Quotes, opinions and links
"To love. To be loved.
To never forget your own insignificance.
To never get used to the unspeakable violence and
the vulgar disparity of life around you.
To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair.
To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple.
To respect strength, never power.
Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away.
And never, never, to forget."
"The First Amendment rests on the
assumption that the widest possible
dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential
to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society."
- Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black
Nassim Nicholas Taleb's top ten life tips
1 - Skepticism is effortful and costly. It is better to be skeptical about matters of large consequences, and be imperfect, foolish and human in the small and the aesthetic.
2 - Go to parties. You can’t even start to know what you may find on the envelope of serendipity. If you suffer from agoraphobia, send colleagues.
3 - It’s not a good idea to take a forecast from someone wearing a tie. If possible, tease people who take themselves and their knowledge too seriously.
4 - Wear your best for your execution and stand dignified. Your last recourse against randomness is how you act — if you can’t control outcomes, you can control the elegance of your behavior. You will always have the last word.
5 - Don’t disturb complicated [natural] systems that have been around for a very long time. We don’t understand their logic. Don’t pollute the planet. Leave it the way we found it, regardless of scientific ‘evidence’.
6 - Learn to fail with pride — and do so fast and cleanly. Maximize trial and error — by mastering the error part.
7 - Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network. Never take ‘no’ for an answer (conversely, take most ‘yeses’ as ‘most probably’).
8 - Don’t read newspapers for the news (just for the gossip and, of course, profiles of authors). The best filter to know if the news matters is if you hear it in cafes, restaurants... or (again) parties.
9 - Hard work will get you a professorship or a BMW. You need both work and luck for a Booker, a Nobel or a private jet.
10 - Answer e-mails from junior people before more senior ones. Junior people have further to go and tend to remember who slighted them.
In a nation whose defining document begins, "We the People," I find
that it is we the people who constitute the greatest threat to the
future of America. It is not through the force of our actions, but rather
the vacuum created by our inaction and apathy, a vacuum all too readily
filled by those who would have us exchange our hard-fought freedoms for
a gilded cage of market-driven consumerism.
-- Scott Ritter
An interesting departure from the world of new age mysticism...
an article by Karla McLaren (a bit of a guru writer in the new age world)
written for the Skeptical Inquirer when she originally decided to leave the
community of woo.
Skeptical Inquirer article
And even better, a great letter from Karla about her time since then...
(It seems she has deleted this entry.
Too bad it was a great entry.)
Civilization is the limitless
of unnecessary necessities.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society.
- J. Krishnamurti
Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.
- Dr Seuss
Culture is not truth. Culture is other people's trash,
you know, the detritus of thousands of years of mistakes,
that's what culture is...
- Terrance McKenna
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries
disappear and life stands explained.
- Mark Twain, Notebook
Work like you don't need the money,
love like you've never been hurt,
and dance like no one is watching.
--- Satchel Paige
Life's journey is not to
arrive at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out,
shouting "...holy shit ...what a ride!"
- George Carlin