Thursday, January 20, 2022

Most Dangerous

One of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve.

-- Paul Henry Nitze (1907 - 2004), American politician who served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Defense, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department, War Whether We Need It Or Not? (1991)

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Travel And Tell No One

Travel and tell no one, 
Live a true love story 
  and tell no one, 
Live happily 
  and tell no one, 
People ruin 
  beautiful things. 

-- Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931), usually referred to in English as Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist, "Travel and tell no one" (attributed)

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Baby Shark

"Baby Shark," the inescapable earworm beloved by some children and often feared by their parents, has hit a new milestone -- 10 billion views on YouTube.

Not only is it the most-viewed video on the platform, a record it set in November 2020, but it's now the only video on the site to reach 10 billion views, YouTube confirmed to CNN.

The kids' song, masterminded by South Korean educational company Pinkfong and performed by Korean-American singer Hope Segoine, debuted in 2016 and was a viral hit in Asia but didn't jam itself into Americans' collective consciousness until 2019. Since then, it's been turned into a Nickelodeon TV show, a cereal, a live show and the rallying cry of the Washington Nationals throughout their World Series-winning season. 

-- Scottie Andrew, "'Baby Shark' becomes the first YouTube video to hit 10 billion views", CNN, 13 January 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

Well Timed

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.  Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct-action movement that was "well timed" according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation.  For years now I have heard the word "wait."  It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity.  This "wait" has almost always meant "never."  It has been a tranquilizing thalidomide, relieving the emotional stress for a moment, only to give birth to an ill-formed infant of frustration.  We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."  We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights.  The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward the goal of political independence, and we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.  I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say "wait." 

-- Martin Luther King Jr. (15 January 1929 - 4 April 1968), American Baptist minister and activist, "Letter from Birmingham City Jail", an open letter written on 16 April 1963

Friday, January 14, 2022

Limited In Importance

I don't have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don't think the highest calling is success.  Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal.  Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice.

-- Richard Matthew Stallman (1953 -), founder of the Free Software movement, the GNU project, the Free Software Foundation, and the League for Programming Freedom, "Free Software as a Social Movement" on Znet (18 December 2005)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

RIP Sidney Poitier

Hope is the eternal tool in the survival kit for mankind.  We hope for a little luck, we hope for a better tomorrow, we hope -- although it is an impossible hope -- to somehow get out of this world alive.  And if we can't and don't, then it is enough to rejoice in our short time here and to remember how much we loved the view.

-- Sidney Poitier KBE (1927 - 2022), Bahamian-American actor, film director, and diplomat; in 1964, he was the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.  Life Beyond Measure : Letters to My Great-Granddaughter (2008), twenty-third letter -- The World I Leave You, p. 273

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Not A Character Flaw

When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character.  This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor.  But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw.  Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live.

-- Sarah J. Kendzior (1978 -), American journalist, author, and anthropologist, Poverty is not a character flaw,, 5 October 2013