Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quotes: Terror. Theater. Theme. Theories. Thinking.

Each man saw his own terror in the faces of the rest.
Terror 321 …and each man beheld his own terror painted in the faces of all the rest. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

A clichéd scene in the theater.
Theater 198 What you don’t want is for your character to sound like the little maid with the feather duster who opens a play by hopping around the room soliloquizing on the fact that the son of the family, who has been in Australia for twenty years, after a dispute with an older brother, is expected that afternoon. Cavin, R. Gross, ed. Editors on Editing.

The audience needs to understand where the play is going.
Theater 329 H. Freedman: “What is the line of the play?” asks the director as he seeks to find the centralizing thread which he knows the audience is waiting to grasp. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The South provides excellent material for conflict.
Theme 273 Wm. Styron: then, the South simply provides such wonderful material: take, for instance, the conflict between the ordered Protestant tradition, the Fundamentalism based on the Old Testament, and the twentieth century—movies, cars, television. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Bad luck to your theories.
Theories 253 Good luck to you and bad luck to your theories. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Theories cannot circumvent facts.
Theory 161 Theory is good, but it does not put a stop to facts. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Theories killed by facts is one form of tragedy.
Theory 360 Huxley said that Spencer’s idea of a tragedy was a theory killed by a fact. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Human experience often contradicts theory.
Theory 281 Johnson: Human experience…is constantly contradicting theory…. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Reality always contradicts theory.
Theory 135 Albert Schweitzer: “Reality never submits to theory.” Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Is there any escape from blind alleys of thought?
Thinking 274 Is there any exit from these blind alleys of thought? Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Space, time and cause are methods of interpretation and understanding, not things.
Thinking 274 Kant: We shall never have any experience which we shall not interpret in terms of space and time and cause; but we shall never have any philosophy if we forget that these are not things, but modes of interpretation and understanding. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Hasty thinking results in jumping to conclusions.
Thinking 47 Chorus: Swift thinking never makes sure thought. Sophocles. Oedipus the King.

Listening to music is one way to avoid thinking.
Thinking 123 Vienna loved her music…and why not…can you imagine a better way to keep from thinking? Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

We must look, see, think and meditate.
Thinking 161 We must look, we must see, we must think and meditate. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

You cannot think without words; words are the tools of thought.
Thinking 159 There can be no thought without words; Luther gave his countrymen words…translated the Bible into German…and so gave people not only a chance to read Holy Writ for themselves, but the tools of thought. Clark, Civilization.

Aristotle believed that thought began with premises followed by conclusions; actually thought begins with hypothetical conclusions that we justify by premises. Thinking 90 He [Aristotle] supposes that thought begins with premises and seeks their conclusions, when actually thought begins with hypothetical conclusions and seeks their justifying premises…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Reason sees order in things.
Thinking 192 Spinoza: In metaphysics, reason is the perception of order in things. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

We see events and infer causes.
Thinking 258 Hume: But observe…that we never perceive causes, or laws; we perceive events and sequences, and infer causation and necessity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

The mind actively shapes its perception of chaotic reality into order.
Thinking 267 Kant: For the mind of man…is not passive wax upon which experience and sensation write their absolute and yet whimsical will…it is an active organ which molds and coordinates sensations into ideas, an organ which transforms the chaotic multiplicity of experience into ordered unity of thought. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Studying the mind transcends sense experience.
Thinking 267 …to study the inherent structure of the mind, or the innate laws of thought, is what Kant calls “transcendental philosophy,” because it is a problem transcending sense experience. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Perception organizes sensation; conception organizes perception; science organizes knowledge; wisdom organizes life; each is a greater degree of unity.
Thinking 271 Kant: Sensation is unorganized stimulus, perception is organized sensation, conception is organized perception, science is organized knowledge, wisdom is organized life: each is a greater degree of order, and sequence, and unity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

We put purpose, order, sequence and unity on chaotic reality.
Thinking 271 Kant: It is our purpose that put order and sequence and unity upon this importunate lawlessness. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

We can only think by relating things and perceiving similarities and differences.
Thinking 295 Hegel: …every idea is a group of relations; we can think of something only by relating it to something else, and perceiving its similarities and differences. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

The first step in thinking is observation of the facts.
Thinking 524 Dewey: The first distinguishing characteristic of thinking is facing the facts--inquiry, minute and extensive scrutinizing, observation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Most people mistake repeating what they have heard for thought.
Thinking 10 What they [average people] mistake for thought is simply repetition of what they have heard. Mencken, Minority Report.

Thinking is only the beginning of acting.
Thinking 62 Thinking is a partial act. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Pragmatic thinking is thinking for the short term.
Thinking 63 But pragmatic thinking is also short-range thinking…. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest

You don’t notice something until it becomes a part of your purpose.
Thinking, consciousness 269 Kant: The clock is ticking, and you do not hear it; but the same ticking, not louder than before, will be heard at once if your purpose wills it so. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

If you are judged unreasonable, you will turn against reason.
Thinking, reason 255 David Hume: …when reason is against a man, he will soon turn against reason. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

“Pure” reason is not knowledge from the senses but knowledge inherent to the mind.
Thinking, reason 265 Kant: For “pure” reason is to mean knowledge that does not come through our senses, but is independent of all sense experience; knowledge belonging to us by the inherent nature and structure of the mind. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Using reason is imitating divinity.
Thinking, reason 493 Santayana: Reason is “men’s imitation of divinity.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

The great guide in our life decisions is not reason but our feelings.
Thinking, reason vs. feeling 259 Berkeley: Sometimes…reason is the better guide; but in the great crises of life, and in the great problems of conduct and belief, we trust to our feelings rather than to our diagrams. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Reasoning begins with difficulties.
Thinking, reasoning 523 Dewey: Reasoning...begins not with premises, but with difficulties.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Existence determines thought.
Thought 38 …the approach of Saint Thomas, for whom it is not thought which determines existence, but existence...which determines thought! Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Political memories come from events that trigger introspection.
Thought 416 There are moments along the road of American politics that stay with you forever…emerge not only from memorable stories or election verdicts but from introspection, triggered by some event that comes unexpectedly and releases a chain of thought that leaves you in a different state of mind. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Every thought is a process of association.
Thought 109 Robert Frost: …every thought is a feat of association. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Thought must have consequences.
Thought 169 Albert Schweitzer: Thought must be active...must affect something. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Much human thought is adrift, all around us.
Thought 142 …all the bits of human thought that are constantly adrift, like plankton, all around us…. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

People who speculate boldly rarely act on their speculations.
Thought 259 It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society [because] ...the thought suffices...without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Men of thought usually do not work together; men of action do.
Thought vs. action 125 Men of thought seldom work together, whereas between men of action there is usually an easy camaraderie. Hoffer, The True Believer

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quotes: Team. Tears. Technology. Television.

They were learning to become a team.
Team 25 They were learning a lot about each other, about their roles on the aircraft, learning to master their jobs and to trust in the skill and judgment of each man in the crew. Childers, Wings of Morning.

Teamwork 125 Teamwork is rare in intellectual or artistic undertakings. Hoffer, The True Believer

People team up by necessity.
Teamwork 453 Necessity reconciles and brings men together. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Intellectuals think teamwork is a joke; it won WWII for our country.
Teamwork 13 Intellectuals go through a phase when “the team spirit” is a joke…I saw it win a war for my country. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Some people believe that others need to work as teams, but they themselves cannot bear to attend a committee meeting.
Teamwork 225 I understood the paradox…of so many liberals and radicals on the “intellectual” side, who believe that men must work in groups, yet who cannot bear a committee meeting themselves.

Tears do not heal!
Tears 213 Achilles: Tears heal nothing…. Homer, Iliad.

We could be vulnerable to overindulgence if we come to rely too much on the information highway.
Technology 264 A more serious concern than individual overindulgence is the vulnerability that could result from society’s heavy reliance on the [information] highway. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Some day pocket technology will keep records of everything you do.
Technology 267 Your wallet PC will be able to keep audio, time, location, eventually even video records of everything that happens to you…the ultimate diary and autobiography. Gates, The Road Ahead.

The purpose of technology is to bring people together.
Technology 274 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Fifty years ago he wrote, “Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of flickering pictures—in this century as in others our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together.” Gates, The Road Ahead.

