…So next time you hear a raving demagogue counseling hatred for other, slightly different groups of humans, for a moment at least see if you can understand his problem: He is heeding an ancient call that–however dangerous, obsolete, and maladaptive it may be today–once benefitted our species.
An electronic and optical miracle creates nothing on its own! Whatever beauty and excitement [the camera] can represent exist in your mind and spirit to begin with.
Oh, he might burn down the odd cottage every now and again, in a sort of absent-minded way, but only when he was really angry about something, and he could give it up any time he liked.
O what emoluments could it confer
Upon Immortals and upon the Blessed
That they should take a step to manage aught
For sake of us?
Real names tell you the story of the things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say. It is a lovely language, but it takes a very long time to say anything in it, because we do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.
“Where history concerns mainly personalities, the drawings become either black or white according to the interests of the writer.”
“Don’t you see? The real magician isn’t the bleary-eyed guy who doesn’t understand a thing; it’s the scientist who has grasped the hidden secrets of the universe.”
Normally, if you were tailing somebody, it was a problem if they unexpectedly jumped onto a bus, but it was almost more of a problem if you unexpectedly jumped on one yourself.
You can call them “failed experiments” in evolution if you want, but they succeeded and flourished, within their preferred but challenging environments, for more than 30 million years. We humans should be so steadfast and lucky.
“When Life Got Complicated,” David Quammen, of Ediacarans
The road, Hwel felt, had to go somewhere.
This geographical fiction has been the death of many people. Roads don’t necessarily have to go anywhere, they just have to start somewhere.