Kev's Collection of Cool Quotes

Education
Kev Sez
Science
Computers
Media and Markets
Business
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Education

The collection of education quotes has been moved to its own page:

Education Quotes

Kevin Kev Sez...

  • Things about which little is known tend to sound terrific.

  • Technology has a way of taking the marginally interesting and making it mandatory.

  • Every solution needs a problem.

  • Education is unique among consumer products -- when it fails to work as advertised, it's the customer that gets labelled as defective.

  • Knowledge is knowing the difference between what you don't know and what no one knows.

  • The present is where the past ends and the future starts.

  • "Too many graduating students can't read or spell very well, can't multiply or make change without a calculator, can't form logical arguments and can't think coherently, don't know the difference between the Civil War and the American Revolution, never heard of the Reformation or the Enlightenment, and haven't a clue what Charlemagne, Newton, Jefferson or Dickens did. They can't sit still because no one ever told them to just sit down and listen, they can't think or work independently because they've been depending on their collaborative workgroups since Kindergarten, and they don't know how to ask questions because they have little experience in dealing with definite factual answers. Later in life, they take vacations to places they can't find on a map. But they do have terrific self-esteem."



Chicago

"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago - she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.
-- Mark Twain

"Chicago, a city where they are always rubbing a lamp, and fetching up the genii, and contriving and achieving new impossibilities.
-- Mark Twain

"What is Paris next to Chicago? Has Paris got Lake Michigan?"
-- Richard J. Daley

"The people of Chicago are a proud people - and for good reason."
-- Jane Byrne

"So I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning."
-- Carl Sandburg

"Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt."
-- Studs Terkel



Science

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'eureka', but 'that's funny'."
-- Isaac Asimov

Computers

"You know you've achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away."
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery, writer and French aviation pioneer

"[A] common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof was to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"[I]t is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive—you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Open Source is free like a puppy is free."

"For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three."
-- Alice Kahn

"I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone."
-- Bjarne Stroustrup

"In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion."

"I've got to tell you, the Internet is a place you go when you want to turn your brain on, and television is a place you go when you want to turn your brain off. I'm not at all convinced that the twain will meet."
-- Steve Jobs (quoted in BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998)

"Steve Jobs made the case to Xerox PARC execs directly that they had great technology but that Apple knew how to make it affordable enough to change the world. This was very open. In the end, Xerox got a large block of Apple stock for sharing the technology. That's not stealing outright."
-- Steve Wozniak

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo."
-- Andy Finkel

"It would be just like programmers to shorten 'the year 2000 problem' to 'Y2K'-- exactly the kind of thinking that created this situation in the first place."
-- Steven C. Meyer

"The single most damaging influence on user interfaces is the necessity to impress strolling executives in the trade-show context, by showing off lots of features in the minimal time."
-- "Tim", quoted on Bruce Tognazzini's website

"Seldom is a concept as brain-damaged as 'zero administration' hyped with such straight-faced sincerity. The idea, promoted in slightly altered forms by Microsoft and various NC proponents, is that we can reduce the administrative headache for MIS departments by centrally managing software and preventing individual users from making any changes to their desktop computers. It's sort of like taking away your kid's bike: sure, it may keep them out of harm's way, but you've just made yourself their full-time chauffeur."
-- Steve Steinberg (in Wired magazine)

"Think about all the paper you see today. For practically all of it, the source is an electronic file."
-- John Jessen, CEO of Electronic Evidence Discovery

"I looked up 'standard' in the dictionary. There are eleven different definitions."
-- Dave Winer

"Industry Mistake Number One was to leave Pascal and move to C thereby allowing programmers who could not program in assembler to make assembler level mistakes."
-- James Goebel

"It is very easy to be blinded by the essential uselessness of [these devices] by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all"
-- Douglas Adams, "So Long, and Thanks for the Fish"

"Their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws"
-- Douglas Adams, "So Long, and Thanks for the Fish"

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair."
-- Douglas Adams

"There are 10 types of people in the world, those who can read binary, and those who can't."

