Discipline yourself to boil down your story/new business/philanthropic enterprise to a single page.

one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.

Whenever you can, swap “Let’s think about it” for “Let’s decide on it.” Commit to making decisions. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Decide and move forward.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Decisiveness is definitely one of the most important things to get stuff done imho.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

I was told at work a long time ago that if in doubt, make a decision and my managers would support me on it. The mantra was that this was always better than doing nothing at all. I'm not sure that's always true but it was good for making sure things kept moving.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@adoran2 I actually think it is.

Lamar R Glenn Lamar R Glenn

Yes, exactly.

The manager’s function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work.

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next—and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Life is all about making good memories.

The author has the first word, but the annotator has the last.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren


There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back.

People don’t want to learn how to use features; they want to learn how to do things.

I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

You are unaware of how unaware you are.

“Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.”

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Always try to see the bigger picture. What do people really want? What actual problem are they trying to solve with the feature they’ve asked you to add to your product?

To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.

The lesson here is that crashing is not the worst-possible outcome. Data corruption is generally the worst-possible outcome, and if getting into a deeply unknown state could corrupt user data, it’s definitely better to crash.

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.

Controls at the bottom of the screen are easier to interact with one-handed and present people with choices and ideas on what to do next when they get to the end of a screen.

“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Deepak Jois Deepak Jois

Sherlock Holmes on the Kindle.

Hector Ibarraran Hector Ibarraran

Great quote! And so true...

Azar Amirli Azar Amirli

hi readers! Can someone help me, because I cant read any book. how to enter and read a book. thanks beforehand.

Saying no to commitments that we make beyond our available time is saying yes to performing well the current commitments we have the time for.

Put parameters in input-modify-output order. Instead of ordering parameters randomly or alphabetically, list the parameters that are input-only first, input-and-output second, and output-only third. This ordering implies the sequence of operations happening within the routine-inputting data, changing it, and sending back a result.

Our experience is that, when code is difficult to test, the most likely cause is that our design needs improving. The same structure that makes the code difficult to test now will make it difficult to change in the future.

answer every naughtiness with a smile, every insult with friendliness, every viciousness with kindness

“It isn’t a secret, unless keeping it hurts.”

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

So deep. Kind of like the whole book. And @hellohanky, get an avatar :)

phillipd phillipd

Great quote

all with an expression she probably thinks looks blandly deep but which really looks exactly the way a girl’s face looks when she’s dancing with you but would really rather be dancing with just about anyone else in the room

“The first draft of anything is shit.” —Ernest Hemingway

If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

To this day, I regard sick days as for other people.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Just saw the cover and thought it said "Partying to win". Now that would be something i'd read :)

3. Practice the art of nonfinishing. This is another one that took me a long time to learn. Starting something doesn’t automatically justify finishing it. If you are reading an article that sucks, put it down and don’t pick it back up. If you go to a movie and it’s worse than Matrix III, get the hell out of there before more neurons die. If you’re full after half a plate of ribs, put the damn fork down and don’t order dessert. More is not better, and stopping something is often 10 times better than finishing it. Develop the habit of nonfinishing that which is boring or unproductive if a boss isn’t demanding

He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.

This caveat is important, because, as Upton Sinclair famously observed: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

We can only get so much done before we die, yes? So let's go.

Before you approach anyone to tell them why something can't be done, is late, or is broken, stop and listen to yourself. Talk to the rubber duck on your monitor, or the cat. Does your excuse sound reasonable, or stupid? How's it going to sound to your boss?

Carl Hallberg Carl Hallberg

Must buy a rubber duck. Or actually I have one!

A pinch of observation is worth a mountain of hypothesis

The language of poetry is closely related to slang, in so far as both strive to avoid commonplace and everyday expressions.

If you put yourself in a challenging environment and force yourself to stretch, you will improve. That means you must always be shifting your location slightly so that you are always around people who are better than you.

Matthew Bostock Matthew Bostock


Do a good job for your employer, but do a better job for yourself.

