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Thursday, May 30, 2013

quotes random from the net

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart."

Learning is to the mind what food is to the body "There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers."
-- Erich Fromm

"Genius begins great works; labour alone finishes them."
-- Joseph Joubert.

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you."
~William Arthur Ward

Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place in the contents. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. Nothing ever happens twice alike. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. The most tranquil house, with the most serene inhabitants, living upon the utmost regularity of system, is yet exemplifying infinite diversities. ~Henry Ward Beecher

I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.
Katherine Kurtz, spoken by Javan
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus
It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man's fate is not important.
"If it is not, what is?"
He could not endure those remembered words.
Ursula K. Le Guin, spoken by Gaverel Rocannon, Rocannon's World
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP Keynote Address
There is no God.
But it does not matter.
Man is enough.
Edna St. Vincent Milay, Conversation at Midnight
"I was saying," continued the Rocket, "I was saying - What was I saying?"
"You were talking about yourself," replied the Roman Candle.
"Of course; I knew I was discussing some interesting subject when I was so rudely interrupted."
Oscar Wilde, The Remarkable Rocket
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar Wilde
The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
Oscar Wilde
The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Naranek, Babylon 5: Believers
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer (1934)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, opening line of A Tale of Two Cities
It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens, end of A Tale of Two Cities
To err is human, to forgive divine.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism
Aim for the stars and maybe you'll reach the sky.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share,
and no one dare disturb the Sound of Silence.
Simon & Garfunkel, Sounds of Silence
All lies and jest; still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
Simon & Garfunkel, The Boxer
Nothing endures but change.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Every man is the architect of his own fortune.
Appius Claudius
I think; therefore I am.
Rene Descartes
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Chinese Proverb
Our care should not be to have lived long as to have lived enough.
Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.
. . is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.
Frank Herbert, Dune
People need hard times and oppression to develop psychic muscles.
Frank Herbert, Dune
Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. . . . the human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.
Frank Herbert, Dune
What do you despise? By this are you truly known.
Frank Herbert, Dune, Manual of MuadDib by Princess Irulan
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
Frank Herbert, Dune, Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
There was only one catch and that was Catch22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask, and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.
Joseph Heller, Catch22
The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.
Joseph Heller, Catch22
"And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways", Yossarian continued "There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?"
Joseph Heller, Catch22
"First pancake problem" Generally you toss it out and serve the second pancake, which is not burned on the outside and raw in the middle. But sometimes, you gotta eat that first pancake.
David Lance Goines
My close relationship with Alice Waters illustrates the kind of client with whom I get along best. We have a clear aesthetic, are dedicated to our work, and leave each other to do the best we can for each other. I cannot imagine a finer relationship.
David Lance Goines, Graphic Designer
Insisting on perfect safety is for people who don't have the balls to live in the real world.
Mary Shafer, NASA Ames Dryden
I don't speak for others and they don't speak for me.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.
Arthur Conan Doyle, Complete Sherlock Holmes, Valley of Fear
Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.
Arthur Conan Doyle, opening line of The Hound of the Baskervilles
Dr. Strauss says I should rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on..
Daniel Keys, opening line of Flowers for Algernon
Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.
Jack London, opening line of The Call of the Wild
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
J.D. Salinger, opening line of The Catcher in the Rye
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy, opening line of Anna Karenina
Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith.
Robert A. Heinlein, opening line of Stranger in a Strange Land
When any government . . . undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything--you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On...
If on the other hand he went to pay his respects to The Door and it wasn't there . . . what then?
The answer, of course, was very simple. He had a whole board of circuits for dealing with exactly this problem, in fact this was the very heart of his function. He would continue to believe in it whatever the facts turned out to be, what else was the meaning of Belief?
The Door would still be there, even if the Door was not.
Douglas Adams, spoken by the Electric Monk, Dirk Gently: Holistic Detective Agency
"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worth while?"
Death thought about it "Cats," he said eventually, "Cats are Nice."
Terry Pratchett, Sourcery
Nigel gave the lamp a cautious buff and small smoking red letters appeared in the air.
"Hi," Nigel read aloud, "Do not put down the lamp because your custom is important to us. Please leave a wish after the tone and, very shortly, it will be our command. In the meantime, have a nice eternity."
Terry Pratchett, Sourcery
You can't trample infidels when you're a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
In a mad world, only the mad are sane.
Akiro Kurosawa
If at first you don't succeed, well, so much for skydiving.
Victor O'Reilly, Games of the Hangman
Necessity, who is the mother of invention.
