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My favourite quotes

  • “Analysis, while necessary, may also be an indefensible luxury” — Leo Bersani
  • “If you can’t say it clearly, you don’t understand it yourself” – John Searle
  • “Nothing is more distressing than a thought that escapes itself, than ideas that fly off, that disappear hardly formed” – Deleuze&Guattari
  • “If God does not exist, nothing is permitted any longer” – Jacques Lacan
  • “Power always forms the ground floor above which a free subject moves in” – Peter Sloterdjick
  • “Individuals could certainly not be ‘liberated’ without educating them in a certain way” – Foucault
  • “Art alone develops weaklings, science alone, monsters. Somewhere, somehow, we must combine the two.” – Alfred Kinsey
  • “There’s nothing like a death in the family to separate the wheat from the bullshit” – Francis Underwood
  • “Everyone feels alone, pushed to compete, at the mercy of precariousness” – Franco Berardi
  • “The subject gets stuck doing the same thing over and over again … Post. Post. Post. Click. Click. Click” – Jodi Dean
  • “The naked reality of capitalism is today on display. And it’s horrible.” – Franco Berardi
  • “If you have a good thing to sell use every single capacity you can to sell it. It is no use having it & no-one hearing” – Margaret Thatcher
  • “Why are you sorry? Because you’re an evil bastard with no conscience & no heart? That’s why I liked you in first place” – Tyrion Lannister
  • “The 21st century has often felt like the comedown after a speed binge” – Mark Fisher
  • “For we have, built into all of us, old blueprints of expectations and response” – Audrey Lorde
  • “Those are brave men knocking at our door! Let’s go kill them” – Tyrion Lannister
  • “Don’t start from the good old things but from the bad new ones” – Brecht
  • “Do we really have more substance than the ghosts we endlessly applaud?” – mark fisher
  • No one is ever sure that he is truly happy; and to ask the question is already to spoil the answer.” – Pascal Bruckner
  • “I feel as if one would only discover on one’s death bed what one ought to have lived for” – Bertrand Russell
  • “What do we do now, now that we are happy?” – Samuel Beckett
  • “We all do ontology, it’s not an option. The only option is whether we do it explicitly and systematically or implicitly” – Tony Lawson
  • “The prevailing belief in ‘social justice’ is at present probably the gravest threat to most other values of a free civilisation” – Hayek
  • “National security aside it hardly makes any difference who will be next president. The world is governed by market forces” – Alan Greenspan
  • “Academics are now digitised, whether we like it or not” – Deborah Lupton
  • “I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few” – William Morris
  •  “Do what you can, and confess frankly what you are unable to do” – John Ruskin
  •  “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions. He had money as well” – Margaret Thatcher
  •  “I am never satisfied that I have handled a subject properly till I have contradicted myself at least three times” – John Ruskin
  • “To combine austerity with growth is like squaring the circle: no one really knows how it could be done” – Wolfgang Streeck
  • “Every man who does accomplish great things is given to building elaborate castles in the air” – C.S. Peirce
  • “We are contingent temporary flotsam on a sea of being” – Roy Bhaskar
  • “The soul is the form of the body” – Aristotle
  • “It is time to realise that a passionately held intellectual conviction is passionate” – Dorothy Sayers
  • “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “You lie down with dogs and you get fleas” – Dianne Abbott
  • “Change the instruments and you will change the entire social theory that goes with them” – Bruno Latour
  • “The idea that bigger haystacks have more needles in them is dumb on its face” – Cory Doctorow
  • “Parents are the bones on which children sharpen their teeth” – Peter Ustinov
  • “Vex not thy spirit at the course of things, they heed not thy vexations” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “For the intellectual, inviolable isolation is now the only way of showing some measure of solidarity” – Adorno
  • “The last great adventure is ME” – Tracy Emin
  • “The middle class male thinks he has a monopoly on objectivity.” – Grayson Perry
  • “The pleasures of relaxed chat, of casual conversation, encourage the ethnographer in everyone” – Richard Sennett
  • “We are simultaneously free and constrained and we also have some awareness of it” – Margaret Archer
  • “Democracy is a gleaming Excalibur – let’s not use it just to mend the toaster.” – Russell Brand
  • “Being a sociologist means never having to be bored” – Randall Collins
  • “Life does not consist of people responding to a limited number of variables” – Howard Becker
  • “One of the worst things that happens to Sociologists is that they become academics” – Howard Becker
  • “Say it how you see it, buddy, I’m a hurting hot mess. A constantly inconsistent work in progress” – Sage Francis
  • “An ontology without a methodology is deaf and dumb; a methodology without an ontology is blind” – Margaret Archer
  • “We do not live to think, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving” – José Ortega y Gasset
  • “I’m actually a quite different person, I just never get around to being him” – Ödön von Horváth
  • “It’s a terrible place. Twitter’s an awful place. Sometimes Twitter makes me want to fucking kill myself” – Earl Sweatshirt
  • “I am an interpreter of interpretations” – James Delingpole
  • “Now remember, don’t be the way you normally are and sustain that for the rest of your life” – Marge Simpson
  • “To read Goffman is to be seduced or to refuse seduction” – Ian Craib
  • “If I only did what I can do, I wouldn’t do anything” – Jacques Derrida
