Wanna be filled with love?

Give yourself permission to not compete.

He was bad enough to desire a woman who wasn’t his wife, but he was also bad at being bad.


He should have borne it stoically, but on his bad days he was unable not to do things he would later regret. It was almost as if he did them because he would later regret them. Writhing with retrospective shame, abusing himself in solitude, was how he found his way back to God’s mercy.


What would it be like to live with a person capable of joy?


public display of emotion purchased overwhelming approval.


Becky took it as a reminder that her mother was better than her at writing, she herself better at nothing her mother valued.


Simply by trying to speak honestly, surrendering to emotion, supporting other people in their honesty and emotion, she experienced her first glimmering of spirituality.


the risk in risk-taking was stabbing pain


It was a mistake to say that. I don’t even know if it’s true. It’s like there are these words, they’re out there in the world, and you start wondering what it would be like to say them. Words have their own power – they create the feeling, just by the fact of your saying them. I’m so sorry I tried to make you say them. I love that you were honest with me. I love – oh, shit.” She slumped, crying again. “I am in love with you.” (more…)

He was someone who did things, who got things done. Life belonged to people like that.


A physician can only cure diseases meant to be cured; the Buddha can only save those meant to be saved.


If the future wished to pass judgment on our struggles, then at least it was now possible to send someone to the future to explain the misunderstandings brought about by the passage of time.


Yuor intuition is unreliable in space. If you must act on intuition, count from one to one hundred first. At least count from one to ten.


The body, when given an opportunity to make up for an absence, may do so excessively, and recover to the point where it has more of that quality than those who had never suffered such inadequacy.


But at some point, humanity began to develop the illusion that they’re entitled to life, that life can be taken for granted. This is the fundamental reason for your defeat. The fall of evolution will be raised once again on this world, and you will now fight for your survival.


Tianminq’s stories had now acquired a status akin to the Bible. Without realizing it, people were no longer searching for real strategic intelligence, but reassurance that they were already on the right course.


Not long ago on Pluto, Cheng XIn had experienced one of the most relaxed moments of her life. Indeed, it was easy to face the end of the world: All responsibilities were gone, as were all worries and anxieties. Life was as simple and pure as the moment when on first emerged from the mother’s womb. Cheng Xin just had to wait in peace for her poetic, artistic end, for her moment to join the giant painting of the Solar System.


Humanity chose you, which meant they chose to treat life and everything else with love, even if they had to pay a great price. You fulfilled the wish of the world, carried out their values, and executed their choice. You really didn’t do anything wrong.


The Solar System human spilled their last drop of blood to stay with their land – well, save for two drops: you and AA. But what was the point? They didn’t last, and neither did their land. Hundreds of millions of years have passed in the great universe, and do you think anyone remembers them? This obsession with home and land, this permanent adolescence where you’re no longer children but are afraid to leave home – this is the fundamental reason your race was annihilated.


 

For the majority of people, what they love exists only in the imagination. The object of their love is not the ma or woman of reality, but what he or she is like in their imagination. The person in reality is just a template used for the creation of this dream lover. Eventually, they find out the differences between their dream lover and the template. If they can get used to those differences, they can be together. If not, they will split up. It’s as simple as that.


One of his key points was that the advantages of a large country were only truly advantageous in low-tech eras and would ultimately be weakened by the swift pace of tech progress.


No, you can’t say where it is! Once I know where I am, then the world becomes as narrow as a map. When I don’t know, the world feels unlimited.


It’s because someone who’s perfect in your mind isn’t necessarily perfect in the minds of others.


This is the biggest difference between you and me: I’m just someone who faithfully carries out orders. You, you’re someone who always has to ask why.


people who are sensitive to beauty are good by nature, and if they’re not good, then they can’t appreciate beauty.


Weapons? Money? No, no. What we need is far more precious. The organization doesn’t exist because of Seldon’s ambitious goals. You can’t get a sane, rational person to believe in and die for that. It exists because it possesses something, something that’s its air and blood, and without which the organization would wither away immediately.

What’s that?

Hatred. On one hand, thanks to our common enemy, our hatred of the West has faded. Ont he other, the human race that the Trisolarans want to wipe out includes the hated West, so to us, perishing together would be a joy. So we don’t hate the Trisolarans. You see, hatred is a treasure more precious than gold or diamonds, and a weapon keener than any in the world, but now it’s gone. It’s not yours to give back. SO the organization, like me, does not have long to live.


The layman always comes up with better names than the expert.


First, survival is the primary need of civilization. Second, civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter of the universe remains constant.

This teenage airhead in adult form wants to talk about her stepson’s generation’s devaluation of marriage with the earnestness of I’ve-just-got-to-say-something. Is there any consideration that perhaps she, a divorcee remarried to another divorcee, might not be the ideal candidate to hold court on such matters? Of course not. Remember, this is Regina George grown up. Did she at least have any theories, theories that surely cast herself as the bearer of wisdom the younger generation should hungrily consume? Actually, no. I spent the first six minutes of the conversation absorbing her punchline-free prattling, responding with, “Yea, but why don’t they value marriage?” and getting, “They just don’t” in return.

