Quote of the Day

“The compensation of growing old is that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained – at last! – the power which adds the supreme flavour to existence, – the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it around, slowly, in the light.”

-Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway.

The joys of examining

“I feel much better but fearfully exhausted from examining the extraordinary outpourings of my own students who return my own words to me in grotesque shape, a duly humbling experience, though excellent for one’s self-esteem, but severely shaking to one’s general faith in the rationality of man.”

Isaiah Berlin, writing home after spending a semester in 1949 teaching undergraduates at Harvard.

Quote of the Day

“Now I don’t want anything. Even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them. What was precious is gone.”

Abdullah Kurdi, the Syrian Kurd whose wife and two young sons drowned as they tried to cross from Turkey to Greece in a rubber raft.

Quote of the Day

“The economic management team in Beijing has seriously lost its way. But leaders do funky things when the ruling party’s bargain with its people is ‘we get to rule and you get to get rich.’ Collapsing markets can quickly lead to collapsing legitimacy.”

Tom Friedman, writing in today’s New York Times.

Not sure what he means by “funky”, though. It sometimes is a synonym for “cool”. But it could mean “frightened” — as in “he was in a blue funk”.

Quote of the Day

Thomas Piketty on the cynicism implicit in neoliberal dismissal of the capabilities of the state:

“We are told constantly that states can’t do anything, that it’s impossible to regulate the Cayman islands and the other tax havens because they are too powerful, and all of a sudden we send a million soldiers 10,000km from home to allow the emir of Kuwait to keep his oil.”

Financial Times, 27/28 June, 2015.