Technology has made weather of no consequence to comfortable travel (than in the days of Jane Austen).
Technology 115 Mr. Elton: What an excellent device...the use of a sheep-skin for very comfortable they make it;--impossible to feel cold with such precautions....the contrivances of modern days indeed have rendered a gentleman’s carriage perfectly is so fenced and guarded from the weather, that not a breath of air can find its way becomes absolutely of no consequence. Austen, Emma

The ultimate techno-ignoramus.
Technology 79 Dorothy Parker: I know so little about the typewriter that once I bought a new one because I couldn’t change the ribbon on the one I had. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Housekeeping isn’t the trial it once was now that we have stoves.
Technology 153 “In old times when the houses were draftier they was troublesome about flickering, candles was; but land! think how comfortable we live now to what we used to…stoves is such a convenience; the fire’s so much handier…housekeepin’ don’t begin to be the trial it was once.” Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Thinking people must not be controlled by their technology.
Technology 58 Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Technology for transmitting information seems destined only to promote small talk.
Technology and Communication 20 Given any new technology for transmitting information, we seem bound to use it for great quantities of small talk. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Writing for TV requires entertainment; images control the sequence of ideas.
Television xv Writing for television is fundamentally different from writing a book...people who settle down to an evening’s viewing expect to be entertained...attention must be held by a carefully contrived series of images...the sequence of images controls the sequence of ideas. Clark, Civilization.

Writing for TV requires simplification to put it within the required time limit.
Television xv [Writing for television]: ...every subject must be simplified if it is to be presented in under an hour. Clark, Civilization.

Pictures and sound can do what can never be done on the printed page.
Television xv To take examples from one program only, ‘The Fallacies of Hope’: the sound of the Marsellaise and the prisoners’ chorus from Fidelio, and the marvelous photography of Rodin’s Burghers of Calais: all of these said what I wanted to say about the whole subject with a force and vividness which could never have been achieved by the printed page. Clark, Civilization.

Could not make law and philosophy visually interesting.
Television xvi Even the most rapid survey of civilization should have said more than I have done about law and philosophy...could not think of any way of making them visually interesting. Clark, Civilization.

Tantalize the poor with the world on TV and then slam the door on that world in their faces.
Television 607 JFK: …give them a world on a television screen and slam the door in their faces…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

TV seems to show that the world’s problems can be solved by guns.
Television 689 Every day the television industry instructed the children of the nation how easily problems could be solved by revolver shots. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quotes: Teacher, Teaching.

Sometimes a teacher teaches only once.
Teacher 116 “Sometimes the best teacher teaches only once to a small child or to a grownup past hope.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower.

The pedantic teacher is greeted with a mighty yawn.
Teacher 104 [To a pedantic teacher]: the mighty yawn that gave you birth.

He lectured well but he was not a good teacher.
Teacher lecturer 231 Jake Gruber: “Loren was not a good teacher but a wonderful lecturer.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

God is the great teacher and we do not know what man may become.
Teacher man 128 In the pages of an old book it has been written that we are in the hands of a Teacher, nor does it yet appear what man shall be. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Teachers 188 We’ve all had teachers who made a difference. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Someone who really knows the subject will not be content to teach it the rest of his life.
Teachers 44 …for a man who really knows a subject is seldom content to spend his lifetime teaching it. Mencken, Minority Report.

Most schoolmasters are ignorant and undiscerning.
Teachers 473 I must confess I have very often with much sorrow bewailed the misfortune of the children of Great Britain, when I consider the ignorance and undiscerning of the generality of school-masters. Steele, 8/30/1711. The Spectator.

Most teachers of English don’t know their subject and have no desire to master it.
Teachers of English 120 …my contempt for teachers of English: not one in ten of them has any sort of grasp of the difficult subject he professes, or shows any desire to master it. Mencken, Minority Report.

The way literature has been taught has made the comic strip a national art form.
Teachers of English 135 Their teaching of literature has made the comic strip a national art form. Mencken, Minority Report.

He was lecturing as much for his own benefit as for the benefit of the students.
Teaching 179 She [a student] also had the feeling that he [Loren] was lecturing as much for his own benefit as for that of the students. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

He passed among the students raising questions to stimulate critical thinking.
Teaching 206 Eiseley…moved among the dissection tables…patiently answering every question and posing others in an effort to stimulate critical thinking. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

He arrived promptly, began lecturing where he had left off the period before and promptly departed as the hour ended, no questions allowed.
Teaching 231 Jake Gruber: “Loren would come in just on the dot ten minutes after the hour, pick up from where he had left off the period before, talk for fifty minutes (there were never any questions) and then just as the hour ended, he would finish it off, turn around and walk out.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley.

More available classrooms would not solve the problems of boring curriculums and teachers.
Teaching 608 Nor would building more school rooms help much by itself if teachers and curricula remained mechanical and boring. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

They need to like you first, and then maybe you can teach them something.
Teaching 131 …maxim from…teaching Hebrew school: “First they have to like you; then, maybe they’ll let you teach them something.” Fetterman, BV. Gross, ed. Editors on Editing.

He had so much self-confidence that his students would never know if he spoke nonsense.
Teaching 36 Of Linus Pauling: Even if he were to say nonsense, his mesmerized students would never know because of his unquenchable self-confidence. Watson, The Double Helix.

Listening to a teacher who is reasoning out loud.
Teaching 160 …awed to hear Charcot as he reasoned out loud, bringing into his analyses similar cases, proposing original theories about the cause and nature of the maladies before him. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

A lecture must be literature.
Teaching 165 Charcot’s…daring concept that a medical lecture could and must be literature. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

If you teach people more than they are ready to learn, there will be problems.
Teaching 9 Woe to him who teaches men faster than they can learn. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

He wrote a book on how to teach, nothing of which he had ever used.
Teaching 262 After many years of experience as a teacher, he [Kant] wrote a text-book of pedagogy, of which he used to say that it contained many excellent precepts, none of which he had ever applied. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

I don’t teach; I awaken.
Teaching 275 L. Speyer quoting Robert Frost speaking to a class of students: I am not a teacher, but an awakener. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Great abilities render a man unfit for teaching.
Teaching 51 Boswell: Yet I am of the opinion, that the greatest abilities are not only not required for this office [teacher] but render a man less fit for it. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

By demonstrating trust, he destroys distrust.
Teaching 607 …shall destroy distrust by his trust…. Emerson, New England Reformers.

Giving me information is of little benefit; enabling me to do it myself gives me a great benefit.
Teaching 82 It is a low benefit to give me something; it is a high benefit to enable me to do somewhat of myself. Emerson, Divinity College Address.

Spirit is the only teacher.
Teaching 83 The spirit only can teach. Emerson, Divinity College Address.

Let them know that you, like them, have doubts and that you, too, have wondered. Teaching 89 ...let their doubts know that you [the preacher] have doubted, and their wonder feel that you have wondered. Emerson, Divinity College Address.

A few people in our years of routine have made us wiser, spoke what we thought, told us what knew and let us be what we are.
Teaching 89 We mark with light in the memory the few interviews we have had, in the dreary years of routine and of sin, with souls that made our souls wiser; that spoke what we thought, that told us what we knew; that gave us leave to be what we inly were. Emerson, Divinity College Address.

The only way to teach is by doing what we expect our pupils to do.
Teaching 316 The man may teach by doing, and not otherwise. Emerson, Spiritual Laws.

School masters pour into our ears what they want us to repeat.
Teaching 19 It is the custom of school masters to be eternally thundering in our ears as if they were pouring into a funnel, and our business is only to repeat what they have said to us. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Don’t’ teach just facts; teach the concepts behind the facts.
Teaching 27 But let my tutor remember to what end his instructions are directed, and let him not so much imprint in his pupil’s memory the date of the ruin of Carthage as the characters of Hannibal and Scipio…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Teacher: Let us go hear Socrates and learn together.
Teaching 551 For the philosopher Antisthenes used to say to his pupils: “Let us go, you and I, to hear Socrates; there I shall be a pupil with you.” Montaigne, Selected Essays.

His character influenced strangers in a way that mere theory could not.
Teaching 16 The example of his [Schweitzer’s] life of service had touched the hearts of strangers as theory alone could never have done. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

He teaches by example and by understanding the needs and difficulties of others.
Teaching 110 He [Albert Schweitzer] tries to teach through example and through understanding of the needs and difficulties of others. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Writing can’t be taught, but editing can.
Teaching writing 307 Donald Barthelme: Maybe writing can’t be taught, but editing can be taught…. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Quotes: Tact. Talk. Taste. Tavern. Taxes.