Great vision without great people is irrelevant.

Victor Segell Victor Segell

- Jim Collins, Good to Great

To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents.

The Prince enjoyed unusually good health even for a Prince, and by means of gymnastics and care of his body had developed his strength to such a degree that, in spite of the excess he indulged in when amusing himself, he looked as fresh as a big green shining cucumber.

In space, everyone can hear you scream . . . As long, that is, as you're equipped with a RemLok survival mask.

Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.

“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” —Yogi Berra

every cultural group looks a little odd to those who aren’t a part of it.

I have no feeling of guilt regarding the books I have not read and perhaps will never read; I know that my books have unlimited patience. They will wait for me till the end of my days.

Test-Driven Development is one way, an effective way, to weave testing into the fabric of software development. It’s Kevlar for your code.

Kenrick Chien Kenrick Chien

"TDD is Kevlar for your code"

If you’re not totally sure what your job is, it will always feel overwhelming

You want to be the fire and wish for the wind.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”

William Melody William Melody

- Associate Dean Moon, working with Professor Frances Frei

Sometimes it's about what you choose not to read.

An idea is nothing without delivery.

Don’t be afraid to employ people better than you.

The initial difference between walking and not walking provides the biggest impact towards improving your overall health.

Joe Kutner Joe Kutner

Walking is the single best thing you can do for your health. But most programmers don't do it enough. The average programmer takes a mere 4,300 steps per day. That's less than half of the 10,000 steps that recommended by most health organizations. Our modern world makes it too easy for us not to walk. We take the elevator instead of the stairs, or send an email instead of walking down the hall to talk to someone. Those little missed opportunities add up and have a big impact on your risk of disease and even a premature death. In fact, many studies have shown that people who work in professions that require them to walk more, tend to be healthier.

Flying must be overrated, as pigeons have the ability to do it, but most of them choose to walk.

Jonas Hjalmar Blom Jonas Hjalmar Blom

And, remembering a circus I once went to, bears can ride a bicycle but very few of them does. Cycling must be overrated as well?!

First ethical rule: If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud. Just as being nice to the arrogant is no better than being arrogant toward the nice, being accommodating toward anyone committing a nefarious action condones it.

Mike Thomas Mike Thomas

I'm beginning to like this book.

What we can’t change will take care of itself. What we can is up to us.

We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion.

I’m always amazed how we serve ice cream with cake at a little kid’s birthday party. “Hey, you, what would be really good with this sugar bread? Some frozen sugar milk. Now let’s give it to the four-year-olds and see how they respond.

David Kjelkerud David Kjelkerud

Ping @christoffer

Bernard Sadow: the man all bellmen hate, though they’ve never heard his name. In 1970 he invented the wheeled suitcase, the bane of the bellman’s existence. Before that the bellman was a necessity, a provider of ease and comfort, a useful member of society. After Sadow sold his first prototype to Macy’s in October 1970, he instigated a catastrophic change in the hospitality environment, causing the once noble species to retreat, rethink, and reemerge as a hustler fighting for survival. Sadow might as well have invented the phrase no bellman wants to hear, the phrase that leaves bills unpaid and ruins Christmas: “No thanks, I got it.” Or that surprisingly prevalent and ignorant phrase: “I don’t want to bother him.” Don’t want to bother him? The man has a family. No one is getting bothered here.

George Baier IV George Baier IV

Fun fact. About luggage.

Done is better than perfect.

Martin Hwasser Martin Hwasser

More often than not.

“My coworkers should understand that I need to go to a party tonight—and this is just as legitimate as their kids’ soccer game—because going to a party is the only way I might actually meet someone and start a family so I can have a soccer game to go to one day!”

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Haha, thats the best argument i've heard in a long time

Alex Miles Alex Miles

Hear, hear.

L Ingram L Ingram

This is embarrassing. Is she being sarcastic? I hope the rest of the book isn't like this, as I was planning to read it...

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@ingram why is it embarrassing?

