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Why would we worry what others think of us if their opinions did not change us?

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, #387 (2001)
Added on 10-Aug-21 | Last updated 10-Aug-21
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I have accustomed myself to receive with respect the opinions of others, but always take the responsibility of deciding for myself.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) American politician, general, US President (1829-1837)
(Attributed)

Quoted by John F. Kennedy in the foreword to T. Sorensen, Decision-Making in the White House: The Olive Branch or the Arrows (1963)
Added on 13-Nov-18 | Last updated 13-Nov-18
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When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) English economist
(Attributed)

Reply to a criticism of having changed his position on monetary policy. Quoted in Paul Samuelson, "The Keynes Centenary" The Economist, Vol. 287 (1983), but possibly apocryphal (see here).

Variants:
  • "When events change, I change my mind. What do you do?"
  • "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"
  • "When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?"
Added on 21-Mar-17 | Last updated 15-Apr-20
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Woe be to him that reads but one book.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, #1146 (1651)

See this Latin proverb.
Added on 19-Aug-10 | Last updated 3-Mar-16
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On two occasions I have been asked, — “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) English mathematician, computer pioneer, philosopher
Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, ch. 5 “Difference Engine No. 1” (1864)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-21
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