Tact 414 Tact is after all a kind of mind reading…. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Grand talk with empty content is amusing.
Talk 125 Aristophanes was amused by grand talk that covered empty content. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Song won’t matter if the audience lacks the taste to appreciate it.
Taste 159 “What is the voice of song, when the world lacks the ear of taste?” Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

Good taste involves a sense of limitation.
Taste 253 …in the end, splendor is dehumanizing, and a certain sense of limitation seems to be a condition of what we call good taste. Clark, Civilization.

The joys of conversing in a tavern.
Tavern 620 Johnson: As soon as I enter the door of a tavern, I experience an oblivion of care, and a freedom from solicitude [anxiety]: when I am seated, I find the master courteous, and the servants obsequious to my call; anxious to know and ready to supply my wants: wine there exhilarates my spirits, and prompts me to free conversation and an interchange of discourse with those whom I most love: I dogmatize and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinion and sentiments I find delight. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Taxes pay for civilized society.
Taxes 92 “Taxes,” observed Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “are what we pay for civilized society.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Man is taxed; he does not consent to being taxed.
Taxes 11 …for no man that I know of is taxed by his own consent. Soame Jenyns, “The Objections to the Taxation…Considered.” 1765. Hofstadter, ed. Great Issues in American History. Vol. 1. Independence.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Quotes: Superior Person; Superstition; Surgeon. Suspicion. Swearing. Symbolism. Sympathy.

Superior Person
Superior people are free of envy.
Superior person 233 The essence of the superior man is that he is free of…envy. Mencken, Minority Report.

Even the trivial seems ominous to a superstitious imagination.
Superstition 24 There is nothing so inconsiderable, which may not appear dreadful to an imagination that is filled with omens and prognostics. Addison, 3/8/1711. The Spectator.

Surgeons cut and carve living people.
Surgeon 437 “...cutters and carvers of live people’s bodies.” Dickens, Pickwick.

Suspicion makes fools of people and nations.
Suspicion 834 But suspicion will make fools of nations as of citizens. Emerson, English Traits.

It was my tongue but not my mind that swore.
Swearing 99 Nurse: It was my tongue that swore: my mind has made no oath. Euripides, Hippolytus.

What does Lolita symbolize? Young America debauching old Europe or vice versa?
Symbolism 285 Nabokov on the possible symbolism of Lolita: ... “old Europe debauching young America...young America debauching old Europe.” Nabokov, Lolita.

Symbols were a unifying force in mass demonstrations.
Symbols 87 No other party was so astutely aware of the unifying force of symbols in mass demonstrations and as an expression of solidarity. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Troubled people gravitated to Hester as one who had had a mighty trouble.
Sympathy 344 …people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her [Hester’s] counsel, as one who had herself gone through a mighty trouble. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quotes: Success. Suffering. Suicide.

Success 35 Success is a lousy teacher. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Wives and children create obstructions to success.
Success 2 Francis Bacon: “He that has wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.” Sorenson, Kennedy.

When I’m right, no one remembers; when I’m wrong, no one forgets.
Success 57 [Legendary verse]: Among life’s dying embers/These are my regrets:/ When I’m ‘right’ no one remembers,/ When I’m ‘wrong’ no one forgets. Sorenson, Kennedy

If you greet day and night with joy, your life is a success.
Success 495 If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs…that is your success. Thoreau, Walden.

If you don’t practice, someone else is and one day when you meet he will win.
Success 362 “If you’re not practicing,” Ed Macauley, one of my basketball mentors, once said, “remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and, given roughly equal ability, if you two ever meet, he will win.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Don’t try to make things happen; accept what happens.
Success 101 Marcus Aurelius: "Seek not to have things happen as you choose them, but rather choose that they should happen as they do; and you shall live prosperously." Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Success 205 Every triumph sharpens the sting of later defeats. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

Success means struggle.
Success 282 Kant: …struggle is the indispensable accompaniment of progress. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

If you are dominated by the desire for success, you will be crushed.
Success 125 Faulkner: Success is feminine and like a woman; if you cringe before her, she will override you. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

You will have to deal with obstacles if you are going to succeed.
Success 261 “…it is a long hill to try to study medicine or to study something else; and if you are going to fear obstacles you will have a poor chance at success. Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Successful people don’t believe in luck; they believe their success has been caused.
Success 971 All successful men have agreed in one thing—they were causationists: they believed that things went not by luck, but by law…. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Power.

Success goes hand in hand with positive power.
Success 981 Success goes thus invariably with a certain plus or positive power…. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Power.

Our actions must have a high aim.
Success 1010 …whatever we do must always have a higher aim. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Wealth.

The only worthwhile success is joining in the united struggle of mankind.
Success 390 Holgrave to Hepzibah: “Henceforth, you will at least have the sense of healthy and natural effort for a purpose, and of lending your strength…to the united struggle of mankind…all the success that anybody meets with.” Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

Success is a habit.
Success 231 He was merely a man of the world who had got on and to whom success had become a matter of habit. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Success Int. “Success is having to worry about every damn thing except money.” Johnny Cash. Feb. 26, 2006.

I don’t want to suffer twice: in actuality and reflecting on it.
Suffer 00 Ismene: I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect. Sophocles. Oedipus at Colonus.

He who learns must suffer.
Suffer 235 Aeschylus: God whose law it is that he who learns must suffer. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

For the Greeks, two principles: sympathy with suffering and the worth of every individual alive.
Suffer 252 Out of the pages written more than twenty-three hundred years ago sound the two notes which we feel are dominant in our world to-day, sympathy with suffering and the conviction of the worth of everyone alive. Euripides. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

The sufferer suffers alone; to watch someone suffer is to realize the barrier that exists between human beings.
Suffer 307 To suffer is to be alone; to watch another suffer is to know the barrier that shuts each of us away by himself. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Who suffers greatly is greatly alive.
Suffer 309 They suffer greatly and passionately and therefore they are greatly, passionately alive. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Suffering is not ennobling, but results in bitterness.
Suffering 97 He [Kennedy] once quoted Somerset Maugham-- Suffering does not ennoble, it embitters.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The fate of mortals is to suffer.
Suffering 84 Nurse: It is fated for mortals to suffer. Euripides, Hippolytus.

Suffering is a test of physical and spiritual strength.
Suffering 25 Suffering, in fact, is always a great test not only of physical strength but also of spiritual strength. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Suffering helps us realize the pleasure of living; without suffering, life would be tedious.
Suffering 581 Without suffering what would be the pleasure of it [life]…would be transformed into an endless church service; it would be holy, but tedious. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

If you cannot suffer deeply, you can only half-enjoy life.
Suffering and Enjoyment 890 You cannot suffer deeply; therefore, you can but half enjoy. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

To avoid suicide, keep busy.
Suicide 200 Voltaire: If you do not want to commit suicide always have something to do. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

Does committing suicide escape the burden of living or make it heavier.
Suicide 813 …wondering how deep it [the pool of water] was, and if any over-laden soul had ever flung its weight of mortality in…and if it thus escaped the burthen, or only made it heavier. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quotes: Stupidity. Style.

Stupidity is believing what is palpably not true.
Stupidity 183 …no spirit can ever overcome the handicap of stupidity…the person who believes what is palpably not true…. Mencken, Minority Report.

The level of his stupidity is beyond nature.
Stupidity 280 Johnson: “Such an excess of stupidity, Sir, is not in nature….” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

The proofs of stupidity are obstinacy and heat of opinion.
Stupidity 432 Obstinacy and heat of opinion are the surest proofs of stupidity. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The wrong word ruins a beautiful thought.
Style 260 Voltaire: One word in the wrong place will ruin the most beautiful thought. Clark, Civilization.

Style is a part of content, not an entity in itself.
Style 116 Richard Summers: Of course style is an integral part of subject matter, not an entity in itself. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Today’s style: short sentences, simple words, and avoiding what one thinks and feels; journalistic.
Style 319 Rudolf Flesch: …characteristics of what I called today’s “anonymous” style: …fourteen-word sentences are about one-third shorter than Dickens’; …uses no complex words where simple words will do; and he strictly avoids expression of his own thoughts and sentiments…admittedly journalistic writing—factual, simple, and idiomatic. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Dr. Johnson dictates to his readers.
Style 133 Boswell: Johnson writes like a teacher…dictates to his readers as if from an academical chair…his precepts are impressed upon them [his readers] by his commanding eloquence. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

To learn style, study Addison.
Style 133 Johnson: Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar, but not coarse and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quotes: Stewardship. Stoicism. Stories. Strategy. Stress. Stubborn. Students.

