25 7 / 2012

24 7 / 2012

"You can teach almost anyone determined to learn them the basics required to write sentences and paragraphs that say what you want them to say clearly and concisely. It’s far more difficult to get people to think like a writer, to give up conventional habits of mind and emotion. You must be able to step inside your character’s skin and at the same time to remain outside the dicey circumstances you have maneuvered her into. I can’t remember how many times I advised students to stop writing the sunny hours and write from where it hurts: ‘No one wants to read polite. It puts them to sleep."

Novelist and educator Anne Bernays

(h/t explore)

24 7 / 2012

"Three are the most powerfull persons: the King, the Pope, and who owns nothing."

A saying in Naples

22 7 / 2012

"Making a few of the worst terrorists on the planet uncomfortable for a few days during their first month of imprisonment is worth it in order to save thousands of lives."

22 7 / 2012

"A semicolon links two balanced statements; a colon explains or unpacks the statement or information before it."

21 7 / 2012

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"Physics has two working models of reality. One is Einstein’s general relativity, which deals with space, time and gravity. This is an elegant assembly of interlocking equations that poured out of a single mind a century ago. The other, known as the Standard Model, deals with everything else more messily.

The Standard Model, a product of many minds, incorporates the three fundamental forces that are not gravity (electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces), and also a menagerie of apparently indivisible particles: quarks, of which protons and neutrons, and thus atomic nuclei, are made; electrons that orbit those nuclei; and more rarefied beasts such as muons and neutrinos. Without the Higgs, the maths which holds this edifice together would disintegrate.”

"

21 7 / 2012

"The main reason to study philosophy is not to become a more critical reasoner or a better evaluator of evidence, but to grapple with the ultimate questions of human existence and to arrive at as much insight into them as is possible. What drives philosophy is the desire to know the ultimate truth about the ultimate matters."

21 7 / 2012

"I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity. Those like James Holmes, who feel the need to arm themselves, may also feel a deep, inchoate insecurity and a need for validation. Whenever a tragedy like this takes place, it is assigned catchphrases and theme music, and the same fragmentary TV footage of the shooter is cycled again and again. Somewhere in the night, among those watching, will be another angry, aggrieved loner who is uncoiling toward action. The cinematic prototype is Travis Bickle of “Taxi Driver.” I don’t know if James Holmes cared deeply about Batman. I suspect he cared deeply about seeing himself on the news."

20 7 / 2012

"The entire problem with technology is that it only hurts the unwise."

Nassim Taleb

19 7 / 2012

"Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain. There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages, which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred pages are there. Only you don’t see them."

Elie Wiesel