Quote time

July 8, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

I love to collect quotes.   Such a high ratio of thought-provocation per word!  I’d even bet that there is a the seed for a novel in most well-honed quotes.   I collect these from many sources, though more than a few of the following were presented to me by The Quotations Page, which I use as my homepage.  Some of these quotes have made the rounds (the oldies-but-goodies), though I’d bet that you’ll find more than a few that you’ve never seen before.  Enjoy.

In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.

Johann von Neumann (1903 – 1957)

Doing a thing well is often a waste of time.

Robert Byrne

It’s not the voting that’s democracy, it’s the counting.

Tom Stoppard (1937 – ), Jumpers (1972) act 1

The great thing about being the only species that makes a distinction between right and wrong is that we can make up the rules for ourselves as we go along.

Douglas Adams , Last Chance to See

“It is not acceptable to have a religion where the alternative to faith is punishment — that’s how you train dogs, not develop people.”

Deng Ming-Dao

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.

Oscar Wilde

A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms.

George Wald (1906 – )

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.

H. H. Williams

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970)

“I’m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe but because I want to know. I believe that the truth is out there. But how can we tell the difference between what we would like to be true and what is actually true? The answer is science.”

Michael Shermer at Scientific American

[W]henever I read some particularly nasty missive or blogpost: it doesn’t matter what they say about you as long as it isn’t true. If it is true, then learn from it.

Andrew Sullivan – Daily Dish July 2009

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing–the rest is mere sheep-herding.

Ezra Loomis Pound (1885-1972) U.S. poet

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

Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.

Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946)

First, say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do.


Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings.

Ed Gardner

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.


Sat ci sat bene: “It is done quickly enough if it is done well.”

Latin Proverb

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

Christopher Hitchens

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised God doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.

Emo Philips

The biggest influence in children’s lives is the unlived lives of their parents.

Sheena Kopman

Getting caught is the mother of invention.

Robert Byrne

Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something”.

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love , US science fiction author (1907 – 1988)

[W]hy do we perceive death to be different from prebirth or, more precisely, pre-conception? That is also a time when our brain is not functioning–when it does not exist. Yet we do not spend nearly as much time pondering what happened to us or where our minds were before we were born.

Comment in the February/March 2009 issue of Scientific American Mind – Letters section. The author is “identified as Farlo”


Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Education, Meaning of Life, Quotes

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erika Price says:

    I keep my favorite quotes in a real paper-and-pen commonplace book. I just cracked it open because of the Tom Stoppard quote you provided above. I have this one:

    "We are tied down to a language that makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style." -Tom Stoppard, from Rosencrance and Guildenstern are Dead

Leave a Reply