Category Archives: Books and Literature

On In Out

“Turn on, tune in, drop out.”  ~Dr. Timothy Leary Excerpt from Dr. Timothy Leary’s autobiography Flashbacks, ©1983: “Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers engaging them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. “Tune in” …

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Ah.

In a wonderful article from Harper’s Magazine, No Time But the Present , Alan Jacobs argues that reading old books makes our lives better: To read old books is not simply to escape our current condition of frenetic standstill, the torrent of data and demand managed moment by moment (though, to my mind, occasional escape …

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Algorithms

Excerpted from How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online by Russell Smith: Articles that show low engagement typically get sidelined in favour of pieces that show more, a measurement that, along with all of the above, takes into account the click-through rate, or CTR. “You’re looking at your analytics,” (Andrew )Gorham explained to me, …

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Time

Excerpted from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, ©1922: “Did you,” so he asked him at one time, “did you too learn that secret from the river: that there is no time?” Vasudeva’s face was filled with a bright smile. “Yes, Siddhartha,” he spoke. “It is this what you mean, isn’t it: that the river is everywhere …

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In Defiance of All That Is Bad

Excerpted from A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn, ©2006: Even when we don’t “win,” there is fun and fulfillment that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in …

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Inscrutable

Excerpt from Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, ©1917: Rolling cloud, volleying wind, and wheeling sun– the blue tabernacle of sky, the circle of the seasons, the sparkling multitude of the stars– all these are surely part on one rhythmic, mystic whole. Everywhere, as we go about our small business, we must discern the fingerprints …

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Waffles

Excerpted from Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson, ©1993: Historians annoy me with their blinkered selectivity.  They took the time to write down the names of those who invented the telephone, the atom bomb, and the cotton gin.  But the geniuses who left us with that truly worthwhile legacy of recipes have gone …

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Ideally,

“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this:  ‘You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What …

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Laugh, And / Weep, And

I was familiar with the first two lines, but didn’t know that it came from a longer poem: Solitude By Ella Wheeler Wilcox Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills …

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All The Therapy a Person Needs

Excerpted from For Once In My Life by Colleen Coleman, ©2018: I’ll spend the rest of the day tucking into a book from my towering TBR pile which looks like a little paperback city on the either side of my bookcase since I ran out of space on the shelves. I tried to have a …

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I maintain / I insist

Excerpted from Abbey’s Road by Edward Abbey, ©1979: I camped that first night near the Olga Mountains, strange hoodoo domes and humps of monolithic, barren sandstone, similar in origin to Ayers Rock but different in color and shape, a little higher, and much more extensive in total area. They looked even older than the Rock, …

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Home

Excerpted from Appalachia by Edward Abbey, ©1970: Through town and into the hills, I’d follow a certain road for about seven miles until I came to a church and a graveyard on top of a tall hill. (I worked there once, tending that graveyard and the dead, firing the furnace in the church on winter …

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