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#ideas

Read through the most famous quotes by topic #ideas




...ideas are definitely unstable, they not only CAN be misused, they invite misuse--and the better the idea the more volatile it is. That's because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly. In terms of hazardous vectors released, the transformation of ideas into dogma rivals the transformation of hydrogen into helium, uranium into lead, or innocence into corruption. And it is nearly as relentless. The problem starts at the secondary level, not with the originator or developer of the idea but with the people who are attracted by it, who adopt it, who cling to it until their last nail breaks, and who invariably lack the overview, flexibility, imagination, and most importantly, sense of humor, to maintain it in the spirit in which it was hatched. Ideas are made by masters, dogma by disciples, and the Buddha is always killed on the road. There is a particularly unattractive and discouragingly common affliction called tunnel vision, which, for all the misery it causes, ought to top the job list at the World Health Organization. Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of ordinary tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it originally was intended. That is how the loving ideas of Jesus Christ became the sinister cliches of Christianity. That is why virtually every revolution in history has failed: the oppressed, as soon as they seize power, turn into the oppressors, resorting to totalitarian tactics to "protect the revolution." That is why minorities seeking the abolition of prejudice become intolerant, minorities seeking peace become militant, minorities seeking equality become self-righteous, and minorities seeking liberation become hostile (a tight asshole being the first symptom of self-repression).


Tom Robbins


#repression #change

The only way to make a library safe is to lock people out of it. As long as they are allowed to read the books 'any old time they have a mind to,' libraries will remain the nurseries of heresy and independence of thought. They will, in fact, preserve that freedom which is a far more important part of our lives than any ideology or orthodoxy, the freedom that dissolves orthodoxies and inspires solutions to the ever-changing challenges of the future. I hope that your library and mine will continue in this way to be dangerous for many years to come.


Edmund S. Morgan


#freedom #ideas #libraries #thought #change

Books can be immensely powerful. The ideas in them can change the way people think. Yet it was the Nazis and Stalin's officers who committed terrible crimes, and not Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto - and of course, the Manifesto contained many key ideas that are still relevant and important today, long after Stalin has gone. There is a crucial distinction between the book and its effect - it's crucial because if you talk about a book being harmful rather than its effect you begin to legitimise censorship. Abhorrent ideas need to be challenged by better ones, not banned.


John Farndon


#censorship #communism #ideas #nazism #philosophy

There's a kid or some kids somewhere. I'll never know them. They're particle-puzzle-cubing right now. They might be mini-misanthropes from Moosefart, Montana. They might be demi-dystopians from Dogdick, Delaware. They dig my demonic dramas. The metaphysic maims them. They grasp the gravity. They'll duke it out with their demons. They'll serve a surfeit of survival skills. They won't be chronologically crucified. They'll shore up my shit. They'll radically revise it. They'll pass it along.


James Ellroy


#ideas #inspiration #reading #writing #humor

It often feels like a tremendous amount of work is required to get an idea moving forward, like pushing a train uphill. But at a certain point, the thing takes on its own momentum, and takes unexpected turns. So it's that feeling of holding on, rather than pushing it, that is the most exciting thing. It's that need to occasionally bounce off the walls, letting anything happen for any reason, and having nothing to guide you that is the joy.


Danny Elfman


#ideas #inspirational #inspirational

Specifically in stand-up, I love jokes. I love short, structured ideas and a punchline.


Demetri Martin


#i love #ideas #jokes #love #short

Truth, says instrumentalism, is what works out, that which does what you expect it to do. The judgment is true when you can "bank" on it and not be disappointed. If, when you predict, or when you follow the lead of your idea or plan, it brings you to the ends sought for in the beginning, your judgment is true. It does not consist in agreement of ideas, or the agreement of ideas with an outside reality; neither is it an eternal something which always is, but it is a name given to ways of thinking which get the thinker where he started. As a railroad ticket is a "true" one when it lands the passenger at the station he sought, so is an idea "true," not when it agrees with something outside, but when it gets the thinker successfully to the end of his intellectual journey. Truth, reality, ideas and judgments are not things that stand out eternally "there," whether in the skies above or in the earth beneath; but they are names used to characterize certain vital stages in a process which is ever going on, the process of creation, of evolution. In that process we may speak of reality, this being valuable for our purposes; again, we may speak of truth; later, of ideas; and still again, of judgments; but because we talk about them we should not delude ourselves into thinking we can handle them as something eternally existing as we handle a specimen under the glass. Such a conception of truth and reality, the instrumentalist believes, is in harmony with the general nature of progress. He fails to see how progress, genuine creation, can occur on any other theory on theories of finality, fixity, and authority; but he believes that the idea of creation which we have sketched here gives man a vote in the affairs of the universe, renders him a citizen of the world to aid in the creation of valuable objects in the nature of institutions and principles, encourages him to attempt things "unattempted yet in prose or rhyme," inspires him to the creation of "more stately mansions," and to the forsaking of his "low vaulted past." He believes that the days of authority are over, whether in religion, in rulership, in science, or in philosophy; and he offers this dynamic universe as a challenge to the volition and intelligence of man, a universe to be won or lost at man’s option, a universe not to fall down before and worship as the slave before his master, the subject before his king, the scientist before his principle, the philosopher before his system, but a universe to be controlled, directed, and recreated by man’s intelligence.


Holly Estil Cunningham


#existence #human #ideas #intelligence #philosophy

[Henry] James's critical genius comes out most tellingly in his mastery over, his baffling escape from, Ideas; a mastery and an escape which are perhaps the last test of a superior intelligence. He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it. [...] In England, ideas run wild and pasture on the emotions; instead of thinking with our feelings (a very different thing) we corrupt our feelings with ideas; we produce the public, the political, the emotional idea, evading sensation and thought. [...] James in his novels is like the best French critics in maintaining a point of view, a view-point untouched by the parasite idea. He is the most intelligent man of his generation." (Little Review, 1918)


T.S. Eliot


#ideas #literary #writing #intelligence

People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no one else. Apart from normal expectations of politeness, it is not however clear why people should require their personal beliefs to be treated with special sensitivity by others, to the point that if others fail to tip-toe respectfully around them they will start throwing bombs.


A. C. Grayling


#sex-and-ideas #life

The world rides through space on the back of a turtle. This is one of the great ancient world myths, found wherever men and turtles were gathered together; the four elephants were an Indo-European sophistication. The idea has been lying in the lumber rooms of legend for centuries. All I had to do was grab it and run away before the alarms went off. There are no maps. You can't map a sense of humour. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs. -Terry Pratchett sums up Discworld


Terry Pratchett


#fantasy #figurative-dragons #ideas #legend #men






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