This is a listing of clippings from my readings from books. Most recent first. The button below shuffles items.
I think that it’s extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out it was an awful lot of fun. Of course the paying customers got shafted every now and then and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful error-free perfect use of these machines. I don’t think we are. I think we’re responsible for stretching them setting them off in new directions and keeping fun in the house. I hope the ﬁeld of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all I hope we don’t become missionaries. Don’t feel as if you’re Bible sales-men. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands I think and hope is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were ﬁrst led up to it that you can make it more.
Once the fruit is plucked from the tree of knowledge, the way back to Eden is barred forever.
But the point of writing is to create information, not simply to pass it along.
philosophy and science were invented and flourished because thinking is pleasurable.
Entropy is the normal state of consciousness—a condition that is neither useful nor enjoyable.
enjoyment, as we have seen, does not depend on what you do, but rather on how you do it.
Cultures are defensive constructions against chaos, designed to reduce the impact of randomness on experience.
It would be senseless, however, to ignore a source of energy because it can be misused.
Pleasure helps to maintain order, but by itself cannot create new order in consciousness.
What an individual yogi can do is amazing—but so is what a plumber can do, or a good mechanic.
Control over consciousness cannot be institutionalized.
We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.
“it is ill arguing against the use of anything from its abuse”
We simply aren’t as impressed by computers that understand spoken commands as we are by computers that talk in a more or less natural and human-sounding voice. And we’re generally more attracted by people who speak well than by people who understand well. There’s no obvious way to add flourishes to understanding, to make it charismatic, as some of us can make speech. Indeed, we often take speaking as a reflection of intelligence
And didn’t I immediately discover that melancholia brought something out in me that felt more authentic and effortless than anything I’d previously alchemised.
Everybody knows deep down that life is as much about the things that do not happen as the things that do and that’s not something that ought to be glossed over or denied because without frustration there would hardly be any need to daydream.
If we have lost the knack of living, I thought, it is a safe bet to presume we have forfeited the magic of dying.
Compatibility is an achievement of love; it shouldn’t be its precondition.
Ordinary life rewards a practical, unintrospective outlook.
Repression, a degree of restraint, and a little dedication to self-editing belong to love just as surely as a capacity for explicit confession.
To be wise is to recognize when wisdom will simply not be an option.
It takes a superhuman wisdom to avoid the consoling conclusion that one has the harder life.
From one perspective, it can seem pathetic to have to concoct fantasies rather than to try to build a life in which daydreams can reliably become realities. But fantasies are often the best thing we can make of our multiple and contradictory wishes: they allow us to inhabit one reality without destroying the other. Fantasizing spares those we care about from the full irresponsibility and scary strangeness of our urges. It is, in its own way, an achievement, an emblem of civilization—and an act of kindness.
One needs a degree of autonomy before being undressed by someone else can feel like a treat.
Insecurity may even be a peculiar sign of well-being. It means we haven’t allowed ourselves to take other people for granted, that we remain realistic enough to see that things could genuinely turn out badly—and that we are invested enough to care.
The average home appliance comes with more detailed instructions than a baby, society maintaining a touching belief that there is nothing much that one generation can, in the end, reasonably tell another about life.
Maturity means acknowledging that Romantic love might only constitute a narrow and perhaps rather mean-minded aspect of emotional life, one principally focused on a quest to find love rather than to give it, to be loved rather than to love.
it takes a certain strength to cry, the confidence that one will eventually be able to staunch the tears. She doesn’t have the luxury of feeling just a little sad. The danger is that she might fall apart and never know how to put the pieces back together.
What makes people good communicators is, in essence, an ability not to be fazed by the more problematic or offbeat aspects of their own characters.
We should add: it is a privilege to be the recipient of a sulk; it means the other person respects and trusts us enough to think we should understand their unspoken hurt. It is one of the odder gifts of love.
“Oh, come on!” she says, raising her voice to be heard. “At least tell me what’s going on.” To which he replies, “Fuck you, leave me alone.” Which is sometimes how fear can sound.
she is curious because she knows, better than most, that there is no one more likely to destroy us than the person we marry.
mindreading is often less like thinking, and more like perception i.e. something that we do unconsciously, as part of the background cognition that manages much of our daily lives
He will need to learn that love is a skill rather than an enthusiasm.
Ask 100 linguists what a language is and you’ll get 120 different answers.
leadership silences the anxiety of followers.
it only takes the good follower to do nothing for leadership to fail.
‘the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes’.
Honesty can never be forced.
For, in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost but everything irrevocably stored.
In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
Logotherapy deviates from psychoanalysis insofar as it considers man a being whose main concern consists in fulfilling a meaning, rather than in the mere gratification and satisfaction of drives and instincts, or in merely reconciling the conflicting claims of id, ego and superego, or in the mere adaptation and adjustment to society and environment.
Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.
Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
“There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”
“There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose.”
People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel.”
Sometimes an organization doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity.
Being a good company is an end in itself.
It taught me that being scared didn’t mean I was gutless.
Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can't exist without the other
Few people are logical. Most of us are prejudiced and biased. Most of us are blighted with preconceived notions, with jealousy, suspicion, fear, envy and pride. And most citizens DON’T want to change their minds about their religion or their haircut or communism or their favorite movie star.
Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things you are.
A man convinced against his will Is of the same opinion still.
You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
sharp criticisms and rebukes almost invariably end in futility.
And that really was what made them so exciting—using language in a way I’d not used it before, to transcribe such an intimate area of my being that I’d never before attempted to linguistically lay bare.
I won’t be able to write emails like that again you see—that’s to say I won’t be able to write emails like that for the first time again.
They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate.
It puzzled me rather why what would count as a good point in an ordinary person should be used against an accused man as an overwhelming proof of his guilt.
And so I learned that familiar paths traced in the dusk of summer evenings may lead as well to prisons as to innocent, untroubled sleep.
So I learned that even after a single day’s experience of the outside world a man could easily live a hundred years in prison. He’d have laid up enough memories never to be bored.
“Let’s hope the dogs won’t bark again tonight. I always think it’s mine I hear. …”
Every day, I choose, sometimes gamely and sometimes against the moment’s reason, to be alive. Is that not a rare joy?
Thinking seems to me less persuasive evidence of being than does choosing.
To love is to be vulnerable; to reject or decry vulnerability is to refuse love.
What makes people depressed? You might as well ask what makes people content.
love and trust can be great justifiers, and the knowledge that someone else cares what happens to you is by itself sufficient to affect profoundly what you do.
If you reproach yourself, the object of your feeling is always present; if you need to reproach someone else, who may die or leave, you are left with no object for your feelings. “By taking flight into the ego,” Freud wrote, “love escapes annihilation.”
The mourner is distressed by an actual death; the melancholiac, by the ambivalent experience of imperfect love.
“If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence?”
The periods of happiness in it are the blank pages of history.
“You cannot possibly have any conception of what it is like to think and yet to have no occupation. Add to that a taste that is not easily satisfied and a great love of truth and I maintain that it would be better never to have been born.”
“The tears of the world are a constant quantity.”
“We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”
You cannot long for what you do not understand: suicide is a price humans pay for self-consciousness, and it does not exist in comparable form among other species.
The man who kills a man kills a man The man who kills himself kills all men. As far as he is concerned, he wipes out the world.
A living death is not pretty, but unlike a dead death, it offers scope for amelioration.
“the incomplete joys of this world will never satisfy the human heart.”
the mind that recognizes itself cannot derecognize itself, and it is contrary to introspective life to destroy itself.
Depression is a search for invalidation. And you can always find as much as you want. When you’re depressed, you keep seeking to prove that you’re unworthy.
feelings happen to you for absolutely no reason at all.
while licit antidepressant meds start off with side effects and build up to desirable effects, the substances of abuse usually start with desirable effects and build up to side effects.
It’s always a shock, the discrepancy between my self-perception and how I am perceived in the world, between my internal vision of myself and the external circumstances of my life.
Much religion allows us to see suffering as laudable. It grants us dignity and purpose in our helplessness.
Do not go to a therapist whom you dislike. People you dislike, no matter how skilled they are, cannot help you. If you think you are smarter than your doctor, you are probably right:
My goal is to stay safely in between self-analysis and self-destruction.
When you’re hugely self-conscious, it’s hard to be fully happy.
The shape of each person’s normality, however, is unique: normality is perhaps an even more private idea than weirdness.
The things that save you are as frequently trivial as monumental.
“Depression is a response to past loss, and anxiety is a response to future loss.”
If I could see the world in nine dimensions, I’d pay a high price to do it. I would live forever in the haze of sorrow rather than give up the capacity for pain.
As soon as we have a drug for violence, violence will be an illness.
The sun shines brightly and that’s just chemical too, and it’s chemical that rocks are hard, and that the sea is salt, and that certain springtime afternoons carry in their gentle breezes a quality of nostalgia that stirs the heart to longings and imaginings kept dormant by the snows of a long winter.
“I’m depressed but it’s just chemical” is a sentence equivalent to “I’m murderous but it’s just chemical” or “I’m intelligent but it’s just chemical.”
We live, however, in a time of increasing palliatives; it is easier than ever to decide what to feel and what not to feel.
Depression is the flaw in love.
Anytime I can write a good letter Tubby it’s a sign I’m not working.
is better to produce half as much, get plenty of excercise and not go crazy than to speed up so that your head is hardly normal.
All politics is a matter of working hard without reward, or with a living wage for a time, in the hope of booty later.
Y.C.: Listen. There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done. The only way he can tell how he is going is to compete with dead men…. MICE: But reading all the good writers might discourage you. Y.C.: Then you ought to be discouraged.
All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones.
You have to make it good and a man is a fool if he adds or takes hindrance after hindrance after hindrance to being a writer when that is what he cares about. Taking refuge in domestic successes, being good to your broke friends etc. is merely a form of quitting.
You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.
As a man things are as they should or shouldn’t be. As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.
I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try to make it absolutely perfect; or if not that then wonderful. Then you write for who you love whether she can read or write or not and whether she is alive or dead.
A writer without a sense of justice and of injustice would be better off editing the year book of a school for exceptional children than writing novels.
“ ‘If God made anything better, he kept it for himself.’
“Anybody any good at what they do, that’s what they are, right?
he also saw a certain sense in the notion that burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones, that Night City wasn’t there for its inhabitants, but as a deliberately unsupervised playground for technology itself.
Punches delivered from a deathbed left bruises that never faded.
we have suffered from a kind of disease: one of detachment, of being unable to connect ourselves to things, events, feelings. Most people define themselves by their work, or where they come from, or suchlike; we have lived too far inside our heads. It makes actuality damn hard to handle.
these days, character isn’t destiny any more. Economics is destiny. Ideology is destiny. Bombs are destiny. What does a famine, a gas chamber, a grenade care how you lived your life? Crisis comes, death comes, and your pathetic individual self doesn’t have a thing to do with it, only to suffer the effects.
If love is a yearning to be like (even to become) the beloved, then hatred, it must be said, can be engendered by the same ambition, when it cannot be fulfilled.
Mahound, any new idea is asked two questions. When it’s weak: will it compromise? We know the answer to that one. And now, Mahound, on your return to Jahilia, time for the second question: How do you behave when you win? When your enemies are at your mercy and your power has become absolute: what then?
The universe was a place of wonders, and only habituation, the anaesthesia of the everyday, dulled our sight.
Truth is a negotiated average of semi-lies.
When you have hidden dreams and desires, you are vulnerable. Anyone with the talent can guess those dreams.
Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.
What’s a ghost? Unfinished business, is what.
It isn’t easy to be a brilliant, successful woman in a city where the gods are female but the females are merely goods.
Question: What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself a kind of belief. Doubt.
A man who Invents himself needs someone to believe in him, to prove he’s managed it. Playing God again, you could say. Or you could come down a few notches, and think of Tinkerbell; fairies don’t exist if children don’t clap their hands.
The distance between cities is always small; a villager, travelling a hundred miles to town, traverses emptier, darker, more terrifying space.
Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing.
Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence
If you are chosen town clerk, forsooth, you cannot go to Tierra del Fuego this summer: but you may go to the land of infernal fire nevertheless. The universe is wider than our views of it.
Thaw with his gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer.
Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may here be played. Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay. Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to farmers' crops? That is not its errand to thee. Take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport. Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs.
and yet he had rated it as a gain in coming to America, that here you could get tea, and coffee, and meat every day. But the only true America is that country where you are at liberty to pursue such a mode of life as may enable you to do without these, and where the state does not endeavor to compel you to sustain the slavery and war and other superfluous expenses which directly or indirectly result from the use of such things.
The fruits do not yield their true flavor to the purchaser of them, nor to him who raises them for the market. There is but one way to obtain it, yet few take that way.
The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass—the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends."
With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole.
The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head.
Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man.
To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts
What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?
a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
Pray, for what do we move ever but to get rid of our furniture, our exuviœ:
I am wont to think that men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men, the former are so much the freer.
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at;
Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants.
The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.
In the metaphorical no less than in the literal use of ‘seeing,’ interpretation begins where perception ends. The two processes are not the same, and what perception leaves for interpretation to complete depends drastically on the nature and amount of prior experience and training.
Men did not all paint alike during the periods when representation was a primary value, but the developmental pattern of the plastic arts changed drastically when that value was abandoned.
Until the very last stages in the education of a scientist, textbooks are systematically substituted for the creative scientific literature that made them possible. Given the confidence in their paradigms, which makes this educational technique possible, few scientists would wish to change it.
