Today’s excerpts

From The Prince by Machiavelli:

From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved more than feared, or feared more than loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting. For it may be said of men in general that they are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain; as long as you benefit them, they are entirely yours; they offer you their blood, their goods, their life, and their children, as I have before said, when the necessity is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt. And the prince who has relied solely on their words, without making other preparations, is ruined; for the friendship which is gained by purchase and not through grandeur and nobility of spirit is bought but not secured […].

From Brighton Rock by Graham Greene:

She pushed him off but kept her arms round him. ‘They’re crazy. You aren’t that sick. You can’t tell me I wouldn’t know if you were that sick,’ she said. ‘I don’t like to see a fellow throw up the sponge that way. It’s a good world if you don’t weaken.’

From Siddhartha:

Govind bowed low. Incontrollable tears trickled down his old face. He was overwhelmed by a feeling of great love, of the most humble veneration. He bowed low, right down to the ground, in front of the man sitting there motionless, whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in his life, of everything that had ever been of value and holy in his life.

From How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker:

The collective expression for hominoids, “a shrewdness of apes,” tells a story. Primates are sneaky baldfaced liars. They hide from rivals’ eyes to flirt, cry wolf to attract or divert attention, even manipulate their lips into a poker face. Chimpanzees monitor one another’s goals, at least crudely, and sometimes appear to use them in pedagogy and deception. One chimp, show a set of boxes with food and one with a snake, led his companions to the snake, and after they fled screaming, feasted in peace.

From Thus Spake Zarathustra:

Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is
still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than
any of the apes.
  Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant
and phantom.

In other words, I have a cold today and aspirin isn’t doing much for my headache. Fuck the world.

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