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The Personal vs. The Institutional

By Herb Bowie

The problem here is that this conflict between the personal and the institutional is a false dichotomy.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Nov 01


The System is Working Very Well, Thank You

By Herb Bowie

We need to realize that the current system is, in fact, not broken. Instead, in truth, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Sep 25


My Life Belongs to the Whole Community

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my….

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Quotation by George Bernard Shaw   |   2019 Sep 06


The world is failing precisely because

To be human is to confuse a satisfying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs.

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Quotation by Richard Powers   |   2019 Sep 06


More than enough

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

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Quotation by William Blake   |   2019 Aug 30


Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation

Her trees are far more social than even Patricia suspected. There are no individuals. There aren’t even separate species. Everything in the forest is the forest. Competition is not separable from endless flavors of cooperation. Trees fight no more than do the leaves on a single tree.

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Quotation by Richard Powers   |   2019 Aug 22


A Hundred Species of Love

She takes his shaking hand in the dark. It feels good, like a root must feel when it finds, after centuries, another root to pleach to underground. There are a hundred species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things.

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Quotation by Richard Powers   |   2019 Aug 22


The only dependable things are humility and looking

Watching the man, hard-of-hearing, hard-of-speech Patty learns that real joy consists of knowing that human wisdom counts less than the shimmer of beeches in a breeze. As certain as weather is coming from the west, the things people know for sure will change. There is no knowing for a fact.

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Quotation by Richard Powers   |   2019 Aug 22


Which side will lose by winning

Aspens are withering. Grazed on by everything with hooves, cut off from rejuvenating fire, whole groves are vanishing. Now she sees a forest, spreading across these mountains since before humans left Africa, giving way to second homes.

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Quotation by Richard Powers   |   2019 Aug 22


Rejiggering Our Religion

By Herb Bowie

When it comes to religion, the main question for most people is whether to keep the one we were raised with or to lose it altogether. But now I’m starting to wonder whether, instead of losing my religion, it might not be better just to rejigger it a bit?

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Blog Post   |   2019 Aug 13


Time is no match for Toni Morrison

Time is no match for Toni Morrison. In her writing, she sometimes toyed with it, warping and creasing it, bending it to her masterful will. In her life’s story, too, she treated time nontraditionally.

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Quotation by Barack Obama   |   2019 Aug 06


Apollo 11 - The Most Important Movie You'll See This Year

By Herb Bowie

No matter what your age or orientation, it’s hard to gainsay the significance of humankind’s first trip through space to set foot on a celestial body other than our birth planet.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jul 20


What the Latest Trump Attack Means for Democrats

By Herb Bowie

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Trump’s recent attacks on four Democratic congressional representatives, all women of color, urging them to “go back … to the crime-infested places from which they came.” How should Democrats respond? Here are the sorts of positions I’d like to hear them articulate.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jul 16


Between-group selection became the primary evolutionary force

Our ancestors found ways to suppress disruptive competition among individuals within groups, so that between-group selection became the primary evolutionary force. This favored group-level coordination in all its forms, including the transmission of learned information across generations.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


The chicken experiment

But the chicken experiments suggest that this logic is flawed – even for farm animals where eugenics is a common practice. It seems Francis Galton was deeply mistaken about the relationship between individual abilities and societal welfare.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


The entire pageant of human history

Once we become attuned to it, the entire pageant of human history, starting approximately 100,000 years ago, can be seen as evolution at high speed, made possible by the transmission of learned information across generations.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


The eternal struggle between good and evil

Cancer provides an example of multilevel selection and the eternal contest between the behaviors associated with good and evil. With cancer, the group is the multicellular organism and the individuals are the cells.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Increase nurturance thoughout the life span

If we could say only one thing about making the world a better place, to be reflected in our social policies and our personal decisions, it would be to increase nurturance thoughout the life span and especially during its early stages, starting before birth.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Living in small groups has been baked into our psyches

Living in small groups has been baked into our psyches by thousands of generations of genetic evolution, and small groups need to remain “cells” in the cultural evolution of larger-scale societies.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


The malleability of life

It is sobering to contemplate the malleability of life. It only takes five generations to turn a population of mild-mannered chickens into a population of psychopaths. If we don’t manage evolutionary processes, they will very likely take us where we don’t want to go.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Nurturance is a master variable

One basic prescription is to do everything possible to re-create the ancestral social environment of small groups of nurturing individuals who know each other by their actions. Provide such an environment, and prosocial child development and adult relations will take place with surprising ease.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Our long-term personal and societal goals

Furthermore, as we have seen for genetic evolution, what’s adaptive in the evolutionary sense of the word isn’t necessarily good or right in the normative sense.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Religions are great bushy trees

In short, religions are great bushy trees that evolved, and continue to evolve, by cultural evolution.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


Small groups are a fundamental unit of human social organization

Multilevel selection theory tells us that something similar to team-level selection took place in our species for thousands of generations, resulting in adaptations for teamwork that are baked into the genetic architecture of our minds.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


A vast repository of information learned and passed down from previous generations

With this perspective, you can begin to think of yourself as not just a product of your genes, and not just a product of your personal experience, but also as one of many members of your culture who collectively contain a vast repository of information learned and passed down from previous….

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jul 15


The only thing that's constant there is other people

This is part of the model that we’ve developed called the social baseline model. When you average everything out that humans have experienced, over millennia, the only thing that’s constant is other humans. We’re so adaptable, we’ve been to so many places; we live in the arctic and the equator.

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Quotation by Jim Coan   |   2019 Jul 11


The Dangers of Political Nostalgia

By Herb Bowie

I’m not quite as old as Biden, and I’ve never served in public office, but I can still share his nostalgia for seemingly simpler times when our political leaders displayed some sort of respect for each other, even when they disagreed over issues of state.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jun 25


The Progressive Problem

By Herb Bowie

No wonder zombie movies have been popular of late: so many of us feel like increasingly isolated survivors having to fight off forces that we thought were previously vanquished and long buried, forces that seem to be arising all around us, springing at us from all sides.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jun 10


The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance

The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance, and goodwill can cause as much damage as ill-will if it is not enlightened…. There is no true goodness or fine love without the greatest possible degree of clear-sightedness.

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Quotation by Albert Camus   |   2019 Jun 10


Our species does represent a new evolutionary process

As we are increasingly coming to realize, our species does represent a new evolutionary process — cultural evolution — that far surpasses cultural traditions in other species.

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Quotation by David Sloan Wilson   |   2019 Jun 10


Selfish and contentious people will not cohere

Selfish and contentious people will not cohere and without coherence nothing can be effected.

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Quotation by Charles Darwin   |   2019 Jun 10


How to Fix Big Tech

By Herb Bowie

We all sort of know the problems, right? Monopolies. Lock-in. Stream addiction. Reality bubbles. Billionaires seeking market dominance. All other values taking a back seat to growth. I don’t think I need to elaborate. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably well aware of all these concerns.

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Blog Post   |   2019 May 22


Building a Case for the Detective Story

By Herb Bowie

Over the many years since the receipt of my Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, I have probably spent more rewarding hours reading detective stories than any other form of fiction.

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Appreciation   |   2019 May 07


Digging up fossil fuels and setting them alight

For two hundred years, human economic activity has largely consisted of digging up fossil fuels and setting them alight, and while two hundred years seems like a long time to us, in geological terms it’s like a bat out of… well, out of hell.

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Quotation by Bill McKibben   |   2019 May 07


The Human Experiment is Now in Question

Put simply, between ecological destruction and technological hubris, the human experiment is now in question. The stakes feel very high, and the odds very long, and the trends very ominous.

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Quotation by Bill McKibben   |   2019 Apr 27


The Challenge for Democrats: Playing the Long Game

By Herb Bowie

Right now Democrats are focused primarily on two things happening in 2020: 1. Beating Trump; 2. Regaining control of the Senate. These would both be great accomplishments for the party, and for the winning candidates. But for the country, not so much.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Apr 25


The Devastating Tragedy of our Vanishing Middle Class

By Herb Bowie

If you react in any of these typical ways, then I will argue today that you’re missing the bigger picture, and overlooking the most devastating consequences of our country’s loss of our middle class.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Apr 15


A law against private jets

If I were queen of the world, I would pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality. You don’t have to go through an airport terminal, you don’t have to interact, you don’t have to be patient, you don’t have to be uncomfortable.

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Quotation by Abigail Disney   |   2019 Apr 08


Paul Thorn and his 800 Pound Jesus

By Herb Bowie

I’d been aware of Paul Thorn for some time, but didn’t really become a fan until I saw him live last summer at The Ark in Ann Arbor.

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Appreciation   |   2019 Mar 26


How a Balanced Candidate Might Win the Presidency

By Herb Bowie

I wrote recently to express my skepticism about the chances of a centrist candidate becoming our next U.S. president. I write today to share my belief that a balanced candidate might well win.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Mar 25


My List of Requirements for our Next President

By Herb Bowie

While many of us are waiting for our 2020 presidential candidates to hit the road and give us a chance to to get to know them better, I decided to stop waiting and let them know what I’m looking for in a new president. I mean after all, it doesn’t seem fair to make them guess.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Mar 24


Citizen Kane vs. Citizen Bailey

By Herb Bowie

I’ve often considered Citizen Kane and It’s A Wonderful Life to be complementary works, much like cinematic twins separated at birth.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Mar 11


Our Three Human Approaches to Dealing with Problems

By Herb Bowie

We all run into challenges from time to time, whether at work, at home, or in our communities. In general, I would suggest, we have three different approaches available to us when we try to respond to such situations.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Mar 05


Science

By Herb Bowie

A belief in science is one of the core Practopian principles. We embrace science as one way of understanding the universe in which we live, and we accept toolmaking (aka engineering) as one means of improving the human condition.

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Basic Info   |   2019 Mar 04


The growth of firms

All the evidence we have indicates that the growth of firms is connected with the attempts of a particular group of human beings to do something.

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Quotation by Edith Penrose   |   2019 Feb 25


Is There Any Middle Left?

By Herb Bowie

As the US political scene transitions from the Democratic successes in the midterms to the beginnings of the 2020 presidential contest, one of the most pressing questions to emerge is whether there is any meaningful middle ground remaining along the political spectrum stretching from left to right.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Feb 18


The Most Precious Kind of Freedom

But there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying.

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Quotation by David Foster Wallace   |   2019 Feb 17


Rebuilding Trust In Our Large Institutions

By Herb Bowie

I find it fascinating to compare the original Star Trek television series with the first Star Wars movie. And I think this comparison can reveal a lot about the current state of our culture.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Feb 11


Learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think

As I’m sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotised by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now).

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Quotation by David Foster Wallace   |   2019 Jan 29


tikkun olam

In Jewish teachings, ‘tikkun olam’ refers to any activity that improves the world, bringing it closer to the harmonious state for which it was created.

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Quotation by John Gottman   |   2019 Jan 29


Our American Class System

By Herb Bowie

In short, this was a period of our history during which class distinctions seemed to be fading. Sure, some people had more money than others. My mother drove a Ford Falcon, my father drove a Mustang, and my Uncle drove a Thunderbird.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jan 27


If you'll just rattle your jewelry

For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry.

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Quotation by John Lennon   |   2019 Jan 27


More Love

By Herb Bowie

For me, love is an elemental human feeling that helps to bind us to one another, and to the world around us. It is a feeling of care and appreciation for, and attachment to, people and things of value that have an independent existence outside of ourselves.

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Basic Info   |   2019 Jan 26


Most humans desire cultural stability, not change

All of this confirms something that I’ve long suspected: Most humans, until very recently, desired and maintained cultural stability, not change. Change was a threat and was embraced only when absolutely necessary.

