Favorite Quotations

I’ve tried to make these as accurate as I can, but I’m sure there are still misattributions and errors. The point is each one has been uniquely meaningful or interesting or funny in some way at some point. May they guide you as well.



“Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.”
–Edward Abbey

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
–Douglas Adams

“We apologize for the inconvenience.”
–God’s last message to the universe, Douglas Adams

“superintelligent shades of the color blue”
–Douglas Adams

“something almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea”
–Douglas Adams

“When you walk through the storm, hold your head high
And don’t be afraid of the dark!
At the end of the storm is a golden sky
And the sweet song of the lark.
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone!”
–Douglas Adams

“…they discovered only a small asteroid inhabited by a solitary old man who claimed repeatedly that nothing was true, though he was later discovered to be lying.”
–Douglas Adams

“Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point, I’m afraid, where you begin to suspect that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.”
–Douglas Adams

“and we’ll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere … and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.”
–Douglas Adams

“Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning” four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled “My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles” when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.”
–Douglas Adams

“Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
   The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
   “But,” says Man, “The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
   “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
   “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”
–Douglas Adams

“I love deadlines. I love the wooshing sound they make as they go by.”
–Douglas Adams

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
–Douglas Adams

“‘You talked to it?’ exclaimed Ford. ‘What do you mean you talked to it?’ ‘Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its extermal computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it,’ said Marvin. ‘And what happened?’ pressed Ford. ‘it commited suicide,’ said Marvin, and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.”
–Douglas Adams

“‘Yes I passed on your message to Mr. Zarniwoop, but I’m afraid he’s too cool to see you right now.’ ‘Look,’ said Zaphod, ‘I’m up to here with cool, okay? I am so amazingly cool you could keep a side of meat in me for a month. I am so hip I have difficulty seeing over my pelvis.’”
–Douglas Adams

“‘Listen, three eyes,’ he said, ‘don’t you try to outweird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.’”
–Douglas Adams

“‘Mr. Beeblebrox, sir,’ said the insect in awed wonder, ‘you’re so weird you should be in movies.’ ‘Yeah,’ said Zaphod patting the thing on a glittering pink wing, ‘and you, baby, should be in real life.’”
–Douglas Adams

“‘So, how are you?’ he said aloud. ‘Oh, fine,’ said Marvin, ‘if you happend to like being me, which personally I don’t.’”
–Douglas Adams

“‘Hello,’ said the elevator sweetly, ‘I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your choice. …’ ‘Yeah,’ said Zaphod, stepping into it, ‘what else do you do besides talk?’ ‘I go up,’ said the elevator, ‘or down.’ ‘Good,’ said Zaphod, ‘we’re going up.’ ‘Or down,’ the elevator reminded him. ‘Yeah, okay, up please.’ There was a moment of silence. ‘Down’s very nice,’ suggested the elevator hopefully. ‘Oh yeah?’ ‘Super.’ ‘Good,’ said Zaphod, ‘now will you take us up?’ ‘May I ask you,’ inquired the elevator in its sweetest, most reasonable voice, ‘if you’ve considered all the possibilities that down might offer you?’ Zaphod knocked one of his heads against the inside wall.”
–Douglas Adams

“Modern elevators are strange and complex entities. The ancient electric winch and “maximum-capacity-eight-persons” jobs bear as much relation to a Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Happy Vertical People Transporter as a packet of mixed nuts does to the entire west wing of the Sirian State Mental Hospital.”
–Douglas Adams

“The desk, apart from a bit of dancing dust and a single, revolutionary new form of paper clip, was empty.”
–Douglas Adams

“The left-hand tower of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy offices streaked through interstellar space at a speed never equaled either before or since by any other office block in the Universe.”
–Douglas Adams

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
–Douglas Adams

“The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways. But he uses a base ten counting system and likes round numbers.”
–Scott Adams

“You are what you love, not what loves you.”
–Donald Kaufman, Adaptation (the one good thing anyone said in that worthless movie)

“It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”
–Alfred Adler

“What about you, Colonel?
My job isn’t to believe or disbelieve. It’s to act or not to act.

The other day, a young researcher asked me something. He wondered if their power was the form the next stage of human evolution was taking, and perhaps that we’ll all be able to control it some day.
Scientists are a bunch of romantics. Military men always consider the risks first. It’s taken thirty long years. We’ve come so far from the rubble. We can’t just trade one for the other.
I’ve always thought that you hated this city, Colonel.
The passion to build has cooled and the joy of reconstruction forgotten, and now it’s just a garbage heap made up of hedonistic fools.
So you’re trying to save the city, then?
It’s how a soldier thinks. A scientist wouldn’t understand.”

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact; it’s an opinion. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
–Muhammad Ali

“I have a right to want, but I have a responsibility not to demand.”
–Pat Allen

“Five minutes a day, five days a week, look in the eyes of people you’re attracted to.”
–Pat Allen

“It’s normal to look 1,2,3 out. Those extra two seconds [counting to five] means you’re inviting sexual attention. You feel like a slut.”
–Pat Allen

“In case you’re worried about what’s going to become of the younger generation, it’s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.”
–Roger Allen

“[T]he only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”
–Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

“Show me any guy who ever said he didn’t want to be popular, and I’ll show you a scared guy…It’s much safer to say popularity sucks, because that allows you to forgive yourself if you suck. And I don’t forgive myself. Do you?”
–Jeff Bebe, Almost Famous

“Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens.”
“Kill them all; God will recognize his.”
–Arnaud Amalric

“But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
–Hans Christian Andersen, The Emperor’s New Clothes

“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

“Transire suum pectus mundoque potiri”
“Rise above oneself and grasp the world”

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
–misattributed to Aristotle

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …’”
–Isaac Asimov

“One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.”
–Nancy Astor

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“While you live, while it is in your power, be good.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future too.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break; but it stands firm and tames the fury of the waters around it.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“That which is really beautiful has no need of anything; not more than law, not more than truth, not more than benevolence or modesty.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Live out your life in truth and justice, tolerant of those who are neither true nor just.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Let every action aim solely at the common good.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.”
–Marcus Aurelius

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
–Marcus Aurelius


“I bought a house, bought a car, bought a pair of jeans
bought a surfboard, bought a breakfast, bought beyond my means
bought the items that you told me would enrich me,
but it shits me: I feel exactly the same.”
-Ball Park Music, Spark Up

“Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants, today it’s open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.”
–David Barry

Marianne: “He won the war.”
Liz: “Nobody won the war. Each looks after his own wounds. We made peace.”
La Belle Noiseuse, on cooperation and conflict between partners

“Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.”
–Robert Benchley

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”
–Edgar Berges

“Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”
–Ambrose Bierce

“Conservative, n: A statesman who is emamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.”
–Ambrose Bierce

“Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.”
–Ambrose Bierce

“No man can change the nature of another.”
–Chuck, Billions

“Everything is a branch of comedy now. Everybody is a comedian. Everything is subversive. And I find that very tiresome.”
–John Bird

“Don’t search for excuses for failure; cause reasons for success.”
–Rocky Bleier

“You know what makes you feel okay about losing? Winning.”
Molly Bloom

“A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.”
–Nicolas Boileau

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
–Daniel J. Boorstin

“Most advances in science come when a person for one reason or another is forced to change fields.”
–Peter Borden

“What do you want to do? No one ever asks us that; they just tell us what to do.”
–Christina Bourgeois (ECE writing coach at GT)

“It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.”
–Alec Bourne

“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”
–Sir William Bragg

“There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.”
–Richard Branson

“There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program: your tax-dollar will go further.”
–Wernher von Braun

“[T]he reason why Trump was elected, and the reason why there is such incredible polarization in society right now, is because the top 10% of earners in the United States have been so focused on ensuring that they not only maintain but also extend their privilege. And for me the scandal that really summarized all of this was Varsity Blues and all of these very wealthy people that were doing everything possible to ensure that their kids–not deservant–found a way to get in to those best schools. And when I saw that Greenwich Connecticut, that 50% of high schoolers taking the SAT out of Greenwich had, uh, letters from doctors that allowed them to take it with no time restrictions, unmonitored–that-that’s not just rigged; I mean, that is the system. That’s structural. That’s: if you have any capacity, that’s what you’re gonna do. And-and I think that comes in every shape and every form, but we know what it’s about.”
-Ian Bremmer, Real Time with Bill Maher, May 29th 2020

“But the whirlwind [war] is empty: horse or tank, Gengis Khan or Hitler or Stalin, it can only feed on the labours of other men.”
–Jacob Bronowski

“Think like an American; you have to know where you’re going.”
–Eilis, Brooklyn

“At some level Peterson is offering assertiveness training to men whom society is trying to turn into emasculated snowflakes.”
–David Brooks, New York Times

“Any book on happiness is likely to tell you to set clear goals on what you want to achieve and then work towards achieving them. The problem is it doesn’t really work. You might become a millionaire by the time you’re 40, but then you realize you haven’t been able to sustain a happy relationship. Or when it doesn’t work out you feel lost, and you blame yourself. When we live for our goals, we forget to live now. The philosopher Allen Watts made the point that when you listen to a piece of music, you don’t just skip to the end because that’s where it all comes together. You don’t just read the last chapter of a book because that’s the climax. Yet in life we’re obsessed with endings. So you study for these exams so you can go to this university to get this job to work your way up to what? Eventually you reach some position in your 50s and you think “Is this it? Is this the thing? Is this what I’ve been working for?” And you forget that maybe life should be more like a piece of music, and you’re supposed to be dancing.”
–Derren Brown

“We tend to dwell on our pasts and think that they somehow define who we are. But our pasts are just stories that we tell ourselves in the present…And we can be more skeptical of those stories if it helps us…We forget to apply the same natural skepticism to the most important stories we have, the ones we tell ourselves every day about who we are. And we can choose to change those stories.”
–Derren Brown

“This idea that those stories define us, in other words that it isn’t really events that cause our problems but more our reactions to them, this all goes back to a Roman philosopher called Epictetus 2000 years ago. And Epictetus also gave us a great piece of advice, which I find helfpul every day. Epictetus said there are things in your life that you’re in control of, and then there are things in your life that you’re not in control of. So if you stop trying to control or change things that are not under your control anyway, you will of course remove a whole lot of pointless frustration and anxiety from your life. Right? He added to that: There are only two things that you are in control of: Your thoughts and your actions. That’s it. So everything else, what other people do, what they think, what they think of you, how they behave, you can’t control any of that anyway. So if you stop trying to, if you stop trying to fix it or change it in some way, if you just decide that anything on that side is fine and just let it go, nothing bad happens. You just feel better. You feel happier. You feel relief like you just put down a big heavy case of bricks.”
–Derren Brown

“…That is a miracle. And we can remember that when we tell ourselves we’re a bit fat or our lives are a bit rubbish. This is the one life and the one body we have. We can tell ourselves a different story about it at least. We can be kinder to ourselves.”
–Derren Brown, Miracle

“I strongly believe that engaging with life is about understanding that it’s the choices we make right now that are important, not the habits of our past.”
–Derren Brown

“Living life fully is not just about fulfilling ambition, regardless of what motivational books tell you. It’s also about being kinder.”
–Derren Brown

“Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the mastery of it.”
–Derren Brown

“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”
–Rita Mae Brown

“Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”
–Rita Mae Brown

“The problem today isn’t that jobs are scarcer, or that positions in schools are fewer. It’s that we live in a hypercompetitive order, where the competition is not just for arriving, but the competition is never-ending. Every human being is now requied to understand themselves as a little bit of human capital.”
–Wendy Brown, Take Your Pills

“There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream–whatever that dream might be.”
–Pearl S. Buck

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
–Carl Buehner

“We’re here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
–Charles Bukowski

“A simple answer that is clear and precise will always have more power in the world than a complex one that is true.”
–Nolan Bushnell

“I think Atari’s legacy is that we started the Silicon Valley ethic of engineers as rockstars.”
–Nolan Bushnell

“The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.”
–Sir William Francis Butler

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”
–Charles Buxton


“Veni. Vidi. Vici.”
–Julius Caesar

“Let them hate us as long as they fear us.”

“There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall.”
–Joseph Campbell

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
–Albert Camus

“On this earth there are pestilences, and there are victims. And it’s up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.”
–Albert Camus

“You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can a kind word alone.”
–Al Capone

“Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide, even though women attempt it more. So men are better at it.”
–George Carlin

“Have you ever watched golf? It’s like watching flies fuck.”
–George Carlin

“Say what you want about America–land of the free, home of the brave–; we’ve got some dumb-ass motherfuckers floating around this country. Dumb-ass motherfuckers. Now obviously that doesn’t include this audience. I understand that. You seem intelligent and perceptive, but the rest of them? Holy jumping fucking shit balls. Dumber than a second coat of paint.”
–George Carlin

“Google in the words auto-erotic asphyxia. Auto-erotic asphyxia. It’s the practice of cutting off the oxygen to the brain at the last moment during masturbation in order to heighten the orgasm. And when I say common, 1000 kids a year die this way. Okay? 1000 of them die. So think how many of them are trying to pull this off, if you pardon the little pun that I throw in there. It’s just to, just to lighten the mood. . . . So let’s recap: Standing on a chair, rope around your neck, Peter in your hand. Now you have to time it just right so that just before you cum you almost die. And sometimes you miscalculate.”
–George Carlin

“We do think in language, and so the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language.”
–George Carlin

“Next: ‘Honor thy father and mother’, obedience, respect for authority, just another name for controlling people. The truth is obedience and respect should not be automatic; they should be earned.”
–George Carlin

“You can prick your finger, just don’t finger your prick. That’s all.”
–George Carlin

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain–and most fools do.”
–Dale Carnegie

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
Stephen Chbosky

“Son, some times you have to be a lion so you can be the lamb you really are.”
–Dave Chappelle’s mom

“Fear does not make lasting peace.”
–Dave Chappelle

“That’s a brittle spirit.”
–Dave Chappelle, The Bird Revelation

“The only difference between a poor black person and a poor white person is that a poor white person feels like it’s not supposed to be happening to them.”
–Dave Chappelle

“Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time in the right place they’re capable of anything.”
–Noah Cross, [Chinatown] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown_(1974_film))