Growing tired of the dance and confident (always) that I could make this conversation more enjoyable for both parties, I began postulating answers to my question. Theses like the decline of religion and the rise of women were similarly met with shrugs. Opportunity cost, however, was received with the excitement of a child realizing his father’s guiding hand was no longer on the back of the bike. It was then I realized that her confusion about her stepson’s generation was not faux at all: she really didn’t know why they were the way they were, she really did want to know, and my premise that marriage has never been more costly allowed her a breakthrough that for so long had been out of her grasp.

It’s 1937. You grow up in a small Nebraskan town. You will die in a small Nebraskan town. The choices you’ll make in the intervening years will be necessarily limited by lack of options, irrespective of prosperity. You can be alone and bored as a bachelor or get married and be less alone and less bored. Even if you weren’t toiling on Maslov’s lower rungs (as our fictional Nebraskan is), you live in a society with fewer ways to express freedom – weekend jaunts to visit friends on the East Coast aren’t on the table because (a) you don’t have friends on the East Coast, and (b) there isn’t an airport infrastructure to accommodate this type of travel. Obviously, you get married.

(more…)

How often does it occur that information provided you on the morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve? … But most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action.


Prior to the age of telegraphy, the information-action ratio was sufficiently close so that most people had a sense of being able to control some of the contingencies in their lives. What people knew about had action-value. In the information world created by telegraphy, this sense of potency was lost, precisely because the whole world became the context for news. Everything became everyone’s business. For the first time, we were sent information which answered no question we had asked, and which, in any case, did not permit the right to reply.

We may say then that the contribution of the telgraph to public discourse was to dignify irrelevance and amplify impotence. But this was not all: Telegraphy also made public discourse essentially incoherent. It brought into being a world of broken time and broken attention. The principal strength of the telegraph was its capacity to move information, not collect it, explain it or analyze it.

The telegraph is suited only to flashing messages, each to be quickly replaced by a more up-to-date message. Facts push other facts into and then out of consciousness at speeds that neither permit nor require evaluation.

The telegraph introduced a kind of public conversation whose form had startling characteristics: Its language was the language of headline – sensational, fragmented, impersonal. News took the form of slogans, to be noted with excitement, to be forgotten with dispatch. Its language was also entirely discontinuous. One message had no connection to that which preceded or followed it.


But what I am claiming here is not that television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experience.

(more…)

of boredom, of quiet: don’t ever check your phone on an elevator.

Breaking the Law

Being able to do the right thing is the ultimate privilege. Or so Clinton told himself whenever the guilt was most acute. His peers didn’t have his problems, couldn’t even imagine his problems, and would never suspect Clinton of being anything other than the well-bred, blue-eyed law school student he so adroitly played. He was those things – handsome and, indeed, a second-year at University of Chicago – but the debts were too much for Clinton to ever remain any narrow set of things. His classmates, with their optimism and just figure it out attitudes, couldn’t grasp that certain mistakes can’t be undone. And that if you corner yourself as tightly as Clinton had, you can only pick from bad options.

That’s what Clinton was currently doing with his latest scheme that would surely fail. It was only a question of when. Because if you can ride a scheme for long enough, the bust is survivable. You move on. You become a different set of things.

Your father is a great American success story. Your mother perhaps even more so. Though you, the member of the next generation that you are, a generation that’s so exhaustingly hyper-aware, might quip back that their success is the product of some form of oppression and privilege and that, in fact, they would be more successful living more fulfilling lives if they were not in America but in some Scandinavian country. I’ll freely concede all of these points since you’re, what, a few weeks old, and I will not debase myself by arguing with a baby.

But in my concession, I can’t help but point out that even in your “correctness” you still have a choice to focus on the quip in the first place; just because an observation is accurate doesn’t make it worthy of attention. Yes, it’s important to be living in reality, to not be deluded. Yes, positive change can start with proper identification of a suboptimal order. And sure, you get to feel smarter than everyone else by always pointing out what they overlook. Here you are a few weeks into existence getting to look down at me. Must be nice.

(more…)

Do Cool Stuff

Somehow, someway I experience minimal material wanting or pressure. Oh sure, I’ll see a catchy advert and be momentarily tossed into a cycle of thinking how much better my life would be if I had, say, that freshest cell phone. But I’m good at catching myself and accepting that winning these mental battles is a necessary part of a modern existence bursting with advertising. It’s also bursting with nudges, big and small, conveying the message that my happiness is contingent on upping my neighbor purchase-wise. Again, I reject the proposal and experience zero jealousy as the girl-next-door piles up the latest and greatest.

But don’t see me as some moral hero totally divorced from the interpersonal competition; I’m simply competing on a different metric. I was in Milwaukee a few weeks ago at a nice dinner with some nice people. One of these people was regaling the crowd with tales of his adventures from three years in Shanghai. The more, more, more impulse flowed through me. He has done cooler stuff than me. I need to do some cooler stuff. Maybe I should move to Tokyo or Singapore.

I have very few goals in life. At the top of that short list is “Be Wise.” The high correlation coefficient (~.8) between age and wisdom can hide the fact that it’s experience, not time, “causing” wisdom. Thus, if one does not make wisdom-maximizing choices, he may well end up a sheltered 70-year-old bested by an unusually intrepid teenager.

(more…)