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Quotation by Stephen E. Nash   |   2019 Jan 26


What We Can Learn from the Government Shutdown

By Herb Bowie

As I write this, those of us in the U.S. are on day 30 of a partial federal government shutdown whose effects are increasingly rippling through our society.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jan 21


The Truth About Capitalism

By Herb Bowie

No matter which way you lean politically, you probably have strong feelings about capitalism. It seems to me that there are a lot of odd ideas on this topic running around out there in today’s world. Let me offer some thoughts about what seems true to me.

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Blog Post   |   2019 Jan 07


All of us are trim tabs

One guy, he had nothing to do with the movies, but I’ve taken a lot of direction from him. That’s Bucky Fuller. Bucky, he’s most famous for the geodesic dome, but he made a great observation about these oceangoing tankers.

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Quotation by Jeff Bridges   |   2019 Jan 07


The exercise of the intellect

From the time when the exercise of the intellect became a source of strength and of wealth, we see that every addition to science, every fresh truth and every new idea became a germ of power placed within the reach of the people.

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Quotation by Alexis de Tocqueville   |   2019 Jan 03


Capitalism as a Market Society

Readers may be surprised by the absence of any mention of ‘capital’ or ‘capitalism’ in the book. I chose to leave out such words not because there is anything wrong with them but because, loaded as they are with heavy baggage, they get in the way of illuminating the essence of things.

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Quotation by Yanis Varoufakis   |   2018 Dec 28


The economy is too important to leave to the economists

This book grew out of my Greek publisher’s invitation, back in 2013, to talk directly to young people about the economy. My reason for writing it was the conviction that the economy is too important to leave to the economists.

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Quotation by Yanis Varoufakis   |   2018 Dec 28


Have We Passed The Point of Maximum Useful Tech?

By Herb Bowie

What happened between 1990 and 2018? Who stuck the playing card between the spokes of the bicycle for my mind, turning a mental enabler into an annoying distraction?

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Blog Post   |   2018 Dec 17


Amusing ourselves to death

Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.

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Quotation by Neil Postman   |   2018 Dec 14


Television mesmerizes people

The boob tube turns you into a boob,. Television mesmerizes people and turns them into intellectual spectators. It feeds passivity and makes you less engaged.

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Quotation by Eric Braverman   |   2018 Dec 14


The Value of Individuals

By Herb Bowie

A belief in the value of individuals is one of the core Practopian principles.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Dec 10


The welfare of the whole human race

The twentieth century will be chiefly remembered by future generations not as an era of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective.

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Quotation by Arnold J. Toynbee   |   2018 Dec 06


It's the rich class that's winning

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.

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Quotation by Warren Buffett   |   2018 Dec 04


Calling for a US Sustainability Initiative

By Herb Bowie

Looking back over the history of the United States, it’s easy to see in hindsight a series of events and actions that have either united or divided us.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Dec 03


The Importance of Mission

By Herb Bowie

The dictionary on my Mac defines mission as “a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.”

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Basic Info   |   2018 Nov 26


This strange hankering for play and surprise

That exploratory, expansive drive is what separates delight from demand: when we are in play mode, we are open to new surprises, while our base appetites focus the mind on the urgent needs of staying alive.

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Quotation by Steven Johnson   |   2018 Nov 22


A Broadcast Consciousness

By Herb Bowie

Let me take you on a little journey of thought exploring some hitherto unconsidered aspects of our common cultural evolution.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Nov 19


The divine literatus

View’d, to-day, from a point of view sufficiently over-arching, the problem of humanity all over the civilized world is social and religious, and is to be finally met and treated by literature. The priest departs, the divine literatus comes.

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Quotation by Walt Whitman   |   2018 Nov 16


Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts

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Quotation by Daniel Patrick Moynihan   |   2018 Nov 16


The institution of the family

The institution of the family is decisive in determining not only if a person has the capacity to love another individual but in the larger social sense whether he is capable of loving his fellow men collectively.

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Quotation by Daniel Patrick Moynihan   |   2018 Nov 16


It's sports and it's all love

At the end of the day, it’s sports, and it’s all love. I feel for both sides.

– Commenting on stopping on the court after a game to console Devin Davis, an opponent who was sobbing on the court, despondent over missing two crucual free throws.

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Quotation by Moritz Wagner   |   2018 Nov 16


Living with the strains of complexity

Political society wants things simple. Political scientists know them to be complex…

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Quotation by Daniel Patrick Moynihan   |   2018 Nov 16


Public morality

Moral guidance about what is right or decent can be found both in religious teachings and in our contemporary understanding of what we owe one another as members of the same society. As I have suggested, they overlap.

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Quotation by Robert B. Reich   |   2018 Nov 16


Public Truth

Reviving the common good also depends on each of us taking responsibility for finding, sharing, and insisting upon public truth.

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Quotation by Robert B. Reich   |   2018 Nov 16


Set off from the rest by a line drawn

Of all dangers to a nation, as things exist in our day, there can be no greater one than having certain portions of the people set off from the rest by a line drawn – they not privileged as others, but degraded, humiliated, made of no account.

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Quotation by Walt Whitman   |   2018 Nov 16


That community asks for and gets chaos

From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history; a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to….

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Quotation by Daniel Patrick Moynihan   |   2018 Nov 16


To differentiate truth from falsehood

It is the civic responsibility of all of us to check the facts we read or hear, to find and depend upon reliable sources, to share the truth with others, and hold accountable those who lie to us or suppress the truth.

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Quotation by Robert B. Reich   |   2018 Nov 16


Each man is questioned by life

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.

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Quotation by Victor Frankl   |   2018 Nov 13


Love is the ultimate and the highest goal

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.

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Quotation by Victor Frankl   |   2018 Nov 13


Man must believe in an open future

Man’s freedom is a reality – a reality that makes a difference to his physical, as well as his mental health. When Frankl’s prisoners ceased to believe in the possibility of freedom, they grew sick and died.

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Quotation by Colin Wilson   |   2018 Nov 13


We should always be fighting evil

All I tried to do in my stories was show that there’s some innate goodness in the human condition. And there’s always going to be evil; we should always be fighting evil.

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Quotation by Stan Lee   |   2018 Nov 13


The Written Word in the 21st Century

By Herb Bowie

Whether we are talking about the King James Bible, The Catcher in the Rye, On the Origin of Species, or Wikipedia, we recognize that writing things down is an important means of preserving human knowledge and wisdom, and that both writing and reading are invaluable human activities.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Nov 12


People are happy to give away their most valuable asset

At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset – their personal data – in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2018 Nov 12


Regulating the ownership of data

So we had better call upon our lawyers, politicians, philosophers, and even poets to turn their attention to this conundrum: how do you regulate the ownership of data? This may well be the most important political question of our era.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2018 Nov 12


Selling sugared water

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2018 Nov 12


An emotional poverty so bottomless

I have always been struck, in America, by an emotional poverty so bottomless, and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable, organic connection between his public stance and his private life.

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Quotation by James Baldwin   |   2018 Nov 09


A beast or a god

But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state. A social instinct is implanted in all men by nature.

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Quotation by Aristotle   |   2018 Nov 08


Egocentric Existence

Both the authoritarian and the submissive develop standards which they feel will insure them against threat, but these are very raw standards. The submissive person chooses to get away with what he can within the life style which is possible for him. The authoritarian chooses to do as he pleases.

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Quotation by Clare W. Graves   |   2018 Nov 07


Man's nature is an open, constantly evolving system

The error which most people make when they think about human values is that they assume the nature of man is fixed and there is a single set of human values by which he should live. Such an assumption does not fit with my research.

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Quotation by Clare W. Graves   |   2018 Nov 07


While he was focusing on the inner self, his outer world has gone to pot

At the personalistic level (F-S), man becomes centrally concerned with peace with his inner self and in the relation of his self to the inner self of others.

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Quotation by Clare W. Graves   |   2018 Nov 07


My Advice to Young People of All Ages

By Herb Bowie

Today I’d like to change my focus and offer some advice for what people can and should do to improve their own personal lots in modern life. I have only a few recommendations, and they’re rather brief and straightforward, although I won’t claim they’re easy.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Oct 31


Let us accept our own responsibility for the future

Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

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Quotation by John F. Kennedy   |   2018 Oct 29


An Integral Approach

By Herb Bowie

A belief in an integral approach is one of the core Practopian principles. At its most basic, this principle simply means that people can see things from different perspectives, and that often no one way of seeing something is the “right” or only way.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Oct 26


The better angels of our nature

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

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Quotation by Abraham Lincoln   |   2018 Oct 26


Economic growth will not save the global ecosystem

Liberalism traditionally relied on economic growth to magically solve difficult social and political conflicts. Liberalism reconciled the proletariat with the bourgeoisie, the faithful with atheists, natives with immigrants, and Europeans with Asians by promising everybody a larger slice of the pie.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2018 Oct 26


The historical trajectory of violence

The historical trajectory of violence affects not only how life is lived but how it is understood.

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Quotation by Steven Pinker   |   2018 Oct 26


If the future of humanity is decided in your absence...

In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. In theory, anybody can join the debate about the future of humanity, but it is so hard to maintain a clear vision. We might not even notice that a debate is going on, or what the key questions are.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2018 Oct 26


Struggling against irrelevance

Brexit and the rise of Trump might therefore demonstrate a trajectory opposite to that of traditional socialist revolutions.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2018 Oct 26


Thinking should be generous and have a good appetite

Thinking should be generous and have a good appetite. I find life far too valuable these days to shut out most of its variety in favour of digging down into the depths….

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Quotation by Sarah Bakewell   |   2018 Oct 26


Fruitcakes

By Herb Bowie

I’ve always considered this to be Jimmy Buffet’s masterwork. The musical backing is infectious, swaying and danceable, and the background vocals add depth. The words are cleverly crafted, and perfectly suited to Buffett’s conversational, wisecracking delivery.

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Appreciation   |   2018 Oct 13


Imperfection

By Herb Bowie

Belief in imperfection as a fundamental principle may seem like an odd concept but, in fact, it is an essential part of our thinking. Let’s look at some of the reasoning behind this principle.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Oct 11


When I get a little money I buy books

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

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Quotation by Desiderius Erasmus   |   2018 Oct 11


Core Clusters

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Core Writing   |   2018 Oct 10


US Political Observations for October 2018

By Herb Bowie

In this brief respite between primary season and the general US midterm elections in November, I thought it might be fitting to offer up a few suggestions to those of us who will be participating, whether as candidates or as voters.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Oct 04


I learned a lot of things from failure

I learned a lot of things from failure. When you play 162 games, I don’t think any sport emulates life like baseball. You play football once a week or basketball twice. But you start playing baseball, you play every day, day in and day out.

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Quotation by Brooks Robinson   |   2018 Oct 03


Seeking ways to disagree with myself

It has allowed me to return to a long-lost self who once wrote in peace and quiet … doing what I have always loved: finding ways to disagree with myself in order to discover what my true thoughts are.

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Quotation by Yanis Varoufakis   |   2018 Oct 02


Our Societal Disconnect

By Herb Bowie

I was thinking recently about my own upbringing in Annapolis, Maryland, back in the sixties, and it occurred to me that there were several aspects of my experience there and then that I took for granted, but that are no longer very common today.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Sep 26


The Village Green Preservation Society

By Herb Bowie

This is a rather amazing song by The Kinks, first released in 1968. I loved this song from the moment I first heard it, but my appreciation for it has only grown over the years.

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Appreciation   |   2018 Sep 21


Why I Call Myself a Practopian

By Herb Bowie

I suffered a crisis of faith a few years ago: a crisis of faith in my atheism.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Sep 15


Confusion leads to understanding

I’m trying to confuse peoples’ initial perceptions. Confusion leads to exploration, exploration to learning, and learning to understanding.

