Quotations of Wisdom

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Edward de Bono

Experience has shown that reason and logic can never change perception, emotions, prejudices, and beliefs. Yet we continue in the pious hope that if everyone would 'see reason' the world would be so much better. As we shall see later, there are very good reasons why logic will never affect emotions and beliefs. The only way to do this is through perception. But we have totally failed to develop an understanding of perception. (from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. Pg 40) [Q2009]

Mustafa Kemal

In the face of knowledge, science, and of the whole extent of radiant civilization, I cannot accept the presence in Turkey's civilized community of people primitive enough to seek material and spiritual benefits in the guidance of sheiks. The Turkish republic cannot be a country of sheiks, dervishes, and disciples. The best, the truest order is the order of civilization. To be a man it is enough to carry out the requirements of civilization. The leaders of dervish orders will understand the truth of my words, and will themselves close down their lodges [tekke] and admit that their disciplines have grown up. [Q1931]

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]

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]

Mustafa Kemal

To the women: Win for us the battle of education and you will do yet more for your country than we have been able to do. It is to you that I appeal.

To the men: If henceforward the women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development. We shall remain irremediably backward, incapable of treating on equal terms with the civilizations of the West.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

Genius always finds itself a century too early. [Q413]

Senator Paul Simon

It was great to see many long-time friends, including Dick Cheney who had his office next to mine when we were House members. He has served the nation superbly in several capacities. He now heads the Halliburton Corporation. (From Simon's Autobiography published in 1999 prior to the George W. Bush / Dick Cheney presidency). [Q1831]


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. [Q795]

Mohandas Gandhi

Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent. [Q561]

Dante Alighieri

Worldly fame is but a breath of wind that blows now this way, and now that, and changes name as it changes direction. [Q1517]

Wendell Berry

A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. [Q1319]

Wendell Berry

It is wrong to condemn people for doing a thing and then offer no alternative but failure. A person could get mad about that. [Q1328]


Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal. [Q880]

Julian Assange

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

Woodrow Wilson

Our great industrial nation is not controlled by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men…Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately centered. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men…Who necessarily by very reason of their own limitations chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom. We have become one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. [Q1972]

Edward de Bono

I suspect that the ideas put forward in this book will be received with rage and outrage. Ideas such as these can be expressed only in book form. That is one of the key justifications for the continued existence of books and a justification for reading. But the guardians of culture are language-based. Any book has to pass through the 'literary' gateway. Since much of this book questions the sufficiency of our traditional language-based argument and logic, I do not expect very objective response. So readers will need to come to their own conclusions.

Cybernecticians, mathematicians, and information scientist will have much less trouble with the book than those with a 'literary' or 'legalistic' frame of mind. People in business and those involved in doing things (as distinct from describing things) will also see the need for 'operacy' and for constructive and creative thinking. There are also many who have always felt that 'design' is as important as 'analysis'.

(from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. page 31). [Q2006]

Max Born

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


There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. [Q900]

Konrad Lorenz

We had better dispense with the personification of evil, because it leads, all too easily, to the most dangerous kind of war: religious war. [Q1433]

Peter the Hermit

The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress. — A.D. 1274 [Q1387]

Senator Paul Simon

A group of farmers came to see me, suggesting that a good way to save money would be to cut back on welfare payments for poor people, and then a few minutes later asked for larger farm subsidies, obviously not labelling them as welfare for farmers. Bankers who preach about the free enterprise system fought hard to get high guaranteed interest rates for banks written into the law in the student loan program. Every group is guilty of this. [Q1723]


He was a wise man who invented beer. [Q883]

William Bernbach

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. [Q1957]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

I have sworn eternal opposition to slavery, and by the blessing of God I will never turn back. [Q2050]

Margaret Mead

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. [Q1425]

Woodrow Wilson

Generally young men are regarded as radicals. This is a popular misconception. The most conservative persons I ever met are college undergraduates. The radicals are the men past middle life. [Q744]

Galileo Galilei

By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. [Q931]

Marshall McLuhan

As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of 'do it yourself.' [Q1454]

Hiram Johnson

The first casualty of war is truth. [Q1860]

Bo Derek

It's really difficult for me. Language, I am sorry that I haven't. I think I just always expected that you learn a word in place of a word and when I discovered how difficult the grammar was and learning that was very discouraging for me. [Q2080]

René Descartes

You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing. [Q1129]

Walter Annenberg

All I ever seek from good deeds is a measure of respect. [Q433]

Edward de Bono

In our legal system we make a sharp distinction between 'guilty' and 'innocent'. If guilty there is punishment to follow. In Japan half the arrested offenders are released by the prosecutor, who has power to let them go if they apologize and seem intent on behaving better in the future. The emphasis in the Japanese system is not on judgement category but on what comes next. The crime rate in Japan is very low. There is one lawyer for 9,000 people compared to one lawyer for 400 in the USA. — Page 9, Chapter: Introduction: The New Renaissance - I am Right You are Wrong. [Q1992]


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

Blaise Pascal

Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them. [Q586]

John Maynard Keynes

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. [Q37]

Robert W McChesney

The number one lobby that opposes campaign finance reform in the United States is the National Association of Broadcasters. [Q167]

David Hume

The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny. [Q1361]

Galileo Galilei

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

Václav Havel

Today's world, as we all know, is faced with multiple threats. From whichever angle I look at this menace, I always come to the conclusion that salvation can only come through a profound awakening of man to his own personal responsibility, which is at the same time a global responsibility. Thus, the only way to save our world, as I see it, lies in a democracy that recalls its ancient Greek roots: democracy based on an integral human personality personally answering for the fate of the community. [Q1800]

John Maynard Keynes

There is no harm in being sometimes wrong- especially if one is promptly found out. [Q36]


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

Marshall McLuhan

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

Kenneth Anger

I have a problem with censorship by the lawyer - by legal people by the publishing firm, and I may be changing publishers. They don't seem to want to take too many risks with living people. [Q1198]

Blaise Pascal

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

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]


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

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]


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

Napoleon Hill

War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man. [Q687]

Senator Paul Simon

In the arena of religion — as well as politics — it is sometimes too easy to say with certitude, "I'm right and you're wrong," and then slip into saying, "I'm good and you're bad." The later leads to intolerance and bloodshed. [Q1697]

Adlai Stevenson

The New Dealers have all left Washington to make way for the car dealers. [Q1651]

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]

Stephen Hawking

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road. [Q727]

Wendell Berry

We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? [Q1318]

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]

Isaac Asimov

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

Carl Sagan

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent to the concerns of such creatures as we. [Q229]


Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances. [Q1587]


Cease to think that the decrees of the gods can be changed by prayers. [Q1571]

Thomas Jefferson

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. [Q1242]

Eric Schmidt

When the Internet publicity began, I remember being struck by how much the world was not the way we thought it was, that there was infinite variation in how people viewed the world. [Q1294]


Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

David Schweickart

In Capitalist societies ordinary people are deemed competent enough to select their political leaders-but not their bosses. Contemporary capitalism celebrates democracy, yet denies us our democratic rights at precisely the point where they might be utilized most immediately and concretely: at the place where we spend most of the active and alert hours of our adult lives. [Q2070]

John Lennon

You better recognize your brothers, in everyone you meet — From the Lyrics of Instant Karma [Q1206]

G. K. Chesterton

Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; [Q1111]

Robert Pirsig

The truth knocks on your door and you say, go away I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling. [Q373]

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]

Jeanne DuPrau

The trouble with anger is, it gets hold of you. And then you aren't the master of yourself anymore. Anger is. And when anger is the boss, you get unintended consequences. — The City of Ember [Q1038]


Perhaps the day may come when we shall remember these sufferings with joy. [Q1586]

Marshall McLuhan

Antipathy, dissimilarity of views, hate, contempt, can accompany true love. [Q1450]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are. [Q425]

Saul Alinsky

Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you're free to live. You no longer care about your reputation. You no longer care except so far as your life can be used tactically to promote a cause you believe in. [Q988]

Thomas Jefferson

With all the imperfections of our present government, it is without comparison the best existing, or that ever did exist. [Q195]

Michel de Montaigne

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself. [Q1173]

Walter Koenig

Religious tolerance is something we should all practice; however, there have been more persecution and atrocities committed in the name of religion and religious freedom than anything else. [Q1501]

David Hume

The rules of morality are not the conclusion of our reason. [Q1362]

Albert Einstein

As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it. [Q399]

Freeman Dyson

A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering. [Q1001]

René Descartes

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. [Q1113]

Sir Francis Bacon

Practical men, like owls, see clearly in the dim twilight of their preconceptions and are blinded by the bright light of truth. [Q1871]

Pablo Picasso

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought. [Q603]

Clarence Darrow

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. [Q1102]

Buckminster Fuller

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. [Q117]

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]

Thor Heyerdahl

I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea. [Q1535]

Theodore Roosevelt

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public. [Q1289]

David Lynch

Absurdity is what I like most in life, and there's humor in struggling in ignorance. If you saw a man repeatedly running into a wall until he was a bloody pulp, after a while it would make you laugh because it becomes absurd. [Q708]


Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine, were taken away. [Q793]

Edward de Bono

We must also remember that sometimes value changes can be harmful. Apparent value changes gave power and cohesion to Nazi Germany. the encouragement of hostility and warlike values has been responsible for much aggression. Prejudice and persecution have also arisen in the past from encouraged values. (From the book, I am Right, you are Wrong, Page 21) [Q1999]

David S. Allen

Meaning, under discourse theory, is discursively redeemed; it does not exist solely in the author's intent but in the complex linguistic relationship between speaker and hearer. The key to creating that ethical discourse is allowing all citizens who want to participate to do so. — Democracy, Inc. (Page 40) [Q291]

Marshall McLuhan

I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it. [Q1460]

Theodore Roosevelt

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

Bible - Timothy 6:6

But godliness with contentment is great gain. [Q916]

David S Allen

Over time, the stories journalist tell about their place in democracy have changed from claiming rights enjoyed by all citizens to rights enjoyed by a privileged professional group. — Democracy, Inc. — Introduction — Page 10 [Q240]

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of it scientists, and the hopes of its children. [Q1219]

Kurt Gödel

To be overcritical and reluctant to use what is given hampers success. To reach the highest degree of clarity and general philosophy, empirical concepts are also important. [Q1965]

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]

Abraham Lincoln

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all. [Q490]

Richard M Nixon

The press is the enemy. [Q307]

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