Quotations of Wisdom

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Mohandas Gandhi

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress. [Q32]

Jesus Christ

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. — Matthew 5:16 [Q1227]


The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. [Q863]

Senator Paul Simon

However, those who kill have been stimulated by others who preach fanaticism. Religious leaders who advocate with excessive zealotry share the guilt with the murderers who wield the knives and pull the triggers. [Q1704]

Thomas Paine

My mind is my own church. [Q270]

Charles Schulz

There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. [Q56]

Albert Schweitzer

To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic. [Q69]


It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has. [Q1029]

Meister Eckhart

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. [Q1628]

Edmund Burke

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. [Q1870]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

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

Ferdinand de Saussure

Outside speech, the association that is made in the memory between words having something in common creates different groups, series, families, within which very diverse relations obtain but belonging to a single category: these are associative relations. [Q1190]

Stephen Jay Gould

The more important the subject and the closer it cuts to the bone of our hopes and needs, the more we are likely to err in establishing a framework for analysis. [Q1808]

Max Born

I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy. [Q1268]

Mohandas Gandhi

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

Scott Nesler

The task of doing good is subjective, requiring refinement to reach its highest potential. [Q1179]

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]

Albert Einstein

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Q1367]

Henry Ford

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt. [Q1970]

Robert Nozick

I think philosophers can do things akin to theoretical scientists, in that, having read about empirical data, they too can think of what hypotheses and theories might account for that data. So there's a continuity between philosophy and science in that way. [Q1269]

Isaac Newton

We build too many walls and not enough bridges. [Q602]

Margaret Mead

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. [Q951]

Scott Nesler

I worry about the fate of the citizens when hate, fear, ignorance, and chaos becomes the most effective methods for political change. Coherency, community, and courtesy should be given equal opportunity. [Q184]

Sarah's Key

When a story is told, it is not forgotten. It becomes something else, a memory of who we were, the hope of what we can become. [Q1879]

Senator Paul Simon

In a presidential race, who is losing or gaining three points in the latest polls receives much more coverage than where the candidates stand on poverty or foreign policy. It is easy to cover the trivial. A drop in the polls will receive more attention than an in-depth speech on national health care. The average sound bite on network TV news for the Republican presidential primary of 1996 was 7.2 seconds. Almost half the second bites were less than five seconds. Try to say something of substance on any issue in 7.2 seconds! The media should be here not simply to make money, but also to serve, and that service can be improved. [Q1814]

Blaise Pascal

Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth. [Q585]

Edward de Bono

The reliance on goodwill works best in a small community where the majority have the same perceptions and values. Nor should we forget that 'inner feelings', 'truth', and 'rightness' may be no protection from the dangers of 'righteousness'. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. pg 29). [Q2005]

Napoleon Bonaparte

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. [Q92]

Adlai Stevenson

Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be. [Q1647]

David S Allen

What if democracy is not about attracting an audience, making money, and winning? What if democracy is more accurately defined as the need to find a common ground, as the exchange of ideas between citizens in attempt to reach understanding? - Democracy, Inc. (Page 2) [Q188]

Walter Kirn

Literally, while I was writing, the town eccentrics were looking over my shoulder, asking about what I was writing, listening to my explanations, offering their two cents. It had gotten around town pretty quickly that what Walter was doing inside his house could be viewed easily on a computer. I thought, 'This is more interactivity than I can stand!' But it was interesting too. [Q1267]

Gregor Mendel

My scientific studies have afforded me great gratification; and I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work. [Q1429]


Do not yield to misfortunes, but advance more boldly to meet them, as your fortune permits you. [Q1574]

E. M. Forster

The fact is we can only love what we know personally. And we cannot know much. In public affairs, in the rebuilding of civilization, something less dramatic and emotional is needed, namely tolerance. [Q1502]

Andy Kaufman

I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut-or get angry from the gut. [Q234]

Paul Krugman

The Washington Post quotes an unnamed Republican adviser who compared what happened to Mr. Cain, when he suddenly found himself leading in the polls, to the proverbial tale of the dog who had better not catch that car he’s chasing. “Something great and awful happened, the dog caught the car. And of course, dogs don’t know how to drive cars. So he had no idea what to do with it.”

