Quotes of the day: tricks and treats

Published Thursday, October 30, 2014 @ 5:54 PM EDT
Oct 30 2014

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
-Ingrid Bergman

A Madagascar Hissing Roach chasing Jerry Lewis. That would be a really neat treat.
-Michael O'Donoghue

A pig can learn more tricks than a dog, but has too much sense to want to do it.
-Robertson Davies

A technique is a trick that works.
-Giancarlo Rota

Death is a low chemical trick played on everybody except sequoia trees.
-J.J. Furnas

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.
-Dennis Wholey

History is after all only a pack of tricks we play on the dead.
-Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)

If you know what's happening in the research labs, it isn't all that great a trick to predict what's coming.
-Ben Bova

In Japan, employees occasionally work themselves to death. It's called Karoshi. I don't want that to happen to anybody in my department. The trick is to take a break as soon as you see a bright light and hear dead relatives beckon.
-Scott Adams

Love is a trick played on us by the forces of evolution.
-T.H. White

Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the species.
-W. Somerset Maugham

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.
-Iris Murdoch

Oratory is just like prostitution: you must have little tricks.
-Vittorio Orlando

See that you do not use the trick of prayer to cover up what you know you ought to do.
-Oswald Chambers

Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence.
-Tennessee Williams

Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade that they never learn the trade.
-Vernon Law

The main result of feminism has been the Dutch Treat.
-Nora Ephron

The trick is growing up without growing old.
-Casey Stengel

The trick is not how much pain you can feel but how much joy. Any idiot can feel pain. Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses excuses... The only pain you feel is for all the useless pain you felt, all the times you didn't do something because of cowardice or fear, all the times you let bastards and the kibitzers and the fear shrinkers hold you back. Watch out for the death people, do you see what I mean? They're the ones to avoid.
-Henry Miller

The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for prosperity to come.
-Lee Iacocca

The trick is to stop thinking of it as 'your' money. (On dealing with the IRS)

The trick of management is finding people with the right demons.
-David Carlson

The trick of wearing mink is to look as though you were wearing a cloth coat. The trick of wearing a cloth coat is to look as though you are wearing mink.
-Pierre Balmain

There is only one object on earth that frightens me: a physicist working on a new trick.
-Rex Stout

There's a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over- and to let go. It means leaving what's over without denying its value.
-Ellen Goodman

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
-Will Rogers

There's only one trick in software, and that is using a piece of software that's already been written. (1989)
-Bill Gates

Trickery is what humans are all about. They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.
-Terry Pratchett

Turning tricks for money isn't enough; you also have to know Word and Excel.

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
-Ray Bradbury

What magical trick makes us intelligent? The trick is that there is no trick. The power of intelligence stems from our vast diversity, not from any single, perfect principle.
-Marvin Minsky

Wit ought to be a glorious treat, like caviar. Never spread it about like marmalade.
-Noel Coward

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.
-Dorothy Parker

You know, that might be the answer- to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail.
-Joseph Heller

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Quotes of the day: Joseph Campbell

Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014 @ 10:01 PM EDT
Oct 29 2014

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 - October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All cultures... have grown out of myths. They are founded on myths. What these myths have given has been inspiration for aspiration. The economic interpretation of history is for the birds. Economics is itself a function of aspiration. It’s what people aspire to that creates the field in which economics works.

All religions are true but none are literal.

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon but to the fact that our ignorance and our complacency are coming to an end... The exclusivism of there being only one way in which we can be saved, the idea that there is a single religious group that is in sole possession of the truth- that is the world as we know it that must pass away. What is the kingdom? It lies in our realization of the ubiquity of the divine presence in our neighbors, in our enemies, in all of us.

Centuries of husbandry, decades of diligent culling, the work of numerous hearts and hands, have gone into the hackling, sorting, and spinning of this tightly twisted yarn. Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

Dream is personalized myth, myth is depersonalized dream; both myth and dream are symbolic in the same general way of the dynamics of the psyche. But in the dream the forms are quirked by the peculiar troubles of the dreamer, whereas in myth the problem and solutions shown are directly valid for all mankind.

Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

Everywhere, no matter what the sphere of interest (whether religious, political, or personal), the really creative acts are represented as those deriving from some sort of dying to the world; and what happens in the interval of the hero's nonentity, so that he comes back as one reborn, made great and filled with creative power, mankind is also unanimous in declaring. We shall have only to follow, therefore, a multitude of heroic figures through the classic stages of the universal adventure in order to see again what has always been revealed. ...the singleness of the human spirit in its aspirations, powers, vicissitudes, and wisdom.

Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

For when scrutinized in terms not of what it is but of how it functions, of how it has served mankind in the past, of how it may serve today, mythology shows itself to be as amenable as life itself to the obsessions and requirements of the individual, the race, the age.

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.

Heresy is the life of a mythology, and orthodoxy is the death.

I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

I don't have to have faith. I have experience.

I think it's important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery, and of your own mystery.

I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.

In the absence of an effective general mythology, each of us has his private, unrecognized, rudimentary, yet secretly potent pantheon of dreams.

It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back. In fact, it may very well be that the very high incidence of neuroticism among ourselves follows the decline among us of such effective spiritual aid. We remain fixated to the unexorcised images of our infancy, and hence disinclined to the necessary passages of our adulthood.

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

It is not only that there is no hiding place for the gods from the searching telescope and microscope; there is no such society any more as the gods once supported.

It may be a species of impudence to think that the way you understand God is the way God is.

It's only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world.

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.

Marx teaches us to blame society for our frailties, Freud teaches us to blame our parents, and astrology teaches us to blame the universe. The only place to look for blame is within: you didn't have the guts to bring up your full moon and live the life that was your potential.

Midlife crisis is what happens when you climb to the top of the ladder and discover that it's against the wrong wall.

Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people's religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as popular misunderstanding of mythology.

Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.

No tribal rite has yet been recorded which attempts to keep winter from descending; on the contrary: the rites all prepare the community to endure, together with the rest of nature, the season of the terrible cold.

Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required.

One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.

Our life evokes our character and you find out more about yourself as you go on.

Out of perfection nothing can be made.

People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.

Regrets are illuminations come too late.

The happy ending is justly scorned as a misrepresentation; for the world, as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending; death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms which we have loved.

The image of the cosmos must change with the development of the mind and knowledge; otherwise, the mythic statement is lost, and man becomes dissociated from the very basis of his own religious experience. Doubt comes in, and so forth. You must remember: all of the great traditions, and little traditions, in their own time were scientifically correct. That is to say, they were correct in terms of the scientific image of that age. So there must be a scientifically validated image. Now you know what has happened: our scientific field has separated itself from the religious field, or vice-versa.... This divorce this is a fatal thing, and a very unfortunate thing, and a totally unnecessary thing.

The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who's on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.

The modern hero-deed must be that of questing to bring to light again the lost Atlantis of the co-ordinated soul.

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

The tribal ceremonies of birth, initiation, marriage, burial, installation, and so forth, serve to translate the individual’s life-crises and life-deeds into classic, impersonal forms. They disclose him to himself, not as this personality or that, but as the warrior, the bride, the widow, the priest, the chieftain; at the same time rehearsing for the rest of the community the old lesson of the archetypal stages.

The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call 'following your bliss.'

There is no make-believe about heaven, future bliss, and compensation, to alleviate the bitter majesty, but only utter darkness, the void of unfulfillment, to receive and eat back the lives that have been tossed forth from the womb only to fail.

There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call atheists, and those who think they are facts are religious. Which group really gets the message?

This death to the logic of emotional commitments of our chance moment in the world of space and time, this recognition of, the shift of our emphasis to, the universal life that throbs and celebrates its victory in the very kiss of our own annihilation, this amor fati, 'love of fate,' love of the fate that is inevitably death, constitutes the experience of the tragic art...

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? ... If the person doesn't listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you're going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it's not the one the body's interested in at all. And the world's full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

This thing up here, this consciousness, thinks it's running the shop. It's a secondary organ. It's a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

We are standing on a whale fishing for minnows.

