Last update : 04/05/2003

 Favourite expressions

"The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist. McDonalds cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas...and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps."

The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist

"The only dream worth having, I told her, is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead."

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.

Taken from the speech of  Roy in Zmag

"The Responsibility of Intellectuals" according to Chomsky

Ramachandran: If you had to rewrite "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" today, what would you say?

Chomsky: In retrospect, it seems to me there were unclarities and omissions. One has to do with the category of intellectuals. Who are they? Suppose that we take the term "intellectual" to refer to people who think seriously about issues of general human concern, seek and evaluate evidence, and try to articulate their judgments and conclusions clearly and honestly. Then some of the most impressive intellectuals I have known had little formal education, and many of those who are granted great respect as leading intellectuals do not deserve the name. If we adopt this conception, there is no special "responsibility of intellectuals" other than the responsibility of people generally to act with integrity and decency, but there is a responsibility of all of us to work for a society in which everyone is encouraged and helped to become an intellectual, in this sense.

Those who have privilege, training, access to resources and other advantages do have special responsibilities. One formula is that their responsibility is "to speak truth to power". Among those who adopt this stand, there are people I greatly respect and admire. But although I often agree with them in practice, I don't agree with the principle. One reason is that none of us can claim to have The Truth. We have our judgments and conclusions, and maybe good reasons for them. But these are at best tentative, and it is important to make that clear, particularly in cultures in which technical knowledge and training are accorded considerable prestige - sometimes warranted, sometimes not. It is important to make clear the limits of our knowledge and understanding, and not to exploit prestige and authority as a weapon of domination and control. So the idea of "speaking truth" is already flawed. Furthermore, to the extent that we think we have some grasp of the truth about matters of significance, why should our audience be "power"? Is it important to convince the king, or to enlighten his subjects? Or better, not to "enlighten" the subjects but to join with them in a common effort to gain better understanding, and to use it to dismantle illegitimate authority and expand the domains of freedom and justice? The task, then, is not to "speak truth" to the king, or even to the king's subjects, but to learn from them, to contribute what we can, and to participate with them in common struggle for values we discover and uphold. It seems to me that those are the directions in which responsibilities of intellectuals should be sought.

The last part of Chomsky In First Person

According to Harry W. Mazal, the exact text of what Martin Niemöller said, and which appears in the Congressional Record, 14, October 1968, page 31636, is:


When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.

taken from

"As a general thesis : the social progress can be related to the progress of women towards the freedom. ... The extension of the women's previleges is the general principle for all the social progreses."
Charles Fourrier (1772-1837), De la liberté en amour. (loose personal translation)

The Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his
employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house-building business
and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended
He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked
if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter
said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his
He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an
unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work the employer came to
inspect the house.
He handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your
house," he said, "my gift to you."

The carpenter was shocked!  What a shame!  If he had only
known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so

So it is with us.  We build our lives, a day at a time,
often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock we
realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it
over, we'd do it much differently. But we cannot go back.

You are the carpenter.  Each day you hammer a nail, place a
board, or erect a wall.  "Life is a do-it-yourself project," someone
has said. Your attitudes and the choices you make today, build the
"house" you live in tomorrow.  Build wisely!

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody is watching.
Pass this on to someone you like. I did!

Sex is a misdemeanor, 
The More you miss it, the meaner you get.

It's also dodegiver,

The more you do it, the more you wanna give !

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery.
But Today is a gift,
That's why it's called the present !
(Heard in a song)


I think this is and savour every moment...  (unknown)

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.      John Lennon.

growing up with style

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and  challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of  children, and then retire and travel."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have  motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we  would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized  listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet.
I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to  the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she  leaned into the  microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is  killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you  what I know."

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There are only four secrets   to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you  lose your  dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing  up.
If you are  nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and  don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but  rather for things we did not do.

The only people who fear death are those with regrets." She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had  begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in  tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word  of advice to  your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! These  words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.



If we could shrink the earth's population to a village
of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human
ratios remaining the same, it would look something
like the following:

There would be 57 Asians; 21 Europeans; 14 from the
Western Hemisphere, both north and south; 8 Africans.

52 would be female, 48 would be male.

70 would be non-white, 30 would be white.

70 would be non-Christian, 30 would be Christian.

89 would be heterosexual, 11 would be homosexual.

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's
wealth, and all 6 would be from the United States.

80 would live in substandard housing.

70 would be unable to read.

50 would suffer from malnutrition.

1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth.

1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education.

1 would own a computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed
perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding,
and education becomes glaringly apparent.

The following is also something to ponder:

If you woke up this morning with more health than
illness, you are more blessed than the million who
will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture,
or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500
million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of
harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more
blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your
back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are
richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and
spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the
top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married, you
are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.

If you can read this message, you just received a
double blessing, in that someone was thinking of you,
and that over two billion people in the world cannot
read at all.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Live like it's Heaven on Earth.

I often wished that I had a clear,
For life, six hundred pounds a year ;
A handsome house to lodge a friend ;
A river at my garden's end.

(Imitation of Horace )

" This used to be among my prayers - a piece of land not so very large, which would contain a garden, and near the house a spring of ever-flowing water, and beyond these a bit of wood."

 Jonathan Swift 1667- 1745

(seen on a "underplate" in a hostel in Aaran Islands, Ireland, August 2000)


Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask "How are you?"
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time
To call and say "Hi"?

You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

If you run into a beautiful lady,
and instead of thinking about new projects,
only memories come to your mind, then you’re getting old

Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead.
Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow.

Disneyworld  is the largest trap ever made by a mouse,
named Mickey Mouse, to trap humans.