Archive for the ‘Quote of the Day’ Category

Quote of the Day: Rabindranath Tagore

August 7, 2017

“I am not against one nation in particular, but against the general idea of all nations. What is the Nation?

It is the aspect of a whole people as an organized power. This organization incessantly keeps up the insistence of the population on becoming strong and efficient. But this strenuous effort after strength and efficiency drains man’s energy from his higher nature where he is self-sacrificing and creative.

For thereby man’s power of sacrifice is diverted from his ultimate object, which is moral, to the maintenance of this organization, which is mechanical. Yet in this he feels all the satisfaction of moral exaltation and therefore becomes supremely dangerous to humanity. He feels relieved of the urging of his conscience when he can transfer his responsibility to this machine which is the creation of his intellect and not of his complete moral personality.”

“….human beings’ differences are not like the physical barriers of mountains, fixed forever – they are fluid with life’s flow, they are changing their courses and their shapes and volume.”

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Quote of the Day: Kropotkin

January 15, 2016

In “Anarchism – Its Philosophy and Ideal” from 1896, Kropotkin, in my opinion, criticizes the holistic view of society as if it itself were an atomic, human soul and consequently any ideas of revolution that rely on this simplistic notion.

“After having fixed all their attention on the sun and the large planets, astronomers are beginning to study now the infinitely small ones that people the universe. And they discover that the interplanetary and interstellar spaces are peopled and crossed in all imaginable directions by little swarms of matter, invisible, infinitely small when taken separately, but all-powerful in their numbers.

It is to these infinitely tiny bodies that dash through space in all directions with giddy swiftness, that clash with one another, agglomerate, disintegrate, everywhere and always, it is to them that today astronomers look for an explanation of the origin of our solar system, the movements that animate its parts, and the harmony of their whole. Yet another step, and soon universal gravitation itself will be but the result of all the disordered and incoherent movements of these infinitely small bodies – of oscillations of atoms that manifest themselves in all possible directions. Thus the center, the origin of force, formerly transferred from the earth to the sun, now turns out to be scattered and disseminated. It is everywhere and nowhere. With the astronomer, we perceive that solar systems are the work of infinitely small bodies; that the power which was supposed to govern the system is itself but the result of the collision among those infinitely tiny clusters of matter, that the harmony of stellar systems is harmony only because it is an adaptation, a resultant of all these numberless movements uniting, completing, equilibrating one another.”

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Quote of the Day: Robert Musil

May 4, 2014

From chapter 38 of The Man Without Qualities (my translation from the Swedish translation):

 

“Moral is the fixation of human behaviour within a society, but primarily their inner urges and impulses, that is their emotions and thoughts… Of course I don’t know it. But despite that I can give you a dozen explanations. The oldest being that God has revealed the order of life to us in its finest detail…”

“That would be the most wonderful,” said Agathe.

“But the most likely is,” Ulrich intoned, “that moral, like all other order, arises through force and violence. A ruling group which has succeeded in acquiring the power simply charge the others with the restrictions and basic principles through which it secures its dominion. But simultaneously it depends on those who have made it great and powerful. Simultaneously it thereby acts as a role model. Simultaneously it is itself changed through feedback. All this is of course far too complicated than can be described briefly, and while it in no way happens without intelligence (but in no way through intelligence but rather experientially), it eventually results in an incomprehensible network that stretches over everything and everyone, apparently as necessarily as God’s heaven arches above us. Now everything is attributed to this domain, but this domain is not attributed to anything. In other words: everything is moral, but moral itself is not moral!”

“That is, feeling is neither true nor false! Feeling has remained a private matter! It has been consigned to suggestion, to imagination, persuasion!”

