QUOTEoftheDay

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!

Tuesday
Oct252011

William Faulkner

I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are.

A gentleman can live through anything.

The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among

creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things.

It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago, and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them.

He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear.

 

Monday
Oct242011

William Gibson

The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.

Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts.

And, for an instant, she stared directly into those soft blue eyes and knew, with an instinctive mammalian certainty, that the exceedingly rich were no longer even remotely human.

I think of religions as franchise operations. Like chicken franchise operations. But that doesn't mean there's no chicken, right?

The past is past, the future unformed. There is only the moment, and that is where he prefers to be.

On the most basic level, computers in my books are simply a metaphor for human memory: I'm interested in the hows and whys of memory, the ways it defines who and what we are, in how easily memory is subject to revision.

The internet will bring about the extinction of the nation-state as we know it... I think it will be as big a deal as the creation of cities.

Sunday
Oct232011

Virginia Woolf

A masterpiece is something said once and for all, stated, finished, so that it's there complete in the mind, if only at the back.

The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

Life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.

A light here required a shadow there.

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.

There are moments when the walls of the mind grow thin; when nothing is unabsorbed, and I could fancy that we might blow so vast a bubble that the sun might set and rise in it…

It's not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it's the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses.

Saturday
Oct222011

Bono

My name is Bono, and I am a rock star.

We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's "difficult" justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept...

To me betraying the age means exposing its conceits, it's foibles; it's phony moral certitudes. It means telling the secrets of the age and facing harsher truths.

The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.

I really remember John Lennon's Imagine. I guess I'm twelve; that's one of my first albums. That really set fire to me. It was like he was whispering in your ear — his ideas of what's possible. Different ways of seeing the world.

Idealism is under siege beset by materialism, narcissism and all the other isms of indifference.

Sing the melody line you hear in your own head. Remember, you don't owe anybody any explanations, you don't owe your parents any explanations, you don't owe your professors any explanations.

 

Friday
Oct212011

Primo Levi

I’m a normal man with a good memory who fell into a maelstrom and got out of it more by luck than by virtue, and who from that time on has preserved a certain curiosity about maelstroms large and small, metaphorical and actual.

Nothing can be said: nothing sure, nothing probable, nothing honest. Better to err through omission than through commission: better to refrain from steering the fate of others, since it is already so difficult to navigate one's own.

Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.

For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world.

The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary or congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent.

It is a pretty structure isn’t it?