“Governments are power systems. They are trying to sustain their power and domination over their populations, and they will use what means are available to do this.”
–Noam Chomsky

“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”
–Winston Churchill

“In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: good will.”
–Winston Churchill

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to an other with no loss of enthusiasm.”
–Winston Churchill

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It’s the courage to continue that counts.”
–Winston Churchill

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Winston Churchill

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
–Winston Churchill

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
–Winston Churchill

“Fanatic: One who can’t change his opinion and won’t change the subject.”
–Winston Churchill (popularized), actually from Evan Esar’s Comic Dictionary

“I don’t think the past is better, better
just cause it’s cased in glass,
protecting us from our now and later”
–Annie Erin Clark (St Vincent), Teenage Talk

“1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
–Arthur C. Clarke

“One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of mind.”
–Arthur C. Clarke

“Two possibilities exist; ether we are alone in the universe, or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
–Arthur C. Clarke

“Often when people discuss behavior change, when they talk about habits they want to shift, it’s usually centered around some kind of goal. They start with like ‘Oh I want to lose 40lbs’ or ‘I’d like to double my income’ or ‘I want to reduce stress.’ They have some kind of outcome that they want. And so the implicit assumption behind that is ‘If I can just achieve this thing, then I’ll be the kind of person I want to be. Then I’ll have’, you know, ‘the life I wanna have.’…Most of your outcomes in life are a lagging measure of your habits. So for example your knowledge is a lagging measure of your reading and learning habits. Your bank account is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your physical fitness is a lagging measure of your eating and training habits. Even the clutter on your desk at work or in the garage or in your bedroom is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. And so if you get really motivated and set a big goal like ‘I have the goal to clean my room’, and then you spend a couple hours doing that, you have a clean room–for now. But if you don’t change the sloppy, messy habits that led to a dirty room in the first place, then you turn around two weeks later, and you’ve got a dirty room again. So we often think that the outputs are the things that need to change, but it’s not really the results that need to change; it’s like ‘Fix the inputs, and the outputs will fix themselves.’…Process over outcome.”
James Clear (27min)

“True behavior change is really identity change.”
–James clear

“It’s not so bad getting old…As somebody once said to me–He was a general in the British Army–he said ‘Very little matters much, and most things don’t matter at all.’ And I think now that that’s sunk in–I think it’s hard when you’re younger to realize that. But very little matters, really.”
John Cleese

“I think the main thing is to understand that happiness or adjustment is much more an emotional state than an intellectual state.”
John Cleese

“I think the more that we have a disrespectful attitude towards our own egos, I think the happier life becomes. And I think the great problem of growing up in the moment, particularly for young people, is that you’re told that if you’re not rich and famous, your life is not really worthwhile. And that is such pernicious crap.”
John Cleese

“Extroverted values, which are to do with fame and money and status and positions, these are all things you have no control over. Do you see what I mean? Whereas you have a certain amount of control over your inner life, because you can somehow–you can not control your thoughts, but you can decide how much energy to give to a specific thought.”
John Cleese

“So when I started to discover at Cambridge I could write stuff that made people laugh, then I began to watch the process. And I am quite convinced that anything of importance creatively comes up from the unconscious. There’s a lot of very very bright, highly intellectual, immensely smart people, but they’re ‘left-brained’, and they’ll never, I think, be very, um, very creative.”
John Cleese

“When your unconscious gives you an idea, it doesn’t give it neatly printed out on a piece of paper; it’ll just give you an image or a feeling or something. And if you can stay with that and move around, eventually it’ll make, make sense.”
John Cleese

“What I notice about scientists is they don’t want to know about the philosophy of science.” [followed by great annecdote about Steven J. Gould and description of a study suggesting presentiment]
John Cleese

“Creativity is not a talent. It is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” –John Cleese

“By the Closed Mode I mean the mode that we are in most of the time when we’re at work. We have inside us a feel that there’s lots to be done, and we have to get on with it if we’re going to get through it all. It’s an active, probably slightly anxious mode, although the anxiety can be exciting and pleasurable. It’s a mode in which we’re probably a little impatient, if only with ourselves. It has a little tension in it, not much humor. It’s a mode in which we’re very purposeful, and it’s a mode in which we can get very stressed and even a bit manic, but not creative.
   By contrast the Open Mode is a relaxed, expansive, less purposeful mode, in which we’re probably more contemplative, more inclined to humor, which always accompanies a wider perspective, and consequently more playful. It’s a mood in which curiosity for its own sake can operate, because we’re not under pressure to get a specific thing done quickly. We can play. And that is what allows our natural creativity to surface.” –John Cleese See also Raymond

“On the show he [Fred Rogers] would say ‘I love you just the way you are.’ One day I said ‘Fred, were you talking to me?’ And he looked at me and he said ‘Yes, I’ve been talking to you for two years. You finally heard me today.’ And I just collapsed in to his arms. I-I started crying. That’s when I knew that I loved him. No man had ever told me he loved me like that. I needed to hear it all my life.”
–Francois Clemmens, co-star on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

“In an age when politicians are judged first of all on personality, when the public assumes all of them to be deceitful, and when it’s easier and much more pleasurable to laugh about a political issue than to think about it, Johnson’s apparent self-deprecating honesty and lack of concern for his own dignity were bound to make him a hit.”
–Jonathan Coe, Sinking Giggling into the Sea

“These days, every politician is a laughing-stock, and the laughter which occasionally used to illuminate the dark corners of the political world with dazzling, unexpected shafts of hilarity has become an unthinking reflex on our part, a tired Pavlovian reaction to situations that are too difficult or too depressing to think about clearly.”
–Jonathan Coe

“The idea that politicians are morally inferior to the rest of us is ‘a convenient view, for it means we, the audience, the voters, are not to blame for anything: we are not to blame because we are the victims of a politics gone wrong.’”
–Jonathan Coe quoting Steve Fielding

“In my experience, you truly serve only what you love; because service is love made visible.”
–Stephen Colbert

“So congratulations on the extra effort, Mercedes, which of course was a complete waste because Bloomberg Businessweek crunched the data this week comparing the satisfaction rankings with each company’s stock price and found that ‘…customer-service scores have no relevance to stock market returns… the most-hated companies perform better…’ and ‘Your contempt really, truly doesn’t matter… If anything, it might hurt company profits to spend money making customers happy.’ That’s right, folks, the Free Market has spoken, and it said ‘Fuck you.’”
–Stephen Colbert

“There are good and bad features of modern family life, in which relations are often based more on ties of affection than on duty or obedience. In these times, the people we choose to be close to represent not only a preference, but a profound statement of our identities. We are freed to surround ourselves with those who reflect our deepest values—parents included. We feel empowered to call on loved ones to be more sensitive to our needs, our emotions, and our aspirations. This freedom enables us to become untethered and protected from hurtful or abusive family members.
   Yet in less grave scenarios our American love affair with the needs and rights of the individual conceals how much sorrow we create for those we leave behind. We may see cutting off family members as courageous rather than avoidant or selfish. We can convince ourselves that it’s better to go it alone than to do the work it takes to resolve conflict. Some problems may be irresolvable, but there are also relationships that don’t need to be lost forever.
   It is sometimes tempting to see family members as one more burden in an already demanding life. It can be hard to see their awkward attempts to care for us, the confounding nature of their struggles, and the history they carry stumbling into the present. It can be difficult to apologize to those we’ve hurt and hard to forgive those who have hurt us. But sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs. Tara Westover wrote in her memoir, Educated, ‘I know only this: that when my mother told me she had not been the mother to me that she wished she’d been, she became that mother for the first time.’
   We are all flawed. We should have that at the forefront of our minds when deciding who to keep in or out of our lives—and how to respond to those who no longer want us in theirs.”
Joshua Coleman

“Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy-ass weight.”
–Ronnie Coleman

“La vida tiene más imaginación que nuestros sueños se llevan.”
“Life has more imagination than we carry in our dreams.”
–Christopher Columbus

“Nothing that results from human progress is the result of unanimous consent. And those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of others.”
1492, Conquest of Paradise (not a real Columbus quote)

“Real Knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

“Ethics are so annoying. I avoid them on principle.”
–Darby Conley

“You’re so young, way too young to be worried about not being smart enough. Until you’re so old you start going senile, you have the opportunity to make yourself ‘smarter’. And I put that in quotes because ‘smart’ is really just a way of saying ‘has invested so much time and sweat that you make it look effortless’. You feel like you are burnt out or that you are on the verge of burning out, but in reality you are on the verge of deciding whether or not you will burn out. It’s scary to acknowledge that it’s a decision because it puts the onus on you to to do something about it, but it’s empowering because it means there is something you can do about it. So do it.”
–Internet Commentor, forums after MIT admission results came out in 2011

“It’s not about being “smart”, but about sustained focus, dedication, and discipline.”
–Internet Commentor, forums after MIT admission results came out in 2011

“That one’s so stupid it underflows and becomes awesome.”
–StackOverflow Commentor

“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. The slogan ‘Press on’ has solved and forever will solve the problems of the human race.”
complicated origin, misattributed to Calvin Coolidge

“I’m happy about the things I’ve done. Not always happy about the results, but happy about the decisions, because I made them myself. And I think that’s an important way to go through life.”
–Kevin Costner

“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.”
–Marie Curie

“Co je na srdci je na dlani.”
“What is on the heart is on the palm of your hand.”
–Czech Proverb, according to Babi


“If you do not love yourself entirely and actively ensure your own needs are met, you will find it difficult to do the same for others.”
–Zaid Dahhaj

“One last drink, please.”
–Jack Daniels (allegedly his last words)

“How could they possibly need more conflict? What they don’t realize is that they’re mired in all those negative emotions because they’re unwilling to work through them. As long as they avoid the topics that are creating anger, guilt, and frustration, they’re stuck with them.”
Liane Davey

“The only competitor for the title of champion constructive mistranslation of all time also concerns virgins. Ibn Warraq has hilariously argued that in the famous promise of seventy-two virgins to every Muslim martyr, ‘virgins’ is a mistranslation of ‘white raisins of crystal clarity’. Now, if only that had been more widely known, how many innocent victims of suicide missions might have been saved?”
–Richard Dawkins

“No one gives it to ya; you have to take it.”
–Frank Costello, The Departed

“[S]tudents from elite schools expect success, and expect it now. They have, by definition, never experienced anything else, and their sense of self has been built around their ability to succeed. The idea of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them, defeats them. They’ve been driven their whole lives by a fear of failure—often, in the first instance, by their parents’ fear of failure. The first time I blew a test, I walked out of the room feeling like I no longer knew who I was. The second time, it was easier; I had started to learn that failure isn’t the end of the world.
   But if you’re afraid to fail, you’re afraid to take risks, which begins to explain the final and most damning disadvantage of an elite education: that it is profoundly anti-intellectual. This will seem counterintuitive. Aren’t kids at elite schools the smartest ones around, at least in the narrow academic sense? Don’t they work harder than anyone else—indeed, harder than any previous generation? They are. They do. But being an intellectual is not the same as being smart. Being an intellectual means more than doing your homework.
   If so few kids come to college understanding this, it is no wonder. They are products of a system that rarely asked them to think about something bigger than the next assignment. The system forgot to teach them, along the way to the prestige admissions and the lucrative jobs, that the most important achievements can’t be measured by a letter or a number or a name. It forgot that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.
   Being an intellectual means, first of all, being passionate about ideas—and not just for the duration of a semester, for the sake of pleasing the teacher, or for getting a good grade. A friend who teaches at the University of Connecticut once complained to me that his students don’t think for themselves. Well, I said, Yale students think for themselves, but only because they know we want them to. I’ve had many wonderful students at Yale and Columbia, bright, thoughtful, creative kids whom it’s been a pleasure to talk with and learn from. But most of them have seemed content to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them. Only a small minority have seen their education as part of a larger intellectual journey, have approached the work of the mind with a pilgrim soul. These few have tended to feel like freaks, not least because they get so little support from the university itself. Places like Yale, as one of them put it to me, are not conducive to searchers. [explorers]
   Places like Yale are simply not set up to help students ask the big questions. I don’t think there ever was a golden age of intellectualism in the American university, but in the 19th century students might at least have had a chance to hear such questions raised in chapel or in the literary societies and debating clubs that flourished on campus. Throughout much of the 20th century, with the growth of the humanistic ideal in American colleges, students might have encountered the big questions in the classrooms of professors possessed of a strong sense of pedagogic mission. Teachers like that still exist in this country, but the increasingly dire exigencies of academic professionalization have made them all but extinct at elite universities. Professors at top research institutions are valued exclusively for the quality of their scholarly work; time spent on teaching is time lost. If students want a conversion experience, they’re better off at a liberal arts college.
   When elite universities boast that they teach their students how to think, they mean that they teach them the analytic and rhetorical skills necessary for success in law or medicine or science or business. But a humanistic education is supposed to mean something more than that, as universities still dimly feel. So when students get to college, they hear a couple of speeches telling them to ask the big questions, and when they graduate, they hear a couple more speeches telling them to ask the big questions. And in between, they spend four years taking courses that train them to ask the little questions—specialized courses, taught by specialized professors, aimed at specialized students. Although the notion of breadth is implicit in the very idea of a liberal arts education, the admissions process increasingly selects for kids who have already begun to think of themselves in specialized terms—the junior journalist, the budding astronomer, the language prodigy. We are slouching, even at elite schools, toward a glorified form of vocational training.
   Indeed, that seems to be exactly what those schools want. There’s a reason elite schools speak of training leaders, not thinkers—holders of power, not its critics. An independent mind is independent of all allegiances, and elite schools, which get a large percentage of their budget from alumni giving, are strongly invested in fostering institutional loyalty. As another friend, a third-generation Yalie, says, the purpose of Yale College is to manufacture Yale alumni. Of course, for the system to work, those alumni need money. At Yale, the long-term drift of students away from majors in the humanities and basic sciences toward more practical ones like computer science and economics has been abetted by administrative indifference. The college career office has little to say to students not interested in law, medicine, or business, and elite universities are not going to do anything to discourage the large percentage of their graduates who take their degrees to Wall Street. In fact, they’re showing them the way. The liberal arts university is becoming the corporate university, its center of gravity shifting to technical fields where scholarly expertise can be parlayed into lucrative business opportunities.
   It’s no wonder that the few students who are passionate about ideas find themselves feeling isolated and confused. I was talking with one of them last year about his interest in the German Romantic idea of bildung, the upbuilding of the soul. But, he said—he was a senior at the time—it’s hard to build your soul when everyone around you is trying to sell theirs.
   Yet there is a dimension of the intellectual life that lies above the passion for ideas, though so thoroughly has our culture been sanitized of it that it is hardly surprising if it was beyond the reach of even my most alert students. Since the idea of the intellectual emerged in the 18th century, it has had, at its core, a commitment to social transformation. Being an intellectual means thinking your way toward a vision of the good society and then trying to realize that vision by speaking truth to power. It means going into spiritual exile. It means foreswearing your allegiance, in lonely freedom, to God, to country, and to Yale. It takes more than just intellect; it takes imagination and courage. “I am not afraid to make a mistake,” Stephen Dedalus says, “even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake, and perhaps as long as eternity, too.”

