“So you guys are all upset we’re spying on you and drone-striking you, and you’re really upset. But I just have one question: Have you met us?! Meddling in your affairs for our national self interest is kind of our thing….Besides, if it makes you feel any better, our government isn’t doing anything to you that they’re not doing to us.”—Jon Stewart on international NSA spying. (via hipsterlibertarian)
"When you pass through the fire, you pass through humble, you pass through a maze of self-doubt. When you pass through humble, the lights can blind you, Some people never figure that out. You pass through arrogance, you pass through hurt, you pass through an ever-present past, and it’s best not to wait for luck to save you. Pass through the fire to the light. You have to be very strong, ‘cause you’ll start from zero over and over again. And as the smoke clears there’s an all-consuming fire lying straight ahead."
"They say no one person can do it all, but you want to in your head — but you can’t be Shakespeare and you can’t be Joyce, so what is left instead? You’re stuck with yourself and a rage that can hurt you, you have to start at the beginning again. (And just this moment this wonderful fire started up again.)"
"When you pass through humble, when you pass through sickly, when you pass through I’m-better-than-you-all, when you pass through anger and self-deprecation, and have the strength to acknowledge it all, when the past makes you laugh and you can savor the magic that let you survive your own war, you find that that fire is passion. And there’s a door up ahead, not a wall."
"As you pass through fire as you pass through fire, trying to remember its name, when you pass through fire licking at your lips you cannot remain the same — and if the building’s burning, move towards that door, but don’t put the flames out. There’s a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out. Some loss to even things out."
“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”—John Adams
“And what was the true object of this superstitious stuff? A final clue came from “Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” (1996), in which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi acknowledges that, far from being an act of individual inspiration, what we call creativity is simply an expression of professional consensus. Using Vincent van Gogh as an example, the author declares that the artist’s “creativity came into being when a sufficient number of art experts felt that his paintings had something important to contribute to the domain of art.” Innovation, that is, exists only when the correctly credentialed hivemind agrees that it does. And “without such a response,” the author continues, “van Gogh would have remained what he was, a disturbed man who painted strange canvases.” What determines “creativity,” in other words, is the very faction it’s supposedly rebelling against: established expertise.”—Ted talks are lying to you
“These days, everybody is supposed to be so intelligent: ‘Isn’t it terrible about Nixon getting elected?’ ‘Did you hear about the earthquake in Peru?’ And you’re supposed to have all the answers. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, like, ‘What is bugging you, mister? Why can’t you make it with your wife? Why do you lie awake all night staring at the ceiling? Why, why, why do you refuse to recognize you have problems and deal with them?’ The answer is that people have forgotten how to relate or respond. In this day of mass communications and instant communications, there is no communication between people. Instead it’s long-winded stories or hostile bits, or laughter. But nobody’s really laughing. It’s more an hysterical, joyless kind of sound. Translation: ‘I am here and I don’t know why.”—Cassavetes
“Burning Man… has become a place where CEOs, venture capitalists and startuppers can network (while wearing, at most, swimsuits). While neither money, branding nor barter are allowed, suddenly companies are getting funded, co-founders are meeting, and people are getting jobs right on the playa. Among the 68,000 costumed and dust-covered attendees are some unexpected names - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg goes. So do Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. And Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. Anarchists parking Priuses next to ramshackle tents and tarps are now sharing the sand with wealthy techies arriving, via private jets, at luxury desert camps fully staffed with cooks, masseuses and assistants…