Plato, The Republic. Book II. 369C
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Plato, The Republic. Book II. 377B
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
Plato, The Republic. Book VII. 529
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Plato, The Republic. Book VII. 536
Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.
Plato, The Republic. Book VIII. 558
What a poor appearance the tales of poets make when stripped of the colours which music puts upon them, and recited in simple prose.
Plato, The Republic. Book X. 601B
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854),I,Economy
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854),I,Economy
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854),I,Economy
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854), II, Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
The works of the great poets have never yet been read by mankind, for only great poets can read them.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854), III, Reading
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden(1854),V, Solitude
In wildness is the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau, Walking(1862)
Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Henry David Thoreau
If I were asked to say what is at once the most important production of Art and the thing most to be longed for; I should answer; A beautiful House; and if I were further asked to name the production next in importance and the thing next to be longed for; I should answer; A beautiful Book. To enjoy good houses and good books in self-respect and decent comfort, seems to me to be the pleasurable end towards which all societies of human beings ought now to struggle.
William Morris (1892)
It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), spoken by Huck Finn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), What Is Man?(1906)
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Notebooks(1935)
It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. (The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.)
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Let us endeavor to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), from Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar(1894)
It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that make horseraces.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), from Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar(1894)
The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Albert Einstein
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
Albert Einstein
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
Albert Einstein
Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!
Albert Einstein
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Albert Einstein
How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.
Albert Einstein
Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.
Albert Einstein
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet,(Act II, scene ii)
This above all: to thine own self be true
William Shakespeare, Hamlet,(Act I, scene iii)
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet,(Act I, scene ii)
What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!
William Shakespeare, spoken by Hamlet, Hamlet,(Act II, scene ii)
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare, spoken by Macbeth, Macbeth,(Act V, scene v)
One man scorned and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage
to reach the unreachable stars;
and the world will be better for this.
Mitch Leigh, The Quest, based on Cervantes
Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.
No one feels another's grief, no one understands another's joy. People imagine that they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.
Franz Schubert
"Do you know what I learned from you? I learned what is possible, and now I must hold out for what I thought we had. I want to be very close to someone I respect and admire and have somebody who feels the same way about me. That or nothing. I realized that what I'm looking for is not what you're looking for. You don't want what I want."
"What do you think I want?" I asked.
"Exactly what you have. Many women you know a little and don't care very much about. Superficial flirtations, mutual use, no chance of love. That's my idea of hell. Hell is a place, a time, a consciousness, Richard, in which there is no love. Horrible! Leave me out of it."
Richard Bach, Spoken by Leslie Parrish and Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
Respect for sovereignity, for privacy, for total independence. Gentle alliances against loneliness, they were, cool rational love-affairs without the love.
Richard Bach, Thoughts of Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
The world's crazy, when it comes to beauty.
Richard Bach, Spoken by Leslie Parrish, The Bridge Across Forever
Sooner I'd try to change history than turn political, than try convincing others to write letters or to vote or to march or to do something they didn't already feel like doing.
Richard Bach, Thoughts of Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
Two things I do value a lot, intimacy and the capacity for joy, didn't seem to be on anyone else's list. I felt like the stranger in a strange land, and decided I'd better not marry the natives.
Richard Bach, Spoken by Leslie Parrish, The Bridge Across Forever
That she won the game startled me cold. The way she won, the pattern of her thought on the chessboard, charmed me warm again and then some.
Richard Bach, Thoughts of Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.
Richard Bach, note written by Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
It is by not always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might somehow be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be searching and lost ...
Richard Bach, Spoken by Leslie Parrish, The Bridge Across Forever
A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
We're different, we're the same. You thought you'd never find a word to say to a woman who didn't fly airplanes. I couldn't imagine myself spending time with a man who didn't love music. Could it be it's not as important to be alike as it is to be curious? Because we're different, we can have the fun of exchanging worlds, giving our loves and excitements to each other. You can learn music, I can learn flying. And that's only the beginning. I think it would go on for us as long as we live.
Richard Bach, spoken by Leslie Parrish, The Bridge Across Forever
You thought you knew what pain was. You thought that whatever happened, you could handle it. You thought that you were in control. You thought wrong. Now you've lost it all. She's gone. All that's left is the numbing pain. You have to let go to stop the pain, but you can't. It's like a drug to you now. You don't want to need it, but it has become a part of you, and it won't loosen its grip on you. The control you once fought for, is gone. You have no control. And you just don't care.
Sanjay Singh
Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that's second nature with me, but don't be fooled. For God's sake don't be fooled.
