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Governed By Probabilities
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:49 am EST, Nov  9, 2011

Worf:

There is the theory of the Mobius ... a twist in the fabric of space, where time becomes a loop ...

Ben Hammersley:

The freeing of public data over the past ten years has been driven by geeks, it's true, but their arguments were merely foreshadowing a general shift in the mindset of the population at large.

The you-show-me-yours-I'm-already-showing-you-mine deal is the next big movement. Nevermind government league tables: we want everything.

We expect everything. And we expect it on our own terms.

David Remnick:

Ten years after the attacks, we are still faced with questions about ourselves -- questions about the balance of liberty and security, about the urge to make common cause with liberation movements abroad, and about the countervailing limits. Only absolutists answer these questions absolutely.

Paul Ford:

Why so many people in real estate? Because ... locked away inside the brick walls and ballustrades there is a trillion dollars ... And when a number has that many zeros, people look to fill them.

We too wanted our cut, our large box of air and our sunset, and the comfort of 30 years of obligation to a huge and terrible bank. To fill in the zeros for ourselves. So it was with glad hearts that one afternoon at a strange legal office deep in Brooklyn, in a windowless room at the back, we pushed checks across a table. They handed us the keys, and then everyone -- including my wife and I -- went home.

Katharine Mieszkowski:

Geeks talking amongst themselves on Usenet about how Usenet should best be run, while having fun with homonyms: Almost 20 years later, has anything really changed?

Lapham's Quarterly:

Thirty to sixty million -- the estimate of buffalo in the United States in the early 1800s. 1,200 -- the estimate some ninety years later.

100 years of East London style in 100 seconds.

Adam Gopnik:

If you and I had the self-discipline to plan our meals and lay out our ingredients thoughtfully, we could soon be making electric eel powder with goat-brain gels for our children.

Antony Davies, an economist at Duquesne University:

Young people are inexperienced at being old. A 22-year-old will perceive 20 years as an eternity. To ask this person to save for retirement is like asking the person to give his money to someone else: he cannot picture himself as a retiree.

Brian Greene:

When it comes to the universe, what you see is not what you get.

It's absolutely thrilling to learn that time for me is not the same as time for you; that out there in space, time is elapsing at a different rate near the edge of a black hole; that in the depths of space, there is unavoidable, ferocious quantum activity; that the world is governed by probabilities, not certainty; and then there's entanglement, the idea that what you do over here can have a direct effect on something over there. Wow!

Anthony Grafton:

The Collegiate Learning Assessment reveals that some 45 percent of students in the sample had made effectively no progress in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing in their first two years.

Our great, democratic university system has become a pillar of social stability -- a broken community many of whose members drift through, learning little, only to return to the economic and social box that they were born into.

Dean B. Peterson, lamenting the effectiveness of the wolf-watchers weight loss program:

They spend so much time looking around, they don't have time to eat.

Penelope Trunk:

Stop talking about time like you need to save it. You just need to use it better.



 
 
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