If I had my way, I would write the word 'insure' over every door of every cottage and upon the blotting pad of every public man, because I am convinced that, for sacrifice that are conceivably small, families can be secured against catastrophes which otherwise would smash them forever.
I resolve to be more patient, less selfish, cherish my friends, and in my small way help whoever needs help. I cannot conceivably influence the world's destiny, but I can make my own life more worthwhile. I can give some help to some people; that is not vital to all the world's problems and yet, I think if everyone did just that, we might see quite a world in our time!
Once a popular Alaska governor with a modest record of accomplishment, Palin could conceivably revive her reputation in this era of short memories. But it's hard to imagine her name atop the GOP ballot in 2016, when a cast of heavyweights who sat out 2012 will be vying for the nomination.
There is no reason why an extraphysical general principle is necessarily to be avoided, since such principles could conceivably serve as useful working hypotheses. For the history of scientific research is full of examples in which it was very fruitful indeed to assume that certain objects or elements might be real, long before any procedures were known which would permit them to be observed directly.
I always feel, I guess being a product of the movies of the 40s where movies were the greatest things and screens were big and palaces were palaces and stars were larger than life that reality was so much inferior to what we felt was conceivably possible from what we had seen in the movies.
I've no objection to the term 'graphic novel,' as long as what it is talking about is actually some sort of graphic work that could conceivably be described as a novel. My main objection to the term is that usually it means a collection of six issues of Spider-Man, or something that does not have the structure or any of the qualities of a novel, but is perhaps roughly the same size.
As a southerner born after the epic events of the civil rights movement, I've always wondered how on earth people of good will could have conceivably lived with Jim Crow - with the daily degradations, the lynchings in plain sight, and, as the movement gathered force, with the fire hoses and the police dogs and the billy clubs.
There are things that money can't buy, things like fresh youth to replace the one you've hardly been aware of, things like lost opportunities which might conceivably have led to nothing, but which on the other hand might have led to fulfillment and serenity and new lives and passionate involvement. (Along, of course, with disinheritance!) And human nature being what it is this is the version you'll unquestionably believe.
We feel certain that the extraterrestrial message is a mathematical code of some kind. Probably a number code. Mathematics is the one language we might conceivably have in common with other forms of intelligent life in the universe. As I understand it, there is no reality more independent of our perception and more true to itself than mathematical reality.
The Fool held his breath. On long nights on the hard flagstones he had dreamed of women like her. Although, if he really thought about it, not much like her; they were better endowed around the chest, their noses weren't so red and pointed, and their hair tended to flow more. But the Fool's libido was bright enough to tell the difference between the impossible and the conceivably attainable, and hurriedly cut in some filter circuits.
One may well find oneself beginning to doubt whether all this could conceivably be the product of an enormous lottery presided over by natural selection, blindly picking the rare winners from among numbers drawn at utter random...nevertheless although the miracle of life stands "explained" it does not strike us as any less miraculous. As Francois Mauriac wrote, What this professor says is far more incredible than what we poor Christians believe.
A man of genuine literary genius, since he possesses a temperament whose susceptibilities are of wider area than those of any other, is inevitably of all people the one most variously affected by his surroundings. And it is he, in consequence, who of all people most faithfully and compactly exhibits the impress of his times and his times' tendencies, not merely in his writings where it conceivably might be just predetermined affectation but in his personality.
James Branch Cabell
Those who professed themselves unable to believe in the reality of human progress ought to cheer themselves up, as the students under examination had conceivably been cheered up, by a short study of the Middle Ages. The hydrogen bomb, the South African Government, Chioang Kaidick, Senator McCarthy himself, would then seem a light price to pay for no longer being in the Middle Ages.
An American critic wrote that she would rather be forced to read the New York telephone directory three times than watch the film A Zed and Two Noughts, a third of which was a homage to Vermeer. Conceivably, if you are a list-enthusiast like me, the New York telephone directory might be fascinating, demographically, geographically, historically, typographically, cartographically; but I am sure no compliment was intended.
But George knows he can't do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in spite of himself, almost, he is a representative of the hope. And the hope is not false. No. It's just that George is like a man trying to sell a real diamond for a nickel, on the street. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the great hurrying majority can never stop to dare to believe that it could conceivably be real.
There seems to be an assumption that if you're offended by movie brutality, you are somehow playing into the hands of the people who want censorship. But this would deny those of us who don't believe in censorship the use of the only counter-balance: the freedom of the press to say that there's anything conceivably damaging in these films - the freedom to analyze their implications. ... How can people go on talking about the dazzling brilliance of movies and not notice that the directors are sucking up to the thugs in the audience?