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Quotation by Vishavjit Singh   |   2018 Sep 14


Will the Circle be Unbroken

By Herb Bowie

It’s certainly fair to categorize this song as a religious one, and more particularly as a Christian song, and yet, even though I consider myself to be a non-believer, my lack of faith doesn’t diminish my appreciation for this song in the slightest: if anything, I think it increases it.

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Appreciation   |   2018 Aug 15


Cultural Evolution

By Herb Bowie

A belief in cultural evolution is one of the core Practopian principles. But what do we mean by human culture? And by its evolution? Let’s dive a little deeper to uncover some of the significant ideas lurking behind this simple statement.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Aug 13


If triangles had a god

If triangles had a god, they would give him three sides.

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Quotation by Montesquieu   |   2018 Aug 12


A Twenty-Six Legged Stool?

By Herb Bowie

A few years ago, when I was teaching software development, I often invoked the image of a three-legged stool, with each leg representing one of the essential leadership roles: leave out any one of them, you see, and your project is liable to fall over.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Aug 04


Capitalism works best in societies where there are high levels of trust

Adam Smith, the great theorist of free trade economics, is revered for his The Wealth of Nations. His companion work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, is mostly forgotten. Yet it is the more important of the two.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


Conscious Improvement for the Masses

In the newly created Germany, Otto von Bismarck set up the world’s first social insurance system for the working classes in the late nineteenth century. Britian followed suit under Lloyd George in the early twentieth century.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


A hereditary meritocracy

The golden decades of the post-war era bore out the theory of declining inequality. But over the last thirty years that has gone into reverse. During those decades, the share of the US economic pie divided between labour and capital was roughly 70:30.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


Liberal democracy's strongest glue is economic growth

We are taught to think our democracies are held together by values. Our faith in history fuels that myth. But liberal democracy’s strongest glue is economic growth. When groups fight over the fruits of growth, the rules of the political game are relatively easy to uphold.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


Responsible Nationalism

Lawrence Summers complained of ‘the development of stateless elites whose allegiance is to global economic success and their own prosperity rather than the interests of the nation where they are headquartered’.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


The stagnation of American middle-class living standards

I believe that the rising intolerance and incivility and the eroding generosity and openness that have marked important aspects of American society in the recent past have been, in significant part, a consequence of the stagnation of American middle-class living standards.

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Quotation by Ben Friedman   |   2018 Aug 03


The yen to work drops in flat economies

Writing in the 1950s, Daniel Bell, the great American sociologist, said ‘economic growth has become the secular religion of advancing industrial societies’. He was right. It follows that in its absence, many people lapse into the equivalent of atheism.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Aug 03


Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

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Quotation by Jesus   |   2018 Jul 27


Value Creation

By Herb Bowie

Many of the Practopian Core Beliefs will seem rather straightforward to most people: Liberty and Equality, for example, are fundamental human values that should sound familiar no matter what your background. The belief in the importance of Value Creation, on the other hand, may be puzzling to many.

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Basic Info   |   2018 Jul 24


Civilization was a thin and precarious crust

We were not aware that civilization was a thin and precarious crust erected by the personality and the will of a very few, and only maintained by rules and conventions skilfully put across and guilefully preserved.

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Quotation by John Maynard Keynes   |   2018 Jul 20


Governments losing their ability to anticipate events

Governments of all types – democratic and authoritarian, small states and superpowers – are losing their ability to anticipate events. They are thus losing the means to shape them. The days when national leaders could peer around the corner and head off coming dangers are receding.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Jul 20


History is not some self-driving car

But I have grave doubts about history’s long arc. History is not some self-driving car taking humanity to a pre-set destination. Whichever human is behind the wheel must ensure the others stay in the car.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Jul 20


What would a new social compact look like?

What would a new social compact look like? Since our crisis is political, the solutions must stretch far beyond economics. My own views do not always fit into twentieth-century pigeonholes.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Jul 20


Writing off half of society as deplorable

If we write off half of society as deplorable we forfeit claims on their attention. We also endanger liberal democracy.

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Quotation by Edward Luce   |   2018 Jul 20


The axis is constructive-destructive

The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2018 Jul 18


The legitimate object of government

The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves – in their separate, and individual capacities.

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Quotation by Abraham Lincoln   |   2018 Jul 09


Technological Unemployment

We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment.

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Quotation by John Maynard Keynes   |   2018 Jul 09


To live wisely and agreeably and well

Thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.

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Quotation by John Maynard Keynes   |   2018 Jul 09


The Half-Finished Heaven

Despondency breaks off its course.
Anguish breaks off its course.
The vulture breaks off its flight.

The eager light streams out,
even the ghosts take a draught.

And our paintings see daylight,
our red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything begins to look around.

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Quotation by Tomas Tranströmer   |   2018 Jul 07


People are finally finding out that the guy next door isn't a bad egg

You mean to tell me you’d try to kill the John Doe movement if you can’t use it to get what you want? Well, that certainly is a new low. You sit there with your big cigars and think of deliberately killing an idea that has made millions of people a little bit happier.

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Quotation by Robert Riskin   |   2018 Jul 07


Most advertising an insane irrelevance

It is often said that our society is too materialist, and that advertising reflects this…. But it seems to me that in this respect our society is quite evidently not materialist enough, and that this, paradoxically, is the result of a failure in social meaning, values and ideals….

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Quotation by Raymond Williams   |   2018 Jul 05


What To Do About Big Business?

By Herb Bowie

Has business gotten too big? Rather than trying to answer this question directly, let’s start by reviewing the fundamental architecture of all modern societies.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Jul 02


No person in America should be too poor to live

For me, democratic socialism is about – really, the value for me is that I believe that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.

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Quotation by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   |   2018 Jun 29


A diminishing sense of shared humanity

In grounded theory, researchers try to understand what we call ‘the main concern’ of study participants. When it comes to belonging, I asked: What are people trying to achieve? What are they worried about?

The answer was surprisingly complex.

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Quotation by Brené Brown   |   2018 Jun 27


Humanism

By Herb Bowie

The first Practopian core principle states that “We are humanistic: we are focused on human concerns and human potential.” The primary intent behind this statement is to signal that we don’t claim to represent any authority other than our own very human selves, and that we focus on the interests of….

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Blog Post   |   2018 Jun 22


All must be held valuable, or none

“But none of us has the right to assess the value of a human existence. All must be held valuable, or none. The death of Christ and the death of Socrates,” Fen added dryly, “suggest that our judgments are scarcely infallible…

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Quotation by Edmund Crispin   |   2018 Jun 21


Generosity is the robust strategy

It is deeply unfortunate how difficult it is for humans to practice foresight.

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Quotation by Tim O'Reilly   |   2018 Jun 21


The Opposite of Popularizing Economics

This is why this book is my attempt to do the opposite of popularizing economics: if it succeeds, it should incite its readers to take the economy into their own hands and make them realize that to understand the economy they also have to understand why the self-appointed experts on the economy,….

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Quotation by Yanis Varoufakis   |   2018 Jun 21


Walter Reuther and the Ford Robots

Walter Reuther, the pioneer UAW organizer, told the story of a conversation with a Ford executive who was showing Reuther his new factory robots. “How are you going to collect union dues from all these machines?” he asked. Reuther said he replied, “You know, that is not what’s bothering me.

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Quotation by Walter Reuther   |   2018 Jun 21


The Long Now Foundation

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

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Link   |   2018 Jun 16


Diversity Helps Your Business -- But Not The Way You Think

I recently published research … that found that members of a social majority are more likely to voice unique perspectives and critically review task-relevant information when there is more social diversity present than when there is not.

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Quotation by Katherine Phillips   |   2018 May 30


Life is more like settling a sequence of villages

Life is not really an individual journey. Life is more like settling a sequence of villages. You help build a community at home, at work, in your town and then you go off and settle more villages.

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Quotation by David Brooks   |   2018 May 29


Discoveries and Inventions

Beavers build houses; but they build them in nowise differently, or better, now than they did five thousand years ago…. Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. These improvements he effects by Discoveries and Inventions.

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Quotation by Abraham Lincoln   |   2018 May 27


Investing in other people's children

All of the great advances in our society have come when we have made investments in other people’s children.

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Quotation by Robert Putnam   |   2018 May 27


Evolution and Its Implications

By Herb Bowie

A belief in evolution is one of the core Practopian principles. But to say that we believe in evolution means quite a bit more to us than simply a denial of creationism. We also mean to imply that we believe in natural selection as a process for improving things, including human culture.

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Basic Info   |   2018 May 22


Institute for New Economic Thinking

“We advance sound economic ideas to better serve humanity.”

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Link   |   2018 May 20


To simply see human beings

If I ask you all today to look around and tell me who you see…. When you look around, I don’t want you to see black, white, Asian, I don’t want you to wonder if a person is Democrat or Republican, gay or straight.

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Quotation by Charles Woodson   |   2018 May 20


The best way to predict the future is to invent it

Don’t worry about what anybody else is going to do…. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Really smart people with reasonable funding can do just about anything that doesn’t violate too many of Newton’s Laws.

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Quotation by Alan Kay   |   2018 Apr 24


Governance is essential

The simple maps of idealized markets leave out many real-world details that must be dealt with in order for the market to actually function properly. Governance is essential.

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Quotation by Tim O'Reilly   |   2018 Apr 24


Worshipping the divine right of capital

Future economic historians may look back wryly at this period when we worshipped the divine right of capital while looking down on our ancestors who believed in the divine right of kings.

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Quotation by Tim O'Reilly   |   2018 Apr 24


In the thrall of a vast, world-spanning machine

We are already in the thrall of a vast, world-spanning machine that, due to errors in its foundational programming, has developed a disdain for human beings, is working to make them irrelevant, and resists all attempts to bring it back under control.

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Quotation by Tim O'Reilly   |   2018 Apr 16


To end up here in a pile of bones

Not until we showed them some of the stuff we got at Dachau, that George Stevens photographed with his crew, did it actually impinge itself on the mind of the horror, the horror of this whole thing. Man, the highest of all the animals… the Man who created God…

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Quotation by Frank Capra   |   2018 Apr 16


Information is Beautiful - Rhetological Fallacies

A complete interactive list of errors and manipulative tactics often used to try to persuade us of things that aren’t necessarily true, with examples.

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Link   |   2018 Apr 15


A 76K Monthly Pension - Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash

Governments are struggling as mounting pension obligations crowd out the rest of their budgets. Oregon faces a severe, self-inflicted crisis.

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News Item   |   2018 Apr 14


Talking Openly about Hierarchy

By Herb Bowie

I sometimes think that at least half of the confusion we currently experience in our civil discourse stems from our inability to speak openly and honestly about the nature of hierarchy.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Apr 13


Has Trump Made the Working Class Great Again?

And yet, even if they do make more than female and black workers, white men still aren’t able to outearn their parents – a bleak commentary on the American Dream.

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News Item   |   2018 Apr 12


Creatively Maladjusted

There is a need now more than ever before for men and women in our nation to be creatively maladjusted. And I say to you that I choose to be among the maladjusted.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Apr 12


An edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It understands that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Apr 12


Guided missiles and misguided men

When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men. When we foolishly maximize the minimum and minimize the maximum, we sign the warrant for our own day of doom.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Apr 12


When machines are considered more important than people

When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Apr 12


the biological evolution of Homo sapiens was usurped by socio-cultural evolution

Many biologists and social scientists have noted that with the development of human culture, the biological evolution of Homo sapiens was usurped by socio-cultural evolution.

