May 19, 2017

Filed under: Books,Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 9:05 am

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another – slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions”. In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.

Introduction to Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Neil Postman

A favorite book of mine. I’d recommend it as well as Technopoly and The End of Education.

January 16, 2017

Filed under: Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 10:31 am

October 19, 2014

Filed under: Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 8:13 pm

Reading Man and His Symbols, edited by Carl Jung and found this phrase to resonate off the page and course through the veins of my work:

“Primitive man must tame the animal in himself and make it his helpful companion; civilized man must heal the animal in himself and make it his friend.”


December 9, 2013

Filed under: In My Own Words,Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 4:25 pm


March 24, 2013

Filed under: Illustration,Recommendation,Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 10:55 pm

Grabbing a late night snack and flipping through the local Hong Kong paper, it was a sight for sore eyes to discover the genius comic of Bill Waterson that made such an impression upon me growing up here in a city around the world. I still and will always be in awe of his work. Here’s to Calving & Hobbes continuing to reach folks around the world and brightening up their day.


June 5, 2012

Filed under: Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 11:10 am

October 17, 2010

Filed under: Wisdom — adamsdoyle @ 2:26 pm

There is a language older by far and deeper than words. It is the language of the earth, and it is the language of our bodies. It is the language of dreams, and of action. It is the language of meaning, and of metaphor. This language is not safe, as Jim Nollman said of metaphor, and to believe in its safety is to diminish the importance of the embodied. Metaphors are dangerous because if true they open us to our bodies, and thus to action, and because they slip-sometimes wordlessly, sometimes articulated-betweeen the seen and unseen. This language of symbol is the source of who we are, where we come from, and where we return. To follow this language of metaphor is to trace words back to our bodies, back to the earth.

Excerpt from A Language Older Than Words by Derrick Jensen.
p. 321

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