Quotations of Wisdom

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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 name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers. [Q1478]

Julian Assange

And to some degree it is of such scope that it eclipses the economic ability of the press to go through it. It’s going to require not just the press but all interested parties to understand this material. [Q1209]


Death is not the worst that can happen to men. [Q877]

Edward de Bono

Computers will give us dangerously logical answers based on our faulty perceptions. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. Pg 44) [Q2011]

Carl Sagan

We are born to delight in this world. We are taught to distinguish our preconceptions from the truth. Then new worlds are discovered as we decipher the mysteries of the cosmos. Science is a collective enterprise that embraces many cultures and spans the generations in every age and sometimes in the most unlikely places there are those who wish with a great passion to understand the world. There is noway of knowing where the next discovery will come from. What dream of the minds eye will remake the world. — Cosmos [Q1238]

René Descartes

I think; therefore I am. [Q1117]

Clarence Darrow

The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. [Q1107]

William Gibson

The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed. [Q678]


Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself. [Q924]

Galileo Galilei

We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves. [Q943]

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]

Aldous Huxley

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. [Q633]

Stephen Bantu Biko

The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. [Q1544]

Richard M Nixon

We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another - until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. [Q308]

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]

Nikola Tesla

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. [Q1677]

Adlai Stevenson

Every age needs men who will redeem the time by living with a vision of the things that are to be. [Q1647]

Christopher Alexander

The difference between prose and poetry is not that different languages are used, but that the same language is used differently. In an ordinary English sentence, each word has one meaning, and the sentence too, has one simple meaning. In a poem, the meaning is far more dense. Each word carries several meanings; and the sentence as a whole carries an enormous density of interlocking meanings, which together illuminate the whole. [Q666]

Václav Havel

The truth is not simply what you think it is; it is also the circumstances in which it is said, and to whom, why, and how it is said. [Q1773]

Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. [Q2030]

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]

David Foster Wallace

This is so American, man: either make something your God and cosmos and then worship it, or else kill it. [Q985]

Charles Lindbergh

Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most? [Q1939]

Stefan Zweig

Fate is never too generous even to its favorites. Rarely do the gods grant a mortal more than one immortal deed. [Q1299]

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]

Buckminster Fuller

While it takes but meager search to discover that many well-known concepts are false, it takes considerable search and even more careful examination of one's own personal experiences and inadvertently spontaneous reflexing to discover that there are many popularly and even professionally unknown, yet nonetheless fundamental, concepts to hold true in all cases and that already have been discovered by other as yet obscure individuals. That is to say that many scientific generalizations have been discovered but have not come to the attention of what we call the educated world at large, thereafter to be incorporated tardily within the formal education processes, and even more tardily, in the ongoing political-economic affairs of everyday life. Knowledge of the existence and comprehensive significance of these as yet popularly unrecognized natural laws often is requisite to the solution of many of the as yet unsolved problems now confronting society. Lack of knowledge of the solution's existence often leaves humanity confounded when it need not be. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q178]


I seek not to know all the answers but to understand the questions. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 - Episode # 14 [Q528]

Galileo Galilei

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

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]

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]

Richard M Nixon

The press is the enemy. [Q307]


A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. [Q871]

Lao Tzu

The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes. [Q2074]

Ivar Giaever

There are many stories circulating about scientists who have sudden flashes of insight seemingly coming from nowhere. The fact is that scientists often become so engrossed in their ideas that they constantly turn them over in their minds whether they drive, eat, sleep, or make love. This ruminating process allows unrelated impulses to trigger associations in the brain, and eureka — An unexpected solution suddenly appears. In 'lateral thinking' this haphazard way of gaining insight is replaced by a deliberate method that, in prescribed and systematic way, solves the problem. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's, I am Right You are Wrong. [Q1986]

Margaret Mead

A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again. [Q1414]

Joseph and Owen Lovejoy

What right have five hundred or five thousand to interfere with the lawful expression of a free man's sentiments because they happen to number more than those who think with him. We spurn the base tyranny—this utter denial of all rights, save as the tender mercies of a mob shall vouchsafe them. If Mr. Lovejoy's views were erroneous, let them be refuted; if his motives were corrupt, (but this is not pretended,) let them be exposed and contemned; if his actions were unlawful, let them be lawfully punished. But, right or wrong, none of these were better or worse for the fact that they were unacceptable to the majority. He had as perfect and absolute a right to proclaim and defend his sentiments in Illinois, where nine-tenths may be opposed to them, as though all were enthusiastic in their favour; and he who would deny or in the least degree abridge this right, is an enemy to freedom, and a hypocrite if he dare pretend to republicanism. — The New Yorker [Q1890]

George Taylor

If this is the best they've got around here, in six months we'll be running this planet. [Q1603]

Albert Einstein

Times such as these have always bred defeatism and despair. But there remain, nonetheless, some few among us who believe man has within him the capacity to meet and overcome even the greatest challenges of this time. If we want to avoid defeat, we must wish to know the truth and be courageous enough to act upon it. If we get to know the truth and have the courage, we need not despair. [Q1874]

Marshall McLuhan

One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with. [Q1468]

George Bernard Shaw

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. [Q699]

Martin Luther King

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to 'order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice. [Q1893]

Carl Sagan

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

Genghis Khan

It is not sufficient that I succeed - all others must fail. (The antithesis of the Do Good Gauge) [Q141]

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]

Scott Nesler

You can't force a point of view. You can only guide it with the clarity of your perspective. [Q181]

Michel de Montaigne

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly. [Q1168]