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Quotation by Jürgen Klüver   |   2018 Apr 11


The Unraveling of The Common Good

By Herb Bowie

I’ve recently read The Common Good by Robert B. Reich, and can recommend it heartily. It’s a lovely little book that can help remind us all that we have obligations to the societies in which we live and work, and that contributing to the common good should be a daily calling for all of us.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Apr 10


Bathing in mystery and confusion

I don’t mean to suggest that we have the final answers; we are bathing in mystery and confusion on many subjects, and I think that will always be our destiny. The universe will always be much richer than our ability to understand it.

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Quotation by Carl Sagan   |   2018 Apr 09


We are idealists and we are realists

We are idealists and we are realists. We are dreamers and we are builders. We are experiencers and we are experimenters. We long for certainties, yet we ourselves are full of the ambiguities of the Mona Lisa and the I Ching. We ourselves are a part of the yin-yang of the world.

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Quotation by Alan Lightman   |   2018 Apr 09


A Traditional Remedy for the Facebook Problem: Competition

By Herb Bowie

Facebook has been in the news lately due to renewed privacy concerns, and many observers have called for various solutions, including pledges from CEO Mark Zuckerberg to do better, as well as increased government regulation.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Apr 05


Population Reference Bureau

Population Reference Bureau works to improve the well-being of people everywhere by promoting informed decisions about population, health, and the environment.

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Link   |   2018 Mar 27


Empty half the Earth of its humans. It's the only way to save the planet

Cities are part of the system we’ve invented to keep people alive on Earth. People tend to like cities, and have been congregating in them ever since the invention of agriculture, 10,000 or so years ago. That’s why we call it civilisation.

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News Item   |   2018 Mar 20


A Practopian Approach to Gun Issues in the US

By Herb Bowie

The recent Florida school shooting has again propelled issues surrounding gun violence into the forefront of our national dialogue. The Core Practopian beliefs may seem very broad and general, but I’d like to illustrate how they can be usefully employed in a specific debate such as this one.

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Blog Post   |   2018 Feb 27


Technology Education for the Youth of Today

By Herb Bowie

I came across a couple of things recently that got me thinking about the value of technology education, and what that training should look like. The first item that caught my attention was Kirk McElhearn’s blog post about “The Tech Industry’s Tunnel Vision about Coding and Language.”

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Blog Post   |   2018 Jan 22


Rough consensus and running code

We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code.

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Quotation by David D. Clark   |   2018 Jan 21


A working simple system

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over beginning with a working simple system.

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Quotation by John Gall   |   2018 Jan 21


Intelligence plus Character

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Jan 16


Intelligent guides of family planning

For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Jan 16


An ordinary person, doing an ordinary job

I don’t want you to forget it. No matter where you are today, somebody helped you to get there. (Yes) It may have been an ordinary person, doing an ordinary job in an extraordinary way. Some few are able to get some education; you didn’t get it by yourself.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Jan 16


To save man from the morass of propaganda

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Jan 16


You have your position because of the events of history

No matter where you stand, no matter how much popularity you have, no matter how much education you have, no matter how much money you have, you have it because somebody in this universe helped you to get it. And when you see that, you can’t be arrogant, you can’t be supercilious.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2018 Jan 16


Books are key to understanding the world

For 99 percent of the tenure of humans on earth, nobody could read or write. The great invention had not yet been made. Except for firsthand experience, almost everything we knew was passed on by word of mouth.

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Quotation by Carl Sagan   |   2017 Dec 05


Wonderment is the first passion of all

When our first encounter with some object takes us by surprise, and we judge it to be new, or very different from what we have previously experienced or from what we expected it to be, this causes us to wonder at it and be astonished.

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Quotation by René Descartes   |   2017 Dec 05


Art and the Eye of the Beholder

By Herb Bowie

I’ve noticed that Big Thinkers – people like Ken Wilber and Yuval Noah Harari – tend to get confused about art and why it matters.

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Blog Post   |   2017 Nov 15


The brightest goat in the herd

As any farmer knows, it’s usually the brightest goat in the herd that stirs up the most trouble, which is why the Agricultural Revolution involved downgrading animals’ mental abilities.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Nov 06


Fear of Missing Out

Modern humanity is sick with FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – and though we have more choice than ever before, we have lost the ability to really pay attention to whatever we choose.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Nov 06


The system has been shaping and reshaping our minds

For thousands of years the system has been shaping and reshaping our minds according to its needs. Sapiens originally evolved as members of small intimate communities, and their mental faculties were not adapted to living as cogs within a giant machine.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Nov 06


I'll take the big sordid dirty crooked city

The other part of me wanted to get out and stay out. But this was the part I never listened to.

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Quotation by Raymond Chandler   |   2017 Oct 27


Flexible cooperation with strangers

To the best of our knowledge, only Sapiens can cooperate in very flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers. This concrete capability – rather than an eternal soul or some unique kind of consciousness – explains our mastery of planet Earth.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Oct 15


Help! Help! The Robots are Coming!

By Herb Bowie

Many pundits today are predicting a future of robots equipped with artificial intelligence so powerful that they will essentially render great swaths of humanity obsolete. Let me just make a few points concerning such imaginings.

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Blog Post   |   2017 Aug 23


Discovering that I am Nobody

We are all aware, if we have ever tried it, how empty and ghostly is a life lived for a long while in absolute solitude. Free me from my fellows, let me alone to work out the salvation of my own glorious self, and surely (so I may fancy) I shall now for the first time show who I am.

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Quotation by Josiah Royce   |   2017 Jul 30


Loss of Fertile Land Fuels Looming Crisis Across Africa

Climate change, soil degradation and rising wealth are shrinking the amount of usable land in Africa. But the number of people who need it is rising fast.

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News Item   |   2017 Jul 29


The wonder remains

Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains.

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Quotation by Alfred North Whitehead   |   2017 Jul 29


Hands that must work

We have hands that must work, brains that must think, and personalities that must be developed.

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Quotation by Lauretta Bender   |   2017 Jul 18


Our American Identity: Where To Next?

By Herb Bowie

Like many of my fellow citizens, I’ve been struggling in recent months to understand exactly what it means to be American these days – to identify the central elements of our collective identity that still bind us together as some kind of unified whole.

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Blog Post   |   2017 Jul 13


Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way

Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades.

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News Item   |   2017 Jul 10


Remember the Population Bomb? It's Still Ticking

Lesotho’s experience since the 1970s is an even stronger case study of what happens when development plans ignore the reality that such efforts can be a recipe for exploding human numbers.

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News Item   |   2017 Jun 15


In Defense of Balance

By Herb Bowie

When I founded The Society for Practical Utopians, I based it on a fundamental set of beliefs, divided up into principles and values. And the very first value, the one given preeminent position, is balance.

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Blog Post   |   2017 Jun 12


Couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art?

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists.

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Quotation by Michel Foucault   |   2017 Jun 07


Push Outward

Search for what is good and strong and beautiful in your society and elaborate from there. Push outward. Always create from what you already have. Then you will know what to do.

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Quotation by Michel Foucault   |   2017 Jun 07


Art is a lie that makes us realize truth

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.

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Quotation by Pablo Picasso   |   2017 May 24


Living happily ever after

Living happily ever after is not the end of a fairy tale. It is the common purpose that all life seeks.

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Quotation by Bob Mandel   |   2017 May 22


It is foolish to view realism and idealism as incompatible

I consider myself a realist. I have certainly seen my share of the world as it really is and not how I wish it would be.

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Quotation by John McCain   |   2017 May 08


Excitement from Art

The excitement we derive from a work of art is mostly the excitement of seeing connections that did not exist before, of seeing quite different aspects of life unified through a pattern.

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Quotation by Anthony Burgess   |   2017 Apr 21


Imagination is not a means of making money

In America the imagination is generally looked on as something that might be useful when the TV is out of order. Poetry and plays have no relation to practical politics. Novels are for students, housewives, and other people who don’t work. Fantasy is for children and primitive peoples.

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Quotation by Ursula K. Le Guin   |   2017 Apr 21


You are going to have to make it different

I once addressed, on a Christmas day many years ago, on behalf of the United Nations, an audience of about two thousand school children in London.

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Quotation by Jacob Bronowski   |   2017 Apr 21


Moral Sawdust

At some period in this person’s growth, certain brain tissues had died and turned to moral sawdust.

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Quotation by John Dickson Carr and Cecil Street   |   2017 Apr 20


A Compact, Extensible, Open-Source Belief System for the 21st Century

By Herb Bowie

It often seems that there is little in this modern world that any two of us can agree on.

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Blog Post   |   2017 Mar 26


Defending the pursuit of learning

If the pursuit of learning is not defended by the educated citizen, it will not be defended at all. For there will always be those who scoff at intellectuals, who cry out against research, who seek to limit our educational system.

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Quotation by John F. Kennedy   |   2017 Mar 26


Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations

But this Nation was not founded solely on the principle of citizens’ rights. Equally important, though too often not discussed, is the citizen’s responsibility. For our privileges can be no greater than our obligations.

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Quotation by John F. Kennedy   |   2017 Mar 26


The Practopian Way

A stand-alone document encapsulating our Mission, Principles and Values.

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Core Writing   |   2017 Mar 18


Human Population Growth

By Herb Bowie

If sustainability is the most serious issue of our time, then human population growth is certainly one of the most vital tools we have for making progress in this area. Let’s look at the topic of human population growth from a number of different perspectives.

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Issue   |   2017 Mar 18


A bicycle for our minds

I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud of a showing for the Crown of Creation.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2017 Mar 18


When old men plant trees

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

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Quotation by anonymous   |   2017 Mar 16


Life is a series of daring adventures from a secure base

Human development research offers a different formula: All of life is a series of daring adventures from a secure base.

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Quotation by David Brooks   |   2017 Mar 07


Global Footprint Network

Advancing the science of sustainability, the Global Footprint Network is changing how the world manages its natural resources.

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Link   |   2017 Mar 06


The cost of a polluted environment: 1.7 million child deaths a year

More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of age are attributable to unhealthy environments.

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News Item   |   2017 Mar 06


This faith in consciousness

We are ambivalent, combative, stubborn, wildly changeable beings that have the natural schizophrenic facility to love and hate at the same time.

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Quotation by Walter Mosley   |   2017 Feb 26


Thralls to group instincts

Maybe bees and ants don’t mind being thralls to group instincts but people, I feel, do. And so the question that human beings must ask is, “How do I live my own life and survive, even prosper, while sharing the load of the greater culture?”

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Quotation by Walter Mosley   |   2017 Feb 26


A world that is tolerable

We have to stop and pull back, look at ourselves and each other and wonder if there is a way that each and every one of us (or at least the vast majority of us) can agree on the elements that make a world that is tolerable: a world with enough food and warmth and pleasant distractions; a world….

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Quotation by Walter Mosley   |   2017 Feb 26


The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life

This 2016 book by Finnish-journalist-turned-American-citizen Anu Partanen offers a comprehensive comparison of American culture and governmental policies vs. those of the Nordic nations.

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Link   |   2017 Feb 21


Accidents of birth

Today Americans still feel that by and large, every individual is responsible for constructing his or her own fate – the classic pursuit of happiness – and there is still much debate in the United States about the extent to which, if at all, an individual’s success or failure is also shaped by….

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Quotation by Anu Partanen   |   2017 Feb 21


Independence, freedom and opportunity for every member of society

At the same time, the Nordic theory of love has become an overarching philosophy about how to structure a society.

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Quotation by Anu Partanen   |   2017 Feb 21


Nordic societies have simply taken the job of government seriously

Overall the secret to Nordic success is not complicated. Nordic societies have simply taken the job of government seriously. They make mistakes and have their troubles, but they keep tweaking their systems in search of improvements, and they work hard to balance the books.

