A few Good Men
I was flying from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur when I read this book. The hour was late and it was a moonless, cloudless night. The stars were shining brighter than I had ever seen them before. The setting made the book even more memorable.
So many of the giants who helped shape our present were such normal, flawed individuals. It was their unwavering devotion to a particular cause that allowed them to come up with breakthroughs. Devotion is not the domain of only the exceptional or the gifted. Devotion can be practised by anyone.
We have come a very long way from those dark days. However, we have also forgotten the lessons we learnt from that hopeless ignorance. Dogma and stupidity can never be any substitute for pure, hard science. Science is what brought us here from that murky past. Science is the way.
“I ignore polling as a method of government. I think that shows a certain weakness of mind - an inability to chart a course whichever way the wind blows, whichever way the media encourages the people to go, you follow. If you can’t force or are unwilling to force your people to follow you, with or without threats, you are not a leader.”
— Lee Kuan Yew
“She has known the innocence and insouciance of childhood, the passion and abandon of youth, and the ripe wisdom of maturity that comes from long experience of pain and pleasure; and over and over again she has renewed her childhood and youth and age.”
— Jawaharlal Nehru
“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien
“You are born with a particular makeup and tendencies that mark you as a piece of fate. It is who you are to the core. Some people never become who they are; they stop trusting in themselves; they conform to the tastes of others, and they end up wearing a mask that hides their true nature. If you allow yourself to learn who you really are by paying attention to that voice and force within you, then you can become what you were fated to become—an individual, a Master.”
— Robert Greene
“In your life, there are going to be constant demands for your time and attention. How are you going to decide which of those demands gets resources? The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward. That’s a dangerous way to build a strategy.”
— Clayton M. Christensen
“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual.
So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
— Carl Sagan
“The truth is, the Establishment is on the side of the big battalions, because it created and armed them in the first place.
It never seems to occur to the millions of readers of that garbage that maybe God, if there is one, has something to do with truth, justice, and compassion rather than sheer brute force, and that truth and justice might possibly be on the side of the little platoons.
Not that it matters. The big battalions always win, and the ‘serious’ press always approves, and the grazers always believe it.”
— Cat Shannon
“The ancient Sanskrit legends speak of a destined love, a karmic connection between souls that are fated to meet and collide and enrapture one another.
The legends say that the loved one is instantly recognized because she’s loved in every gesture, every expression of thought, every movement, every sound, and every mood that prays in her eyes.
The legends say that we know her by her wings—the wings that only we can see—and because wanting her kills every other desire of love.”
“In the most abstract fields—music, mathematics, physics, even chess—the young thrive. Child prodigies are not quite common, but they turn up regularly. Perhaps it makes sense that if a Mozart or a Bobby Fischer were to appear anywhere, it would be in a self-contained field that does not require insight into the quirks of human psychology. We are unlikely ever to meet a twelve-year-old Tolstoy.”
— Edward Dolnick
“Behind everything is the idea that Riverdale is a place that is welcoming to anyone. The goal has always been to be a place of comfort to our readers, especially for our youngest readers.
Nothing terrible or violent happens in Riverdale: You have to keep that out of our town. Kids today go through metal detectors at their schools, there are police officers in the hallways, the drugs, the gangs. By design, Archie lives in a world the way we might like it to be.”
— Victor Gorelick
“I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”
“‘I am so blest, Trotwood - my heart is so overcharged -
but there is one thing I must say.’
She laid her gentle hands upon my shoulders, and looked
calmly in my face.
‘Do you know, yet, what it is?’
‘I am afraid to speculate on what it is. Tell me, my dear.’
‘I have loved you all my life!’”
— David & Agnes
“Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some of us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves.”
— Vittoria Vetra
“How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June... If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that-for that-I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!”
— Dorian Gray