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Kev's Collection of Cool Quotes

Kev Sez
Media and Markets
Political Correctness


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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.

  • (To young people) "Don't ask where you can get a job. Think about what you want to do."

  • "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."


"I have struck a city, a real city, and they call it Chicago. I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages."
-- Rudyard Kipling

"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

"I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Going to Chicago was like going out of the world."
-- Muddy Waters

"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

"Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years."
-- Carl Sandburg

"Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America."
-- Charles Merriam

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


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

"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science."
-- Prof. Richard Feynman, Cornell University lecture, 1964

"The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
-- Thomas Huxley, 1870

"What the hell happened to the cat?"
-- Schrödinger's wife

"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

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bulls**t is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
-- Alberto Brandolini, January 2013

"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"

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

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."

"As to relativity I must confess that I would rather have a subject in which there would be a half dozen members of the academy competent enough to understand at least a few words of what the speakers were saying if we had a symposium upon it. I pray to God that the progress of science will send relativity to some region of space behind the fourth dimension, from which it may never return the plague us."
-- Charles Greeley Abbot (1920)

"[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

Media and Markets

"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
-- Steve Jobs

"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

"The relationship between governments and the press has always been recognized as a matter of large importance. Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control."
-- Calvin Coolidge, January 17, 1925

"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


"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

"If you don't build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs."
-- unknown

"Few American parents now transfer a family farm or business to their offspring. The 'business' for a huge majority is a career selling labor on the open market rather than, as once was common, owning and operating some enterprise."
-- William Voegeli

"Nothing is more humiliating that to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in."
-- Gustave Flaubert

"Never become too good at something you hate. They'll make you do it the rest of your life."
-- Ed Greer

"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


"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

"There is a huge difference between being tolerant and tolerating intolerance."
-- Aayan Hirsi Ali

"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

"When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."
-- George R. R. Martin, in A Clash of Kings

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

"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."
-- Archbishop 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

Political Correctness

"I don't know what Systemic Racism is, but neither does anyone else. Like Social Justice, any communicable meaning is destroyed by the adjective. Both terms are indictments of Human Evil; its perpetrators are easily identifiable: They are those who request a definition."
-- David Mamet, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter and director

"When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is ... in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."
-- Theodore Dalrymple

"The past 60 years have seen the guilt of white liberals transform both public policy and American cultural norms. One by-product of these changes is the symbiotic relationship that has developed between white liberals seeking forgiveness and absolution for offenses they didn't personally commit and black liberals seeking empathy and affirmation for injustices they didn't personally suffer."
-- Delano Squires (in an online essay)

"... two groups in the elite privilege class: white liberals seeking absolution for sins that they didn't commit, and black liberals seeking empathy for injustices they didn't endure." -- Delano Squires (in a television interview)


"What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?"
-- Abraham Lincoln, speech to Cooper Union in Manhattan, February 27, 1860

"You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it." -- John Adams

"What are the symbols of American strength, wealth, power and modernity? Certainly not jazz and rock and roll, not chewing-gum or hamburgers, Broadway or Hollywood. It's their skyscrapers. Their Pentagon. Their science. Their technology."
-- Oriana Fallaci

"We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning 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. There is nothing progressive about being pig-headed and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world it's pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistake. We're on the wrong road. And if that is so we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on."
-- C. S. Lewis

"The way to get personal involvement and participation is not for people to take part in more and more government decisions but to make the government reduce the area of decision over which it presides and consequently leave the private citizen to 'participate', if that be the fashionable word, by making more of his own decisions. What we need now is a far greater degree of personal responsibility and decision, far more independence from the government, and a comparative reduction in the role of government."
-- Margaret Thatcher (1968)

"That's the whole point of being the government. If you don't like something, you simply make it illegal."
-- Pirate Radio (2013)

"Governments loathe people being free."
-- Pirate Radio (2013)

"Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy."
-- Calvin Coolidge, 1926

"[T]here are some people who wish us to enact laws which would seriously damage the right of free speech and which could be used not only against subversive groups but against other groups engaged in political or other activities which were not generally popular. Such measures would not only infringe on the Bill of Rights and the basic liberties of our people; they would also undermine the very internal security they seek to protect. Laws forbidding dissent do not prevent subversive activities; they merely drive them into more secret and more dangerous channels. Police states are not secure; their history is marked by successive purges, and growing concentration camps, as their governments strike out blindly in fear of violent revolt. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. "
-- Harry Truman 1950)

"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

"The nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"Truly, whoever can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire (1765). See more here.

Reagan "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
-- Ronald Reagan, June 1, 1988

"Bureaucracy once created has one fundamental rule above all others: Preserve the bureaucracy."
-- Ronald Reagan, June 1, 1988

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
-- Ronald Reagan (August 15, 1986)

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

"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

"We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted."
-- Ronald Reagan

"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)

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
-- Frederic Bastiat

"A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away."
-- Barry Goldwater

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."
- Gerald R. Ford

"Government giveaways are not possible without government takeaways."
-- unknown

"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

"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.

"Many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"There has never been a shortage of people eager to draw up blueprints for running other people's lives."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D., Discrimination and Disparities

"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.

"I am so old that I can remember when other people's achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D., Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays

"Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world." -- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites."
-- Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

"If there is not equality of outcomes among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, why should equality of outcomes be expected - or assumed - when conditions are not nearly so comparable?"
-- 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.

"If you want to see the poor remain poor, generation after generation, just keep the standards low in their schools and make excuses for their academic shortcomings and personal misbehavior. But please don't congratulate yourself on your compassion."
-- 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.

Williams "Capitalism is relatively new in human history. Prior to capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving your fellow man."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"Democracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"The War between the States... produced the foundation for the kind of government we have today: consolidated and absolute, based on the unrestrained will of the majority, with force, threats, and intimidation being the order of the day. Today's federal government is considerably at odds with that envisioned by the framers of the Constitution."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"It's government people, not rich people, who have the power to coerce and make our lives miserable. Coercive power goes a long way toward explaining political corruption."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"Let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"We are becoming a nation of thieves by trying to live at everyone else's expense. We have lost our moral mooring and the Church is partially responsible by failing to uphold its beliefs. One of the 10 Commandments says, 'Thou shall not steal.' Now I am fairly confident that God did not mean, 'Thou shall not steal - unless you get a majority vote.'"
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"How does something immoral, when done privately, become moral when it is done collectively? Furthermore, does legality establish morality? Slavery was legal; apartheid is legal; Stalinist, Nazi, and Maoist purges were legal. Clearly, the fact of legality does not justify these crimes. Legality, alone, cannot be the talisman of moral people."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we'd call it theft."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"Social Security is unsustainable because it is not meeting the first order condition of a Ponzi scheme, namely expanding the pool of suckers."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"'You can never be too safe.' Yes, you can. How many of us bother to inspect the hydraulic brake lines in our cars before we start the engine and head off to work? Doing so would be safer than simply assuming that the lines were intact and driving off."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"There are several methods of conflict resolution. First, there's the market mechanism -- let the highest bidder be the one who owns and decides how the land will be used. Then, there's government fiat, where the government dictates who gets to use the land for what purpose. Gifts might be the way where an owner arbitrarily chooses a recipient. Finally, violence is a way to resolve the question of who has the use rights to the coastline -- let people get weapons and physically fight it out. At this juncture, some might piously say, 'Violence is no way to resolve conflict!' The heck it isn't. The decision of who had the right to use most of the Earth's surface was settled through violence (wars). Who has the right to the income I earn is partially settled through the threats of violence. In fact, violence is such an effective means of resolving conflict that most governments want a monopoly on its use."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"The 2000 election of George W. Bush as president gave Republicans what the Democrats have now, total control of the legislative and executive branches of government. When Bush came to office, federal spending was $1.788 trillion. When he left office, federal spending was $2.982 trillion."
-- Walter E. Williams, Ph.D.

