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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

An Unfamiliar Entree
Topic: Philosophy 7:11 am EST, Jan 29, 2013

T.S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Michael Finkel:

Moving is what nomads do.

Ariana Kelly:

As phone companies systematically remove pay phones, Amish and Mennonite communities have been building, or rebuilding, their own. Referred to as "phone shanties" and hidden in the woods, behind barns and chicken coops, these "community phones" are intended to isolate contact with the external world and lessen the potential for such contact to divert people's attention from faith, family, and community.

Wade Davis:

Cultures do not exist in some absolute sense; each is but a model of reality, the consequence of one particular set of intellectual and spiritual choices made, however successfully, many generations before.

A lama once remarked that Tibetans do not believe that Americans went to the moon, but they did. Americans may not believe, he added, that Tibetans can achieve enlightenment in one lifetime, but they do.

Paul Saffo:

Some years back, the five year-old daughter of a venture capitalist friend announced upon encountering an unfamiliar entree at the family table, "It's new and I don't like it." That became her motto all through primary school, and for all I know, it still is today.

Stephen Colbert:

Fear is like a drug. A little bit isn't that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What's evil is the purposeful distribution of fear. As Paul said when he was faced with the gom jabbar, "Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration."

Robert Frost:

He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree-hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder-broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter-love, original response.

Career Advice
Topic: Business 9:04 pm EST, Jan  8, 2013

Moxie Marlinspike:

Jobs at software companies are typically advertised in terms of the difficult problems that need solving, the impact the project will have, the benefits the company provides, the playful color of the bean bag chairs. Likewise, jobs in other fields have their own set of metrics that they use to position themselves within their domains.

As a young person, though, I think the best thing you can do is to ignore all of that and simply observe the older people working there.

They are the future you. Do not think that you will be substantially different. Look carefully at how they spend their time at work and outside of work, because this is also almost certainly how your life will look. It sounds obvious, but it's amazing how often young people imagine a different projection for themselves.

Look at the real people, and you'll see the honest future for yourself.

Attributed to Abraham Lincoln:

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Two from Colin Powell:

Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.

From Rumsfeld's Rules:

It is easier to get into something than to get out of it.

Career Advice

For Sale
Topic: Arts 3:53 pm EST, Nov 24, 2012

Barbara Kruger op-art in Friday's NYT.

Barbara Kruger is an artist who works with pictures and words.

Previously, on MemeStreams:

Usually declarative or accusatory in tone, these phrases posit an opposition between the pronouns "you" and "we," which satirically refer to "men" and "women." These humorous works suspend the viewer between the fascination of the image and the indictment of the text while reminding us that language and its use within culture to construct and maintina proverbs, jobs, jokes, myths, and history reinforce the interests and perspective of those who control it.

For Sale

Just One Click
Topic: Politics and Law 1:02 pm EST, Nov 21, 2012

Harry Reid:

Cybersecurity is dead for this Congress.

Natasha Singer:

Soon there may be no personal spaces left for our private thoughts.

Jeremiah Grossman:

If people knew just how much of their personal information they unwittingly make available to each and every Web site they visit -- even sites they've never been to before -- they would be disturbed. If they give that Web site just one click of the mouse, out goes even more personally identifiable data, including full name and address, hometown, school, marital status, list of friends, photos, other Web sites they are logged in to, and in some cases, their browser's auto-complete data and history of other sites they have visited.

Ministry's next single?

Just one click

Like if I boarded a train
Trying to take in another station
Join us and the choice will be made
Unless we kill the lie as a nation

Just one click

Stephen Colbert:

You have to be vigilant to stay ignorant.

Gillian Orr, on David McRaney's new book:

The brain is very invested in taking chaos and turning it into order.

The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information that confirmed what you believed, while ignoring information that challenged your preconceived notions.

Andrew Piper:

It turns out that not paying attention is one of the best ways of discovering new ideas.

How Modern Politics Works
Topic: Politics and Law 10:02 am EST, Nov 20, 2012

Dr. David Scheiner, who was once Obama's doctor:

Obama invited his barber to his inauguration -- his barber! But I wasn't invited. Believe me, that hurt.

Mary Beard, on Boris Johnson:

He was particularly taken with the suggestion that a politician was well advised to lie his way into popular favor, or at least that he should promise more than he could deliver. "After all," as Philip Freeman translates it in his new version of [Quintus Cicero's "How to Win an Election"], "if a politician made only promises he was sure he could keep, he wouldn't have many friends." "Exactly," said Boris. "That is just how modern politics works."

