1. Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.
2. As a general rule…people ask for advice only in order not to follow it; or if they do follow it, in order to have someone to blame for giving it.
3. I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.
4. Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.
5. It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button.
6. I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.
7. There’s nothing wrong with giving up all your principles for a suitable financial reward. It is indeed the basis of our society.
8. My dear, I used to think I was serving humanity . . . and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it. So now I do what pleases myself.
9. What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? Power is the sum total of wills transferred to one person. On what condition are the willso fo the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person express the will of the whole people. That is, power is power. That is, power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand.
10. Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, not as a serious, rigorous art form.
11. The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who do the acts for them. For example, when the British invaded India, many Indians accepted to work for the British to kill off Indians who resisted their occupation. So in other words, many Indians were hired to kill other Indians on behalf of the enemy for a paycheck. Today, we have mercenaries in Africa, corporate armies from the western world, and unemployed men throughout the Middle East killing their own people – and people of other nations – for a paycheck. To act without a conscience, but for a paycheck, makes anyone a dangerous animal. The devil would be powerless if he couldn’t entice people to do his work. So as long as money continues to seduce the hungry, the hopeless, the broken, the greedy, and the needy, there will always be war between brothers.
12. One can’t love humanity. One can only love people.
13. Nobody likes to see a stupid guy wise up.
14. …sense of futility that comes from doing anything merely to prove to yourself that you can do it: having a child, climbing a mountain, making some sexual conquest, committing suicide.
The marathon is a form of demonstrative suicide, suicide as advertising: it is running to show you are capable of getting every last drop of energy out of yourself, to prove it… to prove what? That you are capable of finishing. Graffiti carry the same message. They simply say: I’m so-and-so and I exist! They are free publicity for existence.
Do we continually have to prove to ourselves that we exist? A strange sign of weakness, harbinger of a new fanaticism for a faceless performance, endlessly self-evident.
15. I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.
16. It’s daft, locking us up,” said Nanny. “I’d have had us killed.”
“That’s because you’re basically good,” said Magrat. “The good are innocent and create justice. The bad are guilty, which is why they invent mercy.
17. People are, generally speaking, either dead certain or totally indifferent.
18. Society is much more easily soothed than one’s own conscience.
19. We are social creatures to the inmost centre of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong.
20. Miss Leefolt sigh, hang up the phone like she just don’t know how her brain gone operate without Miss Hilly coming over to push the Think buttons.
21. If two people stare at each other for more than a few seconds, it means they are about to either make love or fight. Something similar might be said about human societies. If two nearby societies are in contact for any length of time, they will either trade or fight. The first is non-zero-sum social integration, and the second ultimately brings it.
22. And when there are enough outsiders together in one place, a mystic osmosis takes place and you’re inside.
23. Pity is cruel. Pity destroys.
24. It is always of interest to know what strikes another human being as remarkable.
25. Single parents – both women and men – can play as critical a role as the traditional two-parent family, and gay and lesbian parents can, and do, raise happy, resilient children. When it comes to family life, form is not merely as important as content. Feeling loved and supported, nurtured and safe, is far more critical than the ‘package’ it comes in.
26. Ah, art! Ah, life! The pendulum swinging back and forth, from complex to simple, again to complex. From romantic to realistic, back to romantic.
27. You are what you do. If you do boring, stupid monotonous work, chances are you’ll end up boring, stupid and monotonous. Work is a much better explanation for the creeping cretinization all around us than even such significant moronizing mechanisms as television and education.
28. That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.
29. Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.
30. The laws of history are as absolute as the laws of physics, and if the probabilities of error are greater, it is only because history does not deal with as many humans as physics does atoms, so that individual variations count for more.
31. The more invested I am in my own ideas about reality, the more those experiences will feel like victimizations rather than the ups and downs of relating. Actually, I believe that the less I conceptualize things that way, the more likely it is that people will want to stay by me, because they will not feel burdened, consciously or unconsciously, by my projections, judgments, entitlements, or unrealistic expectations.
32. The danger today is in believing there are no sick people, there is only a sick society.
33. False fears are a plague, a modern plague!
34. The deviant and the conformist…are creatures of the same culture, inventions of the same imagination.
35. Life is a useless passion, an exciting journey of a mammal in survival mode. Each day is a miracle, a blessing unexplored and the more you immerse yourself in light, the less you will feel the darkness. There is more to life than nothingness. And cynicism. And nihilism. And selfishness. And glorious isolation. Be selfish with yourself, but live your life through your immortal acts, acts that engrain your legacy onto humanity. Transcend your fears and follow yourself into the void instead of letting yourself get eaten up by entropy and decay. Freedom is being yourself without permission. Be soft and leave a lasting impression on everybody you meet.
36. By my existence I am nothing more than an empty place, an outline,that is reserved within being in general. Given with it, though, is the duty to fill in this empty place. That is my life.
37. …I take as a point of departure the possibility and desirability of a fundamentally different form of society–call it communism, if you will–in which men and women, freed from the pressures of scarcity and from the insecurity of everyday existence under capitalism, shape their own lives. Collectively they decide who, how, when, and what shall be produced.
38. We must beware the revenge of the starved senses, the embittered animal in its prison.
39. Vulnerability is the least celebrated emotion in our society.
40. For the canons of good society are, or should be, the same as the canons of art. Form is absolutely essential to it.
41. Perhaps the difference between a professor and a bus driver is that the professor can say stupid things with complete authority while the bus driver is not authorized to make brilliant insights.