Alan Kay "The best way to predict the future is to invent it"
-- Alan Kay

"Simple things should be simple. Complex things should be possible."
-- Alan Kay

"Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born."
-- Alan Kay

"As great visions move out, all the best parts get stripped away"
-- Alan Kay

"I invented the term 'object-oriented', and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind."
-- Alan Kay

"Artificial intelligence is what we don't know how to do yet"
-- Alan Kay

"(The computer) is a medium that can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannot exist physically. It is not a tool, although it can act like many tools. It is the first metamedium, and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered and as yet barely investigated."
-- Alan Kay, "Computer Software", Scientific American, September 1984

"Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves."
-- Alan Kay

"The problem is not software 'friendliness'. It is conceptual clarity. A globe does not say, 'good morning'. It is simple and clear, not 'friendly'."
-- Ted Nelson

A candid error message: "Bad User on Device"

"Computers still feel more like erector sets -- lots of hard, inflexible little parts -- than like clay."
-- Dave Johnson, develop Magazine, March 1993

What's the difference between obsolete and cutting edge? Obsolete works.

"Complexity is Preserved." (also known as Tesler's Second Law. It means that complexity can be moved around from one area to another, say, from the user to the developer, but the total amount is constant.)

"The fax machine has been a serious blemish on the computer landscape. ... Around 1980 the previous steady growth in computer-readability took a nosedive because of the fax."
-- Nicholas Negroponte

[In designing computer systems] "Do what's good for humans, modeled on how humans already do things; ignore what's convenient for computers."
-- Stewart Brand

"The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance."
-- Robert R. Coveyou, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Definition of "word": a series of characters between two spaces.

"On the Internet, you can form a community without having to go through the trouble of meeting anyone."
-- Ian Jack, MRI

"One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate termination of their C strings"
-- Robert Firth

Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?
Because OCT 31 = DEC 25

"Well you know, C isn't that hard, for example, void (*(*f[])())() defines f as an array of unspecified size, of pointers to functions that return pointers to functions that return void... I think"
-- author unknown

When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.

I really hate this damned machine
I think that I should sell it.
It never does quite what I want
But only what I tell it.
-- author unknown

Media and Markets

"A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."
-- Henry Ford

"The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Advertising ... is an important historical factor in the West's version of a free press. ... Not until the present century was it possible, in many parts of Europe, for newspapers to operate under a banner of political neutrality. It was advertising that enabled the doctrine of impartiality or objectivity to take root in newspapers."
-- Anthony Smith

"Remove advertising, disable a person or firm from proclaiming its wares and their merits, and the whole of society and of the economy is transformed. The enemies of advertising are the enemies of freedom."
-- David Ogilvy

"The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be."
-- David Ogilvy

"When MTV formally acknowledged the obvious -- that it is no longer a music channel -- it was also symbolically acknowledging that video did not kill the radio star."
-- David Hinckley, New York Daily News, February 24th 2010

"Imagine if TV were actually good: It would be the end of life as we know it."
-- Marvin Minsky

"The only thing I like about television is its ephemerality."
-- P.J. O'Rourke

"Television is often called a medium because it's so rarely well done."
--Ernie Kovacs

"What advertisers call brand loyalty is merely the consumer's defense against the need to waste energy differentiating among things that barely differ."
-- Ellen Goodman, 1987

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
-- Mark Twain

"Everything is similar if you're willing to look far out of focus."
-- Marvin Minsky

"The amusements of broadcast consist mainly of songs, stories, and games, just as in tribal life. The songs and stories are mostly about courtship, the games mostly played by men, just as in tribal life."
-- Stewart Brand

"My God, it's dark here!"
-- first words spoken on KYW, Chicago's first radio station, November 11, 1921. This was followed by, "This is station KYW, Chicago."

"Turn that damned thing off!"
-- first words spoken on WLS radio, April 12, 1924

Business

"Somebody who's designing something for himself has at least got a market of one that he's very close to."
-- Steve Wozniak

"Wanna start a business? OK, just don't charge too much or you'll be shut down for price gouging. But don't charge too little because then that's illegal under predatory pricing laws. Oh, and also don't charge the exact same price as your competitors either. That's collusion."
-- Austin Petersen

"The more heavily the government regulates the market, the more competition is impeded."
-- Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

"Enron, of course, is exactly the kind of corporation which could not exist in pure capitalism ... [I]t was deliberately converted from a small pipeline company into an international conglomerate by conniving scoundrels who designed it from the beginning to use the power of their favor-selling politician friends to give it government contracts, subsidies, monopoly powers, and favorable regulations to force prospective customers to do business with them, essentially at gunpoint."
-- Rick Gaber

"The simple truth is that our businessmen do not want a government that will let business alone. They want a government they can use."
-- Albert Jay Nock

"You will not get what you deserve. You will get what you negotiate."
-- Chester Karrass

"Once a new technology rolls, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road."
-- Stewart Brand