  • “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both” – c wright mills
  • “I’m interested in ways of writing about the social world that don’t assassinate the life that’s in it” – Les Back
  • “I am not a man, I am dynamite” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “The site on which we build is always cluttered: the past lingers in the same ‘present’ in which the future tries to take root” – Zygmunt Bauman
  • “My, how the Brummies love their concrete” – Chris Mullin
  • “Narrow souls I cannot abide; There’s almost no good or evil inside” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “Is the earth in our head? Or do we stand on the earth?” – Martin Heidegger
  • “A lot of clever people have got everything except judgement” – Clement Attlee
  • “Ideas disturb the levelness of life” – Susan Sontag
  • “God, living is enormous!” – Susan Sontag
  • “Focus is saying no to 1,000 good ideas.” — Steve Jobs
  • “Think of life as an open wound, which you poke with a stick to amuse yourself” – Nick Land
  • “Now fucking pay me” – Jackie Cogan
  • “I’ve read enough novels to know just how much time & energy it takes to fall in love and I just don’t have the time” – Alexandra Kollontai
  • “Podcasting might be thought of as a form of academic gift” – Les Back
  • “It’s the red line! You can’t use chemicals to kill your own people. You have to do it organically” – John Stewart
  • “Rather than intimidating and bleak, the Barbican is as attractive and mysterious as a J.G Ballard heroine” – Owen Hatherley
  • “Phenomenology is a fallible guide to reality, but it can be a useful pointer” – Margaret Archer
  • “I may not have succeeded in halting the war, but I did secure the right of parliament to decide on war” – Robin Cook
  • “The NHS is safe in my hands” – David Cameron
  • ‘The existential reality of politics is not power. it is the ever-present prospect of its loss” – Richard French
  • “We are little gods in the world of inner speech” – Norbert Wiley
  • “A street is not a street without people … it is as dead as mutton” – LS Lowry
  • “To be human is to exist in the tension between solitude and society” – Vincent M. Colapietro
  • “You cannot change the past but you can make the future. Anyone who tells you different is a fucking lethargic devil” – Immortal Technique
  • “Being a dick to people on Twitter isn’t activism” – Helen Lewis
  • “We cannot pretend that Brixton is the Bronx. Because it just isn’t” – Akala
  • “Real revolutionaries spend their life engaged in revolutionary acts and as cold as I am on the mic… Thus far, I just rap” – Akala
  • “There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.” – Goethe
  • “My plans have always exceeded my capacities and energies” – C Wright Mills
  • “Theories are just disposable tools in the production of knowledge” – Manuel Castells
  • “It’s irresponsible of academics to keep the fruits of research up in the ivory tower” – Steven Pinker
  • “the mental regression of a generation elsewhere bent on reviving cupcakes” – Owen Hatherly
  • “Big steps often begin with small steps that slowly gather momentum” – Nigel Thrift and Ash Amin
  • “you’ve got to post something on Facebook or your followers will die of boredom” – overheard on train
  • “Empathize with stupidity and you’re halfway to thinking like an idiot.” – Iain Banks
  • “It’s not that society is talking about sex too much, it’s that we’re not talking about sex honestly enough” – David Jay
  • “Universities permit one to read books and report what one thinks about them, and get paid for it” – Richard Rorty
  • “The feminists hate me, don’t they? I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.” – Thatcher
  • “a man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus, can count himself a failure” – Thatcher (disputed)
  • “Do not pass universals through the sieve of history; rather strain history through a line of thought that rejects universals” – Foucault
  • “Nigel Farage is a less successful version of George Galloway” – Tim Farron
  • “This is the trouble with the public. They’re fucking horrible” – Peter Manion
  • “I really think this generation has been betrayed by us” – Les Back
  • “We wanted flying cars and we got 140 characters” – Peter Thiel
  • “philosophy [is] the greatest game of all precisely because it is the game of ‘changing the rules’” – Richard Rorty
  • “obsession is just what those too timorous to follow an idea through to its logical conclusion call determination” – Lou  Caconym
  • “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” – Jean Cocteau
  • “Without music, life would be a mistake” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “The most successful ideological effects are those which have no need for words, and ask no more than complicitous silence.” – Bourdieu
  • “Mad people – people who stand alone and burn. I’m attracted to them because they give me permission to do the same.” – Susan Sontag
  • “Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul” – Margaret Thatcher
  • “Dictionary: a malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic” – Ambrose Bierce
  • “I like getting on my high horse. I look good on it. Like a knight…” – Dan Miller
  • “What the fuck is this!? Tinker, tailor, soldier, cunt!??” – Malcolm Tucker
  • “Mr Pearson, people don’t riot in Surrey. They’re far more polite, and far more dangerous…” – JG Ballard
  • “Enjoyment appears at boundary between boredom and anxiety, when challenges are balanced with person’s capacity to act” – M Csikszentmihalyi
  • “We can contemplate the creation of new kinds of vital texts: curate sociology rather than just write it” – Les Back
  • “man who said ‘yes, I’ll gut my kid to show my love of God’, I’d say ‘no, fuck you'” – Christopher Hitchens
  • “one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority” – chris hitchens