Verification is like natural selection: it picks out the most viable among the actual alternatives in a particular historical situation. Whether that choice is the best that could have been made if still other alternatives had been available or if the data had been of another sort is not a question that can usefully be asked.
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.
Why dignify what science’s best and most persistent efforts have made it possible to discard? The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts.
it is hard to make nature fit a paradigm. That is why the puzzles of normal science are so challenging and also why measurements undertaken without a paradigm so seldom lead to any conclusions at all.
the scientist who looks at a swinging stone can have no experience that is in principle more elementary than seeing a pendulum. The alternative is not some hypothetical “fixed” vision, but vision through another paradigm, one which makes the swinging stone something else.
“It is fortunate that nothing more [than phenomena known to exist] is in question; for the notion of ‘possible’ cases, of cases that do not exist but might have existed, is far from clear.” No language thus restricted to reporting a world fully known in advance can produce mere neutral and objective reports on “the given.”
the process by which either the individual or the community makes the transition from constrained fall to the pendulum or from dephlogisticated air to oxygen is not one that resembles interpretation.
What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see.
Is it really any wonder that the price of significant scientific advance is a commitment that runs the risk of being wrong?
Scientific revolutions, as we noted at the end of Section V, need seem revolutionary only to those whose paradigms are affected by them. To outsiders they may, like the Balkan revolutions of the early twentieth century, seem normal parts of the developmental process.
every problem that normal science sees as a puzzle can be seen, from another viewpoint, as a counterinstance and thus as a source of crisis.
once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place.
As in manufacture so in science—retooling is an extravagance to be reserved for the occasion that demands it. The significance of crises is the indication they provide that an occasion for retooling has arrived.
Previous practice of normal science had given every reason to consider them solved or all but solved, which helps to explain why the sense of failure, when it came, could be so acute. Failure with a new sort of problem is often disappointing but never surprising. Neither problems nor puzzles yield often to the first attack.
proliferation of versions of a theory is a very usual symptom of crisis.
Anomaly appears only against the background provided by the paradigm. The more precise and far-reaching that paradigm is, the more sensitive an indicator it provides of anomaly and hence of an occasion for paradigm change.
And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong. Anomaly appears only against the background provided by the paradigm. The more precise and far-reaching that paradigm is, the more sensitive an indicator it provides of anomaly and hence of an occasion for paradigm change. In the normal mode of discovery, even resistance to change has a
the project whose outcome does not fall in that narrower range is usually just a research failure, one which reflects not on nature but on the scientist.
“Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.”
An apparently arbitrary element, compounded of personal and historical accident, is always a formative ingredient of the beliefs espoused by a given scientific community at a given time.
When was oxygen discovered? Who first conceived of energy conservation? Increasingly, a few of them suspect that these are simply the wrong sorts of questions to ask. Perhaps science does not develop by the accumulation of individual discoveries and inventions.
Wise lovers of facts, who try to determine the truth about something, do not state a “theory of truth.”
Normal science is based on prior scientific achievements acknowledged by some scientific community.
The computer does not offer a real model of the relation between the self and other ordinary people. But it does model the way certain kinds of political and capitalist power can be wielded over society, and over other people to the degree that they ﬁt into the model
Now we say we have abandoned those beliefs in favor of a general humane egalitarianism— each of us is “capable” of “doing his best. ” But we rarely interrogate those beliefs about the present in terms of the present’s own cultural technology
When we presume that the subject of politics just is the rational subject, stripped of her cognitive capacities outside and beyond rationality, we do not merely privilege one form of decision making above others: we work away at the fabric of the polis
the oligarchical owners have in an important sense transcended everyday ﬁnancial needs, while employees remain ever more caught in and by them
what has been ﬂattened via IT is not at all individual access to culture, economics, or political power, but rather the “playing ﬁeld” for capitalist actors
Both Chomsky’s pursuit of a Universal Grammar and Fodor’s quest for a “language of thought” can be understood as pursuits of this “real but as yet undiscovered universal language,” a language that is somehow at once spoken and understood by all human beings and yet at the same time inaccessible to all contemporary human beings— again, positing an Ursprache from which mankind has fallen into linguistic and cultural diversity that are responsible for political disunity
It is there — like our life.
The problem is the following: a “machine” in the sense of a physical system obeying the laws of Newtonian physics need not be a Turing machine
Among the most powerful tools for what I will call oligarchical capitalism is the use of large-scale pricing power to manipulate human behavior and the action of the working class so as to deprive them of real political choice and power, in the name of apparently laudable goals like efficiency, personalization, individual desire and need
“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before,” Bokonon tells us. “He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”
A lover’s a liar,To himself he lies.The truthful are loveless,Like oysters their eyes!
mathematical calculation can be made to stand for propositions that are themselves not mathematical, but must still conform to mathematical rules
“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.”
“I don’t know whether I agree or not. I just have trouble understanding how truth, all by itself, could be enough for a person.” Miss Faust was ripe for Bokononism.
Computers are boring. They only give answers.
It is simply fallacious to apply PAC learned concepts, such as consciousness, to artificial situations that do not occur in the domain from which the concepts were learned.
brittleness is inevitable in any system for the theoryless that is programmed.
For theoryless decisions it is sufficient that the circuit be effective in situations that are most frequently encountered by the owner—no theory or understanding of why it is effective is needed.
That evolution could work in principle in some infinite limit is obvious and needs little discussion.
Contrary to common perception, computer science has always been more about humans than about machines.
Exceptions are a fact of life because few facts are always true. Logic fails because it tries to find exceptions to this rule.
Grammar is the servant of language, not the master.
If the theory had been any vaguer, it would have been ignored, but if it had been described in more detail, other scientists might have tested it, instead of contributing their own ideas.
We notice change in spite of change, not because of it.
The power of consciousness comes not from ceaseless change of state, but from having enough stability to discern significant changes in our surroundings.
For although words are merely catalysts for starting mental processes, so, too, are real things: we can't sense what they really are, only what they remind us of.
When we disapprove of this, we complain about stereotypes — and when we sympathize with it, we speak of sensitivity and empathy.
The most useful sets of properties are those whose members do not interact too much.
we rarely need to know that anything is absolutely wrong or right; instead, we only want to choose the best of some alternatives.
A fantasy need not reproduce the fine details of an actual scene. It need only reproduce that scene's effect on other agencies.
one needs a process that sometimes works before one can proceed to improve it.
In the long run, the most productive kinds of thought are not the methods with which we solve particular problems, but those that lead us to formulating useful new kinds of descriptions.
The Exception Principle: It rarely pays to tamper with a rule that nearly always works. It's better just to complement it with an accumulation of specific exceptions.
