Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
John Stuart Mill
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
The Public is merely a multiplied "me."
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
Otto Von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
A witty saying proves nothing.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Three Seconds to Midnight
Last Wednesday, an asteroid the size of Manhatten silently floated by our blue planet at a distance of 900,000 miles. That sliver of a distance is the closest we've come to a doomsday asteroid in recorded history. Its impact would have killed most of the life on land, humans included. Though it may seem morbid, had the asteroid hit, I would have felt honored. Our species last few seconds would of course be tragic, but also beautiful. Seconds before the planetary firestorm vaporized us, it would briefly appear as though a second sun were rising on the horizon. I wonder what sort of realizations we would have had; knowing that we would think the last thoughts of homosapien.
Obviously, laws, governments, and possessions would finally be seen for what they are: illusions that have slowly become agreed upon. However, that would be the least profound realization of our final seconds. I don't think we'd care to waste our time thinking about such drivel. It seems death has a way of reminding the living of the things that have true value.
The sonatas of Beethoven, the paintings of Van Gogh, the dissertations of Locke, the theories of Einstein were all about to burn to stardust. It would be understood that science was merely a feeble attempt to comprehend a force beyond the cognitive reach of our oversized-ape brains. The laws of motion exist regardless of our ability to precieve then. Thus, I imagine that there will be very few tears shed in the name of science.
Art and music would be the more tragic losses. Especially considering that -- in the end -- they are nothing more than reflections of ourselves.
What is art, other than an attempt to represent the lenses of distortion that create our reality? The during his lifetime, an artist’s eye records images (unconsciously and consciously)that in the process of encoding are profoundly distorted by his brain. He creates a work of art by feebly attempting to translate that image into a picture using a brush, paint, and the artist’s imperfect hand. The distortions only get worse, once an audience is involved… However, distortions between the world, our minds, and our attempts to nevertheless communicate with others; our habit of judging quality by how closely it resembles our own imperfections; Could there be anything more human than art?
In our last moment, I think music might strike us as our most profound invention; the experience of listening to a Beethoven Sonata is the perfect metaphor for life. In the beginning there is silence. Then, there is noise. However, our brain soon recognizes patterns in the chaos; it begins to manufacture a sort of order, from the auditory chaos. Soon we hear solid patterns of rythym and tone. Before we know it the song achieves a certain amount of predictability. Yet, once the song becomes familiar, your attention can only be gained by sudden key changes and fluctuatations in amplitude. This allows your mind -- which is now comfortable with the smaller patterns -- to grasp the larger patterns... the big picture if you will. You begin to notice themes, transitions and varations; but by the time that you understand them -- you hear the song’s final chord resolve – all of the tension and relief which were once caused by musical notes suddenly disappear. All that is left is silence… a silence that you remained unaware of until it was broken by music; but in the end, it seems as though the music did nothing besides help you appreciate lack of silence. Once the song is passed, one often wishes they had spent more time enjoying the song in the present, as opposed to ignoring and not appreciating it as soon as it became familiar.
And so it would have been for humanity, had the asteroid hit us. The flash in the sky would our resolving chord. Sadly, many of us were unable to appreciate our song until we realized that we were seconds away from eternal silence. But what more fitting way for us to disappear than a few seconds of universal enlightenment? And, I’d rather have humanities' final note be a crashing chord of a Beethoven sonata, than some studio produced fade out.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.