node created 2019/09/29
The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.
Every intelligent child is an amateur anthropologist. The first thing such a child notices is that adults don't make sense.
I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority, by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
The ideals of homo faber, the fabricator of the world, which are permanence, stability, and durability, have been sacrificed to abundance, the ideal of the animal laborans.
"The Human Condition"
Tell me, and I’ll forget
Show me, and I’ll remember
Involve me, and I’ll understand
Preserving things and living beyond a reasonable time is based in fear of dying, a culture perpetuated by people that seem to emotionally not understand that letting go is ok.
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.
These huge TOS agreements are akin to governmental authoritarian control. Everyone has broken something in them, we are all a criminal. Knowing this, we all live in fear knowing that it's not a matter of 'if' but 'when' the government/corporate overlord can cancel everything we've been working on or living for because of an obscure clause that no one has ever read, which was created for this very purpose.
Secrecy has nothing to do with democracy. It kills it. (And that seems to be the goal, lately.)
A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door.
You must get your living by loving.
[Q: do you believe that a nation should suffer a detrimental cost in order to compensate for wrongs committed by the governors of that nations, or by segments of that nation in the past?]

Suppose you're living under a dictatorship, and the dictators carry out some horrendous acts. So you're living in Stalinist Russia, let's say, and Stalin carries out horrible crimes. Are the people of Russia responsible for those crimes? Well, to only a very limited extent, because living under a brutal, harsh, terrorist regime, there isn't very much they can do about it. There's something they can do, and to the extent that you can do something, you're responsible for what happens. Suppose you're living in a free, democratic society, with lots of privilege, enormous, incomparable freedoms, and the government carries out violent, brutal acts. Are you responsible for it? Yeah, a lot more responsible, because there's a lot that you can do about it. If you share responsibility in criminal acts, you are liable for the consequences.
Interview by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN (June 1, 2003)
They make it illegal to bring respiratory masks or saline solution to protests, then they flood them with tear gas; they launch military-grade grenades (GLI-F4) into crowds, harming and maiming indiscriminately, and prosecute those who kick them back. And when people stop going to protests they can claim that they won the battle of ideas.
Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history.
Don't depend too much on anyone in this world because even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness.
To give hope to the many oppressed and fear to the few oppressors, that is our business; if we do the first and give hope to the many, the few must be frightened by their hope. Otherwise, we do not want to frighten them; it is not revenge we want for poor people, but happiness; indeed, what revenge can be taken for all the thousands of years of the sufferings of the poor?
“How We Live and How We Might Live”
One mistake people make is pretending that every choice we make is a hard one with no good answers. Sometimes there are good decisions and bad ones, and we end up making bad ones even when the good ones are obvious. We often see this happen with individuals, it shouldn't be too surprising that this happens with societies as well.

A few years back when I looked at solutions to "cooking this planet" that didn't involve anything that would cause much disruption to most people's lives. The reason we're not solving the problem isn't because of the hard choices we have to make. It's because a few industries that might make less money if we fight climate change try to stop efforts to combat it, politicians who get money from these industries say climate change is a hoax, the public at large is largely too apathetic to remove politicians who don't act, people who oppose all collective action oppose collective action to fight climate change, the media doesn't report on it because it doesn't get ratings, etc.

Could we have everyone's standards are close to the current standards enjoyed by developed countries without destroying the planet? Maybe, maybe not. It's insanely premature to pretend that we know it's impossible. Not only have we not seriously tried to solve the problem, but a large part of the U.S. is actively opposed to even stopping the problem. "There's no solution" is an easy way to absolve us from our failures.
It is the fundamental duty of the citizen to resist and to restrain the violence of the state. Those who choose to disregard this responsibility can justly be accused of complicity in war crimes, which is itself designated as ‘a crime under international law’ in the principles of the Charter of Nuremberg.
Constructive criticism and self-criticism are extremely important for any revolutionary organization. Without them, people tend to drown in their mistakes, not learn from them.
It is better to weep with wise men than to laugh with fools.