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Qompendium Trivial

Too real for the Clarendon filter

Ai Weiwei Joins Call for President Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden


A world in which nobody stands up for whistle-blowers and activists is a world where nobody takes risks to defend the public interest or expose government abuses, ... people need to stand together to defend the kind of society they want to live in.

Edward Snowden


Thursday, 11.02.2016

Cogito ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition by René Descartes usually translated into English as "I think, therefore I am". The phrase originally appeared in French as je pense, donc je suis in his Discourse on the Method, so as to reach a wider audience than Latin would have allowed. It appeared in Latin in his later Principles of Philosophy. As Descartes explained, "[W]e cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt … ." A fuller form, dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum ("I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”)[b], aptly captures Descartes’ intent.
This proposition became a fundamental element of Western philosophy, as it purported to form a secure foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt. While other knowledge could be a figment of imagination, deception, or mistake, Descartes asserted that the very act of doubting one's own existence served—at minimum—as proof of the reality of one's own mind; there must be a thinking entity—in this case the self—for there to be a thought.

Viktor Frankl


Everything you have in life can be taken from you except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

This is what determines the quality of the life we've lived – not whether we've been rich or poor, famous or unknown, healthy or suffering. What determines our quality of life is how we relate to these realities, what kind of meaning we assign them, what kind of attitude we cling to about them, what state of mind we allow them to trigger.


Thursday, 17.09.2015

We are all global citizens of a global community. Our identity transcends geography or political borders and that the planetary human community is interdependent and whole; humankind is essentially one.

A person who is outside their home country because they suffer or fear persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; or because they are a member of a persecuted social category of persons; or because they are fleeing a war is called a refugee.

A refugee has thus lost her or his ability to speak as a ‘We’, and is ultimately subjected to a decision that the polity, and the polity alone, will take – including a decision of non-admission. We as world citizens should care for a political future and struggle for that reality.

We donate 7 Euros of each purchase to MOAS Migrant Offshore Aid Station and to Google Donate One Today Refugeerelief.

Support the cause.

Buy the shirt in our online store: Qompendium Work Shop



Human Freedom Index


The Human Freedom Index presents the state of human freedom in the world based on a broad measure that encompasses personal, civil, and economic freedom. Human freedom is a social concept that recognizes the dignity of individuals and is defined here as negative liberty or the absence of coercive constraint. Because freedom is inherently valuable and plays a role in human progress, it is worth measuring carefully. The Human Freedom Index is a resource that can help to more objectively observe relationships between freedom and other social and economic phenomena, as well as the ways in which the various dimensions of freedom interact with one another.

The report is co-published by the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Get it here.


Capitalism vs Socialism: The 1984 Leonard Peikoff Debate


Leonard Peikoff is an intellectual giant. In roughly 25 minutes he unapologetically outlines in entirety the philosophical case for a laissez-faire capitalist society and swats away the socialist arguments with an ease indicative of a man who (to paraphrase Philosophy: Who Needs It?) has achieved the fullest understanding of his beliefs, the fullest confidence in his knowledge and his ability to express them, and the fullest certainty of the moral rightness of both.

And if you want to know why free market capitalism today is being assaulted on all fronts, it’s because its supposed advocates cannot and will not claim that same understanding, confidence, and moral authority.

Libertarians who criticize him because of a certain interview with Bill O’Reily (which will warrant another post) that he participated in would do well to watch this debate and reevaluate their position on a man who deserves nothing but to be held in the highest regard as a defender of freedom and a champion for human life. 

He’s a man who can be a education to us all — so watch the debate if you want.

Debate on Youtube here.
And follow this forum if you like what you see and read: howardlaughed.com




Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.


The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.



Claude Frédéric Bastiat, 30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850, was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost, and for penning the influential Parable of the Broken Window. His ideas have gone on to provide a foundational basis for libertarian and the Austrian schools of thought.


Friedrich Nietzsche


Philosophically, Nietzsche is a mystic and an irrationalist. His metaphysics consists of a somewhat “Byronic” and mystically “malevolent” universe; his epistemology subordinates reason to “will,” or feeling or instinct or blood or innate virtues of character.

Introduction to the Fountainhead
The Objectivist, March 1968, 6.


Byronic Hero


The Byronic hero is a variant of the Romantic hero as a type of character, named after the English Romantic poet Lord Byron.

Both Byron's life and writings have been considered in different ways to exemplify the type. The Byronic hero first appears in Byron's semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812–1818), and was described by the historian and critic Lord Macaulay as "a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection".


In my Beginning is my End.


Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and one of the twentieth century's major poets. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri to an old Yankee family. However he emigrated to England in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915), which is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement. It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930) and Four Quartets (1945).

He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry.



