Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

True Love

Love is defined as the most powerful emotion a human being can experience. It will be easy to understand live, if the person knows that that the word “Love” is not the same one’s feeling of love. Ancients Greeks used seven words to describe the seven different types of love: storge (natural affection or the love you share with your family), philia (the love that you have for friends), eros (sexual and erotic desire kind of love), agape (unconditional love or divine love), ludus (playful love, like childish lover or flirting), and philautia (the love of self).
A person feels different emotions for the different types of love. The brain has a major rule that controls both feelings and the expressive language. The right side of the brain controls feelings while the left side controls the language. When a person says “I love you” many times a day, they lose the sense of excitement that they usually get. And this goes to the fact that the left side of the brain doesn’t get fully activated.
Love is some sort of practice. People don’t recommend the use of the word “Love” for every expression, because it loses its value. For example: instead of “I love chocolate”, use “I enjoy chocolate”. Another solution that lovers found very effective is choosing words that are associated with good memories. As the word gets used again, it brings the same good feelings of these good moments. Many people say that true love only starts when the interaction between the two partners is based on truth, trust, and respect.
Many philosophers talked about love and they had different perspectives about it. Plato believed in the eros type of love. He said, “He whom love touches not walks in darkness”. While Aristotle thought that that philia transforms eros from a lust for possession into an impulse. He also believed that it is important for lovers to be best friends first before they move to a relationship. Nietzsche, as well, explains in his book that the right name for true love is friendship. He explained that if erotic love can be transformed into the best kind of friendship, then it can open up a blissful life of shared understanding.
Socrates added a different factor to love. He added madness. He said, “although madness can be an illness, it can also be the source of man’s greatest blessings.”
Diotima had a unique opinion about what people should love exactly. He justified that first, a person should be taught to love one beautiful body, so they can come up with the fact that there are many beautiful bodies on this planet, and thus that it is foolish to love just one beautiful body. Then the person will learn that the beauty of the soul is superior to the beauty of the body.
Discussion Questions: 
1) Do you believe in love?
2) What is your own definition of true love?
3)Is love a part of our fate (soulmate)? if not, how do we find that we fell in love?
Quiz Questions:
1) who said “He whom love touches not walks in darkness”?
2)  What factor did Socrates add to love to make it better?

The lives of the philosophers: recommending philosophical biographies

"In graduate school I was taught to carefully ignore the personalities that gave rise to philosophical arguments. But this was almost impossible when it came to American philosophy.” John Kaag
The question of philosophers' biographies and the connection between their lives and their ideas came up yesterday in our discussion of Schopenhauer. What made him such a pessimist? What, for that matter, makes anyone's temperament -- and hence their philosophy, says William James -- what it is?
The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments... Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries when philosophizing to sink the fact of his temperament. Temperament is no conventionally recognized reason, so he urges impersonal reasons only for his conclusions. Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other, making for a more sentimental or a more hard-hearted view of the universe... There arises thus a certain insincerity in our philosophic discussions: the potentest of all our premises is never mentioned. Pragmatism, lecture 1
There's no simple answer to that question, except to say that our early experiences definitely play a big part in shaping who we become. The fact that Schopenhauer lost his father early to (probably) suicide, and that his mother was cold and un-nurturing, cannot help but suggest one of the roots of his mature philosophy. As Kaag says of American philosophers generally, that's not easy to ignore. Nor should we ignore it. We just need to resist reducing anyone's philosophy to their life-experiences. 

So, what are some good philosophical biographies? Starting with James, I recommend Robert Richardson's William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism... Google recommends... Leiter... g'r... alibris... quora... best reviews...

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The evolution of Mark Rothko

This is not from my reading, but I thought it might be of interest.

The artist, Mark Rothko, is illustrative of how an artist can move from the representational to the abstract or even more accurately, nonobjective art. Rothko was a Russian Jewish immigrant who left the comfort of his large family in Seattle to cross the country for college and ended up a major American artist. He left college and bounced around New York City before finding himself through art. Some of his early works depict scenes from the subway platforms, and you can see those echoes in the work that he became known for later.

