- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
WIST currently holds 19,765 quotations by 3,077 authors. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
Author CloudAristotle • Asimov, Isaac • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterfield (Lord) • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Cicero, Marcus Tullius • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Homer • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Martial • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Sophocles • Tolkien, J.R.R. • Twain, Mark • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
Most Quoted Authors
Topic Cloudaction age America author beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history human nature humanity integrity liberty life love morality perspective politics power progress reality religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (10,352)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,708)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,277)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,678)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,876)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,651)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,637)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,292)
- Republic, Book 1, 347c (4,278)
- The Problems of Philosophy, ch. 2 “The Existence of Matter” (1912) on
- Discourse on Method [Discours de la méthode], Part 2 (1637) [tr. Cottingham, Stoothoff (1985)] on
- The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, ch. 12, sec. 2 (c. 1418) on
- Heauton Timoroumenos [The Self-Tormentor], Act 4, sc. 5, l. 48 (l. 796) on
- “Reflections on Monogamy,” Prejudices (1919-27) on
- Letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy (13 Nov 1789) on
- The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 9, l. 63ff (9.63-64) [Nestor] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20)] on
- Inaugural Address (20 Jan 1961) [with Ted Sorensen] on
- Speech, Republican National Convention (7 Jun 1916) on
- “In Our Youth Our Hearts Were Touched With Fire,” Memorial Day address, Keene, New Hampshire (30 May 1884) on
The true foundation of theology is to ascertain the character of God. It is by the aid of Statistics that law in the social sphere can be ascertained and codified, and certain aspects of the character of God thereby revealed. The study of statistics is thus a religious service.
Attributed in F.N. David in Games, Gods, and Gambling: A History of Probability and Statistical Ideas (1962).
There is a related variant of this quote: "To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose." This appears to be a paraphrase by Francis Galton of her beliefs (in full in Karl Pearson, Life of Francis Galton, Vol. 2, ch. 13, sec. 1 (1924)). While Galton is describing her beliefs, the quotation is often rewritten from third to first person, as though it were something she said.
Added on 1-Jul-21 | Last updated 1-Jul-21
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