We can't cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy.

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us- the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

We're in a freefall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective and that's all it is... joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.

What is a god? A god is a personification of a motivating power of a value system that functions in human life and in the universe.

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence- for he has the perfected eye to see. There is no separateness. Thus, just as the way of social participation may lead in the end to a realization of the All in the individual, so that of exile brings the hero to the Self in all.

Categories: Joseph Campbell; Quotes of the day

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Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014 @ 8:24 PM EDT
Oct 28 2014

This is what happens when you're testing screen capture software and the cat steps on the F5 key while you're on the phone.

Twenty random quotes from The KGB Quote-A-Matic:

When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

The FCC came along and it said no more cigarette commercials on television... I'd much rather watch a pretty girl offer me a cigarette than an old lady ask if I'm constipated.
-Mark Russell

Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences.
-Midori Koto

I like the cut of your gibberish.

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

There a few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love. Well, love and a birth certificate.
-Barack Obama

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
-John Gardner

The climate is just like it always was. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter and brainless in Washington.
-Steve Goddard

A lot of people out there think Easy Rider had a happy ending.
-P.J. O'Rourke

I derive pleasure from the suffering of people who don't know what schadenfreude means.
-John Fugelsang

America: Race riots, fascist police, AND THE BEST DAMNED ICE CREAM IN THE WORLD! (Button, circa 1968)

People are born with legs, not roots.
-Buckminster Fuller

I enjoy dating married men because they don't want anything kinky, like breakfast.
-Joni Rodgers

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
-John Maynard Keynes

If I'd known what it would be like to have it all, I might have been willing to settle for less.
-Lily Tomlin

I cannot prove that electrons exist, but I believe fervently in their existence. And if you don't believe in them, I have a high voltage cattle prod I'm willing to apply as an argument on their behalf. Electrons speak for themselves.
-Seth Lloyd

Information is money, but data is squat.
-Angela Llama-Butler

I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.
-Robert G. Ingersoll

Loyalty to your country should never require you to lie about it.
-Joseph Sobran

When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.
-Lin Yutang

Categories: Quotes of the day

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If they mated...

Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014 @ 6:36 AM EDT
Oct 28 2014

An Ewok and Wilfred Brimley.

(Pixie, the small, insane, dog-like creature, was groomed yesterday.)

Categories: Animals; Dogs; KGB Family

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Quotes of the day: Bill Gates

Published Monday, October 27, 2014 @ 9:29 PM EDT
Oct 27 2014

William Henry "Bill" Gates III (b. October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor. Gates is the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time. (1987)

I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know.

If something is expensive to develop, and somebody's not going to get paid, it won't get developed. So you decide: Do you want software to be written, or not?

If you can't make it good, at least make it look good.

If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions they will be moved to act.

If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.

It's not manufacturers trying to rip anybody off or anything like that. There's nobody getting rich writing software that I know of. (1980)

Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record.

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.

Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.

Technology arms the bad guys with orders of magnitude more power. Not just bad guys. Crazy guys.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

The world is not flat and PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs.

There's a true schizophrenia where if you say to voters, you know, do you think the federal government spends too much money and they should spend less, they say yeah, absolutely. Then you name specific things, like Pell grants for students and they say, no, not that. How 'bout NIH, medical research funding? Nah, you really shouldn't cut that. And pretty soon you've proved that what the American public is against is arithmetic.

There's only one trick in software, and that is using a piece of software that's already been written. (1989)

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.

We make the future sustainable when we invest in the poor, not when we insist on their suffering.

We've done some good work, but all of these products become obsolete so fast... It will be some finite number of years, and I don't know the number- before our doom comes.

You have to have a certain realism that government is a pretty­ blunt instrument and without the constant attention of highly qualified people with the right metrics, it will fall into not doing things very well.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.


(October 28 is also the birthday of Evelyn Waugh.)

