"It’s a very difficult principle to grasp, this idea that actually, what I don’t know matters enormously, and what I can’t see matters enormously."
~ Daniel Kahneman
"What we’ve been doing for thousands of years is just trying to piece by piece get some understanding of where we came from, where the universe came from, and where it’s all going. So, to me, that is not distinct from what the poet does or what the philosopher does or what the great writer does or the composer does. They just do it in a different language."
~ Brian Greene
"I do know enough as a psychologist about learning and memory. And I know that we learn. How much of this I need to do in order to change, I cannot say. But I can say that there is a point at which this brain is not just elastic in moving to what is being suggested, but that it may be plastic in that it can be reset into a new mold."
~ Mahzarin Banaji
"What we need to learn is how can we live together with people whose views we don't actually like very much? That's the far greater challenge, without attempting to convert them or dismissing them and denying their right to exist parallel to us. It's really about the stranger...It's basically saying we have a shared humanity even with people who don't seem to take the boxes that we have put in place in terms of recognizing what a good human is."
~ Alain de Botton
I have to say that I limit my consumption of journalism or I'm more selective about it than I used to be, because — precisely for this reason. It's not telling us the whole story. It's telling part of the story, sometimes well, sometimes badly, but we have to look in other places — and I think we should mention the Arab Spring in this context. Who knows how that's going to unfold?
But we were not trained by our political leaders, our pundits or our journalists to see anything but breeding grounds for terror on Arab streets. And it turns out that Arab streets could also be breeding grounds for dignity and democracy and the same kinds of longings — in fact, a narrative that Americans know very well. And that actually gives me hope. This realization that we are too shortsighted, that we simply don't see the whole picture at any given time, that history will surprise us has a terrifying dark side and it has a very hopeful side if you can lean into it.
"As I became a sociologist, [I discovered] there's a fancy word for studying this; it's called bricolage. It's the science of studying meanings and the interplay of objects, and I realized that that's kind of what I'd been doing all the time. A little bit like Molière's, Monsieur Jourdain who'd been speaking prose all his life without knowing it, I'd been a bricoleur all my life without knowing it."
~ Sherry Turkle
“Our culture is obsessed with perfection and with hiding problems. But what a liberating thing to realize that our problems, in fact, are probably our richest sources for rising to this ultimate virtue of compassion. Towards bringing compassion towards the joys and sufferings of others…Compassion can’t be reduced to sainthood any more than it can be reduced to pity…Compassion is equally at home in the secular as well as in the religious. So I will paraphrase Einstein and say that the future of humanity needs [the technology of compassion] as much as it needs all the others that have now connected us and set before us the terrifying and wondrous possibility of actually becoming one human race.”