I give the impression that I am secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game;
that the waters are calm and I am in command,
and that I need no one.
But don't believe me, please.
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask, ever-varying and ever-concealing
'Neath this lies no complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know.
I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed.
That is why I frantically create a mask to hide behind;
a nonchalant, sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation.
My only salvation. And I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance, if it is followed by love.
It is the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself,
that I am worth something.
But, I don't tell you this. I don't dare. I am afraid to.
I am afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love.
I am afraid you will think less of me, that you will laugh at me,
and that you will see this and reject me.
So I play my game, my desperate game,
with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within.
And so begins the parade of masks, and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that is really nothing,
and nothing of what is everything,
of what is crying within me;
So when I am going through my routine do not be fooled by what I am saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying.
What I would like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say, but I can't say.
I dislike hiding, Honestly!
I dislike the superficial game I am playing, the phony game.
I would really like to be genuine and spontaneous, and me,
but you have got to help me. You have got to hold out your hand,
even when that is the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes that blank stare of breathing death.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you try to understand and because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings, very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings.
With your sensitivity and sympathy, and your power of understanding,
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be the creator of the person that is me if you choose to.
Please choose to. You alone can break down the wall
behind which I tremble, you alone can remove my mask.
You alone can release me from my shadowworld of panic and uncertainty;
From my lonely person.
Do not pass me by.
Please... do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you;
a long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me, the blinder I strike back.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for. But I am told that
love is stronger than walls, and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands,
but with gentle hands for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder? I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet.
_________________Jill Zevallos-Solak, 1974_____________________
[ Death scene of Cyrano ]
It is coming... I feel
Already shod with marble... gloved with lead...
Let the old fellow come now! He shall find me
On my feet sword in hand [ He draws his sword. ]
I can see him there he grins
He is looking at my nose that skeleton
What's that you say? Hopeless? Why, very well!
But a man does not fight merely to win!
No no better to know one fights in vain! ...
You there Who are you? A hundred against one
I know them now, my ancient enemies
[ He lunges at the empty air. ]
Falsehood! ... There! There! Prejudice Compromise
Cowardice [ Thrusting ] What's that? No! Surrender? No!
Never never! ... Ah, you too, Vanity!
I know you would overthrow me in the end
No! I fight on! I fight on! I fight on!
Edmond Rostand, spoken by Cyrano de Bergerac
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Bertrand Russell, Autobiography
Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
Bertrand Russell
The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.
Bertrand Russell
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death....Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
Bertrand Russell
If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and ... if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own I would refuse....I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist.
Ayn Rand
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (1943)
The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.
Justice Anthony Kennedy
With the first link, a chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.
Jean-Luc Picard, quoting a fictional judge, Star Trek : The Next Generation, The Drumhead
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
William Pitt (1756-1806), speech on the India Bill 18 November 1783
Respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, ... and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Preamble to the Libertarian Platform
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evilminded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 479 (1928)
Since when is "public safety" the root password to the Constitution?
C. D. Tavares
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine
You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
Lyndon Johnson
The main problem with today's high-technology society is that we allow politicians to run it instead of people equipped with the wherewithal to understand it. Their mentalities are still in the nineteenth century. How can they hope to manage complex economies when they're not competent to run a yard-sale. What can they do that requires even a smattering of knowledge or intellect?
People let them get away with it. If people are gonna elect turkeys to tell them what to do, then the people are gonna have problems. You can't blame the turkeys. The Constitution never guaranteed smart government; it guaranteed representative government. And it works - that's what we've got.
The trouble with the damn system is that it selects for the skills needed to get elected, and nothing else... which requires only an ability to fool a sufficient number of people for just long enough to get the votes.
Unfortunately the personal qualities necessary for attaining office are practically the opposite of those demanded by the office itself. A test that you can pass only by cheating can't possibly select honest people, can it?
James P. Hogan, Code of the Lifemaker
Take Nothing but Pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
Motto of the National Speleological Society
Money often costs too much.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy.
Warren Buffet
You can choose a ready guide
In some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide
You still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears
and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will chose free will.
RUSH, Free Will
Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Faith: not *wanting* to know what is true.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
In heaven all the interesting people are missing.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us.
Peter De Vries
Faith, noun. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Ambrose Bierce
Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
Ambrose Bierce
Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei
I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.
Thomas Jefferson
The clergy believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyrrany known to the mind of man.
Thomas Jefferson
Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blind faith.
Thomas Jefferson
Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
Thomas Jefferson
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson
For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
Charles Bukowski
If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
Woody Allen
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
I'm trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It's only life after all
Emily Saliers, the Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line.
