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Quotes - April 2017

Writing

Quotes - April 2017

Alexei Muravsky

“The General knew his subordinates; he knew that each one was different and had to be handled differently in order to achieve results. He had estimated the psychological situation correctly. It is comparatively easy to make a correct estimate if one knows the man concerned; but even then it is difficult, because the man doesn’t always remain the same. He is no machine; he may react one way today, another way tomorrow. Soldiers can be brave one day and afraid the next. Soldiers are not machines but human beings who must be led in war. Each one of them reacts differently; therefore each must be handled differently. Furthermore, each one reacts differently at different times, and must be handled each time according to his particular reaction. To sense this and to arrive at a correct psychological solution is part of leadership.”

- Captain Adolf Von Schell, Battle Leadership


Observations: It is difficult to maintain contact in fog. During the battle in the fog at Bleid, contact was lost soon after meeting the enemy, and it was not possible to re-establish it. Advances through fog by means of a compass must be practiced, since smoke will frequently be employed. In a meeting engagement in the fog, the side capable of developing a maximum fire power on contact will get the upper hand; therefore keep the machine guns ready for action at all times during advance. Fights in inhabited places often take place at extremely short ranges (a few yards). Hand grenades and machine pistols are essential. Provide fire protection before attacking by means of machine guns, mortars and assault guns. An attack in a village is usually accompanied by heavy casualties and should be avoided whenever possible. Pin the enemy down to the village by means of fire, or blind him with smoke and hit him outside the village or town. Tall grain offers good concealment, but shining articles such as bayonets and cooking utensils may betray the location of troops. French security measures at Bleid were totally inadequate. Likewise, they failed to observe proper security precautions during this retreat and during the combat in the fields. After the first exchange, the German rifleman became imbued with a feeling of superiority vis-à-vis his French counterpart.”

- Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Infantry Attacks


“It must not be overlooked, in this glance at his education, that Mr. Douglass lacked one aid to which so many men of mark have been deeply indebted – he had neither a mother’s care, nor a mother’s culture, save that which slavery grudgingly meted out to him. Bitter nurse! May not even her features relax with human feeling, when she gazes at such offspring! How susceptible he was to the kindly influences of mother-culture, may be gathered from his own words: “It has been a life-long standing grief to me, that I know so little of my mother, and that I was so early separated from her. The counsels of her love must have been beneficial to me. The side view of her face is imaged on my memory, and I take few steps in life, without feeling her presence; but the image is mute, and I have no striking words of hers treasured up.””

- James Mccune Smith, Introduction of My Bondage and My Freedom


“Crimson with fury, Oliver started up, overthrew the chair and table; seized Noah by the throat; shook him, in the violence of his rage, till his teeth chattered in his head; and, collecting his whole force into one heavy blow, felled him to the ground. A minute ago, the boy had looked the quiet, mild, dejected creature that harsh treatment had made him. But his spirit was roused at last; the cruel insult to his dead mother had set his blood on fire. His breast heaved; his attitude was erect; his eye bright and vivid; his whole person changed, as he stood glaring over the cowardly tormentor who now lay crouching at his feet; and defied him with an energy he had never known before.”

 - Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist


“Just do the right thing. The rest doesn't matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honoured. Dying… or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: “to do what needs doing.””

- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


“Mindsight includes three fundamental skills. The first is insight, the ability to sense your own inner mental life. Insight lets you know who you are now, who you’ve been in the past, and who you’d like to be in the near future… The second aspect of mindsight is empathy, or the ability to sense the inner mental life of another person… The third component of mindsight is integration, the ability to link different parts of something into an interconnected whole… When we sense the mind of another person, we are making a map in our brains of what we imagine that person’s internal mental experience is at that moment. It is the ability to make maps of one’s mind and of the minds of others that I refer to as mindsight, an important skill that powerfully changes how we understand ourselves. Mindsight is the key ability at the core of both emotional and social intelligence. And mindsight is something that we can learn, and learn well, to make our lives stronger.”

- Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, Brainstorm


“The Feynman Algorithm:

  1. Write down the problem.
  2. Think real hard.
  3. Write down the solution.

Attributed to physicist Murray Gell-Mann, 1992.”

- Brian W. Kernighan, Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security


“The longer I worked in the Emergency Ward the clearer it became that although a seemingly unlimited number of problems could befall people, each one unique, there were only a hundred or so elementary afflictions that might bring a person to the hospital: chest pain, difficulty voiding, or depression for example. I began to recognize recurring patterns in the complaints people voiced and to acquire a feel not only for what was particular to each person’s situation but for what was common to the situation of others I had treated in the past. People are far are more alike than they are different, so when a person voices a complaint to a doctor, he unknowingly relates himself to a community of people who preceded him, allowing his physician to draw upon a legacy of similar experiences” (Hoffman 1986: 170-171).

- Howard Brody, Experts from Stories of Sickness via EN 1102 – Literature & Health @ York University


“Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author.”

- Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren via David W. Carroll, Psychology of Language 5th Edition


“Dominant males must guard their fertile partners closely and constantly if they wish to maintain exclusive access to their females. If mate guarding is adaptive, then the costs of lost opportunities to mate with other females must be less than the benefits of monopolizing one female and her egg(s). In general, the benefits of mate guarding increase with the probability that unguarded females will mate again and use the sperm of later partners to fertilize their eggs.”

- John Alcock, Animal Behaviour 10th Edition


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