Gregory Sutter

Some Excellent Quotations

Here are some of my favorite quotations. This list includes the ones which randomly pop up on my index page.

I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!
	-- Richard Feynman

Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief
interest of all technical endeavors ... in order that the creations
of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never
forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.
	-- Albert Einstein

The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it
because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If
nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were
not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.
	-- Henri Poincaré

If the population of the earth were to increase at the present rate
indefinitely, by A.D. 3530 the total mass of human flesh and blood would
equal the mass of the earth; and by A.D. 6826, the total mass of human
flesh and blood would equal the mass of the known universe.
	--Robert Fulghum, _All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten_ 

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

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know, that's a
really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually
change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.
They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because
scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens
every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened
in politics or religion.
	--Carl Sagan

It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
	--Krishnamurti, (1895-1986)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the 
heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. 
It is the opium of the people.
	--Karl Marx

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it
from religious conviction.
	--Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)

Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles, and to understand
the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in 
astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious,
and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters
of nature and the gods. For these men know that once ignorance is put
aside that wonderment would be taken away which is the only means by
which their authority is preserved.
	--Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677)

It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe
nothing, than to believe what is wrong.
	--Thomas Jefferson, (letter to Rev. James Madison, July 19, 1788)

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much
liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it.
	--Thomas Jefferson (letter to Archibald Stuart, Dec. 23, 1791,
		on the encroachments of state governments)

You will do me the justice to remember that I have always supported
the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion
might be to mine. He who denies to another this right makes a slave of
himself to present opinion because he precludes himself the right of
changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind
is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.
	--Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on
society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual
tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they
have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no
instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.
Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an
established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government,
instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.
	--James Madison (from Memorial and Remonstrance against
		Religious Assessments, 1785)

The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own
good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of
theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.
	--John Stuart Mill (On Liberty, 1859)

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
	--Abraham Lincoln

I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty
to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous - if they aver that doubt
is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the
minds of men.
	--Robert Ingersoll (The Ghosts)

For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and
women of thought and genius upon the one side, and the great ignorant
religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith.
The few have appealed to reason, to honor, to law, to freedom, to the
known, and to happiness here in this world. The many have appealed to
prejudice, to fear, to miracle, to slavery, to the unknown, and to
misery hereafter. The few have said "Think" The many have said "Believe!"
	--Robert Ingersoll (Gods)

Superstitions typically involve seeing order where in fact there is
none, and denial amounts to rejecting evidence of regularities,
sometimes even ones that are staring us in the face.
	--Murray Gell-Mann (Quark and the Jaguar)

Virtually every major technological advance in the history of the
human species-- back to the invention of stone tools and the
domestication of fire-- has been ethically ambiguous.
	--Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World)

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical
invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.
	--Mark Twain 

Plurality is never to be posited without need.

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
	--Albert Camus (1913-1960)

I'll tell you something honestly about drugs.  Honestly - and I know
it's not a very popular idea.  You don't hear it very often any more.  
But it is the truth: I had a great time doing drugs.  Never murdered
anyone, never robbed anyone, never raped anyone, never beat anyone,
never lost a job, a car, a house, a wife, or kids.  Laughed my ass off,
and went about my day.
	--Bill Hicks, "Relentless"

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with
reality at any point.
	--Friedrich Nietzsche 

Now let us retract the foreskin of misconception and apply the wire
brush of enlightenment.
	--Geoff Miller, in comp.lang.perl.moderated

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should
burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I
would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow,
than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to
live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
	--Jack London

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move
in the opposite direction.
	--Albert Einstein

The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight
from wonder.
	--Albert Einstein

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.
Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S
	--Albert Einstein

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions,
a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in
a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it
clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it
is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as
our science can reveal it.
	--Albert Einstein, _The Human Side_, 1954

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful
servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has
forgotten the gift.
	--Albert Einstein

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm
not sure about the former.
	--Albert Einstein, apocryphally; more likely Fritz Perls.

