Quote This: Kurt Vonnegut on what’s wrong with the world


I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world. Everybody asks during and after our wars, and the continuing terrorist attacks all over the globe, “What’s gone wrong?” What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.

– Kurt Vonnegut, If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Advice to the Young

In my inbox via brainpickings.org, what else?

First time here? Welcome. I just broadcast here; if you want to interact, head over to Nothing By The Book. Recent posts on NBTB:

I’m raising a blackmailer. Oops

WILD THING: 7 ways to “attachment parent” the older child

I become a Timelord, and tell you why when you say “I”m too busy,” I think you’re just handing me a lame excuse

How my four-year-old receptionist defies the uterus-less CEO… and why that’s going to change the world