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"News is something someone somewhere doesn't want printed.  Everything else is advertising".

- Lord Northcliffe


It turns out that a tendency for entertaining rash, foolish or illogical ideas is not necessarily the result of a low IQ. ... As one researcher puts it: `The more intelligent someone is, the more disastrous the results of their stupidity'. ... If we want to avoid making similar mistakes in the future, everybody - especially the most intelligent and powerful - would do well to humbly acknowledge their own weaknesses. To quote Oscar Wilde: `There is no sin except stupidity'.

- New Scientist article


Fortean -

"Said Dr. Hastings H. Hart, of the Russell Sage Foundation, as reported in the newspapers, May 10, 1931:
"Morons for the most part can be the most useful citizens, and a great deal of the valuable work being done in the United States is being done by such mentally deficient persons."

"I now have a theory that our existence, as a whole, is an organism that is very old - a globular thing within a starry shell, afloat in a super-existence in which there may be countless other organisms - and that we, as cells in its composition, partake of, and are ruled by, its permeating senility. The theologians have recognized that the ideal is the imitation of God. If we be a part of such an organic thing, this thing is God to us, as I am God to the cells that compose me. When I see myself, and cats, and dogs losing irregularities of conduct, and approaching the irreproachable, with advancing age, I see that what is ennobling us is senility. I conclude that the virtues, the austerities, the proprieties are ideal in our existence, because they are imitations of the state of a whole existence, which is very old, good, and beyond reproach. The ideal state is meekness, or humility, or the semi-invalid state of the old. Year after year I am becoming nobler and nobler. If I can live to be decrepit enough, I shall be a saint."

"This is why it is so hard to learn anything. It is hard to overcome that which can not be altogether wrong with that which can not be altogether right. I look forward to the time when I shall refuse to learn another thing, having accumulated errors enough."

"Women don't do such things. They have their own deviltries."

"One can't learn much and also be comfortable. One can't learn much and let anybody else be comfortable."

"All scientists, philosophers, religionists, are today looking back, wondering what could have been the matter with their predecessors to permit them to believe what they did believe. Granted that there will be posterity, we shall be predecessors. Then what is it that is conventionally taught today that will in the future seem as imbecilic as to all present orthodoxies seem the vaporings of preceding systems?"

"I can conceive of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy, that is anything more than the proper thing to wear, for a while."

"I cannot accept that the products of minds are subject-matter for beliefs."

"If there is a universal mind, must it be sane?"

"We shall pick up an existence by its frogs.  Wise men have tried other ways.  They have tried to understand our state of being, by grasping at its stars, or its arts, or its economics.  But, if there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte.  One measures a circle, beginning anywhere."

"Some persons, who know nothing about it, must for ages go on piously believing in Sir Isaac Newton's doctrine.  People who go to fortune tellers and people who go to church are functioning conservatives."

- Charles Hoy Fort


"To create is to resist, to resist is to create."

- Stéphane Hessel (1917 - 2013)


"He may freely warn who neither fears to lose his life nor hopes for gold."

- Sa'di


"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

- Abraham Lincoln


"The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no body yet has thought about that which everyone sees."

"A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants."

- Arthur Schopenhauer


"With most people disbelief in a thing is founded on a blind belief in some other thing."

- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (98 - `Notebook L')


"I'm afraid that we must pay the price in scary thoughts if we wish to fracture the confines of our mental comfort."

- Stephen Jay Gould - p. 146 of `I Have Landed'


"There are no happy endings in history, only crisis points that pass."

- Isaac Asimov, in `The Gods Themselves'


"where no gods are spectres walk"

- Andrew Lang


"Human beings of all societies in all periods of history believe that their ideas on the nature of the real world are the most secure, and that their ideas on religion, ethics and justice are the most enlightened. Like us, they think that final knowledge is at last within reach. Like us, they pity the people in earlier ages for not knowing the true facts. Unfailingly, human beings pity their ancestors for being so ignorant and forget that their descendants will pity them for the same reason."

- Edward Harrison - `The Uncertainty of Knowledge' 1987


"People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"When a Chinese bank fails, all the officers have their heads cut off and flung into a corner with the assets. It's now 500 years since there was a bank failure in that country."

- The Pioneer (Allahabad, India) 2 March 1876.


"Either man is obsolete or war is. War is the ultimate tool of politics.  Political leaders look out only for their own side.  Politicians are always realistically maneuvering for the next election.  They are obsolete as fundamental problem-solvers."

- R. Buckminster Fuller

"Never before in all history have the inequities and the momentums of unthinking money-power been more glaringly evident to so vastly large a number of now literate, competent, and constructively thinking all-around-the world humans.

There's a soon-to-occur critical-mass moment when the intuition of the responsibly inspired majority of humanity, in contradistinction to the angered Luddites and avenging Robin Hoods, faced with comprehensive functional discontinuity of nationally contained techno-economic systems, will call for, and accomplish, a world-around reorientation of our planetary affairs."

- R. Buckminster Fuller, `Grunch of Giants' p. 89

"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."

- Richard Buckminster Fuller
`The New York Magazine Environmental Teach-In' by Elizabeth Barlow in New York Magazine (30 March 1970), p. 30

"Only the free-wheeling artist-explorer, non-academic, scientist-philosopher, mechanic, economist-poet who has never waited for patron-starting and accrediting of his co-ordinate capabilities holds the prime initiative today."
- R. Buckminster Fuller


"I am not an enemy of funding systems ... But every bank of discount, every bank by which interest is to be paid or profits of any kind made by the deponent, is downright corruption.  It is taxing the public for the benefit and profit of individuals; it is worse than the old tenor, continental currency, or any other paper money..."

- John Adams - letter to Benjamin Rush 9 Feb. 1811


"I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States.  I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country.  When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank."

- President Jackson, February 1834 - to the Philadelphia Committee


"I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything ..."

- T.H. Huxley


"We can describe what happens quite accurately and we think we understand. But really we do not. The invisible influences of gravitation and electromagnetic fields remain magic; describable, but nevertheless implacable, non-human, alien, magic."

- B.K Ridley - in `Time, Space & Things'


Quotes Dealing with Scientific Methodology

"You should never express yourself more clearly than you can think."

- Niels Bohr

- "Bohr was inconsistent, unclear, willfully obscure and right. Einstein was consistent, clear, down-to-earth and wrong."

- John Bell to Graham Farmelo

- "Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game."

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood"

- Karl Popper


"Can we count on conventional science always choosing the incorrect alternative between two possibilities?
I would vote yes, because the important problems usually require a change in paradigm, which is forbidden to conventional science"

- Halton Arp


"The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting -- because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand.

The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not. Science is a process of exploring, which is always partial. We explore, and we find out things that we understand. We find out things we thought we understood were wrong. That's how it makes progress."

- Freeman Dyson


"If a theory is complicated, its wrong."

"Any other situation in quantum mechanics, it turns out, can be explained by saying, `You remember the case of the experiment with the two holes?  It's the same thing.'"
- in `The Character of Physical Law' page 130

"One does not, by knowing all the physical laws as we know them today, immediately obtain an understanding of anything much."
- in `Quantum Mechanics'

"Authority may be a hint as to what the truth is, but is not the source of information.  As long as it's possible, we should disregard authority whenever the observations disagree with it."

"Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion"

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." - in `Cargo Cult Science'

"I believe that one of the greatest dangers to modern society is the possible resurgence and expansion of the ideas of thought control ... I think that one of the greatest dangers is that this shall increase until it encompasses all of the world." - address to the Galileo Symposium, Italy, 1964

"Now the freedom to doubt, which is absolutely essential for the development of the sciences, was born from a struggle with the constituted authorities of the time who had a solution to every problem, namely the church." - address to the Galileo Symposium, Italy, 1964

"I should hope that ... governments ought not to be empowered to decide the validity of scientific theories, that that is a ridiculous thing for them to try to do; that they are not to decide the various descriptions of history or of economic theory or of philosophy." - address to the Galileo Symposium, Italy, 1964

"The lesson you learn as you grow older in physics is that what we can do is a very small fraction of what there is.  Our theories are really very limited." - 1979 Omni interview

"The next great awakening of human intellect may well produce a method of understanding the qualitative content of equations.  Today we cannot.  Today we cannot see that the waterflow equations contain such things as the barber pole structure of turbulence that one sees between rotating cylinders.  Today we cannot see whether Schrödinger's equation contains frogs, musical composers, or morality - or whether it does not."
- in `The Feynman Lectures on Physics' Vol. II

- Richard P. Feynman


"If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation, it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J.B.S. Haldane, 1951 (apoc)


"The standard model does have one great weakness: its dependence on a large number of free parameters. Thus, while a great triumph, it was immediately clear to everyone involved that it could not be taken as a fundamental theory. No theory with twenty parameters that can be freely chosen can be considered to be a fundamental theory of anything. What is clearly missing are some additional principles that set the values of these parameters. Any proposals for such principles must confront the puzzles associated with the improbabilities of their actual values."

- Lee Smolin - p 50 `The Life of the Cosmos' 1997


"Or one could put it like this: In a reasonable theory there are no dimensionless numbers whose values are only empirically determinable."

- Albert Einstein - letter to Rosenthal-Schneider 13 Oct. 1945


"If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative."

- Arthur C. Clarke


"Nobody who totally rejects anecdotal evidence can ever ethically serve on a jury."

(said to be from an academic source)


"Any weapon you don't know how to use belongs to your enemy."

- Cory Doctorow (http://www.tor.com/stories/2008/08/weak-and-strange)


"Be who you are and say what you think, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind, don't matter!"

- Theodor Seuss Geisel [Dr. Seuss]


"Your men of science dogmatise like divines, not only on things they have not seen, but on things they refuse to see; and your divines are half of them afraid of Satan, and the other half of science."

- Percy Greg - `Across the Zodiac'


"All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher."

- Lucretius (apoc)


"All professions are conspiracies against the laity"

- George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor's Dilemma (1911) act 1


"The reason we have conspiracy theories is that sometimes governments and organisations do conspire"

- John Naughton



"History will judge neo-Darwinism a minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology."

- Lynn Margulis

"The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic (gradual) evolution accomplishing a major morphological transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic school can be valid"

- Steven M Stanley

"in brief, classical Darwinism is no longer considered valid by qualified biologists"

- Norman Macbeth

"Techniques for measuring the amount of genetic variation in natural populations have been available only for the past fifteen years. Their first and primary result came as a surprise to many geneticists: most populations maintain too much variation to support the usual claim that all genes are scrutinized by natural selection"

- Stephen Jay Gould in `Chance Riches'


"The man who speaks of the enemy - Is the enemy himself."

- Bertolt Brecht - from a series of poems and satires about the German Army, written just before the start of the 2nd World War.

"What is the crime of robbing a bank compared with the crime of founding one?"