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.
Emily Saliers, the Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine
And now someone's on the telephone desperate in his pain
Someone's on the bathroom floor doing her cocaine
Someone's got his finger on the button in some room
No one can convince me we aren't gluttons for our doom
Emily Saliers, the Indigo Girls, Prince Of Darkness
But I can't do the talks like they talk on my tv screen
I can't do a love song not the way you sang them to me
I can't do everything but I would do anything for you
Oh no I can't do anything except be in love with you
Dire Straits, Romeo & Juliet
There's only us, there's only this.
Forget regret or life is yours to miss....
There's only now, there's only here.
Give in to love or live in fear.
No other path, no other way, no day but today.
RENT, Jonathan Larson
That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.
William J. H. Boetcker
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor
The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.
Doug Larson
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
George Bernard Shaw
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw
Democracy: The substitution of election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw
Some men see things as they are and say "Why." He dreamed things that never were and said "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw, John Bull's Other Island
Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903), Maxims for Revolutionists: The Golden Rule
The universe is not indifferent to intelligence, it is actively hostile to it.
Love thy neighbor as yourself, but choose your neighborhood.
Louise Beal
A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular.
Adlai Stevenson
If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.
Van Gogh
The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else do it wrong without comment.
Theodore H. White
Laws are only words words written on paper, words that change on society's whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen. Anyone who believes that all laws should always be obeyed would have made a fine slave catcher. Anyone who believes that all laws are applied equally, despite race, religion, or economic status, is a fool.
John J. Miller, And Hope to Die (in Jokertown Shuffle Wild Cards IX)
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Thomas Paine
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
Thomas Paine
The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up.
Harold R. McAlindon
Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.
B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects
I have my faults, but changing my tune is not one of them.
Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings
I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.
E. M. Forster
Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity, comfort and advantage. He lives by makebelieve.
W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938
Love is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction.
Antoine de SaintExupery, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939
It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done, compared to what he might have done.
Samuel Johnson, (in Boswell's Life, 1770)
There was once a man, Harry, called the Steppenwolf. He went on two legs, wore clothes and was a human being, but nevertheless he was in reality a wolf of the Steppes. He had learned a good deal of all that people of a good intelligence can, and was a fairly clever fellow. What he had not learned, however, was this: to find contentment in himself and his own life.
Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
Even in the presence of others he was completely alone.
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they'll have good voice boxes in case there's ever anything really meaningful to say.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Cat's Cradle
. . . hummings and clickings could be heard--the sounds attendant to the flow of electrons, now augmenting one maze of electromagnetic crises to a condition that was translatable from electrical qualities and quantities to a high grade of truth.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano
Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools.
Gene Brown
Are cats lazy? Well, more power to them if they are. Which one of us has not entertained the dream of doing just as he likes, when and how he likes, and as much as he likes?
Fernand Mery
Cat: a pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs, and patronizes human beings.
Oliver Herford
Cats are smarter than dogs. You can not get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
Jeff Valdez
If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer.
Alfred North Whitehead
An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.
Victor Hugo, Ninetythree, 1874
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Victor Hugo
Some people have a large circle of friends while others have only friends that they like.
Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish - don't overdo it.
Lao Tzu
Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
Dalai Lama
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Albert von Szent-Gyorgy
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Newton
I share no man's opinions; I have my own.
Ivan Turgenev
To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.
Wear the old coat and buy the new book.
Austin Phelps
We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police.
Jeff Marder
Boggies are an unattractive but annoying people whose numbers have increased rather precipitously since the bottom fell out of the fairy-tale market. Slow and sullen, and yet dull, they prefer to lead simple lives of pastoral squalor. They don't like machines more complicated than a garotte, a blackjack, or a luger, and they have always been shy of the 'big folk' or 'biggers' as they call us. As a rule they avoid us, except on rare occasions when a hundred or so will get together to dry-gulch a lone farmer or hunter. They seldom exceed three feet in height, but are fully capable of overpowering creatures half their size when they get the drop on them ... Their beginnings lie far back in the Good Ole Days when the planet was populated with the kind of colorful creatures you have to drink a quart of Old Overcoat to see nowadays.
Bored of the Rings, by the staff of the Harvard Lampoon
Do not fear your enemies. The worst they can do is kill you. Do not fear friends. At worst, they may betray you. Fear those who do not care; they neither kill nor betray, but betrayal and murder exists because of their silent consent.
