Collected Quotations

"Je me souviens que, ne sous le lys, je crois sous la rose" -- Architect Eugene Tache inscribed the first 3 words beneath the coat of arms of Quebec on the National Assembly building in Quebec City, Feb.9, 1883.

"It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech" -- Mark Twain.

"Disaster and chaos are always good" -- Mao Tse Tung.

"Shining pearls of proletarian literature" -- Unknown.

"The three empties [signs of celebration]: empty hospital beds, empty liquor stores, empty firecracker boxes." -- Either Lin Piao or Chou En Lai (the dark Chinese communist military genius). [Source unconfirmed.]

"We need less talk and more hard facts". -- Lin Piao, Chou En Lai, or Mao Tse Tung. [Source unconfirmed.]

"It doesn't matter if a cat is black or white. As long as it catches mice it's a good cat." -- Deng Xiaoping.

"Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" -- Naom Chomsky

"You just make it the best you can, and then when you turn it over you let the public decide" -- Clint Eastwood.

Hitchcock, who liked his actors to read their lines and get out of the way, dissented. "Movies are not a slice of life," he said, "they are a piece of cake." -- [Source unconfirmed.]

"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tries." -- Anon., from Robert Coles, author of "The Moral Intelligence of Children".

"A wrong motive involves defeat." -- Mary Baker Eddy (page 446).

"Come out of the circle of time and into the circle of love." -- Rumi.

"In all affairs, love, religion, politics or business, it's a healthy idea, now and then, to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted." -- Bertrand Russell.

The struggle between concise code and bloated code plays out under the threat of a deadline. If our software is occasionally too fat, we developers fall back on the same excuse philosopher Blaise Pascal offered three centuries ago for his verbose letters: "I have only made this [letter] longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter."

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds" -- Edmund Spenser.

"O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit" (Psalm 30:3).

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart," He tells them (Jeremiah 29:8, 13).

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star" -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

"What is the difference between a fascist and a priest? Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do, and priests..." -- "Craggy Island" TV show on TVO 2000-04-25.

"Practice can be stated very simply. It is moving from a life of hurting myself and others to a life of not hurting myself and others." -- Re. Buddhist practice, from July 30 reflection in EVERYDAY MIND.

"Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit." (Called or not called, God will be present.) -- Inscription on C.J.Jung's grave and lintel at his home.

"Primus omo de terra terrenus. Secundus homo de caelo caelestis." -- The first man is of the earth and is earthly. The second man is of heaven and is heavenly. 1 Cor. 15:47. -- Inscription on C.J.Jung's grave.

"Wisdom is vindicated by all her children." In Luke 7:31-35

"Accept your genius and say what you think." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"A lot of people come to see my dad, and they're large and unusual-sized" -- Diana Hart.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." -- Emerson.

"It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning" - Colin Powell, after the attacks, 11 September 2001  [Unconfirmed].

"Here is a rule to remember in future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, 'This is a misfortune,' but 'To bear this worthily is good fortune.'" -- Marcus Aurelius.

"Does anyone seriously contend that any nation can fend for itself?" -- Kofi Annan.

"Nothing worth learning can ever be taught" -- Oscar Wilde.

"We treat them in the same way. Those who kill our women and innocent, we kill their women and innocent, until they refrain." -- Osama bin Laden.

"I have one message, I think it's time for us as Americans to put down our big sticks and pick up our books and read about other people and read about what they believe before we jump to conclusions." -- Ayman Geith 2002-09-13 or 14.

"All the social makeup in the world can't cover up a bruised ego." -- Anon.

"Time is Nature's way of stopping everything happening all at once." -- Anon.

"I can't tell whether I am living in a dream or a nightmare." -- Bertrand Russell.

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).

"It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards." -- Baltasar Gracian.

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God." -- Gerard Manley Hopkins.

"To create is divine, to reproduce is human." -- Kiki of Montparnasse.

"Knowledge is information in action." -- O'Dell and Grayson (1998).

"Meanings are created, negotiated, sustained, and modified within a specific context of human action. The means or process by which the inquirer arrives at this kind of interpretation of human action (as well as the ends or aim of the process) is called 'Verstehen' [understanding]." -- Schwandt 1994.