Many good ideas are really two ideas in one — which form a bridge between two realms of thought or different points of view.
whenever any simple idea appears to explain so many things, we must suspect a trick.
Nothing would get done if we succumbed to satisfaction.
The surer you are that you like what you are doing, the more completely your other ambitions are being suppressed.
But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart's desire, their dream… But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted.
A successful warlock cannot afford to be successful in the real world. He had been greedy; he loved both realms too much.
There are some men who are sensible of shame for what regards their bodies, but who are ignorant of shame for what concerns their hearts; and a terrible mistake they make.
'Verily I have been familiar with the flowers; yet are they withered and scattered, and we are parted. How sad!'
indeed, if you wish to see the most beautiful spots of any Oriental city, ask for the cemeteries: the homes of the dead are ever the loveliest places.
Good as a noun rather than an adjective is all the Metaphysics of Quality is about
Little children talk to dolls and grown-up adults talk to idols. He supposed that a doll allows a child to pretend he's a parent while an idol allows a parent to pretend he's a child
The most moral activity of all is the creation of space for life to move onward
Sanity is not truth. Sanity is conformity to what is socially expected. Truth is sometimes in conformity, sometimes not
Objects are inorganic and biological values; subjects are social and intellectual values
That's what this whole century's been about, this struggle between intellectual and social patterns. That's the theme song of the twentieth century. Is society going to dominate intellect or is intellect going to dominate society
experience is not the same as understanding.
An author's job is using words the ways other people do, not telling others how to use them.
One can acquire certainty only by amputating inquiry.
If self-control were easy to obtain, we'd end up accomplishing nothing at all.
Destructive acts can serve constructive goals by leaving fewer problems to be solved.
To be sure, general laws apply to everything. But, for that very reason, they can rarely explain anything in particular.
“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
To the extent that one's behavior is controlled by static patterns of quality it is without choice. But to the extent that one follows Dynamic Quality, which is undefinable, one's behavior is free
A conventional subject-object metaphysics uses the same four static patterns as the Metaphysics of Quality, dividing them into two groups of two: inorganic-biological patterns called 'matter,' and social-intellectual patterns called 'mind
Naturally there is no mechanism toward which life is heading. Mechanisms are the enemy of life. The more static and unyielding the mechanisms are, the more life works to evade them or overcome them
Something is happening right now and you think it's unimportant because you've never seen a movie of it.
Until you're the celebrity you don't see how spooky it is. They love you for being what they want to be but they hate you for being what they're not
If you can't generalize from data there's nothing else you can do with it either.
It's very easy to spend your whole life swishing old tea around in your cup thinking it's great stuff because you've never really tried anything new, because you could never get it in, because the old stuff prevented its entry because you were so sure the old stuff was so good, because you never really tried anything new … on and on in an endless circular pattern
Into every tidy scheme for arranging the pattern of human life it is necessary to inject a certain dose of anarchism, enough to prevent immobility leading to decay, but not enough to bring about disruption
but every increase of safety involves some such loss. Steamers are less romantic than sailingships; tax-collectors than highwaymen
It is easier to punish a boy for showing boredom than it is to be interesting
Opposition to a political measure is roused by the fear that oneself will be damaged; support is won by the hope (usually subconscious) that one’s enemies will be damaged. Therefore a policy that injures no one wins no support, and a policy that wins much support also rouses ﬁerce opposition
We do not like to be robbed of an enemy; we want someone to have when we suﬀer. It is so depressing to think that we suﬀer because we are fools; yet, taking mankind in the mass, that is the truth
The practical objection to Puritanism, as to every form of fanaticism, is that it singles out certain evils as so much worse than others that they must be suppressed at all costs
a good man is one whose opinions and activities are pleasing to the holders of power
We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practise, and another which we practise but seldom preach
a metaphysic can never have ethical consequences except in virtue of its falsehood: if it were true, the acts which it deﬁnes as sin would be impossible
One reason why theology has lost its hold is that it has failed to provide progressive machinery in heaven
And in so far as our desire is competitive, no increase of human happiness as a whole comes from increase of wealth, whether general or particular
The mystic is usually a temperamentally active man forced into inaction; the vitalist is a temperamentally inactive man with a romantic admiration for action
This book contains, from beginning to end, no argument, and therefore no bad argument
A closely similar method can cure the irrationalities of those who are not recognised lunatics, provided they will submit to treatment by a practitioner free from their delusions.Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and Eminent Persons, however, seldom fulﬁl this condition, and therefore remain uncured
Politeness is the practice of respecting that part of a man’s beliefs which is specially concerned with his own merits or those of his group
since the inﬂiction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell
The scepticism that I advocate amounts only to this: (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no suﬃcient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgement
We act as if we wanted to praise Bach, but in truth we only praise ourselves.
The basic idea is that the dance of symbols in a brain is itself perceived by symbols, and that step extends the dance, and so round and round it goes.
Or perhaps, when there is love, the widowed must stay for the resurrection of the beloved — so that the one who has gone is not really dead, but grows and is created for a second time in the soul of the living?
we should have great respect for what seem like the most mundane of analogies, for when they are examined, they often can be seen to have sprung from, and to reveal, the deepest roots of human cognition.
I think that’s one of the things about growing older — one’s writing becomes more inward, more reflective, perhaps wiser, or perhaps just sadder.
“All men are interlopers, old friend.”
How easy it was to mistake clear reasoning for correct reasoning!
“Men always fear things which move by themselves,”
Even danger had been good in those days—clean danger from known sources.
Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.
“Reason is the first victim of strong emotion,”
As with all priests, you learned early to call the truth heresy.
Riots and comedy are but symptoms of the times, profoundly revealing. They betray the psychological tone, the deep uncertainties … and the striving for something better, plus the fear that nothing would come of it all.
Life—all life—is in the service of life.
“Prophets have a way of dying by violence. ”
“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it,”
“It’s easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.”
The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture—it begins in the dignity with which we treat our dead.
What do you despise? By this are you truly known.
“Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die,”
“Parting with people is a sadness; a place is only a place.
Is it defeatist or treacherous for a doctor to diagnose a disease correctly?
“When strangers meet, great allowance should be made for differences of custom and training.”
“If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets,”
The most dangerous form of intolerance is precisely the kind that arises in the absence of any doctrine, fueled by elemental drives.
The term "Fascism" fits everything because it is possible to eliminate one or more aspects from a Fascist regime and it will always be recognizably Fascist.
The excess of information leads either to casual criteria of decimation or to discriminating choices granted, once more, to a highly educated elite.
given that it is not possible to read the whole thing in seven days—it is as if the news it gives were censored.
We would have an elite of extremely well-informed users, who know where and when to look for news, and a mass of information subproletarians, content with knowing that a calf with two heads has been born in their district, and ignoring the rest of the world.
Once it has demonstrated its self-flagellatory impartiality, the press no longer feels any interest in reforming itself.
