QUOTEoftheDay

Saturday
Nov052011

Larry Niven

The Gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools.

Everything starts as somebody's daydream.

The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!

Some Niven's Laws:

1a) Never throw shit at an armed man.

1b) Never stand next to someone who is throwing shit at an armed man.

2) Never fire a laser at a mirror.

3) Mother Nature doesn't care if you're having fun.

4) Giving up freedom for security has begun to look naive.

Even to me. Many of you were ahead of me on this — Three out of four hijacked airplanes destroyed the World Trade Center and a piece of the Pentagon in 2001. How is it possible that those planes were taken using only five perps armed with knives? It was possible because all those hundreds of passengers had been carefully stripped of every possible weapon. We may want to reconsider this approach. It doesn't work in high schools either.

5) Psi and/or magical powers, if real, are nearly useless.

6) It is easier to destroy than create.

Bin Laden tore down the World Trade Center? Let's see him build one. If human beings didn't have a strong preference for creation, nothing would get built, ever.

7) Any damn fool can predict the past.

 

Friday
Nov042011

Alvin Tofler

Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life.  

Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.

The next major explosion is going to be when genetics and computers come together. I'm talking about an organic computer - about biological substances that can function like a semiconductor.

It is better to err on the side of daring than the side of caution.

To think that the new economy is over is like somebody in London in 1830 saying the entire industrial revolution is over because some textile manufacturers in Manchester went broke.

Knowledge is the most democratic source of power.

Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.

One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we'll need a new definition.

Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.

Thursday
Nov032011

Herman Melville

Call me Ishmael.

It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.

I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him.

Oh, give me again the rover's life — the joy, the thrill, the whirl! Let me feel thee again, old sea!

We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people — the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world.

Genius, all over the world, stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.

Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blendingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity.

Say what some poets will, Nature is not so much her own ever-sweet interpreter, as the mere supplier of that cunning alphabet, whereby selecting and combining as he pleases, each man reads his own peculiar lesson according to his own peculiar mind and mood.

Tuesday
Nov012011

John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?

He ne'er is crowned with immortality Who fears to follow where airy voices lead.

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.

Here lies one whose name was writ in water.

I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections, and the truth of imagination.

I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.

I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion - I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more - I could be martyred for my religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that.

I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute.

Monday
Oct312011

Siegfried Sassoon

I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust.

Let no one ever, from henceforth say one word in any way countenancing war.

Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's tomorrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.

Who will remember, passing through this Gate,
The unheroic Dead who fed the guns?

I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed.

From the perpetual silence where the grace
Of human sainthood burns
Hastes he once more to harmonise and heal?
I know not. Only I feel
His influence undiminished
And his life’s work, in me and many, unfinished.

Sunday
Oct302011

James Clerk Maxwell

All the mathematical sciences are founded on relations between physical laws and laws of numbers, so that the aim of exact science is to reduce the problems of nature to the determination of quantities by operations with numbers.

Ampere was the Newton of Electricity.

Every existence above a certain rank has its singular points; the higher the rank the more of them. At these points, influences whose physical magnitude is too small to be taken account of by a finite being may produce results of the greatest importance.

I have the capacity of being more wicked than any example that man could set me.

In a few years, all great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and that the only occupation which will be left to men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.

Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express.

The mind of man has perplexed itself with many hard questions. Is space infinite, and in what sense? Is the material world infinite in extent, and are all places within that extent equally full of matter? Do atoms exist or is matter infinitely divisible?

The numbers may be said to rule the whole world of quantity, and the four rules of arithmetic may be regarded as the complete equipment of the mathematician.

Saturday
Oct292011

Moliere

A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless.

It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right.

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.

Of all follies there is none greater than wanting to make the world a better place.

One should eat to live, not live to eat.

Some of the most famous books are the least worth reading. Their fame was due to their having done something that needed to be doing in their day. The work is done and the virtue of the book has expired.

No matter what Aristotle and the Philosophers say, nothing is equal to tobacco; it's the passion of the well-bred, and he who lives without tobacco lives a life not worth living.


Friday
Oct282011

Francis Bacon

I have taken all knowledge to be my province.

Knowledge is power.

Nothing is terrible except fear itself.

Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.

Death is a friend of ours; and he that is not ready to entertain him is not at home.

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed . . .

By far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible.

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.


Thursday
Oct272011

Timothy Leary

Don't take LSD unless you are very well prepared, unless you are specifically prepared to go out of your mind.

Think for yourself and question authority.

Our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos . . .

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people.

The universe is an intelligence test.

In the information age, you don't teach philosophy as they did after feudalism. You perform it. If Aristotle were alive today he'd have a talk show.

We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history... The problem is that no one is giving them anything fresh. They've got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.

Each religion has got their own way of making you feel like a victim. The Christians say "you are a sinner", and you better just zip up your trousers and give the money to the pope and we'll give you a room up in the hotel in the sky.

 

Wednesday
Oct262011

Robert Louis Stevenson

All human beings are commingled out of good and evil.

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.

In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be a gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.

The true realism, always and everywhere, is that of the poets: to find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.

Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords; and the little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.

Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child; it is there that he changes the atmosphere and tenor of his life.

Old and young, we are all on our last cruise.

Fifteen men on the dead man's chest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest —
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!