Non-IT Quotes

These are some quotes I find interesting.  I believe they do a good job of summing up a larger idea in a few words.

The problem with replaying games with established rules is that you may be playing at winning someone else’s game.  – @manamica

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.
overcoming a multigenerational conspiracy designed to sap your creativity and restlessness.
the best future available to us is a future where you contribute your true self and your best work.
personal manifesto,
challenges you to rethink how you do your job.
Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back.
system that uses them up and undervalues them.
stop complying with the system and draw your own map.
Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people. Then, and only then, will you have achieved your potential.
population has been seduced, scammed, and brainwashed into fitting in,
Only you can do it, and you must.
If you learn how to be one of these workers,
You won’t have to be brilliant or creative or take big risks.
We will pay you a lot of money, give you health insurance, and offer you job security.
for a century, we embraced it.
We followed the instructions,
we showed up on time, and in return, we got what we needed.
It was the American Dream.
in the face of competition and technology, the bargain has fallen apart.
seems like the obedient worker bought into a sucker’s deal.
they’re no longer getting what they deserve.
This situation presents a wonderful opportunity.
An opportunity to actually enjoy what you do, to make a difference to your colleagues and your customers, and to unlock the genius you’ve been hiding all these years.
take-care-of-you bargain. The bargain is gone,
There’s a new bargain now, one that leverages talent and creativity and art more than it rewards obedience.
Where Does Average Come From?
brainwashed by school and by the system
voice is the resistance—your lizard brain—and it wants you to be average (and safe).
You weren’t born to be a cog in the giant industrial machine.
You were trained to become a cog.
Becoming a linchpin is a stepwise process,
develop the attributes that make you indispensable.
train yourself to matter.
first step is
that this is a skill,
if you focus on the gifts, art, and connections that characterize the linchpin,
Do not internalize the industrial model.
if you’ve got something to say, say it,
think well of yourself while you’re learning to say it better.
fearful employees are in pain.
they’re overlooked, underpaid, laid off, and stressed out.
factory owners want is compliant, low-paid,
replaceable cogs to run their efficient machines.
Factories created productivity, and productivity produced profits.
during times of change, the very last people you need on your team are
fearful employees.
must have are indispensable human beings.
need original thinkers, provocateurs, and people who care.
Every organization needs a linchpin,
Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done.
we live in a world where all the joy and profit have been squeezed out of following the rules.
there’s no longer a clear path to satisfaction in working for the man.
The factory—that system where organized labor meets patient capital, productivity-improving devices, and leverage—
Nowhere to run, and apparently, nowhere to hide.
desire of organizations to turn employees into replaceable cogs
workers have been complicit in this commoditization.
indispensable employee brings humanity and connection and art
reject whining about the economy and force yourself to acknowledge that the factory job is dead.
recognize the opportunity
Factory work offered average people with small dreams a chance to make a significant change in their standard of living.
this promise:
follow these instructions and you don’t have to think.
don’t have to be responsible for decisions.
don’t have to bring your genius to work.
people are waiting to be told what to do.
People want to be told what to do
they are afraid (petrified) of figuring it out for themselves.
We agree to do a job in exchange for a set of instructions.
PERL (Percentage of Easily Replaced Laborers)
The goal was to leverage and defend the system, not the people.
Unions fought back precisely because they saw coordinated action as the only way to avoid becoming commodities.
“Rule of Ordinary People.”
If you make your business possible to replicate, you’re not going to be the one to replicate it.
you’ll have to lower your prices to compete. Which leads to a race to the bottom.
Indispensable businesses
race to the top instead.
Your résumé sits in a stack next to plenty of other
Your cubicle is next to the other cubes,
Your business card and suit and approach to problems—all designed to fit in.
difference between what an employee is paid
much value she produces
leads to profit.
goal is to hire as many obedient, competent workers, as cheaply as you possibly can.
The problem?
Someone else is getting better than you at hiring cheap and competent workers.
ship the work overseas,
buy more machines,
cut corners faster than you can.
The other problem?
Consumers are not loyal to cheap commodities.
Sure, you can always succeed for a while with the cheapest,
you earn your place in the market with humanity and leadership.
cheap strategy doesn’t scale very well,
fickle nature of price-shopping consumers is bad news for many companies,
two choices.
Win by being more ordinary, more standard, and cheaper.
win by being faster, more remarkable,
Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded.
That’s the scam.
You traded years of your life to be part of a giant con in which you are most definitely not the winner.
There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do.
The Law of the Mechanical Turk)
Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be
accomplished for awfully close to free.
Wikipedia thrives by using the loosely coordinated work of millions of knowledgeable people,
The Internet has turned white-collar work into something akin to building a pyramid in Egypt.
bosses want their employees
become the next Mechanical Turk.
Capitalism had found its holy grail.
essence of mass production is that every part is interchangeable.
Time, space, men, motion, money, and material—
first you have interchangeable parts, then you have interchangeable workers.
Having a factory job is not a natural state.
culturally brainwashed to believe that accepting the hierarchy
We were all hunters.
And we were all farmers.
we all became factory workers.
Then the factory fell apart.
what’s left for us to work with? Art.
Now, success means being an artist.
The future belongs to chefs, not to cooks or bottle washers.
factory work because it’s planned, controlled, and measured.
factory work because you can optimize for productivity.
competitive pressures (and greed) have encouraged most organizations to turn their workers into machines.
If we can measure it, we can do it faster.
If we can put it in a manual, we can outsource it.
If we can outsource it, we can get it cheaper.
end results are legions of frustrated workers, wasted geniuses
racing against the clock to crank out another policy, get through another interaction, see another patient.
Schools and society have reinforced this approach for generations.
what we need are gifts and connections and humanity—and the artists who create them.
Living life without a map requires a different attitude. It requires you to be a linchpin.
Linchpins are the essential building blocks of tomorrow’s high-value organizations.
rest of this book is about changing your posture,
In our rush to build, profit, acquire, and otherwise leverage our efforts, we almost always pick the fast and cheap alternative,
decisions repeatedly favor fast and cheap over slow and expensive.
For our entire lives, the push has been to produce, to conform, and to consume.
three pillars
Note: Produce, conform, consume Edit
If the factories are our minds—if the thing the market values is insight or creativity or engagement—then capital isn’t nearly the factor it used to be.
third layer to the economy
them the linchpins.
people who are not proles
nor are they princes or barons of industry.
linchpins leverage something internal, not external,
position of power and value.
There are two teams, management and labor.
Management owns the machines,
labor follows the rules.
Not just capital versus labor, but a third team,
one that straddled elements of both?
a linchpin,
shortage of this third kind of worker,
the market needs you desperately.
con game is ending,
for people passionate enough to do something about it.
end of what he calls attendance-based compensation (ABC).
paid merely for showing up.
paying for people who make a difference
shedding everyone else.
the really good jobs, are going to be filled with indispensable people, people who make a difference by doing work that’s really hard to find from anyone else.
easier for management to replace labor than it was for labor to find a new factory.
a laptop computer with Internet connectivity.
Three thousand dollars buys a worker an entire factory.
starts with bloggers, musicians, writers and others who don’t need anyone’s support or permission
organizations they work for have a very low PERL.
“The web has made kicking ass easier to achieve, and mediocrity harder to sustain.
Mediocrity now howls in protest.”
Yesterday’s remarkable is today’s really good and tomorrow’s mediocre.
Mediocre is merely a failed attempt to be really good.
As you travel up the hierarchy,
work gets easier,
pay gets better,
number of people available to do the work gets smaller.
all your other employees are getting paid less to make up for the ones who contribute the least.
exceptional performers are getting paid a lot less, which is why they should (and will) leave.
Exceptional performers are starting to realize that it doesn’t pay to do factory work at factory wages only to subsidize the boss.
Corporations have no right to our attention.
Now, the only way to grow is to stand out, to create something worth talking about, to treat people with respect and to have them spread the word.
You have no right to that job or that career.
The only way to succeed is to be remarkable, to be talked about.
what do we talk about? People
discuss what they do, not who they are.
You don’t become indispensable merely because you are different.
the only way to be indispensable is to be different.
if you’re the same, so are plenty of other people.
only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out,
exert emotional labor,
be seen as indispensable,
produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.
Can You Become Indispensable?
done the challenging work it takes to become indispensable.
the people who have made this transition have nothing on you.
linchpins among us are not the ones born with a magical talent.
people who have decided that a new kind of work is important, and trained themselves to do it.
list of great artists
not one of the names on this particular list is the product of a school designed to create him or her.
great school experience won’t keep you from being remarkable,
not sufficient to guarantee that you will become so.
society working so hard to kill our natural-born artists?
try to drill and practice someone into subservient obedience, we’re stamping out the artist that lives within.
most schools don’t like great teachers.
out, bore them, bureaucratize them, and make them average.
Be human. Contribute. Interact.
risk that you might make someone upset
you’ll probably delight them instead.
You can learn how to do this if you want to.
don’t need to be creative because the company’s cost structure is so aggressive that customers just materialize,
If you want a job where you get to do more than follow instructions, don’t be surprised if you get asked to do things they never taught you in school.
take intellectual risks
insights get you promoted.
talent creates growth and the market increases in size.
In a zero-sum game, the generous among us are fools, easily taken advantage of.
great talent leads to more innovation and more productivity,
enlarged the pie
outlook is completely due to your worldview.
linchpin sees the world very differently.
Exceptional insight, productivity, and generosity make markets bigger and more efficient.
leads to more opportunities
The more you give, the more the market gives back.
Abundance is possible,
once you choose to become indispensable,
no longer be loved.
by the same people who love you now,
accept the
genius label and make a choice.
you can do something that matters.
wondering if you want to.
You can’t—or you don’t want to?
I’ll accept the second.
making this commitment is too scary or too much work.
can’t? I don’t buy that for a second.
old American Dream?
Keep your head down Follow instructions Show up on time Work hard Suck it up . . . you will be rewarded.
Be remarkable Be generous Create art Make judgment calls Connect people and ideas . . . and we have no choice but to reward you.
competitive advantage the marketplace demands
with passion
seeing things as they are
negotiating multiple priorities
makes useful decisions without angst.
Flexible in the face of change,
resilient in the face of confusion.
attributes are choices, not talents,
“Not My Job”
words can kill an entire organization.
because it was no one’s job to monitor the Internet and respond with authority on behalf of Amazon.
if you’re a linchpin, doing a job that’s not getting done is essential.
more successful if your employees
more successful if you were more
Your choice.
make a difference in your organization and to do work that matters.
be human at work
discover a passion
When work becomes personal, your customers and coworkers
are more connected and happier.
linchpin represents a threat
the orderly execution of your agenda,
linchpin has power!
Not only does he have power, but he might leave you hanging.
This isn’t what you were taught in school.
when customers have the choice between faceless options, they pick the cheapest, fastest,
You can’t out-Amazon Amazon,
value quality for its own sake,
want to do good work.
need to do good work.
less feels intellectually dishonest,
everyone is a person, and people crave connection and respect.
systems everywhere, manuals, rules, and a few people at the top working hard to dream up new ones.
Letting people in the organization use their best judgment turns out to be faster and cheaper—
only if you hire the right people
What the boss really wants is an artist,
someone who changes everything,
someone who makes dreams come true.
someone who can see the reality of today and describe a better tomorrow.
We’ve been taught to be a replaceable cog
We’ve been taught to consume as a shortcut to happiness.
We’ve been taught not to care about our job or our customers.
we’ve been taught to fit in.
spend for pleasure,
separate ourselves from our work.

Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today’s Popular Cartoons by Christopher Hart
trick is to learn how to draw the basic head shapes and apply facial
features from a wide selection of the most popular types in cartooning today.
mold the head into new and unique shapes to convey humorous and highly entertaining attitudes.
creative use of a few simple head shapes,
combined with the right types of facial features.
Head shapes should remain conspicuous,
circle is a pleasing shape.
simplicity of the circle can also become a liability.
circle is such a common shape that it does not always command the viewer’s attention.
circle works best for boys, girls, and female teen characters.
Circles tend to make everyone look young.
use guidelines to keep the eyes evenly aligned.
Concentrate the features snuggly at the guidelines’ crossroads.
ears low on the head, keeping them aligned on the same level.
Cut the eyes off at the top for a mischievous look.
arching guideline to keep points of the ruffled hair even.
shadow under the hair to make the character stand out,
The lower you go, the cuter he gets!
Youngsters of around twelve to fourteen
still have the round faces and big, perky eyes of youth.
Change her clothing, hair, and accessories,
created a new
big, round eyes and a little nose.
draw the top lip to create the expression.
Follow with the bottom lip.
Extend the scalp to give fluffiness to the hair.
big, solid pupils provide a good look.
“Float” the eyelashes so that they don’t attach,
keep them short.
size contrast of the features.
about those feminine eyes
nose, mouth, and ears are kept small.
secret of her charm lies in her cute but capable appearance,
leadership abilities,
her meltdowns when her crush fails to notice her.
Compared to the younger teen
size of a mid-teen’s head is somewhat reduced,
less surface
area surrounding her eyes, nose, and mouth,
face a more streamlined look—
eyes are almond-shaped and tilt up a touch at the ends.
glamour with thick upper eyelids.
Arch the eyebrows high over the eyes.
hairstyle independent of the shape of her head.
many aspiring artists attempt to do too much to create a pretty look.
Simplicity is key.
don’t usually see adult cartoon characters whose faces are completely round.
older characters
have eyes set high on their heads,
makes everything below the eyes appear to be made up of cheek fat and giant jowls.
Raise the eye line on adults and older characters.
eyes side by side for a goofy look.
Draw the ears too low, even when placing the eyes high.
beard line in a U shape.
Adjust the facial features on the head,
raising or lowering them according to the age and personality.
ears, however, can stay fairly low at any age.
Float the eyebrows when the eyes are too close to the top of the head.
Omit the neck for a funnier look.
many types of features:
specific types of each,
glamorous eyes
mouth with a goofy underbite.
some eyes are a better fit for some characters than for others.
most common eye shape.
used for almost any character.
eye is oval, but the pupil remains a circle.
often used in more humorous characters.
this shape for droll characters, sarcastic characters, or somewhat low-class characters.
pupil is also an oval but can be a dot as well.
large, horizontal oval, cut in half by a sharp eyelid,
funny, intense look.
eye type is for females only.
tilt these eyes up at the ends to add a touch more femininity.
top eyelid is always darker than the bottom,
unless the character is spooky or weird.
glistening pupil and a hint of eye shadow adds glamour.
big impact the eyes
totally outshine the
the mouth is used to create an extreme
You can tell what a character is thinking by his
are the exclamation point that drives home the
Both eyes need to tilt at the same
The shape of both eyes needs to be the
Both eyes MUST be drawn on the same
Both eyes need to be of equal distance from the nose and from the edge of the
humorous cartoon
adjust the
Surround teeny dots with an ocean of white for funny-looking
pupils diverge
enlarge to show happiness, satisfaction, or
biological reflex and scientifically
increase this effect so that the pupils are
pupils also feature a constellation of shines of various sizes and
beaten down by years of dashed hopes and
top eyelids slope
angle too steep, your character will look
counter the sad look and still end up with dad eyes by drawing eyebrows without a sorrowful
NORMAL EYE Bouncy and
DAD EYE Droll and
Lower the top eyelid on the
cutting it off at the
cause the overall shape of the eyes to narrow and become more
top eyelid doesn’t cover enough of the
top eyelid covers the top third of the eyeball and the eyelid is much
gives her eyes a heavy
add variety and
simply look
different meanings that can be achieved with closed
draw your character in a front view, but you designed him with a nose that points in one
front position, the nose faces directly
This flattens the
When you draw a front view of the head, keep all other features in a front
but use a side view for the
Toss out the front-view nose
flattens out the
isn’t appealing and changes the look of the
features an angular nose pointing
many mouth
These are the most popular
3/4 view, which is the angle that most commonly appears in
smile rises up, almost to the
Overlap the top
top and bottom lips are
more teeth you show, the more intense the laughter
Push up on the lower eyelids, but only on one of
a ruddy jaw expressing supreme
line above the upper lip lengthens
clamp the top and bottom lips together
bottom lip drags the mouth way down at the
lips remain strongly
minimizing of the lower
Crush the eyeballs between cheesy, half-closed
position for a typical look, stare, or
variation creates a sly
position creates a prideful
Stretch the edge of the profile along a curved
Grow more
Everything clamps down toward the
variation demonstrates impatience combined with
profile is drawn on a
forehead is vertical, but the rest of the face is
female lips is about more than simply adding
nuanced way that they
the ways in which they come
add to the character’s
length and width of a smile also make a huge
Attractive female characters’ lips and mouths are more
not making broad expressions but instead make petite
Both lips curve
bottom lip the thickest of the
top lip overlaps the bottom
smile occurs on one side
top lip is fairly
thickens, rather than dips, in the
smiles as rising upward on the
pretty feminine
top lip is
curves slightly
this type of
both wide and
lips thin out when
maintain most of their thickness in the
top lip is straight or curves slightly
tiny smile creases at the ends curl
Add thickness to the
mouth is pushed to one
Whether eyes or mouths are most effective in creating an expression is something that may remain a mystery
when the eyes and mouth work together in a
eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the mouth is the doorway to the
eyes and mouth on the
no matter how exaggerated the expression may
maintain the symmetry of the
just how important using guidelines are for drawing the
Think of the guidelines as your stability
show a variety of
some basic and some
keep the viewer interested and
Move past the basic circle and include other head
circle does not allow you to place more emphasis on one part of the
equal in all
outer shell of the hair before working in
(such as the
Flair the bangs
ridiculously thin
pair it with ridiculously thin
earrings a
modify the circle so that it is sleeker or
create a more feminine face, take the circular outline and narrow the jaw
she becomes
popular head shape is the
upside-down egg shape creates a large forehead but a slender
foundation for male and female teens, adults, and even some
feminine, petite, attractive, or cute female characters small
eyelashes only at the ends of the
Make the hair defy
Overlap the squiggle of hair with these two lines for a twisted
guidelines are erased, the head appears as though it has a complex
really just an egg with some kooky hair
elongated egg shape works best on teens and young adults because the face tends to thin out as a person
section from the eyes to the top of the head represents the other half of the
teen’s jaw increases to half the length of his
careful that the center line goes directly through the middle of the two
ears below the eye
extend eyeglass frames past the outline of the
they are small nerdy
Thicken the frames. The thicker, the “geekier.
Brush the hair to one
don’t let it fall in front of the
Leave the collar undefined and detach the tie to create a graphic
same head shape in use all over TV and movie
features a pudgy cheek that sticks out on one side
can make cute characters even
same construction also works for adult
cheekbone is made to look bonier instead of soft and
allows the forehead to slope either backward or
depending on the
Start with a
Carve out an inward (concave) curve to the
bringing it all the way down to the bottom of the
before you reach the bottom, make the curve jut out and return to the
cheek can be drawn low on the
simple jag-step of the outline remains the
cheek appears extremely low
slightly lower than halfway down
middle of the face
pushed-out cheek really adds something to the look of the
The chin is tapered on the female character in this classic cartoon
cute-girl cartoons have sudden, abrupt shifts in the angles of their
cause the cheeks to stick
sometimes, even look
Flatten out the top of the
same pushed-out cheek
coupled with a tapered
Flatten or push up the bottom lids to show that this character is
For a cute, pretty, or young
ear rarely rises above the
Use hair to add
not only to the top of the head but to the sides as
happy character, use stiff
Push the neck back a notch from the
make sure it’s not drawn directly under
oversized earring and some sharp
to give her a little
earrings attach to the earlobes?
They defy
Antigravity earrings are
depicted with a distorted head shape in order to depict a huge
misshapen this know-it-all’s head
whether or not his expression is
huge forehead for smart
for evil characters who like to think of themselves as
Tilt these closed
subtle but noticeable
round, nerdy glasses small enough to fit inside the
Cover a bit of the chin with a
arms of the eyeglass frames don’t even touch the
head this big, there’s no need to build out the
would add too much
hair is drawn within the head
not on top of
adjust almost any shape so that it becomes a version of the classic cartoon head
end up with an edgier
great method for keeping your cartoons looking fresh and
shape is based on a modified
doesn’t have to be an established geometric
hint of the angular cheek turns an undefined shape into the classic cartoon
end result is a classic, but weirdly funny, head
head expands as it rises to the
try to soften these angular
It takes away from his edgy
cartoon “
effective and creative
is precisely the technique I use all the time in creating new
difference between a sculptor and a
similarities are
both artists add mass to some areas and slice it away from
to refine the
sculpt using a pencil, by making small adjustments to the
An oval-shaped head is a good place to
adding some mass here and an angle
give him a decidedly sharper
results in a livelier character
Start off with a tall
Add mass to the
both additions sharp instead of
make the character appear
character looks
all it takes is a basic foundation shape and one or two additional areas added onto
forehead is an important part of the basic construction of the
more attitude if the forehead is drawn bulging out
or bulging in
drawn past the outline in order to make sure the line curves at the same rate
extend the line past the head to make sure you’ve got the flow working in your
Experimenting is part of
develop something
adjust the underlying foundation in order to get more individuality from your
original design for the finished
Make small
but with his chin buried in the
add a lot of “
below the chin
Sharpen the cheek
Take some back fat off of
extremely streamlined version works because of the forward bend and square style of the head
shortening the head and adding mass to the
sketching a
You can be
first sketch looks good but is a little too “minor key.
second sketch doesn’t have enough
eyes and nose are fun, but this one lacks an overall
sketch is not too
looks a little too intense, almost
sulky, yet
extension of hair shooting out past his forehead adds the finishing
add some
This is a
Don’t keep a lid on
Don’t reel it
Allow yourself to put anything down on
show energetic
add visual effects to
medium shot is available to them as a great alternative to the close-up or full-figure
Medium shots are a great tool that allows the viewer to see the character close-up while also showing some of the
medium shot is more than simply a combination of two popular
framed from the head down to the
from the head to the
body and head must have a consistent
if a girl’s face is pretty, then her body must also be
hair is slovenly, then his attire will be casual and somewhat
medium shot is still relatively close-up, it’s important to draw the outfits with care and
eyes take up most of the room on the
Draw the shoulders sloping slightly
instead of
body is well-shaped but fairly
contrast makes her head appear larger and emphasizes her
making her look even
egg-shaped head with a slightly tapered
Indent the sleeve to make space for the
prettier mouth that’s on the small
Lift her eyes at the
arms are not too
sharp angles for the
thick lips to give the appearance of
Brush the long eyelashes upward and away from the
hands small and the fingers tapered on pretty
line for the hat curved, not
hint of hips for the medium
upper arms and forearms both
hair fall in front of her
overlapping a sliver of the head on either
cartoon contains a range of shading, from light to
If you can make the viewer wonder what the character is thinking, your drawing is

Ship of destiny by Robin Hobb
She had slept for a time athwart her kill.
Crows and ravens, ever scornful of humanity’s claims of mastery,
And in Chalced, no man’s woman is every man’s woman.”
She always seemed preternaturally aware of folk around her.
When he had acknowledged her weakness, he had forced her to see it as well.
While he was in the room, she felt trapped in his world, his thoughts. His reality.
Could not he see that history was not a cup of tea, to be poured back into a pot?
“That is the challenge, Companion. To take what has happened to you and learn from it, instead of being trapped by it.”
“Our numbers make us a force to reckon with, if nothing else.
We cannot continue to live as hidden outcasts on your edges. We must be recognized and accepted.”
If enough people track dirt in, someone will start tracking it out.”
“I can’t think of any payment that would be worth my risking my daughter. Save my own sense of what I ought to do, no matter the risk to us.”
“You’ve the eyes of a hunter,”

Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer) by Robin Hobb

I have since come to know that many men always see another’s good fortune as a slight to themselves.

Learning is never wrong. Even learning how to kill isn’t wrong. Or right. It’s just a thing to learn, a thing I can teach you. That’s all. For now, do you think you could learn how to do it, and later decide if you want to do it?”

“Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.”

You’ve never seen a wild bird lure predators away from its young by pretending to be injured.”

A HISTORY OF THE DUCHIES is a study of their geography.

Nothing takes the heart out of a man more than the expectation of failure.

When considering a man’s motives, remember you must not measure his wheat with your bushel. He may not be using the same standard at all.

—The Assassins by Bernard Lewis

History of the Assassins of the Austrian orientalist Joseph von Hammer, published in German in Stuttgart in 1818 and in French and English translations in 1833 and 1835.

though far better informed than the Western chroniclers and travellers, they were if anything even more hostile to the doctrines and purposes of the Ismailis.

Masyaf, one of the main Ismaili centres in Syria.

Muslim life. In this society the distinction between secular and religious is unknown – in law, in jurisdiction, or in authority. Church and state are one and the same,

Husayn, the son of Ali and his wife Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet.

son of Ali known as Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya,

These were Ali, his sons Hasan and Husayn, and the descendants of Husayn through his son Ali Zayn al-Abidin, the solitary survivor of the tragedy at Karbala.

The term Tagiyya, caution, precaution, denotes an Islamic doctrine of dispensation – the idea that, under compulsion or menace, a believer may be dispensed from fulfilling certain obligations of religion.

it was cited as an answer to the self-destroying militancy that had led so many to their deaths in utterly hopeless rebellions.

Ja’far al-Sadiq, the sixth Imam after Ali. Ja`far’s eldest son was Ismail.

For reasons which are not quite clear, and probably because of his association with extremist elements, Ismail was disinherited, and a large part of the Shia recognized his younger brother Musa al-Kazim as seventh Imam.

Another group followed Ismail and his descendants, and are known as Ismailis (Isma`ilis).

To the pious, the Ismailis offered respect for the Qur’an, for tradition and for law no less than that of the Sunnis. To the intellectual, they submitted a philosophical explanation of the universe, drawing on the sources of ancient and especially neoplatonic thought. To the spiritual, they brought a warm, personal, emotional faith, sustained by the example of the suffering of the Imams and the self-sacrifice of their followers – the experience of Passion, and the attainment of the Truth. To the discontented, finally, they offered the attraction of a well-organized, widespread and powerful opposition movement, which seemed to provide a real possibility of overthrowing the existing order, and establishing in its place a new and just society, headed by the Imam – the heir of the Prophet, the chosen of God, and the sole rightful leader of mankind.

Some branches of the sect go even further, and adopt an antinomian doctrine that is recurrent in extremist Muslim heresy and mysticism.

Both branches of the Shia, the Twelvers and the Ismailis,

The dry legalism and remote transcendentalism of the orthodox faith, the cautious conformism of its accredited exponents, offered little comfort to the dispossessed, little scope for the spiritual yearnings of the uprooted and unhappy. There

`Epistles of the Sincere Brethren’,

branch of the sect known as the Carmathians – their

By 9o9 they were strong enough for the hidden Imam to emerge from hiding and proclaim himself Caliph in North Africa, with the title al-Mahdi, thus founding a new state and dynasty. They were known as the Fatimids,

an interesting Ismaili poem has been preserved praising their courage, loyalty, and selfless devotion.-

term commonly used for members of the sect is rafiq – comrade.2 I

Nizar was murdered in prison in Alexandria,


And then on the basis of this they said that the Resurrection is when men shall come to God and the mysteries and truths of all Creation be revealed, and acts of obedience abolished, for in this world all is action and there is no reckoning, but in the world to come all is reckoning and there is no action.


Razi’s point, of course, is not that the Ismailis are right, but that theological controversy must be based on correct information and an intelligent understanding of an opponent’s point of view.

it was not long before the monarch felt obliged to extend the benefits of his rule to other lands and peoples.

Tagiyya, the concealment of one’s true beliefs in the face of danger,

One of the recognized duties – and glories – of a Muslim ruler was the patronage of science and learning, and the Ismaili Imams had not been backward in this respect.

Emperor of the Face of the Earth [the Mongol Khan]

“This is a warning for those who reflect,” [Qur’an, vi, i i6], and may God do likewise unto all tyrants!’4°


Their main struggle was still against the masters, not the enemies of Islam.


Alternatively, if the King did not wish to pay tribute, they would be satisfied with the remission of the tribute which they themselves paid to the Hospitallers and the Templars.

Sicarii, or dagger-men

While conceding autocratic powers to the sovereign, it lays down that the subject’s duty of obedience lapses where the command is sinful, and that `there must be no obedience to a creature against his Creator’.

The killing by the Assassin of his victim was not only an act of piety; it also had a ritual, almost a sacramental quality. It is significant that in all their murders, in both Persia and Syria, the Assassins always used a dagger; never poison,2 never missiles, though there must have been occasions when these would have been easier and safer. The Assassin is almost always caught, and usually indeed makes no attempt to escape; there is even a suggestion that to survive a mission was shameful.

In the early eighth century, the Muslim authors tell us, a man called Abu Mansur al-Ijli, of Kufa, claimed to be the Imam, and taught that the prescriptions of the law had a symbolic meaning, and need not be obeyed in their literal sense. Heaven and Hell had no separate existence, but were merely the pleasures and misfortunes of this world.

terrorist secret societies of nineteenth-century Italy and Macedonia.

In the meantime both the experience of events and the advance of scholarship in our own time may suggest that it is not so easy to disentangle national from economic factors, or either from psychic and social determinants, and that the distinction, so important to our immediate predecessors, between the radical right and the radical left may sometimes prove illusory.

—Assassins of Alamut: A Novel of Persia and Palestine in the Time of the Crusades by James Boschert

However, they are still the Christians you and I remember. Hardheaded, stubborn, and I daresay that their strength is their very weakness. It will not bend to any situation; thus we can almost always outwit them in the end.”

They came from out of their cold, forested countries to fight for a God that seemed even more bloodthirsty than his own. At least Islam had tolerated the Jews and Zoroastrians, and indeed the many other Christians from the Holy Land, giving them freedom to worship as long as they paid the special taxes, acknowledged the overrule of Islam and the One True God. The Turks had ended this tolerance and now the Crusaders, as they called themselves, cared for none of this, it seemed. They sacked every city they came to, whether it surrendered to them or not.

Allah helped if you used your skills to the maximum and that it did little good to just pray, though he knew that prayer was part of the ingredient, so he encouraged Feza to put in a good word for the boy during her prayer times.

Serratta, a game that involved moving small, smooth stones from one pocket to another on a carved wooden board. Wherever possible, a player confiscated his opponent’s stones and placed them in a pocket at the end of the board. The one with the most in his pocket at the end of the game was the winner.

Because they were a breed apart, most Muslims shunned dogs and disliked having them around.

Since he assumed power among the Ismaili, Hassan II had declared Qiyama, which implied that the Day of Judgment had already arrived. He stated that all Ismaili were henceforth judged, and were indeed now in paradise.









Allepo Castle





lake Tiberius.



Perhaps that is the secret. It is not what we do, so much as why we do it.

—Cratylus by Plato

All of them sprang either from the love of a God for a mortal woman, or of a mortal man for a Goddess;

all things flow and nothing stands;

them to the objects as much as you can; or do you prefer the notion of Hermogenes and of many others, who say that names are conventional, and have a meaning to those who have agreed about them, and who have previous knowledge of the things intended by them, and that convention is the only principle; and whether you abide by our present convention, or make a new and opposite one, according to which you call small great

—A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five by George R.R. Martin

Kill the boy within you, I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.”

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.

Past a certain point, all the dates grow hazy and confused, and the clarity of history becomes the fog of legend.”

demean women when it was the only part of a woman they valued. And

history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging.

“I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood.”

Common men deprived of whores are apt to turn to rape.

— Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One by George R.R. Martin

A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.”

Let them see that their words can cut you, and you’ll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can’t hurt you with it anymore.”

The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.”

Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Quick as a snake. Calm as still water. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine. Fear cuts deeper than swords. The man who fears losing has already lost. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords.

—The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) by Crossway Bibles

27 So God created man in his own image,    in the image of God he created him;    male and female he created them.

The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat [12] of it you shall surely die.”

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.

5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;    in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for [23] your husband,    and he shall rule over you.”

Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.

And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for [27] you, but you must rule over it.”

You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch.

When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man [32] when they were created.

22 Enoch walked with God [33] after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, [34] for God took him.

“Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief [35] from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

Nephilim [37]

“I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

clean animals, [42]

11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf.

16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

“Cursed be Canaan;    a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem;    and let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, [50]    and let him dwell in the tents of Shem,    and let Canaan be his servant.”

Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. [51]

11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans.

oak [57] of Moreh.

14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children [66] by her.”

5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, [73] but your name shall be Abraham, [74]

all the land of Canaan,

Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring,

shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah [75]

24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city.

25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please.

26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”

2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.

‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’”

“Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is a sign of your innocence in the eyes of all [88] who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.”

“God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.”

“Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.”

Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for

“Let me not look on the death of the child.”

18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

He lived in the wilderness

his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” 24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

“Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son.

for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”

“Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

“Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there.

14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this [101] I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

ring on her nose

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”

“Our sister, may you become    thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess    the gate of those who hate him!” [105]

He settled [106] over against all his kinsmen.

“Two nations are in your womb,    and two peoples from within you [108] shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other,    the older shall serve the younger.”

“Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom. [110]) 31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” 32 Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, [114] saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”

33 He called it Shibah; [115] therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they made life bitter [116] for Isaac and Rebekah.

5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.”

you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

I will kill my brother Jacob.”

“I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. [120]

“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.

31 When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, [127] for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. [128] 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. [129] 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she called his name Judah. [130] Then she ceased bearing.

2 Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3 Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, [131] that even I may have children [132] through her.”

Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”

I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”

21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.

I have learned by divination that [141] the LORD has blessed me because of you.

37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

For he has sold us,

stole her father’s household gods.

the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, [153] for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, [154] saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.


25 On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.

“Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”

“Put away the foreign gods that are among you

“Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.”

He went into a land away from his brother Jacob.

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore.

7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD put him to death.

duty of a brother-in-law to her,

15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face.

“Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”


And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On.

Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

‘Why have you repaid evil for good? [191] 5 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”

tore their clothes,

“What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me can indeed practice divination?”

17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for [192] your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

26 All the persons belonging to Jacob

for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”

26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; the land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.

put your hand under my thigh

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel.

16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him,

midwives feared God

midwives feared God,

Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.” [3]

Moses stood up and saved them,

God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

“I AM WHO I AM.” [6]

‘The LORD, [7] the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’

plunder the Egyptians.”


“Put your hand inside your cloak.” [9] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous [10] like snow.

they may believe the latter sign.

take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.

24 At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death.

“A bridegroom of blood,”

‘Let my people go,

“Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.”

but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.

“Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts.”

“Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips.

also did the same by their secret arts.

God of the Hebrews,

behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.

24 And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

behold, I will plague all your country with frogs.

“Plead with the LORD to take away the frogs from me and from my people, and I will let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.”

gnats in all the land of Egypt.’”

18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not.

behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses.

between my people and your people.

“Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.”

hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

3 behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks.

distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt,

“Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh.

12 But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh,

14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, [20] and on your servants and your people, so

18 Behold, about this time tomorrow I will cause very heavy hail to fall, such as never has been in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.

“This time I have sinned; the LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong.

fear the LORD God.”

hardened his heart,

I have hardened his heart

Go, the men among you, and

“Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”

“Go, serve the LORD; your little ones also may go with you; only let your flocks and your herds remain behind.” 25 But Moses said, “You must also let us have sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.

“Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.

every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die,

2 “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.

It is the LORD’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

Feast of Unleavened Bread,

the destroyer

“Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

took their dough before it was leavened,

six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.

no foreigner shall eat of it,

44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him.

Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”

—How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

“As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.”

“with malice toward none, with charity for all,”

“Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”

“What would Lincoln do if he were in my shoes? How would he solve this problem?”

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.

“I will speak ill of no man,” he said, “. . . and speak all the good I know of everybody.” Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

“A great man shows his greatness,” said Carlyle, “by the way he treats little men.”

“To know all is to forgive all.”

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

You can make your employees give you cooperation—until your back is turned—by threatening to fire them. You can make a child do what you want it to do by a whip or a threat. But these crude methods have sharply undesirable repercussions.

The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.

John Dewey, one of America’s most profound philosophers, phrased it a bit differently. Dr. Dewey said that the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important.” Remember that phrase: “the desire to be important.” It is significant. You are going to hear a lot about it in this book.

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

If some people are so hungry for a feeling of importance that they actually go insane to get it, imagine what miracle you and I can achieve by giving people honest appreciation this side of insanity.

“I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people,” said Schwab, “the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. “There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”

We often take our spouses so much for granted that we never let them know we appreciate them.

succumbed to the fad of fasting and went for six days and nights without eating. It wasn’t difficult. I was less hungry at the end of the sixth day than I was at the end of the second. Yet I know, as you know, people who would think they had committed a crime if they let their families or employees go for six days without food; but they will let them go for six days, and six weeks, and sometimes sixty years without giving them the hearty appreciation that they crave almost as much as they crave food.

“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”

I am talking about a new way of life.

“Teach me neither to proffer nor receive cheap praise.”

“Use what language you will,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “you can never say anything but what you are.”

When we are not engaged in thinking about some definite problem, we usually spend about 95 percent of our time thinking about ourselves. Now, if we stop thinking about ourselves for a while and begin to think of the other person’s good points, we won’t have to resort to flattery so cheap and false that it can be spotted almost before it is out of the mouth.

we should never forget that all our associates are human beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender that all souls enjoy.

I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

Emerson said: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.”

Give honest and sincere appreciation.

So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something. How about the time you gave a large contribution to the Red Cross? Yes, that is no exception to the rule. You gave the Red Cross the donation because you wanted to lend a helping hand; you wanted to do a beautiful, unselfish, divine act.

First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.”

Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it?”

Mind you, I got this reduction without saying a word about what I wanted. I talked all the time about what the other person wanted and how he could get it.

“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”

customers like to feel that they are buying—not being sold.

“Carl could have had those sales, but he made no effort to arouse in us any desire for the policies.”

So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.

If out of reading this book you get just one thing—an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle—if you get that one thing out of this book, it may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of your career.

All his talking and discussion hadn’t helped, but by arousing an eager want in the manager, by showing him the modern station, he had accomplished his goal,

First, arouse in the other person an eager want. He who can do this has the whole world with him. He who cannot walks a lonely way.

“self-expression is the dominant necessity of human nature.”

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.

“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.”

Become genuinely interested in other people.

Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”

Your “smile” comes through in your voice.

people rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it.

You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.

“Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” said Shakespeare, “but thinking makes it so.”

—The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The glue of mutual need that bonded us so tightly together for all those years is melting away. Dark patches, not light, show in the spaces between us.

We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.

—The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel by Greg Keyes

All of life—all of history—was one moment, and only by ignoring most of its content could one create the illusion of linear

—The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One by Patrick Rothfuss

“Call a jack a jack. Call a spade a spade. But always call a whore a lady. Their lives are hard enough, and it never hurts to be polite.”

The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.

Fear tends to come from ignorance. Once I knew what the problem was, it was just a problem, nothing to fear.

Besides, anger can keep you warm at night, and wounded pride can spur a man to wondrous things.

That’s why stories appeal to us. They give us the clarity and simplicity our real lives lack.”

“There are two sure ways to lose a friend, one is to borrow, the other to lend.”

“‘Expect disaster every seven years,’”

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

—Night Angel: The Complete Trilogy (Night Angel Trilogy) by Brent Weeks

There’s an intersection between what the people around you know well enough to teach, what you’re naturally good at, and what it is possible for you to learn.


“A wolf might become a wolfhound, son, but it will never be a lap dog.”

Power is a whore. Once you finally hold her, you realize that she is courting every man in sight.”

man who denies what is essential to his being is a man who drills holes in the cup of his own happiness.

Sometimes the devil you knew was better than the one you didn’t.

—Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella by Brent Weeks

Everyone thinks they’re special. It’s what makes lying so easy.

Great beauties and stunningly handsome men were accorded virtues: people found them funnier, smarter, more insightful than they actually were.

There is no heroism. There is no justice. There is no heaven.

There is no sixth sense. There is no hell but life, and death is worse.

There is no glory. There is no light. There is only victory.

“The befouled shall not go unpunished.”

There is only one question: Does what you do, every day, have meaning?

emptiness can’t be threatened. Emptiness holds nothing dear. Emptiness knows no fear.

—Profiles in Performance: Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change by Howard Dresner

Management is either ineffective or uninterested in forging alignment with its mission or fostering cooperation across functions.

For example, we can think of corporate departments and functions as tribes of a sort.

Hence we have the Finance tribe, the Human Resources tribe, the Sales tribe, and so on, with each of these either covertly competing against the others or in direct conflict.

Cross-functional sharing and cooperation tend to be impromptu and opportunistic.

Individuals are rewarded for sharing, cooperating, and supporting the mission of the enterprise.

The enterprise thinks, strategizes, plans, analyzes, and executes as a single organism.

So, just as we can think of a performance-directed culture as more of a journey than a destination, we also can think of the achievement of perfection as less important than its pursuit.

Each of my six performance-directed culture criteria falls into one of three categories: strategic, operational, or technical, as shown in

However, the major difference at this level is that observations, insights, and ideas from below filter back up to management to inform, influence, and mold the strategy—better ensuring support for the mission—as the external (and internal) environment changes.

In contrast, real transparency means that everyone openly and freely shares information with others, including information about their own performance.

metrics have a clear cause and effect relationship

So, goals and objectives (and measures) agreed upon at the beginning of the year may not be used to measure people at the end of the year.

At this level, it is not uncommon to find departments within an enterprise that share information and are held accountable only within their function, by immediate management and peers, but are closed and opaque to everyone else in the enterprise.

While this may start opportunistically—with cooperating groups leveraging one another for

Of course, the old adage, that information is power, comes to mind. However, to be more accurate, I would change information to insight. But, first let’s define insight.

However, conflict can be a positive force. By vetting multiple opinions in an open and constructive fashion, a more complete and thoughtful solution to a problem can be created, with greater inclusion and camaraderie.

At this level dissenting voices are encouraged and included as vital in the decision-making processes of the organization.

Although a performance-directed culture is not driven by technology, certain aspects of technology are important enablers.

employed in alignment with the other performance-directed culture criteria: strategy and operations.

It can take many years to build such a reputation and only an instant to destroy it.

Management frustration with this status quo may lead to an IT-driven data warehouse project—without resolving the underlying business conditions that created irreconcilable data views.

The Availability and Currency of Information contribute greatly to developing trust in the data.

By availability, I mean completeness of the information (as many sources as needed) to build a useful business perspective.

micro-marts of data.

His commitment to customer service was legendary,

performance of their hotels and have the authority to make all decisions that would improve their key performance indicators. What they do not have is the authority to deviate from brand standards and centralized corporate policies.

“Data is essential to get to the core truth, and to encourage thinking and decision

—Thus Spoke Zarathustra (mobi) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

the creator seeketh, not corpses–and not herds or believers either. Fellow-creators

Note: Read this and the precedin Edit



Companions, the creator seeketh,

With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I associate:

spirit becometh a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

To humiliate oneself in order to mortify

one’s pride? To exhibit one’s folly in order to mock at one’s wisdom?

To love those who despise us, and give one’s hand to the phantom when it is going to frighten us?

What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer inclined to call Lord and God? “Thou-shalt,” is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, “I will.”

The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and thus speaketh the mightiest of all dragons: “All the values of things–glitter on me.

To create new values–that, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating–that can the might of the lion do.

“Thou-shalt”: now is it forced to find illusion and arbitrariness even in the holiest things, that it may capture freedom from its love: the lion is needed for this capture.

Peace with God and thy neighbour: so desireth good sleep. And peace also with thy neighbour’s devil! Otherwise it will haunt thee in the night.

sought formerly above all else when they sought teachers of virtue. Good sleep they sought for themselves, and poppy-head virtues to promote it!

Ah, ye brethren, that God

whom I created was human work and human madness, like all the Gods!

“O that there were heavenly paths by which to steal into another existence and into happiness!”

“Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body.”

Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an unknown sage–it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body.

he seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain.

Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh populace.

It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.

Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!

soul one will never discover, unless one first invent it.”

higher I clamber, the more do I despise him who clambereth.

Note: The higher I climb, the more I despise other climbers. Edit

Full is the earth of the superfluous;

Everywhere resoundeth the voices of those who preach death; and the earth is full of those to whom death hath to be preached.

Ye are not great enough not to know of hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!

Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.

state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

the state, where the slow suicide of all–is called “life.”

Withdraw from the idolatry of the superfluous!

who possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!

In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them: those representers, the people call great men.

Chastity is a virtue with some, but with many almost a vice.

O my friend, man is something that hath to be surpassed.

Far too long hath there been a slave and a tyrant concealed in woman.

Values did man only assign to things in order to maintain himself–he created only the significance of things, a human significance! Therefore, calleth he himself “man,” that is, the valuator.

Always doth he destroy who hath to be a creator.

THOU hath been consecrated, but not yet the I : so man presseth nigh unto his neighbour.

Your bad love to yourselves maketh solitude a prison to you.

Many a one hath cast away his final worth when he hath cast away his servitude.

And the anguish of thy justice in being just to those that disdain thee?

Injustice and filth cast they at the lonesome one: but, my brother, if thou wouldst be a star, thou must shine for them none the less on that account!

Be on thy guard, also, against holy simplicity! All

Ready must thou be to burn thyself in thine own flame;

Better than man doth woman understand children, but man is more childish than woman.

The destroyer of morality, the good and just call me: my story is immoral.

Not only onward shalt thou propagate thyself, but upward!

Another sought a handmaid with the virtues of an angel. But all at once he became the handmaid of a woman,

marriage putteth an end to many short follies, with one long stupidity.

Beyond yourselves shall ye love some day! Then LEARN first of all to love. And on that

Would that he might never be born!–Thus do I advise the superfluous ones.

even the hollowest nut wanteth to be cracked.

But to the fighter equally hateful as to the victor, is your grinning death which stealeth nigh like a thief,–and yet cometh as master.

Many never become sweet; they rot even in the summer. It is cowardice that holdeth them fast to their branches.

Verily, too early died that Hebrew whom the preachers of slow death honour: and to many hath it proved a calamity that he died too early.

Believe it, my brethren! He died too early; he himself would have disavowed his doctrine had he attained to my age! Noble enough was he to disavow!

Uncommon is the highest virtue,

When your heart overfloweth broad and full like the river, a blessing and a danger to the lowlanders:

Dangerous is it to be an heir.

let the value of everything be determined anew by you! Therefore shall ye be fighters! Therefore shall ye be creators!

A thousand paths are there which have never yet been trodden; a thousand salubrities and hidden islands of life. Unexhausted and undiscovered is still man and man’s world.

Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you!

And mine enemies amongst them! How I now love every one unto whom I may but speak! Even mine enemies pertain to my bliss.

God is a conjecture: but I should like your conjecturing restricted to the conceivable.

Yea, much bitter dying must there be in your life, ye creators!

what would there be to create if there were–Gods!

“The discerning one walketh amongst men AS amongst animals.”

Since humanity came into being, man hath enjoyed himself too little: that alone, my brethren, is our original sin!

better to have done evilly than to have thought pettily! To be sure,

—The Wise Man’s Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two by Patrick Rothfuss

So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because.That’s

“You can divide infinity an infinite number of times, and the resulting pieces will still be infinitely large,” Uresh said in his odd Lenatti accent. “But if you divide a non-infinite number an infinite number of times the resulting pieces are non-infinitely small. Since they are non-infinitely small, but there are an infinite number of them, if you add them back together, their sum is infinite. This implies any number is, in fact, infinite.”

All explicit knowledge is translated knowledge, and all translation is imperfect.”

Too much looking can get in the way of seeing, you see?”

So I did not try to win her and contented myself with playing a beautiful game.

These streets weren’t dangerous, strictly speaking. Or rather, they were dangerous in a broken glass sort of way. Broken glass won’t go out of its way to hurt you. You can even touch it if you’re careful. Some streets are dangerous as frothing dogs, where no amount of care will keep you safe.

nothing in the world is harder than convincing someone of an unfamiliar truth.

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”

The child’s expression slowly shifted from curious to uncertain to unhappy. Finally he began to make a soft, anxious noise. He looked as if he were thinking about whether or not he wanted to cry, and was slowly starting to realize that, yes, as a matter of fact, he probably did.

Stories don’t need to be new to bring you joy. Some stories are like familiar friends. Some are dependable as bread.

Cyphus bears the blue flame. Stercus is in thrall of iron. Ferule chill and dark of eye. Usnea lives in nothing but decay. Grey Dalcenti never speaks. Pale Alenta brings the blight. Last there is the lord of seven: Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane. Alaxel bears the shadow’s hame.

No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter

as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.”

“Wrong things never lead to success,” Vashet said firmly. “If a man acts wrongly and succeeds, that is not the way. Without the Lethani there is no true success.”

