Quotations of Wisdom

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David Hume

The advantages found in history seem to be of three kinds, as it amuses the fancy, as it improves the understanding, and as it strengthens virtue. [Q1360]

Titus Maccius Plautus

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

Nikola Tesla

Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse. [Q1682]

Blaise Pascal

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

Henry Drummond

Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, backward, through the glorious ages of that sixteenth century, when bigots burned the man who dared to bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind. — Inherit the Wind [Q103]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay. [Q414]

Theodore Roosevelt

A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues. [Q1280]

Edward Teller

The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. [Q739]

Ronald Reagan

Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. [Q1222]

Scott Nesler

Though the United States Constitution mandates the freedom of speech, it says nothing about being heard. [Q1223]

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]

Ludwig Fuerbach

In religion, man denies his reason. [Q1524]

Jack Kerouac

I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. [Q2097]

Leonardo DaVinci

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. [Q1314]


The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety. [Q1588]

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]

Franz Kafka

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

Upton Sinclair

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. [Q57]

Henry Drummond

All I want is to prevent the clock-stoppers from dumping a load of medieval nonsense into the United States Constitution. — Inherit the Wind [Q102]

Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them. [Q1956]

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]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Harder still it has proved to rule the dragon Money... A whole generation adopted false principles, and went to their graves in the belief they were enriching the country they were impoverishing. [Q2034]

Master Po

Old Man, how is it that you hear these things? Young Man, how is it that you do not? — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q510]

Michel de Montaigne

If ordinary people complain that I speak too much of myself, I complain that they do not even think of themselves. [Q1171]

Edward B Titchener

Empathy [Q2048]

Thomas Jefferson

My partiality for that division [of every county into wards] is not founded in views of education solely, but infinitely more as the means of a better administration of our government, and the eternal preservation of its republican principles. The example of this most admirable of all human contrivances in government, is to be seen in our Eastern States; and its powerful effect in the order and economy of their internal affairs, and the momentum it gives them as a nation, is the single circumstance which distinguishes them so remarkably from every other national association. [Q532]

Price David

Our country's political discourse and debate are enriched by discussions of the political implications of our faith traditions, whether they are taking place in our communities, at our dinner tables, or in our places of worship. [Q1377]


Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. [Q1234]

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]

Comte de Lautréamont

Arithmetic! Algebra! Geometry! Grandiose trinity! Luminous triangle! Whoever has not known you is without sense! [Q260]


Veiling truth in mystery. [Q1591]

Marshall McLuhan

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

David Baker

What that book does for me is give me the tools in the same way that I had the tools when I learned the regular scales or the alphabet. If you give me the tools, the syntax, and the grammar, it still doesn't tell me how to write Ulysses. [Q2090]


To know nature is to put oneself in perfect harmony with the universe. Heaven and earth are one. So must we seek a discipline of mind and body within ourselves. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q522]

Bryant McGill

Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination. [Q1381]

Niklaus Wirth

Many people tend to look at programming styles and languages like religions: if you belong to one, you cannot belong to others. But this analogy is another fallacy. [Q1049]

Richard Stallman

The desire to be rewarded for one's creativity does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that creativity. [Q1246]

Marshall McLuhan

The scientist rigorously defends his right to be ignorant of almost everything except his speciality. [Q1482]

Thomas E Mann

In addition to the decline in competition, American politics today is characterized by a growing ideological polarization between the two major political parties. [Q430]

Scott Nesler

The lack of a common language is a barrier. Even with the same dialect, each technology contains its own obtrusive jargon. Joining together a diverse group in a common language requires time and resources which many are not motivated to provide. [Q378]

Oscar Wilde

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

Buckminster Fuller

The earth is like a spaceship that didn't come with an operating manual. [Q113]

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]

René Descartes

I think; therefore I am. [Q1117]

Benjamin Franklin

How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them. [Q1254]


Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. 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. [Q1235]


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]


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


Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. [Q784]

Wendell Berry

Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare. [Q1337]

Senator Paul Simon

In the Philippines, 80,000 woman are admitted to hospitals each year with complications from botched abortions. A physician in the Ivory Coast of Africa reported, "Forty percent of woman who come to Trecheville hospital come because of traditional or back-alley abortions. Between 16 and 18 percent of these woman die without leaving the hospital.".

Logic rarely prevails on these emotional issues. It is always easier to be strong and dogmatic if you stick to beliefs that are based on a selected slice of the evidence.


