Quotes

Whatever you do, whichever battle you fight, whichever course of action you attempt, with what are you going to inform it all? The love of difference or the passion for similarity? The former – especially if it becomes socially contagious (through education, cultural action, political action) – leads to human life. The latter leads, in full-blown or latent form, to exploitation, repression, sacrifice, rejection. Yes or no, can we live together in fundamental mutual recognition, or must we exclude one another?
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, p. 11

One is alone with oneself. Together with others, most are alone even without themselves. One has to get out of both.
Ernst Bloch, Traces, 1

The critic is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles. The critic is not the one who lifts the rug from under the feet of the naïve believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather. The critic is not the one who alternates haphazardly between antifetishism and positivism like the drunk iconoclast drawn by Goya, but the one for whom, if something is constructed, then it means it is fragile and thus in great need of care and caution.
Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern”

We may agree on the premise that each work of art is at least in part perfect, while each critic is at least in part imperfect. We may then look to each work of art not for its faults and shortcomings, but for its moments of exhilaration, in an effort to bring our own imperfections into sympathetic vibration with these moments, and thus effect a creative change in ourselves.
Matthew Goulish, “Criticism”

The readiness is all.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Loutishness is always easy, and there can be few things more loutish than to turn, at the end of a long training, and sneer at those who are just entering on it, and who, harassed and insecure, are making the inevitable mistakes.
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950, p. 310

In the face of the conservatism and moral indoctrination that have dominated American feminist, gay, and lesbian politics and most nonprofit anti-AIDS organizations one must develop a micropolitics of gender, sex, and sexuality based on practices of intentional self-experimentation that are defined by their ability to resist and dismantle the somato-semiotic norm and to invent collectively new technologies of the production of subject.
Beatriz Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, pp. 363-364

[T]he artist becomes a person who consents to learn in public. This person takes the initiative to question something in the province of another discipline, acquire knowledge through unofficial means, and assume the authority to offer interpretations of that knowledge, especially in regard to decisions that affect our lives. The point is not to replace specialists, but to enhance specialized knowledge with considerations that specialties are not designed to accommodate.
Claire Pentecost, “Talking with Your Mouth Full: New Language for Socially Engaged Art

This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past.
Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps
piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it in front of his feet.
The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed.
But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings
with such violence that the angel can no longer close them.
The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned,
while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History

Have you ever had one of those moments when you know that you are being visited by your own future? They come so rarely and with so little fanfare, those moments. They’re not particularly photogenic, there’s no breach in the clouds to reveal the shining city on a hill. No folk-dancing children outside your bus, no production values to speak of — just a glimpse of such quotidian, incontrovertible truth that after the initial shock at the supreme weirdness of it all, a kind of calm sets in. So this is to be my life.
David Rakoff

[C]ommunication, through language and other symbolic forms, comprises the ambience of human existence.
James Carey, Communication as Culture, p. 24

Listen—I want to run all my life, screaming at the top of my lungs. Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture. Everything is blooming. Everything is flying. Everything is screaming, choking on its screams. Laughter. Running. Let-down hair. That is all there is to life.
Vladamir Nabokov, “Gods”

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.
Tim Kreider,”The ‘Busy’ Trap”

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

It seems to me that the premise we ought to establish, in order both to avoid exclusion and to recognize difference, should be: never to uproot, remove, withdraw, a child or adult struck by destiny from her or his original, living environment.
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, pp. 194-195

Insisting that beauty is at the heart of science and technology is like ordering wine at lunch, or tacking ruffles to your office furniture – it takes a serious proposition and makes it frilly and frivolous.
David Gelernter, Machine Beauty

But one of the mixed blessings of being twenty and twenty-one and even twenty-three is the conviction that nothing like this, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, has ever happened to anyone before.
Joan Didion, “Goodbye to All That”

By devoting serious attention to the mass media, communications scholars were among the first members of the academy to question the sanctity of the elite cultural canon. In fact, I would argue that the status of communications study within the American academy suffered for years—and probably still does—from our association with mass culture.
Larry Gross, “Fastening Our Seatbelts:Turning Crisis into Opportunity”

