Provocative Quotes

Quotes tagged as "provocative" Showing 1-30 of 30
William S. Burroughs
“There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business.”
William S. Burroughs, The Place of Dead Roads

Nalini Singh
“A faint smile that made every tiny hair on her body rise in quivering attention. "How fast can you run?" A wolf's question.”
Nalini Singh, Kiss of Snow

Simone Collins
“The first time the extent of this problem was obvious to me was when I was hanging out with a small group of people in which one unironically said, “I would not consider dating someone who was not regularly seeing a psychologist”—and others in the group agreed with them. It was at that point I realized that some psychologists were convincing their patients that no person could be mentally healthy without regularly visiting them. They had so thoroughly incepted a dependency in their patients that they had created a cultural identity around that dependency.”
Simone Collins, The Pragmatist’s Guide to Crafting Religion: A playbook for sculpting cultures that overcome demographic collapse & facilitate long-term human flourishing

“The Slice and Dice Fanatic uses his sexual skills to lure his victims into his realm of fun.”
RB Le `Deach, My Graphic Bipolar Fantasies: & Other Short Stories

Sam Harris
“Let me assure you that my intent is not to offend or merely be provocative. I'm simply worried.”
Sam Harris

“I’d love to try to tame you... And I would simply adore it if you turn out untamable –”
Simona Panova, Nightmarish Sacrifice

David Guterson
“We Japanese, on the other hand, know our egos are nothing. We bend our egos, all of the time, and that is where we differ. That is the fundamental difference, Hatsue. We bend our heads, we bow and are silent, because we understand that by ourselves alone, we are nothing at all, dust in a strong wind, while the 'hakujin' believes his aloneness is everything, his separateness is the foundation of his existence. He seeks and grasps, seeks and grasps for his separateness, while we seek union with the Greater Life--you must see that these are distinct paths we are travelling, Hatsue, the 'hakujin' and we Japanese" (p. 176).”
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars

Douglas Adams
“You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know. What I see and what I know cannot be added to what you see and what you know because they are not the same kind. Neither can it replace what you see and what you know, because that would be to replace you yourself.”
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Charlotte V. Howard
“I died for a short while the first time we met”
Charlotte V. Howard, Seven Dirty Words

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience.”
A Memoir by Young, Initiation

Jonathan Harr
“Truth is found at the bottom of a bottomless pit." Jerome Facher - A Civil Action.”
Jonathan Harr, A Civil Action

Tim Fargo
“No controversy, no PR.”
Tim Fargo

Aaron Sorkin
“You can't handle the truth!" - Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men.”
Aaron Sorkin, A Few Good Men

Criss Jami
“Trying to be offensive for the sole purpose of being offensive should always deem one the least offensive of offenders.”
Criss Jami, Healology

Michael Krüger
“The public has no idea that writing is a disease, and that the writer who publishes is like a beggar who exhibits his sores.

Michael Kruger

Lois A. Cheney
“Hey! look at us
We're digging and digging
Into stubborn, ancient earth;
We're discovering
Where we came from,
and how we came.

"but where are you going?"

Hey! look at us
We're learning and learning
Into stubborn laws
Of nature and space
And non-nature and non-space;
We're discovering
All there is to know.

"but where are you going?"

Hey! look at us
We're planning and planning
Into stubborn years
Of education and training
And hopes and dreams;
We're discovering
How not to waste any time.

"but where are you going?"

Hey! look at us
We're shiny and bright
And clever and sophisticated
And witty and well-read;
We're discovering
How to really fill up
This old life.

"but where are you going?"


"Yes; where?”
Lois A. Cheney, God is No Fool

Annie Proulx
“As she spoke she changed in some provocative way, seemed suddenly drenched in eroticism as a diver rising out of a pool gleams like chrome with a sheet of unbroken water for a fractional moment.”
Annie Proulx, The Shipping News

Franz Kafka
“La niña, de apenas trece años y algo jorobada, le golpeo con el codo y le miro de soslayo. Ni su juventud ni su defecto corporal habían impedido que se corrompiese. Ni siquiera le sonreía, sino que lanzaba a K miradas provocativas”
Franz Kafka, The Trial

Holly Black
“Is this what you imagined I'd be like, back in your rooms at Hollow Hall, when you thought of me and hated it? Is this how you pictured my eventual surrender?'