Galileo Galilei

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. [Q942]

Sebastien Paquet

I learned from physics that it is often best not to rush in to solve a problem. The time you invest in really understanding a problem is typically given to you back several-fold: - It simplifies the problem at hand; - It creates new learning in your mind, which will make subsequent similar problems easier to tackle. Second, computer science taught me that there are many ways to skin a cat. Programming is essentially a communication challenge. It is about clarifying initially fuzzy concepts and relations and representing them in code. The way you do this determines how much or how little trouble you're setting yourself up for — From his blog What Physics and Computer Science Taught Me about Thinking [Q292]

Senator Paul Simon

The first academic offer came from Southern Illinois University, where I would teach many years later. I explained to them that while I had written a number of books and had more honorary doctorates than I deserved, I had not finished college. They said that would be no problem. They had another faculty member named Buckminster Fuller who did not have a bachelor's degree. [Q1726]

Marshall McLuhan

Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness. A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation. [Q1464]

Senator Paul Simon

Religion is the only field where many leaders assume all truth has been revealed. In chemistry and mathematics and all other areas, truths are build upon truths. In mathematics, for example, whoever came up with the formula that two and two are four did not say, "I have found the truth. Let's stop here." The search for the truth is continued, building on the base of knowledge already acquired. [Q1698]


In a fearful nation the king is law. [Q1176]

David Ogilvy

I don't know the rules of grammar... If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular. [Q2087]

Stephen Hawking

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special. [Q733]


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

Noam Chomsky

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists. [Q163]

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]

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

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


Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. [Q767]


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

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]

Jawaharlal Nehru

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance. [Q991]

Julian Assange

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

Václav Havel

I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions. [Q1746]

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]

Richard P. Feynman

I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. [Q974]

Nikola Tesla

The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. [Q1685]

Robert Bárány

The interpretation of facts in a certain way stimulates other scientists' thoughts. [Q1435]

Maximilien Robespierre

No one loves armed missionaries. [Q1296]

Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. [Q214]


Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. [Q867]

Adlai Stevenson

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end. [Q1646]


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

Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. [Q25]

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]

Lenny Bruce

The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them. [Q336]

Thomas Paine

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon. [Q280]

Al Gore

Our democracy, our constitutional framework is really a kind of software for harnessing the creativity and political imagination for all of our people. The American democratic system was an early political version of Napster. [Q1245]

Katherine Anne Porter

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. [Q524]

Jeanne DuPrau

There is so much darkness in Ember, Lina. It's not just outside, it's inside us, too. Everyone has some darkness inside. It's like a hungry creature. It wants and wants and wants with a terrible power. And the more you give it, the bigger and hungrier it gets. — The City of Ember [Q1039]


Much learning does not teach understanding. [Q917]

Robert J. Gula

We all have emotional needs: the need to love, to be loved, to be accepted, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to feel a sense of self-worth, to feel important, to feel needed, to protect ourselves, to attain status in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, to be secure. These needs, in turn, conceal other emotions: love, hate, fear, jealousy, anger, guilt, greed, hope, loyalty. The emotions are fragile and sensitive. They are easily tampered with and they are easily manipulated. A person who knows how to appeal to our emotions can deceive us, manipulate us, and get us to accept as true that which is untrue. — Nonsense Red Herrings, Staw Men and Sacred Cows: HOw We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. [Q1185]

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]

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]

Bryant H. McGill

One column of truth cannot hold an institution of ideas from falling into ignorance. It is wiser that a person of prudence and purpose save his strength for battles that can be won. [Q716]

Tracy Chapman

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people leading ordinary lives. Filled with love, compassion, forgiveness and sacrifice. — — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1494]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. [Q418]

Václav Havel

Cultural conflicts are increasing and are understandably more dangerous today than at any other time in history. The end of the era of rationalism has been catastrophic. Armed with the same supermodern weapons, often from the same suppliers, and followed by television cameras, the members of various tribal cults are at war with one another. [Q1805]

Theodore Roosevelt

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. [Q1279]

Don Draper

People tell you who they are, but we ignore it. Because we want them to be who we want them to be. [Q1556]


Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts. [Q855]

Margaret Mead

Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive. [Q1419]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others. [Q412]

Thomas Mann

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them. [Q1528]

Michel de Montaigne

The ceaseless labour of your life is to build the house of death. [Q1175]

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