It seems rather apparent to me that Rothko realized that he was most engaged with color rather than the particular subject matter and stripped the subject away to concentrate on that aspect. The work that made him famous deals strictly with fields of color. There is a Tony award-winning play, Red, about his struggles with the largest commission ever granted at the time, creating a series of works for the new Seagram building in New York. Rothko was also the subject of the most recent American Masters series on PBS.

Stand! Kant & Hegel on posture

How Posture Makes Us Human
The philosophy and science of standing up straight.

The very notion of what in the ancient world defines the human being in contrast to all other living things is simple: upright posture. Best known of the ancient commentators is Plato, who, according to legend, is claimed to have seen the human as bipedal and featherless. To describe humans as “featherless” sounds odder to modern ears than does the functional association of bipedalism and intelligence, but Plato sees the absence of bodily covering as a move away from the base toward the human, for he is quite aware that the other bipedal animal is the bird. Greek thought gives the bird a middle role between the human and the gods, since birds are connected to the gods through their use in divination. Responding to Plato’s contorted definition of man, Diogenes of Sinope, known as the Cynic, notoriously plucked a (bipedal) chicken and took it to Plato’s Academy, declaring, “Here is Plato’s man.”1

Although bipedalism seems to us an obvious way of seeing human beings, it was Plato who used upright posture to move the rational mind as far from the center of the appetite and the organ of generation as possible: The head, for Plato, is the “acropolis” of the body, its highest point both literally and metaphorically. The state is to the upright body as the body is to the city­state. Plato’s upright body at its best must also possess wisdom and nobility, agathos kai sophos (ἀγαθὸς καὶ σοφὸς), which he abstracts in the Meno from the older Greek notion of kalos kagathos (καλός καγαθός), beauty and goodness.2 This older concept describes military posture, in the sense both of the soldier’s body and of his loyalty to the state...

Immanuel Kant reacted against such a notion of the divine perfection of human posture and the theology that it implied. For him, Herder’s views are merely romantic psychologizing rather than an empirical statement about the nature of humans and their future. The human being is not perfect, but, following on from his understanding of what Enlightenment means, must have the potential to alter and change, “to use [one’s own mind] without guidance of another. Sapere aude.”9 Dare to know! And central to that act is to know oneself.

For the human “is himself an animal,” as Kant observed in his Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784). There he characterized the human, even in the role of the ruler, as “crooked wood”:

The highest supreme authority, however, ought to be just in itself and yet a human being. This problem is therefore the most difficult of all; indeed its perfect solution is even impossible; out of such crooked wood as the human being is made, nothing entirely straight can be fabricated...
It was not because he was destined to be rational that man was endowed with erect posture which allows him to make rational use of his limbs; on the contrary, he acquired reason as a result of his erect posture, as the natural effect of that same constitution which he required in order to walk upright.

“Immanuel Kant on His Daily Walk”; aquatint silhouette in black ink from life, 1793.Johann Theodor Puttrich

For 19th-century thinkers, reading Kant on posture came to define the spark of life itself. On Jan. 16, 1839, Ralph Waldo Emerson lectured on the very definition of life to a large audience at Boston’s Masonic Temple. He stressed that
the soul pauses not. In its world is incessant movement. Genius has no retrospect. Virtue has no memory. And that is the law for man. Live without interval: if you rest on your oars, if you stop, you fall. He only is wise who thinks now; who reproduces all his experience for the present exigency; as a man stands on his feet only by a perpetual play and adjustment of the muscles. A dead body or a statue cannot be set up in the upright posture without support. You must live even to stand.14
Life itself is defined by human posture. Once life is extinguished, posture is no longer possible.

The theological notion of posture as the animating force for the human, echoed by Emerson, never really vanishes, as can be seen in the aesthetics of the 19th century. For Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, posture is at the core of the aesthetic impulse. Here he differs from Kant, whom he often engages in his work. In his lectures on aesthetics from the 1820s, Hegel develops a theory of posture as one of the keys to understanding being not only as self­-determining reason (following Kant) but as rationally organized matter. The human being is the rational product of the reason embodied in nature. And that, for Hegel, is to no small degree keyed to “man’s upright posture.” The moment we cease to wish to act, our posture collapses and we revert to the primitive, to the childlike. This is a simple restatement of the complex theological notion that standing upright makes the pre-Edenic human into a volitional being, able to judge right from wrong.