Bruno Jasienski (Yasensky)
We tell lies when we are afraid, . . . afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger
Tad Williams, Spoken by Dr. Morgenes, To Green Angel Tower (part of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
H. L. Mencken
I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
Jimi Hendrix
The boys throw rocks at the frogs in jest. But the frogs die in earnest.
Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.
S. Weir Mitchell
Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep burning, unquenchable.
Henry Ward Beecher
Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.
B. C. Forbes
The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
Sir Hugh Walpole
I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.
Igor Stravinsky
The conception of two people living together for twenty-five years without having a cross word suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep.
Alan Patrick Herbert
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well -- he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.
Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
Trouble is part of your life -- if you don't share it, you don't give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.
Dinah Shore
Know people for who they are rather than for what they are.
Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book
Efficiency is intelligent laziness.
David Dunham
I am become death, shatterer of worlds.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), citing from the Bhagavadgita, after witnessing the world's first nuclear explosion
The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935)
Doing easily what others find difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
Henri-Frederic Amiel
That man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is what happened on the banks.
Will Durant, The History of Civilization
Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.
Clive Barnes
We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.
Larry Wall
If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pits of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.
However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.
This is my position, and as always, I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle.
Address to the legislature by a Mississippi state senator, 1958, "Whiskey Speech"
Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play.
Warren Beatty
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Art has no function. It is not necessary. It has nothing to do with what anyone wants you to do or wants it to be, nothing but you and itself. The work generates itself and ideas and progress and learning come out of doing the work in a particular way. Creative art is a learning process for the artist and not a description of what is already known. An audience is always warming but it must never be necessary to your work. The work needs concentration and one is often exhausted by it. It takes so much effort just to begin and although going on is mostly a pleasure it is also a great effort. The only thing for a creative artist to do is to do his chosen work. But really there is no choice. Nobody chooses. The only thing left for a creative artist to do is to do his chosen work in spite of everything and regardless of anything because when living draws to its end there are no excuses he can make to himself or to anyone else for not having done it. Either he did do it or he did not do it and very often he did not. Alas very often he did not.
Gertrude Stein
You should not turn a man's generosity as a sword against him. Any virtue that a man has, even if he has many vices, should not be used as a tool against him.
I. I. Rabi, as quoted in Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick
An ordinary genius is a fellow that you and I would be just as good at, if we were only many times better.
Marc Kac, as quoted in Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick
You cannot rule the world El-ahrairah, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince With a Thousand Enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you--digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.
Richard Adams, Watership Down
Details are all that matters; God dwells there, and you never get to see Him if you dont struggle to get them right.
Stephen Jay Gould
"Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves?"
"Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too."
Isaac Asimov, The New Hugo Winners
In tribute to David Gerard Cohen, rest well
Best of all he liked to sleep. Sleeping was a very important activity for him. He liked to sleep for longish periods, great swathes of time. Merely sleeping overnight was not taking the business seriously. He enjoyed a good night's sleep and wouldn't miss one for the world, but found it as anything halfway near enough. He liked to be asleep by half-past eleven in the morning if possible, and if that should come directly after a nice leisurely lie-in then so much the better. A little light breakfast and a quick trip to the bathroom while fresh linen was applied to his bed is really all the activity he liked to undertake, and he took care that it didn't janate the sleepiness out of him and disturb his afternoon of napping. Sometimes he was able to spend an entire week asleep, and this he regarded as a good snooze. He had also slept through the whole of 1986 and hadn't missed it.
Douglas Adams, The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
When a thing has been said, and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
Anatole France
What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.
Richard HarknessThe New York Times, 1960
Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
Samuel Johnson (this applies so well to the WWW and is part of the reason I spend so much time on it)
Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out a candle, and blows in a fire.
De La Rochefoucauld.
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base.
Dave Barry
Look, in particular, at the people who, like you, are making average incomes for doing average jobs--bank vice presidents, insurance salesman, auditors, secretaries of defense--and you'll realize they all dress the same way, essentially the way the mannequins in the Sears mens wear department dress. Now look at the real successes, the people who make a lot more money than you--Elton John, Captain Kangaroo, anybody from Saudi Arabia, Big Bird, and so on. They all dress funny--and they all succeed. Are you catching on?
Dave BarryHow to Dress for Real Success
668: The Neighbor of the Beast
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas AdamsLast Chance to See
In a survey taken several years ago, all incoming freshman at MIT were asked if they expected to graduate in the top half of their class. Ninety-seven percent responded that they did.
Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty but only the pig enjoys it.
Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, "I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease". Disraeli replied, "That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."