"Today we speak, but first we spoke; faucets leak, but never loke. Today we write, but first we wrote; we bite our tongues, but never bote." -- Richard Lederer.

"I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death." -- Harry A.Blackman.

"A rabbi told me that when you have two problems - one near, one not so near - concentrate on the immediate one." -- Ariel Sharon.

"The most violent element in society is ignorance." -- Emma Goldman.

"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." -- Albert Camus.

"It is a poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word." -- Mark Twain.

"Some are born to the freelance life, some grow into it and some have it thrust upon them, but it is choice that keeps them at it." -- Sandra Martin, The Globe and Mail, February 26, 2003.

"I'm a great advocate of what I call gardening, said former Secretary of State George P. Shultz. If you plant a garden and you ignore it for six months, it's taken over by weeds. But if you keep at it, month after month, then it grows. In diplomacy, the same thing is true."

"People often say 'I live for my art.' Bullshit! If you are given a talent it's to be used. It's not in the private domain." -- Rod McKuen.

"Leading an exemplary life is simple. All you have to do is write your own glowing epitaph and work backward." -- J. Sanjana.

"Crucial to how we feel is being aware of how we are feeling in the moment. The sine qua non of that is to realize that you are being emotional in the first place. The earlier you recognize an emotion, the more choice you will have in dealing with it. In Buddhist terms, it's recognizing the spark before the flame. In Western terms, it's trying to increase the gap between impulse and saying or doing something you might regret later." -- Dr.Paul Ekman.

"Because of their enmity you will be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you." -- Thomas Merton.

"Under that sort of regime, you don't admit you got it wrong", said Ron Manley of Britain, a former chief UN adviser on chemical weapons. [Speaking about supposedly unaccounted-for Iraqi WMDs and possible book-keeping errors. AP 2003-09-06.]

"I always like to have violent lyrics and violent music," Mr. [Warren] Zevon told AP in 1990. "The knowledge of death and fear of death informs my existence. It's a safe, kind of cheerful way of dealing with that issue."

"I have been ordered to fight people (al-nas) until they say 'There is no God but God.' If they say it, they have protected their blood, their wealth from me. Their recompense is with God." -- Hadith, and see s 2:190-193 from the Qur'an.; Quoted at as of 2003-09-17.

"People are nervous, aggressive", said Zainul-Sherifa Saltamuradova, 54, a refugee who recently moved into new housing [in Grozny, Chechnya] under a government resettlement program. "Most of us are depressed", she said. "Life is poisoned by the past. Everyone here is an invalid, in body and soul." -- The New York Times, 2003-09-18.

"Nature has proven to us that a monoculture fails catastrophically." -- Daniel Geer, the now-unemployed author of a report critical of monopolistic technologies. See

"Angry people cannot think properly." -- speech made Oct. 16 2003 by Malaysia's departing prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, to a conclave of Muslim leaders.

"If you don't find it in the index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue." -- Sears, Roebuck, and Co., Consumer's Guide, 1897.

"Silence is not acquiescence." -- Anon.

"When fasting, then fasting. When partridge then partridge." -- attributed to St. Theresa of Avila.

"I care about truth not for truth's sake but for my own." -- Samuel Butler.

"No plan survives contact with the enemy." -- the German strategist Helmut von Moltke.

"Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!" -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

"If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up." -- the Max von Sydow character in Woody Allen's film "Hannah and Her Sisters", while watching a TV evangelist appealing for money.

"If it takes a week to ride a fortnight on a bicycle, how many apples in a bunch of grapes?" -- Anonymous.

"Hold on tight to your prejudices. They may turn out to be be all the values that you have." -- Anonymous.

"You want to give me a name? I've been called a million names all my life. I'm better off with a grunt or a groan for a name." -- the anonymous Marlon Brando character in Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango In Paris.

"You're never going to bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of trying to do it." -- Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, tells GQ magazine that Donald Wolfovitz is a utopian like Lenin.

"It is hard to partner with someone when you become so radioactive no one wants to stand next to you." -- Thomas L.Friedman, The New York Times, 2004-05-06.

"He's a very difficult person to get to know. He's no normal human being." -- Ian Gibson, biographer of Salvador Dali.