But Hegel continues to argue that upright posture alone is not sufficient to define the aesthetic impulse in man. Seeing the world from an upright position does not yet define the beautiful:

But the erect position is not yet beautiful as such; it becomes so only when it acquires freedom of form. For if in fact a man simply stands up straight, letting his hands hang down glued to the body quite symmetrically and not separated from it, while the legs remain tightly closed together, this gives a disagreeable impression of stiffness, even if at first sight we see no compulsion in it. This stiffness here is an abstract, almost architectural, regularity in which the limbs persist in the same position relatively to one another, and furthermore there is not visible here any determination by the spirit from within; for arms, legs, chest, trunk—all the members—remain and hang precisely as they had grown in the man at birth, without having been brought into a different relation by the spirit and its will and feeling. (The same is true about sitting.) Conversely, crouching and squatting are not to be found on the soil of freedom because they indicate something subordinate, dependent, and slavish. The free position, on the other hand, avoids abstract regularity and angularity and brings the position of the limbs into lines approaching the form of the organic; it also makes spiritual determinants shine through, so that the states and passions of the inner life are recognizable from the posture... Nautilus

Kant/Hegel @aldaily...

Monday, November 11, 2019

Ode to a Dark Season

November can feel like a mournful time, but there are pleasures in its gray solitude.
By Margaret Renkl

This is the month of blank, lowering skies, when the last of the leaves lift and drift away into a drizzly wind. The hardwood trees would normally be bare by mid-November, even in the South, but seasonal cues can be hard to read in this changing climate. It was 98 degrees in Nashville on October 1, and before that the usual September rains never came. I feared there would be no color at all this fall, but I was wrong. The sugar maples have gone golden at last, though not in the bright glory of October. This year they are glowing against gray November skies, each leaf giving off its own light, a tiny sun come to earth.

The forest understory has died back now, and the contours of the land are evident once more. In November I love to look at the places where rainwater flows downhill to find Otter Creek, and then the Little Harpeth River, and someday — winding through the great Mississippi River watershed — the Gulf of Mexico. In summer, the forest keeps the journey of rainwater a secret, tucks it away under a tangle of green, just as it keeps hidden all the songbird nests that are so visible now against a pewter sky... (continues)

The trolls are everywhere

Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation
By Andrew Marantz

Forget the decline of gatekeepers. Imagine a world bereft of gates and uncrossable lines, with no discernible rules. That’s the Hadean landscape that has been painted expertly, in dark hues, by Andrew Marantz in his book, “Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation.”

Hijacking, as Marantz ends up concluding on his long day’s journey into the modern internet, is a mild term for what has gone on ever since a group of innovative tech entrepreneurs started rolling out social media over the last decade. Armed with outward earnestness and well-cloaked dreams of world domination, these digital geniuses promised their creations would result in the best of all possible worlds. Marantz writes: “When pressed, their visions tended toward hazy utopianism: they expected to connect people, to bring us all closer together, to make the world a better place.”

As in the famous novella by Voltaire, that nerdy passel of Candides had not thought through the impact and consequences of their choices. As a result, they ended up creating what might be called The Purge — and it’s happening around the world, 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Consider the Reddit founders Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, who started their online community forum with the slogan “Freedom from the press” and a firm ethos of unfiltered speech. “We built Reddit around the principle of ‘No editors. The people are the editors,’” Huffman told Marantz.

Unfortunately, Huffman and Ohanian never specified which kind of people they hoped to attract — and they certainly did not expect the quick arrival of armies of what Marantz calls “gate crashers.” The goal of these “edge lords” — another name for a collection of nihilists, right-wing nationalists, conspiracy purveyors, white supremacists and more — was to downgrade the discourse in a way that would soon corrode the entire system.

So the geeks built a chaos machine that ginned up a world of socially acceptable sadism, and Marantz dived into the toxic stew to chronicle the scene. And what a Thunderdome it is, with players ranging from the digital equivalent of carnival barkers to — perhaps even scarier — true believers.

Better him than me, I thought as I read about his encounters with the celebrities of this awful antisocial universe, from the Proud Boys’ Gavin McInnes to the American neo-Nazi and white supremacist Richard Spencer to the deeply cynical Mike Cernovich.

