The life that you live in order to photograph it is already, at the outset, a commemoration of itself.

Italo Calvino

The difficult should become habitual, the habitual, easy, the easy, beautiful.

S. M. Volonski quoted in Stanislavski’s Building a Character

I think one of the true ways I’ve gotten smarter is that I’ve realized that there are ways other people are a lot smarter than me. My biggest asset as a writer is that I’m pretty much like everybody else. The parts of me that used to think I was different or smarter or whatever almost made me die.

A revealing and bittersweet conversation with David Foster Wallace, who took his life on September 12, 2008. (via explore-blog)

Definitely applies to more than just writing.

I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.

Richard P. Feynman

In 1988, when Life asked Jaynes and several other thinkers to comment on the meaning of life, he responded that he had no answer. “Words have meaning, not life or persons or the universe itself,” he said. “Our search for certainty rests in our attempts at understanding the history of all individual selves and all civilizations. Beyond that, there is only awe.”