Q196: Strengthen the things that remain.

"Intentionally stripping away dependencies on things you can no longer depend on is the single best preparation to change."

— Seth Godin

Raise your hand if you're sure...

D. Kahneman, in the NYT:
"The confidence we experience as we make a judgment is not a reasoned evaluation of the probability that it is right. Confidence is a feeling, one determined mostly by the coherence of the story and by the ease with which it comes to mind, even when the evidence for the story is sparse and unreliable. The bias toward coherence favors overconfidence. An individual who expresses high confidence probably has a good story, which may or may not be true."
Read the rest...

Q195: Mavis Gallant

"He had never really held a place and could not by dying leave a gap."
"[S]he was the daughter of such a sensible, truthful, pessimistic woman — pessimistic in the way women become when they settle for what actually exists."

 — Mavis Gallant

These quotes come from "Voices Lost in Snow" by Mavis Gallant.   You can hear a reading of the story (and a discussion of it) here.

Q194: The Elect Lady

I'm currently reading George MacDonald's The Elect Lady (if occasionally returning to a book for a few minutes can be called "reading").    So far, the book is a veritable quote factory.    Here are some bits from what I've read up to this point:

  • [T]here are other ways than idleness of wasting time.
  • A man should not do what he would not have known.
  • [H]e was a little too particular in the smaller points of his attire, and lacked in consequence something of the look of a gentleman.
  • To many men and women the greatest trouble is to choose, for self is the hardest of masters to please[.]
  • [W]hat we call degeneracy is often but the unveiling of what was there all the time; and the evil we could become, we are.
  • He was more and more for himself, and thereby losing his life
  • We wrong those near us in being independent of them.
  • She had learned the how before the what, knew the body before the soul—could tell good binding but not bad leather [.]
  • [T]o do the will of God is the only way to improve one's self.
  • [P]eople mocked him for a poet and a heretic, because he did the things which they said they believed.
  • [I]f we were so foolish [...], it would be better to find it out, and begin to grow wise!
  • They got up from their knees. They had said what they had to say: why say more!
  • To explain what the Lord means to one who is not obedient, is the work of no man who knows his work.
  • It is a poor reward for being a great poet to be allowed to take liberties. I should say that, doing their work to the best of their power, they were rewarded with the discovery of higher laws of verse. Every one must walk by the light given him. By the rules which others have laid down he may learn to walk; but once his heart is awake to truth, and his ear to measure, melody and harmony, he must walk by the light, and the music God gives him.