Carl Sagan : “governments generally are concerned with changing nothing”

Q :Do you think the future is going to be dangerous?

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Sagan : Absolutely. The present is quite dangerous also, though. Let me give you an example. I think it’s clear that none of the forms of government that exist in any of the 200 or so countries on the earth today are applicable to the middle of the next century. Not a one. We have to get from here to there somehow. How can you do that without disturbing the here? The world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. Human survival depends on dealing with those changes, but governments generally are concerned with changing nothing.

I think that any nation with a serious concern about the future would be busy inventing experimental communities to try, on a practical basis, to find the society that is going to work in the middle of the twenty-first century. I think the alternative communities of the Sixties were a premonition, a spontaneous recognition by a lot of people that society, by and large, wasn’t working, and that they had to see what else they could do. The larger society was unhappy with the idea of alternatives. The possibility of a better world is a rebuke. It says, “Why haven’t you worked to make that change?” Since very few of us manage to make any significant changes, we tend to resist that exhortation.

Source : http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-cosmos-19801225

Gunter Grass : “the truth is mostly very boring”

INTERVIEWER : What lies have given you the greatest pleasure?

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GRASS : Lies that do not hurt, which are different from lies that protect oneself or hurt another person. That is not my business. But the truth is mostly very boring, and you can help it along with lies. There is no harm in that. I have learned that all my terrible lies really have no effect on what is out there. If, several years ago, I had written something that predicted the recent political developments in Germany, people would have said, What a liar!

source :  https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2191/gunter-grass-the-art-of-fiction-no-124-gunter-grass

Susan Sontag : “friendship-love can be a tremendously passionate emotion”

Q: What about platonic love?

American Intellectual and Writer Susan Sontag

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Susan :Of course, I have loved people passionately whom I wouldn’t have slept with for anything, but I think that’s something else. That’s friendship-love, which can be a tremendously passionate emotion, but it certainly doesn’t mean you want to take off your clothes with that person.

source : http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/susan-sontag-19791004

Tupac Shakur : “if God wrote the bible, I’m sure there would have been a revised copy by now”

Q :What religion are you?

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Tupac: I’m the religion that to me is the realist religion there is. I try to pray to God every night unless I pass out. I learned this in jail, I talked to every God (member of the Five Percent Nation) there was in jail. I think that if you take one of the “O’s” out of “Good” it’s “God”, if you add a “D” to “Evil”, it’s the “Devil”. I think some cool motherfucker sat down a long time ago and said let’s figure out a way to control motherfuckers. That’s what they came up with-the bible. Cause if God wrote the bible, I’m sure there would have been a revised copy by now. Cause a lot of shit has changed. I’ve been looking for this revised copy-I still see that same old copy that we had from then. I’m not disrespecting anyone’s religion, please forgive me if it comes off that way, I’m just stating my opinion. The bible tells us that all these did this because they suffered so much that’s what makes them special people. I got shot five times and I got crucified to the media. And I walked through with the thorns on and I had shit thrown on me and I had the theif at the top; I told that nigga “I’ll be back for you. Trust me, is not supposed to be going down, I’ll be back. I’m not saying I’m Jesus but I’m saying we go through that type of thing everyday. We don’t part the Red Sea but we walk through the hood without getting shot. We don’t turn water to wine but we turn dope fiends and dope heads into productive citizens of society. We turn words into money. What greater gift can there be. So I belive God blesses us, I belive God blesses those that hustle. Those that use their minds and those that overall are righteous. I belive that everything you do bad comes back to you. So everything that I do that’s bad, I’m going to suffer for it. But in my heart, I belive what I’m doing in my heart is right. So I feel like I’m going to heaven. I think heaven is just when you sleep, you sleep with a good conscience-you don’t have nightmares. Hell is when you sleep, the last thing you see is all the fucked up things you did in your life and you just see it over and over again, cause you don’t burn. If that’s the case, it’s hell on earth cause bullets burn. There’s people that got burned in fires, does that mean they went to hell already? All that is here. What do you got there that we ain’t seen here? What, we’re gonna walk around aimlessly like zombies? That’s here! You ain’t been on the streets lately? Heaven now, look! (reffering to his plush apartment) we’re sitting up here in the living room-big screen TV- this is heaven, for the moment. Hell is jail I seen that one. Trust me, this is what’s real. And all that other shit is to control you. If the churches took half the money that they was making and gave it back to the community, we’d be alright. If they took half the buildings that they use to “praise God” and gave it to motherfuckers who need God, we’d be alright. Have you seen some of these got damn churches lately? There’s one’s that take up the whole block in New York. There’s homeless people out here. Why ain’t God lettin’ them stay there? Why these niggas got gold ceilings and shit? Why God need gold ceilings to talk to me? Why does God need colored windows to talk to me? Why God can’t come where I’m at where he sent me? If God wanted to talk to me in a pretty spot like that, why the hell he send me here then. That makes ghetto kids not belive in God. Why? So that’s wrong religion-I belive in God, I belive God puts us where ever we want to be at. They didn’t make sense that God would put us in the ghetto. That means he wants us to work hard to get up out of here. That means he’s testing us even more. That makes sense that if you’re good in your heart, you’re closer to God but if you’re evil than your closer to the devil; that makes sense! I see that everyday all that other spooky shit, don’t make sense. I don’t even belive, I’m not dissin’ them but I don’t belive in the brothers, I’ve been in jail with ’em and having conversations with brothers; “I’m God, I’m God.” You God, open the gate for me. You know far the sun is and how far the moon is, how the hell do I pop this fuckin’ gate? And get me free and up outta here. Then I’ll be a Five Percenter for life.