Cernovich is what my grandmother would have called a “piece of work,” constantly pretzeling himself into all kinds of shapes to deal with whatever contradiction is in conflict with his peculiar ideology. Which is why Marantz dubs Cernovich “alt-light,” one of many demagogues without a goal except perhaps to wreak havoc.

From his roots in a “small hog-farming town in central Illinois,” this once shy and brooding kid morphed into a hyper-articulate but unemployed law school graduate, dogged by a date-rape charge that was later expunged. But never from his mind, which led to the formulation of a man-centered, antifeminist view of the world. Cernovich told Marantz, “I reject feminism as the enslavement philosophy it is.”

The irony: Cernovich’s ex-wife was a high-ranking and wealthy Facebook executive who used to support him financially and took him to dinners at the home of the “Lean In” icon Sheryl Sandberg. While she worked, he blogged, and after they divorced in 2011 he used his $2.6 million settlement to fuel his endeavors. That included pushing fake news and bogus memes into the mainstream, and being creepily delighted when they landed.

In the name of research, Andrew Marantz bravely went into the darkest corners of the internet.

Marantz pings from here to his own troubled feelings after Donald Drumpf gains the presidency — and, of course, to the role that Facebook, social media’s Goliath, played in the 2016 election. Only nine days afterward, like an arsonist running away from a burning building, its C.E.O. and founder Mark Zuckerberg was already insisting that the claim that fake news had influenced the election was a “pretty crazy idea.”

At this point, Marantz travels to the DeploraBall during the Drumpf inauguration, where he meets Lucian Wintrich from The Gateway Pundit (“a font of viral misinformation, half-baked hypotheses and the sort of cloddish race-baiting that was beneath even Breitbart’s standards”). The site has blossomed as Drumpf spends much of his time labeling mainstream media an “enemy of the people.” I would argue that it’s only a short step from there to Charlottesville, where white supremacists marched and a protester lost her life.

All this is what Marantz calls “American Berserk,” and the damage has been severe on a worldwide scale. Marantz is right to worry. As I have written in my Opinion columns for this newspaper, I have seen firsthand how social media sites amplify villainous voices and weaponize them, too — and it’s not clear they can be controlled. The optimism of social media’s creators has been overshadowed by the cynicism of the vicious propaganda spewed on their platforms.

In a recent column for The Times, titled “Free Speech Is Killing Us,” Marantz sounded the alarm. “Having spent the past few years embedding as a reporter with the trolls and bigots and propagandists who are experts at converting fanatical memes into national policy, I no longer have any doubt that the brutality that germinates on the internet can leap into the world of flesh and blood,” he wrote. “The question is where this leaves us. Noxious speech is causing tangible harm. Yet this fact implies a question so uncomfortable that many of us go to great lengths to avoid asking it. Namely, what should we — the government, private companies or individual citizens — be doing about it?”
Unfortunately, he has no real answers, except that all things eventually fall apart. Perhaps the jig is up, as the big platforms and the regulators who worry about what they have wrought begin to crack down on the system they’ve established. “The ranking algorithms on social media laid out clear incentives: provoke as many activating emotions as possible; lie, spin, dog-whistle; drop red pill after red pill; step up to the line repeatedly, in creative new ways.”

In other words, the dance of discord and enragement and noxiousness, which turns and turns in a widening gyre. The troubled yet worthwhile journey this book takes us on matches the mood of Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” — and it’s a journey rife with depressing detail that also depresses Marantz. The question is, will the slouching rough beasts let loose by our wonderful innovations beat us to the finish line?

As a longtime reporter covering the tech industry — which I have found so nonreflective, it’s a miracle that its ranks can see themselves in the mirror — I am, shall we say, pessimistic. Silicon Valley simply does not do consequences, and we are the worse for it.

Still, after his long time hanging with the worst of digital humanity, Marantz appears to believe that the arc of history does bend. To get it to point back to justice, he notes, we will have to do the heavy lifting ourselves.

Heave ho.

The search for meaning through art

Woman, I, Willem de Kooning, 1950-52.