"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."
-- Thomas Paine

"If something cannot go on forever, sooner or later it will stop."
-- Herb Stein (Ben Stein's father, a prominent economist)

Friedman "There is no such thing as a free lunch."
-- Milton Friedman

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

"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."
-- Milton Friedman

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

"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

"Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."
-- Milton Friedman

"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both."
-- 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.

"Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government."
-- Milton Friedman

"When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction."
-- 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

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

Mencken "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, 1921

"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

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."
-- H. L. Mencken

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
-- 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

"The free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history. It has lifted billions of people out of poverty."
-- Barack Obama

"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 Restaurant at the End of the Universe

"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

"In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control, and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely."
-- "Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy", Jerry Pournelle

"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

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
-- Ernest Benn, British publisher and writer

"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

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from 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

"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

"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will end up plowing for those who don't."
-- 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, quoting the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitutiin

"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 and play the violin."
-- John F. Kennedy, remarks at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners, April 29, 1962

Madison "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

"It is not good for the people to debate everything. It is useful to have a common tradition that limits and structures political disagreement while offering an agreed-upon framework for resolving our problems."
-- James Madison

"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

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of government. It would puzzle any gentleman to lay his finger on any part of the Constitution which would authorize the government to interpose in the relief of ... sufferers."
-- 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, letter to James Robertson, April 20, 1831

"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

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite."
-- James Madison, Federalist No. 45

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

"Express your utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pretenses, to overturn the liberties of our country."
-- George Washington

"[Government] has no more right to put their hands into my pockets, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into yours."
-- George Washington

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
-- George Washington

"It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty on the supposition that he may abuse it."
-- George Washington

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

"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

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
-- Margaret Thatcher

"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.

"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

"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

"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

"A person's willingness to spend other people's money is not evidence that the person himself is compassionate."
-- Lawrence W. Reed

"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

"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

"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


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

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's souls and probably in themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die..."
-- Daniel Burnham (1909)

"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

"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

"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

"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.)

"You learn a lot about people when you listen to the songs that mean something to them."
-- Oscar Wilde

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

"So is it time to stick the Picassos in the U-boat and head for Paraguay?"
-- The Windsors, season 1 episode 5

"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 koʻu naʻau i ke ʻano o ka mea ʻai 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

"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

Boffo 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

"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

"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

"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"

"My parachutes may not be golden, but at least I know I've packed them myself."
-- "Shoe" comic strip

"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."
-- Brian Wilson

"As inevitable as the Wright Brothers' second flight"
-- unknown

"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

"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."
-- George Carlin

"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

"If you call a dog's tail a leg, how many legs does it have? Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"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

"Few thrills of later life can match the excitement of teenage philosophizing into the small hours of the morning."
-- Guy Deutscher

"It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential."
-- Hans Asperger

"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.)

"Of all the talents bestowed upon men, none is so precious as the gift of oratory. He who enjoys it wields a power more durable than that of a great king. He is an independent force in the world. Abandoned by his party, betrayed by his friends, stripped of his offices, whoever can command this power is still formidable."
-- Winston Churchill

"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)

"The years teach much which the days never knew."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Announcer: Have you any clue at all?
Contestant: No, I haven't.
Announcer: If you [wish to] guess ...
Contestant: Would it be Copernicus?
Announcer: I'm sorry, Bridie, this isn't the right answer.
Contestant: Oh, dear.
Announcer: The correct answer is marsupial, marsupial."
-- Overheard radio quiz show in S1E1 episode of Irish police drama "Single-Handed"

"You can't rush a weld or you're just using flux for glue."
-- unknown

"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


"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

"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, creator of the C++ programming language.

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

"One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn't dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy."
-- Jean Louis Gassée, former chief technology officer of Apple Computer

"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 Business Week, 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

"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

"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

"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

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

Douglas Adams "[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

"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

"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 All the Fish

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

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

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

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

"You are not obligated to associate with people who are making your life worse."
-- Jordan Peterson

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

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