Friday, April 25, 2008


"Everyone needs a strong sense of self. It is our base of operations for everything that we do in life." — Julia T. Alvarez

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Long Now

"Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span. The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed—some mechanism or myth which encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility—where 'long-term' is measured at least in centuries." ― Stewart Brand

Thursday, April 17, 2008


"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." — Upton Sinclair

Monday, April 7, 2008


"People, especially Americans, most often think of courage as something physical -- mountain climbers, soldiers on the front lines, and so on. There are elements of courage that manifest within such activities, but there are other qualities of courage. Sometimes courage is a balance between external and internal, like medical care workers who travel to dangerous war zones to help the hurt and suffering, sometimes working with the victims of contagious epidemics -- that sort of compassionate courage. Then we have those facing no direct external danger, who dare a deep inner exploration in order to discover some tangible relationship to the spiritual source of existence. But this too manifests in a complex, somewhat wayward variety of attitudes and approaches. Still, when it comes to self-discovery and inner exploration, there is always a kind of inner courage called for because one becomes aware of risking one's sanity, perhaps even one's soul, and under certain conditions, one's life. And definitely one risks the security of mass somnambulism, because the quest demands a stepping away from acculturated formulas of belief. Such exploration demands a willingness to give up all in order to find some deeper more substantial meaning to one's existence." — Lew Paz, Press interview for Pushing Ultimates: Fundamentals of Authentic Self-Knowledge

Monday, March 31, 2008


"Architecture is the expression of the true nature of societies, as physiognomy is the expression of the nature of individuals. However, this comparison is applicable, above all, to the physiognomy of officials (prelates, magistrates, admirals). In fact, only society's ideal nature—that of authoritative command and prohibition—expresses itself in actual architecture constructions. Thus great monuments rise up like dams opposing a logic of majesty and authority to all unquiet elements; it is in the form of cathedrals and palaces that Church and State speak to and impose silence upon the crowds. Indeed, momuments obviously inspire good social behaviour and often even genuine fear. The fall of the Bastille is symbolic of this state of things. This mass movement is difficult to explain otherwise than by popular hostility towards monuments which are their veritable masters." — Georges Bataille, Critical Dictionary

Friday, March 28, 2008

Symbol and Signal

"Not to be at home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be in its center and to be concealed from it." — Charles Baudelaire, Symbole und Signale: Frühe Dokumente der literarischen Avantgarde

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke died today. His writings took a seriously critical look at our civilization and its follies. He will be missed.

"It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars." — Arthur C. Clarke, The Exploration of Space

"The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information—in the sense of raw data—is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these." — Arthur C. Clarke, OneWorld South Asia, Dec. 5, 2003

Arthur C. Clarke's Last Message to Humanity