To capture the multiplicity of relations that link (and divide) past from present, the critic needs all the formal resources possible. Multiple perspectives, intertextuality, self-reflexivity, palimpsest structure, and recursive narratives can help one respond to the complexity of cultural history. One needs writing strategies that are equal to the uncanniness of history, the anachronistic, the untimely, the thick knots of connection. One needs the resourcefulness of a bricoleur and the irreverence of a hacker.
Jay Clayton, Charles Dickens in Cyberspace

[The scholarship boy’s] story makes clear that education is a long, unglamorous, even demeaning process – a nurturing never natural to the person one was before one entered a classroom.
Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory

It’s the 21st century. Things should be really wild. Anything else is boring.
DJ Spooky

I’m afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future:

Turing believes machines think
Turing lies with men
Therefore machines do not think

Yours in distress,
Alan
Alan Turing

It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”
F.L. Lucas, Style

The divorce proceedings of post-structuralism: terminable or interminable?
Brian Massumi, “The Autonomy of Affect”

One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time.
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

The men of the press, who despised their own profession, did not know why they were enjoying it today. One of them, a young man with years of notorious success behind him a cynical look of twice his age, said suddenly, “I know what I’d like to be: I wish I could be a man who covers news!”
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The eternal, in any case, is far more the ruffle on a dress than some idea.
Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project

It is hardly surprising, then, that most Americans have little idea of what it can mean to live in [the city]. They are clear enough about the ugliness of the world they live in, and they are quite vocal about the dirt, the smoke, the heat, and the congestion, the chaos and yet the monotony of it. But they are hardly aware of the potential value of harmonious surroundings, a world which they may have briefly glimpsed only as tourists or as escaped vacationers. They can have little sense of what a setting can mean in terms of daily delight, or as a continuous anchor for their lives, or as an extension of the meaningfulness and richness of the world.
Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City

Live folks are just dead folks warmed over.
O.W. Holmes, Sr.

The neighbor said, “But seriously, who is it you’re writing these for? Surely you have an audience in mind.” I thought about it carefully, I did, but ended up repeating almost word for word what I had already said, which was that the poems were written for me, or for readers who were exactly the same person as I was. I said I couldn’t imagine any other person. I said I could see how that probably sounded disingenuous, or solipsistic, or both. And just then a small dinner roll fell from the table, rolled across the living room steadily, not slowing at all, or wobbling. It rolled across the room and passed through the doorway into the bedroom and the door slammed shut behind it.
Michael Earl Craig, Thin Kimono

The spirituality – I’ll risk the word – to which all aberration leads us, physical as well as mental (and the two are really one), is actually quite simple: live everyday life as an everyday thing, with and in the presence of special, specific human beings who are our disabled equals.
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, p. 11

Not amateurish culture, amateur culture.
Lawrence Lessig

Disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it, but conspicuously absent in the histories we write.
Douglas Baynton, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History”

We’re all one thing, Lieutenant. That’s what I’ve come to realize. Like cells in a body. ‘Cept we can’t see the body. The way fish can’t see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell.
Donald Kaufman, “The Three”

Every idea has a story.
http://dontclick.it

If we’re lucky, we become scrapbook reflections somehow greater than ourselves, but time is one-way glass, so we want memories like blessings: close our eyes and watch them pass.
W.C. Pelon

There are creatures who suffer for hours and hours because they cannot be the figures in paintings or on playings cards. There are souls on whom not being able to be the people from the Middle Ages weighs like a malediction. I’ve had that problem. But not today.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.
Galileo Galilei

I come back to the one thing I know. There is my body, sitting here on the edge of the bed, trembling and sweating.
John M. Hull

We have designed our civilization based on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology.
Carl Sagan

Il faut confronter des idées vagues avec des images claires.
Jean-Luc Godard

The entire ingenuity from thumbscrew and rack to electric shock, the infinite variety and gradation of suffering, by lash, by fear, by hunger, by solitary confinement – the camps, concentration, labour, resettlement, the Siberias of snow or sun, the lives of Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Kathrada, Ksosana, gull-picked on the Island, Lionel propped wasting to his skull between two warders, the deaths by questioning, bodies fallen from the height of John Vorster Square, deaths by dehydration, babies degutted by enteritis in ‘places’ of banishment, the lights beating all night on the faces of those in cells – Conrad – I conjure you up, I drag you back from wherever you are to listen to me – you don’t know what I saw, what there is to see, you won’t see, you are becalmed on an empty ocean.
Nadine Gordimer, Burger’s Daughter

So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
Edward Abbey, “Joy, Shipmates, Joy!”

