Weekend Woundup 8

I'm not actually here at the moment. I'm probably in a Finnish hotel room, it's probably too cold, and we're probably all squabbling over who gets to use the one mains socket converter we remembered to bring. Unless I'm asleep. In any case, here by the magic of prescheduling, is the week's sideblog thoughts, quotes, insights and moments of madness that presumably made sense at the time.

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers."
- James Thurber

"Stop organising your life around people who don't get the joke"."
- Laurence O'Donnell

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use."
- Soren Kierkegaard

"Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one."
- HL Menken

"Those who call for censorship in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of censorship."
- Aryeh Neier

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it"
- Mark Twain

"Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every man has a right to knock him down for it."
- Samuel Johnson

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."
- Thomas Pychon

"Sanity is not statistical. Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad."
- George Orwell

"A goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid."
- James Watson

"Tradition, like numbers, never seem to work in a minority’s favor."
- Shawn Baker, Nightcharm

"Tradition is one part expectation, one part wish fulfillment, and one part convenient denial."
- Shawn Baker, Nightcharm

I never burned very brightly. That's why I'm not burned out.

Incompetence is a worse crime than malice because malice is personal and specific, while incompetence is impersonal general.

We are now at a stage in history where a war can be fought as a PR exercise.

There is no such thing as a slow news day. Though there are lazy journalists and controlled editors.

"Good novels are written by people who are not frightened."
- George Orwell

“We expect more from technology and less from each other.”
- Sherry Turkle

"A business opens because someone perceives demand for a product upon which a profit can be made. A business does NOT open because someone wants to make stuff. That's called a hobby."
- Artie Gold

"Without a negative reaction, it isn't considered deviant."
- Robert Merton

"Nothing to be surprised about here - facts are inconvenient to those that believe."

Stockholm syndrome has more than one side.

If you're forced to depend on someone and they're reliable, you come to love them.

If they constantly let you down, you develop a hatred.

If they vacillate between one and the other, you'll probably go insane.

For prisoners dependant on warders, children dependant on parents, for corporations dependant on customers.

Knowledge may be power but ignorance is strength.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
- Upton Sinclair

"The whole discipline of economics is based on private vice leading to public good."

"If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers."
- Charles Dickens

"The Ninth Rule of the ethics of means and ends is that any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical."
- Saul Alinsky

Those who moralise against violence by the public always endorse violence by the police - while also pretending it doesn't exist.

Those who moralise against adultery love to uncover it - but also demand that it be hidden for the sake of respectability.

Those who love the destruction of an enemy in war also want to censor its gruesome reality.

This kind of doublethink - praising or condemning something while denying its existence or demanding its concealment - is the basic hypocrisy of the social climber.

Anything can be eroticised - even sexlessness. Even powerlessness - provided it is powerlessness to which one has to power to withhold consent.

Rape is a common fantasy, but only as a pretence.

A scientist is someone whose desire to be right is separate from their desire to be in the right. It's someone who doesn't imbue facts with values, and doesn't try reconcile one by changing the other.

A scientist doesn't confuse an erroneous idea with an evil one. More to the point, a nonscientist does.

"Killing messengers has never really gone out of style. "

I must have a heart of stone. I read the death of Little Nell and didn't laugh once.

1 comment: