Quotations of Wisdom

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Scott Nesler

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

Ronald Reagan

There you go again. [Q2015]

Richard P. Feynman

I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you. [Q978]

Alexander Fleming

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

Václav Havel

The previous regime — armed with its arrogant and intolerant ideology — reduced man to a force of production, and nature to a tool of production. In this it attacked both their very substance and their mutual relationship. It reduced gifted and autonomous people, skilfully working in their own country, to the nuts and bolts of some monstrously huge, noisy and stinking machine, whose real meaning was not clear to anyone. [Q1787]

G. K. Chesterton

Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; [Q1111]

Senator Paul Simon

While the United States has many international students studying here, only about seven-tenths of one percent of our students study abroad. The only nation that has a lower percentage is North Korea. Part of the reason for provincialism in the United States Congress and too often in the White House is that at the grass roots level in our nation we are too myopic, seeing only to the edge of our national borders, and sometimes not seeing those much closer who live in our inner cities and rural areas of poverty. Higher education has to take part of the blame when our nation fails to act responsibly in international affairs. [Q1716]


The life so short, the craft so long to learn. [Q1033]

Noam Chomsky

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

Marshall McLuhan

When producers want to know what the public wants, they graph it as curves. When they want to tell the public what to get, they say it in curves. [Q1488]

Marshall McLuhan

Innumerable confusions and a feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transition. [Q1462]

George Bernard Shaw

Periods of increasing tensions end to become periods of increasing repressions. Soon freedom of speech may become only freedom to say acceptable things. Even thinking, except for the orthodox, may become precarious. [Q1849]

Winston Churchill

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. [Q89]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius. [Q1086]

David Hume

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

David Hume

Truth springs from argument amongst friends. [Q1364]

Jared Diamond

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

T.S. Elliot

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. [Q405]

Phillip E. Johnson

A constitutional democracy is in serious trouble if its citizenry does not have a certain degree of education and civic virtue. [Q2042]


As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. [Q62]

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]

Abbie Hoffman

You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. [Q468]

Robert Bárány

The interpretation of facts in a certain way stimulates other scientists' thoughts. [Q1435]

Noël Coward

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. [Q2025]

Jack Kerouac

Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken. [Q2099]

Václav Havel

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

Michel de Montaigne

Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head. [Q1172]

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]

Samuel Adams

He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections. [Q2101]


Music can change the world because it can change people. [Q635]


If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires. [Q799]

David Mitchell

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are. [Q425]

Zeno of Citium

Fate is the endless chain of causation, whereby things are; the reason or formula by which the world goes on. [Q1734]

Maximilien Robespierre

No one loves armed missionaries. [Q1296]


Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little. [Q782]

William Gibson

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

Albert Einstein

One thing I have learned in a long life: All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. [Q145]

Isaac Asimov

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. [Q701]

Marvin Minsky

If you “understand' something in only one way, then you scarcely understand it at all—because when you get stuck, you'll have nowhere to go. But if you represent something in several ways, then when you get frustrated enough, you can switch among different points of view, until you find one that works for you! — The Emotion Machine, Introduction, page 6. [Q2031]

Bryant H. McGill

One column of truth cannot hold an institution of ideas from falling into ignorance. It is wiser that a person of prudence and purpose save his strength for battles that can be won. [Q716]

Dale Carnegie

Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience. [Q282]

Václav Havel

The worst thing is that we live in a contaminated moral environment. We fell morally ill because we became used to saying something different from what we thought. We learned not to believe in anything, to ignore one another, to care only about ourselves. Concepts such as love, friendship, compassion, humility or forgiveness lost their depth and dimension, and for many of us they represented only psychological peculiarities, or they resembled gone-astray greetings from ancient times, a little ridiculous in the era of computers and spaceships. [Q1786]


To fight for yourself is right. To die vainly without hope of winning is the act of stupid men. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q511]

Thor Heyerdahl

We must wake up to the insane reality of our time. We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned. [Q1543]

Adlai Stevenson

We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on it's vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed, for our safety, to it's security and peace. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. [Q1656]

Buckminster Fuller

Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately. [Q204]

Scott Nesler

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

Oliver Wendell Holmes

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

Isaac Asimov

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. [Q700]

Václav Havel

Hope is a feeling that life and work have meaning. You either have it or you don't, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you. [Q1743]


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

Ed Hobbs

You've got a gift Roy... but it's not enough - you've got to develop yourself. If you rely too much on your own gift... then... you'll fail. — The Natural [Q1216]


The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going. [Q823]

Anne Lamott

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. [Q42]

Jacob Burckhardt

Save us from the simplifiers. [Q4]


After this event there was contention for a long time between the upper classes and the populace. Not only was the constitution at this time oligarchical in every respect, but the poorer classes, men, women, and children, were the serfs of the rich. They were known as Pelatae and also as Hectemori, because they cultivated the lands of the rich at the rent thus indicated. The whole country was in the hands of a few persons, and if the tenants failed to pay their rent they were liable to be haled into slavery, and their children with them. All loans secured upon the debtor's person, a custom which prevailed until the time of Solon, who was the first to appear as the champion of the people. But the hardest and bitterest part of the constitution in the eyes of the masses was their state of serfdom. Not but what they were also discontented with every other feature of their lot; for, to speak generally, they had no part nor share in anything. — The Athenian Constitution — Section 1 Part 2 [Q1620]