- Bertold Brecht


"I have always heard it said that peace brings riches; riches bring pride; pride brings anger; anger brings war; war brings poverty; poverty brings humanity; humanity brings peace; peace, as I have said, brings riches, and so the world's affairs go round"

- Luigi da Porto  (Italian historian)


"I think the essence of being an economist has to do with learning to turn off all your emotions and say,'Let's think abstractly about adoption or crime.' We have a name for people who are innately really good at this. They're psychopaths, people who are incapable of feeling guilt, or remorse, or any emotional reaction. So there's a good reason, I guess, why one looks with a degree of nervousness at people who are really good at this activity [economics]."

- Paul Romer, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1983


"The world is not dying, it is being killed.
And those that are killing it have names and addresses."

- Utah Phillips


"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

- George Washington


"There is one thing in the world more wicked than the desire to command, and that is the will to obey."

- W. K. Clifford


"There is no such thing as chance; and what seems to us merest accident, springs from the deepest source of destiny"

- Friedrich Schiller 1759 - 1805


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

- Martin Luther King Jr.


"I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge."

- Igor Stravinsky


"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it."

"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog."

- Mark Twain


"Let us thank God for imparting to we poor weak mortals the inestimable blessing of vanity"

- Wm Makepeace Thackeray


"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

- Eugene Victor Debs. often quoted by Kurt Vonnegut

"The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected."

- Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007


"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great country. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our Homeland"

- Adolf Hitler (1933)

" ... the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil ... therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they (the masses) more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big."

- Adolph Hitler. Mein Kampf, Vol.1, Ch. 10, 1924 tr. Ralph Manheim, 1943


"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross"

- Sinclair Lewis


"Anybody in Washington who isn't paranoid must be crazy"

- H Kissinger


"We're talking about respectable people, here, not honest or kind or honorable ones. They'll do whatever it takes to keep looking respectable."

- Paula R. Stiles


"Integrity has no need of rules"

- Albert Camus (1913-1960)


"He who fights with monsters, should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.  And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."

- Friedrich Nietzsche


"From none but self expect applause:
He noblest lives and noblest dies
Who makes and keeps his self-made laws."

- Richard Francis Burton - (1821-1890) English explorer, linguist, author, and soldier


"There is no calamity greater than lavish desires, no greater guilt than discontentment and no greater disaster than greed."

- Lao Tzu


"Science and philosophy ... should be left to the frigid and impersonal investigator for they offer two equally tragic alternatives to the man of feeling and action; despair, if he fail in his quest, and terrors unutterable and unimaginable if he succeed."

- H. P. Lovecraft


"I went to a gala event in Washington. The room was full of politicians and crooks. But I repeat myself."

- Mark Twain


"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality"

- Bishop Desmond Tutu


"I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong" ... [because] ... "no Viet Cong ever called me nigger"

- Muhammad Ali


"An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than for illumination."

"He missed an invaluable opportunity to hold his tongue."

"Life's more amusing than we thought."

- Andrew Lang


"There is no more common error than to assume that, because prolonged and accurate mathematical calculations have been made, the application of the result to some fact of nature is absolutely certain."

- A. N. Whitehead


"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."

- quoted by Admiral Rickover, sometimes attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt


"It is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of its own reason."

- Mary Wollstonecraft


"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

- Rudyard Kipling


"Money is a sign of poverty" - a saying from `The Culture' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture).
I.e. tokens such as "cash" or "wealth" are only useful in societies suffering from shortage and scarcities of necessities.

- author Iain M. Banks


"The man who craves disciples and wants followers is always more or less of a charlatan. The man of genuine worth and insight wants to be himself; and he wants others to be themselves, also."

- Elbert Hubbard - (1856-1915)


"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

- Howard Zinn, US historian - 1993


"Until we go through it ourselves, until our people cower in the shelters of New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere while the buildings collapse overhead and burst into flames, and dead bodies hurtle about and, when it is over for the day or the night, emerge in the rubble to find some of their dear ones mangled, their homes gone, their hospitals, churches, schools demolished - only after that gruesome experience will we realize what we are inflicting on the people of Indochina..."

- William Shirer - author 1973


"I hated my part in the charade of murder and horror. My efforts were contributing to the deaths, to the burning alive of children - especially the children. The photographs of young Vietnamese children burned by napalm destroyed me."

- Ralph McGehee former CIA intelligence analyst


"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."

- Harry S. Truman


"The future's already here. It's just not evenly distributed yet."

- William Gibson


"Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people"

- (August 1765) John Adams


"In a time of change, it is learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves well equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."

- Eric Hoffer


"An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me...It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride and superiority. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too."

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied..."The one I feed."


"In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes."

- Thomas Paine


"If I owe Smith ten dollars and God forgives me, that doesn't pay Smith."

"I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot."

"Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself."

"Insolence is not logic; epithets are the arguments of malice."

"It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions."

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."

"We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death."

"Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself."

"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."

"It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense."

"In a world of superstition, reason is blasphemy"

"In a world of cruelty, sympathy is a crime, and in a world of lies, truth is blasphemy."

- Robert Green Ingersoll


"... free enterprise, a term that refers, in practice, to a system of public subsidy and private profit, with massive government intervention in the economy to maintain a welfare state for the rich."

- Noam Chomsky


"If we look at the black record of mass murder, exploitation, and tyranny levied on society by governments over the ages, we need not be loath to abandon the Leviathan State and ... try freedom.

- Murray Rothbard,


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

- Benjamin Franklin -

"Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic."

