„In a world of infinite choice, context—not content—is king. (Chris Anderson quoting Rob Reid)“

— Chris Anderson, Ch. 7, p. 109
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„Anderson sees these people joined at a level below any possible knowledge, down where fate and destiny lie. They have been joined by their actions and their choices.“

— Roger Ebert American film critic, author, journalist, and TV presenter 1942 - 2013
Context: Magnolia is a film of sadness and loss, of lifelong bitterness, of children harmed and adults destroying themselves. As the narrator tells us near the end, "We may be through with the past, but the past is never through with us." In this wreckage of lifetimes, there are two figures, a policeman and a nurse, who do what they can to offer help, hope and love. … The central theme is cruelty to children, and its lasting effect. This is closely linked to a loathing or fear of behaving as we are told, or think, that we should. … As an act of filmmaking, it draws us in and doesn't let go. It begins deceptively, with a little documentary about amazing coincidences (including the scuba diver scooped by a fire-fighting plane and dumped on a forest fire) … coincidences and strange events do happen, and they are as real as everything else. If you could stand back far enough, in fact, everything would be revealed as a coincidence. What we call "coincidences" are limited to the ones we happen to notice. … In one beautiful sequence, Anderson cuts between most of the major characters all simultaneously singing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNmKghTvj0E Aimee Mann's "It's Not Going to Stop." A directorial flourish? You know what? I think it's a coincidence. Unlike many other "hypertext movies" with interlinking plots, Magnolia seems to be using the device in a deeper, more philosophical way. Anderson sees these people joined at a level below any possible knowledge, down where fate and destiny lie. They have been joined by their actions and their choices. And all leads to the remarkable, famous, sequence near the film's end when it rains frogs. Yes. Countless frogs, still alive, all over Los Angeles, falling from the sky. That this device has sometimes been joked about puzzles me. I find it a way to elevate the whole story into a larger realm of inexplicable but real behavior. We need something beyond the human to add another dimension. Frogs have rained from the sky eight times this century, but never mind the facts. Attend instead to Exodus 8:2, which is cited on a placard in the film: "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs." Let who go? In this case, I believe, it refers not to people, but to fears, shames, sins. Magnolia is one of those rare films that works in two entirely different ways. In one sense, it tells absorbing stories, filled with detail, told with precision and not a little humor. On another sense, it is a parable. The message of the parable, as with all good parables, is expressed not in words but in emotions. After we have felt the pain of these people, and felt the love of the policeman and the nurse, we have been taught something intangible, but necessary to know. Review of Magnolia (1999), in review for Great Movies (27 November 2008) http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-magnolia-1999

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Ben Folds photo

„I feel like a quote out of context, withholding the rest so I can be for you what you want to see.“

— Ben Folds American musician 1966
"Best Imitation of Myself", Ben Folds Five (1995).

Rupert Murdoch photo
Cory Doctorow photo

„Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.“

— Cory Doctorow Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author 1971

Cyrano de Bergerac photo

„I will prove that there are infinite worlds in an infinite world.“

— Cyrano de Bergerac French novelist, dramatist, scientist and duelist 1619 - 1655
Context: I will prove that there are infinite worlds in an infinite world. Imagine the universe as a great animal, and the stars as worlds like other animals inside it. These stars serve in turn as worlds for other organisms, such as ourselves, horses and elephants. We in our turn are worlds for even smaller organisms such as cankers, lice, worms and mites. And they are earths for other, imperceptible beings. Just as we appear to be a huge world to these little organisms, perhaps our flesh, blood and bodily fluids are nothing more than a connected tissue of little animals that move and cause us to move. Even as they let themselves be led blindly by our will, which serves them as a vehicle, they animate us and combine to produce this action we call life.

Wendell Berry photo

„The context of love is the world.“

— Wendell Berry author 1934
Context: Professional standards, the standards of ambition and selfishness, are always sliding downward toward expense, ostentation, and mediocrity. They tend always to narrow the ground of judgment. But amateur standards, the standards of love, are always straining upward toward the humble and the best. They enlarge the ground of judgment. The context of love is the world. "The Responsibility of the Poet".

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Harry Reid photo

„RS: You’ve called Bush a loser.
Reid: And a liar.
RS: You’ve apologized for the loser comment.
Reid: But never for the liar, have I?“

— Harry Reid American politician 1939
Stone interview http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/7371967/the_gunslinger/Rolling, May 24, 2005

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Georg Cantor photo
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Newton Lee photo
Enoch Powell photo

„It is advertising that enthrones the customer as king. This infuriates the socialist... [it is] the crossing of the boundary between West Berlin and East Berlin. It is Checkpoint Charlie, or rather Checkpoint Douglas, the transition from the world of choice and freedom to the world of drab, standard uniformity.“

— Enoch Powell British politician 1912 - 1998
Attacking the Labour President of the Board of Trade, Douglas Jay, who wanted to standardise packaging for detergents. (The Daily Telegraph 29 April 1967); from Simon Heffer, Like the Roman. The Life of Enoch Powell (Phoenix, 1999), p. 430.

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