QUOTEoftheDay

Friday
Nov112011

Samuel Beckett

It is rare that the feeling of absurdity is not followed by the feeling of necessity … it is rare that the feeling of necessity is not followed by the feeling of absurdity.

Don't wait to be hunted to hide, that's always been my motto.

Dear incomprehension, it’s thanks to you I’ll be myself, in the end.

The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? From time to time. There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain.

All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.

Birth was the death of him.

Do we mean love, when we say love?

Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.

No, I regret nothing, all I regret is having been born, dying is such a long tiresome business I always found.

 

Wednesday
Nov092011

John Stuart Mill

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

I deny that anyone knows, or can know, the nature of the two sexes, as long as they have only been seen in their present relation to one another.

Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. Not so with those whose opinions and feelings are an emanation from their own nature and faculties.

Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think.

Whatever is known to us by consciousness, is known beyond possibility of question. What one sees or feels, whether bodily or mentally, one cannot but be sure that one sees or feels.

The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.

However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth.

 


Tuesday
Nov082011

Oliver Stone

I study history in order to give an interpretation.

I think experience will teach you a combination of liberalism and conservatism. We have to be progressive and at the same time we have to retain values. We have to hold onto the past as we explore the future.

I would vote for the man who's lived life, who's done different occupations, who's been out in the real world and struggled to make a living, struggled to raise a family, struggled with life as it exists. So I'd vote for experience, honest experience.

I've been to war, and it's not easy to kill. It's bloody and messy and totally horrifying, and the consequences are serious.

When I was a child, I'd see a movie, I took it for what it was, I enjoyed it. And if I believed it I would tend to be more interested in knowing more about it.

When you look at a movie, you look at a director's thought process.

You do the best job you can. You take it step by step. It's hard enough to make a movie. If it works, that's great. If it means something beyond the moment to somebody, they can take it and it lasts through the years, we'll see.

You're not a historian, but most historians will tell you that they make very discrete judgment as to what facts to omit in order to make their book into some shape, some length that can be managed.

Monday
Nov072011

Henry Miller

Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.
 
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

Example moves the world more than doctrine. The great exemplars are the poets of action, and it makes little difference whether they be forces for good or forces for evil.

The history of the world is the history of a privileged few.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.

Take a good look at me. Now tell me, do you think I'm the sort of fellow who gives a fuck what happens once he's dead?

One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.

This is not a book [Tropic of Cancer]. This is libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty ... what you will.

 

Sunday
Nov062011

Benoit Mandelbrot

Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there's always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.

Unfortunately, the world has not been designed for the convenience of mathematicians.

All my life, I have enjoyed the reputation of being someone who disrupted prevailing ideas. Now that I'm in my 80th year, I can play on my age and provoke people even more.

Nature exhibits not simply a higher degree but an altogether different level of complexity ... The existence of these patterns challenges us to study these forms that Euclid leaves aside as being "formless."

Fractal geometry is not just a chapter of mathematics, but one that helps Everyman to see the same world differently.

The first night I saw the set, it was just wild. The second night, I became used to it. After a few nights, I became familiar with it.

The infinite sea of complexity includes two islands: one of Euclidean simplicity, and also a second of relative simplicity in which roughness is present, but is the same at all scales.

 

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.