Functionally Literate – Quote


Our suspicions are first aroused when we see that the self-declared apostles of ethics and of the ‘right to difference’ are clearly horrified by any vigorously sustained difference. For them, African customs are barbaric, Muslims are dreadful, the Chinese are totalitarian, and so on. As a matter of fact, this celebrated ‘other’ is acceptable only if he is a good other – which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us? Respect for differences, of course! But on condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro free-market economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment… That is to say: I respect differences, but only, of course, in so far as that which differs also respects, just as I do, the said differences. Just as there can be ‘no freedom for the enemies of freedom’, so there can be no respect for those whose difference consists precisely in not respecting differences. To prove the point, just consider the obsessive resentment expressed by the partisans of ethics regarding anything that resembles an Islamic ‘fundamentalist’.

The problem is that the ‘respect for differences’ and the ethics of human rights do seem to define an identity! And that as a result, the respect for differences applies only to those differences that are reasonably consistent with this identity (which, after all is nothing other than the identity of a wealthy – albeit visibly declining – ‘West’). Even immigrants in this country [France], as seen by the partisans of ethics, are acceptably different only when they are ‘integrated’, only if they seek integration (which seems to mean, if you think about it: only if they want to suppress their difference). It might well be that ethical ideology, detached from the religious teachings which at least conferred upon it the fullness of a ‘revealed’ identity, is simply the final imperative of a conquering civilization: ‘Become  like me and I will respect your difference.’

Ethics An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Alain Badiou p24

(1993, trans. 2001)

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Functionally Literate – Quote


Our suspicions are first aroused when we see that the self-declared apostles of ethics and of the ‘right to difference’ are clearly horrified by any vigorously sustained difference. For them, African customs are barbaric, Muslims are dreadful, the Chinese are totalitarian, and so on. As a matter of fact, this celebrated ‘other’ is acceptable only if he is a good other – which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us? Respect for differences, of course! But on condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro free-market economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment… That is to say: I respect differences, but only, of course, in so far as that which differs also respects, just as I do, the said differences. Just as there can be ‘no freedom for the enemies of freedom’, so there can be no respect for those whose difference consists precisely in not respecting differences. To prove the point, just consider the obsessive resentment expressed by the partisans of ethics regarding anything that resembles an Islamic ‘fundamentalist’.

The problem is that the ‘respect for differences’ and the ethics of human rights do seem to define an identity! And that as a result, the respect for differences applies only to those differences that are reasonably consistent with this identity (which, after all is nothing other than the identity of a wealthy – albeit visibly declining – ‘West’). Even immigrants in this country [France], as seen by the partisans of ethics, are acceptably different only when they are ‘integrated’, only if they seek integration (which seems to mean, if you think about it: only if they want to suppress their difference). It might well be that ethical ideology, detached from the religious teachings which at least conferred upon it the fullness of a ‘revealed’ identity, is simply the final imperative of a conquering civilization: ‘Become  like me and I will respect your difference.’

Ethics An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Alain Badiou p24

(1993, trans. 2001)

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Functionally Literate – Quote


Our suspicions are first aroused when we see that the self-declared apostles of ethics and of the ‘right to difference’ are clearly horrified by any vigorously sustained difference. For them, African customs are barbaric, Muslims are dreadful, the Chinese are totalitarian, and so on. As a matter of fact, this celebrated ‘other’ is acceptable only if he is a good other – which is to say what, exactly, if not the same as us? Respect for differences, of course! But on condition that the different be parliamentary-democratic, pro free-market economics, in favour of freedom of opinion, feminism, the environment… That is to say: I respect differences, but only, of course, in so far as that which differs also respects, just as I do, the said differences. Just as there can be ‘no freedom for the enemies of freedom’, so there can be no respect for those whose difference consists precisely in not respecting differences. To prove the point, just consider the obsessive resentment expressed by the partisans of ethics regarding anything that resembles an Islamic ‘fundamentalist’.

The problem is that the ‘respect for differences’ and the ethics of human rights do seem to define an identity! And that as a result, the respect for differences applies only to those differences that are reasonably consistent with this identity (which, after all is nothing other than the identity of a wealthy – albeit visibly declining – ‘West’). Even immigrants in this country [France], as seen by the partisans of ethics, are acceptably different only when they are ‘integrated’, only if they seek integration (which seems to mean, if you think about it: only if they want to suppress their difference). It might well be that ethical ideology, detached from the religious teachings which at least conferred upon it the fullness of a ‘revealed’ identity, is simply the final imperative of a conquering civilization: ‘Become  like me and I will respect your difference.’

Ethics An Essay on the Understanding of Evil, Alain Badiou p24

(1993, trans. 2001)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Philisophy does not begin in an experience of wonder, as ancient tradition contends, but rather, I think, with the indeterminate but palpable sense that something desired has not been fulfilled, that a fantastic effort has failed.

Infinitely Demanding –…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Philisophy does not begin in an experience of wonder, as ancient tradition contends, but rather, I think, with the indeterminate but palpable sense that something desired has not been fulfilled, that a fantastic effort has failed.

Infinitely Demanding –…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Philisophy does not begin in an experience of wonder, as ancient tradition contends, but rather, I think, with the indeterminate but palpable sense that something desired has not been fulfilled, that a fantastic effort has failed.

Infinitely Demanding – Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance, Simon Critchley (2007)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Plane’s due to take off in a few minutes.

Brother West – Living and Loving Out Loud – A Memoir, Cornell West with David Ritz (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Plane’s due to take off in a few minutes.

Brother West – Living and Loving Out Loud – A Memoir, Cornell West with David Ritz (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Plane’s due to take off in a few minutes.

Brother West – Living and Loving Out Loud – A Memoir, Cornell West with David Ritz (2009)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


We are a nation living with two sets of laws, one public law as guided by the Constitution and a second, invisible text that exists between the lines of that document.

American Coup – How A Terrified Government Is Destroying The Constitution, William M.…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


We are a nation living with two sets of laws, one public law as guided by the Constitution and a second, invisible text that exists between the lines of that document.

American Coup – How A Terrified Government Is Destroying The Constitution, William M.…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


We are a nation living with two sets of laws, one public law as guided by the Constitution and a second, invisible text that exists between the lines of that document.

American Coup – How A Terrified Government Is Destroying The Constitution, William M. Arkin (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


In his magisterial work A Study of History, British historian Arnold J. Toynbee tells the story of how civilizations rise and fall through the dynamics of challenge and response.

Who Stole The American Dream?, Hedrick Smith (2013)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


In his magisterial work A Study of History, British historian Arnold J. Toynbee tells the story of how civilizations rise and fall through the dynamics of challenge and response.

Who Stole The American Dream?, Hedrick Smith (2013)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


In his magisterial work A Study of History, British historian Arnold J. Toynbee tells the story of how civilizations rise and fall through the dynamics of challenge and response.

Who Stole The American Dream?, Hedrick Smith (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Yesterday morning as I was about to enter the lecture hall, I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice, “Have you heard about the Emperor Theodosius?”

Julian, Gore Vidal (1964)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Yesterday morning as I was about to enter the lecture hall, I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice, “Have you heard about the Emperor Theodosius?”

Julian, Gore Vidal (1964)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Yesterday morning as I was about to enter the lecture hall, I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice, “Have you heard about the Emperor Theodosius?”

Julian, Gore Vidal (1964)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Never in the Americas has an event of such extraordinary character, with such deep roots and such far-reaching consequences for the destiny of the continent’s progressive movements taken place as our revolutionary war.

Cuba: Exceptional Case or Vanguard…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Never in the Americas has an event of such extraordinary character, with such deep roots and such far-reaching consequences for the destiny of the continent’s progressive movements taken place as our revolutionary war.

Cuba: Exceptional Case or Vanguard…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Never in the Americas has an event of such extraordinary character, with such deep roots and such far-reaching consequences for the destiny of the continent’s progressive movements taken place as our revolutionary war.

Cuba: Exceptional Case or Vanguard in the Struggle Against Colonialism, Che Guevara, (1961)

How I Feel Today.


“Whenever I get interviewed by The American Government I always feel that I’m one wrong answer away from getting a bag placed over my head and being bundled into a van to be taken for an extended stay in a facility with no windows to be beaten about the body with rubber tubing.”

Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the…

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Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the…

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Functionally Literate – Quote.


‘”If you want  to keep something a secret, publish it.” Once in print, information is often filed, forgotten, or dismissed. Publishing a secret takes away its cachet and causes it to be overlooked.’

Hiding the Elephant – How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learnt to Disappear, Jim Steinmeyer (2003)

Many views on Edward Snowden and what he has done are smeared all across the internet. As a small, but I think relevant aside, I’m reading a book about the history of magic. The above quote seems rather apt given the fact that a book called The Puzzle Palace, written in 1982, detailed the then overreach of the NSA. What little did Mr. Bamford know about how much further their grasp would extend. Give it some time and I’m sure Mr. Snowden and his revelations will be forgotten too as we move onto the more pressing concerns of The Voice and chaturbate.com. Magicians and Illusionists know a thing or  two about human nature, I think. It is how they make their daily bread.

