You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian artist, engineer, scientist
Notebook entry (c. 1500), Leonardo da Vinci’s Note-Books (1906) [tr. MacCurdy]
    (Source)

Codice Atlantico 76 v. a.
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Leonardo da Vinci

Like any of life’s refining fires, cancer is a potentially profound learning experience. So what did I learn? I learned that profound learning experiences are vastly overrated.

Joni Rodgers (b. 1962) American author
Bald in the Land of Big Hair (2001)
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Rodgers, Joni

If animals could speak as fabulists have feigned, the dog would be a blunt, blundering, outspoken, honest fellow, but the cat would have the rare talent of never saying a word too much.

Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834-1894) British artist, art critic and author.
Chapters on Animals, ch. 4 “Cats” (1893)
    (Source)

Sometimes misattributed to Mark Twain.
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Hamerton, Philip Gilbert

“This I choose to do,” she croaked, her breath leaving little clouds in the air. She cleared her throat and started again. “This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”

It wasn’t a spell, except in her own head, but if you couldn’t make spells work in your own head, you couldn’t make them work at all.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Wintersmith, ch. 1 [Tiffany] (2006)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

You can tell the man who rings true from the man who rings false, not by his deeds alone, but also by his desires.

[Δόκιμος ἀνὴρ καὶ ἀδόκιμος οὐκ ἐξ ὧν πράσσει μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ὧν βούλεται.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 69 (Diels) [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "68. (40 N.) DEMOKRATES. 33." Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "A man is approved or rejected not only by what he doth, but by what he wills." [Hammond (1845)]
  • "The worthy and the unworthy man are to be known not only by their actions, but also their wishes." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "One of esteem and one without it do not only act for different reasons but they desire for different reasons too." [tr. @sententiq (2018), fr. 67]
  • "Accomplished or unaccomplished we shall call a man not only from what he does but from what he desires, too." [Source]
  • "The worthy and unworthy are known not only by their deeds, but also by their desires." [Source]
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Democritus

A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective.

Edward Teller (1908-2003) Hungarian-American theoretical physicist
Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics, ch. 5 (1991) [with Wendy Teller, Wilson Talley]
    (Source)
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Teller, Edward

Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Notes on Nationalism” (May 1945)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Mar-21 | Last updated 2-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

The religion of endless growth — like any religion based on blind faith rather than reason — is a kind of mania, a form of lunacy, indeed a disease. And the one disease to which the growth mania bears an exact analogical resemblance is cancer. Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Cancer has no purpose but growth; but it does have another result — the death of the host.

Edward Abbey (1927-1989) American anarchist, writer, environmentalist
“Arizona: How Big is Enough?”One Life at a Time, Please (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Abbey, Edward

The camera cannot lie. But it can be an accessory to untruth.

Harold Evans (1928-2020) Anglo-American journalist, editor, writer
Pictures on a Page (1978)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Evans, Harold

What certainty can there be in a Philosophy which consists in as many Hypotheses as there are Phenomena to be explained. To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) English physicist and mathematician
Opticks, Preface (unpublished) (1703)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Newton, Isaac

For friendship adds a brighter radiance to prosperity and lessens the burden of adversity by dividing and sharing it.

[Nam et secundas res splendidiores facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque leviores.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
“Laelius De Amicitia [Laelius on Friendship],” ch. 6 / sec. 22 (44 BC) [tr. Falconer (1923)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

  • "For prosperity, friendship renders more brilliant, and adversity more supportable, by dividing and communicating it." [tr. Edmonds (1871)]
  • "Such friendship at once enhances the lustre of prosperity, and by dividing and sharing adversity lessens its burden." [tr. Peabody (1887)]
  • "For friendship both makes favourable things more splendid and disasters lighter, by splitting and sharing them." [Source]
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

It would seem … that man has been shocked by the war into forgetting how to be a political animal. This suspicion is confirmed by the spread of Fascism, which is a headlong flight into fantasy from the necessity for political thought. There is nothing more obvious about the post-war situation than that it is novel, springs from causes which have not yet been analysed, and cannot be relieved until this analysis is complete and has been made the basis of a new social formula. Yet persons supporting Fascism behave as if man were already in possession of principles which would enable him to deal with all our problems, and as if it were only a question of appointing a dictator to apply them.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“The Necessity and Grandeur of the International Ideal” (1934)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by West, Rebecca

When theology erodes and organization crumbles, when the institutional framework of religion begins to break up, the search for a direct experience which people can feel to be religious facilitates the rise of cults.

Daniel Bell 1919-2011) American sociologist, writer, editor, academic
“Religion in the Sixties,” Social Research (Fall 1971)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bell, Daniel

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days — three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.

John Keats (1795-1821) English poet
Letter to Fanny Brawne (3 Jul 1819)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Keats, John

Who does the best his circumstance allows
Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.

Edward Young (1683-1765) English poet
“The Complaint: or, Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, & Immortality,” Part 2 “On Time, Death, and Friendship,” ll. 91-92 (1742–1745)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Feb-21 | Last updated 26-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Young, Edward

By doing just a little every day, I can gradually let the task completely overwhelm me.

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #1194
Added on 26-Feb-21 | Last updated 26-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brilliant, Ashleigh

Inferiors revolt in order that they may be equal, and equals that they may be superior.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 5, ch. 2 / 1302a.29 [tr. Jowett (1885)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

  • "Now, what they aim at may be either just or unjust; just, when those who are inferior are seditious, that they may be equal; unjust, when those who are equal are so, that they may be superior." [tr. Ellis (1912)]
  • "When inferior, people enter on strife in order that they may be equal, and when equal, in order that they may be greater." [tr. Rackham (1932)]
  • "The lesser engage in factional conflict in order to be equal; those who are equal, in order to be greater." [tr. Lord (1984)]
Added on 26-Feb-21 | Last updated 26-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.

Steve Allen (1922-2000) American composer, entertainer, and wit.
More Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality, “Authenticity of the Bible” (1993)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Feb-21 | Last updated 26-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Allen, Steve

Once more, let me remind you what fascism is. It need not wear a brown shirt, or a green shirt — it may even wear a dress shirt. Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege.

Tommy Douglas (1904-1986) Scottish-Canadian politician [Thomas Clement Douglas]
(Attributed)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Douglas, Tommy

The human race exaggerates everything: its heroes, its enemies, its importance.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship (1998)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bukowski, Charles

It’s a blessing to die for a cause, because you can so easily die for nothing.

Andrew Young (b. 1932) American politician
Interview by Peter Ross Range, Playboy (Jul 1977)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Young, Andrew

Be your character what it will, it will be known; and nobody will take it up on your own word. Never imagine that anything you can say yourself will varnish your defects or add lustre to your perfections! but, on the contrary, it may, and nine times in ten will, make the former more glaring, and the latter obscure.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (19 Oct 1748)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

In a courtroom there is no system on trial, no history or historical trend, no ism, anti-Semitism for instance, but a person, and if the defendant happens to be a functionary, he stands accused precisely because even a functionary is still a human being, and it is in this capacity that he stands trial.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Arendt, Hannah

TIRESIAS: Oh god, is there a man alive who knows, who actually believes …
CREON: What now? What earth-shattering truth are you about to utter?
TIRESIAS: … just how much a sense of judgment, wisdom is the greatest gift we have?
CREON: Just as much, I’d say, as a twisted mind is the worst affliction known.
TIRESIAS: You’re the one who’s sick, Creon, sick to death.

