Henry Kissinger, Years of Renewal
Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999. Pp 364-5.
“ The meeting went badly.
Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House
“ Vistas of inevitable simplicity and ineffable harmonies would open, so beautiful to me that I was not only delighted, but often startled.
Evelyn Waugh, Black Mischief, Chapter 5
“ It was from the least expected quarter, the tribesmen and villagers, that the real support for Seth’s Birth Control policy suddenly appeared.
Leon R. Kass, The Beginning of Wisdom, Pp. 406-7.
“ The biblical counterpart of Odysseus, Jacob must solve the fundamental human difficulties illustrated in the pre-Abrahamic chapters of Genesis.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place, Chapter 1: A Half-Life, p8-9
“ In that I was a member of the Cabinet, protocol provided that I step out of Air Force One behind the President and ahead of Kissinger, who was also on the journey. Somehow Kissinger invariably reached the ground ahead of me.
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (paperback edition), p210-1
“ I couldn’t manage to be anywhere near a nun, let alone a pair of them, without a mind awash in my none-too-pure Jewish thoughts.
Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever
“ It was natural to bring out the small change and jerk the handles and watch the lemons and the oranges and the cherries and the bell fruits whirl round to their final click-pause-ting, followed by a soft mechanical sigh. Five cents, ten cents, a quarter. Bond gave them all a try…
David Pryce-Jones, “Jews, Arabs, and French Diplomacy: A Special Report”
“ The Zionists must understand once and for all that there can be no question of constituting an independent Jewish state in Palestine, or even forming some sovereign Jewish body.
Charles Darwin, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, Chapter 1, General Principles of Expression
“ It is well known that cats dislike wetting their feet, owing, it is probable, to their having aboriginally inhabited the dry country of Egypt; and when they wet their feet they shake them violently. My daughter poured some water into a glass close to the head of a kitten; and it immediately shook its feet in the usual manner; so that here we have an habitual movement falsely excited by an associated sound instead of by the sense of touch.
Edward Lear, Journals of a Landscape Painter in the Balkans
“ Not the least annoyance was that given me by the persevering attentions of a mad or fanatic dervish, of most singular appearance as well as conduct. His note of ‘Shaitán‘ was frequently sounded; and as he twirled about, and performed many curious antics, he frequently advanced to me, shaking a long hooked stick, covered with jingling ornaments, in my very face, pointing to the Kawas with menacing looks, as though he would say, “Were it not for this protector you should he annihilated, you infidel!”
he problem with most modern liberal democracies is that they cannot take their cultural preconditions for granted. The most successful among them, including the United States, were lucky to have married strong formal institutions to a flexible and supportive informal culture. But nothing in the formal institutions themselves guarantees that the society in which they exist will continue to enjoy the right sort of cultural values and norms under the pressures of technological, economic, and social change. Just the opposite: the individualism, pluralism, and tolerance that are built into the formal institutions tend to encourage cultural diversity, and therefore have the potential to undermine moral values inherited from the past. And a dynamic, technologically innovative economy will by its very nature disrupt existing social relations.
It may be, then, that although large political and economic institutions have long been evolving along a secular path, social life is more cyclical. Social norms that work for one historical period are disrupted by the advances of technology and the economy, and society has to play catch-up in order to establish new norms.
Since the 1960s the West has experienced a series of liberation movements that have sought to free individuals from the constraints of traditional social norms and moral rules. The sexual revolution, the feminist movement, and the 1980s and 1990s movements in favor of gay and lesbian rights have exploded through the Western world. The liberation sought by each of these movements has concerned social rules, norms, and laws that unduly restricted the options and opportunities of individuals — whether they were young people choosing sexual partners, women seeking career opportunities, or gays seeking recognition of their rights. Pop psychology, from the human-potential movement of the 1960s to the self-esteem trend of the 1980s, sought to free individuals from stifling social expectations.
Both the left and the right participated in the effort to free the individual from restrictive rules, but their points of emphasis tended to be different. To put it simply, the left worried about lifestyles and the right worried about money. The left did not want traditional values to unduly constrain women, minorities, gays, the homeless, people accused of crimes, or any number of other groups marginalized by society. The right, on the other hand, did not want communities putting constraints on what people could do with their property — or, in the United States, what they could do with their guns. Left and right each denounced excessive individualism on the part of the other: those who supported reproductive choice tended to oppose choice in buying guns or gas-guzzling cars; those who wanted unlimited consumer choice were appalled when the restraints on criminals were loosened. But neither was willing to give up its preferred sphere of free choice for the sake of constraining the other.
As people soon discovered, there are serious problems with a culture of unbridled individualism, in which the breaking of rules becomes, in a sense, the only remaining rule. The first has to do with the fact that moral values and social rules are not simply arbitrary constraints on individual choice but the precondition for any kind of cooperative enterprise. Indeed, social scientists have recently begun to refer to a society’s stock of shared values as “social capital.” Like physical capital (land, buildings, machines) and human capital (the skills and knowledge we carry around in our heads), social capital produces wealth and is therefore of economic value to a national economy. But it is also the prerequisite for all forms of group endeavor that take place in a modern society, from running a corner grocery store to lobbying Congress to raising children. Individuals amplify their own power and abilities by following cooperative rules that constrain their freedom of choice, because these also allow them to communicate with others and to coordinate their actions. Social virtues such as honesty, reciprocity, and the keeping of commitments are not worthwhile just as ethical values; they also have a tangible dollar value and help the groups that practice them to achieve shared ends.
