If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants
were standing on my shoulders.
-- Hal Abelson
You live and learn. At any rate, you live.
-- Douglas Adams
I ought not to object to your reverence for your fathers,
meaning those concerned with the direction of public
affairs, but to tell you a very great secret, as far as I
am capable of comparing the merit of different periods, I
have no reason to believe that we were better than you are.
-- John Adams
Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
The fact that people are poor or discriminated against
doesn't necessarily endow them with any special qualities of
justice, nobility, charity or compassion.
-- Saul Alinsky
I can't understand why a person will take a year or two to
write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
-- Fred Allen
Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for
-- Woody Allen
For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if
there should be such a thing as superhuman law it is
administered with subhuman inefficiency.
-- Eric Ambler
The only normal people are the ones you don't know very
-- Joe Ancis
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which,
when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still
-- Poul Anderson
Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve
their reputation and social standing, never can bring about
a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to
be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and
publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their
sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their
advocates, and bear the consequences.
-- Susan B. Anthony
It is all right to hold a conversation, but you should let
go of it now and then.
-- Richard Armour
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that
heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but
-- Isaac Asimov
It takes most men five years to recover from a college
education, and to learn that poetry is as vital to thinking
-- Brooks Atkinson
Eat a third and drink a third and leave the remaining third
of your stomach empty. Then, when you get angry, there will
be sufficient room for your rage.
-- Babylonian Talmud
Money is like manure, of very little use except it be
-- Sir Francis Bacon
People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of
other people have been left out on the pleasure.
-- Russell Baker
In the early stages of society uncertainty reigns
supreme, and it has frequently astonished me that
Political Economy has failed to mark the great and
happy efforts that have been made to restrain this
uncertainty within narrower and narrower limits.
-- Frederic Bastiat
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling,
is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
-- James Baldwin
Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart
of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or
she makes a difference to the success of the organization.
When that happens people feel centered and that gives their
-- Warren Bennis
Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you
were a year ago.
-- Bernard Berenson
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its
-- Hector Berlioz
The power of a movement lies in the fact that it can indeed
change the habits of people. This change is not the result
of force but of dedication, of moral persuasion.
-- Stephen Biko
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
-- Josh Billings
When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s
shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and
could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.
-- Hugo Black
There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't;
that our attachment to freedom is a product of culture; that
freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are
American values, or Western values. . . . Ours are not
western values, they are the universal values of the human
spirit. And anywhere, any time ordinary people are given the
chance to choose, the choice is the same; freedom, not
tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not
the rule of the secret police.
-- Tony Blair
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
-- William Blake
Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to
-- Niels Bohr
Put a rogue in the limelight and he will act like an honest
-- Napoleon Bonaparte
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella,
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella.
-- Lord Bowen
Law is tied to life, and a failure to understand how a
statute is so tied can undermine the very human activity
that the law seeks to benefit.
-- Justice Stephen Breyer
Absolutely nothing should be concluded from these figures
except that no conclusion can be drawn from them.
-- Joseph L. Brothers
A government system of education in Prussia is not
inconsistent with the theory of Prussian society, for there
all wisdom is supposed to be lodged in the government. But
the thing is wholly inadmissible here . . . because,
according to our theory, the people are supposed to be wiser
than the government. Here, the people do not look to the
government for light, for instruction, but the government
looks to the people. The people give the law to the
government. To entrust, then, the government with the power
of determining the education which our children shall
receive is entrusting our servant with the power to be our
master. This fundamental difference between the two
countries, we apprehend, has been overlooked by the board of
education and its supporters.
-- Orestes Brownson
It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures
him to evil ways.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.
-- Edmund Burke
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit
family in another city.
-- George Burns
I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't
always agree with them.
-- George Bush
A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own
absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins,
or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.
-- Samuel Butler
It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to
find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.
-- Irving Caesar
A society in which adults are estranged from the world of
children, and often from their own childhood, tends to hear
children's speech only as a foreign language, or as a lie.
Children have been treated as congenital fibbers, fakers and
-- Beatrix Campbell
Give me the avowed, the erect, the manly foe,
Bold I can meet -- perhaps may turn his blow!
But of all plagues, good Heaven, thy wrath can send,
Save me, oh save me from the candid friend.
-- George Canning
In the last analysis sound judgement will prevail.
-- Joseph Cannon
The only people who think children are carefree are the ones
who've forgotten their own childhood.