Flow (P.S.) by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
TWENTY-THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.
We do not understand what happiness is any better than Aristotle did,
people often end up feeling that their lives have been wasted,
When do people feel most happy?
What I “discovered” was that happiness is not something that happens.
Happiness, in fact, is
condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person.
People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives,
It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly.
“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
begins with achieving control over the contents of our consciousness.
The instructions contained in our genes, the pull of gravity, the pollen in the air, the historical period into which we are born—these and innumerable other conditions determine what we see, how we feel, what we do.
Yet we have all experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, masters of our own fate.
This is what we mean by optimal experience
optimal experiences add up to a sense of mastery—or perhaps better, a sense of participation in determining the content of life—
From their accounts of what it felt like to do what they were doing, I developed a theory of optimal experience based on the concept of flow—the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter;
what would be the result afterward in the unlikely event that one did turn into a slim, well-loved, powerful millionaire?
Usually what happens is that the person finds himself back at square one,
In the quest for happiness, partial solutions don’t work.
These periods of struggling to overcome challenges are what people find to be the most enjoyable times
It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.
It is a matter of losing the chance to have a life worth living.
the universe was not created to answer our needs.
Frustration is deeply woven into the fabric of life.
To deal with these obstacles, every culture develops with time protective devices—religions, philosophies, arts, and comforts—that help shield us from chaos.
Only direct control of experience, the ability to derive moment-by-moment enjoyment from everything we do, can overcome the obstacles to fulfillment.
The foremost reason that happiness is so hard to achieve is that the universe was not designed with the comfort of human beings in mind.
The four grim horsemen of the Apocalypse are never very far away.
natural processes do not take human desires into account.
How we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depend directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences.
must learn to achieve mastery over consciousness itself.
With affluence and power come escalating expectations,
This paradox of rising expectations suggests that improving the quality of life might be an insurmountable task.
developed myths and beliefs to transform the random, crushing forces of the universe into manageable, or at least understandable, patterns.
An unrealistic trust in the shields, in the cultural myths, can lead to equally extreme disillusion when they fail.
As people move through life, passing from the hopeful ignorance of youth into sobering adulthood, they sooner or later face an increasingly nagging question: “Is this all there is?”
From the earliest years we have been conditioned to believe that a benign fate would provide for us.
after each success it becomes clearer that money, power, status, and possessions do not, by themselves, necessarily add one iota to the quality of life.
No matter how much energy we devote to its care, the body will eventually give out.
There are just so many dams about to burst and so little time to tend to them all.
religions are only temporarily successful attempts to cope with the lack of meaning in life; they are not permanent answers.
The form in which religions have presented their truths—myths, revelations, holy texts—no longer compels belief in an era of scientific rationality, even though the substance of the truths may have remained unchanged.
who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works.
At least as far as the allocation of resources is concerned, the sword is about sixteen times mightier than the pen.
advanced very far in terms of improving the content of experience.
There is no way out of this predicament except for an individual to take things in hand personally.
the main contribution of this fledgling science has been to discover how past events shed light on present behavior.
To achieve such autonomy, a person has to learn to provide rewards to herself.
She has to develop the ability to find enjoyment and purpose regardless of external circumstances.
requires a discipline and perseverance that are relatively rare in any era, and perhaps especially in the present.
requires a drastic change in attitude about what is important and what is not.
it is always bread and jam tomorrow, never bread and jam today.
civilization is built on the repression of individual desires.
Socialization, or the transformation of a human organism into a person who functions successfully within a particular social system, cannot be avoided.
make people dependent on social controls, to have them respond predictably to rewards and punishments.
most effective form of socialization is achieved when people identify so thoroughly with the social order that they no longer can imagine themselves breaking any of its rules.
social controls, for instance, are ultimately based on a threat to the survival instinct.
The only authority many people trust today is instinct.
But when we follow the suggestions of genetic and social instructions without question we relinquish the control of consciousness and become helpless playthings of impersonal forces.
We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.
A person who cannot override genetic instructions when necessary is always vulnerable.
as long as we respond predictably to what feels good and what feels bad, it is easy for others to exploit our preferences for their own ends.
A thoroughly socialized person is one who desires only the rewards that others around him have agreed he should long for—rewards
a person does not have to be turned into a puppet jerked about by social controls.
The solution is to gradually become free of societal rewards and learn how to substitute for them rewards that are under one’s own powers.
ability to find rewards in the events of each moment.
Power returns to the person when rewards are no longer relegated to outside forces.
We must also become independent from the dictates of the body, and learn to take charge of what happens in the mind.
Pain and pleasure occur in consciousness and exist only there.
Since what we experience is reality, as far as we are concerned, we can transform reality to the extent that we influence what happens in consciousness
“Know thyself,
to free inner life from the threat of chaos, on the one hand, and from the rigid conditioning of biological urges, on the other,
Control over consciousness is not simply a cognitive skill.
It is not enough to know how to do it; one must do it,
Ritual form wins over substance, and the seeker is back where he started.
Marx was even less fortunate: his attempts to free consciousness from the tyranny of economic exploitation were soon turned into a system of repression that would have boggled the poor founder’s mind.
the way is through control over consciousness, which in turn leads to control over the quality of experience.
like every other dimension of human behavior, it is the result of biological processes.
consciousness has developed the ability to override its genetic instructions and to set its own independent course of action.
This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setbacks is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so; it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well.
the mind has enormous untapped potential that we desperately need to learn how to use.
Thus, while consciousness is a mirror that reflects what our senses tell us about what happens both outside our bodies and within the nervous system, it reflects those changes selectively, actively shaping events, imposing on them a reality of its own.
The reflection consciousness provides is what we call our life: the sum of all we have heard, seen, felt, hoped, and suffered from birth to death.
Intentions arise in consciousness whenever a person is aware of desiring something or wanting to accomplish something.
Each of us has this freedom to control our subjective reality.
Thoughts have to follow each other, or they get jumbled. While we are thinking about a problem we cannot truly experience either happiness or sadness.
It seems we can manage at most seven bits of information—
Therefore, the information we allow into
consciousness becomes extremely important; it is, in fact, what determines
the content and the quality of life.
The mark of a person who is in control of consciousness is the ability to focus attention at will,
just asking questions, watching curiously what is going on,
does not notice things in order to change them or judge them. He is content to register reality, to understand, and then, perhaps, to express his understanding.
have trained their attention to process signals that otherwise would pass unnoticed.
it is an energy under our control, to do with as we please; hence, attention is our most important tool in the task of improving the quality of experience.
Attention shapes the self, and is in turn shaped by it.
that experience depends on the way we invest psychic energy
This, in turn, is related to goals and intentions.
These processes are connected to each other by the self, or the dynamic mental representation we have of the entire system of our goals.
forces that affects consciousness adversely
psychic disorder—that
information that conflicts with existing intentions, or distracts us from carrying them out.
pain, fear, rage, anxiety, or jealousy.
Whenever information disrupts consciousness by threatening its goals we have a condition of inner disorder, or psychic entropy
The outside event appears in consciousness purely as information,
is the self that interprets that raw information in the context of its own interests,
stronger sense of self-confidence,
he would have trusted his ability to overcome it eventually.
Every piece of information we process gets evaluated for its bearing on the self.
opposite state from
psychic entropy is optimal experience.
because when he is working at top performance the experience is so enthralling that it is almost painful for him to slow down.
Often her concentration is so intense that she forgets to have lunch, and by the time she realizes that she is hungry it is dark outside.
situations in which attention can be freely invested to achieve a person’s goals, because there is no disorder to straighten out, no threat for the self to defend against.
state the flow experience
In flow we are in control of our psychic energy,
If you win these battles enough, that battle against yourself, at least for a moment, it becomes easier to win the battles in the world.”
The “battle” is not really against the self, but against the entropy that brings disorder to consciousness.
struggle for establishing control over attention.
Complexity is the result of two broad psychological processes: differentiation and integration
Differentiation implies a movement toward uniqueness,
Integration refers to its opposite: a union with other people,
overcoming a challenge inevitably leaves a person feeling more capable, more skilled.
becomes more of a unique individual, less predictable, possessed of rarer skills.
Flow helps to integrate the self because in that state of deep concentration consciousness is unusually well ordered.
Paradoxically, it is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN STRATEGIES we can adopt to improve the quality of life.
first is to try making external conditions match our goals.
second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better.
people keep hoping that changing the external conditions of their lives will provide a solution.
To improve life one must improve the quality of experience.
Given these observations, instead of worrying about how to make a million dollars or how to win friends and influence people, it seems more beneficial to find out how everyday life can be made more harmonious and more satisfying,
Pleasure is a feeling of contentment that one achieves whenever information in consciousness says that expectations set by biological programs or by social conditioning have been met.
They do not add complexity to the self.
Complexity requires investing psychic energy in goals that are new, that are relatively challenging.
because “learning” becomes an external imposition when schooling starts, the excitement of mastering new skills gradually wears out.
She didn’t pay me the respect of assuming that I was going to try to take advantage of her.
Without enjoyment life can be endured, and it can even be pleasant.
To gain personal control over the quality of experience, however, one needs to learn how to build enjoyment into what happens day in, day out.
phenomenology of enjoyment has eight major components.
occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing.
we must be able to concentrate on what we are doing.
concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and provides immediate feedback.
one acts with a deep but effortless involvement
enjoyable experiences allow people to exercise a sense of control over their actions.
concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over.
sense of the duration of time is altered;
optimal experiences are reported to occur within sequences of activities that are goal-directed and bounded by rules—activities that require the investment of psychic energy,
any capacity to manipulate symbolic information is a “skill,”
For those who don’t have the right skills, the activity is not challenging; it is simply meaningless.
Our antagonist is our helper.”
when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear.
even routine details can be transformed into personally meaningful games that provide optimal experiences.
Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act.
When all a person’s relevant skills are needed to cope with the challenges of a situation, that person’s attention is completely absorbed by the activity.
stop being aware of themselves as separate from the actions they are performing.
goals are usually clear, and feedback immediate.
unless a person learns to set goals and to recognize and gauge feedback in such activities, she will not enjoy them.
In some creative activities, where goals are not clearly set in advance, a person must develop a strong personal sense of what she intends to do.
What makes this information valuable is the symbolic
message it contains: that I have succeeded in my goal.
enjoyable activities require a complete focusing of attention on the task at hand
What is even more significant is that only a very select range of information can be allowed into awareness.
The concentration of the flow experience—together with clear goals and immediate feedback—provides order
So rather than a pathological thrill that comes from courting disaster, the positive emotion they enjoy is the perfectly healthy feeling of being able to control potentially dangerous forces.
what people enjoy is not the sense of being in control, but the sense of exercising control in difficult situations.
“The Luchin Defense”
Note: must read Edit
Almost any enjoyable activity can become addictive, in the sense that instead of being a conscious choice, it becomes a necessity that interferes with other activities.
Preoccupation with the self consumes psychic energy because in everyday life we often feel threatened.
Whenever we are threatened we need to bring the image we have of ourselves back into awareness,
Hundreds of times every day we are reminded of the vulnerability of our self.
But in flow there is no room for self-scrutiny.
So loss of self-consciousness does not involve a loss of self, and certainly not a loss of consciousness, but rather, only a loss of consciousness of the self.
Loss of self-consciousness can lead to self-transcendence,
This growth of the self occurs only if the interaction is an enjoyable one, that is, if it offers nontrivial opportunities for action and requires a constant perfection of skills.
But the true believer is not really interacting with the belief system; he usually lets his psychic energy be absorbed by it.
consciousness may attain a welcome order, but it will be an order imposed rather than achieved.
The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself.
the experience is autotelic, the person is paying attention to the activity for its own sake;
Energy is power, but power is only a means.
cruelty is a universal source of enjoyment for people who have not developed more sophisticated skills.
As long as a significant segment of society has few opportunities to encounter meaningful challenges, and few chances to develop the skills necessary to benefit from them, we must expect that violence and crime
Jefferson’s uncomfortable dictum “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”
habits and past wisdom blind us to new possibilities.
The task is to learn how to enjoy everyday life without diminishing other people’s chances to enjoy theirs.
common characteristics of optimal experience:
a sense that one’s skills are adequate to cope with the challenges at hand, in a goal-directed, rule-bound action system that provides clear clues as to how well one is performing.
They have rules that require the learning of skills, they set up goals, they provide feedback, they make control possible.
facilitate concentration and involvement by making the activity as distinct as possible from the so-called “paramount reality” of everyday existence.
peculiar reality of the game.
divided the world’s games (using that word in its broadest sense to include every form of pleasurable activity) into four broad classes,
Agon includes games that have competition as their main feature,
alea is the class that includes all games of chance,
ilinx, or vertigo, is the name he gives to activities that alter consciousness by scrambling ordinary perception,
mimicry is the group of activities in which alternative realities are created, such as dance, theater, and the arts in general.
games offer opportunities to go beyond the boundaries of ordinary experience in four different ways. In
each person seeks is to actualize her potential,
Divination is a universal feature of culture, an attempt to break out of the constraints of the present
ritual of divination becomes gambling—
try to outguess fate.
But consciousness cannot be expanded; all we can do is shuffle its content,
every flow activity,
provided a sense of discovery,
pushed the person to higher levels of performance,
led to previously undreamed-of states of consciousness.
transformed the self by making it more complex.
In this growth of the self lies the key to flow activities.
Neither boredom nor anxiety are positive experiences,
anxious (A3), the way back to flow requires that he increase his skills.
it is difficult to ignore challenges once one is aware that they exist.
more complex because it involves greater challenges, and demands greater skills
One cannot enjoy doing the same thing at the same level for long.
either bored or frustrated;
activities like working or raising children provide more flow than playing a game or painting a picture, because these individuals have learned to perceive opportunities in such mundane tasks that others do not see.
flow and religion have been intimately connected from earliest times.
what we call religion is actually the oldest and most ambitious attempt to create order in consciousness.
It has long been recognized that the productive activities of a society are a useful way of describing its character:
it is inadmissible to apply one set of values to evaluate another.
one society is “better” than another if a greater number of its people have access to experiences that are in line with their goals.
cultures differ from one another in terms of the degree of the “pursuit of happiness”
practices and beliefs, which interfere with happiness,
once they become part of the norms and habits of a culture, people assume that this is how things must be;
making survival too strenuous a task,
closing themselves off into rigid patterns that stifle the opportunities
Cultures are defensive constructions against chaos,
reduce the impact of randomness on experience.
person’s attention threatens to wander into the uncharted realms of chaos.
flow is a powerful motivator, it does not guarantee virtue
Potentiality does not imply actuality,
One of the most ironic paradoxes of our time is this great availability of leisure that somehow fails to be translated into enjoyment.
there is no indication that we actually enjoy life more than our ancestors did.
second condition that affects whether an optimal experience will occur
an individual’s ability to restructure consciousness so as to make flow possible.
Some people are just temperamentally less able to concentrate their psychic energy than others.
A person who is constantly worried about how others will perceive her, who is afraid of creating the wrong impression, or of doing something inappropriate, is also condemned to permanent exclusion from enjoyment.
nature alone cannot prevent flow from happening.
now extinct natives of the Caribbean islands
Anomie—literally, “lack of rules”—
what prevents flow from occurring is either the fragmentation of attentional processes (as in anomie and attentional disorders), or their excessive rigidity (as in alienation and self-centeredness).
At the individual level anomie corresponds to anxiety, while alienation corresponds to boredom.
learned to control consciousness focusing attention is relatively effortless,
Children who grow up in family situations that facilitate clarity of goals, feedback, feeling of control, concentration on the task at hand, intrinsic motivation, and challenge will generally have a better chance to order their lives so as to make flow possible.

Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite
Produce great stuff, and your customers will come to
Produce really great stuff, and your customers will share and disseminate your message for
fundamentals of how to create bold stories, videos, and blog posts.
New Rules of Social Media
each new thought is awarded its own paragraph, and each paragraph consists of a topic sentence, several body sentences, and a concluding sentence.
The topic sentence is the powerful ringleader of a paragraph and states the main point.
engage rather than repel.
relied on the keys of good storytelling
The notion of marketing to your customers by interrupting them repeatedly with advertising or other marketing messages is simply not enough anymore.
Everyone is the media. Everyone is a publisher.
Done right, the content you create will position your company not as just a seller of stuff, but as a reliable source of information.
Insight inspires originality.
Show; don’t just tell.
good content strategy focuses on the story you have to tell
Why are you creating the content you’re creating? (What are your goals?) 2. Who is your audience? And who are you? 3. What do you want the content to achieve? 4. When and how are you going to develop the content? 5. Where are you going to publish? Question 1. Why are you creating the content you’re creating?
How will we measure success?
“know who they are.”
critical step in developing great content is to develop your own distinct voice.
Voice is about how you write, certainly. But in a larger sense, it’s also about how you express your brand.
It’s about figuring out what’s unique about you and your perspective.
We, Me, Them & It: How to Write Powerfully for Business
Branding, after all, is about differentiation.
“a growing, long-term relationship with hordes of potential customers entranced by your unique and engaging way of speaking with them slips from view.”
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan
Because physics has a clear purpose.
“Data is merely the raw material of knowledge.”
overreliance on any descriptive statistic can lead to misleading conclusions,
Descriptive statistics exist to simplify, which always implies some loss of nuance or detail.
use data from the “known world” to make informed inferences about the “unknown world.”
However, any business facing uncertainty can manage these risks by engineering processes so that the probability of an adverse outcome,
becomes acceptably low.
When individuals and firms cannot make unacceptable risks go away, they seek protection in other ways.
we cannot knowingly expose human subjects when we expect an adverse outcome.)
We cannot treat humans like laboratory rats.
On CSI: Regression Analysis, I envision a researcher working late at night in the computer lab because of her daytime commitment as a member of the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team. When she gets the printout from her statistical analysis, she sees exactly what she has been looking for: a large and statistically significant relationship in her data set between some variable that she had hypothesized might be important and the onset of autism. She must share this breakthrough immediately! The researcher takes the printout and runs down the hall, slowed somewhat by the fact that she is wearing high heels and a relatively small, tight black skirt. She finds her male partner, who is inexplicably fit and tan for a guy who works fourteen hours a day in a basement computer lab, and shows him the results. He runs his fingers through his neatly
trimmed goatee, grabs his Glock 9-mm pistol from the desk drawer, and slides it into the shoulder holster beneath his $5,000 Hugo Boss suit (also inexplicable given his starting academic salary of $38,000 a year). Together the regression analysis experts walk briskly to see their boss, a grizzled veteran who has overcome failed relationships and a drinking problem
The point is to learn things that inform our lives.
“You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”
How to Lie with Statistics
the mathematical precision attached to statistical analysis can dress up some serious nonsense.
strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics,
economic equivalent of a batting average,
Per capita income is a simple average: total income divided by the size of the population.
The bigger problem is that the average income in America is not equal to the income of the average American.
the most basic task when working with data is to summarize a great deal of information.
any simplification invites abuse.
Descriptive statistics can be like online dating profiles: technically accurate and yet pretty darn misleading.
The first descriptive task is often to find some measure of the “middle” of a set of data, or what statisticians might describe as its “central tendency.
The most basic measure of the “middle” of a distribution is the mean, or average.
The mean, or average, turns out
prone to distortion by “outliers,” which are observations that lie farther from the center.
The sensitivity of the mean to outliers is why we should not gauge the economic health of the American middle class by looking at per capita income.
The median is the point that divides a distribution in half,
For distributions without serious outliers, the median and the mean will be similar.
the key is determining which measure of the “middle” is more accurate in a particular situation
The distribution can be further divided into quarters, or quartiles.
The benefit of these kinds of descriptive statistics is that they describe where a particular observation lies compared with everyone else.
Absolute figures can usually be interpreted without any context or additional information.
If I place ninth in the golf tournament, that is a relative statistic.
“relative” value or figure has meaning only in comparison to something else, or in some broader context, such as compared with the eight golfers who shot better than I did.
Another statistic that can help us describe what might otherwise be a jumble of numbers is the standard deviation,
measure of how dispersed the data are from their mean.
the two groups have roughly the same “middle,”
airline passengers have far more dispersion around that midpoint, meaning that their weights are spread farther from the midpoint.
“more spread out,” which is an important attribute when it comes to describing the weights of these two groups.
So how do we figure out what “excessively” means in this context?
standard deviation
For many typical distributions of data, a high proportion of the observations lie within one standard deviation of the mean
Data that are distributed normally are symmetrical around their mean in a bell shape that will look familiar to you.
mean is the middle line which is often represented by the Greek letter µ
standard deviation is often represented by the Greek letter s
Measuring change as a percentage gives us some sense of scale.
The numerator (the part on the top of the fraction) gives us the size of the change in absolute terms; the denominator (the bottom of the fraction) is what puts this change in context by comparing it with our starting point.
The point is that a percentage change always gives the value of some figure relative to so

CISSP All-in-One Exam Guide, 6th Edition by Shon Harris
intrusion detection
identity management
hundreds of security
deploy antimalware
update their incident response
comply with the alphabet soup of security
enterprise-wide security program that consists of technologies, procedures, and
assess the
allocate funds and resources properly to mitigate those
core goals of
provide availability, integrity, and confidentiality (AIC triad) protection for critical
security controls, mechanisms, and safeguards are implemented to provide one or more of these protection
all risks, threats, and vulnerabilities are measured for their potential capability to compromise one or all of the AIC
Availability protection ensures reliability and timely access to data and
protection mechanisms must be in place to protect against inside and outside
are environmental aspects that can negatively
(fire, flood, HVAC issues, electrical
An organization must fully understand its operational environment and its availability weaknesses so that the proper countermeasures can be put into
Integrity is upheld when the assurance of the accuracy and reliability of information and systems is
unauthorized modification is
When an attacker inserts a virus, logic bomb, or back door into a system, the system’s integrity is
Strict access controls, intrusion detection, and hashing can combat these
Security should streamline users’ capabilities and give them only certain choices and functionality, so errors become less common and less
System-critical files should be
Confidentiality ensures that the necessary level of secrecy is
Some assets have a critical confidentiality requirement (company trade
some have critical integrity requirements (financial transaction
availability requirements (e-commerce web
Availability • Redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID) • Clustering • Load balancing • Redundant data and power lines • Software and data backups • Disk shadowing • Co-location and off-site facilities • Roll-back functions • Fail-over configurations • Integrity • Hashing (data integrity) • Configuration management (system integrity) • Change control (process integrity) • Access control (physical and technical) • Software digital signing • Transmission CRC functions • Confidentiality • Encryption for data at rest (whole disk, database encryption) • Encryption for data in transit (IPSec, SSL, PPTP, SSH) • Access control (physical and
Availability Reliable and timely access to data and resources is provided to authorized
Integrity Accuracy and reliability of the information and systems are provided and any unauthorized modification is
Confidentiality Necessary level of secrecy is enforced and unauthorized disclosure is
Shoulder surfing Viewing information in an unauthorized manner by looking over the shoulder of someone
Social engineering Gaining unauthorized access by tricking someone into divulging sensitive
vulnerability is a lack of a countermeasure or a weakness in a countermeasure that is in
threat is any potential danger that is associated with the exploitation of a
entity that takes advantage of a vulnerability is referred to as a threat
risk is the likelihood of a threat agent exploiting a vulnerability and the corresponding business
Risk ties the vulnerability, threat, and likelihood of exploitation to the resulting business
exposure is an instance of being exposed to
vulnerability exposes an organization to possible
control, or countermeasure, is put into place to mitigate (reduce) the potential
terms “control,” “countermeasure,” and “safeguard” are interchangeable
mechanisms put into place to reduce
antimalware software but does not keep the signatures up-to-date, this is a
company is vulnerable to
threat is that a virus will show up in the environment and disrupt
likelihood of a virus showing up in the environment and causing damage and the resulting potential damage is the
a virus infiltrates the company’s environment, then a vulnerability has been
countermeasures in this situation are to update the signatures and install the antimalware software on all
you will find that unless a security team has an agreed-upon language in place, confusion will quickly take
Vulnerability Weakness or a lack of a
Threat agent Entity that can exploit a
Threat The danger of a threat agent exploiting a
Risk The probability of a threat agent exploiting a vulnerability and the associated
Control Safeguard that is put in place to reduce a risk, also called a
Exposure Presence of a vulnerability, which exposes the organization to a
Controls are put into place to reduce the
three main
Administrative controls are commonly referred to as “soft controls
Technical controls (also called logical controls) are software or hardware
physical controls are items put into place to protect
These control types need to be put into place to provide
coordinated use of multiple security controls in a layered
types of controls that are actually implemented must map to the
numbers of layers that are put into place map to the sensitivity of the
different functionalities of security controls
Deterrent Intended to
Preventive Intended to avoid an
Corrective Fixes components or systems after an
Recovery Intended to bring the environment
Detective Helps
Compensating Controls that provide an alternative measure of
it is most productive to use a preventive model and then use detective, recovery, and corrective
preventive and detective controls should always be implemented
what you can’t prevent, you should be able to
if you detect something, it means you weren’t able to prevent it, and therefore you should take corrective
all three types work together: preventive, detective, and
control types described next (administrative, physical, and technical) are preventive in
When trying to map the functionality requirement to a control, think of the main reason that control would be put into
Note: Doctrine of Dual effect at play. Edit
Control types Administrative, technical, and
Deterrent Discourage a potential
Preventive Stop an incident from
Corrective Fix items after an incident has
Recovery Restore necessary components to return to normal
Detective Identify an incident’s activities after it took
Compensating Alternative control that provides similar protection as the original
Defense-in-depth Implementation of multiple controls so that successful penetration and compromise is more difficult to
we know what we need to accomplish (availability, integrity,
we know the tools we can use (administrative, technical, physical
we know how to talk about this issue (vulnerability, threat, risk,
don’t try to outsmart the bad guy with trickery; instead, practice security in a mature, solid
Because a security program is a framework, organizations are free to plug in different types of technologies, methods, and procedures to accomplish the necessary protection level for their
ISO/IEC 27000
information security management system
to manage risks to its sensitive information
We needed a way to oversee all of these items and knit them together in a holistic
de facto
means that no specific standards body was demanding that everyone follow the
ISO/IEC standards that attempt to compartmentalize and modularize the necessary
This group of standards is known as the ISO/IEC 27000 series and serves as industry best
Plan – Do – Check – Act (PDCA)
iterative process that is commonly used in business process quality control
Plan component pertains to establishing objectives and making
Do component deals with the implementation of the
Check component pertains to measuring
Act, provides direction on how to correct and improve
common for organizations to seek an ISO/IEC 27001 certification by an accredited third
toss in products here and there, which are referred to as point solutions or stovepipe
define an enterprise security
OSI network
enterprise architecture encompasses the essential and unifying components of an
expresses the enterprise structure (form) and behavior
embodies the enterprise’s components, their relationships to each other, and to the
framework as a guideline on how to build an architecture that best fits your company’s
security and regulatory
When developing an architecture, first the stakeholders need to be
the views need to be developed, which is how the information that is most important to the different stakeholders will be illustrated in the most useful
a change that takes place at one level will affect items at other
architecture allows you to understand all the things that will need to change just to support one new business
It is common for business people to feel as though the IT department is more of an impediment when it comes to business evolution and growth, and in turn the IT department feels as though the business people are constantly coming up with outlandish and unrealistic demands with no supporting
where business enterprise architectures come into play. It allows both groups (business and technology) to view the same organization in ways that make sense to
Zachman framework is a two-dimensional model that uses six basic communication
(What, How, Where, Who, When, and
intersecting with different viewpoints (Planner, Owner, Designer, Builder, Implementer, and
goal of this
look at the same organization from different
People at each level of the organization need information in a language and format that is most useful to
business enterprise architecture is used to optimize often fragmented
into an integrated
responsive to change and supportive of the business
The Open Group Architecture Framework
Department of
approach to design, implement, and govern an enterprise information
architecture framework can be used to create individual architectures through the use of its Architecture Development Method
four different
(business, data, application, and
before a programmer starts developing code, the architect of the software needs to be developed in the context of the organization it will work
Security technology works within the construct of an organization, so the organization must be understood
Department of Defense Architecture Framework
focus of the architecture framework is
reconnaissance systems and
The DoDAF helps ensure that all systems, processes, and personnel work in a concerted effort to accomplish its
British Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework
recognized enterprise architecture framework based upon the
framework is to be able to get data in the right format to the right
While both DoDAF and MODAF were developed to support mainly military missions, they have been expanded upon and morphed for use in business enterprise
figure out which architecture framework is best for your
find out who the stakeholders
what information they need from the
architecture needs to represent the company in the most useful manner to the people who need to understand it the
main difference between the various enterprise architecture frameworks is what type of information are they providing and how are they providing
enterprise security architecture is a subset of an enterprise
defines the information security strategy that consists
the way they are linked across an enterprise
reason to develop an enterprise security
ensure that security efforts
with business
Besides security, this type of architecture allows organizations to better achieve interoperability, integration, ease-of-use, standardization, and
is to put one person in charge of a team that develops a phased-approach enterprise security architecture rollout
goals are to integrate technology-oriented and business-centric security
link administrative, technical, and physical controls to properly manage
integrate these processes into the IT infrastructure, business processes, and the organization’s
Sherwood Applied Business Security Architecture
first layer defining business requirements from a security
Each layer of the model decreases in abstraction and increases in
SABSA is a framework and methodology for enterprise security architecture and service
Since it is a framework, this means it provides a structure for individual architectures to be built
methodology also, this means it provides the processes to follow to build and maintain this
provides a life-cycle model so that the architecture can be constantly monitored and improved upon over
enterprise security architecture to be
following items must be
Strategic alignment means the business drivers and the regulatory and legal requirements are being
deficiencies and imbalances within an organization can lead to risk and security
difference between an ISMS and an enterprise security
ISMS outlines the controls that need to put into
(risk management, vulnerability management, BCP, data protection, auditing, configuration management, physical security,
provides direction on how those controls should be
ISMS specifies the pieces and parts that need to be put into place to provide a holistic security
properly take care of those pieces and
enterprise security architecture illustrates how these components are to be integrated into the different
security components of the ISMS have to be interwoven throughout the business
not siloed within individual company
ISMS will dictate that risk management needs to be put in
enterprise architecture will chop up the risk management
ISMS could dictate that data protection needs to be put into
architecture can show how this happens at the infrastructure, application, component, and business
infrastructure level we can implement data loss protection
necessary access controls and cryptographic
components within the applications can implement the specific cryptographic
protecting sensitive company information can be tied to business
ISO standards are general in
since these standards are general, it can be difficult to know how to implement them and map them to your company’s infrastructure and business
This is where the enterprise security architecture comes into
architecture is a tool used to ensure that what is
security standards is
Companies and organizations do not exist for the sole purpose of being
Security cannot stand in the way of business
should be implemented to better enable
Business enablement means the core business processes are integrated into the security operating
standards-based and follow a risk tolerance
process enhancement piece can be quite beneficial to an
serious about securing their environment, it means they will have to take a close look at many of the business
business processes taking place in all types of organizations, you commonly find a duplication of efforts, manual steps that can be easily automated, or ways to streamline and reduce time and effort that are involved in certain
commonly referred to as process reengineering
those components must be integrated into the business processes to be
This allows for security to be integrated in system life cycles and day-to-day
So while business enablement means “we can do new stuff,” process enhancement means “we can do stuff
Security effectiveness deals with
meeting service level agreement (SLA)
achieving return on investment
meeting set
providing management with a dashboard or balanced scorecard
Security affects almost everything today in
difference between enterprise architectures and system
enterprise architecture addresses the structure of an
system architecture addresses the structure of software and computing
different architecture types have different
(organization versus
have a direct
rules outlined in an organizational security policy have to be supported all the way
Security has to be integrated at every organizational and technical
detailed interaction and interdependencies must be
information security field is still learning how to grow up and out of the IT department and into established corporate
we have our ISO/IEC 27000 series, which outlines the necessary components of an organizational security
security enterprise architecture, which helps us integrate the requirements outlined in our security program into our existing business
The Control Objectives for Information and related Technology
framework and set of control objectives developed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute
defines goals for the controls that should be used to properly manage IT and to ensure that IT maps to business
CobiT is broken down into four
Plan and
Acquire and
Deliver and
Monitor and
category drills down into
CobiT domain provides goals and guidance to companies that they can follow when they purchase, install, test, certify, and accredit IT
CobiT provides a “checklist”
CobiT lays
34 control objectives this model deals
When you develop your security policies that are aligned with the ISO/IEC 27000 series, these are high-level
statements like, “Unauthorized access should not be
CobiT provides the objective that the real-world implementations (controls) you chose to put into place need to
what an auditor is going to go by to ensure the organization is practicing security
security compliance auditing
are based off of
learn, practice, and implement the control objectives outlined in
CobiT contains control objectives used within the private
U.S. government has its own set of
Special Publication 800-53, which outlines controls that agencies need to put into
compliant with the Federal Information Security Management Act of
The control
government auditors use SP 800-53 as their “
CAUTION On the CISSP exam you can see control categories broken down into administrative, technical, and physical categories and the categories outlined by NIST, which are management, technical, and
to deal with fraudulent financial activities and
Management’s philosophy and operating
Company culture as it pertains to ethics and
Establishment of risk
Ability to manage internal and external
Policies, procedures, and practices put in place to mitigate
Information and
Structure that ensures that the right people get the right information at the right
Detecting and responding to control
COSO is a model for corporate governance, and CobiT is a model for IT
COSO deals more at the strategic
CobiT focuses more at the operational
CobiT as a way to meet many of the COSO
from the IT
COSO deals with non-IT
COSO was formed to provide sponsorship for the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial
deceptive financial
SOX is based upon the COSO
Companies commonly implement ISO/IEC 27000 standards and CobiT to help construct and maintain their internal COSO
CISSP exam does not cover specific
but it does cover the security control model
ways to construct and improve our
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the de facto standard of best practices for IT service
natural divide exists between business people and IT
ITIL is a customizable framework that is provided in a set of books or in an online
provides the goals, the general activities necessary to achieve these goals, and the input and output values for each process required to meet these determined
ITIL has a component that deals with
focus is more toward internal service level
Six Sigma is a process improvement
and improved” Total Quality Management
improve process quality by using statistical methods of measuring operation efficiency and reducing variation, defects, and
Six Sigma was developed by
Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) came from the security engineering
is a vague and nonquantifiable
know where we are starting
where we need to
the steps we need to take in
security program has a maturity
No organization is going to put all the previously listed items (ISO/IEC 27000, COSO, Zachman, SABSA, CobiT, NIST 800-53, ITIL, Six Sigma, CMMI) in
good toolbox of things you can pull
some fit the
basic tenets of security are
Each entity is made up
these things needs to be
to develop structured
evolve from one level to the
improve its processes and security
security program should use a top-down
initiation, support, and direction come from top
staff members (usually IT) try to develop a security program without getting proper management support and
commonly less
not broad
doomed to
top-down approach makes sure the people actually
ensure true
Management’s support is one of the most important pieces of a security
understand that a security program has a life cycle that is always
constantly evaluated and improved
life cycle of any
Plan and
Operate and
Monitor and
Without setting up a
organization is doomed to treat security as merely another
project has a start and stop
stop date everyone
security management is an ongoing and continually improving
Plan and
Establish management commitment. • Establish oversight steering committee. • Assess business drivers. • Develop a threat profile on the organization. • Carry out a risk assessment. • Develop security architectures at business, data, application, and infrastructure levels. • Identify solutions per architecture level. • Obtain management approval to move
Assign roles and responsibilities. • Develop and implement security policies, procedures, standards, baselines, and guidelines. • Identify sensitive data at rest and in transit. • Implement the following blueprints: • Asset identification and management • Risk management • Vulnerability management • Compliance • Identity management and access control • Change control • Software development life cycle • Business continuity planning • Awareness and training • Physical security • Incident response • Implement solutions (administrative, technical, physical) per blueprint. • Develop auditing and monitoring solutions per blueprint. • Establish goals, service level agreements (SLAs), and metrics per
Operate and
Follow procedures to ensure all baselines are met in each implemented blueprint. • Carry out internal and external audits. • Carry out tasks outlined per blueprint. • Manage SLAs per blueprint. • Monitor and Evaluate • Review logs, audit results, collected metric values, and SLAs per blueprint. • Assess goal accomplishments per blueprint. • Carry out quarterly meetings with steering committees. • Develop improvement steps and integrate into the Plan
items can be rolled out in a sequential and controllable
previously covered standards and frameworks are very helpful, they are also very high
developing security
Blueprints are important tools to identify, develop, and design security requirements for specific business
blueprint will then get more granular and lay out the processes and components necessary to meet requirements outlined in the policy, standards, and
include at least a diagram of the company
Where the sensitive data
network segments that the sensitive
security solutions in
blueprints to be developed and
organization’s business
blueprint will lay out the security solutions, processes, and components the organization uses to match its security and business
blueprints must be applied to the different business units within the
tie these pieces
ISO/IEC 27000 that works mainly at the policy
description of the type of
security enterprise framework is the architecture
blueprints are the detailed descriptions of specific
control objectives are the building specifications and codes that need to be met for
Once your house is
set up schedules and
in a predictable and efficient
This is analogous to
they could integrate a Six Sigma
Security through
ISO/IEC 27000 series Industry-recognized best practices for the development and management of an information security
Zachman framework Enterprise architecture framework used to define and understand a business
TOGAF Enterprise architecture framework used to define and understand a business
SABSA framework Risk-driven enterprise security architecture that maps to business
DoDAF U.S. Department of Defense architecture framework that ensures
MODAF Architecture framework used mainly in military
CobiT Set of control objectives used as a framework for IT
800-53 Set of controls that are used to secure U.S. federal
COSO Internal control model used for corporate
ITIL Best practices for information technology services management
Six Sigma
improving business
Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Process improvement

–Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan

Because physics has a clear purpose.

“Data is merely the raw material of knowledge.”

overreliance on any descriptive statistic can lead to misleading conclusions,

Descriptive statistics exist to simplify, which always implies some loss of nuance or detail.

use data from the “known world” to make informed inferences about the “unknown world.”

