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“Cultures that may seem as durable as stone can break like glass, leaving all the things that held them together unattended. I believe that the craftsman, the artist, the cook, and the silversmith are peacemakers. They instill grace; they lull the world to calm.”

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source: “Remembering Anthony Shadid,” by Philip Bennett, Frontline website, February 17, 2012

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medium: Eulogy

“He pointed to a mop leaning against his room wall. Like most mops in this country, it can be wrung by a sliding mechanism on the handle. He thinks that’s hysterical—absurd. In Zimbabwe everyone wrings mops with their hands.”

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source: “Doors Swinging Open,” New York Times, September 26, 2011.

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medium: Op-Ed

“The list doesn’t destroy culture; it creates it. Wherever you look in cultural history, you will find lists. In fact, there is a dizzying array: lists of saints, armies and medicinal plants, or of treasures and book titles. Think of the nature collections of the 16th century. My novels, by the way, are full of lists.”

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source: “Interview with Umberto Eco,” SPIEGEL, by Susanne Beyer and Lothar Gorris, November 11, 2009.

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medium: interview

via: Kevin Lippert

“If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in real trouble.”

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source: “Bill Gates: ‘If you don’t like geeks, you’re in trouble,'” by Mary Riddell, Telegraph, October 20, 2010.

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medium: newspaper interview

“Who owns the words? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do—all of us—though not all of us know it yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted.”

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source: Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010), 209.

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medium: nonfiction

notes: This is a rephrasing of remarks written by the cyberpunk author William Gibson in “God's Little Toys: Confessions of a Cut and Paste Artist,” Wired, Issue 13.07, July 2005. Gibson's words: “‘Who owns the words?’ asked a disembodied but very persistent voice throughout much of Burroughs’ work. Who does own them now? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do. All of us. Though not all of us know it - yet.”

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