[actually, it was John Wilkes and some nameless MP, a generation or two ahead of Gladstone and Disraeli. -- grs]
An Animated Cartoon Theology:
1. People are animals.
2. The body is mortal and subject to incredible pain.
3. Life is antagonistic to the living.
4. The flesh can be sawed, crushed, frozen, stretched, burned, bombed, and plucked for music.
5. The dumb are abused by the smart and the smart destroyed by their own cunning.
6. The small are tortured by the large and the large destroyed by their own momentum.
7. We are able to walk on air, but only as long as our illusion supports us. 
E. L. DoctorowThe Book of Daniel
On one occasion a student burst into his office. "Professor Stigler, I don't believe I deserve this F you've given me." To which Stigler replied, "I agree, but unfortunately it is the lowest grade the University will allow me to award."
"If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
"Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area."
Somewhere in No Man's Land, BA4
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Hunter S. Thompson
I have taken more good from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me.
Winston Churchill
I think you should defend to the death their right to march, and then go down and meet them with baseball bats.
Woody Allen, on the KKK
Q: What did the instructor at the school for Kamikazi pilots say to his students?
A: Watch closely. I'm only going to do this once.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1933
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
It's so much more friendly with two.
Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far.
All a man can betray is his conscience.
Joseph Conrad
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
Herman Melville
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
To see what is right and not to do it, is want of courage.
Confucius Analects
To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.
Anna Louise Strong
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine
Everybody wants to get old, but nobody wants to be old.
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
George Washington
The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.
Alan Saporta
"I wasn't kidding. I do have a test today. It's on European Socialism."
"What's the big deal? I'm not European. I don't plan on becoming European. So why should I care if they're socialists? They could be facist, anarchist pigs. It still wouldn't change the fact that I don't have a car."
Ferris BuellerFerris Bueller's Day Off
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
Neither a follower nor a leader be.
Computer : a million morons working at the speed of light.
David Ferrier
Out the 10Base-T, through the router, down the T1, over the leased line, off the bridge, past the firewall...nothing but Net.
I am Homer of Borg! Prepare to be... Ooooooo! Donuts!
The Simpsons
Time to stop beating around the bush. Beat the bush itself. Give it a good thrashing, and say "bad bush!" in a loud stern tone.
Fred BarlingHumorscope
As your attorney, it is my duty to inform you that it is not important that you understand what I'm doing or why you're paying me so much money. What's important is that you continue to do so.
Hunter S. Thompson's Samoan attorney
The Soviet propaganda ministry ordered 10 million condoms from an American manufacturer, all 16" long and 3" in diameter. The American manufacturer filled the order, sending the merchandise in boxes marked 'medium.'
Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread. Now that I am without you, all is desolate; all that was once so beautiful is dead.
Conrad Aiken
Signore Gaspare replied: 'And what do you say about the game of chess?'
'That is certainly a refined and ingenious recreation,' said Federico, 'but it seems to me to possess one defect; namely, that it is possible for it to demand too much knowledge, so that anyone who wishes to become an outstanding player must, I think, give to it as much time and study as he would to learning some noble science or performing well something or other of importance; and yet for all his pains when all is said and done all he knows is a game. Therefore as far as chess is concerned we reach what is a very rare conclusion: that mediocrity is more to be praised than excellence.'
Baldesar CastiglioneEtiquette for Renaissance Gentlemen, 1528 A.D.
"KGB, most feared organisation on planet!" Purchaser flashes his IRS ID.
"Hokay, KGB, second most feared organisation on planet!"
In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
Tao Te Ching
Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, "Woo the muse of the odd." . . . You may be a geek. You may have geek written all over you. You should aim to be one geek they'll never forget. Don't aim to be civilized. Don't hope that straight people will keep you on as some kind of pet. To hell with them. You should fully realize what society has made of you and take a terrible revenge. Get weird. Get way weird. Get dangerously weird. Get sophisticatedly, thoroughly weird, and don't do it halfway. Put every ounce of horsepower you have behind it. . . . Don't become a well rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a pufferfish.
Bruce Sterling, speech on The Wonderful Power of Storystelling to the Computer Game Developers Conference, March 1991
"I went to the airport, with my ticket to Los Angeles. I brought three bags and told the Skycap, "I want this on to go to Seattle, this one to St. Louis and this one to Chicago."
He said, "I'm sorry sir, but we can't do that."
I said, "Why not? You did it last time."
Henny Youngman
I gave my books their own room. Now they want the whole house.
The Web isn't better than sex, but sliced bread is in serious trouble.
