Quotations of Wisdom

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Buckminster Fuller

Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking. [Q107]


The greatest wealth is to live content with little. [Q899]

Scott Nesler

The best argument of an average individual is better than the average argument of the best op-ed journalist. [Q187]

Jared Diamond

We study the injustices of history for the same reason that we study genocide, and for the same reason that psychologists study the minds of murderers and rapists... to understand how those evil things came about. [Q2019]

Thomas Jefferson

Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of monarchial government]. [Q540]

Erwin Chargaff

Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question "How?" but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question "Why?" [Q1439]

Alexis de Tocqueville

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all. [Q959]

Scott Nesler

Never let go of your dream and don't assume someone will develop the essence of your thought. Until you see your idea in reality, keep pushing forward. [Q665]

Dan Dennet

The secret of happiness: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it. [Q1984]

Jack Kerouac

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

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]

Ward Cunningham

The blogosphere is a community that might produce a work. Whereas a wiki is a work that might produce a community. It’s all just people communicating. [Q1002]

Noam Chomsky

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


Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. [Q664]

Antonio Damasio

The autobiographical self is built on the basis of past memories and memories of the plans that we have made; it’s the lived past and the anticipated future. [Q1978]

Christopher Alexander

We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed and a context which we cannot properly describe. [Q668]

Isaac Newton

To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. [Q370]

Noam Chomsky

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume. [Q150]

Noam Chomsky

One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free ... An alternative conception of democracy is that the public must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. — Media Control - The Spectacular Achievement of Propaganda [Q182]

Galileo Galilei

The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go. [Q941]

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]

St. Francis of Assisi

It was easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me to embrace God in all things. [Q2036]

Carl Jung

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. [Q256]

Stephen Hawking

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

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]


The years have been good. Quiet and measured. Flowing slowly like water. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q514]

Margaret Mead

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. [Q946]

Scott Nesler

The task of doing good is subjective, requiring refinement to reach its highest potential. [Q1179]

Buckminster Fuller

I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I've invented. [Q108]

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]

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]

Adlai Stevenson

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. [Q1644]

Francis Bacon

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. [Q1952]


The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil. [Q786]

Deirdre Sullivan

My real battle is doing good versus doing nothing at all. [Q242]

Buckminster Fuller

While my contemporaries were looking how to make a living, I decided to focus on what needed to be done for society. [Q130]


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]

Senator Paul Simon

There are times when decisions may be difficult and when there may be no reasons to take a position. But there are also times, like this one, when to be neutral in a fight between right and wrong is to be on the side of the wrong. — (In Reference to the mob murder of Elijia Lovejoy) [Q1892]

Tim O'Reilly

Empowerment of individuals is a key part of what makes open source work, since in the end, innovations tend to come from small groups, not from large, structured efforts. [Q546]

Meister Eckhart

There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence. [Q1632]

Clarence Darrow

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of. [Q1097]


Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind. [Q858]

Scott Nesler

Truth is found in the journey. Facts are often road blocks. When the answer is traversed it is discovered the question was never asked in the first place. [Q2023]

Julius Rosenberg

I feel that the majority of people should decide for themselves what kind of government they want. [Q1545]

Scott Nesler

It's a fact that facts are misused. [Q52]

George S Patton

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. [Q501]

Contact the Movie

I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right? [Q1411]

Václav Havel

When a person tries to act in accordance with his conscience, when he tries to speak the truth, when he tries to behave like a citizen, even in conditions where citizenship is degraded, it won't necessarily lead anywhere, but it might. There's one thing, however, that will never lead anywhere, and that is speculating that such behavior will lead somewhere. [Q1771]

Simon and Garfunkel

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made. And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming. And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls. And tenement halls". And whispered in the sounds of silence. — The Sound of Silence. [Q576]

John Boyd Orr

The real evil of the Russian communist state is not communism. It is the secret police and the concentration camp. [Q1155]

David Mitchell

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. &mdash Cloud Atlas [Q2093]

T.S. Elliot

I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates. [Q337]

Edward Sapir

A common allegiance to form of expression that is identified with no single national unit is likely to prove one of the most potent symbols of the freedom of the human spirit that the world has yet known. [Q2065]

Christopher Alexander

The structure of life I have described in buildings - the structure which I believe to be objective - is deeply and inextricably connected with the human person, and with the innermost nature of human feeling. [Q672]

