Today’s Quote

“Playing pool with Korean officials one evening in the Koryo Hotel, which has become the nightspot for foreign businessmen and an increasing number of diplomats (to say nothing of the burgeoning number of spies and journalists traveling under second identities), I was handed that day’s edition of the Pyongyang Times. At first glance it seemed too laughable for words: endless pictures of the ‘Dear Leader’—Little Boy’s exalted title—as he was garlanded by adoring schoolchildren and heroic tractor drivers. Yet even in these turgid pages there were nuggets: a telegram congratulating the winner of the Serbian elections; a candid reference to the ‘hardship period’ through which the country had been passing; an assurance that a certain nuclear power plant would be closed as part of a deal with Washington. Tiny cracks, to be sure. But a complete and rigid edifice cannot afford fissures, however small. There appear to be no hookers, as yet, in Pyongyang. Yet if casinos come, can working girls be far behind? One perhaps ought not to wish for hookers, but there are circumstances when corruption is the only hope.”

Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Today’s Quote

“Primitive man, living in communities of restricted extent, providing for his needs by his own production or by direct co-operation, limiting his spiritual interests to personal experience or to simple tradition, surveys and controls the material of his existence more easily and completely than the man of higher culture. In the latter case life rests upon a thousand presuppositions which the individual can never trace back to their origins, and verify; but which he must accept upon faith and belief. In a much wider degree than people are accustomed to realize, modern civilized life—from the economic system which is constantly becoming more and more a credit-economy, to the pursuit of science, in which the majority of investigators must use countless results obtained by others, and not directly subject to verification—depends upon faith in the honor of others. We rest our most serious decisions upon a complicated system of conceptions, the majority of which presuppose confidence that we have not been deceived. Hence prevarication in modern circumstances becomes something much more devastating, something placing the foundations of life much more in jeopardy, than was earlier the case.”

Georg Simmel, The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies

Today’s Quote

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

Today’s Quote

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson