Quotations of Wisdom

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Peter Neumann

Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue. [Q357]

Dante Alighieri

The more perfect a thing is, the more susceptible to good and bad treatment it is. [Q1515]

Plato

The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. [Q897]

Jonas Salk

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors. [Q487]

Hippocrates

Healing in a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. [Q1027]

Thomas Paine

My mind is my own church. [Q270]

Lenny Bruce

The "what should be" never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no "what should be," there is only what is. [Q335]

Lucretius

What is food to one man is bitter poison to others. [Q1568]

Anaxagoras

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock. [Q794]

Carl Sagan

Personally, I would be delighted if there were a life after death, especially if it permitted me to continue to learn about this world and others, if it gave me a chance to discover how history turns out. [Q224]

Galileo Galilei

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment. [Q939]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer. [Q1079]

Freeman Dyson

There is no such thing as a unique scientific vision, any more than there is a unique poetic vision. Science is a mosaic of partial and conflicting visions. But there is one common element in these visions. The common element is rebellion against the restrictions imposed by the locally prevailing culture, Western or Eastern as the case may be. It is no more Western than it is Arab or Indian or Japanese or Chinese. Arabs and Indians and Japanese and Chinese had a big share in the development of modern science. And two thousand years earlier, the beginnings of science were as much Babylonian and Egyptian as Greek. One of the central facts about science is that it pays no attention to East and West and North and South and black and yellow and white. It belongs to everybody who is willing to make the effort to learn it. [Q1912]

Seneca the Younger

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. [Q1857]

Aristotle

Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. [Q842]

Noam Chomsky

One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free ... An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. — Media Control - The Spectacular Achievement of Propaganda [Q182]

Virgil

Veiling truth in mystery. [Q1591]

Thomas Paine

We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities. [Q278]

Oscar Romero

Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty. [Q574]

Václav Havel

They are periods when there is a tendency to quote, to imitate, and to amplify, rather than to state with authority or integrate. New meaning is gradually born from the encounter, or the intersection, of many different elements. [Q1801]

Virgil

If ye despise the human race, and mortal arms, yet remember that there is a God who is mindful of right and wrong. [Q1581]

David Hume

The rules of morality are not the conclusion of our reason. [Q1362]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. [Q323]

Óscar Romero

I have often been threatened with death. If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. If the threats come to be fulfilled, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality. [Q1073]

Krista Tippett

Moses, Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi; These kind of people are geniuses of the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of objective knowledge. — TED - Reconnecting with Compassion - Paraphrasing Albert Einstein. [Q1399]

Scott Nesler

In the world of discourse objectivity is little more than subjective consensus. [Q655]

Pythagoras

Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself. [Q924]

Ward Cunningham

The code might be organized in a hierarchy, but the solution has more dimensions than will fit in a hierarchy. So when you discover a solution in a dimension that crosses across the hierarchy, you just have to go where the solution takes you and put the solution in. [Q1017]

Murray Gell-Mann

Of course the word chaos is used in rather a vague sense by a lot of writers, but in physics it means a particular phenomenon, namely that in a nonlinear system the outcome is often indefinitely, arbitrarily sensitive to tiny changes in the initial condition. [Q980]

Blaise Pascal

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists. [Q584]

Woodrow Wilson

By 'radical,' I understand one who goes too far; by 'conservative,' one who does not go far enough; by 'reactionary,' one who won't go at all. [Q743]

Plato

There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands. [Q904]

Murray Gell-Mann

We are driven by the usual insatiable curiosity of the scientist, and our work is a delightful game. [Q981]

Aristotle

The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. [Q861]

Aristotle

Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. [Q868]

Epicurus

Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. [Q803]

Ronald Reagan

There you go again. [Q2015]

Senator Paul Simon

To understand through reason what the ultimate realities are is impossible, though we make leaps of faith frequently in our lives without understanding. ... There is truth to St. Augustine's words: "Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, let us seek not to understand so that we may believe, but believe that we may understand." [Q1694]

Pablo Picasso

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? [Q606]

Edward Thorndike

Psychology helps to measure the probability that an aim is attainable. [Q454]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality. [Q963]

George Orwell

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. [Q2016]

Thomas Jefferson

I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain itself in strength: 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it. [Q529]

Steven Weinberg

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy. [Q1047]

René Descartes

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. [Q1113]

Lucretius

Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion. [Q1564]

Adlai Stevenson

There is a spiritual hunger in the world today - and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms. [Q1653]

Woodrow Wilson

At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving. [Q742]

Thomas Paine

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, … it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon that the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. [Q1228]

Carl Sagan

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. [Q226]

Adlai Stevenson

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don't forget when you leave why you came. [Q1657]

Stephen Hawking

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special. [Q733]

Plutarch

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. [Q785]

Thomas Gold

In choosing a hypothesis there is no virtue in being timid. I clearly would have been burned at the stake in another age. [Q1438]

Virgil

Perhaps the day may come when we shall remember these sufferings with joy. [Q1586]

Thomas Jefferson

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. [Q193]

Edgar Allan Poe

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? [Q2038]

Epictetus

If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked. [Q814]

John Charles Polanyi

It is this, at its most basic, that makes science a humane pursuit; it acknowledges the commonality of people's experience. [Q380]

Senator Paul Simon

There is no scarcity of people who are oppressed. There is only a scarcity of men and women with eyes clear enough to see and hearts big enough to act. [Q1898]

Alan Guth

It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch. [Q1071]

Adlai Stevenson

The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end. [Q1652]