"Action is the enemy of thought." -- from the movie The Human Stain.

"Britain has historically been a hard-drinking place, but the current trends are alarming." --

"As life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time, at peril of being judged not to have lived." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes.

"As Poppy Bush would say, when someone asked him to be speculative: "If a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its tail on the ground." -- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, 2004-10-09.

"Trying to help other people inevitably leads to disappointment." -- paraphrased from the Grissom character in CSI.

"The answer is usually in the question." -- the Grissom character in CSI.

"Men are like clouds, when they disappear the weather improves." -- the character Natalie, in the 2001 Italian movie "Anita Takes a Chance".

"I revise from difficulty towards clarity." -- new U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, interviewed on PBS 2004-10-21. [He makes about 20 to 40 revisions of each poem].

"A flu pandemic, which could cause widespread global infection, as did the 1918 pandemic that killed more than 20 million people, is expected to emerge within five years." -- from an article by Carolyn Abraham, "The Globe and Mail", Wednesday, Nov 10, 2004.

"A pessimist is an informed optimist." -- Ukrainian saying.

"We are made of our memories. A person who lives only in the present and has not a full consciousness of what lies behind his back is not fully human." -- Tulia Zevi.

"If you would be happy for a week, take a wife. If you would be happy for a month, then kill your pig. But if you would be happy for your lifetime, plant a garden." -- Anon.

"When you have a belief, then you make your views known." -- Judy Collins.

"Do what gives you bliss." -- Joseph Campbell.

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." -- Woody Allen.

"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." -- the Linus character in Peanuts.

"There was a delivery boy here. Outsiders are forbidden." -- Pizza ad.

"You've got to give the punters what they want." -- Anon.

"True validation does not come from external sources." -- Anon.

"There's an easy solution to every human problem. Neat, plausible, and wrong." -- H.L.Mencken.

"Well, this side of paradise/ There's little comfort in the wise." -- Richard Brookes.

"Erasing my hard drive, long considered a last-ditch measure, was becoming more and more appealing with each passing virus scan. My friend the bankruptcy lawyer finally convinced me: 'The catharsis cannot be understated. It's like a baptism for your computer', [the computer expert] Mr. Wagner said. 'You cannot truly live a good life until you've taken that first step.'" -- from Terminating Spyware With Extreme Prejudice, by Rachel Dodes, The New York Times, 2004-12-30. See

"No man is a complete mystery except to himself." -- Marcel Proust.

"Toyota is good for Holy War." -- Osama Bin Laden.

"Sometimes doing nothing can be the right thing to do." -- paraphrased from the Grissom character in CSI.

"If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." -- George Orwell.

"We now have cultural machines so powerful that one singer can reach everybody in the world, and make all the other singers feel inferior because they're not like him", Mr. Lomax once reflected. "Once that gets started, he gets backed by so much cash and so much power that he becomes a monstrous invader from outer space, crushing the life out of all the other human possibilities. My life has been devoted to opposing that tendency." -- Alan Lomax.

"You're all alone when you're a writer. Sometimes you just feel you need a humanity bath. Even a ride on the subway will do that. But it's much more interesting to talk about books. After all, that's what life used to be for writers: they talk books, politics, history, America. Nothing has replaced that." -- Saul Bellow.

"For one to control one's thoughts and feelings means one can actually control one's atmosphere and all who walk into its sphere of influence." -- Malcom X.

"An ecological principle, the problem of the commons states that people will act in self-interest if it profits them in the short term, even if that act will hurt everyone, including themselves, in the long term." -- Scott Berinato. See

"The shy man does have some slight revenge upon society for the torture it inflicts upon him. He is able, to a certain extent, to communicate his misery. He frightens other people as much as they frighten him. He acts like a damper upon the whole room, and the most jovial spirits become, in his presence, depressed and nervous." -- Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)

"People think that I'm haughty and stuck up, but really I'm just very shy." -- Lawrence Fishburne.

"[We] will destroy the insect that preys upon the life of the people." -- Symbionese Liberation Front.

"If you do not wake up with passion, passion for the world, your life, and the person you may be sharing it with, then that is a catastrophe, and you need to stop everything, and [go to that place where you can rediscover the truth about yourself, what it means to be you, and what engages your passion]." -- Naomi Wolf, paraphrasing her father.