[Τειρεσίας: φεῦ. ἆρ᾽ οἶδεν ἀνθρώπων τις, ἆρα φράζεται,
Κρέων: τί χρῆμα; ποῖον τοῦτο πάγκοινον λέγεις;
Τειρεσίας: ὅσῳ κράτιστον κτημάτων εὐβουλία;
Κρέων: ὅσῳπερ, οἶμαι, μὴ φρονεῖν πλείστη βλάβη.
Τειρεσίας: ταύτης σὺ μέντοι τῆς νόσου πλήρης ἔφυς.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 1048ff (441 BC) [tr. Fagles (1982), l. 1162ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

TEIRESIAS: Oh! What man is there that knows? who that considers --
KREON: In what? thou askest comprehensive questions.
TEIRESIAS: How far the best of goods good counsel is?
KREON: As far as folly is the greatest loss.
TEIRESIAS: Well, though, at least hast caught that grievous ailment.
[tr. Donaldson (1848), l. 1015]

TEIRESIAS: Alas! doth any know and lay to heart --
CREON: Is this the prelude to some hackneyed saw?
TEIRESIAS: How far good counsel is the best of goods?
CREON: True, as unwisdom is the worst of ills.
TEIRESIAS: Thou art infected with that ill thyself.
[tr. Campbell (1873)]

TIRESIAS: Ah! where is wisdom? who considereth?
CREON: Wherefore? what means this universal doubt?
TIRESIAS: How far the best of riches is good counsel!
CREON: As far as folly is the mightiest bane.
TIRESIAS: Yet thou art sick of that same pestilence.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

TEIRESIAS: Alas! Does any man know, does any consider --
CREON: What is this? What universal truth are you announcing?
TEIRESIAS: -- by how much the most precious of our possessions is the power to reason wisely?
CREON: By as much, I think, as senselessness is the greatest affliction.
TEIRESIAS: Yet you came into being full of that disease.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

TEIRESIAS: Alas! Doth any man know, doth any consider ...
CREON: Whereof? What general truth dost thou announce?
TEIRESIAS: How precious, above all wealth, is good counsel.
CREON: As folly, I think, is the worst mischief.
TEIRESIAS: Yet thou art tainted with that distemper.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

TEIRESIAS: Ah Creon! Is there no man left in the world --
CREON: To do what? -- Come, let’s have the aphorism!
TEIRESIAS: No man who knows that wisdom outweighs any wealth?
CREON: As surely as bribes are baser than any baseness.
TEIRESIAS: You are sick, Creon! You are deathly sick!
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), l. 825ff]

TEIRESIAS: Ah, is there any wisdom in the world?
CREON: Why, what is the meaning of that wide-flung taunt?
TEIRESIAS: What prize outweighs the priceless worth of prudence?
CREON: Ay, what indeed? What mischief matches the lack of it?
TEIRESIAS: And there you speak of your own symptom, sir.
[tr. Watling (1947)]

TEIRESIAS: Alas! What man can tell me, has he thought at all ...
CREON: What hackneyed saw is coming from your lips?
TEIRESIAS: How better than all wealth is sound good counsel.
CREON: And so folly worse than anything.
TEIRESIAS: And you're infected with that same disease.
[tr. Wyckoff (1954)]

TEIRESIAS: Does any man reflect, does any know ...
CREON: Know what? Why do you preach at me like this?
TEIRESIAS: How much the greatest blessing is good counsel?
CREON: As much, I think, as folly is his plague.
TEIRESIAS: Yet with this plague you are yourself infected.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

TIRESIAS: This is very sad: Does any human being know, or even question ...
CREON: What's this? More of your great "common knowledge"?
TIRESIAS: How powerful good judgment is, compared to wealth.
CREON: Exactly. And no harm compares with heedlessness.
TIRESIAS: Which runs through you like the plague.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

TIRESIAS: Pheu, does any man know, does he consider ...
CREON: Just what? What old saw are you saying?
TIRESIAS: by how much the best of possessions is good counsel?
CREON: By as much, I suppose, as not to have sense is the greatest harm.
TIRESIAS: You certainly were full of this sickness.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett (2002)]

TEIRESIAS: Is there no one who ... does no one know ... Speak up! Speak up!
CREON: What? What are you trying to say to us?
TEIRESIAS: What? What I’m trying to tell you, Creon, is that man’s best endowment is wisdom.
CREON: Just as idiocy is our worst curse.
TEIRESIAS: You’re possessed by this illness to the full.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

