5 Whys

The vehicle will not start. (the problem)

  1. Why? – The battery is dead. (first why)
  2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
  3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
  4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (fourth why)
  5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)


Politics and the English Language

Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.


Kubrick on Life

Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel its worth living?

Kubrick: Yes, for those who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces a man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre (a keen enjoyment of living), their idealism – and their assumption of immortality.

As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s élan (enthusiastic and assured vigour and liveliness).

Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining.

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfilment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

— Stanley Kubrick in interview for Playboy, Stanley Kubrick Interviews, University Press of Mississippi, 2001, p.73
trouvé chez Ellga

On how to solve problems

Well now that I’m doing ASCII stuff..

                    YES   =============================   NO
             +-----------|| Does the Darn Thing work? ||-----------+
             |            =============================            |
             V                                                     V
        +----------+     +---------+                          +---------+
        |   Don't  |  NO |   Does  |       +-------+     YES  | Did you |
        |   mess   | +---|  anyone |<------|  YOU  |<---------|   mess  |
        | with it! | |   |  know?  |       | MORON |          | with it |
        +----------+ |   +---------+       +-------+          +---------+
             |       V        | YES                                |  NO
             |    +------+    +-----------+                        |
             |    | HIDE |                V                        V
             |    |  IT  |            +--------+             +-----------+
             |    +------+            |  YOU   |        YES  | WILL THEY |
             |       |       +------->|  POOR  |<------------| CATCH YOU?|
             |       |       |        |BASTARD!|             +-----------+
             |       |       |        |________|                   |  NO
             |       |       |             |                       |
             |       |       |             V                       V
             |       |       |      +---------------+        +-----------+
             |       |       |  NO  | CAN YOU BLAME |        |DESTROY THE|
             |       |       +------| SOMEONE ELSE? |        |  EVIDENCE |
             |       |              +---------------+        +-----------+
             |       |                     |  YES                  |
             |       |                     v                       |
             |       |      ============================           |
             |       +---->||           N O            ||<---------+
             +------------>||      P R O B L E M       ||

On Quoting Shakespeare

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare « It’s Greek to me », you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool’s paradise – why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then – to give the devil his due – if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then – by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness’ sake! what the dickens! but me no buts – it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

Bernard Levin