extremes of the scale. But there was no relief. I was wild with resentment but too much under "self-control," that frozen virtue, that freezing vice. And the more resentful I became, the more my old urge to make speeches returned. While walking along the streets words would spill from my lips in a mumble over which I had little control. I became afraid of what I might do. All things were indeed awash in my mind. I longed for home.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
But the biggest news that month was the departure from Apple, yet again, of its cofounder, Steve Wozniak. Wozniak was then quietly working as a midlevel engineer in the Apple II division, serving as a humble mascot of the roots of the company and staying as far away from management and corporate politics as he could. He felt, with justification, that Jobs was not appreciative of the Apple II, which remained the cash cow of the company and accounted for 70% of its sales at Christmas 1984. “People in the Apple II group were being treated as very unimportant by the rest of the company,” he later said. “This was despite the fact that the Apple II was by far the largest-selling product in our company for ages, and would be for years to come.” He even roused himself to do something out of character; he picked up the phone one day and called Sculley, berating him for lavishing so much attention on Jobs and the Macintosh division. Frustrated, Wozniak decided to leave quietly to start a new company that would make a universal remote control device he had invented. It would control your television, stereo, and other electronic devices with a simple set of buttons that you could easily program. He informed the head of engineering at the Apple II division, but he didn’t feel he was important enough to go out of channels and tell Jobs or Markkula. So Jobs first heard about it when the news leaked in the Wall Street Journal. In his earnest way, Wozniak had openly answered the reporter’s questions when he called. Yes, he said, he felt that Apple had been giving short shrift to the Apple II division. “Apple’s direction has been horrendously wrong for five years,” he said.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Adopting a remote, managerial point of view, you could say that the Eagle project was a case where a local system of management worked as it should: competition for resources creating within a team inside a company an entrepreneurial spirit, which was channeled in the right direction by constraints sent down from the top. But it seems more accurate to say that a group of engineers got excited about building a computer.
Tracy Kidder (The Soul of a New Machine)
[ Dr. Lois Jolyon West was cleared at Top Secret for his work on MKULTRA. ] Dr. Michael Persinger [235], another FSMF Board Member, is the author of a paper entitled “Elicitation of 'Childhood Memories' in Hypnosis-Like Settings Is Associated With Complex Partial Epileptic-Like Signs For Women But Not for Men: the False Memory Syndrome.” In the paper Perceptual and Motor Skills,In the paper, Dr. Persinger writes: On the day of the experiment each subject (not more than two were tested per day) was asked to sit quietly in an acoustic chamber and was told that the procedure was an experiment in relaxation. The subject wore goggles and a modified motorcycle helmet through which 10-milligauss (1 microTesla) magnetic fields were applied through the temporal plane. Except for a weak red (photographic developing) light, the room was dark. Dr. Persinger's research on the ability of magnetic fields to facilitate the creation of false memories and altered states of consciousness is apparently funded by the Defense Intelligence Agency through the project cryptonym SLEEPING BEAUTY. Freedom of Information Act requests concerning SLEEPING BEAUTY with a number of different intelligence agencies including the CIA and DEA has yielded denial that such a program exists. Certainly, such work would be of direct interest to BLUEBIRD, ARTICHOKE, MKULTRA and other non-lethal weapons programs. Schnabel [280] lists Dr. Persinger as an Interview Source in his book on remote viewing operations conducted under Stargate, Grill Flame and other cryptonyms at Fort Meade and on contract to the Stanford Research Institute. Schnabel states (p. 220) that, “As one of the Pentagon's top scientists, Vorona was privy to some of the strangest, most secret research projects ever conceived. Grill Flame was just one. Another was code-named Sleeping Beauty; it was a Defense Department study of remote microwave mind-influencing techniques ... [...] It appears from Schnabel's well-documented investigations that Sleeping Beauty is a real, but still classified mind control program. Schnabel [280] lists Dr. West as an Interview Source and says that West was a, “Member of medical oversight board for Science Applications International Corp. remote-viewing research in early 1990s.
Colin A. Ross (The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists)
How often, ah, how often, between the desire of the heart and its fulfilment, lies only the briefest space of time and distance, and yet the desire remains forever unfulfilled! It is so near that we can touch it with the hand, and yet so far away that the eye cannot perceive it. What Mr. Churchill most desired was before him. The Romance he was longing to find and record had really occurred in his neighborhood, among his own friends. It had been set like a picture into the frame-work of his life, enclosed within his own experience. But he could not see it is as an object apart from himself; and as he was gazing at what was remote and strange and indistinct, the nearer incidents of aspiration, love, and death, escaped him. They were too near to be clothed by the imagination with the golden vapors of romance; for the familiar seems trivial, and only the distant and unknown completely fill and satisfy the mind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Kavanagh)
Secondly, these missionaries would gradually, and without creating suspicion or exciting alarm, introduce a rudimentary cleanliness among the nobility, and from them it would work down to the people, if the priests could be kept quiet. This would undermine the Church. I mean would be a step toward that. Next, education—next, freedom—and then she would begin to crumble. It being my conviction that any Established Church is an established crime, an established slave-pen, I had no scruples, but was willing to assail it in any way or with any weapon that promised to hurt it. Why, in my own former day—in remote centuries not yet stirring in the womb of time—there were old Englishmen who imagined that they had been born in a free country: a “free” country with the Corporation Act and the Test still in force in it—timbers propped against men’s liberties and dishonored consciences to shore up an Established Anachronism with.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Fully Illustrated))
As for Madelyne, she continued to ply her trade. But such a life takes a fast toll on a woman. It is easy to be a remote, untouchable beauty and stay that way for many, many years. And if a stunning tapestry is hung upon a wall, it remains unsullied and a work of art. However, if one drapes it across the floor of a pub and all manner of men tread upon it with their heavy boots, it's going to be worn rather thin, and rather quickly. Such was the case with my mother.
Peter David (Sir Apropos of Nothing (Sir Apropos of Nothing, #1))
Many employers will attempt to ignore these best practices. The most shortsighted will resist change completely, forcing employees back into the office full-time. But many others, perhaps feeling the competitive pressure, will begrudgingly allow for some remote or hybrid work. They will likely frame flexibility much as they have before: as a benevolent corporate perk or, worse yet, as an opportunity only available to those who’ve earned the privilege, suggesting that it could be revoked at any time.
Charlie Warzel (Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home)
It is a pretty structure, isn’t it? It makes you think of something solid, stable, well linked. In fact it happens in chemistry as in architecture that ‘beautiful’ edifices, that is symmetrical and simple, are also the most sturdy: in short, the same thing happens with molecules as with the cupolas of cathedrals of the arches of bridges. And it is also possible that the explanation is neither remote nor metaphysical: to say ‘beautiful’ is to say ‘desirable’, and ever since man has built he has wanted to build at the smallest expense and in the most durable fashion, and the aesthetic enjoyment he experiences when contemplating his work comes afterward. Certainly, it has not always been this way: there have been centuries in which ‘beauty’ was identified with adornment, the superimposed, the frills; but it is probable that they were deviant epochs and that the true beauty, in which every century recognises itself, is found in upright stones, ships’ hulls, the blade of an axe, the wing of a plane.
Primo Levi (The Periodic Table)
Young has a personal relationship with electricity. In Europe, where the electrical current is sixty cycles, not fifty, he can pinpoint the fluctuation --- by degrees. It dumbfounded Cragg. "He'll say, 'Larry, there's a hundred volts coming out of the wall, isn't there?' I'll go measure it, and yeah, sure --- he can hear the difference." Shakey's innovations are everywhere. Intent on controlling amp volume from his guitar instead of the amp, Young had a remote device designed called the Whizzer. Guitarists marvel at the stomp box that lies onstage at Young's feet: a byzantine gang of effects that can be utilized without any degradation to the original signal. Just constructing the box's angular red wooden housing to Young's extreme specifications had craftsmen pulling their hair out. Cradled in a stand in front of the amps is the fuse for the dynamite, Young's trademark ax--Old Black, a '53 Gold Top Les Paul some knot-head daubed with black paint eons ago. Old Black's features include a Bigsby wang bar, which pulls strings and bends notes, and Firebird picking so sensitive you can talk through it. It's a demonic instrument. "Old black doesn't sound like any other guitar," said Cragg, shaking his head. For Cragg, Old Black is a nightmare. Young won't permit the ancient frets to be changed, likes his strings old and used, and the Bigsby causes the guitar to go out of tune constantly. "At Sound check, everything will work great. Neil picks up the guitar, and for some reason that's when things go wrong.
Jimmy McDonough (Shakey: Neil Young's Biography)
Lay people are usually unaware that the scrupulous scholarly work achieved by modern biblical criticism … represented by scrupulous academic work over about 300 years, belongs among the greatest intellectual achievements of the human race. Has any of the great world religions outside of the Jewish-Christian tradition investigated its own foundations and its own history so thoroughly and impartially? None of them has remotely approached this. The Bible is far and away the most studied book in world literature.
Hans Küng
It is the very character of domestic life to present the world as an enclosed owned space, and, although mankind adapts itself on the whole to this condition, both biologically and culturally, yet there remains a glimmer of the opposite tendency inside even the lowliest. He can’t help but experience this new state of things in late civilizations except with dread, the dread uncanny suspicion..... that the world is artificial. He begins to sense that this hothouse he lives in is the malevolent creation of a demiurge that likes to observe our sufferings, that He and his minions feed on them. In the remote future, should the evil of human innovation continue unchecked, we really will live in the world the Gnostics feared, and that spark of vital life and energy that is the gift of nature to all youthful peoples born from its womb, that spark will remain entrapped in “matter wrongly configured,” matter entirely foreign to its inborn desires and workings, but fashioned instead for the benefit of something else.
Bronze Age Pervert (Bronze Age Mindset)
I really doubt my parents are going to let me stay the night in a remote cabin with a bunch of boys.” “Oh, please, Snow White, Mike’s dad’ll be there. He’s actually kinda funny…you know, in a weird dad kind of way. Don’t worry, your purity will remain intact. Scout’s honor.” She made some sort of gesture with her fingers that Violet assumed was supposed to be an oath, but since Chelsea had never actually been a Girl Scout, it ended up looking more like a peace sign. Or something. Violet maintained her dubious expression. But Chelsea wasn’t about to be discouraged, and she tried to be the voice of reason. “Come on, I think Jay’s checking to see if he can get the time off work. The least you can do is ask your parents. If they say no, then no harm, no foul, right? If they say yes, then we’ll have a kick-ass time. We’ll go hiking in the snow and hang out in front of the fireplace in the evening. We’ll sleep in sleeping bags and maybe even roast some marshmallows. It’ll be like we’re camping.” She beamed a superfake smile at Violet and clasped her hands together like she was begging. “Do it for me. Ple-eease.” Jules came back with their milk shake. It was strawberry, and Chelsea flashed Violet an I-told-you-so grin. Violet finished her tea, mulling over the idea of spending the weekend in a snowy cabin with Jay and Chelsea. Away from town. Away from whoever was leaving her dead animals and creepy notes. It did sound fun, and Violet did love the snow. And the woods. And Jay. She could at least ask. Like Chelsea said, No harm, no foul.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
(What counts as that which is is the present, the actual, to which the necessary and the possible are at first merely related—the usual example from the history of the first beginning.) The sheltering is itself carried out in and as Da-sein. That happens, and gains and loses history, in the steadfast care-taking which in advance pertains to the event though scarcely has knowledge of the event. This care-taking, conceived not on the basis of everydayness but from the selfhood of Dasein, abides in various mutually requisite modes: the fabrication of implements, the instituting of machinations (technology), the creation of works, the acts that form states, and thoughtful sacrifice. In all of these, in each one differently, a pre-forming and co-forming of cognition and of essential knowledge as the grounding of truth. “Science” only a remote scion of a determinate permeation of implement-production, etc.; nothing autonomous and never to be brought into connection with the essential knowledge of the inventive thinking of being (philosophy).