Stewardship is holding something natural in trust for future generations.
Stewardship 81 Stewardship: Whatever it is somebody does when they hold a part of the natural world in trust for generations yet unborn. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

The stoic believed indifference was the only attitude to have in a world in which individuals are doomed to defeat.
Stoicism 98 …the Stoic argued that philosophic indifference was the only reasonable attitude to a life in which the struggle for existence is so unfairly doomed to inevitable defeat. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

I accepted with resignation everything that happened, expecting the worst, and bearing it mildly and patiently.
Stoicism 201 …while abandoning myself to Fortune, of expecting the worst in all things and resolving to bear that worst mildly and patiently…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The stoics urge us to correct our vices but don’t want us to be dejected by them.
Stoicism 295 …the Stoics who, indeed, order us to correct the imperfections and vices which we recognize in us, but forbid us to be sorry and dejected about them. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

We are always telling stories to ourselves about who we are.
Stories 44 Robert Stone: We need stories…can’t identify ourselves without them…always telling ourselves stories about who we are…. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

People want stories told quickly and vividly, logically resolved and satisfying.
Story telling 160 M.D. Orr: People…want a story quickly told, well told, vividly told, logically resolved and satisfying…. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Storytellers have a taste for horrors.
Storytelling 47 Like all story-tellers, Gislebertus had a taste for horrors, and went out of his way to depict them. Clark, Civilization.

She was ashamed of something, so she changed the subject.
Strategy 194 She was evidently ashamed of something, and, as people always do in such cases, she began immediately talking of other things, as though they were of absorbing interest to her at the moment. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

By concentrating on their jobs, they could cope with stress.
Stress 135 They concentrated on the details of their jobs, hunkering down into the routine, and realized that they could cope with the stress and survive. Childers, Wings of Morning

Trees that bend survive; stubborn trees are torn up root and all.
Stubborn 188 Haemon: See the trees in floodtime, how they bend/ Along the torrent’s course, and how their twigs/ And branches do not snap, but stubborn trees/ Are torn up root and all. Sophocles, Antigone.

Portrait of the student who studies too long and too hard.
Students 43 Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy: “Hard students are commonly troubled with gouts, catarrhs, rheums, cachoxia, bradypepsia, bad eyes, stone, and colic, crudities, oppilations, vertigo, winds, consumptions, and all such diseases as come by over-much sitting: they are most part lean, dry, ill-colored…and all through immoderate pains and extraordinary studies. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

The more you study, the more you will be able to study.
Study habits 295 Johnson: If you spend this day in study, you will find yourself still more able to study tomorrow. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quotes: Squirrels. Stagecoach. Standards. State. Statistics. Stereotype.

Squirrels seem to know that someone is looking at them.
Squirrels 540 …for all the motions of a squirrel, even in the most solitary recesses of the forest, imply spectators as much as those of a dancing girl…. Thoreau, Walden.

Impressions of a stagecoach.
Stagecoach 545 Our coach was a great swinging and swaying stage, of the most sumptuous description—an imposing cradle on wheels. Twain, Roughing It.

JFK on his worst quality: irritability and impatience with the boring, commonplace and mediocre.
Standards 95 [Kennedy on his worst quality]: irritability...impatience with the boring, the commonplace and the mediocre. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

A state with one man is no state.
State 189 Haemon: A one-man state is no state at all. Sophocles. Antigone.

For the Nazis: the state came first, then the individual.
State individual 329 First “the State,” then the individual. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Belief in that which can be quantified needs to be balanced by that which is not quantifiable.
Statistics 908 In the past, McNamara’s susceptibility to quantification had led him to take extreme comfort in General Harkins’s statistical optimism…and Nolting had done little to assert the importance of things which could not be quantified. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Do statistics convey the wonder of it all?
Statistics 113 We have to ask--do the numbers convey the wonder of it all, the sheer impossibility of what the birds accomplish in migration? Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Stereotype of the German Nazis.
Stereotype 50 English author Nevil Shute [depicted the Germans as] …deadly, serious, efficient, arrogant…. They never seemed to laugh…except when they killed. Blum, V Was for Victory

The stereotype of generals in the military.
Stereotype 57 “These Are the Generals,” a series of articles published during 1943 in the Saturday Evening Post, linked athletic prowess, academic mediocrity, and success in command. Blum, V Was for Victory

The effect of the stereotype on the Jew.
Stereotype 254 …the stereotype of the Jew did away with all individual, humane, social, and political differentiation in favor of a systematic, pseudo-religious persecution and extirpation of evil. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Clever men are homely men.
Stereotype 170 Clever men are usually so homely. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Stereotype of the Japanese during WWII.
Stereotypes 46 The comic strips depicted the Japanese as teeth and spectacles, a subhuman species…. “murderous little ape-men.” Blum, V Was for Victory.

The belief that all Germans are guilty of the Holocaust is similar to the belief that all Jews are Shylocks.
Stereotypes 352 The insistence that all Germans are suspect because of the Holocaust is little different from the anti-Semitic mindset that characterizes all Jews as Shylocks. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The effects of stereotypes on people.
Stereotypes xviii The one so labeled [“honky,” “hippie,” “pig,” etc.] may be reviled, tortured, killed or exiled because he is no longer a human being, but a symbol. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quotes: Specialist. Speech. Spelling. Spinoza. Spirit. Spring.

Common sense applied to complicated problems is like believing that a general practitioner can perform a better operation than a specialist.
Specialist 285 I never understood what common sense meant applied to complicated problems—unless it means that a general practitioner can perform a better operation than a specialist. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

Everyone specializes and all those specialists can’t understand each other any more.
Specialists 295 …because everyone specializes and individual specialists can’t understand each other any more. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Orchestrating the mass meeting.
Speech 97 The most effective tool was the elaborate rite of the mass meeting, with all its emotional trappings, into which the major speech was cleverly incorporated: high point and release from tension built up almost to the breaking point by means of martial music and songs, mass demonstrations and flags, radical slogans and the belated arrival of the “leader.” Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Goering got the audience’s attention by beginning his speech with a pistol shot to the ceiling.
Speech 115 Goering took charge of the meeting…began his speech with a pistol shot to the ceiling. Bracers, The German Dictatorship.

We spell as we pronounce.
Spelling 285 Our insistent spelling-pronunciation shows itself in our habit of preserving the full value of syllables. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Adjusting spelling to pronunciation hides the etymologies of words.
Spelling and pronunciation 409 ...this humor of shortening our language...that some of our celebrated authors...began to prune their words of all superfluous order to adjust the spelling to the pronunciation, which would have confounded all our etymologies.... Addison, 8/4/1711. The Spectator.

Spinoza wanted to unify the chaos of the world.
Spinoza 169 …Spinoza had but one compelling desire--to reduce the intolerable chaos of the world to unity and order. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

The Vikings contributed the spirit of Columbus to the western world.
Spirit 14 Of course they [the Vikings] were brutal and rapacious [but]...they have a place in European civilization, because these pirates were not merely destructive, and their spirit did contribute something to the western world...the spirit of Columbus. Clark, Civilization.

The person who searched the heavens with a telescope looking for God would not have found a mind by using the microscope to study the brain.
Spirit vs. material 495 Santayana: Lalande, or whoever it was, who searched the heavens with his telescope and could find no God, would not have found the human mind if he had searched the brain with a microscope. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

The word “spring” calls to mind all that is pleasant in nature.
Spring 169 The first of May! There is a merry freshness in the sound, calling to our minds a thousand thoughts of all that is pleasant in nature and beautiful in her most delightful form. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

We need to revivify our winter-deadened senses for the coming of spring.
Spring 32 It’s time to fine tune our winter-deadened senses and look around for spring. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

In spring, the earth becomes a concert hall.
Spring 43 The earth has become a great concert hall. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quotes: Speaking.

