“Il dubbio è la disperazione del pensiero, la disperazione è il dubbio della personalità; e per questo tengo tanto alla determinazione della scelta, che è diventata il mio motto, il nerbo della mia concezione di vita; e ho una concezione di vita, anche se non pretendo affatto di avere un sistema.”—S. Kierkegaard, Aut-Aut
“There are countless ingredients that make up the human body and mind, like all the components that make up me as an individual with my own personality. Sure, I have a face and voice to distinguish myself from others, but my thoughts and memories are unique only to me, and I carry a sense of my own destiny. Each of those things are just a small part of it. I collect information to use in my own way. All of that blends to create a mixture that forms me and gives rise to my conscience.”—Major Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in The Shell
“Il linguaggio è una pelle: io sfrego il mio linguaggio contro l’altro. È come se avessi delle parole a mo’ di dita, o delle dita sulla punta delle mie parole.”—Roland Barthes, Rammenti di un discorso amoroso, 1977, via Sirologie - grazie, Silvia Versari!
“La cosa bella, quando cercano di distruggerti, è che ti offrono un’enorme opportunità.
Quella di scegliere tra i pezzi di te quali tenere e quali buttare, per creare una nuova te, ancora più forte e splendente.”—Raffaella Isidori Thesign
What’s the number one thing you could do today to improve your creativity?
That’s a question I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few months. If creativity is such a science of thinking, there has to be something we could do to drastically improve our capacity for having original…
“If everyone had the luxury to pursue a life of exactly what they love, we would all be ranked as visionary and brilliant. … If you got to spend every day of your life doing what you love, you can’t help but be the best in the world at that. And you get to smile every day for doing so. And you’ll be working at it almost to the exclusion of personal hygiene, and your friends are knocking on your door, saying, “Don’t you need a vacation?!,” and you don’t even know what the word “vacation” means because what you’re doing is what you want to do and a vacation from that is anything but a vacation — that’s the state of mind of somebody who’s doing what others might call visionary and brilliant.”—Neil deGrasse Tysonon the secret of genius (via explore-blog)
For months, every morning when my daughter was in preschool, I watched her construct an elaborate castle out of blocks, colorful plastic discs, bits of rope, ribbons and feathers, only to have the same little boy gleefully destroy it within seconds of its completion.
No matter how many times he did it, his parents never swooped in BEFORE the morning’s live 3-D reenactment of “Invasion of AstroMonster.” This is what they’d say repeatedly:
“You know! Boys will be boys!”
“He’s just going through a phase!”
“He’s such a boy! He LOVES destroying things!”
“Oh my god! Girls and boys are SO different!”
“He. Just. Can’t. Help himself!”
I tried to teach my daughter how to stop this from happening. She asked him politely not to do it. We talked about some things she might do. She moved where she built. She stood in his way. She built a stronger foundation to the castle, so that, if he did get to it, she wouldn’t have to rebuild the whole thing. In the meantime, I imagine his parents thinking, “What red-blooded boy wouldn’t knock it down?”
I know it’s a lurid metaphor, but I taught my daughter the preschool block precursor of don’t “get raped” and this child, Boy #1, did not learn the preschool equivalent of “don’t rape.”
Not once did his parents talk to him about invading another person’s space and claiming for his own purposes something that was not his to claim. Respect for her and her work and words was not something he was learning. How much of the boy’s behavior in coming years would be excused in these ways, be calibrated to meet these expectations and enforce the “rules” his parents kept repeating?
There was another boy who, similarly, decided to knock down her castle one day. When he did it his mother took him in hand, explained to him that it was not his to destroy, asked him how he thought my daughter felt after working so hard on her building and walked over with him so he could apologize. That probably wasn’t much fun for him, but he did not do it again.
There was a third child. He was really smart. He asked if he could knock her building down. She, beneficent ruler of all pre-circle-time castle construction, said yes… but only after she was done building it and said it was OK. They worked out a plan together and eventually he started building things with her and they would both knock the thing down with unadulterated joy. You can’t make this stuff up.
Take each of these three boys and consider what he might do when he’s older, say, at college, drunk at a party, mad at an ex-girlfriend who rebuffs him and uses words that she expects will be meaningful and respecte, “No, I don’t want to. Stop. Leave.”
“I dubbi sono come macchie su una camicia bianca, fresca di bucato. La missione di ogni intellettuale e di chiunque scriva è di instillare dubbi sulla perfezione, perché la perfezione genera ideologie, dittatori e idee totalitariste. La democrazia non è uno stato di perfezione.”—Antonio Tabucchi