QUOTEoftheDay

Sunday
Aug212011

Will Durant

As soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy.

Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.

In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.

If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous.

Saturday
Aug202011

Edgar Allen Poe

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

 

Thursday
Aug182011

Iris Murdoch

Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self.

In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.

The sin of pride may be a small or a great thing in someone's life, and hurt vanity a passing pinprick or a self-destroying or even murderous obsession. Possibly, more people kill themselves and others out of hurt vanity than out of envy, jealousy, malice or desire for revenge.

Perhaps misguided moral passion is better than confused indifference.

Philosophy! Empty thinking by ignorant conceited men who think they can digest without eating!

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

Thursday
Aug182011

Thomas Jefferson

A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.

What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment and death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.

 Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is.


Wednesday
Aug172011

Plutarch

I would rather excel in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and possessions.

It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.

I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.



Tuesday
Aug162011

Neil Gaiman

Life — and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison — is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.

There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.

Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

 

Monday
Aug152011

Benjamin Franklin

Remember that time is money.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

[A] great Empire, like a great Cake, is most easily diminished at the Edges.

There never was a good war or a bad peace.

I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. The turkey is a much more respectable bird.

Sunday
Aug142011

George R. R. Martin

In real life, the hardest aspect of the battle between good and evil is determining which is which.

Art is not a democracy. People don't get to vote on how it ends.

I've been killing characters my entire career, maybe I'm just a bloody minded bastard, I don't know, [but] when my characters are in danger, I want you to be afraid to turn the page (and to do that) you need to show right from the beginning that you're playing for keeps.

My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones.

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come. (Night's Watch Vow)

 

 

 
Saturday
Aug132011

Confucius

To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing the norm.

When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.

Let the states of equilibrium and harmony exist in perfection, and a happy order will prevail throughout heaven and earth, and all things will be nourished and flourish.

Sincerity is the end and beginning of things; without sincerity there would be nothing. On this account, the superior man regards the attainment of sincerity as the most excellent thing.

 

Friday
Aug122011

Erwin Schrodinger

 

No self is of itself alone. It has a long chain of intellectual ancestors. The "I" is chained to ancestry by many factors . . . This is not mere allegory, but an eternal memory.

I insist upon the view that 'all is waves'.

The plurality that we perceive is only an appearance; it is not real.

Nature has no reverence towards life. Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world.... Nature does not act by purposes.

We are never in a position to say what really is or what really happens, but we can only say what will be observed in any concrete individual case. In Darwin's theory, you just have to substitute 'mutations' for his 'slight accidental variations' (just as quantum theory substitutes 'quantum jump' for 'continuous transfer of energy'). In all other respects little change was necessary in Darwin's theory...