"Only in 1996, when a Jewish surgeon working with a Holocaust scholar demanded an investigation in the letters column of JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association], did the medical profession admit that it had been teaching students how to become surgeons for nearly sixty years with paintings of the flayed bodies of disabled children and political prisoners [Pernkopf's Topographische Anatomie des Menschen]." --Neurotribes
"For in all adversity of fortune the worst sort of misery is to have been happy." --Boethius of Dacia
"The critique of civilisation should not be based on arguments. The critique of civilisation should be made based on the belief in the spirits of the earth. Civilisation is not bad because it causes groups of humans to quibble amongst each other and suffer. Suffering is an inescapable part of life and need not be lamented. Civilisation is bad because it is a war against the gods." --Ramon Elani
Ms. Tippett: A story I have always loved that, to me, Dorothy Day, I just feel, gets quoted all the time, more and more. I mean, she’s — somehow she’s really come to the forefront of consciousness. And you do write about in your book A Paradise Built in Hell, which I loved so much. You write about the San Francisco earthquake of April 18, 1906, which killed 3,000 people and annihilated the center of the city, as you say, and shattered this hundred-mile stretch.
But Dorothy Day was in Oakland, she’s eight years old, she watches this thing that, in some place you describe as, you say, yes, people fall apart, but in disaster, there’s also this falling together that we don’t chronicle. And she — the questions she asked was, she saw, to me — this is me looking at this — she saw that people were capable of this, that all along, they knew how to do this, right? To take...
Ms. Solnit: Exactly.
Ms. Tippett: ...care of each other. And she said...
Ms. Solnit: Yeah.
Ms. Tippett: …“Why can’t we live this way all the time?”
Ms. Solnit: No, that is her formative experience. She said while the disaster lasted,
people loved one another. And Dorothy Day is such a key figure for that book, both because the earthquake becomes a spiritual awakening and kind of the template for what she pursues in her life, and because she’s somebody who had a partner and a child, and she kept the child, but she gave up family life for this larger sense of community she pursued as the founder of Catholic Worker.
And she treated poverty as the disaster in which she would create this kind of communitas..." --Rebecca Solnit interview
"It’s important to say that the idea of Mars as a lifeboat is wrong, in both a practical and a moral sense.
There is no Planet B, and it’s very likely that we require the conditions here on earth for our long-term health. When you don’t take these new biological discoveries into your imagined future, you are doing bad science fiction.
In a culture so rife with scientism and wish fulfillment, a culture that's still coming to grips with the massive crisis of climate change, a culture that's inflicting a sixth mass-extinction event on earth and itself, it’s important to try to pull your science fiction into the present, to make it a useful tool of human thought, a matter of serious planning as well as thrilling entertainment.
This is why Musk’s science fiction story needs some updating, some real imagination using current findings from biology and ecology." --Kim Stanley Robinson
If you live to be very old, you may see twelve hundred full moons.
Some come in winter and you trudge out into the deep snow to
stand beneath their glow. Others come to you in the city and you
take an elevator up to the roof of the highest building and set out
a couple of folding chairs to watch it glide across the sky. Or the
moon finds you along a foreign shore and you paddle out in some
dingy and scoop its reflection from the waters and drink it down.
The moons of your old age are the most potent but seem few and
far between. They make their way into your marrow and teach it
how to hum. When your final moon arrives, it's as if youth has
come back to you. Though instead of flaunting its yellow hat, now
it's dressed in black."
-David Shumate, Kimonos in the Closet, from the writer's almanac (via whiskey river blog)
"This is a cautionary tale. Two comments, each fired off in less than half a minute, intemperately, in pique or fury, to a small audience of friends, neither of them intended for public consumption, neither intended – any more than are the performances of Frankie Boyle or that thing you said to your friends yesterday – in the strict and literal way taken, have been used to goad thousands of people into harassing me and people who know me, lobbying employers, and sending me threats of injury and death. They have been used to attack the leader of the opposition and generate a spurious, fleeting controversy around an important left-wing event. And this stuff is toxic. It makes real conversation, real debate, impossible. It injects a malicious lack of rigour or care into every discussion, a jouissance-laden unseriousness that sends ethics, particularly journalistic or political ethics, packing. It seeps into everything." --Richard Seymour
"Speaking on November 20, 1913, at a Futurist evening at Petersburg's Troitsky Theater, the trans-sense poet Aleksei Kruchenykh audaciously proclaimed that the (non)rhyme of korova (cow) and teater (theater) was preferable to all traditional rhymes." --Aleksandra Shatskikh, Black Square (2012)