[ Go to lecture about role of books today! ] Quotes that have touched me (page 12 of 16)
Disclaimer: Citation of a quote, below, does not necessarily imply that I agree with what it asserts (under whatever interpretation); it does mean I feel the text says something seriously worth thinking about.
"Every sentence that I utter should be regarded by you not as an assertion but as a question." --Niels Bohr[ Always reflect yet one more time! ]
[ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ]"There is more to the surface than meets the eye." --Aaron Beck
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SK: "Tell us what was going through your mind when you wrote that [song]." MG: "Well, it was more like I reeled it in than I wrote it. It's like I was out there and I caught this fish and I started reeling and I realized My goodness! This is a big one. I honestly think that it was floating around out there and I was the lucky songwriter to have my line in the water that day and catch it. I'm absolutely certain that it came through me and not from me.... I felt like it started with a little navel gazing at myself and then it just started pulling back and I saw my country, my church, and I saw the world and then it became all of us, as the lens pulled back.... I think that inspiration is something that comes from outside of me, and becomes a part of me. There's this mysterious process. It's the spark! It's this voice that whispers in the artist's ear and says [whatever instructions specific to the particular situation].... And that voice is something that you have to turn the volume up on and pay attention to and respect. If you see songwriters talking to themself, they're talking to the muse and we're just half crazy people, we really are -- following voices no one else hears. It's lunacy. But it's also a very noble profession. And a difficult job; it's not easy being a songwriter.... I think there's a misconception that you're born with this incredible ability to put words and melodies together.... People think songwriters are born that way. Some are; most aren't. Most songwriters, including myself, learn the craft. Country music singer and songwriter Mary Gauthier, interviewed by Sheilah Kast on NPR Weekend Edition, 20Mar05 (transcribed by BMcC). Ed. notes: This well expresses the way new ideas come to us, "from elsewhere" -- as George Steiner wrote, quoting Schiller, "of the surge of language from the depths to the light. No man knows from whence it comes" (After Babel, p.108). In writing my Ed.D. dissertation, I often felt as if the words were, as Ms. Gauthier says in the quote, coming through me rather than from me. (See also something I wrote on this topic in the early 1980s, "The Gift from the Machine", Footnote #9.)
[U]nsecured wireless networks are... being looked at by the authorities as a potential tool for furtive activities of many sorts, including terrorism... [because] [f]ailure to secure the network... can allow anyone with a Wi-Fi-enabled computer within about 200 feet to tap into the base station's Internet connection.... When criminals operate online through a Wi-Fi network, law enforcement agents can track their activity to the numeric Internet Protocol address corresponding to that connection. But from there the trail may go cold, in the case of a public network, or lead to an innocent owner of a wireless home network.... [E]xperts say most consumers who spend the $60 to $80 for a Wi-Fi router are just happy to make it work at all, and never turn on encryption. "To some degree, most consumers are intimidated by the technology," said Roberta Wiggins, a wireless analyst at the Yankee Group, a technology research firm in Boston. "There is a behavior that they don't want to further complicate their options." That attitude makes life easier for tech-savvy criminals and tougher for those who pursue them. Seth Schiesel, "Growth of Wireless Internet Opens New Path for Thieves", NYT, 19Mar05, p.A1,A10 (emphasis added). Ed. note: This problem of users, by trying to reduce technological complexity to try to cope, opening security holes has long since been seen with passwords. Persons find it too hard to remember many passwords, so they use the same password for everything, and/or they use an easy to guess password which they can remember instead of a gobbledygook character string which would be harder for malefactors to guess but also harder for them to remember, etc. User interfaces need to be designed so that it is easy for persons to do the right thing.
A study conducted by two academics at Iowa State University has shown a remarkably high rate of "decay" for online citations. Michael Bugeja, professor of journalism and communication, and Daniela Dimitrova, assistant professor of communication, looked at five prestigious communication-studies journals from 2000 to 2003 and found 1,126 footnotes that cite online resources. Of those, 373 did not work at all, a decay rate of 33 percent; of those that worked, only 424 took users to information relevant to the citation. In one of the journals in the study, 167 of 265 citations did not work.... Anthony T. Grafton, a professor of history at Princeton University and author of a book on footnotes, agreed that citation decay is a real and growing problem, describing the situation as "a world in which documentation and verification melt into air." "STUDY SHOWS ONLINE CITATIONS DON'T AGE WELL", Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 March 2005, abstracted in Edupage, 14Mar05.