"Pope John must be an atheist. Only a man who does not believe in God can love his fellowman so much!"
While the industry of state consumption (such as armaments) needs tension, that of individual consumption needs happiness.
but because the moment of action requires the elimination of nuances and ambiguities (and this is the irreplaceable function of the "decision maker" in every institution), whereas the intellectual function lies in delving for ambiguities and bringing them to light.
I used the word mystic to refer to those few scientists who derive a perverse satisfaction from knowing that something is not known and who use that ignorance as a pretext for bursting out of the cruel confinements of positivism into the domain of rhapsodic intellection.
A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.
That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better.
‘Sanity is not statistical,’
CRIMESTOP, in short, means protective stupidity.
A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors.
The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living
Wealth and privilege are most easily defended when they are possessed jointly.
If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.
which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.
Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’
‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?
Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what THEY have to put up with.
‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’
It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.
writing a thesis is like cooking a pig: nothing goes to waste.
Be humble and prudent before opening your mouth, but once you open it, be dignified and proud.
Do not play the solitary genius.
Your thesis exists to prove the hypothesis that you devised at the outset, not to show the breadth of your knowledge.
But the language of the thesis is a metalanguage, that is, a language that speaks of other languages.
If there were exhaustive rules, we would all be great writers.
This is academic humility: the knowledge that anyone can teach us something. Perhaps this is because we are so clever that we succeed in having someone less skilled than us teach us something; or because even someone who does not seem very clever to us has some hidden skills; or also because someone who inspires us may not inspire others. The reasons are many.
Do not trust those who say that you must respect books. You respect books by using them, not leaving them alone.
Beware the “alibi of photocopies”!
I am talking of the “secret title” of your thesis, the one that then usually appears as the subtitle.
In other words, it is no excuse to say, “I live in a small city, I do not have the books, I do not know where to start, and nobody is helping me.”
“If in company you don’t pee, a spy or a thief you may be.”
The more isolated and disregarded the library, the more the librarian is consumed with sorrow for its underestimation. A person who asks for help makes the librarian happy.
The “thesis neurosis” has begun: the student abandons the thesis, returns to it, feels unfulfilled, loses focus, and uses his thesis as an alibi to avoid other challenges in his life that he is too cowardly to address. This student will never graduate.
But a thesis that is too broad cannot be understood, and therefore is always an act of pride.
With time, a writer becomes more astute and knowledgeable, but how he uses his knowledge will always depend on how he originally researched the many things he did not know.
It would be a society in which a piece of paper was not required to find employment or to obtain a promotion in the public sector, and a university graduate would not surpass other qualified applicants simply because the graduate had earned a laurea.
Ironically, jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow activities they have built-in goals, feedback rules, and challenges, all of which encourage one to become involved in one’s work, to concentrate and lose oneself in it. Free time, on the other hand, is unstructured, and requires much greater effort to be shaped into something that can be enjoyed.
“Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.”
“It does not make them illegal. It does not make them immoral. It does not even make them unpopular. It makes them invisible and therefore irrelevant.”
Is this not also what we ask from a teacher, to provoke us to invent ideas?
You have to be with other people, he thought. In order to live at all. I mean, before they came here I could stand it, being alone in the building. But now it’s changed. You can’t go back, he thought. You can’t go from people to nonpeople.
A town cannot live on dreams. The change was slow but harsh. The young men and women, boys and girls left to find work and to build another life. And the town became, not all at once but steadily, a town of pleasure. People swarmed in on weekends, and they still do. And it will no doubt go on. And there is no blame in this. The town had to find another way to live.
Previously there were small shops because it was a small town. Now there are small shops because the tourists want to think they are still in that little town, which has vanished. It is good business now to appear antiquated, with narrow aisles and quaintly labeled jars.
Darkness you are gentler than my lover… his flesh was sweaty and panting, I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me. (p. 109)
Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul (p. 56)
It is a simple case. The eye that does not look back does not acknowledge.
The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.
The world sheds, in the energetic way of an open and communal place, its many greetings, as a world should. What quarrel can there be with that?
Adults can change their circumstances; children cannot. Children are powerless, and in difficult situations they are the victims of every sorrow and mischance and rage around them, for children feel all of these things but without any of the ability that adults have to change them. Whatever can take a child beyond such circumstances, therefore, is an alleviation and a blessing.
In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed.
…in solitude, or in that deserted state when we are surrounded by human beings and yet they sympathise not with us, we love the flowers, the grass and the waters and the sky. In the motion of the very leaves of spring in the blue air there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart.
'Thou shalt not live under the same heaven nor tread the same earth with the enemy of thy father or lord,'
They were grainy things, soot and chalk. They could have been anybody.
The window reflected the news. It was about power and sports and anger and death.
But it was too early in the evening for programs that allowed people with peculiar opinions to speak out. It was only a little after eight o’clock, so all the shows were about silliness or murder.
It was very exciting for her, taking his dignity away in the name of love.
“It would sound like a dream,” said Billy. “Other people’s dreams aren’t very interesting, usually.”
And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.
“Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”
There was a soft drink bottle on the windowsill. Its label boasted that it contained no nourishment whatsoever.
Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.
At that time, they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still.
Being big is not necessarily a good thing: most organisms are bacteria and very few are elephants.
'The rabbit runs faster than the fox, because the rabbit is running for his life while the fox is only running for his dinner.'
But 'chance' is just a word expressing ignorance. It means 'determined by some as yet unknown, or unspecified, means'.
When we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes.
What is it about the idea of a god that gives it its stability and penetrance in the cultural environment? The survival value of the god meme in the meme pool results from its great psychological appeal. It provides a superficially plausible answer to deep and troubling questions about existence. It suggests that injustices in this world may be rectified in the next. The 'everlasting arms' hold out a cushion against our own inadequacies which, like a doctor's placebo, is none the less effective for being imaginary.
It may be that the overall probability that a random member of the school is a relation is so high that the altruism is worth the cost.
parental care is just a special case of kin altruism.
Perhaps consciousness arises when the brain's simulation of the world becomes so complete that it must include a model of itself.
The 'goal' of a machine is simply defined as that state to which it tends to return.
It leaps from body to body down the generations, manipulating body after body in its own way and for its own ends, abandoning a succession of mortal bodies before they sink in senility and death.
A gene is defined as any portion of chromosomal material that potentially lasts for enough generations to serve as a unit of natural selection.
Human suffering has been caused because too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use,
The universe is populated by stable things.
(Curiously, peace-time appeals for individuals to make some small sacrifice in the rate at which they increase their standard of living seem to be less effective than war-time appeals for individuals to lay down their lives.)
Chosen examples are never serious evidence for any worthwhile generalization.
“Inspiration is for amateurs,” Close says. “The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Rather than propose a new theory or unearth a new fact, often the most important contribution a scientist can make is to discover a new way of seeing old theories or facts.
