‘All that we can say is that nobody has yet succeeded in designing an alternative system in which certain features of the existing one can be preserved which are dear even to those who most violently assail it—such as particularly the extent to which the individual can choose his pursuits and consequently freely use his own knowledge and skill.'
hayek | use of knowledge in society | economics

‘Captured by the radio (the voice is the law), as soon as he awakens, the listener walks all day long through the forest of narrativities from journalism, advertising, and television, narrativities that still find time, as he is getting ready for bed, to slip a few final messages under the portals of sleep.'
michel de certeau | practice of everyday life| society

'It was man's submission to the impersonal forces of the market that in the past has made possible the growth of civilisation which without this could not have developed; it is by thus submitting that we are every day helping to build something that is greater than anyone of us can ever comprehend.'
hayek | road to serfdom | cities | emergence | the market | theory | volition |

'Liberty, far from putting man in possession of himself, ceaselessly alienates him from his essence and his world, it fascinates him in the
absolute exteriority of other people and of money, in the irreversible interiority of passion and unfulfilled desire.'
foucault | madness and civilisation | liberty | volition

'Civilisation, in a general way, constitutes a milieu favourable to the development of madness.'
foucault | madness and civilisation | sanity |

‘The whole of history has been taken up with pretence after pretence that the void between the two voids can be filled with something other than play. Yet if nature does all the serious work, what is there left for man?'
burgess | m/f | the game

‘The rules even of particular sports are sui generis. Thus the codes by which soccer is played, and the standards by which excellence is judged, only make sense on the soccer pitch; they are arbitrary and irrelevant to any non-sporting world, and even to other sports. It is this self-referential character that makes the appeal of sport all-consuming to some, and incomprehensible to others: explaining, for instance, why someone can find soccer sublime and golf “a good walk spoiled”. But the analytical importance of the self-referential character of sport goes beyond sporting domains, because sport is representative of other spheres in civil society that share this pure self-referential quality. The most obvious examples are in the arts. Many of the most important art forms – notable examples include opera and ballet – resemble sport in deriving their meaning, and their criteria of excellence, from their own internally generated and highly elaborate codes. They, thus, resemble sport in being “pointless” beyond their coded worlds. That explains why their appeal too is arbitrary: why, for instance, an enthusiast for opera can find the form sublime while viewing ballet as nothing more than a lot of skipping and hopping.'
moran | british regulatory state | arts | the game 

'But in the case of an island, or of a country partly surrounded by barriers, into which new and adapted forms could not freely enter, we should then have places in the economy of nature which would assuredly be better filled up, if some of the original inhabitants were in some manner modified; for, had the area been open to immigration, these same places would have been seized on by intruders. In such case, every slight modification, which in the course of ages chanced to arise, and which in any way favoured the individuals of any of the species, by better adapting to their altered conditions, would tend to be preserved; and natural selection would thus have free scope for the work of improvement.'
darwinon natural selection | immigration | nature |

‘Glaucon's story posed a moral question: could any man resist the temptation of evil if he knew acts could not be witnessed? Glaucon seemed to think the answer was no. But Paul Feldman sides with Socrates and Adam Smith – for he knows the answer, at least 87 percent of the time, is yes.'
levitt & dubner | freakonomics | volition


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