Martin Heidegger (Contributions to Philosophy: (Of the Event) (Studies in Continental Thought))
Only the middle distance and what may be called the remoter foreground are strictly human. When we look very near or very far, man either vanishes altogether or loses his primacy. The astronomer looks even further afield than the Sung painter and sees even less of human life. At the other end of the scale the physicist, the chemist, the physiologist pursue the close-up – the cellular close-up, the molecular, the atomic and subatomic. Of that which, at twenty feet, even at arm’s length, looked and sounded like a human being no trace remains. Something analogous happens to the myopic artist and the happy lover. In the nuptial embrace personality is melted down; the individual (it is the recurrent theme of Lawrence’s poems and novels) ceases to be himself and becomes a part of the vast impersonal universe. And so it is with the artist who chooses to use his eyes at the near point. In his work humanity loses its importance, even disappears completely. Instead of men and women playing their fantastic tricks before high heaven, we are asked to consider the lilies, to meditate on the unearthly beauty of ‘mere things,’ when isolated from their utilitarian context and rendered as they are, in and for themselves. Alternatively (or, at an earlier stage of artistic development, exclusively), the nonhuman world of the near-point is rendered in patterns. These patterns are abstracted for the most part from leaves and flowers – the rose, the lotus, the acanthus, palm, papyrus – and are elaborated, with recurrences and variations, into something transportingly reminisce
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
The remoter poetry in particular was replete with effects, an effect being something hypnotic we cannot quite understand, whiteness of moon and wave related to the setting of Time in a manner "too subtle for the intellect." And all over Europe, by the late 19th century, poets had decided that effects were intrinsic to poetry, and were aiming at them by deliberate process. By the end of the century, in France, whole poems have been made "too subtle for the intellect," held together, as effects are, by the extra-semantic affinities of their words. Picking up a name that was once thrown around as their authors, we have learned to call them "Symbolist" poems. In the Symbolist poem the Romantic effect has become a structural principle, and we may say that Symbolism is scientific Romanticism, thus an effort to anticipate the work of time by aiming directly at the kind of existence a poem may have when a thousand years have deprived it of its dandelions and its mythologies, an existence purely linguistic, determined by the molecular bonds of half-understood words.
Hugh Kenner (The Pound Era)
The information age has off-loaded a great deal of the work previously done by people we could call information specialists onto all of the rest of us. We are doing the jobs of ten different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favorite TV shows. It’s no wonder that sometimes one memory gets confounded with another, leading us to show up in the right place but on the wrong day, or to forget something as simple as where we last put our glasses or the remote.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
Certain opponents of Marxism dismiss it as an outworn economic dogma based upon 19th century prejudices. Marxism never was a dogma. There is no reason why its formulation in the 19th century should make it obsolete and wrong, any more than the discoveries of Gauss, Faraday and Darwin, which have passed into the body of science... The defense generally given is that the Gita and the Upanishads are Indian; that foreign ideas like Marxism are objectionable. This is generally argued in English the foreign language common to educated Indians; and by persons who live under a mode of production (the bourgeois system forcibly introduced by the foreigner into India.) The objection, therefore seems less to the foreign origin than to the ideas themselves which might endanger class privilege. Marxism is said to be based upon violence, upon the class-war in which the very best people do not believe nowadays. They might as well proclaim that meteorology encourages storms by predicting them. No Marxist work contains incitement to war and specious arguments for senseless killing remotely comparable to those in the divine Gita.
Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi (Exasperating Essays: Exercises in the Dialectical Method)
To the enormous majority of persons who risk themselves in literature, not even the smallest measure of success can fall. They had better take to some other profession as quickly as may be, they are only making a sure thing of disappointment, only crowding the narrow gates of fortune and fame. Yet there are others to whom success, though easily within their reach, does not seem a thing to be grasped at. Of two such, the pathetic story may be read, in the Memoir of A Scotch Probationer, Mr. Thomas Davidson, who died young, an unplaced Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1869. He died young, unaccepted by the world, unheard of, uncomplaining, soon after writing his latest song on the first grey hairs of the lady whom he loved. And she, Miss Alison Dunlop, died also, a year ago, leaving a little work newly published, Anent Old Edinburgh, in which is briefly told the story of her life. There can hardly be a true tale more brave and honourable, for those two were eminently qualified to shine, with a clear and modest radiance, in letters. Both had a touch of poetry, Mr. Davidson left a few genuine poems, both had humour, knowledge, patience, industry, and literary conscientiousness. No success came to them, they did not even seek it, though it was easily within the reach of their powers. Yet none can call them failures, leaving, as they did, the fragrance of honourable and uncomplaining lives, and such brief records of these as to delight, and console and encourage us all. They bequeath to us the spectacle of a real triumph far beyond the petty gains of money or of applause, the spectacle of lives made happy by literature, unvexed by notoriety, unfretted by envy. What we call success could never have yielded them so much, for the ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, make a name, and therewith about one-tenth of the wealth which is ungrudged to physicians, or barristers, or stock-brokers, or dentists, or electricians. If literature and occupation with letters were not its own reward, truly they who seem to succeed might envy those who fail. It is not wealth that they win, as fortunate men in other professions count wealth; it is not rank nor fashion that come to their call nor come to call on them. Their success is to be let dwell with their own fancies, or with the imaginations of others far greater than themselves; their success is this living in fantasy, a little remote from the hubbub and the contests of the world. At the best they will be vexed by curious eyes and idle tongues, at the best they will die not rich in this world’s goods, yet not unconsoled by the friendships which they win among men and women whose faces they will never see. They may well be content, and thrice content, with their lot, yet it is not a lot which should provoke envy, nor be coveted by ambition.
Andrew Lang (How to Fail in Literature: A Lecture)
Bats. Bats were the first visual proof I had that stealth really worked. We had deployed thirty-seven F-117As to the King Khalid Air Base, in a remote corner of Saudi Arabia, out of the range of Saddam’s Scuds, about 900 miles from downtown Baghdad. The Saudis provided us with a first-class fighter base with reinforced hangars, and at night the bats would come out and feed off insects. In the mornings we’d find bat corpses littered around our airplanes inside the open hangars. Bats used a form of sonar to “see” at night, and they were crashing blindly into our low-radar-cross-section tails
Ben Rich CEO Lockheed Skunk Works
Do you like cooking shows?” she asked, her eyes skittering away bashfully. “There’s this one I’ve been watching on YouTube—Angie got me hooked on it.” “I love cooking shows.” I leaned forward to snag the remote off the table and handed it to her. “Show me.” We settled back to watch a charming young woman attempt to replicate Girl Scout cookies. It was both amusing and stressful, and as the show’s host veered off task to clean the microwave and tried to reject the assistance of the other kitchen staffers, insisting that she worked better alone when she so clearly needed help, I began to understand why Dawn liked it so much.
Susannah Nix (Mad About Ewe (Common Threads, #1))
You're fixing everything I set down." He nods at my hands, which are readjusting the elephant. "It wasn't polite of me to come in and start touching your things." "Oh,it's okay," I say quickly, letting go of the figurine. "You can touch anything of mine you want." He freezes. A funny look runs across his face before I realize what I've said. I didn't mean it like that. Not that that/i> would be so bad. But I like Toph,and St. Clair has a girlfriend. And even if the situation were different, Mer still has dibs. I'd never do that to her after how nice she was my first day.And my second. And every other day this week. Besides,he's just an attractive boy. Nothing to get worked up over. I mean, the streets of Europe are filled with beautiful guys, right? Guys with grooming regimens and proper haircuts and stylish coats.Not that I've seen anyone even remotely as good-looking as Monsieur Etienne St.Clair.But still. He turns his face away from mine. Is it my imagination or does he look embarrassed? But why would he be embarrassed? I'm the one with the idiotic mouth. "Is that your boyfriend?" He points to my laptop's wallpaper, a photo of my coworkers and me goofing around. It was taken before the midnight release of the lastest fantasy-novel-to-film adaptation. Most of us were dressed like elves or wizards. "The one with his eyes closed?" "WHAT?" He thinks I'd date a guy like Hercules Hercules is an assistant manager. He's ten years older than me and,yes, that's his real name. And even though he's sweet and knows more about Japanese horror films than anyone,he also has a ponytail. A ponytail. "Anna,I'm kidding.This one. Sideburns." He points to Toph,the reason I love the picture so much.Our heads are turned into each other, and we're wearing secret smiles,as if sharing a private joke. " really.I mean, Toph was my almost-boyfriend.I moved away before..." I trail off, uncomfortable. "Before much could happen.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The builders did not know the uses to which their work would descend; they made a new house with the stones of the old castle; year by year, generation after generation, they enriched and extended it; year by year the great harvest of timber in the park grew to ripeness; until, in sudden frost, came the age of Hooper; the place was desolate and the work all brought to nothing; Quomodo sedet sola civitas. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. ‘And yet,’ I thought, stepping out more briskly towards the camp, where the bugles after a pause had taken up the second call and were sounding ‘Pick-em-up, pick-em-up, hot potatoes’, ‘and yet that is not the last word; it is not even an apt word; it is a dead word from ten years back. ‘Something quite remote from anything the builders intended, has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time; a small red flame - a beaten-copper lamp of deplorable design relit before the beaten-copper doors of a tabernacle; the flame which the old knights saw from their tombs, which they saw put out; that flame burns again for other soldiers, far from home, farther, in heart, than Acre or Jerusalem. It could not have been lit but for the builders and the tragedians, and there I found it this morning, burning anew among the old stones.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
A myth, therefore, is true because it is effective, not because it gives us factual information. If, however, it does not give us new insight into the deeper meaning of life, it has failed. If it works, that is, if it forces us to change our minds and hearts, gives us new hope, and compels us to live more fully, it is a valid myth. Mythology will only transform us if we follow its directives. A myth is essentially a guide; it tells us what we must do in order to live more richly. If we do not apply it to our own situation and make the myth a reality in our own lives, it will remain as incomprehensible and remote as the rules of a board game, which often seem confusing and boring until we start to play.
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
I know for a fact that I would be awful if I was built like Serena Williams or Jennifer Lopez... If I had a body remotely close to what they have, I would be a terror. My ass would cause me to do really inappropriate and rude things. I'd be so ridiculous that people would be able to pick my labia out of a lineup. I'd wear zero clothes any- and everywhere, every day. I'd show up at church rocking a denim thong and a cropped T-shirt and have the nerve to sit right next to the head usher and dare her to say anything to me. And if anyone did say something to me, I'd tell them, "Jesus blessed me in many ways, and I am just showing off His works. HALLELUJAH." People would be disgusted and appalled by me and I wouldn't care. All insults would bounce off my ample backside. To whom much is given, much is required, and I'd require that my much would be given nary an inch of fabric. I'd hire a band whose sole job would be to follow me around and play theme music for my yansh, based on the mood I was in... I might opt to walk backwards into any room I entered, because why not?... I might also declare my booty its own limited liability corporation, assigning myself as CEO and chairman of the Donk. My jeans would be tax-deductible business expenses, and I would add my ass to my LinkedIn profile's Skills section. Everyone would throw hate ration in my dancery, and I wouldn't even see it, protected as I would be by the throne I sat atop.
Luvvie Ajayi Jones (I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual)
They agreed to make my banana cock. I sent over the names of the specific colors to use, tried my best to explain the stone placement method I use to achieve maximum sparkle, and worked on how I would install the squirting mechanism once my phallus arrived. When it arrived, two days before the shoot, it looked like a pineapple. Bananas and pineapples are both fruit. Both have a decent amount of vitamin C, though pineapples have more. However, only one has lots of mildly radioactive potassium. Only one is associated with cream closely enough for the whipped variety to seem even remotely logical bursting out of it. And only one has a history of suggesting fellatio when eaten whole. Turns out, there’d been a communication error between the glassblowers and I.
Stoya (Philosophy, Pussycats, and Porn)
And as regards industrial enterprises there is little difference, from the psychological point of view, between those conducted by the state and those conducted by large private corporations. In either case there is a government which in fact, if not in intention, is remote from those whom it controls. It is only the members of the government, whether of a state or of a large corporation, who can retain the sense of individual initiative, and there is inevitably a tendency for governments to regard those who work for them more or less as they regard their machines, that is to say merely as necessary means. The desirability of smooth co-operation constantly tends to increase the size of units, and therefore to diminish the number of those who still possess the power of initiative.
Bertrand Russell
Thirty years ago, travel agents made our airline and rail reservations, salesclerks helped us find what we were looking for in stores, and professional typists or secretaries helped busy people with their correspondence. Now we do most of those things ourselves. The information age has off-loaded a great deal of the work previously done by people we could call information specialists onto all of the rest of us. We are doing the jobs of ten different people while still trying to keep up with our lives, our children and parents, our friends, our careers, our hobbies, and our favorite TV shows. It’s no wonder that sometimes one memory gets confounded with another, leading us to show up in the right place but on the wrong day, or to forget something as simple as where we last put our glasses or the remote.
