Quotations of Wisdom

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Franz Kafka

By imposing too great a responsibility, or rather, all responsibility, on yourself, you crush yourself. [Q303]

Aristotle

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

Nikola Tesla

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success ... such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything. [Q1672]

Václav Havel

We had all become used to the totalitarian system and accepted it as an unchangeable fact and thus helped to perpetuate it. In other words, we are all — though naturally to differing extents — responsible for the operation of the totalitarian machinery. None of us is just its victim. We are all also its co-creators. [Q1788]

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]

REO Speedwagon

Golden country your face is so red. With all of your money your poor can be fed. You strut around and you flirt with disaster. Never really carin' just what comes after. Well your blacks are dyin' but your back is still turned. And your freaks are cryin' but your back is still turned. You better stop your hidin or your country will burn. The time has come for you my friend. To all this ugliness we must put an end. Before we leave we must make a stand. — Lyrics from Golden Country [Q2104]

Eugene McCarthy

One thing about a pig, he thinks he's warm if his nose is warm. I saw a bunch of pigs one time that had frozen together in a rosette, each one's nose tucked under the rump of the one in front. We have a lot of pigs in politics. [Q2029]

Margaret Mead

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. [Q1417]

Wendell Berry

It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. [Q1338]

John Boyd Orr

During the last war when there was a market for everything that could be produced, the production capacity of Canada and the United States, which were outside the battle area, increased one hundred percent. [Q1152]

Caine

To fight for yourself is right. To die vainly without hope of winning is the act of stupid men. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q511]

Fredrik Bajer

To read the report of a discussion in which arguments for and against are presented, in which a subject has been covered from different points of view, with new ideas advanced - this is far more instructive than to read a brief account of the resolution passed on the matter. [Q1258]

Vincent Bugliosi

If you're honest with yourself, you're going to find out whether you truly love America, or whether your primary allegiance is to the Republican party. [Q2066]

Marshall McLuhan

The mark of our time is its revulsion against imposed patterns. [Q1474]

William Hazlitt

Man is the only creature that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they could be. [Q1873]

Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. [Q1833]

Brian Kernigan

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming. [Q673]

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]

Andrew Cohen

It is not enough to be well-intentioned; one must strive to put those intentions into action in a capable way. One must consider the effect his actions will have on others. Looked at like this, to persist in ignorance is itself dishonorable. [Q719]

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]

Galileo Galilei

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so. [Q450]

Oscar Wilde

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

Flannery O'Connor

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth. [Q613]

Bruce Sterling

The level of ignorance is declining, and the ability to accumulate data and manipulate it for various ends is increasing. [Q1740]

Bill Clinton

Because primarily of the power of the Internet, people of modest means can band together and amass vast sums of money that can change the world for some public good if they all agree. [Q1293]

Scott Nesler

The song He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones reminded me of teenage heartbreak. I thought of what people do with fame. Fame comes by chance. It's used for good or not at all. We gauge fame from a triggered emotion. George Jones shared an unbridled empathy divorced from negative emotion. What a rare gift this man provided his admirers. [Q2072]

Albert Einstein

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. [Q394]

Aristotle

It is clearly better that property should be private, but the use of it common; and the special business of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition. [Q851]

George Carlin

It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. [Q1597]

Hypatia

In fact men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable. [Q1405]

George Orwell

War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. 1984 [Q1231]

Dante Alighieri

I love to doubt as well as know. [Q1510]

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]

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]

Virgil

From my example learn to be just, and not to despise the gods. [Q1578]

Pythagoras

A thought is an idea in transit. [Q921]

Plutarch

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education. [Q788]

Mohandas Gandhi

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

Hippocrates

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

Thomas Paine

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

Julian Assange

It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abuses. [Q1211]

Swami Vivekananda

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. [Q1146]

Jesse Jackson

Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy. [Q1548]

Daughtry

They're gonna find you, just believe. You're not a person; you're a disease. — All These Lives [Q2071]

Miles Davis

I know what I've done for music, but don't call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis. [Q2058]

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]

Abdullah Ibrahim

When time and space and change converge, we find place. We arrive in Place when we resolve things. Place is peace of mind and understanding. Place is knowledge of self. Place is resolution. [Q1259]

Master Kan

Ten million living things have as many worlds. 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 Series 1972 — Episode # 9 [Q527]

Winston Churchill

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. [Q89]

Heraclitus

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. [Q918]

Thomas Jefferson

I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. [Q197]

Confucius

To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. [Q15]

Senator Paul Simon

Thoughtfully re-examining positions that often are based on emotion more than anything should be part of the search for truth. And careful analysis should include looking at the context and culture and times in which those who wrote ancient documents lived. [Q1691]

Clarence Darrow

No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed. [Q1105]

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]

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]

Ferdinand Lassalle

From that moment on, the newspaper became a highly lucrative investment for those with a talent for making money or for publishers wanting to gain a fortune. [Q1663]

Buckminster Fuller

The youth of humanity all around our planet are intuitively revolting from all sovereignties and political ideologies. The youth of Earth are moving intuitively toward an utterly classless, raceless, omnicooperative, omniworld humanity. Children freed of the ignorantly founded educational traditions and exposed only to their spontaneously summoned, computer-stored and -distributed outflow of reliable-opinion-purged, experimentally verified data, shall indeed lead society to its happy egress from all misinformedly conceived, fearfully and legally imposed, and physically enforced customs of yesterday. They can lead all humanity into omnisuccessful survival as well as entrance into an utterly new era of human experience in an as-yet and ever-will-be fundamentally mysterious Universe. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q180]

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]

Galileo Galilei

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. [Q930]

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]

Democritus

Raising children is an uncertain thing; success is reached only after a life of battle and worry. [Q771]

Buckminster Fuller

It's never too late for the truth. [Q133]

Woodrow Wilson

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed. [Q750]

Epictetus

We are not to give credit to the many, who say that none ought to be educated but the free; but rather to the philosophers, who say that the well-educated alone are free. [Q827]

Douglas Haig

The idea that a war can be won by standing on the defensive and waiting for the enemy to attack is a dangerous fallacy, which owes its inception to the desire to evade the price of victory. [Q1055]

Albert Einstein

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be. [Q361]

Edward B Titchener

Empathy [Q2048]

Václav Havel

The idea of human rights and freedoms must be an integral part of any meaningful world order. Yet, I think it must be anchored in a different place, and in a different way, than has been the case so far. If it is to be more than just a slogan mocked by half the world, it cannot be expressed in the language of a departing era, and it must not be mere froth floating on the subsiding waters of faith in a purely scientific relationship to the world. [Q1806]

Isaac Asimov

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. [Q701]

Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. [Q698]

David Hume

To hate, to love, to think, to feel, to see; all this is nothing but to perceive. [Q1363]

Galileo Galilei

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

Senator Paul Simon

In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans living in California, Oregon, and Washington, none of whom had committed a crime, from their home. They had from one to three days to sell all of their property and put all their possessions into one suitcase before the federal government sent them to camps in Idaho and other inland states ... While the action of our government cannot be compared to Hitler's Holocaust, it is illustration of the reality that the passion of a nation can be aroused against a minority if leadership is irresponsible ... There needs to be restraining voices defending the rights of minorities or those expressing unpopular views. [Q1715]

George Washington Carver

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. [Q315]

Senator Paul Simon

Beecher and two others had been tried for heresy in the local presbytery in 1833 for "their liberal theology." Central to the charge was their antislavery stand. [Q1887]

Tim O'Reilly

Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts. [Q546]

David S. Allen

Reliance on expert knowledge does not come without cost, however. Not only does it devalue the role of the public in democracy, it also leads to the formation of powerful occupational groups that attempt to secure for themselves an area of knowledge that will insure their power. — Democracy, Inc (Page 52) [Q290]

Wendell Berry

If we are serious about peace, then we must work for it as ardently, seriously, continuously, carefully, and bravely as we have ever prepared for war. [Q1335]

Albert Einstein

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. [Q26]

Senator Paul Simon

Our race into more and more business mergers is generally not healthy, thought in some instances it is. Our tax laws encourage these mergers. For example, when U.S. Steel (now USX Corporation) borrowed $5.6 billion to buy Marathon Oil, it did not increase steel productivity, it did not cause any more oil wells to be drilled, it added nothing to the nation's productivity. But the interest they paid on that purchase is tax deductible — ultimately subsidized by you and me. It eats up money on the financial markets, increasing interest. [Q1732]

Václav Havel

People who live in the post-totalitarian system know only too well that the question of whether one or several political parties are in power, and how these parties define and label themselves, is of far less importance than the question of whether or not it is possible to live like a human being. [Q1781]

The Jungle

After reading the Jungle, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered an investigation of the meat-packing industry. Meeting with Upton Sinclair Roosevelt told him that while he disapproved how the book preached socialism he agreed that "radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist." Roosevelt followed-up by passing the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. In his book, Sinclair illustrated how a novelist could help with social improvement. [Q1902]

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]

Alexis de Tocqueville

What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class. [Q967]

Joseph Franklin Rutherford

If you are kept in ignorance of the true way and permit yourself to rely upon and be guided by the opinion of imperfect man, you can never gain the riches that will bring you peace and lasting happiness. [Q720]

Freeman Dyson

The progress of science requires the growth of understanding in both directions, downward from the whole to the parts and upward from the parts to the whole. A reductionist philosophy, arbitrarily proclaiming that the growth of understanding must go only in one direction, makes no scientific sense. Indeed, dogmatic philosophical beliefs of any kind have no place in science. [Q1913]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our best thoughts come from others. [Q416]

Virgil

The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts. [Q1589]

Stephen Jay Gould

Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty. [Q1807]

Walt Disney

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. [Q1193]

Gordan Vidal

We live here in the United States of Amnesia. No one remembers anything before Monday morning. Everything is a blank. We have no history. [Q1274]

Nikola Tesla

Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. [Q1674]

Scott Nesler

The human species lives in a world where understanding partners with conflict. [Q594]

Senator Paul Simon

The words of Jesus about helping the hungry, the naked, those in prison, and others desperate seem to me to ring true and are so contrary to the actions taken over the centuries by so many in the name of Jesus. [Q1700]

T.S. Elliot

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. [Q339]

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]

Scott Nesler

We must guard against the tenacity of arguments with hidden agendas. [Q50]

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 Jefferson

Power is not alluring to pure minds. [Q200]

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