Snippets from Black Teacher

I cannot begin to do this book justice, nor will these snippets. so I’d really highly recommend reading Beryl Gilroy’s wonderful memoir in full.

Of Lady Anne:

“I could never really grasp how sincere she was in anything she said. She was able to laugh or cry inside without moving a single muscle in her face.”

Snippets from The Old Boys

Really enjoyed William Trevor’s The Old Boys.

“As the future narrows one turns too much towards the past. One sees it out of proportion, as though it matters.”

“Mr Nox was not lonely … but he had faced loneliness as a boy and come to terms with it.

Snippets from A Gentleman in Moscow

From A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Tiptoeing down the stairs of reason

“Whatever the endeavour, if the setting is glorious and the tenor grandiose, it will have its adherents. In fact, as the locations for duels became more picturesque and the pistols more finely manufactured, the best-bred men proved willing to defend their honour over lesser offenses.

Snippets from The Science of Story

The cure for the horror is story

We know how this ends. You’re going to die and so will everyone you love. And then there will be heat. All the change in the universe will cease, the stars will die. And there will be nothing left of anything but infinite dead freezing void.

Being “nobody-but-yourself”

This bit of advice from e.e.cummings made me think. (h/t Maria Popova).

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling.

Jaron Lanier, BUMMERs and Being Human

I’ve just finished reading Jaron Lanier’s 10 arguments for deleting your social media accounts. Some are more persuasive than others, but they’ve made me decide to delete my Facebook account for 2020.

The arguments are all linked and as follows:

  1. You are losing your free will thanks to the addictive nature of much of it and the behaviourist focus of the coding (Facebook gurus Sean Parker and Chamath Paliyapatiya would seem to agree)
  2. Quitting social media is the most finely targeted way to resist the insanity of our times.

Trust and Whole Selves

This video is worth a watch, I think. John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, makes some great points about people in organisations.

At its simplest, viewing people as ”Human Resources” gets it wrong because it limits. It ignores the idea that people come to the workplace wanting to bring their whole selves.…

Facts, Stories & Brain Scans

“We tend to use the word story casually, as if stories and narratives were ephemeral decorations for some unchanging underlying reality. The deeper neurological truth is that stories do not cloak reality but create it, triggering cascades of perception and motivation.

Seneca On Saving Time

Not a bad thing to think about at this time of year. (From Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius.
1. Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands.