Quotations of Wisdom

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Hiram Johnson

The first casualty of war is truth. [Q1860]

Barbara Deming

We believe, in fact, that the one act of respect has little force unless matched by the other, in balance with it. The acting out of that dual respect I would name as precisely the source of our power. [Q1394]

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]

Maurice Strong

One of the things that I've always thought I would like to do is to develop an environmental index. Then people can measure their own environmental performance on an index as they do in other ways. [Q452]

Arthur Miller

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. [Q1660]

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]


Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril. [Q1562]

Gautama Buddha

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? [Q3]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

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

David Brock

It's all a sham: I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth. [Q622]

Carl Jung

Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. [Q257]

Kurt Gödel

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


Different men seek after happiness in different ways and by different means, and so make for themselves different modes of life and forms of government. [Q839]

Napoleon Bonaparte

What is history but a fable agreed upon? [Q93]

Jean de La Fontaine

Let ignorance talk as it will, learning has its value. [Q714]

Carl Jung

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. [Q255]

Senator Paul Simon

The position of Paul Nyholm and my brother is that the Bible is inspired and an accurate guide on Christ's life and mission and on issues of faith and morals, but does not require that a person accept creation in six days or that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. [Q1690]

Enrico Fermi

There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. [Q320]

Marshall McLuhan

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

Edward de Bono

The greatest danger is perhaps not the arrogance with which we defend our existing thinking system but the complacency with which we hold onto it — because we cannot conceive of anything else. This complacency means that we have channeled so much of our intellectual effort, resources, education and esteem into the existing methods that the more needed habits of thinking do not get a chance. There are no resources left, and many educators have told me there simply is no time teach thinking in school.

We are as locked into our institutions and structures as we are to beliefs. The paradox is that as we move forward into the room for change because everything is locked into position. We rely so much on the excellence of argument for attack and defence that we fail to see that something may be 'right' but inadequate for the larger framework.

(from the book, I am right, you are wrong. pg 28). [Q2004]

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]

Galileo Galilei

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. [Q934]

Ibni Sina

The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit. [Q1922]

Mohandas Gandhi

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. [Q571]

Edward Tufte

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

Thor Heyerdahl

Those who have experienced the most, have suffered so much that they have ceased to hate. Hate is more for those with a slightly guilty conscience, and who by chewing on old hate in times of peace wish to demonstrate how great they were during the war. [Q1542]


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. [Q853]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Mario Cuomo

Poll watching politicians respond with Pavlovian sureness. The touch every button, satisfy every rabid carving with swift passage of draconian and regressive measures. They serve up a binge of new death penalty statutes as though there had suddenly been discovered proof that the death penalty can save lives. [Q1822]

Phil Jackson

Approach the game with no preset agendas and you'll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts. [Q208]


The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. [Q822]

Edward de Bono

There can be no truth in the media and in this respect the media model for perception. There is no truth in perception. It is always from a point of view. It is never complete.

Understanding perception has a very high practical value because it covers most of our thinking outside technical areas. The above comment on the media is one example. We should never expect the media to be objective because perception does not work that way.

The only truth in perception is the 'truth' of belief systems. As we shall see, beliefs arise very easily from circularity phenomenon in the underlying system. As we understand how beliefs arise and how they are sustained we can see why logical arguments will not touch beliefs, prejudices, and faulty perceptions. this is of great practical value, since various belief systems are a major component of human affairs.

(From the book, I am right, you are wrong. Pg 46-47) [Q2012]

John Wooden

Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability. [Q474]

Anonymous Professor Stanford University

The only advice I might offer to your design process is to imitate nature: use evolution. By this I mean to design many experiments, test your assumptions and designs with those you are designing for, and iteratively improve your designs based upon what you learn. [Q483]

Wendell Berry

We need better government, no doubt about it. But we also need better minds, better friendships, better marriages, better communities. [Q1323]


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

John Paul Lederach

Using violent means to stop violence is like stomping on a dandelion after it's gone to seed. [Q597]

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]

Pete Seeger

I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. [Q347]

Blaise Pascal

How can a part know the whole [Q669]

Senator Paul Simon

Paul Simon on Newt Gingrich, "When Newt is good he is very, very good and when he is bad, he is horrid." [Q1729]

John Steinbeck

No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself. [Q1370]

Coretta Scott King

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. [Q38]

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]

The Holy Bible

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? — James 2:14-20 [Q1612]

Václav Havel

A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit.... A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states. [Q1778]

Abraham Lincoln

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise .. with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. — Presidential Message to Congress Dec 1, 1862 [Q1059]