[A] new political frontier: the campaign to establish gender-neutral bathrooms in public places. The idea is to make sure that transgender people (an umbrella term that can include transsexuals, cross-dressers and those with a fluid, androgynous identity who do not consider themselves completely male or female) can use bathrooms without fear of harassment.... [T]he bathroom, that prosaic fixture of past battles against racial segregation and for the rights of the disabled, has become an emotional and at times deeply personal symbol of a cultural and political divide.... "Very few spaces in our society remain divided by sex,"... Mary Anne Case, a law professor at the University of Chicago... said. "There's marriage and there's toilets, and very little else."... "In San Francisco," said Marcus Arana, the a discrimination investigator for the... city's Human Rights Commission..., "the choice between being hassled or holding their water affects thousands of people." Patricia Leigh Brown, "A Quest for a Restroom That's Neither Men's Room Nor Women's Room", NYT on the Web, 04Mar05. Ed. note: All thru my elementary and high school years, I "held my water" because I did not want to urinate in public in the "boys' room". I did not want to be exposed in public and I was afraid of being physically attacked. In junior high school, I recall a "boys' room" with a long trough in the middle of the room where dozens of boys could have urinated exposed together. I still consider such toilets barbaric, humiliating and degrading. Beyond Ms. Brown's article, I believe a person -- even a child -- should not ["even"] have to define themselves as transgendered to be able to urinate in private in public places. Read more about my (BMcC) experience in school with "the boys' room".
NPR: "How undemocratic is a society that tolerates such scathing criticism?" Author Alaa Al Aswany: "There is an equation in Egypt, which is, the government, the regime, is saying now to the writers: You write whatever you want, but I'm going to do whatever I want. And that's why we don't have the freedom of speech. We have the freedom of talk. And there is a difference.... You talk. You talk and you write whatever you want, but this will never be influencing the decisions of the regime. And many times it does influence in the contrary. If you have documents against a minister, the regime will give the minister more power, just to make the point that we don't care about what you are talking about." Robert Siegel, interview with controvertial Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany: "'Yacoubian Building' Houses Uncomfortable Truths", NPR All Things Considered, 22Feb05. (See also: Quote #75)
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[ Learn to eat well, enjoy and stay thin -- the French way! ]
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[ For the 21st century: Slow food! Slow reflection on all the fast things us running around! ]
Mireille Guiliano... C.E.O. of Clicquot Inc. and a director of Champagne Veuve Clicquot... knows [Americans] eat too fast in front of the TV or with newspaper in hand, while French women make a ritual out of every meal. She knows we eat portions that are too big and food that is too bland. French women, on the other hand, stress flavor and variety over quantity and, therefore, are more satisfied with less. (Bland food and too much of one kind, a big bowl of pasta for example, breeds boredom, which leads you to alleviate it by eating more.) She knows our tendency to gorge ourselves on Snickers bars rather than savoring a single piece of fine dark chocolate. French women eat slowly and 'with all five senses.'... And then there is the fact that while close to two-thirds of American adults are either obese or overweight, French women really don't get fat. The reason behind that most enviable difference, says Guiliano, is that "French women take pleasure in staying thin by eating well, while American women see it as a conflict and obsess over it." Put another way, "French women typically think about good things to eat. American women typically worry about bad things to eat."....
Julia Reed, "'French Women Don't Get Fat': Like Champagne for Chocolate", NYT Book Review, 06Feb05, pp.12-13. Ed notes: See picture: Classic French café ~ Leisure is the basis of culture. See picture: early American McDonalds Hamburger restaurant.
[ Have a leisured lunch at a French cafe! ] [ Have a leisured lunch at a French cafe! ]
"[Mireille Guiliano's] advice basically comes down to this: Eat only good food. Relax and savor every bite." (USA Today online, Posted: 03Jan05 10:21PM)
"I believe the first two or three bites provide the most satisfaction... so who needs 30?" ("Mireille Guiliano - Interview", Bookbrowse.com, no date)
Something only requires discipline if it is not a natural preference or predilection. French women don't have to discipline themselves about walking up the stairs or not having seconds at dinner. It is natural for them. It is part of their culture. They are not enforcing any special rules. So, developing and embracing a healthy lifestyle means developing good habits as part of your culture. ("Mireille Guiliano - Interview", Bookbrowse.com, ibid).
