Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy…. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
– Neil Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death (forord)
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
-Oscar Wilde, ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’
One would expect people to remember the past and to imagine the future. But in fact, when discoursing or writing about history, they imagine it in terms of their own experience, and when trying to gauge the future they cite supposed analogies from the past: til, by a double process of repetition, they imagine the past and remember the future.
– Sir Lewis Namier, 1942
I have said for years that I felt like we were in a cold civil war, and all of a sudden, it is not so cold anymore.
Dan Carlin, Common Sense with Dan Carlin: Garbage in, Garbage out
An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.
Treat a man as he is,
and he will remain as he is.
Treat a man as he could be,
and he will become what he should be.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes yes yes I do like you. I am afraid to write the stronger word.
– Virginia Woolf, The letters of Virginia Woolf, vol. 3
Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else.
– Charles Bukowski
Have a heart that never hardens,
a temper that never tires,
and a touch that never hurts.
– Charles Dickens
I need a day of nothing, a reprieve from the frenetic whirlwind of my life.
Shrug it off like an old winter coat, and hang it by the door.
I need a day where I am not asked, wanted, or noticed. To know there is a wall of silence between me and everything else.