"When you repeat a lie often enough, people will swallow it." -- Joseph Goebbels.

"It is the soldier, not the poet, who gives us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the journalist, who gives us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who gives us [freedom under the law]." -- Anonymous.

"You know, this whole subject is so fraught with cliché and misunderstanding. I don't know anyone who is not interested in art and commerce. Everyone is out to make money." -- Richard Dreyfuss, interviewed by Chris Sullivan The Independent, July 27th 2005.

"There is no way to write the essence of The Blues to a score. It has to come instantaneously." -- Sam Phillips.

"It's not just that funds may have gone to Iraq rather than to the levees in New Orleans; it's also that money went to tax cuts for the wealthiest rather than vaccinations for children." -- Nicholas D. Kristoff, The New York Times, September 6th, 2005.

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." -- Mark Twain.

"War is hell." -- William Tecumseh Sherman.

"It's not what you tell your players that counts. It's what they hear." -- former Boston Celtics coach and current team president Red Auerbach (quoted as of 2005/10/04 by Spencer Katt).

"Women hold up half the sky." -- Chairman Mao Zedong.

"Amoebas at the start were not complex but then they tore themselves apart and started sex" -- Arthur Guiterman.

"There always comes a time when one must choose between contemplation and action. This is called becoming a man." -- Albert Camus.

"You can't be wise and in love at the same time." -- Bob Dylan.

"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." -- journalist A.J. Liebling.

"I always thought that the spine of a character was awe and wonder." -- William Shatner.

"When someone says they admire your work, who knows who's telling the truth?" he fretted. "But you know what, I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: Be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that isn't really worth it. Be kind." -- Richard Greenberg, interviewed by Alex Witchel for "The New York Times", 2006-03-26

In "The Well-Appointed Room," a character says, "Nostalgia's just the longing for a time you know you can survive. Nostalgia is an entirely out-of-control emotion." -- Richard Greenberg, interviewed by Alex Witchel for "The New York Times", 2006-03-26.

"Friendships are like money, easier made than kept." -- Samuel Butler.

"When you gaze into souls, it's something you should update periodically, because souls can change." -- Richard Perle.

"Nobody really likes to be lectured a lot. And, therefore, if you want to be an effective person, what you don't do is scold the person publicly all the time." -- President George W. Bush.

"Oh my God, there's nothing holding us together except DNA!" -- Tony Soprano's sister to her brother (in Season 6).

"How life is strange and changeful, and the crystal is in the steel at the point of fracture, and the toad bears a jewel in his forehead, and the meaning of moments passes like the breeze that scarcely ruffles the leaf of the willow." -- the author Robert Penn Warren's narrator Jack Burden, in "All the King's Men".

Take Emily Dickinson's words to heart: "To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."

"People can let the same thing make them miserable for years ... until you can learn to say 'So what?'" -- Andy Warhol.

"It's not appeasement to talk to your enemies." -- James A. Baker III.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." -- Plato.

"Falling at the start makes for a prosperous journey." - Icelandic saying.

"We all have to recognise, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the licence to do always as we please." -- Harry Truman.

"I think it's unbelievably frustrating because you purchase the music expecting to be able to play it where you would like to play it and then you find out later that this is not quite the case. That's not, generally, well explained at the point of purchase." -- said John MacFarlane of Sonos.

"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in "The Gulag Archipelago."

"Dwell on the past and you'll lose an eye. Forget the past and you'll lose both eyes." -- old Russian saying.

"There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace." - St.Ignatius.

As former IBM President Thomas Watson, Jr. once noted, "Those who stand up to be counted may get knocked down; but [a] man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good."

"We are doomed to die; let us spend". -- Sumerian proverb.

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom." -- Gandhi.

"Die Grenzen meiner Sprache sind die Grenzen meiner Welt." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein ("The borders of my language are the borders of my world.")

"The concept of the Singularity sounds more daunting in the form described by statistician I.J Good in 1965: 'Let an ultra-intelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultra-intelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an 'intelligence explosion,' and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultra-intelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.'" - from, 2007-09-09.