Philip Cortelyou Johnson was born on July 8, 1906.... Supported by a fortune... given him by his father, Mr. Johnson went to Harvard to study Greek, but became excited by architecture and... the developing Modern architecture movement. He teamed up with Henry-Russell Hitchcock, at that time the movement's chief academic partisan in the United States, and their travels together resulted in their book "The International Style," published in 1932 and now a classic.... In 1930, before "The International Style" was published, Mr. Johnson joined the department of architecture at a new institution... the Museum of Modern Art. He moved the museum quickly to the forefront of the architectural avant-garde, sponsoring exhibitions on contemporary themes and arranging for visits by Gropius, Le Corbusier and Mies, for whom he also negotiated his first American commission.... In 1941, at the age of 35, Mr. Johnson turned once and for all to the field that would occupy him for the rest of his life, and enrolled at the Harvard Graduate School of Design to begin the process of becoming an architect. While at Harvard, Mr. Johnson did what few students, even those of great means, have been able to do - he actually built the project he designed as a thesis.... It was a house... [that] still stands at 9 Ash Street in Cambridge, Mass.... Paul Goldberger, "Philip Johnson, Elder Statesman of U.S. Architecture, Dies at 98", NYT on the Web, 26Jan04. Ed. notes: (1) I find it immensely sad that "few students, even those of great means, have been able to... actually buil[d] the project [they] design... as a thesis". Poor and middle-class students presumably generally do not have such an option. Are the rich unaware of the option, or don't they care whether their efforts end up on an Ash Street or in a trAsh Can? (2) Note that Johnson came to architecture school as in ways a peer [a widely respected critic!] of his teachers. Do we imagine Mr. Johnson's teachers jerked him around like teachers so frequently jerk students around? [Read about my (BMcC) abortive foray into becoming an architecture student: Harvard Career Discovery Program (1981).]
Each Wednesday morning, more than a hundred leading conservative activists, policy pundits, talk-show producers and journalists, joined by assorted Hill staff members and White House aides, gather in Americans for Tax Reform's [the conservative lobbying outfit headed by Grover Norquist] conference room to discuss the issues of the day, from prescription drugs to school choice. Within Republican circles, Norquist's job is to organize other organizations, making sure the different branches of conservatism are moving in the same direction, at the same time, to the greatest extent possible. His particular genius is for persuading one organization to reach beyond its own agenda to help out another -- for getting, say, the cultural traditionalists at the Eagle Forum to join the business libertarians at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in opposing fuel-economy standards for automobiles by convincing the traditionalists that, as Norquist once explained to me, "it's backdoor family planning. You can't have nine kids in the little teeny cars. And what are you going to do when you go on a family vacation?" Nicholas Confessore, "Breaking the Code", NYT Sunday Magazine, 17Jan05. Ed. note: This is a good example of how seemingly nonpartisan social policies generally cover broader and less uncontrovertial social agenda. E.g.: A "liberal" who urges that fuel efficient cars are good for America because they reduce our dependency on OPEC oil and, consequently, our vulnerability to Islamic extremists, should also admit that these putative benefits come at a "price", including (1) limiting family size and (2) denying Americans freedom to [as Dinah Shore used to sing in the 1950's:] "see the U.S.A. in [their] Chevrolet". Another example: "Free speech" is not neutral, since received cultural forms can survive only by not being critically scrutinized and reappropriated as competitors in a free market of life styles and options ("How are you going to keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Par-ie?")....
On the morning of April 3rd [2003], as the [U.S.] Army and the Marines were closing in on Baghdad, I happened to [see on CNN] what appeared to be a disaster in the making. A small unit of American soldiers was walking along a street in Najaf when hundreds of Iraqis poured out of the buildings on either side. Fists waving, throats taut, they pressed in on the Americans, who glanced at one another in terror. I reached for the remote and turned up the sound. The Iraqis were shrieking, frantic with rage.... This is it, I thought. A shot will come from somewhere, the Americans will open fire, and the world will witness the My Lai massacre of the Iraq war. At that moment, an American officer stepped through the crowd holding his rifle high over his head with the barrel pointed to the ground. Against the backdrop of the seething crowd, it was a striking gesture -- almost Biblical. "Take a knee," the officer said, impassive behind surfer sunglasses. The soldiers looked at him as if he were crazy. Then, one after another, swaying in their bulky body armor and gear, they knelt before the boiling crowd and pointed their guns at the ground. The Iraqis fell silent, and their anger subsided. The officer ordered his men to withdraw. Dan Baum, "Annals of War: Battle Lessons", The New Yorker, 17Jan05. Baum continues: "It took two months to track down Lieutenant Colonel Chris Hughes.... I wanted to know who had taught him to tame a crowd by pointing his rifle muzzle down and having his men kneel.... My questions barely made sense to Hughes.... [H]e assured me that nobody had prepared him for an angry crowd in an Arab country, much less the tribal complexities of Najaf. Army officers learn in a general way to... fire warning shots. 'Problem with that is, the next thing you have to do is shoot them in the chest.' Hughes had been trying that day to get in touch with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a delicate task that the Army considered politically crucial. American gunfire would have made it impossible. The Iraqis already felt that the Americans were disrespecting their mosque. The obvious solution, to Hughes, was a gesture of respect".
