Abbott on Humane Scholarship

You should aspire to something better than the mere political use of the past or of the Other. Human scholarship aims to understand another world on its own terms and by that understanding to improve its own world. …We should see the subject of our research as a particular example of its own way of being human — good or bad, sightly or unsightly, politically correct or devastatingly evil.

Andrew Abbott, Digital Paper: A Manual for Research and Writing with Library and Internet Materials

Melville on laughter

A good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way.

—Herman Melville, Moby Dick, “Breakfast”