For decades the governing cry of our cities has been ‘Never speak to strangers.’ I propose that in a democratic city it is imperative that we speak to strangers, live next to them, and learn how to relate to them on many levels, from to the political to the sexual. City venues must be designed to allow these multiple interactions to occur easily, with a minimum of danger, comfortably, and conveniently. This is what politics – the way of living in the polis, in the city – is about.
Samuel Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue

What remains of your past if you didn’t allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don’t have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories, procedural and depopulated. It’s as if a neutron bomb went off, and all you’re left with are hospital corridors.
David Rakoff

Even the blandest (or bluffest) “scholarly work” fears getting into trouble: less with the adversaries whose particular attacks it keeps busy anticipating than through what, but for the spectacle of this very activity, might be perceived as an overall lack of authorization. It is as though, unless the work at once assumed its most densely professional form, it would somehow get unplugged from whatever power station (the academy, the specialization) enables it to speak. Nothing expresses — or allays — this separation anxiety better than the protocol requiring an introduction to “situate” the work within its institutional and discursive matrix. The same nervous ritual that attests a positive dread of being asocial — of failing to furnish the proper authorities with one’s papers, and vice versa — places these possibilities at an infinite remove from a writing whose thorough assimilation, courted from the start, makes it too readable to need to be read much further. If only for this reason, the moment when “explanations are in order” may rightly give rise to the desire to withhold them (like Balzac’s Vautrin, whose last words to the police as they open his closets and seize his effects are “Vous ne saurez rien”) long enough, at any rate, to draw attention to what is most compelling in the demand for them.
D.A. Miller, The Novel and the Police

The lie, the perfect lie, about people we know, about the relations we have had with them, about our motive for some action, formulated in totally different terms, the lie as to what we are, whom we love, what we feel with regard to people who love us… — that lie is one of the few things in the world that can open windows for us on to what is new and unknown, that can awaken in us sleeping senses for the contemplation of universes that otherwise we should never have known.
Proust,The Captive

Your feudal-world is based on mutual relief at your common corruption. Maybe some cultures are based on even worse. But that wouldn’t change the bad faith of it and as years go by, you wake at night in terror of your whole life being an act of bad faith, where everything is self-interest and nothing more, where every human interaction is driven by a silent, even subconscious calculation of some ulterior motive, to the point that a sea of bad faith has taken over your whole life, there’s no small island left from which you can even try to build a bridge of good faith, because even that effort becomes suspect, even good faith is nothing but self-interested, even altruism is nothing but solipsistic, even your professed agonizing right here right now is nothing but a gesture, made to the conscience in order to assure it that it exists.
Global Islands Project

Any error may vitiate the entire output of the device. For the recognition and correction of such malfunctions intelligent human intervention will in general be necessary.
John von Neumann, First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, 1945

Only will I establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

The only equality that is important, or indeed conceivable, is equality of being. Inequality in the various aspects of man is inevitable and even welcome; is it the basis of any rich and complex life. The inequality that is evil is inequality which denies the essential equality of being.
Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950, p. 317

Communication begins in the struggle to learn and to describe.
Raymond Williams

The transmission view of communication has dominated American thought since the 1920s. When I first came into this field I felt that this view of communication, expressed in behavioral and functional terms, was exhausted. It had become academic: a repetition of past achievement, a demonstration of the indubitable. Although it led to solid achievement, it could no longer go forward without disastrous intellectual and social consequences. I felt it was necessary to reopen the analysis, to reinvigorate it with the tension found in Dewey’s work and, above all, to go elsewhere into biology, theology, anthropology, and literature for some intellectual material with which we might escape the treadmill we were running.
James Carey, Communication as Culture

Of all things communication is the most wonderful.
John Dewey

Schoenberg said one day that he composed music so that people could no longer write music. I write so that people, and first of all those people who are entitled to speak, spokespersons, can no longer produce . . . noise that has all the appearances of music.
Pierre Bourdieu, 1980 interview with Loïc Wacquant

Arguing that an epiphenomenon of an unjust society exists to rationalize that society’s injustice: it’s a silencing maneuver that cultural sociologists have perfected, making them unbeatable on their own terms. The ordinary person, genuflecting before his unfreedom, cries “uncle”—which the sociologist reads as a cry for more sociology.
The Editors, n+1, “Too Much Sociology”

