Anyone can face ease and success with confidence. It is the way we face trouble and misfortune that defines us. Self-pity goes with selfishness, and there is nothing more to be deplored in a leader than that. A great leader puts others before himself. You would be surprised how acting so makes it easier to bear one’s own troubles. In order to act like a king, one need only treat everyone else like one.
— Before They Are Hanged, Book Two of the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
We say our souls want joy, but they don’t. They want what they already know, joyful or not.
— The Tyrant’s Law, by Daniel Abraham
It’s weird starting over from zero. It changes the scale of your ambitions. Instead of fantasizing about what kind of mansion you’ll buy when you win the lottery, you ask yourself, Do I own socks? Do I have a toothbrush? Do I have a shirt that’s not covered in blood?
— Sandman Slim: A Novel by Richard Kadrey
Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations – they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn’t moral purity (no one manages that), but cynicism. Give me hypocrisy any day.
— George Monbiot, “I’d rather be a hypocrite than a cynic like Julie Burchill“
A lot of good product ideas come from listening to those small annoyances. It’s not the big stuff. Everybody knows the big stuff. You listen to the little things – I have a friend who says, “You pick one thing at random and say, ‘What if this were 100 times more important? What would the product look like?’” That’s a fun exercise to do.
— F.lux’s New ‘Backwards Alarm Clock’ Is The Sleep Angel On Your Shoulder
The personal, as everyone’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, take it personally.
The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide from under it with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them.
Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across.
That way, you stand a better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference – the only difference in their eyes – between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate.
And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal.
Well, fuck them. Make it personal.
“Things I Should Have Learned by Now, Volume II”
–From Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan.
You can’t grow if you’re constantly defined by this collection of frozen moments that you keep returning to. And if you can’t grow, you’re not alive.
—“Emperor of Thorns” by Mark Lawrence
Whenever anyone tells you a specific, very detailed timeline – he did this, so I did this, then he did this – that almost always means that they want you to know JUST HOW MANY TIMES they were innocent and the other person was guilty and bad, and that means that they suspect that THEY CAUSED EVERY FUCKING THING on that timeline.
—Ask Polly: I Was Dumped After a Freak Accident and I Can’t Move On
You’ve already beaten the worst enemy you’ll ever have — that voice in your head … It tells you the fight’s already over … whispers there’s nothing you can do … If you beat that voice, it’s a victory that can’t be taken from you. You might die, but you’ll die fighting.
—“Heroes Die”, by Matthew Woodring Stover
We do not have a threat model for the NSA, they are somewhere between a usual state level attacker and Cthulhu.
–From this Hacker News discussion about whether DuckDuckGo can really protect our privacy better than Google or any other US internet company.