L Ingram L Ingram

I thought the book was written from the perspective of a woman wanting to change things in the tech scene [I need to actually read it to know for sure!]. But if all she wants is to get married and have babies she's not changing any norms or any opinions. I find it embarrassing in the same way as when there were no women on stage at the hy! Berlin tech conference, until there was just one woman talking about her 'monthly (female) cycle' app. Women won't be taken more seriously if they keep conforming to boring stereotypes. I noticed that most of the Likes on this highlight are by men... That isn't a criticism though, just an observation.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@ingram Great perspective. It might be a little out of context so as you say, probably need to read it to get the background. I liked it because it was something I could use myself :)

Martin Hwasser Martin Hwasser

It's about equality in the workspace, not only between men and women, but also between singles and people with families. If you think about it, what this quote really says is that single women are expected to work harder since they don't have to balance kids and work. They may even be afraid to get a family because they risk their career doing so. It might not be obvious out of context, but the point here is that just because you're single doesn't mean you don't have a life to to attend to.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@martinhwasser Thanks for giving some context

L Ingram L Ingram

Thanks for making sense of it! I think it just rattled my inner feminist. I'm more intrigued to read it now...

Gary Zh Gary Zh

@henrik ou ou

Gary Zh Gary Zh

Why so many readers are males?

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@eewwoo Hey Gary, we have as many women as men on Readmill but some books are more popular than others.

Kensington’s hand felt like a bunch of uncooked sausages. Tony didn’t want to grip it too firmly, for fear it would burst.

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” —Jessica Hische

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

As long as it's 'work'. Messing with Facebook probably isn't a great career.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren


David Kjelkerud David Kjelkerud

I should be a cleaner then. Never had a cleaner home than when I was writing my thesis.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Thesis was my best procrastination time ever. I was running for 1 hour every day.

‘My dear, I have never been able to finish a Russian novel. They are so tiresome. I think there are thousands of characters, and in the end it turns out there are only four or five. Isn’t it maddening just when you begin to recognize a man called Alexandre, he’s called Sacha, and then Satchka, and later Sachenka, and suddenly something pretentious like Alexandre Alexandrovitch Bunine, and later simply Alexandre Alexandrovitch. The minute you get your bearings, they throw you off the track again. There’s no end to it; each character is a whole family in himself. Even you will agree it is exhausting, even for you!’

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

True, but that's the beauty of it! There's subtlety in the language where how someone addresses someone else implies things about their relationship.

Damien Ryan Damien Ryan

Wish I read that before I ploughed through Crime and Punishment.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Crime and Punishment is my favourite book. I read a really good translation with some very handily-placed footnotes to point out the subtleties that were lost in translation. It's always worth paying to get a good translation of an old book than one of the free ones I think.

Don’t tweet yet, dears. Just listen.

The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

I think there's a lot of truth to this. I remember from my childhood—and I can see it through my own children—that every day is automatically a chance to start anew, especially after a particularly bad day. They have memories but no concept of what the future will bring.

Connor Zhang Connor Zhang

It's so true. I guess "forcing" us not to fret the future can be a way to stay young.

"I want to know which is worse, to be ravished a hundred times by negro pirates, to have a buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the Bulgarians, to be whipped and hanged at an auto-da-fé, to be dissected, to row in the galleys—in short, to go through all the miseries we have undergone, or to stay here and have nothing to do?"

Marginalia may become a new type of public thinking, with the smartest remarks from other readers becoming part of how we make sense of a book

Andy Wilkinson Andy Wilkinson

@henrik, I think this book might be right up your alley.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

@Zygar Bought, thanks!

In a world filled with distraction, attention is our competitive advantage.

Jonas Hjalmar Blom Jonas Hjalmar Blom

Cool that you like it @lmsanchez !

Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez

Cool that you found it @jonashjalmar! I think I need to read this book :)

Jonas Hjalmar Blom Jonas Hjalmar Blom

@lmsanchez yes I actually recommend it. I usually prefer books with longer chapters and deeper explanations. But, this one is filled with short, concise texts that really makes your head spin and your hands and mind work.

Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez

@jonashjalmar I know what you mean. I usually prefer a book I can really sink into, but sometimes short and sweet is all you really need to get the wheels turning.

The reality is that under capitalist conditions—meaning maximization of short-term gain—you’re ultimately going to destroy the environment: the only question is when.

It was like telling a starving man how to cook a beef-steak, instead of giving him the money to buy one.

But the pages of e-books are themselves likely to become the sites of conversations.

Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez

And the book itself sets the tone for the discussion.

Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

Hello, Readmill! :)

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren


Alex Miles Alex Miles


Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

Great work, guys! You're doing an impressive job on making the vision outlined by @clive5 a reality. You would believe that the book would be a hard medium to innovate further, but you have certainly proven otherwise. Congratulations from one of your avid fans!

Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez

@ketilmo Thank you so much, Ketil!

“Hashtags are for nerds,” Biz replied.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Weird that they were so dismissive of @chrismessina's idea

Pontus Lundgren Pontus Lundgren

@henrik It is a bit nerdy and unintuitive, though. I mean, I see people having trouble using hashtags every day.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

True, but given that twitter also was quite unintuitive I would have guessed they would be more open to those things

Pontus Lundgren Pontus Lundgren

@henrik I guess. The cool thing, I think, is how the users kind of made the decision for them anyway.

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Totally agree @pontus

Chris Messina Chris Messina

I don't really fault Biz. I'm sure they got a lot of whack-ass ideas from users. It was too bad they didn't really want to engage with me on it, and that hashtags ended up taking off anyway. It does beg the question though — what might have happened had they embraced them earlier?

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Interesting, I wonder one thing though, was is possible to search for specific hashtags from the get go? I'm guessing they were at least not clickable?

Chris Messina Chris Messina

Search didn't exist for a long time (Twitter acquired Summize to get search support, and Summize supported hashtags). Clickable hashtags also came much later, and after the Summize acquisition. Twitter did have a feature called "Track", however, which pushed messages to you that contained keywords which you were tracking, but didn't support spaces — hence the need for concatenated tags — i.e. hashtags! https://blog.twitter.com/2007/tracking-twitter

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

This is awesome, thanks @chrismessina

Pontus Lundgren Pontus Lundgren

This is so cool, thank you @chrismessina!

Pontus Lundgren Pontus Lundgren

Also, this just shows how fucking awesome Readmill is.

Manik Rathee Manik Rathee

@chrismessina so awesome to have your input on this. I think your comment: 'what might have happened had they embraced them earlier?' is the biggest question any startup/product team faces. What is valuable and what is cruft? And how do you stop yourself from second guessing every decision about that? Looking forward to wrapping up this book myself. This discussion lit a fire.

Chris Messina Chris Messina

Focus is certainly important; timing is too. If anything, Twitter is a product of its time and context. It wouldn't have made sense if it'd launched in 2000, and wouldn't make sense if it launched in 2014. Slowly many of the most successful startups in recent years have just been consumerizing Unix commands — making the esoteric available at a massive scale. Once we move beyond screens into wearables or environmental technology, there'll be a whole different set of innovations in user interfaces and experiences to consider — and I'm guessing the folks creating those conventions will probably be just as confused as the folks who grew up building apps during the Web 2.0 period as to what would really work, and what would stick — just like the folks at Twitter (who, you learn in this book, kept vacillating between two different visions of what Twitter really was about). Anyway, it's also possible that if Twitter had embraced the hashtag earlier, they might have killed it too — making it more complicated or, for example, by adding spaces or supporting other symbols (in addition to the $ ticker). But, who knows. :)

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

"Slowly many of the most successful startups in recent years have just been consumerizing Unix commands" <-- this is so true!

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

Consumerisation of UNIX commands—Jeff Atwood highlighted this about seven years ago at http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/04/when-in-doubt-make-it-public.html Makes me wish I knew more about UNIX!

