Author Topic: Quotes that hit home  (Read 105846 times)

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #330 on: August 03, 2020, 03:03:06 PM »
I was rereading Montaigne some this spring and early summer, so I recently read that, but didn't specially note it. In French, Montaigne is perhaps the most misquoted author, like Twain and Churchill in English. But this is a bona fide Montaigne quote. Essais, I, 9, "Des Menteurs,"

"Si, comme la vérité, le mensonge n'avoit qu'un visage, nous serions en meilleurs termes. Car nous prenderions pour certain l'opposé de ce que diroit le menteur. Mais le revers de la verité a cent mille figures et un champ indefiny."
https://artflsrv03.uchicago.edu/philologic4/montessaisvilley/navigate/1/3/10/

You can even see where Montaigne added it in his own handwriting for the second edition here:
https://artflsrv03.uchicago.edu/images/montaigne/0011v.jpg

See my attached image to help you find the spot.

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #331 on: August 14, 2020, 02:32:17 AM »
With all the debates about Confederate monuments and such, this quote from Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, written in 1978, comes to mind:

"People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repair it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past. They are fighting for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies and histories are written."

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #332 on: September 15, 2020, 09:44:28 PM »
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

rcjordan

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #333 on: October 26, 2020, 11:49:19 AM »
2050 is as close as 1990.

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #334 on: October 29, 2020, 05:22:33 AM »
I just reread 1984. Some quotes that might be germane to the present moment

Quote
In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was
inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely
the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.

Quote
In so far as he had time to remember it, he was not troubled by the fact that every word he murmured into the
speakwrite, every stroke of his ink pencil, was a deliberate lie. He was as anxious as anyone else in the
Department that the forgery should be perfect.

Quote
In Newspeak there is no word for “Science.” The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific
achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.

Quote
Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was
that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.

Quote
Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and
if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

Damian

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #335 on: December 29, 2020, 02:51:36 PM »
Used today to justify my prices  8)

Quote
A great lathe operator commands several times the wages of an average lathe operator, but a great writer of software code is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer

Bill Gates

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #336 on: December 29, 2020, 05:30:31 PM »
A quote from 1933, that seems to have something to say about the big anti-trust suits recently filed...

"Private ownership of tools, a basis of freedom when tools are simple, becomes a basis of enslavement when tools are complex."
  -- Upton Sinclair, "I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty. A True Story of the Future (1933)."

littleman

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #337 on: December 30, 2020, 08:49:06 PM »
I'm trying to wrap my head around that quote as applied to say smartphone technology.

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #338 on: December 30, 2020, 09:51:40 PM »
I haven't wrapped my head around it either. It seems super relevant, but I haven't worked out exactly how it fits in with today's technology. It hit home for me more as food for thought and reflection.

Thinking about it bit more after reading your comment...

I was thinking more in terms of Google, Facebook and Amazon than smartphones, but I could see that too. I feel like smartphones in and of themselves are tools, like hammers that can be used to break things or build things, but only become tools of enslavement when you load them up with apps and then it depends on the apps you load on them.

I see Google and Facebook as massive supercomputers with huge teams of engineers whose job is to keep you on their site and monetize you. So rather than a simple tool (1995 internet) that can free people (more information, more connection, more location independence, but to primitive to subject you to minute surveillance and sophisticated emotional manipulation), we have a complex tool that subjects users to intense surveillance and plays on our minds in ways most of us don't understand, not even the engineers who are building it.

They collect a huge amount of data and optimize for a handful of metrics that seem morally neutral (dwell time, engagement), but which function by playing on our worst impulses. We are seeing those impulses play out in ways that erode our democracy, erode the basic civility in our local communities, play on people's fears, encourage girls and young women to hate their bodies, wrap people in toxic virtual communities to alleviate their loneliness rather than promoting stronger physical communities or healthy virtual communities, all while pursuing apparently morally neutral metrics like dwell time or CTR.

So as these tools become complex, using massive data and algorithms that tease out of that data patterns that no human analyst could see, they become "tools of enslavement."

Something along those lines, but just felt rather than thought out as above, is why the quote hit home. I'm not sure the above is well-expressed and it certainly is incomplete and you could certainly marshal many counter-arguments, but some vague sense of the effects of the great power these data-driven, personalized advertising conglomerates (Google, Facebook) have is what made me say that quote hit home.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 09:55:05 PM by ergophobe »

Drastic

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #339 on: January 07, 2021, 11:05:56 PM »
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.

Heraclitus

buckworks

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #340 on: January 10, 2021, 11:30:22 PM »
"When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent." - Isaac Asimov

ergophobe

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #341 on: January 16, 2021, 04:55:47 PM »
“Because I’m old and have done other things.”
  --  Mitt Romney after being asked in 2019 why he was behaving differently from other Republican senators

Another good line from Peter Beinart, the author of the article in which the Romney quote appears:
"Like most people, I’d prefer senators who do what I think is right. But I’d take comfort if more at least did what they think is right."

And the closing quote from the same article
“I should indeed like to please you; but I prefer to save you, whatever be your attitude toward me.”
  -- Daniel Webster did to his constituents in Massachusetts

Why Are There So Few Courageous Senators?
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/opinion/senators-trump-impeachment-republicans.html

And it reminds me of an old saw in writing: "Every villain is the hero of her own story."
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 05:00:23 PM by ergophobe »

littleman

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #342 on: February 08, 2021, 09:56:25 PM »
Gerrymandering is like some kind of occult ritual that ends up summoning the most vile politicians

- a random redditor

buckworks

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #343 on: February 26, 2021, 07:01:04 PM »
Spotted on Facebook:

Sometimes the best way to stay out of trouble is to take a nap.

littleman

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Re: Quotes that hit home
« Reply #344 on: February 26, 2021, 07:13:38 PM »
That's a very satisfying quote.