Roger Penrose

Well, gauge theory is very fundamental to our understanding of physical forces these days. But they are also dependent on a mathematical idea, which has been around for longer than gauge theory has. [Q1040]

Thomas Paine

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. [Q262]

Thomas Jefferson

The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged. [Q535]

Clarence Darrow

Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom; Justice is what comes out of a courtroom. [Q1103]

Thomas Huxley

Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. [Q1051]

Albert Einstein

May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers! [Q583]

Scott Nesler

Sometimes we become so focused on the syntax of words that meaning is lost. Understanding is an iterative process often involving fuzzy logic. Don't let words get in the way of understanding. [Q400]

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]

Noam Chomsky

States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions. [Q158]

Hideki Tōjō

In the shadow of the prosperity of Europe and America, the colored peoples of East Asia and Africa have been sacrificed and forced into a state of semi-colonization. I would point out that the cultural advance of these people has been suppressed in the past and continues to be suppressed in the present by policies designed to keep them in ignorance. [Q1070]

John Mayer

Ladies, if you want to know the way to my heart... good spelling and good grammar, good punctuation, capitalize only where you are supposed to capitalize, it's done. [Q2077]

Theodore Roosevelt

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

The Jungle

It was all so painfully obvious to Jurgis! It was so incomprehensible how a man could fail to see it! Here were all the opportunities of the country, the land, and the buildings upon the land, the railroads, the mines, the factories, and the stores, all in the hands of a few private individuals, called capitalists, for whom the people were obliged to work for wages. The whole balance of what the people produced went to heap up the fortunes of these capitalists, to heap, and heap again, and yet again – and that in spite of the fact that they, and every one about them, lived in unthinkable luxury! And was it not plain that if the people cut off the share of those who merely "owned," the share of those who worked would be much greater? That was as plain as two and two makes four; and it was the whole of it, absolutely the whole of it; and yet there were people who could not see it, who would argue about everything else in the world. They would tell you that governments could not manage things as economically as private individuals; they would repeat and repeat that, and think they were saying something! They could not see that "economical" management by masters meant simply that they, the people, were worked harder and ground closer and paid less! They were wage-earners and servants, at the mercy of exploiters whose one thought was to get as much out of them as possible; and they were taking an interest in the process, were anxious lest it should not be done thoroughly enough! Was it not honestly a trial to listen to an argument such as that? - Chapter 30 - Page 387 of 428 - Published 1906 [Q1901]

Albert Einstein

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

Alexis de Tocqueville

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it. [Q956]

Buckminster Fuller

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

Kenneth Pike

Fruitful discourse in science or theology requires us to believe that within the contexts of normal discourse there are some true statements. [Q1376]

Thomas Paine

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. [Q274]

Edward de Bono

We prefer to put our trust in evolution. This is because evolution is gradual and allows the pressure of needs, values, reactions and events to mould ideas. It allows the shaping force of criticism. Bad ideas will die. Good ideas will survive and become even better. We really like the method of evolution because it fits our traditional thinking habits. Change has its own energy and we can modify and control this by the use of our critical faculties because criticism is the basis of our thinking tradition. Evolution is also collective and seems democratic, whereas design always seems autocratic. (From the book, I am Right, you are Wrong, page 19) [Q1997]

Pablo Picasso

You mustn't always believe what I say. Questions tempt you to tell lies, particularly when there is no answer. [Q607]

Thomas Wolfe

Publishing is a very mysterious business. It is hard to predict what kind of sale or reception a book will have, and advertising seems to do very little good. [Q1199]

Coretta Scott King

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

Charles Lindbergh

To a person in love, the value of the individual is intuitively known. Love needs no logic for its mission. [Q1933]

Flannery O'Connor

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth. [Q613]

Louis Pasteur

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. [Q1023]

Galileo Galilei

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

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]

Woody Guthrie

All you can write is what you see. [Q1042]

Charles Schulz

There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. [Q56]

John Boyd Orr

Though the general principles of statecraft have survived the rise and fall of empires, every increase in knowledge has brought about changes in the political, economic, and social structure. [Q1157]

David Hume

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. [Q1353]


You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself. [Q831]

Dante Alighieri

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. [Q1514]

Václav Havel

The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin — and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost. [Q1779]


I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. [Q885]

James Q Wilson

Order exists because a system of beliefs and sentiments held by members of a society sets limits to what those members can do. [Q1908]

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]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it. [Q1076]

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]

Senator Paul Simon

The Illinois State Journal some time ago carried an editorial titled 'The Right to Know' suggesting Illinois enact a law similar to one in California requiring actions and deliberations of government bodies of that state be conducted in public ... I stressed over and over that the public had the right to know what decisions a public body reached and how they reached it. [Q1721]

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]

Scott Nesler

Science is a method of study using approximation. Typically there are more than one answer. Truth or right are not as important as understanding the winner is chosen based on a thorough knowledge of available information and the quest to explore new frontiers. [Q1608]

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]

Napoleon Bonaparte

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. [Q92]

Adlai Stevenson

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don't forget when you leave why you came. [Q1657]

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The idea that to make a man work you've got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We've done that for so long that we've forgotten there's any other way. [Q1881]

Clarence Darrow

No other offense has ever been visited with such severe penalties as seeking to help the oppressed. [Q1105]

Ward Cunningham

There is a programming smell here… which is kind of like the smell in your refrigerator, you know. There's a sign that there's something wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it. But you know if you leave it there, its only going to get worse. [Q221]

Leo Tolstoy

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. [Q1060]

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]

Albert Einstein

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them! [Q67]

Scott Nesler

In the non answer is the answer. [Q1953]


The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied. [Q1565]

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