A Commonplace

What is a commonplace?



Some Interesting Quotations

No, I don't like work. I had rather laze about and think of all the fine things that can be done. I don't like work - no man does - but I like what is in the work, the chance to find yourself. Your own reality - for yourself, not for others - what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

Tax law is like the world's biggest game of chess with all sorts of weird conundrums about ethics and civics and consent of the governed built in. For me, it's a bit like math: I have no talent for it but find it still erotically interesting.

David Foster Wallace - letter to Jonathan Franzen

The training was directed almost entirely to the immediate job. The only exception was an International Correspondence Schools course in advertising, one of the main virtues of which, I always felt, was to keep us so occupied during the weekends that we wouldn't have time to think about our situation.

William H. Whyte - The Organization Man

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians.

Kant - What is Enlightenment?

Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas, these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use - or rather abuse - of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting nonage. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from nonage by cultivating their own minds.

Kant - What is Enlightenment?