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
The dominant literary mode of the twentieth century has been the fantastic. This may appear a surprising claim, which would not have seemed even remotely conceivable at the start of the century and which is bound to encounter fierce resistance even now. However, when the time comes to look back at the century, it seems very likely that future literary historians, detached from the squabbles of our present, will see as its most representative and distinctive works books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and also George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot-49 and Gravity’s Rainbow. The list could readily be extended, back to the late nineteenth century with H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau and The War of the Worlds, and up to writers currently active like Stephen R. Donaldson and George R.R. Martin. It could take in authors as different, not to say opposed, as Kingsley and Martin Amis, Anthony Burgess, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Don DeLillo, and Julian Barnes. By the end of the century, even authors deeply committed to the realist novel have often found themselves unable to resist the gravitational pull of the fantastic as a literary mode. This is not the same, one should note, as fantasy as a literary genre – of the authors listed above, only four besides Tolkien would find their works regularly placed on the ‘fantasy’ shelves of bookshops, and ‘the fantastic’ includes many genres besides fantasy: allegory and parable, fairy-tale, horror and science fiction, modern ghost-story and medieval romance. Nevertheless, the point remains. Those authors of the twentieth century who have spoken most powerfully to and for their contemporaries have for some reason found it necessary to use the metaphoric mode of fantasy, to write about worlds and creatures which we know do not exist, whether Tolkien’s ‘Middle-earth’, Orwell’s ‘Ingsoc’, the remote islands of Golding and Wells, or the Martians and Tralfa-madorians who burst into peaceful English or American suburbia in Wells and Vonnegut. A ready explanation for this phenomenon is of course that it represents a kind of literary disease, whose sufferers – the millions of readers of fantasy – should be scorned, pitied, or rehabilitated back to correct and proper taste. Commonly the disease is said to be ‘escapism’: readers and writers of fantasy are fleeing from reality. The problem with this is that so many of the originators of the later twentieth-century fantastic mode, including all four of those first mentioned above (Tolkien, Orwell, Golding, Vonnegut) are combat veterans, present at or at least deeply involved in the most traumatically significant events of the century, such as the Battle of the Somme (Tolkien), the bombing of Dresden (Vonnegut), the rise and early victory of fascism (Orwell). Nor can anyone say that they turned their backs on these events. Rather, they had to find some way of communicating and commenting on them. It is strange that this had, for some reason, in so many cases to involve fantasy as well as realism, but that is what has happened.
Tom Shippey (J.r.r. Tolkien: Author of the Century)
Until now. You and I are a mis-Match, Ellie, because I hacked into your servers to manipulate our results.” “Rubbish,” Ellie said, secretly balking at the notion. She folded her arms indignantly. “Our servers are more secure than almost every major international company across the world. We receive so many hacking attempts, yet no one gets in. We have the best software and team money can buy to protect us against people like you.” “You’re right about some of that. But what your system didn’t take into account was your own vanity. Do you remember receiving an email some time ago with the subject ‘Businesswoman of the Year Award’? You couldn’t help but open it.” Ellie vaguely remembered reading the email as it had been sent to her private account, which only a few people had knowledge of. “Attached to it was a link you clicked on and that opened to nothing, didn’t it?” Matthew continued. “Well, it wasn’t nothing to me, because your click released a tiny, undetectable piece of tailor-made malware that allowed me to remotely access your network and work my way around your files. Everything you had access to, I had access to. Then I simply replicated my strand of DNA to mirror image yours, sat back and waited for you to get in touch. That’s why I came for a job interview, to learn a little more about the programming and systems you use. Please thank your head of personnel for leaving me alone in the room for a few moments with her laptop while she searched for a working camera to take my head shot. That was a huge help in accessing your network. Oh, and tell her to frisk interviewees for lens deflectors next time—they’re pocket-sized gadgets that render digital cameras useless.
John Marrs (The One)
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, on the 15th October, 1856, so that he is now about twenty-six years of age, but brief as has been his career, it has been full of promise for the future. The son of highly intellectual parents, he has had an exceptional education, has travelled much in wild and remote, through classic lands, and in the course of these journeys has learnt to appreciate the beauties of the old authors, in whose works whilst at college he attained exceptional proficiency. But his naturally enthusiastic temperament teaches him to hope for better in the future than has been achieved in the past, and to see how vast will be the influence of Art and Literature on the coming democracy of Intellect, when education and culture shall have taught men to pride themselves on what they have done, and not alone on the deeds of their ancestors.
Walter Hamilton (The Aesthetic Movement In England)
Security is a big and serious deal, but it’s also largely a solved problem. That’s why the average person is quite willing to do their banking online and why nobody is afraid of entering their credit card number on Amazon. At 37signals, we’ve devised a simple security checklist all employees must follow: 1. All computers must use hard drive encryption, like the built-in FileVault feature in Apple’s OS X operating system. This ensures that a lost laptop is merely an inconvenience and an insurance claim, not a company-wide emergency and a scramble to change passwords and worry about what documents might be leaked. 2. Disable automatic login, require a password when waking from sleep, and set the computer to automatically lock after ten inactive minutes. 3. Turn on encryption for all sites you visit, especially critical services like Gmail. These days all sites use something called HTTPS or SSL. Look for the little lock icon in front of the Internet address. (We forced all 37signals products onto SSL a few years back to help with this.) 4. Make sure all smartphones and tablets use lock codes and can be wiped remotely. On the iPhone, you can do this through the “Find iPhone” application. This rule is easily forgotten as we tend to think of these tools as something for the home, but inevitably you’ll check your work email or log into Basecamp using your tablet. A smartphone or tablet needs to be treated with as much respect as your laptop. 5. Use a unique, generated, long-form password for each site you visit, kept by password-managing software, such as 1Password.§ We’re sorry to say, “secretmonkey” is not going to fool anyone. And even if you manage to remember UM6vDjwidQE9C28Z, it’s no good if it’s used on every site and one of them is hacked. (It happens all the time!) 6. Turn on two-factor authentication when using Gmail, so you can’t log in without having access to your cell phone for a login code (this means that someone who gets hold of your login and password also needs to get hold of your phone to login). And keep in mind: if your email security fails, all other online services will fail too, since an intruder can use the “password reset” from any other site to have a new password sent to the email account they now have access to. Creating security protocols and algorithms is the computer equivalent of rocket science, but taking advantage of them isn’t. Take the time to learn the basics and they’ll cease being scary voodoo that you can’t trust. These days, security for your devices is just simple good sense, like putting on your seat belt.
Jason Fried (Remote: Office Not Required)
Many people take this as evidence of duplicity or cynicism. But they don’t know what it’s like to be expected to make comments, almost every working day, on things of which they have little or no reliable knowledge or about which they just don’t care. They don’t appreciate the sheer number of things on which a politician is expected to have a position. Issues on which the governor had no strong opinions, events over which he had no control, situations on which it served no useful purpose for him to comment—all required some kind of remark from our office. On a typical day Aaron might be asked to comment on the indictment of a local school board chairman, the ongoing drought in the Upstate, a dispute between a power company and the state’s environmental regulatory agency, and a study concluding that some supposedly crucial state agency had been underfunded for a decade. Then there were the things the governor actually cared about: a senate committee’s passage of a bill on land use, a decision by the state supreme court on legislation applying to only one county, a public university’s decision to raise tuition by 12 percent. Commenting on that many things is unnatural, and sometimes it was impossible to sound sincere. There was no way around it, though. Journalists would ask our office about anything having remotely to do with the governor’s sphere of authority, and you could give only so many minimalist responses before you began to sound disengaged or ignorant or dishonest. And the necessity of having to manufacture so many views on so many subjects, day after day, fosters a sense that you don’t have to believe your own words. You get comfortable with insincerity. It affected all of us, not just the boss. Sometimes I felt no more attachment to the words I was writing than a dog has to its vomit.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
Of all the plants, trees have the largest surface area covered in leaves. For every square yard of forest, 27 square yards of leaves and needles blanket the crowns. Part of every rainfall is intercepted in the canopy and immediately evaporates again. In addition, each summer, trees use up to 8,500 cubic yards of water per square mile, which they release into the air through transpiration. This water vapor creates new clouds that travel farther inland to release their rain. As the cycle continues, water reaches even the most remote areas. This water pump works so well that the downpours in some large areas of the world, such as the Amazon basin, are almost as heavy thousands of miles inland as they are on the coast. There are a few requirements for the pump to work: from the ocean to the farthest corner, there must be forest. And, most importantly, the coastal forests are the foundations for this system. If they do not exist, the system falls apart. Scientists credit Anastassia Makarieva from Saint Petersburg in Russia for the discovery of these unbelievably important connections. They studied different forests around the world and everywhere the results were the same. It didn't matter if they were studying a rain forest or the Siberian taiga, it was always the trees that were transferring life-giving moisture into land-locked interiors. Researchers also discovered that the whole process breaks down if coastal forests are cleared. It's a bit like if you were using an electrical pump to distribute water and you pulled the intake pipe out of the pond. The fallout is already apparent in Brazil, where the Amazonian rain forest is steadily drying out. Central Europe is within the 400-mile zone and, therefore, close enough to the intake area. Thankfully, there are still forests here, even if they are greatly diminished.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
He had buried all softer emotions in favor of the combat soldier's two main preoccupations-duty and survival. For skillfully and without heroism, he had done his duty. And inflexibly, he had willed to survive. For what? So that one day he could cease to be a fearing, hating, expertly dangerous human being. So that one day he might forcibly lay hands on the hard husk and tear it off and restore to sunlight that young poet of life, a generously emotional, happy, affirmative creature. Johnny Shawnessy of Raintree County. So that one day he might sleep on a soft bed, eat good food, wear civilian clothes, walk freely where he pleased, work at some innocent task that didn't have homicide as its ultimate objective. So that one day-one impossibly remote, breath-taking day-he might put his arms around the supple waist of a young woman who loved him and whom he loved and kiss her upturned face and feel her bare arms on his shoulders.
Ross Lockridge Jr. (Raintree County)
•  The four highest-impact things an individual can do to tackle climate change are eat a plant-based diet, avoid air travel, live car-free, and have fewer children. •  Of those four actions, only plant-based eating immediately addresses methane and nitrous oxide, the most urgently important greenhouse gases. •  Most people are not in the process of deciding whether to have a baby. •  Eighty-five percent of Americans drive to work. Few drivers can simply decide to stop using their cars. •  For Americans, 29 percent of air travel in 2017 was for business purposes, and 21 percent was for “personal non-leisure purposes.” Businesses must rely more on remote communication, “personal non-leisure” flights must be reduced, and personal leisure flights can and must be cut, but the fact remains that a sizable portion of air travel is unavoidable. •  Everyone will eat a meal relatively soon and can immediately participate in the reversal of climate change.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams, ocean, and all the living things that dwell within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain, earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane, the torpor of the year when feeble dreams visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep holds every future leaf and flower; the bound with which from that detested trance they leap; the works and ways of man, their death and birth, and that of him and all that his may be; all things that move and breathe with toil and sound are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell. Power dwells apart in its tranquillity, remote, serene, and inaccessible: and this, the naked countenance of earth, on which I gaze, even these primeval mountains teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains, slow rolling on; there, many a precipice frost and the sun in scorn of mortal power have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle, a city of death, distinct with many a tower and wall impregnable of beaming ice. Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin is there, that from the boundaries of the sky rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down from yon remotest waste, have overthrown the limits of the dead and living world, never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil; their food and their retreat for ever gone, so much of life and joy is lost. The race of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream, and their place is not known. Below, vast caves shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam, which from those secret chasms in tumult welling meet in the vale, and one majestic river, the breath and blood of distant lands, for ever rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves, breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Qualities such as honesty, determination, and a cheerful acceptance of stress, which can all be identified through probing questionnaires and interviews, may be more important to the company in the long run than one's college grade-point average or years of "related experience." Every business is only as good as the people it brings into the organization. The corporate trainer should feel his job is the most important in the company, because it is. Exalt seniority-publicly, shamelessly, and with enough fanfare to raise goosebumps on the flesh of the most cynical spectator. And, after the ceremony, there should be some sort of permanent display so that employees passing by are continuously reminded of their own achievements and the achievements of others. The manager must freely share his expertise-not only about company procedures and products and services but also with regard to the supervisory skills he has worked so hard to acquire. If his attitude is, "Let them go out and get their own MBAs," the personnel under his authority will never have the full benefit of his experience. Without it, they will perform at a lower standard than is possible, jeopardizing the manager's own success. Should a CEO proclaim that there is no higher calling than being an employee of his organization? Perhaps not-for fear of being misunderstood-but it's certainly all right to think it. In fact, a CEO who does not feel this way should look for another company to manage-one that actually does contribute toward a better life for all. Every corporate leader should communicate to his workforce that its efforts are important and that employees should be very proud of what they do-for the company, for themselves, and, literally, for the world. If any employee is embarrassed to tell his friends what he does for a living, there has been a failure of leadership at his workplace. Loyalty is not demanded; it is created. Why can't a CEO put out his own suggested reading list to reinforce the corporate vision and core values? An attractive display at every employee lounge of books to be freely borrowed, or purchased, will generate interest and participation. Of course, the program has to be purely voluntary, but many employees will wish to be conversant with the material others are talking about. The books will be another point of contact between individuals, who might find themselves conversing on topics other than the weekend football games. By simply distributing the list and displaying the books prominently, the CEO will set into motion a chain of events that can greatly benefit the workplace. For a very cost-effective investment, management will have yet another way to strengthen the corporate message. The very existence of many companies hangs not on the decisions of their visionary CEOs and energetic managers but on the behavior of its receptionists, retail clerks, delivery drivers, and service personnel. The manager must put himself and his people through progressively challenging courage-building experiences. He must make these a mandatory group experience, and he must lead the way. People who have confronted the fear of public speaking, and have learned to master it, find that their new confidence manifests itself in every other facet of the professional and personal lives. Managers who hold weekly meetings in which everyone takes on progressively more difficult speaking or presentation assignments will see personalities revolutionized before their eyes. Command from a forward position, which means from the thick of it. No soldier will ever be inspired to advance into a hail of bullets by orders phoned in on the radio from the safety of a remote command post; he is inspired to follow the officer in front of him. It is much more effective to get your personnel to follow you than to push them forward from behind a desk. The more important the mission, the more important it is to be at the front.