There is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy. The arguments take so odd and surprising a form; the weapons used seem so childishly simple when compared with the far-reaching results; but there is no escape from the conclusions.
G.H. Hardy, “A Mathematician’s Apology”

Vague and insignificant forms of speech, and abuse of language, have so long passed for mysteries of science; and hard or misapplied words, with little or no meaning, have, by prescription, such a right to be mistaken for deep learning and height of speculation, that it will not be easy to persuade either those who speak or those who hear them, that they are but the covers of ignorance, and hindrance of true knowledge.
John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Owen: What is happening?
Yolland: I’m not sure. But I’m concerned about my part in it. It’s an eviction of sorts.
Owen: We’re making a six-inch map of the country. Is there something sinister in that?
Yolland: Not in…
Owen: And we’re taking place names that are riddled with confusion and…
Yolland: Who’s confused? Are the people confused?
Owen: And we’re standardising those names as accurately and as sensitively as we can.
Yolland: Something is being eroded.
Brian Friel, Transformations 2.1

Queerness is a longing that propels us onward, beyond romances of the negative and toiling in the present. Queerness is that thing that lets us feel that this world is not enough, that indeed something is missing.
José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia

Whoever manages to hear the circuit diagram itself in the synthesizer sounds of the compact disc, or to see the circuit diagram in the laser storm of the discotheque, finds happiness itself.
Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter

No, you’ve known researchers in the exact sciences. Their rhythm is one of athletic, economic, bureaucratic competition. More like the rhythm of study. But not of studies. Studies are something you work at, you pursue. In these classes, study goes along in its own way. You announce that you will study Thucydides, and three years later you still haven’t begun.
Jean-François Lyotard, “Endurance and the Profession”

It never surprised me that ‘we,’ in French, means yes. Even in adulthood I’m addicted to the word. ‘Oh yes, we saw that movie.’ ‘Our favorite restaurant.’ ‘We figured out–‘ Hal, Michael, my family, students, friends, find it puzzling. ‘We’ saw that? Not that I remember.’ Secretly this is a matter of pride to me. Promiscuous we!/Me, plus anybody else./Permeable we!
Eve Sedgwick, “A Dialogue on Love”

Do you ever notice as you write that no matter what there is on the written page, something appears to be in back of everything that is said, a little ghost? I judged that this ghost is there to remind us there is always more, an elsewhere, a hiddenness, a secondary form of speech, an eye blink…there is something more I do not say. Leave this little echo to haunt the poem. Do not give it form, but let it assume its own ghostlike shape.
Barbara Guest

I discovered, in the only way that a man ever really learns anything important, the real skill that is required to succeed in a bureaucracy…The key is the ability, whether innate or conditioned, to find the other side of the rote, the picayune, the meaningless, the repetitive, the pointlessly complex. To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.
Jon Agar, The Government Machine: A Revolutionary History of the Computer

Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.
Richard Feynman, “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out”

The analysis of complex philosophical and political issues usually requires intricate arguments expressed in a densely packed discourse. But such a requirement, I would argue, should not necessarily exclude sensuous expression. Put another way, discussions of the sensuous body require sensuous scholarship in which writers tack between the analytical and the sensible, in which embodied form as well as disembodied logic constitute scholarly argument.
Paul Stoller, Sensuous Scholarship

How do we understand something? We understand something by approaching it. How do we approach something? We approach it from any direction. We approach it using our eyes, our ears, our noses, our intellects, our imaginations. We approach it with silence. We approach it with childhood. We use pain or embarrassment. We use history. We take a safe route or a dangerous one. We discover our approach and we follow it.
Matthew Goulish, “Criticism”

The centrally exciting and important fact, from which ramify the thousand others which otherwise would have no clear and valid existence, is: that was the way it was. What could be more moving, more significant or true: every force and hidden chance in the universe has so combined that a certain thing was the way it was.
James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

I believe in one matter-energy, the maker of things seen and unseen. I believe that this pluriverse is traversed by heterogeneities that are continually doing things. I believe it is wrong to deny vitality to nonhuman bodies, forces, and forms, and that a careful course of anthropomorphization can help reveal that vitality, even though it resists full translation and exceeds my comprehensive grasp. I believe that encounters with lively matter can chasten my fantasies of human mastery, highlight the common materiality of all that is, expose a wider distribution of agency, and reshape the self and its interests.
Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, 122.

