Archive for ‘Quotes’

January 27, 2014

Secret Ingredients for Success

The successful people we spoke with — in business, entertainment, sports and the arts — all had similar responses when faced with obstacles: they subjected themselves to fairly merciless self-examination that prompted reinvention of their goals and the methods by which they endeavored to achieve them.

Secret Ingredient for Success, by Camille Sweeney

December 12, 2013

How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.

Julian Barnes, A Sense of an Ending

June 14, 2013

“We’ve found that baboons have diseases that other social mammals generally don’t have. If you’re a gazelle, you don’t have a very complex emotional life, despite being a social species. But primates are just smart enough that they can think their bodies into working differently. It’s not until you get to primates that you get things that look like depression.

“The reason baboons are such good models is, like us, they don’t have real stressors. If you live in a baboon troop in the Serengeti, you only have to work three hours a day for your calories, and predators don’t mess with you much. What that means is you’ve got nine hours of free time every day to devote to generating psychological stress toward other animals in your troop. So the baboon is a wonderful model for living well enough and long enough to pay the price for all the social-stressor nonsense that they create for each other. They’re just like us: They’re not getting done in by predators and famines, they’re getting done in by each other.”

From the article: Robert Sapolsky discusses physiological effects of stress

June 6, 2013

April 9, 2013

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January 25, 2013

“Dear attractive woman number 2, only once in my life have I responded to a person the way I’ve responded to you, but I’ve forgotten when it was or even if it was in fact me that responded. I may not know much, but I know that the wind sings your name endlessly, although with a slight lisp that makes it difficult to understand if I’m standing near an air conditioner. I know that your hair sits atop your head as though it could sit nowhere else. I know that your figure would make a sculptor cast aside his tools, injuring his assistant who was looking out the window instead of paying attention. I know that your lips are as full as that sexy French models that I desperately want to fuck. I know that if for an instant I could have you lie next to me, or on top of me, or sit on me, or stand over me and shake, then I would be the happiest man in my pants. I know all of this, and yet you do not know me. Change your life; accept my love. Or, at least let me pay you to accept it.”

October 15, 2012

“The thing is, he probably has…what, two, three years of schooling in him? He can read and write, but he doesn’t get what he’s read. He’s half-baked. The country is full of people like him, I’ll tell you that. And we entrust our glorious parliamentary democracy”—he pointed at me—”to characters like these. That’s the whole tragedy of this country.”

He sighed.

“All right, Balram, start the car again.”

That night, I was lying in bed, inside my mosquito net, thinking about his words. He was right, sir—I didn’t like the way he had spoken about me, but he was right.

“The Autobiography of a Half-Baked Indian.” That’s what I ought to call my life’s story.

Me, and thousands of others in this country like me, are half-baked, because we were never allowed to complete our schooling. Open our skulls, look in with a penlight, and you’ll find an odd museum of ideas: sentences of history or mathematics remembered from school textbooks (no boy remembers his schooling like one who was taken out of school, let me assure you), sentences about politics read in a newspaper while waiting for someone to come to an office, triangles and pyramids seen on the torn pages of the old geometry textbooks which every tea shop in this country uses to wrap its snacks in, bits of All India Radio new bulletins, things that drop into your mind, like lizards from the ceiling, in the half hour before falling asleep—all these ideas, half formed and half digested and half correct, mix up with other half-cooked ideas in your head, and I guess these half-formed ideas bugger one another, and make more half-formed ideas, and this is what you act on and live with.

The story of my upbringing is the story of how a half-baked fellow is produced.

But pay attention, Mr. Premier! Fully formed fellows, after twelve years of school and three years of university, wear nice suits, join companies, and take orders from other men for the rest of their lives.

Entrepreneurs are made from half-baked clay.

[Th White Tiger, Aravind Adiga]

October 3, 2012

Shallow People

No, you don’t feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don’t frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius– is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won’t smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . .

[The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

October 3, 2012

Stripes

I asked the Zebra, 
are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes? 
And the zebra asked me, 
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times? 
Or are you quiet with noisy times? 
Are you happy with some sad days? 
Or are you sad with some happy days? 
Are you neat with some sloppy ways? 
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways? 
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes…again.

[Shel Silverstein]

September 29, 2012

Epitaph for the eighties? “there is no such thing as society”

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”