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


As the Exxon Valdez churned through chalky turquoise port waters toward the Gulf of Alaska, Captain Joseph Hazelwood descended to his quarters.

Private Empire – ExxonMobil and American Power, Steve Coll (2012)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


As the Exxon Valdez churned through chalky turquoise port waters toward the Gulf of Alaska, Captain Joseph Hazelwood descended to his quarters.

Private Empire – ExxonMobil and American Power, Steve Coll (2012)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


As the Exxon Valdez churned through chalky turquoise port waters toward the Gulf of Alaska, Captain Joseph Hazelwood descended to his quarters.

Private Empire – ExxonMobil and American Power, Steve Coll (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


As the bus entered the prefectural capital of Takamatsu, garden suburbs transformed into city streets of multicolored neon, headlights of oncoming cars, and checkered lights of office buildings.

Battle Royale, Koushun Takami (1999)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


As the bus entered the prefectural capital of Takamatsu, garden suburbs transformed into city streets of multicolored neon, headlights of oncoming cars, and checkered lights of office buildings.

Battle Royale, Koushun Takami (1999)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


As the bus entered the prefectural capital of Takamatsu, garden suburbs transformed into city streets of multicolored neon, headlights of oncoming cars, and checkered lights of office buildings.

Battle Royale, Koushun Takami (1999)

The Reluctant Technophobe – Panopticons, Prisms & Xbone.


So. Just this quote, because of the news coming out about the massive surveillance society we have willingly embraced  and the fact that everyone is being watched by everyone at all times and on top of all of that Microsoft want us to have an always on…

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The Reluctant Technophobe – Panopticons, Prisms & Xbone.


So. Just this quote, because of the news coming out about the massive surveillance society we have willingly embraced  and the fact that everyone is being watched by everyone at all times and on top of all of that Microsoft want us to have an always on…

View Post

The Reluctant Technophobe – Panopticons, Prisms & Xbone.


So. Just this quote, because of the news coming out about the massive surveillance society we have willingly embraced  and the fact that everyone is being watched by everyone at all times and on top of all of that Microsoft want us to have an always on camera in our homes that records everything that we do:

“He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking. . . . Facts, at any rate, could not be kept hidden. They could be tracked down by inquiry, they could be squeezed out of you by torture. But if the object was not to stay alive but to stay human, what difference did it ultimately make? They could not alter your feelings; for that matter you could not alter them yourself, even if you wanted to. They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.

George Orwell, 1984

Except with the Xbone the inner heart isn’t impregnable because the new, more sensitive kinect, can measure your heart rate and by extension your stress levels.

We are welcoming awful things into our homes. Let us not do this thing. Especially given what we have already conceded.

I am certainly being paranoid but that does not mean that my warning holds no merit and should not be listened to.

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


In eight short years Horatio Nelson, already a rear admiral and a national hero, turned himself into a major international figure and a deathless icon.

Nelson – The Sword of Albion, John Sugden (2013)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


In eight short years Horatio Nelson, already a rear admiral and a national hero, turned himself into a major international figure and a deathless icon.

Nelson – The Sword of Albion, John Sugden (2013)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


In eight short years Horatio Nelson, already a rear admiral and a national hero, turned himself into a major international figure and a deathless icon.

Nelson – The Sword of Albion, John Sugden (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When this unpleasant remark is made about you, stand up, making sure your flies are closed and announce in a firm voice.

‘To hell with that shit.’

The Unexpurgated Code – A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners, J. P. Donleavy (1975)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When this unpleasant remark is made about you, stand up, making sure your flies are closed and announce in a firm voice.

‘To hell with that shit.’

The Unexpurgated Code – A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners, J. P. Donleavy (1975)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When this unpleasant remark is made about you, stand up, making sure your flies are closed and announce in a firm voice.

‘To hell with that shit.’

The Unexpurgated Code – A Complete Manual of Survival and Manners, J. P. Donleavy (1975)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Who are you?

A Paradise Built in Hell – The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Rebecca Solnit (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Who are you?

A Paradise Built in Hell – The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Rebecca Solnit (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Who are you?