   The world that produced John Kerry and George Bush is indeed giving us our next generation of leaders. The kid who’s loading up on AP courses junior year or editing three campus publications while double-majoring, the kid whom everyone wants at their college or law school but no one wants in their classroom, the kid who doesn’t have a minute to breathe, let alone think, will soon be running a corporation or an institution or a government. She will have many achievements but little experience, great success but no vision. The disadvantage of an elite education is that it’s given us the elite we have, and the elite we’re going to have.”
–William Deresiewicz

“We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place. What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of expertise. What we don’t have are leaders.
   What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Army—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision.

[T]rue leadership means being able to think for yourself and act on your convictions.

Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself….
   I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. And often even that idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mistakes and recognize them, to make false starts and correct them, to outlast my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.
   I used to have students who bragged to me about how fast they wrote their papers. I would tell them that the great German novelist Thomas Mann said that a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. The best writers write much more slowly than everyone else, and the better they are, the slower they write. James Joyce wrote Ulysses, the greatest novel of the 20th century, at the rate of about a hundred words a day—half the length of the selection I read you earlier from Heart of Darkness—for seven years. T.S. Eliot, one of the greatest poets our country has ever produced, wrote about 150 pages of poetry over the course of his entire 25-year career. That’s half a page a month. So it is with any other form of thought. You do your best thinking by slowing down and concentrating.
   …Think about what the word [concentrating] means. It means gathering yourself together into a single point rather than letting yourself be dispersed everywhere into a cloud of electronic and social input. It seems to me that Facebook and Twitter and YouTube—and just so you don’t think this is a generational thing, TV and radio and magazines and even newspapers, too—are all ultimately just an elaborate excuse to run away from yourself. To avoid the difficult and troubling questions that being human throws in your way. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Do I believe the things I was taught as a child? What do the words I live by—words like duty, honor, and country—really mean? Am I happy?
   …Unless you know who you are, how will you figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life? Unless you’re able to listen to yourself, to that quiet voice inside that tells you what you really care about, what you really believe in—indeed, how those things might be evolving under the pressure of your experiences….
   …The very rigor and regimentation to which you are quite properly subject here [at West Point] naturally has a tendency to make you lose touch with the passion that brought you here in the first place. I saw exactly the same kind of thing at Yale. It’s not that my students were robots. Quite the reverse. They were intensely idealistic, but the overwhelming weight of their practical responsibilities, all of those hoops they had to jump through, often made them lose sight of what those ideals were. Why they were doing it all in the first place.
   So it’s perfectly natural to have doubts, or questions, or even just difficulties. The question is, what do you do with them? Do you suppress them, do you distract yourself from them, do you pretend they don’t exist? Or do you confront them directly, honestly, courageously? If you decide to do so, you will find that the answers to these dilemmas are not to be found on Twitter or Comedy Central or even in The New York Times. They can only be found within—without distractions, without peer pressure, in solitude.

‘She had given me a chance to come out a bit—to find out what I could do. No, I don’t like work. I had rather laze about and think of all the fine things that can be done. I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work,—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—for yourself, not for others—what no other man can ever know.’ [–Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness]

Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom. In other people’s reality: for others, not for yourself. You are creating a cacophony in which it is impossible to hear your own voice, whether it’s yourself you’re thinking about or anything else…Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.
   So why is reading books any better than reading tweets or wall posts? Well, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, you need to put down your book, if only to think about what you’re reading, what you think about what you’re reading. But a book has two advantages over a tweet. First, the person who wrote it thought about it a lot more carefully. The book is the result of his solitude, his attempt to think for himself.
   Second, most books are old. This is not a disadvantage: this is precisely what makes them valuable. They stand against the conventional wisdom of today simply because they’re not from today. Even if they merely reflect the conventional wisdom of their own day, they say something different from what you hear all the time. But the great books, the ones you find on a syllabus, the ones people have continued to read, don’t reflect the conventional wisdom of their day. They say things that have the permanent power to disrupt our habits of thought. They were revolutionary in their own time, and they are still revolutionary today.

Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it.

How will you find the strength and wisdom to challenge an unwise order or question a wrongheaded policy?”
William Deresiewicz

“The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.”
–Rene Descartes

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”
–Rene Descartes

“He had not a handsome face, but it was better than handsome, being extremely amiable and cheerful.”
–Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
–Annie Dillard

“I’ve learned that there is nothing more consistent with unhappiness than spending your time in a way that doesn’t serve who you are.”
–Scott Dinsmore

“So there was a kid back in February from, ah, Baltimore–ah, 14 years old [Jack Andraka]–who, ah, had access to Jstor. And he’d been spelunking through Jstor after reading something, and he figured out a way to do early tests for pancreatic cancer [by infusing a conductive carbon mesh with a chemical that bonds to a biomarker from blood of a testee, thereby changing the conductivity of the material]. And pancreatic cancer kills the shit out of you because we detect it way too late: By the time we detect it, it’s already too late to do anything about it. Ah, and, um, He sent emails off to the entire oncology department at Johns Hopkins, you know, hundreds of them .. and most of them ignored it, right. But one of them, like, sent him an email back and said ‘This is not an entirely stupid idea. Why don’t you come on over.’ And this kid worked evenings and weekends with this researcher, and in February I heard him on the news, just a couple of weeks after Aaron died, when Aaron was in the news a lot. [pauses and tears up] Sorry [breathes] And, ah, he said, um, the reason he was on the news is cause they’d done it; they were shipping, ah, an early test for pancreatic cancer that was gonna save lives. And he said, ah, this is why what Aaron did was so important: Because you never know, right? This truth of the universe is not only something [wipes tear] that policy makers use to figure out, you know, what the speed limit should be; it’s where the, the thing that’s gonna keep, you know, your kid from dying of pancreatic cancer comes from. And, without access, the person who might come up with the thing that’s got your number on it may never find that answer.”
–Cory Doctorow (The Internet’s Own Boy)

“When I changed how I looked at myself, it changed how the world interacted with me.”
James R. Doty

“It looks tame once it’s all laid out. Those little boxes help a lot. In fact, little boxes are the chief tool of computer science.”
Gustavo Duarte

“Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss.” Also traslated as: “There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, —nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living.”
–Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
–Will Durant

“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.”
–Will Durant

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
–Tyler Durden (not real philosophy, but a line that sticks in the head)

“Whether it’s space exploration or quantum exploration, we do it because we must. We do it because that’s what it means to be human.”
–D-Wave (quantum comuting company)

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”
–Wayne Dyer


“They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.”
–Clint Eastwood

“I ruined my last suit jacket when I got drunk and let a kraft single melt in the front pocket”
–Kevin Eickholt

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
–Albert Einstein

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”
–Albert Einstein

“Humanity is going to require a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive.”
–Albert Einstein

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
–Albert Einstein

“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t call it research.”
–Albert Einstein

“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”
–Albert Einstein

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
–Albert Einstein

“The right to search for truth implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
–Albert Einstein, written on the monument in D.C.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.”
–Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
–Albert Einstein

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
–Albert Einstein

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
–Albert Einstein

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
–Albert Einstein

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”
–Albert Einstein

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
–Albert Einstein

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is. I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
–Albert Einstein

“One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life in to the world of objective perception and thought.”
–Albert Einstein

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
–Albert Einstein

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
–Albert Einstein

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Plans are nothing; Planning is everything.”
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”
–George Elliot

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
–T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
–T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

“What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matter compared to what lies in us.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”

“In order to please others, we loose our hold on our life’s purpose.”

“It is not my place in society that makes me well off, but my judgements, and these I can carry with me. These alone are my own and can not be taken away.”

“No man is able to make progress when he is wavering between opposite things.”

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

“The origin of sorrow is this: to wish for something that does not come to pass.”

“Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.”
–Evan Esar


“Men’s greatest weakness is their facade of strength, and women’s greatest strength is their facade of weakness.”
Warren Farrell

“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
–William Faulkner

“Fiction is often the best fact.”
–William Faulkner

“Toutes les guerres sont civiles; car c’est toujours l’homme contre l’homme qui répand son propre sang, qui déchire ses propres entrailles.” “All wars are civil; because it is always man against man who shed his own blood, which tears its own entrails.” “All war is civil because all men are brothers.”
–François Fénelon

“Ignorance is never better than knowledge.”
–Enrico Fermi

“Et meme si ce nest, pas vrai, faut croire a I’histoire ancienne.”
“And even if it is not true, you need to believe in ancient history.”
–Leo Ferre, as quoted by Pierre Briant in intro to From Cyrus to Alexander, as quoted by Dan Carlin in the King of Kings series of Hardcore History

“What I can not create I do not understand. Know how to solve every problem that has been solved.”
–Richard Feynman

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”
–Richard Feynman

“I see people as equals; I have to pretend to look up to them.”
–Gail Finkelstein LeVine

“Courage is the solution to despair. Reason provides no answers. I can’t know what the future will bring. We have to choose despite uncertainty. Wisdom is holding two contradictory truths in our mind simultaneously.”
–Ernst Toller, First Reformed

“I’ve seen enough real sin to know the difference.”
–Ernst Toller, First Reformed

“Money is but a fool’s grasp at felicity’s apparition.”
–Tomas the poet, Flapjack

“I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.”
–Ian Flemming

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”
–Henry Ford

“An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.”
–Henry Ford

“If I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
–somewhat dubiously attributed to Henry Ford

“The shadow proves the sunshine.”
–Jon Foreman

“Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost. The typical reply with which such a man rejected all encouraging arguments was, ‘I have nothing to expect from life any more.’ What sort of answer can one give to that?
   What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life–daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
–Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
–Viktor Frankl

“The constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“You may delay, but time will not.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“Lost time is never found again.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”
–Benjamin Franklin

“A clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.”
–Lester Freamon, The Wire

“I’ve definitely made more mistakes in my personal than my professional life…[W]hat we call love is often more about ego, self-projection, validation and fear of loneliness.”
–Hadley Freeman

“Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.”
–Thomas Friedman

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.”
–Robert Frost


“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“Meetings … are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“All the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.”
–John Kenneth Galbraith

“Please be quiet; I’m very interesting.”
–Zach Galifianakis

“I have never met a man so ignorant that I could not learn something from him.”
–Galileo Galilei

“In questions of science the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
–Galileo Galilei

“[W]e must learn to live with Systems, to control them lest they control us.”
–John Gall, The Systems Bible

“Failure is perhaps our most taboo subject.”
–John Gall

“[M]alfunction is the rule and flawless operation the exception.”
–John Gall

“The microprocessor, like the multinational corporation, is even now providing material for new chapters in the Annals of Egregious and Unexpected Misbehavior.”
–John Gall

“[W]e humans do not yet understand the basic laws governing the behavior of complex organizations. A great enterprise can flounder helplessly or even wither away before our very eyes, as a result of malignant but as yet unnamed disorders, or in response to the operations of natural laws whose Newton has not yet been born to announce them to Mankind.”
–John Gall

“…the headlong rush into Systemism that charictarizes our age.”
–John Gall

“We are forced to report that in the interval since the original edition of Systemantics, no significant improvement in Systems-behavior has taken place.”
–John Gall, preface to 2nd Ed.

“[T]he height and depth of practical wisdom lies in the ability to recognize and not to fight against the Laws of Systems.”
–John Gall

“A System, after all, is a partial Intelligence; it participates in the great Mind of the Universe…”
–John Gall

“…but the one thing they all agree on is that whatever the problem may be, the answer lies in setting up some system to deal with it. There seems to be no hint of awareness that there could be a pitfall in all this…”
–John Gall

“[E]rror is our existential situation, and … our successes are destined to be temporary and partial.”
–John Gall

“…humor and irony. Those are the qualities that people have called upon down the ages to enable them to cope with the permanently provisional human situation.”
–John Gall

“[T]he fundamental problem does not lie in any particular System but rather Systems As Such. Salvation, if it is attainable at all, even partially, is to be sought in a deeper understanding of the ways of all Systems, not simply in a criticism of the errors of a particular System.”
–John Gall

“At all times there have been people who felt that things weren’t working out very well. This observation has gradually come to be recognized as an ongoing fact of life, an inseparable component of the Human Condition.”
–John Gall

“[F]ailure to function as expected is to be expected”
–John Gall

“The power of the Naming Effect should not be underestimated. It is literally the power to bring new ‘realities’ in to existence.”
–John Gall

“[E]ach specific System tends to attract people with specific sets of traits…[T]he particular attributes that a given System fosters can only rarely be correctly inferred in advance; the actual situation is likely to contain surprises. And such attributes are not necessarily the attributes required for successful operation of the System itself; e.g., the qualities necessary for being elected President are not the qualities needed for properly running the country.”
–John Gall

“Simple Systems that work are rare and precious additions to the armamentarium of human technology. They should be treasured.”
–John Gall

“[M]any of the world’s frustrations are rooted in the malfunctions of complex Systems”
–John Gall

“Nothing is more useless than struggling against a Law of Nature.”
–John Gall

“Creative reframing is the art of substituting useful metaphors for limiting metaphors.”
–John Gall

“If any intellectual tool offers hope of providing some degree of active mastery of systems, this [reframing] is it.”
–John Gall