Bill McCartney

All coaching is, is taking a player where he can't take himself. [Q473]

George Bernard Shaw

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. [Q699]

Master Kan

Beware of judgements of others. In this imperfect world in which we live, perfection is an illusion. And so the standards by which we seek to measure it are also, themselves, illusions. If perfection is measured by age, grace, color of skin, color of hair, physical or mental prowess, then we are all lacking. And it is well to remember that the harshest judgements are reserved for ourselves. — "Kung Fu" Night of the Owls Day of the Dove 1974 Season 2 [Q627]

Kenneth Anger

I have a problem with censorship by the lawyer - by legal people by the publishing firm, and I may be changing publishers. They don't seem to want to take too many risks with living people. [Q1198]

Carl Sagan

We reach a point where there can be on more special interest or special cases. Nuclear arms threaten every person on the earth. Fundamental changes in society are sometimes labeled impractical or contrary to human nature, as if nuclear war was practical or if there was only one human nature. But fundamental changes can clearly be made, we're surrounded by them. — Cosmos [Q1232]

Herbert Simon

The world is vast, beautiful, and fascinating, even awe-inspiring - but impersonal. It demands nothing of me, and allows me to demand nothing of it. [Q650]

Thomas Huxley

Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. [Q1051]

Henry Lawson

We shall never be understood or respected by the English until we carry our individuality to extremes, and by asserting our independence, become of sufficient consequence in their eyes to merit a closer study than they have hitherto accorded us. [Q429]

Alexis de Tocqueville

There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it. [Q965]

Agile Programming as described on Wikipedia

There are many specific agile development methods. Most promote development iterations, teamwork, collaboration, and process adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project. [Q249]

Jimmy Wales

My original concept was to provide a free encyclopedia for every single person in the world. [Q217]

Joseph Pulitzer

I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, and never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty. [Q1386]

Cullen Hightower

A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success. [Q431]

Ward Cunningham

You are always taught to do as much as you can. Always put checks in. Always look for exceptions. Always handle the most general case. Always give the user the best advice. Always print a meaningful error message. Always this. Always that. You have so many things in the background that you’re supposed to do, there’s no room left to think. I say, forget all that and ask yourself, “What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work?” I think the advice got turned into a command: “Do the simplest thing that could possibly work.” That’s a little more confusing, because there isn’t this notion that as soon as you’ve done it, we’ll evaluate it. [Q1013]

Bill Clinton

We can't make the perfect the enemy of the good. [Q86]

Senator Paul Simon

Perhaps being born the year before the Great Depression of 1929 made me fiscally conservative, and the misery faced by so many people made me socially liberal. [Q1671]

Scott Nesler

Complex problems are not guilty or innocent. [Q118]

Václav Havel

My dear fellow citizens, For forty years you heard from my predecessors on this day different variations on the same theme: how our country was flourishing, how many million tons of steel we produced, how happy we all were, how we trusted our government, and what bright perspectives were unfolding in front of us. I assume you did not propose me for this office so that I, too, would lie to you. [Q1784]

Oscar Wilde

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. [Q618]

Marshall McLuhan

I don't necessarily agree with everything I say. [Q1459]

Herbert Simon

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. [Q641]

Konrad Lorenz

Evil, by definition, is that which endangers the good, and the good is what we perceive as a value. [Q1431]

Richard Bach

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. [Q469]

Michel de Montaigne

We only labor to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void. [Q2102]

Caine

That we are possessed by what we would possess; held in bondage to earth and vested things by the attachments we form for them.. Even so holy a thing as a chalice. So slight a thing as a pebble. — 1973 Season Two Kung Fu Series - The Chalice. [Q572]

Martin Luther King

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice. [Q1893]

Marshall McLuhan

Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it. [Q1456]

Joseph and Owen Lovejoy

What right have five hundred or five thousand to interfere with the lawful expression of a free man's sentiments because they happen to number more than those who think with him. We spurn the base tyranny—this utter denial of all rights, save as the tender mercies of a mob shall vouchsafe them. If Mr. Lovejoy's views were erroneous, let them be refuted; if his motives were corrupt, (but this is not pretended,) let them be exposed and contemned; if his actions were unlawful, let them be lawfully punished. But, right or wrong, none of these were better or worse for the fact that they were unacceptable to the majority. He had as perfect and absolute a right to proclaim and defend his sentiments in Illinois, where nine-tenths may be opposed to them, as though all were enthusiastic in their favour; and he who would deny or in the least degree abridge this right, is an enemy to freedom, and a hypocrite if he dare pretend to republicanism. — The New Yorker [Q1890]

William James Durant

It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovation must survive before being allowed to enter the human race. It is good that the old should resist the young, and that the young should press the old ... Out of the strife ... comes a creative tensile strength. [Q1725]

Martin Frost

The level of discourse in this country is falling to a depth that cannot be sustained. [Q1378]

Clarence Darrow

Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. [Q1093]

Barbara Deming

We learn best to listen to our own voices if we are listening at the same time to other women whose stories for all our differences turn out, if we listen well, to be our stories also. [Q1397]

George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. 1984 [Q1230]

Plato

All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue. [Q873]

Virgil

Age carries all things away, even the mind. [Q1570]

Noam Chomsky

States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions. [Q158]

Edward Tufte

The commonality between science and art is in trying to see profoundly - to develop strategies of seeing and showing. [Q381]

Sir Francis Bacon

Practical men, like owls, see clearly in the dim twilight of their preconceptions and are blinded by the bright light of truth. [Q1871]

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