Top Ten Bertrand Russel Quotes

Bertrand Russel, a British mathematician and philosopher, is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is widely held to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians. Like all great philosophers he had a few words of wisdom for the rest of us, the commoners. Here are ten best quotes from him.

1. The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

2. All movements go too far.

3. Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.

4. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

5. The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.

6. Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

7. One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

8. In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

9. Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.

10. The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.

Bonus Quote:
Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.

[Post: 313 of 365] [Days Missed: 98]


An Ideal Man’s Day

4 AM: The youthful man wakes up sharp at the strike of the hour every single day. While the rest of common population spends this and the next few hours in deep slumber, this young man leaps off his bed with an enthusiasm of a relay runner who was just handed the baton.

5 AM: The deep black, breathable sport shirt helps him keep cool while he exercises strenuously. His corporate and semi-professional gym is 20 minutes drive from our most ambitious man’s residence and at this hour it is filled with impressive looking men and women who see the beads of work-out sweat rolling down their necks as gold medals. Our main man has sporty tunes blasting in his ears while he performs picture perfect squats, presses and lifts with barbels weighing at least twice and/or up to four times his body weight. A number of women and a few men admire his chiseled body and impeccable technique.

6:30 AM: The hot shower after the invigorating workout delights our guy so much that he smiles as he lathers up his hardened torso. He could feel his post-workout protein drink getting absorbed by his muscles, hungry for energy and he looks forward for the hearty breakfast he was about to savor. It generally included one egg and a bowl of oatmeal cereal with blueberries.

7 AM: He had always enjoyed thumping rock music while speeding on the highway and today is no different. He is going just a tad over the official speed limit and his car is gliding on the highway as smooth as a feather and he could feel every boom of the bass and shrill of the treble drench his skin like the ocean’s blue waves. Without realizing, as always, he is mouthing the lyrics of the song.

7:30 AM: He had the office dress neatly pressed and so fitting, many in the office thought he had all of his clothes custom-made with an old-school tailor. He has his regular spring on his feet as he strolls past cubes with admiring and sometimes envying pairs of eyes and settles into his desk chair.

5 PM: He always gave a little more than what was expected. It was not a conscious move by him, but simply a habit. For some reason, he could not settle for less and demanded more of himself. This meant, the usual 8 hour work day was an exception for him. He took one 30 minute lunch break, usually with a colleague discussing tasks related to work and a 15 minute break late afternoon to socialize with some of his nearby cube mates. Sometimes, he had worked through the lunch break and had to chow down his food at his desk later when he realized he was terribly hungry, but there was never a known instance where he did not deliver more than what was expected of him. He was always on time and never made a mistake. As a personal policy, he kept professional and personal life separate, wich meant that his work day ended at 5, on the dot.

6 PM: Our high spirited man has a quest of learning as no other and, once he came home from work, he consumed his daily dose of quality information in the form of Books (fiction and non-fiction), online blogs about psychology, technology, politics and pop culture, and podcasts. His selections tend to be eclectic by common consensus, but to him they just exist as a means to fill himself with delightful and curious bits of information.

8 PM: He has a tendency to read and listen to these high sources of world knowledge so intensely that he would often forget his appetite which usually results in him quickly cooking a dinner with minimum fuzz and ingredients that are high in significant dietary values. Dinner is always accompanied by jazz music and in some cases, a glass of quality wine.

9 PM: The other side of his voracious intake of information is to process and produce them into his own works of writing. Our main man spends the final waking hour of his utilitarian and, evidently, impressive day pouring his thoughts into an online blog where he often picks either of the two subjects: writing about something he found interesting online or from one of his podcasts, in which case the content of his writing tends to be partly or entirely based on that original source. The second of his subject of choice, chosen only when the first one fails to materialize on any given day at 9 PM, is to write about his personal habits or observations he has made about himself. His writing, in this case, tends to be about the failings of his own behavior and more often than not, they tend to repeat and at regular intervals.

10 PM: Our young and entrepreneurial man’s day always ends when the clock strikes ten at night and falling asleep is not an effort for him. In rare cases, he spends a few minutes lying on his bed, thinking about his day and could not help himself but think, quite self-assuredly, how great his life was. He could see his satisfied life lay in front of him with every milestone carved and decorated with expensive artwork. When he does fall asleep, his dreams are serene and fulfilling. If someone asked him, he would say that he never regretted anything, for he was always right and progressing and by association, his decisions and actions where impacting and celebrated.
He is content of his life for he knows he is headed for greatness and he knows it will be simple because all he has to do is wake up at 4 AM and go to the gym and everything else will follow.

