Quotations of Wisdom

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John C Calhoun

A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks. [Q751]

Ward Cunningham

With wiki, you have to trust people more than you have any reason to trust them. In 1995, it was a safer environment, don’t know if I could have launched wiki today. [Q1014]

Dante Alighieri

He listens well who takes notes. [Q1509]

Hippocrates

Prayer indeed is good, but while calling on the gods a man should himself lend a hand. [Q1031]

George Bernard Shaw

Periods of increasing tensions end to become periods of increasing repressions. Soon freedom of speech may become only freedom to say acceptable things. Even thinking, except for the orthodox, may become precarious. [Q1849]

Caine

...the chameleon... A small lizard. He has the great gift of changing the color of his skin, that he may hide himself from predators. ... Yet he never changes himself. ... He is still... a chameleon. — "Kung Fu" The Hoots 1973 Season 2, Episode 10 [Q595]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be great is to be misunderstood. [Q423]

Václav Havel

The recent period — and in particular the last six weeks of our peaceful revolution — has shown the enormous human, moral and spiritual potential, and the civic culture that slumbered in our society under the enforced mask of apathy. Whenever someone categorically claimed that we were this or that, I always objected that society is a very mysterious creature and that it is unwise to trust only the face it presents to you. I am happy that I was not mistaken. Everywhere in the world people wonder where those meek, humiliated, sceptical and seemingly cynical citizens of Czechoslovakia found the marvellous strength to shake the totalitarian yoke from their shoulders in several weeks, and in a decent and peaceful way. [Q1790]

Buckminster Fuller

Humans have learned scientifically that the exact truth can never be attained or told. We can reduce the degree of tolerated error, but we have learned physically, as Heisenberg discovered, that exactitude is prohibited, because most exquisite physical experiment has shown that "the act of measuring always alters that which is measured". [Q126]

Caine

The cobra seeks to fix the eye of the bird before it strikes. In that moment of looking at each other each accepts his role, predictor and prey. Fear creates the victim. Yet something in the bird makes it seek the eye of the cobra. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q523]

Plato

Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others. [Q906]

Virgil

Fear is proof of a degenerate mind. [Q1577]

Galileo Galilei

Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. [Q940]

Marvin Minsky

Common sense is not a simple thing. Instead, it is an immense society of hard-earned practical ideas — of multitudes of life-learned rules and exceptions, dispositions and tendencies, balances and checks. — Page 22, Prologue — The Society of Mind [Q1994]

Caine

We must face the truth, however great the cost. — "Kung Fu" The Passion of Chen Yi — 1974 Episode 34 [Q632]

David Ogilvy

I don't know the rules of grammar... If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular. [Q2087]

Aristotle

Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics. [Q866]

Jesus Christ

Love your enemies, Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you... — Matthew 5:44) [Q2035]

Caine

Does not the law serve the truth? - "Kung Fu" Empty Pages of a Dead Book 1973 Season 2, Episode 13 [Q614]

Robert Fuller

Anger congeals to hate when people fear domination and experience the indignity of being discounted. No one, conservative or progressive, likes being taken for a nobody. Hatred takes root when fears remain unaddressed and dignity is disregarded. Imagined indignities can feel as injurious as real ones, and suffice to incite people to commit mayhem and murder. [Q1346]

Hannah Arendt

Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence. [Q1519]

John Boyd Orr

Some wars have been due to the lust of rulers for power and glory, or to revenge to wipe out the humiliation of a former defeat. [Q1153]

Thomas Paine

Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society. [Q272]

Hesiod

Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor. [Q451]

Adlai Stevenson III

While informative news programs often supported by foundations can be found on PBS, C-Span, BBC World and a few cable channels, television leaves most Americans uninformed or misinformed about public issues even as the world becomes a more complex and volatile place, the complexities of issues ever larger, requiring conscientious reporting, interpretation and honest gate keepers. [Q1858]

Hiram Johnson

The first casualty of war is truth. [Q1860]

Henry R. Luce

I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world. [Q476]

Richard P. Feynman

The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. [Q736]

René Descartes

Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it. [Q1128]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Beware how you take away hope from another human being. [Q1075]

Rudyard Kipling

I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who [Q670]

René Descartes

When it is not in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable. [Q1127]

Aldous Huxley

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. [Q633]

Thomas Paine

If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately. [Q266]

Plutarch

Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage. [Q775]

Virgil

The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety. [Q1588]

Aristotle

The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live. [Q864]

Thomas Jefferson

It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good. [Q1243]

prot

Let me tell you something, Mark. You humans, most of you, subscribe to this policy of an eye for an eye, a life for a life, which is known throughout the universe for its ... stupidity. Even your Buddha and your Christ had quite a different vision. But nobody's paid much attention to them, not even your Buddhists and your Christians. [Q1224]

J. William Fulbright

Our elected representatives ... study and analyze public attitude by sophisticated new techniques, but their purpose has little to do with leadership. ... Their purpose, it seems, is to discover what people want and fear and dislike, and then to identify themselves with those sentiments. They seek to discover which issues can be safely emphasized and which are more prudently avoided. This approach to politics is the opposite of leadership; it is followership, for purpose of self-advancement. ... [Q1821]

