Quotations of Wisdom

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Plato

When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income. [Q912]

Phillip E. Johnson

A constitutional democracy is in serious trouble if its citizenry does not have a certain degree of education and civic virtue. [Q2042]

Mark Twain

There are lies, damned lies and statistics. [Q365]

Mohandas Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. [Q563]

Pythagoras

Begin thus from the first act, and proceed; and, in conclusion, at the ill which thou hast done, be troubled, and rejoice for the good. [Q923]

Martin Luther King

The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. [Q65]

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]

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]

Galileo Galilei

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. [Q938]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

Our first step would be to incur a national debt. The greater the debt, the greater the credit. And to that end I have recommended to the president that Congress adopt all the debts incurred by the individual states during the war through a national bank. The idea being that if the states owe Congress money, then other nations will feel more inclined to lend it to us. — (Unite or Die[5]) Alexander Hamilton [Q1134]

Hippocrates

Keep a watch also on the faults of the patients, which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed. [Q1030]

Nikos Kazantzakis

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired. [Q302]

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]

Caine and Master Kan

Caine - What is my duty to the law? Master Kan - You must assist the law to serve justice. Caine - I have seen a law broken. Would I serve justice if I let it go unpunished? Master Kan - What is the purpose of this law? Caine - Discipline. Master Kan - And who is served by this discipline? Caine - Each one who obeys the law. Master Kan - Then to break the law of self discipline denies justice only to one's self. Caine - The same with all laws? Master Kan - Consider if you break the law, do you deny justice only to your self? — - "Kung Fu" Empty Pages of a Dead Book 1973 Season 2, Episode 13 [Q616]

Margaret Mead

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. [Q946]

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]

Scott Nesler

My hope is in the average citizen's desire for freedom and democracy. It is within these individuals true patriotism exist and where the voice of humanity can be heard. [Q1553]

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

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

Bono

Music can change the world because it can change people. [Q635]

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]

Wendell Berry

The ability to speak exactly is intimately related to the ability to know exactly. [Q1340]

Mohandas Gandhi

Live simply so that others may simply live. [Q1311]

Marshall McLuhan

As the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, the techniques of the arts provide the most valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes. [Q1455]

Galileo Galilei

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. [Q942]

Stephen Jay Gould

When people learn no tools of judgement and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. [Q1811]

Plato

Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil. [Q886]

John Steinbeck

It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. [Q1369]

David Foster Wallace

This is so American, man: either make something your God and cosmos and then worship it, or else kill it. [Q985]

Plato

I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. [Q885]

Virgil

Yield not to calamity, but face her boldly. [Q1594]

David Brooks

When you cover politics, you realize that knowing how to talk about character matters more and more. The way we hold ideas is more important than the ideas. [Q470]

Benito Mussolini

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. [Q1048]

Maya Angelou

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors. [Q688]

Nursultan Nazarbayev

As of today, we do not need expert reports by the authoritative analytical institutions to realize that the reasons for such a situation in our community lie in global inequality, poverty and illiteracy. [Q1200]

Richard Feynman

I wonder why, I wonder why,
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why, I wonder why,
I wonder why I wonder! [Q1903]

Nikola Tesla

What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet Immortal, with his powers fearful and Divine? What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement? [Q1684]

William O. Douglas

Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor. [Q998]

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]

Plato

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. [Q915]

Plutarch

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends. [Q783]

Ibni Sina

The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes. [Q1921]

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]

Milton S Hershey

The value of our good is not measured by what it does, but by the amount of good it does to the one concerned. [Q1392]

Adlai Stevenson II

Those who hold in their hands the power of government must themselves be independent — and this kind of independence means the wisdom, the experience, the courage to identify the special interest and the pressures that are always at work, to see the public interest steadily, to resist its subordination no matter what political hazards [Q1847]

Socrates

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true. [Q759]

Adlai III Stevenson

The small daughter of a famous divine was busy with her crayon and pencil, and her mother asked her whose picture she was drawing. "God's," she replied. "But, dear, nobody knows how He looks," her mother admonished. "They will when I'm finished," said the child. [Q1841]

Freeman Dyson

I believe global warming is grossly exaggerated as a problem. It's a real problem, but it's nothing like as serious as people are led to believe. The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm. It distracts people's attention from much more serious problems. [Q1915]

Marshall McLuhan

Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. [Q1453]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light. [Q1089]

Henry A. Wallace

This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. [Q463]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every idea is an incitement... Eloquence may set fire to reason. [Q1077]

Plato

Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. [Q879]

Aristotle

When, therefore, we accomplish an act of reminiscence, we pass through a certain series of precursive movements, until we arrive at a movement on which the one we are in quest of is habitually consequent. Hence, too, it is that we hunt through the mental train, excogitating from the present or some other, and from similar or contrary or coadjacent. Through this process reminiscence takes place. For the movements are, in these cases, sometimes at the same time, sometimes parts of the same whole, so that the subsequent movement is already more than half accomplished. [Q1440]

