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Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week: Yahia Lababidi

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"The thoughts we choose to act upon define us to others, the ones we do not define us to ourselves."

- Yahia Lababidi, an Egyptian-American aphorist, poet and author of 6 books. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, and his writing has been translated into several languages, including: Arabic, Hebrew, Slovak, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish. His latest book, Balancing Acts: New & Selected Poems (1993-2015) is a celebration of more than twenty years of his poetry. Lababidi has been featured on NPR, Best American Poetry, AGNI, World Literature Today, The Guardian, and Al Jazeera and has participated in international poetry festivals throughout the USA, Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East.

Quote of the Week: Svetlana Alexievich

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Svetlana Alexievich“I am drawn to that small space called a human being … a single individual. In reality, that is where everything happens.”

Svetlana Alexievich, an investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time." She is the first writer from Belarus to receive the award.
 

Quote of the week: J.K. Rowling

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J.K. Rowling "Many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are."

-J.K. Rowling, a British novelist, screenwriter, and film producer best known for writing the Harry Potter series. The books have gained worldwide attention, becoming the best-selling book series in history and the basis for a series of films. Rowling has led a "rags to riches" life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years.

Quote of the Week: John Hurt

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“You’ve got to be careful with style, how you describe it. So much comes from things you observe, that lodge in your mind – what you see in somebody else and want to reproduce in yourself. Style is longing… longing to be something or someone else.”

- Sir John Vincent Hurt, CBE, an English actor whose career has spanned six decades. He initially came to prominence for his supporting role as Richard Rich in the film A Man for All Seasons (1966). Since then he has played leading roles in the film The Naked Civil Servant (1975), David Lynch's biopic The Elephant Man (1980), the dystopian drama Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), The Hit (1984), and in the drama depicting the Profumo affair, Scandal (1989). He is also known for his television roles such as Caligula in I, Claudius (1976), and the War Doctor in Doctor Who.

He received Academy Award nominations for his roles in Midnight Express, and The Elephant Man. In 2012, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts honored Hurt with a lifetime achievement award.

Quote of the Week: Julius Malema

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“We must smell so we show commitment to the revolution? We must go and stay in a shack and then get into a bus to show that we are revolutionary? That’s incorrect. That’s actually vulgarising the revolution, because both the socialist struggle and what the Economic Freedom Fighters represent is not sameness — like we must dress alike, we must walk alike, we must sing alike, we must dance alike.  I dress properly. I dress anyhow I wish and no one can tell me how to dress.”

-Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a South African political party, which he founded in July 2013.He previously was a member of the ANC, helped propel Jacob Zuma forward to be President of South Africa, and served as President of the African National Congress Youth League from 2008 to 2012. 

Malema was convicted of hate speech in March 2010 and again in September 2011. In November 2011, he was found guilty of sowing divisions within the ANC and was suspended from the party for five years. On February 4, 2012, the appeal committee of the ANC announced that it found no reason to "vary" the disciplinary committee's decidion to suspend Malema from the party, but did find additional evidence in aggravation of the circumstances, leading them to impose the harsher sentence of expulsion from the ANC. On April 25, 2012, Malema lost an appeal to have his expulsion from the ANC overturned, and his expulsion took immediate effect.

Quote of the Week: Philip Tetlock

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“Any good political psychologist should have the moral and historical imagination to see how he or she could become almost any ideological creature that has existed, or does exist on the planet. That includes Nazis, Stalinists, Maoists, Isil … There but for the grace of God.”
 

- Philip Tetlock, a Canadian-American political science writer, currently serving as the Annenberg University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is cross-appointed at the Wharton School of Business and the School of Arts and Sciences.  His research explores a variety of topics, including: the challenges of assessing "good judgment" in both laboratory and real-world settings and the criteria that social scientists use in judging judgment and drawing normative conclusions about bias and error.

He has written several non-fiction books at the intersection of psychology, political science and organizational behavior, including Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction; Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?; Unmaking the West: What-if Scenarios that Rewrite World History; and Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics.  Tetlock is also co-principal investigator of The Good Judgment Project, a multi-year study of the feasibility of improving the accuracy of probability judgments of high-stakes, real-world events.

Quote of the Week: Jürgen Habermas

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Jurgen Habermas"Today, however, the increasingly high-pitched appeal by politicians to "our values" sounds ever emptier – alone the confusion of "principles", which require some kind of justification, with "values", which are more or less attractive, irritates me beyond all measure. We can see our political institutions being robbed more and more of their democratic substance during the course of the technocratic adjustment to global market imperatives. Our capitalist democracies are about to shrink to mere façade democracies."

- Jürgen Habermas, a German sociologist and philosopher whose work focuses on the political domain and rationality. He is best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere.  Associated with the Frankfurt School, his work also focuses on the foundations of critical social theory, the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies and democracy, human freedom within modern society, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary politics-- particularly German politics. 

Quote of the week: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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“I think I’d rather you not engage [with Africa] than engage in a way that is patronising. It comes from a sense of superiority; it comes from an ignorance that refuses to acknowledge itself."

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer. She is the author of three novels, Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013) and a short story collection, The Thing around Your Neck (2009). She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007) and the MacArthur Genius Grant (2008).  In her writings, Adichie explores the intersection of the personal and the public by placing the intimate details of the lives of her characters within the larger contemporary social and political forces of their countries. Dividing her time between Nigeria and the United States, she is widely appreciated for her unimpeded yet balanced depiction of the post-colonial era of Nigeria and of racial divides in the United States.

Quote of the week: Olle Häggström

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“There is no denying that advances in science and technology have brought us prosperity and improved our lives tremendously … but there is a flip side: some of the advances that may lie ahead of us can actually make us worse off, a lot worse.”

- Olle Häggström, a professor of mathematical statistics and head of the mathematical statistics division at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He works with research, research supervision, teaching and popular science. His main research interest is probability theory, where his goal is to understand how the behavior of a system consisting of very many small components depends on the properties of the components. His other intellectual interests include philosophy, climate science and futurology.

Quote of the week: Novak Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic“If you can channel it in the right way, fear will turn to strength.”

- Novak Djokovic, a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.  He is generally considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time and a top 5 player in the Open Era (since 1968). Djokovic has won 10 Grand Slam singles titles and has held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 172 weeks.


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