“The thing about Bugs, Glitches, or Gremlins is that we really don’t want to know about them, we just want them to Go Away. Studying Bugs for their own sake has all the charm of studying how the paint cracks on an Old Master or how many ways a typewriter key can stick. We don’t want to know all that. We just want our Systems to work as smoothly in real life as they did in our fantasies.”
–John Gall

“When Reframing is complete, the Problem is not ‘solved’–it doesn’t even exist any more. There is no longer any Problem to discuss, let alone a Solution [(which may cause its own consequences and problems)]. [Or, the Problem can be transformed to something more tractable.] In the fleeting moment of transition from the old Model to the New [(Paradigm Shift)], one has a brief opportunity to realize consciously what most of us seldom think about, namely, that labels such as [‘crime’, ‘oppressor’, ‘socialism’, etc.] are artefacts of terminology, not permanent attributes of the Universe or of Human Nature. With that awareness we are no longer locked into models that offer no solution. We are free to seek out ever more appropriate Models of the Universe.”
–John Gall

“In practice, truly suitable new Frames remain elusive. There is no surefire program for devising them. Even mathematicians do not understand how it comes about that they suddenly ‘see’ the elegant way to solve a problem. There is no formula for creativity”
–John Gall, but John Cleese has devised some practical advice

“…the experiences of adolescence, where two awkward beginners make all the standard errors and some new ones, fail to pick up on their partner’s cues, and forget to send their own signals.”
–John Gall

“[W]ith long-continued practice in interacting with familiar Systems, moments can come when our interactions can take on the qualities suggested [by the word ‘dance’]–when the partners are no longer simply dancing, but also communicating about changing the dance itself to make it more satisfying for both…Such moments are the reward of those who recognize the dance for what it is and who persist in the dance.”
–John Gall

“…the necessity of a New Breed of Systems-student–one who, having absorbed the Axioms here collected and, more importantly, the spirit infusing them, can progress beyond technology to the kind of wisdom the world needs. The world already suffers from too many experts. They tell us more than we need to know or dare to ask about ingenious machines, fusion bombs, and management science. What we really need to know is much more subtle.
   We need to know if setting up Management by Objectives in the Universities will bring on another Dark Age; if placing a microphone in the Oval Office can bring down the government; if permitting men and women everywhere the freedom to choose their own way of life and to make their own decisions can lead to a better world. For such questions your run-of-the-mill expert is of little value. What is required is a special, elusive talent, really an intuition–a feel for the wild, weird, wonderful, and paradoxical ways of Large Systems. We offer no formula for recognizing or cultivating such a talent. But we suggest that its possessor will, more likely than not, have cut his/her eyeteeth on the Axioms of General Systemantics.”
–John Gall

“Systems are seductive. They promise to do a hard job faster, better, and more easily than you could do it yourself. But if you set up a System, you are likely to find your time and effort now being consumed in the care and feeding of the System itself. New Problems are created by its very presence (Fundamental Theorem). Once set up, it won’t Go Away; it Grows and Encroaches (Laws of Growth). It begins to do Strange and Wonderful Things (Generalized Uncertainty Principle) and Breaks Down in Ways You Never Thought Possible (Fundamental Failure Theorem). It Kicks Back, Gets In The Way and Opposes Its Own Proper Function (Le Chatelier’s Principle). Your own perspective becomes distorted by being In The System (Functionary’s Fault). You become anxious and Push On It To Make It Work (Administrator’s Anxiety). Eventually you come to believe that the misbegotten product it so grudgingly delivers is What You Really Wanted all the time (Systems-delusion). At that point, Encroachment has become complete. You have become absorbed. You are now a Systems-person.”
–John Gall

“Go with the flow. In human terms, this means working with human tendencies rather than against them. For example, a State-run lottery flourishes even in times of economic depression because its function is aligned with the basic human instinct to gamble a small stake in hopes of a large reward. The Public School System, on the other hand, although founded with the highest and most altruistic goals in mind, remains in a state of chronic failure because it violates the principle of spontaneity in human learning. It goes against the grain and therefore it does not ever really succeed. It has made literacy universal, but not truly popular.”
–John Gall

“With majestic disregard for man’s plans and calculations…”
–John Gall

“[T]he distinguishing mark of the resolute Systems-student is the determination to make the most of what can be done, given the limitations of reality.”
–John Gall

“[O]ne of the defining characteristics of true transformation is self redefinition….Indeed, rather than be swept away by life and force of habit, the individual can seize control of their life. They can fight against ‘inevitability’ and the idea of settling for whatever life hands them. We are either compliant with our seemingly preordained fate or we fight. We who choose to embrace the fight understand that life itself is a struggle and [welcome] it. Compliant living is mere existing. We want more–we want to improve our quality of life by methodically engaging in our parallel disciplines. Over time our practices will transform us.”
–Marty Gallagher, Strong Medicine epilogue

“Sober words are drunken thoughts… Wait.”
–Reese Gallagher

“The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”
–Mohandas Gandhi

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.”
–Mohandas Gandhi (Be the change you wish to see in the world.)

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
–Bill Gates (and, independently, Harold Tharp)

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
–Bill Gates

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
–Bill Gates

“If you give people tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected.”
–Bill Gates

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
–Bill Gates

“Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.”
–Bill Gates

“Official favor, grades, and other trinkets of subordination have no connection with education; they are the paraphernalia of servitude, not of freedom.”
–John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

“Aristotle saw, a long time ago, that fully participating in a complex range of human affairs was the only way to become fully human.”
–John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down

“Common sense tells us that consciously thinking about a problem or deliberating about the options is the best strategy for making a decision. Consider the possibility that not consciously thinking can produce an outcome superior to that of consciously thinking. In a study be Ap Dijksterhuis (2004), participants evaluated complex information regarding real-world choices. One situation involved selecting an apartment. In each case, the participants chose between alternatives that had negative features (e.g., high rent, bad location) and positive features (e.g., nice landlord, good view). Objectively, one apartment was the best choice. Some participants were required to make an immediate choice (no thought). Some had to think for 3 minutes and then choose (conscious thought). Others had to work for 3 minues on a difficult, distracting task and then choose (unconscious thought). Across three separate trials, those in the unconscious thought condition made the best decisions. According to Dijksterhuis and Nordgren (2006), unconscious processing is especially valuable for complex decisions in which it is difficult to weigh the pros and cons consciously. Perhaps this is why, for very important decisions, people often choose to “sleep on it.
   Consider also the possibility that consciously thinking can undermine good decision making. The social psychologist Tim Wilson and the cognitive psychologist Jonathan Schooler (1991) asked research participants to rate james. When the participants simply tasted the james, their ratings were very similar to experts’ ratings. However, whent he participants had to explain their ratings jam by jam, their ratings differed substantially from the experts’. Unless the experts were wrong, the participants had made poorer judgements: Having to reflect consciously about their reasons apparently altered their perceptions of the jams.”
–Gazzaniga, et al., Psychological Science

“A philosopher once wrote you need three things to have a good life. One, a meaningful relationship. Two, a decent job of work. And three, to make a difference. And it was always that third one that stressed me, to make a difference. And I realized that I do, every day. We all do. It’s how we interact with our fellow man.”
–Ricky Gervais (as David, The Office (UK)

“Failure is when you stop dreaming.”
–Public defender’s father in Gideon’s Army

“If you work hard enough and assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.”
–Malcolm Gladwell

“In Russian folklore, there is an archetype called yurodivy, or the holy fool. The holy fool is a social misfit, eccentric, offputting, sometimes even crazy, who nonetheless has access to the truth. ‘Nonetheless’ is actually the wrong word. The holy fool is a truth-teller, because he is an outcast. Those who are not part of existing social hierarchies are free to blurt out inconvenient truths or question things the rest of us take for granted….What sets the holy fool apart is a different sense of the possibility of deception.”
–Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers

“Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundations, marked out its dimensions, laid its cornerstone? When the morning stars sang, and the angels shouted with joy, where were you?”
–God, Book of Job

“Never hate your enemies; it affects your judgement.”
–Michael Corleone, The Godfather

“Never let anyone know what you’re thinking.”
–Michael Corleone, The Godfather

“What you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
–Anster translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.”

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”

“If we do not create and control our environment, our environment creates and controls us.”
–Marshall Goldmish

“It’s only old people who say that young people feel “invincible”; it takes a writer of some wisdom to see that youth looks invincible only in retrospect, from the outside.”
–Rob Goodman, How To Be Intoxicated

“A great engineer is someone who knows a little about a lot and a lot about a little.”
–Google Developer’s Ph.D. Advisor

“Stretch your boundaries and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”
–Google recruitment literature, but also a principle I found true at college and since

“Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place … Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn’t make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.
–Steve Grand

“Whether or not you win this thing, you’ve got to decide how you’re gonna walk out of here when it’s all said and done, ‘cause the game is going to go on. And there’s only one rule you’re going to need to know about: There are no second chances. There is only this moment, and the next moment. Every one of those moments is a test, that you get to take one time, and only one time. So if you see an opening, tear into it. If you get a shot at victory, make damn sure you take it. Seize that moment. That moment is a crossroads where everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way. You’ve got momentum at your back. Fear and doubt are thundering like a freight train straight at you. And all you got, the only difference between making history and being history, the only thing, the ONLY thing you can count on at any given moment is YOU! It’s you versus them, you versus “no”, you versus “can’t”, you versus “next year”, “last year”, statistics, excuses! It’s you versus history, you versus the odds. It’s you versus second place. The clock is ticking. Let’s see what you’ve got.”
Sent by professor Greco to his physics students before a final

“Hello learned and astonishingly attractive pupils. My name is John Green, and I want to welcome you to Crash Course: World History. Over the next 40 weeks together we will learn how in a mere 15,000 years humans went from hunting and gathering—
Mr. Green, Mr. Green! Mr.—Is this gonna be on the test?
   Yeah, about the test: The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world, and it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dormrooms and in places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be easily persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that when taken together make your life yours. And everything, everything will be on it. I know, right? So pay attention.”
John Green

“Your noble prehistoric heritage as a scavenger has prepared you to eat anything, anything that is food.”
–John Green

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world monocular.”
–John Green

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
–John Green

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”
–John Green

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
–John Green

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
–Wayne Gretzky

“I think that if you’re passionate about something and you’re driven and focused, you can pretty much do anything you want to do.”
–Dave Grohl

“99 little bugs in the code,
99 little bugs,
track one down, patch it around,
117 little bugs in the code”
–Ashu Gupta

“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha’s own words must be rejected.”
–Tenzin Gyatso

“All religion carry same message: message of Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Tolerance, Contentment, Self-Discipline. I think we need these qualities as human beings, irrespective of whether you say you are believer or non-believer, because these are the source of a happy life.”
–Tenzin Gyatso


“When you march to the beat of your own drum, you risk losin’ the band.”
–Bos, Halt and Catch Fire

“You go through life, and you have this idea of who you are and what you do, and then..you discover it’s total bullshit. It’s a defense mechanism. And once you stop defending yourself, you can be all these other things.”
–Cameron Howe, Halt and Catch Fire

“I’m so sick of hearing about the future. What is that!? The future is just another crappy version of the present. It’s–it’s some bribe people offer you to make you do what they want instead of what you want.”
–Cameron Howe, Halt and Catch Fire

“Making him the villain takes the blame away.”
–Cameron Howe, Halt and Catch Fire

“When somebody calls themselves a job creator, they aren’t describing the economy, although that’s what it sounds like. What they are really doing is making a claim on status, privilege and power.”
–Nick Hanauer

“The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.”
–Learned Hand

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
–Hanlon’s Razor

“The next time something happens in your life that makes you angry or afraid or sad, how long will you spend locked in the prison of one of those emotions? And what will you do there? What indelible mark might you make in your life or in our world on the basis of one of those emotions?”
Sam Harris

“You’re making yourself based on what you’re doing with your attention and the kinds of habits you’re ramifying. And you are, quite literally, sculpting your neural circuitry in the mean time…All of these moments matter, and they deliver to you your future self who will have whatever competencies or weaknesses or mounting dissatisfaction with life to deal with. And if your life doesn’t feel the way you want it to feel, there’s a lot you have done on purpose and by accident to bring yourself to this point, and there’s a lot you may yet do to feel differently.”
Sam Harris (39min) on brain plasticity and the principle of getting more of what you pay attention to

“You have to figure out what it is you’re doing with your attention moment-to-moment that’s denying you access to the reality you just saw a mere two hours ago”
–Sam Harris, about LSD

“There are those who will say terrible things about JavaScript. Many of these things are true. When I was required to write something in JavaScript for the first time, I quickly came to despise it. It would accept almost anything I typed but interpret it in a way that was completely different from what I meant. This had a lot to do with the fact that I did not have a clue what I was doing, of course, but there is a real issue here: JavaScript is ridiculously liberal in what it allows. The idea behind this design was that it would make programming in JavaScript easier for beginners. In actuality, it mostly makes finding problems in your programs harder because the system will not point them out to you.”
–Marijn Haverbeke, Eloquent Javascript

“There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision.”
–Friedrich von Hayek

“There are those who say that death is just part of the human condition, so we should embrace it. I’m not one of those people.”
–Kenneth Hayworth

“Our grandchildren will say that we died not because of heart disease, cancer, or stroke, but instead that we died pathetically out of ignorance and superstition.”
–Kenneth Hayworth

“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”
–Mitch Hedberg

“I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.”
–Mitch Hedberg

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, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
–Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.”
–Joseph Heller, Catch 22

“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.”
–Lillian Hellman

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
–Ernest Hemingway

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”
–Ernest Hemingway

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility is being superior to your former self.”
–Ernest Hemingway

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers–but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“To keep your character intact you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“The thing about life is that you must survive. Life is going to be difficult, and dreadful things will happen. What you do is move along, get on with it, and be tough. Not in the sense of being mean to others, but being tough with yourself and making a deadly effort not to be defeated.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“Everyone thought I was bold and fearless and even arrogant, but inside I was always quaking.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“Most people are brought up to believe they are as good as the person next to them, I was told I was better.”
–Katherine Hepburn

