“When we write we offer the silence as much as the story. Words are the part of silence that can be spoken.”
Jeanette Winterson on adoption, belonging, and how we use storytelling to save ourselves:
“Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?”
John Updike on writing and death – fantastic read:
“The human race … sits up nine nights in the week to admire its own originality.”
Mark Twain on religion and our human egotism:
“Being aware of one’s life, one’s revolt, one’s freedom, and to the maximum, is living, and to the maximum.”
How the unlikely, trying WWII friendship of Nobel-winning scientist Jacques Monod and Nobel-winning philosopher Albert Camus shaped modern culture – an incredible, heartening story:
“Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.”
The science and philosophy of friendship – lessons from Aristotle on the art of connecting
"Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think they must have such a one as their neighbors have."
Lovely picture-book, based on this passage from Walden, presents Thoreau’s ideals of the simple life in enchanting illustrated for kids, brimming with timeless wisdom for all:
"You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness … has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me."
A revealing and prescient conversation with young David Foster Wallace
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
Philip K. Dick on reality, media manipulation, and human heroism – a must-read
"A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist."
Tolstoy’s timeless meditation on what separates good art from bad, and why “infectiousness” is the key to creative merit.
Absolutely wonderful illustrated children’s story about the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, based on a famous passage from Walden and contrasting two different approaches to life — one prioritizing productivity and one worshiping wonder.
“Attention is an intentional, unapologetic discriminator. It asks what is relevant right now, and gears us up to notice only that.”
The Art of Looking – what 11 experts, from an artist to a geologist to a dog, teach us about seeing our familiar city block with wide new eyes
“The soft bonds of love are indifferent to life and death.”
Religion vs. Humanism – Isaac Asimov on science and spirituality
“The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! We reach forth and strain every nerve, but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.”
Timeless wisdom on science and life culled from the diaries of pioneering astronomer and kick-ass woman in science Maria Mitchell
"The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man."
Richard Feynman on good, evil, and the Zen of science, plus his beautiful prose poem for the glory of evolution:
"We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock. The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage."
Carl Sagan on the meaning of life: