TotD: Ray Kurzweil on Change

Ray Kurzweil, The Sin­gu­lar­i­ty is Near: When Humans Tran­scend Biol­o­gy Cen­turies ago peo­ple did­n’t think that the world was chang­ing at all. Their grand­par­ents had the same lives that they did, and they expect­ed their grand­chil­dren would do the same, and that expec­ta­tion was large­ly ful­filled. Today it’s an axiom that life is chang­ing and […]

TotD: Suggested Rules for Democratic Discourse

Sid­ney Hook, sug­gest­ed rules for demo­c­ra­t­ic dis­course, from “The Ethics of Con­tro­ver­sy,” Sid­ney Hook on Prag­ma­tism, Democ­ra­cy and Free­dom: The Essen­tial Essays: Noth­ing and no one is immune from crit­i­cism. Every­one involved in a con­tro­ver­sy has an intel­lec­tu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty to inform him­self of the avail­able facts. Crit­i­cism should be direct­ed first to poli­cies, and against persons […]

ToTD: Fran Lebowitz

Take away a man’s actu­al sense of manhood–which is con­ven­tion­al­ly based on the abil­i­ty to work, to earn mon­ey, to be self-suf­­fi­­cient, to pro­vide for children–and you’ve got to give them some­thing else. And they did. This hideous reli­gion that’s all over the country–these huge church-malls–that’s what sub­sti­tutes for these lost towns. But that’s not a […]

TotD: Doris Lessing on Education

Doris Less­ing, Intro­duc­tion to The Gold­en Note­book Ide­al­ly, what should be said to every child, repeat­ed­ly, through­out his or her school life is some­thing like this: “You are in the process of being indoc­tri­nat­ed. We have not yet evolved a sys­tem of edu­ca­tion that is not a sys­tem of indoc­tri­na­tion. We are sor­ry, but it is […]

TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Love, the strongest and deep­est ele­ment in all life, the har­bin­ger of hope, of joy, of ecsta­sy; love, the defi­er of all laws, of all con­ven­tions; love, the freest, the most pow­er­ful mold­er of human des­tiny; how can such an all-com­pelling force be syn­ony­mous with that poor lit­tle State and Church-begot­ten weed, mar­riage? Free love? […]

TotD: Carter Heyward on Love

Carter Hey­ward: Love, like truth and beau­ty, is con­crete. Love is not fun­da­men­tal­ly a sweet feel­ing; not, at heart, a mat­ter of sen­ti­ment, attach­ment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effec­tive, a mat­ter of mak­ing rec­i­p­ro­cal and mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion with one’s friends and ene­mies. Love cre­ates right­eous­ness, or jus­tice, here on earth. To […]

TotD: Eating and Drinking

This pas­sage remind­ed me of Sam: Peo­ple ask me: Why do you write about food, and eat­ing and drink­ing? Why don’t you write about the strug­gle for pow­er and secu­ri­ty, and about love, the way oth­ers do? They ask it accus­ing­ly, as if I were some­how gross, unfaith­ful to the hon­or of my craft. The eas­i­est answer is […]

TotD: Freya Stark on Beauty

From Perseus in the Wind by Freya Stark: If love­li­ness is so engaged, as I believe, in the skein of our uni­verse, it is sad that it should be lit­tle cared for in our schools. The whole of the indus­tri­al world pro­claims its unim­por­tance, and mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple spend their lives look­ing almost exclusively […]

TotD: Thomas Szasz on Language

Reli­gion and the jar­gon of the helping/hindering pro­fes­sions are com­prised large­ly of lit­er­al­ized metaphors. That is why they are the per­fect tools for legit­imiz­ing and ille­git­imiz­ing ideas, behav­iors, and per­sons. Ordi­nary lan­guage com­bines all of these qual­i­ties. It can be used lit­er­al­ly and pre­cise­ly, to con­vey mean­ing; metaphor­i­cal­ly or poet­i­cal­ly, to move peo­ple; or ‘reli­gious­ly,’ […]

TotD: Written On the Body

I’d nev­er heard of Writ­ten on the Body by Jeanette Win­ter­son (or of the author, at all) until I was brows­ing through some of the quo­ta­tions at Gaia a while back. This bit is too long for my quo­ta­tions file, but I love it too much to just delete it. “You’ll get over it…” It’s […]

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