…nothing so liberalizes a man

“…nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people. An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotchman, an Italian or so, several Frenchmen and a number of Americans were present, and you couldn’t ask a question about any possible country under the sun, but some fellow in the crowd had been there and could give the information from personal experience.”

– Mark Twain

” …whether to move ahead at all. “How Is It”

‘How shall I move forward?’ you might ask yourself, as you stand at the threshold, confronted by the darkness ahead. Many of us learn from an early age to fear the unfamiliar or unknown. If the unknown is also without light, it can become unjustifiably terrifying. How you approach the unknown is unique, as your first encounter with anything can only ever be as an individual. Staring ahead into the black void of How It Is may make you wonder whether to move ahead at all. How It Is simultaneously embodies the unknown and the familiar; the darkness is contained in a structure mimicking both the architecture of the Turbine Hall and a contemporary shipping container, luring you inwards through its recognizable form. “˜It’s fine,’ you reassure yourself, “˜what can actually be inside?’

–  miroslaw balka

that the fear of death can never enter your heart

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,
Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and
Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and
Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and
For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,
For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts
Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes
They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again
In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Shawnee Chief Tecumseh

(via a post on FB)


“To understand more clearly what is meant by judgement, imagine a the TECH cafesingles match being played by Mr. A and Mr. B, with Mr. C acting as the umpire. Mr. A is serving his second serve to Mr. B on the first point of a tie-breaker. The ball lands wide, and Mr. C calls, “Out. double fault.” Seeing his serve land out and hearing, “double fault,”

Mr. A frowns, says something demeaning about himself, and calls the serve “terrible.”

Seeing the same stroke, Mr. B. judges it as “good” and smiles.

The umpire neither frowns nor smiles;  he simply calls the ball as he sees it.”

– W. Timothy Gallwey,  “The Inner Game of Tennis”

I know that, all my life, I’ve been going around in a fog

“I know that, all my life, I’ve been going around in a fog. You’re just a bunch of molecules until you know who you are. You spend your time getting to be a big Hollywood actor. But then what? You’ve reached a comfortable plateau, and you want to stay on it; you resist change. One day, after many weeks of LSD, my last defense crumbled. To my delight, I found I had a tough inner core of strength. In my youth, I was very dependent upon older men and women. Now people come to me for help!“

– Carey Grant


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
– Calvin Coolidge

we’re not completely not termites


From the article:

The first dreams we ever had were to be held. And loved. And to explore this amazing world with love in our lives.

We dreamed of seeing, touching, and experiencing the world around us, with the happiness and comfort that comes from family.

As adults, many of us dream of building a family, and do so.

It’s the day-to-day realities that don’t always feel so dreamy. We get busy, exhausted, and overwhelmed. We’re changing diapers, cleaning up spills, searching for a jolt of caffeine to keep our eyes propped open until we can fall face first into a pillow.

Along the way, we sometimes see some work dreams take a back seat. We worry they may slip away, that we may never get back to them.

There are tough tradeoffs that moms and dads have to make every day. But since my son’s birth, I’ve stopped seeing those tradeoffs as sacrifice.

Because when we give up something for a time to make sure we’re putting enough focus into our families, we’re not giving up dreams. We’re committing to our biggest, deepest ones.

We’re prioritizing the dreams that make up who we are.

And “be the cups and ice” which is truly amazing.

Monica, in her usual fashion, takes over completely, leaving Phoebe in charge of only cups and ice. Phoebe decides to make the most of it; she makes everything imaginable out of cups, and serves every kind of ice.

So the next time Monica gives you cups and ice, just ask yourself, what would Phoebe do, and do that. It’s the hard way out. But worth it.

(Note: video added and minor edits Jan 18, 2016 while writing this post about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – EGS)

every day

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” – Goethe

“work hard at something worth doing”


“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at something worth doing.”

– Teddy Roosevelt

“Our nation’s work force is the most productive in the world because, as a societal norm, hard-work is deemed honorable and

The GE Equation (2)  excellence considered admirable. This holiday is about those who sweat for a living, literally and figuratively, and whose characters are molded by their industry. Whether done to improve another tough shift, there is pride in a job well done. In shops, factories, plants, offices and homes throughout the country, a strong work ethic pervades as part of our heritage.”

– David Patton, Houston Chronicle, Sept 5, 2011

The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]

WSJ quotes from Steve Jobs

adbusters issue # 97

Adbusters always gives you something to think about. Agree or not; provocative as always.

Smoke 'em if You Got 'em“I am sure some of us have known moments of joy when our egos took a back seat and the child in us was free to laugh and love. Unfortunately, we lose our innocence too soon and most unfortunately, we prize this loss. We don’t want to be innocents, for that leaves us open to being ridiculed and hurt. We want to be sophisticated – that allows us to feel superior. Sophisticated people seem to have the most fun: partying, drinking, being a little wild, denying limits. What have the innocents got? An open heart, simple pleasures, faith. How much more alluring to have a sharp mind: to know all of life, the lows, as well as the highs; to have have power, be admired, feel special.”

– Alexander Lowen, Narcissism: Denial of the True Self, Adbusters #97, Sept/Oct 2011, Vol 19, No. 5


“You blame China. You blame India. You blame America. You blame the CEOs, the oil companies, the vague and incoherent ‘system,’ the international regulatory regimes, the hypocrisy of the left, the righteous of the right, the educators, the economy, your parents, your childhood, your job, your bank account, your mental health, your government, everyone and everything but yourself.”