Dan Carrison (Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way)
All I long for is freedom, a taste of the real breathe of life; and I kick, I revolt against the many, the unutterably many constraints to which my mind is still subject. And of real productive work there can be no thought so long as one is not freed, however slightly, from one's trammels and the pain or oppression arising from one's limited outlook. Shall I ever attain to inner freedom? It is very doubtful. The goal is too remote, and even if one gets within measurable distance of it, one has by that time consumed all one's strength in long search and struggle. When freedom is at last attained, one is as lifeless and feeble as a day-fly by night. That is what I dread so much. It is a misfortune to be so conscious of one's struggle and so early in life! And unlike the artist or the ascetic, I cannot balance my doubts by means of great deeds. How wretched and loathsome it is to me to be continually wailing like a mire drum. For the moment I am really very, very tired of everything — more than tired.
Friedrich Nietzsche
It is important here not to confuse publicity with the pleasure or benefits to be enjoyed from the things it advertises. Publicity is effective precisely because it feeds upon the real. Clothes, food, cars, cosmetics, baths, sunshine are real things to be enjoyed in themselves. Publicity begins by working on a natural appetite for pleasure. But it cannot offer the real object of pleasure and there is no convincing substitute for a pleasure in that pleasure's own terms. The more convincingly publicity conveys the pleasure of bathing in a warm, distant sea, the more the spectator-buyer will become aware that he is hundreds of miles away from that sea and the more remote the chance of bathing in it will seem to him. This is why publicity can never really afford to be about the product or opportunity it is proposing to the buyer who is not yet enjoying it. Publicity is never a celebration of a pleasure-in-itself. Publicity is always about the future buyer. It offers him an image of himself made glamorous by the product or opportunity it is trying to sell. The image then makes him envious of himself as he might be. Yet what makes this self-which-he-might-be enviable? The envy of others. Publicity is about social relations, not objects. Its promise is not of pleasure, but of happiness : happiness as judged from the outside by others. The happiness of being envied is glamour. Being envied is a solitary form of reassurance. It depends precisely upon not sharing your experience with those who envy you. You are observed with interest but you do not observe with interest - if you do, you will become less enviable. ....... The spectator-buyer is meant to envy herself as she will become if she buys the product. She is meant to imagine herself transformed by the product into an object of envy for others, an envy which will then justify her loving herself. One could put this another way : the publicity images steals her love of herself as she is, and offers it back to her for the price of the product.
John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
Marx was troubled by the question of why ancient Greek art retained an ‘eternal charm’, even though the social conditions which produced it had long passed; but how do we know that it will remain ‘eternally’ charming, since history has not yet ended? Let us imagine that by dint of some deft archaeological research we discovered a great deal more about what ancient Greek tragedy actually meant to its original audiences, recognized that these concerns were utterly remote from our own, and began to read the plays again in the light of this deepened knowledge. One result might be that we stopped enjoying them. We might come to see that we had enjoyed them previously because we were unwittingly reading them in the light of our own preoccupations; once this became less possible, the drama might cease to speak at all significantly to us. The fact that we always interpret literary works to some extent in the light of our own concerns - indeed that in one sense of ‘our own concerns’ we are incapable of doing anything else - might be one reason why certain works of literature seem to retain their value across the centuries. It may be, of course, that we still share many preoccupations with the work itself; but it may also be that people have not actually been valuing the ‘same’ work at all, even though they may think they have. ‘Our’ Homer is not identical with the Homer of the Middle Ages, nor ‘our’ Shakespeare with that of his contemporaries; it is rather that different historical periods have constructed a ‘different’ Homer and Shakespeare for their own purposes, and found in these texts elements to value or devalue, though not necessarily the same ones. All literary works, in other words, are ‘rewritten’, if only unconsciously, by the societies which read them; indeed there is no reading of a work which is not also a ‘re-writing’. No work, and no current evaluation of it, can simply be extended to new groups of people without being changed, perhaps almost unrecognizably, in the process; and this is one reason why what counts as literature is a notably unstable affair.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
The Way is not remote from people, but people distance themselves from the Way by trying to nurture life without knowing how. The reason they don't know how is that they don't know the right timing to make effort. The reason they don 't know the right timing is that they have not understood the mechanism of heaven and earth." The "mechanism of heaven and earth" refers to the laws by which the universe operates. Humanity is born between heaven and earth. A human being is a microcosm that is influenced and regulated by the macrocosm. Unless you know natural laws, proper timing, and appropriate method, there is no succeeding in learning the Way. Polish away the temperamental nature of acquired habit, and fundamental essential nature appears of itself. Casting aside the ordinary mind, keep the true mind. Where does the true mind resort? To Nature. The work of collecting the mind to nurture its essential nature was completed in one year. Wang Liping emerged from the dark room, the earth pit, the giant urn, and the graveyard, heading toward Nature itself.
Chen Kaiguo (Opening the Dragon Gate: The Making of a Modern Taoist Wizard)
On undetached people who are full of self-will.4 People say: ‘O Lord, I wish that I stood as well with God and that I had as much devotion and peace with God as other people, and that I could be like them or could be as poor as they are.’ Or they say: ‘It never works for me unless I am in this or that particular place and do this or that particular thing. I must go to somewhere remote or live in a hermitage or a monastery.’ Truly, it is you who are the cause of this yourself, and nothing else. It is your own self-will, even if you don’t know it or this doesn’t seem to you to be the case. The lack of peace that you feel can only come from your own self-will, whether you are aware of this or not. Whatever we think – that we should avoid certain things and seek out others, whether these be places or people, particular forms of devotion, this group of people or this kind of activity – these are not to blame for the fact that you are held back by devotional practices and by things; rather it is you as you exist in these things who hold yourself back, for you do not stand in the proper relation to them. Start with yourself therefore and take leave of yourself. Truly, if you do not depart from yourself, then wherever you take refuge, you will find obstacles and unrest, wherever it may be. Those who seek peace in external things, whether in places or devotional practices, people or works, in withdrawal from the world or poverty or self-abasement: however great these things may be or whatever their character, they are still nothing at all and cannot be the source of peace. Those who seek in this way, seek wrongly, and the farther they range, the less they find what they are looking for. They proceed like someone who has lost their way: the farther they go, the more lost they become. But what then should they do? First of all, they should renounce themselves, and then they will have renounced all things. Truly, if someone were to renounce a kingdom or the whole world while still holding on to themselves, then they would have renounced nothing at all. And indeed, if someone renounces themselves, then whatever they might keep, whether it be a kingdom or honour or whatever it may be, they will still have renounced all things. St Peter said, ‘See, Lord, we have left everything’ (Matt. 19:27), when he had left nothing more than a mere net and his little boat, and a saint5 comments that whoever willingly renounces what is small, renounces not only this but also everything which worldly people can possess or indeed even desire. Whoever renounces their own will and their own self, renounces all things as surely as if all things were in that person’s possession to do with as they pleased, for what you do not wish to desire, you have given over and given up to God. Therefore our Lord said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ (Matt. 5:3), which is to say those who are poor in will. Let no one be in any doubt about this: if there were a better way, then our Lord would have told us, who said, ‘If anyone would follow me, he must first deny himself’ (Matt 16:24). This is the point which counts. Examine yourself, and wherever you find yourself, then take leave of yourself. This is the best way of all.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
A slave, Marcus Cato said, should be working when he is not sleeping. It does not matter whether his work in itself is good in itself—for slaves, at least. This sentiment still survives, and it has piled up mountains of useless drudgery. I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think. A rich man who happens to be intellectually honest, if he is questioned about the improvement of working conditions, usually says something like this: "We know that poverty is unpleasant; in fact, since it is so remote, we rather enjoy harrowing ourselves with the thought of its unpleasantness. But don’t expect us to do anything about it. We are sorry fort you lower classes, just as we are sorry for a cat with the mange, of your condition. We feel that you are much safer as you are. The present state of affairs suits us, and we are not going to take the risk of setting you free, even by an extra hour a day. So, dear brothers, since evidently you must sweat to pay for our trips to Italy, sweat and be damned to you.” This is particularly the attitude of intelligent, cultivated people; one can read the substance if it in a hundred essays. Very few cultivated people have less than (say) four hundred pounds a year, and naturally they side with the rich, because they imagine that any liberty conceded to the poor is a threat to their own liberty. foreseeing some dismal Marxian Utopia as the alternative, the educated man prefers to keep things as they are. Possibly he does not like his fellow-rich very much, but he supposes that even the vulgarest of them are less inimical to his pleasures, more his kind of people, than the poor, and that he had better stand by them. It is this fear of a supposedly dangerous mob that makes nearly all intelligent people conservative in their opinions. Fear of the mob is a superstitious fear. It is based on the idea that there is some mysterious, fundamental difference between rich and poor, as though they were two different races, like negroes and white men. But in reality there is no such difference. The mass of the rich and the poor are differentiated by their incomes and nothings else, and the average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit. Change places, and handy dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Everyone who has mixed on equal terms with the poor knows this quite well. But the trouble is that intelligent, cultivated people, the very people who might be expected to have liberal opinions, never do mix with the poor. For what do the majority of educated people know about poverty? In my copy of Villon’s poems the editor has actually thought it necessary to explain the line “Ne pain ne voyent qu'aux fenestres” by a footnote; so remote is even hunger from the educated man’s experience. From this ignorance a superstitious fear of the mob results quite naturally. The educated man pictures a horde of submen, wanting only a day’s liberty to loot his house, burn his books, and set him to work minding a machine or sweeping out a lavatory. “Anything,” he thinks, “any injustice, sooner than let that mob loose.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
The argument of Chapter 2, applied to any interference phenomenon destroys the classical idea that there is only one universe. Logically, the possibility of complex quantum computations adds nothing to a case that is already unanswerable. But it does add psychological impact. With Shor’s algorithm, the argument has been writ very large. To those who still cling to a single-universe world-view, I issue this challenge: explain how Shor’s algorithm works. I do not merely mean predict that it will work, which is merely a matter of solving a few uncontroversial equations. I mean provide an explanation. When Shor’s algorithm has factorized a number, using 10500 or so times the computational resources that can be seen to be present, where was the number factorized? There are only about 1080 atoms in the entire visible universe, an utterly minuscule number compared with 10500. So if the visible universe were the extent of physical reality, physical reality would not even remotely contain the resources required to factorize such a large number. Who did factorize it, then? How, and where, was the computation performed?
