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Near me nothing but distances.
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable.
Following of authority in any form, whether self-imposed or established from outside, as well as any form of imitation, copying, is destructive of incentive, of creativeness, and that it blocks the discovery of what is true.
In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments.
There is no history of mankind, there is only an indefinite number of histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world. But this, I hold, is an offence against every decent conception of mankind.
There's the common veneration (not just by the religious) of faith, namely believing something without a good reason.
Our fundamental tactic of self-protection, self-control, and self-definition is not spinning webs or building dams, but telling stories, and more particularly connecting and controlling the story we tell others - and ourselves - about who we are.
IDIOT: A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn...and change.
Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Concern yourselves more with the needs of others, with the needs of all humanity, and you'll have peace of mind.
In Buddhism, ignorance as the root cause of suffering refers to a fundamental misperception of the true nature of the self and all phenomena.
The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Young children, who for whatever reason are deprived of the continuous care and attention of a mother or a substitute-mother, are not only temporarily disturbed by such deprivation, but may in some cases suffer long-term effects which persist.
There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other.
The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
The more we are concerned for the well being of others, the closer we will feel to each other.
We philosophers are mistake specialists.
In the year 2006, a person can have sufficient intellectual and material resources to build a nuclear bomb and still believe that he will get seventy-two virgins in Paradise.
Our ability to perceive the world around us seems so effortless that we tend to take it for granted.
No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels. Broadly, we can afford to sink those sorts of knowledge which continue to be true regardless of changes in the environment, but we must maintain in an accessible place all those controls of behavior which must be modified for every instance. The economics of the system, in fact, pushes organisms toward sinking into the unconscious those generalities of relationship which remain permanently true and toward keeping within the conscious the pragmatic of particular instances.
However much we might deplore the profit motive, or consumerist values, if everyone just wants i-Pods we would probably be better off than if they wanted class revolution.
BIRTH: The first and dirtiest of all disasters.
Far from being restricted to a limited number of pathological cases, as American theoreticians suggest, the double bind—a contradictory double imperative, or rather a whole network of contradictory imperatives—is an extremely common phenomenon. In fact, it is so common that it might be said to form the basis of all human relationships.

Bateson is undoubtedly correct in believing that the effects of the double bind on the child are particularly devastating. All the grown-up voices around him, beginning with those of the father and mother (voices which, in our society at least, speak for the culture with the force of established authority) exclaim in a variety of accents, "Imitate us!" "Imitate me!" "I bear the secret of life, of true being!" The more attentive the child is to these seductive words, and the more earnestly he responds to the suggestions emanating from all sides, the more devastating will be the eventual conflicts. The child possesses no perspective that will allow him to see things as they are. He has no basis for reasoned judgements, no means of foreseeing the metamorphosis of his model into a rival. This model's opposition reverberates in his mind like a terrible condemnation; he can only regard it as an act of excommunication. The future orientation of his desires—that is, the choice of his future models—will be significantly affected by the dichotomies of his childhood. In fact, these models will determine the shape of his personality.

If desire is allowed its own bent, its mimetic nature will almost always lead it into a double bind. The unchanneled mimetic impulse hurls itself blindly against the obstacle of a conflicting desire. It invites its own rebuffs and these rebuffs will in turn strengthen the mimetic inclination. We have, then, a self-perpetuating process, constantly increasing in simplicity and fervor. Whenever the disciple borrows from his model what he believes to be the "true" object, he tries to possess that truth by desiring precisely what this model desires. Whenever he sees himself closest to the supreme goal, he comes into violent conflict with a rival. By a mental shortcut that is both eminently logical and self-defeating, he convinces himself that the violence itself is the most distinctive attribute of this supreme goal! Ever afterward, violence will invariably awaken desire...
Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's changing agent, it clears out the old to make way for the new.
If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.
Darwin's idea of natural selection makes people uncomfortable because it reverses the direction of tradition.
The important fact of the present time is not the struggle between capitalism and socialism but the struggle between industrial civilization and humanity.
Management problems are not respecters of the company organization, nor of the talents of the people appointed to solve them.
Some of us, for better or worse, develop very stable, consistent, and largely predictable machineries of self. But in others, the self machinery is more flexible and more open to unexpected turns.
My worst boss was a departmental chair who never learned to appreciate new developments in the field. He had contempt for students and younger researchers, and he saw the job of running the department as a nuisance.
In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.
People who want to study religion usually have an ax to grind. They either want to defend their favorite religion from its critics or want to demonstrate the irrationality and futility of religion, and this tends to infect their methods with bias.
Say what we will, death is the best thing nature has found to please everyone. With each of us, everything vanishes, everything stops forever. What an advantage, what an abuse! Without the least effort on our part, we own the universe, we drag it into our own disappearance. No doubt about it, dying is immoral...
It is not too much to say that in the extreme development the chance to reason of most men is destroyed, as rationality increases and its locus, its control, is moved from the individual to the big-scale organization.
When you attach a label make sure it can come off because things can change.
Living systems are units of interactions; they exist in an ambience. From a purely biological point of view they cannot be understood independently of that part of the ambience with which they interact: the niche; nor can the niche be defined independently of the living system that specifies it.
Without deviation, progress is not possible.
Thirty years ago, we used to ask: Can a computer simulate all processes of logic? The answer was yes, but the question was surely wrong. We should have asked: Can logic simulate all sequences of cause and effect? And the answer would have been no.
Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.
Truth is what works.
Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.
George Bush says he speaks to god every day, & Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.
General Systems Theory... possibly the model of the world as a great organization can help to reinforce the sense of reverence for the living which we have almost lost.
What do we mean by "knowledge" or "understanding"? And how do billions of neurons achieve them? These are complete mysteries. Admittedly, cognitive neuroscientists are still very vague about the exact meaning of words like "understand," "think," and indeed the word "meaning" itself.
The mind is the effect, not the cause.
Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best. 
Delayed reaction is necessary to intelligent conduct.
If you learn a martial art, you learn to be dangerous, but simultaneously, you learn to control it.
But it’s in the nature of progress that it erases its tracks, and its champions fixate on the remaining injustices and forget how far we have come.
All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.
To be conspicuous by one's absence and listened to by one's silence are two little masterpieces of vanity.
A leader who keeps his ear to the ground allows his rear end to become a target.
It's all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.
If a man is pictured chopping off a woman's breast, it only gets a R rating, but if, God forbid, a man is pictured kissing a woman's breast, it gets an X rating. Why is violence more acceptable than tenderness?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
There is no ideal in observation. When you have an ideal, you cease to observe, you are then merely approximating the present to the idea, and therefore there is duality, conflict, and all the rest of it. The mind has to be in the state when it can see, observe. The experience of the observation is really an astonishing state. In that there is no duality. The mind is simply - aware.
Carry your groceries, garden, and do other activities that keep you moving. You will add more years to your life and more life to your years.
Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person's thoughts.
By exposing the absence of purpose in the laws governing the universe, science forces us to take responsibility for the welfare of ourselves, our species, and our planet.
Any curriculum will be pedagogically ineffective if it consists of a lecturer yammering in front of a blackboard, or a textbook that students highlight with a yellow marker. People understand concepts only when they are forced to think them through, to discuss them with others, and to use them to solve problems.
Every man is fully satisfied that there is such a thing as truth, or he would not ask any question.
Having been unpopular in high school is not a just cause for book publication.
Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.
Therefore, general systems theory should be, methodologically, an important means of controlling and instigating the transfer of principles from one field to another, and it will no longer be necessary to duplicate or triplicate the discovery of the same principles in different fields isolated from the other.
Nothing we can do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.
Everyone's pedigree merges into everyone else's pedigree. So if you go back far enough, everyone is related.
The more you are motivated by Love, The more Fearless & Free your action will be.
There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government. 
A true proposition is a proposition belief which would never lead to such disappointment so long as the proposition is not understood otherwise than it was intended.
There are living systems; there is no living "matter." No substance, no single molecule, extracted and isolated from a living being possess, of its own, the aforementioned paradoxical properties. They are present in living systems only; that is to say, nowhere below the level of the cell.
It is often asserted that discussion is only possible between people who have a common language and accept common basic assumptions. I think that this is a mistake. All that is needed is a readiness to learn from one's partner in the discussion, which includes a genuine wish to understand what he intends to say. If this readiness is there, the discussion will be the more fruitful the more the partner's backgrounds differ.
CRIMINAL: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.
Earlier fundamental work of Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Whorf, etc., as well as my own attempt to use this earlier thinking as an epistemological base for psychiatric theory, led to a series of generalizations: That human verbal communication can operate and always does operate at many contrasting levels of abstraction. These range in two directions from the seemingly simple denotative level (“The cat is on the mat”). One range or set of these more abstract levels includes those explicit or implicit messages where the subject of discourse is the language. We will call these metalinguistic (for example, “The verbal sound ‘cat’ stands for any member of such and such class of objects”, or “The word, ‘cat’ has no fur and cannot scratch”). The other set of levels of abstraction we will call metacommunicative (e. g., “My telling you where to ?nd the cat was friendly”, or “This is play”). In these, the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers. It will be noted that the vast majority of both metalinguistic and metacommunicative messages remain implicit; and also that, especially in the psychiatric interview, there occurs a further class of implicit messages about how metacommunicative messages of friendship and hostility are to be interpreted.
The more you have invested in your religion, the more you will be motivated to protect that investment.
The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure." 
If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone.
The object of education ought not to be to make all men think alike, but to make each think in the way which is the fullest expression of his own.
The method of authority will always govern the mass of mankind; and those who wield the various forms of organized force in the state will never be convinced that dangerous reasoning ought not to be suppressed in some way.
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
Man is the only animal that is to be dreaded.
We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
Do illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?
All our behaviours are a result of neurophysiological activity in the brain. There is no reason to believe there is any magic going on.
AMBASSADOR: An honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country.
We have been trained to think of patterns, with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense. In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it as primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose.
An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens. 
Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
If you don't like being alone, you may not like the person you're with.
There is a growing movement called Humanism, which promotes a non-supernatural basis for meaning and ethics: good without God.
Convince me, but without convictions. Convictions no longer convince me.
Words, I will argue, are the best example of memes, culturally transmitted items that evolve by differential replication—that is, by natural selection.
I am free and that is why I am lost.
È meglio fallire nell'originalità che avere successo nell'imitazione.
Disagreement is something normal.
POLITICS: War Without Bloodshed.
As words are not the things we speak about, and structure is the only link between them, structure becomes the only content of knowledge. If we gamble on verbal structures that have no observable empirical structures, such gambling can never give us any structural information about the world. Therefore such verbal structures are structurally obsolete, and if we believe in them, they induce delusions or other semantic disturbances.
2468 Zitate