Bell Hooks

I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance. [Q710]

Alexis de Tocqueville

Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves. [Q966]

Daniela Schiller

If you want to keep a memory as is, you carve it into a story. It’s not only keeping the content, it’s keeping the feeling alive. The best part is, you’re not the only one remembering it. [Q2040]

Thomas Paine

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad. [Q263]

Virgil

A fault is fostered by concealment. [Q1569]

Marshall McLuhan

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology. [Q1476]

Mohandas Gandhi

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. [Q557]

Ann Landers

Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. [Q448]

George Berkeley

That one idea may suggest another to the mind, it will suffice that they have been observed to go together, without any demonstration of the necessity of their coexistence, or so much as knowing what it is that makes them so to coexist. [Q1441]

Dante Alighieri

Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge. [Q1508]

Henry David Thoreau

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. [Q58]

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]

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]

Henry Drummond

Then why did God plaint us with the power to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above the other creatures of the earth: the power of his brain to reason? — Inherit the Wind [Q105]

Pythagoras

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. [Q927]

Blaise Pascal

If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole? [Q589]

Carl Sagan

If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits? [Q222]

Scott Nesler

What is at conflict is an inner turmoil preventing the expression of a personal oppression. The media thrust conflict upon us and we gravitate to it as it is our own. We must see the tangency of these arguments and utilize them to express a broader solution. [Q1303]

Jeremy Bentham

As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends. [Q435]

Miles Davis

Don't play what's there, play what's not there. [Q2052]

Václav Havel

Our country is not flourishing. The enormous creative and spiritual potential of our nations is not being used sensibly. Entire branches of industry are producing goods that are of no interest to anyone, while we are lacking the things we need. A state which calls itself a workers' state humiliates and exploits workers. Our obsolete economy is wasting the little energy we have available. [Q1785]

Buckminster Fuller

All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainable, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less. — Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth [Q124]

Master Kan

Weakness prevails over strength. Gentleness conquers. Become the calm and restful breeze that tames the violent sea. [Q520]

Wendell Berry

Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. [Q1326]

Karl Menninger

The voice of the intelligence is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance. [Q707]

Epictetus

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. [Q821]

Plato

Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods. [Q1619]

Christopher Hitchens

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. [Q1248]

Thomas Jefferson

The public education... we divide into three grades: 1. Primary schools, in which are taught reading, writing, and common arithmetic, to every infant of the State, male and female. 2. Intermediate schools, in which an education is given proper for artificers and the middle vocations of life; in grammar, for example, general history, logarithms, arithmetic, plane trigonometry, mensuration, the use of the globes, navigation, the mechanical principles, the elements of natural philosophy, and, as a preparation for the University, the Greek and Latin languages. 3. An University, in which these and all other useful sciences shall be taught in their highest degree; the expenses of these institutions are defrayed partly by the public, and partly by the individuals profiting of them. [Q534]

Train

I need a sign to let me know you're here, cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear. I want a reason for the way things have to be. I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me — Calling All Angels [Q2039]

Unattributed

Don't take life too seriously. Noone gets out alive. [Q1066]

Charles Lindbergh

It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane. [Q1938]

Werner Heisenberg

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. [Q726]

Senator Paul Simon

Attorney General James Austin of Massachusetts stood. He referred to blacks as "wild beast" and to the mob as men like the patriots who threw the tea overboard in the famed Boston Tea Party. (Meeting at Faneuil Hall in Boston regarding the death of Elijah Lovejoy.) [Q1891]

Master Kan

When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q507]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it. [Q1076]

Will Rogers

A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people. [Q1188]

Oscar Wilde

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. [Q656]

Napoleon Hill

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements. [Q682]

Senator Paul Simon

When radio-evangelist Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority gave me a zero rating and Dick Kelly a 100 percent rating, and Dick was subsequently indicted and convicted, I used his rating to defend myself. When asked about my Moral Majority rating, I told reporters, "I knew I was morally imperfect, I just didn't realize the extent of my imperfection." One of the "immoral" votes I cast, according to the Moral Majority, was one for foreign aid to help poor and hungry people. [Q1731]

Hippocrates

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. [Q1028]

Aristotle

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. [Q869]

Marshall McLuhan

Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning. [Q1467]

Epicurus

There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men. [Q807]

Plutarch

The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits. [Q787]

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]

Galileo Galilei

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty. [Q932]

Oscar Wilde

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever. [Q620]

Louis Pasteur

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. [Q1021]

Pete Seeger

I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody. [Q348]

Robert Anton Wilson

Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only own one encyclopedia. [Q83]

Marshall McLuhan

The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. [Q1484]

Saul Bellow

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. [Q705]

Whitney A Brown

The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down. [Q91]

Thomas Jefferson

Never spend your money before you have it. [Q201]

Meister Eckhart

The more we have the less we own. [Q1630]

René Descartes

The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues. [Q1122]

Herbert Hoover

It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. [Q997]

Carl Jung

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. [Q252]

John Maynard Keynes

The biggest problem is not to let people accept new ideas, but to let them forget the old ones. [Q34]

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