Steve > Steve's Quotes

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  • #1
    “If you march your Winter Journeys you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg.”
    Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

  • #2
    “Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.”
    Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

  • #3
    Steven Pinker
    “Fiction is empathy technology.”
    Steven Pinker

  • #4
    William James
    “A great nation is not saved by wars, it is saved by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans and empty quacks.”
    William James

  • #5
    W.H. Auden
    “Follow, poet, follow right
    To the bottom of the night,
    With your unconstraining voice
    Still persuade us to rejoice;

    With the farming of a verse
    Make a vineyard of the curse,
    Sing of human unsuccess
    In a rapture of distress;

    In the deserts of the heart
    Let the healing fountain start,
    In the prison of his days
    Teach the free man how to praise.”
    W.H. Auden, Another Time

  • #6
    Wallace Stevens
    “Thought tends to collect in pools.”
    Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose

  • #7
    Wallace Stevens
    “God and the imagination are one.”
    Wallace Stevens

  • #8
    Willa Cather
    “The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.”
    Willa Cather

  • #9
    Theodore Parker
    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
    Theodore Parker

  • #10
    Dennis Lehane
    “The foundation of your life is luck. Hard work and talent make up the difference.”
    Dennis Lehane, Live by Night

  • #11
    Vladimir Nabokov
    “My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three, and, save for a pocket of warmth in the darkest past, nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dells of memory, over which, if you can still stand my style (I am writing under observation), the sun of my infancy had set: surely, you all know those redolent remnants of day suspended, with the midges, about some hedge in bloom or suddenly entered and traversed by the rambler, at the bottom of a hill, in the summer dusk; a furry warmth, golden midges.”
    Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

  • #12
    Phil Zuckerman
    “when we compare these types of nations, we see that the religiosity/secularity correlation holds true the world over: the poorer, more chaotic, more troubled countries tend to be among the most religious, while the wealthier, more stable, more well-functioning countries tend to be among the most secular.”
    Phil Zuckerman, Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

  • #13
    Michael Pollan
    “Darwin called such a process artificial, as opposed to natural, selection, but from the flower’s point of view, this is a distinction without a difference: individual plants in which a trait desired by either bees or Turks occurred wound up with more offspring.”
    Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

  • #14
    Michael Pollan
    “Design in nature is but a concatenation of accidents, culled by natural selection until the result is so beautiful or effective as to seem a miracle of purpose.”
    Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

  • #15
    Golda Meir
    “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”
    Golda Meir, My Life

  • #16
    Robin Skynner
    “If people can't control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people's behavior.”
    Robin Skynner

  • #17
    Jim Harrison
    “Dad said I would always be "high minded and low waged" from reading too much Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe he was right.”
    Jim Harrison, The English Major

  • #18
    Jim Harrison
    “Barring love I'll take my life in large doses alone--rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs.”
    Jim Harrison, Wolf False Memoir

  • #19
    Jim Harrison
    “(from: Age Sixty-nine)
    Often, lately, the night is a cold maw
    and stars the scattered white teeth of the gods, which spare none of us. At dawn I have birds, clearly divine messengers that I don't understand
    yet day by day feel the grace of their intentions.”
    Jim Harrison, In Search of Small Gods

  • #20
    David McRaney
    “You are a confabulatory creature by nature. You are always explaining to yourself the motivations for your actions and the causes to the effects in your life, and you make them up without realizing it when you don't know the answers. Over time, these explanations become your idea of who you are and your place in the world. They are your self... You are a story you tell yourself.”
    David McRaney, You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

  • #21
    George Eliot
    “You must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honorable to you to be doing something else. You must have a pride in your own work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There’s this and there’s that—if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it. No matter what a man is—I wouldn’t give twopence for him’— here Caleb’s mouth looked bitter, and he snapped his fingers— ‘whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn’t do well what he undertook to do.”
    George Eliot, Middlemarch

  • #22
    Hope Jahren
    “Public and private organizations all over the world have studied the mechanics of sexism within science and have concluded that they are complex and multifactorial. In my own small experience, sexism has been something very simple: the cumulative weight of constantly being told that you can’t possibly be what you are.”
    Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

  • #23
    Hope Jahren
    “The leaves on our little maple, all taken together, weigh thirty-five pounds. Every ounce therein must be pulled from the air or mined from the soil—and quickly—over the course of a few short months. From the atmosphere, a plant gains carbon dioxide, which it will make into sugar and pith. Thirty-five pounds of maple leaves may not taste sweet to you and me, but they actually contain enough sucrose to make three pecan pies, which is the sweetest thing that I can think of right now. The pithy skeleton within the leaves contains enough cellulose to make almost three hundred sheets of paper, which is about the number that I used to print out the manuscript for this book. Our”
    Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

  • #24
    Yuval Noah Harari
    “Islamic fundamentalists could never have toppled Saddam Hussein by themselves. Instead they enraged the USA by the 9/11 attacks, and the USA destroyed the Middle Eastern china shop for them. Now they flourish in the wreckage.”
    Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

  • #25
    Yuval Noah Harari
    “What some people hope to get by studying, working or raising a family, others try to obtain far more easily through the right dosage of molecules. This is an existential threat to the social and economic order, which is why countries wage a stubborn, bloody and hopeless war on biochemical crime.”
    Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

  • #26
    Yuval Noah Harari
    “A friend once told me that what she fears most about growing old is becoming irrelevant, turning into a nostalgic old woman who cannot understand the world around her, or contribute much to it. This is what we fear collectively, as a species, when we hear of superhumans. We sense that in such a world, our identity, our dreams and even our fears will be irrelevant, and we will have nothing more to contribute. Whatever you are today – be it a devout Hindu cricket player or an aspiring lesbian journalist – in an upgraded world you will feel like a Neanderthal hunter in Wall Street. You won’t belong.”
    Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

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