Each of our lives is the sum of its parts. No ONE individual is the driving force. And no one person can stall its progression. If everyone plays their position, life evolves without drama, opportunities flourish and ultimately we ALL benefit. When you selfishly overstate your part you only weaken the whole.
It's hardly possible to overstate the value, in the present state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been... one of the primary sources of progress.
John Stuart Mill
I cannot overstate how much a generous spirit contributes to good luck. Look at the luckiest people around you, the ones you envy, the ones who seem to have destiny falling habitually into their laps. If they're anything like the fortunate people I know, they're prepared, they're always working at their craft, they're alert, they involve their friends in their work, and they tend to make others feel lucky to be around them.
Indie record stores are as important to a touring musician as an incredible thrift store. I can't overstate how good it feels to place an original pressing of 'veedon fleece' in your most underused of shirts and pack it into your suitcase, anxiously awaiting the day you get home so that you can play it as though it was your reward or trophy from the long journey you had just finished embarking on.
It's important not to overstate the benefits of ideas. Quite frankly, I know it's kind of a romantic notion that you're just going to have this one brilliant idea and then everything is going to be great. But the fact is that coming up with an idea is the least important part of creating something great. It has to be the right idea and have good taste, but the execution and delivery are what's key.
I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face.
To me, one of the greatest triumphs in doing a book is to tell the story as simply as possible. My aim is to imply rather than to overstate. Whenever the reader participates with his own interpretation, I feel that the book is much more successful. I write with the premise that less is more. Writing is not difficult to me. I read into a tape recorder, constantly dropping a word here and there from my manuscript until I get a minimum amount of words to say exactly what I want to say. Each time I drop a word or two, it brings me a sense of victory!
Ezra Jack Keats
Place yourself in the background; write in a way that comes naturally; work from a suitable design; write with nouns and verbs; do not overwrite; do not overstate; avoid the use of qualifiers; do not affect a breezy style; use orthodox spelling; do not explain too much; avoid fancy words; do not take shortcuts as the cost of clarity; prefer the standard to the offbeat; make sure the reader knows who is speaking; do not use dialect; revise and rewrite.
E. B. White
One cannot overstate the childishness of the ideas that feed and stir the masses. Real ideas must as a rule be simplified to the level of a child's understanding if they are to arouse the masses to historic actions. A childish illusion, fixed in the minds of all children born in a certain decade and hammered home for four years, can easily reappear as a deadly serious political ideology twenty years later.
I can't overstate how little I knew about myself at 22, or how little I'd thought about what I was doing. When I graduated from college I genuinely believed that the creative life was the apex of human existence, and that to work at an ordinary office job was a betrayal of that life, and I had to pursue that life at all costs. Management consulting, law school, med school, those were fine for other people - I didn't judge! - but I was an artist. I was super special. I was sparkly. I would walk another path. And I would walk it alone. That was another thing I knew about being an artist: You didn't need other people. Other people were a distraction. My little chrysalis of genius was going to seat one and one only.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of understanding mirror neurons and their function. They may well be central to social learning, imitation, and the cultural transmission of skills and attitudes-perhaps even of the pressed-together sound clusters we call words. By hyperdeveloping the mirror-neuron system, evolution in effect turned culture into the new genome. Armed with culture, humans could adapt to hostile new environments and figure out how to exploit formerly inaccessible or poisonous food sources in just one or two generations-instead of the hundreds or thousands of generations such adaptations would have taken to accomplish through genetic evolution. Thus culture became a significant new source of evolutionary pressure, which helped select brains that had even better mirror-neuron systems and the imitative learning associated with them. The result was one of the many self-amplifying snowball effects that culminated in Homo sapiens, the ape that looked into its own mind and saw the whole cosmos reflected inside.
At present, a good many men engaged in scientific pursuits, and who have signally failed in gaining recognition among their fellows, are endeavoring to make reputations among the churches by delivering weak and vapid lectures upon the 'harmony of Genesis and Geology.' Like all hypocrites, these men overstate the case to such a degree, and so turn and pervert facts and words that they succeed only in gaining the applause of other hypocrites like themselves. Among the great scientists they are regarded as generals regard sutlers who trade with both armies. Surely the time must come when the wealth of the world will not be wasted in the propagation of ignorant creeds and miraculous mistakes. The time must come when churches and cathedrals will be dedicated to the use of man; when minister and priest will deem the discoveries of the living of more importance than the errors of the dead; when the truths of Nature will outrank the 'sacred' falsehoods of the past, and when a single fact will outweigh all the miracles of Holy Writ. Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind? When every church becomes a school, every cathedral a university, every clergyman a teacher, and all their hearers brave and honest thinkers, then, and not until then, will the dream of poet, patriot, philanthropist and philosopher, become a real and blessed truth.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Suppose that members of a religious movement, such as Christianity, maintain that the existence of some powerful god and its goals or laws can be known through their scriptures, their prophets, or some special revelation. Suppose further that the evidence that is available to support the reliability of those scriptures, prophets, or special revelations is weaker than that God is hypothetically capable of producing. That is, suppose that Christians maintain that Jesus was resurrected on the basis of the Gospels, or that God's existence can be known through the Bible, or Muslims insist on the historical authenticity of the Koran. Could God, the almighty creator of the universe, have brought it about so that the evidence in favor of the resurrection, the Bible, or the Koran was better than we currently find it? I take it that the answer is obviously yes. Even if you think there is evidence that is sufficient to prove the resurrection, a reasonable person must also acknowledge that it could have been better. And there's the problem. If the capacity of that god is greater than the effectiveness or quality of those scriptures, prophets, or special revelations, then the story they are telling contradicts itself. 'We know our god is real on the basis of evidence that is inadequate for our god.' Or, 'The grounds that lead us to believe in our god are inconsistent with the god we accept; nevertheless, we believe in this god that would have given us greater evidence if it had wished for us to believe in it.' Given the disparity between the gods that these religious movements portend and the grounds offered to justify them, the atheist is warranted in dismissing such claims. If the sort of divine being that they promote were real and if he had sought our believe on the basis of the evidence, the evidential situation would not resemble the one we are in. The story doesn't make internal sense. A far better explanation is that their enthusiasm for believing in a god has led them to overstate what the evidence shows. And that same enthusiasm has made it difficult for them to see that an all powerful God would have the power to make his existence utterly obvious and undeniable. Since it's not, the non-believer can't possibly be faulted for failing to believe.
Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action. In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning. We lose elections and hope for the courts to foil Republican plans. We lost the courts and wait for a White House scandal. And increasingly we feel the need to match the Republican right in stridency and hardball tactics. The accepted wisdom that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists these days goes like this: The Republican Party has been able to consistently win elections not by expanding its base but by vilifying Democrats, driving wedges into the electorate, energizing its right wing, and disciplining those who stray from the party line. If the Democrats ever want to get back into power, then they will have to take up the same approach... Ultimately, though, I believe any attempt by Democrats to pursue a more sharply partisan and ideological strategy misapprehends the moment we're in. I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country. It's what keeps us locked in "either/or" thinking: the notion that we can have only big government or no government; the assumption that we must either tolerate forty-six million without health insurance or embrace "socialized medicine". It is such doctrinaire thinking and stark partisanship that have turned Americans off of politics.