However, any business facing uncertainty can manage these risks by engineering processes so that the probability of an adverse outcome,

becomes acceptably low.

When individuals and firms cannot make unacceptable risks go away, they seek protection in other ways.

we cannot knowingly expose human subjects when we expect an adverse outcome.)

We cannot treat humans like laboratory rats.

On CSI: Regression Analysis, I envision a researcher working late at night in the computer lab because of her daytime commitment as a member of the U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team. When she gets the printout from her statistical analysis, she sees exactly what she has been looking for: a large and statistically significant relationship in her data set between some variable that she had hypothesized might be important and the onset of autism. She must share this breakthrough immediately! The researcher takes the printout and runs down the hall, slowed somewhat by the fact that she is wearing high heels and a relatively small, tight black skirt. She finds her male partner, who is inexplicably fit and tan for a guy who works fourteen hours a day in a basement computer lab, and shows him the results. He runs his fingers through his neatly

trimmed goatee, grabs his Glock 9-mm pistol from the desk drawer, and slides it into the shoulder holster beneath his $5,000 Hugo Boss suit (also inexplicable given his starting academic salary of $38,000 a year). Together the regression analysis experts walk briskly to see their boss, a grizzled veteran who has overcome failed relationships and a drinking problem

The point is to learn things that inform our lives.

“You go to war with the army

How to Lie with Statistics

the mathematical precision attached to statistical analysis can dress up some serious nonsense.

strengths and limitations of descriptive statistics,

economic equivalent of a batting average,

Per capita income is a simple average: total income divided by the size of the population.

The bigger problem is that the average income in America is not equal to the income of the average American.

the most basic task when working with data is to summarize a great deal of information.

any simplification invites abuse.

Descriptive statistics can be like online dating profiles: technically accurate and yet pretty darn misleading.

The first descriptive task is often to find some measure of the “middle” of a set of data, or what statisticians might describe as its “central tendency.

The most basic measure of the “middle” of a distribution is the mean, or average.

The mean, or average, turns out

prone to distortion by “outliers,” which are observations that lie farther from the center.

The sensitivity of the mean to outliers is why we should not gauge the economic health of the American middle class by looking at per capita income.

The median is the point that divides a distribution in half,

For distributions without serious outliers, the median and the mean will be similar.

the key is determining which measure of the “middle” is more accurate in a particular situation

The distribution can be further divided into quarters, or quartiles.

The benefit of these kinds of descriptive statistics is that they describe where a particular observation lies compared with everyone else.

Absolute figures can usually be interpreted without any context or additional information.

If I place ninth in the golf tournament, that is a relative statistic.

“relative” value or figure has meaning only in comparison to something else, or in some broader context, such as compared with the eight golfers who shot better than I did.

Another statistic that can help us describe what might otherwise be a jumble of numbers is the standard deviation,

measure of how dispersed the data are from their mean.

the two groups have roughly the same “middle,”

airline passengers have far more dispersion around that midpoint, meaning that their weights are spread farther from the midpoint.

“more spread out,” which is an important attribute when it comes to describing the weights of these two groups.

So how do we figure out what “excessively” means in this context?

standard deviation

For many typical distributions of data, a high proportion of the observations lie within one standard deviation of the mean

Data that are distributed normally are symmetrical around their mean in a bell shape that will look familiar to you.

mean is the middle line which is often represented by the Greek letter µ

standard deviation is often represented by the Greek letter s

Measuring change as a percentage gives us some sense of scale.

The numerator (the part on the top of the fraction) gives us the size of the change in absolute terms; the denominator (the bottom of the fraction) is what puts this change in context by comparing it with our starting point.

The point is that a percentage change always gives the value of some figure relative to something else

–How to Be Interesting: (In 10 Simple Steps) by Jessica Hagy

Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where all the boring people hang out.

Your gadgets are tethering you to a world you know very well.

Sneak off to a moonlit spot when you’d otherwise be watching something on a glowing screen.

There’s always time to explore. You get to decide when it is.

Each detail tells a story. And every room holds a thousand details. Look for them.

Your old fact is someone else’s new lesson.

We interpret information as we absorb it.

Exactly. Follow your weird impulses and do all sorts of things. Getting sidetracked can lead you to exactly where you belong.

Egos get in the way of ideas.

It’s not the title that matters; it’s the person behind it.

Interesting people are

educationally omnivorous.

Overhear on purpose.

Need permission? Give it to yourself,

Procrastination leads to regret.

obstacles scare away most of the competition.

Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths.

An easy life is like quicksand:Before you know it, you’re trapped and can’t move, can’t breathe,

While the nos may sting, only the yeses matter.

Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself.

–Quantum Physics: A Beginner’s Guide by Alistair Rae

fundamental ideas of quantum physics are really not rocket science: their challenge is more to do with their unfamiliarity than their intrinsic

physical world appears to be largely governed by the laws of cause and effect (although these break down to some extent in the quantum

The stronger a theory is, the easier it is in principle to find that it is false, and the more likely we are to believe it if we fail to do

a theory that is completely incapable of being disproved is often described as ‘metaphysical’ or

unit of distance is the

the unit of time is the

mass is measured in units of

electric charge in units of coulombs (‘C’

Originally, the metre was defined as one ten millionth of the distance from the pole to the equator, along the meridian passing through

equivalent to one coulomb per

current required to produce a magnetic force of a particular size between two parallel wires held one metre

constant’ – see below) has the value 6.6 × 10-34

defined as the distance it would have travelled in one second if its speed had remained

they are distinguished by the fact that velocity is a ‘vector’ quantity, which means that it has direction as well as

When an object’s velocity is changing, the rate at which it does so is known as

acceleration is ‘one metre per second per second’ or 1 ms-

we can define such quantities ‘operationally’, by which we mean that we describe what they do – i.e. how they operate – rather than what they

energy’; this is calculated as one half of the mass of the body by the square of its

its units are joules, equivalent to kgm2s-

is calculated by multiplying the object’s mass by its height and then by the acceleration due to gravity. The units of these three quantities are kg, m and ms-2, respectively, so the unit of potential energy is kgm2s

As it moves, its potential energy becomes less and its speed and therefore kinetic energy increase. At every point the total energy is the

kinetic energy of a moving object as one half of the product of the mass of the object with the square of its

There are two main sources of potential energy in classical physics. One is gravity, which we referred to above, while the other is electricity, sometimes associated with magnetism and called ‘electromagnetism’

fundamental concept in electricity is electrical charge

To ensure that energy is conserved, there must be a potential energy associated with the interaction

k is a constant defined so that the energy is calculated in joules

When two electric charges interact, the presence of one causes a force to act on the other and as a result both start moving,

electric charge creates an ‘electric field’ throughout space,

Field is therefore another fundamental concept that is defined operationally – cf.

the field created by the moving particle takes time to respond,

When charges move, not only does the electric field change, but another field, the ‘magnetic field’, is created.

The coupled electric and magnetic fields created by moving charges propagate through space in the form of ‘electromagnetic waves’

one example of which is light waves.

momentum of a moving body is defined as the product of its mass and its velocity,

momentum is different from energy in an important respect, which is that it is a vector quantity (like velocity) that has direction as well as magnitude.

When we drop a ball on the ground and it bounces upwards at about the same speed, its momentum changes sign so that the total momentum change equals twice its initial value.

The total momentum associated with the up-and-down motion is zero because one ball moves up while the other moves down and the total left-to-right momentum is the same as the left-hand one had initially.

significance of temperature to physics is that it is a measure of the energy associated with heat.

‘absolute zero of temperature’ and corresponds to –273 degrees on the Celsius scale.

solids, for example, the atoms are held close to particular points, and vibrate around these.

the size of an atom is about 10-10 m and it weighs between about 10-27 kg

the mass of an electron is a little less than 10-30 kg.

typically 10-15 m in diameter or about 10-5 times the diameter of the atom.

nucleus carries a positive charge equal and opposite to the total charge carried by the electrons, so that the atom is uncharged or ‘neutral’ overall.

The masses of the neutron and proton are very similar (though not identical), both being about two thousand times the electron mass.


Nucleons are not point particles, like the electron, but have a structure of their own.

each constructed from three point particles known as ‘quarks’

Up and down quarks carry positive charges of value – and – respectively of the total charge on a proton,

neutron is constructed from one up quark and two down quarks,

The heaviest naturally occurring element is uranium, which has nineteen isotopes, all of which have 92 protons.

much of the volume occupied by the atom must be empty space.

moving the electron further from the nucleus increases its electrical potential energy,

it returns to its initial state by emitting radiation,

Radiation has the form of electromagnetic waves,

possible values of the energy of an atom are restricted to certain ‘quantized’ values,

When the atom absorbs energy, it can do so only if the energy ends up with one of the other allowed values, in which case the atom is said to be in an ‘excited state’

Following this, it returns to its ground state emitting radiation whose wavelength is determined by the difference in energy between the initial and final states.

Schrödinger equation

height of the ripple is known as the ‘amplitude’ of the wave,

time taken for a complete oscillation is known as the ‘period’

‘frequency’ of the wave, which is the number of times per second it moves through a complete cycle of oscillation.

shape of the wave repeats in space, and the repeat distance is known as the ‘wavelength’

wave moves at a speed corresponding to one wavelength per period

the distance between successive crests (or troughs) is known as the wavelength l

maximum height of the wave is its amplitude A

Standing waves occur when a wave is confined to a region in space. The wave moves up and down in time but not in space.

‘harmonic contents’

constructed from a combination of standing waves, all of whose frequencies are multiples of the lowest or ‘fundamental’ frequency.

the vibrations of the instrument must generate travelling waves in the air,

wave-like phenomenon is ‘electromagnetic radiation’

typical FM radio signals have a wavelength of 3 m,

wavelength of light depends on its colour, being about 4 × 10-8 m for blue light

7 × 10-8 m for red light;

light waves are capable of travelling through empty space,

waves that consist of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that can travel through empty space without requiring a medium.

light is an electromagnetic wave

Interference is commonly encountered when two waves of the same wavelength are added together.

–Mad Ship (Liveship Traders) by Robin Hobb

‘I never confuse the cost of something with its value.

she wasn’t some prissy female to take grave offense at an awkward joke.

“No matter what befalls you, your body tries to go on living.”

Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die. True courage is facing life without flinching.

“Rape is nothing but an idea women created, to pretend that a man can steal what

He is so … I know, you are the one who taught me. However, he made it all possible.

“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that.”

When she set him to a task on his own, he did it swiftly and well. He had an air of rakish showmanship that turned the simplest job aloft into a feat.

Few things appeal so much to the heart of a man as a fresh start.

–Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders) by Robin Hobb

When you borrow trouble against what might be, you neglect the moment

‘One must plan for the future and anticipate the future without fearing the future.’

the weakest has but to try his strength to find it, and then he shall be strong.’”

Prudent men never trusted their luck. But Kennit had long ago decided that a man had to trust his luck in order for it to grow.

once you put a man in charge of something, you didn’t ride him while he did the task.

“Accept and grow,”

At the moment of deciding not to argue further, he had given up all emotional investment in the situation.

no man can truly imagine being happy, and that’s why happiness isn’t for sale here.”

“You speak well. And I cannot think of a reason not to say yes. But I know that does not mean there isn’t a reason.”

if something made a man feel bad then he must determine what about it troubled him, and eliminate that.

There was always something to be learned from any experience, no matter how horrendous.

You and I, we are like buds grafted onto a tree. We can grow true to ourselves, but only so much as our roots will allow us.”

–Fool’s Fate (Hobb, Robin) by Robin Hobb, Megan Lindholm

we are the sum of all we have done added to the sum of all that has been done to us.

“Humanity fears no rivals.

All of life, I wanted to tell him, is in our minds

“I’d rather be forgotten for the things people think I’ve done. And I’d give it all if I could forget the things I failed to do.”


when you let go and follow your fate instead of trying to twist your life around and master it, a man finds that happiness follows him.”

–Golden Fool: Book 2 of The Tawny Man (Hobb, Robin) by Robin Hobb

To be part of a family, or any community, is to have duties and responsibilities, to be bound by the rules of that group.

“But change proves that you are still alive.


asks the questions that are too awkward to phrase. It even asks the questions one does not know to ask.

Strange, how being left out of a secret always feels like a betrayal of trust.

There are few things so tender as a man’s dignity.

Men. If it was raining soup, you’d be out there with a fork.”

until the student has been invited to truly consider the physical confines of the body he lives within.

One man armed with the right word may do what an army of swordsmen cannot.

Perhaps having the courage to find a better path is having the courage to risk making new mistakes.

–Fool’s Errand (The Tawny Man Trilogy) by Robin Hobb

how long I would have to live before my secrets were so old that they no longer mattered.

Some speak of the savagery of beasts. I will ever prefer that to the thoughtless contempt some men have toward animals.

The truth, I discovered, is a tree that grows as a man gains access to experience. A child sees the acorn of his daily life, but a man looks back on the oak.

Leave old pains alone. When they cease coming to call, do not invite them back.”

“There is nothing dishonorable about abandoning pain.

I could not decide if that made his act less brave or more so. And all I had done was rebuke him for it.

Note: for Katie. can a sentence start with and? Edit

I had grown accustomed to a certain amount of adult dignity.

“I wish I could believe, as you seem to, that my life is my own to dispose of.

It suddenly seemed a child’s foolish resolve never to get caught in the rain again.

“Regrets are useless,”

“All you can do is start from where you are.

you imagine the worst, and when you do, your mind stops at the problem and does not consider the solution.”

Cruelty is a skill taught not only by example but by experience of it.

much discomfort was based on human expectations.

At some point, the exquisite balance has tipped, and despite all our flailing efforts, we begin the slow fall from the body that maintains itself to the body that struggles, nails clawing, to cling to what it used to be.

The more I studied the accounts of others, both written and told, the more it seemed to me that we attempt such histories not to preserve knowledge, but to fix the past in a settled way.

History is no more fixed and dead than the future. The past is no further away than the last breath you took.

–Mageborn: The Blacksmith’s Son (Book 1) by Michael G. Manning

No one was more surprised than myself, at this connection between the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’ and it formed the basis of my loss of faith

if you are a man of faith or religion, a cleric, monk, priest or holy man of any type, stop here.  Read no further, for the ideas and science presented within will doubtless erode the very necessary foundations required for any sincere connection with the gods.

Her face lit up happily in that annoying way women have when they get what they want.

I’ll never understand women, but I guess having one for a friend isn’t so bad.

Being born male truly is a curse sometimes.

Reason is a bitch sometimes.

–Assassin’s Quest (The Farseer) by Robin Hobb

Sometimes a man doesn’

know how badly he’s hurt until someone else probes the wound.”

The stalking is the beginning of the eating.

I wondered if there was any way to live amongst other people and refuse to be harnessed by their expectations and dependencies.

Desperation to avoid injury is not the same as determination to win.

You are not a man as ordinary men are. They think they have a right to all beasts; to hunt them and eat them, or to subjugate them and rule their lives.

You believe

“A tower seldom crumbles from the bottom up,” she told more than one, and claimed to have the saying from Prince Chivalry.

For time is the great enslaver of us all.

Time that ages us, time that limits us.

Such is ever the task of the catalyst.’

“You don’t take out your temper on them, or confuse punishment with discipline.”

there is no sense in trying to play that game with the past. Here is where we are today, and we can only make our moves from here.”

Honor and courtesy and justice . . . they are not real, Fitz.

We all pretend to them, and hold them up like shields. But they guard only against folk who carry the same shields. Against those who have discarded them, they are no shields at all, but only additional weapons to use against their victims.”

they guard only against folk who carry the same shields.

The Six Duchies would fall. The world would end. We went to fetch blankets.

Truth is often much larger than facts.

of the errors that can be made when one thinks one knows what the enemy desires, and acts upon it.

A scar is never the same as good flesh, but it stops the bleeding.

–The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In particular, she would need to quit smoking.

As Lisa’s habits changed, so had her brain.

By focusing on one pattern—what is known as a “keystone habit”—Lisa had taught herself how to reprogram the other routines in her life, as well.

center of her brain—“which are associated with craving and hunger,

region closest to her forehead—“where we believe behavioral inhibition and self-discipline starts.

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits,”

more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits.

community was a giant collection of habits

there’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”

If you picture the human brain as an onion, composed of layer upon layer of cells, then the outside layers—those closest to the scalp—are generally the most recent

additions from an evolutionary perspective. When you dream up a new invention or laugh at a friend’s joke, it’s the outside parts of your brain at work. That’s where the most complex thinking occurs.

Deeper inside the brain and closer to the brain stem—where the brain meets the spinal column—are older, more primitive structures.

They control our automatic behaviors, such as breathing and swallowing, or the startle response we feel when someone leaps out from behind a bush.

basal ganglia, an oval of cells that, for years, scientists didn’t understand very well, except for suspicions that it played a role in diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Within a week, even the brain structures related to memory had quieted.

This process—in which the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine—is known as “chunking,”

as we pull out the car keys, our basal ganglia kicks in,

This process within our brains is a three-step loop.




habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced.

When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making.

habits emerge without our permission.

The brain has this amazing ability to find happiness even when the memories of it are gone.

That psychology was grounded in two basic rules: First, find a simple and obvious

two basic rules:

find a simple and obvious cue.

clearly define the rewards.

Studies of people who have successfully started new exercise routines, for instance, show they are more likely to stick with a workout plan if they choose a specific cue, such as running as soon as they get home from work, and a clear reward, such as a beer or an evening of guilt-free television.2.13

brain began anticipating the blackberry juice. Schultz’s probes started recording the “I got a reward!” pattern the instant Julio saw the shapes on the screen, before the juice arrived:

But if the juice didn’t arrive, that joy became a craving that, if unsatisfied, drove Julio to anger or depression.