Every Butoh performance itself is an ultimate expression... If Butoh dancers were content with less than the ultimate, they would not be actually dancing Butoh, for real Butoh, like real life itself, cannot be given rankings. — Iwana Masaki

Butoh is the collective name for a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivations for dance, performance, or movement inspired by Ankoku-Butoh (Dance of Utter Darkness) movement. It typically involves playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments, and is traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion, with or without an audience. There is no set style, and it may be purely conceptual with no movement at all. Its origins have been attributed to Japanese dance legends Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno.

Jung tires me. He learned everything, he suspected it all, brought attention to the transpersonal, to the collective unconscious, to the ‘we’, but he remained locked in his elephantine ego.


Alejandro Jodorowsky, born 17 February 1929, is a Chilean-French filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult cinema enthusiasts" for his work which "is filled with violently surreal images and a hybrid blend of mysticism and religious provocation."

Read more here.


I am looking forward enormously to getting back to the sea again, where the overstimulated psyche can recover in the presence of that infinite peace and spaciousness.


Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, literature, and related fields.

The central concept of analytical psychology is individuation – the psychological process of integrating the opposites, including the conscious with the unconscious, while still maintaining their relative autonomy. Jung considered individuation to be the central process of human development.


Why I am not a Christian

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, born in 1872, Trellech, United Kingdom. The mathemetician, philosopher, logician and essayist engages in a brief yet compelling discussion questioning the practical necessity for religion and theist dogma.

Russell described himself as an agnostic, "speaking popularly" and "in regard to the Christian God", and also "speaking to a purely philosophical audience". For most of his adult life Russell maintained that religion is little more than superstition and, despite any positive effects that religion might have, it is largely harmful to people.

He believed that religion and the religious outlook (he considered Communism, Capitalism, Secular Humanism, Socialism, and other systematic ideologies to be forms of religion) serve to impede knowledge and foster fear and dependency, and are responsible for much of the war, oppression, and misery that have beset the world.


Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.


Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. He was born in Monmouthshire, into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in Britain.


I offer a modest solution: Find the cracks in the wall. There are a very few lunatic entrepreneurs who will understand that culture and design are not about fatter wallets, but about creating a future. They will understand that wealth is means, not an end. Under other circumstances they may have turned out to be like you, creative lunatics.


Tibor Kalman was an American graphic designer known for his work as editor-in-chief of Colors magazine, an off-shoot of fashion label United Colors of Benetton. He was also a founder of design firm M&Co and worked as a creative director for Interview Magazine and art director for Art Forum. Until his death in 1999, Kalman was married to illustator and author Maira Kalman. 

Kahlil Gibran, Work, Henry Miller, Atlas Shrugged


Money and How It Gets That Way
Wednesday, 01.08.2012

All work is empty save when there is love; work is love made visible. These are the words of renowned author and poet Kahlil Gibran. Ever since we were born, we have been made to attain a distant calling, and what can be more edifying to our natural inborn gift when we are awaken to the realization that it’s a dream made real on Earth. We work because it’s our livelihood, our sustenance – and when it manifests itself as a passion, it doesn’t even feel like work.

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Alain de Botton


I agree with people who say I'm not a "real" philosopher. I only ever call myself a writer and leave the sacred term to academics.

Find more intellectual tidbits on his Twitteria.


Art that can not shape society and therefore also can not penetrate the heart questions of society, [and] in the end influence the question of capital, is no art.

Appeal for an Alternative, Social Sculpture


Appeal for an Alternative
Friday, 20.04.2012

Before considering the question WHAT CAN WE DO, we have to look into the question HOW MUST WE THINK?  

Beuy’s manifesto was first published in the newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau in December 1978 to later become the fundamental document of Germany’s alternative green party. Though expressing a utopian view which calls for an integrated social sculpture and collective human consciousness, it echoes our current global news climate. From the arms rice disguised under the façade of disarmament talks to the plundering of lifelines in our ecological system, strikes and lockouts and soaring unemployment rates worldwide, not much has changed over the past thirty years. Still there is the “monetary crisis”, the “crisis of democracy”, the “education crisis”, the “energy crisis”, the “crisis of legitimacy of the state”, the list goes on. But what then with the crisis of consciousness and meaning? 

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Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.


Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."


Nietzsche on Stupidity


We are feeling the consequences of the doctrine, preached lately from all the housetops, that the state is the highest end of man and there is no higher duty than to serve it: I regard this not a relapse into paganism, but into stupidity. A man who thinks state-service to be his highest duty, very possibly knows no higher one; yet there are both men and duties in a region beyond, — and one of these duties, that seems to me at least of higher value than state-service, is to destroy stupidity in all its forms — and this particular stupidity among them.

Excerpt from Schopenhauer as Educator


There are five ways in which men pass through life: as gentlemen, warriors, farmers, artisans and merchants.


Miyamoto Musashi, was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin.

“When two flashing swords meet there is no place to escape, move on coolly, like a lotus flower blooming in the midst of a roaring fire and forcefully pierce the Heavens!”


