Technology

Ideas are useless unless used. The proof of their value is in their implementation. Until then, they are in limbo.

A democracy,—that is a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; 1 of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness’ sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.

The environmental crisis can only be forestalled when there is a broad new cultural understanding of what it means to be human. Sources of this new understanding would be myth – New Story…… a spiritually based on an understanding of nature as the primary revelation of the divine

We can never descend to the level of those who killed us. We will (respond) with precision. We will rip them up and bring them to justice . . . The real question for us is, Do we have the will -- the will to stay the course?

We are not the helpless slaves of technology, but as before - if only we wish to be - captains of our fate.... this argument of technological inevitability is also misleading because it depends entirely on extra-techni­cal factors whether a certain technological process which, for example, favors mass production, is in actual fact really superior from the economic point of view or not.

A sound-dominated verbal economy is consonant with aggregative (harmonizing) tendencies rather than with analytic, dissecting tendencies. It is consonant also with the conservative holism, with situational thinking rather than abstract thinking, with a certain humanistic organization of knowledge around the actions of human and anthromorphic beings, interiorized persons, rather than around impersonal things.

As contemplation [of a work of art or literature] enters upon a more serious stage, the human being is driven by the whole economy of what it is to be man to find opposite himself, in that which he contemplates, a person capable of reacting in turn. This drive is primordial and will not be denied.

In many ways, the greatest shift in the way of conceiving knowledge between the ancient and the modern world takes place in the movement from a pole where knowledge is conceived of in terms of discourse and hearing and persons to one where it is conceived of in terms of observation and sight and objects. This shift dominates all others in Western intellectual history, and as compared to it, the supposed shift from a deductive to an inductive method pales into insignificance. For, in terms of this shift, the coming into prominence of deduction, which must be thought of in terms of visual, not auditory, analogies—the ‘drawing’ of conclusions, and so on, not the ‘hearing’ of a master—is already a shift toward the visual and a preparatory step for induction, from which deduction was never entirely separated anyhow. Stress on induction follows the stress on deduction as manifesting a still further visualization in the approach to knowledge, with tactics based on ‘observation,’ and approach preferably through sight.

When I first used the term ‘secondary orality,’ I was thinking of the kind of orality you get on radio and television, where oral performance produces effects somewhat like those of ‘primary orality,’ the orality using the unprocessed human voice, particularly in addressing groups, but where the creation of orality is of a new sort. Orality here is produced by technology. Radio and television are ‘secondary’ in the sense that they are technologically powered, demanding the use of writing and other technologies in designing and manufacturing the machines which reproduce voice. They are thus unlike primary orality, which uses no tools or technology at all. Radio and television provide technologized orality. This is what I originally referred to by the term ‘secondary orality.’

Where grapholects exist, "correct" grammar and usage are popularly interpreted as the grammar and usage of the grapholect itself to the exclusion of the grammar and usage of the other dialects.

Writing moves words from the sound world to a world of visual space, but print licks words into position in this space. Control of position is everything in print.

As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.

The two ideas, justice and vocation, are inseparable.... It is by way of the principle and practice of vocation that sanctity and reverence enter into the human economy. It was thus possible for traditional cultures to conceive that "to work is to pray."

My mother refused to let me fail. So I insisted.

For the first time the peasant has seen real freedom — freedom to eat his bread, freedom from starvation.

One cannot live in society and be free from society.

Traditionally, there have been two separate approaches. One approach takes us toward the social, the economic, the political problems, and says, “Look here, unless the economic and political problems are solved, there will be no happiness and no peace, there will be no end to suffering. It is the responsibility of every individual to engage in solving these problems according to some ideology. Turning toward the inner life, the imbalances and impurities of the inner life, that is not so important, that can be taken care of later on, for it is a self-centered, egoistic activity. But the responsibility is toward the society, toward the human race, so keep aside all those problems of meditation and silence, inner sophistication, transformation for inner revolution—keep all that aside. First turn toward this.” And the other approach says, “The political and economic problems cannot be solved unless the individual is transformed totally. Be concerned with your psychological mutation, the inner, radical revolution. The political, the economic, the social problems can wait.”

Progress comes from trial and error, when we're free to try things and free to reject ideas that don't work. That makes me optimistic about the future. The problem comes when people either try to stamp out experimentation or try to cram one possibly hare-brained scheme down everyone's throat.

The children of the revolution are always ungrateful, and the revolution must be grateful that it is so.

Things don't have purposes, as if the universe were a machine, where every part has a useful function. What's the function of a galaxy? I don't know if our life has a purpose and I don't see that it matters. What does matter is that we're a part. Like a thread in a cloth or a grass-blade in a field. It is and we are. What we do is like wind blowing on the grass.