TEIRESIAS: Alas, does any man know or think about ...
CREON: Think what? What sort of pithy common thought are you about to utter?
TEIRESIAS: ... how good advice is valuable -- worth more than all possessions.
CREON: I think that’s true, as much as foolishness is what harms us most.
TEIRESIAS: Yet that’s the sickness now infecting you.
[tr. Johnston (2005)]

TIRESIAS: Does any man know, does any consider ...
CREON: What thing? What great aphorism will you speak?
TIRESIAS: ... how much prudence is the greatest of possessions?
CREON: As much as stupidity is the worst hurt?
TIRESIAS: You certainly seem full of this disease.
[tr. Thomas (2005)]
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

Shake and shake
The catsup bottle,
None will come,
And then a lot’ll.

Richard Armour (1906-1989) American poet and author
“Going to Extremes” (1949)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Armour, Richard

The time to assert rights is when they are denied; the men to assert them are those to whom they are denied. The community which dares not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves.

Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) American abolitionist, orator
“Mobs and Education,” Speech, Twenty-Eighth Congregational Society, Boston (16 Dec 1860)
    (Source)

As reported in the Liberator (21 Dec 1860).

Note: There is a synthetic quotation frequently attributed to Phillips that is a actually combination of this one, and these three others:

No matter whose lips that would speak, they must be free and ungagged. The community which dares not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves. If there is anything in the universe that can’t stand discussion, let it crack.

While Phillips often reused rhetorical elements (as most orators do), this particular combination appears to be combination not actually found in his speeches or writing.
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Phillips, Wendell

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance; at least I suppose this quill I hold in my hand writes better than a peacock’s would, and the peasants of Vevay, whose fields in spring time are as white with lilies as the Dent du Midi is with its snow, told me the hay was none the better for them.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) English art critic, painter, writer, social thinker
The Stones of Venice, ch. 2 “The Virtues of Architecture,” sec. 17 (1851)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Ruskin, John

Hector, stop!
You unforgivable, you … don’t talk to me of pacts.
There are no binding oaths between men and lions —
wolves and lambs can enjoy no meeting of the minds —
they are all bent on hating each other to the death.
So with you and me. No love between us. No truce
till one or the other falls and gluts with blood
Ares who hacks at men behind his rawhide shield.

[Ἕκτορ μή μοι ἄλαστε συνημοσύνας ἀγόρευε:
ὡς οὐκ ἔστι λέουσι καὶ ἀνδράσιν ὅρκια πιστά,
οὐδὲ λύκοι τε καὶ ἄρνες ὁμόφρονα θυμὸν ἔχουσιν,
ἀλλὰ κακὰ φρονέουσι διαμπερὲς ἀλλήλοισιν,
265ὣς οὐκ ἔστ᾽ ἐμὲ καὶ σὲ φιλήμεναι, οὐδέ τι νῶϊν
ὅρκια ἔσσονται, πρίν γ᾽ ἢ ἕτερόν γε πεσόντα
αἵματος ἆσαι Ἄρηα ταλαύρινον πολεμιστήν.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad, Book 22, l. 261ff [Achilles] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 308ff]
    (Source)

After Hector proposes a pact with Achilles that the winner of their battle will not abuse the corpse of his opponent. Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Hector, thou only pestilence in all mortality
To my sere spirits, never set the point ’twixt thee and me
Any conditions; but as far as men and lions fly
All terms of cov’nant, lambs and wolves; in so far opposite state,
Impossible for love t’ atone, stand we, till our souls satiate
The God of soldiers.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 224ff]

"Talk not of oaths," the dreadful chief replies,
While anger flashed from his disdainful eyes,
"Detested as thou art, and ought to be,
Nor oath nor pact Achilles plights with thee;
Such pacts, as lambs and rabid wolves combine,
Such leagues, as men and furious lions join,
To such I call the gods! one constant state
Of lasting rancour and eternal hate:
No thought but rage, and never-ceasing strife,
Till death extinguish rage, and thought, and life."
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Hector! my bitterest foe! speak not to me
Of covenants! as concord can be none
Lions and men between, nor wolves and lambs
Can be unanimous, but hate perforce
Each other by a law not to be changed,
So cannot amity subsist between
Thee and myself; nor league make I with thee
Or compact, till thy blood in battle shed
Or mine, shall gratify the fiery Mars.
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 302ff]