-- Orson Scott Card, Shadow Puppets
As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual
certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human
life -- so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an
archbishop so you can meet girls.
-- Matt Cartmill
It is one thing to praise discipline, and another to submit
-- Miguel de Cervantes
I went into the business for the money, and the art grew out
of it. If people are disillusioned by that remark, I can't
help it. It's the truth.
-- Charlie Chaplin
If one sticks too rigidly to one's principles, one would
hardly see anybody.
-- Agatha Christie
All men know the utility of useful things; but they do not
know the utility of futility.
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared
for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
-- Winston Churchill
Law stands mute in the midst of arms.
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero
A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can
take from you.
-- Ramsey Clark
But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No
one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the
battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated
without ever knowing what you're fighting for.
-- Paulo Coelho
Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
I don't think it is of very much use to stay any longer in
the High School, as the boys would better be learning to
hold muskets, and the girls to make bullets.
-- A Connecticut Schoolgirl, 1856
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is
trying to please everybody.
-- Bill Cosby
Necessity hath no law.
-- Oliver Cromwell
The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that
someday they might force their beliefs on us.
-- Mario Cuomo
Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they
contain the whole truth, or the only truth.
-- Charles A. Dana
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
-- Leonardo Da Vinci
If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who
had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would
still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the
mainspring of civilization
-- Eugene Debs
Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense; no
one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained
-- Nick Diamos
If it were thought that anything I wrote was influenced by
Robert Frost, I would take that particular work of mine,
shred it, and flush it down the toilet, hoping not to clog
the pipes. A more sententious, holding-forth old bore who
expected every hero-worshiping adenoidal little twerp of a
student-poet to hang on to his every word I never saw.
-- James Dickey
Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their
-- Edsger W. Dijkstra
What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect
-- Benjamin Disraeli
Roses are red, violets are blue, that's what they say but it
just isn't true.
Roses are red and apples are too, but violets are violet --
violets aren't blue.
An orange is orange, but Greenland's not green. A pinky's
not pink. So what does it mean?
To call something blue when it's not we defile it. But ah,
what the heck, it's hard to rhyme 'violet.'
-- Dot's Poetry Corner, The Animaniacs.
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate
agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and
lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many
-- Frederick Douglass
The most important thing in communication is to hear what
isn't being said.
-- Peter Drucker
You charm'd me not with that fair face
Though it was all divine:
To be another's is the grace,
That makes me wish you mine.
The Gods and Fortune take their part
Who like young monarchs fight;
And boldly dare invade that heart
Which is another's right.
First mad with hope we undertake
To pull up every bar;
But once possess'd, we faintly make
A dull defensive war.
Now every friend is turn'd a foe
In hope to get our store:
And passion makes us cowards grow,
Which made us brave before.
-- John Dryden
Human purposes grow slowly and in curious ways; thought by
thought they build themselves until in their full panoplied
vigor and definite outline not even the thinker can tell the
exact process of the growing, or say that here was the
beginning or there the ending. Nor does this slow growth and
gathering make the end any less wonderful or the motive any
-- W. E. B. Dubois
I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a
-- Alexandre Dumas, fils
Just because you like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you
-- Bob Dylan
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once
they have exhausted all other alternatives.
-- Abba Eban
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
-- Albert Einstein
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every
rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from
those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and
not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money
alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius
of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a
way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of
threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
When tyranny is abroad, submission is a crime.
-- Andrew Eliot, 1765
If the colleges were better, if they really had it, you
would need to get the police at the gates to keep order in
the inrushing multitude. See in college how we thwart the
natural love of learning by leaving the natural method of
teaching what each wishes to learn, and insisting that you
shall learn what you have no taste or capacity for. The
college, which should be a place of delightful labor, is
made odious and unhealthy, and the young men are tempted to
frivolous amusements to rally their jaded spirits. I would
have the studies elective. Scholarship is to be created not
by compulsion, but by awakening a pure interest in
knowledge. The wise instructor accomplishes this by opening
to his pupils precisely the attractions the study has for
himself. The marking is a system for schools, not for the
college; for boys, not for men; and it is an ungracious work
to put on a professor.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as
becomes you, and be silent.
It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the
confident knowledge that they will help us.
My work is a game, a very serious game.
-- M. C. Escher
How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?
-- Elliot, 'E.T.'
In case of dissension, never dare to judge till you've heard
the other side.