It will never be the case that people won't eat meat. I think it could conceivably be the case one day that people eat very small amounts of it. That it's a special thing, rather than reach for it because it's cheap or reach for it because it's convenient, that it becomes something festive or something celebratory, once a week, and that could actually be achieved on small farms if we really changed our habits.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Most literary critics agree that fiction cannot be reduced to mere falsehood. Well-crafted protagonists come to life, pornography causes orgasms, and the pretense that life is what we want it to be may conceivably bring about the desired condition. Hence religious parables, socialist realism, Nazi propaganda. And if this story likewise crawls with reactionary supernaturalism, that might be because its author longs to see letters scuttling across ceilings, cautiously beginning to reify themselves into angels. For if they could only do that, then why not us?
William T. Vollmann
If God existed (a question concerning which Jubal maintained a meticulous intellectual neutrality) and if He desired to be worshiped (a proposition which Jubal found inherently improbable but conceivably possible in the dim light of his own ignorance), then (stipulating affirmatively both the above) it nevertheless seemed wildly unlikely to Jubal to the point of reductio ad absurdum that a God potent to shape galaxies would be titillated and swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered Him as "worship.
Robert A. Heinlein
Maybe the growth of "God" signifies the existence of God. That is: if history naturally pushes people toward moral improvement, toward moral growth, and their God, as they conceive their God, grows accordingly, becoming morally richer, then maybe this growth is evidence of some higher purpose, and maybe - conceivably - the source of that purpose is worthy of the name divinity.
What is 'grace'? It is God's own life, shared by us. God's life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.
What is "grace"? It is God's own life, shared by us. God's life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.
When one ponders on the tremendous journey of evolution over the past three billion years or so, the prodigious wealth of structures it has engendered, and the extraordinarily effective teleonomic performances of living beings from bacteria to man, one may well find oneself beginning to doubt again whether all this could conceivably be the product of an enormous lottery presided over by natural selection, blindly picking the rare winners from among numbers drawn at random. [Nevertheless, ] a detailed review of the accumulated modern evidence [shows] that this conception alone is compatible with the facts.
Easter occurs on different dates each year because, like the Jewish Passover, it is based upon the vernal equinox, that dramatic moment when the hours of the day-light and the hours of darkness at last draw parallel and then the light finally and triumphantly wins out. Thus Easter is always fixed as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. It's a cosmic, solar, and lunar event as deeply rooted in religious traditions originating from sun-god worship as one could conceivably imagine.
These are the things which might conceivably and truly make men forgive their enemies. We can only turn hate to love by understanding what are the things that men have loved; nor is it necessary to ask men to hate their loves in order to love one another. Just as two grocers are most likely to be reconciled when they remember for a moment that they are two fathers, so two nationals are most likely to be reconciled when they remember (if only for a moment) that they are two patriots.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Not only do I not know what I believe, but also I cannot know for sure that I believe. How can I define precisely what my attitude is toward something it cannot conceivably grasp? Can I be said to be in the relation of "belief, " in any usual sense of that term, toward something that I cheerfully and readily acknowledge to be absolutely incomprehensible to me? (...) No man can be sure that he is in faith; and we can say of no man with certainty that he has or does not have faith. (...) Not only does faith always carry its opposite uncertainty within itself, but also this faith is never a static condition that is -had-, but a movement toward... And toward what? In the nature of the case we cannot state this "what." We cannot make a flat assertion about our faith like a simple assertion that we have blue eyes or are six feet tall. More than this, the affirmation of our faith can never be made in the simple indicative mood at all. The statement "I believe" can only be uttered as a prayer.
I missed her so much I wanted to die: a hard, physical longing, like a craving for air underwater. Lying awake, I tried to recall all my best memories of her-to freeze her in my mind so I wouldn't forget her-but instead of birthdays and happy times I kept remembering things like how a few days before she was killed she'd stopped me halfway out the door to pick a thread off my school jacket. For some reason, it was one of the clearest memories I had of her: her knitted eyebrows, the precise gesture of her reaching out to me, everything. Several times too-drifting uneasily between dreaming and sleep-I sat up suddenly in bed at the sound of her voice speaking clearly in my head, remarks she might conceivably have made at some point but that I didn't actually remember, things like Throw me an apple, would you? and I wonder if this buttons up the front or the back? and This sofa is in a terrible state of disreputableness.
all around George, approaching him, crossing his path from every direction, is the male and female raw material which is fed daily into this factory, along the conveyor-belts of the freeways, to be processed, packaged and placed on the market... What do they think they are up to? Well, there is the official answer; preparing themselves for life which means a job and security in which to raise children to prepare themselves for life which means a job and security in which... Here, in their midst, George feels a sort of vertigo. Oh God, what will become of them all? What chance have they? Ought I yell out to them, right now, here, that it's hopeless? But George knows he can't do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in spite of himself almost, he is a representative of hope. And the hope is not false. No. It's just that George is like a man trying to sell a real diamond for a nickel, on the street. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the great hurrying majority can never stop to dare to believe that it could conceivably be real.
The fundamental core of contemporary Darwinism, the theory of DNA-based reproduction and evolution, is now beyond dispute among scientists. It demonstrates its power every day, contributing crucially to the explanation of planet-sized facts of geology and meteorology, through middle-sized facts of ecology and agronomy, down to the latest microscopic facts of genetic engineering. It unifies all of biology and the history of our planet into a single grand story. Like Gulliver tied down in Lilliput, it is unbudgeable, not because of some one or two huge chains of argument that might-hope against hope-have weak links in them, but because it is securely tied by hundreds of thousands of threads of evidence anchoring it to virtually every other field of knowledge. New discoveries may conceivably lead to dramatic, even 'revolutionary' shifts in the Darwinian theory, but the hope that it will be 'refuted' by some shattering breakthrough is about as reasonable as the hope that we will return to a geocentric vision and discard Copernicus.
Daniel C. Dennett
[Charlie is dying:] After what seemed a long while, but hadn't been, Marsh gave Paulette's hand a warm and caring squeeze. 'They're here for him, ' she said. But their heavenly visitors didn't take him right away. They had to make room for the chaos of modern medical urgencies. To get out of the way of well-trained professionals who had dedicated their lives to holding back Heaven. Choppers are just as noisy and turbulent as we imagine them to be. One tore in over the hills and shattered every bit of peace Charlie otherwise could have lost himself into. In an instant the Med-Evac team was all over him. In the midst of that blatant orchestrated chaos Paulette fought to find her peace, and to hold him inside it. 'Hang on, buddy, ' techs kept telling him. 'Don't go leaving us now. You just hang in there.' But they didn't understand, Paulette thought. It was his time. The chopper made a horrible racket carrying him off. Marsh, Paulette, and Ailana held their peace as its winds whipped their world into a froth. Harve's face twisted with something that might conceivably have been rage. Then, all of a sudden, the birds sang, as though someone had given them a cue. 'So that's what it's like, ' Marsha said, very softly. 'The afterlife. 'My God, it's so beautiful.
Aref knelt, reached into his pocket and produced an implement made from a small stick which he called his miswak, the use of which he silently illustrated before handing her his spare. He also gave her a clean cloth and a bowl of the freshly collected water. She was directed to soften the dry stick in the water, then copy him by cleaning her mouth, using the miswak like a toothbrush. Gazing at the blood on the cloth, then down at the clothing the native had placed over her legs, soldier Freeman sighed. Aref watched and waited and then, sitting back on his haunches, showed her too that she must rub her feet and calves to stimulate the circulation. She copied him again, sliding her hands across the tops of her ankles and flexing her toes. Glad that she had followed his direction for once, Aref took a more relaxed break, sitting away from her and taking out his carving tools. He whetted his utility knife with the small stone he carried, studying the soldier's reaction closely from afar. Instantly, he sensed her distrust. She stared at the knife in his hands, as if he might use it against her, but he continued working peacefully, then slid the implements back into his pockets and loaded his miswak onto the belt at his hips, wondering, with the gentle sarcasm his friends had so appreciated in him, how much of his adult life it could conceivably take to prove to this woman he was worthy.
Carla H. Krueger
The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?" Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again. "Hello, " Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm. "Hi, " said the man. "The door's locked." "Is it?" "Yes." "That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?" There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry, " the man called, "Who am I speaking with?" Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?" "This is Oscar Nightfall." "Are you sure?" "What?" "Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know." Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?" "Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?" "What's your name? Give me you name." "No. It's mine." "Tell me your name!" "My name is Oscar Nightfall." "What? No it isn't. That's my name." "Is it? Since when?" "Since I took it!" "You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first." "Open this door immediately." "I don't have the key." "I'll fetch the Cleavers." "I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go." Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more.