David Deutsch (The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes--and Its Implications)
Hymn to Mercury : Continued 11. ... Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh meat, He in his sacred crib deposited The hollow lyre, and from the cavern sweet Rushed with great leaps up to the mountain's head, Revolving in his mind some subtle feat Of thievish craft, such as a swindler might Devise in the lone season of dun night. 12. Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's bed has Driven steeds and chariot—the child meanwhile strode O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in shadows, Where the immortal oxen of the God Are pastured in the flowering unmown meadows, And safely stalled in a remote abode.— The archer Argicide, elate and proud, Drove fifty from the herd, lowing aloud. 13. He drove them wandering o'er the sandy way, But, being ever mindful of his craft, Backward and forward drove he them astray, So that the tracks which seemed before, were aft; His sandals then he threw to the ocean spray, And for each foot he wrought a kind of raft Of tamarisk, and tamarisk-like sprigs, And bound them in a lump with withy twigs. 14. And on his feet he tied these sandals light, The trail of whose wide leaves might not betray His track; and then, a self-sufficing wight, Like a man hastening on some distant way, He from Pieria's mountain bent his flight; But an old man perceived the infant pass Down green Onchestus heaped like beds with grass. 15. The old man stood dressing his sunny vine: 'Halloo! old fellow with the crooked shoulder! You grub those stumps? before they will bear wine Methinks even you must grow a little older: Attend, I pray, to this advice of mine, As you would 'scape what might appal a bolder— Seeing, see not—and hearing, hear not—and— If you have understanding—understand.' 16. So saying, Hermes roused the oxen vast; O'er shadowy mountain and resounding dell, And flower-paven plains, great Hermes passed; Till the black night divine, which favouring fell Around his steps, grew gray, and morning fast Wakened the world to work, and from her cell Sea-strewn, the Pallantean Moon sublime Into her watch-tower just began to climb. 17. Now to Alpheus he had driven all The broad-foreheaded oxen of the Sun; They came unwearied to the lofty stall And to the water-troughs which ever run Through the fresh fields—and when with rushgrass tall, Lotus and all sweet herbage, every one Had pastured been, the great God made them move Towards the stall in a collected drove. 18. A mighty pile of wood the God then heaped, And having soon conceived the mystery Of fire, from two smooth laurel branches stripped The bark, and rubbed them in his palms;—on high Suddenly forth the burning vapour leaped And the divine child saw delightedly.— Mercury first found out for human weal Tinder-box, matches, fire-irons, flint and steel. 19. And fine dry logs and roots innumerous He gathered in a delve upon the ground— And kindled them—and instantaneous The strength of the fierce flame was breathed around: And whilst the might of glorious Vulcan thus Wrapped the great pile with glare and roaring sound, Hermes dragged forth two heifers, lowing loud, Close to the fire—such might was in the God. 20. And on the earth upon their backs he threw The panting beasts, and rolled them o'er and o'er, And bored their lives out. Without more ado He cut up fat and flesh, and down before The fire, on spits of wood he placed the two, Toasting their flesh and ribs, and all the gore Pursed in the bowels; and while this was done He stretched their hides over a craggy stone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley)
Work" I laid telephone line, then cable when it came along. I pulled T-shirts off a silk-screen press. I cleaned offices in buildings thirty-five floors high. I filed the metal edges of grease fryers hot off a welding line. I humped sod in townhouse complexes, and when it became grass I cut it. I sorted mail. I washed police cars, and then I changed their oil. I installed remotes on gas meters so a truck could simply drive down the street and get the readings. I set posts and put up fences, wood and chain link. Five a.m. at the racetrack, I walked hot horses after their exercise. I bathed them. I mopped and swept aisles in a grocery store. Eventually, I stocked shelves. I corrected errors on mortgage papers for a bank. I racked tables in a pool hall. There’s more I’m not telling you. All of this befell me as an adult. As a kid, I cut neighbors’ lawns and delivered newspapers, and I watched after little kids while their parents worked. I painted houses. I collected frogs from ponds and sold them to pet stores. And so on. At fifteen, I went for a busboy position at an all-night diner, but they told me to come back when I turned sixteen. I did. Sometimes, on top of one, I took a second job. It gave me just enough time to sleep between the two. And eat. My father worked, harder than I did, and then he died. Then I worked harder. My mother said, “You’re the man of the house now.” I was seventeen. She kept an eye on me, to make sure I worked. I did. You've just read about all that. Eventually she died, too. I watched my social security numbers grow. I have a pretty good lump. I could leave it to somebody, a spouse or dependent. But there's no one. I have no plan to spend it, but I’ve paid into it. Today I quit my job, my jobs. I had them all written down, phone numbers too, and I called them. You should have seen me, dialing and dialing, crossing names off the list as I went. Some of them I called sounded angry. Some didn’t remember me, and a few didn’t answer. Others had answering machines, but I told the machines I quit anyway. I think about my father. How he worked. I sit by the phone now, after quitting all my jobs, and wish he could see this. A blank calendar on the wall. A single bulb hanging over my head, from a single cord, like the one he wrapped around his neck just before he died.
Michael Stigman
Everything about this project was dark alley, cloak and dagger. Even the way they financed the operation was highly unconventional: using secret contingency funds, they back-doored payment to Lockheed by writing personal checks to Kelly for more than a million bucks as start-up costs. The checks arrived by regular mail at his Encino home, which had to be the wildest government payout in history. Johnson could have absconded with the dough and taken off on a one-way ticket to Tahiti. He banked the funds through a phony company called “C & J Engineering,” the “C & J” standing for Clarence Johnson. Even our drawings bore the logo “C & J”—the word “Lockheed” never appeared. We used a mail drop out at Sunland, a remote locale in the San Fernando Valley, for suppliers to send us parts. The local postmaster got curious about all the crates and boxes piling up in his bins and looked up “C & J” in the phone book and, of course, found nothing. So he decided to have one of his inspectors follow our unmarked van as it traveled back to Burbank. Our security people nabbed him just outside the plant and had him signing national security secrecy forms until he pleaded writer’s cramp.
Ben R. Rich (Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed)
I try to catch my breath and calm myself down, but it isn’t easy. I was dead. I was dead, and then I wasn’t, and why? Because of Peter? Peter? I stare at him. He still looks so innocent, despite all that he has done to prove that he is not. His hair lies smooth against his head, shiny and dark, like we didn’t just run for a mile at full speed. His round eyes scan the stairwell and then rest on my face. “What?” he says. “Why are you looking at me like that?” “How did you do it?” I say. “It wasn’t that hard,” he says. “I dyed a paralytic serum purple and switched it out with the death serum. Replaced the wire that was supposed to ready your heartbeat with a dead one. The bit with the heart monitor was harder; I had to get some Erudite help with a remote and stuff--you wouldn’t understand it if I explained it to you.” “Why did you do it?” I say. “You want me dead. You were willing to do it yourself? What changed?” He presses his lips together and doesn’t look away, not for a long time. Then he opens his mouth, hesitates, and finally says, “I can’t be in anyone’s debt. Okay? The idea that I owed you something made me sick. I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to vomit. Indebted to a Stiff? It’s ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. And I couldn’t have it.” “What are you talking about? You owed me something?” He rolls his eyes. “The Amity compound. Someone shot me--the bullet was at head level; it would have hit me right between the eyes. And you shoved me out of the way. We were even before that--I almost killed you during initiation, you almost killed me during the attack simulation; we’re square, right? But after that…” “You’re insane,” says Tobias. “That’s not the way the world works…with everyone keeping score.” “It’s not?” Peter raises his eyebrows. “I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine, people only do things for you for one of two reasons. The first is if they want something in return. And the second is if they feel like they owe you something.” “Those aren’t the only reasons people do things for you,” I say. “Sometimes they do them because they love you. Well, maybe not you, but…” Peter snorts. “That’s exactly the kind of garbage I expect a delusional stiff to say.” “I guess we just have to make sure you owe us,” says Tobias. “Or you’ll go running to whoever offers you the best deal.” “Yeah,” Peter says. “That’s pretty much how it is.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Chang opened the door and checked the hallway. She said, “Let’s go.” She opened the door wider. There was a guy standing there. Eyewitness testimony was suspect because of preconditions, and cognitive bias, and suggestibility. It was suspect because people see what they expect to see. Reacher was no different. He was human. The front part of his brain wasted the first precious split second working on the image of the guy at the door, trying to rearrange it into a plausible version of a theoretical McCann. Which was not an easy mental task, because McCann was supposed to be sixty years old and thin and gaunt, whereas the guy at the door was clearly twenty years younger than that, and twice as solid. But still Reacher tried, instinctively, because who else could it be, but McCann? Who else could be at McCann’s door, in McCann’s building, in McCann’s city? Then half a second later the back part of Reacher’s brain took over, and the image resolved itself, crisp and clear, not a potential McCann at all, not even remotely a contender, but the familiar twice-glimpsed face, now three times seen, first in the diner, next in the Town Car, and finally in the there and then, in a dim upstairs hallway in a three-floor walk-up.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
The biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)
You mentioned that Palermo, the part of Buenos Aires where you were brought up, had been a violent place full of bohemians and bandits. There they had two names for the knife, ‘the blade’ and ‘the slicer’. The two names described the same object, but ‘the blade’ was the thing itself, and ‘the slicer’ described its function. ‘The blade’ could fit in the hand even of a sickly child shut up in his father’s library, ‘the blade’ could be any of the superannuated daggers and swords belonging to his warrior grandfather or great-grandfather and displayed on the walls of his house, but ‘the slicer’, the knife in the hand slicing back and forth, in and out, existed only in his imagination, in a fascinating world of rapid settlings of accounts and duels over honor, an insult or a woman, in dark street where you never went, where no writer went, except in the literature he wrote. ‘I’ve always felt that in order to be a great writer, one should have the experience of life at sea, which is why Conrad and Melville and, in a way, Stevenson, who ended his days in the South Seas, were better than all of us, Vogelstein. At sea, a writer flees from the minor demons and faces only the definitive ones. A character in Conrad says that he has a horror of ports because, in port, ships rot and men go to the devil. He meant the devils of domesticity and incoherence, the small devils of terra firma. But I think that having experience of “the slicer” would give a writer the same sensation as going to sea, of spectacularly breaking the bounds of his own passivity and of his remoteness from the fundamental matters of the world.’ ‘You mean that if the writer were to stab someone three times, he could allege that he was merely doing so in order to improve his style.’ ‘Something like that. Soaking up experience and atmosphere.’ ‘It’s said that the artist Turner used to have himself lashed to the ship’s mast during storms at sea so that he could make sure he was getting the colours and details of his painted vortices right.’ ‘And it worked. But neither you nor I will ever experience “the slicer”, Vogelstein. We are condemned to “the blade”, to the knife purely as theory. Even if we used “the slicer” against someone, we would still be ourselves, watching, analyzing the scene, and, therefore, inevitably, holding “the blade” in our hand. I don’t think I could kill anyone, apart from my own characters. And I don’t think I would feel comfortable at sea either. There aren’t any libraries at sea. The sea replaces the library.
Luis Fernando Verissimo (Borges and the Eternal Orangutans)
My dwelling was small, and I could hardly entertain an echo in it; but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors. All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping-room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all. Cato says, the master of a family (patremfamilias) must have in his rustic villa "cellam oleariam, vinariam, dolia multa, uti lubeat caritatem expectare, et rei, et virtuti, et gloriae erit," that is, "an oil and wine cellar, many casks, so that it may be pleasant to expect hard times; it will be for his advantage, and virtue, and glory." I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each. I sometimes dream of a larger and more populous house, standing in a golden age, of enduring materials, and without gingerbread work, which shall still consist of only one room, a vast, rude, substantial, primitive hall, without ceiling or plastering, with bare rafters and purlins supporting a sort of lower heaven over one's head—useful to keep off rain and snow, where the king and queen posts stand out to receive your homage, when you have done reverence to the prostrate Saturn of an older dynasty on stepping over the sill; a cavernous house, wherein you must reach up a torch upon a pole to see the roof; where some may live in the fireplace, some in the recess of a window, and some on settles, some at one end of the hall, some at another, and some aloft on rafters with the spiders, if they choose; a house which you have got into when you have opened the outside door, and the ceremony is over; where the weary traveller may wash, and eat, and converse, and sleep, without further journey; such a shelter as you would be glad to reach in a tempestuous night, containing all the essentials of a house, and nothing for house-keeping; where you can see all the treasures of the house at one view, and everything hangs upon its peg, that a man should use; at once kitchen, pantry, parlor, chamber, storehouse, and garret; where you can see so necessary a thing, as a barrel or a ladder, so convenient a thing as a cupboard, and hear the pot boil, and pay your respects to the fire that cooks your dinner, and the oven that bakes your bread, and the necessary furniture and utensils are the chief ornaments; where the washing is not put out, nor the fire, nor the mistress, and perhaps you are sometimes requested to move from off the trap-door, when the cook would descend into the cellar, and so learn whether the ground is solid or hollow beneath you without stamping. A house whose inside is as open and manifest as a bird's nest, and you cannot go in at the front door and out at the back without seeing some of its inhabitants; where to be a guest is to be presented with the freedom of the house, and not to be carefully excluded from seven eighths of it, shut up in a particular cell, and told to make yourself at home there—in solitary confinement. Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance. There is as much secrecy about the cooking as if he had a design to poison you. I am aware that I have been on many a man's premises, and might have been legally ordered off, but I am not aware that I have been in many men's houses. I might visit in my old clothes a king and queen who lived simply in such a house as I have described, if I were going their way; but backing out of a modern palace will be all that I shall desire to learn, if ever I am caught in one.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
4Paul Gaydos My Books Browse ▾ Community ▾ The Way of the Superior Man Quotes The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to... by David Deida Read Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida
The number of victims of robbers, highwaymen, rapers, gangsters and other criminals at any period of history is negligible compared to the massive numbers of those cheerfully slain in the name of the true religion, just policy, or correct ideology. Heretics were tortured and burnt not in anger but in sorrow , for the good of their immortal souls. Tribal warfare was waged in the purported interest of the tribe, not of the individual. Wars of religion were fought to decide some fine point in theology or semantics. Wars of succession, dynastic wars, national wars, civil wars, were fought to decide issues equally remote from the personal self-interest of the combatants. The Communist purges, as the word 'purge' indicates, were understood as operations of social hygiene, to prepare mankind for the golden age of the classless society. The gas chambers and crematoria worked for the advent of a different version of the millennium. Heinrich Eichmann (as Hannah Ahrendt, reporting on his trial, has pointed out) was not a monster or a sadist, but a conscientious bureaucrat, who considered it his duty to carry out his orders and believed in obedience as the supreme virtue; far from being a sadist, he felt physically sick on the only occasion when he watched the Zircon gas at work.