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
–Napoleon Hill

“Primum non nocere”
“Primarily do no harm”
–Hippocratic Oath

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
–Hitchens Razor

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
–Sherlock Holmes

“I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.”
–Sherlock Holmes

“To a great mind, nothing is little.”
–Sherlock Holmes

“You have a grace upon your words”
–Homer, The Odyssey

“When people talk about trying to suppress your fear, I mean, I look at it a different way: I try to expand my comfort zone by practicing the moves over and over again. I work through the fear until it’s just not scary anymore.”
–Alex Honnold

”[For her] the point of life is, like, happiness, to be with people that make you feel fulfilled and to have a good time. For me it’s all about performance. The thing is anybody can be happy and cozy. Nothing good happens in the world by being happy and cozy. You know, like, nobody achieves anything great because they’re happy and cozy.”
–Alex Honnold

“It’s about being a warrior. It doesn’t matter about the cause, necessarily. This is your path, and you will pursue it with excellence. You face your fear because your goal demands it. That is the goddamn warrior spirit.”
–Alex Honnold

“I think there’s a kind of metaphysical dimension, that speed becomes a way of walling ourselves off from the bigger, deeper questions: We fill our heads with distraction, with busy-ness so that we don’t have to ask ‘Am I well?’ ‘Am I happy?’”
Carl Honore

There is in every village a torch: the teacher; and an extinguisher: the clergyman.
–Victor Hugo

“You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea.”
–Victor Hugo

“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”
David Hume

“Everyone is being satirical, everything is a send-up. There’s an infuriating frivolity, cynicism and finally a vacuousness.”
–Barry Humphries


“An important part of becoming an adult is realizing that a lot of people never become adults.”
–Alex Ikonomides

“A superstition is a premature explanation that overstays its time.”
–George Iles

“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, the possibility of life is destroyed.”
–Into the Wild

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
–Irish blessing, delivered to us at Southeast Graduation by Stephen Foster, really touches me for some reason


“It is easier to act your way to a new way of thinking than to think your way to a new way of acting.”
–distillation of the ‘act as if’ principle from William James, first stated to me by Ken “Roberts” Pennacchini

“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“Information is the currency of democracy.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
–Thomas Jefferson

“He who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
–Jesus, Luke 14:11

“The truth will set you free.”
–Jesus, John 8:32

“What good is it that a man gain the whole world but lose his soul?”
–Jesus, Luke 9:25

“In the broadest context, the goal [of life] is to seek enlightenment–however you define it.”
–Steve Jobs

“In business a lot of things are–I call it folklore. They’re done because they were done yesterday and the day before. And so what that means is if you’re willing to ask a lot of questions and think about things and work really hard, you can learn business pretty fast. It’s not the hardest thing in the world. It’s not rocket science.”
–Steve Jobs

“I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, should learn a computer language because it teaches you how to think.”
–Steve Jobs

“I was worth over a million dollars when I was 23 and over 10 million dollars when I was 24 and over 100 million dollars when I was 25. And..it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”
–Steve Jobs

“That’s what makes great products. It’s not process; it’s content.”
–Steve Jobs

“Software’s going to be a major enabler in our society.”
–Steve Jobs

“I read an article when I was very young in Scientific American, and it, um, it measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. So for, you know, bears and chimpanzees and raccoons and birds and fish. How many kilocalories per kilometer did they spend to move? And, and humans were measured too. And, ah, the condor won; it was the most efficient. And mankind, the crown of creation, came in with a rather unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. Um, but somebody there had the brilliance to test a human riding a bicycle. smiles Blew away the condor–all the way off the charts! And I remember this really had an impact on me. I really remember this: that humans are tool-builders, and we build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities. And to me [the computer represents the ultimate tool.]–We actually ran an ad like this very early at Apple, that the personal computer was the bicycle of the mind. And I believe that with every bone in my body, that of all the inventions of humans the computer is going to rank near if not at the top as history unfolds and we look back.”
–Steve Jobs

“I don’t think that most of the really best people that I’ve worked with have worked with computers for the sake of working with computers. They’ve worked with computers because they are the medium that is best capable of transmitting some feeling that you have that you want to share with other people.”
–Steve Jobs

“Dare mighty things.”
–JPL motto


“There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.”
–Franz Kafka

“It must have been late 1941 or early 1942. Jews were required to wear the Star of David and to obey a 6 p.m. curfew. I had gone to play with a Christian friend and had stayed too late. I turned my brown sweater inside out to walk the few blocks home. As I was walking down an empty street, I saw a German soldier approaching. He was wearing the black uniform that I had been told to fear more than others – the one worn by specially recruited SS soldiers. As I came closer to him, trying to walk fast, I noticed that he was looking at me intently. Then he beckoned me over, picked me up, and hugged me. I was terrified that he would notice the star inside my sweater. He was speaking to me with great emotion, in German. When he put me down, he opened his wallet, showed me a picture of a boy, and gave me some money. I went home more certain than ever that my mother was right: people were endlessly complicated and interesting.”
–Daniel Kahneman, 2003, on why he became an economist

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
–Kali Linux motto

“Dare to know.”
–Kant (on what The Enlightenment was)

“A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.”
Alan Kay

“[A Liberal is] someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people–their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties–someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal,’ then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.’”
–John F. Kennedy

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
–John F. Kennedy

“How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement?”
–John Maynard Keynes

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”
–John Maynard Keynes

“I came to understand that radicalization is about pain. It’s the pain of young people facing racism, exclusion from society, isolation from the opposite sex, overwhelming pressure from families and communities, a crisis of identity, and feeling powerless and insignificant. Yes, many of them have material comforts, but I believe too many of them lead lives of emotional poverty.”
–Deeyah Khan, Jihad

“The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to drive them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”
–Ghengis Khan

“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
–Basil King, referring to the divine, but can be true with regard to real higher powers

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Death is the irreducible common denominator of all men.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A lie can not live.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We strive for perfection and achieve excellence.”
–Angela Kirkland (Nvidia interviewer)

“You have to be smarter than the job you’re doing.”
–Děda Anatoli Komarov

“Good manners are never out of style.”
–Lubomir Komarov

“Your reputation is like your shadow: Some times it precedes you; some times it follows you. But it will always be with you.”
–Lubomir Komarov

“Every relationship is like fine piece of crystal: Beautiful and unique, but if you tap even lightly on just the the wrong spot, it can shatter.”
–Lubomir Komarov

“I’m full of useless trivia and information no one cares about except me.”
–Lubomir Komarov

“Justice Scalia called the Court’s interpretation of the Obamacare ruling ‘pure applesauce’. God, I love this country.”
–Chris Komarov, 30th June 2015

“Don’t fight the statistics.”
–motto of mine

”[Musk quote] Be a scientist, engineer, or scholar. At some point you either realize you were lied to as a child, that you can’t actually be anything or do everything, or you realize amazing things are within reach because you understand and can build upon the great history of human intellectual and technological achievement. The abundance of possibility and far-farsightedness gained by standing on the shoulders of giants are worth the struggle of the climb. #staywithit”
–a favorite post of mine

“You have to surrender to the fact that you are of too many in a highly competitive field where it is difficult to stand out. Over time, through your work, you will demonstrate who you are and what you bring to the field. Just stay with it and keep working.”
–Lisa Kudrow

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.”
–Charles Kuralt

“I did it. Drop the mic. Wild applause. #thebest”
“I take Google Wallet and physical dollars and little creative gifts.”
–Andrey Kurenkov, 8th April 2015

“Imma flip the table.”
–Andrey at Solar Racing regarding C2000 problems


“The weight of the evidence should be proportioned to the strangeness of the facts.”
–Principle of Laplace

“What some people mistake for the high cost of living is really the cost of high living.”
–Doug Larson

“When you see a good move, look for a better one.”
–Emmanuel Lasker

“Despite what some adults seem to think, teenagers are fully human.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin

“War as a moral metaphor is limited, limiting, and dangerous. By reducing the choices of action to ‘a war against’ whatever-it-is, you divide the world into Me or Us (good) and Them or It (bad) and reduce the ethical complexity and moral richness of our life to Yes/No, On/Off. This is peruile, misleading, and degrading.”
–Ursula K. Le Guin

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
–Vladimir Lenin

“…it makes me think about how we use language to understand the world around us. …[T]he name of a boat is just a word that we’ve invented to make this world easier to compute in our heads. We separate everything that we can see or experience in to tiny little squares that we can label. And that helps us make predictions and communicate about what’s going on and so on. Uh, but the reality isn’t like that; the world isn’t made up of separate things. It’s all just a big mass of gloop. And even if you look at it scientifically, it’s very hard to make the distinction between, uh, separate people and objects. As a person I am constantly interacting [with] and part of my environment, both through sight and hearing and breathing and eating and–And at what point does that air or that food, uh, become part of me? And at what point is it part of the environment? And I guess my point here is that by thinking about this we can learn something deeper about our interaction with the world around us. And that is that we can choose to separate things in our minds and consider ourselves as separate from our environment, or we can consider that these labels that we make are not necessarily the ultimate reality of life.”
Leo on the [Ship of Theseus]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus)

“It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.’”
–Sam Levenson

“If I can’t explain my ideas to a very smart non-expert then I haven’t really fleshed them out properly.”
–Michael Levin

“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all - he’s walking on them.”
–Leonard Louis Levinson

“The criticism goes like this: You told everyone they’re special. They don’t have to do anything to earn that ‘special’. That’s what’s wrong with our country. That’s what’s wrong with children today.
   I’m sure by then Fred had heard the criticisms, but it’s not talking about entitlement, and if you don’t believe that everyone has inherent value, you might as well go against the fundamental notion of Christianity, that you are the beloved son or daughter of God.
   At the very end of Fred’s very last commencement speech he said what he meant when he said ‘You are special:’”
   “And what that ultimately means, of course, is that you don’t ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you.”
“It is really a matter of believing that you’re endowed by your creator with good.”
–Junlei Li, Fred Rogers Center

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”
–Abraham Lincoln

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
–Abraham Lincoln

“I have noticed that most people in this world are about as happy as they have made up their minds to be.”
–Abraham Lincoln, apocryphal

“Dice no se, entonces aprendes todo.”
“Say you do not know, and then you learn everything.”
–Louie 3.3

“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this, that you are dreadfully like other people.”
–James Russell Lowell

“Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”
–Lucifer, Paradise Lost


“He [Fred Rogers] interviewed me. And he put his face about three inches away from my face, says ‘It’s so nice to see you and to be with you.’ It scared the living daylights out of me. But I realized this is what children do with adults.”
–Yo-Yo Ma

“Mountains…challenge our arrogance, restore our wonder. More than ever we need their wildness.”
–Robert MacFarlane, Mountain (2017)

“[M]en ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they can not; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”
-Niccolo Machiavelli

“The Romans did in these instances what all prudent princes ought to do, who have to regard not only present troubles, but also future ones, for they must prepare with every energy, because, when foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you wait until they approach, the medicine is no longer in time, because the malady has become incurable; for it happens in this as the physicians say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time, not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure.”
–Niccolo Machiavelli

“[N]or did that ever please [the Romans] which is forever in the mouths of the wise ones of our time: ‘Let us enjoy the benefits of the time’, but rather the benefits of their own valor and prudence, for time drives everything before it, and is able to bring with it good as well as evil, and evil as well as good.”
–Niccolo Machiavelli

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
–Nelson Mandela

“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
–Nelson Mandela

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
–Nelson Mandela

“The problem is when we’re on autopilot for so long that we forget we’re on autopilot. Because when we’re not even aware of our own habits, routines, impulses, and reactions, then we no longer control them—they control us.”
Mark Manson

“Our responsibility for ourselves unleashes a deeper fulfillment by allowing us to construe whatever we confront into a value that fulfills our needs. Unruly kids grant us the opportunity to be a good parent and instill discipline and responsibility. A layoff at work grants us the opportunity to experiment with new career paths we had always daydreamed about. A terrible breakup gives us the chance to take an honest look at ourselves and how our behaviors affect our relationships with loved ones.

We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control a) how we interpret what happens to us, and b) how we respond to what happens to us. Therefore, whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences.”
Mark Manson

“Our name is Legion, for we are many.”
–Mark 5:9

“I liked economics in that, like, I liked..math. Um, I didn’t understand that its real-world application, banking, was something very different. You know?…And I was like ‘Oh, this is so different from’, um, ‘how I imagined it when I was in college’, you know late at night in the library, like struggling with some proof and being like ‘Ahhh! Okay, I’m gonna get my brain to figure this out.’ That part of it I loved, but then when I was at a bank, and they’re just like ‘Here’s your cublicle. Here’s your computer. Your job is to, like, stay awake as many hours as you can and be accurate, you know, to the third decimal place. Go.’ I just, I couldn’t understand what was happening in that space, and I couldn’t understand why all these, you know, bright, excited young people were finding themselves here. I think I had a moment there where I was just like ‘I’m gonna die. And is this what I want to do? Like, day to day.’
Interviewer: Goldman Sachs was your NDE.
[Whispers] Oh my God! Yes! I was just thinking to myself ‘My therapist would love that.’ Like yeah, you’re right…
I remember a moment of, I had been there for a period. I was a, a new analyst, but I happened to be staffed on two companies where they were having IPOs at the same time. So the volume of work was crazy. And, I got sick, and, um, there was really no time for that. You know? So you had to just be there anyway. And then I was also just sad. You know, like I would go home from work, and sometimes just cry. And it wasn’t just like a few tears; it was the kind of existential crying of like–It was heartbreak. I was heart–I was heartbroken that–Y-you brought this up earlier, the idea of like ‘When does a kid lose their imagination? When do they let go of that wild, unbridled thing and become the broken-in horse?’ That was the moment for me.
   I remember seeing a doctor, telling the doctor that I was having like these waves of sadness, and he was just like ‘You’re depressed. Here’s a prescription for Paxil.’ I remember filling the prescription, and it was sitting on my nightstand, and I would come home and be so sad, and I would look at that bottle, and I would think ‘Something is wrong here if, like, I’m being told–like I’m doing something that’s making me not feel good, and I’m being told that the answer is to just like pop one of these pills.’, to make the thing palatable, to just go do the job..And I have so much empathy for that…To numb yourself, bascially. And the doctor’s answer, the “System”’s answer was ‘Well, there are ways to medicate this so that you don’t feel your body’s gut reaction.’ You just go with what your mind is saying, which is like ‘If I do this job, I know exactly how much money I’ll be making in two years, how much money I’ll make in five years, prolly how much I’ll make in ten.’
Interviewer: Who I’ll date, who I’ll marry, where I’ll live.
Hundred percent. What are the zip codes? What are the things that I’ll have?
Interviewer: The private school I’ll go to, the college I’ll bribe.
[Laughs] And I don’t even mean any of that in a dispariaging way, like, I really understand there’s such great comfort that comes in being able to feel like you–there’s some safety and security in your future, and I don’t judge it at all. But for me, in my body I was like reaching a place of, of dysfunction. And I, I couldn’t, I couldn’t bring myself to take the medication. And that was the moment that I was like..I was just like ‘I can’t–I have to find a different thing.’…
   I was thinking in my rational mind ‘I’m on two projects that have IPOs. I should really spend all day Saturday and Sunday at the office.’ But then here are my friends, and they want to do this fun thing. And so I took the leap, and we did it. And we got a topic. We didn’t sleep for 48 hours; we just made this film over the weekend. It was a total piece of shit, but I had so much fun. And I was like ‘Okay, I can work my butt off doing something that I love. And it’s dangerous, and I might never make any money, you know, and I may be broke all the time, but I’ll be happy, I’ll be delighted, like–Or I can do this thing that doesn’t feel right in my body, where I know there are predictable safe outcomes.’ And to me suddenly then it just–It actually wasn’t a choice anymore. I just seemed so obvious, like ‘I have to go this other way.’
   So it’s like suddenly you get rid of the safety net, and you’re just like ‘I accept that my life is gonna be on a high wire, and I’m gonna put one foot in front of the other every day. And it’s gonna be dangerous, and I’m probably–and there’s the fear of falling, but I’m gonna just keep going on this thing with no net, believing that it..believing that it will make a more interesting life.’, like lived life, and that that will be better than the version where you’re just, you’re on the ground in the net.”
Brit Marling

“No one is coming to the rescue. We have to save each other. Every day, in small and great ways.”
–Brit Marling

“No llores porque ya se terminó … sonríe, porque sucedió.”
“Do not cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”
–Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Often satirized as “Smile because it’s over; cry because it happened.”

