I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies.
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.
…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.
In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself.
David Ricardo managed to write an analysis of cappuccino bars in train stations before either cappuccino bars or train stations existed. This is the kind of trick that makes people either hate or love economics.
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.
Oh, he might burn down the odd cottage every now and again, in a sort of absent-minded way, but only when he was really angry about something, and he could give it up any time he liked.
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.
Matthew: So what’s the deal?
Dream: The deal? Delirium will drive. You will advise her. I am sure you will find the experience one of great interest and variety.
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.