Whenever we're about to do something truly horrible, we
always say that the French have been doing it for years.
-- Richard Eyre
When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is
necessary not to make a decision.
-- Lord Falkland, 17th Century
I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific
problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
-- Richard Feynman
... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire
was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate
successful termination of their C programs.
-- Robert Firth
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold
two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain
the ability to function.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in
hospitals dying of nothing.
-- Redd Foxx
Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.
-- Benjamin Franklin
Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and
the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be
-- Paulo Freire
Love cannot be much younger than the lust for murder.
-- Sigmund Freud
Indeed, a major aim of the liberal is to leave the ethical
problem for the individual to wrestle with. The 'really'
important ethical problems are those that face an individual
in a free society -- what he should do with his freedom.
-- Milton Friedman
If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom.
-- Robert Frost
Everything you've learned in school as 'obvious' becomes
less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe.
For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's
not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute
continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight
-- R. Buckminster Fuller
Where humor is concerned there are no standards -- no one
can say what is good or bad, although you can be sure that
-- John Kenneth Galbraith
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn
something from him.
-- Galileo Galilei, 16th-17th century
Where facts are few, experts are many.
-- Donald R. Gannon
Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.
-- Paul Gauguin
The graveyards are full of indispensable men.
-- Charles de Gaulle
A 'No' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater
than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to
-- Mahatma Ghandi
Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion
of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.
Life is pain, princess. Anyone who says differently is
-- William Goldman, in The Princess Bride
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is
big enough to take it all away.
-- Barry Goldwater
So now that every bridge is burned,
and the road home was a long one,
we're sure that if a lesson's learned,
it'll probably be the wrong one.
-- Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules issue #8
The advantage of a classical education is that it enables
you to despise the wealth which it prevents you from
-- Russell Green
Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are.
-- Pope St. Gregory I
I don't think you should meet the people you most admire. I
don't want reality to interfere with my image.
-- Ayumi Hamasaki
Power over a man's subsistence is power over his will.
-- Alexander Hamilton
The mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner
uncertainty as to whether or not he is right.
-- Justice Learned Hand
There are some who say that you should forgive everyone,
even the people who have disappointed you immeasurably.
There are others who say you should not forgive anyone, and
should stomp off in a huff no matter how many times they
apologize. Of these two philosophies, the second one is of
course much more fun, but it can also grow exhausting to
stomp off in a huff every time someone has dsappointed you,
as everyone disappoints everyone eventually, and one can't
stomp off in a huff every minute of the day.
-- Daniel Handler
The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.
-- John Marshall Harlan
Every book is a children's book if the kid can read!
-- Mitch Hedberg
Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws
him, and then choose that way with all his strength.
-- Hasidic Saying
Where books are burned human beings are also destined to be
-- Heinrich Heine
Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament -- it is
possible to be both.
How? By never taking unnecessary chances and by minimizing
risks you can't avoid. This permits you to play the game
happily, untroubled by the certainty of the outcome.
-- Robert Heinlein
Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do
not happen at all. The conscientious historian will
correct these defects.
To be fair, as we look back at the twentieth century, just
think of the wars diplomats prevented. Although none come
to mind, there must have been some.
-- Bruce Herschensohn
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty
-- Eric Hoffer
To obtain a man's opinion of you, make him mad.
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
I should indeed be glad to find a short cut to end the
struggle with the immensities of human problems. I have no
word of criticism but rather great sympathy with those who
honestly search human experience and human thought for some
new way out, where human selfishness has no opportunities,
where freedom requires no safeguards, where justice requires
no striving, where bread comes without contention and little
sweat. Such dreams are not without value, and one could join
in them with satisfaction but for the mind troubled by
recollection of human frailty, the painful human advance
through history, the long road which humanity still has to
travel to economic and social perfections, and but for the
woeful confirmations which the world has given of the
failure of idealism alone, without the compass of
-- Herbert Hoover, 1934
I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in
cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way
obstructed interstate commerce.
-- J. Edgar Hoover
It is your concern when your neighbor's wall is on fire.
-- Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Oh, when I was in love with you,
Then I was clean and brave,
And miles around the wonder grew
How well did I behave.
And now the fancy passes by,
And nothing will remain,
And miles around they'll say that I
Am quite myself again.
-- A. E. Housman
You may easily play a joke on a man who likes to argue --
agree with him.