"Want to know where the action in a culture is? Watch where new language is turning up and where the lawyers collect, usually in that sequence."
-- Stewart Brand

Politics

"Democracy, which means either the 'rule of the people' or 'rule of the mob,' depending on whether you just liked the songs in 'Hamilton' or actually read his stuff."
-- John Kass, Chicago Tribune, November 11, 2016

"We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man."
-- C. S. Lewis

"Government has become ungovernable; that is, it cannot leave off governing. Law has become lawless; that is, it cannot see where laws should stop. The chief feature of our time is the meekness of the mob and the madness of the government."
-- G.K. Chesterton, "Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State." (1922)

"Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory."
-- Sir Bernard Ingham

"The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period."
-- Oriana Fallaci

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."

"Socialism easily accepts despotism. It requires the strongest execution of power -- power sufficient to interfere with property."
-- Lord Acton

Sowell "Much of the recent social history of the Western world has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"It is amazing how many people think that the government's role is to give them what they want by overriding what other people want."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"It is truly a triumph of rhetoric over reality when people can believe that going into politics is 'public service,' but that producing food, shelter, transportation, or medical care is not."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, that doesn't matter if it coos like a dove at Senate confirmation hearings."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"There is nothing that politicians like better than handing out benefits to be paid for by someone else."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"What exactly is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?"
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default. ... The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"Too many policies, programs and institutions are judged by what they are supposed to do, rather than by what they actually do and the consequences of their actions."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D., "Is Reality Optional?", 1993

"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

Friedman "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results."
-- Milton Friedman

"I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual's natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they're responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of."
-- Milton Friedman

"If you spend your own money on yourself, you care how much you spend and how well you spend it. If you spend your own money on someone else, you care how much you spend, but you don't care how well it is spent. If you spend someone else's money on yourself, you don't care how much you spend, but you do care how well it is spent. And finally, if you spend someone else's money on someone else, you don't care how much you spend, and you don't care how well it is spent. That is government."
-- Milton Friedman

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
-- Milton Friedman

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand."
-- Milton Friedman

"There is one and only one social responsibility of business -- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as its stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."
-- Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 1962.

"The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit."
-- Milton Friedman

"Nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program."
-- Milton Friedman

"Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another."
-- Milton Friedman

"You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
-- William J. H. Boetcker

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
-- H. L. Mencken

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery."
-- Winston Churchill

"A government policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"Fiscal policy!" whooped Ford Prefect. "Fiscal policy!"
The management consultant gave him a look that only a lungfish could have copied.
"Fiscal policy. . ." he repeated, "that is what I said."
"How can you have money," demanded Ford, "if none of you actually produces anything? It doesn't grow on trees you know."
"If you would allow me to continue..."
Ford nodded dejectedly.
"Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich."
Ford stared in disbelief at the crowd who were murmuring appreciatively at this and greedily fingering the wads of leaves with which their track suits were stuffed.
"But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying one ship's peanut."
Murmurs of alarm came from the crowd. The management consultant waved them down.
"So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and. . .er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances."
The crowd seemed a little uncertain about this for a second or two until someone pointed out how much this would increase the value of the leaves in their pockets whereupon they let out whoops of delight and gave the management consultant a standing ovation. The accountants among them looked forward to a profitable autumn aloft and it got an appreciative round from the crowd.
-- Douglas Adams

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
-- Margaret Thatcher

"The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop."
-- P. J. O'Rourke

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators."
-- P. J. O'Rourke

"Whenever people tell you they are going to wipe the slate clean, it's your slate they mean to wipe."
-- P. J. O'Rourke

"You can't have employment and despise employers ... No goose, no golden eggs."
-- Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Massachusetts)

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppresive."
-- C. S. Lewis

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are."
-- H. L. Mencken, 1919

"We got more done for the poor by pursuing the competition agenda for a few years than we got done by pursuing a poverty agenda for decades."
-- Vijay Kelkar, former finance secretary of India

"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage."
-- Thucydides

"Do you kids want to be like the real U.N., or do you just want to squabble and waste time?"
-- "Principal Skinner" on The Simpsons

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Republics decline into democracies, and democracies degenerate into despotisms"
-- Aristotle

Jefferson "When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Most bad government has grown out of too much government."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work, and give to those who would not."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will end up plowing for those who don't."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens, a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
-- Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of poper no longer suceptible to any definition."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1791

"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet."
-- John F. Kennedy, remarks at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners, April 29, 1962

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow."
-- James Madison, Federalist Number 62

"Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value."
-- Dean Steacy, Canadian Human Rights Commission

