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If you have to do it every day, for God’s sake learn to do it well.

McLaughlin - have to do it every day god's sake do it well - wist.info quote

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 4 (1963)
    (Source)
 
Added on 3-Nov-22 | Last updated 3-Nov-22
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Serious artist or weekend amateur, it’s more fun cooking for company in company.

Child - Serious artist or weekend amateur it’s more fun cooking for company in company - wist.info quote

Julia Child (1912-2004) American chef and writer
Julia Child & More Company, Introduction (1979)
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Added on 13-Oct-22 | Last updated 13-Oct-22
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Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) American social activist, abolitionist, woman's suffragist
The Woman’s Bible, Part 1, Introduction (1895)
    (Source)
 
Added on 6-Oct-22 | Last updated 6-Oct-22
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How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
To have a thankless child.

Shakespeare - How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child - wist.info quote

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 1, sc. 4, l. 302ff [Lear] (1606)
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Added on 28-Sep-22 | Last updated 28-Sep-22
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If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the flower beside the fruit,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk
     About one being better.

Chesterton - If I set the sun beside the moon I suppose some fool would talk about one being better - wist.info quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
“Comparisons”
    (Source)

In "The Notebook" (1894-98). BL MS Add. 73334, fo. 5.

The poem, which has no formal title, has been printed in multiple forms. In many cases, the third line (flower/fruit) is omitted. In some cases "tower" is substituted for "town."
 
Added on 6-Sep-22 | Last updated 6-Sep-22
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Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 143,000,000 followers, it will no longer be America. Truly American leadership is not of any one man. It is of multitudes of men — and women. Eisenhower - Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man it will no longer be America - wist.info quote

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
“An Open Letter to America’s Students,” Reader’s Digest (Oct 1948)
    (Source)

Quoted in different locations with various numbers for the US population. The letter was written while Eisenhower was President of Columbia University.
 
Added on 6-Sep-22 | Last updated 6-Sep-22
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But of all injustice, theirs is certainly of the deepest die, who make it their business to appear honest men, even whilst they are practising the greatest of villainies.

[Totius autem iniustitiae nulla capitalior quam eorum, qui tum, cum maxime fallunt, id agunt, ut viri boni esse videantur.]

Cicero - injustice deepest die appear honest men practising the greatest of villainies - wist.info quote

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 13 (1.13) / sec. 41 (44 BC) [tr. Cockman (1699)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

No act of injustice is more pernicious than theirs, who while they are attempting the greatest deceit, labor to appear good men.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

But in the whole system of villainy, none is more capital than that of the men, who, when they most deceive, so manage as that they may seem to be virtuous men.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

But of all forms of injustice, none is more heinous than that of the men who, while they practise fraud to the utmost of their ability, do it in such a way that they appear to be good men.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

The most criminal injustice is that of the hypocrite who hides an act of treachery under the cloak of virtue.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

No iniquity is more deadly than that of those who, when they are most at fault, so behave as to seem men of integrity.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

But of all forms of injustice, none is more flagrant than that of the hypocrite who, at the very moment when he is most false, makes it his business to appear virtuous.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Taking all forms of injustice into account, none is more deadly than that practiced by people who act as if they are good men when they are being most treacherous.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 11-Aug-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Patriotism without principle is the prejudice of birth — the animal attachment to place.

Ingersoll - Patriotism without principle is the prejudice of birth—the animal attachment to place - wist.info quote.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Decoration Day Speech, Academy of Music, New York City (29 May 1882)
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Added on 6-Jul-22 | Last updated 8-Jul-22
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Our Constitution was not written in the sands to be washed away by each wave of new judges blown in by each successive political wind that brings new political administrations into temporary power.

Black - Our Constitution was not written in the sands - wist.info quote

Hugo Black (1886-1971) American politician and jurist, US Supreme Court Justice (1937-71)
Turner v. United States, 396 U.S. 398, 426 (1970) [dissenting]
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Added on 23-Jun-22 | Last updated 2-Feb-23
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If you’ll scratch a cynic, you’ll find a disappointed idealist.

Carlin - If you’ll scratch a cynic, you’ll find a disappointed idealist - wist.info quote

George Carlin (1937-2008) American comedian
Interview by Marc Cooper, The Progressive (Jul 2001)
    (Source)

A documented case of a phrase Carlin frequently used, though not original with him. Often quoted as "Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist."
 
Added on 13-Jun-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

Jung - loneliness

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
Memories, Dreams, Reflections [Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken], “Retrospect” (1962) [with Aniela Jaffé; tr. Winston (1963)]
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Added on 13-Jun-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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This was unwise, but if autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons.

Tuchman - If autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons - wist.info quote

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
A Distant Mirror, ch. 21 “The Fiction Cracks” (1978)
    (Source)

On young King Richard II's giving substantial offices and lands to his friend and mentor, the Earl of Oxford, in so doing making an enemy of the Duke of Gloucester.
 
Added on 19-Apr-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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Some men believe their own Opinions no less firmly than others do their positive Knowledge.

Aristotle - Some men believe their own Opinions no less firmly than others do their positive Knowledge - wist.info quote

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 7, ch. 3 (7.3) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Chase (1847)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

Some men put no less faith in their own uncertified opinions than do others in the verified truths of science.
[tr. Williams (1869), sec. 127]

For some people are as strongly convinced of their opinions as others of their knowledge.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

Some people have just as strong a belief in their mere opinions as others have in what they really know.
[tr. Peters (1893), 7.3.4]

Some men are no less convinced of what they think than others of what they know.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they opine as others are of what they know.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

Some people have no less conviction about that they believe than others do about what they know scientifically.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

Some men are just as sure of the truth of their opinions as others are of what they know.
[tr. Thomson (1953)]

Some men are no less convinced of their opinions about things than others of the things they know.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

There are some people who have no less confidence than others hav ein what they know.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

Some are no less convinced of what they opine about than are other people of what they know.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

 
Added on 29-Mar-22 | Last updated 29-Mar-22
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Because we have sought to cover up past evil, though it still persists, we have been powerless to check the new evil of today. Evil unchecked grows, evil tolerated poisons the whole system. And because we have tolerated our past and present evils, international affairs are poisoned and law and justice have disappeared from them.

Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) Indian nationalist leader, politician, statesman, author
“The Bombing of Open Towns,” speech, International Peace Campaign Conference, Paris (24 Jul 1938)
    (Source)

Nehru was comparing rising fascism to colonial imperialism, and the bombings of cities in Spain and China to ongoing British bombing of villages in the North-West Frontier of India. Collected in The Unity of India : Collected Writings, 1937-1940 (1942).
 
Added on 21-Feb-22 | Last updated 21-Feb-22
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I protest, for about the hundredth time, against the slipshod method of quoting a mere author’s name, without any indication of the work of that author in which the alleged quotation may be found. Let us have accurate quotations and exact references, wherever such are to be found. […] A quotation without a reference is like a geological specimen of unknown locality.
Skeat - A quotation without a reference is like a geological specimen of unknown locality - wist.info quote

Walter William Skeat
Walter William Skeat (1835-1912) British philologist and cleric
Notes and Queries, 6th Series, vol. 9 (21 Jun 1884)
    (Source)
 
Added on 7-Feb-22 | Last updated 7-Feb-22
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I have always regarded technique as a means, not an end in itself. One must, of course, master techniques; at the same time, one must not become enslaved by it — one must understand that the purpose of technique is to transmit the inner meaning, the message, of the music. The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.

Casals - The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all - wist.info quote

Pablo Casals (1876-1973) Spanish cellist, conductor, composer
Joys and Sorrows, ch. 5 (1970) [with Albert E. Kahn]
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Added on 20-Jan-22 | Last updated 20-Jan-22
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Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.

Smith - Every author however modest keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast - wist.info quote

Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946) American-English essayist, editor, anthologist
Afterthoughts (1931)
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Added on 19-Jan-22 | Last updated 19-Jan-22
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Money is like sex. It seems much more important when you don’t have any.

Bukowski - Money is like sex It seems much more important when you don't have any - wist.info quote

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Hollywood, ch. 4 (1989)
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Added on 12-Jan-22 | Last updated 12-Jan-22
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The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.

Orwell - Sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality usually on a battlefield - wist.info quote

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“In Front of Your Nose,” Tribune (22 Mar 1946)
    (Source)
 
Added on 5-Jan-22 | Last updated 5-Jan-22
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Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy,
Happy New Year, everybody.

