The job

The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.

Seth Godin

Nothing says yawn

Nothing says ‘yawn’ more than an interminable text-based email or 50 slide attachment. Including a video within a brief email and delivering content in multimedia formats can help drive response rates, improve information retention, and make your company or offer more memorable

Andy Zimmerman


The upheavals [of artificial intelligence] can escalate quickly and become scarier and even cataclysmic. Imagine how a medical robot, originally programmed to rid cancer, could conclude that the best way to obliterate cancer is to exterminate humans who are genetically prone to the disease.

Nick Bilton

I know

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Most misunderstandings

Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

Shannon L. Alder


Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.

 J. K. Rowling

Nobody cares about feminist academic writing

Nobody cares about feminist academic writing. That’s careerism. These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted… But I recognize the fact that we have this ridiculous system of tenure, that the whole thrust of academia is one that values education, in my opinion, in inverse ratio to its usefulness—and what you write in inverse relationship to its understandability. […] Academics are forced to write in language no one can understand so that they get tenure. They have to say ‘discourse’, not ‘talk’. Knowledge that is not accessible is not helpful.

Gloria Steinem

If you steal

If you steal from one author it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many it’s research.

Wilson Mizner

The whole thing about perfectionism

You know, the whole thing about perfectionism. The perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in…it’s actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And there were a couple of years where I really struggled with that.

David Foster Wallace

I hate even the idea of a synopsis

I hate even the idea of a synopsis. When stories are really working, when you’re providing subtextual exploration and things that are deeply layered, you’re obligated to not say things out loud.

Shane Carruth

A synopsis

A synopsis is a cold thing. You do it with the front of your mind. If you’re going to stay with it, you never get quite the same magic as when you’re going all out.

J. B. Priestley

One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game

One might think this means that imaginary numbers are just a mathematical game having nothing to do with the real world. From the viewpoint of positivist philosophy, however, one cannot determine what is real. All one can do is find which mathematical models describe the universe we live in. It turns out that a mathematical model involving imaginary time predicts not only effects we have already observed but also effects we have not been able to measure yet nevertheless believe in for other reasons. So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction just in our minds?

Stephen Hawking

I am not going to lose Vietnam.

I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963

We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1964

We do this [escalating U.S. military involvement in Vietnam] in order to slow down aggression. We do this to increase the confidence of the brave people of South Vietnam who have bravely born this brutal battle for so many years with so many casualties. And we do this to convince the leaders of North Vietnam—and all who seek to share their conquest—of a simple fact: We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired. We will not withdraw either openly or under the cloak of a meaningless agreement.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1965

We seem bent upon saving the Vietnamese from Ho Chi Minh, even if we have to kill them and demolish their country to do it. I do not intend to remain silent in the face of what I regard as a policy of madness which, sooner or later, will envelop my son and American youth by the millions for years to come.

Senator George McGovern, 1967

Hey, Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?

Anti-war protestors, late 1967.

It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

AP correspondent Peter Arnett quoting a U.S. major on the decision to bomb and shell Ben Tre after Viet Cong forces overran the city in the Mekong Delta during the Tet Offensive, 1968

For it seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.

Newscaster Walter Cronkite, 1968, reporting on what he had learned on a trip to Vietnam in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive.

I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1968

I refuse to believe that a little fourth-rate power like North Vietnam doesn’t have a breaking point.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 1969

This war has already stretched the generation gap so wide that it threatens to pull the country apart.

Senator Frank Church, 1970

I have asked for this radio and television time tonight for the purpose of announcing that we today have concluded an agreement to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia.

President Richard Nixon, 1973

During the day on Monday, Washington time, the airport at Saigon came under persistent rocket as well as artillery fire and was effectively closed. The military situation in the area deteriorated rapidly. I therefore ordered the evacuation of all American personnel remaining in South Vietnam.

Gerald Ford, (who, as Vice-President, succeeded Richard Nixon when Nixon resigned 1974), in 1975


Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body. n

Joseph Addison


Values are not trendy items that are casually traded in.

Ellen Goodman

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted.

Robert Reich

My experience in government

My experience in government is there is a whole host of unintended consequences you have to think through. I can’t un-know that, I find it harder now to offer simple solutions.

Jo Swinson

Whatever you go into

Whatever you go into, you have to go in there to be the best. There’s no formulas. It’s all about passion and honesty and hard work. It might look glamorous, but it takes a lot of hard work. The blessing with the arts is that you can do it forever.

Hugh Masekela

Argument from Authority and Confirmation Bias

One of the great commandments of science is, “Mistrust arguments from authority.” … Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else.

Carl Sagan

Your mind constantly seeks proof that will confirm your beliefs. If you have negative beliefs, your mind will seek to prove those negative thoughts. If you have positive beliefs, your minds will seek to prove those positive thoughts. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of our beliefs.

Akiroq Brost


Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

When a great genius appears

When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Jonathan Swift

But the effect of her being on those around her

But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

In the old days

In the old days, books had awful covers and marvelous content; nowadays, the opposite happens.

Giacomo Leopardi

Aspiring authors, get this through your head

Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.

Larry Correia

But man is not made

But man is not made for defeat… A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

Ernest Hemingway

Some of us can begin to heal

Some of us can begin to heal the damage people have done to us by escaping the situation, but some of us need more than that. Tattoos make statements that need to be made. Or hide things that are no one’s business. Your scars are battle wounds, but you don’t see them that way. Yet.

Tammara Webber

She was clean

She was clean: no piercings, tattoos, or scarifications. All the kids were now. And who could blame them, Alex thought, after watching three generations of flaccid tattoos droop like moth-eaten upholstery over poorly stuffed biceps and saggy asses?

Jennifer Egan

Show me a man

Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.

Jack London

I know

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

We must believe

We must believe in free will, we have no choice.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

We Negro writers

We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line.

Langston Hughes


Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can’t vent any anger against them; I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence.

Charles Bukowski

Mine is the tongue

Mine is the tongue-tied silence of awkwardness, hers the smiling silence of anticipation, and then we utter inanities to each other, like “beautiful weather arranged for us” and “I like these kind of clouds.”

Meir Shalev

It’s subjunctive history

It’s subjunctive history. You know, the subjunctive? The mood used when something may or may not have happened. When it is imagined.

Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Being read to

Being read to is a really intimate thing: a human connection at a time when a lot of people are feeling isolated.

Duncan Honeyman

I’m not a one-hit wonder

I’m not a one-hit wonder as some suggest. I’ve had a couple of hits, but still, all of my hits were in the ’70s. There was pretty much nothing in the ’80s, ’90s, or in the first full decade into the next millennium.

Todd Rundgren

Words mean more

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Maya Angelou