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Today's Stichomancy for B. F. Skinner

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Economist by Xenophon:

ruin of the bodies of all concerned in them, workers and overseers alike, who are forced to remain in sitting postures and to hug the loom, or else to crouch whole days confronting a furnace. Hand in hand with physical enervation follows apace enfeeblement of soul: while the demand which these base mechanic arts makes on the time of those employed in them leaves them no leisure to devote to the claims of friendship and the state. How can such folk be other than sorry friends and ill defenders of the fatherland? So much so that in some states, especially those reputed to be warlike, no citizen[1] is allowed to exercise any mechanical craft at all.

[1] "In the strict sense," e.g. the Spartiates in Sparta. See "Pol.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:

consent to pass a good deal of my time between four walls in a house lugubriously known as the Late Miss McGregor's Cottage. And now admire the finger of predestination. There was a schoolboy in the Late Miss McGregor's Cottage, home from the holidays, and much in want of 'something craggy to break his mind upon.' He had no thought of literature; it was the art of Raphael that received his fleeting suffrages; and with the aid of pen and ink and a shilling box of water colours, he had soon turned one of the rooms into a picture gallery. My more immediate duty towards the gallery was to be showman; but I would sometimes unbend a little, join the

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

fear-haunted eyes toward the Mahar queen, slowly she rose to her feet, and then as though dragged by some unseen power she moved as one in a trance straight toward the reptile, her glassy eyes fixed upon those of her captor. To the water's edge she came, nor did she even pause, but stepped into the shallows beside the little island. On she moved toward the Mahar, who now slowly retreated as though leading her victim on. The water rose to the girl's knees, and still she advanced, chained by that clammy eye. Now the water was at her waist; now her armpits. Her fellows upon the island looked on in horror,


At the Earth's Core