McGinley - Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy, Happy New Year, everybody - wist.info quote

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
(Attributed)
 
Added on 31-Dec-21 | Last updated 31-Dec-21
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Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.

Lippmann - Success makes men rigid exalt stability fanatics about conservatism - wist.info quote

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
A Preface to Politics, ch. 1 (1914)
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Added on 20-Dec-21 | Last updated 20-Dec-21
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The function of imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange; not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders.

Chesterton - function of imagination settled things strange facts wonders - wist.info quote

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Defendant, ch. 7 “A Defence of China Shepherdesses” (1901)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Dec-21 | Last updated 14-Dec-21
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Race is the child of racism, not the father.

Coates - Race is the child of racism not the father - wist.info quote

Ta-Nehisi Coates (b. 1975) American writer, journalist, educator
Between the World and Me, ch. 1 (2015)
    (Source)

Coates continues:

And the process of naming "the people" has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible -- this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.
 
Added on 26-Oct-21 | Last updated 20-Nov-21
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All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber (1894-1961) American cartoonist and writer
“The Shore and the Sea,”, Moral, Further Fables for Our Time (1956)
 
Added on 15-Oct-21 | Last updated 15-Oct-21
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Knowledge breeds doubt, not certainty, and the more we know the more uncertain we become.

Taylor - Knowledge breeds doubt, not certainty - wist.info quote

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
“What Else Indeed?” New York Review of Books (5 Aug 1965)
    (Source)
 
Added on 20-Sep-21 | Last updated 20-Sep-21
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It seems to me that if there is some infinite being who wants us to think alike, he would have made us alike.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech to the Jury, Trial of C. B. Reynolds for Blasphemy, Morristown, New Jersey (May 1887)
    (Source)
 
Added on 15-Sep-21 | Last updated 15-Sep-21
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It may be confidently asserted that no man chooses evil, because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

Wollstonecraft - No man chooses evil because it is evil - wist.info quote

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) English social philosopher, feminist, writer
A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)
    (Source)
 
Added on 13-Sep-21 | Last updated 11-Jan-23
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The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.

Ingersoll - liberty of man Bible and sword man is a slave - wist.info quote

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Some Mistakes of Moses, ch. 3 “The Politicians” (1879)
    (Source)
 
Added on 18-Aug-21 | Last updated 18-Aug-21
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There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
“What Modern Liberty Means,” Liberty and the News (1920)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Aug-21 | Last updated 16-Aug-21
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There is a class of people wanting to be called philosophers, who are said to have produced many books actually in Latin. For my part I don’t despise them — I’ve never read them. But since those selfsame writers proclaim that what they write is neither systematic nor properly subdivided nor correct nor polished in style, I pass by reading what would bring no pleasure.

[Est enim quoddam genus eorum qui se philosophos appellari volunt, quorum dicuntur esse Latini sane multi libri; quos non contemno equidem, quippe quos numquam legerim; sed quia profitentur ipsi illi qui eos scribunt se neque distincte neque distribute neque eleganter neque ornate scribere, lectionem sine ulla delectatione neglego.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 2, ch. 3 (2.3) / sec. 7 (45 BC) [tr. Douglas (1990)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For there is a certain Set of such as assume to themselves the name of Philosophers, who are said to have Books enough in Latin, which I do not despise, for I have never read them; but because the Authors profess themselves, that they write neither with distinction of Terms, nor distribution of Parts, nor elegancy of Language, nor any Ornaments; I neglect to give that reading which is no ways delightful
[tr. Wase (1643)]

For there is a farther certain tribe who would willingly be called philosophers, whose books in our language are said to be numerous, which I do not despise, for indeed I never read the: but because the authors themselves declare that they write without any regularity or method, without elegance or ornament: I do not choose to read what is so void of entertainment.
[tr. Main (1824)]

For there is a certain race, who wish to be called philosophers, whose Latin books, indeed, are said to be numerous, which I have no contempt for, really, because I never read them; but, since their authors themselves profess to write without either order or method, ornament or elegance, I neglect a reading which affords me no delight.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

