The Victorians had many names for depression, and Charles Darwin used them all.
His pain may actually have accelerated the pace of his research, allowing him to withdraw from the world and concentrate entirely on his work.
Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
Work is the only thing which makes life endurable to me.
It's certainly possible to get by in life without dedication. The craftsman represents the special human condition of being engaged.
Perhaps the most powerful way in which we conspire against ourselves is the simple fact that we have jobs.
Paranoia about the conspiracy is always justified. It's just usually misplaced.
The aim of the conspiracy is to convince us that it's all in our heads, or, specifically, in our brains -- that our unhappiness is a chemical problem, not an existential one.
Happiness exists just around the corner, it's just a matter of figuring out how to get there.
David Foster Wallace:
It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out.
You can't be happy all the time, but you can pretty much focus all the time. That's about as good as it gets.
In my twenties, I was prone to anxiety and depression, which I experienced as a depletion of my interiority, a vacuum of thought and language. I went to the mountain to replenish my mind, to reboot its language apparatus. My reclusion worried my parents, and my friends thought I was crazy. But I loved the silence cushioning me while I read. At night, the only sounds came from the bells of roaming cattle and the branches scratching the roof. Excited birds would bid me a good early morning, and I would start reading as soon as I opened my eyes. The controllable austerity healed whatever hurt I had carried up the mountain.
Maybe Darwin was right. We suffer -- we suffer terribly -- but we don't suffer in vain.
On John McCain:
In all his speeches, John McCain urges Americans to make sacrifices for a country that is both "an idea and a cause".
He is not asking them to suffer anything he would not suffer himself.
But many voters would rather not suffer at all.
If you're at the cutting edge, then you're going to bleed.
Someone once accused Craig Venter of playing God.
His reply was, "We're not playing."