The anticipation and sense of craving was so overwhelming that the monkeys stayed glued to their screens, the same way a gambler will play slots long after he’s lost his winnings.

This explains why habits are so powerful: They create neurological cravings.

The habit only emerges once Julio begins craving the juice when he sees the cue.

This is how new habits are created:

putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.

Just the sight of cigarettes is enough for the brain to crave a nicotine rush.

When a computer chimes or a smartphone vibrates with a new message, the brain starts anticipating the momentary distraction that opening an email provides.

That expectation, if unsatisfied, can build until a meeting is filled with antsy executives checking their buzzing BlackBerrys under the table,

if someone disables the buzzing—and, thus, removes the cue—people can work for hours without thinking to check their in-boxes.)

If you want to start running each morning, it’s essential that you choose a simple cue

and a clear reward

countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last.

The cue, in addition to triggering a routine, must also trigger a craving for the reward to come.2.29

“We were looking at it all wrong. No one craves scentlessness.

“Shampoo doesn’t have to foam, but we add foaming chemicals because people expect it each time they wash their hair.

Cravings are what drive habits.

figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.

“Champions don’t do extraordinary things,” Dungy would explain. “They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”

Habits are a three-step loop—the cue, the routine, and the reward—

to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.

“Realize you are licked, admit it, and get willing to turn your life over to God.”

AA succeeds because it helps alcoholics use the same cues, and get the same reward, but it shifts the routine.

“Some brains are so addicted to alcohol that only surgery can stop it,” said Mueller. “But those people also need new ways for dealing with life.”

Carry around an index card, and each time you feel the cue—

“competing response.”

Whenever she felt that tension in her fingertips, he told her, she should immediately put her hands in her pockets or under her legs, or grip a pencil or something else that made it impossible to put her fingers in her mouth.

rubbing her arm or rapping her knuckles on a desk—anything that would produce a physical response.

After a month, the nail-biting habit was gone. The competing routines had become automatic. One habit had replaced another.

Often, we don’t really understand the cravings driving our behaviors until we look for them.

If you identify the cues and rewards, you can change the routine.

Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior.

You don’t have to believe in God, but you do need the capacity to believe that things will get better.

People might be skeptical about their ability to change if they’re by themselves, but a group will convince them to suspend disbelief.

A community creates belief.”

But we do know that for habits to permanently change, people must believe that change is feasible.

Belief is easier when it occurs within a community.

We know that a habit cannot be eradicated—it must, instead, be replaced.

Genuine change requires work and self-understanding of the cravings driving behaviors.

Some habits, in other words, matter more than others in remaking businesses and lives. These are “keystone habits,”

Keystone habits say that success doesn’t depend on getting every single thing right, but instead relies on identifying a few key priorities and fashioning them into powerful levers.

Researchers have found institutional habits in almost every organization or company they’ve scrutinized.

“Routines are the organizational analogue of habits.”4.4

aggression gets rewarded.

“Every time I looked at a different part of the government, I found these habits that seemed to explain why things were either succeeding or failing,”

O’Neill figured his top priority, if he took the job, would have to be something that everybody—unions and executives—could agree was important.

He needed a focus

correct work is also safer work.

exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.

Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.

If you focus on changing or cultivating keystone habits, you can cause widespread shifts.

Keystone habits offer what is known within academic literature as “small wins.”

all elite performers are obsessives.

All he needed to do was target a few specific habits that had nothing to do with swimming and everything to do with creating the right mind-set.

“Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,

constantly pushing other bureaucrats to continue researching until they found a problem’s root causes overhauled how the government thought about problems like infant mortality.

This is the final way that keystone habits encourage widespread change: by creating cultures where new values become ingrained.

“grit,” which they defined as the tendency to work “strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress.”

daily gathering of like-minded friends—

“I was tired of being called a faggot,” he said, “tired of people following me home and throwing things at me. Everything seemed really overwhelming. It was easier to quit and go somewhere else.”

Dozens of studies show that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.

“Sometimes it looks like people with great self-control aren’t working hard—but that’s because they’ve made it automatic,”

Willpower is a learnable skill, something that can be taught the same way kids learn to do math and say “thank you.”

Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”

The more time they spent at the gym, the fewer cigarettes they smoked and the less alcohol, caffeine, and junk food they consumed.

As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked.

Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.

“When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of what’s happening is that you’re changing how you think,”

“People get better at regulating their impulses.

They learn how to distract themselves from temptations.

No matter how much their employees want to do a great job, many will fail because they lack self-discipline.

So the company developed new training materials that spelled out routines for employees to use when they hit rough patches.

This is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives.

If they feel like they have no autonomy, if they’re just following orders, their willpower muscles get tired much faster.

giving employees a sense of agency—a feeling that they are in control, that they have genuine decision-making authority—can radically increase how much energy and focus they bring to their jobs.

Giving employees a sense of control improved how much self-discipline they brought to their jobs.

There are no organizations without institutional habits.

Schumpeterian theory

Routines provide the hundreds of unwritten rules that companies need to operate.

They provide a kind of “organizational memory,”

most workplaces are made up of fiefdoms where executives compete for power and credit, often in hidden skirmishes that make their own performances appear superior and their rivals’ seem worse.

Companies aren’t families. They’re battlefields in a civil war.

without the right processes, a new company will get bogged down with logistics, and once that happens, creativity ceases to matter.

During turmoil, organizational habits become malleable enough to both assign responsibility and create a more equitable balance of power.

Crises are so valuable, in fact, that sometimes it’s worth stirring up a sense of looming catastrophe rather than letting it die down.

A company with dysfunctional habits can’t turn around simply because a leader orders it.

wise executives seek out moments of crisis—or create the perception of crisis—and cultivate the sense that something must change,

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,”

if we start our shopping sprees by loading up on healthy stuff, we’re much more likely to buy Doritos, Oreos, and frozen pizza when we encounter them later on.

Or take the way most of us turn to the right after entering a store.

When they’re shelved out of alphabetical order and seemingly at random, our instinct is to linger a bit longer

despite those lists, more than 50 percent of purchasing decisions occurred at the moment a customer saw a product on the shelf,

habits were stronger than their written intentions.

habits were unique to each person.

Our brains crave familiarity in music because familiarity is how we manage to hear without becoming distracted by all the sound.

behavioral habits prevent us from becoming overwhelmed by the endless decisions we would otherwise have to make each day,

Listening habits allow us to unconsciously separate important noises

If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.

A second email read: “Almost all of your statements contain inaccurate information

Social habits are what fill streets with protesters who may not know one another,

movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances.

starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances.

grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together.

endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership.

sociologists say, most of us have friends who are like us.

on the whole, our deepest relationships tend to be with people who look like us, earn about the same amount of money, and come from similar backgrounds.

“strong ties”—firsthand relationships—

“Rosa Parks transcended the social stratifications of the black community and Montgomery as a whole.

There’s a natural instinct embedded in friendship, a sympathy that makes us willing to fight for someone we like when they are treated unjustly.

social peer pressure—an influence known as “the power of weak ties”—

weak-tie acquaintances were often more important than strong-tie friends because weak ties give us access to social networks where we don’t otherwise belong.

“Individuals with few weak ties will be deprived of information from distant parts of the social system and will be confined to the provincial news and views of their close friends. This deprivation will not only insulate them from the latest ideas and fashions but may put them in a disadvantaged position in the labor market, where advancement can depend … on knowing about appropriate job openings

Peer pressure—and the social habits that encourage people to conform to group expectations—

peer pressure,

often spread through weak ties.

And they gain their authority through communal expectations.

On a playground, peer pressure is dangerous. In adult life, it’s how business gets done and communities self-organize.

when the strong ties of friendship and the weak ties of peer pressure merge, they create incredible momentum.

That’s when widespread social change can begin.

The community’s weak ties were drawing everyone together.

missionaries should imitate the tactics of other successful movements—including the civil rights campaign—by appealing to people’s social habits.

“If you try to scare people into following Christ’s example, it’s not going to work for too long.

So Warren created a series of curriculums, used in church classes and small group discussions, which were explicitly designed to teach parishioners new habits.

“All of us are simply a bundle of habits.…

Warren needed to teach people habits that caused them to live faithfully not because of their ties, but because it’s who they are.

This is the third aspect of how social habits drive movements:

it must become self-propelling.

give people new habits that help them figure out where to go on their own.

“We must love our white brothers, no matter what they do to us,” King said. “We must make them know that we love them. Jesus still cries out in words that echo across the centuries: ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.’

It was the message of nonviolence

King gave people a new lens. This wasn’t a war, he said. It was an embrace.

More than 150 murderers and rapists have escaped punishment in the past century

Note: this is not escape. if true, they were not culpable. Edit

–Royal Assassin (The Farseer) by Robin Hobb

“The fight isn’t over until you win

Amazing what folk will take comfort in when there’s nothing else to hold on to.”

here is always the place we must start from.

“I do not. I dare not. How could I countenance such a thing, this hunting down of our own folk and kin!

To finally confront the worst there is, to look it squarely in the face and say, “I know you.

“The most distinctive part of your fighting style is the incredible way

“If such a loom were made, and such a tapestry of predictions woven, not for a few years, but for tens of hundreds of years, after a time it could be shown that it presented a surprisingly accurate foretelling.

You deal out cards, and say that all a man’s fortune for the night may turn upon one hand. But a man’s whole life, you sniff at, and say, what, this naught of a human, this fisherman, this carpenter, this thief, this cook, why, what can they do in the great wide world? And so you putter and sputter your lives away, like candles burning in a draft.”

good is a life lived as if it made no difference at all to the great life of the world? A sadder thing I cannot imagine. Why should not a mother say to herself, if I raise this child aright, if I love and care for her, she shall live a life that brings joy to those about her, and thus I have changed the world? Why should not the farmer that plants a seed say to his neighbor, this seed I plant today will feed someone, and that is how I change the world today?”

“This is philosophy,

“No, Fitz, this is life.

Each creature in the world should consider this thing, every moment of the heart’s beating. Otherwise, what is the point of arising each day?”

“Keystone. Gate. Crossroads. Catalyst.

It’s not the kind of work a man does that says he can be proud or not. It’s how he does it.

‘The man who must brag for himself knows that no one else will.’

“If I had a dog that was sick as often as you are, I’d put it down,” he observed kindly. “Do you need more elfbark?”

I made my body be still, reasoning that at least my flesh would take some rest, even if my mind persisted in rattling on.

Stop thinking of what you intend to do. Stop thinking of what

–Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer) by Robin Hobb

I have since come to know that many men always see another’s good fortune as a slight to themselves.

Learning is never wrong. Even learning how to kill isn’t wrong. Or right. It’s just a thing to learn, a thing I can teach you. That’s all. For now, do you think you could learn how to do it, and later decide if you want to do it?”

“Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too.”

You’ve never seen a wild bird lure predators away from its young by pretending to be injured.”

A HISTORY OF THE DUCHIES is a study of their geography.

Nothing takes the heart out of a man more than the expectation of failure.

When considering a man’s motives, remember you must not measure his wheat with your bushel. He may not be using the same standard at all.”

–Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr

These are the problems of being a smoker. They are not the problems of quitting.

mere thought of stopping fills you with panic

I occasionally choose to go to the cinema, but I certainly wouldn’t choose to spend my whole life there.

The only thing that prevents us from quitting is: FEAR!

fear is not relieved by cigarettes but created by them.

I was already a happy non-

most smokers have suffered from the illusion that they enjoy the odd

It is basically fear that keeps us

you start right away with a feeling of elation, as if you had been cured of a terrible

slavery to the weed instills in the

We actually use it systematically to congest our lungs with cancerous tars, progressively to clutter up and poison our blood vessels. Each day we are increasingly starving every muscle and organ of our bodies of oxygen, so that each day we become more lethargic. We sentence ourselves to a lifetime of filth, bad breath, stained teeth, burnt clothes, filthy ashtrays and the foul smell of stale

It is a lifetime of

What sort of hobby is it that when you are doing it you wish you weren’t, and when you are not doing it you crave

Pleasure? Enjoyment? Relaxation? A prop? A boost? All

withdrawal symptoms from nicotine are so mild (see chapter 6) that most smokers have lived and died without ever realizing they are drug

Some say cigarettes are very enjoyable. They aren’t. They are filthy, disgusting

I enjoy lobster but I never got to the stage where I had to have twenty lobsters hanging around my


We tend to confuse responsibility with

They know that they had no need to smoke before they became

It is the fastest addictive drug known to

Fortunately it is an easy drug to

I think the most pathetic aspect about smoking is that the enjoyment that the smoker gets from a cigarette is the pleasure of trying to get back to the state of peace, tranquility and confidence that his body had before he became hooked in the first

physical withdrawal from nicotine involves no actual pain but is merely an empty, insecure feeling, inseparable from hunger or normal

But how can you be satisfied unless you were dissatisfied in the first

you are giving up nothing

The only reason any smoker lights a cigarette is to try to end the empty, insecure feeling that the previous cigarette

it is no more nor less than DRUG

you feel better than you did a moment before, but you are in fact more nervous and less relaxed than you would be as a non-smoker, even when you are actually smoking the

The smoker himself will decide when he does that, and it tends to be on four types of

BOREDOM/CONCENTRATION – two complete opposites! STRESS/RELAXATION – two complete

The truth is that smoking neither relieves boredom and stress nor promotes concentration and relaxation. It is all just



actual physical


The fact is the cigarette gives

takes away and then partially restores to create the

you are never badly

The chemical addiction is easy to deal

withdrawal pangs do not even wake them

In fact, most smokers have extended periods during which they abstain without

The chemical addiction is easy to cope

the actual nicotine addiction is not the main

The further it drags you down, the greater the

We are a product of the society that we are brought up

smoking relieves stress and tends to be associated with the dominant type, the type that takes on responsibility and

nicotine, on which over 60 per cent of us became hooked at some time in our

Why am I doing it? Do I really need to? NO, OF COURSE YOU DON’

With most smokers the triggers are the normal stresses of life, like answering the telephone or

But why did they have to work so hard to learn to like it when they were perfectly happy without

you block everything else from your

It is the brainwashing that is the main difficulty in giving up

there is absolutely nothing to give up. On the contrary, you will be freeing yourself from a terrible disease and achieving marvellous positive





And what does he gain from these considerable sacrifices? ABSOLUTELY

actual reason is the relief of withdrawal

Most smokers don’t even realize they are hooked until they actually try to

By partially relieving that aggravation at the same time as normal stress, the total stress is reduced and the smoker gets a

However, even when smoking that cigarette the smoker is more tense than if he were a non-smoker because the more you go into the drug, the more it knocks you down and the less it restores you when you

That is what this awful drug does to

it systematically takes away your nerve and

the cigarette is not calming your nerves, it is slowly but steadily destroying

getting free is the return of your confidence and self-



Many doctors are now relating all sorts of diseases to smoking, including diabetes, cervical cancer and breast

Not until after I had stopped smoking did I learn that smoking coagulates the blood and that the brownish colour was due to lack of

It made me realize, not how fragile our bodies

There is no doubt that cigarettes are the Number 1 cause of death in

the ‘habit’ is a continuous chain for life, each cigarette creating the need for the

–World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Prochnow Plan.1

Solving this problem—no, challenge, there are no problems—was

It was crucial that these people teach the rest of us to break from our comfortable, disposable consumer lifestyle

They had no reason for existence other than that their mastery allows ascension.

the next several years what occurred was not so much a revolution as an evolution,

It’s a lot easier to blow up trains than to make them run on time.

I think that most people would rather face the light of a real enemy than the darkness of their imagined fears.

The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.

–The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz

These are ratios of integers—hence their technical name, rational numbers.

Fractions always yield decimals that terminate or eventually repeat periodically—that can be proven—and since this decimal does neither, it can’t be equal to the ratio of any whole numbers. It’s irrational.

Because of its promiscuous divisibility, 60 is much more congenial than 10 for any sort of calculation or measurement that involves cutting things into equal parts. When we divide an hour into 60 minutes, or a minute into 60 seconds, or a full circle into 360 degrees, we’re channeling the sages of ancient Babylon.

–Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

why did human development proceed at such different rates on different continents?

Today, segments of Western society publicly repudiate racism. Yet many (perhaps most!) Westerners continue to accept racist explanations privately or subconsciously. In Japan and many other countries, such explanations are still advanced publicly and without apology. Even educated white Americans, Europeans, and Australians, when the subject of Australian Aborigines comes up, assume that there is something primitive about the Aborigines themselves.

Note: Romney comment Edit

Sound evidence for the existence of human differences in intelligence that parallel human differences in technology is lacking.

That is, natural selection promoting genes for intelligence has probably been far more ruthless in New Guinea than in more densely populated, politically complex societies, where natural selection for body chemistry was instead more potent.

why were Europeans, rather than Africans or Native Americans, the ones to end up with guns, the nastiest germs, and steel?

“History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”

11,000 B.C. This date corresponds approximately to the beginnings of village life in a few parts of the world, the first undisputed peopling of the Americas, the end of the Pleistocene Era and last Ice Age, and the start of what geologists term the Recent Era.

Human history, as something separate from the history of animals, began there about 7 million years ago

Those protohumans are generally known as Australopithecus africanus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus, which apparently evolved into each other in that sequence.