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." -- George Orwell, about the proles, in "1984".

DistroWatch's stats page had an apt explanation for this unfettered replication: "A Linux distribution is like a religion. If you've ever tried to suggest to another person that his or her choice of a distro might not be the best, then you know what I mean." [The "I" is probably site founder Ladislav Bodnar.]" -- Information Week, 2007-09-19.

Linus Torvalds firmly stated, "LSM stays in. No ifs, buts, maybes or anything else." He explained, "You security people are insane. I'm tired of this 'only my version is correct' crap. The whole and only point of LSM was to get away from that." Linus continued, "I guess I have to merge AppArmor and SMACK just to get this *disease* off the table. You're acting like a string theorist, claiming that there is no other viable theory out there. Stop it. It's been going on for too damn long." When asked why his stance was different between schedulers and security, he replied, "Schedulers can be objectively tested. There's this thing called 'performance,' that can generally be quantified on a load basis. Yes, you can have crazy ideas in both schedulers and security. Yes, you can simplify both for a particular load. Yes, you can make mistakes in both. But the *discussion* on security seems to never get down to real numbers. So the difference between them is simple: one is hard science. The other one is people wanking around with their opinions." -- Kerneltrap article, 2007-10-01.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster," Nietzsche said. "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -- Maureen O'Dowd in "The New York Times" 2007-10-03.

As Upton Sinclair once said, "It is hard to get a man to understand something if his living depends on him not understanding it."

"When everybody knows that something is so, it means that nobody knows nothin'" - Andy S.Grove (2005).

"You cannot say what people are gonna like or not gonna like," he explained later to the biographer George R. White. "You have to stick it out there and find out! If they taste it, and they like the way it tastes, you can bet they'll eat some of it!" -- Bo Diddley.

"I tell musicians, 'Don't trust nobody but your mama,'" he said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2005. "'And even then, look at her real good.'" -- Bo Diddley.

"Say nothing of my religion," said Thomas Jefferson. "It's known to my God and myself alone."

"All models are wrong, but some are useful" - George Box (statistician).

"Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better." -- Samuel Beckett.

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"The beat of my heart has grown deeper, more active, and yet more peaceful, and it is as if I were all the time storing up inner riches. My [life] is one long sequence of inner miracles." -- The young Dutchwoman Etty Hillesum, 1943, in transit to Auschwitz, where she died.

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- Hamlet.

"I call that man rich," Henry James' Ralph Touchett observes in Portrait of a Lady, "who can satisfy the requirements of his imagination."

Psalm 31: "In God's hand I entrust my spirit, when asleep and when awake/My body and spirit, God is with me, I shall not fear."

"When hearing something unusual, do not pre-emptively reject it, for that would be folly. Indeed, horrible things may be true, and familiar and praised things may prove to be lies. Truth is truth unto itself, not because people say it is." - the pioneering 13th-century physician Ibn al-Nafis.

"There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee.

"Always keep a good distance between yourself and lying, quarreling, detracting, insulting and gossip. The person who can do that will some day learn to enjoy the silence." -Thomas A' Kempis.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm" -- Winston S. Churchill.

CERT has found that rogues often have prickly personalities. "We don't have any cases where, after the fact, people said, 'I can't believe it -- he was such a nice guy,'" says Dawn Cappelli, Technical Manager, CERT Threat And Incident Management Team.

"In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?" -- Rainer Maria Rilke.

"One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words 'Socialism' and 'Communism' draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, 'Nature Cure' quack, pacifist, and feminist in England." -- George Orwell.

"A more rapid build-up of political, economic, and military strength... is the only course... The frustration of the Kremlin design requires the free world to develop a successfully functioning political and economic system and a vigorous political offensive against the Soviet Union. These, in turn, require an adequate military shield under which they can develop." -- National Security Council Report 68, formerly-classified, issued on April 14, 1950, during the presidency of Harry S. Truman.

"You can tell what's in the heart of a man by how he behaves when he's drunk, when he's angry and when he has money." -- Jewish saying.

