The young are still the enemies of uniformity, and the Internet, as it extends its reach into all the nooks and crannies of our days, is looking more and more like an enormous conduit of conventionality. What are Facebook and Google but giant institutions, arms of the new establishment? What are smartphones if not high-tech leashes? Some kind of rebellion seems in order. — Nick Carr, Get on my lawn, kids, June 02, 2011
There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of. And this is why love is such an existential threat to the techno-consumerist order: it exposes the lie. — Johathan Franzen, Liking Is for Cowards, New York Times, June 29, 2011
The core function of memory is to imagine the future. Memory is not designed to perfectly replay past events; it is to flexibly construct future scenarios. — Tali Sharot, The Optimism Bias, Time, June 6, 2011
A project is sustainable if it is cheap enough to be the first of a series continuing indefinitely into the future. A project is unsustainable if it is so expensive that it cannot be repeated without major political battles. A sustainable project marks the beginning of a new era. An unsustainable project marks the end of an old era. –Freeman Dyson, The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet, p34
I am only me for practical purposes. — Julian Baggini, The Ego Trick, New Scientist, March 12, 2011
News has to be subsidized because society’s truth-tellers can’t be supported by what their work would fetch on the open market… Markets supply less reporting than democracies demand. — Clay Shirky, Why We Need the New News Environment to be Chaotic, July 9, 2011.
I’d always been a closet lame person. I think I became cooler when I stopped trying to be cool. — Amanda Hocking, Storyseller, NYT, June 19, 2011
It is said that we are all three different people: the person we think we are (the one we have invented), the person other people think we are (the impression we make) and the person we think other people think we are (the one we fret about). — Stephen Bayley, The Gentle Art of Selling Yourself, March 4, 2007
In attempting to construct such machines we should not be irreverently usurping His power of creating souls, any more than we are in the procreation of children. Rather we are, in either case, instruments of His will providing mansions for the souls that He creates. — Alan Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, 1950, p. 444.
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. — Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegone Days, (1985), p. 337
Is it a fact – or have I dreamt it – that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! – Nathanial Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables. Chapter 17.
I’m an inventor, and I started looking at long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it was finished, not the world in which it started. – Ray Kurzweil, BrainMail, September 2007
In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates. — Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces, 1967
[Image from the Cartoon Bank]