Nov 232010

They used to say knowledge is power. I use to think so, but I now know that they mean money.
Lord Byron (1788-1824)

I do not like the word ‘bomb’. It is not a bomb, it is a device which is exploding.
Jacques LeBlanc, French Ambassador to New Zealand, on French nuclear testing

The old is dying and the new cannot be born. In this interregnum there arises a great diversity of morbid symptoms.
Antonio Gramsci – Letters from Prison (1946)

Today we stand at the edge of a great abyss. Tomorrow, we take a giant step forward.
Leonid Kuchma -quote by the former president of Ukraine

We declared war on terror, it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.
Jon Stewart

There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.
Bertrand Russell

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
George Orwell

We suffer from a lag in which the slow horse of meaning is unable to keep up with the fast horse of mere information.
Orrin Klapp from Overload and Boredom

The ultimate lesson of The Interpretation of Dreams: reality is for those who cannot sustain the dream.
Slavoj Zizek – “Irma’s Injection” [on Freud’s Dreams]. LRB 25 May 2006.

Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
Charles Darwin

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

It is impossible to meditate on time and the mystery of nature without an overwhelming emotion at the limitations of human intelligence.
Alfred North Whitehead

Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. MUSIC is best.
Frank Zappa

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Nov 212010

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. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.

Politics and the English Language, 1946

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Nov 202010

There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old system and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.

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Nov 202010
  1. Empathize with your enemy.
  2. Rationality will not save us.
  3. There’s something beyond one’s self.
  4. Maximize efficiency.
  5. Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
  6. Get the data.
  7. Belief and seeing are often both wrong.
  8. Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.
  9. In order to do good, you have to engage in evil.
  10. Never say never.
  11. You can’t change human nature.
 Comments Off on Robert McNamara’s Lessons from The Fog of War
Nov 202010
  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
  4. Supremacy of the Military
  5. Rampant Sexism
  6. Controlled Mass Media
  7. Obsession with National Security
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
  9. Corporate Power is Protected
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
  14. Fraudulent Elections
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