Quotations of Wisdom

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Plutarch

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]

Scott Nesler

A spelling mistake should not diminish a valid argument. [Q1252]

Robert Louis Stevenson

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. [Q1312]

Marshall McLuhan

The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. [Q1484]

Gautama Buddha

There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it. [Q2]

Clarence Darrow

Laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they serve. [Q1104]

Louis Pasteur

Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance favors the prepared mind. [Q1020]

Woodrow Wilson

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it. [Q748]

Adlai Stevenson

He who slings mud generally loses ground. [Q1648]

Claude Pepper

Life is like riding a bicycle; you don't fall off unless you stop pedaling. [Q1641]

Lao Tzu

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. [Q1618]

David Hume

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

Thurgood Marshall

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. [Q755]

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The first duty of a wise advocate is to convince his opponents that he understands their arguments and sympathizes with their just feelings. [Q1852]

Henry Ford (Attributed To)

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. [Q1669]

R Jeffrey Lustig

Since ancient times statesmen have attempted to create a policy that could harness private interests to the public welfare. The corporation succeeds, by contrast, in harnessing the vast public to a private interest. It subordinates plurality to singularity, the many to the few. — David S. Allen, Democracy, Inc. (Page 4), Reference to R. Jeffrey Lustig, Corporate Liberalism: The Origins of Modern American Political Theory 1890-1920. [Q236]

Buckminster Fuller

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

Buckminster Fuller

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody. [Q115]

Alan Greenspan

I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms. [Q1069]

Kurt Gödel

Intuition is not proof; it is the opposite of proof. We do not analyze intuition to see a proof but by intuition we see something without a proof. [Q1963]

Sophocles

Men should pledge themselves to nothing; for reflection makes a liar of their resolution. [Q1255]

Edward de Bono

The false dichotomies we constructed in order to operate the logic principles of contradiction have been so especially disastrous. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. page 37) [Q2007]

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]

King of Jordan Hussein I

Let me say this loud and clear. There is a world of difference between terrorist acts and the Islamic Shari'a. Islam is not only a religion, but a way of life. And at its heart lie the sacred principles of tolerance and dialogue. [Q1498]

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]

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]

James Q Wilson

At root in almost every area of important concern, we are seeking to induce persons to act virtuously, whether as schoolchildren, applicants for public assistance, would-be lawbreakers or voters and public officials [Q1907]

Thurgood Marshall

What is the quality of your intent? [Q758]

Jimmy Wales

People are not fundamentally bad. It only takes the smallest of correctives to take care of that tiny minority that wants to disrupt the community. [Q218]

Sarah's Key

Sometimes our own stories are the ones we can never tell. But if a story isn't told it becomes something else; forgotten. [Q1878]

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]

Oscar Wilde

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

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]

Jay Inslee

Tolerance is carved into the rostrum of the U.S. House of Representatives and intolerance should not be carved into the U.S. Constitution. [Q1504]

Albert Einstein

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. [Q372]

John Boyd Orr

There can be no peace in the world so long as a large proportion of the population lack the necessities of life and believe that a change of the political and economic system will make them available. World peace must be based on world plenty. [Q1156]

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]

Ward Cunningham

Wiki helped define the category of social software. [Q1016]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a journey, not a destination. [Q1609]

John Boyd Orr

The increase of territory and power of empires by force of arms has been the policy of all great powers, and it has always been possible to get the approval of their state religion. [Q1154]

Carl Sagan

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. [Q227]

Hypatia

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]

Epictetus

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. [Q815]

Senator Paul Simon

With flawed understanding, I try to reach reality in religion. But I know my understanding is flawed, and that helps to avoid excessively dogmatic assertions. [Q1696]

John Searle

Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself. [Q1187]

Albert Einstein

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. [Q24]

Plato

The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles. [Q894]

Charles Lindbergh

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. [Q1936]

Wendell Berry

Do not think me gentle because I speak in praise of gentleness, or elegant because I honor the grace that keeps this world. I am a man crude as any, gross of speech, intolerant, stubborn, angry, full of fits and furies. That I may have spoken well at times, is not natural. A wonder is what it is. [Q1341]

Robert Fuller

Anger congeals to hate when people fear domination and experience the indignity of being discounted. No one, conservative or progressive, likes being taken for a nobody. Hatred takes root when fears remain unaddressed and dignity is disregarded. Imagined indignities can feel as injurious as real ones, and suffice to incite people to commit mayhem and murder. [Q1346]

Noam Chomsky

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

Plato

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]

Marshall McLuhan

Publication is a self-invasion of privacy. [Q1471]

George Mobus

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

Václav Havel

The recent period — and in particular the last six weeks of our peaceful revolution — has shown the enormous human, moral and spiritual potential, and the civic culture that slumbered in our society under the enforced mask of apathy. Whenever someone categorically claimed that we were this or that, I always objected that society is a very mysterious creature and that it is unwise to trust only the face it presents to you. I am happy that I was not mistaken. Everywhere in the world people wonder where those meek, humiliated, sceptical and seemingly cynical citizens of Czechoslovakia found the marvellous strength to shake the totalitarian yoke from their shoulders in several weeks, and in a decent and peaceful way. [Q1790]

Václav Havel

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. [Q1760]

Dante Alighieri

Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge. [Q1508]

William Shakespeare

If music be the food of love, play on. [Q1613]

Noam Chomsky

The concept of “democratizing the media” has no real meaning within the terms of political discourse in the United States. In fact, the phrase has a paradoxical or even vaguely subversive ring to it. Citizen participation would be considered an infringement on freedom of the press, a blow struck against the independence of the media that would distort the mission they have undertaken to inform the public without fear or favor... this is because the general public must be reduced to its traditional apathy and obedience, and driven from the arena of political debate and action, if democracy is to survive. — Chapter 1: Democracy and the Media," Necessary Illusions [Q173]

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]

Scott Nesler

I would like to think we're all placed on this planet with the task to do good. Each one of us is given the opportunity to achieve the success of Budda, Plato, Jesus Christ, Michelangelo, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, or Jimmy Wales. [Q1178]

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]

Stephen Jay Gould

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

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]

Thomas J. Watson

The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it's very difficult to build and very easy to destroy. The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer. [Q1203]

Václav Havel

There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side. [Q1757]

Thomas Fuller

A good life is the only religion. [Q1526]

Scott Nesler

The time to change the minds of a herd is not during a stampede toward a cliff. [Q135]

Anna Howard Shaw

Think of submitting our measure to the advice of politicians! I would as soon submit the subject of the equality of a goose to a fox. [Q462]

Barry Goldwater

To be successful, representative government assumes that elections will be controlled by the citizenry at large, not by those who give the most money. Electors must believe their votes count. Elected officials must owe there allegiance to the people, not to their own wealth or to the wealth of interest groups who speak only for the selfish fringes of the whole community. (Attributed to Barry Goldwater in Paul Simon's Autobiography, page 307) [Q1819]

Wendell Berry

Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy. [Q1327]

Wendell Berry

The poem is important, but not more than the people whose survival it serves. [Q1342]

Clarence Darrow

Even if you do learn to speak correct English, whom are you going to speak it to? [Q1095]

Aristotle

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life. [Q854]

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]

Václav Havel

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. [Q1745]

David Boies

Here you have a new technology, and if that technology is going to work, you must allow people to provide central indexes of the data. It's just like a newspaper that publishes classified ads. [Q1215]

Blaise Pascal

It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants. [Q591]

David Hume

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

Lucretius

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

Václav Havel

Let us teach ourselves and others that politics should be an expression of a desire to contribute to the happiness of the community rather than of a need to cheat or rape the community. [Q1793]

Pythagoras

A thought is an idea in transit. [Q921]

Carl Sagan

We humans long to be connected with our origins, so we create rituals. Science is another way to express this longing. It also connects us with our origins. It too has its rituals and commandments. Its only sacred truth is that there are no sacred truths. All assumptions must be critically examined. Arguments from authority are worthless. Whatever is inconsistent with the facts, no matter how fond of it we are, must be discarded or revised. Science is not perfect. It is often misused. It's only a tool, but its the best tool we have. Self correcting, ever changing, applicable to everything. With this tool we vanquish the impossible. With the methods of science we have begun to explore the cosmos. For the first time, scientific discoveries are widely accessible. [Q1239]

Senator Paul Simon

While I accept the Christian beliefs, I reject the absolutism and rigidity which is too often part of Christian followers as well as those of other faiths. I believe that logic an lead to a belief in a Supreme Being, whatever the name. [Q1693]

Virgil

Trust one who has tried. [Q1590]

Plutarch

We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away. [Q791]

Lisa Nesler

I have now discovered where children learn strategy, sharing, bargaining, bartering, sales, verbal, non-verbal, and social skills. It has very little to do with home life, and everything to do with the lunchroom. I witnessed bargaining and bartering while sitting silently at lunch in an elementary school. Had I not known better, I would have thought I was in Soulard Market on a Saturday morning. At least you know that when you send lunch to school. SOMEONE is eating it. And really, your kids DO eat....something....maybe Grace's PB & J, or Charlie's carrots. [Q1812]

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]

Marshall McLuhan

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

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]

Theodore Roosevelt

I am a part of everything that I have read. [Q504]

Master Po

Superstition is like a magnet. It pulls you in the direction of your belief. [Q55]

Robert W McChesney

Basically what they're saying is, if you want to be on TV, if you want to be a credible candidate, you've got to buy ads. And if you're not buying ads, you're not a credible candidate, we don't cover you. [Q166]

Ann Landers

Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. [Q448]

Plato

There must always remain something that is antagonistic to good. [Q903]

Adlai Stevenson III

Today's politics tends to focus on popularity and the games: who is supporting whom, the polls and the money, personalities over truth, substitutes for Reason. [Q1844]

Thurgood Marshall

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish. [Q757]

George Canning

I can prove anything by statistics except the truth. [Q363]

Galileo Galilei

Where the senses fail us, reason must step in. [Q944]

John F Kennedy

So, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country. [Q2064]

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