Categories: Bill Gates; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Sylvia Plath

Published Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 9:39 PM EDT
Oct 26 2014

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and short-story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College at the University of Cambridge, before receiving acclaim as a poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956; they lived together in the United States and then England, and had two children, Frieda and Nicholas. Plath suffered from depression for much of her adult life, and in 1963 she committed suicide. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man can see by starlight, if he takes the time.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I am made, crudely, for success.

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.

I desire the things which will destroy me in the end.

I talk to God, but the sky is empty.

If I didn't think, I'd be much happier; if I didn't have any sex organs, I wouldn't waver on the brink of nervous emotion and tears all the time.

If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell.

If they substituted the word 'Lust' for 'Love' in the popular songs it would come nearer the truth.

If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

Is there no way out of the mind?

Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.

Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.

Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.

So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state.

The abstract kills, the concrete saves.

The hardest thing is to live richly in the present without letting it be tainted out of fear for the future or regret for the past.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.

There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room.

There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.

They understood things of the spirit in Japan. They disemboweled themselves when anything went wrong.

What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.

When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn't want it, you cannot take it back. It's gone forever.

Why can't I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?

Why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and- cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life?


(October 27 is also the birthday of Erasmus and John Cleese.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Sylvia Plath

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Quotes of the day: Napoleon Hill

Published Saturday, October 25, 2014 @ 7:13 PM EDT
Oct 25 2014

Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883 - November 8, 1970) was an American author. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), had sold 20 million copies at the time of his death in 1970. Hill's works examine the power of personal beliefs and the role they play in personal success. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A goal is a dream with a deadline.

Action is the real measure of intelligence.

All achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea!

Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.

Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.

I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life, therefore, i demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and i here and now promise to render such action.

It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it- yourself project.

Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.

Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.

Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.

Resolve to throw off the influences of any unfortunate environment, and to build your own life to order.

Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement.

The greatest achievements of men, were at first, nothing but dreams of the minds of men who knew that dreams are the seedlings of all achievements. A burning desire, to be and to do, is the starting point, from which the dreamer must take off.

The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.

The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked.

There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.

Truly, thoughts are things, and their scope of operation is the world, itself.

Until you have formed the habit of looking for the good instead of the bad there is in others, you will be neither successful nor happy.

We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Categories: Napoleon Hill; Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day: Thomas Babington Macaulay

Published Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 11:58 PM EDT
Oct 24 2014

Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, PC (October 25, 1800 - December 28, 1859) was a British historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer; his books on British history were hailed as literary masterpieces. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.

A single breaker may recede; but the tide is evidently coming in.

American democracy must be a failure because it places the supreme authority in the hands of the poorest and most ignorant part of the society.

As civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines.

As freedom is the only safeguard of governments, so are order and moderation generally necessary to preserve freedom.

Every man who has seen the world knows that nothing is so useless as a general maxim.

Everybody's business is nobody's business.

Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular.

I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.

Institutions purely democratic must, sooner, or later, destroy liberty or civilization or both.

It is possible to be below flattery as well as above it.

It may be laid as a universal rule that a government which attempts more than it ought will perform less.

More sinners are cursed at not because we despise their sins but because we envy their success at sinning.

No man in the world acts up to his own standard of right.

Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.

People crushed by law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws.

Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.

Reform, that we may preserve.

The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.

The great cause of revolutions is this, that while nations move onward, constitutions stand still.

The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion.

The perfect lawgiver is a just temper between the mere man of theory, who can see nothing but general principles, and the mere man of business, who can see nothing but particular circumstances.

The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

The reluctant obedience of distant provinces generally costs more than it is worth.

There is only one cure for the evils which newly acquired freedom produces, and that cure is freedom.

We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.

We must judge of a form of government by it's general tendency, not by happy accidents.