'He brought up the silent movie star Lillian Gish, who said that movies are not innocent things, we sit in the dark and we give them hours of our lives. "What happens to you is that your molecules are re-arranged, you are affected by what you see. When you walk out of that theater, you are a little different." She said this on the Merv Griffin show, and she looked at the camera and told people who create things to keep that in mind, that you're changing the way people think.' -- Ars Technica interview with cartoonist Don Bluth, 2011-03-17

"There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is inately media-related. The Panther Moderns differ from other terrorists precisely in their degree of self-consciousness, in their awareness of the extent to which media divorce the act of terrorism from the original sociopolitical intent..." - William Gibson, Neuromancer, 1984

"Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor yet the last to cast the old aside." -- Alexander Pope.

"You can't arrest an idea." -- Topiary's last Twitter message before the July, 2011 arrest of Jake Davis, alleged to have been a member of Anonymous and LulzSec and their spokesperson.

"Create and preserve the image of your choice." -- Mahatma Gandhi.

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people." -- credited to George Bernard Shaw.

"Learning is its own reward. Nothing I can say is better than that." -- Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg.

"Even if you wrote 100% of the code, and even if you are the best programmer in the world and will never need any help with the project at all, the thing that really matters is the users of the code. The code itself is unimportant; the project is only as useful as people actually find it. Way too many projects seem to think that the code is more important than the user, and they break things left and right, and they don't apologize for it, because they feel that they are 'fixing' the code and doing the right thing." -- Linus Torvalds.

"The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from." -- Grace Hopper.

Il faut souffrir pour être belle, as the French say. Without suffering, no beauty

"With modern American dentistry it is simply amazing to see what transformation can be wrought in a single day." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"A bit of a stomach gives a chap a position in society." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"There are no second acts in American lives." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"Men obviously like gross stuff," says Fran Lebowitz. "Why? Because it's childish."

"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law. Tyranny can be petty." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"It's normally agreed that the question 'How are you?' doesn't put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"It's no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don't have a body, I am a body." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"Randy Pausch [author of both the book and the video of 'The Last Lecture' about his cancer] taught at Carnegie Mellon, but it's the Dale Carnegie note that he likes to strike. 'Brick walls are there for a reason ... to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.'" -- Christopher Hitchens.

"For what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own soul?" [Matthew 16:26.]

"I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies." -- Christopher Hitchens.

"The Danish physicist and Nobelist Niels Bohr once hung a horseshoe over his doorway. Appalled friends exclaimed that surely he didn't put any trust in such pathetic superstition. 'No, I don't,' he replied with composure, 'but apparently it works whether you believe in it or not.'" -- Christopher Hitchens

"One of Christianity's most cerebral defenders, Blaise Pascal, reduced the essentials to a wager as far back as the 17th century. Put your faith in the almighty, he proposed, and you stand to gain everything. Decline the heavenly offer and you lose everything if the coin falls the other way. (Some philosophers call this Pascal's Gambit.)" -- Christopher Hitchens

"The notorious stage theory of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whereby one progresses from denial to rage through bargaining to depression and the eventual bliss of 'acceptance', hasn't so far had much application in my case." -- Christopher Hitchens

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." -- Albert Einstein.

As well as elections, Margaret Thatcher won wars. When Argentina invaded the British colony of the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic, in April 1982, she sent a task force of 27,000 across the world and recaptured them by June. As the force set sail, she paraphrased Queen Victoria: "Failure--the possibilities do not exist!" -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

After Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, in September 1990, she attended a conference with Reagan's successor, George H. W. Bush, who was undecided about how best to act. She told him, "Look, George, this is no time to go wobbly!" -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man," she announced in a speech in 1982. "If you want anything done, ask a woman." -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

"When men travel alone," she told me, "everyone always looks after them. When we travel alone, we have to look after ourselves." -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

She was always on the lookout for "great men" and was wont to say that "when a big man has a big idea I never like to stand in his way." -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

She was always proud of her looks and once defiantly told me, "You don't have to be aristocratic to have beautiful blue eyes." -- Vanity Fair, "The Invincible Margaret Thatcher", by Charles Moore.

In a speech to the Lord Mayor's Banquet in London, Mrs. Thatcher drew a combative metaphor from the national game of cricket: "I am still at the crease and in case anyone doubted it, can I assure you that there will be no ducking bouncers, no stonewalling, no playing for time. The bowling's going to get hit all round the ground."

"A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions" -- Proverbs 18:2 ["A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself." in the King James Version].

"We create tools and mould ourselves through our use of them." -- Unknown.

As longtime Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes said of passing the ball, "Only three things can happen and two of them are bad."

"Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth." -- Blaise Pascal.

"He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." -- Francis Bacon.

"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing the attempt" -- William Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure", Act 1 scene 4.

"Patience is just procrastination without the anxiety." -- the Harry Pearce character in the TV series "MI5".

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." -- Buddha.

An old Chinese adage says, "After the cunning hares are killed, the hound is boiled".

"One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic." -- Joseph Stalin.

"If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold." -- Andrew Lewis

"If you get to the edge of the penalty area with the ball and don't know what to do next, just stick the ball in the net for now. We can evaluate the other options later." -- Bill Shankley

Stanley Kubrick believed that "filmmaking is an exercise in problem solving."

"The only people who've never made a mistake are the people who have never made a decision". -- John Major.

"When she breaks the tender peel, To taste the apple from my hand, Her breath will still, her blood congeal, Then I'll be the fairest in the land!" -- The Wicked Queen in the 1938 Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly." -- Robert Heinlein.

When asked if he could sum up his life's message, he replied, "I help people as a way to work on myself, and I work on myself to help people ... to me, that's what the emerging game is all about." -- Ram Dass.

There's a wonderful old Billy Wilder quote: "Let the audience put 2 and 2 together so that it comes up with 4. Let them do that themselves, and they'll love you forever." -- Vince Gilligan.

"Luck is the residue of design." -- the baseball wise man Branch Rickey.

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!'" -- Hunter S. Thompson

... in William James's happy phrase, "Truth happens to an idea."

"Writing is nature's way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is." -- the cartoonist Dick Guindon.

"Just because you like my work does't mean that I owe you anything." -- Bob Dylan.

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered." -- George Best.

As the humorist Josh Billings once put it, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." (Ironically, one thing many people "know" about this quote is that it was first uttered by Mark Twain or Will Rogers, which "just ain't so".)

"When you love somebody everything's understood" -- Gorky.

"You asked me once," O'Brien said, "what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world." -- George Orwell, in "1984".

"I don't think any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified country unless there is rule of law." -- Aung San Su Chi.

"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why." -- Mark Twain.

"It's all right to hesitate if you then go ahead." -- Bertolt Brecht.

"Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged; practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge." -- Matthew Arnold.

"In a world where everything is ridiculous, nothing can be ridiculed. You cannot unmask a mask." -- G.K. Chesterton.

"We learn geology the morning after the earthquake." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday." wrote the 18th Century poet Alexander Pope.

"The art of living is more like that of wrestling than of dancing; the main thing is to stand firm and be ready for an unseen attack." - Marcus Aurelius.

"Better to go too far than not far enough." - Joseph Stalin.

'(Anders Sandberg, a former member of the [Extropy] group who now works at Bostrom's institute in Oxford) suspects that Bostrom also enjoys the ritualistic display. "Swedes are known for their smugness," he joked. "Perhaps Nick is subsisting on smugness."' -- Raffi Khatchadourian, writing in the "The New Yorker", 19-26 December 2016, the article "THE DOOMSDAY INVENTION Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction?". The article is about Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher focussed on A.I. risks. He lives on smoothies that he makes himself daily in an industrial blender, and says, "The very long-term future of humanity may be relatively easy to predict."

'Oppenheimer, who famously said of the bomb, "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it, and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success."' -- Raffi Khatchadourian, writing in the "The New Yorker", 19-26 December 2016, the article "THE DOOMSDAY INVENTION Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction?".

"We have a saying in Holland", he said. "'If you call out in the desert, no one will hear you.'" -- Burkhard Bilger's article "The Great Oasis" in "The New Yorker" 19-26 December 2016.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." - US President Calvin Coolidge.