–  Adbusters #97, Sept/Oct 2011, Vol 19, No. 5


“After Gods, after revolutions, after financial markets, the body is becoming our truth system.”

– Nerve Juvin,   Adbusters #97, Sept/Oct 2011, Vol 19, No. 5


“The inherent rights of Mother Earth are inalienable in that they arise from the same source as existence.” It further states that conflicts between the rights of anyb rings, human or otherwise,” “¦ must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of Mother Earth.” Laws based on the declaration would demand, for example, that if a corporation pollutes a river, the corporation is obligated to the river to restore it to full ecological health.”

– Allen D. Kanner,   Adbusters #97, Sept/Oct 2011, Vol 19, No. 5


“I’m interested in the fact that the less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.”

– Clint Eastwood

honesty is a bitch – and we need more of it

“But on this day, he was studying my own performance in business. After what seemed like an eternity, he looked up and said, “Your company has cancer, and I’m afraid it’s terminal. You’ve mismanaged what could have been a rich and powerful company. You don’t know what you’re doing, and worst of all you don’t have the guts to admit it. You’re incompetent, a bad businessman and you’re either a crook or a clown. I hope you’re just a clown.”

– Robert Kiyosak, Not nice guys, but cowards, finish last

there’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser

Kay: We do not discharge our weapons in view of the public!
Jay: Man, we ain’t got time for this cover-up bullshit! I don’t know whether or not you’ve forgotten, but there’s an Arquillian Battle Cruiser that’s about to…
Kay: There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!

Men in Black, IMDB

too much consensus and not enough dissent

It’s a red flag to me if there’s just too much consensus and not enough dissent. I feel like in any human community there’s always dissent because people just disagree. Anytime there doesn’t appear to be dissent, it means that the corporate culture has just shifted way too much toward consensus. That means the leadership just doesn’t welcome dissent enough.

– David Sacks, formerly of PayPal and now with Yammer (source: NY Times)

On Hegel’s Dialetic and Husserl’s Epoche

Woke up thinking about this stuff from days gone by, so consider these notes to myself.

From a Simple Explanation of Hegel’s (1770 – 1831) Dialetic  by  Tanasije Gjorgoski

The analogy would work with the notions of “Left“ and “Right“….  There is nothing that distinguishes them internally. The half-space that we named Left can be Right, and the half-space that we named Right can be also Left.

It is in this abstract symmetry where different notions become equal. (or more general produce a contradiction of some kind)

But for sure Left and Right as notions are not equal, they have different meaning. So, we are brought to a contradiction, they are different, but also they are equal.

This contradiction is resolved by externalities;

The resolution is based on really simple principle ““ if the distinction between two universals is not in them taken alone, then their difference is something  outside of them.

Hence the role of an external “observer” to break the  symmetry.

On phenomenology from the Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) entry on Wikipedia.

Husserl made some key conceptual elaborations which led him to assert that in order to study the structure of consciousness, one would have to distinguish between the act of consciousness and the phenomena at which it is directed (the objects as intended). Knowledge of  essences  would only be possible by “bracketing” all assumptions about the existence of an external world. This procedure he called  epoche.

And Stanford’s entry on Phenomenology continues

We are to practice phenomenology, Husserl proposed, by “bracketing“ the question of the existence of the natural world around us….

Consider my visual experience wherein I see a tree across the square. In phenomenological reflection, we need not concern ourselves with whether the tree exists: my experience is of a tree whether or not such a tree exists. However, we do need to concern ourselves with  how  the object is meant or intended. I see a Eucalyptus tree, not a Yucca tree; I see that object as a Eucalyptus, with a certain shape, with bark stripping off, etc. Thus, bracketing the tree itself, we turn our attention to my experience of the tree, and specifically to the content or meaning in my experience.

Which, in pop-culture, is probably best explained by The Matrix

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

It’s incredibly selfish if you think about it. If I imagine the spoon bending, it is bending because I am the external observer of said spoon. Or Eucalyptus tree if you wish.

In nomine Patri

Connor: Now you will receive us.
Murphy: We do not ask for your poor, or your hungry.
Connor: We do not want your tired and sick.
Murphy: It is your corrupt we claim.
Connor: It is your evil that will be sought by us.
Murphy: With every breath we shall hunt them down.
Connor: Each day, we will spill their blood till it rains down from the skies.
Murphy: Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal, these are principles which every man of every faith can embrace.
Connor: These are not polite suggestions, these are codes of behavior and those of you that ignore them will pay the dearest cost.
Murphy: There are varying degrees of evil, we urge you lesser forms of filth not to push the bounds and cross over, into true corruption, into our domain.
Connor: For if you do, one day you will look behind you and you will see we three. And on that day, you will reap it.
Murphy: And we will send you to whatever god you wish.
[Murphy and Conner join II Duce behind Yakavetta]
Connor, Murphy, Il Duce: And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand.
Yakavetta: Vaffanculo
Connor, Murphy, Il Duce: That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
Il Duce: In nomine Patri.
Connor: Et Fili.
Murphy: Spiritus Sancti.

The Boondock Saints