Tuesday, September 15, 2020

One should never mistake pattern for meaning. 

Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

Saturday, September 12, 2020

It rarely paid to frighten people but it never paid to confuse them.

Lifted & spun a bit from Iain M. Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Everyone but an economist knows without asking why money shouldn’t buy some things.

Arthur Okun, (cited in in the New York Review)

Sunday, September 06, 2020

THE MASS of men serve the State thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, gaolers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens.

Others—as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders—serve the State chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God.

A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the State with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.

Henry David Thoreau, The Duty of Civil Disobedience

Friday, August 28, 2020

We are what we do, not what we think.  Only the interactions count.

Iain Banks, The Player of Games

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Men get very fond of the things they defend, especially when they find themselves defending something stupid.

Theodore Sturgeon in his wonderful short story, The Widget, The Wadget, and Boff 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Knowledge is a pile of bricks, and understanding is a way of building.

Theodore  Sturgeon