Quotations of Wisdom

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Caine

Can anyone be truly free who serves only himself? — "Kung Fu" Elixir — 1973 Season 2, Episode 11 [Q598]

Herbert Simon

The engineer, and more generally the designer, is concerned with how things ought to be - how they ought to be in order to attain goals, and to function. [Q648]

Grady Booch

The function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple. [Q674]

Woodrow Wilson
 

Liberty does not consist in mere general declarations of the rights of men. It consists in the translation of those declaration into definite actions. The philosophy of conduct is what every wise man should wish to derive from his knowledge of the thoughts and the affairs of the generations that have gone before him. We are not put into this world to sit still and know; we are put into it to act. [Q1837]

Wendell Berry

Ask the questions that have no answers. [Q1343]

René Descartes

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

Ward Cunningham

A wiki is like a party that doesn’t have to stop. It’s a party that doesn’t get crowded because new rooms appear when needed. It’s a timeless party where you can try each conversation over and over until you get it right. [Q1007]

Joseph Franklin Rutherford

If you are kept in ignorance of the true way and permit yourself to rely upon and be guided by the opinion of imperfect man, you can never gain the riches that will bring you peace and lasting happiness. [Q720]

John Maynard Keynes

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

Dmitri Mendeleev

It is the function of science to discover the existence of a general reign of order in nature and to find the causes governing this order. And this refers in equal measure to the relations of man - social and political - and to the entire universe as a whole. [Q446]

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

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

Richard P. Feynman

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. [Q737]

Aristotle

The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live. [Q864]

Roger von Oech

Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process. [Q581]

Aristotle

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. [Q846]

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]

Václav Havel

The law is only one of several imperfect and more or less external ways of defending what is better in life against what is worse. By itself, the law can never create anything better... Establishing respect for the law does not automatically ensure a better life for that, after all, is a job for people and not for laws and institutions. [Q1783]

Václav Havel

It is not true that people of high principles are ill-suited for politics. High principles have only to be accompanied by patience, consideration, a sense of measure and understanding for others. It is not true that only coldhearted, cynical, arrogant, haughty or brawling persons succeed in politics. Such people are naturally attracted by politics. In the end, however, politeness and good manners weigh more. [Q1768]

Master Po

Young Caine, when I was a boy, I fell into a hole in the ground and I was broken and could not climb out. I might have died there but a stranger came along and saved me. He said it was his obligation. That for help he had once received, he must in return help ten others each of whom would then help ten others so that good deeds would spread out like the ripples from a pebble in a pond. I was one of his ten and you became one of mine. And now I pass this obligation on to you. — Kung Fu Televison Series 1972 - Episode #6 [Q526]

Tracy Chapman

We are the spirit the collective conscience — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1491]

Woodrow Wilson

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. [Q747]

Carl Sagan

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

David Hume

To hate, to love, to think, to feel, to see; all this is nothing but to perceive. [Q1363]

Adlai Stevenson

He who slings mud generally loses ground. [Q1648]

Thomas Paine

We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities. [Q278]

Meister Eckhart

The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge. [Q1629]

Meister Eckhart

God is at home, it's we who have gone out for a walk. [Q1626]

Epictetus

Not every difficult and dangerous thing is suitable for training, but only that which is conducive to success in achieving the object of our effort. [Q819]

Epictetus

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. [Q810]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults. [Q961]

Jean-Luc Picard

Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged. [Q170]

Art Spiegelman

With any work worth its salt, you have to trust the author enough to take its measure. And if you apply too many preconceptions, you are not taking its measure. [Q465]

Nikola Tesla

To conquer by sheer force is becoming harder and harder every day. Defensive is getting continuously the advantage of offensive, as we progress in the satanic science of destruction. [Q1681]

Virgil

Yield not to calamity, but face her boldly. [Q1594]

Václav Havel

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

David Boies

Here you have a new technology, and if that technology is going to work, you must allow people to provide central indexes of the data. It's just like a newspaper that publishes classified ads. [Q1215]

Dante Alighieri

He listens well who takes notes. [Q1509]

Robert Pirsig

Any effort which has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster. [Q375]

Dalai Lama

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

Epictetus

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. [Q816]

Senator Paul Simon

The day I stop searching for truth should be my last. [Q1705]

Noam Chomsky

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state. [Q157]

Pablo Picasso

The chief enemy of creativity is "good" sense. [Q605]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

But, gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject--being amenable to the laws of my country for the same. [Q2049]

René Descartes

I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error. [Q1115]

Howard Zinn

If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves. [Q385]

Thor Heyerdahl

I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea. [Q1535]