-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn


"When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right."

- Eugene V. Debs


"It only takes 30 years for a liberal to turn into a conservative, without changing a single idea".

- Robert Anton Wilson (attributed)


"those who trample on the helpless are disposed to cringe to the powerful"

"The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners."

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

- Thomas B. Macaulay


"To let good die inside us, while we yet live; that's a greater loss than death itself"

- Norman Cuisins (translated from the Portuguese)


"The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science or in literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government."

"Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own."

"The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."

- Milton Friedman


"The enjoyment of power inevitably corrupts the judgment of reason, and perverts its liberty."

- Immanuel Kant - (1724-1804) German philosopher Source: Perpetual Peace, 1795


"For in a Republic, who is 'the country?' Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."

- Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)


"Whenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units."

- Carl Gustav Jung - (1875-1961) Source: The Undiscovered Self, 1957


"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience, therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950


"If the author of the Declaration of Independence were to utter such a sentiment today, the Post Office Department could exclude him from the mail, grand juries could indict him for sedition and criminal syndicalism, legislative committees could seize his private papers ... and United States Senators would be clamoring for his deportation that he... should be sent back to live with the rest of the terrorists"

- Frank I. Cobb


"An unjust king asked a devotee what kind of worship is best? He replied: "For thee the best is to sleep one half of the day so as not to injure the people for a while."

- Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi


"Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing."

- Bernard Baruch


"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."

- Edward Abbey


"Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding."

"What makes vanity so insufferable to us, is that it hurts our own."

- Francois de La Rochefoucauld


"Those wanting to improve democracy in their countries should not wait for permission."

- Bulent Ecevit


"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant."

"Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him."

- Charles DeGaulle


"the secret services are more than usually prone to mislead, if only because they are remote from the moderating requirements of reality."

- Chapman Pincher, writing of MI5 & MI6 in p. 231 of `Too Secret Too Long' - 1984


"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.  This expresses my idea of democracy." - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)


"Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens."

- Alastair Farrugia


"In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty."

- Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi


"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible"

"Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear"

- Bertrand Russell


"When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart." (Journals, 1824)

"Fear always springs from ignorance"

"God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please; you can never have both."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Political history is largely an account of mass violence and of the expenditure of vast resources to cope with mythical fears and hopes"

- Murray Edelman


"Democracy don't rule the world, You'd better get that in your head; This world is ruled by violence, But I guess that's better left unsaid."

- Bob Dylan


"You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity."

- Roman Polanski


"We're not a democracy. It's a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we're a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy."

- Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General


"Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy"

- John Pierpont Morgan


"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 - (letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw - (Macmillan, 1950, NY) -

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt


"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

- Edmund Burke


"our capitulation to the market forces that claim to drive it (the very forces that turn fields into parking lots and forests into paper towels)

"The biggest and most notorious incidents of human sacrifice - the public killings of ancient Rome, the bonfires of the Spanish Inquisition, the Aztec heart-extractions, the Nazi death camps - were all the work of highly civilized folk. So-called savages have done no worse."

"Even the most pessimistic Victorian might have been surprised to learn that the 20th century would slaughter more than 100 million people in its wars - about half the entire population of the world in Roman times."

"About half the adult population is now on antidepressants, and many of those who aren't still soak them up in drinking water from the Great Lakes and the Thames."

"The species that has lately brought the Earth atomic war and nuclear waste, DDT, thalidomide, mad cow disease, Chernobyl, and the Bhopal chemical spill must recognize itself for what it is: clever but seldom wise."

- Ronald Wright `A slow death by progress'


"Both the genuinely pious and the genuinely schizophrenic can claim to speak the thoughts of the divine"

- Lee Smolin - `The Life of the Cosmos'


"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

"Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity."

- Lord Acton - [John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton] (1834-1902), First Baron Acton of Aldenham - Source: Letter, 23 January 1861 -

"The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist"

- Winston Churchill


"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!"

- Alexander Hamilton


"A man can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days"

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free"

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)


"Although to penetrate into the intimate mysteries of nature and thence to learn the true causes of phenomena is not allowed to us, nevertheless it can happen that a certain fictive hypothesis may suffice for explaining many phenomena."

- Leonhard Euler, 1748


"Women do not need to be wise, it is enough that they be restrained."

- Opus Dei founder José Maria Escrivá (we could hope he was being sarcastic but doubt it)


"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."

"If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed."

- Mark Twain


"Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it"

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty" - George Bernard Shaw


"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

- Carrie Fisher


"All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher"

- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)


"Who with a little cannot be content, endures an everlasting punishment."

- Robert Herrick


"Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures."

- Han Suyin


"In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it."

"Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep."

- Dr. Samuel Johnson


"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable."

- JK Galbraith


"Ignorance is not a strategy for sustainable survival"

- Daniel Barenboim


"some things have to be believed to be seen."

- Bertrand Russell


"we should be careful not to make ourselves into something worse in the effort to become something better." - Adam Keiper


"Can we truly expect that those who aim to exploit us can be trusted to educate us?"

- Eric Schaub


"Better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied"

- John Stuart Mill


"Knowledge is not only an end in itself, but the only satisfactory means of controlling our further evolution."

- Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)


"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."

- John Lennon


"We want decent justice"

- Malcolm X


"The choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness and for the great bulk of mankind, happiness is better."

"Things have reached such a state of affairs that the first duty of every intelligent person is to pay attention to the obvious."

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them"

"At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

- George Orwell


"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."