Talk not to me of covenants, O most cursed Hector. As there are not faithful leagues between lions and men, nor yet have wolves and lambs an according mind, but ever meditate evils against each other; so it is not possible for thee and me to contract a friendship, nor shall there at all be leagues between us, -- first shall one, falling, satiate the invincible warrior Mars with his blood.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Hector, thou object of my deadly hate,
Talk not to me of compacts; as ’tween men
And lions no firm concord can exist,
Nor wolves and lambs in harmony unite,
But ceaseless enmity between them dwells:
So not in friendly terms, nor compact firm,
Can thou and I unite, till one of us
Glut with his blood the mail-clad warrior Mars.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

Hector, talk not to me, thou madman, of covenants. As between men and lions there is no pledge of faith, nor wolves and sheep can be of one mind, but imagine evil continually against each other, so is it impossible for thee and me to be friends, neither shall be any pledge between us until one or other shall have fallen and glutted with blood Ares, the stubborn god of war.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Fool, prate not to me about covenants. There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other out and out an through. Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me, nor may there be any covenants between us, till one or other shall fall and glut grim Mars with his life's blood.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Hector, talk not to me, thou madman, of covenants. As between lions and men there are no oaths of faith, nor do wolves and lambs have hearts of concord but are evil-minded continually one against the other, even so is it not possible for thee and me to be friends, neither shall there be oaths between us till one or the other shall have fallen, and glutted with his blood Ares, the warrior with tough shield of hide.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

It’s hard for decent people to stay angry at someone who has burst into tears, which is why it is often a good idea to burst into tears if a decent person is yelling at you.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Snicket, Lemony

No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell.

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) French playwright, actor, director
Van Gogh, the Man Suicided by Society [Le Suicidé de la Société] (1947) [tr. Watson]
    (Source)
Added on 24-Feb-21 | Last updated 24-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Artaud, Antonin

The man who will not investigate both sides of a question is dishonest.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Lincoln, Abraham

When there was room on the ledge outside of the pot s and boxes for a cat, the cat was there — in sunny weather — stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then the house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat — and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat — may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Pudd’nhead Wilson, ch. 1 (1894)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Jingo (1988)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

One should emulate works and deeds of virtue, not arguments about it.

[Ἔργα καὶ πρήξιας ἀρετῆς, οὐ λόγους, ζηλοῦν χρειών.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 55 (Diels) [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
    (Source)

Cited in Diels as "55. (121 N.) DEMOKRATES. 21"; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium II, 15, 36. Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "One should emulate the deeds and actions of virtue, not the words." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "One must emulate the deeds and actions fo virtue, not the words." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "It is necessary to envy the deeds of the work of virtue not the words." [tr. @sententiq (2018)]
  • "Envy the deeds and actions of virtue, not the words." [Source]
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Democritus

I don’t want to kill anybody. I am passionately opposed to killing, but I’m even more passionately fond of freedom.

Edward Teller (1908-2003) Hungarian-American theoretical physicist
“Fallout and Disarmament: A Debate Between Linus Pauling and Edward Teller,” KQED-TV, San Francisco (20 Feb 1958)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Teller, Edward

it is important not to confuse nationalism with mere worship of success. The nationalist does not go on the principle of simply ganging up with the strongest side. On the contrary, having picked his side, he persuades himself that it is the strongest, and is able to stick to his belief even when the facts are overwhelmingly against him. Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception. Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also — since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself — unshakably certain of being in the right.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Notes on Nationalism” (May 1945)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

“The right to think, to know and to utter,” as John Milton said, is the dearest of all liberties. Without this right, there can be no liberty to any people; with it, there can be no slavery.