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
-- Ronald Reagan

"It ain't a wake-up call if we all go back to sleep."
-- Greg Gutfeld

"They were a double pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, which had been specifically designed to help people develop a relaxed attitude to danger. At the first hint of trouble they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Where justice is denied ... where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
-- Frederick Douglass

"You are priests, not social or political leaders. Let us not be under the illusion that we are serving the Gospel through an exaggerated interest in the wide field of temporal problems."
-- Pope John Paul II

"When the desirable jobs are spending other people's money, reporting on spending other people's money and lobbying to spend other people's money then you know that the society is f***ed."
-- Tim Worstall

"A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left."
-- Ecclesiastes 10:2

"When you put the clowns in charge, don't be surprised when a circus breaks out."
-- unknown

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
-- Herbert Spencer, British philosopher

"I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values. For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They're convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Otherwise they would consider their life and work pointless. Only such politicians are great politicians and Ronald Reagan was one of them."
-- Lech Walesa, started the Solidarity trade union in Poland that defied the Communist rulers, won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, and went on to lead Poland to a free society as its president from 1990 to 1995.

"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."
-- William F. Buckley

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."
-- Frederic Bastiat, The Law

"We believe that Social Security legislation, now billed as a great victory for the poor and for the worker, is a great defeat for Christianity. It is an acceptance of the idea of force and compulsion."
-- Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, 1945

"Some people have suggested that our tax laws should be simplified so that the taxpayers could actually understand them. How could this be done? My friend John Dorschner proposes this system: Every year, on April 15, all members of Congress would be placed in individual prison cells with the necessary tax forms and a copy of the Tax Code. They would remain locked in the cells, without food or water, until they had completed their tax returns and successfully undergone a full IRS audit. Of course this system would probably result in a severe shortage of congresspersons. But there might also be some drawbacks."
-- Dave Barry

"Goliath lost"
-- miniusa.com

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
-- George Washington, January 7, 1790

"Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts."
-- Ronald Reagan

"Precise knowledge is the only true knowledge, and he who does not teach exactly, does not teach at all."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

"He that hath knowledge spareth his words."
-- Proverbs 17:27

"Knowledge always desires increase; it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself."
-- Samuel Johnson

"To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease."
-- Lao Tzu

"I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor so far as it in no way interferes with any other man's rights."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
-- Benito Mussolini

"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom."
-- President Calvin Coolidge

"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
-- President Franklin Pierce, 1854

"Social justice is the gospel of envy."
-- Oak Norton

"I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds. ... I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."
-- President Grover Cleveland

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...."
-- James Madison

"With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers (enumerated in the Constitution) connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
-- James Madison

"For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?"
-- James Madison, Federalist No. 41

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
-- T. S. Eliot

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
-- Alexis de Tocqueville

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."
-- Alexander Tytler

"The true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought reveals itself as a jarring dissonance."
-- Leonard Shapiro

"The bits which did mean anything were often so wonderfully buried that no one could ever spot them slipping past in the avalanche of nonsense."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."
-- Noam Chomsky

"Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view."
-- William F. Buckley, Jr., Up from Liberalism

"These people live in the Ivory Tower. Because they're never subjected to competing ideas, they become detached and freakish. It's like the Galapagos Islands for thought."
-- comment by "Matt_SE" on a social website

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."
-- G. K. Chesterton

"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem."
-- G. K. Chesterton

"Anyone who believes CO2 is a big problem and isn't calling for more nuclear plants is not serious."
-- unknown

Tolerance

"Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."
-- G. K. Chesterton

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
-- G. K. Chesterton

"Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice."
-- Aayan Hirsi Ali

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
-- Elie Wiesel

"Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance."
-- Samuel Coleridge

"Tolerance is another word for indifference."
-- Somerset Maugham

"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
-- Robert Frost

"Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow's too lazy to form an opinion."
-- Will Rogers

"It is easy to be tolerant of the principles of other people if you have none of your own."
-- Herbert Samuel

"America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance -- it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded."
-- Fulton J. Sheen, 1931

"Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error."
-- Fulton J. Sheen, Old Errors and New Labels

Life

"The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Everything starts as somebody's daydream."
-- Larry Niven

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."
-- from the movie "We Bought a Zoo" (2011)

"You can't do just one thing."
-- John W. Campbell (It's a reminder about unintended consequences.)