- Giordano Bruno: (1548-1600)


"Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless.  There is no intelligence where there is no need of change."

- HG Wells:  (`The Time Machine ')


"Seek out the company of those who are searching for the truth. But avoid at all cost those who claim to have found it!"

- Anon


"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

- Voltaire


"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties"

- James Madison


"We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology ..."

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring"

"In physics, as in much of all science, there are no permanent truths; there is a set of approximations, getting closer and closer, and people must always be ready to revise what has been in the past thought to be the absolute gospel truth."

- Carl Sagan


"Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general."

- Gottfried Leibniz, 1670


"The task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what no body yet has thought about that which everyone sees. ... But life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth."

- Arthur Schopenhauer, 1818


"The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ... And here we will have the science to study that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has. ... That among entities there must be some cause which moves and combines things. ... There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity."

- Aristotle, 340BC


"Behind every great fortune is a crime."

- Balzak


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adopt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw


"the usual hierarchical structures reward allegiance, conformity and technical mastery of the doctrines, elevate the interests of the powerful, and discourage dissent."

- N J Wildberger - School of Maths UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia


"Society prepares the crime; the criminal commits it"

"If you can impress any man with an absorbing conviction of the supreme importance of some moral or religious doctrine, if you can make him believe that those who reject that doctrine are doomed to eternal perdition; if you then give that man power, and by means of his ignorance blind him to the ulterior consequences of his own act, he will infallibly persecute those who deny his doctrine"

- Henry Thomas Buckle


"What lies hid is unknown, and there is no desire for the unknown."

- Ovid


"If you want to get laid, go to college, but if you want an education, go to the library."

- Frank Zappa


"In the ant's house, the dew is a flood"

- Old Turkish Proverb.


"I'd prefer poverty in a democracy to wealth in a tyranny"

- Democritus


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

- Bertrand Russell


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."

- Charles Darwin


"We are certainly not at the end of science. Most probably we are just at the beginning!"

- Halton Arp - `Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science' p. 249 isbn 0-968368-90-5


"We know how to use [quantum mechanics] and how to apply it to problems; and so we have learned to live with the fact that nobody can understand it."

- Murray Gell-Mann


In Mein Kampf, in his speeches and in his governmental policies Adolf Hitler frequently exploited religion and religious symbols:

"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people."

- Adolf Hitler speech, April 26, 1933, during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant.


Amasis king of Egypt

And he answered them thus: "They who have bows stretch them at such time as they wish to use them, and when they have finished using them they loose them again; for if they were stretched tight always they would break, so that the men would not be able to use them when they needed them. So also is the state of man: if he should always be in earnest and not relax himself for sport at the due time, he would either go mad or be struck with stupor before he was aware; and knowing this well, I distribute a portion of the time to each of the two ways of living."


"There is nothing so secret that shall not be brought to Light"

- Thomas Burnet


"What constitutes proof in one generation is not the same thing as proof in another."

- Fred Hoyle (1915-2001)

"Together with disease, the next ice age ranks as the biggest danger to which we as individuals are exposed. The next ice age is not specific problem of the distant future. The causative agent, the strike of a giant meteorite, could happen at any time.

The risk of the next ice age is not just the biggest of the risks that we run. It is a risk that would hopelessly compromise the future. Besides wiping out a considerable fraction of those now alive, it would leave a wan, grey future from which the survivors and their descendants could do nothing to escape. It would be a condition that might last 50,000 years or more, a future in which the prospects for mankind would be much less favourable than they are today. This is why our modern generation must take action to avoid catastrophe, an ultimate catastrophe besides which the problems that concern people, media and governments from day to day are quite trivial."

- Sir Fred Hoyle - `ICE, the Ultimate Human Catastrophe' (pg. 75).


"From the fact that our rejection of some [judgements] is grounded on our acceptance of others it does not follow that those we accept are true."

- A J Ayer


"Discourses on humility are a source of pride in the vain and of humility in the humble. So those on scepticism cause believers to affirm. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, few doubtingly of scepticism. "

- Blaise Pascal

- "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office."

- Aesop


"Even paranoids have enemies"

- `Assassin' - by Alison Sinclair


"What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."

- Wittgenstein


"Mature scientific progress is not just a succession of revolutions which tear up old theories to make room for new ones. If that were true then the only thing about our current theories that we could be sure about is their incorrectness. Eventually, they will all be shown to be wrong."

- John D Barrow - `The Constants of Nature'


"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

"The increasing distance of the physical world picture from the world of the senses means nothing but a progressive approach to the real world."

- Max Planck


"God made man; and man, not to be outdone, made war."

- Jason Gould - `The Seven Wonders of the Modern World'


Clarke likes to quote the first Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru:

"Politics and religion are obsolete; the time has come for science and spirituality. I regard that as my guiding light," he says.


"If our brains were simple enough to understand, he had once heard, we wouldn't be clever enough to understand them."

- Chris Amies - `The Figure in the Carpet'


"It's pretty easy to fly under the radar of people with no radar to speak of"

- Suzy McKee Charnas


"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

- Steven Weinberg


"Doubt comes in at the window when inquiry is denied at the door."

- Benjamin Jowett


"precision and accuracy are not the same thing."

- Christopher Rowe `The Voluntary State' -

"I'm beginning to realize people care more about appearing wise than taking wise action"

- Charlie Anders


"In Germany, first they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I did not speak out because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."

- Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984)


"psychologists just get drunk, but psychiatrists get drunk and break things."