All of humanity starts at the same place, as a helpless infant in an existence of sucking, touching, gurgling, wetting and excreting. The philosopher, Richard Wollheim maintains that these are exactly the experiences that the artist Willem de Kooning portrays in his work. A world we explore with our fingers and mouths, a reality primarily composed of our mother. Everything outside of her is threatening and frightful. In his book, What Art Is, Arthur C. Danto tells of a video in which a man holds an infant that had been born only ten minutes yet the baby imitated the man opening his mouth and sticking out his tongue. As if the child was born with some level of communication and recognition.

The Christian religion realized that art could translate stories and myths in fundamental terms that everyone could understand and used it to great effect. The primordial image of Western art is that of a mother and child. In Ulysses, James Joyce talks of "the word every man knows" while many think the word is "love," Danto believes it would have to be an almost universal word. He thinks the best candidate is "Mama" a word that causes the lips to make a sucking motion. Christian art represents humans in all their most vulnerable moments, birth, suffering, hunger, love, and death.

The Holy Family, Nicolas Poussin, 1641.
The Christian scene of the Nativity is familiar to all of us, the baby, mother, and, father with friends and family gathered to see the newborn, some bearing gifts. We identify with the scenario and feelings depicted. Nicolas Poussin's The Holy Family is a perfect example, the mother playing with her baby while a bowl of food waits nearby. The father leans on the window sill catching up on the sleep he lost due to the cries of the child. We all know what each of the characters is experiencing and can connect with it. The idea that the family might be holy is irrelevant.

A time traveler from another era would recognize what was going on just as we understand how the characters in The Illiad and The Odyssey act. Our visitor would even identify with the subjects of Picasso's Blue Period, the cubist work might give them pause but Picasso was still primarily painting women. While much has changed in advances in science and our understanding of the world, the appearance of that world remains much the same. This is how art provides meaning across the ages.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

What Is Art? (Report Draft)

Section 12
Heather Faulkner

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that studies beauty and taste. The philosophy of art falls under the umbrella of Aesthetic philosophy, seeking to understand what art really is, what purpose it serves, and whether the aesthetic value of art is subjective or objective. The purpose of this blog is to give an overview of some different philosophical approaches to defining art. 

With the internet and social media, people today have access to artistic works 24/7, including images of paintings, musical recordings, movies, tv shows, digital novels, etc. Experiencing and sharing artistic creations have become more convenient than ever, making it an everyday part of our lives. Because of this, understanding what art really is may seem easy at first, especially because the word itself is clearly defined in the dictionary. However, finding a philosophical definition is a bit more complicated. 

Generally, art is recognized as something that is man-made, meaning that a pretty sunset isn’t a work of art, because it simply exists in nature. However, under this definition alone, everything that is man-made can be considered art, such as buildings, dumpsters, power lines, pencils, etc. In order for art to be distinguishable from other things, there needs to be some sort of definitional boundary to separate what art is and what it is not. Where to draw the line between art and other man-made items isn’t entirely clear. However, many philosophers have come up with their own theories as to where art begins and ends. 

Essentialists believe that there is a certain set of properties or characteristics that make something a work of art. Art philosopher and critic, Arthur Danto, argues that “something is a work of art if and only if (i) it has a subject (ii) about which it projects some attitude or point of view (has a style) (iii) by means of rhetorical ellipsis (usually metaphorical) which ellipsis engages audience participation in filling in what is missing, and (iv) where the work in question and the interpretations thereof require an art historical context.” Some say that these conditions are too narrow and that they favor certain types of art over others. 

Institutionalist theories claim that art is art when the “artworld,” a term coined by Danto, says it is. George Dickie is a prominent voice for institutional theories, believing that “a work of art is an artifact of a kind created to be presented to an artworld public.” Dickie goes on to say that all it takes to be a member of the artworld is to see yourself as a member of the artworld. This is problematic because there is no consistency between artworld members in what classifications are used to determine works of art, nor is there a clearly defined artworld, so therefore, there isn’t a single, unified definition of art.

Criticized for similar issues, historical definitions assert that art is characterized by its historical connection to earlier works of art. For example, Jerrold Levinson said, “An artwork is a thing that has been seriously intended for regard in any way preexisting or prior artworks are or were correctly regarded.” One of the problems with this definition is that the first artworks wouldn’t have had an art-historical context to begin with. If there was no preexisting art, by definition, these pieces can’t be considered works of art. Also, it isn’t exactly clear how one is supposed to tell the difference between historical art traditions and non-art traditions, so using a historical context to define today’s art isn’t so straightforward. 