You came to me without my asking and crooked your finger and invited me to try for you. And I went for it because that's what men do when fate or a woman or the brass ring comes their way. They reach their hand out and try for it. And when they are found wanting--as much of the time they are--they feel like they've been made a fool of, but they get over it, and go on with their lives because otherwise nothing would ever happen again.
David Lance GoinesAlso Ran
I know that if I just beat my head against the wall long enough, that an idea will infallibly result, but there is always the nameless terror that maybe this time the Muse is not merely hitch-hiking through Georgia, but has been kidnapped, murdered and tumbled into a ditch. Or maybe she's mad at me.
David Lance Goines, Graphic Designer
A not unfamiliar expression in the description of human relations is "the Hawthorne effect," Many people assume that the Hawthorne somehow refers to a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but actually it is the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Chicago. There in 1924 C. E. Snow of the National Research Council undertook to study the influence of lighting on the productivity of industrial workers, in this case women working on assembly lines making telephone components such as electrical relays.
At first Snow and his colleagues measured the productivity at the normal level of illumination. Then they raised the level of illumination. The productivity of the workers increased. Then they raised the level again; the productivity increased again. They raised it still more; the productivity continued to increase.
Being good scientists, Snow and his colleagues now LOWERED the level of illumination below what it had been at first. To their surprise, the productivity continued to increase. They lowered the level of illumination still more, with the same result. Finally when the level was so low that the workers could hardly see what they were doing, the productivity fell off. It suddenly dawned on everyone. The workers were not responding to the changes in illumination. They were responding to someone's paying attention to them. That is the Hawthorne effect.
Dennis FlaganFlanagan's Version, 1989
It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look -- I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring -- caring deeply and passionately, really caring -- which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete -- the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball -- seems a small price to pay for such a gift.
Roger AngellNew Yorker baseball writer, 1975
Ben Graham told a story 40 years ago that illustrates why investment professionals behave as they do: An oil prospector, moving to his heavenly reward, was met by St. Peter with bad news. "You're qualified for residence", said St. Peter, "but, as you can see, the compound reserved for oil men is packed. There's no way to squeeze you in." After thinking a moment, the prospector asked if he might say just four words to the present occupants. That seemed harmless to St. Peter, so the prospector cupped his hands and yelled, "Oil discovered in hell." Immediately the gate to the compound opened and all of the oil men marched out to head for the nether regions. Impressed, St. Peter invited the prospector to move in and make himself comfortable. The prospector paused. "No," he said, "I think I'll go along with the rest of the boys. There might be some truth to that rumor after all."
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Letter to Shareholders, 1985
Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one 45 caliber automatic, two boxes of ammunition, four days concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pairs of nylon stockings. Shoot a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, spoken by Major T. J. "King" Kong
Hullo? ... Ah ... Hello, Dm... ah ... Hello, Dmitri? ... Listen, ah, I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn down the music just a little? ... Oh-ho, that's much better. ... yeah ... ha ... yes ... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri. ... Clear and plain and coming through fine. ... I'm coming through fine, too, eh? ... Good, then ... well, then, as you say, we're both coming trough fine. ... Good. ... Well, it's good that you're fine and ... and I'm fine. ... I agree with you, it's great to be fine. ... a-ha-ha-ha-ha ... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the bomb. ... The *bomb*, Dmitri. ... The *hydrogen* bomb! ... Well now, what happened is ... ah ... one of our base commanders had a sort of ... well, he went a little funny in the head ... you know ... just a little ... funny. And, ah ... he went and did a silly thing. ... Well, I'll tell you what he did. He ordered his planes ... to attack your country... Ah... Well, let me finish, Dmitri. ... Let me finish, Dmitri. ... Well listen, how do you think I feel about it?! ... Can you *imagine* how I feel about it, Dmitri? ... Why do you think I'm calling? Just to say hello? ... *Of course* I like to speak to you! ... *Of course* I like to say hello! ... Not now, but anytime, Dmitri. I'm just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened... *It's* a friendly call. Of course it's a friendly call. ... Listen, if it wasn't friendly ... you probably wouldn't have even got it. ... They will *not* reach their targets for at least another hour. ... I am ... I am possitive, Dmitri. ... Listen, I've been all over this with your ambassador. It is not a trick. ... Well, I'll tell you. We'd like to give your air staff a complete run-down on the targets, the flight plans, and the defensive systems of the planes. ... Yes! I mean i-i-i-if we're unable to recall the planes, then ... I'd say that, ah ... well, ah ... we're just gonna have to help you destroy them, Dmitri. ... I know they're our boys. ... All right, well listen now. Who should we call? ... *Who* should we call, Dmitri? The ... wha-whe, the People... you, sorry, you faded away there. ... The People's Central Air Defense Headquarters. ... Where is that, Dmitri? ... In Omsk. ... Right. ... Yes. ... Oh, you'll call them first, will you? ... Uh-hu ... Listen, do you happen to have the phone number on you, Dmitri? ... Whe-ah, what? I see, just ask for Omsk information. ... Ah-ah-eh-uhm-hm ... I'm sorry, too, Dmitri. ... I'm very sorry. ... *All right*, you're sorrier than I am, but I am as sorry as well. ... I am as sorry as you are, Dmitri! Don't say that you're [the] more sorry than I am, because I'm capable of being just as sorry as you are. ... So we're both sorry, all right?! ... All right. ...