Henry David Thoreau

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. [Q58]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows. [Q321]

Dalai Lama

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. [Q545]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. [Q1083]

Julian Assange

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

Gabrielle Gifford

And what is seen in the last couple of weeks is that people want to have created for them a form where they can be disruptive rather than actually providing the information in a way that's going to give me their perspective and educate me on their point of view. [Q1262]

Hypatia

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth —- often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable. [Q1235]

Swami Vivekananda

All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything. [Q1135]

Democritus

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

Marshall McLuhan

The scientist rigorously defends his right to be ignorant of almost everything except his specialty. [Q1483]

Richard P. Feynman

It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man. [Q735]

Krista Tippett

Moses, Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi; These kind of people are geniuses of the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of objective knowledge. — TED - Reconnecting with Compassion - Paraphrasing Albert Einstein. [Q1399]

Hannah Arendt

Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence. [Q1519]

Margaret Mead

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

Epicurus

Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. [Q803]

Bill Clinton

We can't make the perfect the enemy of the good. [Q86]

Isaac Asimov

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. [Q702]

Theodore Roosevelt

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public. [Q1289]

J. William Fulbright

Our elected representatives ... study and analyze public attitude by sophisticated new techniques, but their purpose has little to do with leadership. ... Their purpose, it seems, is to discover what people want and fear and dislike, and then to identify themselves with those sentiments. They seek to discover which issues can be safely emphasized and which are more prudently avoided. This approach to politics is the opposite of leadership; it is followership, for purpose of self-advancement. ... [Q1821]

George Orwell

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. [Q215]

Theodore Roosevelt

Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures. [Q1285]

Edward de Bono

To some extent pressure groups partake of traditional confrontational thinking habits. It is enough to be against something — let the other side figure out what to do. This places far too much confidence in constructive abilities of the 'other side'. (from the book, I am right, you are wrong. page 22) [Q2001]

Benjamin Franklin

Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind's misery. — HBO Mini Series John Adams [Q1112]

David Hartley

Any sensations A, B, C, etc., by being associated with one another a sufficient number of times, get such a power over the corresponding ideas a, b, c, etc., that any one of the sensations A, when impressed alone, shall be able to excite in the mind b, c, etc., the ideas of the rest. [Q1442]

Virgil

It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task. [Q1582]

John D Barrow

People assume that because you have graced the same stage as the star act, in front of thousands, you must be reaping similar financial rewards. This is a complete fallacy. [Q1050]

Rudyard Kipling

I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who [Q670]

Abraham Lincoln

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? [Q1295]

David Hume

Belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to attain. [Q1355]

Kurt Gödel

Intuition is not proof; it is the opposite of proof. We do not analyze intuition to see a proof but by intuition we see something without a proof. [Q1963]

Henry A. Wallace

This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. [Q463]

Meister Eckhart

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. [Q1631]

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason. [Q661]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think. [Q1085]

Buckminster Fuller

Humans have learned scientifically that the exact truth can never be attained or told. We can reduce the degree of tolerated error, but we have learned physically, as Heisenberg discovered, that exactitude is prohibited, because most exquisite physical experiment has shown that "the act of measuring always alters that which is measured". [Q126]

Bill Clinton

We can't afford to double down on trickle down. [Q2014]

Plutarch

For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human. [Q776]

Alexis de Tocqueville

What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class. [Q967]

Swami Vivekananda

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. [Q1145]

Aristotle

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire. [Q837]

René Descartes

Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. [Q1114]

David S Allen

What if democracy is not about attracting an audience, making money, and winning? What if democracy is more accurately defined as the need to find a common ground, as the exchange of ideas between citizens in attempt to reach understanding? - Democracy, Inc. (Page 2) [Q188]

Saul Alinsky

Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life. [Q989]

James Joyce

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. [Q49]

Nikola Tesla

The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes. [Q1680]

Michelangelo

I am still learning. [Q600]

H. L. Mencken

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. [Q1213]

Galileo Galilei

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

Senator Paul Simon

It was great to see many long-time friends, including Dick Cheney who had his office next to mine when we were House members. He has served the nation superbly in several capacities. He now heads the Halliburton Corporation. (From Simon's Autobiography published in 1999 prior to the George W. Bush / Dick Cheney presidency). [Q1831]

John Searle

Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself. [Q1187]

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]

Aristotle

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. [Q865]

Edward de Bono

Sometimes it is not enough just to be against something. Pressure groups can be powerful in bringing something to an end. But in many cases there is also a need for constructive ideas. (from the book, I am Right, you are wrong. page 22) [Q2000]

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