Oct 202014

Readers may be divided into four classes:

  1. Sponges, who absorb all that they read and return it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtied.
  2. Sand-glasses, who retain nothing and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time.
  3. Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read.
  4. Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and enable others to profit by it also.
 Comments Off on Samuel Taylor Coleridge: On Readers
Oct 152014

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.

– from The Will to Power

 Comments Off on Friedrich Nietzsche: … that one endures
Oct 092014

We must never cede to misguided notions of civility and refrain from criticizing religion, which is, after all, nothing more than hallowed ideology expressed through fantastic fables.  People deserve respect; ideologies do not.  Doctrines deriving from allegedly divine revelation demand the closest scrutiny.  The very concept of religious revelation – from which Islam, Christianity, and Judaism draw their validity — is an affront to rationalism and reasoned discussion.

Bill Maher’s atheist values: Why progressives must defend enlightenment, critique religious extremism” Slate. 2014.10.08

 Comments Off on Jeffrey Taylor: People deserve respect; ideologies do not
Oct 032014

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.

 Comments Off on Gandhi: Seven blunders of the world
Sep 032014

A little Learning is a dang’rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir’d at first Sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless Youth we tempt the Heights of Arts,
While from the bounded Level of our Mind,
Short Views we take, nor see the lengths behind,
But more advanc’d, behold with strange Surprize
New, distant Scenes of endless Science rise!
So pleas’d at first, the towring Alps we try,
Mount o’er the Vales, and seem to tread the Sky;
Th’ Eternal Snows appear already past,
And the first Clouds and Mountains seem the last:
But those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing Labours of the lengthen’d Way,
Th’ increasing Prospect tires our wandering Eyes,
Hills peep o’er Hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

-From An Essay on Criticism

 Comments Off on Alexander Pope: A little learning is a dang’rous thing