Public Library One
Musical Turkey Gobble
Get fed up with me:
The great secret of education is to use exercise of mind and body as relaxation one to the other.
“Losses” evokes stronger negative feelings than “costs”.
Let the day end.
The trick is acquiring humility without having become wretched.
Trust your own maps with your life—or else what?
My biggest expense? Not billing.
The difference is psychological tricks.
It is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored.
Long before Israel resembled America, America resembled Israel.
I help people as a work on myself and I work on myself to help people.
The daily activities most associated with happiness are having sex, socializing after work and having dinner. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting.
The more routine I can make the basic practical aspects of my life, the more I am able to be energetic—and spontaneous—about intellectual and other things.
You’re diminutive, for sure.
Brian Greben, to me
It’s easier to modify appetites than to curtail them.
The most dangerous way to lose time is not to spend it having fun, but to spend it doing fake work.
Lettuce become thy pita; spinach thy mince; cucumber thy cracker.
I have enough of an ego to feel that it merely being my opinion is good enough.
Anyone who goes to [Beethoven’s] Ninth Symphony then sits down and designs a wallpaper pattern is either a confidence trickster or a degenerate.
Spontaneity requires the trampoline of a plan.
Be free, belong, believe!
It’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time.
Clayton M. Christensen
Entertainment is denial.
Invert, always invert.
Smart liberal reporters are probably inclined to think that smart liberal experts are right when they say things the smart liberal reporters already agree with.
A man commonly saunters a little in turning from one sort of employment to another.
Once we’ve spoken the spell is broken.
The illusion of loss is the place we suffer.
We need only live enough to write the rest convincingly.
If you foolishly ignore beauty, you’ll soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Hubris. Is it believing one is exempt, or knowing one isn’t and proceeding nonetheless?
It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.
Order means delight.
Like many rationalists, I’m a Pisces.
We like to do things together even though I think she’s a stupid cunt.
We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When the need arises—and it does—you must be able to shoot your own dog.
Robert A. Heinlein
Be not weary in well doing, for in due time you will reap, if you faint not.
Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is a learned ability.
Success is due generally to discipline, which is merely action leavened with order.
Sauna: drug-free altered-state pod.
Without all the frills, the human body is quite economical to operate.
Only artists, and especially those of the theater, have… taught us the art of viewing ourselves as heroes… Perhaps one should concede a similar merit to the religion that made men see the sinfulness of every single individual through a magnifying glass.
Do I not know what to do?
Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.
Frank Lloyd Wright
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.
Petro Gustavo, Mayor of Bogota
Keep the cave.
These small things—nutrition, locality, climate, recreation, the entire casuistry of selfishness—are inconceivably more important than everything that has hitherto been considered important.
Sustaining doubt is harder work than sliding into certainty.
Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous. The dawn is my Assyria; the sun-set and moon-rise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of faerie; broad noon shall be my England of the senses and the understanding; the night shall be my Germany of mystic philosophy and dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Five minutes ahead of schedule. Right on schedule.
The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.
To joy, via habituated glee. Or to glee, via habituated joy?
How much social capital America gains by its religion of enfranchisement; how stupid can peoples be to ignore this?
He took his work for granted and so he succeeded at it.
The key characteristic of the logic of strategy is that it’s paradoxical and contradictory right through.
Go out of the house to see the moon, and ‘tis mere tinsel; it will not please as when its light shines upon your necessary journey.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life is not a burden, but we make it one when we refuse to accept things as they are.
Baba Hari Dass
If I’m facing a choice, I always know I’m standing in the wrong place.
I wake up, read, write, exercise, eat, attend meetings (phone or live), then reverse the process: eat, write, read, and sleep.
The quickest way to still the mind is to move the body.
The great principle which stands at the beginning of all civilization: any custom is better than none.
In a modern, liberal society, religious observance does not “take away” choice. It is a choice.
Instead of doing the right thing, I will try to say it.
The most permanent, secure, and durable thing we can possess is a foolproof way to deal with impermanence, insecurity, and surprise.
What we learn from the past is to maximize the qualities of our future memories, not necessarily of our future experience.
I don’t build a house without predicting the end of the present social order.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Ideas are the currency of life.
Sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together.
I’m not passing the buck; this is someone else’s decision.
Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be pro-Israel is to be pro-hope.
Walter Russell Mead
Where man could not unravel he learned to create.
You only have to discipline yourself long enough to change your standards.
“You should” is the rudest.
At least things aren’t going so well that I need fear, “From good fortune, disaster.”
Always carry treats.
I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
All orthodoxies believe that if you do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, you will probably end up in possession of the right frame of mind.
The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage.
So happiness is a question of framing?
I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
Please don’t shouldify every entertainment.
The very expression ‘scientifically proven’ is a contradiction in terms.