But however minimal, however threadbare, it (collective memory) is ballast of a kind. We all need that seven-eighths of the iceberg, the ballast of the past, a general past, the place from which we came. That is why history should be taught in school. to all children, as much of it as possible. If you have no sense of the past, no access to historical narrative, you are afloat, untethered; you cannot see yourself as a part of the narrative, you cannot place yourself within a context. You will not have an understanding of time, and a respect for memory and its subtle victory over the remorselessness of time.
You need as much ballast as possible to stop you from floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one bloke on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then?
we need a mass of ancestors at our backs as ballast. Sometimes, we feel it's impossible to push into the future without such a weight behind us, without such heaviness to keep us steady, even if it is imaginary. And the more frightening the future is, the more complicated it seems to be, the more we steady ourselves with the past.
If the lives of men were relieved of all need, hardship and adversity; if everything they took in hand were successful, they would be so swollen with arrogance that, though they might not burst, they would present the spectacle of unbridled folly-nay, they would go mad. And I may say, further, that a certain amount of care or pain or trouble is necessary for every man at all times. A ship without ballast is unstable and will not go straight.
Praise a fool, and slay him; for the canvas of his vanity is spread; His bark is shallow in the water, and a sudden gust shall sink it: Praise a wise man, and speed him on his way; for he carrieth the ballast of humility, And is glad when his course is cheered by the sympathy of brethren ashore.
Martin Farquhar Tupper
When she had him along, the world looked different, and she liked the way she saw things she'd never seen before... But she noticed other things, too - the way she herself felt acutely visible with the baby in her arms, and the way some people's faces lit up when they saw a child. His warm weight was like living ballast, thrumming with energy, giving her substance. Folks were drawn to that.
A hot air balloon requires a great deal of fuel to keep it aloft, so that you can't fly it even for one day. A gas balloon, which usually uses helium, has the problem that the helium cools at night when the sun is not on it, and you have to throw ballast overboard to keep it from going to the surface.
'Beauty Queen' is the weirdest, strangest, and most perfect play to do before 'Hedda Gabler', because there are so many similar issues for Maureen and Hedda. I had played leading ladies before but couldn't really hook into them. After 'An American Daughter' and 'Beauty Queen', I had all the ballast.
Somehow this literary genre, which most people condemned, acted as a sort of counterbalance to Charles's soul; it was the ballast that prevented him from lurching into the serious or melancholy, unlike Andrew, who had been unable to adopt his cousin's casual attitude to life, and to whom everything seemed so achingly profound, imbed with that absurd solemnity that the transience of of existence conferred upon even the smallest act.
FÃ©lix J. Palma
And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on a straight course.
Just looking at them I grow greedy, as if they were freshly baked loaves waiting on their shelves to be broken open--that one and that--and I make my choice in a mood of exalted luck, browsing among them like a cow in sweetest pasture. For life is continuous as long as they wait to be read--these inked paths opening into the future, page after page, every book its own receding horizon. And I hold them, one in each hand, a curious ballast weighing me here to earth.
Just looking at them I grow greedy, as if they were freshly baked loaves waiting on their shelves to be broken open-that one and that-and I make my choice in a mood of exalted luck, browsing among them like a cow in sweetest pasture. For life is continuous as long as they wait to be read-these inked paths opening into the future, page after page, every book its own receding horizon. And I hold them, one in each hand, a curious ballast weighing me here to earth.
When you cut it up, put the pieces in your mouth and swallowed them, the British hamburger shaped itself to the bottom on your stomach like ballast, while interacting with your gastric juices to form an incipient belch of enormous potential, an airship which had been inflated in a garage. This belch, when silently released, would cause people standing twenty yards away to start examining the soles of their shoes. The vocalized version sounded like a bag of tools thrown into a bog.
It was quiet in the cell. Rubashov heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer. It was a mistake in the system; perhaps it lay in the precept which until now he had held to be uncontestable, in whose name he had sacrificed others and was himself being sacrificed: in the precept, that the end justifies the means. It was this sentence which had killed the great fraternity of the Revolution and made them run amuck. What had he once written in his diary? "We have thrown overboard all conventions, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic; we are sailing without ethical ballast.
It is so beautiful to be loved as Laurie loves me; he isn't sentimental, doesn't say much about it, but I see and feel it in all he says and does, and it makes me so happy and so humble that I don't seem to be the same girl I was. I never knew how good and generous and tender he was till now, for he lets me read his heart, and I find it full of noble hopes and impulses and purposes, and am so proud to know it's mine. He says he feels as if he 'could make a prosperous voyage now with me aboard as mate, and lots of love for ballast.' I pray he may, and try to be all he believes me, for I love my gallant captain with all my heart and soul and might, and never will desert him while God lets us be together. Oh, Mother, I never knew how much like heaven this world could be when two people love and live for one another!
Louisa May Alcott
que ferais-je sans ce monde que ferais-je sans ce monde sans visage sans questions oe¹ eªtre ne dure qu'un instant oe¹ chaque instant verse dans le vide dans l'oubli d'avoir ete sans cette onde oe¹ e la fin corps et ombre ensemble s'engloutissent que ferais-je sans ce silence gouffre des murmures haletant furieux vers le secours vers l'amour sans ce ciel qui s'ele¨ve sur la poussiee¨re de ses lests que ferais-je je ferais comme hier comme aujourd'hui regardant par mon hublot si je ne suis pas seul e errer et e virer loin de toute vie dans un espace pantin sans voix parmi les voix enfermees avec moi what would I do without this world what would I do without this world faceless incurious where to be lasts but an instant where every instant spills in the void the ignorance of having been without this wave where in the end body and shadow together are engulfed what would I do without this silence where the murmurs die the pantings the frenzies towards succour towards love without this sky that soars above its ballast dust what would I do what I did yesterday and the day before peering out of my deadlight looking for another wandering like me eddying far from all the living in a convulsive space among the voices voiceless that throng my hiddenness
Google and Apple offer the image of a pseudo-commons to Internet users. That image recalls Nick Dyer-Whiteford's claim that, in light of the structural failures of neoliberal policies, capital could "turn to a 'Plan B', in which limited versions of commons, pollution trading schemes, community development and open-source and file-sharing practices are introduced as subordinate aspects of a capitalist economy, where voluntary cooperation subsidizes profit. One can think here of how Web 2.0 re-appropriates many of the innovations of radical digital activists, and converts them into a source of rent." Indeed, with the rise of the trademarked Digital Commons software platform and with the proliferation of university-based digital and media commons (which are typically limited to fee-paying and/or employed university community members), the very concept of the digital commons appears to be one of these reappropriations. But if, as part of what James Boyle describes as the "Second Closure Movement, " this very rhetorical move signals the temporary defeats of the after-globalization and radical hacker movements that claimed the language of the commons, perhaps the advocacy for ownership of digital wares (or at least a form of unalienable, absolute possession, whether individual or communal) would provide a strategic ballast against the proprietary control of large swathes of information by apparently benevolent corporations and institutions. While still dangling in mid-air, the information commodity's consumption might thereby be placed more solidly on common ground.