“For centuries”, Ulrich carried on, “the world has known the truth of thought and thus through reason known, at least to a certain degree, freedom of thought. Meanwhile feeling had neither the strict schooling of truth nor freedom of movement. For every moral has in its time regulated feeling only to a strictly limited extent and only as far as certain basic principles and fundamental emotions were necessary for the actions that pleased it; but the rest it has given over to arbitrariness, to the play of personal emotions, the uncertain striving in the arts and in the academic debate. Moral has, then, adapted emotions to the needs of the moral and thus neglected to develop them, despite itself being dependent on them. For it is the order and unity of emotions… But it is only another expression of a state of passion arming itself against the whole of the world.”

“Moral was to him neither dominion nor wisdom of thought, but the infinite fullness of life’s possibilities. He believed in some potential for elevation of moral, in different levels of experiencing it, and not just, as is habitual, in stages of insight into it, as if it was something ready-made for which humans simply weren’t pure enough. By this people certainly think of police regulations, through which life is kept in order, and since life does not obey them, they give the impression of not really being possible and in this barren way is thus given a sheen of ideal. But moral must not be reduced to this plane. Moral is fantasy… And secondly: fantasy is not arbitrary.”

“He had been about to talk about the all-too-little considered difference between the way in which different times have developed reason and the way in which they have fixated and locked-in the moral fantasy.”

“Everything from the extraordinary humans’ epiphanies to the sentimental garbage that unites the people forms what Ulrich called the moral fantasy, or more simply put feeling, one slow fermentation throughout the centuries, without the brew clearing. The human is a being who cannot cope without passion. And passion is that condition, under which all her emotions and thoughts are of the same spirit. You think, almost to the contrary, that it is the condition when an emotion is overwhelmingly powerful, one single – entrancement! – which forcibly pulls all others with it?… Lasting is achieved only by emotions and thoughts in contact with each other, in their wholeness, they must in some way be aimed in the same direction and mutually pull each other along. And by any means, by intoxication, suggestion, faith, conviction, often also only by the simplifying effect of stupidity, the human longs to create a similar state [of lasting]. She believes in ideas, inte because they are many times true, but because she has to believe. Because she has to keep her emotions in order. Because with an illusion she must fill the tear between her life-walls, through which her emotions would otherwise be scattered by all [four] winds. The right thing would, instead of devoting yourself to transient illusory states, surely be to at least seek for the causes of the true passion. But despite the number of decisions that are caused by emotions being all-in-all infinitely greater than the sum of all settlements made by pure reason and despite all events that affect humanity having sprung from fantasy, only matters of reason reveal themselves as being superhumanly ordered, and for the other [the order of passion] nothing has happened that would deserve being called a collective effort or even hint at an insight into its despairing necessity.”

“We find ourselves these days facing too many possibilities of feeling and life. But is this difficulty not similar to the one that reason overcomes when face with a great deal of facts and a history of relevant theories? And for reason we have found a strict, if incomplete, approach, that I need not describe to you. I ask you now, if not something similar would be possible for feeling as well? We would without doubt yet want to clarify why we exist – this is one of the main causes of all acts of violence in the world…”

“That would mean a growing relationship with God!”

“That wouldn’t be the worst thing surely?” Ulrich said, not without a certain mocking sharpness before this hasty anxiety. “But I havn’t taken it that far!”

“How do you imagine this application of our theoretical approach to thinking in practice?”

“Ulrich knew very well that it was yet unclear. He meant neither ‘a life as researcher’ nor a life ‘in the light of science’, but a ‘search for feeling’ kind of like the search for truth, with the only difference that here there was no question of truth.”

Quote of the Day: Putin is “The Good Hitler”

April 6, 2014

“The fact is that while Hitler was gathering German lands he united Germany, Austria, the Sudetenland, and Memel without a single drop of blood. If Hitler stopped at that, he would be remembered in his country’s history as a politician of the highest order.”

from a Russian newspaper article April 3rd by Andranik Migranyan, head of the New York office of the “Institute for Democracy and Cooperation,” an NGO set up under President Vladimir Putin in 2007 to monitor human rights in Western countries.

Quote of the Day: Ukraine

March 5, 2014

“We are patrolling together, Ukrainian, Russian and Tatars, trying to keep our neighborhoods safe because we all expect trouble.”

“What happened in Kiev showed the true face of Ukrainians. They are fascists. Here in Crimea, we want peace. We can live peacefully with Tatars, they are the nice neighbors.”

“No, they are murderers; the Tatars want to kill us. We need to be protected from them.”

“I am Russian and I don’t need your protection.”

“They are turning us against each other.”

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-03-03/russian-troops-are-stirring-ethnic-tensions-could-tear-crimea-apart

Quote of the Day: Angela Merkel

March 2, 2014

“We have learned from our history how important it is to solve conflicts peacefully and this should also apply to Ukraine.”

Quote of the Day: Niccolò Machiavelli

May 3, 2013

“…it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because Fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her…”

– Niccolò Machiavelli, Il Principe

He also says that humans “are evil”.

In these two quotes, Machiavelli embodies the European society created by the dark ages, i.e. the Christian age. The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of everything sentenced a) humanity to be forever incomplete – mortal and greedy – and b) women to suffer menstruation and birthing pains. I know that The Prince is possibly partly satirical, although I think only when it comes to details about governing and not the fundamentals like his views on human nature. Using a word like “evil” might be an exaggeration for comic effect, although still not opposite his genuine beliefs. The common people are considered detestable, war is considered obvious and women are not even considered. Even though Machiavelli does not appear to be very pious, he does sum up the horrible side of Europe, the breeding ground of Christian doctrine.

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Obviously, we must ask ourselves if Machiavelli was the biggest ever troll in Europe, causing centuries of naivety and deceit alike.

“Poe’s law, in broader form, is:

Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.[2]

The core of Poe’s law is that a parody of something extreme by nature becomes impossible to differentiate from sincere extremism. A corollary of Poe’s law is the reverse phenomenon: sincere fundamentalist beliefs being mistaken for a parody of that belief.[2]”

Quote of the Day: What is Self-Confidence?

August 28, 2012

“Being confident in yourself is infectious if you present yourself well, others will want to follow in your foot steps towards success.[2] “

2 Rowh, M. (2006). Carreer World

“Inaccurate self-evaluation is commonly observed in healthy populations.”

 

Quote of the Day #9

June 2, 2012

I was watching a SC2 game and thought “the difference between good and bad is accepting it or fixing it, which you can decide in retrospect. i mean, you can say something is bad and try to fix it, but if you fail you have to retry until you succeed or accept that you failed, except then you might call it bad. lot of ifs and buttocks in that sentence.”

Bible Quote of the Day

February 26, 2012

Acts 2

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!

Quote of the Day: Syd Barrett

January 18, 2012

Lyrics to his last song, Jugband Blues, with Pink Floyd, his only song on their second album A Saucerful of Secrets.

It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I’m much obliged to you for making it clear
That I’m not here.
And I never knew the moon could be so big
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I’m grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red
And I’m wondering who could be writing this song.
I don’t care if the sun don’t shine
And I don’t care if nothing is mine
And I don’t care if I’m nervous with you
I’ll do my loving in the winter.
And the sea isn’t green
And I love the queen
And what exactly is a dream
And what exactly is a joke.

Quote of the Day: Plato

December 31, 2011

From the Republic:

“Are dogs divided into hes and shes, or do they both share equally in hunting and in keeping watch and in the other duties of dogs? or do we entrust to the males the entire and exclusive care of the flocks, while we leave the females at home, under the idea that the bearing and suckling their puppies is labour enough for them?

No, he said, they share alike; the only difference between them is that the males are stronger and the females weaker.

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Quote of the Day: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

March 27, 2011

“Where is it,” thought Raskolnikov. “Where is it I’ve read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he’d only room to stand, and the ocean, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live so than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be! … How true it is! Good God, how true! Man is a vile creature! … And vile is he who calls him vile for that,” he added a moment later.

