Today's real borders are not between nations, but between powerful and powerless, free and fettered, privileged and humiliated. Today, no walls can separate humanitarian or human rights crises in one part of the world from national security crises in another.
Kofi Annan, Nobel lecture, Oslo, Norway, (10 December 2001)
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive. [...] And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment — the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution — not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants" — but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.
John F. Kennedy, in an Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association. (27 April 1961)
Crisis is the mother of history. Beginning with Herodotus the urge to write history has been bound up with the need to explain the seemingly inexplicable reversals of fortune suffered by nations and empires. The best histories satisfy that need while still capturing the openness and unpredictability of human action, though the best histories are not always the most memorable. Historians who offer “multicausal explanations”—and use phrases like that—do not last, while those who discover the hidden wellspring of absolutely everything are imitated and attacked but never forgotten.
Mark Lilla, "Mr. Casaubon in America", The New York Review of Books (June 28, 2007)
Most of us seldom take the trouble to think. It is a troublesome and fatiguing process and often leads to uncomfortable conclusions. But crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.
Jawaharlal NehruThe Unity of India : Collected Writings, 1937-1940, (1942), p. 94
Crisis in its simplest terms is defined as an upset in a steady state... the habitual problem-solving activities are not adequate and do not rapidly lead to the previously achieved balance state
Lydia Rapoport, "The state of crisis: Some theoretical considerations." The Social Service Review (1962): 211-217.
Now it is time to encourage the BIS and other regulatory bodies to support studies on stress-test and concentration methodologies. Planning for crises is more important than VAR analysis.
These are the visionary, mystical moments, when a man 'completes his partial mind'. His everyday conscious self is only a small part of the mind, like the final crescent of the moon. In moments of crisis, the full moon suddenly appears.
Why is it so hard to keep the mind concentrated, and to live up to our good resolutions? The problem is the basically mechanical nature of our left-brain consciousness. We have a kind of robot servant who does things for us: we earn to type or drive a car, painfully and consciously, then our robot takes over, and does it far more quickly and efficiently. Because man is the most complex creature on Earth, he is forced to rely on his robot far more than other animals. The result is that, whenever he gets tired, the robot takes over. For the modern city dweller, most of his everyday living is done by the robot. This is why it takes an emergency to concentrate the mind 'wonderfully', and why we forget so quickly.