I am not sure whether you could call this abuse, but when I was (long ago) abroad in the world of dry men, I saw parents, usually upscale and educated and talented and functional and white, patient and loving and supportive and concerned and involved in their children's lives, profilgate with compliments and diplomatic with constructive criticism, loquacious in their pronouncements of unconditional love for and approval of their children, conforming to every last jot-tittle in any conceivably definition of a good parent, I saw parent after unimpeachable parent who raised kids who were (a) emotionally retarded or (b) lethally self-indulgent or (c) chronically depressed or (d) borderline psychotic or (e) consumed with narcissistic self-loathing or (f) neurotically driven/addicted or (g) variously psychosomatically Disabled or (h) some conjunctive permutation of (a) ... (g). Why is this. Why do many parents who seem relentlessly bent on producing children who feel they are good persons deserving of love produce children who grow to feel they are hideous persons not deserving of love who just happen to have lucked into having parents so marvelous that the parents love them even though they are hideous? Is it a sign of abuse if a mother produces a child who believes not that he is innately beautiful and lovable and deserving of magnificent maternal treatment but somehow that he is a hideous unlovable child who has somehow lucked in to having a really magnificent mother? Probably not. But could such a mother then really be all that magnificent, if that's the child's view of himself?... I think, Mrs. Starkly, that I am speaking of Mrs. Avril M.-T. Incandenza, although the woman is so multileveled and indictment-proof that it is difficult to feel comfortable with any sort of univocal accusation of anything. Something just was not right, is the only way to put it. Something creepy, even on the culturally stellar surface.
David Foster Wallace
Maybe it's not metaphysics. Maybe it's existential. I'm talking about the individual US citizen's deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we've lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it's all passing away, and so are we, so am I, and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it's not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than 'die, ' 'pass away, ' the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday-' 'And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die, and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die, and so on, and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we're remembered, these'll last what-a hundred years? two hundred?-and they'll crumble, and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die, and their offspring, or if I'm cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay, and my urn will decay, and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here, and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire, and we're all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that's why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace
Hyperbolic Suggestion is-as one might infer from the term's literal interpretation-a method of suggestion induced upon the subject (or subjects), in question, through the blatant and immoderate invocation of hyperbole. Simply stated, excessive exaggeration induces a trance upon the recipient, rendering him or her remarkably susceptible to suggestion. Thus, through the use of a multitude of descriptive adjectives and superlatives, neural mechanisms and pathways are overloaded, as canals and bypasses are burrowed into the thick of the gray matter. The dendrites are, through this process, tuned to a predetermined frequency by which the seeds of suggestion can be sown. When this occurs, the subject becomes incredibly compliant to any orders given at a certain tone of voice. In some cases, orders need not be given. The subject's attitudes might well be so affected by the hyperbole as to affect his natural tendencies... Emmanuel silently wondered if there existed a perfect combination of words or phrases that could somehow-as in the case of Hyperbolic Suggestion-subvert even the most stubborn of wills. Then again, maybe it wasn't so much the words as it was how they were spoken: if he achieved exactly the most desirable intonation, rhythm, timing, pitch and pronunciation in his speaking, would his verbal appeals somehow make greater inroads in garnering their consent? There had to be some optimal combination of aspirated consonants, diphthongs, facial expressions and inflection he could somehow affect in order to persuade them effectively. But it seemed that to search for this elusive mixture of ingredients would only prove an onerous task, conceivably of little benefit. In view of this sobering reality, he decided instead to try out a completely different approach from those previous: it occurred to him that his attempts at persuasion might be slightly more effective if he carried them out as dialogues, rather than as monologues.
Seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours. It is all still the same. Or it no longer is. If I were to ask what has changed, perhaps nothing, but conceivably everything would be the befitting reply. I no longer feel the same. Loss preceded me, alienating my soul from the body. I feel I am gliding through an alley making a journey from the known towards the unknown. There is a deep abyss inside where sometime back, my heart used to beat and a noisy, rusty old machine has replaced my mind; solitarily creating useless noise. I don't remember what day it is and since when have I been lying here. It must have been yesterday... or was it day before. I cannot recollect anything except the dull throbbing pain inside my brain. I can see the time, almost 9: 45, difficult to say which time of the day it is. The bigger hand is soon going to overshadow the smaller hand. It looks like a game of cat and mouse; the bigger hand chasing the smaller one. Anyone stronger in terms of physical appearance, money, power, fame or name tramples upon the weak ones - that is the rule of the world. There are only two possible reasons behind it, love or hate. When you love someone you want to control everything that person does and hence, sometimes, knowingly or unknowingly you squash them like melons. While on the other hand in the case of hate, there is no need to specify the reason for walking over someone like that. Hate is a strong reason in itself. I am confused as to what crushed me, was it love or hate? I somehow don't like the sound of it - love, it in itself smells of treachery, for love is not a pure emotion. Lust and hatred are the only pure emotions. Love is camouflaged, for needs and desires. Desires - they are magical in their own way. They can be innocent. They can be monstrous. But they exist, no matter what, and many such needs and desires make us helpless slaves of the same. We hide these desires either in the realms of our mind or in the dusty corners of our hearts for we are scared... what if someone finds out what we desire. We give them identities so as to not let the real thing show. The only thing visible on the front is a mask we wear to deceive people or that's what I thought. For I was deceived while I believed I am the deceiver. Or was I not? I debated as my mind once again tried to enter a sleep-induced trance.