"I feel that Sheryl Sandberg was eerily reminiscent of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was forced to go out and say something that I believe she knows is not true. I believe that anyone who is as intelligent as Sheryl Sandberg is - I think she is a remarkable woman - I think she knows they are a media company, and for her, I think she's towing the party line on behalf of her boss, and eroding her own credibility. I think she had her Sarah Huckabee Sanders moment, and it's really a shame." - Scott Galloway, author of the new book "The Four: The Hidden D.N.A. of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google", speaking to Nick Bilton of "Vanity Fair" about Sandberg's statement in a recent interview with Axios's Mike Allen: "Facebook C.O.O. Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that she wished the meddling hadn't happened on the company's platform, but she stopped short of owning up to the mess. Instead, she rehashed bizarre arguments about how Facebook is not a media company. 'At our heart we're a tech company. We don't hire journalists.'" she told Allen.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: "There is no expedient to which man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."

As Too-Ticky (a character based on Tuulikki Pietila, Jansson's partner) says in 'Moominland Midwinter': "All things are so very uncertain, and that's exactly what makes me feel reassured." -- The Economist, 13 Nov 2017, "The artist in Moominland".

"Ars longa,
vita brevis,
occasio praeceps,
experimentum periculosum,
iudicium difficile.
(Life is short,
[the] art long,
opportunity fleeting,
experiment dangerous,
judgment difficult.)
- Hippocrates.

The ancient Chinese legalist philosophical tradition of Han Feizi, [who] counseled rulers of old: "Be empty, still, and idle, and from your place of darkness observe the defects of others."

"On weekdays, Mr. Trump's principal mode of blowing off steam is his nightly dinner in the residence. He has always relished gossiping over plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and huge slices of dessert with extra ice cream." -- Tom Brenner/The New York Times

As one early Facebook employee told me, "I lay awake at night thinking about all the things we built in the early days and what we could have done to avoid the product being used this way." -- Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair, The End of the Social Era Can't Come Soon Enough, November 23, 2017.

This seems to be another kind of story entirely. This is a much more familiar story, a story that's as old as humanity itself. Read Homer. Read Shakespeare. Read Flaubert. Read Hawthorne. Read Virginia Woolf. Read Jamie Quatro's new novel, "Fire Sermon." Read these stories, and here is what you'll learn: People in the grip of love or sexual passion are apt to burn their lives down to the ground.

"In order to attain the possible one must attempt the absurd" -- Miguel Cervantes.

"There will be no loyalty between associates in tyranny and no power will tolerate a partner" -- Lucan.

"All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase: 'I love you.'" -- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"Humankind cannot bear very much reality." -- T.S. Eliot.

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." -- Denis Diderot.

As the British economist John Maynard Keynes is said to have observed, "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." -- Nick Bilton, September 1st 2018, writing "Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble . . . and What Could Burst It?" in "The New Yorker'.

"A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle." -- Theodore Roosevelt.

"Time engraves our faces with all the tears we have not shed." -- Natalie Clifford Barney.

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." -- Hector Berlioz.

Republican Senator Pat Roberts said on CNN Monday: "LBJ said sometimes you just have to hunker down like a jackass in a hail storm and [just] take it. That's about where we are." -- Eric Lutz writing at

"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognised wiser than oneself." -- Marlene Dietrich.

As [Hunter S.] Thompson once riffed, "Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why." -- 'A New Book Describes Hunter S. Thompson's Prescience', in "The Atlantic", by Dick Polman."

"A work of art is good if it has grown out of necessity." -- Rainer Maria Rilke.

"In a minute there is time / For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse." -- T.S. Eliot.

"People thank cops for their service, but they should be thanking McDonald's workers," Skinner told me. "They're way more likely to have a gun in their face than I am." / He added, "The only place that doesn't really get hit [with late night robberies] is the late-night liquor store. People are thinking, If this place gets shut down, how will we get in drunken fights?" -- Ben Taub writing in 'The New Yorker', May 7th 2018, "The Spy Who Came Home", interviewing Patrick Skinner, a police man in the Third Precinct of Savannah, Georgia.

"We have to stop treating people like we're in Fallujah," he told me. "It doesn't work. Just look what happened in Fallujah." -- Patrick Skinner.

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -- Theodore Roosevelt.

"Nothing is so treacherous as the obvious." -- Joseph Schumpeter.

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Baltasar Graciàn.
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this whole subject is so fraught with cliché and misunderstanding.
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"He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." -- —Francis Bacon