Veronique Vienne – The Art of Doing Nothing (1998)

Too bad most of us postpone goofing off until Saturday or Sunday. In doing so, we put pressure on the weekend. Procrastinating on schedule creates yet another form of obligation. So try to waste time on the spur of the moment, on a Wednesday or a Thursday. Later – much later – when you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to show off and fritter time away on a Monday.


Harry Frankfurt – On Bullshit (1986)

…For the essence of bullshit is not that it is false but that it is phony. In order to appreciate this distinction, one must recognize that a fake or a phony need not be in any respect (apart from authenticity itself) inferior to the real thing. What is not genuine need not also be defective in some other way. It may be, after all, an exact copy. What is wrong with a counterfeit is not what it is like, but how it was made.

National Geographic (Apr. 2019)

But what will it be like, I asked Reid, to have thousands of these zipping around the skyline? You’re inventing a new technology that has just as much revolutionary potential as automobiles. What kind of world will it make?

“We’ll figure it out,” Reid said.

Maybe we will. But it might be wise to do some of the figuring first. We didn’t have to go completely nuts about cars, allowing them to become the tail that wagged the urban dog. We didn’t have to rip up all the streetcar lines. We didn’t have to forget that cities are for people–and we don’t need to do it again.

“Rethinking Cities”


Carl Sagan – The Demon-Haunted World (1995)

Emerging from a particularly credulous Southern California culture, Nancy and Ronald Reagan relied on an astrologer in private and public matters – unknown to the voting public. Some portion of the decision-making that influences the future of our civilization is plainly in the hands of charlatans.

E. B. White – Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 (1969)

Like every great river and every great sea, the moon belongs to none and belongs to all. … What a pity that in our moment of triumph we did not forswear the familiar Iwo Jima scene and plant instead a device acceptable to all: a limp white handkerchief, perhaps, symbol of the common cold, which, like the moon, affects us all, unites us all.

“Moon Landing”