Marshall McLuhan

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be. [Q1470]


Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. [Q637]

Hermann Hesse

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin. [Q579]

Dar Williams

And where does magic come from? I think that magic's in the learning. [Q1958]


It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything. [Q778]

Senator Paul Simon

The day I stop searching for truth should be my last. [Q1705]

Theodore Roosevelt

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. [Q505]

Clarence Darrow

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure - that is all that agnosticism means [Q1098]

Titus Maccius Plautus

Modus omnibus in rebus - In everything the middle course is best, all things in excess brings contention. — Poenulus [Q1218]

T.S. Elliot

It's strange that words are so inadequate. Yet, like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words. [Q338]

Adlai Stevenson

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. [Q1644]

Swami Vivekananda

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. [Q1145]


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]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens. [Q962]

Swami Vivekananda

Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. [Q1137]

Lenny Bruce

Communism is like one big phone company. [Q334]


You think wisdom is a flower for you to pluck. It is a mountain and it must be climbed. — Kung Fu Television Series - Season Two Episode # 23 - The Tong [Q578]

Henry Drummond

As long as the pre-requisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate.....I say to Hell with it! — Inherit the Wind [Q100]

Simon and Garfunkel

People talking without speaking. People hearing without listening. People writing songs that voices never share. And no one dared disturb the sound of silence. — The Sound of Silence [Q575]

George Carlin

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. [Q5]

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]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express. [Q960]


Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond. [Q1236]

Marshall McLuhan

All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values. [Q1448]

Albert Einstein

It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy. [Q358]

Jimi Hendrix

Music is my religion. [Q638]

Thomas Paine

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

Robert H. Schuller

You can often measure a person by the size of his dream. [Q466]

Randy Pausch

I'm a scientist who sees inspiration as the ultimate tool for doing good. [Q54]

Oscar Wilde

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

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]


Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort. [Q819]

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]

Richard P. Feynman

I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you. [Q978]

Edward de Bono

The to-and-fro of political argument has little constructive or creative force. This is because argument was never intended to be creative or constructive. Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not create it. Argument can oppose a bad idea and can modify, and thereby improve, a good idea. But it does not design new ideas any more than garden shears grow a garden. Politicians, however, do not have to be creative. For ideas they listen to their advisers and analysts. (from the book, I am Right, you are wrong. Page 22. [Q2002]

Jesse Jackson

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams. [Q1551]

Jean-Paul Marat

God has always been hard on the poor. [Q1520]

Marshall McLuhan

Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior. [Q1457]

Ward Cunningham

A wiki is like a party that doesn’t have to stop. It’s a party that doesn’t get crowded because new rooms appear when needed. It’s a timeless party where you can try each conversation over and over until you get it right. [Q1007]

Senator Paul Simon

While I am a Democrat, and proud of the affiliation, most problems do not involve political philosophy. They are nuts-and-bolts problems for which people of good will should sit around a table and find solutions. [Q1730]


For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first. [Q844]

Todd Solondz

When part of what you're trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh. [Q478]

Stephen Jay Gould

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos. [Q1810]

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]


After this event there was contention for a long time between the upper classes and the populace. Not only was the constitution at this time oligarchical in every respect, but the poorer classes, men, women, and children, were the serfs of the rich. They were known as Pelatae and also as Hectemori, because they cultivated the lands of the rich at the rent thus indicated. The whole country was in the hands of a few persons, and if the tenants failed to pay their rent they were liable to be haled into slavery, and their children with them. All loans secured upon the debtor's person, a custom which prevailed until the time of Solon, who was the first to appear as the champion of the people. But the hardest and bitterest part of the constitution in the eyes of the masses was their state of serfdom. Not but what they were also discontented with every other feature of their lot; for, to speak generally, they had no part nor share in anything. — The Athenian Constitution — Section 1 Part 2 [Q1620]

Saul Alinsky

Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life. [Q989]

Theodore C. Sorensen

We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might. [Q2021]

Deirdre Sullivan

My real battle is doing good versus doing nothing at all. [Q242]

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]

Maximilien Robespierre

No one loves armed missionaries. [Q1296]

Senator Paul Simon

I did not oppose closing any and all postal offices, but I believed strongly — and still believe — that small communities need encouragement, that the flight from rural areas to the cities is often not healthy either for the rural areas or the cities. [Q1727]


Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation; not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant. [Q1561]

David Foster Wallace

For these cultures, getting rid of the pain without addressing the deeper cause would be like shutting off a fire alarm while the fire's still going. [Q982]

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