  • “all life is an experiment. the more experiments you make, the better” – ralph waldo emerson
  • “roughly one in seventy-five people on the planet is currently playing FarmVille” – Jane McGonigal
  • “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” – Søren Kierkegaard
  • “A convincing social constructionist account of a broken leg has never been encountered” – Margaret Archer
  • “I have a visceral contempt for Blair. Not dislike. Just contempt” – Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • “People who talk in metaphors ought to shampoo my crotch” – Melvin Udall
  • “People do not read Hawking to understand quantum physics. Nobody does it. They read Hawking to get the big answers” – Žižek
  • “We cannot cram the embryonic world of tomorrow into yesterday’s conventional cubbyholes” – Alvin Toffler
  • “To ask larger questions is to risk getting things wrong. Not to ask them at all is to constrain the life of understanding” – George Steiner
  • “If you wait for the right moment, the right moment will never come. When you intervene it is always premature” – Žižek
  • “philosophy is more about outflanking platitudes than about making eternally true propositions” – graham harman
  • “People with advantages are loathe to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages” – C Wright Mills
  • “because a disaster’s a disaster no matter what christian language you drag it through” – the manchester orchestra
  • “I’m a man of the people, vox populi!” – Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • “I think you’ve got to be very careful about PR people” – Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • “If you’re smart and intelligent enough to make music other people like, then you’re smart and intelligent enough to sell it” – Lowkey
  • “If we do not communicate research effectively it may have well not be done” – Cameron Neylon
  • “You’re on earth, there’s no cure for that” – Samuel Beckett
  • “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.” – Steve Jobs
  • “a great joy which is not the ambivalent joy of hatred, but the joy of wanting to destroy whatever mutilates life” – deleuze
  • “I’m an affluent person. I can keep quaffing my châteauneuf-du-pape” – Mark Littlewood
  • “there’s no object so Other that it can’t be anthropomorphised and shanghaied into conversation with us” – jonathan franzen
  • “I have tried to be objective. I do not claim to be detached” – C Wright Mills
  • “The complacency of the young is a counterpart of the futility of the old” – C Wright Mills
  • “What we ought now to do is repossess our cultural apparatus, and use it for our own purposes” – C Wright Mills
  • “Be nice to the people you meet on the way up because you may meet them again on the way down” – Tony Benn
  • “The means of effective communication are being expropriated from the intellectual worker.” – C. Wright Mills
  • “Books are simply organized releases from the continuous work that goes into them” – C. Wright Mills
  • “There are all these choices out there for young people to make but there is no single source of normative authority” – Margaret Archer
  • “You judge a society by the decency of living of the weakest” – Zygmunt Bauman
  • “it works because it’s fuckin’ word release, finally after writing it in my head and not being able to talk about it” – Sage Francis
  • ”The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” – Gramsci
  • “The sunset is beautiful. It’s aesthetically appealing. It’s attractive. That doesn’t mean I want to sleep with the sun set” – Nathan Erro
  • “I thought teachers only went outdoors to smoke and cry” – Bart Simpson
  • “These are all skirmishes of something much bigger and epochal. We’re in that interregnum before the new is born and created” – Jon Cruddas
  • “Counting the countable because the countable can be easily counted renders impact illegitimate” – John Brewer
  • “Elephant and Castle is the Coventry of London” – Marta Wasik
  • “When I see a policeman with a club beating a man on the ground, I don’t have to ask whose side I’m on.” – George Orwell
  • “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” — Dorothy Thompson
  • “But fuck it, let’s speak frankly, no bullshit, most of the left hates me” – Zizek
  • “Lethargy’s a crime” – Akala
  • “well life is about love, lost minutes and lost evening, About fire in our bellies and about furtive little feelings” – frank turner
  • “What to do? How to act? Who to be? These are focal questions for everyone living in circumstances of late modernity” – Tony Giddens
  • “There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism” – Walter Benjamin
  • “For what purpose is all the toil and bustle of this world? What is the end of avarice and ambition, of the pursuit of wealth, of power, of pre-eminence?” – Adam Smith
  • “We have the riots we deserve.” – Alain Badiou
  • “I thought I could organize freedom. How Scandinavian of me.” – Björk
  • “A poem should not mean / but be” – Archibald MacLeish
  • “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” – Mike Tyson
  • “I write because I read, and books have accompanied me all my life” – Kate Gross
  • “You know what really pisses me off about getting shot? Knowing I’m about to get shot again” – Cat Woman
  • “Deregulation is a transfer of power from the trodden to the treading” – George Monbiot
  • “True affluence is not needing any thing” – Gary Snyder
  • “That’s lying (or what the coalition might call a ‘dishonesty-based perception-changing mechanism’)” – Caroline Lucas
  • “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing” – Raymond Williams
  • “Buying things we don’t need with money we don’t have to create impressions that don’t last with people we don’t care about” – Tim Jackson
  • “The human animal’s past is constantly present in the facility with which he acts” – Mead

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