I urge each and every one of you to seek out projects that leave the world a better place than you found it. We used to design ways to get to the moon; now we design ways to never have to get out of bed. You have the power to change that.

For a small one, "Oh!" is a very expressive word.

Surround yourself with people who are going to challenge you.

When people know how their work makes a difference, they feel energized to contribute more.

The telephote! Here is another of the great triumphs of science in our time. The transmission of speech is an old story; the transmission of images by means of sensitive mirrors connected by wires is a thing but of yesterday.

Reza Prabowo Reza Prabowo

So Jules Verne also has predicted videoconference. Skype owes him a lot then :))

Emily Phillips Emily Phillips

Another great one, albeit from a different book, written in 1880: https://readmill.com/emilyphillips/reads/wired-love-slash-a-romance-of-dots-and-dashes/highlights/cxqyfa

Henrik Berggren Henrik Berggren

Haha, very cool!

She was a stout woman with corsets as stiff as barrel hoops, marcelled hair the color of brass candlesticks, a mouth shaped by lipstick beyond its own stingy outlines.

Try not to use words like “surprisingly,” “predictably” and “of course,” which put a value on a fact before the reader encounters the fact. Trust your material.

Arrange pre-meetings to avoid the “big reveal.”

Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities.

Jonas Hjalmar Blom Jonas Hjalmar Blom

I remember reading this book earlier this year. It struck me that anything and everything can be considered as an art, if the noblest hands decides to touch it and master it.

Lisa Sanchez Lisa Sanchez

Beautiful! And so very true.

I’ve seen professionals nearly come to blows over which tool is “best” for storage and recall: Apps like Evernote? Plain-text documents? Complex databases like Devonthink? Saving your notes in a Gmail account and querying it? Each person has gravitated to a tool that they understand well and that fits their cognitive style.

Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

Sending-e-mail-to-myself-for-future-reference sounds very familiar to me. I'm trying to get to grips with tools like Evernote and Workflowy, but I always end up e-mailing myself.

Andy Wilkinson Andy Wilkinson

What do you find your biggest issue is with the likes of Evernote? That it doesn't gel with your current habits, or you forget to look there later? Or it just becomes a dump?

Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

I think some of the problem is that it's just another tool I have to launch to use, which creates the first barrier. And then there is the categorizing and sorting of the notes, mentally processing where they belong, which can of course be a nice way of remembering more. But most of the time, I just want to do my note taking and forget about it, because I'm in the middle of something. And the major issue: Even if I use a lot of effort on organizing things neatly, I will still have a hard time locating specific notes when I need them. With a bit of luck, tomorrow's note taking systems will do the categorization for me automatically, and will know what I need to recall when.

Andy Wilkinson Andy Wilkinson

That all **strongly** resonates with me. You need to be able to capture a thought *at the point* it occurs to you with a minimum of friction, yeah? If you want to take notes on an ebook or a webpage, the gold standard is Readmill—highlight, chuck in a few notes, and get back to reading. Flow is sacrosanct. And when you're getting stuff out again, it'd be much better to just *have* that data inside of whatever app you're currently using, right? A writing app that has access to all of your research, for example. App-switching for retrieval is slow and cumbersome. Imagine you start typing a quote in a blog post, and it autocompletes with the corresponding highlight from your knowledge pool. The big point which hit home with me though was how organising stuff takes way too much effort. I assume the main issue is that Evernote has such an unstructured data model that it's impossible to automatically sort stuff for you. There's a ton of metadata that is *available* but untapped. It'd not be difficult (in fact, my team and I are working on EXACTLY this), for example, to create a tool that pulls your Readmill highlights out and puts them alongside articles saved from the web—traversable by author, topic, etc. (And all automatically categorised.) Once you have that kind of structured data set in place, it makes something like "Google Now for your knowledge" much simpler. On a very basic level, you could have a browser extension that, whilst reading an article by say, Kevin Kelly, proactively resurfaces quotes from his book or from elsewhere on the web. It's that kind of future that I dream of.

Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

Interesting thoughts, Andy! For starters, I've signed up for your tool, which looks really promising. Looking forward to give it a go. :)

Andy Wilkinson Andy Wilkinson

Oh, thanks! It's pretty rudimentary at present—the big release (which adds Readmill integration) is coming early next year. :) I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your marginalia on this book! ;)

The fun in a game isn’t in having mastered it. It’s in the process of mastery—of figuring out the invisible dynamics behind how the thing works, revealing its secrets.

Ketil Moland Olsen Ketil Moland Olsen

The nineties were the golden era of adventure games, and I played a countless number of them. However, These games were hard, so my buddies and I only completed a handful of them. It was indeed the process that entertained us, not the crossing of the finish line.

How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!

“Nothing,” wrote Tolstoy, “can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

Our new tools are powerful, but only if we’re taught to use them. The lucky part is that students are in an environment—school—where society has a shot at instilling its intellectual values, skills, and culture. It’s up to us to make sure students are taught to use these new tools, instead of being used by them.

I want to repay and I won’t know how, because you are beyond the reach of ordinary presents.

Nicholas Van Exan Nicholas Van Exan

Lovely turn of phrase. I feel this way about a great many people in my life, most especially my dad around Christmas.

My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed reading. Preferably while eating a snack.

May Assem May Assem

I agree wholeheartedly.

Xavier Roy Xavier Roy

I would add listening to music also with this...

"Do you care for nuts?" "Like a squirrel."

Emily Phillips Emily Phillips

Me too!

Examples of Absence Blindness are everywhere. Here’s a common example: great management is boring—and often unrewarding. The hallmark of an effective manager is anticipating likely issues and resolving them in advance, before they become an issue. Some of the best managers in the world look like they’re not doing much, but everything gets done on time and under budget.

Bookkeeping is an excellent word. Its present meaning is fully justified. In the brightest of our mornings, when writing was invented, the first human to scratch a readable sign on a piece of clay was not a poet but an accountant.

That's the point: even experts make errors. So we must design our machines on the assumption that people will make errors.

you don’t hire Picasso and then tell him how to paint.

If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

First thing I thought of was the London riots and then Nelson Mandela’s establishment of the armed wing of the ANC. As much as I am peace-loving, I don’t think just sticking with ‘do unto others’ always works when things need to change.

Emily Phillips Emily Phillips

This is Jane Eyre speaking as a troubled child - it will be interesting to keep an eye on how her perception of violence that is justified changes throughout the book, if it does at all! Her statement here is in direct conflict with another more "Christian" character - pious Helen, who would rather turn the other cheek. This reminds me of two instances in childhood: first, being blown away by a classmate of mine in grammar school who told me that her father instructed her to hit someone back if they hit her. I was always told "you don't hit people" and was really shocked that she had been told by her parents otherwise. I still tend to side with the no-hitting rule - you can learn to defend yourself without resorting to violence. I dealt with this question as well while attending Quaker school. While I admire the Quaker tenet of Peace, I still struggle with how this ideal should play out in crises (personal or otherwise) where soft power isn't an option, or at least not an efficient and/or effective option.

Andrew Doran Andrew Doran

This book was a really interesting read for me which deals with some of these themes: https://readmill.com/adoran2/reads/what-it-is-like-to-go-to-war The author talks about how we raise our kids not to hit, to be kind etc then send some of them to the military and ask them to hit and kill and then finally ask them not to do it again when they come back. Without the proper emotional support this is understandably a problem. My dad always used to say to me that I should hit the other kid back if he hit me. In the time and place he grew up, that’s what you did. In the book above he talks about there being a time for violence, e.g. if you meet the serial killer in a dark alley. Interesting when you think about what you teach your kids—it isn’t just black and white.

Caroline Niziol Caroline Niziol

I love Jane as a character. I remember feeling so angry for her at the injustices she suffered.