On Curiosity

\”Curiosity is the first step toward connection.\” – Shola Richards

\”You can\’t learn if you think you already know.\” – Epictetus

\”To be a learner, you\’ve got to be willing to be a fool.\” – George Leonard 

\”You don\’t need to push yourself as hard when curiosity is pulling you.\” – Paul Graham

\”Anything can be interesting to anyone because everything is related\” – Michael Stevens

\”Curiosity is subordination in its purest form.\” – Vladimir Nabakov

\”Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.\” – Pierre Marc Gaston

\”I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.\” – Albert Einstein

James Baldwin

\”For what this really means is that all of the American categories of male and female, straight or not, black or white, were shattered, thank heaven, very early in my life. Not without anguish, certainly; but once you have discerned the meaning of a label, it may seem to define you for others, but it does not have the power to define you to yourself.\” (\”Here Be Dragons\” originally titled- \”Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood\”)\”Freaks are called freaks and are treated as they are treated — in the main, abominably — because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound terrors and desires.Most of us, however, do not appear to be freaks — though we are rarely what we appear to be. We are, for the most part, visibly male or female, our social roles defined by our sexual equipment.But we are all androgynous, not only because we are all born of a woman impregnated by the seed of a man but because each of us, helplessly and forever, contains the other — male in female, female in male, white in black and black in white. We are a part of each other. Many of my countrymen appear to find this fact exceedingly inconvenient and even unfair, and so, very often, do I. But none of us can do anything about it.\” (\”Here Be Dragons\” originally titled- \”Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood\”)

\”White people in this country will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this—which will not be tomorrow and may very well be never—the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed.\” – James Baldwin (Letter from a Region in my Mind)

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin


\”What would our debates about fiction look like, I sometimes wonder, if our preferred verbal container for the phenomenon of writing about others was not “cultural appropriation” but rather “interpersonal voyeurism” or “profound-other-fascination” or even “cross-epidermal reanimation”? Our discussions would still be vibrant, perhaps even still furious—but I’m certain they would not be the same. Aren’t we a little too passive in the face of inherited concepts? We allow them to think for us, and to stand as place markers when we can’t be bothered to think. What she said. But surely the task of a writer is to think for herself! And immediately, within that bumptious exclamation mark, an internal voice notes the telltale whiff of baby boomer triumphalism, of Generation X moral irresponsibility…. I do believe a writer’s task is to think for herself, although this task, to me, signifies not a fixed state but a continual process: thinking things afresh, each time, in each new situation. This requires not a little mental flexibility. No piety of the culture—whether it be I think therefore I amTo be or not to beYou do you, or I contain multitudes—should or ever can be entirely fixed in place or protected from the currents of history. There is always the potential for radical change.\” – Zadie Smith( Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction)

\”Not till the universal title of humanity to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is conceded and inalienable to all; not till then is woman\’s lesson taught and woman\’s cause won —not the white woman\’s nor the black woman\’s, not the red woman\’s but the cause of every man and every woman who has writhed silently under a mighty wrong\” – Anna Julia Cooper (through Freedom Dreams by Robin D.G. Kelley)

\”Human Freedom depends not only on the destruction and restructuring of the economic system, but on the restructuring of the mind. New modes of poetic action, new networks of analogy, new possibilities of expression all help formulate the nature of the supersession of reality, the transformation of everyday life as it encumbers us today, the unfolding and eventual triumph of the marvelous.\” -Paul Garon(through Freedom Dreams by Robin D.G. Kelley) 

\”The poorer the person, the stronger the presumption. If you’re just black, America adds a decade of age, a vat of sass, and a coating of Kevlar to your skin because of course niggers don\’t feel any pain. If you’re poor and black, America acts like you emerge from the womb twenty-seven years old, with four kids, five predicate felonies, and lit Newport already between your lips. White people get to be babies. And they get to still be babies when they’re adults. Poor black people are born Avon Barksdale.\” – Damon Young(What Doesn\’t Kill You Makes You Blacker

\”Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.\”- John F. Kennedy

\”Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because it reacts to what we do.\”- Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny

For Artists

\”Screenwriting is like coming to a dinner party and saying: “I’m going to be the only one who talks, and I tell you guys a story, and at the end of the two hours and 12 minutes, you are going to be happy that I was the only one talking.\” – Aaron Sorkin (The Talks

\”Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are the liberating arts that free us from unfounded opinion and prejudice.\” – Mortimer Adler (How to Read a Book

For Life in General 

\”The farce and tragedy of how obsessed we—the black men and boys who considered ourselves to be straight and wanted said straightness to be conspicuous and foolproof— were with what it’s supposed to mean to be a straight man enabled and creeping and indiscriminate dehumanization of ourselves that swaddled and permeated us. It lived in the world we said (and currently say), the music we listened to (and currently listen to), and the way we thought about ourselves and women and our relationships with ourselves and women. We were, and still are, soaked in it. We marinate in it and are pickled by it. It brutalizes us. And that brutalization brittles and breaks us. We spent, and still spend, so much effort, so much time, so many resources, trying to match or maybe just perform the hyper-rigid heterosexuality we were socialized to aspire to, for fear of being seen as soft.\” Damon Young(What Doesn\’t Kill You Makes You Blacker

\”People don’t want to be millionaires, they want to experience what they think only millions can buy\”- Tim Ferriss (4 Hour Workweek)

\”The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.\” – Richard Feynman

\”Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it\” – Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich

Knowledge is not power, the application of knowledge is power – Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich