❝ An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts — for support rather than for illumination.
But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
❝ Commander Vimes didn’t like the phrase ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’, believing the innocent had everything to fear, mostly from the guilty but in the longer term even more from those who say things like ‘The innocent have nothing to fear’.
— Terry Pratchett, Snuff
❝ You can’t measure time by days the way you measure money by dollars and cents, because dollars are all the same while every day is different and maybe every hour as well.
❝ It is almost too easy to write a dystopia these days. The real challenge, it seems to me, is to write a new utopia.
❝ Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.
❝ How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.
❝ I’m against suffering, but when it occurs, why waste the experience?
❝ The bourgeoisie loves so-called “positive” types and novels with happy endings since they lull one into thinking that it is fine to simultaneously acquire capital and maintain one’s innocence, to be a beast and still be happy.
— Anton Chekhov, in a letter to A.S. Suvorin. (April 13, 1895)