“I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert.”
–Dimitri Martin

“Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
–Karl Marx

“They say that human nature is competitive, that human nature is aggressive, that human nature is selfish. It’s just the opposite. Human nature’s actually cooperative. Human nature’s actually generous. Human nature’s actually community-minded.”
Gabor Maté

“You only get in trouble for telling the truth. Nobody gets in trouble for lying or making up crap. But when you tell something that’s really true, they go crazy, and you’re fired.”
–Chris Matthews

“Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It’s called ‘rain’.”
–Michael McClary

“Grief is love with nowhere to go.”
–Magnum BS on Nora McInerny’s TED talk

“Someone in your life needs to hear that they matter, that they are loved, that they have a future. Be the one to tell them.”
–Toby McKeehan

“People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police.”
–H. L. Mencken

“Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another.”
–H. L. Mencken

“The common man is a fool.”
–H. L. Mencken

“Born to multiply
Born to gaze in to night skies
All you want’s one more Saturday
But look here until then
They’re gonna buy your life’s time”
–James Mercer (Australia)

“Faced with the Dodo’s conundrum–
I felt like I could just fly
But nothing happened every time I tried”
–James Mercer (Australia)

“Despair is a development of pride so great that it chooses one’s certitude rather than admit God is more creative than we are.”
–Thomas Merton, as paraphrased in First Reformed

“I think that a guy who’s always interested in the condition of the world and changing it either has no problems of his own or refuses to face them.”
–Henry Miller, Reds (1981)

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Dan Millman’s Socrates

“Understanding the past enables us to see the present more clearly.”
–Steven Mithen

“I think that inside every adult is the heart of a child. We just gradually convince ourselves that we have to act more like adults.”
–Shigeru Miyamoto

“No plan survives contact with the enemy.”
–Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (the catchy translation)

“I’ve suffered thousands of tragedies in my life, most of which never happened.”
–Michel de Montaigne (paraphrased from French)

“People with wisdom know that it is important to correct their own mistakes, while people without wisdom find it necessary to point out the mistakes of others.”
–Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

“An engineer is the closest thing to a magician that exists in the real world.”
–Elon Musk

“If you want a flying car, just put some wheels on a helicopter”
Elon Musk

“Any existing specification is wrong. Any existing manufacturing method is wrong. Process, equipment: It’s wrong, it’s just a question of how wrong. Quote, Elon Musk.”
“Yes, exactly. We’re wrong; it’s just a question of how wrong. Just try to be less wrong.”
Elon, as paraphrased by Drew


“[T]he true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.”
–Satya Nadella

“You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your tricks of war.”

“In politics stupidity is not a handicap.”

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

“Quantity has a quality all its own.”

“Where the heart leads, the mind can follow.”
–Maajid Nawaz

“Love is so short, forgetting so long.”
Pablo Neruda

“So, a rich little man with white hair died. What has that got to do with the price of rice, right? And why is that woe to us? Because you people and 62 million other Americans are listening to me right now, Because less than 3% of you people read books. Because less than 15 percent of you read newspapers. Because the only truth you know is what you get over this tube. Right now, there is a whole and entire generation that never knew anything that didn’t come out of this tube. This tube is the Gospel, the Ultimate Revelation. This tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers. This tube is the most awesome goddamn force in the whole godless world! And woe is us if it ever falls in to the hands of the wrong people….And when the 12th largest company in the world controls the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, who knows what shit will be peddled for truth on this network!? So you listen to me. Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television’s a goddamned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion-tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business! So if you want the truth, got to God. Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves. Because that’s the only place you’re ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you’re never gonna get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, and that nobody ever gets cancer in Archie Bunker’s house, and no matter now much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he’s going to win! We’ll tell you any shit your want to hear. We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube. You eat like the tube. You raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion!”
Howard Beale, Network, 1976

“The final revelation is at hand! I have seen the shattering fulgurations of ultimate clarity! The light is impending! I bear witness to the light!”
–Howard Beale, Network

“I said ‘Walter, let the government sue us. Let the federal government sue us. We’ll take them to the Supreme Court. We’ll be front page for months. The New York Times and The Washington Post will be writing two editorials a week about us. We’ll be front page for months. We’ll have more press than Watergate. All I need is six weeks’ federal litigation…’”
–Diana Christensen, Network

“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale. And I won’t have it! Is that clear? You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russions. There are no Arabs. There are no Third Worlds. There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petrol dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichsmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and subatomic, and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little 21 inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and Dupont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state? Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine oppression or brutality, one vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.”
Arthur Jensen, Network

“That evening, Howard Beale went on the air to preach the corporate cosmology of Arthur Jensen.” “…at the bottom of all our terrified souls we know that democracy is a dying giant, a sick, sick, dying, decaying political concept writhing in its final pain. I don’t mean that the United States is finished as a world power. The United States is the richest and most powerful, the most advanced country in the world, light years ahead of any other country. And I don’t mean the communists are gonna take over the world, because the communists are deader than we are. What is finished is the idea that this great counry is dedicated to the freedom and flourishing of every individual in it. It’s the individual that’s finished. It’s the single, solitary human being that’s finished. It’s every single one of you out there that’s finished, because this is no longer a nation of independent individuals. It’s a nation of some 200-odd million transistorized, deodorized, whiter than white, steel-belted bodies, totally unnecessary as human beings and as replaceable as piston rods….The whole world’s people are becoming mass-produced, programmed, numbered, insensate things.”
Howard Beale, Network

“Can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all.”
–Neutral Milk Hotel (In The Aeroplane Over The Sea)

“Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”
Howard Newton

“I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.”
–Isaac Newton (after losing a fortune in the South Sea bubble)

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
–Reinhold Niebuhr

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
–Martin Niemöller

“It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right, especially when one is right.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.”
“And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“True leaders are not those who claim that title for themselves, but who are looked to for leadership by others.”
Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School

“Tomorrow I shall no longer be here.”

“Honestly, man, there are few guarantees in life, but if you intend or expect to have a bad time, it’s guaranteed you will. That’s really all I’ve got to say about it.”
–Austin Randolph Matthew Nova

“The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. By incorporating standards of reward that are different from the wider society, the schools guarantee that some will experience downward mobility later. Those at the top of the school’s hierarchy will feel entitled to a top position, not only in that micro-society but in the wider one, a society whose system they will resent when it fails to treat them according to their self-prescribed wants and entitlements.”
Robert Nozick

“To the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards.”
Robert Nozick


“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it, whether you choose to persevere.”
–Barack Obama

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
–Barack Obama

“If you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your percieved failure can become a catalyst for profound reinvention.”
–Conan O’Brian, in his Dartmouth commencement address, after not being selected for the Tonight Show

“Is it hot in here or am I just lying?”
–John Oliver

“Now, at this point, the State Department scandal is just allegations, so as whistles go, it’s the kind of whistle that an asmatic kitten makes when it tries to breath. [audience ohhhhs makes face like “come on people, really?”] Relax: this fictitious cat is going to live a long and happy life. [puts finger to ear as if touching earpiece and listening] Oh. You know what? I’m being told it died. [audience ohhs again] It was hit by a make-believe car–You have to be less-easily emotionally manipulated than this.”
–John Oliver

“So a coverup of a coverup of a scandal. It’s like a turducken of lies.”
–John Oliver

“American politics, and I think Americans will be the first to agree with this, are inherently ludicrous.”
–John Oliver

“Have you ever heard of a Saint hiding in a church?”
–Edie Doyle, On The Waterfront, a call to action

“It wasn’t him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and said ‘Kid, this ain’t your night. We’re going for the price on Wilson’? You remember that? ‘This ain’t your night’! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart. So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors in a ballpark, and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palookaville. You was my brother, Charley. You shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn’t have to take them dives for the short-end money.”
“I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.”
“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody! instead of a bum, which is what I am. Let’s face it. It was you, Charley.”
–Terry Malloy, On The Waterfront

“If it isn’t broken, take it apart and see how it works.”
–Troy O’Neal’s “Engineer’s Motto”

“‘It’s working, just need to test.’ –all engineers before a failed test”
–Troy O’Neal, 17th April 2015

“Science has profoundly altered the conditions of man’s life.”
–J. Robert Oppenheimer

“As long as men are free to ask what they will, free to say what they think, free to think what they must, science will never regress, and freedom itself will never be wholely lost.”
–J. Robert Oppenheimer (I disagree. There is always a danger of moving backwards.)

“To mistrust science and deny the validity of the scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You’d better go look for work as a plant or wild animal.”
–P. J. O’Rourke

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
–George Orwell

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
–Commonly misattributed to George Orwell

“Anybody who wants to make a revolution, shouldn’t grab a gun; just go and start working like we do to change the world by using science and technology.”
–Stan Ovshinsky


“[C]hance favors only the prepared mind.”
–Louis Pasteur

“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
–Paul, I Corinthians 13:3

“I felt then, as I feel now, that the politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves instead of organizing nothing better than legalized mass murder.”
–Harry Patch, last surviving soldier of WWI

“I was to blame for not having pressed my point. I had given in to authority when I believed I was right. If you are sure of your facts, you should defend your position.”
–Cecilia Payne

“It didn’t help that the output was so criminally long with each run that I lost track of where it had dumped that mega-list of goals; if my terminal continued out the top of my monitor, I’m willing to bet that list would be in outer space. I wasn’t feeling like scrolling into outer space that day, and I definitely didn’t feel like running mvn with no arguments again just to print another copy, so I looked into my other options in the vain hope that they’d be simpler.”
Costya Perepelitsa

“Got back from racket ball, was like ‘I’ll just take a quick nap.’ Woke up at 2am like ‘gasp What year is it?’” –Luis Pérez, 3rd March 2015

“Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Experts avoid it. Geniuses remove it.”
–Alan Perlis

“Speak when you are angry–and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”
–Laurence J. Peter

“Solzhenitsyn said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech ‘A single person who stops lying can bring down a tyranny.’, which is a stunning thing to say, but I would also say something that’s been amply demonstrated in the 20th century, because we have historical examples of people who did precisely that. Gandhi did it. Vaclav Havel did it. Nelson Mandela did it. Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was definitely one of the axe-blows that brought down the Soviet Union, a stunning achievement for a person who started writing that book by memorizing it when he was a concentration camp victim this [holds up pinched fingers] far away from starvation. It shows you as-as clearly as anything possibly can how powerful the human spirit can be if it’s willing to take on the obligation of its relationship with the divine and also how terrible things can become if the responsibility of that burden is not shouldered.”
Jordan Peterson

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
–Pablo Picasso

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”
–Pable Picasso, The Arts 1923

“We will never have a perfect world, but it’s not romantic or naive to work toward a better one.”
–Steven Pinker

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

“Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.”

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

“Why is it that we talk and talk, or at least I certainly do, without somehow conveying what we’re really like?”
–Michael Polley, Stories We Tell

“At age 50 you get the face you deserve.”
–English Proverb

“Expect greatness.”
–Some sort of proverb

“He who asks is fool for a moment, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”
–Chinese Proverb

“Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.”
–Chinese Proverb

“The hammer of hard times shatters glass, but forges steel.”
–Russian Proverb

“Happiness is reality minus expectations.”

“Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.”


“Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.”
–Jean Racine

“Motivation conditions cognition.”
–Jonathan Rauch

“Rather, I want to suggest what may be a wider lesson about software, (and probably about every kind of creative or professional work). Human beings generally take pleasure in a task when it falls in a sort of optimal-challenge zone; not so easy as to be boring, not too hard to achieve. A happy programmer is one who is neither underutilized nor weighed down with ill-formulated goals and stressful process friction. Enjoyment predicts efficiency.
–Steven Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar

“It may well turn out that one of the most important effects of open source’s success will be to teach us that play is the most economically efficient mode of creative work.”
–Steven Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar

“I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.”
–Jules Renard

“Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV.”
–Morty, Rick and Morty

“It appears the lower tier of this society is being manipulated through sex and advanced technology by a hidden ruling class. Sound familiar?”
–Rick, Rick and Morty

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke

“He who lives without folly isn’t so wise as he thinks.”
–Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“The human race is a remarkable creature, one with great potential, and I hope that Star Trek has helped to show what we can be if we believe in ourselves and our abilities.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“It is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are. It does not matter that we will not reach our ultimate goal. The effort itself yields its own reward.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“Reality is incredibly larger, infinitely more exciting, than the flesh and blood vehicle we travel in here. If you read science fiction, the more you read it the more you realize that you and the universe are part of the same thing. Science knows still practically nothing about the real nature of matter, energy, dimension, or time; and even less about those remarkable things called life and thought. But whatever the meaning and purpose of this universe, you are a legitimate part of it. And since you are part of the all that is, part of its purpose, there is more to you than just this brief speck of existence. You are just a visitor here in this time and this place, a traveler through it.”
–Gene Roddenberry

“The most important learning is the ability to accept and expect mistakes and deal with the disappointments that they bring.”
–Fred Rogers

“We need to help our children become more and more aware that what is essential in life is invisible to the eye.”
–Fred Rogers

“The only thing that ever really changes the world is when somebody gets the idea that love can abound and can be shared.”
–Fred Rogers

“When I was a boy and I would hear about something scary, my mother would tell us ‘Always look for the people who are helping; you’ll always find somebody who’s trying to help.’”
–Fred Rogers

“This is what I give. I give an expression of care every day to each child, to help him realize that he is unique. I end the program by saying ‘You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.’ And I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service.”
–Fred Rogers

“From the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you in to smiling, people who have talked you in to talking, sung you in to singing, loved you in to loving.”
–Fred Rogers

“What we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become.”
–Fred Rogers

“‘I like you as you are, exactly and precisely. I think you turned out nicely, and I like you as you are.’ And children need to hear that. I don’t think that anybody can grow unless he really is accepted exactly as he is.”
–Fred Rogers

“In this country a child is appreciated for what he will be. He will be a great consumer some day.”
–Fred Rogers

“I am tired of hearing people who have long ago set aside the concerns of childhood telling everybody what children really need. I’ll tell you what children need. They need adults who will protect them from the ever-ready moulders of their world.”
–Fred Rogers

“I felt that the adults around me were pressuring me to be what I couldn’t be yet. ‘Act like a grown-up.’ I’d hear them say. Well, I was afraid they’d laugh at me when I tried.”
–Fred Rogers

“I think that those who would try to make you feel less than who you are, I think that’s the greatest evil.”
–Fred Rogers

“I think everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is loveable. And consequently the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.”
–Fred Rogers

(Need to rewatch that documentary to sort these out properly)
“Fred’s theology was ‘Love your neighbor, and love yourself.’”
–George Wirth?
“He never forgot how vulnerable it was to be a kid.”
–That one grey-bobbed producer
“He realized that if he really wanted to communicate, the most important thing is to listen.”
–scientist woman
“His questions are direct, simple, short, and then he waits. And some times after they answer, he doesn’t say anything else. So they say a little bit more. It’s a perfect interviewing trick.”
–39 minutes in
When a child gave him drawings, rather than look at the drawings, he looked intently at the child. “That was one of the things that I responded to. I definitely saw an other way of-of being a man.”
–journalist friend
He truly embodied the principles of being genuinely interested in other people, showing them real appreciation, and giving away vast quantities of love, never stopping to become embittered by a world that may not return those sentiments initially.

“In one particularly telling real-world example from 2016 of how such cuts affected students in the “brick and mortar” district, high school junior Jameria Miller talks about why she starts every morning running through the school to get a good seat near the front of the room in her first-period Spanish class. It’s not because she is just excited about the class. It’s because the school is cold. As she explains, “The cold is definitely a distraction. We race to class to get the best blankets.” What she means is that because the classroom where she begins her day has uninsulated metal walls, Jameria’s teacher hands out blankets to the students on a first come, first served basis. It’s the only way for them to stay warm. Miller’s school in the William Penn District is situated in Philadelphia’s “inner-ring” suburbs and serves a student body that is majority Black and overwhelmingly impoverished. Though concentrating in the cold is hard enough, Miller says the hardest part of her daily ordeal is the knowledge that life isn’t like this for students in other districts. She means students in wealthier districts. “It’s never going to be fair, they’re always going to be a step ahead of us. They’ll have more money than us, and they’ll get better jobs than us, always.” She says she doesn’t believe that either funding or systemic school improvement will ever truly equalize: ‘What I’m about to say might not be very nice, but rich people aren’t going to want [funding fairness]. They want their kids to have better things so that their kids can get a jump start in life and be ahead of everyone else. And, as long as people feel that way, we all won’t be equal. We won’t receive equal education ever, because education is what gets you success.’”
Noliwe Rooks

“With freedom comes responsibility.”
–Eleanor Roosevelt, often said by Lubomir Komarov

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.”
–Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
–Theodore Roosevelt

“The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.”
–Helen Rowland

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”
–J. K. Rowling

“Keynes’ intellect was the sharpest and clearest that I have ever known. When I argued with him, I felt that I took my life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool.”
–Bertrand Russell

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
–Bertrand Russell

“Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.”
–Bertrand Russell

“War doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left.”
–Bertrand Russell

“…genius as traditionally concieved: passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.”
–Bertrand Russell (on Wittgenstein)

“One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.”
–Bertrand Russell


“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
–Carl Sagan

“When [Kepler] found that his long cherished beliefs did not agree with the most precise observations, he accepted the uncomfortable facts. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest delusions. That is the heart of science.”
–Carl Sagan

“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”
–Carl Sagan

“The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.”
–Carl Sagan

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
   The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
   Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
   The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
   It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conciets than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan

“Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them there’s a succession of incidents, events, occurrences which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time. And our small planet at this moment: here we face a critical branch point in history. What we do with our world right now will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendents. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate to superstition or greed or stupidity, we could plunge our world into a darkness deeper than the time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But we’re also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet, to enhance enormously our understanding of the universe and to carry us to the stars.”
–Carl Sagan

“All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.”
–Carl Sagan

“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it’s a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.”
–Carl Sagan

“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.”
–Carl Sagan

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
–Carl Sagan

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
–Carl Sagan

“If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?”
–Carl Sagan

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go no where.”
–Carl Sagan

“… someone able to speak the truth, a … courageous and angry individual for whom no worldly power is too big and imposing to be criticised and pointedly taken to task. The real or true intellectual is therefore always an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, and on the margins of society. He or she speaks to, as well as for, a public, necessarily in public, and is properly on the side of the dispossessed, the un-represented and the forgotten.”
–Edward Saïd

“If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n’y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n’y a plus rien à retrancher.”
“It seems that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Well it’s your world now. Have fun with empowerment. It seems to make everyone that gets it really happy.”
–Rick Sanchez

“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”
–Allen Saunders

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
–E. F. Schumacher

“You’ll find, as I did, that building muscle builds you up in every part of your life. What you learn here will affect everything else that you do in your life. As you witness the fruits of your labor, your self-worth and self-confidence improve, and these traits will color your work and interpersonal relationships long past your competitive days.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Foreward to The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

“I know I can succeed in anything I choose, and I know this because I understand what it takes to sacrifice, struggle, persist, and eventually overcome and obstacle.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger

“It all comes back to discipline. If you make a commitment to better your physical health, you’ll find the same self-discipline, focus, and drive for success carries through into the rest of your life’s activities.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Though I’m known mainly as a bodybuilder-turned-actor and businessman [and politician], on various occasions I’ve been able to take on another role, one that brings me the greatest amount of personal pride, and that’s the role of teacher.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger

“[S]tart by having a clear vision of your ultimate physique, then follow it up with a plan on how you’ll create it. Nothing happens by accident.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger

“One of life’s curious ironies is that individuals who are overweight also have a tendency to be tired, while those who expend a lot of energy exercising seem to have more.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger [Similar: “The gluttony and the sloth are the result of the biochemistry, not the cause.” –Dr. Lustig]

“If it suits you, think of me as your private personal trainer.
   Here’s what you must do for me. It’s pretty simple, really, but I didn’t say easy–after all, as I said, the slogan “No pain, no gain” originated in bodybuilding circles. It’s what sets those who succeed apart from those who don’t: You must have a sincere and burning desire to achieve what you dream, dedicate yourself to making progress, and take control of your circumstances to change your body. … Understand that bodybuilding isn’t an overnight process, but rather a lifelong one. Personal factors like your attitude, commitment, and desire to improve your appearance play an important role in your ultimate success. Endeavor to learn all you can, train smart, listen to your body, and combine it with a good diet. …
   If you’re with me so far, you’re miles ahead of everybody else and are destined for greatness.
   I’ve tried to make this book as honest, accurate, and practical as possible. Study it … You hold the answers right here in your hands.”
–Arnold Schwarzenegger

“As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.”
–Zachary Scott

“He who looks for advantage out of friendship strips it all of its nobility.”
–Seneca the Elder

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
–Seneca the Younger

“Precepts or maxims are of great weight; a few useful ones at hand do more toward a happy life than whole volumes that we know not where to find.”
–Seneca the Younger

“Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind.”
–Seneca the Younger

“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.”
–Dr. Seuss

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
–William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“Age can not not wither, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”
–William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

“Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking
shadow, a poor player that struts and frets
his hour upon the stage and then is heard
no more: it is a tale told by an idiot,
full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
–William Shakespeare, Macbeth

“What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”
–William Shakespeare, Hamlet

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but see you are unarmed.”
–William Shakespeare

“And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
–William Shakespeare, Richard III

“When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“I often quote myself. I find it adds spice to the conversation.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who can not change their minds can not change any thing.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he can not believe any one else.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“A gentleman is one who puts more in to the world than he takes out.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make it unbearable.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections and conceal your own.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Some look at things that are and ask ‘Why?’. I dream of things that never were and ask ‘Why not?’.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Beware of the man who does not return your blow; he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation.” “Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can not find them, make them.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it.”
–George Bernard Shaw

“Real wealth is not so much what we have as what we are.”
–Sterling W. Sill

“Ahhh. A man with a sharp wit. Someone ought to take it away from him before he cuts himself.”
–Peter da Silva

“[The Wire] is a treatise on the end of the American Empire and who we are as a people, what we’ve come to, and why we can no longer solve or even seriously address our own problems.”
–David Simon

“We have a saying, my people: Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”
–Gail Simone

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
–Upton Sinclair

“Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.”
–Edith Sitwell

“How much richer would the whole world be if the reinforcers in daily life were more effectively contingent on productive work?”
–B. F. Skinner

“Aww yeah! Are you ready to SOOOORT?!”
–Student in CS (David)
“It’s stunningly easy to please you people isn’t it?”
–Dr. David Smith

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.”
–Ralph W. Sockman

“Every difficulty is an opportunity for excellence.”
–Brian Solar’s commanding officer in the Army

“Oppression breeds the power to oppose it.”
Andrew Solomon

“There is no contradiction between loving someone and feeling burdened by that person. Indeed, love tends to magnify the burden.”
–Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree

“Wisdom is its own reward.”
–Solomon, Proverbs 9:12

“No one can bar the road to truth.”
–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Wisdom is the chief element in happiness.”

“Most people that saw you on that screen knew calling their congressman wasn’t going to do shit. If you get shown a problem but have no idea how to control it, then you just decide to get used to the problem.”
–Squeeze, Sorry to Bother You

“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”
–Spinoza, as translated by Viktor Frankel

“Aaron [Swartz] believed that you literally ought to be asking yourself all of the time ‘What is the most important thing I could be working on in the world right now?’ And if you’re not working on that, why aren’t you?”
–Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman

“A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise.”
–George Steiner

“[W]e’ve misunderstood Frankenstein. The lesson is not that we shouldn’t try to create new technologies—or create life, even—the lesson is that we never abandon our creations. That’s what Dr. Frankenstein did. He saw the creation, it wasn’t like he expected it, and he abandoned it. That’s what turned his creature into a monster.”
–Michael Shellenberger

“I can eat a shit sandwich; you just have to tell me how long it’s gonna be.”
–Allen Starke’s coworker at Harris

“One of the joys of being born with a dick is that you can do whatever the hell you want and no one really cares.” [pays attention]
–Joel Stein

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.”
–Harriet Beecher Stowe, Little Foxes, 1865

“If you don’t build your dream, then someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”

“Underlying our approach to this subject is our conviction that ‘computer science’ is not a science and that its significance has little to do with computers. The computer revolution is a revolution in the way we think and in the way we express what we think. The essence of this change is the emergence of what might best be called procedural epistemology–the study of the structure of knowledge from an imperative point of view, as opposed to the more declarative point of view taken by classical mathematical subjects. Mathematics provides a framework for dealing precisely with notions of ‘what is’. Computation provides a framework for dealing precisely with notions of ‘how to’.”
–Gerald and Julie Sussman, Harold Abelson (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs)

“If a lump of soot falls in to the soup and you can not conveniently get it out, stir it well in and it will give the soup a French taste.”
–Jonathan Swift

“Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it.”
–Jonathan Swift


“Inquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi indicant, aduersa uni imputantur”
“This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone”
modernized as “Victory has a hundred fathers; defeat is an orphan.”

“I hesitate to give advice because every major single piece of advice I was given turned out to be wrong and I am glad I didn’t follow them. I was told to focus and I never did. I was told to never procrastinate and I waited 20 years for the Black Swan and it sold 3 million copies. I was told to avoid putting fictional characters in my books and I did put in Nero Tulip and Fat Tony because I got bored otherwise. I was told to not insult the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the more I insulted them the nicer they were to me and solicit Op-Eds. I was told to avoid lifting weights for a back pain and became a weightlifter: never had a back problem since.
   If I had to relive my life I would be even more stubborn and uncompromising than I have been. One should never do anything without skin in the game. If you give advice, you need to be exposed to losses from it.”
–Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“So when we look at religion and, to some extent ancestral superstitions, we should consider what purpose they serve, rather than focusing on the notion of “belief”, epistemic belief in its strict scientific definition. In science, belief is literal belief; it is right or wrong, never metaphorical. In real life, belief is an instrument to do things, not the end product. This is similar to vision: the purpose of your eyes is to orient you in the best possible way, and get you out of trouble when needed, or help you find a prey at distance. Your eyes are not sensors aimed at getting the electromagnetic spectrum of reality. Their job description is not to produce the most accurate scientific representation of reality; rather the most useful one for survival.”
–Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game

“If there’s an enormous problem with the world, and we can convince ourselves that over some long but not unreasonable period of time we can make that problem go away, then we don’t need a business plan. We should be focused on making the world a better place, and once we do that, the money will come back and find us.”
–Astro Teller

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.”
–Sir John Templeton

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
–Mother Teresa

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
–Mother Teresa

“The individual is ephemeral; races and nations come and pass away, but man remains.”
–Nikola Tesla

“I don’t care that they stole my idea; I care that they don’t have any of their own.”
–Nikola Tesla

“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, supressed–only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”
–Nikola Tesla

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
–Harold Tharp

“…and they have windows, and your lab doesn’t have windows because why don’t they put windows in labs?”
–Andrea Thomaz, on why robots often don’t work in the field

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
–Hunter S. Thompson

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
–Hunter S. Thompson

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
–Henry David Thoreau

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
–Henry David Thoreau

“So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.”

“The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.”

“Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

“The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention.”

“It is the habit of mankind to entrust to careless hope what they long for and to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not desire.”

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
–Leo Tolstoy

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
–Harry S. Truman

“College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes without passing through the brains of either.”
–Mark Twain

“Patriotism is supporting your country always and your government when it deserves it.”
–Mark Twain

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
–Mark Twain

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
–Mark Twain

“October. This is one of the particularly dangerous months to invest in stocks. Other dangerous months are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”
–Mark Twain.

“Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”
–Mark Twain

“How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”
Often paraphrased as: “It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.”
–Mark Twain

“Facts are true whether or not you believe them.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.”; “Our imagination is nothing compared with nature’s awesome reality.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The more science belongs to all of us, the less-likely it is to be misused.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves and each other.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson

“This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules: Test ideas by experiment and observation. Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads. And question everything. Accept these terms, and the Cosmos is yours.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson

“It’s not enough to be right; you also hav eto be effective.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson’s dad

“A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”
–Lao Tzu

“To know others is to be wise; to know one’s self is to be enlightened.”
–Lao Tzu

“All warfare is based on deception.”
–Lao Tzu

“The object of war is peace.”
–Lao Tzu

“In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter of the peaple’s fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation shall be in peace or in peril.”
–Lao Tzu

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
–Lao Tzu

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
–Lao Tzu

“The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”
–Lao Tzu

“Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy who is already defeated. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself in to a position that makes defeat impossible and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”
–Lao Tzu

“That general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.”
–Lao Tzu

“Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible attacks, numerical strength from compelling our adversary to make these preparations against us.”
–Lao Tzu

“In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them; conceal your dispositions, and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the mechinations of the wisest brains.”
–Lao Tzu


“Let all come who by merit deserve the most reward.”
–UCL Motto

“I think that what flat-earthers can offer us is a way to have 99.9% of people say ‘Well, that’s ridiculous. Imagine believing that!’ and then to turn it around and say ‘How are you a flat-earther? Where are you and your people the protagonist in a Disney movie? Where are you constructing your reality?’”
–Tim Urban, Behind the Curve (1:32:23)

“Back when I was working on the Tesla and SpaceX posts, I asked Elon why he went into engineering and not science, and he explained that when it comes to progress, ‘engineering is the limiting factor’. In other words, the progress of science, business, and industry are all at the whim of the progress of engineering. If you look at history, this makes sense: Behind each of the greatest revolutions in human progress is an engineering breakthrough.”
Tim Urban

“Long-term procrastination has made them feel like a spectator, at times, in their own lives. The frustration was not that they couldn’t achieve their dreams, it’s that they weren’t even able to start chasing them.”
“Everyone is procrastinating on something in life.”
Tim Urban


“Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas”
“Fortunate who was able to know the causes of things”
–Virgil, London School of Economics Motto

“The greatest comedy is played at the Exchange. There … the speculators excel in tricks, they do business and find excuses wherein hiding places, concealment of facts, quarrels, provocations, mockery, idle talk, violent desires, collusion, artful deceptions, betrayals, cheatings, and even tragic end are to be found.”
–Joseph de la Vega

“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”
–Leonardo da Vinci

“Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.”
–Kurt Vonnegut


“You can’t spell ‘engineer’ without ‘autism’.”
–Charlie Walker, 2012

“Fiction’s about what it is to be a fucking human being.”
–David Foster Wallace

“Blind certainty: A closed-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”
–David Foster Wallace

“But if you really learn how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down–not that that mystical stuff’s necessarily true; the only thing that’s capital-T True is that you get to decide how you’re gonna try to see it.
   This, I submit, is the freedom of real education, of learning how to be ‘well adjusted’: You get to consiously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship. Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshiping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And a compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship, be it JC or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother goddess or the four noble truths or some inviolable set of ethical principles, is that prettymuch anything else you worship will eat you alive.
   If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.
   On one level we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, cliches, epigrams, parables, the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciouness.
   Worship power; you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.
   Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default settings. They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip in to, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value, without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
   And the so-called ‘real world’ will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called ‘real world’ of men and money and power hums merrily along on the fuel of fear and anger and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom, the freedom all to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation.
   This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated and understanding how to think.
   The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing. …
   None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with simple awareness, awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us all the time that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: ‘This is water.’ ‘This is water.’
   It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out, which means yet another grand cliche turns out to be true: Your education really is the job of a lifetime, and it commences now. I wish you way more than luck.”
David Foster Wallace

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”
–Horace Walpole

“Never pretend to a love which you do not actually feel, for love is not ours to command.”
–Alan Watts

“The Jack of one trade is the connector of none.”
Eric Weinstein

“The unquestionable is questioned but makes no reply” –Aaron Weiss, (A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains)

“My life’s a cup of sugar I borrowed before time began and forgot to return” –Aaron Weiss, (January 1979)

“I’m down by the tracks
Watching trains go by
To remind me
There are places that aren’t here”
–Aaron Weiss, (Carousel)

“What good’s a single wind chime hanging quiet all alone?”
–Aaron Weiss, (In A Market Dimly Lit)

“And let there be no doubt:
So many things and pictures hold us”
–Aaron Weiss, (Red Cow)

“Run on, Rabbit, run!
Before the East sky wakes the sun!
Sails set to the dreadful cold,
Until your anchor-heart takes hold
Run on, Fox & Bear,
From this dismal dream’s despair!
Cast thoughts to in the open ocean of air
Until your thread catch somewhere”
–Aaron Weiss (February 1878)

“My tusks are dull, my eyes, half-blind,
too old to run, too big to hide,
and have neither friend nor enemy,
nor that phantom, ‘self’-identity
nor concern for what ‘they’ll’ do to ‘me’
now, my children, run free!”
–Aaron Weiss (February 1878)

“But Tiger, why sit still,
As the officers climb the hill?
What stars cast down their spears,
cooled your fire with their tears?
TIGER: ‘Gone that siren’s sound,
it’s a silence now pours down
Gone, my next of kin,
and all once without now lives within’”
–Aaron Weiss (February 1878)

“Elephant refused to swear the oath
said ‘I don’t know anything about all truth,
but I know falsehood when I see it,
and it looks like this whole world you’ve made.”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“for sixty-some years I’d surrendered my love
To emblems of kindness
And not the kindness they were emblems of”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“Sometimes I think all our thoughts are just things and then sometimes think things are just thoughts”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“This mock trial can no more determine my lot, than can driftwood determine the ocean’s waves”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“What is there can punish like a conscience ignored?”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“Yes, my body did just as you implied,
while some ghost we’ll call ‘I’ idly watched through its eyes”
–Aaron Weiss (Elephant in the Dock)

“Cultivating unsophistication in my face,
trying to think of nothing to say”
–Aaron Weiss (Aubergine)

“When doing as you please doesn’t please you any more”
–Aaron Weiss (Fiji Mermaid)

“But you’ll miss having someone to blame
For your sadness, now won’t you?
Maybe there’ll be a bakery hiring
We’ll knead a little bit of dough to get by”
–Aaron Weiss (Fiji Mermaid)

“There wasn’t much to her dress,
and I felt stuck in my body like a horse in quicksand”
–Aaron Weiss (Fiji Mermaid)

“We pretend to care and like we understand
Our eyes go soft, but know it now
what we’re thinking about’s your mammary glands
and how to sail your birth canal”
–Aaron Weiss (Fig with a Bellyache)

“Our thoughts are like like a teabag on
the saucer, all the flavor gone”
–Aaron Weiss (Fig with a Bellyache)

“The dog below our waists aroused
as arms embraced the pretty gals
It came much more as a surprise,
it happening while I hugged the guys.
–Aaron Weiss (Fig with a Bellyache)

“Then a speckled bird,
humbly inspired,
ran across the road
when it could have flown
And it made me smile”
–Aaron Weiss (O, Porcupine!)

“You have a decent ear for notes,
but you can’t yet appreciate harmony”
–Aaron Weiss (O, Porcupine!)

“You don’t know where you came from
You don’t know where you’re going
You think you’re you
You don’t know who you are
You’re not you
You’re everyone else”
–Aaron Weiss (Cattail Down)

“Looking down was the hungry crow
‘When the time is right I’ll strike
and condescend to the earth below
and take whichever treat I’d like’”
–Aaron Weiss (The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie)

“Your subtle acclaimation’s true
best to give praise where praise is due
every rook and jay in the corvidae’s been raven about me too”
–Aaron Weiss (The Fox, the Crow and the Cookie)

“When letting all attachments go
is the only prayer we know
may it be so”
–Aaron Weiss (The, the Crow, and the Cookie)

“The Potato called from underground:
You’ve got it all turned upside-down.
Does the Rain that’s sent each spring anew
to fall on her not fall on you?
You project on her your inward scenes,
she’s a blank, external movie screen.”
–Aaron Weiss (Bullet to Binary, part ii)

“If I come without a thing, then I come with all I need.”
–Aaron Weiss (In A Sweater Poorly Knit)

“Angel, no, I think you come too soon
It’s not my time to go”
–Aaron Weiss (The Angel of Death Came to David’s Room)

“Come now, David, where is everybody going?”
–Aaron Weiss (The Angel of Death Came to David’s Room)

“Not her one motion nor gesture could I forget
—the prettiest bag-lady I ever met”
–Aaron Weiss (Paper Hanger)

“I felt the crowd bring a loneliness”
–Aaron Weiss (My Exit, Unfair)

“Rehearsed indifference tossed aside,
Our narrow arms spread wide”
–Aaron Weiss (My Exit, Unfair)

“When they swear their love is real
The mean ‘I like the way you make me feel’”
–Aaron Weiss (Every Thought a Thought of You)

“Those who know don’t talk
And those who talk don’t know”
–Aaron Weiss (Goodbye, I!)

“Where we’re the spiraling arms of all galaxies
And we’re the microscopic sand
Suffering from delusions of ungrandeur on middling display
Beside the Cardiff giant with the alabaster eyes”
–Aaron Weiss (Cardiff Giant)

“Megalomania’s only mania if you’re wrong!”
–Aaron Weiss (Cardiff Giant)

“such distance from our friends,
like a scratch across a lens,
made everything look wrong from anywhere we stood
And our paper blew away before we’d left the bay
So half-blind we wrote these songs on sheets of salty wood”
–Aaron Weiss (Messes of Men)

“There’s mistakes I’ve made no rowing could outrun”
–Aaron Weiss (Messes of Men)

“We keep our confessions long
And when we pray we keep it short”
–Aaron Weiss (Messes of Men)

“And if ever you come near,
I’ll hold up high a mirror.
Lord, I could never show you anything as beautiful as you.”
–Aaron Weiss (Messes of Men)

“She put on happiness like a loose dress over pain I’ll never know.”
–Aaron Weiss (Silencer)

“Does my misery feed
a metaphysical need
that’s long since passed me by?”
–Aaron Weiss (Winter Solstice)

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”
–H.G. Wells

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
–John Wesley

“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.”
–Edith Wharton

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”
–Eli Wiesel

“Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.”
–Eli Wiesel

“A deus ex machina is generally deemed undesirable in writing and often implies a lack of creativity on the part of the author. The reasons for this are that it does not pay due regard to the story’s internal logic (although it is sometimes deliberately used to do this) and is often so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, allowing the author to conclude the story with an unlikely, though perhaps more palatable, ending.”

“By portraying [the] opponents not as stereotypical villains, but as human beings with understandable motivations corrupted by an excess of zeal, [it] trusted in viewers to be able to ‘resolve the dissonance between understanding someone’s view and disagreeing with their methods.’”

“Often philosophy is seen as an investigation into an area not sufficiently well understood to be its own branch of knowledge. For example, what were once philosophical pursuits have evolved into the modern day fields such as psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics.”
–Wikipedia, Philosophy

“On August 19, 2019, the group updated its decades-old definition of the purpose of a corporation, doing away with its bedrock principle that shareholder interests must be placed above all else. The statement, signed by nearly 200 chief executive officers from major U.S. corporations, makes a “fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” including customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.”
–Wikipedia, Business Roundtable

Always forgive your enemies–nothing annoys them so much.
–Oscar Wilde

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”
–Oscar Wilde

“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.”
–George F. Will

“[T]he monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.”
–Tennessee Williams

“I can stil feel that emotion just leaping on me like a..like a panther.”
Hugh Wilson

“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.”
–Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”
–Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Man has to awaken to wonder, and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.”
–Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
–Ronald Wright


“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
–Malcolm X


“You can only indulge in so many pleasurable activities and behaviors before you realize that you really just want to feel good about who you are rather than what you’re doing in the moment.”
–Anonymous Yakker (ATL, 7/2/2015)

“I have found that people who can resist temptation invariably lead depressingly stunted lives.”
–Sheeni Saunders, Youth in Revolt


“Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.”
“It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
–Emiliano Zapata

“Are we ready to drop the base?”
–Kathy Zhang, titrating NaOH, Fall 2013

“Life is trouble. Only Death is not.”
–Alexis Zorba, Zorba the Greek

“On a deaf man’s door, you can knock forever.”
–Alexis Zorba, Zorba the Greek

“You’ve got everything except one thing: Madness. A man needs a little madness or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.”
–Alexis Zorba, Zorba the Greek