Category Archives: Quotations

Compassion

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.
—Albert Einstein

The Googleplex

Nicholas Carr’s  book The Shallows quotes George Dyson (author of Darwin among the Machines), who was invited to give a talk at the Googleplex – Google’s corporate headquarters.  George Dyson found the experience troubling.  It made him recall a remark made by a perceptive friend who had visited the Googleplex.  Said Dyson’s friend:  “I thought the coziness to be almost overwhelming.  Happy Golden Retrievers running in slow motion through water sprinklers on the lawn.  People waving and smiling, toys everywhere.  I immediately suspected that unimaginable evil was happening somewhere in the dark corners.  If the devil would come to earth, what place would be better to hide?”

9-11-10

Nine-Eleven is observed again today, this time with as much or more politics and contention as ever  before.  It’s regarded by so many as such a defining moment in U.S. history that it’s hardly possible to be unaware of the date.  It IS possible to welcome a reminder that this day is a part of the human world,  not apart from it. 

I have a perpetual calendar with a quote for every day of the year.  I’ve kept  it since the 1990’s, because I like most of the the quotes (and have  replaced the few I don’t like.)  For September 11, the calendar’s quote is this:

“What is Love?  I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love.  His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed though his shoes and the stars through his soul.” – Victor Hugo.