„Action limits us; whereas in the state of contemplation we are endlessly expansive. Will localizes us; thought universalizes us.“

—  Henri Fréderic Amiel, Context: Action limits us; whereas in the state of contemplation we are endlessly expansive. Will localizes us; thought universalizes us. My soul wavers between half a dozen antagonistic general conceptions, because it is responsive to all the great instincts of human nature, and its aspiration is to the absolute, which is only to be reached through a succession of contraries. It has taken me a great deal of time to understand myself, and I frequently find myself beginning over again the study of the oft-solved problem, so difficult is it for us to maintain any fixed point within us. I love everything, and detest one thing only — the hopeless imprisonment of my being within a single arbitrary form, even were it chosen by myself. Liberty for the inner man is then the strongest of my passions — perhaps my only passion. Is such a passion lawful? It has been my habit to think so, but intermittently, by fits and starts. I am not perfectly sure of it. 8 March 1868 The will localizes us, thought universalizes us. My soul wavers between two, four, six general and contradictory conceptions, for it obeys all the great instincts of human nature, and aspires to the absolute, which can only be realized by a succession of contraries. As translated in The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel (1935), p. 238
Henri Fréderic Amiel Foto
Henri Fréderic Amiel2
Schweizer Schriftsteller und Philosoph 1821 - 1881
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„We need to move forward and beyond the point where we endlessly pursue the demons bequeathed us by our history.“

—  Joni Madraiwiwi Fijian politician 1957 - 2016
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„There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying, dissipating universe, that we can help our children avoid by providing them with “explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly.”“

—  Madeleine L'Engle American writer 1918 - 2007
Context: Because of the very nature of the world as it is today our children receive in school a heavy load of scientific and analytic subjects, so it is in their reading for fun, for pleasure, that they must be guided into creativity. There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying, dissipating universe, that we can help our children avoid by providing them with “explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly.” So how do we do it? We can’t just sit down at our typewriters an turn out explosive material. I took a course in college on Chaucer, one of the most explosive, imaginative, and far-reaching in influence of all writers. And I’ll never forget going to the final exam and being asked why Chaucer used certain verbal devices, certain adjectives, why he had certain characters behave in certain ways. And I wrote in a white heat of fury, “I don’t think Chaucer had any idea why he did any of these thing. That isn’t the way people write.” I believe this as strongly now as I did then. Most of what is best in writing isn’t done deliberately.

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„Whatever limits us we call Fate.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882
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„I will say the word: To hell with the fair uses. What about the unregulated uses we had of culture before this massive expansion of control?“

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Context: Here's a simple copyright lesson: Law regulates copies. What's that mean? Well, before the Internet, think of this as a world of all possible uses of a copyrighted work. Most of them are unregulated. Talking about fair use, this is not fair use; this is unregulated use. To read is not a fair use; it's an unregulated use. To give it to someone is not a fair use; it's unregulated. To sell it, to sleep on top of it, to do any of these things with this text is unregulated. Now, in the center of this unregulated use, there is a small bit of stuff regulated by the copyright law; for example, publishing the book — that's regulated. And then within this small range of things regulated by copyright law, there's this tiny band before the Internet of stuff we call fair use: Uses that otherwise would be regulated but that the law says you can engage in without the permission of anybody else. For example, quoting a text in another text — that's a copy, but it's a still fair use. That means the world was divided into three camps, not two: Unregulated uses, regulated uses that were fair use, and the quintessential copyright world. Three categories. Enter the Internet. Every act is a copy, which means all of these unregulated uses disappear. Presumptively, everything you do on your machine on the network is a regulated use. And now it forces us into this tiny little category of arguing about, "What about the fair uses? What about the fair uses?" I will say the word: To hell with the fair uses. What about the unregulated uses we had of culture before this massive expansion of control?

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„This is precisely the same construction used by many serial killers and heads of state, who use language to separate themselves from the consequences of their actions.“

—  Roger Ebert American film critic, author, journalist, and TV presenter 1942 - 2013
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„We are the walking lowest rung, and all that stands between us and beast, between us and the local zoo, is respect, the respect you take as natural as sugar and shit.“

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