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Quotation by Anu Partanen   |   2017 Feb 21


The US remains astonishingly backward when it comes to education

It’s an unfortunate fact that the United States remains astonishingly backward compared to almost all other advanced Western countries when it comes to education, because in America, what predicts how well a child will do in school is not a child’s aptitude or hard work, but the status of the….

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Quotation by Anu Partanen   |   2017 Feb 21


You can simply focus on raising a human being

Imagine, then, what it’s like to be a Nordic parent.

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Quotation by Anu Partanen   |   2017 Feb 21


Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution – a # 1 international bestseller – that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

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Link   |   2017 Feb 20


Facts are Facts

Facts are facts; they are ascertainable through honest, open-minded and diligent reporting; truth is attainable by laying fact upon fact, much like the construction of a cathedral; and truth is not merely in the eye of the beholder.

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Quotation by Peter Kann   |   2017 Feb 20


Capitalists who worship only at the feet of capitalism

Democratic capitalism is a wonderful device precisely because it maximizes the ability of individuals within society to singly and collectively pursue the ends that they find to be important and meaningful; the accomplishments of a capitalistic society are noble and grand to the extent….

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Quotation by Herb Bowie   |   2017 Feb 17


Cultural, as opposed to biological, evolution

Our capacity, through language, to manipulate the mental world and so deal imaginatively with the world of experience has been a major factor, perhaps the major factor, in giving humans the overwhelming advantage over other species in terms of cultural, as opposed to biological, evolution.

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Quotation by Edwin G. Pulleyblank   |   2017 Feb 16


A Man of Value

Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2017 Feb 15


The point of modern propaganda

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

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Quotation by Garry Kasparov   |   2017 Feb 05


Inequality.org

The Web’s leading portal to data, analysis, and commentary on income and wealth inequality.

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Link   |   2017 Feb 04


The Left Hand of Darkness

This is a book about an envoy from a foreign land, and a mad king; power-hungry regents and political schemers; the meaning of patriotism and the making of a traitor; about bravery and endurance; about taking in strangers and showing them kindness; about borders and border-crossings; about….

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Link   |   2017 Jan 31


Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014.

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News Item   |   2017 Jan 18


How Not To Be Ignorant About The World

Watch this if you’d like to be smarter than the average chimpanzee.

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News Item   |   2017 Jan 13


A Meaningful Life

As Nietzsche put it, if you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how. A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Jan 13


Our Social Order Now in a State of Permanent Flux

Over the last two centuries, the pace of change became so quick that the social order acquired a dynamic and malleable nature. It now exists in a state of permanent flux.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Jan 13


The World Empire enforces World Peace

Most countries no longer engage in full-scale war for the simple reason that they are no longer independent.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2017 Jan 13


The Real Story About Fake News Is Partisanship

Partisan bias now operates more like racism than mere political disagreement, academic research on the subject shows. And this widespread prejudice could have serious consequences for American democracy.

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News Item   |   2017 Jan 11


Another Way to Think about the US Elections

By Herb Bowie

I was recently puzzling over the still surprising victory of Donald Trump in the recent US Presidential elections, when it occurred to me that there is another way to think about this whole chain of events.

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Blog Post   |   2016 Dec 29


The Awesome Power of Culture

Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries we have become alienated individuals. Nothing testifies better to the awesome power of culture.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 28


A Completely Free Market

In a completely free market, unsupervised by kings and priests, avaricious capitalists can establish monopolies or collude against their workforces.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 28


Trust in the Future

But in its extreme form, belief in the free market is as naïve as belief in Santa Claus. There simply is no such thing as a market free of all political bias. The most important economic resource is trust in the future, and this resource is constantly threatened by thieves and charlatans.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 28


When Growth Becomes a Supreme Good

This is the fly in the ointment of free-market capitalism. It cannot ensure that profits are gained in a fair way, or distributed in a fair manner. On the contrary, the craving to increase profits and production blinds people to anything that might stand in the way.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 28


Christmas For All

By Herb Bowie

Here we are at the end of another year, well into what many of us call the Holiday Season.

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Blog Post   |   2016 Dec 08


Changes

This log tracks changes to the content of the site, especially in regards to the Core Writings.

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Core Writing   |   2016 Dec 05


Pledge

Are you ready to Take the Practopians Pledge?

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Core Writing   |   2016 Dec 05


Cultures as a kind of mental infection

Ever more scholars see cultures as a kind of mental infection or parasite, with humans as its unwitting host. Organic parasites, such as viruses, live inside the body of their hosts.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 04


Unprecedented growth in human power

The last 500 years have witnessed a phenomenal and unprecedented growth in human power. In the year 1500, there were about 500 million Homo sapiens in the entire world. Today, there are 7 billion.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 04


Why study history?

So why study history? Unlike physics or economics, history is not a means for making accurate predictions.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 04


Authentic cultures

We still talk a lot about ‘authentic’ cultures, but if by ‘authentic’ we mean something that developed independently, and that consists of ancient local traditions free of external influences, then there are no authentic cultures left on earth.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Dec 03


Consistency is the playground of dull minds

Just as medieval culture did not manage to square chivalry with Christianity, so the modern world fails to square liberty with equality. But this is no defect. Such contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 28


From a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural

Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 28


Human imagination more than biological reality

There is little sense, then, in arguing that the natural function of women is to give birth, or that homosexuality is unnatural. Most of the laws, norms, rights and obligations that define manhood and womanhood reflect human imagination more than biological reality.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 28


Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis

Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis – they are nothing but the perpetuation of chance events supported by myths.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 28


Does Decision-Making Matter?

“We don’t decide about life; we’re captured by life. In the major spheres, decision-making, when it happens at all, is downstream from curiosity and engagement. If we really want to understand and shape behavior, maybe we should look less at decision-making and more at curiosity.

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News Item   |   2016 Nov 25


Top 0.1% Holds Same Amount of Wealth as Bottom 90%

We all know income inequality is pretty wide in the USA, but the wealth ownership data via Deutsche Bank is quite astonishing. Note the change post WW II, and the subsequent reversion.

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News Item   |   2016 Nov 25


A Progressive Annual Tax on Capital

The right solution is a progressive annual tax on capital. This will make it possible to avoid an endless inegalitarian spiral while preserving competition and incentives for new instances of primitive accumulation….

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Quotation by Thomas Piketty   |   2016 Nov 25


Sustainability

By Herb Bowie

As Practical Utopians, we want our culture to continue to evolve towards better and brighter outcomes for humanity. The biggest threat we see to this continued evolution is our ongoing exhaustion and degradation of our natural environment here on Earth.

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Issue   |   2016 Nov 23


About the Principles and Values

The Practopian Principles and Values are intended to provide a foundational set of beliefs about human nature, the world, and our place in it.

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Core Writing   |   2016 Nov 22


Myths are stronger than anyone could have imagined

Myths, it transpired, are stronger than anyone could have imagined. When the Agricultural Revolution opened opportunities for the creation of crowded cities and mighty empires, people invented stories about great gods, motherlands and joint stock companies to provide the needed social links.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 21


When his salary depends on his not understanding it

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

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Quotation by Upton Sinclair   |   2016 Nov 20


Deeper convictions of the heart

Does he learn anything from writing them [his songs]? Does he work out ideas that way?

“I think you work out something. I wouldn’t call them ideas. I think ideas are what you want to get rid of. I don’t really like songs with ideas. They tend to become slogans.

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Quotation by Leonard Cohen   |   2016 Nov 14


These principles have no objective validity

The two texts present us with an obvious dilemma.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 12


What Seattle Doesn't Understand About Trump's Appeal

Matt Manweller, a Republican state lawmaker from Ellensburg, Washington, USA, is also a Political Science professor, and does a great job of explaining why those outside of our large urban centers feel abandoned by the liberals.

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News Item   |   2016 Nov 11


History is something very few people have been doing

These forfeited food surpluses fuelled politics, wars, art and philosophy. They built palaces, forts, monuments and temples. Until the late modern era, more than 90 per cent of humans were peasants who rose each morning to till the land by the sweat of their brows.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 11


What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class

From Joan C. Williams, in the Harvard Business Review: Most complete explanation yet of why so many US voters went for Trump.

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News Item   |   2016 Nov 10


Evolutionary success and individual suffering

This discrepancy between evolutionary success and individual suffering is perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the Agricultural Revolution. When we study the narrative of plants such as wheat and maize, maybe the purely evolutionary perspective makes sense.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 10


Making Sense of What Happened on Nov 8

By Herb Bowie

Trying hard to make sense of what happened last night. Here are my thoughts. 1. Our country is almost equally divided into two camps.

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Blog Post   |   2016 Nov 09


National parks and reserves

The supreme reality of our time is … the vulnerability of our planet.

National parks and reserves are an integral aspect of intelligent use of natural resources.

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Quotation by John F. Kennedy   |   2016 Nov 07


No single natural way of life for Sapiens

The Heated debates about Homo sapiens’ ‘natural way of life’ miss the main point. Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, there hasn’t been a single natural way of life for Sapiens. There are only cultural choices, from among a bewildering palette of possibilities.

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Quotation by Yuval Noah Harari   |   2016 Nov 05


A staggering number of the world's children are breathing toxic air

A staggering number of the world’s children are breathing toxic air, according to a new UNICEF report.

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News Item   |   2016 Nov 04


What We Need After the Election

By Herb Bowie

It may be too early to know who will win on Tuesday, but it’s not too early to assess the major issues roiling the electorate and offer a few thoughts about what needs to happen after the voting is over – no matter who comes out on top.

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Blog Post   |   2016 Nov 03


That Magical Honeycomb of Words

…language, that magical honeycomb of words into which human reality is forever dissolving and from which it continually reemerges, having invented itself anew. The adjective in the lotus. The jewel in the inkwell. A blue dolphin leaping from a sink of dirty dishes.

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Quotation by Tom Robbins   |   2016 Oct 23


Introduction

Welcome to Practopians.com, the website for Practical Utopians! We invite you to explore our site. You’ll note that it contains several different types of content.

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Intro   |   2016 Oct 15


Having Fewer Children and Grandchildren

On the subject of climate change, I think we need to not only think of what sort of planet we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren, but start to think about leaving fewer children and grandchildren for our planet to have to sustain.

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Quotation by Herb Bowie   |   2016 Sep 17


Only Two Sources of Real Wealth

We have had to learn the bitter lesson that in all the world there are only two sources of real wealth: the fruit of the earth and the labor of men; and to estimate work not by the money it brings to the producer, but by the worth of the thing that is made.

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Quotation by Dorothy L. Sayers   |   2016 Apr 26


People with Passion

People with passion can change the world for the better.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2016 Feb 21


Developmental Levels as Evolving Social Structures

By Herb Bowie

As human society has evolved over the centuries, we have developed different types of social structures.

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Blog Post   |   2016 Jan 10


Think globally, act locally

Think globally, act locally.

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Quotation by Disputed   |   2016 Jan 05


Any Love for Justice

Well, if one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class.

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Quotation by James Baldwin   |   2015 Dec 31


Background

It has seemed to me for some time that there is a space – perhaps even a need – for some new institution to emerge in the world.

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Core Writing   |   2015 Dec 16


Mission

The Practopians seek to identify and promote beliefs, principles, values and actions that will result in a brighter future for humanity.

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Core Writing   |   2015 Dec 16


Principles

This list identifies our most fundamental beliefs about the world and our place in it.

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Core Writing   |   2015 Dec 16


Values

These are the things we value most.

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Core Writing   |   2015 Dec 16


How ISIS Makes Radicals

Great piece by David Brooks in the New York Times, summarizing elements of “The True Believer,” by Eric Hoffer, written in 1951.

