Quotations of Wisdom

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Werner Heisenberg

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. [Q726]

Woodrow Wilson

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

Richard P. Feynman

The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization. [Q969]

Plato

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. [Q1617]

Caine

...the chameleon... A small lizard. He has the great gift of changing the color of his skin, that he may hide himself from predators. ... Yet he never changes himself. ... He is still... a chameleon. — "Kung Fu" The Hoots 1973 Season 2, Episode 10 [Q595]

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]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men. [Q1087]

Robert W McChesney

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

David S Allen

The structure of public life seems so entirely natural to most Americans that few question the fundamental assumptions of modern corporate ideology, including the idea that media content should be driven solely by questions of popularity, that larger corporations will provide better and more efficient service than smaller corporations, that technology can solve society's problems, and that an ideological individualism that values confrontation, winning, and capitalism is prefereable to an ideological community that values discourse and understanding. — Democracy, Inc. - Introduction - Page 7 [Q237]

Richard Feynman
 

I don't believe I can really do without teaching. The reason is, I have to have something so that when I don't have any ideas and I'm not getting anywhere I can say to myself, "At least I'm living; at least I'm doing something; I am making some contribution" — it's just psychological.

When I was at Princeton in the 1940s I could see what happened to those great minds at the Institute for Advanced Study, who had been specially selected for their tremendous brains and were now given this opportunity to sit in this lovely house by the woods there, with no classes to teach, with no obligations whatsoever. These poor bastards could now sit and think clearly all by themselves, OK? So they don't get any ideas for a while: They have every opportunity to do something, and they are not getting any ideas. I believe that in a situation like this a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you, and you begin to worry about not getting any ideas. And nothing happens. Still no ideas come.

Nothing happens because there's not enough real activity and challenge: You're not in contact with the experimental guys. You don't have to think how to answer questions from the students. Nothing! In any thinking process there are moments when everything is going good and you've got wonderful ideas. Teaching is an interruption, and so it's the greatest pain in the neck in the world. And then there are the longer period of time when not much is coming to you. You're not getting any ideas, and if you're doing nothing at all, it drives you nuts! You can't even say "I'm teaching my class."

If you're teaching a class, you can think about the elementary things that you know very well. These things are kind of fun and delightful. It doesn't do any harm to think them over again. Is there a better way to present them? The elementary things are easy to think about; if you can't think of a new thought, no harm done; what you thought about it before is good enough for the class. If you do think of something new, you're rather pleased that you have a new way of looking at it.

The questions of the students are often the source of new research. They often ask profound questions that I've thought about at times and then given up on, so to speak, for a while. It wouldn't do me any harm to think about them again and see if I can go any further now. The students may not be able to see the thing I want to answer, or the subtleties I want to think about, but they remind me of a problem by asking questions in the neighborhood of that problem. It's not so easy to remind yourself of these things.

So I find that teaching and the students keep life going, and I would never accept any position in which somebody has invented a happy situation for me where I don't have to teach. Never.

[Q1910]

Karl Menninger

The voice of the intelligence is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance. [Q707]

Richard P. Feynman

In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. The great problems of the relations between one and another aspect of human activity have for this reason been discussed less and less in public. [Q968]

Theodore Roosevelt

The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency. [Q1288]

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]

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]

Leo Tolstoy

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. [Q1061]

Charles Schulz

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. [Q1640]

Senator Paul Simon

As the price of a slave went up, so did the slaveholder's desire to retain the system. Opponents of slavery like Lovejoy were perceived as trying to take away "property" growing in value, and this perception intensified the animosity between pro-slavery and anti-slavery people. [Q1886]

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]

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]

René Descartes

I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery. [Q1116]

T.S. Elliot

There is not a more repulsive spectacle than on old man who will not forsake the world, which has already forsaken him. [Q341]

Lucretius

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

Epicurus

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

Paul Krugman

...whoever finally gets the Republican nomination will be a deeply flawed candidate. And these flaws won’t be an accident, the result of bad luck regarding who chose to make a run this time around; the fact that the party is committed to demonstrably false beliefs means that only fakers or the befuddled can get through the selection process. [Q1708]

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

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

Aristotle

Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. [Q840]

Anaxagoras

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

T.S. Elliot

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

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]

George Carlin

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

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]

Voltaire

Of all religions, the Christian should of course inspire the most tolerance, but until now Christians have been the most intolerant of all men. [Q1500]

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]

Thomas Carlyle

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. [Q1616]

Mark Twain

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. [Q61]

Thomas Jefferson

This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force [Q541]

Scott Nesler

It's difficult getting to the root of a problem when the focus is on the fruit. [Q106]

Václav Havel

The history of the human race has generated several papers articulating basic moral imperatives, or fundamental principles, of human coexistence that — maybe in association with concurring historical events — substantially influenced the fate of humanity on this planet. Among these historic documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — adopted fifty years ago today — holds a very special, indeed, unique position. It is the first code of ethical conduct that was not a product of one culture, or one sphere of civilization only, but a universal creation, shaped and subscribed to by representatives of all humankind. Since its very inception, the Declaration has thus represented a planetary, or global commitment, a global intention, a global guideline. For this reason alone, this exceptional document — conceived as a result of a profound human self-reflection in the wake of the horrors of World War II, and retaining its relevance ever since — deserves to be remembered today. [Q1769]

Blaise Pascal

How can a part know the whole [Q669]

John Maynard Keynes

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

William Lyon Phelps

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older. [Q1054]

Oscar Wilde

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs forever and ever. [Q620]

Jack Kerouac

Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion. [Q2098]

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]

Plato

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

Barbara Deming

Vengeance is not the point; change is. But the trouble is that in most people's minds the thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide. [Q1395]

Mohandas Gandhi

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. [Q566]

Episode 109 Snap Judgement

Blind obedience to authority is critical because all of our training as children is in fact to be blindly obedient to authority. The problem is that not all authority deserves our respect. [Q1529]

Franklin Roosevelt

It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. [Q359]

Socrates

The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers. — Attributed to by Plato — 380 BC [Q1388]

Hypatia

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]

Abraham Joshua Heschel

A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair. [Q659]

Buckminster Fuller

Search others for their virtue, and yourself for your vices. [Q112]

Margaret Mead

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. [Q1427]

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]

Michel de Montaigne

How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith which today we tell as fables. [Q1166]

Margaret Mead

I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings. [Q1421]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'. [Q1080]

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]

John Boyd Orr

After the First World War the economic problem was no longer one of production. It was the problem of finding markets to get the output of industry and agriculture dispersed and consumed. [Q1150]

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]

Plato

Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder. [Q914]

Stephen Hawking

It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. [Q730]

prot

Dr. Mark Powell: What if I were to tell you that according to a man who lived on our planet, named Einstein, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light?

prot: I would say that you misread Einstein, Dr. Powell. May I call you Mark? You see Mark, what Einstein actually said was that nothing can accelerate to the speed of light because its mass would become infinite. Einstein said nothing about entities already traveling at the speed of light or faster.

[Q1225]

Wendell Berry

As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection. [Q1344]

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]

Master Kan

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 television series, 1972 [Q548]

Buckminster Fuller

Always go along with the truth as you know it. [Q134]

Ramana Maharshi

The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress. [Q1041]

Woodrow Wilson

Social reform is a matter of cooperation, and, if it be of a novel kind, requires an infinite deal of converting to bring [people] to believe in it and support it. [Q1820]

Tracy Chapman

We are the spirit the collective conscience. — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1493]

Pete Seeger

One of the things I'm most proud of about my country is the fact that we did lick McCarthyism back in the fifties. [Q351]

Epicurus

I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding. [Q797]

Adlai Stevenson

To act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man - and also a nation. [Q1655]

Media Democracy as described on Wikipedia

... that the health of the democratic political system depends on the efficient, accurate, and complete transmission of social, political, and cultural information in society; that the media are the conduits of this information and should act in the public interest; that the mass media have increasingly been unable and uninterested in fulfilling this role due to increased concentration of ownership and commercial pressures; and that this undermines democracy as voters and citizens are unable to participate knowledgeably in public policy debates. Without an informed and engaged citizenry, policy issues become defined by political and corporate elites. [Q174]

Scott Nesler

The problem is not our governance, it is that the vast majority of the citizens don't know how to play the game. Ideologies serving a minuscule point of view have figured out how to pull their resources to gain favor in the system. There is no single ideology representative of the populace. Until the whole starts intelligently collaborating towards a common good expect to continue interpreting the system as irrational. Internet technology can alter this irrational exuberance of power. [Q346]

Lord Henry Brougham

Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to govern, but impossible to enslave. [Q1861]

Edward de Bono

Political thinking by its very nature is short-term and selfish (especially in a democracy). (from the book, I am right you are wrong. pg 39) [Q2008]

Henry David Thoreau

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. [Q402]

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]

Scott Nesler

The world is not flat nor is an argument. [Q129]

Robert Anton Wilson

Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only own one encyclopedia. [Q83]

Socrates

A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true. [Q759]

Wendell Berry

A teacher, finally, has nothing to go on but faith, a student nothing to offer in return but testimony. [Q1325]

Meister Eckhart

Words derive their power from the original word. [Q1639]

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]

Swami Vivekananda

As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God. [Q1136]

Marshall McLuhan

I don't necessarily agree with everything I say. [Q1459]

Daniel H. Pink

It's in our nature to seek purpose. But that nature is now being revealed and expressed on a scale that is demographically unprecedented and, until recently, scarcely imaginable. The consequences could rejuvenated our business and remake our world. — Drive, Chapter 6. Purpose. [Q371]

Albert Einstein

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. [Q21]

prot

Let me tell you something, Mark. You humans, most of you, subscribe to this policy of an eye for an eye, a life for a life, which is known throughout the universe for its ... stupidity. Even your Buddha and your Christ had quite a different vision. But nobody's paid much attention to them, not even your Buddhists and your Christians. [Q1224]

Scott Nesler

In the world of discourse objectivity is little more than subjective consensus. [Q655]

Dante Alighieri

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

Dante Alighieri

Small projects need much more help than great. [Q1513]

Charles Lindbergh

I have seen the science I worshipped, and the aircraft I loved, destroying the civilization I expected them to serve. [Q1943]

Charles Lindbergh

All mentally well-balanced persons know that we are not governed by the true principals of social justice when we make the main aim of our social existence the gaining of money. [Q1940]

Elbert Hubbart

Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. [Q1385]

Plato

Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others. [Q906]

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