Tidbits & Quotes: May 2005

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  • This is a collection of tidbits and quotes.
  • eMail: stefan@smalla.net

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  • Everything here is my very personal collection and does not reflect the opinions of current or past employers, nor does it stem from confidential information obtained there. Also, I do not personally share the opinion of all of the quotes posted here.

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Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person! Having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together. Certain that a faithful hand will take them and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

George Eliot

Posted May 29, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A true friend is someone that knows the song of your soul, and sings it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Unknown

Posted May 28, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

As a venture investor, the first thing you consider when looking at a startup based in France is how you are going to move it out of France.

Jeff Nolan, VC

From Venture Chronicles

Posted May 28, 2005 | # | Category: Magazines & Sites

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

Posted May 27, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted May 26, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted May 22, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars.

Plaque for the Apollo One crew

Posted May 16, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

Reading books chronically under-stimulates the senses. Unlike the longstanding tradition of gameplaying—which engages the child in a vivid, three-dimensional world filled with moving images and musical soundscapes, navigated and controlled with complex muscular movements—books are simply a barren string of words on the page. Only a small portion of the brain devoted to processing written language is activated during reading, while games engage the full range of the sensory and motor cortices.

Books are also tragically isolating. While games have for many years engaged the young in complex social relationships with their peers, building and exploring worlds together, books force the child to sequester him or herself in a quiet space, shut off from interaction with other children. These new 'libraries' that have arisen in recent years to facilitate reading activities are a frightening sight: dozens of young children, normally so vivacious and socially interactive, sitting alone in cubicles, reading silently, oblivious to their peers.

Many children enjoy reading books, of course, and no doubt some of the flights of fancy conveyed by reading have their escapist merits. But for a sizable percentage of the population, books are downright discriminatory. The reading craze of recent years cruelly taunts the 10 million Americans who suffer from dyslexia—a condition didn’t even exist as a condition until printed text came along to stigmatize its sufferers.

But perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can't control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you. For those of us raised on interactive narratives, this property may seem astonishing. Why would anyone want to embark on an adventure utterly choreographed by another person? But today’s generation embarks on such adventures millions of times a day. This risks instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they’re powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one. The book readers of the younger generation are learning to 'follow the plot' instead of learning to lead.

Steven Berlin Johnson

From the book "Everything Bad Is Good For You"

Posted May 15, 2005 | # | Category: Books

Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues.

George F. Will

Posted May 03, 2005 | # | Category: Quotations

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