Paradox is the sharpest scalpel in the satchel of science. Nothing concentrates the mind as effectively, regardless of whether it pits two competing theories against each other, or theory against observation, or a compelling mathematical deduction against ordinary common sense.
Hans Christian von Baeyer
I know, I know: it can be frustrating as hell. But people have an unfortunate habit of assuming they understand the reality just because they understood the analogy. You dumb down brain surgery enough for a preschooler to think he understands it, the little tyke's liable to grab a microwave scalpel and start cutting when no one's looking.
I love the process of cutting everything out with a scalpel yourself: I don't want to have my stencils drawn up in Illustrator, then laser-cut. I like the fact that it's slightly wrong; I think it gives it a beauty. The individual and handmade will always be worth more than what a computer can do, at least until computers can learn how to make mistakes.
I love you, but I hate your overeating" doesn't help a marriage. It's not helpful because hatred is a powerful emotion (a posture, really) that is not easy to wield or maintain carefully. Hatred is more a bludgeon than a scalpel. Our ability to distinguish sin from sinner, especially in others, is so limited, so vulnerable to our own unexamined subjectivity.
As soon as we touch the complex processes that go on in a living thing, be it plant or animal, we are at once forced to use the methods of this science [chemistry]. No longer will the microscope, the kymograph, the scalpel avail for the complete solution of the problem. For the further analysis of these phenomena which are in flux and flow, the investigator must associate himself with those who have labored in fields where molecules and atoms, rather than multicellular tissues or even unicellular organisms, are the units of study.
John Jacob Abel
Split your skull-a hatchet works well enough. Take a more delicate instrument-a scalpel, perhaps-and make a hand-sized slit; it doesn't matter where. Reach in (no glove needed), plunge down to the very bottom, pinch the inside layer of membrane and yank, hard. If it feels like you've just turned your brain inside out, you have. Writing is brain surgery, pure and simple.
The world's benefactor has no choice; he is the surgeon who wields the healing scalpel. He does not want the violence, but the reality (which he has invented) drives him to use violence, in a way, against his will. Throwing a bomb into a crowded department store thus becomes an act of revolutionary love for mankind (and, in general, to quote Le¼bbe again, 'his primary intention is not to throw bombs into department stores or police stations, but rather into public consciousness.')
Unfortunately, I have dedicated great effort to the task of compiling this 'sensitive words glossary,' and I have mastered my filtering skills. I knew which words and sentences had to be cut, and I accepted the cutting as if that was the way it should be. In fact, I will often take it on myself to save time and cut a few words. I call this 'castrated writing' -""I am a proactive eunuch, I have already castrated myself before the surgeon raises his scalpel.
Rings and magazines; keychains and umbrellas; hats and glasses; rattles and radios. They looked like different things, but Ralph thought they were really all the same thing: the faint, sorrowing voices of people who had found themselves written out of the script in the middle of the second act while they were still learning their lines for the third, people who had been unceremoniously hauled off before their work was done or their obligations fulfilled, people whose only crime had been to be born in the Random... and to have caught the eye of the madman with the rusty scalpel.
It is astounding to me, and achingly sad, that with eighty thousand people on the waiting list for donated hearts and livers and kidneys, with sixteen a day dying there on that list, that more then half of the people in the position H's family was in will say no, will choose to burn those organs or let them rot. We abide the surgeon's scalpel to save our own lives, out loved ones' lives, but not to save a stranger's life. H has no heart, but heartless is the last thing you'd call her.
I could teach an eighth-grader in twenty minutes how to brief a case. Yet for all three years in most law schools the casebook method of learning the law is still in. The matriculating young lawyer is as qualified to represent a client with the education he has suffered through as a doctor who has never seen a patient, who has never held a scalpel in his hand and who learns surgery by having read text books about it and becomes skilled in surgery, if ever, after having stacked up piles of corpses who represent his pathetic learning process.
If you accept - and I do - that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don't. This is how the Law is made. People making art find out where the limits of free expression are by going beyond them and getting into trouble. [... ] The Law is a blunt instrument. It's not a scalpel. It's a club. If there is something you consider indefensible, and there is something you consider defensible, and the same laws can take them both out, you are going to find yourself defending the indefensible.