(October 15 is also the birthday of Pablo Picasso.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Thomas Babington Macaulay

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Published Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 8:18 PM EDT
Oct 23 2014

A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.
-Arthur C. Clarke

A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future.
-Oliver Goldsmith

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
-John Barrymore

Beware of starting what you may later regret.
-Publilius Syrus

Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence.
-Will Henry

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.
-C.S. Lewis

I always look for a woman who has a tattoo. I see a woman with a tattoo, and I'm thinking, okay, here's a gal who's capable of making a decision she'll regret in the future.
-Richard Jeni

I bequeath all my property to my wife on the condition that she remarry immediately. Then there will be at least one man to regret my death.
-Heinrich Heine

I only regret getting caught. I don't regret anything else.
-Heidi Fleiss

I regret that, in our attempt to establish some standards, we didn't make them stick. We couldn't find a way to pass them on to another generation, really.
-Walter Cronkite

I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.
-J. Edgar Hoover

I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.
-D.H. Lawrence

I'm really glad that our young people missed the Depression, and missed the great big war. But I do regret that they missed the leaders that I knew. Leaders who told us when things were tough, and that we would have to sacrifice, and these difficulties might last awhile. They didn't tell us things were hard for us because we were different, or isolated, or special interests. They brought us together and they gave us a sense of national purpose.
-Ann Richards

If the chance ever comes to you to fall in love, grab it, every time. You might always live to regret it, but you won't find anything to beat it, and you won't know if it will come to you once more.
-Joseph Heller

In middle age we are apt to reach the horrifying conclusion that all sorrow, all pain, all passionate regret and loss and bitter disillusionment are self-made.
-Kathleen Norris

In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness.
-Sarah Orne Jewett

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.
-Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
-Arthur Miller

Never regret something that once made you smile.
-Amber Deckers

Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.
-L. Ron Hubbard

Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.
-Eleanor Hibbert

Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it's too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
-Oscar Wilde

Oh, Lord, it is not the sins I have committed that I regret, but those which I have had no opportunity to commit.
-Sheykh Ghalib

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for things we did not do that is inconsolable.
-Sydney J. Harris

Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.
-Mason Cooley

Regrets are illuminations come too late.
-Joseph Campbell

Some die because they feel everything, others because they feel nothing. Some are fools because they suffer no regrets, and others because they do.
-Baltasar Gracián

The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act; even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
-H.L. Mencken

The follies a man regrets most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity.
-Helen Rowland

The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret.
-Henri Frédéric Amiel

The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
-Tallulah Bankhead

To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development.
-Oscar Wilde

We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.
-Lucy Maud Montgomery

You may regret your silence once, but you will regret your words often.
-Ian Gabirol

Your children make it impossible to regret your past. They're its finest fruits. Sometimes the only ones.
-Anna Quindlen

Youth is a blunder; Manhood a struggle; Old Age a regret.
-Benjamin Disraeli


(October 24 is also the birthday of Moss Hart and Stephen Covey.)

Categories: Quotes of the day; Quotes on a topic; Regrets

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Quotes of the day: Michael Crichton

Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014 @ 7:12 PM EDT
Oct 22 2014

John Michael Crichton, MD (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American best-selling author, physician, producer, director, and screenwriter, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted into films. In 1994 Crichton became the only creative artist ever to have works simultaneously charting at No. 1 in US television, film, and book sales (with ER, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure, respectively). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there... And at the end of your life, your whole existence has the same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.

A man can see by starlight, if he takes the time.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

All major changes are like death. You can't see to the other side until you are there.

All your life people will tell you things. And most of the time, probably ninety-five percent of the time, what they'll tell you will be wrong.

Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results.

Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice.

Endless presentation of conflict may interfere with genuine issue resolution.

Friendships are nice. So is competence.

Geniuses never pay attention.

Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.

I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.

In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better.

In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.

It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern, scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period.

It's better to die laughing than to live each moment in fear.

Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet- or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.

Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. Its not sensible to listen to it.

Nobody smart knows what they want to do until they get into their twenties or thirties.

Science is as corruptible a human activity as any other.

The planet has survived everything, in its time. It will certainly survive us,

The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature- all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn't care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal's behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes exinct.

The romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago? When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

They didn't understand what they were doing. I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race. I hope it's not. We might get lucky.

To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth- that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric.

We need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told- and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question.

You know what's wrong with scientific power? It's a form of inherited wealth. And you know what assholes congenitally rich people are.

Categories: Michael Crichton; Quotes of the day

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