A Million to One
36,000 land acres
200 bushels of grain per person per year, production decreasing
Imagine you represent a million people and are one of six thousand who must decide how to create a global village on thirty-six thousand acres and one millionth share of the earths resources. Once you establish an economic, social, and political plan, you will be randomly assigned a role and status in the villiage.
The Master replied: "...What you do not want done to yourself,
do not do unto others.
Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain:
this is the sum of duty.
You gotta get it done.
Every fool can make a rule and every fool will mind it.
-----Henry David Thoreau
Those who build fences always fence out more than they fence in.
If you desire to help thy friend,
do so in a way that will not bring
thy friends burdens upon thyself.
What a tangled web we weave
when first we practice to deceive.
Education is the art of creating character.
...In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.
He has no right to be a father if he cannot fulfill a fathers
Poverty, pressure of business, mistaken social prejudices,
none of these can excuse a man from his duty,
which is to support and educate his own children.
A thing is worth whatever a buyer will pay for it.
-----Publilius Syrus, First Century B.C.
Simplicity is the last step of art, and the beginning of nature.
The Individual and Purpose
Whether or not a choice is made according to self interest,
it is an individual who makes the choice.
-----Alchian and Allen
If you wont compete with me,
I will dominate you.
-----Michael Jordan on basketball
At present we know that the imagination, like certain wild animals,
will not breed in captivity.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt
until they are too strong to be broken.
Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you...
explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean
of ones being alone.
Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense;
and he can only build bridges to other islands
if he is first of all willing to be himself,
and permitted to be himself.
-----Carl R. Rogers
You have to look at yourself in the mirror
and then visualize what you can be.
Every year I make a plan. I do it. It will be done.
Purpose is but a slave to memory,
of violent birth, but poor validity,
Which new, the fruit unripe, sticks in the tree
but fall unshaken when they mellow be.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful
about what we pretend to be.
Language and Learning
Now where do we get the notion that "right" and
"wrong" are absolutes?
It seems to me that this arises in the early grades,
when children who know very little are taught
by teachers who know very little more.
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
-----George Orwell from 1984
Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless,
and add what is specifically your own.
Never overlook the opportunity to keep your mouth shut.
Behavior is determined by its consequences.
I had taught myself
that a human being might as well look for diamond tiaras in the gutter
as for rewards and punishments that were fair.
-----Kurt Vonnegut from Mother Night
Learning this, discerning that,
if one cannot express the difference between the quick and the dead,
one should not paint.
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 fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
When we are out in the rain getting wet,
every one else is taking the day off.
Almost all living things act to free themselves from harmful contacts.
Just because something is always done one way
is no reason to keep doing it that way.
Be like water making its way through cracks.
Do not be assertive, but adjust ourselves to the object.
We shall find the way around or through it.
The softer the substance is, the narrower the crack
through which it can pass.
Saying what we think gives a wider range of conversation
than saying what we know.
...for a man is rich in proportion to the number of things
which he can afford to let alone [silence is golden].
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
It is better to light a candle
than to curse the darkness.
The proletariat worker experiences a powerlessness in society
due to the process and alienation of work.
Money is the only commodity that is good for nothing
but to be gotten rid of.
It will not feed you, clothe you, shelter you, or amuse you
unless you spend it or invest it.
It imparts value only in parting.
-----Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.
When those who are governed do too little,
those who govern can--and often will--do too much.
Like its politicians and its wars,
society has the teenagers it deserves.
Death and Dying
The more complete ones life is,
the more ones creative capacities are fulfilled, the less one fears death.
People are not afraid of death per se,
but of the incompleteness of their lives.
-----Lisa Marburg Goodman
The only thing in this life you really regret
are the risks you didnt take.
And God knows if you see a chance to be happy,
grab for it with both hands and the hell with the consequences.
-----Jack Lemon in "Grumpy Old Men"
For thou shalt sleep, and never wake again,
and, quitting life, shalt quit thy living pain.
But we, thy friends, shall all those sorrows find,
which in forgetful death thou leavst behind;
no time shall dry our tears,
nor drive thee from our mind.
The worst that can befall thee, measured right,
Is a sound slumber, and a long good-night.
Nor dread nor hope attend a dying animal;
a man awaits his end, dreading and hoping all.
-----William Butler Yeats
So when our mortal frame shall be disjoind,
the lifeless lump uncoupled from the mind,
from sense of grief and pain we shall be free;
we shall not feel, because we shall not be.
The Problem of Good and Evil
Where is the evil?
Its that large part of man that wants to hate without limit,
that wants to hate with God on its side.
Its that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive.
Its that part of an imbecile
that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly.
Vocabulary and phrases from Amabile and Tighe on Creative Thinking
Heisenberg uncertainty principle
history of inquiry
observable products and responses
completely random product of nature
novelty of response, appropriateness of response, open-endedness of task
aesthetic objects to admire
creativity is a discontinuous quality
parsimony suggests a continuity in creative thought and work
Creativity can and should be studied at all its levels in any domain.
garden variety and ground breaking
horse on a treadmill
domain relevant skills
creativity relevant skills
primarily for its own sake
People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself.
The revlevant skills of creativity are: flexibility in problem definition, reconceptualizing existing problems in new ways, information processing heuristics; intellectual independance, wide or global categorization of information, risk taking; tolerance of ambiguity, perseverance, openness to change, risk taking, and individuality.