Anyone can popularize science if he oversimplifies.
I believe in getting up from the typewriter, away from it, while I still have things to say.”
“Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political, and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!”
I always wanted to go at the world and try and do too much, and even to do it for something that was not too cheap. That was wrong of me
If you're under suspicion it better to be moving than still, as if you're still you can be in the pan of the scales without knowing it and be weighed along with your sins."
The pampering of the modern mind has resulted in a population that feels deserving of something without earning that something, a population that feels they have a right to something without sacrificing for it. People declare themselves experts, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, mavericks, and coaches without any real-life experience. And they do this not because they actually think they are greater than everybody else; they do it because they feel that they need to be great to be accepted in a world that broadcasts only the extraordinary.
“I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
It’s easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would find you attractive, that nobody appreciates your talents, than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure.
Most people need to go to some sort of therapist just to hear these questions asked for the first time.
Kids were given inane homework assignments, like writing down all the reasons why they thought they were special, or the five things they liked most about themselves.
Why? My guess: because giving a fuck about more stuff is good for business.
should like it to help to open eyes, not to loosen tongues.
For is it not rather those who misuse 'scientific' language, not to enlighten but to impress the reader, who are 'talking down' to us—from the clouds
was tired of Miss Montag continuously watching his lips. In that way she took control of what he wanted to say before he said it.
The decisions that democracies make may not demonstrate the wisdom of the crowd. The decision to make them democratically does.
What they disagree about is what democracy is for and what we can expect it to accomplish. Do we have it because it gives people a sense of involvement and control over their lives, and therefore contributes to political stability? Do we have it because individuals have the right to rule themselves, even if they use that right in ridiculous ways? Or do we have it because democracy is actually an excellent vehicle for making intelligent decisions and uncovering the truth?
“It is far more difficult to form an informed opinion about what is good for society as a whole than it is to determine where one’s self-interest lies,”
“The United States is a tenaciously philistine society,”
is that the best way to disclose public information is without hype or even commentary from people in positions of power.
Companies tend to pay people based on whether they do what they’re expected to do. In a market, people get paid based simply on what they do.
One of the real dangers that small groups face is emphasizing consensus over dissent.
“In science, one’s private property is established by giving its substance away.”
selfish—which is to say they are rational, in the economic sense—and always free ride.
People want to do the right thing, but no one wants to be a sucker.
The market may not teach people to trust, but it certainly makes it easier for people to do so.
what is the free market? It’s a mechanism designed to solve a coordination problem,
groups are better at deciding between possible solutions to a problem than they are at coming up with them.
trying to find smart people will not lead you astray. Trying to find the smartest person will.
Its easy to have frends if you let pepul laff at you. Im going to have lots of frends where I go.
at night I go out for walks, wander around the city. I don't know why. To see faces, I guess.
"There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.
ago the adolescent in me thought death could happen only to other people),
A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger.
and as soon as exceptional begins to mean anything to anyone they'll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression only as long as it doesn't mean anything to anybody.
He's no Freud or Jung or Pavlov or Watson, but he's doing something important and I respect his dedication—maybe even more because he's just an ordinary man trying to do a great man's work, while the great men are all busy making bombs."
It's getting harder for me to write down all my thoughts and feelings because I know that people are reading them.
Only in the matirnity ward by the babys where it dont matter if she talks too much.
“No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers.”
Good fences make good neighbors.
Everyone knows that they personally are the only good driver on Earth.
All software becomes legacy as soon as it's written.
"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."
Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.
Better never means better for everyone,
That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before. You do that first, in your head, and then you make it real.
How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.
You can think clearly only with your clothes on.
who can remember pain, once it's over?
nobody dies from lack of sex, It's lack of love we die from.
It's like a fart in church.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.
What you don't know won't hurt you,
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.
It's black, of course, the color of prestige or a hearse, and long and sleek.
Not so her eyes, which were the flat hostile blue of a midsummer sky in bright sunlight, a blue that shuts you
There's always a black market, there's always something that can be exchanged.
The threshold of a new house is a lonely place.
It's good to have small goals that can be easily attained.
Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There's a lot that doesn't bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last.
Like other things now, thought must be rationed.
I’d have many acquaintances, friends even, and women, maybe even one woman.
and humans are defined by their papers.
Besides, it isn’t these sorts of revelations, more worthy of poetry than science, that are hoped for by the “believers,” oh no; though they themselves are unaware of it, what they are waiting for is a Revelation that would explain to them the meaning of humankind itself!
It is faith wrapped in the cloak of science; contact, the goal for which we are striving, is as vague and obscure as communion with the saints or the coming of the Messiah.
Human beings set out to encounter other worlds, other civilizations, without having fully gotten to know their own hidden recesses, their blind alleys, well shafts, dark barricaded doors.
If an elephant isn’t a very large bacterium, then an ocean can’t be a very large brain.
Every science comes with its own pseudo-science, a bizarre distortion that comes from a certain kind of mind: astronomy has its caricaturist in astrology, chemistry used to have alchemy.
We’re not searching for anything except people. We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.
We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.
The common people will let it go, oh yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why they must be prodded, prodded -
A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man."
"He resisted his lawful arresters."
More, badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.
They don't go into the cause of goodness, so why the other shop? If lewdies are good that's because they like it,
human hole products,
It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice.
Happiness is never grand.
You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.
You can't make flivvers without steel-and you can't make tragedies without social instability. The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get.
It was a masterly piece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms of purpose-well, you didn't know what the result might be.
Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself.
"If one's different, one's bound to be lonely.
Five minutes later roots and fruits were abolished; the flower of the present rosily blossomed.
He hated these things-just because he liked Bernard.
"Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly."
the three great London newspapers-777e Hourly Radio, an upper-caste sheet, the pale green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paper and in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror.
The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.
“I must pursue my goal through thick and thin and I must not allow bourgeois society to turn me into a money-making machine,”
“work is still the best way of escaping from life!”
seeking a “biological” (which is to say, an adaptive) explanation for all patterning and collectivity in animal populations runs the risk of invoking a contingent explanation for something that is in fact an immediate consequence of the “physics” of the situation.
"Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational."
Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one grave defect: they are gratuitous.
Major instruments of social stability.
For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.
Wintriness responded to wintriness.
The DLA cluster is a map of frozen accidents of history.
“Time forks perpetually towards innumerable futures,”
“Free will is for history only an expression connoting what we do not know about the laws of human life.”
Assessing individual events in the context of their average rate of occurrence is a relatively modern practice. Without it, the world is ripe for magic, superstition, miracles, and conspiracy theories.
“Man is free if he needs to obey no person but solely the laws.”1
Hobbes’s supreme authority, whether an individual or a collective body, subsequently had the right to decide who would succeed it—democracy is exercised once and then relinquished.
Mankind’s volitions, therefore, are divided by Hobbes into “appetites” and “aversions”:
The greater the religious diversity, it seemed, the greater the intolerance.
Memory is immortality of a sort. In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again.
A few minutes of that reminded me why I always resisted visiting till I had forgotten the despair a visit inspired.
Is that what happens when you get old? You worry more about people and their interaction than you do about drama and the violence and the wicked deeds those people do?
“You feel guilty. You wonder why him and not me, then you’re glad it was him and not you, then you feel guilty. Soldiers live. And wonder why.”
Generating rumors is one thing even the most inept armed force does exceedingly well.
The ability to ignore seems to be coupled with a talent for sorcery.
I had plenty of regrets. I am sure she had more. She gave up so much more.
“The Captain is still solving her personnel problems by exiling the questionables to Khatovar.”
the past is, as history, a hall of mirrors that reflect the needs of souls observing from the present. Absolute fact serves the hungers of only a few disconnected
The thing that you know to be true is the lie that will kill you.
“Physician, heal thyself.”
Soldiers live. And wonder why.
God is Great. God is Merciful. In Forgiveness He is Like the Earth. But He can become a tad mean-spirited with unbelievers.
Bunions should be our seal, not a fire breathing skull.
If you always do the easier thing, then you cannot possibly remain steadfast when it becomes necessary to take a difficult stand.
“She’ll be pretty when she’s older and she doesn’t have a brain in her head to complicate things.”
Men driven solely by a need for revenge are flawed tools at best.
“Places are natural, Sleepy. People are good and evil.”
diarrhea of the mouth.
I realize that most history may really pivot on personal considerations like that, not on the pursuit of ideals dark or shining.
Kind of like real life, where the same demon comes back again and again.
This asymmetry of information prevents the various parties from joining forces—which is precisely the point of a democratic government.
it will become harder to access the political messages our neighbors are seeing—and as a result, to understand why they believe what they do, often passionately.
Only the machine knew, and it wasn’t talking.
arbitrary, unaccountable, unregulated, and often unfair—in short, they’re WMDs.
The model is optimized for efficiency and profitability, not for justice or the good of the “team.” This is, of course, the nature of capitalism.
Phrenology was a model that relied on pseudoscientific nonsense to make authoritative pronouncements, and for decades it went untested. Big Data can fall into the same trap.
People who favor policies like stop and frisk should experience it themselves. Justice cannot just be something that one part of society inflicts upon the other.
In a system in which cheating is the norm, following the rules amounts to a handicap.
when you create a model from proxies, it is far simpler for people to game it.
We’re modeled as shoppers and couch potatoes, as patients and loan applicants, and very little of this do we see—even in applications we happily sign up for.
Models are opinions embedded in mathematics.
The privileged, we’ll see time and again, are processed more by people, the masses by machines.
You gain nothing by arguing with your critics.
The best of the diviner breed are never wrong because they never set anything in stone.
People want to believe what they want to believe, good, bad, or indifferent, and do not confuse them with facts.
I have always found the religious tolerance of the southerners amazing and disconcerting, though it was really only an ancient habit predicated on the fact that no religious community was strong enough to show the rest the errors in their thinking at swordspoint.
Like any good soldier, if he was bitching he was perfectly all right.
Nobody got hurt. In our gang.
Hagop and I each spent one of our diminishing supply of single finger salutes.
Fickle folk. A little hunger and stress and they forgot all about liberty.
in the future there will be two types of jobs: people who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.
But is selection really necessary in the strongest sense to create the complex creatures we see around us? Or is it possibly a restriction that limits the creativity of evolution?
If you don’t have a clear objective, then you can’t be wrong, because wherever you end up is okay.
All of us can transform the present into the future. None can transform the future into the present.
The problem is that when individuals with opposing preferences are forced to vote, the winner often represents no one’s ideals (which perhaps explains the nearly-universal frustration people have with politics).
“You can’t control what you can’t measure .”
The past doesn’t tell us about the objective but it does offer a clue to something equally if not more important—the past is a guide to novelty.
The theory goes that ideas are rare, so the trick is to capture them. It's like non-musicians being awed by a guitar player, not realizing that great talent is so cheap it literally plays on the streets for coins.
It's like non-musicians being awed by a guitar player, not realizing that great talent is so cheap it literally plays on the streets for coins.
Ideas are cheap. What does work sensibly as property is the hard work we do in building a market.
Diversity beats education any time.
In business, marriage, and collective works, sooner or later, we either stop caring, or we fight and we argue.
Software dies, but community survives.
there are no dangerous opinions, only dangerous responses.
Profits often come from the ignorance of customers.
The core trick is to accept authority without giving it the "right to command."
diversity of opinion, independence of members from one another, decentralization, and effective ways to aggregate opinions.
‘Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?’
With infinite life comes an infinite list of relatives. Grandparents never die, nor do great-grandparents, great-aunts . . . and so on, back through the generations, all alive and offering advice. Sons never escape from the shadows of their fathers. Nor do daughters of their mothers. No one ever comes into his own . . . Such is the cost of immortality. No person is whole. No person is free.
If I convert it’s because it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.
Religion’s surest foundation is the contempt for life.”
he was able to avail himself of a historically unprecedented level of care, while at the same time being exposed to a degree of suffering that previous generations might not have been able to afford.
For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one.
The call to prayer is self–cancelling.
People don’t have cancer: They are reported to be battling cancer.
First came the conquerers, unstoppable in war. Then came the administrators, who bound it all together into one apparently unshakable, immortal edifice. Then came the wasters, who knew no responsibility and squandered the capital of their inheritance upon whims and vices.
Nice people tend to think everybody is nice.
“Careful is my middle name.”
any dork who became a soldier for an idea instead of the money deserved to die for his country.
He had learned self-control in a hard school. He had been married for thirty years.
Short people weren’t supposed to be joyous, they were supposed to be cocky and obnoxious. Then you could thump on them and shut them up without feeling bad about it.
I’ve never met a priest who honestly expected miracles in his own lifetime.
More evil gets done in the name of righteousness than any other way. Few villains think they are villains.
hadn’t planned on investigating the source of the noise, because, as you know from watching scary movies, people who investigate noises die.
It was the time of the Monthly Meeting. The big confab during which nothing gets done.
Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.
Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die,
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up under them.
Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal.
Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?"
"Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine."
"I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly,"
Little people have to hate, have to blame someone for their own inadequacies.
In some ways he was an ideal overlord. All he wanted from his people was to be left alone. He was willing to grant the same favor.
“The mystic nails a symbol to one meaning that was true for a moment but soon becomes false. The poet, on the other hand, sees that truth while it’s true but understands that symbols are always in flux and that their meanings are fleeting.”
Being watched by females changed everything.
the Convox was political, and made decisions by compromise.