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News Item   |   2015 Dec 08


Ignorant and Free

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents.

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Quotation by Thomas Jefferson   |   2015 Dec 01


What Science Is -- and How and Why It Works

Great short article by Neil deGrasse Tyson about the nature of scientific knowledge.

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News Item   |   2015 Nov 21


Life can be much broader

When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2015 Oct 16


Great minds discuss ideas

Great minds discuss ideas, average ones discuss events, and small minds discuss people.

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Quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt   |   2015 Aug 30


The Extent of Freedom in All of its Dimensions

The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.

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Quotation by Anthony M. Kennedy   |   2015 Jul 03


People ask me to predict the future

People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.

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Quotation by Ray Bradbury   |   2015 Mar 21


I must study politics and war

I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

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Quotation by John Adams   |   2015 Mar 18


The Enormous Extension of our Being

Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realize the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated.

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Quotation by C. S. Lewis   |   2014 Dec 06


Torturing the Data

If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.

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Quotation by Darrell Huff   |   2014 Dec 03


Religion, Storytelling and Art

By Herb Bowie

Religion can be thought of as a collection of shared cultural artifacts that provide a sense of meaning about human existence.

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Blog Post   |   2014 Nov 27


The Inner Life of the Artist

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.

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Quotation by Edward Hopper   |   2014 Nov 03


To prolong our presence on the face of the Earth

What we’re doing now is trying to think like nature, in the sense that we are aware that species that have gone before us have disappeared from the face of the Earth. We’d like to use our intelligence and our creative capacity to prolong our presence on the face of the Earth as long as possible.

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Quotation by Jonas Salk   |   2014 Oct 31


The original naiveté

You study, you learn, but you guard the original naiveté. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.

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Quotation by Henri Matisse   |   2014 Sep 27


The Cult of Ignorance

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ’my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

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Quotation by Isaac Asimov   |   2014 Sep 04


Politics and the Debasement of Language

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put….

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Quotation by George Orwell   |   2014 Jul 21


The Web of Life

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

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Quotation by Ted Perry   |   2014 Jul 20


The Other Side of Complexity

I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

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Quotation by Oliver Wendell Holmes   |   2014 Jul 16


We Need a Place to Stand

Researching my latest book, Fourth and Long, I met Dr. Ed Zeiders, the pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in State College. He has seen what a college football team can do for a community in ways others might not.

‘We are desperately needy,’ he told me.

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Quotation by John Bacon and Ed Zeiders   |   2014 Jun 13


Symbolic Language

At the moment, the most powerful marker, the feature that distinguishes our species most decisively from closely related species, appears to be symbolic language. Many animals can communicate with each other and share information in rudimentary ways.

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Quotation by David Christian   |   2014 Apr 09


The Golden Eternity

I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry. It’s all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside.

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Quotation by Jack Kerouac   |   2014 Mar 23


When you can measure what you are speaking about

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts,….

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Quotation by Lord Kelvin   |   2014 Mar 13


Prime training for permanent underclasses

Look again at [what I consider to be] the seven lessons of school teaching: confusion, class position, indifference, emotional and intellectual dependency, conditional self-esteem, and surveillance.

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Quotation by John Taylor Gatto   |   2014 Jan 08


Critical Thinking Followed by Action

Interviewer: What’s the most important meditation we can do now?

Dalai Lama: Critical thinking, followed by action. Discern what your world is. Know the plot, the scenario of this human drama. And then figure out where your talents might fit in to make a better world.

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Quotation by Dalai Lama   |   2013 Dec 28


Human Nature

By Herb Bowie

What does it mean to be human? This must certainly be a foundational question for all of us, when contemplating almost any aspect of our existence.

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Blog Post   |   2013 Dec 15


Myth-Makers

It’s only recently that I’ve come to understand that writers are not marginal to our society, that they, in fact, do all our thinking for us, that we are writing myths and our myths are believed, and that old myths are believed until someone writes a new one.

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Quotation by Kurt Vonnegut   |   2013 Dec 12


We All Derive From the Same Source

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.

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Quotation by Henry Miller   |   2013 Jun 27


Monkeys with money and guns

We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.

We are monkeys with money and guns.

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Quotation by Tom Waits   |   2013 Apr 01


God and Morality

It wasn’t God who introduced us to morality; rather, it was the other way around. God was put into place to help us live the way we felt we ought to.

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Quotation by Frans de Waal   |   2013 Mar 24


This dear fucked-up planet

What are we here for if not to enjoy life eternal, solve what problems we can, give light, peace and joy to our fellow-man, and leave this dear fucked-up planet a little healthier than when we were born?

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Quotation by Henry Miller   |   2013 Mar 21


More Popular than Jesus

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary.

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Quotation by John Lennon   |   2013 Mar 01


Little things seen largely

To anyone who finds that linguistic study is a worthless finicking with trifles, I would reply that life consists of little things; the important matter is to see them largely.

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Quotation by Otto Jespersen   |   2013 Jan 03


The Mysterious

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2012 Nov 06


The Four Quadrants of Human Knowledge

By Herb Bowie

I first came across Ken Wilber’s work late in the last century when a friend handed me a copy of A Brief History of Everything as a birthday present. Wilber has described four quadrants of human knowledge, each representing a different and valid perspective on the same reality.

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Blog Post   |   2012 Oct 26


Seeing the Bigger Picture from Multiple Angles

He [Jeff Bezos] said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy – encouraged, even – to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

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Quotation by Jeff Bezos and Jason Fried   |   2012 Oct 22


Stakeholder Capitalism

The job of management is to maintain an equitable and working balance among the claims of the various directly affected interest groups… stockholders, employees, customers and the public at large.

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Quotation by Frank W. Abrams   |   2012 Sep 03


Religious Freedom

By Herb Bowie

When it comes to religion, I have to confess to being a bit of a mongrel. My mother was a Methodist. My father was a nudist. And I once called myself an immortalist. These days I choose not to align myself with any particular religious group.

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Blog Post   |   2012 Aug 04


First they came...

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

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Quotation by Martin Niemöller   |   2012 Aug 03


Ten Commandments for Teachers

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

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Quotation by Bertrand Russell   |   2012 Aug 03


The Divine Gift of Purely Nonsensical Speech and Action

Fen sighed. “We are all becoming standardized and normal, Nigel. The divine gift of purely nonsensical speech and action is in atrophy.

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Quotation by Edmund Crispin   |   2012 Jul 29


Daily Acts of Trivia

In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.

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Quotation by Robert Heinlein   |   2012 Jul 23


Liberalism is not Socialism

Liberalism is not Socialism, and never will be. There is a great gulf fixed. It is not a gulf of method, it is a gulf of principle. … Socialism seeks to pull down wealth. Liberalism seeks to raise up poverty.

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Quotation by Winston Churchill   |   2012 Jun 10


The Ultimate Democracy

… we were the ultimate democracy. If one of us didn’t like a tune, we didn’t play it.

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Quotation by Paul McCartney   |   2012 Jun 09


Good Management is Like The Beatles

My model of management is the Beatles. The reason I say that is because each of the key people in the Beatles kept the others from going off in the directions of their bad tendencies.

They sort of kept each other in check. And then when they split up, they never did anything as good.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2012 Apr 22


Equals

Was it better to have a guy who was better than the people I had in? To make the group stronger, or to let me be stronger? Instead of going for an individual thing we went for the strongest format — equals.

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Quotation by John Lennon   |   2012 Mar 23


The Nature of God

By Herb Bowie

Human records indicate that some sort of belief in a God or collection of gods is a feature of almost all human culture. No matter what the continent or age, a belief in powerful, supernatural beings that somehow influence human existence is a near-constant.

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Blog Post   |   2012 Mar 10


The Left Hand Dimension

But the main point is that this Left Hand dimension refers to the inside, to the interior depth that is consciousness itself.

Q: You said earlier that depth is consciousness, or what depth looked like from within.

KW: Yes, exactly.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2012 Mar 10


Reasons for Belief

By Herb Bowie

We often seem to assume that people say things, and come to believe them, because they are true. It seems to me, though, that people take up beliefs for a whole host of reasons, and the likely truth or falsehood of these statements is often the least of the motivating factors at work.

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Blog Post   |   2012 Feb 21


Steve Jobs Ideals

Q. What ideals have you embraced from Steve Jobs?

A. The importance of doing everything you do to your very best. And that the journey is the reward. If you do things well one at a time, you end up in a really good place. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Control the things you can.

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Quotation by Ron Johnson   |   2012 Feb 04


Introduction of a new order of things

And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

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Quotation by Niccolò Machiavelli   |   2012 Jan 19


A Coke is a Coke

What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.

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Quotation by Andy Warhol   |   2012 Jan 09


The time-worn yoke of their opinions

He who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions.

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Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson   |   2012 Jan 09


Shareholder Value

On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy… your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products. Managers and investors should not set share price increases as their overarching goal. …

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Quotation by Jack Welch   |   2011 Dec 29


Labor is the Superior of Capital

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

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Quotation by Abraham Lincoln   |   2011 Dec 03


By Gifts One Makes Slaves

‘Up in our country we are human!’ said the hunter. ‘And since we are human we help each other. We don’t like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.’

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Quotation by Peter Freuchen   |   2011 Oct 30


Unbelievable Heroes

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

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Quotation by John Rogers   |   2011 Oct 30


Fuzzy Concept

There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept.

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Quotation by Ansel Adams   |   2011 Sep 18


Technology married with the humanities

Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that makes our hearts sing.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2011 Sep 01


We have wonderful arguments

Jobs: What I do all day is meet with teams of people and work on ideas and solve problems to make new products, to make new marketing programs, whatever it is.

Mossberg: And are people willing to tell you you’re wrong?

Jobs: (laughs) Yeah.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2011 Aug 30


The Systemic Era

By Herb Bowie

We tend to divide up human history into relatively neat periods, and give them names like “The Agrarian Era,” “The Age of Industrialization” and “The Information Age.” When I look at what’s going on around me today and try to make sense of it, I am forced to draw the conclusion that we are deep….

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Blog Post   |   2011 Aug 15


ESPN president meets Steve Jobs

The story goes that ESPN president George Bodenheimer attended the first Disney board meeting in Orlando, Florida, just after the company had bought Pixar, the innovative animation factory, and spotted Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a hallway. It seemed like a good time to introduce himself.

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Quotation by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller   |   2011 Aug 01


We don't even own suits

When an AT&T rep suggested Jobs wear a suit to meet with AT&T’s CEO, the deputy replied, “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”

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Quotation by Apple   |   2011 Aug 01


Between Saturday night and Sunday morning

Oh, there’s a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

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Quotation by Jimmy Buffet   |   2011 Jul 11


Quality Matters

Quality matters, and much of the evidence suggests that while developing countries are encouraging and fostering meritocracy, their Western rivals are increasingly approaching academe with an egalitarian flare – more access (of course, with the benefit of widening educational opportunity) even if….

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Quotation by Dambisa Moyo   |   2011 Jun 24


The Credibility of a Comedian

The embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.

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Quotation by Jon Stewart   |   2011 Jun 21


The cause which is blocking all progress

The cause which is blocking all progress today is the subtle scepticism which whispers in a million ears that things are not good enough to be worth improving. If the world is good we are revolutionaries, if the world is evil we must be conservatives.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


The center of every man's existence is a dream

The center of every man’s existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


Conservatives and Progressives

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


The difference between construction and creation

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists, as the mother can love the unborn child.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


Generosity Among the Rich

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


Mysticism has kept men sane

The truth is that Tolstoy, with his immense genius, with his colossal faith, with his vast fearlessness and vast knowledge of life, is deficient in one faculty and one faculty alone. He is not a mystic; and therefore he has a tendency to go mad.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


Taking a Fence Down

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


This dazed and dramatic ignorance

One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility….

