“I do not enlighten those who are not eager to learn, nor arouse those who are not anxious to give an explanation themselves. If I have presented one corner of the square and they cannot come back to me with the other three, I should not go over the points again.”—Confucius
“Moral of the story: the internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. If you don’t know how to use it, or don’t have the background to ask the right questions, you’ll end up with a head full of nonsense. But if you do know how to use it, it’s an endless wealth of information. Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality. Caveat emptor.”—
“The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.”—Carl Ally
“The slightest advantage in one being, at any age or during any season, over those with which it comes into competition, or better adaptation in however slight a degree to the surrounding physical conditions, will turn the balance.”—Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species
“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”—Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
1. Stories provide low-cost, low-risk surrogate experience. They satisfy a need to experiment with answers to “what if?” questions that focus on the problems, threats, and opportunities life might have thrown before our ancestors, or might throw before us, both as individuals and as collectives. Fictions are preparations for life and its surprises.
2. Stories—whether overtly fictional, mythological, or representing real events—can be richly instructive sources of factual (or putatively factual) information. The didactic purpose of storytelling is diminished in literate cultures, but by providing a vivid and memorable way of communicating information, it likely had actual survival benefits in the Pleistocene.
3. Stories encourage us to explore the points of view, beliefs, motivations, and values of other human minds, inculcating potentially adaptive interpersonal and social capacities. They extend mind-reading capabilities that begin in infancy and come into full flower in adult sociality. Stories provide regulation for social behavior.
“In the computer, man has created not just an inanimate tool but an intellectual and active creative partner that, when fully exploited, could be used to produce wholly new art forms and possibly new aesthetic experiences.”—A. Michael Noll
“People do not selfishly spread their genes; genes selfishly spread themselves. They do it by the way they build our brains. By making us enjoy life, health, sex, friends, and children, the genes buy a lottery ticket for representation in the next generation, with odds that were favorable in the environment in which we evolved.”—
“Hardly any faculty is more important for the intellectual progress of man than ATTENTION. Animals clearly manifest this power, as when a cat watches by a hole and prepares to spring on its prey.”—Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man
“No thing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”—Epictetus
“…the only way of overcoming this magical view of what “I” and consciousness are is to keep on reminding oneself, unpleasant though it may seem, that the “teetering bulb of dread and dream” that nestles safely inside one’s own cranium is purely physical object made up of completely sterile and inanimate components, all of which obey exactly the same laws as those that governs all the rest of the universe, such as pieces of text, or CD-ROM’s, or computers. Only if one keeps on bashing up against this disturbing fact can one slowly begin to develop a feel for the way out of the mystery of consciousness: that the key is not the stuff out of which brains are made, but the patterns that can come to exist inside the stuff of a brain.”—Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
"I thought I had made it when I was 30," Glass says. "I was in New York; I had my own ensemble [The Philip Glass Ensemble]. Of course, I had a day job, but I didn’t count that as a deficit. I counted that as my insurance as to being able to make a living. I was writing music; I was doing tours; I was playing concerts. I had a small audience, but they were constantly growing."
Inspiring read about working with art, determination and dedication, and doing what you want to do.