“Plotting over brandy.” Terry Pratchett on evil.

“It was much better to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over the brandy. You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn’t then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleak depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”

– Terry Pratchett in “Jingo”

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“And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on evil.

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in “The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956″

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Confident and proud? Or arrogant?

I rather like Derek Sivers. He’s an interesting guy with interesting ideas. And I still fondly remember his appearance on the Tim Ferris podcast back in 2015. And he has a new book out, which I’m sure is very good. But this is how he presents it on his website [c]:

I’m sure it’s just my English sensibilities, but the arrogance and confidence required to offer it up that way couldn’t make me want to read it any less. But hey, I applaud his confidence. He’s clearly happy with how it came out!

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