QUOTEoftheDay

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...

Thursday
Aug112011

Walt Whitman

Oh while I live, to be the ruler of life, not a slave, to meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.

After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains.

I accept reality and dare not question it.

I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.

Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.


Wednesday
Aug102011

Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita is famous, not I. I am an obscure, doubly obscure, novelist with an unpronounceable name.

Although nothing much can be seen through the mist, there is somehow the blissful feeling that one is looking in the right direction . . .

I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, I speak like a child.

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour.)

A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die.

 

Tuesday
Aug092011

Victor Hugo

One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.

You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do no bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.

A day will come when there will be no battlefields, but markets opening to commerce and minds opening to ideas. A day will come when the bullets and bombs are replaced by votes, by universal suffrage, by the venerable arbitration of a great supreme senate which will be to Europe what Parliament is to England, the Diet to Germany, and the Legislative Assembly to France.

To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better.

The miserable's name is Man; he is agonizing in all climes, and he is groaning in all languages.

 

Monday
Aug082011

Stephen King

Kids, the fiction is the truth inside the lie, and the truth of this fiction is simple enough: the magic exists.

In a book, all would have gone according to plan.... but life was so fucking untidy - what could you say for an existence where some of your most crucial conversations of your life took place when you needed to take a shit, or something? An existence where there weren't even any chapters?

The idea for each of the stories in this book came in a moment of belief and was written in a burst of faith, happiness, and optimism. Those positive feelings have their dark analogues, however, and the fear of failure is a long way from the worst of them. The worst—for me, at least—is the gnawing speculation that I may have already said everything I have to say, and am now only listening to the steady quacking of my own voice because the silence when it stops is just too spooky.

He told himself that everything was fine — he only had to look at the sleeping dog on the floor if he doubted — but in the middle of the night it was hard to be an optimist. When the dawn was still long hours away, bad thoughts took on flesh and began to walk. In the middle of the night thoughts became zombies.

Suppose that all worlds, all universes, met at a single nexus, a single pylon, a Tower. And within it, a stairway, perhaps rising to the Godhead itself. Would you dare climb to the top, gunslinger? Could it be that somewhere above all of endless reality, there exists a room?...
"You dare not."
And in the gunslinger's mind, those words echoed: You dare not.

Sunday
Aug072011

Henry David Thoreau1856 Photograph

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.

A grain of gold will gild a great surface, but not so much as a grain of wisdom.

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. The very simplicity and nakedness of man's life in the primitive ages imply this advantage, at least, that they left him still but a sojourner in nature. When he was refreshed with food and sleep, he contemplated his journey again. He dwelt, as it were, in a tent in this world, and was either threading the valleys, or crossing the plains, or climbing the mountain-tops. But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.

 

Saturday
Aug062011

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.

It's life that matters, nothing but life — the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all.

Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also.

Above all, do not lie to yourself. A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others.

 

 

Friday
Aug052011

Cicero

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.

Endless money forms the sinews of war.

Let the welfare of the people be the ultimate law.

A war is never undertaken by the ideal State, except in defense of its honor or its safety.

To each his own.

Come now: Do we really think that the gods are everywhere called by the same names by which they are addressed by us? But the gods have as many names as there are languages among humans. For it is not with the gods as with you:

you are Velleius wherever you go, but Vulcan is not Vulcan in Italy and in Africa and in Spain.

Thursday
Aug042011

Marie Curie 

All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.Pierre and Marie Curie

I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery also has its beauty.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.

 

Wednesday
Aug032011

Charles Dickens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! . . . My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?