- Roger Zelazny `King Solomon's Ring'


"Man's religion and metaphysics are the voice of his glands"

- `The Screwfly Solution' by James Tiptree, Jr.


"Words are like leaves, where they most abound, beneath, little fruit or sense is found."

- Pope


"Naïveté is curable. Stupid is forever."

- `Freeing the Angels' by Pat Cadigan and Chris Fowler


"If we had never been molested by alarms at celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by the misgiving that death somehow affects us, nor by neglect of the proper limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need to study"

"The just person enjoys the greatest peace of mind, while the unjust is full of the utmost disquietude."

"It is impossible for the person who secretly violates any article of the social compact to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for right on to the end of his life he is never sure he will not be detected."

- Epicurus - `The Principal Doctrines'


"Act like a dumbshit and they'll treat you like an equal"

- C of the SG


"Some of the magistrates are ignorant, and some are obstinate"

- Telford - 1789


"The news media is an arm of the American state"

- `The Final Addiction' - Richard Condon


"Don't believe anything - until it's officially denied"

"Whoever opined, `Money can't buy you happiness', obviously had far too much of the stuff."

"Folks b'lief the world is built so an' tellin'em it ain't so caves the roofs on their heads 'n'maybe yours"

"All revolutions are the sheerest fantasy until they happen: then they become historical inevitabilities"

"An abyss cannot be crossed in two steps"

"Never met a quack whom I didn't half suspect of plotting to do me in as expensively as he could contrive."

- David Mitchell (`Cloud Atlas')


"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."

- Seneca

"No matter how many of us you kill, you will never kill your successor"

- Seneca, to Nero


Lysias, says Plutarch, wrote a defence for a man who was to be tried before one of the Athenian tribunals. Long before the defendant had learned the speech by heart, he became so much dissatisfied with it that he went in great distress to the author. "I was delighted with your speech the first time I read it; but 1 liked it less the second time, and still less the third time; and now it seems to me to be no defence at all."

"My good friend," says Lysias, "you quite forget that the judges are to hear it only once."

- Macaulay


"Follow the dirt to the money, follow the money to the power"

- journalist's creed - Alan Whicker


"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant."

- Quintus Horatius Flaccus ( `Horace' )


"Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?"

- Confucius - `The Analects'


"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

- William Pitt (1759-1806)

See Marcus.txt


"Greeks had for a long time believed that monarchy was a sign of barbarity"



"Criticism is camouflaged autobiography"

- John Carey - 'What Good are the Arts?'


"... those masters of whom we know nothing and to whom we owe everything"

(re: d' Alembert)

"But nothing is so easy to ignore as something that does not yield freely to understanding"

"As Hans Ludendorff once pointed out, it is an unsound approach to Maya astronomy to start from preconceived convictions about what the Maya could have known and what they could not possibly have known: one should, instead, draw conclusions only from the data as given in the inscriptions and codices. That this had to be stressed explicitly reveals the steady decline of scientific ethics."

- Profs. Giorgio De Santillana & Hertha Von Dechend in `Hamlet's Mill': an Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time'
(Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, 1977)


"Democracy is nothing, if not universal"

- Jack Straw - 15 May 2005 (BBC News interview)


"This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears: he is a protector"

"A tyrant ... is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader." - (`The Republic' http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.2.i.html)

"Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens"

- Plato


"The unexamined life is not worth living."

- Socrates - Greek philosopher, Athens (469 BC - 399 BC)


"You cannot make a state out of men who are all alike" Bk. II Ch. 2

"There are two impulses which more than all others cause human beings to love and care for each other: `this is my own', and `this I love'." Bk. II Ch. 4

"it is more necessary to equalize appetites than property." Bk. II Ch. 7

"there is more credit in slaying a tyrant than slaying a thief" Bk. II Ch. 7

"the political authority: whenever it is constituted on a basis of equality and similarity between citizens, these claim the right to take it in turns to exercise authority, to govern.

* This principle is very old but in earlier times it was applied in a natural and proper mannner. Men thought it their duty each to take a turn at public service ... But nowadays there is more to be gained out of public services and offices; so instead of being content to take their turn, men want to be continually in office." Bk. III Ch. 6

"No frills in education, please; only what the nation needs" - quoting Euripides on `education of rulers' Bk. III Ch. 4

"It is the diner not the cook who pronounces upon the merits of the dinner" Bk II Ch. 2

"But the good men did not remain good; they began to make a profit out of that which was the common property of all" Bk. III Ch. 15

"Where laws do not rule, there is no constitution" Bk. IV, Ch. 4

"Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers."

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

- Aristotle


"curing a disease is no excuse for causing it."




- Mark Twain - `Following the Equator'


"It is doubtful if there are any facts about which no one could be mistaken" - A. J. Ayer


"Mr. Wallace [A.R. Wallace] has asserted that, 'whenever the scientific men of any age have denied, on a priori grounds, the facts of investigation, they have always been wrong'. He adds that Galileo, Harvey, Jenner, Franklin, Young, and Arago, when he 'wanted even to discuss the subject of the electric telegraph,' were 'vehemently opposed by their scientific contemporaries,' 'laughed at as dreamers,' 'ridiculed,' and so on, like the early observers of palæolithic axes, and similar prehistoric remains."

- Andrew Lang - `Cock Lane and Common-Sense'


"If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual."

"The more God - the more devil; the more flesh - the more worms; the more property - the more anxiety; the more control - the more that needs control."

- Frank Herbert


"There is, especially in the American media, a deep belief that insincerity is better than no sincerity at all."

"One reason to be a decided antiracist is the plain fact that 'race' is a construct with no scientific validity. DNA can tell you who you are, but not what you are."

"A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realisation that you can't make old friends."

"It is only those who hope to transform human beings who end up by burning them, like the waste product of a failed experiment."

"This has always been the central absurdity of 'moral', as opposed to 'political' censorship: If the stuff does indeed have a tendency to deprave and corrupt, why then the most depraved and corrupt person must be the censor who keeps a vigilant eye on it."

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"

- Christopher Hitchens


"Every time that a social phenomenon is directly explained by a psychological, we may be sure that explanation is false. ... The determining cause of a social fact should be sought among the social facts preceeding it and not among the states of individual consciousness."

- Emile Durkeim

[example - see "War and waffle"]


"Philosophy is like this: eternally unsettled and only occasionally disturbed by new facts."

"1984, when Charles Sibley amd Jon Ahlquist at Yale found that chimpanzee DNA was more like human DNA than it was like gorilla DNA."

"In the Mesolithic (around 50,000 years ago) human brains averaged 1,468 cc (in females) and 1,567 cc (in males). Today the numbers have fallen to 1,210 cc and 1,248 cc, and, even allowing for some reduction in body weight, this seems to be a steep decline." [p. 35]

"A cuckoo migrates to Africa and back, sings its song and mates with one of its own species without as a chick ever seeing either a parent or a sibling." [p. 49]

"Fodor's conclusion (in `The Mind Doesm't Work That Way 2001) was to remind scientists just how much ignorance they had discovered: they had merely thrown some light on how much dark there was" [p. 66]

"Professors are inclined to attribute the intelligence of their children to nature, and the intelligence of their students to nurture"

- Roger Masters [p. 69]

- Matt Ridley - `Nature Via Nurture' - 2003 ISBN 1-84115-745-7


"More than petards, or stilettos, therefore, words - uncontrolled words, circulating freely, underground, rebelliously, not gotten up in dress uniforms, uncertified - frighten tyrants."

- Ryszard Kapuscinski - in `SHAH OF SHAHS'


"I believe that major revolutions are required in our physical understanding. Until those revolutions have come to pass, it is in my view, greatly optimistic to expect that much real progress can be made in understanding the actual nature of mental processes," p. 21

"In my opinion, quantum theory is incomplete." p. 1011

"Our road to the understanding of the nature of the real world is still a long way from its goal. Perhaps this goal will never be reached, or perhaps there will eventually emerge some ultimate theory, in terms of which what we call `reality' can in principle be understood. If so, the nature of that theory must differ enormously from what we have seen in physical theories so far." p. 1033

- Roger Penrose - `The Road to Reality' 2004 ISBN 0-224-04447-8


"Reality is not a quality you can test with litmus paper."

- Stephen Hawking


"Eventually they [our current theories] will all be shown to be wrong."

- John D. Barrows p.58 `The Constants of Nature'


"There is something degrading in offering rewards for intellectual exertion, and that societies or academies, or even kings and emperors, should mingle in the matter does not remove the degradation."

(he refused not only a knighthood but the presidency of the royal society [UK])
- Faraday


"I will prove, that all grapes are sour except those that I eat."

- Alfred de Musset (1810 - 1857). The Story of a White Blackbird.


"99 of 100 polar bears will not be dangerous. Unfortunately, they do not appear in numerical order."

- apocryphal, of an arctic explorer


"If I have offended anybody with any of my language, all I can say is "tough titty." - Dolly Parton
(a hero)


"Work! for the night is coming, Night, when man's work is done." - Annie Louisa Walker (1836-1907)


"The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything."

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all"

- Oscar Wilde


"It seems also that when we commence to feel the seriousness of any subject we partly lose our faculty of dealing with it."

- Charles Hinton


"A physicist is a mathematician with a feeling for reality"

- Norman Packard


"No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical."

"The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."

"Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think."

"Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."

"Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question."

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field."

"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true."

Niels Bohr


"Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers."

"The great strength of science is that it is rooted in actual experience. The great weakness of contemporary science is that it admits only certain types of experience as legitimate."

- David Bohm, Nobel laureate


"To excel in physics is to embrace doubt"

- Brian Greene - `The Fabric of the Cosmos'



"Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation."
`My Credo' - August 1932

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."

"All our lauded technological progress -- our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal"

"The development during the present century is characterized by two theoretical systems essentially independent of each other: the theory of relativity and the quantum theory. The two systems do not directly contradict each other; but they seem little adapted to fusion into one unified theory. For the time being we have to admit that we do not possess any general theoretical basis for physics which can be regarded as its logical foundation."

"All these 50 years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, "What are light quanta?" Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken." - 1954

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person."

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

"It is the theory that decides what we can observe."

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

"Ever since the mathematicians got ahold of relativity, I find that even I don't understand it."

"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

"Peace cannot be kept by force."

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"In a reasonable theory there are no dimensionless numbers whose values are only empirically determinable."

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

"Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as 'conceptual necessities,' etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors."

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, science 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 an ignorable 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."

"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. ... We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive." - 1954

- Albert Einstein



"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

- Arthur C. Clarke


"Something is seen, but it is not known what"

- Carl Jung (on UFOs? or Spirits?)


"There is an unbelief which grows out of ignorance, as well as a scepticism which is born of intelligence. The people nearest to the past are not always those who are best informed concerning the past"

- Ignatius Donnelly


"The materialist fundamentalists are funnier than the Christian fundamentalists, because they think they're rational! ...They're never skeptical about anything except the things they have a prejudice against. None of them ever says anything skeptical about the AMA, or about anything in establishment science or any entrenched dogma. They're only skeptical about new ideas that frighten them."