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


We are in Eden still

There runs a strange law through the length of human history – that men are continually tending to undervalue their environment, to undervalue their happiness, to undervalue themselves.

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Quotation by G. K. Chesterton   |   2011 Apr 22


We are Doing our Best

It’s no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

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Quotation by Winston Churchill   |   2011 Mar 09


Our Reply to Violence

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.

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Quotation by Leonard Bernstein   |   2011 Jan 18


Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.

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Quotation by Lewis Carroll   |   2010 Nov 21


The Tautness of this Resonant Connection

No matter what the form, all art seems to produce a similar sensation – of timelessness, of implicit order, of connectedness.

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Quotation by Herb Bowie   |   2010 Nov 20


Ism-mania

Grandpa: Penny why don’t you write a play about ism-mania?

Penny: Ism-mania?

Grandpa: Yeah, sure, you know – communism, fascism, voodooism. Everybody’s got an ism these days.

Penny: I feel like I’ve got this itch or something.

Grandpa: It’s just as catching.

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Quotation by Robert Riskin   |   2010 Oct 31


Violent Opposition from Mediocre Minds

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2010 Oct 27


The Most Dangerous of Devotions

The most dangerous of devotions, in my opinion, is the one endemic to Christianity: I was not born to be of this world. With a second life waiting, suffering can be endured – especially in other people. The natural environment can be used up.

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Quotation by E. O. Wilson   |   2010 Oct 26


A Planet-Sized Problem

Few will doubt that humankind has created a planet-sized problem for itself. No one wished it so, but we are the first species to become a geophysical force, altering Earth’s climate, a role previously reserved for tectonics, sun flares, and glacial cycles.

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Quotation by E. O. Wilson   |   2010 Oct 26


The Real Problem of Humanity

The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.

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Quotation by E. O. Wilson   |   2010 Oct 26


The Toxic Mix of Religion and Tribalism

The toxic mix of religion and tribalism has become so dangerous as to justify taking seriously the alternative view, that humanism based on science is the effective antidote, the light and the way at last placed before us.

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Quotation by E. O. Wilson   |   2010 Oct 26


True Character

True character arises from a deeper well than religion. It is the internalization of moral principles of a society, augmented by those tenets personally chosen by the individual, strong enough to endure through trials of solitude and adversity.

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Quotation by E. O. Wilson   |   2010 Oct 26


The Love of What We are Doing

It’s a labor of love for all of us. It’s not contrived or fake and it’s not about money (it’s too much work to be about money). It’s about the love of what we are doing. That’s the center of what it is about, and that’s the center of what anything of great human value is always about.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2010 Oct 23


The Loftiest and Purest Art

Talk not so much, then, young artist, of the great old masters, who but painted and chisell’d. Study not only their productions. There is a still higher school for him who would kindle his fire with coal from the altar of the loftiest and purest art.

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Quotation by Walt Whitman   |   2010 Aug 21


Every Body cries, a Union is absolutely necessary

Every Body cries, a Union is absolutely necessary, but when they come to the Manner and Form of the Union, their weak Noddles are perfectly distracted.

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Quotation by Benjamin Franklin   |   2010 Aug 18


A Happy Man

A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2010 Aug 15


Only a Human Being

I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2010 Aug 15


Moral Religion

The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, a development continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2010 Aug 13


This Highest Kind of Religious Feeling

The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2010 Aug 13


Freedom of Judgment

Since we have the rare good fortune to live in a commonwealth where the freedom of judgment is fully granted to the individual citizen and he may worship God as he pleases, and where nothing is esteemed dearer and more precious than freedom, I think I am undertaking no ungrateful or unprofitable….

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Quotation by Baruch Spinoza   |   2010 Jul 12


Notions to Explain Nature

We see therefore that all the notions whereby the common people are wont to explain Nature are merely modes of imagining and denote not the nature of anything but only the constitution of the imagination.

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Quotation by Baruch Spinoza   |   2010 Jul 12


Progress Depends on the Unreasonable Man

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

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Quotation by George Bernard Shaw   |   2010 May 26


Hard Discipline of Reasonableness and Honesty

The great thing to remember is that the mind of man cannot be enlightened permanently by merely teaching him to reject some particular set of superstitions.

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Quotation by Gilbert Murray   |   2010 Apr 16


The Fragile Constructs of History

Perhaps the greatest cognitive barrier we face in making sense of the world is that we have come to view certain realities as part of a “natural order” that will remain unchallenged.

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Quotation by Eamonn Kelly   |   2010 Apr 06


Lean

“Creating ever more value for customers with ever fewer resources” is … all I have ever meant by “lean”.

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Quotation by Jim Womack   |   2010 Mar 25


A mind is blown

A mind is blown when something you always feared but knew to be impossible turns out to be true; when the world turns out far vaster, far more marvelous or malevolent than you ever dreamed; when you get proof that everything is connected to everything else, that everything you know is wrong, that….

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Quotation by Michael Chabon   |   2010 Mar 10


Preparing Managers to Manage

The time has come to recognize that higher education in management rests on a fatal fallacy. The idea behind the contemporary business school is that preparing future business managers means training them in a discipline called Business Management.

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Quotation by Matthew Stewart   |   2010 Feb 27


Relieving Ignorance

“Customer satisfaction” is a good way to sell shoes; but it is a bad way to relieve ignorance. It is fundamentally stupid to base the content of an education on what the as-yet uneducated person decides is best.

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Quotation by Matthew Stewart   |   2010 Feb 27


A Work Ethic Gone Mad

The blend of corporate mysticism and transcendental consumerism he [Tom Peters] offers has its roots planted in the pragmatic, optimistic, can-do American work ethic. But, like the Taylorist philosophy from which it springs, it is also a work ethic gone mad.

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Quotation by Matthew Stewart   |   2010 Feb 27


Where the Puck is Going to Be

There’s an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.’ And we’ve always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2010 Feb 23


Two ideas of government

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below.

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Quotation by William Jennings Bryan   |   2010 Jan 22


Price of Success

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.

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Quotation by Frank Lloyd Wright   |   2009 Dec 21


Developmental Levels

By Herb Bowie

A number of authors and systems of thought espouse one or another series of developmental levels, in fields of study as diverse as psychology, sociology, economics and organizational development.

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Blog Post   |   2009 Oct 22


Faster Horses

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

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Quotation by Henry Ford   |   2009 May 29


The Makers of Things

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

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Quotation by Barack Obama   |   2009 Apr 02


The Third Place

Most needed are those ‘third places’ which lend a public balance to the increased privatization of home life. Third places are nothing more than informal public gathering places.

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Quotation by Ray Oldenburg   |   2009 Feb 04


The Trick in Keeping Bands Together

The trick in keeping bands together is always the same: ‘Hey, asshole, the guy standing next to you is more important than you think he is.’

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Quotation by Bruce Springsteen   |   2009 Jan 23


A Return to These Truths

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true.

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Quotation by Barack Obama   |   2009 Jan 20


Postel’s Law

Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others.

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Quotation by Jon Postel   |   2009 Jan 06


Chaos and Mediocrity

Is this one legacy of the sixties? That after flinging open the doors to a world previously known only at the margins of society, the pioneers would move on, leaving the masses to add drugs to the myriad forces pulling our society towards chaos and mediocrity?

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Counter-Culture's own values and aesthetics decayed

Beneath the surface, the progressive sixties hid all manner of unpleasantness: sexism, reaction, racism and factionalism. It wasn’t surprising, really. The idea that drugs, sex and music could transform the world was always a pretty naïve dream.

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


History as Postmodern Collage

Sitting in Princeteon listening to old records, we became obsessed with the past. We tried to pierce the veil of time and grasp what it sounded, felt, looked and smelled like. In Harvard Square and London I met many with similar preoccupations; they didn’t seem unusual at all.

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Little I recognized as music

Thirty years after Brighton, I walked sadly away from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fair. It was everything my twenty-one-year-old self might have dreamed of: 75,000 people packed into the Fairgrounds, with NPR-subscriber bags holding expertly marked programmes.

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Never Knew Cocaine to Improve Anything

I listened in the studio control room as musicians’ modes of consciousness-alteration proceeded from grass, hash and acid to heroin and cocaine by the 1970s. All but the latter could, on occasion, provide benefits, at least to the music. I never knew cocaine to improve anything….

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Records we made together in the sixties

These days most engineers confronted with a displeasing sound reach for the knobs on the console and tweak the high, mid or low frequencies.

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Sixties Surpluses of Money and Time

The atmosphere in which music flourished then had a lot to do with economics. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity. People are supposedly wealthier now, yet most feel they haven’t enough money and time is at an even greater premium…. In the sixties, we had surpluses of both money and time.

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Quotation by Joe Boyd   |   2008 Nov 02


Inextricably Linked in Freedom

The originators of jazz were only two generations removed from slavery. They were victims of rigorous forms of segregation that routinely and institutionally denied their humanity. So freedom was much more than a word to them.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 20


Integrity and Conviction

The best jazz had always been the embodiment of integrity and conviction. Because the musicians’ skills and competence were so hard-earned, it was difficult to get them to compromise.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 20


The Philosophy of Jazz

Jazz is the most flexible art form ever because it believes in the good taste of individuals. It believes in our ability to make reasonable choices. It takes a chance on our decision-making skills instead of legislating our freedom away with written restrictions and restrictive hierarchies.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 20


The Undisputed Sovereignty of the Human Being

Jazz insists on the undisputed sovereignty of the human being. In this technological era we can easily be fooled into believing that sophisticated machines are more important than progressive humanity. That’s why art is an important barometer of identity.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 20


All the World's Cultures Now Available to Us

During the last 30 years, we have witnessed a historical first: all of the world’s cultures are now available to us.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2008 Oct 19


Levels of Development

To grasp what is involved with levels or stages, let’s use a very simple model possessing only 3 of them.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2008 Oct 19


Model II Decision-Making

Model II encourages the individual to maximize his uniqueness. If, in doing so, he should arrive at goals that differ from those developed by others, he will have done so under conditions of openness, trust and risk-taking.

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Quotation by Chris Argyris and Donald Schön   |   2008 Oct 18


Model II Values

Clearly, Model II touches on values that are central to social life and to the traditions of moral philosophy: freedom of choice, truth and testability, the nature of commitment, the possibilities for and limitations on openness in communication among individuals, the basis for trust and….

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Quotation by Chris Argyris and Donald Schön   |   2008 Oct 16


Balance is Required to Maintain Democracy

Our current lack of respect for the swing can be likened to the current state of our democracy. Balance is required to maintain something as delicate as democracy, a subtle understanding of how your power can be magnified through joining with and sharing the power of another person.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 07


The Challenge of Swing

Swing–the dance and the music–bespeaks the flexible nature of American life. In jazz, the bass walks a note on every beat. The drummer rides the cymbal or plays brushes on every beat. And everybody else invents melodies and sounds that sway with, against, and upside every beat.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 07


The Power of Art

When I started learning about jazz, I wasn’t into any kind of art. I had no idea it could have a practical purpose. Now, more than thirty years later, I testify to the power of art, and more specifically jazz, to improve your life–and keep on improving it.

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Quotation by Wynton Marsalis   |   2008 Oct 07


An Invincible Summer

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

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Quotation by Albert Camus   |   2008 Aug 05


Dreams Come True

Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.

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Quotation by John Updike   |   2008 Aug 04


A book is a man's best friend

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.

Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.