President Bush said the public's decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath. "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."... [Bush continued:] "On a complicated matter such as removing a dictator from power and trying to help achieve democracy, sometimes the unexpected will happen, both good and bad," he said. "I am realistic about how quickly a society that has been dominated by a tyrant can become a democracy. . . . I am more patient than some."... As for perhaps the most notorious terrorist, Osama bin Laden, the administration has so far been unsuccessful in its attempt to locate the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Asked why, Bush said, "Because he's hiding."... "I am pleased about the hunt[fn.78a[ Go to footnote! ]], and I am pleased he's isolated," Bush said. "I will be more pleased when he's brought to justice, and I think he will be."... On the election Bush said he was puzzled that he received only about 11 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls, about a 2 percentage point increase over his 2000 total. "I did my best to reach out, and I will continue to do so as the president," Bush said. "It's important for people to know that I'm the president of everybody." Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher, "Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy", The Washington Post, 16Jan05, p.A01. [See: Quote #127.]
Administration officials are preparing long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected terrorists whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries, according to intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials. The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions, including for hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts. Dana Priest, "Long-Term Plan Sought For Terror Suspects", The Washington Post, 02Jan05, p.A01. (See also: Quote #213, #109)
A leading Republican senator yesterday condemned as "a bad idea" a reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them. The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for those it is unwilling to set free or turn over to U.S. or foreign courts, The Washington Post said in a report yesterday that cited intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials. Some detentions could potentially last a lifetime, the report said. Influential senators denounced the idea as probably unconstitutional. "It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at this," Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday." "Lugar Condemns Plan To Jail Detainees for Life", Reuters, 03Jan05 (The Washington Post, p.A02).
In 1984... Ronald Reagan... announced that thereafter, any non-governmental organisation that provided abortions, counselled about abortion, advocated abortion in any way, or was affiliated with other organisations that did any of these, would be barred from receiving U.S. money, supplies, training or technical support.... George W. Bush... reinstated this policy, and he vows it will stay.... Valerie DeFillipo, director of external affairs at the... London-based International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)... says... "After 12 years of the gag rule, [U.S. Republicans] have never produced any document showing that the policy served its supposed purpose." We'll never know for sure, she adds, since agencies that accept USAID money aren't allowed even to collect statistics on abortion. Alison Motluk, "A healthy strategy for whom exactly? A hard-line policy on abortion is undermining America's entire golbal strategy on health", New Scientist, 09Oct04, pp.21-23 (emphasis added). Ed. note: I have cited elsewhere a senior Bush administration official who said that Mr. Bush "is not a fact checker".
"...you can turn on CNN in December 2004 and watch Genevieve Wood of the Family Research Council repeatedly refuse - five times, according to the transcript - to disown the idea that masturbation can cause pregnancy." Frank Rich, "The Plot Against Sex in America", NYT, 12Dec04, pp.AR1,24. Excerpt from CNN transcript follows immediately below[ Read excerpt from CNN transcript! ]
CARVILLE: Can we agree that masturbation does not cause pregnancy, just -- it's simple enough. Yes or no? WOOD: I'm not going to debate that thing -- no, I'm not talking going to talk -- that's not what this is about. CARVILLE: Well, can you... WOOD: That's not what this is about. What this is about is a political agenda. CNN CROSSFIRE, "Sex Talk in Schools", Aired December 2, 2004 - 16:30 ET: "THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED." [See: Aphorism #40]
"I recall that, when working at a veterinary clinic in the early 1990s in Blantyre, Malawi, a local gentleman presented himself, claiming to have been awoken at night by a mouse biting his ear. He believed the mouse was behaving very strangely and was concerned about rabies. Although I assured him the rabies risk was negligible, he was adamant, and I was persuaded to submit the mouse for examination for negri bodies. To my surprise, the local lab (which I had full confidence in for this examination) reported a positive result, and I duly authorized post-exposure rabies treatment." Greg Oliver BVSc, Bungendore NSW Australia, reported in: ProMED Digest, 30Nov04, Vol. 2004 : Nr 455. Ed. notes: (1) The customer sometimes is right. (2) To thine own self be true.
Porter J. Goss, the new intelligence chief, has told Central Intelligence Agency employees that their job is to "support the administration and its policies in our work," a copy of an internal memorandum shows. "As agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies".... He said in the document that he was seeking "to clarify beyond doubt the rules of the road." While his words could be construed as urging analysts to conform with administration policies, Mr. Goss also wrote, "We provide the intelligence as we see it - and let the facts alone speak to the policymaker." Douglas Jehl, "New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies", NYT on the Web, 17Nov04.
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