42. Man is an animal who has to live in a lie in order to
live at all.
43. Concurrently, the growing class power and public voice of conservative and liberal well-to-do black folks easily obscures the class cruelty these individuals enact both in the way they talk about underprivileged blacks and the way they represent them. The existence of that class cruelty and its fascist dimensions have been somewhat highlighted by the efforts of privileged-class blacks to censor the voices of black youth, particularly gangsta rappers who are opposing bourgeois class values by extolling the values of street culture and street vernacular. Significantly, the attack on urban underclass black youth culture and its gangster dimensions (glamorization of crime, etc.) is usually presented via a critique of sexism. Since most privileged-class blacks have shown no interest in advancing feminist politics, the only organized effort to end sexism and sexist oppression, this attack on sexism seems merely gratuitous, a smoke screen that deflects away from the fact that what really disturbs bourgeois folks is the support of rebellion, unruly behavior, and disrespect for their class values. In reality, they and their white counterparts fear the power these young folks have to change the minds and life choices of youth from privileged classes. If only underclass black folks were listening to gangsta rap, there would be no public effort to silence and censor this music. The fear is that it will generate class rebellion.
44. Us” versus “them” is not in our genes. It is something we learn.
45. Every society has the criminals that it deserves.
46. It is culture that is the bully.
47. We don’t live in a world that suffers from doubt, but one that suffers from certainty, false certainties that compensate for the well of worldly anxieties and worries.
48. What makes the prospect of death distinctive in the modern age is the background of permanent technological and sociological revolution against which it is set, and which serves to strip us of any possible faith in the permanence of our labours. Our ancestors could believe that their achievements had a chance of bearing up against the flow of events. We know time to be a hurricane. Our buildings, our sense of style, our ideas, all of these will soon enough be anachronisms, and the machines in which we now take inordinate pride will seem no less bathetic than Yorick’s skull.
49. It takes centuries for sense to become common.
50. The old man in the beard he felt convinced was wrong. He was too busy saving his own soul. Wasn’t it better to take part even in the crimes of people you loved, if it was necessary hate as they did, and if that were the end of everything suffer damnation with them rather than be saved alone?
51. [Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.
52. At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.
53. The decline of geography in academia is easy to understand: we live in an age of ever-increasing specialization, and geography is a generalist’s discipline. Imagine the poor geographer trying to explain to someone at a campus cocktail party (or even to an unsympathetic adminitrator) exactly what it is he or she studies.
“Geography is Greek for ‘writing about the earth.’ We study the Earth.”
“Right, like geologists.”
“Well, yes, but we’re interested in the whole world, not just the rocky bits. Geographers also study oceans, lakes, the water cycle…”
“So, it’s like oceanography or hydrology.”
“And the atmosphere.”
“It’s broader than just physical geography. We’re also interested in how humans relate to their planet.”
“How is that different from ecology or environmental science?”
“Well, it encompasses them. Aspects of them. But we also study the social and economic and cultural and geopolitical sides of–”
“Sociology, economics, cultural studies, poli sci.”
“Some geographers specialize in different world regions.”
“Ah, right, we have Asian and African and Latin American studies programs here. But I didn’t know they were part of the geography department.”
“So, uh, what is it that do study then?
54. Laws, it is said, are for the protection of the people. It’s unfortunate that there are no statistics on the number of lives that are clobbered yearly as a result of laws: outmoded laws; laws that found their way onto the books as a result of ignorance, hysteria or political haymaking; antilife laws; biased laws; laws that pretend that reality is fixed and nature is definable; laws that deny people the right to refuse protection. A survey such as that could keep a dozen dull sociologists out of mischief for months.
55. Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations.
56. The real enemy” is the totality of physical and mental constraints by which capital, or class society, or statism, or the society of the spectacle expropriates everyday life, the time of our lives. The real enemy is not an object apart from life. It is the organization of life by powers detached from it and turned against it. The apparatus, not its personnel, is the real enemy. But it is by and through the apparatchiks and everyone else participating in the system that domination and deception are made manifest. The totality is the organization of all against each and each against all. It includes all the policemen, all the social workers, all the office workers, all the nuns, all the op-ed columnists, all the drug kingpins from Medellin to Upjohn, all the syndicalists and all the situationists.
57. What, unless biological science is a mass of errors, is the cause of human intelligence and vigour? Hardship and freedom: conditions under which the active, strong, and subtle survive and the weaker go to the wall; conditions that put a premium upon the loyal alliance of capable men, upon self-restraint, patience, and decision. And the institution of the family, and the emotions that arise therein, the fierce jealousy, the tenderness for offspring, parental self-devotion, all found their justification and support in the imminent dangers of the young.
58. I am successful because of my brains and my guts, put together, and I don’t need some fancy-ass degree from a bunch of sweater-vest-wearing pricks who haven’t gotten laid since Bush Senior was president… Do you know who studies sociology? People who would rather observe life than live it.
59. Argumentation is a human enterprise that is embedded in a larger social and psychological context. This context includes (1) the total psyches of the two persons engaged in dialogue, (2) the relationship between the two persons, (3) the immediate situation in which they find themselves and (4) the larger social, cultural and historical situation surrounding them.
60. Happy is the people that is without history. And thrice is the people without sociology.