Why park rangers hate Emerson:
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of your own voice."
-- Po Bronson

"Your son at five is your master, at ten your slave, at fifteen your double, and after that, your friend or foe, depending on his bringing up."
-- Hasdai Ibn Shaprut, Jewish scholar, physician to Abd-ar-Rahman, Ban HaMelek VeHaNazir, ch. 7

"If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders."
-- David Wright

"'Euphemism' is a euphemism for lying."
-- Bobbie Gentry

"Two wrongs don't make a right -- but three lefts do."

"Kahaha ko'u na'au i ke 'ano o ka mea 'ai ma keia mokulele."
(Hawaiian for "I am filled with admiration for my in-flight meal.")

"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore ... in the Old Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long ... seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. ... There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
-- Mark Twain

"She was not quite what you would call refined.
She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot."
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar", maxims from "Following the Equator"

Castle: How do you know when you're in love?
Beckett: All the songs make sense.
-- from TV show Castle

"I've been memorizing this room. In the future, in my memory, I shall live a great deal in this room."
-- Greta Garbo, Queen Christina

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
-- attributed to Albert Einstein, explaining radio

"[A] scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Two individuals, arguing a topic in front of a blackboard, will refer each other to diagrams, equations and terms on the basis of where they had been written, even long after they have been erased"
-- Richard Bolt, discussing "motor-memory reinforcement"

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."
-- "Hanlon's Razor"

"The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1773

"All solutions should be as simple as possible and no simpler."
-- Albert Einstein

"If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
-- Albert Einstein

Columbus' journal on Day 35: "Maybe it's Mars that's the round one."
-- Mister Boffo cartoon by Joe Martin

"If you can't write about things you know, write about things you know no one knows anything about.
-- Mister Boffo cartoon by Joe Martin

"Anytime you see a turtle atop a fence post, you know it had some help."
-- Alex Haley

As lacking in insight as a fortune cookie that says, "You will soon be finishing dinner"
-- idea from P. J. O'Rourke

"I have a 10 year old at home, and she is always saying, 'That's not fair.' When she says that, I say, "Honey, you're cute; that's not fair. Your family is pretty well off; that's not fair. You were born in America; that's not fair. Honey, you had better pray to God that things don't start getting fair for you."
-- P. J. O'Rourke

Irish wish: "May you live to be 100, plus an extra year to repent"

"Indecision is the key to flexibility"

"One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety nine who only have interest"
-- John Stuart Mill

"The swallow may fly south with the sun, or the house martin or the plummer may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land."
"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"
-- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing matters but the weekend from a Tuesday point of view."
-- The Kings, Switching to Glide

"Beware the lollipop of mediocrity. Lick it once and you suck forever."

"Number one on list of worries if I ran the space program: 'The duct tape might burn off on re-entry'"
-- Mister Boffo cartoon by Joe Martin

"As inevitable as the Wright Brothers' second flight"

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer

"Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that half of everybody is stupider than that."
-- George Carlin

"Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and buildings and start wars etc...and all that dolphins do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe that they are smarter for exactly the same reasons."
-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, 'Where's the self-help section?' She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."
-- unknown

"Some of the things that live the longest in peoples' memories never really happened."
-- Manoj Srivastava

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled"
-- Mark Twain

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."
-- Tolstoy

"We may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-- Thomas Edison

"Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur."
(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)

Heisenberg was driving down the Autobahn when he was pulled over. The policeman asked him, "Do you know how fast you were going back there?" to which Heisenberg replied, "No, but I know where I am."

"If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on the Creation, I should have recommended something simpler."
-- Alfonso X, King of Castile (1226-1284)

"When someone asks you, 'A penny for your thoughts' and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?"
-- George Carlin

"I don't have the answers, Charley. But I know that people get confused in this life about what they want, and what they've done, and what they think they should've because of it. Everything they think they are or did, takes hold so hard that it won't let them see what they can be."
-- character Sue Barlow, in movie Open Range (2003)

"You'll be entering into a cryogenic chamber where you'll be frozen until such time as you can be revived and brought back into society to serve a useful purpose" -- Things they tell turkeys.
-- Mister Boffo cartoon by Joe Martin

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
-- Arthur Carlson, WKRP

"Those TV weathermen are so unpredictable."
-- Kev's Mom

"All my life I've wanted to be somebody, I realize now that I should have been more specific."
-- Lily Tomlin

When my time on earth is completed, I want to go quietly in my sleep, like my grandfather ... not screaming in terror, like his passengers.

If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the precipitate.

Is the glass half empty, or half full, or twice as big as it needs to be?

668: The Neighbor of the Beast


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