Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Paton Davies

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The crime he did commit was that of practical, complicated, and nuanced thought. Though an ardent anti-communist, he also knew that Chiang's regime was bankrupt and that eventually America would have to deal with Mao if it wanted power over him.
Roger Rosenblatt. source

John Paton Davies

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There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

All the Sixties were complicated, you know. On the one hand it was funny too, you know; on the other hand it was cruel, you know. The communists are so cruel, because they impose one taste on everybody, on everything, and who doesn't comply with their teachings and with their ideology, is very soon labeled pervert, you know, or whatever they want you call it, or counterrevolutionary or whatever. And then the censorship itself, that's not the worst evil. The worst evil is — and that's the product of censorship — is the self-censorship, because that twists spines, that destroys my character because I have to think something else and say something else, I have to always control myself. I am stopping to being honest, I am becoming hypocrite — and that's what they wanted, they wanted everybody to feel guilty, they were, you know... And also they were absolutely brilliant in one way, you know: they knew how effective is not to punish somebody who is guilty; what Communist Party members could afford to do was mind-boggling: they could do practically anything they wanted — steal, you know, lie, whatever. What was important — that they punished if you're innocent, because that puts everybody, you know, puts fear in everybody.

Milos Forman

What I have discovered in 20 years of studying the universe, from here to there to everywhere, is that the universe is complicated, and when things happen, it is almost never like ‘A happened and therefore B’. No, A happened and therefore B, C, D and E, but then there is this thing F, and that had a 10% effect, and that prompted G to go back and tip over A, and it is always like this – everything is interconnected. And so a lot of these far-right fundamentalist religion people, and a lot of these people who are anti-global warming, anti-evolution, anti-science, what they do is they take advantage of the fact that things are complicated, and their lives are based on things being simple – if we do this, then this will happen – if we invade Iraq, we will be treated as liberators, if we pray, then good things will happen, and this stuff is wrong. But we have a culture where people are brought up to believe in simplicity, and if A then B. And so when you point out that scientists say the earth is warming, but we had a really devastating winter this year, then these people will say “oh, obviously global warming is wrong”. No, global warming can cause worse winters locally. It’s complicated. But people don’t want to hear “it’s complicated”, and boy, the conspiracy theorists and anti-scientists take full advantage of that.

Phil Plait

I read the first edition of 'Mein Kampf' when it came out in 1923 and even then I knew Hitler meant what he said. I knew the history of anti-Semitism going back for centuries, and I knew all about pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. When I grew up and whent to school in Moscow, I experienced anti-Semitism and the restrictions on where Jews could live and work. Hitler systemized anti-Semitism. Pogroms are my business... Oh yes, I could be a professor of anti-Semitism.

Roman Vishniac
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