Quotes

“(We are dwarfs) Standing on the shoulders of giants” – Bernard of Chartres – and used more famously by Isaac Newton


“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.” – Mark Twain


“A child is not a vessel to be filled but a lamp to be lighted.” – Plutarch


“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw


“A lifetime of happiness!  No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth.” – George Bernard Shaw


“A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.” – Dorothy Parker


“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for.” – William Greenough Thayer Shedd


“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams


“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White


“Accept loss forever.” – Jack Kerouac


“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Paulo Coelho


“Act always as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” – Horace


“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” – Erica Jong


“Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato


“Always forgive your enemies.  Nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde


“Anxiety is a bit like a kitchen fire. They both get in the way when it comes to having a nice chat with a visitor at the door.” – me, I guess


“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” – Laurence J. Peter


“Anyone who finds himself putting down several commas close to one another should reflect that he is making himself disagreeable.” – Henry Watson Fowler


“As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.” – Oscar Wilde


“Baseball is about homecoming. It is a journey by theft and strength, guile and speed, out around first to the far island of second, where foes lurk in the reefs and the green sea suddenly grows deeper, then to turn sharply, skimming the shallows, making for a shore that will show a friendly face, a color, a familiar language and, at third, to proceed, no longer by paths indirect but straight, to home.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti


“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann


“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde


“Beware of rashness, but with energy and sleepless vigilance go forward and give us victories.” – Abraham Lincoln


“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.” – Herbert Hoover


“Comfort is the enemy of growth.” – Bob Eichinger


“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt


“Comparison is the enemy of shared joy. Pity is the enemy of compassion. Attachment is the enemy of love. And indifference is the enemy of equanimity. The near enemies then: Attachment grasps and clings when love has failed; pity sets us apart from the suffering so we need not bear it; envy grows out of our discontent, leaving our friend to celebrate without us; and disregard is preemptive surrender rather than perseverance when trying to remain objective in a world full of differences.” – Edward Frost, with considerable edits by me, though described more generally as the Four Immeasurables and their Near Enemies


“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain


“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“Crypto experts won’t trust a crypto system until they have attacked it, and they can’t attack it until they know the basic cryptanalytical techniques, and hence the demand for a document like this modern, annotated version of the Cryptonomicon. But their attacks generally don’t go any further than demonstrating a system’s vulnerabilities in the abstract. All they want is to be able to say in theory this system could be attacked in the following way because from a formal number-theory standpoint it belongs to such-and-such class of problems, and those problems as a group take about so many processor cycles to attack. And this all fits very well with the modern way of thinking about stuff in which all you need to do, in order to attain a sense of personal accomplishment and earn the accolades of your peers, is to demonstrate an ability to slot new examples of things into the proper intellectual pigeonholes.” – Neal Stephenson, from Cryptonomicon


“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.” – Samuel Johnson


“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” – John Wesley


“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Don’t carry a grudge.  While you’re carrying the grudge, the other guy’s out dancing.” – Buddy Hackett


“Don’t hesitate to disagree, but do it in a noble way.” – me again


“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden


“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Theodore Geisel / Dr. Seuss


“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” – Cherokee proverb


“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett


“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” – Pablo Picasso


“Everyone is a genius at least once a year.  The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy


“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count. And everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” – Albert Einstein


“Experiencing flow helps a person remember that they are unique. ... Just like everyone else.” – Warren Miller


“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” – Carl Sagan


“Failures are the finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C. S. Lewis


“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.” – Richard P. Feynman


“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late ... to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” – letter to Caroline in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work it until it’s done and done right.” – Walt Disney


“Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it.” –  Salvador Dali


“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” –  Oscar Wilde


“He who has a why can endure any how.” –  Friedrich Nietzsche


“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas A. Edison


“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson


“How can they say my life is not a success?  Have I not for more than 60 years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” – Logan Pearsall Smith


“I could see that, if not exactly disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” – P. G. Wodehouse


“I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.” – Dorothy Parker


“I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.” – Rita Mae Brown


“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.” – Walt Disney


“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – author unknown


“If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill


“I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound – if I can remember any of the damn things.” – Dorothy Parker


“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” – Marie Curie


“I’m an optimist.  It doesn’t seem too much use being anything else.” – Winston Churchill


“I’m never going to be famous.  My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things.  I don’t do anything.  Not one single thing.  I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that anymore.” – Dorothy Parker


“I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.” – Dorothy Parker


“If a thing can be done adequately by means of one, it is superfluous to do it by means of several; for we observe that nature does not employ two instruments [if] one suffices.” – one version of Occam's Razor (this one phrased by Thomas Aquinas)


“If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  If it still doesn’t work out, success may not be your thing.” – Warren Miller


“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” – Henry David Thoreau


“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation.” – Jean Kerr


“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying.  It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie


“If you love him, get married.  If the marriage implodes, you’ll get divorced.  You haven’t really lived til you’ve been through one of those.” – Rumor Has It…


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery


“If your contribution has been vital there will always be somebody to pick up where you left off, and that will be your claim to immortality.” – Walter Gropius


“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry.  It’ll change.  If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry. It’ll change.” – John A. Simone Sr.


“In every first novel, the hero is the author as Christ or Faust.” – Oscar Wilde


“In God we trust.  All others bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming


“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus


“Incompetence is certainty in the absence of expertise.  Overconfidence is certainty in the presence of expertise.” – Malcolm Gladwell


“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain


“It doesn't seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil - which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.” – Richard P. Feynman


“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman


“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.” – Mark Twain


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot


“It isn’t so much that hard times are coming; the change observed is mostly soft times going.” – Groucho Marx


“It seems to me that awakening to the full potential of what your life might be – beyond the possibilities of your own family, your own class, your own race, your own neighborhood – that is one of the great gifts that art affords.” – Dana Gioia


“It’s much more important to be interested than to be interesting.” – Jane Fonda


“It’s not either/or, it’s both/and.”  – Martin Luther King Jr.


“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein


“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great” – Mark Twain


“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.


“Let’s set the existence of God issues aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming their environments with rough copies of themselves, or by more direct means which hardly need to be belabored. Most of them failed, and their genetic legacy was erased from the universe forever but a few found some way to survive and to propagate. After about three billion years of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was born, in Murdo, South Dakota, to Blanche, the wife of a Congregational preacher named Bunyan Waterhouse. Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo - which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn’t a stupendous badass was dead.” – Neal Stephenson, from Cyptonomicon


“Life has, indeed, many ills, but the mind that views every object in its most cheering aspect, and every doubtful dispensation as replete with latent good, bears within itself a powerful and perpetual antidote.” - Lydia Sigourney


“Life is not a checklist of acquisition and achievement.  Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two.  Life is difficult and complicated and beyond anyone’s total control and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.” – J. K. Rowling – 2008 Harvard Commencement Address


“Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw


“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie


“Life should be a little nuts.  Otherwise its just a bunch of Thursdays strung together.” – Rumor Has It…


“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William ShakespeareAll’s Well That Ends Well


“Love without sacrifice is like theft.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb


“Luxury: the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then becomes a master.” – Kahlil Gibran


“Man’s mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes


“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” - Bertrand Russell


“Middle class prosperity is lapidary; the flow of cash rounds and smooths a person like water does riverbed stones.” – Neal Stephenson, from Cyptonomicon


“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln


“Multi-tasking is a myth.  You cannot do two things at once.  The mechanism of attention is selection: it’s either this or it’s that.  People don’t understand that attention is a finite resource, like money.  Do you want to invest your cognitive cash on endless Twittering or net surfing or couch potatoing? You’re constantly making choices, and your choices determine your experience, just as William James said.” – Winifred Gallagher


“My experience is what I agree to attend to.” – William James


“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” – Hanlon's Razor (though possibly misattributed to Robert J. Hanlon)


“Never exceed your limits.  You push the envelope, and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over.  You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means.  The same is true for a business.  The sooner a company tries to be what it is not – the sooner it tries to 'have it all’ – the sooner it will die.” – Yvon Chouinard


“Nothing in life matters quite as much as you think it does while you are thinking about it.” – David Schkade and Daniel Kahneman


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated failures.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge


“Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – William ShakespeareHamlet


“October: this is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks.  The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.” – Mark Twain


“On the other hand, you have different fingers.”  – Warren Miller


“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.  The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.” – Carl Jung


“One may rationally stick to a degenerating research programme until it is overtaken by a rival and even after. What one must not do is to deny its poor public record... It is perfectly rational to play a risky game: what is irrational is to deceive oneself about the risk.” – Imre Lakatos


“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” – Marie Curie


“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert Kennedy


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison


“Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.” – Laurence J. Peter


“Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau


“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  And inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.” – Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu


“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” – Niels Bohr


“Pretenses are shabby things that, like papier-mâché houses, must be energetically maintained or they will dissolve. Another case in point: some time ago, Randy gave up pretending that he was not completely fascinated with Amy Shaftoe. This is not exactly the same thing as being love with her, but it has quite a few things in common with that. He has always had a weird, sick fascination with women who smoked and drank a lot. Amy does neither, but her complete disregard of modern skin-cancer precautions puts her in the same category of people too busy leading their lives to worry about extending their life expectancy.” – Neal Stephenson, from Cyptonomicon


“Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.  You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable.  It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling – 2008 Harvard Commencement Address


“Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage, and Constancy and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” – Walt Disney


“Someone who is nice to you and rude to the waitress is not a nice person.” – Dave Barry


“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” – Richard P. Feynman


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill


“Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” – Rita Schiano


“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.” – Dorothy Parker


“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost


“The cliché of the 'Eureka!’ moment easily obscures the doubt and uncertainty that are also part of the discovery process.” – Janet Maslin


“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” – Carl Jung


“The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker


“The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.” – Katharine Whitehorn


“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” – James Oppenheim


“The greatest mistake a man can ever make is to be afraid of making one.” – Elbert Hubbard


“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy


“The imagination of the genius vastly surpasses his intellect; the intellect of the academic vastly surpasses his imagination.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb


“The key is to let computers do what they are good at, which is trawling these massive data sets for something that is mathematically odd. And that makes it easier for humans to do what they are good at — explaining those anomalies.” – Daniel Gruhl, an IBM researcher whose recent work includes mining medical data to improve treatment


“The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” – Ralph W. Sockman


“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.” – J. Paul Getty


“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” – John Kenneth Galbraith


“The purpose of our existence is to seek happiness.” – the 14th Dalai Lama


“The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.” – Richard Ewell


“The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.” – William ShakespeareOthello


“The safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want.” – Charlie Munger


“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho


“The secret of teaching is to appear to have known all your life what you just learned this morning.” – author unknown


“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” – Albert Einstein


“The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.” – Napoleon Bonaparte


“The two main ways to be forceful in English are to be succinct and to be wordy. The latter is out of fashion, and people who don’t like it call it redundancy. Those of us who do sometimes like it call it pleonasm.” – Barbara Wallraff


“The work I've done is the work I know, and the work I do is the work I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing.” – Philip Glass


“There are a million approaches to successful living and only a few of them involve reaching the end with an 80-year-old, well-preserved corpse. In fact, you've probably done a decent job if you skid into your grave sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy shit... what a ride!'” – George Carlin


“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway


“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm. ” – Dorothy Parker


“Think in terms of enemies and the only loser is yourself.  Concentrate on external wealth and, at some point, you realize it has limits — and you’re still feeling discontented.  Happiness is not pleasure, they know, and unhappiness, as the Buddhists say, is not the same as suffering. Suffering — in the sense of old age, sickness and death — is the law of life; unhappiness is just the position we choose — or can not choose — to bring to it. .. Happiness is within the reach of almost anyone. We can work on it as we work on our backhands, our soufflés or our muscles in the gym. True happiness doesn’t mean trying to acquire things, so much as letting go of things (our illusions and attachments). It’s only the clouds of short-sightedness or ignorance that prevent us from seeing that our essential nature, whether we’re Buddhist or not, is blue sky.” – Pico Iyer


“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly.  It should be thrown with great force.” – Dorothy Parker


“To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.” - Bertrand Russell


“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” – Bertrand Russell


“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill


“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common – this is my symphony.”  – William Henry Channing


“Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so.” – Mark Twain


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.” - Margaret Thatcher


“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” – Paulo Coelho


“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.” – William Arthur Ward


“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney


“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.” – R. D. Laing


“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill


“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” – Blaise Pascal


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens.” – Benjamin Disraeli


“What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he's around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I'm semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing... he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance... Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he'll get all the great women.” – Albert Brooks in Broadcast News


“What I learned on my own I still remember.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb


“What organized dating sites fail to understand is that people are far more interesting in what they don't say about themselves.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb


“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln


“When the storm breaks, each man acts in accordance with his own nature. Some are dumb with terror.  Some flee.  Some hide.  And some spread their wings like eagles and soar on the wind.” – from Elizabeth: The Golden Age


“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” – William Arthur Ward


“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho


“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney


“While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it.  If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.” – H. G. Wells


“You can always rely on [Americans] to do the right thing... once they have exhausted all possible alternatives.” – Winston Churchill


“You can do anything, but not everything.” – David Allen


“You can solo-climb Everest without using oxygen or you can pay guides and Sherpas to carry your loads, put ladders across crevasses, lay in 6,000 feet of fixed ropes, and have one Sherpa pulling you and another pushing you. ... The goal of climbing big, dangerous mountains should be to attain some sort of spiritual and personal growth, but this won’t happen if you compromise away the entire process.” – Yvon Chouinard


“You can’t make a baby in a month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffett


“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing.” – Richard P. Feynman




If the previous quotes have put you in a forgiving philanthropic mood, you ought to stop here. If not (or if, perhaps, you're a disagreeable introvert), the cynical quotes in this section might at least provide some solace.




“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley


“Hell is other people.” - Jean-Paul Sartre


“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” - Douglas Adams


“I love humanity but I hate people.” - Edna St. Vincent Millay


“I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.” - Lord Byron


“I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.” - Oscar Wilde


“It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful.” - Anton Lavey


“Just think of how stupid the average person is and then realize that half of them are even stupider.” - George Carlin


“Man was made at the end of the week's work, when God was tired.” - Mark Twain


“Many people would sooner die than think. In fact, they do.” - Bertrand Russell


“My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.” - Vladimir Nabokov


“Nobody ever lost a nickel betting against the intelligence of the American public.” - P.T. Barnum


“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” - Albert Einstein


Ozymandias Melancholia: the realization that your works of art will not save you and will mean nothing down the line.” – Woody Allen


“Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.” - Lemony Snicket


“Some people are so poor they have nothing but money.”


“Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah … didn’t miss the boat.” - Mark Twain


“The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.” - G. K. Chesterton


“The Earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man.” - Frederick Nietzsche


“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell


“This world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything.” - Clarence Darrow


“We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” - Bertrand Russell


“We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” - Charles Darwin