[Y]ou are being badly trained! Not teaching social science doctoral students to write their PhDs is like not teaching chemists to do laboratory experiments. That’s why I am teaching nothing but writing nowadays. I keep repeating the same mantra: ‘describe, write, describe, write.’
Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social, 149.

Come; let us squeeze hands all around; nay, let us squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Most of us enter the scholarly world because we think we can do something important in the world. We are motivated to want to change things for the better. We want to be inspiring teachers and writers. And we want our work to have impact beyond the academy among persons who may find in what we have to say the same life-changing moment that we had reading that story so many years ago. Unfortunately, most forms of academic writing fail to accomplish those goals. Think about it. When was the last time you read a study that truly moved you? This is not to say that traditional academic studies are worthless; it is to say that they seldom satisfy our needs as readers beyond providing useful information that we can draw on for our own work. That is no small thing, but neither should it become the only thing valued about academic prose. We can choose to live larger than that. We can find new ways to use our research to reach a wider public audience and to have real impact in the world. And that choice has everything to do with the way we choose to write.
H.L. Goodall, Qualitative Writing Inquiry

There is no unthreatened, unthreatening conceptual home for the concept of gay origins. We have all the more reason, then, to keep our understanding of gay origin, of gay cultural and material reproduction, plural, multi-capillaried, argus-eyed, respectful, and endlessly cherished.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet

A crip eye for the normate guy, I propose, would not just be a disability version of the Bravo hit, no matter how much pleasure imagining such a show has given me: “Sweetie, your university is an accessibility nightmare! Don’t worry, honey, it is your lucky day that disabled folks are here to tell you just what’s wrong with this place!” Rather, a crip eye for the normate guy (and because we’re talking about not a real person but a subject position, somehow ‘normate guy’ seems appropriate, regardless of whether he rears his able-bodied head in men or women) would mark a critically disabled capacity for recognizing and withstanding the vicissitudes of compulsory able-bodiedness.
Robert McRuer, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, 197.

Power, in Case’s world, meant corporate power. The zaibatsus, the multinationals that shape the course of human history, had transcended old barriers. Viewed as organisms, they had attained a kind of immortality. You couldn’t kill a zaibatsu by assassinating a dozen key executives; there were others waiting to step up the ladder, assume the vacated position, access the vast banks of corporate memory.
William Gibson, Neuromancer

Our desire to desire like others, to be and to have like others, the strength, almost instinctive, to appropriate and exploit another person, his desires or her goods, the enormous need to imitate, to engage unceasingly in pantomimes – all these old mechanisms are just so many secular, archaic barriers to accepting what appears as monstrosity. The defect, somatic and mental, distances us too much from our reactions of conformity, from our love of the same. Is there a remedy for this?
Henri-Jacques Stiker, A History of Disability, pp. 9-10

A philosophy that doesn’t use the body as an active platform of technovital transformation is spinning in neutral. Ideas aren’t enough. ‘With 42,000 dead, art is not enough.’ Only art working together with biopolitical praxis can move.
Beatriz Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, p. 359.

Therefore, to study communication involves examining the constructions, apprehension, and use of models of communication themselves – their constructions in common sense, art, and science, their historically specific creations and use: in encounters between parent and child, advertisers and consumer, welfare worker and supplicant, teacher and student. Behind and within these encounters lie models of human contact and interaction.
James Carey, Communication as Culture, p. 32

You see, as much as possible I never try to judge or criticize anything. When you see something that you haven’t seen before, like this Pop art—and I’m just talking about myself now—I would never think of judging or deriding or criticizing because what can you prove with your words? The words you use making fun or making judgments have absolutely no value. They are just taunts, a pack of words. At least with a painting it’s there, or the thing is there in flesh and you do what you want with it. Just turn your back to it if you want but don’t bother writing about it or thinking about.
Marcel Duchamp

The opposite of writing is thinking you’re a stuffed fish among trophies.
Sonya Huber, “How Do I Write?”

Academic humility is the knowledge that anyone can teach us something. Practice it.
Umberto Eco, How to Write a Thesis

It is so difficult to find the beginning. Or, better: it is difficult to begin at the beginning. And not try to go further back.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty, §471

What we need is to make a difference in material-semiotic apparatuses, to diffract the rays of technoscience so that we get more promising interference patterns on the recording films of our lives and bodies.
Donna Haraway, Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse, 16