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, spoken by the US President to the Russian Premier over the Red phone.
After escaping from prison
"We released ourselves on our own recognizance."
"What Evelle means to say is, we felt that the institution no longer had anything to offer us."
Raising Arizona, spoken by Evelle and Gale
Evelle picks up a pack of balloons.
"Do these blow into funny shapes and all?"
"Well, no, unless round is funny."
Raising Arizona, spoken by Evelle and the Grocer
"We figured there was too much happiness here for just the two of us, so we figured the next logical step was to have us a critter."
Raising Arizona, spoken by H.I. McDonough
A good friend of mine used to say, "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while.
Bull Durham, spoken by Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh
"His brain has not only been washed, as they say... It has been dry cleaned."
The Manchurian Candidate, spoken by Dr. Yen Lo
"Have at you!"
"You are indeed brave, sir knight, but the fight is mine."
"Oh, had enough eh?"
"Look, you stupid bastard. You've got no arms left!"
"Yes I have."
"Just a flesh wound!"
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, spoken by the Black Knight and King Arthur
"Oh, king, eh? And how'd you get that? By exploiting the workers! By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society."

"The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering silmite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king!"
"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"

"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

"Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!"
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, conversation between Dennis and King Arthur
"We live in a bloody swamp. We need all the land we can get."
"But I don't like her."
"Don't like her? What's wrong with her. She's beautiful, she's rich, she's got huge ... tracts of land."
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, spoken by the King of Swamp Castle and his son, Prince Herbert
Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, spoken by Brother Maynard
Brian: "You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals!"
The Crowd: "Yes, we're all individuals!"
Brian: "You're all different!"
The Crowd: "Yes, we are all different!"
Dennis in small lonely voice: "I'm not."
Monthy Python's Life of Brian
They all want me as a friend or a fuck. I'm worshiped at Westerburg and I'm only a junior.
Heathers, spoken by Heather Chandler
There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here; because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit.
The Shawshank Redemption, spoken by Red
I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.
The Shawshank Redemption, spoken by Red
"Do you think there really are people who can just go up and say, 'Hi, babe. Name's Charles. This is your lucky night'?"
"Well, if there are, they're not English."
Four Weddings and a Funeral, spoken by Charles and Matthew
I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact and was in no way fair comment and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future.
A Fish Called Wanda, spoken by Archibald Leech
And I guess that was your accomplice in the woodchipper.
Fargo, spoken by Marge Gunderson
"The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and -"
"Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?"
"Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?"
"Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?"
"I don't know."
"Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?"
"Put it up to eleven."
"Eleven. Exactly. One louder."
"Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?"
[Pause] "These go to eleven."
This is Spinal Tap, spoken by Nigel Tufnel and Marty DiBergi
This is your receipt for your husband ... and this is my receipt for your receipt.
Brazil, spoken by police officer
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.
Shunryu Suzuki
I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.
Igor Stravinsky
Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.
B. C. Forbes
Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well -- he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.
Larry Wall
You have played enough; you have eaten and drunk enough. Now it is time for you to depart.
Horace (65 - 8 BC) Epistles
... but we enjoyed playing games and were punished for them by men who played games themselves. However, grown-up games are known as 'business' and even though boys' games are much the same, they are punished for them by their elders. No one pities either the boys or the men, though surely we deserve pity, for I cannot believe that a good judge would approve of the beatings I received as a boy on the ground that my games delayed my progress in studying subjects which would enable me to play a less creditable game later in life.
Saint Augustine (AD 354 - 430) in his Confessions - Book I:10
Competition is a by-product of productive work, not its goal. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
Ayn RandThe Moratorium on Brains
That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.
Richard Bach, note written by Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
The goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.
Reiner Knizia

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