John A. Andrew (1818-1867) American lawyer, politician, abolitionist
Letter (1860)
    (Source)

Letter written after his election as Massachusetts governor. referencing Milton's Areopagitica. Quoted by Wendell Phillips in his "Mobs and Education" speech (16 Dec 1860), and often attributed to Phillips.
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Andrew, John A.

Lord have pity upon all men.
To those who are in darkness
Be their light.
To those who are in despair
Be their Hope.
To those who are suffering
Be their Healing.
To those who are fearful
Be their Courage.
To those who are defeated
Be their Victory.
To those who are dying
Be their Life.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
“Prayer for All Those Who Work or Fight in the War”
    (Source)

One of several prayers found in Roosevelt's wallet after her death. Author unknown. Another prayer found there:

Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that somewhere someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask, "Am I worth dying for?"
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Eleanor

They know of no solutions to the paradoxes of the Middle East and Europe, the Far East and Africa except the landing of Marines. Being baffled, and also being very tired of being baffled, they have come to believe that there is no way out — except war — which would remove all the bewildering paradoxes of their tedious and now misguided attempts to construct peace. In place of these paradoxes they prefer the bright, clear problems of war — as they used to be. For they still believe that “winning” means something, although they never tell us what.

C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) American sociologist, academic, author [Charles Wright Mills]
The Causes of World War Three (1958)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mills, C. Wright

Bigotry and science can have no communication with each other, for science begins where bigotry and absolute certainty end. The scientist believes in proof without certainty, the bigot in certainty without proof. Let us never forget that tyranny most often springs from a fanatical faith in the absoluteness of one’s beliefs.

Ashley Montagu (1905-1999) British-American anthropologist and humanist [b. Israel Ehrenberg, a/k/a Montague Francis Ashley-Montagu]
Science and Creationism, Introduction (1984)

The second sentence is frequently (mis)quoted:
  • "Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."
  • "Religion gives us certainty without proof; science gives us proof without certainty."
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Montagu, Ashley

But since, as Plato has admirably expressed it, we are not born for ourselves alone, but our country claims a share of our being, and our friends a share; and since, as the Stoics hold, everything that the earth produces is created for man’s use; and as men, too, are born for the sake of men, that they may be able mutually to help one another; in this direction we ought to follow Nature as our guide, to contribute to the general good by an interchange of acts of kindness, by giving and receiving, and thus by our skill, our industry, and our talents to cement human society more closely together, man to man.

[Sed quoniam, ut praeclare scriptum est a Platone, non nobis solum nati sumus ortusque nostri partem patria vindicat, partem amici, atque, ut placet Stoicis, quae in terris gignantur, ad usum hominum omnia creari, homines autem hominum causa esse generatos, ut ipsi inter se aliis alii prodesse possent, in hoc naturam debemus ducem sequi, communes utilitates in medium afferre mutatione officiorum, dando accipiendo, tum artibus, tum opera, tum facultatibus devincire hominum inter homines societatem.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 7 / sec. 22 (44 BC) [tr. Miller (1913)]
    (Source)

Original Latin. Referring to Plato, Epistle 9, to Archytas: "No one of us exists for himself alone, but one share of our existence belongs to our country, another to our parents, a third to the rest of our friends, while a great part is given over to those needs of the hour with which our life is beset." [tr. Bury (1966)]

Alternate translations:

"But seeing (as is excellently said by Plato) we are not born for ourselves alone; but that our native country, our friends and relations, have a just claim and title to some part of us;" and seeing whatsoever is created on earth was merely designed (as the Stoics will have it) for the service of men; and men themselves for the service, good, and assistance of one another; we certainly in this should be followers of Nature, and second her intentions; and by producing all that lies within the reach of our power for the general interest, by mutually giving and receiving good turns, by our knowledge, industry, riches, or other means, should endeavour to keep up that love and society, that should be amongst men.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

