Some thoughts on conformity

 

When you do something against a rigid system, the product loses its authenticity. Rather one has to act as though the system doesn’t exist at all. That’s the only way music continues to be viable in the longer term.

Alfred Schnittke, “Between Hope and Despair” in The Voice of Music by Anders Beyer

 

“They believe it,” the Constable said, “because they have been indoctrinated to believe it.”

“Yes. Some of them never challenge it—they grow up to be small-minded people, who can tell you what they believe but not why they believe it. Others become disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the society and rebel—as did Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw.”

“Which path do you intend to take, Nell?” said the Constable, sounding very interested. “Conformity or rebellion?”

“Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded—they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.”

Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

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