Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
Calling sex by its name thereafter [the 17th c.] became more difficult and more costly. As if in order to gain mastery of it in reality, it had first been necessary to subjugate it at the level of language, control its free circulation in speech, expunge it from the things that were said, and extinguish the words that rendered it too visibly present.
Books can be immensely powerful. The ideas in them can change the way people think. Yet it was the Nazis and Stalin's officers who committed terrible crimes, and not Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto - and of course, the Manifesto contained many key ideas that are still relevant and important today, long after Stalin has gone. There is a crucial distinction between the book and its effect - it's crucial because if you talk about a book being harmful rather than its effect you begin to legitimise censorship. Abhorrent ideas need to be challenged by better ones, not banned.
If we really saw war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be impossible to embrace the myth of war. If we had to stand over the mangled corpses of schoolchildren killed in Afghanistan and listen to the wails of their parents, we would not be able to repeat clichés we use to justify war. This is why war is carefully sanitized. This is why we are given war's perverse and dark thrill but are spared from seeing war's consequences. The mythic visions of war keep it heroic and entertaining…The wounded, the crippled, and the dead are, in this great charade, swiftly carted offstage. They are war's refuse. We do not see them. We do not hear them. They are doomed, like wandering spirits, to float around the edges of our consciousness, ignored, even reviled. The message they tell is too painful for us to hear. We prefer to celebrate ourselves and our nation by imbibing the myths of glory, honor, patriotism, and heroism, words that in combat become empty and meaningless.
All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news.
I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress.
A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people.
If the partridge didn't call at the wrong moment, Neither the hunter nor the falcon would know of it. It follows from this point also, That everyone's voice betrays him.
You can control the visibility of my name and my popularity, but you cannot control the frequency at which people are quoting me. Truth always rises with time.
Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?
Be passionate about what you write, believe in your ability to convey timeless ideas, and let no one tell you what what you're capable of.
Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading! Take them out and one cold eternal winter would reign in every page. Restore them to the writer - he steps forth like a bridegroom, bids them all-hail, brings in variety and forbids the appetite to fail.
Religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good.
La historia no ha cambiado. Hace mil anos ellos eran los duenos del mundo. Hoy en dia lo siguen siendo. Claro, lo tienen que compartir con los grandes magnates de la tierra, esos que controlan el petroleo, las drogas, la tecnologia y por supuesto la television y la radio. La Iglesia domina los miedos y la promesa de la salvacion; las grandes empresas tambien manipulan los miedos y los paliativos para estos: la satisfaccion de las necesidades basicas - y las no tan basicas que hoy en dia parecen primordiales: carro, casa, belleza y entretenimiento - , una via directa al consimismo. Ambos en busca de lo mismo, la minipulacion del pueblo que los lleva a la gallina de los huevos de oro: el dinero de las masas. No es causalidad que la gente no quiera pensar. La Iglesia se encargo por siglos de esto, evitando la lectura de cualquier cosa que no fuese su religion. Desde Aristoteles, Ovidio, Pitagoras, Platon, Socrates, Antistenes, Heraclito, hasta Voltaire, Huxley, Hesse, Sade, Maquiavelo, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Dumas, entre otros, fueron censurados.
I also hold very strong personal convictions about censorship. I don't believe in forbidden knowledge.
Q. You do not consider your statement a disloyal one?A. No, sir. Scientific truth is beyond loyalty and disloyalty.Q. Can you prove that this mathematics is valid?A. Only to another mathematician.Q. Your claim then is that your truth is of so esoteric a nature that it is beyond the understanding of a plain man. It seems to me that truth should be clearer than that, less mysterious, more open to the mind.A. It presents no difficulties to some minds. The physics of energy transfer, which we know as thermodynamics, has been clear and true through all the history of man since the mythical ages, yet there may be people present who would find it impossible to design a power engine. People of high intelligence, too.
What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let's get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States -- and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!
Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.
For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book...
If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
Books can not be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory... In this war, we know, books are weapons. And it is a part of your dedication always to make them weapons for man's freedom.
If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our li