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Ulysses S. Grant

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It is preposterous to suppose that the people of one generation can lay down the best and only rules of government for all who are to come after them, and under unforeseen contingencies.
Ch. 16.

Ulysses S. Grant

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A creator is not in advance of his generation but he is the first of his contemporaries to be conscious of what is happening to his generation.
A creator who creates, who is not an academician, who is not someone who studies in a school where the rules are already known, and of course being known they no longer exist, a creator then who creates is necessarily of his generation. His generation lives in its contemporary way but they only live in it. In art, in literature, in the theatre, in short in everything that does not contribute to their immediate comfort they live in the preceding generation.

Gertrude Stein

If something becomes common enough to turn into a ritual, and then starts to involve really large numbers of people, that's when the ritual becomes something else. It becomes widespread enough to affect the general agreement we all share. So, that's when the responsibility for running it goes out of your hands to be taken over by the institutions set up to run the rituals that matter on a regular basis, so that people can have clear rules and regulations to follow if they decide to get up to that particular ritual. The institutions take the admin out of daily life and run it for you: banking, government, sewage, tax collecting. Or, if you break the rules and regulations, one institution can take you out of daily life. This one: (James Burke displays a trial.) In every community, the law -- whether it's dressed up like this or the village elders telling you what the local custom is -- the law is all those rules I was on about earlier. I suppose what institutions like this do, most of all, is the dirty work. While they're putting them away here in the law court, for instance, that leaves us free to get on with making money, having a career, and avoiding the social responsibilities that these people have to deal with. And after a few centuries of this buck-passing, the institutions get big and powerful, and reach into everybody's lives so much they become hard to alter and virtually impossible to get rid of.

James (science historian) Burke

But let the word go forth from this time and place that the torch has been passed on to a new generation. A generation that is acutely aware of its unique destiny as the hope of our long-suffering people. A generation that is desperately challenged by the rapid developments taking place all over the world, a generation that is encouraged by all the possibilities of technology, a generation that is determined to earn its place in history; a generation of hope.

Bukola Saraki

Declaring yourself to be operating by "Crocker's Rules" means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you.  Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind ó if you're offended, it's your fault. Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor. (Which, in point of fact, they would be.  One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)  Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting.  Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline.
Note that Crocker's Rules does not mean you can insult people; it means that other people don't have to worry about whether they are insulting you.  Crocker's Rules are a discipline, not a privilege.  Furthermore, taking advantage of Crocker's Rules does not imply reciprocity.  How could it?  Crocker's Rules are something you do for yourself, to maximize information received ó not something you grit your teeth over and do as a favor.

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Americans still admire dignity. But the word has become unmoored from any larger set of rules or ethical system.
But itís not right to end on a note of cultural pessimism because there is the fact of President Obama. Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but they may surpass his policy impact. He may revitalize the concept of dignity for a new generation and embody a new set of rules for self-mastery.

Barack Obama
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