Kindle Highlights: June, 2022

A shorter collection of excerpts this time around; starting a new job has cut down on my reading time. At some point I’m going to have to try to summarize SSOTBME and Ministry for the Future, but for now, as with all these highlights, this is for my own interest more than anything I expect to be halfway readable for others.

Can Such Things Be? (Ambrose Bierce)

  • Your Highlight on page 165 | location 2516-2517 | Added on Sunday, 5 June 2022 09:38:48

A man is like a tree: in a forest of his fellows he will grow as straight as his generic and individual nature permits; alone in the open, he yields to the deforming stresses and tortions that environ him. 

Can Such Things Be? (Ambrose Bierce)

  • Your Highlight on page 165 | location 2522-2522 | Added on Sunday, 5 June 2022 09:39:21

Anyone can tell some kind of story; narration is one of the elemental powers of the race.  But the talent for description is a gift.

Instapaper: Sunday, Jun. 5th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 156-158 | Added on Tuesday, 7 June 2022 23:01:31

To talk about “hope” is to perhaps be trying to talk about resolve. Hope is a moral necessity amongst the privileged in the developed nations to work our butts off while we can because we won’t be the ones taking the hit first if we don’t act, but, eventually, it’ll get to us too.

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 110-110 | Added on Tuesday, 14 June 2022 21:42:09

In the case of the Magician, the ultimate defence is to remember that any version of a theory which lies within your comprehension, and in particular one that can be expressed in words, is necessarily not the whole truth. So however well it fits the facts — indeed especially if it fits too many facts — it is necessary to grow out of the theory once it is no longer needed

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 123-123 | Added on Thursday, 16 June 2022 22:47:05

. Of course the idea mentioned in Chapter 7A, that we are living in a self-debugging virtual universe, provides a model for this. Drawing too much conscious attention to paranormal experience evokes the debugging software to normalise it. Surprise is a commodity that does not stretch very far, and that is the tragedy of the media.

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 131-131 | Added on Friday, 17 June 2022 23:05:20

Using the previous analogy we have an infinite series of terms 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + .. each more trivial than the last and yet all adding up towards a final unity

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 138-138 | Added on Sunday, 19 June 2022 20:59:27

But the real essence of morality in Magic is not such compromises, but rather — as I argue at greater length in my third volume of essays — that when one is stripped of all outer moral codes and injunctions, then you become fertile ground for a discovery of inner moral sense. This is what really happens during the serious pursuit of Magic

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 138-138 | Added on Sunday, 19 June 2022 21:00:13

Magicians too are blessed with the discovery that ‘anything goes’ does not actually force one to do anything.Indeed, it may only be when given such freedom that we come face to face with our own inner integrity

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 143-143 | Added on Sunday, 19 June 2022 21:13:44

The cog in the machine was an older image: in it each of us is like a cog, of no value in itself but a vital part of the machine. This is like feudal society where every person knows their place and has the comfort of knowing where they stand, but little sense of individual identity. We are now more like drops in an ocean. Unlike a mere cog, the drop of water is as valuable as the ocean itself because it is a microcosm of the whole — all the physics and chemistry of water is contained in that one drop and the ocean is no more than a giant extrapolation from it. But consider that drop as part of the ocean and it is utterly insignificant, it has no justification or sense of importance as the cog in the machine has. Science has liberated us cogs from the Religious machine and revealed our complexity. We are now shiny drops reflecting the world around us in all our individual glory. But Science, with its acceleration of communication, has also brought us to the ocean. I see myself as a drop — an individual with a vital message to give to the world — but when I try to express it I am brought face to face with the fact that I am one of millions of unwanted writers clogging up the in-trays of thousands of unwanted publishers

SSOTBME 148×216 – Lionel Snell

  • Your Highlight on page 153-153 | Added on Sunday, 19 June 2022 21:32:04

Too slavish an acceptance of Religious and now Scientific authority has led us all to depend too much upon others for our ideas of truth. One expert makes an interesting observation, and we are glued to our television in order not to miss other experts’ views of his opinions. A book presenting a sensational new version of evolution appears and bec