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The Nazis set up training courses for propaganda speakers at more than 2000 meetings a year.
Speaking 179 …set up intensive public speaking courses at special NSDAP Speakers’ Schools for the training of primitive yet forceful propaganda speakers for the many meetings being held in the countryside and small towns—more than two thousand between April 1929 and May 1930. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Adlai Stevenson compared JFK to himself, Cicero to Demosthenes: “How well he spoke” to “Let us march.”
Speaking 70 Stevenson: Introducing the young man who had beaten him to the crowds who loved him, Stevenson said, ‘Do you remember that in classical times when Cicero finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke’--but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, the people said, ‘Let us march.’ Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Advance men who checked on local issues and sent back references before JFK arrived.
Speaking 72 In addition, two gifted magazine writers, John Bartlow Martin, who had worked in the Stevenson campaigns, and Joseph Kraft, served as literary advance men, checking on the mood and issues in localities where he was to speak, and sending back references, ideas, and language to Sorenson and Goodwin. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

His voice turned metallic.
Speaking 47 Did she imagine that his voice was suddenly metallic? Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

JFK knew when to discard a prepared text.
Speaking 26 His [Kennedy’s] self-confidence on the platform grew, and his ability to read--and, at the right time, to discard--a prepared text increased. Sorenson, Kennedy

Goal of JFK’s speeches: audience comprehension and comfort; short speeches, clauses, words; numbered series of points; to simplify, clarify and emphasize.
Speaking 67 Speech writing: Our chief criterion was always audience comprehension and comfort and this meant: (1) short speeches, short clauses and short words whenever possible; (2) a series of points or propositions in numbered or logical sequence...; (3) the construction of sentences, phrases and paragraphs, in such a manner as to simplify, clarify, and emphasize. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK used alliteration not only for rhetoric but to help recollection.
Speaking 68 Speech writing: He[Kennedy] was fond of alliterative sentences, not solely for reasons of rhetoric, but to reinforce the audience’s recollection of his reasoning. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK made frequent use of statistics and quotations.
Speaking 69 He [Kennedy] was not reluctant, however, particularly in those pre-1960 days, to pack his speeches with statistics and quotations. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK kept files of humor and appropriate speech endings, usually quotes or incidents from history.
Speaking 71 In addition to the humor file, we kept a collection of appropriate speech endings--usually quotations from famous figures or incidents from history which, coupled with a brief peroration of his own, could conclude almost any speech on any subject with a dramatic flourish. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK did not pre-release openings or closings to the press so he could use them a number of times.
Speaking 72 ...standard closings, like the humorous openings, were almost always omitted from his [Kennedy’s] released texts in order to facilitate their continued use elsewhere. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK gave short answers without notes and used local illustrations and specifics.
Speaking 159 But Kennedy, speaking in softer tones and shorter answers, without notes, scored with local illustrations and specifics aimed chiefly at West Virginia. Sorenson, Kennedy

When JFK arrived to give a speech, advance men briefed him on local names and color.
Speaking 194 Upon the Caroline’s arrival in each major city, the advance man came on board to brief the Senator [Kennedy] on names, faces and local color.... Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK used local lore and issues.
Speaking 199 ...preparing notes and outlines of local lore and issues for use in brief talks at airports, train stations and shopping centers. Sorenson, Kennedy

Sometimes passages in JFK’s speeches sounded better in person than in cold print.
Speaking 200 ...both he [Kennedy] and the press were sometimes surprised, upon reading the transcript of a particularly successful extemporaneous talk, to find that the passages that sounded so memorable in his impassioned delivery were less impressive in cold print. Sorenson, Kennedy

Sorenson studied the Gettysburg Address to give JFK advice on his inaugural address: Keep the words short and use one word rather than three.
Speaking 270 He [Kennedy] asked me to study the secret of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (my conclusion, which his Inaugural applied, was that Lincoln never used a two- or three- syllable word where a one-syllable word would do, and never used two or three words where one word would do). Sorenson, Kennedy

In his press conferences, JFK’s answers were brief.
Speaking 365 [Press conferences]: His [Kennedy’s] answers were almost always brief. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK’s use of statistics, without notes, in talking about the crisis in education.
Speaking 401 Without notes he [Kennedy] would cite all the discouraging statistics: only six out of every ten students in the fifth grade would finish high school; only nine of every sixteen high school graduates would go on to college; one million young Americans were already out of school and out of work; dropouts had a far higher rate of unemployment and far lower rate of income; 71% of the people, according to Gallup, expected their children to go to college but only51% had saved for it. Sorenson, Kennedy

In meeting representatives of other countries, JFK prepared by studying all the available facts about the country’s problems, politics and personalities.
Speaking 649 He [Kennedy] prepared for each of those meetings—whether it was the President of France or Togo—with a searching inquiry into all available facts about the other country, its politics, its problems and its personalities. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK was able to cite local statistics about foreign countries from memory and quoted from their writings or history.
Speaking 649 Citing their local statistics from memory, quoting from their writings or their history without notes, he [Kennedy] left his hosts and visitors both pleased and impressed. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK did not talk to governments but to the people of that country.
Speaking 652 “He [Kennedy] talked,” said Averell Harriman, “over the heads of government to the hearts of people.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK anticipated and answered the arguments of his opposition.
Speaking 831 In each of these presentations, he [Kennedy] anticipated and answered with precision each argument raised in opposition. Sorenson, Kennedy

Nietzsche: We can only find words for what is already dead in our heart.
Speaking 56 Nietzsche memorably told us that we find words only for what is already dead in our hearts, so that there is always a kind of contempt in the act of speaking. Bloom, Western Canon.

A bombastic speech.
Speaking 707 And now the General, with exultation in his face, got up and made an impassioned effort; he pounded the table, he banged the law books, he shouted, and roared, and howled, he quoted from everything and everybody, poetry, sarcasm, statistics, history, pathos, bathos, blasphemy, and wound up with a grand war-whoop for free speech, freedom of the press, free schools, the Glorious Bird of America and the principles of eternal justice. Twain, Roughing It

Careful and thoughtful speakers stand apart from each other to prevent heat from contact.
Speaking 435 If we are merely loquacious and loud talkers, then we can afford to stand very near together, cheek by jowl, and feel each other’s breath; but if we speak reservedly and thoughtfully, we want to be farther apart, that all animal heat and moisture may have a chance to evaporate. Thoreau, Walden.

Women give minute particulars; men give only great ideas.
Speaking 472 She will give you all the minute particulars, which only women’s language can make interesting…in our [male] communications we deal only in the great. Austen, Emma

If you eliminated the adages, commonplaces, Latin, English and Scotch expressions, his story was short.
Speaking 333 The Baron’s story was short, when divested of the adages and commonplaces, Latin, English, and Scotch, with which his erudition garnished it. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

His speech was longer than a Russian winter.
Speaking 373 Colonel Talbot: Mr. Macwheeble, this [speech] would outlast a Russian winter. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

She spoke as if she were addressing meeting.
Speaking 381 She was cold and proud and spoke as if she were addressing a meeting. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Rule: No more than four people may speak at the same time.
Speaking 37 …no more than four members being allowed to speak at one time…. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

A custom: if you can’t sing a song, then you must tell a story.
Speaking 584 A custom once prevailed in old-fashioned circles, that when a lady or gentleman was unable to sing a song, he or she should enliven the company with a story. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

The Puritan minister used homely examples.
Speaking 11 While the metaphysical preacher depended for effect on intricate literary conceits, the Puritan minister used homely examples. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

After 20 minutes, he had lost that attention of the audience, the members of which were whispering to each other.
Speaking 229 By the end of twenty minutes Sigmund had lost the attention of the audience, many of whom were whispering to each other. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Edward Everett admitted to Lincoln that Lincoln had articulated concisely the central idea of the reason for being at Gettysburg.
Speaking 412 Everett’s opinion [of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address] was written to Lincoln the next day: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

“Tell them….”
Speaking 20 Speech advisor: “Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you’ve said.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

When making a political convention speech, you are giving two speeches: one to the audience and one to the TV audience.
Speaking 21 A [political] convention speech is two speeches--one to the hall and one to the TV viewers. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Russell Long’s speeches entertained and educated to achieve his purposes.
Speaking 67 When Russell [Long] took the floor for a speech, you knew it was time to listen, because he would educate you as well as entertain you, both in aid of his larger strategic purpose. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The political speaker needs to find a way to identify with the local audience.
Speaking 239 Finding a way to identify with a local audience is one of the techniques of a political speaker…talk about the food…recognize and praise major office holders…acknowledge the politicians present…adapt a standard joke to a local politician…create a story out of the raw material you get at the event, stitching together a series of observations and comments people make to you…my favorite technique…. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Dr. Johnson practiced speaking precisely.
Speaking 119 Sir Joshua Reynolds once asked him by what means he had attained his extraordinary accuracy and flow of language…had early laid it down as a fixed rule to do his best on every occasion and in every company to impart whatever he knew in the most forcible language he could put it in; and that by constant practice, and never suffering any careless expressions to escape him, or attempting to deliver his thoughts without arranging them in the clearest manner, it became habitual to him. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Speaking 984 All the great speakers were bad speakers at first. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Power.

