Subtract Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 38 quotes )
No matter how limited their powers of reason might have been. still they must have understood that living like that was just murder, a capital crime - except it was slow, day-by-day murder. The government (or humanity) could not permit capital punishment for one man, but they permitted the murder of millions a little at a time. To kill one man - that is, to subtract 50 years from the sum of all human lives - that was a crime; but to subtract from the sum of all human lives 50,000,000 years - that was not a crime! No, really, isn't it funny? This problem in moral math could be solved in half a minute by any ten-year-old Number today, but they couldn't solve it. All their Kant's together couldn't solve it (because it never occurred to one of their Kant's to construct a system of scientific ethics - that is, one based on subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication).
Our visual cortexes are wired to quickly recognize faces and then quickly subtract massive amounts of detail from them, zeroing in on their essential message: Is this person happy? Angry? Fearful? Individual faces may vary greatly, but a smirk on one is a lot like a smirk on another. Smirks are conceptual, not pictorial. Our brains are like cartoonists - and cartoonists are like our brains, simplifying and exaggerating, subordinating facial detail to abstract comic concepts.
Dill was off again. Beautiful things floated around in his dreamy head. He could read two books to my one, but he preferred the magic of his own inventions. He could add and subtract faster than lightning, but he preferred his own twilight world, a world where babies slept, waiting to be gathered like morning lilies.
For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast - a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it? A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.
A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world. Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas. The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time. This is a moment: