RSSCategory: Quotes

New collection of quotes

January 19, 2013 | By | Reply More

I collect lots of quotes, periodically posting them here at DI (follow this link for many dozens of quote postings). Here is my latest offering:

“The tragedy of life is not death ..but what we let die inside of us while we live.”
Norman Cousins

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

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings…”
Lao Tzu

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over. Finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus. Won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better — but the only shot we get.”
― Quentin R. Bufogle

“There was a footpath leading across the fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.”
—Bertrand Russell

“Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles.”
-Mark Twain

“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all.”
― Arthur C. Clarke

“No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behaviour to sin; he does not say, “You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.” He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right. An analogous way of treating human beings is, however, considered to be contrary to the truths of our holy religion.”
– Bertrand Russell in “The Doctrine of Free Will”

“Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience.”
Howard Zinn

“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘Try to be a little kinder.”
― Aldous Huxley, Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics & the Visionary Experience

“To refrain from an act is no less an act than to commit one.”
—Sir Charles Sherrington

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Dorothy Parker, (attributed)

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To change one’s life start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
William James.

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”
― Thomas Paine, The Crisis

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”
– Audrey Hepburn

“Once consequentialism is properly formulated, it is hard to see how anyone, Kant included, could fail to be a consequentialist.”
—R. M. Hare

“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
—Thomas Paine

“The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.”
—Philip Zimbardo

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Mark Twain

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Frederick Douglass

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”
~Bertrand Russell

“Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win.”
-The Buddha

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Joseph Campbell

“Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.”
Howard Zinn

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time

“There is the past and its continuing horrors: violence, war, prejudices against those who are different, outrageous monopolization of the good earth’s wealth by a few, political power in the hands of liars and murderers, the building of prisons instead of schools, the poisoning of the press and the entire culture by money. It is easy to become discouraged observing this, especially since this is what the press and television insist that we look at, and nothing more. But there is also the bubbling of change under the surface of obedience: the growing revulsion against endless wars, the insistence of women all over the world that they will no longer tolerate abuse and subordination. There is civil disobedience against the military machine, protest against police brutality directed especially at people of color.”
Howard Zinn (in the 1999 version of A People’s History of the United States):

“Iowa is so flat you can watch your dog run away for three days.”
Quote from Reddit:

“The highest compliment one can give a writer is not to say that one wholeheartedly agrees with his observations, but that he provoked — really, forced — difficult thinking about consequential matters and internal questioning of one’s own assumptions, often without quick or clear resolution.”
Glenn Greenwald


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November 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

BTW, Dragging the truth out of tobacco companies is only the first step of a LONG journey.


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Starting from the beginning

November 29, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

This past weekend, I was discussing the nature of explanations with some relatives. I argued that to explain anything completely, one would have to explain absolutely everything, given the need for context in a complete explanation and given the inter-connectedness of all that we know. Many explanations falling short of explaining everything work, at least on a local level, because on a local/pragmatic level an explanation is merely a description that makes us feel good.

Today, I came across a quote by Carl Sagan that relates to the above:


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Hate as poison

November 28, 2012 | By | Reply More

This quote by Booker T. Washington really hits the mark:


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Oscar Wilde on war

November 28, 2012 | By | Reply More

As Christopher Hedges has written, war is exciting and carries its own meaning, regardless of the flimsy excuses that politicians bandy about.

The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives, the impoverished refugees in Gaza, the disenfranchised North African immigrants in France, even the legions of young who live in the splendid indolence and safety of the industrialized world, are all susceptible to war’s appeal.

I’ve previously written about the power of how we frame war; how is it that human slaughter can be seen as glamorous? Oscar Wilde also touches on this issue of how we frame war:

As long as we uncritically bandy about horribly vague phrases like “Support the Troops,” we will not expose America’s needless wars for what they are.


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Another batch of my favorite quotes

November 20, 2012 | By | Reply More

I make a habit of sharing my favorite quotes at this site. Here is another batch:

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

“They’ll say we’re disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war.”
Howard Zinn

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
William James.

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.”
― Alice Walker

“Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.”
Russian Proverb

“Thompson is equally vociferous on matters of faith. […] “I’m an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It’s not enough to say that I don’t believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Koran, and I refute them.” She knows she’s being controversial, but she believes passionately in what she says, and passionately believes it needs saying. “I think that the Bible as a system of moral guidance in the 21st century is insufficient, to put it mildly, she continues, frowning a little. I feel quite strongly that we need a new moral lodestone if we can’t rely on what is inside our own selves. Which I think, actually, is pretty reliable.” ”
Emma Thompson

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
― George Orwell

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
Mark Twain

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over. Finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus. Won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better — but the only shot we get.”― Quentin R. Bufogle

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
Malcolm X

“I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self defense; I call it intelligence”
Malcolm X

“The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That – with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word ‘success’ – is our national disease.”
William James

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”

“I don’t want to believe. I want to know.”
Carl Sagan

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
Frank Zappa

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

“When I give food o the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”
Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Archbishop

“I’d boycott everything Wall Street made if they actually made anything.”

“I was a loner as a child. I had an imaginary friend — I didn’t bother with him.”
George Carlin


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More quotes

October 11, 2012 | By | Reply More

This is part of my non-ending series of my favorite quotes. I’ll keep publishing them as long as I keep finding new ones. The entire series is here. Here are my new favorites:

“The mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged with triviality.”
Henry David Thoreau.

“Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.”
—Epictetus, Greek philosopher

“Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.”
Frank Zappa

“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“By Learning you will teach. By teaching you will learn.”
Latin Proverb

“In the Age of Information ignorance is a choice.”
Facebook – attributed to Danny Miller

“I have no problem paying taxes because roads don’t pave themselves.”
I have no problem paying taxes because I’m an adult and that’s part of the deal.”
Facebook photo of two demonstrators with signs

“We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”
— Glen Cook (from Sweet Silver Blues…first in the Garrett P.I. series),

“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”
Mark Twain

“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983)

“Don’t try to tell me a loving and caring god exists. How do you explain stillbirth? What was the loving and caring plan of your god there?”
Marina C (on Facebook).

“Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.”
Hector Berlioz (1803 – 1869)

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”
Aesop (620 BC – 560 BC)

“If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music… and of aviation.”
Tom Stoppard (1937 – )

“Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.”
Ron Paul

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”


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New batch of quotes

September 27, 2012 | By | Reply More
New batch of quotes

I collect my quotes from many sources. When I have about a dozen favorites, I publish them at this website. This is where you’ll find hundreds more of my favorites.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” ~ Buddha

“The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.”
Utah Phillips

And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
Thomas Jefferson – May 28 1816 Letter to john Taylor.

All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law; directors should not be permitted to use stockholders’ money for such purposes; and, moreover, a prohibition of this kind would be, as far as it went, an effective method of stopping the evils aimed at in corrupt practices acts. Not only should both the National and the several State Legislatures forbid any officer of a corporation from using the money of the corporation in or about any election, but they should also forbid such use of money in connection with any legislation save by the employment of counsel in public manner for distinctly legal services.
Theodore Roosevelt

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

“Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand.”
Bodie Thoene

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
-James Madison

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott

“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and “success”, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.”
― Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

“Throw off your worries when you throw off your clothes at night.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Unknown, Hanlon’s Razor

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Libertarianism: (noun) One who believers that oppression is best handled by the private sector.

“When the white man came we had the land and they had the Bible. They taught us to pray with our eyes closed and when we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”
Jomo Kenyatta (1889 – 1978), prime minister of Kenya,

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte

“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”
– Oscar Wild

Science is arranging experience in the most economical way.
Ernst Mach


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Quote of the day

September 26, 2012 | By | Reply More

I’ve started making little quote cards to share on Facebook (feel free to “Friend” me their if you’d like to receive my posts and comments over there). Today’s quote is by Henry David Thoreau:


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