The oldest Java “man” fossils—of course, they may actually have belonged to a Java woman—have usually been assumed to date from about a million years ago. However, it has recently been argued that they actually date from 1.8 million

earliest unquestioned evidence for humans in Europe stems from around half a million years ago,

about half a million years ago, human fossils had diverged from older Homo erectus

African and European skulls of half a million years ago were sufficiently similar to skulls of us moderns that they are classified in our species, Homo sapiens, instead of in Homo erectus.

these early Homo sapiens still differed from us in skeletal details, had brains significantly smaller than ours, and were grossly different from us in their artifacts and behavior.

around that time was the use of fire.

half a million years ago, the human populations of Africa and western Eurasia proceeded to diverge from each other and from East Asian populations

The population of Europe and western Asia between 130,000 and 40,000 years ago is represented by especially many skeletons, known as Neanderthals and sometimes classified as a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis.

Neanderthals had brains slightly larger than our own. They were also the first humans to leave behind strong evidence of burying their dead and caring for their sick.

The few preserved African skeletal fragments contemporary with the Neanderthals are more similar to our modern skeletons than to Neanderthal skeletons.

Human history at last took off around 50,000 years ago, at the time of what I have termed our Great Leap Forward.

(some 40,000 years ago) in southwestern Europe, where abundant artifacts are associated with fully modern skeletons of people termed Cro-Magnons.

Cro-Magnons’ products that have been preserved, the best known are their artworks: their magnificent cave paintings,

Some 40,000 years ago, into Europe came the Cro-Magnons, with their modern skeletons, superior weapons, and other advanced cultural traits.

–Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

about ten thousand connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

The conscious you—the I that flickers to life when you wake up in the morning—is

Consciousness developed because it was advantageous, but advantageous only in limited amounts

It does not allow its colossal operating system to be probed by conscious cognition. The brain runs its show incognito.

As Carl Jung put it, “In each of us there is another whom we do not know.” As Pink Floyd put it, “There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.”

not everyone appreciates a radical shift of worldview.

time for signals to be processed in the eyes, travel along the axons connecting them to the thalamus, then ride the nerve highways to the cortex, and finally become part of the pattern of processing throughout the brain.

The brain generally does not need to know most things; it merely knows how to go out and retrieve the data. It computes on a need-to-know basis.

As your eyes interrogate the world, they are like agents on a mission, optimizing their strategy for the data. Even though they are “your” eyes,

Sometimes it is tempting to think that seeing is easy despite the complicated neural machinery that underlies it. To the contrary, it is easy because of the complicated neural machinery.

But these letters are effortless for you, because you’ve already turned the chore of cognitive translation into direct perception.

We’ll be able to add new functionality and roll out Brain 2.0.

At least 15 percent of human females possess a genetic mutation that gives them an extra (fourth) type of color photoreceptor—and this allows them to discriminate between colors that look identical to the majority of us with a mere three types of color photoreceptors.36

difficult to know if you’re hallucinating. You might hallucinate a silver pen on your desk right now and never suspect it’s not real—because its presence is plausible. It’s easy to spot a hallucination only when it’s bizarre.

He suggested that the primary visual cortex constructs an internal model that allows it to anticipate the data streaming up from the retina (see the appendix for an anatomical guide). The cortex sends its predictions to the thalamus, which reports on the difference between what comes in through the eyes and what was already anticipated. The thalamus sends back to the cortex only that difference information—that is, the bit that wasn’t predicted away. This unpredicted information adjusts the internal model so there will be less of a mismatch in the future.

awareness of your surroundings occurs only when sensory inputs violate expectations.

Here’s a way to prove to yourself that something strange is going on with time: look at your own eyes in a mirror and move your point of focus back and forth so that you’re looking at your right eye, then at your left eye, and back again. Your eyes take tens of milliseconds to move from one position to the other, but—here’s the mystery—you never see them move. What happens to the gaps in time while your eyes are moving? Why doesn’t your brain care about the small absences of visual input?

For example, imagine I flash a square on your computer screen for half a second. If I now flash a second square that is larger, you’ll think the second one lasted longer. Same if I flash a square that’s brighter. Or moving. These will all be perceived to have a longer duration than the original square.50

Imagine that you can trigger a flash of light by pressing a button. Now imagine that we inject a slight delay—say, a tenth of a second—between your press and the consequent flash. After you’ve pressed the button several times, your brain adapts to this delay, so that the two events seem slightly closer in time. Once you are adapted to the delay, we surprise you by presenting the flash immediately after you press the button. In this condition, you will believe the flash happened before your action: you experience an illusory reversal of action and sensation.

After all, we are aware of very little of what is “out there.” The brain makes time-saving and resource-saving assumptions and tries to see the world only as well as it needs to. And as we realize that we are not conscious of most things until we ask ourselves questions about them, we have taken the first step in the journey of self-excavation. We see that what we perceive in the outside world is generated by parts of the brain to which we do not have access.

You are not consciously aware of the vast majority of your brain’s ongoing activities, and nor would you want to be—it

The ability to remember motor acts like changing lanes is called procedural memory, and it is a type of implicit memory—meaning

implicit memory systems are fundamentally separate from explicit memory systems:

illusion-of-truth effect: you are more likely to believe that a statement is true if

In this view, physical states of the body provide the hunches that can steer behavior.

Consciousness is the long-term planner, the CEO of the company, while most of the day-to-day operations are run by all those parts of her brain to which she has no access.

When the brain finds a task it needs to solve, it rewires its own circuitry until it can accomplish the task with maximum efficiency.26

Deliciousness is simply an index of usefulness.

The part of the light spectrum that is visible to us is less than a ten-trillionth of it.

individuals subjectively see the world,

Instead of reality being passively recorded by the brain, it is actively constructed by it.

our psyches evolve, just like eyes and thumbs and wings.

“In general, we’re least aware of what our minds do best.”

we are not able to see the instincts that are the very engines of our behavior.19

And can you tell me, caller, that you’re not a player on the stage of life—playing out your allotted role? He can leave at any time. If his was more than just a vague ambition, if he were absolutely determined to discover the truth, there’s no way we could prevent him. I think what really distresses you, caller, is that ultimately Truman prefers the comfort of his “cell,” as you call it.

(In wine there is the truth), which was repeated by the Roman Pliny the Elder as In vino veritas.

we are made of many neural subpopulations;

brain is best understood as a team of rivals,

competing factions typically have the same goal—success for the country—but they often have different ways of going about it.

inside your temples, called the dorsolateral

In other words, as a rough guide, rational cognition involves external events, while emotion involves your internal state.

Choices about the priority of actions are determined by our internal states:

single output channel of behavior,

(for example, one may find oneself put off by another’s sexual preference but still deem nothing morally wrong with that choice),

Note: Thoughts on reasons for homophobia. Edit

The ancient Greeks had an analogy for life that captured this wisdom: you are a charioteer, and your chariot is pulled by two thunderous horses, the white horse of reason and the black horse of passion. The white horse is always trying to tug you off one side of the road, and the black horse tries to pull you off the other side. Your job is to hold on to them tightly, keeping them in check so you can continue down the middle of the road.

because people “discount” the future,

rewards closer to now are valued more highly than rewards in the distant future.

archetypical dual-process conflict, the proverbial deal with the Devil: your wishes granted now for your soul in the distant future.

arguments stemming from the intellect or from morality are weak when pitted against human passions and desires,20

Freely made decisions that bind you in the future are what philosophers call a Ulysses contract.25

when you cannot rely on your own rational systems, borrow someone else’s.27

connected by a dense highway of fibers called the corpus callosum.

As with memory, the lesson here is that the brain has evolved multiple, redundant ways of solving problems.33

Biology never checks off a problem and calls it quits. It reinvents solutions continually.

sexing the chicks)

left hemisphere acts as an “interpreter,”

consciousness exists

to control—and to distribute control over—the automated alien systems.

Think about when your conscious awareness comes online: in those situations where events in the world violate your expectations.

Consciousness is called in during the first phase of learning and is excluded from the game playing after it is deep in the system.

So are other animals conscious? Science currently has no meaningful way to make a measurement to answer that question—but I offer two intuitions. First, consciousness is probably not an all-or-nothing quality, but comes in degrees. Second, I suggest that an animal’s degree of consciousness will parallel its intellectual flexibility.

rape and incest victims, acting out of shame or guilt, chose to hold secrets inside. After years of study, Pennebaker concluded that “the act of not discussing or confiding the event with another may be more damaging than having experienced the event per se.”47

“There is as much difference between us and ourselves as there is between us and others.”

Alcohol is not a truth serum. Instead, it tends

to tip the battle toward the short-term, unreflective faction—which has no more or less claim than any other faction to be the “true” one.

Alex’s story highlights a deep central point: when your biology changes, so can your decision making, your appetites, and your desires. The drives you take for granted (“I’m a hetero/homosexual,” “I’m attracted to children/adults,” “I’m aggressive/not aggressive,” and so on) depend on the intricate details of your neural machinery. Although acting on such drives is popularly thought to be a free choice, the most cursory examination of the evidence demonstrates the limits of that assumption; we will see further examples in a moment.

When the frontal lobe is compromised, people become “disinhibited,” unmasking the presence of the seedier elements in the neural democracy.

The lesson is clear: a slight change in the balance of brain chemistry can cause large changes in behavior.

people do not choose their own developmental path.

people have very different starting points.

these statistics alone indicate that we cannot presume that everyone is coming to the table equally equipped in terms of drives and behaviors.

When it comes to nature and nurture, the important point is that you choose neither one.

We are each constructed from a genetic blueprint and born into a world of circumstances about which we have no choice in our most formative years.

varied capacities for decision making.

When modern brain science is laid out clearly, it is difficult to justify how our legal system can continue to function without it.

As far as the legal system sees it, humans are practical reasoners.

Although our decisions may seem like free choices, no good evidence exists that they actually are.

First, sophisticated action can occur in the absence of free will. This means that witnessing a complicated act in ourselves or someone else should not convince us that there was free will behind it.

Second, the Tourette’s patient cannot not do it: they cannot use free will to override or control what other parts of their brain have decided to do.

The crux of the question is whether all of your actions are fundamentally on autopilot or whether there is some little bit that is “free” to choose, independent of the rules of biology.

As far as we can tell, all activity in the brain is driven by other activity in the brain,

free will—the uncaused causer—because

parts of the brain were making decisions well before the person consciously experienced the urge.14

It is important to stress the difference between a system being unpredictable and it being free. In the collapse of a pyramid of ping-pong balls, the complexity of the system makes it impossible to predict the trajectories and final positions of the balls—but each ball nonetheless follows the deterministic rules of motion. Just because we can’t say where it’s all going does not mean that the collection of balls is “free.”

acts cannot be considered separately from the biology of the actors.

Explanation does not equal exculpation.

neurological disorders (“brain problems”) and psychiatric disorders (“mind problems”).18

organic disorders. This term indicates that there is indeed a physical (organic) basis to the mental problem rather than a purely “psychic” one,

that it does not make sense to call some disorders brain problems while consigning others to the ineffable realm of the psychic.

The shift from blame to science reflects our modern understanding that our perceptions and behaviors are controlled by inaccessible subroutines that can be easily perturbed,

In a single cubic millimeter of brain tissue, there are some one hundred million synaptic connections between neurons.

actions are not divorced from the machinery of his brain,

Imagine a spectrum of culpability.

There is no meaningful distinction between his biology and his decision making. They are inseparable.

criminals should always be treated as incapable of having acted otherwise.

future is of more importance than the past.25

real life is complicated.

Statistically-based sentencing has its imperfections, but it allows evidence to trump folk-intuition,

genes and environment interact in unimaginably complex patterns.27

human behavior will always remain unpredictable.

Prisons have become our de facto mental health care institutions.

But if the lobotomy stops the crimes, why not do it? The ethical problem pivots on how much a state should be able to change its citizens.

To help a citizen reintegrate into society, the ethical goal is to change him as little as possible to allow his behavior to come into line with society’s needs.

If it seems difficult to empathize with people who have poor impulse control, just think of all the things you succumb to that you don’t want to. Snacks? Alcohol? Chocolate cake? Television? One doesn’t have to look far to find poor impulse control pervading our own landscape of decision making. It’s not that we don’t know what’s best for us, it’s simply that the frontal lobe circuits representing the long-term considerations can’t win the elections when the temptation is present. It’s like trying to elect a party of moderates in the middle of war and economic meltdown.

Imagine that you’d like to get better at resisting chocolate cake. In this experiment, you look at pictures of chocolate cake during brain scanning—and the experimenters determine the regions of your brain involved in the craving. Then the activity in those networks is represented by a vertical bar on a computer screen. Your job is to make the bar go down. The bar acts as a thermometer for your craving: If your craving networks are revving high, the bar is high; if you’re suppressing your craving, the bar is low. You stare at the bar and try to make it go down. Perhaps

Note: Smoking Edit

The main difference between teenage and adult brains is the development of the frontal lobes.

becoming socialized is nothing but developing circuitry to squelch our basest impulses.

science of the prefrontal workout is at its very earliest stages,

Our social policies work to cement into place the most enlightened ideas of humanity to surmount the basest facets of human nature.

In each generation, nature tries out as many varieties as it can generate, along all available dimensions—and

people do not arrive at the scene with the same capacities.

The idea would be to punish only when the behavior is modifiable.

punitive action may slake bloodlust for some, but there is no point in it for society more broadly.

stands now, ugly people receive longer sentences than attractive people; psychiatrists have no capacity to guess which sex offenders will reoffend; and our prisons are overcrowded with drug addicts who could be more usefully dealt with by rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

consciousness seems to be about setting goals for what should be burned into the circuitry,

–Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson

In modern times, if the sole measure of what’s out there flows from your five senses then a precarious life awaits you.

The remarkable feature of physical laws is that they apply everywhere, whether or not you choose to believe in them.

So much of the universe appears to be one way but is really another that I wonder, at times, whether there’s an ongoing conspiracy designed to embarrass astrophysicists. Examples of such cosmic tomfoolery abound.

That humans are emotionally fragile, perennially gullible, hopelessly ignorant masters of an insignificantly small speck in the cosmos.

force of gravity is directly proportional to the mass of one object times the mass of the other, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

subatomic particles—a realm ruled by probability rather than precision.

object’s temperature directly measures the average kinetic energy of its jiggling atoms or molecules.

Yet in 5 billion years the Sun’s core will have fused nearly all its hydrogen into helium and will shortly thereafter begin to fuse helium into carbon.

This thermonuclear fusion creates helium, whose mass is less than the sum of its parts.

high-mass stars manufacture dozens of heavy elements,

supernovas—the explosive death throes of high-mass stars—are the primary source for the origin and relative mix of heavy elements in the universe.

Under the right conditions of temperature, density, and pressure, you can use hydrogen and helium to synthesize every other element on the periodic table.

stars are the crucibles in which the lighter atoms which abound in the nebulæ are compounded into more complex elements.

“elements of low atomic weight are more abundant than those of high atomic weight and that, on the average, the elements with even atomic numbers are about 10 times more abundant than those with odd atomic numbers of similar value”

They must be brought close enough together (often by way of high temperatures, pressures, and densities) for the short-range “strong” nuclear force to overcome their repulsion and bind them.

But for some elements, the freshly captured neutron is unstable and it spontaneously converts itself into a proton (which stays put in the nucleus) and an electron (which escapes immediately).

protons can effectively sneak into a nucleus under the guise of a neutron.

weight. A star’s core, after having converted its hydrogen supply into helium, will next fuse helium into carbon, then carbon to oxygen, oxygen to neon, and so forth up to iron.

supernova explosions as the primary source of all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium in the universe.

Problem is, molecules don’t get made, and can’t survive, in thermonuclear furnaces or stellar explosions. They need a cooler, calmer environment. So how in the world did the universe get to be the molecule-rich place we now inhabit?

After 50 years of television, there’s no other conclusion the aliens could draw, but that most humans are neurotic, death-hungry, dysfunctional idiots.

Get your facts first, and then you can distort ’em as much as you please.

Physics describes the behavior of matter, energy, space, and time,

The energy of visible-light photons falls far below that of the least massive subatomic particles. There is nothing else those photons can become, and so they live happy, relatively uneventful lives.

Later still, the electroweak force split into the electromagnetic and the weak nuclear forces, laying bare the four distinct forces we have come to know and love—with the weak force controlling radioactive decay, the strong force binding the nucleus, the electromagnetic force binding molecules, and gravity binding bulk matter. By now, the universe was a mere trillionth of a second old. Yet its transmogrified forces and other critical episodes had already imbued our universe with fundamental properties each worthy of its own book.

The claims of science rely on experimental verification, while the claims of religions rely on faith. These are irreconcilable approaches to knowing, which ensures an eternity of debate

The argument is simple. I have yet to see a successful prediction about the physical world that was inferred or extrapolated from the content of any religious document.

But I do so knowing and accepting that if I propose a God who graces our valley of unknowns, the day may come, empowered by the advance of science, when no more valleys remain.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem.

–A Crown Imperiled: Book Two of the Chaoswar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

thinking of the past with more glory and beauty than it deserved was a common failing of conquerors, and it provided goals for dealing with the dark and murderous reality of today.

–Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel

“management by stress.”

But don’t these satisfactions, like Jude’s hunger for knowledge, tell us more about the person than about his task?

Geraldine Page, the actress, recalls the critique of a backstage visitor during her run in Sweet Bird Of Youth. He was a dentist. “I was sitting in the front row and looking up. Most of the time I was studying the fillings in your mouth. I’m curious to know who’s been doing your dental work.” It was not that he loved theater less, but that he loved dentistry more.

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