By common consensus, he is an ideal man.

Author’s note: This is me paraphrasing my friends M and S as they narrated the day’s schedule of an imaginary man of the most interesting and impressive kind. Although I have added a few details to sprinkle some flavor to his story, all credits and concerns towards his character, talents, skills and convictions should rest with his original makers, M and S.

[Post: 301 of 365] [Days Missed: a few more than a dignified man would care to admit]

Stay true to your vision

Traveling to Mormon country for this long weekend. Along with couple of my buddies, I will be, hopefully, hiking up, and possibly down, a few places in Zion National Park. Rain has been predicted for Saturday and cold weather on Sunday, but the prospect of getting on a plane to go somewhere I have never been to is enticing enough for me to ignore those wretched weather predictions.

Travelling, like many people, is one of the few things in my life that I can honestly say that I fully enjoy. The idea of exploring a new place and experiencing the sights and sounds of the unknown world is such a liberating experience. And I get to do that with a couple of my long time friends so its even better.

This week, I wrote a few not so glowing stuff about daily work and its practical trappings but I want to close this week with this great video that exhibits what one’s ultimate goal should be when it comes to work. Beyond the daily grind, unsatisfying demands and demoralizing judgements, always remember why you got into it. If you can manage to keep that underlying flame of desire, that basic need to do that thing that attracted you to it in the first place, then all the bad stuff can be overcome. In the end, how honest and true you were to yourself, will determine how happy and satisfied you will feel.

Stay true to your vision. Remember why you do it… What you do, who you are – that’s your art. That’s all you have.

via Explore.

[Post: 283 of 365] [Days Missed: 98]

The Anxiety of Unemployment

Imagine being unemployed. No, really imagine it. Imagine the state of a being where a major part of every day is simply doing nothing but wait; waiting for that phone call or the email from a recruiter. Imagine not seeing the pay check every other week – the same pay check that you were so used to, when employed, that often you barely even noticed its arrival. Imagine the enduring agony of rejection as you go through one job application after another, preparing and perfecting and sending out resumes, cover letters and hand-written thank you notes that never seem to materialize to even a hopeful prospect of a job. Imagine the constant and nagging urge to just give up.

Unemployment rate is presently at 8.1 percent in the US of A, better than same time last year but still not a sign of a healthy economy. A more troubling statistic is that thirty percent of the unemployed have been out of a job for more than 6 months and the picture is even bleaker for job hunters who are past 40 years old. Companies don’t hire older candidates simply because they don’t want to train them in the newer tools and skill sets and pay them more. There is also the stigma attached to the long-term unemployed that if you hadn’t been hired in a while then there must be something wrong with you. A lot of people, well past their younger stages of career life are faced with these problems and Dominick Brocato is one of them.

Stumbled onto his painfully sad story in the New York Times website today about the practical realities of long-term unemployment and how it hurts emotionally as much as it does financially. Dominick, in his words, narrates his journey from a two-decade career as an HR staff who got laid-off as part of a company wide restructuring to being unemployed for, as of this May, 27 straight months. A father of three young adult children, Dominick is at a stage in his life where he can’t start a new career nor can he choose to live a life of retired leisure. The only option for him is to find a job, and as the Times article shows, he has been agonizingly unsuccessful finding one.

The more worrying part of his story for me was the progressive desperation in Dominick’s voice as he explains how after so many job applications, interviews and meetings, all he is left with is heart-break and a damaging level of self-scrutiny. He repeatedly tells us how much in control he was in is earlier employed life, how he was able to support himself early in his childhood after his mother passed away, and how he always saw himself as someone who, with perseverance and hard work, shaped his world and it is easy to see how crushing it is for him to face this reality where everyday is filled to the brim with uncertainty and anguish.

When people find themselves out of luck in life for any extended amount time, for any reason whatsoever, there always seems to be a constant presence of some form of cancer. Recently, Dominick was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his left leg which requires frequent doses of chemotherapy. With the US of A’s medical insurance system firmly under the grotesque death-grip of employer-provided benefits, he is out of luck with that too. Perhaps he summarizes it better than anyone can.