The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story.
Communicating and coordinating with others was often more trouble than it was worth.
brain was so organized that he was blind to facial expressions.
“Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.”
I have been too close to her. I am not in love now.
There are no self-proclaimed villains, only regiments of self-proclaimed saints.
“Dead heroes don’t get a second chance.”
“It's difficult to work in a group when you are omnipotent.”
‘History,’ the witcher smiled. ‘Is a relation, mostly mendacious, of events mostly irrelevant, given by historians, mostly idiots.’
the agony of choice.’
A philosophy, which is sometimes called an understanding of the law, is simply a way that a person holds the laws in his mind in order to guess quickly at consequences.
It is usually said when this is pointed out, ‘When you are dealing with psychological matters things can’t be defined so precisely’. Yes, but then you cannot claim to know anything about it.
you cannot prove a vague theory wrong.
And to stand with evil and beauty and hope, or to stand with the fundamental laws, hoping that way to get a deep understanding of the whole world, with that aspect alone, is a mistake.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is
Requirements made in the abstract are invariably wrong. Requirements produced by asking people what they need are invariably wrong. Requirements are developed by watching people in their natural environment
There is nothing like a firm deadline to get creative minds to reach convergence
Engineers and businesspeople are trained to solve problems. Designers are trained to discover the real problems
“No matter where you go, there you are.”
It is a strange world we live in – that all the new advances in understanding are used only to continue the nonsense which has existed for 2,000 years.
Destiny is not the way to providence or comfortable fatalism. Destiny is hope.
Do you know, Ciri, what university studies give a person?’ ‘No. What?’ ‘The ability to make use of sources.’
somebody always wants to give to a pauper, even if out of calculation.
The king loved the queen boundlessly, and she loved him with all her heart. Something so fair had to finish unhappily.
A given land’s history is very often created by foreigners. Foreigners are the cause–but the effects are always invariably borne by the local people.
Some things can only be solved by massive cultural changes, which probably means they will never be solved
It is possible to avoid failure, to always be safe. But that is also the route to a dull, uninteresting life
“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”
when you are seven, beauty is an abstraction, not an imperative.
Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.
“Math is not a spectator sport; you need to play the game.”
Many people, of course, use ' sentimentalism' as a term of abuse for other people's decent feelings, and 'realism' as a disguise for their own brutality.
The seriousness of a theorem, of course, does not lie in its consequences, which are merely the evidence for its seriousness.
A man's first duty, a young man's at any rate, is to be ambitious.
Good work is not done by 'humble' men. It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it.
The public does not need 64 to be convinced that there is something in mathematics.
Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.
'It is never worth a first class man's time to express a majority opinion. By definition, there are plenty of others to do that.'
‘In Wonder all Philosophy began: in Wonder it ends…But the first Wonder is the Offspring of Ignorance; the last is the Parent of Adoration.’
Consider, for a moment, the following information: A man who preaches love and tolerance is recognized by political and civic leaders as a man of God. He runs a wealthy and growing church. He can show his power to raise the dead and cure fatal illnesses, and no one denies his abilities. He creates and promotes interest in a community in another country wherein followers will be safe from the evils of pollution and prejudice. He teaches them methods of self-defense, warns them against "outsiders," and is obeyed and believed in all he does. Would it not be logical to follow this man wherever he leads?
Nothing succeeds like failure.
The real story of automation is not what it replaces but what it enables.
Statisticians are prone to murder and maim for much less provocation.
“How many Bayesians does it take to change a lightbulb? They’re not sure. Come to think of it, they’re not sure the lightbulb is burned out.”
data mining means “torturing the data until it confesses.”
“every time I fire a linguist, the recognizer’s performance goes up.”
Michelangelo said that all he did was see the statue inside the block of marble and carve away the excess stone until the statue was revealed.
"Man wishes to be deceived; deceive him."
But he at no point calls to our attention the miracle known as Chartres Cathedral, the Parthenon in Greece, or even Stonehenge—that most remarkable astronomical construction—because these wonders are European, built by people he expects to have the intelligence and ability to do such work. He cannot conceive of our brown and black brothers having the wit to conceive or the skill to build the great structures they did leave behind.
"bread before poetry"
"Quacks are the greatest liars in the world, except their patients."
Pleasure is nature’s shortcut; it enables humans to respond quickly to changing life demands by prioritizing basic needs that involve different neural systems on a single metric.
Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.
Happiness is a Norman Rockwell painting hanging over your fireplace on a cold winter’s eve. Pleasure is the warmth and aesthetic beauty of the flames, the heat beating on your skin.
‘Do not grieve for the cabbage when the forest is burning,’
Two kinds of people use these machines: the children of the rich, or the fully grown adults of the poorer class, who remain all their lives children.
Enough to feed a whole family, or one rich man.
From the amount of garbage thrown outside the walls of the house, you knew that rich people lived here.
The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters, or entrepreneurs.
a servitude so strong that you can put the key of his emancipation in a man’s hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.
They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.
The story of a poor man’s life is written on his body, in a sharp pen.
and logs of wood, as many as we could pay for, were piled on top of the body.
The printing press changed the way in which we made mistakes. Routine errors of transcription became less common. But when there was a mistake, it would be reproduced many times over, as in the case of the Wicked Bible.
“vast amounts of theory applied to extremely small amounts of data,”
Only death consistently excites your emotions, whether contemplating it when life is safe and stale, or fleeing it when life is threatened and precious.
If he wants to test this hypothesis, one in twenty, he cannot do it from the same data that gave him the clue.
No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines.
So in science we are not interested in where an idea comes from.
And the newspapers, as you know, have a standard line for every discovery made in physiology today: "The discoverer said that the discovery may have uses in the cure of cancer." But they cannot explain the value of the thing itself.
If you look closely enough at anything, you will see that there is nothing more exciting than the truth,
Only fear can defeat life.
To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.
In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.
he sent me to all these universities in order to find out those things, and he never did find out.
For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out.
Socially inferior animals are the ones that make the most strenuous, resourceful efforts to get to know their keepers.
animals don’t escape to somewhere but from something.
Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.
a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.
Hate is many-sided, just as love can be.
The doer must do only when the receiver is ready to receive. Otherwise, the act is wasted.
the only thing a sane person can do in a lunatic asylum is to pretend that he is as mad as the others and at the first opportunity scale the walls and get out.’
Logic was never a strong point with Sikhs;
‘A wise man swims with the current and still gets across.’
His mind was like the delicate spring of a watch, which quivers for several hours after it has been touched.
when what has been marginal would leap to the center, every trace of the center would be lost.
Who of us is able to say now whether Hector or Achilles was right, Agamemnon or Priam, when they fought over the beauty of a woman who is now dust and ashes?
reading books of medicine, you are always convinced you feel the pains of which they speak.