|It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant… is a direct fulfillment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires – or forbidden to him – he attributed to these gods.
One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves.
Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times… Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceivable now, and will increase man’s likeness to a god still more.
– Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
|The problem in our country isn’t with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. Look at the magazines, the newspapers around us it’s all junk, all trash, tidbits of news. The average TV ad has 120 images a minute. Everything just falls off your mind. You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.|
|My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.
– Edward Abbey (1927-1989)
|Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection.|
|The health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.
– Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
|Whenever you hear anyone talking about a cultural or even about a human problem, you should never forget to inquire who the speaker really is. The more general the problem, the more he will smuggle his own personal psychology into the account he gives of it.
– Carl Jung (1875-1961)
|The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas – Uncertainty, Progress, Change – into crimes.
– Salman Rushdie (1947-)
|There is much to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. By carefully chronicling the current events of contemporary life it shows us of what very little importance such events really are. By invariably discussing the unnecessary it makes us understand what things are requisite for culture, and what are not.
– Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)