- Robert Anton Wilson


"Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable."

- Terence McKenna


"The only difference between a human and a stone rolling down-hill is that the human thinks it's in charge." - Spinoza (approx.)


"Life is a great surprise, I don't see why death should not be an even greater one."

- Vladimir Nabokov



"[T]he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

- H.L. Mencken (1918)


"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government"

"The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind"

"In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes."

- Tom Paine


"Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace"

- Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, 1890-1969


Thomas Jefferson:

John F. Kennedy once said to a assembled group of scholars in the White House, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Jefferson quotes

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty."

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

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

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

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

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."

"Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."

"A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!"

- Thomas Jefferson


"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw


"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man ... which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."

- G Gordon Liddy


"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)


Foreign aid - "taxing poor people in rich countries for the benefit of rich people in poor countries"

- Bernard Rosenberg


"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

- Marcus Tulius Cicero 55 BC


"Most people would rather opine a lie and "fit in" than profess the truth and be excluded. Just as the majority would rather be lied to and made comfortable than be told the truth and made uncomfortable.

Liars have held humanity in the throes of illusion for countless centuries. Governmental, religious, and academic officialdom can and do transform basically decent human beings into unconscious automatons bereft of free will.

They do this successfully because a majority of humans are terrified to assume personal responsibility."

- Michael Godspeed


"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

-P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian


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

- Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


"In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other."

- Voltaire (1764)


"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!" - Pericles (430 B.C.)


"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."

"There is no distinctly Native American criminal class ... save Congress."

"My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies"

- Mark Twain


"What this country needs are more unemployed politicians." - Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)


"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us"

- Tolstoy


"What made Mexico so evil back in the 1840s, well before our Civil War, is that slavery was illegal there. Remember the Alamo?"

"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops"

- Kurt Vonnegut


"When the oppressed win freedom they are as oppressive as their former masters"

- Bertrand Russell


"That we make a stand upon the Ancient Way, and then looke about us, and discover, what is the straight, and right way, and so to walke in it."

( `Civil and Moral Essays' - Chap. `Of Innovations')

"For nothing doth more hurt in a State, then that Cunning Men passe for Wise"

- Lord Verulam (Francis Bacon)


"I do believe, though I have found them not, that there may be Words which are things"

- Byron - `Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'



"If you lie and then tell the truth, the truth will be considered a lie." - Source: Sumerian

"Goodness speaks in a whisper, evil shouts." - Source: Tibetan

"The tyrant is only the slave turned inside out." - Source: Egyptian

"Zeal is fit only for wise men but is found mostly in fools." - Source: Ancient



"formal human communications cannot have essential meanings" - Wittgenstein -

"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said." - Peter F. Drucker


"Ye knowe ek that in forme of speche is chaunge Within a thousand yeer, and wordes tho That hadden prys now wonder nyce and straunge Us thinketh hem, and yet they spake hem so."

You know that even forms of speech can change within a thousand years, and words we know were useful once, seem to us wondrous strange, foolish or forced, and yet they spoke them so.

- Geoffrey Chaucer - c. 1385


"ancora impara" (I'm still learning)

- Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)


"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."

- William Shakespeare


"In quantum physics, generally, `that which is not forbidden is mandatory'".

"The fact is, we do not have the slightest idea how we accomplish most of what we do, even - perhaps especially - our most basic mental feats."

- Frank Wilczek


"Perhaps one comment will not be amiss here, however. This is that, in my own opinion, there is little chance that any deep understanding of the nature of the mind can come about without our first learning much more about the very basis of physical reality. As will become clear from the discussions that will be presented in later chapters, I believe that major revolutions are required in our physical understanding. Until these revolutions have come to pass, it is, in my view, greatly optimistic to expect that much real progress can be made in understanding the actual nature of mental processes.

- p. 21 `The Road to Reality' by Roger Penrose -

"The entire world we apprehend through our senses is no more than a tiny fragment in the vastness of Nature." - `The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics' (1931)

"How do we discover the individual laws of Physics, and what is their nature? It should be remarked, to begin with, that we have no right to assume that any physical law exists, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future. It is perfectly conceivable that one fine day Nature should cause an unexpected event to occur which would baffle us all; and if this were to happen we would be powerless to make any objection, even if the result would be that, in spite of our endeavors, we should fail to introduce order into the resulting confusion. In such an event, the only course open to science would be to declare itself bankrupt. For this reason, science is compelled to begin by the general assumption that a general rule of law dominates throughout Nature." - `The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics' (1931)

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

"Hitherto the principle of causality was universally accepted as an indispensable postulate of scientific research, but now we are told by some physicists that it must be thrown overboard. The fact that such an extraordinary opinion should be expressed in responsible scientific quarters is widely taken to be significant of the all-round unreliability of human knowledge. This indeed is a very serious situation." - `Where is Science Going?' (1932)

"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness."

"Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of them without any practical purpose whatsoever in view." - `The New Science' (1959)

- Max Plank - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck


"Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny." Author Unknown


"Conformity is cheap"

?"Injury educates; Injuring stupifies"

"If your brain's not thinking, it's not working"

"For people to become lower than human, they must first think they are higher"

"Don't worry about doing the wrong thing, just try to do the right thing"

"Truth may seem unbearable, but the alternative is ignorance."

- (me)

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