Functional definitions claim that art must have some sort of function or intended functions, typically resulting in aesthetic properties and experiences. For example, Monroe Beardsley defines art as “either an arrangement of conditions intended to be capable of affording an experience with marked aesthetic character or (incidentally) an arrangement belonging to a class or type of arrangements that is typically intended to have this capacity.” John Dewey claims that an aesthetic experience in art entails the ongoing interaction between the artwork and the entire individual. In short, the intended function of art is to elicit an aesthetic experience, otherwise it is not art. 

Anti-Essentialists, such as Morris Weitz, argue that art cannot be defined. Weitz says art is undefinable because it is an open concept, whose “conditions of application are emendable and corrigible.” From this point of view, because art is ever expanding, changing, and pushing boundaries, it cannot be defined by a specific set of conditions or rules. However, the difficulty of separating art from everything else still remains.

Clearly, art is not an easy concept to define. Some argue that finding a definition is not important, and that what makes something a work of art should be up to each and every individual. Others think that in order to fully understand the purpose, allure, and quality of art, we must be able to define what it technically is. Either way, artistic expression and appreciation is a major part of the human experience, making it an important feature of life to study within the realm of philosophy. Please take the time to read the following discussion and quiz questions.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Do you think that art has to be man-made? Can nature itself be a work of art?
  2. What do you personally believe makes art, art?
  3. Would art cease to be art if we attached strict definitional boundaries to it? If so, should we even try to define it?

Quiz Questions:
  1. ________ argue that art cannot be defined.
  1. _______ believe that there is a certain set of properties or characteristics that make something art.
  1. _________ definitions claim that art must have some sort of function or intended functions, typically resulting in aesthetic properties and experiences.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Carl Sagan on the power of books

Friday, November 8, 2019

Growing up enlightened

LISTEN. Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity... Sapere Aude! “Have courage to use your own understanding!”--that is the motto of enlightenment. Immanuel Kant, What is Enlightenment?
Front Cover
Growing up means realizing that no time of one's life is the best one, and resolving to savor every second of joy within reach. You know each will pass, and you no longer experience that as betrayal...
Can philosophy help us to find a model of maturity that is not a matter of resignation?...I believe that it can, and the best place to begin is Immanuel Kant's description of the process of reason's coming of age...
Real freedom involves control over your life as a whole, learning to make plans and promises and decisions, to take responsibility for your actions' consequences.
Susan Neiman, Why Grow Up?: Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age

“If the right to happiness is not an idle piece of wishful thinking but a demand of reason, the consequences can be revolutionary.”

“Freedom cannot simply mean doing whatever strikes you at the moment: that way you're a slave to any whim or passing fancy. Real freedom involves control over your life as a whole, learning to make plans and promises and decisions, to take responsibility for your actions' consequences.”

“A defence of the Enlightenment is a defence of the modern world, along with all its possibilities for self-criticism and transformation. If you’re committed to Enlightenment, you’re committed to understanding the world in order to improve it.”

“Reason drives your search to make sense of the world by pushing you to ask why things are as they are. For theoretical reason, the outcome of that search becomes science; for practical reason, the outcome is a more just world.”

“When consuming goods rather than satisfying work becomes the focus of our culture, we have created (or acquieced in) a society of permanent adolescents.”

“Rousseau introduced the idea of false needs, and showed how the systems we live in work against our growing up: they dazzle us with toys and bewilder us with so many trivial products that we are too busy making silly choices to remember that the adult ones are made by others.”

“Given all the forces arrayed against it, no wonder Kant thought growing up to be more a matter of courage than knowledge: all the information in the world is no substitute for the guts to use your own judgement. And judgement can be learned — principally through the experience of watching others use it well —but it cannot be taught.”

“Doing what you can to move your part of the world closer to the way it should be, while never losing sight of the way it is, is what being a grown-up comes to.”

“Keeping an eye on the way the world ought to be, while never losing sight of the way it is, requires permanent, precarious balance. It requires facing squarely the fact that you never get the world you want, while refusing to talk yourself out of wanting it.”