Americans are always making speeches.
Speaking 1026 A shrewd foreigner said of the Americans, that, “whatever they say has a little the air of a speech.” Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture.

In conversation, everyone else is your competitor.
Speaking 1092 Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practicing every day while they live. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Considerations by the Way.

A basic right: everyone has the right not to be imposed on by others’ speeches.
Speaking 839 The common Englishman is prone to forget a cardinal article in the bill of social rights, that every man has a right to his own ears: no man can usurp more than a few cubic feet of the audibilities of a public room, or to put upon the company with the loud statement of his crotchets. Emerson, English Traits.

Thinkers speak little.
Speaking 40 ...he that thinks most, will say least. Emerson, Nature.

The quality of a person’s speech tells me how much he has lived.
Speaking 62 I learn immediately from any speaker how much he has already lived, through the poverty or the splendor of his speech. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Speaking 64 The the complement of his hearers. Emerson, The American Scholar.

With his words, he draws his portrait for his hearers.
Speaking 294 With his will, or against his will, he draws his portrait to the eye of his companions by every word. Emerson, Compensation.

To speak and be understood seems easy.
Speaking 312 Nothing seems so easy as to speak and to be understood. Emerson, Spiritual Laws.

We are a lot kinder than we ever express.
Speaking 341 We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Emerson, Friendship.

A “Ley” is the longest amount of time one can speak without making any sense.
Speaking 71 The Germans facetiously defined a “Ley” as “the maximum amount of time a man could speak without saying one sensible thing.” Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Weapons make us strong; butter makes us fat.
Speaking 135 Goering: “We have no butter, comrades…but I ask you—would you rather have butter or guns…lard or iron ore…preparedness makes us powerful[;] butter only makes us fat”…slapping his paunch, he drew a roar of laughter and support. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

We spend half our lives listening to babble.
Speaking 42 The world is nothing but babble. …and yet half of our lives is lost this way. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I speak in earnest and am unable to entertain others for extended periods of time. Speaking 193 I do not know how to speak except in earnest and I am totally lacking in that facility, which I observe in many of my acquaintances, of entertaining the first comers and keeping a whole company interested. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

It is the rare preacher who can hold my attention throughout the whole sermon.
Speaking 589 That preacher is indeed my friend who holds my attention through a whole sermon. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The spoken word can cast a spell.
Speaking 1041 Nothing is more unaccountable than the spell that often lurks in a spoken word. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Addressing a person as “friend” is a sign of contempt.
Speaking 711 …a man cannot…more effectually show his contempt for a brother-mortal, nor more gallingly assume a position of superiority, than by addressing him as ‘friend.’ Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

He spoke with so much confidence that I could not tell if he was wise or stupid.
Speaking 14 He spoke with such self-confidence that no one could be sure whether his remark was very witty or very stupid. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

He felt that his remarks which seemed so sensible before he said them came out unseemly, tactless and idiotic.
Speaking 235 Pierre had always felt that what he was saying was unseemly, tactless and not the right thing, that remarks which were sensible while they were forming in his mind became idiotic as soon as he spoke them aloud…. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

I learned that people did not want just to be informed, but to be entertained as well.
Speaking 188 I began a short series of lectures with the belief that people wanted to be informed, and soon learned that they wanted to be entertained as well. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

I had moments when I felt I was communicating to my audience, but other moments when they looked back at me stolidly and with distrust.
Speaking 189 There were inspiring moments, when I felt myself in a true communion of understanding with an attentive, eager audience, but there were too many times when I finished my peroration only to observe expressions of distrust on stolid faces, when I stepped down to hear departing women already placidly chatting of the terrible problem of getting kitchen help. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

How to give a concession speech.
Speaking 35 Elements of the concession speech: (1) a manful, rueful acknowledgment of the pain of defeat; (2) a message of congratulations to the victor, often in the form of the reading of a telegram or the recounting of a telephone conversation; (3) a pledge, sometimes made over the shouted protests of the audience, to close ranks behind the people’s choice; (4) thank you to wife, children and supporters; (5) praise for the political system; (6) assertion that what unites us as Americans is more important than what divides us; (7) a pledge to carry on the cause to which the campaign was allegedly devoted; and (8) a bit of concluding graciousness and/or ruefulness, preferably including a quotation, preferably from Lincoln. The New Yorker, Nov. 11, 1996. “The Talk of the Town.”

When Mario Cuomo is considered the equal of Pericles because he speaks in sentences, the state of public speaking in America is desperate.
Speaking 70 Gomes considers the state of public speaking in America to be desperate: “When…Mario Cuomo is compared with Pericles, merely because he speaks in complete sentences, it shows how thoroughly debased public speaking is.” The New Yorker. Nov. 11, 1996. Robert S. Boynton, “God and Harvard” about Harvard’s Peter Gomes.

Black preaching relies on vivid words, repetition and alliteration.
Speaking 70 Peter Gomes: “A lot of black preaching is ‘tornado’ preaching…relies on vivid word-painting, repetition, and rhythmic alliteration….” The New Yorker. Nov. 11, 1996. Robert S. Boynton, “God and Harvard” about Harvard’s Peter Gomes.

Hemming, hawing and coughing forewarns of a long oration.
Speaking 342 Crieress: She’s learnt the trick; she hems and haws; she coughs in preparation;/ I know the signs; my soul divines a mighty long oration. Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae.

Portrait of an effective speaker: compressed, no wasted words, concern that he is about to stop.
Speaking and listening 109 Ben Jonson on Bacon's oratory: No man…ever spoke more neatly, more (com)pressedly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness in what he uttered…hearers could not cough or look aside form him without loss…commanded where he spoke…fear of every man that heard him was lest that he should make an end. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

When people are listeners, others tell them their most intimate secrets.
Speaking and listening 1309 In the past he [Pierre] had talked a great deal, had got excited when he talked and had listened very little; now he was seldom carried away in conversation and knew how to listen, so that people were eager to tell him their most intimate secrets. Tolstoi, War and Peace

He spoke to us as if he were speaking to his oxen.
Speaking, tone 647 He [Silas Foster] greeted us in pretty much the same tone as if he were speaking to his oxen. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quotes: Son. Song. Space. Spartan.

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quotation that follows.

A son is an encumbrance.
Son 71 “I have spoken to you as I would to my own son, if I had such an encumbrance.” Hawthorne, Fanshawe

Metaphor for a father and son.
Son 61 Though I was his son he knew me only as one lamp is briefly lit from another in the windy night. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

What is too subtle, deeply felt, revealing or mysterious cannot be said, but can be sung and only sung.
Song 243 …what is too subtle to be said, or too deeply felt, or too revealing or too mysterious—these things can also be sung and only be sung. Clark, Civilization.

Forces in the world have been reduced to space, time, matter, energy and gravitation; matter and energy are equivalent and space and time are indivisible.
Space 103 The first long advance [in science] was the reduction of the world’s multifarious substances into some 90 natural elements...these elements were reduced to a few fundamental particles...the various “forces” in the world came to be recognized one by one as varying manifestations of electromagnetic force, and all the different kinds of radiation in the universe--light, heat, X-rays, radio waves, gamma rays--as nothing more than electro-magnetic waves of varying length and frequency...the features of the universe distilled down to a few basic quantities--space, time, matter, energy, and Special Relativity, Einstein demonstrated the equivalence of matter and energy, and in General Relativity he showed the indivisibility of the space-time continuum. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

A Spartan was part of a machine with the purpose of killing or being killed.
Spartan 176 A Spartan was not an individual but a part of a well-functioning machine which assumed all responsibility for him, exacted absolute submission from him, molded his character and mind, and imbued him with the deep conviction that the chief end of man was to kill and be killed. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Quotes: Solitude

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

In the midst of men, I have a sense of solitude in which I am different from everyone else.
Solitude 331 [His writings] have drawn me aside from the beaten path of the world, and led me into a strange sort of solitude—a solitude in the midst of men—where nobody wishes for what I do, nor thinks nor feels as I do. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

I was absorbed in a rapt reverie throughout the day from sunrise to the sun’s falling in the west.
Solitude 245 “I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness while the birds sang around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window or the noise of some traveler’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

In the evening I sat in my boat playing the flute, charming the perch, seeing the moon reflected on the bottom of the pond strewn with wrecks from the forest.
Solitude 462 In warm evenings I frequently sat in the boat playing the flute, and saw the perch, which I seemed to have charmed, hovering around me, and the moon traveling over the ribbed bottom, which was strewed with the wrecks of the forest. Thoreau, Walden.