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.
	--Fritz Perls, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim, 1969

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics
to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind
	--Albert Einstein, _The Human Side_, 1954

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

If A is success in life, I should say the formula is A=X+Y+Z, X being
work and Y being play.  [And what is Z?]  That is keeping your mouth
	--Albert Einstein, 1929, interview published in New York Times

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied
to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of
the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.
	--Albert Einstein

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and
	--Henry Louis Mencken

An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be
made in his subject and how to avoid them.
	--Werner Heisenberg

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see
them misunderstood.
	--Henry Louis Mencken

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

Ignorance feeds on ignorance. Science phobia is contagious.
	--Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

Do we, holding that the gods exist, deceive ourselves with
insubstantial dreams and lies, while random careless chance and change
alone control the world?
	--Euripides, Hecuba

One of the main causes of trouble in the world is dogmatic and
fanatical belief in some doctrine for which there is no adequate
	--Bertrand Russell

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
	--Thomas Jefferson

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.
	--Bertrand Russell

The state is made for man, not man for the state.... That is to say,
the state should be our servant and not we its slaves.
	--Albert Einstein

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence;
it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
	--Bertrand Russell

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not more so.
	--Albert Einstein

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or
Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify
and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
	--Thomas Paine

No miracle has ever taken place under conditions science can accept.
Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times
and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence
of persons who are disposed to believe them.
	--Ernest Renan

Knowledge is power.
	--Thomas Hobbes

I do not know everything; still many things I understand.
	--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
	--Sun Tzu

Information is the currency of democracy.
	--Thomas Jefferson

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
	--Albert Einstein

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain
occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be
exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.
	--Thomas Jefferson

He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from
oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that
will reach to himself.
	--Thomas Paine

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be
maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
	--Abraham Lincoln

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be
their own governours, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge
	--James Madison, quoted on the Library of Congress

I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that
could provoke such a question.
	--Charles Babbage

In view of the stupidity of the majority of the people, a widely held
opinion is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
	--Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and
	--H. G. Wells

Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat
	--Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Speech (1801)

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate
any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
	--Thomas Jefferson

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks
without knowledge, of things without parallel.
	--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Give him a religion,
and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.
	--Timothy Jones

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
	--Edward Everett

Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.
	--Mark Twain

By nature's law, every man has a right to seize and retake by force
his own property taken from him by another, by force of fraud. Nor is
this natural right among the first which is taken into the hands of
regular government after it is instituted. It was long retained by our
ancestors. It was a part of their common law, laid down in their books,
recognized by all the authorities, and regulated as to circumstances of
	--Thomas Jefferson

Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions; it only guarantees
equality of opportunity.
	--Irving Kristol

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will
do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
	--John Maynard Keynes

Finally I am becoming stupider no more.
	--Paul Erdös' epitaph, written by himself

One should guard against preaching to young people success in the
customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for
work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its
result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the
	--Albert Einstein

Fiction is a noble pursuit.  Ideally, it profoundly changes the ways
in which people perceive their experience.
	--Norman Mailer

Most people are not really free.  They are confined by the niche in
the world that they carve out for themselves.  They limit themselves
to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.
	--V. S. Naipaul

Only the refusal to listen guarantees one against being ensnared by
the truth.

The maxim that people should not have a right till they are ready to
exercise it properly, is worthy of the fool in the old story who
resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.

Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what you want them to
achieve, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
	--George Patton

It is the first step of wisdom to recognize that the major advances
in civilization are processes which all but wreck the society in which
they occur.
	--Alfred North Whitehead

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve
change amid order.
	--Alfred North Whitehead

Our institutions and values are in jeopardy as the mores of the
market pervade all social life in this country.  Loyalty, honesty,
courage, discipline, patriotism, and commitment to family are being
crowded out by the goals and rules of economic rationality -- do
whatever makes the most money.
	--Barry Schwartz

Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he
knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known
nothing but what has passed under his own eye.
	--Thomas Jefferson

There is no legitimate religion apart from truth.
	--John Calvin

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in
the kingdom of the blind.
	--Kurt Vonnegut, _Player Piano_

Computers don't poop, fart, fuck, or laugh, and cannot detect irony.
These, then, are the distinguishing characteristics of humanity.
	--Eric Idle, _The Road to Mars_

When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make
their characters want something right away even if it's only a glass of
water. Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still
have to drink water from time to time.
	--Kurt Vonnegut

Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
	--John Stuart Mill

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out,           
which is the exact opposite.
	--Bertrand Russell, _Skeptical Essays_

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on
the unreasonable man.
	--George Bernard Shaw

Why, of course people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a
farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it
is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people
don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter
in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of
a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter
to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist
dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no
voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked,
and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the
country to danger. It works the same in any country.
	--Hermann Goering (1893 - 1946), at the Nuremburg Trials

Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than
in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.
	--J. R. R. Tolkien (as Haldir the elf), _The Fellowship of the Ring_

The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it
away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is
something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it
away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are
	--Utah Phillips

What lawyers call "intellectual property" is -- as every Latin
student knows -- no more than theft from the public domain.
	--Andy Mueller-Maguhn

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should
expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and
no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
	--Richard Dawkins

Reading, playing, laughing, being cruel, being good, seeing the
river, the clouds - all this is part of life; and if you don't
know how to read, if you don't know how to walk, if you are unable
to appreciate the beauty of a leaf, you are not living. You must
understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That
is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that
is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and
understand; for all that is life.
	--Jiddu Krishnamurti, _Think on These Things_, Ch. 3

Stuff your eyes with wonder.  Live as if you'd drop dead in ten
seconds.  See the world.  It's more fantastic than any dream made or
paid for in factories.
	--Ray Bradbury

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
	--Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in
peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and
may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
	--Samuel Adams

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never--in nothing
great or small, large or petty--never give in except to convictions
of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the
apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
	--Winston Churchill, 29 October 1941, at the Harrow School

We recognize, however dimly, that greater efficiency, ease, and
security may come at a substantial price in freedom, that law and order
can be a doublethink version of oppression, that individual liberties
surrendered for whatever good reason are freedom lost.
	--Walter Cronkite, in the preface to the 1984 edition of 1984

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within
limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  I do not add
"within the limits of the law," because law is often but the tyrant's
will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
	--Thomas Jefferson, 1819, in a letter to Isaac H. Tiffany

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.
	--Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

I am not going to question your opinions.  I am not going to meddle
with your belief.  I am not going to dictate to you mine.  All that I
say is, examine, inquire.  Look into the nature of things.  Search
out the grounds of your opinions, the for and the against.  Know why
you believe, understand what you believe, and possess a reason for
the faith that is in you.
	--Frances Wright (1795-1852), in "Divisions of Knowledge," 1828

Ever bike? Now that's something that makes life worth living! I take
exercise every afternoon that way. Oh, to just grip your handlebars
and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and
road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding
collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the
time when you're going to smash up. Well now, that's something! And
then go home again after three hours of it, into the tub, rub down
well, then into a soft shirt and down to the dinner table, with the
evening paper and a glass of wine in prospect - and then to think
that tomorrow I can do it all over again!
	--Jack London

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work
becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount
a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on
anything but the ride you are taking.
	--Arthur Conan Doyle, in Scientific American, January 18, 1896

I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas.  I'm
frightened of the old ones.
	--John Cage (1912-1992)

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we
are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and
servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
	--Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th U.S. President, 1918

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachments by
men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
	--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1928

Thought control is a copyright of totalitarianism, and we have no
claim to it.  It is not the function of our government to keep the
citizen from falling into error, it is the function of the citizen to
keep the government from falling into error.
	--Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1950

Success, recognition, and conformity are the bywords of the modern
world where everyone seems to crave the anesthetizing security of
being identified with the majority... Human salvation lies in the
hands of the creatively maladjusted.
	--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Strength to Love, 1963)

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
	--Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself", 1855

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian
of true liberty.
	--James Madison, June 30 1825, in a letter to George Thomson

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend
to be.
	--Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 1970

Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,                                      
The signet of its all-enslaving power,                                         
Upon a shining ore, and called it gold;                                        
Before whose image bow the vulgar great,                                       
The vainly rich, the miserable proud,                                          
The mob of peasants, nobles, priests and kings,                                
And with blind feelings reverence the power                                    
That grinds them to the dust of misery.                                        
	--Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab V.

People say they don't care about politics; they're not involved or
don't want to get involved, but they are.  Their involvement just
masquerades as indifference or inattention.  It is the silent
acquiescence of the millions that supports the system.  When you
don't oppose a system, your silence becomes approval, for it does
nothing to interrupt the system.  People use all sorts of excuses for
the indifference... Many people say it's insane to resist the system,
but actually, it is insane not to.
	--Mumia Abu-Jamal 

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are
not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  I like to believe
that People in the long run are going to do more to promote peace
than our government.  Indeed I think that people want peace so much
that one of these days governments had best get out of the way and
let them have it.
	--Dwight D. Eisenhower

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level
of thinking we were at when we created them.
	--Albert Einstein

What a man is contributes much more to his happiness than what he
has, or how he is regarded by others.
	--Arthur Schopenhauer

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country
the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit
out of the public for a number of years, the government and the
courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the
future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary
public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute
nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right
to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped or
turned back, for their private benefit.
	--Robert A. Heinlein

On two subjects the overwhelming majority of people regarded
their own opinions as Absolute Truth, and sincerely believed that
anyone who disagreed with them was immoral, outrageous, sinful,
sacrilegious, offensive, intolerable, stupid, illogical, treasonable,
actionable, against the public interest, ridiculous, and obscene. The
two subjects were (of course) sex and religion.
	--Robert A. Heinlein

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more
and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and
glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's
desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright
	--H.L. Mencken, in the Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority.  The more
uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is
right and what is wrong.  All human progress, even in morals, has
been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not
of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.  The truly
civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in
all others.  His culture is based on "I am not too sure."
	--H.L. Mencken, Minority Report (1956)

Our entire universe is contained in the mind and the spirit. We may
choose not to find access to it, we may even deny its existence,
but it is indeed there inside us, and there are chemicals that can
catalyze its availability.
	--Alexander Shulgin

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.
	--Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle" (in conclusion)

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
	--Charles Darwin

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others
of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power
called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as
long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it
forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver
cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is
that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the
whole of it.  He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction
himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine,
receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely
spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual
instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have
been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made
them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their
density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move,
and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive
appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of
property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising
from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may
produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the
will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from
any body.
	--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac McPherson, 1813

If there is a sin against life, it consists in hoping for another
life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
	--Albert Camus (1913-1960)

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history
of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made
to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. [...] This
struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may
be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes
nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out
just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out
the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon
them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by
the endurance of those whom they oppress.
	--Frederick Douglass, 1857

Ma non intendiamo abolire l'arte del passato o fermare la vita:
vogliamo che il quadro esca dalla sua cornice e la scultura dalla sua
campana di vetro. Una espressione d'arte aerea di un minuto è come
se durasse un millennio, nell'eternità.

But we don't intend to abolish the art of the past or stop life: we
want the painting to come out of its frame and the sculpture from its
glass dome. A one-minute expression of aerial art is as if it would
last a millennium, into eternity.
	--Lucio Fontana, Gianni Dova, Beniamino Joppolo,
	  Giorgio Kaisserlian, Antonio Tullier;

Toleration of people who differ in convictions and habits requires
a residual awareness of the complexity of truth and the possibility
of an opposing view having some light on one or the other facet of a
many-sided truth.
	--Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil
secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens.  They who
can treat secretly of the affairs of a nation have it absolutely
under their authority; and as they plot against the enemy in time of
war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.
	--Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677)

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good--need we ask anyone
to tell us these things?

For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
	--Shantideva; oft quoted by the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso

The government [is] extremely fond of amassing great quantities of
statistics. These are raised to the nth degree, the cube roots are
extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive
displays. What must be kept ever in mind, however, is that in every
case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he
puts down anything he damn well pleases.
	--Sir Josiah Stamp (1880-1941)

May you live in interesting times
May you come to the attention of those in authority
May you find what you are looking for
	--purported ancient Chinese proverb/curse

In doing good, avoid notoriety; in doing evil, avoid self awareness.
	--Frank Herbert, Children of Dune, 1976

All fools are not proud, and all proud men are fools.
Many fools are happy, all proud men are unhappy.
	--Giacomo Giralomo Casanova, "Pride and Folly"

Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river that
carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that tears me apart,
but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
	--Jorge Luis Borges

It is not a sign of intolerance for us to notice
that some cultures and sub-cultures do a terrible job
of producing human lives worth living.
	--Sam Harris

Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand
everything better.
	--Albert Einstein

Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium
(I prefer freedom with danger to peace with slavery)
	--The Palatine of Posen, father of the King of Poland, Duke of Lorraine

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary
project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends
limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you
find yourself in a new, great wonderful world. Dormant forces,
faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a
greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;--
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
	--Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode, 1874

The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of
	--John Quincy Adams

"Tout ce qui est impossible reste a accomplir."
("All that is impossible remains to be accomplished.")
	--Jules Verne

Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws--but the
final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and
every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we
see the law flouted--when we tolerate what we know to be wrong--when
we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy,
or too frightened--when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a
blow against freedom and decency and justice.
	--Robert F. Kennedy, June 21, 1961

Those who can make you believe absurdities,
can make you commit atrocities.
(Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde
est en droit de vous rendre injuste.)
	--Voltaire, Questions sur les miracles (1765)

One may well ask: How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying
others?  The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of
laws: just and unjust.  I would be the first to advocate obeying just
laws.  One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey
just laws.  Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey
unjust laws.
	--Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail,
Apr 16, 1963

When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission
from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to
those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men
get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't
protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you
see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--
you may know that your society is doomed.
	--Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you
to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
	--Henry David Thoreau

The only way to deal with an unfree world, is to become absolutely
free, that your very existence is an act of rebellion.
	--Albert Camus

There is no Left or Right--there is only freedom or tyranny.
Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you
confused and silent as the world burns around you.
	--Philip Brennan

We are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion: the stage
where government is free to do as it pleases, while the citizens may
act only by permission.
	--Ayn Rand

In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.
	--André Maurois

Any one can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he is
supposed to be doing at that moment.
	--Robert Benchley, Feb 2 1930

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.
	--Euripides, _Hippolytus_, 428 BC

Always eat grapes downwards--that is, always eat the best grape
first; in this way there will be none better left on the bunch, and
each grape will seem good down to the last. If you eat the other
way, you will not have a good grape in the lot. Besides, you will be
tempting Providence to kill you before you come to the best.
	--Samuel Butler (1835-1902), from "The Note-Books of"

We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the
hands of a few, but we can't have both.
	--Louis Brandeis

To change your mind and to follow him who sets you right is to be
nonetheless the free agent that you were before.
	--Marcus Aurelius

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
	--John Maynard Keynes

Why should you mind being wrong if someone can show you that you are?
	--A.J. Ayer (attributed)

Lamb says somewhere that if, of three friends (A, B, and C), A should
die, then B loses not only A but "A's part in C," while C loses not
only A but "A's part in B."  In each of my friends there is something
that only some other friend can fully bring out.
	--C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, 1960

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is
the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a
stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is
as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
	--Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies, 1931

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

Talent develops in tranquillity, character in the full current of
human life.
	--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

There are two possible outcomes. If the results confirm the theory,
then you've made a measurement.  If the results contradict the theory,
then you've made a discovery.
	--Enrico Fermi

All in turn feel the lash of censure in a country where, as every
baby is allowed to carry a whip, no person can escape.
	--Hester Lynch Piozzi, 1784

Don't ever become a pessimist, Ira; a pessimist is correct oftener
than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun -- and neither can
stop the march of events.
	--Robert Heinlein (as Lazurus Long), Time Enough For Love

Most of our pleasures come from filling or emptying cavities, and
vice versa.
	--Dr. Vincent J. Derbes,
	More of Mould's Medical Anecdotes, 1989.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always
has been.  The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant
thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance
is just as good as your knowledge."
	--Isaac Asimov, Newsweek, 21 Jan 1980, p. 19

I don't believe in playing down to children, either in life or in
motion pictures.  I didn't treat my own youngsters like fragile
flowers, and I think no parent should.  Children are people, and
they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand
things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental
stature.  Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be
untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there
were no shadows.  Most things are good, and they are the strongest
things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child
a favor by trying to shield him from reality.  The important thing is
to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is
what our pictures attempt to do.
	--Walt Disney, _Deeds Rather Than Words_ (essay), 1963

This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose--it
is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation
which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us,
send them forth into unmapped darkness, and pray they will return.
They go in peace for all mankind, and all mankind is in their debt.
	--President George W. Bush, addressing personnel at the
	Johnson Space Center, 4 Feb 2003, after the loss of Columbia.

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.
	--Leo Tolstoy, on his deathbed, refusing to reconcile
	  with the Russian Orthodox Church

I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America,
and we must see to it that this agency [National Security Agency]
and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law
and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss.
That is the abyss from which there is no return.
	--Frank Church, U.S. Senator, 1975

My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong,
to be set right.
	--U.S. Senator Carl Schurz, before Congress, 29 Feb 1872
	 (The Congressional Globe, vol. 45, p. 1287)

El hombre es un animal esencial, fundamental, constitucional y
radicalmente haragán.
(Man is an essentially, fundamentally, constitutionally, and
radically lazy animal.)
	--Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936)

I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world
than I knew yesterday.  And lessen the suffering of others.  You'd be
surprised how far that gets you.
	--Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, 29 Feb 2012, on Reddit

If you can't be good, be colorful.
	--Pete Conrad, astronaut (1930-1999); his personal motto.