But, according to the excellent observation of Plato, "since we were not born for ourselves alone, our country and our friends have separate claims upon us." The produce of the earth, according to the Stoics, is intended wholly for the use of man; but men were designed for the service of men, by being made able to communicate reciprocal benefits to each other. In this view we ought to follow nature as our guide; and, by the exchange of services, by giving and receiving, to bring forward general advantages for the common good. We ought, by knowledge, industry, and wealth, to bind closer the society of men with men.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

But (as has been strikingly said by Plato) we are not born for ourselves alone, and our country claims her share, and our friends their share of us; and, as the Stoics hold, all the earth produces is created for the used of man, so men are created for the sake of men, that they may mutually do good to one another; in this we ought to take nature for our guide, to throw into the public stock the offices of general utility by a reciprocation of duties; sometimes by receiving, sometimes by giving, and sometimes to cement human society by arts, by industry, and byh our resources.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

But since, as it has been well said by Plato, we are not born for ourselves alone; since our country claims a part in us, our parents a part, our friends a part; and since, according to the Stoics, whatever the earth bears is created for the use of men, while men were brought into being for the sake of men, that they might do good to one another, -- in this matter we ought to follow nature as a guide, to contribute our part to the common good, and by the interchange of kind offices, both in giving and receiving, alike by skill, by labor, and by the resources at our command, to strengthen the social union of men among men.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“Mr. Chesterton in Hysterics,” The Clarion (14 Nov 1913)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by West, Rebecca

Once a faith is shattered, it takes a long time to grow again — for its soil is experience — and to become effective again.

Daniel Bell 1919-2011) American sociologist, writer, editor, academic
The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, ch. 6 “The Public Household” (1976)
Added on 22-Feb-21 | Last updated 22-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Bell, Daniel

The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) American politician, diplomat, sociologist
Godkin Lecture, Harvard (1985)
    (Source)

As reprinted in his book, Family and Nation (1986).
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Moynihan, Daniel Patrick

It is difficult to pronounce on the opinion of the ministers of our Church as a body: one portion of them, by far the least informed, protests against anything which can advance the honour and the interests of science, because, in their limited and mistaken view, science is adverse to religion. This is not the place to argue that great question. It is sufficient to remark, that the best-informed and most enlightened men of all creeds and pursuits, agree that truth can never damage truth, and that every truth is allied indissolubly by chains more or less circuitous with all other truths; whilst error, at every step we make in its diffusion, becomes not only wider apart and more discordant from all truths, but has also the additional chance of destruction from all rival errors.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) English mathematician, computer pioneer, philosopher
The Exposition of 1851: Views Of The Industry, The Science, and the Government Of England, ch. 17 (1851)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Babbage, Charles

We have to do the best we are capable of. This is our sacred human responsibility.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
Interview with Algernon Black (Fall 1940) [Einstein Archives 54-834]
    (Source)

Einstein forbade publication of the discussion.
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Einstein, Albert

Please remain calm — it’s no use both of us being hysterical at the same time.

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #1032
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Brilliant, Ashleigh

Where some possess much, and the others nothing, there may arise an extreme democracy, or a pure oligarchy; or a tyranny may grow out of either extreme.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 4, ch. 11 / 1296a.1-3 [tr. Jowett (1885)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

  • "When some possess too much, and others nothing at all, the government must either be in the hands of the meanest rabble or else a pure oligarchy; or, from the excesses of both, a tyranny." [tr. Ellis (1912)]
  • "Where some own a very great deal of property and others none there comes about either an extreme democracy or an unmixed oligarchy, or a tyranny may result from both of the two extremes." [tr. Rackham (1932)]
  • "Where some possess very many things and others nothing, either rule of the people in its extreme form must come into being, or unmixed oligarchy, or -- as a result of both of these excesses -- tyranny." [tr. Reeve (2007)]
  • "Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses."
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

To those who wish to punish others — or at least to see them punished, if the avengers are too cowardly to take matters into their own hands — the belief in a fiery, hideous hell appears to be a great source of comfort.

Steve Allen (1922-2000) American composer, entertainer, and wit.
Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality, “Hell” (1990)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Feb-21 | Last updated 19-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Allen, Steve

Celebrity is just obscurity biding its time.

Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) American actress, writer
Wishful Drinking, stage show (2009)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Fisher, Carrie

There is, in fact, no academic requirement to include more than one view of an academic issue, although it is usually pedagogically useful to do so. The true requirement is that no matter how many (or few) views are presented to the students, they should be offered as objects of analysis rather than as candidates for allegiance.

Stanley Fish (b. 1938) American literary theorist, legal scholar, author
“Conspiracy Theories 101,” New York Times (23 Jul 2006)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fish, Stanley

A good cause has to be careful of the company it keeps.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“World of Books: The Greek Way,” Sunday Times of London (23 Aug 1942)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by West, Rebecca

I have now but one anxiety left, which is concerning you. I would have you be, what I know nobody is, perfect. As that is impossible, I would have you as near perfection as possible. I know nobody in a fairer way toward it than yourself, if you please. Never were so much pains taken for anybody’s education as for yours; and never had anybody those opportunities of knowledge and improvement which you have had, and still have. I hope, I wish, I doubt, and I fear alternately. This only I am sure of, that you will prove either the greatest pain, or the greatest pleasure of, Yours Always Truly.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (16 Feb 1748)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

There is no such thing as collective guilt or collective innocence; guilt and innocence make sense only if applied to individuals.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Arendt, Hannah

And the winner will be desire,
Shining in the eyes of a bride,
An invitation to bed,
A power to sweep across the bounds of what is Right.
For we are only toys in your hands,
Divine, unbeatable Aphrodite.

[νικᾷ δ᾽ ἐναργὴς βλεφάρων ἵμερος εὐλέκτρου
νύμφας, τῶν μεγάλων πάρεδρος ἐν ἀρχαῖς
θεσμῶν. ἄμαχος γὰρ ἐμπαίζει θεὸς, Ἀφροδίτα.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 795ff [Chorus, Antistrophe] (441 BC) [tr. Woodruff (2001)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Triumphantly prevails
The heart-compelling eye of winsome bride,
Compeer of mighty Law
Thronèd, commanding.
Madly thou mockest men, dread Aphrodite.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

But victory belongs to radiant Desire swelling from the eyes of the sweet-bedded bride. Desire sits enthroned in power beside the mighty laws. For in all this divine Aphrodite plays her irresistible game.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

Victorious is the love-kindling light from the eyes of the fair bride; it is a power enthroned in sway beside the eternal laws; for there the goddess Aphrodite is working her unconquerable will.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

And none has conquered but Love!
A girl’s glance working the will of heaven:
Pleasure to her alone who mock us,
Merciless Aphrodite.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), l. 653ff]

For the light that burns in the eyes of a bride of desire
Is a fire that consumes.
At the side of the great gods
Aphrodite immortal
Works her will upon all.
[tr. Watling (1947), l. 687ff]

Desire looks clear from the eyes of a lovely bride:
power as strong as the founded world.
For there is the goddess at play whom no man can fight.
[tr. Wyckoff (1954)]

The kindling light of Love in the soft
Eye of a bride conquers, for Love sits on his
throne, one of the great Powers;
Nought else can prevail against
Invincible Aphrodite.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

Love alone the victor --
warm glance of the bride triumphant, burning with desire!
Throned in power, side-by-side with the mighty laws!
Irresistible Aphrodite, never conquered --
Love, you mock us for your sport.
[tr. Fagles (1982), l. 890ff]

Desire radiant from the eyelids
of a well-bedded bride prevails,
companion in rule with the gods’ great
ordinances. She against whom none may battle,
the goddess Aphrodite, plays her games.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett (2002)]

You, Love!
Through the lashes of a lusty bride, Passion, you win the day, scorning the great laws which hold sway over the whole world.
Because Aphrodite is invincible!
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

The bride’s desire seen glittering in her eyes --
that conquers everything, its power
enthroned beside eternal laws, for there
the goddess Aphrodite works her will,
whose ways are irresistible.
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 905ff]

Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Sophocles