After visiting in the village I would come home at midnight and fish for my dinner next day, listening to the owls and foxes and the notes of an unknown bird.
Solitude 462 Sometimes, after staying in a village parlor till the family had all retired, I have returned to the woods, and, partly with a view to the next day’s dinner, spent the hours of midnight fishing from a boat by moonlight, serenaded by owls and foxes, and hearing, from time to time, the creaking note of some unknown bird close at hand. Thoreau, Walden.

Living in nature keeps the senses keen and living alone makes you watchful.
Solitude 81 Living in outer nature keeps the senses keen, and living alone stirs in them a certain watchfulness. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

From the moment I awakened to the fall of dusk, I had something to observe, record, study and tuck into a corner of my mind.
Solitude 92 From the moment that I rose in the morning and threw open my door looking toward the sea to the moment when the spurt of a match sounded in the evening quiet of my solitary house, there was always something to do, something to observe, something to record, something to study, something to put aside in a corner of the mind. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Living on the dunes, I became aware of the many varieties of life around me.
Solitude 95 Dwelling thus upon the dunes, I lived in the midst of an abundance of natural life which manifested itself every hour of the day, and from being thus surrounded, thus enclosed within a great whirl of what one may call the life force, I felt that I drew a secret and sustaining energy. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

I awoke to April moonlight and stillness.
Solitude 143 I woke last night just after two o’clock and found my larger room brimming with April moonlight and so still that I could hear the ticking of my watch. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

All over the world there are shrines of solitude.
Solitude 444 …there are paths trodden to the shrines of solitude the world over…. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

The greatest gift is to know how to be by yourself.
Solitude 96 The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to ourselves. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Eiseley projected the image of a scholar in solitude who wanted only to be left alone.
Solitude scholar 339 Eiseley’s favorite image of himself, and the one he projected repeatedly in his writings, was that of a humble self-deprecating scholar who wanted only to be left to his own devices. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

For Hawthorne there were two paths to experience: the world and the self.
Solitude social 58 For Hawthorne, as a youthful writer, there were...two avenues to experience: To be much in the world, to be busy in the world’s business, to be observant of the social scene...; or to retire into solitude, to explore the secrets of the self, to analyze the private promptings of one’s own mind and the world of fantasy and daydreams that are found there...poignant...attempt to bring these tendencies into balance and equilibrium. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quotes: Snow. Society.

Snow flakes like tiny parachutes.
Snow 8 If you looked real close, the huge flakes seemed like tiny parachutes. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Metaphors for different kinds of snow.
Snow 9 In describing the kind of snow...I use the following categories: flour, sugar, corn, granola, mashed potatoes, soup and rock candy. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

I stay away from gloomy and surly people and from subjects that I can’t discuss disinterestedly.
Social behavior 525 I flee from gloomy dispositions and from surly men…and I do not meddle with subjects that I cannot discuss disinterestedly and unexcitedly unless duty forces me to. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Everybody has their social level.
Social class 132 Mr. Elton: ...Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be happy to see her respectably settled....I wish her extremely well: and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to--everybody has their level.... Austen, Emma

The Woodhouses were superior, from an ancient family, but the Eltons were nobody.
Social class 136 But he must know that in fortune and consequence she was greatly his superior...must know that the Woodhouses had been settled for several generations at Hartfield, the younger branch of a very ancient family--and that the Eltons were nobody. Austen, Emma

They should not arrange the way superior families visit them.
Social class 207 Emma: the Coles were very respectable in their way, but they ought to be taught that it was not for them to arrange the terms on which the superior families would visit them. Austen, Emma

Men either ride horses or, like horses, they are ridden.
Social class 35 Ann Petry: When [Richard] Rumbold mounted the scaffold in 1685 he said, according to Macaulay’s History of England: “I never could believed that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.” Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Is “survival of the fittest” the motive for human beings?
Social Darwinism 13 Social Darwinism: Basing itself on Darwin’s theories of evolution and natural selection, social Darwinism proclaimed the “fight for survival” and “survival of the fittest” as the motive forces of all life, individual and national. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Social Darwinism sees man as biological, not a thinking and moral creature.
Social Darwinism 15 Social Darwinism remained a sectarian philosophy, seeing man only as a biological and not a thinking and moral being…. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

The typical social dinner gathering.
Social gathering 219 ...the rest of the dinner passed away; the dessert succeeded, the children came in, and were talked to and admired amid the usual rate of conversation; a few clever things said, a few downright silly, but by much the larger proportion neither the one nor the other--nothing worse than every day remarks, dull repetitions, old news, and heavy jokes. Austen, Emma

The nightly routine at the local pub.
Social gathering 65 …whereat the tailor would take his pipe solemnly from his mouth, and say, how that he hoped it might end well, but he very much doubted whether it would or not and couldn’t rightly tell what to make of it—a mysterious expression of opinion, delivered with a semi-prophetic air, which never failed to elicit the fullest concurrence of the assembled company; and so they would go on drinking and wondering till ten o’clock, and with it the tailor’s wife to fetch him home, when the little party broke up, to meet again in the same room, and say and do precisely the same things, on the following evening at the same hour. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Social introductions.
Social interaction 43 …and we sat down at a table with the two girls in yellow and three men, each one introduced to us as Mr. Mumble. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

Men humor everyone’s nonsense until they are despised by the people they have humored.
Social interaction 169 …men overrate the necessity for humoring everybody’s nonsense, till they get despised by the very fools they humor. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Gloomy remarks pensively delivered, implying that she could not really say what was on her mind because of the sensitivity of her hearer.
Social interaction 705 …remarks tending to gloom, uttered with the accompaniment of pensive staring at the furniture and a manner implying that the speaker would not tell what was on her mind, from regard to the feelings of her hearer. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

On first meeting individuals we form an instant impression of them without their ever speaking a word.
Social interaction 267 We are no sooner presented to anyone we never saw before, but we are immediately struck with the idea of a proud, a reserved, an affable, or a good-natured man; and upon our first going into a company of strangers, our benevolence or aversion, awe or contempt, rises naturally toward several particular persons, before we have heard them speak a single word, or so much as know who they are. Addison, 6/8/1711. The Spectator.

If we say something nice about you, you need to say something nice about us.
Social interplay 245 Mr. Knightley: Oh! very delightful indeed; I can say nothing less, for I suppose Miss Woodhouse and Mr. Frank Churchill are hearing everything...and (raising his voice still more) I do not see why Miss Fairfax should not be mentioned too....I think Miss Fairfax dances very well; and Mrs. Weston is the very best country-dance player, without exception in England; now, if your friends have any gratitude, they will say something pretty loud about you and me in return; but I cannot stay to hear it. Austen, Emma

He was completely unresponsive to her talking.
Social interplay 367 She [Emma] had never seen Frank Churchill so silent and stupid…said nothing worth hearing—looked without seeing—admired without intelligence—listened without knowing what she said. Austen, Emma

I don’t meet many people because they are too busy cultivating their beans.
Society 453 Most men I do not meet at all, for they seem not to have time; they are busy about their beans. Thoreau, Walden.

People in committees always expect a speech from somebody.
Society 584 [Men] are all on a committee of arrangements, and hourly expect a speech from somebody. Thoreau, Walden.