-- Ed Howe
An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called
an idea at all.
-- Elbert Hubbard
Fashions have done more harm than revolutions.
-- Victor Hugo
In all ages of the world priests have been enemies to
-- David Hume
The right to be heard does not autmotically include the
right to be taken seriously.
-- Hubert Humphrey
It is astonishing with how little wisdom mankind can be
governed, when that little wisdom is its own.
-- W. R. Inge
Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and
have at all times been the fearless advocates of liberty and
-- Robert Green Ingersoll
A great many people think they are thinking when they are
merely rearranging their prejudices.
-- William James
The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow
evil because it isn't angry enough.
-- Bede Jarrett
Never spend your money before you have it.
-- Thomas Jefferson
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of
them is doing the thinking.
-- Lyndon Baines Johnson
I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them,
and I know how bad I am.
-- Samuel Johnson
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer
but wish we didn't.
-- Erica Jong
There is no greater hell than to be a prisoner of fear.
-- Ben Jonson
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no
recipe for living that suits all cases.
-- Carl Jung
When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.
-- Henry J. Kaiser
I live for a sigh, I die for a kiss, I lust for the laugh,
ha ha! I never walk when I can leap! I never flee when I can
fight! I swoon at the beauty of a rose. And I offer myself
to you, all of me. My heart. My lips. My legs. My calves. Do
what you will - my love endures. Beat me. Kick me. I am
-- Danny Kaye, the Court Jester
It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars.
-- Garrison Keillor
We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
-- Walt Kelly
Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs.
Our whole modern view of reality tends to see knowledge as
real and reliable only when it is quantifiable and put on a
table or a graph. However, those aspects of our lives that
are most distinctively human are least suited for reduction
-- Dick Keyes
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that
carries any reward.
-- John Maynard Keynes
Right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by
-- Rudyard Kipling
The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.
-- Henry Kissinger
Brothers, it is better to fall as free fighters, than to
live at the mercy of the assassins.
-- Abba Kovner
We have known how to face dangers to obtain our liberty, we
shall know how to brave death to maintain it.
-- Toussaint L'Ouverture
To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to
know when you do not know is a disease.
-- Lao Tzu
Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location
where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough
-- Fran Lebowitz
Happiness isn't something you experience; it's something
-- Oscar Levant
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its
victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity
may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for
our own good will torment us without end for they do so with
the approval of their own conscience.
-- C.S. Lewis
A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the
joke he resents.
-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
The work [of software development] is becoming far easier
(i.e. the tools we're using work at a higher level, more
removed from machine, peripheral and operating system
imperatives) than it was twenty years ago, and because of
this, knowledge of the internals of a system may become
less accessible. We may be able to dig deeper holes, but
unless we know how to build taller ladders, we had best
hope that it does not rain much.
-- Paul Licker
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong
impulse to see it tried on him personally.
-- Abraham Lincoln
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in
having lots to do and not doing it.
-- Mary Wilson Little
The average person thinks he isn't.
-- Father Larry Lorenzoni
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult
to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to
manage, than the creation of a new system. For the
initiator has the emnity of all who would profit by the
preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm
defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.
-- Niccolo Machiavelli, 1513
The means of defense against foreign danger historically
have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
-- James Madison
Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining
-- Christopher Marlowe
Authoritarianism and secrecy breed incompetence; the two
feed on each other. It's a vicious cycle. Governments with
authoritarian tendencies point to what is in fact their own
incompetence as the rationale for giving them yet more
-- Joshua Marshall
Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of
giving government the power to control men's minds.
-- Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Judge
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well,
I have others.
-- Groucho Marx
Noone really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a
while you'll see why.
-- Mignon McLaughlin
The student of media soon comes to expect the new media of
any period whatever to be classed as pseudo by those who
acquired the patterns of earlier media, whatever they may
happen to be.
-- Marshall McLuhan
My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so kept me
out of school.
-- Margaret Mead
Don't be humble ... you're not that great.
-- Golda Meir
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is
simple, neat, and wrong.
-- H. L. Mencken
The least of learning is done in the classrooms.
-- Thomas Merton
If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no
more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had
the power - would be justified in silencing mankind.
-- John Stuart Mill
After all my erstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Just because it perished?
-- Edna St. Vincent Millay
One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is
constantly making exciting discoveries.
-- A. A. Milne
You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.