By Tekisui, the abbot of Tenruji, Yamaoka Tesshu


Thursday, 01.12.2011

Upon meditating on an old koan from Tekisui, the abbot of Tenruji, Yamaoka Tesshu, one of the last great swordsman of Japan was finally able to defeat his teacher Asair Gimei in a decisive match.

Word mazes known as koans were created to release the mind from rational thoughts and allow intuition to find truth in the mystery. A Zen garden was also considered a visual koan just as nature which asks a person walking in its midst questions without answers. Each approach was an invitation to meditation and abstraction where one is left to find the key to their own quintessence. 


Wednesday, 30.11.2011

Throughout epic literature, fictional films and mythology, swords – especially those with names – were the marks of great heroes. King Arthur’s Excalibur; the image of Star Wars’ Darth Vader crossing saber beams with Luke Skywalker; Beowulf’s Hrunting; Ulysses’ Aor in the Iliad; Charlemagne’s Flamberge (“The Flame Cutter”); Japanese legend, Ama No Murakumo Tsurugi (“Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven”); and Siegried’s Nothung from the Niebulungenlied – in each instance, the swords possess a form of mystical or superstitious undertow. The coltello d’amore is a real life example of this custom. In certain areas of central and southern Italy there was a widespread tradition of giving knives as tokens of engagement or marriage gifts. The blades were inscribed with hearts, doves, flowering branches or the initials of the lovers. It was also embellished with the “occhi di dado” a true amulet meant to ward off the evil eye.

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In swordsmanship, always train and discipline yourself, But don’t show it – hide it, be modest about it.


Yagyū Sekishūsai Taira-no-Munetoshi was a samurai in Japan’s Sengoku period famous for mastering the Shinkage-ryū school of combat, and introducing it to the Tokugawa clan.

Einstein and Freud on War


In 1932 Albert Einstein was contacted by the League of Nations, an international organisation upon which the United Nations is currently predicated. Asked to select an interlocutor to converse with about a critical problem or question, he chose to ask the following: “Is there any way of delivering humankind from the menace of war?” Einstein selected Sigmund Freud and the correspondence was published under the title On War.

Read full article here.

Tranquilize your mind every morning, and imagine the moment when you may be torn and mangled by arrows, guns, lances, and swords, swept away by great waves, thrown into fire, struck down by thunderbolts, shaken by earthquakes, falling from a precipice, dying of a disease, or dead from an unexpected accident; die every morning in your mind, and then you will not fear death.


From the he Book of the Samurai, Analects of Nabeshima or Hagakure Analects.


How to Pronounce Pseudo

The prefix pseudo- (from Greek ψευδής "lying, false") is used to mark something as false, fraudulent, or pretending to be something it is not.

Heaven is a fairy tale.


I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail, Hawking told the Guardian's Ian Sample. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.


Read entire article on The Guardian.


Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival.


The philosopy of Ayn Rand
More Infos on Ayn Rand

If you don’t paint you can’t be a painter; if you don’t write you can’t be a writer; if you don’t film something you’re not a filmmaker.


The filmmaker says that transcendent moments of clarity and inspiration are what drives his art. Here, he describes a particularly inspiring moment from the filming of his second film "Before Night Falls."

Watch Julian Schnabel on BigThink.


Julian Schnabel on Creativity
Friday, 08.04.2011

If you don’t paint you can’t be a painter; if you don’t write you can’t be a writer; if you don’t film something you’re not a filmmaker.

The filmmaker says that transcendent moments of clarity and inspiration are what drives his art. Here, he describes a particularly inspiring moment from the filming of his second film "Before Night Falls."

Watch Julian Schnabel on BigThink.

The unexamined life is not worth living.


Socrates, Greek Athenian philosopher


Quote: Socrates
Wednesday, 23.03.2011

Socrates, 469 BC–399 BC, was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Many would claim that Plato's dialogues are the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity.


Greed is Good.


Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.

Click here to watch speech.


Greed is Good
Monday, 21.02.2011

Gordon Gekko is the main antagonist of the 1987 film Wall Street and the antihero of the 2010 film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, both by director Oliver Stone. Gekko, a fictional character, was portrayed by actor Michael Douglas, whose performance in the first film won him an Oscar for Best Actor.

More on Wikipedia.
Watch the speech here.

Hollywood hates Capitalism?


Oliver Stone's uber-villain Gordon Gekko is back in the new film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which features greedy capitalists behaving badly. It might remind you of Avatar, Mission Impossible 2 or roughly a zillion other films in which capitalists destroy the environment, concoct killer viruses, harvest organs, and cover up murder in order to feed their lust of profit. Even when capitalism isn't the primary target, the representatives of commerce are often flat-out repulsive (think Jabba the Hutt).

Watch what Reason.tv has to say here.

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