David Hockney:

Can governments maintain control when they know the street has a new power which they are forced to accept? It might look like chaos, but new forms of representation will arise. Could they be better?

Paul Volcker:

We look upon ourselves, with some justice, as a great country, the strongest and richest in a changing and troubled world, a place of stability and leadership. But now our country is mired in debt. It is dependent on large continuing flows of capital from abroad, without much savings of its own and with slow growth and household income flat. Those are not characteristics of a country willing and able to prolong its global leadership.

It is widely known that the constitutional process for nominating and confirming the federal government's senior policy officials has become dangerously distorted, inhibiting the prompt and effective leadership and management of any new administration.

The delays and risks for an able and well-respected man or woman willing to take up the gauntlet of public service are daunting. These days too many of the highly competent and willing, even those eager to make a contribution, simply refuse to be considered or to wait out the process.

Robert C. Pozen:

Instead of counting the hours you work, judge your success by the results you produce.

Narratives: The American, The General, The Negative, The Predominant, The Persistent, The Fundamental, The Betrayal
Topic: Society 12:07 am EST, Nov 18, 2012

Decius's Lessons from the CDA battle:

Politics costs money.

Politicians care about votes, money, and the general narrative.

Civil liberties really matter, and nobody cares.

Ted Cruz, now the senator-elect from Texas:

I think every case in litigation and every argument in politics is about the fundamental narrative. If you can frame the narrative, you win. As Sun Tzu said, every battle is won before it is fought. And it is won by choosing the field of terrain on which the fight will be engaged.

Jonathan Rauch:

We can assume that if the Iraq War ends badly, some Republican hard-liners, amplified by conservative talk radio, will accuse the Democrats of perfidy. The question is: Will the betrayal narrative find traction with the broader American public?

A message from Quark Lynch Goldwatch & Crassfield:

We can help you develop negative narratives that will undermine the credibility of people who express political opinions that you disagree with.

Montgomery McFate:

Insurgency runs in families and social networks, held together by persistent cultural narratives.


The American narrative centers around Boston with its religious pilgrims and revolutionaries, but there is certainly something alluring about the south of the 1600s, with its walled cities, forts, artillery, sailing ships, pirates, sand, sun, and palm trees.

Slavoj Žižek, from 2008:

The danger is thus that the predominant narrative of the meltdown won't be the one that awakes us from a dream, but the one that will enable us to continue to dream.

In On The Game
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:19 pm EST, Nov 15, 2012

Colin Powell:

Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

Donald Rumsfeld:

Don’'t divide the world into "them" and "us."

Tyler Cohen:

People tend to think that they have justice on their side, whether it comes to making or taking.

For example, millions of homeowners have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the premise that the tax deduction for mortgages will be continued.

It becomes difficult for a politician to articulate exactly what is wrong with this arrangement when the audience itself is in on the game and perhaps does not want to hear about its own takings.

Dave Itzkoff:

As a chauffeured town car drove him to a favorite waffle restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, RZA said he was no longer the grandstanding show-off he presented in his musical heyday.

Jacques Barzun:

When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent.

Elizabeth Bernstein:

It is best not to forgive too soon.

Restaurant Review - Guy’s American Kitchen
Topic: Food 9:21 pm EST, Nov 15, 2012

Pete Wells:

GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Did it live up to your expectations?

When you saw the burger described as "Guy's Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche," did your mind touch the void for a minute?

When we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?

Susan Orlean:

As far as I could tell, the donkey was alone; there was no one in front of him or beside him, no one behind. I wondered if he was lost, or had broken away from his handler, so I asked the porter, who looked at me with surprise. The donkey wasn't lost, the man said. He was probably done with work and on his way home.

A tip from Rory Stewart:

If you're taking your donkey to high altitudes, slice open its nostrils to allow greater oxygen flow.

Restaurant Review - Guy’s American Kitchen

Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:55 pm EDT, Oct 25, 2012

The fuller version of Urban Outlaw debuted at the Raindance Film Festival in London, and is now available to watch from the comfort of your own computer. Sit back, grab your Porsche hat, dim the lights and enjoy the complete story by scrolling down below.

Watch the entire 30-minute Urban Outlaw documentary

Time Keeps On Ticking
Topic: Health and Wellness 3:39 am EDT, Oct 19, 2012

Gretchen Reynolds:

Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer's life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes.

Caleb Crain:

In August, scientists at the University of Washington revealed that babies aged between eight and sixteen months know on average six to eight fewer words for every hour of baby DVDs and videos they watch daily.

Penelope Trunk:

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

Cormac McCarthy:

Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

Mason, Waters, Wright, and Gilmour:

And you run and run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Time Keeps On Ticking

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