Our lives are defined in popular tunes.
Society 151 For Daisy was young and her artificial world was redolent of orchids and pleasant, cheerful snobbery and orchestras which set the rhythm of the year, summing up the sadness and suggestiveness of life in new tunes. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

People should find satisfactory company in themselves.
Society 32 A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

We are going out to hear what has been said yesterday and will be said again tomorrow; we would be better off staying home.
Society 113 Mr. John Knightley: are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in another man’s house, with nothing to say or to hear that was not said and heard yesterday, and said and heard again tomorrow; going in dismal weather, to return in probably worse;--four horses and four servants taken out for nothing but to convey five idle, shivering creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they might have had at home. Austen, Emma

Everyone else is forgotten in the popular topic of the moment.
Society 267 There was hardly time to talk over the first letter from Enscombe [from Mr. Frank Churchill] before “Mr. Elton and his bride” was in everybody’s mouth, and Frank Churchill was forgotten. Austen, Emma.

Everyone wanted to find out whether Mrs. Elton was very pretty, rather pretty or not pretty.
Society 270 …must be left for the visits…which were then to be paid [by Mr. and Mrs. Elton], to settle whether she were very pretty indeed, or only rather pretty, or not pretty at all. Austen, Emma

She was disliked while she was alive, but forgiven now that she was dead.
Society 387 Mrs. Churchill [suddenly dead], after being disliked at least twenty-five years, was now spoken of with compassionate allowances. Austen, Emma

They talked of the child and her mother’s alarm for her health the previous evening.
Society 479 The others had been talking of the child, Mrs. Weston giving an account of a little alarm she had been under, the evening before, from the infant’s appearing not quite well. Austen, Emma

“Delighted to see you” he told the person who had dropped in while wishing that he had dropped into the Thames instead.
Society 432 “Delighted to see you, I’m sure,” said Mr. Watkins Tottle, wishing internally that his visitor had “dropped in” to the Thames at the bottom of the street, instead of dropping into his parlor.

Individualism leads to separation [and isolation?] of people.
Society 275 …this terrible individualism must inevitably have an end, and all will understand how unnaturally they are separated from one another. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Is the cause of a decaying society our cynicism and exhaustion of intellect and imagination?
Society 628 Is it our cynicism, is it the premature exhaustion of intellect and imagination in a society that is sinking into decay…. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

He was opposed to civic duty, a complete and malignant individualist.
Society 630 He [Fyodor Karamazov] was an example of everything that is opposed to civic duty, of the most complete and malignant individualism. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

On a beautiful day in Bath everybody walks out to tell everybody else what a beautiful day it is.
Society 35 …for a fine Sunday in Bath empties every house of its inhabitant, and all the world appears on such an occasion to walk about and tell their acquaintance what a charming day it is. Austen, Northanger Abbey.

Communities of obedience are stable societies; communities of will are nomads.
Society 159 H. G. Wells once made a distinction between communities of obedience and communities of will; he thought that the first produced the stable societies like Egypt and Mesopotamia, the original homes of civilization, and that the second produced the nomads of the earth. Clark, Civilization.

We will suffer the consequences of bad people and from the silence of good people.
Society 24 Martin Luther King: “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of bad people, but for the silence of good people.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Hereditary privilege comes from some violent conquest in the past.
Society 286 Kant…traces all hereditary privilege to some violent conquest in the past. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

Two different societies: militant (war) and industrial (work). [The Nazis combined both societies.]
Society 380 Spencer: …the great dividing line [in societies] is that which separates militant from industrial societies, nations that live by war from those that live by work. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Production prospers only when initiative is free.
Society 380 Spencer: Since production can prosper only where initiative is free, an industrial society breaks down those traditions of authority, hierarchy and caste, which flourish in military states…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Two types of societies: the individual exists for the state; the state exists for the benefit of the individual.
Society 381 Spencer: The contrast between the militant and the industrial types of society is indicated by “inversion of the belief that individuals exist for the benefit of the state into the belief that the state exists for the benefit of the individuals.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Socialism involves centralization of government power, loss of initiative and subordination of the individual.
Society 382 Spencer: Like militarism, socialism involves the development of centralization, the extension of governmental power, the decay of initiative, and the subordination of the individual. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Two types of societies: compulsory cooperation and voluntary cooperation.
Society 384 Spencer: the transition from the compulsory cooperation of militancy to the voluntary cooperation of industrialism…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Two types of societies: life is for work and work is for life.
Society 384 As the contrast between the militant and the industrial types [of society] is indicated by the inversion of the belief that individuals exist for the benefit of the state into the belief that the state exists for the benefit of individuals; so the contrast between the industrial type and the type likely to be evolved from it is indicated by inversion of the belief that life is for work into the belief that work is for life. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

What we do in actual life is different from what we say we do.
Society 387 Spencer: It is notorious that the principles which we apply in our actual living are largely opposite to those which we preach in our churches and our books. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

We profess pacifistic Christianity, but we are actually militaristic.
Society 387 Spencer: The professed ethic of Europe and America is a pacifistic Christianity; the actual ethic is the militaristic code of the marauding Teutons…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

A country with maximum opportunity to develop our talents and to respect the talents of others.
Society 204 RP Warren: I’d like a country in which there was a maximum of opportunity for any individual to discover his talents and develop his capacities…and by so doing learn to respect other selves a little. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The people on top are sure that their values are the right ones.
Society 245 N. Algren: …but you write out of—well, I wouldn’t call it indignation, but a kind of irritability that these people on top should be so contented, so absolutely unaware of these other people, and so sure that their values are the right ones. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

As soon as a stranger enters the room everyone wants to know what he does for a living.
Society 989 As soon as a stranger is introduced into any company one of the first questions which all wish to have answered, is, How does that man get his living? Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Wealth.

A man of the world is without pretension.
Society 1025 The mark of the man of the world is absence of pretension. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture.

Civility means tolerance of each other.
Society 1038 …but ‘tis the beginning of civility—to make us…endurable to each other. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Behavior.

Every time people meet they take measure of each other.
Society 1048 Men take each other’s measure, when they meet for the first time—and every time they meet. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Behavior.

Directness is a characteristic of superior people.
Society 1049 In all the superior people I have met, I notice directness…. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Behavior.

Once we know their limitations, we are no longer interested in other people.
Society 406 Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations. Emerson, Circles.

People who are considered sane do what their neighbors do.
Society 11 Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

What is conjectured soon becomes more certain than actual knowledge.
Society 687 Everybody liked better to conjecture how the thing was, than simply to know it; for conjecture soon became more confident than knowledge…. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

People’s lives consist of continuous ceremony.
Society 186 We are nothing but ceremony. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Society controls the behavior of the individual.
Society 496 He who walks in the crowd must swerve, keep his elbows in, retire or advance, and quit the straight way according to what he encounters: He must live not so much according to himself as according to others, not according to what he proposes to himself but according to what is proposed to him, according to the time, according to the men, according to the business. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

To what degree do “great” personalities influence the behavior of the common people?
Society 72 Could common people be made to work for their own interests only if they had a great personality as their symbol? Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The purpose of society if to achieve tranquility, order and the security to provide freedom for individuals to develop their personalities to the fullest within their limitations.
Society 208 …the end of social life [was]…to them…tranquility and order…to me…freedom of the individual to develop his own personality to the fullest within his personal limitations, and the security to make that possible. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Always be in good humor when imposing yourself on your friends.
Society 423 Let people reason themselves into good humor, before they impose themselves upon their friends. Steele, 8/10/1711. The Spectator.

We are suspicious of collective organizations that behave like organisms.
Society 12 We do not like the notion that there can be collective societies with the capacity to behave like organisms. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Our fractious society destroys the sense of community, mission and purpose.
Society 88 “Our society is too fractious…carried too far…destroys a sense of community and a sense of mission and a sense of purpose.” Justice Anthony Kennedy. Jeffrey Rosen, “Annals of Law: The Agonizer.” The New Yorker, November 1996.

The goal of a communal experiment: union of intellectual and manual labor that would be more wholesome than our competitive institutions.
Society competitive life 178 The goals of Ripley’s Brook Farm: “ ensure a more natural union between intellectual and manual labor...; to combine the thinker and the the same individual...; to prepare a society of liberal, intelligent and cultivated persons, whose relations with each other would permit a more wholesome and simple life than can be led amidst the pressures of our competitive institutions.” Mellow, Hawthore In His times.

As society develops, we assume the equal development of individuals and are therefore horrified by the mass movements of terror in the twentieth and twenty-first century.
Society individual 284 As society improves physically, we assume the improvement of the individual and are all the more horrified at those mass movements of terror which have so typified the first half of the twentieth century. Eiseley, The Star Thrower.