Distance Is Necessary Quotes

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Distance Is Necessary Quotes

Those who think that it is only necessary to feed and clothe the prisoner, and to act towards him in all things according to the law, are much mistaken. However much debased he may be, a man exacts instinctively respect for his character as a man. Every prisoner knows perfectly that he is a convict and a reprobate, and knows the distance which separates him from his superiors; but neither the branding irons nor chains will make him forget that he is a man. He must, therefore, be treated with humanity. Humane treatment may raise up one in whom the divine image has long been obscured. It is with the "unfortunate," above all, that humane conduct is necessary. It is their salvation, their only joy.
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky —

The sense of taste is able to gain the distance necessary for choosing and judging what is the most urgent necessity of life. Thus Gracian already sees in taste a "spiritualization of animality" and rightly points out that there is cultivation (cultura) not only of the mind (ingenio) but also of taste (gusto).

— Hans-Georg Gadamer

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling conventions. We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.
But this strategy alone couldn't provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.

— Barack Obama

Our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government. Public servants at such a distance, and from under the eye of their constituents, must, from the circumstance of distance, be unable to administer and overlook all the details necessary for the good government of the citizens; and the same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible to their constituents, will invite public agents to corruption, plunder and waste.

— Thomas Jefferson

The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world. It must be, if the nebular hypothesis has any truth, older than our world; and long before this earth ceased to be molten, life upon its surface must have begun its course. The fact that it is scarcely one seventh of the volume of the earth must have accelerated its cooling to the temperature at which life could begin. It has air and water and all that is necessary for the support of animated existence.

— H.G. Wells

The violence of men, though, is modulated by a slider: they can allocate their energy along a continuum from competing with other men for access to women to wooing the women themselves and investing in their children, a continuum that biologists sometimes call "cads versus dads."103 In a social ecosystem populated mainly by men, the optimal allocation for an individual man is at the "cad" end, because attaining alpha status is necessary to beat away the competition and a prerequisite to getting within wooing distance of the scarce women.

— Steven Pinker

Shock is a merciful condition. It allows you to get through disaster with a necessary distance between you and your feelings.

— Lisa Kleypas

There are no more deserts. There are no more islands. Yet there
is a need for them. In order to understand the world, one has to turn
away from it on occasion; in order to serve men better, one has to
hold them at a distance for a time. But where can one find the
solitude necessary to vigor, the deep breath in which the mind
collects itself and courage gauges its strength?

— Albert Camus

To understand one's world, one must sometimes turn away from it! To serve better, one must briefly hold it at a distance. Where can the necessary solitude be found, the long breathing space in which mind gathers its strength and takes stock of its courage.

— Albert Camus

Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world. Our hearing extends to a small distance. Our sight is impeded by intervening bodies and shadows. To know each other we must reach beyond the sphere of our sense perceptions. We must transmit our intelligence, travel, transport the materials and transfer the energies necessary for our existence.

— Nikola Tesla

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