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Quotation by Groucho Marx   |   2008 Jul 30


We Must Respect the Other Fellow's Religion

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

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Quotation by H. L. Mencken   |   2008 Jul 30


The Supreme Goal of All Theory

…the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2008 Jul 13


To Give in the Same Measure

How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2008 Jul 13


The Underlying Principle of the Problem

When you start looking at a problem and it seems really simple, you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem. Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions.

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Quotation by Steve Jobs   |   2008 Jul 13


I Dream Things That Never Were

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’

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Quotation by George Bernard Shaw   |   2008 Jul 05


A First-Rate Intelligence

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.

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Quotation by F. Scott Fitzgerald   |   2008 Jun 08


The Columbia Disaster

Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and a member of the investigating board, believes that the Columbia tragedy and the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster resulted from the same mindset, saying: ’(NASA) managers…did not grab onto this problem and insist on an answer.

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Quotation by Dennis Stauffer   |   2008 Jun 01


A Dark Procession

Mercer did not think at all in the accepted sense of the word. Ideas occurred to him and engendered other ideas. But the process which linked any two of them was a dark procession taking place in some subconscious part of the brain.

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Quotation by Margery Allingham   |   2008 May 21


Occasions When the Intellect Retires Gracefully

There are occasions when the intellect retires gracefully from a situation entirely behind its decorous control and leaves all the other complicated machinery of the mind to muddle through on its own.

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Quotation by Margery Allingham   |   2008 May 21


The Only Sign of Mental Activity

The other pictures varied between the sentimentally lewd and the illustrated Scotch joke variety wherein Glengarried dogs take the place of figures. There were no books and a small writing table with drawers was the only sign of mental activity.

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Quotation by Margery Allingham   |   2008 May 21


Work, Soul and Life

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.

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Quotation by Albert Camus   |   2008 Jan 25


Single Garment of Destiny

We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2008 Jan 20


A Long Conversation

At this point, I’m in the middle of a very long conversation with my audience.

It’s an ongoing dialogue about what living means. You create a space together.

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Quotation by Bruce Springsteen   |   2007 Dec 02


Progress Depends on Retentiveness

Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual.

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Quotation by George Santayana   |   2007 Nov 13


The Four-Fold Way

The following four principles, each based on an archetype, comprise what I call the Four-Fold Way:

  1. Show up, or choose to be present. Being present allows us to access the human resources of power, presence, and communication. This is the way of the Warrior.

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Quotation by Angeles Arrien   |   2007 Nov 06


Merely Thoroughly Outrageous

He made the discovery with a certain amount of relief, since it took him at least out of the region of pure fantasy and into the merely thoroughly outrageous, with which as a modern he was by now more or less familiar.

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Quotation by Margery Allingham   |   2007 Oct 24


Apes and Humans

Philosophers and scientists confidently offer up traits said to be uniquely human, and the apes casually knock them down – toppling the pretension that humans constitute some sort of biological aristocracy among the beings of Earth.

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Quotation by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan   |   2007 Oct 08


Chimps and Humans

On the basis of all the evidence, the closest relative of the human proves to be the chimp. The closest relative of the chimp is the human. Not orangs, but people. Us. Chimps and humans are nearer kin than are chimps and gorillas or any other kinds of ape not of the same species.

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Quotation by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan   |   2007 Oct 08


Merely a Muddle

And your remarks on the text,” Mr. Gott declared, “are merely a muddle.

Yes, Gott,” said Mike meekly.

You see, Mike, you haven’t any brain really.

No, of course not,” said Mike.

You must just keep to the cackle and write nicely. You write very nicely.

Yes,” said Mike, dubiously.

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Quotation by Michael Innes   |   2007 Sep 29


The Celestial Teapot

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatics to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.

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Quotation by Bertrand Russell   |   2007 Sep 08


Evolutionary Drive Towards Complexity

The evolutionary drive towards complexity comes, in those lineages where it comes at all, not from any inherent propensity for increased complexity, and not from biased mutation.

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Quotation by Richard Dawkins   |   2007 Sep 08


Unintelligible Propositions

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them….

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Quotation by Thomas Jefferson   |   2007 Sep 08


The World is a Wonderfully Weird Place

The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens – but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible,….

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Quotation by Tom Robbins   |   2007 May 26


Only Connect

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.

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Quotation by E. M. Forster   |   2007 Apr 10


The Rainbow Bridge

Mature as he was, she might yet be able to help him to the building of the rainbow bridge that should connect the prose in us with the passion. Without it we are meaningless fragments, half monks, half beasts, unconnected arches that have never joined into a man.

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Quotation by E. M. Forster   |   2007 Apr 10


Wriggling

Failure or success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle.

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Quotation by E. M. Forster   |   2007 Apr 10


Art and Spirit

And whatever we mean by the word ‘spirit’ – let us just say, with Tillich, that it involves for each of us our ultimate concern – it is in that simple awestruck moment when great art enters you and changes you, that spirit shines in this world just a little more brightly than it did the moment….

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2007 Mar 20


Art, Science and Empire

The foundation of empire is art and science. Remove them or degrade them, and the empire is no more. Empire follows art and not vice versa as Englishmen suppose.

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Quotation by William Blake   |   2007 Feb 28


Expectations of holiness

It is not because angels are holier than men or devils that makes them angels, but because they do not expect holiness from one another, but from God only.

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Quotation by William Blake   |   2007 Feb 28


Minute Particulars

He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.

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Quotation by William Blake   |   2007 Feb 28


To see a world in a grain of sand

To see a world in a grain of sand And heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand And eternity in an hour.

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Quotation by William Blake   |   2007 Feb 28


A foolish consistency

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

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Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson   |   2007 Feb 16


The Beautiful, the Good and the True

If you are talking to me about your new car, you are the first person, I am the second person, and the car is the third person. These pronouns actually represent three perspectives that human beings can take when they talk about the world or attempt to know the world….

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2007 Feb 11


Homophobia

An integral approach acknowledges that all views have a degree of truth, but some views are more true than others, more evolved, more developed, more adequate.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2007 Feb 11


An Integral God

An archaic God sees divinity in any strong instinctual force. A magic God locates divine power in the human ego and its magical capacity to change the animistic world with rituals and spells.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2007 Feb 11


Everybody Has Some Important Pieces of the Truth

My work is an attempt to make room in the Kosmos for all of the dimensions, levels, domains, waves, memes, modes, individuals, cultures, and so on ad infinitum. I have one major rule: Everybody is right.

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Quotation by Ken Wilber   |   2007 Feb 10


Cockpits with Instruments Controlled by Gremlins

One frequent analogy casts the manager in the role of an airplane pilot guided by organizational measures that are like cockpit instruments.

Mechanistic and organic analogies are flawed because they are too simplistic.

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Quotation by Robert D. Austin   |   2006 Dec 19


Ancient ethnic sores belching fire

The complications of this diversity can be overwhelming. Ancient ethnic sores are belching fire while transnational companies linked by satellites conduct their business oblivious to the feudal past below.

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Quotation by Don Beck and Chris Cowan   |   2006 Dec 02


The Arc of History

The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


Art is a Hammer

Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.

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Quotation by Bertolt Brecht   |   2006 Nov 30


The Art of Progress

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change, and to preserve change amid order.

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Quotation by Alfred North Whitehead   |   2006 Nov 30


Belief in Impossible Things

There is probably no job on earth for which an ability to believe six impossible things before breakfast is more of a requirement than software project management.

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Quotation by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister   |   2006 Nov 30


Careful, thoughtful, small, practical efforts

The vast majority of difficult, important human problems – both inside and outside organizations – are not solved by a swift, decisive stroke from someone at the top. What usually matters are careful, thoughtful, small, practical efforts by people working far from the limelight.

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Quotation by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


The Change Dilemma

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.

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Quotation by Sydney Harris   |   2006 Nov 30


Changing the World

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

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Quotation by Margaret Mead   |   2006 Nov 30


Climate Changers

We urgently need to stabilise and reduce human numbers. There is no way that a population of nine billion – the UN’s medium forecast for 2050 – can meet its energy needs without unacceptable damage to the planet and a great deal of human misery.

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Quotation by John Guillebaud   |   2006 Nov 30


Conventional Views

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

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Quotation by John Kenneth Galbraith   |   2006 Nov 30


Cost of Education

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

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Quotation by Derek Bok   |   2006 Nov 30


Democracy is Worst Form of Government

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.

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Quotation by Winston Churchill   |   2006 Nov 30


The Discomfort of Thought

As every past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our own time we must move on from the reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality.

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Quotation by John F. Kennedy   |   2006 Nov 30


Do the Right Thing

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

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Quotation by Mark Twain   |   2006 Nov 30


Down These Mean Streets

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. If there were enough like him, I think the world would be a very safe place to live in, and yet not too dull to be worth living in.

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Quotation by Raymond Chandler   |   2006 Nov 30


Easy Solutions

There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible and wrong.

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Quotation by H. L. Mencken   |   2006 Nov 30


Ends for which We Live

The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


Enemies of Art and Artist

Men are not suffering from the lack of good literature, good art, good theatre, good music, but from that which has made it impossible for these to become manifest.

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Quotation by Henry Miller   |   2006 Nov 30


Entertain a Thought

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

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Quotation by Aristotle   |   2006 Nov 30


Every Third American

We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists; every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.

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Quotation by H. L. Mencken   |   2006 Nov 30


Freedom of Expression in Business

…note that this implicit recognition of the right-side traits by the excellent companies is directly at the expense of more traditional left-brain business practices: causes to fight for are a long way from thirty quarterly MBO objectives.

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Quotation by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


Intellectual Debate

In all intellectual debates, both sides tend to be correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.

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Quotation by John Stuart Mill   |   2006 Nov 30


Learning from Experience

The most powerful learning comes from direct experience.

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Quotation by Peter Senge   |   2006 Nov 30


Men Fear Thought

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin – more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit.

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Quotation by Bertrand Russell   |   2006 Nov 30


Nirvana Antipattern

The typical, and primary, root cause of [the Nirvana] AntiPattern is the misguided notion that conflict is bad, and therefore should be avoided at all costs. In reality, conflict in the form of tension …

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Quotation by William J. Brown, Hays W. McCormick III and Scott W. Thomas   |   2006 Nov 30


Quality of Children vs. Quantity

Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.

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Quotation by Margaret Mead   |   2006 Nov 30


Simplicity and Complexity

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

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Quotation by Albert Einstein   |   2006 Nov 30


Small and Obscure Deeds

Of all the will toward the ideal in mankind only a small part can manifest itself in public action. All the rest of this force must be content with small and obscure deeds. The sum of these, however, is a thousand times stronger than the acts of those who receive wide public recognition.

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Quotation by Albert Schweitzer   |   2006 Nov 30


Successful Planning

The outcome of successful planning always looks like luck to saps.

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Quotation by Dashiell Hammett   |   2006 Nov 30


Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves

Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


Thinking's a Dizzy Business

Nobody thinks clearly, no matter what they pretend. Thinking’s a dizzy business, a matter of catching as many of those foggy glimpses as you can and fitting them together the best you can.

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Quotation by Dashiell Hammett   |   2006 Nov 30


Those Sharp, Scratchy, Harsh, Almost Unpleasant Guys

I never hesitated to promote someone I didn’t like. The comfortable assistant, the nice guy you like to go on fishing trips with, is a great pitfall. Instead I looked for those sharp, scratchy, harsh, almost unpleasant guys who see and tell you about things as they really are.

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Quotation by Thomas J. Watson, Jr   |   2006 Nov 30


Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

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Quotation by Martin Luther King Jr.   |   2006 Nov 30


Vital and Significant Forms of Art

Nor is it any part of my thesis to maintain that it [the detective story] is a vital and significant form of art. There are no vital and significant forms of art; there is only art, and precious little of that.

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Quotation by Raymond Chandler   |   2006 Nov 30


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