The same metaphor, it seems to me, might apply to the G.O.P. pursuit of the White House next year. If the dog actually catches the car — the actual job of running the U.S. government — it will have no idea what to do, because the realities of government in the 21st century bear no resemblance to the mythology all ambitious Republican politicians must pretend to believe. And what will happen then? [Q1709]

James Bovard

With attention deficit democracy, I am trying to wake up people to how the combination of mass ignorance, fear mongering by the government, and lying politicians is putting our entire system of government to a death spiral. [Q721]

Clarence Darrow

I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood. [Q1099]

Richard P. Feynman

The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization. [Q969]

Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. [Q1955]

Kurt Gödel

Analysis, clarity and precision all are of great value, especially in philosophy. Just because a misapplied clarity is current or the wrong sort of precision is stressed, that is no reason to give up clarity of precision. Without precision, one cannot do anything in philosophy. [Q1966]

George Mobus

If we are such a clever species, why is the world the way it is, and heading in a bad direction? [Q1842]

Thomas Jefferson

This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force [Q541]


Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. [Q882]

Bill Clinton

We can't afford to double down on trickle down. [Q2014]

Master Kan

Do not see yourself as the center of the universe wise and good and beautiful. Seek rather wisdom, goodness and beauty that you may honor them everywhere. — Kung Fu television series, 1972 [Q548]

Albert Einstein

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. [Q552]


A thought is an idea in transit. [Q921]


Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit. [Q830]

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

The weakest link in a chain is the strongest because it can break it. [Q1736]

E. B. White

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. [Q2078]

Franklin Roosevelt

It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. [Q359]

Václav Havel

Of course, in politics, just as anywhere else in life, it is impossible and it would not be sensible always to say everything bluntly. Yet that does not mean one has to lie. What is needed here are tact, instinct and good taste. [Q1766]

Alexis de Tocqueville

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic. [Q958]

Bible - Matthew 7:2

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. [Q427]

Saul Bellow

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

Nikola Tesla

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. [Q1677]

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]

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]

Thomas Paine

Virtues are acquired through endeavor, Which rests wholly upon yourself. So, to praise others for their virtues can but encourage one's own efforts. [Q277]


Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly. [Q780]

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]

Scott Nesler

The world is being pushed to believe in a scalar representation of truth. Velocity, magnitude, and time are discounted while the coordinate system expands. [Q1607]

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]

Alan Guth

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

Martin Luther King Jr.

This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Our planet teeters on the brink of atomic annihilation; dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority. [Q2041]


Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them. [Q781]

Thomas Carlyle

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. [Q1616]

Buckminster Fuller

Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction. — — The Wellspring of Reality [Q177]

Carl Sagan

We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. [Q230]

Alan Greenspan

The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake. — June 1999 — Harvard University Commencement Address [Q459]


I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. [Q847]

Grover Cleveland

The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board. [Q499]

Marshall McLuhan

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

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]

Noam Chomsky

The intellectual tradition is one of servility to power, and if I didn't betray it I'd be ashamed of myself. [Q159]

The Pragmatic Programmer

Conventional wisdom says that once a project is in the coding phase, the work is mostly mechanical, transcribing the design into executable statements. We think that this attitude is the single biggest reason that many programs are ugly, inefficient, poorly structured, unmaintainable, and just plain wrong. [Q168]

Pete Seeger

I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. [Q349]

Senator Paul Simon

There are times when decisions may be difficult and when there may be no reasons to take a position. But there are also times, like this one, when to be neutral in a fight between right and wrong is to be on the side of the wrong. — (In Reference to the mob murder of Elijia Lovejoy) [Q1892]

Scott Nesler

The fact is our passion and points of view are different, not necessarily wrong. [Q1253]

Albert Einstein

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. [Q482]

Kathleen Parker

What happens when you win an argument based on half-truths? In politics, it doesn't matter. Winning is all that matters. In real life, the people lose. [Q1664]

David Mitchell

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. &mdash Cloud Atlas [Q2093]

Václav Havel

Many people hardly ever see a politician as a person anymore. Instead, a politician is a shadow they watch on television, not knowing whether he is speaking impromptu or reading a text written for him by anonymous advisers or experts from a screen hidden behind the cameras. Citizens no longer perceive their politician as a living human being, for they never have and will never see him that way. They see only his image, created for them by TV, radio and newspaper commentators. [Q1796]

George Carlin

They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting f#@ked by a system that threw them overboard 30 f@#$%n’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your f@#$%n' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. [Q1642]


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

Karl Urban

That's always an interesting concept when you try to make your dream into a reality and you come up against the facts of exactly what it is you're attempting to do. [Q210]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. [Q424]


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

John Steinbeck

Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts... perhaps the fear of a loss of power. [Q1371]

James Joyce

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. [Q49]

David Hartley

Any sensations A, B, C, etc., by being associated with one another a sufficient number of times, get such a power over the corresponding ideas a, b, c, etc., that any one of the sensations A, when impressed alone, shall be able to excite in the mind b, c, etc., the ideas of the rest. [Q1442]

John J. Sweeney

For globalization to work for America, it must work for working people. We should measure the success of our economy by the breadth of our middle class, and the scope of opportunity offered to the poorest child to climb into that middle class. [Q439]

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]

Thomas Friedman

All of us are smarter than any one of us. [Q31]

Joan Didion

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. [Q2079]

John D Barrow

People assume that because you have graced the same stage as the star act, in front of thousands, you must be reaping similar financial rewards. This is a complete fallacy. [Q1050]


No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even known they had done so. [Q928]


A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. [Q871]


Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances. [Q1587]

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