A Paradise Built in Hell – The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, Rebecca Solnit (2009)

Functionally Literate – Quote


Good old Thucydides, writing in the fifth century BC, knew a thing or two about human nature. Here he  is talking a little about The Revolution in Corcyra:

Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless…

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Functionally Literate – Quote


Good old Thucydides, writing in the fifth century BC, knew a thing or two about human nature. Here he  is talking a little about The Revolution in Corcyra:

Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless…

View Post

Functionally Literate – Quote


Good old Thucydides, writing in the fifth century BC, knew a thing or two about human nature. Here he  is talking a little about The Revolution in Corcyra:

Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy, his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder.

Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, Chapter X (5th Cent. BC)

 

Now I know that we are not going through a revolution of the kind that the Corcyraeans experienced but we probably could be doing a little better right now. I have, as you can see, shorn this quote from the context in which it is placed in the book but I think it can be seen as  a cry for tolerance and clear thinking in extreme times. Extreme times may be closing upon us. Perhaps we can learn from this ancient knowledge. Perhaps, given a brief glance at history between then and now this is an unlikely hope. Either way I offer it up as something to chew on as we enter what may well be a fraught summer. I realise that I am beginning to sound a little like Glenn Beck. I wish I did not sound like Glenn Beck, but there you go. Good Evening.

Functionally Literate – Quote


I usually share the opening lines of books but I was reading The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Tolstoy and I read this sentence:

The good cannot seize power, nor retain it, to do this men must love power. And love of power is inconsistent with goodness;…

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Functionally Literate – Quote


I usually share the opening lines of books but I was reading The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Tolstoy and I read this sentence:

The good cannot seize power, nor retain it, to do this men must love power. And love of power is inconsistent with goodness;…

View Post

Functionally Literate – Quote


I usually share the opening lines of books but I was reading The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Tolstoy and I read this sentence:

The good cannot seize power, nor retain it, to do this men must love power. And love of power is inconsistent with goodness; but quite consistent with the very opposite qualities – pride, cunning, cruelty.

I had the feeling that you would enjoy this.

Tolstoy, you are brilliant.

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When I started this research eight years ago there wasn’t much interest in ordinary people’s views on the unfairness of the economy.

The Moral Underground – How Ordinary Americans Subvert An Unfair Economy, Lisa Dodson (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When I started this research eight years ago there wasn’t much interest in ordinary people’s views on the unfairness of the economy.

The Moral Underground – How Ordinary Americans Subvert An Unfair Economy, Lisa Dodson (2009)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When I started this research eight years ago there wasn’t much interest in ordinary people’s views on the unfairness of the economy.

The Moral Underground – How Ordinary Americans Subvert An Unfair Economy, Lisa Dodson (2009)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The action takes place in a large commercial town of the East.

Scenario of the Ballet – The Struggle of The Magicians, G. I. Gurdjieff, (2008)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The action takes place in a large commercial town of the East.

Scenario of the Ballet – The Struggle of The Magicians, G. I. Gurdjieff, (2008)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The action takes place in a large commercial town of the East.

Scenario of the Ballet – The Struggle of The Magicians, G. I. Gurdjieff, (2008)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


About a mile beyond the main square in the village of Józefów, in Eastern Poland, several dozen wooden stakes poke out among the weeds and bushes on a patch of forest strewn with pinecones and covered in velvety green moss.

Beautiful Souls – Saying No,…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


About a mile beyond the main square in the village of Józefów, in Eastern Poland, several dozen wooden stakes poke out among the weeds and bushes on a patch of forest strewn with pinecones and covered in velvety green moss.

Beautiful Souls – Saying No,…

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


About a mile beyond the main square in the village of Józefów, in Eastern Poland, several dozen wooden stakes poke out among the weeds and bushes on a patch of forest strewn with pinecones and covered in velvety green moss.

Beautiful Souls – Saying No, Breaking Ranks, And Heeding The Voice of Conscience in Dark Times, Eyal Press (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence

Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini (2007)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence

Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini (2007)

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Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The late Sadiq Neihoum, Libya’s preeminent political philosopher of the 1970s and 1980s, and a onetime advisor to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, wrote the fable from which the above passage is taken in the late 1970s.

Exit the Colonel – The Hidden History of The Libyan Revolution, Ethan Chorin (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Here was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid.

The Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real, Margery Williams (1922)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


On the bright and breezy Sunday morning of April 15, 2012, my colleagues and I left NATO’s International Security Assistance  Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul to meet with Afghan journalists, government officials, and civil society leaders to discuss the security and political situation in Afghanistan and the transition to a much reduced international presence after 2014.

