„The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.“

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Azar Nafisi photo

„The best fiction always forced us to question what we took for granted. It questioned traditions and expectations when they seemed too immutable.“

—  Azar Nafisi, livro Reading Lolita in Tehran
Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003), Context: I explained that most great works of the imagination were meant to make you feel like a stranger in your own home. The best fiction always forced us to question what we took for granted. It questioned traditions and expectations when they seemed too immutable. I told my students I wanted them in their readings to consider in what ways these works unsettled them, made them a little uneasy, made them look around and consider the world, like Alice in Wonderland, through different eyes.

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Joseph E. Stiglitz photo
Harriet Beecher Stowe photo

„These men and Christians cannot know what slavery is; if they did, such a question could never be open for discussion. And from this arose a desire to exhibit it in a living dramatic reality. She has endeavored to show it fairly, in its best and its worst phases. In its best aspect, she has, perhaps, been successful; but, oh! who shall say what yet remains untold in that valley and shadow of death, that lies the other side?“

—  Harriet Beecher Stowe, livro Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), Concluding Remarks, Context: The author hopes she has done justice to that nobility, generosity, and humanity, which in many cases characterize individuals at the South. Such instances save us from utter despair of our kind. But, she asks any person, who knows the world, are such characters common, anywhere? For many years of her life, the author avoided all reading upon or allusion to the subject of slavery, considering it as too painful to be inquired into, and one which advancing light and civilization would certainly live down. But, since the legislative act of 1850, when she heard, with perfect surprise and consternation, Christian and humane people actually recommending the remanding escaped fugitives into slavery, as a duty binding on good citizens, — when she heard, on all hands, from kind, compassionate and estimable people, in the free states of the North, deliberations and discussions as to what Christian duty could be on this head, — she could only think, These men and Christians cannot know what slavery is; if they did, such a question could never be open for discussion. And from this arose a desire to exhibit it in a living dramatic reality. She has endeavored to show it fairly, in its best and its worst phases. In its best aspect, she has, perhaps, been successful; but, oh! who shall say what yet remains untold in that valley and shadow of death, that lies the other side?

Robin Hobb photo

„A simple question unlocks best.“

—  Robin Hobb, livro Assassin's Apprentice
Assassin's Apprentice

Wilhelm Reich photo

„The basic question, then is: What has made the animal, man, degenerate into a machine?“

—  Wilhelm Reich, livro The Mass Psychology of Fascism
The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), Ch. 10 : Work Democracy, Context: MAN IS FUNDAMENTALLY AN ANIMAL. Animals, as distinct from man, are not machine-like, not sadistic; their societies, within the same species, are incomparably more peaceful than those of man. The basic question, then is: What has made the animal, man, degenerate into a machine? When I say "animal," I do not mean anything bad, cruel or "base"; I am stating a biological fact. Man has developed the peculiar concept that he is not an animal at all, but, well — man; a creature which long since has shed that which is "bad," which is "animal." He demarcates himself in all possible ways from the bad animal and points, in proof of his "being better," to culture and civilization which distinguish him from the animal. He shows, in his whole behavior, his "theories of values," his moral philosophies, his "monkey trials" and such, that he does not want to be reminded of the fact that basically he is an animal, an animal, furthermore, which has much more in common with the "animal" than with that being which he asserts to be and dreams of being. The theory of the German Übermensch has this origin. Man shows by his maliciousness, his inability to live in peace with his kind, his wars, that what distinguishes him from the other animals is only his unbounded sadism and the mechanical trinity of the authoritarian concept of life, mechanistic science and the machine. If one looks at the results of civilization as they present themselves over long periods of time, one finds that these contentions of man are not only erroneous; more than that, they seem to be made expressly for the purpose of making man forget that he is an animal. Section 3 : Work Democracy versus Politics. The Natural Social Forces for the Mastery of the Emotional Plague

David Allen photo

„Great question to ask, to relax: What should I consider right now, decide what, and let go?“

—  David Allen American productivity consultant and author 1945
Official Twitter profile (@gtdguy) https://twitter.com/gtdguy, 2 July 2012 https://twitter.com/gtdguy/status/220039630240747521

Alfred Horsley Hinton photo
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Leo Tolstoy photo

„Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important for us: 'what shall we do and how shall we live“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Quoted by Max Weber in his lecture "Science as a Vocation"; in Lynda Walsh (2013), Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy (2013), Oxford University Press, p. 90

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Anatoly Kudryavitsky photo

„What shall we do
after we learn what we'll do:
that is the question.“

—  Anatoly Kudryavitsky a Russian/Irish novelist, poet, literary translator and magazine editor 1954
Poems, Shadow of Time (2005)

Alexander Calder photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“