I talked to the one doctor that I go to and said, “O.K., so starting in August, if I can’t pay, how is that going to affect my still coming here to see you?” …

He was very silent. He didn’t answer me.

This is his predicament. He needs money to support his family and medical expenses and the longer he stays unemployed lesser he gets preferred by the employers and it just seems like slow-moving rut. Given the number of people who have been long-term unemployed, he is definitely not alone on this terrible ride. Unless congress can extend some of the unemployment benefits and/or the economy picks up steam it is very unlikely that the current state will get any better for Dominick and his fellow job hunters.

After reading his story, suddenly I became thankful for everything I have. As much as I would like to have it better, what I have ain’t so bad after all.

[Post: 281 of 365] [Days Missed: 98]
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Benjamin Franklin’s To-Do List

Deep from the vaults of Lists of Note, comes this peculiar set of virtues from one of the most famous founders of the USA. Benjamin Franklin is easily my favorite among the white wigged men who drafted the US constitution simply because of his intellectual capacity which often seems boundless. The pot-bellied inventor, who was also an accomplished scientist, musician, philosopher and a diplomat, was also an excellent wordsmith, which, no doubt, came in handy when he was editing the drafts of the original constitution. Long before he became the 18th century version of the Dos Equis guy, he was a young adult figuring out how to make himself better. At the age of 20, is when he came up with this list shown below which he published in his auto-biography. He decided to dedicate one week for each item in the list practicing and mastering them as he grew up to become a renowned statesman. Given his physical size, it is easy to guess that ‘Go to Gym’ was not part of his list but the things he had in them sure make it a powerful one.

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

[Post: 231 of 365] [Days Missed: 65]
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Ten Miserable Facts About Valentine’s Day

Given the occasion of the day, here is a list of 10 absolute facts that, no matter how you look at them, will put one of the most bizarre and devious yet commercially successful days in the modern man’s life that has its ramifications throughout every medium to super sized economy in the world in its true and vile light. These ten facts are excerpts from Lia and Nick Romeo’s wonderful and life revealing book 11,002 Things To Be Miserable About. You are welcome!

1. In the two week period leading up to Valentine’s Day, American sales of gold jewelry lead to 34 million metric tons of waste.

2. The vast majority of roses sold for Valentine’s Day in the U.S. are imported from South America, wasting fossil fuels.

3. Valentine’s Day traces its roots to an ancient pagan holiday called Lupercalia, in which men stripped naked, grabbed whips, and spanked young women in hopes of increasing their fertility.

4. The Christian martyr St. Valentine was beheaded on February 14 for performing marriages in secret.

5. Research suggests that 75 percent of suicide attempts are attributable to relationship problems.

6. 46 percent of Americans will exchange Valentine’s Day candy which is related the static that shows 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.

7. A recent poll found that one in ten young adults admitted to feeling lonely, insecure, depressed, or unwanted on Valentine’s Day. And that’s just the ones that admitted it.

8. The famous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, in which seven Chicago gangsters were gunned down on February 14, 1929, was one of the bloodiest in mob history (pictured above).

9. 64 percent of American men do not make Valentine’s Day plans in advance.

10. Candy hearts taste like crap.

Bonus Point To Remember:
11. Even if you’re really, really in love right now, you’re still going to die eventually.

[Post: 206 of 365] [Days Missed: 62]
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Ten Best Quotes From Dr.Martin Luther King

February is the Black History Month in US and since this is the first (and most likely the only) February for our blog, I figured its sensible to start it with some timeless words from Dr.Martin Luther King himself. So much has been said about one of the most remarkable and influential fighters for social and civic freedom, not just for the US, but an inspiration for many around the globe. His words portray nothing less than the vast expanse of his vision for social justice and equality for all and, above all, an undying love for every living thing on the planet.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
– I Have a Dream, 1963.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor in America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.
– The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
– Nobel Prize acceptance speech, December 11, 1964.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
– Strength To Love, 1963.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
– Letter From A Birmingham Jail, 1963

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
– I’ve Been To The Mountaintop, 1968

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
– Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

You know my friends, there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression … If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. And if we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.
– Address to the first Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) Mass Meeting, at Holt Street Baptist Church, 1955

Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
– Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, 1958

The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only his soul but his body, not only his spiritual well-being, but his material well being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.
– Pilgrimage to Non-Violence, 1960

[Post: 197 of 365] [Days Missed: 62]
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