Václav Havel

Human beings are compelled to live within a lie, but they can be compelled to do so only because they are in fact capable of living in this way. Therefore not only does the system alienate humanity, but at the same time alienated humanity supports this system as its own involuntary masterplan, as a degenerate image of its own degeneration, as a record of people's own failure as individuals. [Q1780]

John Trenchard

Very great riches in private men are always dangerous to states, because they create greater dependence than can be consistent with the security of any sort of government whatsoever; they place subjects upon too near a level with their sovereigns; make the nobility stand upon too great an inequality in respect of one another; destroy, amongst the Commons, that balance of property and power, which is necessary to a democracy... [Q1905]

Senator Paul Simon

Beecher and two others had been tried for heresy in the local presbytery in 1833 for "their liberal theology." Central to the charge was their antislavery stand. [Q1887]

Nikola Tesla

Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world. Our hearing extends to a small distance. Our sight is impeded by intervening bodies and shadows. To know each other we must reach beyond the sphere of our sense perceptions. We must transmit our intelligence, travel, transport the materials and transfer the energies necessary for our existence. [Q1683]

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]

Albert Einstein

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. [Q121]

Mohandas Gandhi

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. [Q571]

Senator Paul Simon

When radio-evangelist Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority gave me a zero rating and Dick Kelly a 100 percent rating, and Dick was subsequently indicted and convicted, I used his rating to defend myself. When asked about my Moral Majority rating, I told reporters, "I knew I was morally imperfect, I just didn't realize the extent of my imperfection." One of the "immoral" votes I cast, according to the Moral Majority, was one for foreign aid to help poor and hungry people. [Q1731]

Woody Guthrie

Left wing, chicken wing, it don't make no difference to me. [Q354]

Master Kan

Ten million living things have as many worlds. 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 Series 1972 — Episode # 9 [Q527]

Brian Greene

The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers. [Q741]

Albert Einstein

The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in the United States is closely connected with this. [Q311]


Fear is proof of a degenerate mind. [Q1577]

Margaret Mead

Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess. [Q947]

Randy Pausch

I'm a scientist who sees inspiration as the ultimate tool for doing good. [Q54]

Marshall McLuhan

Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam. [Q1473]

Henry Poincaré

A sane mind should not be guilty of a logical fallacy, yet there are very fine minds incapable of following mathematical demonstrations [Q1045]


Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion. [Q769]

Cesar Chavez

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart. [Q2073]

William Gibson

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

Bruce Sterling

The level of ignorance is declining, and the ability to accumulate data and manipulate it for various ends is increasing. [Q1740]

Alfred North Whitehead

In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. Today we maintain ourselves. Tomorrow science will have moved forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgement which will then be pronounced on the uneducated. [Q1863]

Peter Coyote

Everyone knows that our current system is kind of like legalized prostitution. The corporate sector completely controls the civic sector. [Q2044]

Mohandas Gandhi

Live simply so that others may simply live. [Q1311]

David S Allen

... the values of corporations, which emphasize efficiency, maximizing profits, scientific reasoning, and winning as opposed to understanding, have become the values of the public sphere. — Democracy, Inc Introduction (Page 2) [Q190]

Edwin Hubbel Chaplin

Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link into the great chain of order. [Q1738]


Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior. Such is the state of mind which creates revolutions. [Q850]

Steve Nash

I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person's life is the affect they have on others. [Q441]

Henry Drummond

Then why did God plaint us with the power to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above the other creatures of the earth: the power of his brain to reason? — Inherit the Wind [Q105]

Leo Tolstoy

War on the other hand is such a terrible thing, that no man, especially a Christian man, has the right to assume the responsibility of starting it. [Q1063]


Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm. [Q1024]

Noam Chomsky

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. [Q153]

Dalai Lama

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. [Q543]

Jean de La Fontaine

Let ignorance talk as it will, learning has its value. [Q714]

Alexander Fleming

One sometimes finds what one is not looking for. [Q314]

Margaret Mead

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation. [Q954]

Václav Havel

None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events. [Q1750]

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]

Milton Friedman

The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience. [Q281]

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]

Oscar Wilde

By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community. [Q618]

Michel de Montaigne

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

Will Rogers

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so. [Q1374]

Noam Chomsky

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

Michel de Montaigne

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

Master Po

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

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