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74

“The man who restrains himself within the bounds set by nature will not notice poverty; the man who exceeds these bounds will be pursued by poverty however rich he is… it is the mind that creates our wealth.”

— Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life”

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Words of ‘learned length and thundering sound’ should be avoided on all possible occasions. They proclaim shallowness of intellect and vanity of mind.”

— Joseph Devlin, How to Speak and Write Correctly

“Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

“Percentages offer a fertile field for confusion. And like the ever-impressive decimal they can lend an aura of precision to the inexact.”

— Huff and Geis, How to Lie with Statistics

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73

“Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creatures endures. A fear of time running out.”

— Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

“One of these morally mis-aligning roles is that of minister or priest, the performer being obliged to symbolize the righteous life and live it more than is normal.”

— Erving Goffman, Stigma

“One of the trickiest ways to misrepresent statistical data is by means of a map. A map introduces a fine bag of variables in which facts can be concealed and relationships distorted.”

— Huff and Geis, How to Lie with Statistics

“When we brand things, our brains perceive them as more special and valuable than they actually are.”

— Martin Lindstrom, Buyology

“Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.”

— Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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72

“To stay in one’s room away from the place where the party is given, or away from where the practitioner attends his client, is to stay away from where reality is being performed. The world, in truth, is a wedding.”

— Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

“McLuhan told us that cars ‘extended’ the human feet, but he put it the wrong way. Cars replaced human feet.”

— Jerry Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television

“A more significant legacy of the telegraph and the photograph may be the pseudo-context. A pseudo-context is a structure invented to give fragmented and irrelevant information a seeming use.… The pseudo-context is the last refuge, so to say, of a culture overwhelmed by irrelevance, incoherence, and impotence.”

— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

“If he [Joseph Heller] skipped a day, he didn’t beat himself up.… Neither was he insecure about his pace of production. ‘I write very slowly, though if I write a page or two a day five days a week, that’s 300 pages a year and it does add up.”

— Mason Currey, Daily Rituals

“The reality of everyday life is taken for granted as reality. It does not require additional verification over and beyond its simple presence. It is simply there, as self-evident and compelling facticity. I know that it is real. While I am capable of engaging in doubt about its reality, I am obliged to suspend such doubt as I routinely exist in everyday life.”

— Berger and Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality

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71

“Necessarily but perhaps unfortunately, the Bible also explained how the world came into being in such literal detail that it could not accommodate new information produced by the telescope and subsequent technologies.”

— Neil Postman, Technopoly

“Modernity’s double punishment is to make us both age prematurely and live longer.”

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes

“In the past, even in Western Europe, men had worked to obtain the standard of living traditional to their place and class: the notion of acquiring money in order to move out of one’s class was in fact foreign to the earlier feudal and corporate ideology. When their living became easy, people did not go in for abstract acquisition: they worked less.”

— Lewis Mumford, Technics & Civilization

“Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.”

— James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

“Just as there is a relation between addition and multiplication or between subtraction and division, there is an instructive relation between addition and subtraction and between multiplication and division.”

— Lancelot Hogben, Mathematics for the Million

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70

“The having mode of existence, the attitude centered on property and profit, necessarily produces the desire—indeed the need—for power. To control other living human beings we need to use power to break their resistance. To maintain control over private property we need to use power to protect it from those who would take it from us because they, like us, can never have enough.”

— Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be?

“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.”

— Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life”

“The foreign country, like the celebrity, is the confirmation of a pseudo-event. Much of our interest comes from our curiosity about whether our impression resembles the images found in the newspapers, in movies, and on television.… We go not to test the image by the reality, but to test reality by the image.”

— Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image

“[Albert] Einstein brought us closer to the world outside, thrusting aside the barriers of the observer’s senses.”

— Stuart Chase, The Tyranny of Words

“Aside from the misperception of one’s performance, there is a social treadmill effect: You get rich, move to rich neighborhoods, then become poor again. To that add the psychological treadmill effect; you get used to wealth and revert to a set point of satisfaction.”

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled by Randomness

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