Aspiration and Ambivalence – Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State Building in Afghanistan, Vanda Felbab-Brown (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


It’s July 19, 2012, and it’s as hot as the hobs of hell here.

The Anatomy of Violence – The Biological Roots of Crime, Adrian Raine (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


On the third floor of the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre in Paris is a gallery devoted to “Holland, First Half of the 17th Century.”

The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter – A Portrait of Descartes, Steven Nadler (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


In December, 2009, patrons of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, experienced a mild jolt of biological future shock when their pre-performance and intermission drinks – their beers, wines, and sodas – were served to them in a new type of clear plastic cup.

Regenesis – How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, George Church and Ed Regis (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


I was inspired to write this book because I found something missing in the popular literature on sexuality.

Soulful Sex – Opening Your Heart, Body & Spirit To Lifelong Passion, Dr. Victoria Lee (1996)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Among my earliest memories are those of being down at the railroad depot with my grandfather, watching the trains come in.

Rival Rails – The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad, Walter R. Borneman (2010)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Wall Street has always been a dangerous place.

Money and Power – How Goldman Sachs Came To Rule The World, William D. Cohen (2011)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


“The Jonas Brothers are here.”

The Thistle and the Drone – How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam, Akbar Ahmed (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them.

Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Many students believe that the study of history involves nothing more than memorizing dates, names, battles, treaties, and endless numbers of similar, often uninteresting facts with no apparent relevance to their lives and concerns.

The Human Record – Sources from Global History Vol. 1, Andrea Overfield (2001)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Morals reformed – health preserved – industry invigorated – instruction diffused – public burthens lightened – Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock – the gordian knot of the Poor-Laws are not cut, but untied – all by a simple idea in Architecture!

The Panopticon Writings, Jeremy Bentham (1791)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Shortly after New Orleans physician Samuel Cartwright discovered a new disease in 1850, he realized that like all medical pioneers he faced a special burden.

The Book of Woe – The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, Gary Greenberg (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


I’ve come to believe that the first Earth Day is the most famous little-known event in modern American history.

The Genius of Earth Day – How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation, Adam Rome (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The pattern to follow in helping others to understand the Bible is that provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

Reasoning from the Scriptures, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (1985)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


For some strange and unknown reason, it has for many years been considered indelicate, if not absolutely improper, to discuss matters pertaining to sex and sexual relations, and a criminal silence has been maintained which permitted innumerable girls to be morally ruined by the male sex.

Sex Talks to Boys (10 years and older), I. D. Steinhardt M.D. (1914)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


Across America on February 6, 2011, millions of people were settling into their couches, splitting open bags of nachos and spilling beer into plastic cups in preparation for the year’s biggest sporting event.

We Are Anonymous – Inside the Hacker World of Lulzsec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency, Parmy Olsen (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence.


We’ve grown to appreciate the way our eyes give everything away, our hips sway, our voices flow up and down and then up again: hold me.

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? – Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, ed. by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


American food is in crisis, and rarely has more disruption loomed before us.

An Economist Gets Lunch – New Rules for Everyday Foodies, Tyler Cowen (2012)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentences


There exist moments in life, separated by longs intervals of time, but linked together by their inner content and by a certain singular sensation peculiar to them.

A New Model of the Universe: Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art, P. D. Ouspensky (1931)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


It was Sunday afternoon, September 22, 1984, and Michael Eisner had just walked into the corporate offices at the Disney Studio lot.

Disney The Mouse Betrayed – Greed, Corruption and Children at Risk, Peter Schweizer and Rochelle Schweizer (1998)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


One of my major concerns for many years has been how people could prevent and destroy dictatorships.

From Dictatorship to Democracy – A Conceptual Framework for Liberation, Gene Sharp (2010)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentences


They call me Chorus Girl – shouts of “Chorus Girl” go up when I stand and swing my left leg, then my right, and so on.

The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder, Chorus Girl’s Absolutely Final Performance, Patricia Highsmith (1975)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


Less than two weeks before The Great Deformation went to press, the powers that be in Washington pulled off a “deal” that allegedly stopped the country from going over the fiscal cliff.

The Great Deformation – The Corruption of Capitalism in America, David A. Stockman (2013)

Functionally Literate – Opening Sentence


The Second World War was among the most destructive conflicts in human history; more than forty-six million soldiers and civilians perished, many in circumstances of prolonged and horrifying cruelty.

The Second World War A Complete History, Martin Gilbert (1989)