Edward de Bono

The sheer ability of journalist to comprehend different fields is usually limited, so they have to fall back on three basics: the human angle; some gimmick aspect; attack. The prime purpose is not exposition of the subject but journalistic 'interest'. The ludecy is clear. Commercial democracy has its own ludecy. The larger the readership or the viewership the higher the advertising rates, so the search for the mass market is necessary. Clash and controversy are intrinsically more interesting than agreement, so disagreements have to be played up and emphasized. Scandals are fun, so personalities rate more than substance. — Page 266, Chapter titled, "Communication", I Am Right You are Wrong [Q2032]

Richard P. Feynman

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. [Q737]

Albert Einstein

One thing I have learned in a long life: All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. [Q145]

Epictetus

You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself. [Q831]

Buckminster Fuller

The earth is like a spaceship that didn't come with an operating manual. [Q113]

Kurt Gödel

The more I think about language, the more it amazes me that people ever understand each other at all. [Q1961]

Saint Augustine

Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand. [Q1695]

René Descartes

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

Henry David Thoreau

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all. [Q491]

Caine

The years have been good. Quiet and measured. Flowing slowly like water. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q514]

Paul Krugman

...whoever finally gets the Republican nomination will be a deeply flawed candidate. And these flaws won’t be an accident, the result of bad luck regarding who chose to make a run this time around; the fact that the party is committed to demonstrably false beliefs means that only fakers or the befuddled can get through the selection process. [Q1708]

Abraham Lincoln

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion. [Q1241]

Benjamin Franklin

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. [Q30]

Christopher Hitchens

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

Noam Chomsky

Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it. [Q155]

Ivar Giaever

Every valuable creative idea must always be logical in hindsight. Scientific papers are good examples of this; they are written in a wonderfully logical way, but the progress of real science that precedes the papers depends on hunches, accidents, imagination and luck — Prologue to Edward de Bono's, I am Right You are Wrong [Q1987]

Marshall McLuhan

Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication. [Q1472]

Thomas Paine

To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not. [Q276]

Pablo Picasso

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. [Q604]

Mustafa Kemal

...by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence. [Q1928]

George Taylor

If this is the best they've got around here, in six months we'll be running this planet. [Q1603]

Mustafa Kemal

We must liberate our concepts of justice, our laws and our legal institutions from the bonds which, even though they are incompatible with the needs of our century, still hold a tight grip on us. [Q1932]

Oliver Goldsmith

Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, With grammar, and nonsense, and learning, good liquor, I stoutly maintain, gives genius a better discerning. [Q2089]

Albert Einstein

If I give you a pfennig, you will be one pfennig richer and I'll be one pfennig poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it, too. [Q120]

Carl Jung

The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. [Q258]

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]

Hippocrates

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always. [Q1025]

Margaret Atwood

I got into trouble a while ago for saying that I thought the internet led to increased literacy - people scolded me about the shocking grammar to be found online - but I was talking about fundamentals: quite simply, you can't use the net unless you can read. [Q2084]

Ludwig Fuerbach

In religion, man denies his reason. [Q1524]

Marshall McLuhan

The photograph reverses the purpose of travel, which until now had been to encounter the strange and unfamiliar. [Q1480]

Thomas Jefferson

This [bill] on education would [raise] the mass of the people to the high ground of moral respectability necessary to their own safety and to orderly government, and would [complete] the great object of qualifying them to secure the veritable aristoi for the trusts of government, to the exclusion of the pseudalists... I have great hope that some patriotic spirit will... call it up and make it the keystone of the arch of our government. [Q531]

Virgil

Every man makes a god of his own desire. [Q1576]

Václav Havel

You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. [Q1782]

Richard P. Feynman

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. [Q974]

Scott Nesler

It's a fact that facts are misused. [Q52]

Michel de Montaigne

I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself. [Q1170]

Woodrow Wilson

I have long enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Republicans because I am by instinct a teacher, and I would like to teach them something. [Q745]

Frederick Douglass

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. [Q438]

Marshall McLuhan

We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. [Q1486]

David S Allen

Discourse democracy seeks to identify ways to make possible an open dialogue among citizen through the creation of public space absent governmental and corporate interference. — Democracy, Inc. Introduction (Page 2) [Q189]

Margaret Mead

Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time. [Q1424]

Thor Heyerdahl

Therefore, I feel convinced that any political picture can be changed to suit the needs of the powers that be. [Q1541]

D. A. Ridgely

When I was young American politics were fairly straightforward: conservatives let you keep all your money in return for telling you how to live your life, while liberals let you live as you pleased in return for all your money. Now the only difference is whether they want your money or your life first. [Q1839]

Julian Assange

Which country is suffering from too much freedom of speech? Name it, is there one? [Q1212]

Epictetus

No man is free who is not master of himself. [Q818]

Noam Chomsky

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. [Q153]

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