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Modernity Quotes

Quotes tagged as "modernity" Showing 1-30 of 376
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Walker Percy
“The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages.

As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment.

Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive.

Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either.

School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics.

Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements.

The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla.

Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection.

But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation.

Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.”
Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

Chuck Palahniuk
“Anymore, no one's mind is their own.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby

St. Antony the Great
“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, 'You are mad; you are not like us.”
St. Antony the Great

William Wordsworth
“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”
William Wordsworth, The Major Works

Jess C. Scott
“Nin knew how much humans loved money, riches, and material things—though he never really could understand why. The more technologically advanced the human species got, the more isolated they seemed to become, at the same time. It was alarming, how humans could spend entire lifetimes engaged in all kinds of activities, without getting any closer to knowing who they really were, inside.”
Jess C Scott, The Other Side of Life

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“Modernity: we created youth without heroism, age without wisdom, and life without grandeur”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

G.K. Chesterton
“The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“My biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing separation of the ethical and the legal”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Søren Kierkegaard
“It is a frightful satire and an epigram on the modern age that the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment, a jail sentence.”
Søren Kierkegaard

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new
“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”
Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks

Donald Barthelme
“The death of God left the angels in a strange position.”
Donald Barthelme

Leszek Kołakowski
“A modern philosopher who has never once suspected himself of being a charlatan must be such a shallow mind that his work is probably not worth reading.”
Leszek Kolakowski, Metaphysical Horror

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“What organized dating sites fail to understand is that the people are far more interesting in what they don't say about themselves.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“I distrust every idea that doesn’t seem obsolete and grotesque to my contemporaries.”
Nicolás Gómez Dávila

Amit Kalantri
“Before this generation lose the wisdom, one advice - read books.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Zygmunt Bauman
“The updated version of Descartes’s Cogito is ‘I am seen, therefore I am’ – and that the more people who see me, the more I am…”
Zygmunt Bauman, Moral Blindness: The Loss of Sensitivity in Liquid Modernity

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The four most influential moderns: Darwin, Marx, Freud, and (the productive) Einstein were scholars but not academics. It has always been hard to do genuine - and no perishable - work within institutions”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Jess C. Scott
“Anya looked upon Nin admirably. Having him as a partner-in-crime—if only on this one occasion, which she hoped would only be the start of something more—was more revitalizing than the cheap thrills of a cookie-cutter shallow, superficial romance, where the top priority was how beautiful a person was on the outside.”
Jess C Scott, The Other Side of Life

René Guénon
“Those who might be tempted to give way to despair should realize that nothing accomplished in this order can ever be lost, that confusion, error and darkness can win the day only apparently and in a purely ephemeral way, that all partial and transitory disequilibrium must perforce contribute towards the greater equilibrium of the whole, and that nothing can ultimately prevail against the power of truth.”
René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World

Roland Barthes
“A paradox: the same century invented History and PHotography. But History is a memory fabricated according to positive formulas, a pure intellectual discourse which abolishes mythic Time; and the Photograph is a certain but fugitive testimony; so that everything, today, prepares our race for this impotence: to be no longer able to conceive duration, affectively or symbolically: the age of the Photograph is also the age of revolutions, contestations, assassinations, explosions, in short, of impatiences, of everything which denies ripening.”
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

William Blake
“When nations grow old the Arts grow cold
And commerce settles on every tree”
William Blake

Mark Twain
“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times.”
Mark Twain

Nicolás Gómez Dávila
“Modern man does not love, but seeks refuge in love; does not hope, but seeks refuge in hope; does not believe, but seeks refuge in a dogma.”
Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un texto implicito: Obra completa

Ursula K. Le Guin
“You are all in jail. Each alone, solitary, with a heap of what he owns. You live in prison, die in prison. It is all I can see in your eyes – the walls, the walls!”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia

Amadeo Bordiga
“The place of the worst barbarism is that modern forest that makes use of us, this forest of chimneys and bayonets, machines and weapons, of strange inanimate beasts that feed on human flesh.”
Amadeo Bordiga

Angelica Hopes
“In a feast of fame and talks,
Scandal flashing, raising tongue and brows.
In a blast of bombing and power play,
Fear and death dig more revenge.

In a forgotten continent,
Famine and drought devour lives.
In an unfortunate eye of a rebelling weather,
Crashing homes, leaving many in devastation and desperation.

In a country shaking with violence,
Innocent victims cry for justice and peace.
In a home shaking with turmoil,
Humble patient, hiding voice wants to be heard.

In a tick of a second,
A new breathe of life beats!
To belong in this world.
Constantly changing, decaying or improving?

In a snap of innovation:
Life goes big leap!
Regression somewhere unseen,
But felt in a slow, long run.”
Angelica Hopes, Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul

Vizi Andrei
“In an abundant world, productivity is about eliminating bad habits; then adding good ones.

In an abundant world, knowledge is about filtering, rather than gathering, information.

In an abundant world, discipline is the new freedom.

In an abundant world―less is more; and more is less.”
Vizi Andrei, Economy of Truth: Practical Maxims and Reflections

Jürgen Habermas
“Today, the language of the market penetrates every pore and forces every interpersonal relation into the schema of individual preference.”
Jürgen Habermas

Amin Maalouf
“Nothing is born of nothing, least of all knowledge, modernity, or enlightened thought; progress is made in tiny surges, in successive laps, like an endless relay race. But there are links without which nothing would be passed on, and for that reason, they deserve the gratitude of all who benefited from them.”
Amin Maalouf, Orígenes

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