As was the case for Nobel's own invention of dynamite, the uses that are made of increased knowledge can serve both beneficial and potentially harmful ends. Increased knowledge clearly implies increased responsibility. We reject the notion advocated in some quarters that man should stop eating from the tree of knowledge, as if that were humanly possible.
Skepsis. I am a true skeptic, born under the noble sign of skepsis, the sign of the man who knows that all astrology is absolutely and without reservation the bullest of bullsh*t that ever there was. It is a senseless delusion that does not even have the benefit of being harmless fun. It is a harmful bore. Harmful to the human spirit, harmful to the dignity and wonder of the real universe and the real power of the mind to think for itself. I hate astrology with a fervor that is almost frightening. - Stephen Fry (when asked what sign he would be if he could create his own zodiac)
I think the 'Just say no' mentality is so crazed. I saw a thing in a women's magazine the other day. 'He smokes cannabis, what am I to do? He laughs it off when I try to tell him, he says it's not really harmful...' Of course you're half hoping the advice will be, 'Well, you know it's not that harmful; if you love him, if you talk to him about it, tell him maybe he should keep it in the garden shed or something,' you know, a reasonable point of view. But of course it was, 'No, no, all drugs are bad. Librium's good, Valium's good. But cannabis, ooooh!' I hate that unreasoned attitude.
In a world full of danger, to be a potentially seeable object is to be constantly exposed to danger. Self-consciousness, then, may be the apprehensive awareness of oneself as potentially exposed to danger by the simple fact of being visible to others. The obvious defence against such a danger is to make oneself invisible in one way or another.
Man is potentially a son, and woman is potentially a mother; woman depends on the dependence of man. The spinster, if pathetic at all, is pathetic because she has no one to look after, not because there is no one to look after her. Bear in mind that the conventional spinster keeps a canaary as a substitute for a husband.
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