Arthur Koestler (The Ghost in the Machine)
The Northern Lights which had drawn them from their childhood beds in lower latitudes on so many deep winter nights, while summoning in their parents obscure feelings of dread, could now be viewed up here at any time from within, at altitude, in heavenwide pulses of color, dense sheets and billows and colonnades of light and current, in transfiguration unceasing. In small, remote corners of the planet nobody was paying much attention to, between factions nobody knew much about, the undeclared and largely imperceptible war had been under way for years. All up and down the Northern latitudes, clandestine transmitters had been deployed amid pinnacles of ice, in abandoned mining works, in the secret courtyards of ancient Iron-Age fortresses, manned and unmanned, lonely and unearthly in the iceblink. On sky-piercing crags as likely to be frozen seabird guano as rock, scouts of Earth’s Field, desperate, insomniac, interrogated horizons as to any signs of their relief, who were often years late. . . . And indeed for some, the Polar night would last forever—they would pass from the Earth amid unreportable splendor, the aurora in the sky raging up and down spectra visible and invisible. Souls bound to the planetary lines of force, swept pole to pole and through the fabled interior regions as well. . . 
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
When difficulties confront him he no longer blames them upon the inscrutable enmity of remote and ineffable powers; he blames them upon his own ignorance and incompetence. And when he sets out to remedy that ignorance and to remove that incompetence he does not look to any such powers for light and leading; he puts his whole trust in his own enterprise and ingenuity. Not infrequently he overestimates his capacities and comes to grief, but his failures, at worst, are much fewer than the failures of his fathers. Does pestilence, on occasion, still baffle his medicine? Then it is surely less often than the pestilences of old baffled sacrifice and prayer. Does war remain to shame him before the bees, and wasteful and witless government to make him blush when he contemplates the ants? Then war at its most furious is still less cruel than Hell, and the harshest statutes ever devised by man have more equity and benevolence in them than the irrational and appalling jurisprudence of the Christian God. Today every such man knows that the laws which prevail in the universe, whatever their origin in some remote and incomprehensible First Purpose, manifest themselves in complete impersonality, and that no representation to any superhuman Power, however imagined, can change their operation in the slightest. He knows that when they seem arbitrary and irrational it is not because omnipotent and inscrutable Presences are playing with them, as a child might play with building blocks; but because the human race is yet too ignorant to penetrate to their true workings. The whole history of progress, as the modern mind sees it, is a history of such penetrations. ... Each in its turn has narrowed the dominion and prerogative of the gods.
H.L. Mencken
Each purpose, each mission, is meant to be fully lived to the point where it becomes empty, boring, and useless. Then it should be discarded. This is a sign of growth, but you may mistake it for a sign of failure. For instance, you may take on a business project, work at it for several years, and then suddenly find yourself totally disinterested. You know that if you stayed with it for another few years you would reap much greater financial reward than if you left the project now. But the project no longer calls you. You no longer feel interested in the project. You have developed skills over the last few years working on the project, but it hasn’t yet come to fruition. You may wonder, now that you have the skills, should you stick with it and bring the project to fruition, even though the work feels empty to you? Well, maybe you should stick with it. Maybe you are bailing out too soon, afraid of success or failure, or just too lazy to persevere. This is one possibility. Ask your close men friends if they feel you are simply losing steam, wimping out, or afraid to bring your project to completion. If they feel you are bailing out too soon, stick with it. However, there is also the possibility that you have completed your karma in this area. It is possible that this was one layer of purpose, which you have now fulfilled, on the way to another layer of purpose, closer to your deepest purpose. Among the signs of fulfilling or completing a layer of purpose are these: 1. You suddenly have no interest whatsoever in a project or mission that, just previously, motivated you highly. 2. You feel surprisingly free of any regrets whatsoever, for starting the project or for ending it. 3. Even though you may not have the slightest idea of what you are going to do next, you feel clear, unconfused, and, especially, unburdened. 4. You feel an increase in energy at the prospect of ceasing your involvement with the project. 5. The project seems almost silly, like collecting shoelaces or wallpapering your house with gas station receipts. Sure, you could do it, but why would you want to? If you experience these signs, it is probably time to stop working on this project. You must end your involvement impeccably, however, making sure there are no loose ends and that you do not burden anybody’s life by stopping your involvement. This might take some time, but it is important that this layer of your purpose ends cleanly and does not create any new karma, or obligation, that will burden you or others in the future. The next layer of your unfolding purpose may make itself clear immediately. More often, however, it does not. After completing one layer of purpose, you might not know what to do with your life. You know that the old project is over for you, but you are not sure of what is next. At this point, you must wait for a vision. There is no way to rush this process. You may need to get an intermediary job to hold you over until the next layer of purpose makes itself clear. Or, perhaps you have enough money to simply wait. But in any case, it is important to open yourself to a vision of what is next. You stay open to a vision of your deeper purpose by not filling your time with distractions. Don’t watch TV or play computer games. Don’t go out drinking beer with your friends every night or start dating a bunch of women. Simply wait. You may wish to go on a retreat in a remote area and be by yourself. Whatever it is you decide to do, consciously keep yourself open and available to receiving a vision of what is next. It will come.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
One certainly does work badly in spring: and why? Because one’s feelings are being stimulated. And only amateurs think that a creative artist can afford to have feelings. It’s a naïve amateur illusion; any genuine honest artist will smile at it. Sadly, perhaps, but he will smile. Because, of course, what one says must never be one’s main concern. It must merely be the raw material, quite indifferent in itself, out of which the work of art is made; and the act of making must be a game, aloof and detached, performed in tranquillity. If you attach too much importance to what you have to say, if it means too much to you emotionally, then you may be certain that your work will be a complete fiasco. You will become solemn, you will become sentimental, you will produce something clumsy, ponderous, pompous, ungainly, unironical, insipid, dreary and commonplace; it will be of no interest to anyone, and you yourself will end up disillusioned and miserable… For that is how it is, Lisaveta: emotion, warm, heartfelt emotion, is invariably commonplace and unserviceable—only the stimulation of our corrupted nervous system, its cold ecstasies and acrobatics, can bring forth art. One simply has to be something inhuman, something standing outside humanity, strangely remote and detached from its concerns, if one is to have the ability or indeed even the desire to play this game with it, to play with men’s lives, to portray them effectively and tastefully. Our stylistic and formal talent, our gift of expression, itself presupposes this cold-blooded, fastidious attitude to mankind, indeed it presupposes a certain human impoverishment and stagnation. For the fact is: all healthy emotion, all strong emotion lacks taste. As soon as an artist becomes human and begins to feel, he is finished as an artist.
Thomas Mann (Tonio Kröger / Halál Velencében/ Mario és a varázsló)
American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. •  •  • When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn’t in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I remember a personal experience. Almost in tears from pain (I had terrible sores on my feet from wearing torn shoes), I limped a few kilometers with our long column of men from the camp to our work site. Very cold, bitter winds struck us. I kept thinking of the endless little problems of our miserable life. What would there be to eat tonight? If a piece of sausage came as extra ration, should I exchange it for a piece of bread? Should I trade my last cigarette, which was left from a bonus I received a fortnight ago, for a bowl of soup? How could I get a piece of wire to replace the fragment which served as one of my shoelaces? Would I get to our work site in time to join my usual working party or would I have to join another, which might have a brutal foreman? What could I do to get on good terms with the Capo, who could help me to obtain work in camp instead of undertaking this horribly long daily march? I became disgusted with the state of affairs which compelled me, daily and hourly, to think of only such trivial things. I forced my thoughts to turn to another subject. Suddenly I saw myself standing on the platform of a well-lit, warm and pleasant lecture room. In front of me sat an attentive audience on comfortable upholstered seats. I was giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp! All that oppressed me at that moment became objective, seen and described from the remote viewpoint of science. By this method I succeeded somehow in rising above the situation, above the sufferings of the moment, and I observed them as if they were already of the past. Both I and my troubles became the object of an interesting psychoscientific study undertaken by myself. What does Spinoza say in his Ethics? —“Affectus, qui passio est, desinit esse passio simulatque eius claram et distinctam formamus ideam.” Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
It happens that in our phase of civility, the novel is the central form of literary art. It lends itself to explanations borrowed from any intellectual system of the universe which seems at the time satisfactory. Its history is an attempt to evade the laws of what Scott called 'the land of fiction'-the stereotypes which ignore reality, and whose remoteness from it we identify as absurd. From Cervantes forward it has been, when it has satisfied us, the poetry which is 'capable,' in the words of Ortega, 'of coping with present reality.' But it is a 'realistic poetry' and its theme is, bluntly, 'the collapse of the poetic' because it has to do with 'the barbarous, brutal, mute, meaningless reality of things.' It cannot work with the old hero, or with the old laws of the land of romance; moreover, such new laws and customs as it creates have themselves to be repeatedly broken under the demands of a changed and no less brutal reality. 'Reality has such a violent temper that it does not tolerate the ideal even when reality itself is idealized.' Nevertheless, the effort continues to be made. The extremest revolt against the customs or laws of fiction--the antinovels of Fielding or Jane Austen or Flaubert or Natalie Sarraute--creates its new laws, in their turn to be broken. Even when there is a profession of complete narrative anarchy, as in some of the works I discussed last week, or in a poem such as Paterson, which rejects as spurious whatever most of us understand as form, it seems that time will always reveal some congruence with a paradigm--provided always that there is in the work that necessary element of the customary which enables it to communicate at all. I shall not spend much time on matters so familiar to you. Whether, with Lukács, you think of the novel as peculiarly the resolution of the problem of the individual in an open society--or as relating to that problem in respect of an utterly contingent world; or express this in terms of the modern French theorists and call its progress a necessary and 'unceasing movement from the known to the unknown'; or simply see the novel as resembling the other arts in that it cannot avoid creating new possibilities for its own future--however you put it, the history of the novel is the history of forms rejected or modified, by parody, manifesto, neglect, as absurd. Nowhere else, perhaps, are we so conscious of the dissidence between inherited forms and our own reality. There is at present some good discussion of the issue not only in French but in English. Here I have in mind Iris Murdoch, a writer whose persistent and radical thinking about the form has not as yet been fully reflected in her own fiction. She contrasts what she calls 'crystalline form' with narrative of the shapeless, quasi-documentary kind, rejecting the first as uncharacteristic of the novel because it does not contain free characters, and the second because it cannot satisfy that need of form which it is easier to assert than to describe; we are at least sure that it exists, and that it is not always illicit. Her argument is important and subtle, and this is not an attempt to restate it; it is enough to say that Miss Murdoch, as a novelist, finds much difficulty in resisting what she calls 'the consolations of form' and in that degree damages the 'opacity,' as she calls it, of character. A novel has this (and more) in common with love, that it is, so to speak, delighted with its own inventions of character, but must respect their uniqueness and their freedom. It must do so without losing the formal qualities that make it a novel. But the truly imaginative novelist has an unshakable 'respect for the contingent'; without it he sinks into fantasy, which is a way of deforming reality. 'Since reality is incomplete, art must not be too afraid of incompleteness,' says Miss Murdoch. We must not falsify it with patterns too neat, too inclusive; there must be dissonance.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
You have asked a question: "Are we by chance a lie?" you say. The possibility disturbs you, but it is necessary for you to reconcile yourselves to being part of an unfinished set of events. You might, for example, be the characters in a literary work of the fantastic genre who have suddenly gained autonomous life. On the other hand, we might be a conglomeration of dreams dreamt by various people in different parts of the world. We are somebody else's dream. Why not? Or a lie. Or perhaps we are the materialization, in human terms, of a chess game ending in a stalemate. Or perhaps we are a film, a film that lasts barely an instant. Or the image of others, not ourselves, in a mirror. Perhaps we are the thoughts of a madman. Perhaps one of us is real and others, his hallucination, There is still another possibility. Perhaps we are a printing error that has inadvertently slipped by, that makes an otherwise clear text, confusing. Perhaps it is the transposition of the lines of a text that brings us to life in this prodigious manner. Or perhaps we are a text that being revealed in a mirror takes on a totally different meaning from the one it really has. Perhaps we are a premonition - the image formed in someone's mind long before the events in which we participate in real life take place. Perhaps we are a fortuitous event that has not yet occurred, which is barely gestating in the cracks of time, or a future event that has not yer occurred. We are an incomprehensible sign drawn on a moist windowpane on a rainy afternoon. We are the memory, nearly lost, of a remote event. We are beings and objects invoked by a magician's spell. We are something has been forgotten. We are an accumulation of words, an event told by means of illegible writing, a testimony no one hears. We are part of an entertaining magic show. A bill sent to the wrong address. We are the fleeting, involuntary image that crosses the minds of lovers as they meet, at the instant they lust, at the moment they die. We are a secret thought. . .