Clarence Darrow

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt. [Q1102]

Albert Einstein

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. [Q169]


What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. [Q792]

David Hume

The advantages found in history seem to be of three kinds, as it amuses the fancy, as it improves the understanding, and as it strengthens virtue. [Q1360]

Napoleon Bonaparte

What is history but a fable agreed upon? [Q93]

Cullen Hightower

The true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success . [Q460]

Phil Jackson

Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength. [Q206]


Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal. [Q880]

Václav Havel

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. [Q1760]

David Bohm

A change in meaning is a change in being. [Q395]

Benjamin Franklin

[Lady's Query] Well, Doctor, what have we got a Republic or a Monarchy?
[Benjamin Franklin] A Republic, if you can keep it. [Q1067]

Phil Jackson

Approach the game with no preset agendas and you'll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts. [Q208]


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]

Peter the Hermit

The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress. — A.D. 1274 [Q1387]

Galileo Galilei

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. [Q934]

Meister Eckhart

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

Kurt Gödel

Learn to act correctly: everybody has shortcomings, believes in something wrong, and live to carry out his mistakes. [Q1967]

Buckminster Fuller

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable. [Q110]


When words are no better than silence, one should remain silent. - Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q508]

Jonas Salk

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors. [Q487]

Konrad Lorenz

We had better dispense with the personification of evil, because it leads, all too easily, to the most dangerous kind of war: religious war. [Q1433]

Senator Paul Simon

There are times when right is right and wrong is wrong — when you have to stand up, even though it may be unpopular. Had Lincoln taken a poll, he never would have issued his then unpopular Emancipation Proclamation. [Q1894]

Wendell Berry

Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. [Q1326]

Thomas Jefferson

Democrats consider the people as the safest depository of power in the last resort: they cherish them, therefore, and wish to leave in them all the powers to the exercise of which they are competent. [Q1851]

Adlai Stevenson III

4700 years ago this was written on an Assyrian tablet: "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching." [Q1872]

Senator Paul Simon

The first academic offer came from Southern Illinois University, where I would teach many years later. I explained to them that while I had written a number of books and had more honorary doctorates than I deserved, I had not finished college. They said that would be no problem. They had another faculty member named Buckminster Fuller who did not have a bachelor's degree. [Q1726]

Richard P. Feynman

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

Clarence Darrow

Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. [Q1093]


Age carries all things away, even the mind. [Q1570]

Scott Nesler

My hope is in the average citizen's desire for freedom and democracy. It is within these individuals true patriotism exist and where the voice of humanity can be heard. [Q1553]

Alberto Giacometti

In every work of art the subject is primordial, whether the artist knows it or not. The measure of the formal qualities is only a sign of the measure of the artist's obsession with his subject; the form is always in proportion to the obsession. [Q445]

Henry R. Luce

I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world. [Q476]

Ward Cunningham

Scott — You seem to have a technical solution to what I might call "dysfunctional divergence" of thought. Blogs encourage divergence, perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else edit wars produce dysfunction. There is surely opportunity to invent in the middle ground. — In reference to the Do Good Gauge [Q243]

Grover Cleveland

What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something? Trust the people, trust their good sense, their decency, their fortitude, their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. ... What wins is more important than who wins. [Q1843]

Adlai Stevenson II

Another lesson that we shall have to learn is that we cannot deal with questions of foreign policy in terms of moral absolutes. Compromise is not immoral or treasonable. It is the objective of negotiation and negotiation is the means of resolving conflict peacefully. But when we negotiate we have to have something to negotiate with as well as for. If rigidity and absolutist attitudes deprive our representatives of anything to negotiate with, then there is nothing they can negotiate for. [Q1866]

Murray Gell-Mann

Of course the word chaos is used in rather a vague sense by a lot of writers, but in physics it means a particular phenomenon, namely that in a nonlinear system the outcome is often indefinitely, arbitrarily sensitive to tiny changes in the initial condition. [Q980]

Robert Pirsig

The truth knocks on your door and you say, go away I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling. [Q373]


I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. [Q500]

Senator Paul Simon

In a presidential race, who is losing or gaining three points in the latest polls receives much more coverage than where the candidates stand on poverty or foreign policy. It is easy to cover the trivial. A drop in the polls will receive more attention than an in-depth speech on national health care. The average sound bite on network TV news for the Republican presidential primary of 1996 was 7.2 seconds. Almost half the second bites were less than five seconds. Try to say something of substance on any issue in 7.2 seconds! The media should be here not simply to make money, but also to serve, and that service can be improved. [Q1814]

Albert Einstein

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Q1367]

Wendell Berry

The logic of governmental efficiency, unchecked, runs straight on, not only to dictatorship, but also to torture, assassination, and other abominations. [Q1334]


The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake. [Q860]

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