Built-In Quotes (displaying: 1 - 26 of 26 quotes )
Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving.
One of the reasons for its success is that science has a built-in, error-correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test our ideas against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when we confuse hopes and facts, we slide into pseudoscience and superstition.
What bothers me today is the lack of, well, I guess you'd call it authentic experience. So much is a sham. So much is artificial, synthetic, watered-down, and standardized. You know, less than half a century ago there were sixty-three varieties of lettuce in California alone. Today, there are four. And they are not the four best lettuces, either; not the most tasty or nutritious. They are the hybrid lettuces with built-in shelf life, the ones that have a safe, clean, consistent look in the supermarket. It's that way with so many things. We're even standardizing people, their goals, their ideas. The sham is everywhere.
The empiricist assumes without any evidence or proof that his experiences somehow give him a magical access to reality. So completely does he identify experience and reality that he cannot liberate himself from thinking of the two as one and the same. In equating experience and reality, he is making a huge and unwarranted leap. But this breakdown of reason is not easy for him or us to recognize because our human minds have a built-in disposition toward illusion? the illusion that reality must be exactly the way we experience it. The irony is that many of the people who proceed in this irrational way think of themselves as following strictly along the pathways of reason.
We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.
I pick up a copy of Newsweek on the plane and immediately notice how biased, slanted, and opinionated all the U.S. newsmagazine articles are. Not that the Euro and British press aren't biased as well--they certainly are--but living in the United States we are led to believe, and are constantly reminded, that our press is fair and free of bias. After such a short time away, I am shocked at how obviously and blatantly this lie is revealed--there is the 'reporting' that is essentially parroting what the White House press secretary announces; the myriad built-in assumptions that one ceases to register after being somewhere else for a while. The myth of neutrality is an effective blanket for a host of biases.
Consumer culture is best supported by markets made up of sexual clones, men who want objects and women who want to be objects, and the object desired ever-changing, disposable, and dictated by the market. The beautiful object of consumer pornography has a built-in obsolescence, to ensure that as few men as possible will form a bond with one woman for years or for a lifetime, and to ensure that women's dissatisfaction with themselves will grow rather than diminish over time. Emotionally unstable relationships, high divorce rates, and a large population cast out into the sexual marketplace are good for business in a consumer economy. Beauty pornography is intent on making modern sex brutal and boring and only as deep as a mirror's mercury, anti-erotic for both men and women.
That's because May takes in things differently than the rest of us do." August reached over and laid her hand on my arm. "See, Lily, when you and I hear about some misery out there, it might make us feel bad for a while, but it doesn't wreck our whole world. It's like we have a built-in protection around our hearts that keeps the pain from overwhelming us. But May - she doesn't have that. Everything just comes into her - all the suffering out there - and she feels as if it's happening to her. She can't tell the difference.
Adolescence is best enjoyed without self-consciousness, but self-consciousness, unfortunately, is its leading symptom. Even when something important happens to you, even when your heart's getting crushed or exalted, even when you're absorbed in building the foundations of a personality, there comes these moments when you're aware that what's happening is not the real story. Unless you actually die, the real story is still ahead of you. This alone, this cruel mixture of consciousness and irrelevance, this built-in hollowness, is enough to account for how pissed off you are. You're miserable and ashamed if you don't believe your adolescent troubles matter, but you're stupid if you do.