Elizondo Salvador (Farabeuf)
He lavished on me a friendliness which was as far above that of Saint-Loup as that was above the affability of a mere tradesman. Compared with that of a great artist, the friendliness of a great gentleman, charming as it may be, has the effect of an actor’s playing a part, of being feigned. Saint-Loup sought to please; Elstir loved to give, to give himself. Everything that he possessed, ideas, work, and the rest which he counted for far less, he would have given gladly to anyone who could understand him. But, failing society that was endurable, he lived in an isolation, with a savagery which fashionable people called pose and ill-breeding, public authorities a recalcitrant spirit, his neighbours madness, his family selfishness and pride. And no doubt at first he had thought, even in his solitude, with enjoyment that, thanks to his work, he was addressing, in spite of distance, he was giving a loftier idea of himself, to those who had misunderstood or hurt him. Perhaps, in those days, he lived alone not from indifference but from love of his fellows, and, just as I had renounced Gilberte to appear to her again one day in more attractive colours, dedicated his work to certain people as a way of approaching them again, by which without actually seeing him they would be made to love him, admire him, talk about him; a renunciation is not always complete from the start, when we decide upon it in our original frame of mind and before it has reacted upon us, whether it be the renunciation of an invalid, a monk, an artist or a hero. But if he had wished to produce with certain people in his mind, in producing he had lived for himself, remote from the society to which he had become indifferent; the practice of solitude had given him a love for it, as happens with every big thing which we have begun by fearing, because we knew it to be incompatible with smaller things to which we clung, and of which it does not so much deprive us as it detaches us from them. Before we experience it, our whole preoccupation is to know to what extent we can reconcile it with certain pleasures which cease to be pleasures as soon as we have experienced it.
Marcel Proust (In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower)
The tofu pocket is soaked with butter, every bite of it drenching the lips... ... sending rich waves gushing through the mouth. Just one taste is enough to seep both tongue and mind in a thick flood of butter! "The tofu pocket is so juicy it's nearly dripping, yet it hasn't drowned the filling at all. The rice is delectably fluffy and delicate, done in true pilaf style, with the grains separate, tender and not remotely sticky. Simmered in fragrant chicken broth, the prawns give it a delightful crunch, while ample salt and pepper boost both its flavor and aroma!" "The whole dish is strongly flavored, but it isn't the least bit heavy or sticky. The deliciousness of every ingredient, wrapped in a cloak of rich butter, wells up with each bite like a gushing, savory spring! How on earth did you manage to create this powerful a flavor?!" "Well, first I sautéed the rice for the pilaf without washing it- one of the major rules of pilafs! If you wash all the starch off the rice, the grains get crumbly and the whole thing can wind up tasting tacky instead of tender. Then I thoroughly rinsed the tofu pockets with hot water to wash off the extra oil so they'd soak up the seasonings better. But the biggest secret to the whole thing... ... was my specially made Mochi White Sauce! Normal white sauce is made with lots of milk, butter and flour, making it really thick and heavy. But I made mine using only soy milk and mochi, so it's still rich and creamy without the slightest hint of greasiness. In addition, I sprinkled a blend of several cheeses on top of everything when I put it in the oven to toast. They added some nice hints of mellow saltiness to the dish without making it too heavy! Basically, I shoved all the tasty things I could think of into my dish... ... pushing the rich, savory flavor as hard as I could until it was just shy of too much... and this is the result!" Some ingredients meld with the butter's richness into mellow deliciousness... ... while others, sautéed in butter, have become beautifully savory and aromatic. Into each of these little inari sushi pockets has gone an immense amount of work across uncountable steps and stages. Undaunted by Mr. Saito's brilliant dish, gleaming with the fierce goodness of seafood... each individual ingredient is loudly and proudly declaring its own unique deliciousness!
Yūto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 28 [Shokugeki no Souma 28] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #28))
Blissfully unaware of all that, Elizabeth continued to love him without reservation or guile, and as she grew more certain of his love, she became more confident and more enchanting to Ian. On those occasions when she saw his expression become inexplicably grim, she teased him or kissed him, and, if those ploys failed, she presented him with little gifts-a flower arrangement from Havenhurst’s gardens, a single rose that she stuck behind his ear, or left upon his pillow. “Shall I have to resort to buying you a jewel to make you smile, my lord?” she joked one day three months after they were married. “I understand that is how it is done when a lover begins to act distracted.” To Elizabeth’s surprise, her remark made him snatch her into his arms in a suffocating embrace. “I am not losing interest in you, if that’s what you’re suggesting,” he told her. Elizabeth leaned back in his arms, surprised by the unwarranted force of his declaration, and continued to tease. “You’re quite certain?” “Positive.” “You wouldn’t lie to me, would you?” she asked in a voice of mock severity. “I would never lie to you,” Ian said gravely, but then he realized that by withholding the truth from her, he was, in effect, deceiving her, which in turn, amounted to little less than lying outright. Elizabeth knew something was bothering him, and that as time passed, it was bothering him with increasing frequency, but she never dreamed she was even remotely the cause of his silences or preoccupation. She thought of Robert often, but not since the day of her marriage had she permitted herself to think of Mr. Wordsworth’s accusations, not even for an instant. In the first place, she couldn’t bear it; in the second, she no longer believed there was the slightest possibility he was right. “I have to go to Havenhurst tomorrow,” she said reluctantly when Ian finally let her go. “The masons have started on the house and bridge, and the irrigation work has begun. If I spend the night, though, I shouldn’t have to go back for at least a fornight.” “I’ll miss you,” he said quietly, but there was no trace of resentment in his voice, nor did he attempt to persuade her to postpone the trip. He was keeping to his bargain with the integrity that Elizabeth particularly admired in him. “Not,” she whispered, kissing the side of his mouth, “as much as I’ll miss you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Perceptive and valuable personal explorations of time alone include A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland, Party of One by Anneli Rufus, Migrations to Solitude by Sue Halpern, Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod, Solitude by Robert Kull, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton, and the incomparable Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Adventure tales offering superb insight into solitude, both its horror and its beauty, include The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Alone by Richard E. Byrd. Science-focused books that provided me with further understanding of how solitude affects people include Social by Matthew D. Lieberman, Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, Quiet by Susan Cain, Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, and An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. Also offering astute ideas about aloneness are Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie, The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (especially “Nature” and “Self-Reliance”) and Friedrich Nietzsche (especially “Man Alone with Himself”), the verse of William Wordsworth, and the poems of Han-shan, Shih-te, and Wang Fan-chih. It was essential for me to read two of Knight’s favorite books: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer. This book’s epigraph, attributed to Socrates, comes from the C. D. Yonge translation of Diogenes Laërtius’s third-century A.D. work The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. The Hermitary website, which offers hundreds of articles on every aspect of hermit life, is an invaluable resource—I spent weeks immersed in the site, though I did not qualify to become a member of the hermit-only chat groups. My longtime researcher, Jeanne Harper, dug up hundreds of reports on hermits and loners throughout history. I was fascinated by the stories of Japanese soldiers who continued fighting World War II for decades on remote Pacific islands, though none seemed to be completely alone for more than a few years at a time. Still, Hiroo Onoda’s No Surrender is a fascinating account.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
In 1931, amid that incredible transformation, a brilliant young Russian psychologist named Alexander Luria recognized a fleeting “natural experiment,” unique in the history of the world. He wondered if changing citizens’ work might also change their minds. When Luria arrived, the most remote villages had not yet been touched by the warp-speed restructuring of traditional society. Those villages gave him a control group. He learned the local language and brought fellow psychologists to engage villagers in relaxed social situations—teahouses or pastures—and discuss questions or tasks designed to discern their habits of mind. Some were very simple: present skeins of wool or silk in an array of hues and ask participants to describe them. The collective farmers and farm leaders, as well as the female students, easily picked out blue, red, and yellow, sometimes with variations, like dark blue or light yellow. The most remote villagers, who were still “premodern,” gave more diversified descriptions: cotton in bloom, decayed teeth, a lot of water, sky, pistachio. Then they were asked to sort the skeins into groups. The collective farmers, and young people with even a little formal education, did so easily, naturally forming color groups. Even when they did not know the name of a particular color, they had little trouble putting together darker and lighter shades of the same one. The remote villagers, on the other hand, refused, even those whose work was embroidery. “It can’t be done,” they said, or, “None of them are the same, you can’t put them together.” When prodded vigorously, and only if they were allowed to make many small groups, some relented and created sets that were apparently random. A few others appeared to sort the skeins according to color saturation, without regard to the color. Geometric shapes followed suit. The greater the dose of modernity, the more likely an individual grasped the abstract concept of “shapes” and made groups of triangles, rectangles, and circles, even if they had no formal education and did not know the shapes’ names. The remote villagers, meanwhile, saw nothing alike in a square drawn with solid lines and the same exact square drawn with dotted lines. To Alieva, a twenty-six-year-old remote villager, the solid-line square was obviously a map, and the dotted-line square was a watch. “How can a map and a watch be put together?” she asked, incredulous. Khamid, a twenty-four-year-old remote villager, insisted that filled and unfilled circles could not go together because one was a coin and the other a moon.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
The culture generated by peer-orientation is sterile in the strict sense of that word: it is unable to reproduce itself or to transmit values that can serve future generations. There are very few third generation hippies. Whatever its nostalgic appeal, that culture did not have much staying power. Peer culture is momentary, transient, and created daily, a “culture du jour,” as it were. The content of peer culture resonates with the psychology of our peer-oriented children and adults who are arrested in their own development. In one sense it is fortunate that peer culture cannot be passed on to future generations, since its only redeeming aspect is that it is fresh every decade. It does not edify or nurture or even remotely evoke the best in us or in our children. The peer culture, concerned only with what is fashionable at the moment, lacks any sense of tradition or history. As peer orientation rises, young people's appreciation of history wanes, even of recent history. For them, present and future exist in a vacuum with no connection to the past. The implications are alarming for the prospects of any informed political and social decision-making flowing from such ignorance. A current example is South Africa today, where the end of apartheid has brought not only political freedom but, on the negative side, rapid and rampant Westernization and the advent of globalized peer culture. The tension between the generations is already intensifying. “Our parents are trying to educate us about the past,” one South African teenager told a Canadian newspaper reporter. “We're forced to hear about racists and politics…” For his part, Steve Mokwena, a thirty-six year-old historian and a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, is described by the journalist as being “from a different world than the young people he now works with.” “They're being force-fed on a diet of American pop trash. It's very worrying,” said Mokwena—in his mid-thirties hardly a hoary patriarch.on a diet of American pop trash. It's very worrying,” said Mokwena—in his mid-thirties hardly a hoary patriarch. You might argue that peer orientation, perhaps, can bring us to the genuine globalization of culture, of a universal civilization that no longer divides the world into “us and them.” Didn't the MTV broadcaster brag that children all over television's world resembled one another more than their parents and grandparents? Could this not be the way to the future, a way to transcend the cultures that divide us and to establish a worldwide culture of connection and peace? We think not.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
See especially academia, which has effectively become a hope labor industrial complex. Within that system, tenured professors—ostensibly proof positive that you can, indeed, think about your subject of choice for the rest of your life, complete with job security, if you just work hard enough—encourage their most motivated students to apply for grad school. The grad schools depend on money from full-pay students and/or cheap labor from those students, so they accept far more master’s students than there are spots in PhD programs, and far more PhD students than there are tenure-track positions. Through it all, grad students are told that work will, in essence, save them: If they publish more, if they go to more conferences to present their work, if they get a book contract before graduating, their chances on the job market will go up. For a very limited few, this proves true. But it is no guarantee—and with ever-diminished funding for public universities, many students take on the costs of conference travel themselves (often through student loans), scrambling to make ends meet over the summer while they apply for the already-scarce number of academic jobs available, many of them in remote locations, with little promise of long-term stability. Some academics exhaust their hope labor supply during grad school. For others, it takes years on the market, often while adjuncting for little pay in demeaning and demanding work conditions, before the dream starts to splinter. But the system itself is set up to feed itself as long as possible. Most humanities PhD programs still offer little or nothing in terms of training for jobs outside of academia, creating a sort of mandatory tunnel from grad school to tenure-track aspirant. In the humanities, especially, to obtain a PhD—to become a doctor in your field of knowledge—is to adopt the refrain “I don’t have any marketable skills.” Many academics have no choice but to keep teaching—the only thing they feel equipped to do—even without fair pay or job security. Academic institutions are incentivized to keep adjuncts “doing what they love”—but there’s additional pressure from peers and mentors who’ve become deeply invested in the continued viability of the institution. Many senior academics with little experience of the realities of the contemporary market explicitly and implicitly advise their students that the only good job is a tenure-track academic job. When I failed to get an academic job in 2011, I felt soft but unsubtle dismay from various professors upon telling them that I had chosen to take a high school teaching job to make ends meet. It
Anne Helen Petersen (Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation)
With the news that he would soon be a daddy again, Steve seemed inspired to work even harder. Our zoo continued to get busier, and we had trouble coping with the large numbers. The biggest draw was the crocodiles. Crowds poured in for the croc shows, filling up all the grandstands. The place was packed. Steve came up with a monumental plan. He was a big fan of the Colosseum-type arenas of the Roman gladiator days. He sketched out his idea for me on a piece of paper. “Have a go at this, it’s a coliseum,” he declared, his eyes wide with excitement. He drew an oval, then a series of smaller ovals in back of it. “Then we have crocodile ponds where the crocs could live. Every day a different croc could come out for the show and swim through a canal system”--he sketched rapidly--“then come out in the main area.” “Canals,” I said. “Could you get them to come in on cue?” “Piece of cake!” he said. “And get this! We call it…the Crocoseum!” His enthusiasm was contagious. Never mind that nothing like this had ever been done before. Steve was determined to take the excitement and hype of the ancient Roman gladiators and combine it with the need to show people just how awesome crocs really were. But it was a huge project. There was nothing to compare it to, because nothing even remotely similar had ever been attempted anywhere in the world. I priced it out: The budget to build the arena would have to be somewhere north of eight million dollars, a huge expense. Wes, John, Frank, and I all knew we’d have to rely on Steve’s knowledge of crocodiles to make this work. Steve’s enthusiasm never waned. He was determined. This would become the biggest structure at the zoo. The arena would seat five thousand and have space beneath it for museums, shops, and a food court. The center of the arena would have land areas large enough for people to work around crocodiles safely and water areas large enough for crocs to be able to access them easily. “How is this going to work, Steve?” I asked, after soberly assessing the cost. What if we laid out more than eight million dollars and the crocodiles decided not to cooperate? “How are you going to convince a crocodile to come out exactly at showtime, try to kill and eat the keeper, and then go back home again?” I bit my tongue when I realized what was coming out of my mouth: advice on crocodiles directed at the world’s expert on croc behavior. Steve was right with his philosophy: Build it, and they will come. These were heady times. As the Crocoseum rose into the sky, my tummy got bigger and bigger with our new baby. It felt like I was expanding as rapidly as the new project. The Crocoseum debuted during an Animal Planet live feed, its premiere beamed all over the world. The design was a smashing success. Once again, Steve had confounded the doubters.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Since, however, darwinism has once for all displaced design from the minds of the 'scientific,' theism has lost that foothold; and some kind of an immanent or pantheistic deity working IN things rather than above them is, if any, the kind recommended to our contemporary imagination. Aspirants to a philosophic religion turn, as a rule, more hopefully nowadays towards idealistic pantheism than towards the older dualistic theism, in spite of the fact that the latter still counts able defenders. But, as I said in my first lecture, the brand of pantheism offered is hard for them to assimilate if they are lovers of facts, or empirically minded. It is the absolutistic brand, spurning the dust and reared upon pure logic. It keeps no connexion whatever with concreteness. Affirming the Absolute Mind, which is its substitute for God, to be the rational presupposition of all particulars of fact, whatever they may be, it remains supremely indifferent to what the particular facts in our world actually are. Be they what they may, the Absolute will father them. Like the sick lion in Esop's fable, all footprints lead into his den, but nulla vestigia retrorsum. You cannot redescend into the world of particulars by the Absolute's aid, or deduce any necessary consequences of detail important for your life from your idea of his nature. He gives you indeed the assurance that all is well with Him, and for his eternal way of thinking; but thereupon he leaves you to be finitely saved by your own temporal devices. Far be it from me to deny the majesty of this conception, or its capacity to yield religious comfort to a most respectable class of minds. But from the human point of view, no one can pretend that it doesn't suffer from the faults of remoteness and abstractness. It is eminently a product of what I have ventured to call the rationalistic temper. It disdains empiricism's needs. It substitutes a pallid outline for the real world's richness. It is dapper; it is noble in the bad sense, in the sense in which to be noble is to be inapt for humble service. In this real world of sweat and dirt, it seems to me that when a view of things is 'noble,' that ought to count as a presumption against its truth, and as a philosophic disqualification. The prince of darkness may be a gentleman, as we are told he is, but whatever the God of earth and heaven is, he can surely be no gentleman. His menial services are needed in the dust of our human trials, even more than his dignity is needed in the empyrean. Now pragmatism, devoted tho she be to facts, has no such materialistic bias as ordinary empiricism labors under. Moreover, she has no objection whatever to the realizing of abstractions, so long as you get about among particulars with their aid and they actually carry you somewhere. Interested in no conclusions but those which our minds and our experiences work out together, she has no a priori prejudices against theology. IF THEOLOGICAL IDEAS PROVE TO HAVE A VALUE FOR CONCRETE LIFE, THEY WILL BE TRUE, FOR PRAGMATISM, IN THE SENSE OF BEING GOOD FOR SO MUCH. FOR HOW MUCH MORE THEY ARE TRUE, WILL DEPEND ENTIRELY ON THEIR RELATIONS TO THE OTHER TRUTHS THAT ALSO HAVE TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED.
William James
Steve was a warrior in every sense of the word, but battling wildlife perpetrators just wasn’t the same as old-fashioned combat. Because Steve’s knees continued to deteriorate, his surfing ability was severely compromised. Instead of giving up in despair, Steve sought another outlet for all his pent-up energy. Through our head of security, Dan Higgins, Steve discovered mixed martial arts (or MMA) fighting. Steve was a natural at sparring. His build was unbelievable, like a gorilla’s, with his thick chest, long arms, and outrageous strength for hugging things (like crocs). Once he grabbed hold of something, there was no getting away. He had a punch equivalent to the kick of a Clydesdale, he could just about lift somebody off the ground with an uppercut, and he took to grappling as a wonderful release. Steve never did anything by halves. I remember one time the guys were telling him that a good body shot could really wind someone. Steve suddenly said, “No one’s given me a good body shot. Try to drop me with a good one so I know what it feels like.” Steve opened up his arms and Dan just pile drove him. Steve said, in between gasps, “Thanks, mate. That was great, I get your point.” I would join in and spar or work the pads, or roll around until I was absolutely exhausted. Steve would go until he threw up. I’ve never seen anything like it. Some MMA athletes are able to seek that dark place, that point of total exhaustion--they can see it, stare at it, and sometimes get past it. Steve ran to it every day. He wasn’t afraid of it. He tried to get himself to that point of exhaustion so that maybe the next day he could get a little bit further. Soon we were recruiting the crew, anyone who had any experience grappling. Guys from the tiger department or construction were lining up to have a go, and Steve would go through the blokes one after another, grappling away. And all the while I loved it too. Here was something else that Steve and I could do together, and he was hilarious. Sometimes he would be cooking dinner, and I’d come into the kitchen and pat him on the bum with a flirtatious look. The next thing I knew he had me in underhooks and I was on the floor. We’d be rolling around, laughing, trying to grapple each other. It’s like the old adage when you’re watching a wildlife documentary: Are they fighting or mating? It seems odd that this no-holds-barred fighting really brought us closer, but we had so much fun with it. Steve finally built his own dojo on a raised concrete pad with a cage, shade cloth, fans, mats, bags, and all that great gear. Six days a week, he would start grappling at daylight, as soon as the guys would get into work. He had his own set of techniques and was a great brawler in his own right, having stood up for himself in some of the roughest, toughest, most remote outback areas. Steve wasn’t intimidated by anyone. Dan Higgins brought a bunch of guys over from the States, including Keith Jardine and other pros, and Steve couldn’t wait to tear into them. He held his own against some of the best MMA fighters in the world. I always thought that if he’d wanted to be a fighter as a profession, he would have been dangerous. All the guys heartily agreed.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Despite its reputation for individualism and unbridled capitalism, the United States has a history rich in cooperation and communalism. From the colonial era to the present—and among the indigenous population for millennia—local communities have engaged in self-help, democracy, and cooperation. Indeed, the “individualistic” tradition might more accurately be called the “self-help” tradition, where “self” is defined not only in terms of the individual but in terms of the community (be it family, township, religious community, etc.). Americans are traditionally hostile to overarching authorities separate from the community with which they identify, a hostility expressed in the age-old resentment towards both government and big business. The stereotype, based on fact, is that Americans would rather solve problems on their own than rely on political and economic power-structures to do so. The following brief survey of the history substantiates this claim. While my focus is on worker cooperatives, I will not ignore the many and varied experiments in other forms of cooperation and communalism. Certain themes and lessons can be gleaned from the history. The most obvious is that a profound tension has existed, constantly erupting into conflict, between the democratic, anti-authoritarian impulses of ordinary Americans and the tendency of economic and political power-structures to grow extensively and intensively, to concentrate themselves in ever-larger and more centralized units that reach as far down into society as possible. Power inherently tries to control as much as it can: it has an intrinsic tendency toward totalitarianism, ideally letting nothing, even the most trivial social interactions, escape its oversight. Bentham’s Panopticon is the perfect emblem of the logic of power. Other social forces, notably people’s strivings for freedom and democracy, typically keep this totalitarian tendency in check. In fact, the history of cooperation and communalism is a case-study in the profound truth that people are instinctively averse to the modes of cutthroat competition, crass greed, authoritarianism, hierarchy, and dehumanization that characterize modern capitalism. Far from capitalism’s being a straightforward expression of human nature, as apologists proclaim, it is more like the very antithesis of human nature, which is evidently drawn to such things as free self-expression, spontaneous “play,”131 cooperation and friendly competition, compassion, love. The work of Marxist historians like E. P. Thompson shows how people have had to be disciplined, their desires repressed, in order for the capitalist system to seem even remotely natural: centuries of indoctrination, state violence, incarceration of “undesirables,” the bureaucratization of everyday life, have been necessary to partially accustom people to the mechanical rhythms of industrial capitalism and the commodification of the human personality.132 And of course resistance continues constantly, from the early nineteenth century to the present day. “Wage-slavery,” as workers in the nineteenth century called it, is a monstrous assault on human dignity, which is why even today, after so much indoctrination, people still hate being subordinated to a “boss” and rebel against it whenever they can.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)