– Crime and Punishment

Quote of the Day: Muammar al-Gadaffi

February 26, 2011

From “The Green Book”:

“The democratic press is that which is issued by a People’s Committee, comprising all the groups of society. Only in this case, and not otherwise, will the press or any other information medium be democratic, expressing the viewpoints of the whole society, and representing all its groups.”

Now, I’m an anarchist and an individualist, I don’t believe in representative democracy anymore than Gadaffi seems to do, but in my view the whole point of true democracy (anarchy) is that every individual has a voice of their own. It is impossible to extract a common opinion from a group of people, which is why any system must allow for freedom of speech, press, expression, thought, opinion, religion, politics and so on, no matter what the individuals believe or think (as long as they don’t infringe someone else’s right to the same things). Also, although I know too little of Libya, I’m under the impression that the People’s Committee has either not been implemented or failed to represent the entire spectrum of opinions in the country, usually in favour of the opinions of Gadaffi and his closest friends.

This didn’t make sense:

“Private individuals have the right to express only their own, and not anyone else’s opinions.”

Full quote from the chapter PRESS:

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Quote of the Day: John Ball

February 15, 2011

“When Adam dalf, and Eve span, who was thanne a gentilman? From the beginning all men were created equal by nature, and that servitude had been introduced by the unjust and evil oppression of men, against the will of God, who, if it had pleased Him to create serfs, surely in the beginning of the world would have appointed who should be a serf and who a lord” and Ball ended by recommending “uprooting the tares that are accustomed to destroy the grain; first killing the great lords of the realm, then slaying the lawyers, justices and jurors, and finally rooting out everyone whom they knew to be harmful to the community in future.”

When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?[3] From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.[4][5]

– John Ball “mad” priest of Kent holding a sermon on a hill during the peasants revolt 1381.

Slavoj Zizek and Nature

December 6, 2010

Paraphrasing:

“Psycho-analysis shows only a temporary truth, like there is no big Other [I’m not fluent in Lacanian, but I believe this means God as a deistic or panentheistic force of will and not a pantheistic or transcendent(?) God], but then you have to return to the illusion. The idea is that our social lives are necessarily illusory. All you can do is get these momentary insights. If this is the case, then life is boring. Instead I want to know if we can make truth operative in politics and social life. My whole point would be, yes, we can. The whole development pushes in this direction. One example is ecology.

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Quote of the Day: Joseph Campbell

November 12, 2010

“The Indian name for that Being of all beings is brahman, which is a neuter noun, neither male nor female… that which is beyond being and non-being. It both is and is not. It neither is nor is not. It is beyond all categories of thought and the mind… And in that yin/yang figure from China, in the dark fish, or whatever you want to call it, there is the light spot. and in the light one, there’s a dark spot. That’s how they can relate. You couldn’t relate at all to something in which you did not somehow participate. That’s why the idea of God as the Absolute Other is a ridiculous idea. There could be no relationship to the Absolute Other.”

Remember, all religions are metaphorical, don’t take them literally.

Quote of the Day

November 1, 2010

“If you think science cannot explain beauty, then you don’t understand the beauty of science.” – enleuk

Quote of the Day: Winston Churchill

July 20, 2010

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

– Winston Churchill

The Apostle’s Creed

July 1, 2010

“We believe in God Father almighty, creator of the heaven and the earth. We also believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was spawned by the holy Spirit, born by the virgin Mary…stepped down to the realm of the dead, was resurrected again from the dead on the third day, stepped up to heaven, sitting on almighty God Father’s right side. Whence returning to judge living and dead. We also believe in the holy Spirit…the resurrection of the dead and an eternal life.”

(translated from Swedish by me)

How can any sane monkey believe in resurrection, eternal life and this trinity of father, spirit and demigod?