He looks absolutely mortified, but there's no disguising the flush of his cheeks, the shine of his eyes. 'Yes,' he says, sounding like the word was dragged out of him, his voice rough with desire.

'Then what did I do?' I ask, my voice low.

I reach out to press my hand against his thigh.

His gaze shimmers with a sharp spike of heat. There's a wariness in his face, though, and I realise he believes i might be asking him all this because I'm angry. Because I want to see him humiliated. But he keeps speaking anyway. 'I imagined you telling me to do with you whatever I liked.'

'Really?' I ask, and the surprised laugh in mny voice makes him meet my gaze.

'Along with some begging on your part. A little light grovelling.' He gives me an embarrassed smile. 'My fantasies were rife with overweening ambition.”
Holly Black, The Queen of Nothing

“A culture can be thought of as ever-evolving software that sits on top of—and synergistically interacts with—both biological hardware and firmware, addressing flaws our biology hasn’t had sufficient evolutionary time to address. To go further with this analogy: Biological evolution provides some basic coding, much like a low-level programming language might for a given hardware, whereas cultural evolution manipulates the high-level, object-oriented code that lets us program highly nuanced behaviors.”
Malcolm Collins, The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models

“When a person gets severe radiation poisoning, some time passes before they feel the adverse effects. Their DNA has functionally been scrambled; their cells can’t divide; the person is dead—they just don’t know it yet. Many wildly popular cultural movements are currently in this state. It may be easier to coax a caged panda to reproduce than it would be to convince a cosmopolitan progressive to raise their own kid. ”
Malcolm Collins, The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models

“Almost all hard cultures have some ritual focused on voluntary self-denial, such as Ramadan, Lent, or the Fast of the Firstborn. The question is, why? Why do cultures that practice something that makes membership less pleasant historically outcompete cultures that encourage people to indulge in whatever they want? This question becomes more pointed when we look at how common it is for pop cultures to emotionally reward people for succumbing to their base desires, as is seen in pop culture outputs like the Intuitive Eating Movement, which entails telling people they are being healthy by eating whatever they want whenever they want in an age in which we’re surrounded with an abundance of foods that are designed to be highly addictive. Movements telling people to indulge in their immediate desires have been around since the ancient Greeks. These movements resurface during every civilization’s brief golden age and only seem to be successful in the short run. While the pop cultures that produce them consistently die, stodgy hard cultures persist. Why?”
Malcolm Collins, The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models

“Society can be thought of as a collection of overlapping nodal networks (things like companies and cultivars), with each node representing a person and their connections to other people. Historically, pop cultures, simple memetic viruses, evolved to target single nodes. These cultures would flip target nodes (convert them) by offering individuals an easy life and positive emotional subsets. While these viruses lowered the birth rates among the individual nodes they flipped and could sometimes lead to wild outbreaks, those outbreaks were always contained within single or closely-related nodal networks, meaning they were never really an existential threat to our species. . . .The supervirus evolved a new strategy. Instead of flipping individual nodes, it works to flip entire nodal networks. Instead of selling the promise of minimizing emotional suffering within a single node, it entices nodal systems with the prospect of minimizing negative emotion across the entire network. ”
Malcolm Collins, The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models

“Upon hearing about an Indian caste system comprised of five main castes, each of which is divided into about 3,000 sub-castes based on occupation, most foreigners contextualize the concept as being quite alien. People of Anglo-Saxon descent may come to this conclusion forgetting that many of their brethren still walk around with names like Smith and Tailor attached to them—names that hail from a similar caste system. That’s right: In the medieval period, families often maintained specialist trades passed down from one generation to the next. While the Anglo-Saxon caste system was never as strict as that which ultimately developed in India, it wasn’t profoundly less strict than its pre-British Indian counterpart. . . .  What is fascinating about caste systems, and likely a core reason they evolved in so many cultures, is that they allow for the genetic concentration of skills within certain specialties. As offensive as this concept is, the genetic vortices created by castes are so strong that their effects can be seen centuries after they dissolved. A study  conducted in the U.K. in 2015 found that people with the surname Smith (descended from the smith caste) had higher physical capabilities and an above-average aptitude for strength-related activities, while those with the surname Tailor (descended from the tailor caste) had a higher-than-average aptitude for dexterity-related tasks.”
Malcolm Collins, The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models