To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed,
law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached
at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded,
by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the
virtue to do so.  To be governed is to be at every operation, at
every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped,
measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished,
prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.  It is, under
pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest,
to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited,
monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the
slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed,
fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed,
bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported,
sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed,
derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its
justice; that is its morality.
	--Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, The General Idea of the
  Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, 1851

A class system is what you use to discriminate against people who
look like you.
	--Reginald D. Hunter, comedian, ~2009

Vigilance abroad does not require us to abandon our ideals
or the rule of law at home.  On the contrary, without our
principles and without our ideals, we have little that is
special or worthy to defend.
	--Daniel Inouye (1924-2012), U.S. Senator from Hawaii, 1987,
	  in the closing statement of the hearings of the
	  congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
	--Wilson Mizner

As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should
be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours;
and this we should do freely and generously.
	--Benjamin Franklin, in his autobiography, 1771

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements
for happiness--though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
	--Gustave Flaubert, 13 August 1846

I really do not have any other motivation for personally accumulating
assets except to be able to make the biggest contribution I can to
making life multi-planetary.
	--Elon Musk, in "Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species", 2017

While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles
I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he was sure of
it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you
will have been cheerful.
	--H.G. Wells, as Stephen Wilbeck in "Apropos of Dolores", 1938

Businesses that make money by collecting and selling detailed
records of private lives were once plainly described as "surveillance
companies." Their rebranding as "social media" is the most successful
deception since the Department of War became the Department of Defense.
	--Edward Snowden, on Twitter (@Snowden), March 17, 2018

She who is always in my thoughts prefers
Another man, and does not think of me.
Yet he seeks for another's love, not hers;
And some poor girl is grieving for my sake.
Why, then, the devil take
Both her and him; and love; and her; and me.
	--Bhartrhari, 5th century CE,
	translated from the Sanskrit by John Brough

No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from
following the light unflinchingly.
	--J. R. R. Tolkien

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody
has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of
us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all
the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this
nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this
false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery
because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify
his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people
making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true
business of people should be to go back to school and think about
whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along
and told them they had to earn a living.
	--R. Buckminster Fuller, 1970

nisi impunitatis cupido retinuisset, magnis semper conatibus adversa.
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.
	--Tacitus, 117 AD

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is
really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the
stone upon himself.
	--Bertrand Russell

One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all,
shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard
what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book;
give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good
for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something
more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from
behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to
keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is
destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes
lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.
	--Annie Dillard, _The Writing Life_, 1989

Greed My life is full, indeed, of gloom. I've naught, you see; just this small room. I need more wealth -- that's misery. What joys in great renown! What glee! The mace and throne I long to own. No crown too grand for me alone. Contentment My life is full, indeed! Of gloom I've naught, you see. Just this small room I need. More wealth? That's misery. What joy's in great renown? What glee, the mace and throne? I long to own no crown. Too grand for me alone.
--Mary Youngquist, in the August 1972 Word Ways, as Margot Quinjuys (an anagram)
There are no answers in love, I think. Only choices made in the absence of objective truth. --Silva Kuusniemi, New York Times online, Modern Love, April 23, 2021 Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. --C.S. Lewis, _God in the Dock_, 1948 They tried to bury me... they didn't realize I was a seed. --Sinéad O'Connor, "Nothing Compares" film, 2022 "Normal is something people are until you get to know them. Everybody's crazy." --Michael Bolton, "Everybody's Crazy" (song), 1985 A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. --Max Planck, 1948 (trans de-en: Frank Gaynor) Science makes progress funeral by funeral. --Paul A. Samuelson, paraphrasing Planck, _Newsweek_, 1975 June 16 "Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by systemic incentives promoting malice." --"Hanlon's handgun" by TeMPOraL on Hacker News, 2019 I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men. --Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, ~1927 La derecha oprime y la izquierda libera. (The right oppresses and the left liberates.) --Spanish-language mnemonic for screw thread direction

Gregory Sutter,
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