Source : http://www.angelfire.com/hiphop2/lifeanddeathof2pac/interviews.html

Steve Mccurry : “I am interested in preserving the past”

Q: technology is volatile and it seems that you seek after what is perennial in human beings. some traditional professions have existed for thousands of years, such as being a baker or a shepherd. how do you understand the tension between the ‘what remains’ and the ‘what changes’ in your photographic endeavors?

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Mccurry: the whole world is changing, juxtaposing new against the old. I am interested in preserving the past. there was a time when regional differences and customs, which evolved over hundreds of years, defined a society. I am more interested in these things that are disappearing. the world is changing so fast and many of the cultures are fast disappearing. these cultures are distinct and different and they fascinate me.

Source : http://www.designboom.com/art/steve-mccurry-interview-photographer-08-12-2015/

Krishnamurti: Change implies a great deal of inquiry, a great deal of search

Q: Do you think we will just keep going on like – warring among ourselves for all of history?

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Krishnamurti: You’re asking the same question in different words—what’s the future of man. Unless we radically change, the future is what we are now. It’s a serious fact. And nobody wants to change radically. They change a little bit here, a little there. If you want peace, you live peacefully. But nobody wants to live peacefully—neither the Pope, nor the prime minister, nor anybody. So they’re keeping up the wars. I’ve talked to a great many politicians in my life, a great many spiritual leaders, to gurus who come to see me—I don’t know why—they never  talked about ending conflict, which means finding out the cause of conflict. Never. Let’s say nationalism is one of the causes. They never talked about it. If the Pope said tonight that the church will excommunicate anybody who joins the army to do organized killing then tomorrow he wouldn’t exist. They would throw him out. So he won’t say, “Let’s talk about peace.”I’m not cynical, I’m just looking at facts. So, what will change man? Apparently nothing from outside—no church, no threats, no wars, nothing from outside. Change implies a great deal of inquiry, a great deal of search. Someone hasn’t the time so he says, “Tell me all about it quickly.” But one must give one’s life to this, not just play around with it. The monks think they have given their life but they have given their life to an idea, to a symbol, to somebody  called Christ. The Hindus have their sannyasins, the Buddhists their bhikkus—it’s the same phenomena.

source :https://www.scribd.com/doc/2079987/I-Don-t-Believe-in-Anything-Interview-With-Krishnamurti