-- John Viscount Morley
Everyone must have one thing that they can excel at. It's
just a metter of drawing it out, isn't it? But school
doesn't know how to draw it out. It crushes the gift. It's
no wonder most people never get to be what they want to be.
They just get ground down.
-- Haruki Murakami, translated by Alfred Birnbaum
Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in?
I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
-- Sue Murphy
The most disagreeable thing that your worst enemy says to
your face does not approach what your best friends say
behind your back.
-- Alfred De Musset
Shamus, n. [Yiddish]:
A shamus is a guy who takes care of handyman tasks
around the temple, and makes sure everything is in working
A shamus is at the bottom of the pecking order of
synagogue functionaries, and there's a joke about that:
A rabbi, to show his humility before God, cries out
in the middle of a service, 'Oh, Lord, I am nobody!' The
cantor, not to be bested, also cries out, 'Oh, Lord, I am
The shamus, deeply moved, follows suit and cries,
'Oh, Lord, I am nobody!' The rabbi turns to the cantor and
says, 'Look who thinks he's nobody!'
-- Arthur Naiman, 'Every Goy's Guide to Yiddish'
There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know
what you're talking about.
-- John von Neumann
To set the cause above renown, To love the game above the
-- Sir Henry John Newbolt
My goal is not to wake up at forty with the bitter
realization that I've wasted my life in a job I hate because
I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.
-- Peggy Nicoll
That everyone has an 'immortal soul' has equal rank with
everyone else, that in the totality of living beings the
'salvation' of every single individual may claim eternal
significance, that little prigs and three-quarter madmen
may have the conceit that the laws of nature are constantly
broken for their sakes -- such an intensification of every
kind of selfishness into the infinite, into the
impertinent, cannot be branded with too much contempt. And
yet Christianity owes its triumph to this miserable
flattery of personal vanity
-- Nietzche, 1895
Far from being opposites, as is sometimes claimed, liberty
and equality go hand in hand when we look to the incentives
of legislatures. In politics, the more serious the invasion
of liberty, the greater the likelihood that legislators
have imposed that burden on those deemed 'other' or
'lesser' in some way.
-- Victoria F. Nourse
Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant
it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem
than the person at the bottom.
-- Sandra Day O'Connor, US Supreme Court Judge
After all, what is your hosts' purpose in having a party?
Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their
sole purpose, they'd have simply sent champagne and women
over to your place by taxi.
-- P. J. O'Rourke
The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being but to
remind him that he is already degraded.
-- George Orwell
Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in
Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right
-- Amos Oz
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a
superficial appearance of being right.
-- Thomas Paine
People had been working for so many years to make the world
a safe, organized place. Nobody realized how boring it
would become. With the whole world property-lined and
speed-limited and zoned and taxed and regulated, with
everyone tested and registered and addressed and recorded.
Nobodody had left much room for adventure, except maybe the
kind you could buy. On a roller coaster. At a movie.
-- Chuck Palahniuk
If you don't make a mistake, you're not trying hard enough.
-- Charlie Parker
By the time you swear you're his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
-- Dorothy Parker
The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men, and their story
is not given only on stone, but abides everywhere without
visible symbol woven into the stuff of other mens' lives.
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the
things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
-- Laurence Peter
Nothing is more pleasing and engaging than the sense of
having conferred benefits. Not even the gratification of
-- Ellis Peters
When I was a kid I prayed every night for a bike until I
figured out that that's not the way that God works, so I
stole a bike and then asked him for forgiveness.
-- Emo Philips
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
-- Pablo Picasso
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools,
because they have to say something.
Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister.
-- Su Tung-p'o
Nihilism is best done by professionals.
-- Iggy Pop
Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of
you as they please.
To believe something is to believe that it is true;
therefore a reasonable person believes each of his beliefs
to be true; yet experience has taught him to expect that
some of his beliefs, he knows not which, will turn out to be
false. A reasonable person believes, in short, that each of
his beliefs is true and that some of them are false. I, for
one, had expected better of reasonable persons.
-- W.V. Quine
Most of the adults in your society seem to have forgotten
what went on when they were in school as small children.
If, as adults, they were forced to see it all again through
the eyes of their children, I think they'd be astounded and
-- Daniel Quinn
Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?
-- Ronald Reagan
In theory, there is no difference between theory and
practice; In practice, there is
-- Chuck Reid
I have a reamarkable memory; I forget everything. It is
wonderfully convenient. It is as though the world is
renewing itself for me.
-- Jules Renard
Violence stinks, no matter which end of it you're on. But
now and then there's nothing left to do but hit the other
person over the head with a frying pan. Sometimes people
are just begging for that frypan, and if we weaken for a
moment and honor their request, we should regard it as
impulsive philanthropy, which we aren't in any position to
afford, but shouldn't regret it too loudly lest we spoil the
purity of the deed.
-- Tom Robbins
Tyrants are tyrants, and tyranny is tyranny, whether under
the garb of law or in opposition to it. So thought and
acted our ancestors, and so let us think and act.
-- Charles Robinson
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
If you treat people right they will treat you right - ninety
percent of the time.
-- Franklin Roosevelt
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight
car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the
-- Teddy Roosevelt
We only acknowledge small faults in order to make it appear
that we are free from great ones.
-- La Rouchefoucauld
Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are
guilty if they forget what it was to be young.
-- J. K. Rowling
The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is
expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a
-- Theodore Rubin
Leisure is essential to civilization, and in former times
leisure for the few was only rendered possible by the
labours of the many. But their labours were valuable, not
because work is good, but because leisure is good. And with
modern technique it would be possible to distribute leisure
justly without injury to civilization.
-- Lord Bertrand Russell, 1932, In Praise of Idleness.
... Another writer again agreed with all my generalities,
but said that as an inveterate skeptic I have closed my
mind to the truth. Most notably I have ignored the
evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.
Well, I haven't ignored it; I considered the purported
evidence and *then* rejected it. There is a difference,
and this is a difference, we might say, between prejudice
and postjudice. Prejudice is making a judgment before you
have looked at the facts. Postjudice is making a judgment
afterwards. Prejudice is terrible, in the sense that you
commit injustices and you make serious mistakes. Postjudice
is not terrible. You can't be perfect of course; you may
make mistakes also. But it is permissible to make a
judgment after you have examined the evidence. In some
circles it is even encouraged.
-- Carl Sagan
You don't have to think too hard when you talk to teachers.
-- J. D. Salinger
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the
world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up
to you to give [life] a meaning.
-- Jean-Paul Sartre
No doubt a State possesses legitimate power to protect
children from harm, but that does not include a
free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children
may be exposed.
-- Justice Antonin Scalia
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for
the limits of the world.
I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once,
but I was wrong.
-- Charles M. Schultz's character Lucy van Pelt, Peanuts
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who
could have acted; the indifference of those who should have
known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it
mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to
-- Haile Selassie
It's easy to talk about respecting diversity, tribal
characteristics, and dissent; but anyone who has tried to
lead in a democratic manner knows that it can be
frustrating, slow, and cumbersome. That's why business
leaders often simply command and lead, taking the short
route, with little concern for their employees or their
customers. This kind of business model is a path to nowhere;
it doesn't lead to the productivity gains that occur when
people find it worthwhile and even inspiring to get up in
the morning for work.
-- Ricardo Semler
Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure
Use every man after his desert, and who should scape
whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity. The
less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Hamlet, Act II Scene II)
Over the years, I have come to understand a critical
difference between the world of fear and the world of
freedom. In the former, the primary challenge is finding the
inner strength to confront evil. In the latter, the primary
challenge is finding the moral clarity to see evil.
-- Natan Sharansky
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no
more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is
happier than a sober one.
-- George Bernard Shaw
Prayer, the last refuge of a scoundrel.
-- Lisa Simpson, the Simpsons
Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of
-- Isaac Bashevis Singer
Programming is like sex; one mistake and you have to support
it for the rest of your life.
-- Michael Sinz
Education is what survives when what has been learnt has
-- B. F. Skinner
Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.
-- Slovenian proverb
The real price of everything, what everything really costs
to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble
of acquiring it.
-- Adam Smith
It is true, of course, that there is no way of knowing for
sure whether or not you can trust someone, for the simple
reason that circumstances change all the time. You might
know someone for several years, for instance, and trust him
completely as your friend, but circumstances could change
and he could become very hungry, and before you knew it you
could be boiling in a soup pot, because there is no way of
knowing for sure.
-- Lemony Snicket
Rash indeed is he who reckons on the morrow, or haply on
days beyond it; for tomorrow is not, until today is past.
Formal education, especially among peoples for whom it is
rare or recent, often creates feelings of entitlement to
rewards and exemption from many kinds of work.
-- Thomas Sowell
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.
-- Gloria Steinem
We want GUIs largely because they are convenient and because
they are easy -- or at least the GUI makes it seem that way.
Of course, nothing is really easy and simple, and putting a
nice interface on top of it does not change that fact. A
car controlled through a GUI would be easier to drive than
one controlled through pedals and steering wheel, but it
would be incredibly dangerous.
-- Neal Stephenson
Isn't it conceivable to you that an intelligent person could
harbor two opposing ideas in his mind?
-- Adlai Stevenson
An expert is a person who avoids the small errors as he
sweeps on to the grand fallacy.
-- Benjamin Stolberg
It's better to be quotable than to be honest.
-- Tom Stoppard
I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who have
not got the guts to bite people themselves.
-- August Strindberg
The true greatness of nations is in those qualities which
constitute the greatness of the individual.
-- Senator Charles Sumner
Nobody knew anything, but elite thinkers thought that they
knew more than the rest beacuse they were elite thinkers,
and if you're a member of the elite, you automatically know
more than the nonelite.
-- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Two paradoxes are better than one; they may even suggest a
-- Edward Teller
Men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they
can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to
equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy
comes in and with it incredulity.
Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.
-- James Thurber
It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to
enslave men in the minor details of life. For my own part, I
should be inclined to think freedom less necessary in great
things than in little ones, if it were possible to be secure
of the one without possessing the other.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville
Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
-- Lily Tomlin
Oh Fortune, thy wresting wavering state
Hath fraught with cares my troubled wit,
Whose witness this present prison late
Could bear, where once was joy's loan quit.
Thou causedst the guilty to be loosed
From bands where innocents were inclosed,
And caused the guiltless to be reserved,
And freed those that death had well deserved.
But all herein can be nothing wrought,
So God send to my foes all they have thought.
-- Elizabeth Tudor
Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.
-- Alan Turing
When the ax entered the forest, the trees said, "The handle
is one of us!"
-- Turkish proverb
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is
obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
-- Mark Twain
Love tells us many things that are not so.
-- Ukranian proverb
Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to
pull a sled through snow.
-- Jeff Valdez
Women are always anxious to urge bachelors to matrimony; is
it from charity, or revenge?
-- Gustave Vapereau
A witty saying proves nothing.
The feeling persists that no one can simultaneously be a
respectable writer and understand how a refrigerator works,
just as no gentleman wears a brown suit in the city.
Colleges may be to blame. English majors are encouraged, I
know, to hate chemistry and physics, and to be proud because
they are not dull and creepy and humorless and war-oriented
like the engineers across the quad. And our most impressive
critics have commonly been such English majors, and they are
squeamish about technology to this very day. So it is
natural for them to despise science fiction.
-- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., "Science Fiction"
All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have
been more specific.
-- Jane Wagner
As a rule, there is no surer way to the dislike of men than
to behave well where they have behaved badly.
-- Lew Wallace
Few things can help an individual more than to place
responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust
-- Booker T. Washington
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force;
like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.
Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible
-- George Washington
People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously
-- Bill Watterson's character Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes
A strong conviction that something must be done is the
parent of many bad measures.
-- Daniel Webster
In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had
warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced
Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In
Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred
years of democracy and peace -- and what did they produce?
-- Orson Welles
It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all
copy-books and by eminent people when they are making
speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking
about what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case.
Civilization advances by extending the numbers of important
operations which we can perform without thinking about them.
Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in battle --
they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh
horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.
-- Alfred North Whitehead
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'
-- John Greenleaf Whittier
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
-- Oscar Wilde
I know that every good and excellent thing in the world
stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must
be fought for...
-- Thornton Wilder
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our
intelligence by means of language.
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein
You can't free a fish from water.
-- Robert Hewitt Wolfe
I have often repented speaking, but never of holding my
There is small risk that a general will be regarded with
conmtempt by those he leads, if, whatever he may have to
preach, he shows himself best able to perform.
If God lived on Earth, people would knock out all His
-- Yiddish saying
Such a fine boy, and so honest too. He's ready to admit
what he did and he's acting according to his beliefs. Such a
fine, honest boy must sit with me at my seder. I have so
much to learn from him! Just one thing though -- there'll be
no sandwiches at the seder table, unless you make them with
-- Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, commenting on an atheist
child who angered his parents by eating bread on Passover
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!
-- Emiliano Zapata
Action conquers fear.
-- Peter Zarlenga