For there is a certain class of them who would willingly be called philosophers, whose books in our language are said to be numerous, and which I do not despise, for indeed I never read them: but still because the authors themselves declare that they write without any regularity, or method, or elegance, or ornament, I do not care to read what must be so void of entertainment.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

There is, indeed, a certain class of men who want to be called philosophers, who are said to have written many Latin books, which I do not despise, because I have never read them; but inasmuch as their authors profess to write with neither precision, nor system, nor elegance, nor ornament, I omit reading what can give me no pleasure.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

There is a certain class of authors, who wish to be called philosophers, and who have apparently published many books in Latin. I do not, indeed, condemn them, because I never read them, but because they themselves confess that they have not written their books clearly or in a well-arranged manner, nor elegantly or with any ornament. I avoid the sort of reading which offers no enjoyment.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

There exists a class of men who lay claim to the title of philosophers and are said to be authors of a great many books in Latin. These I personally do not despise, for the reason that I have never read them; but as the writers of these books on their own admission avoid in what they write a systematic approach, due subdivision, correctness, or a polished style. I have no interest in reading what brings no pleasure.
[tr. Davie (2017)]

 
Added on 9-Aug-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Ours is a problem in which deception has become organized and strong; where truth is poisoned at its source; one in which the skill of the shrewdest brains is devoted to misleading a bewildered people.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
A Preface to Politics, ch. 4 (1913)
    (Source)
 
Added on 26-Jul-21 | Last updated 26-Jul-21
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If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living in truth. This is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.

Havel - main pillar system living a lie not surprising fundamental threat living in truth - wist.info quote

Václav Havel (1936-2011) Czech playwright, essayist, dissident, politician
The Power of the Powerless, title essay (1979)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Jul-21 | Last updated 14-Jul-21
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You don’t get the power you ask for, you get the power you take.

Abrams - You don't get the power you ask for, you get the power you take - wist.info quote

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams (b. 1973) American politician, lawyer, activist
(Attributed)

See Baldwin.
 
Added on 13-Jul-21 | Last updated 10-Aug-21
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I’m afraid to win, and afraid to lose; I hate a draw and can’t stop competing; otherwise I’m fine.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 4 (1963)
    (Source)
 
Added on 24-Jun-21 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
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From time immemorial the wise and practical have denounced every heroic spirit. Yet it has not been they who have influenced our lives. The idealists and visionaries, foolish enough to throw caution to the winds and express their ardour and faith in some supreme deed, have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940) Lithuanian-American anarchist, activist
Living My Life, Part 2, ch. 39 (1931)
    (Source)
 
Added on 21-Jun-21 | Last updated 9-Aug-21
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I do not hate in the plural.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
(Attributed)

When asked, as a former WWII internee, whether he hate the Germans (or the Nazis).

George Orwell, writing in 1945 a defense of Wodehouse's actions while an internee, quoted him in a more complex version of this:

I never was interested in politics. I’m quite unable to work up any kind of belligerent feeling. Just as I’m about to feel belligerent about some country I meet a decent sort of chap. We go out together and lose any fighting thoughts or feelings.
 
Added on 20-May-21 | Last updated 20-May-21
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What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) English intellectual, polemicist, socio-political critic
“Mommie Dearest,” Slate (20 Oct 2003)

Sometimes referred to as Hitchens' Razor. The concept is not new (consider the Latin phrase "Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"), but was popularized by Hitchens in discussion of contemporary discussion of religion, including in his work God Is Not Great (2007).

While cited by a number of sources to the 2003 Slate article on the canonization of Mother Teresa, the phrase does not appear in the 2016 reprint of the article at the time she was actually declared a saint.

More information (including the original Slate text): The long history of Hitchens' Razor • Background Probability.
 
Added on 17-May-21 | Last updated 17-May-21
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Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
The Conquest of Happiness, ch. 12 (1930)
    (Source)
 
Added on 17-May-21 | Last updated 17-May-21
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It must be remembered that evidence is never complete, that knowledge of truth is always partial, and that to await certainty is to await eternity.

John Bowlby 1907-1990) British psychologist, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst
Maternal Care and Mental Health (1951)
    (Source)

The last phrase is often attributed to Jonas Salk, who used it ("It is said to await certainty is to await eternity") in a telegram to Basil O'Connor (8 Nov 1954). But as Salk himself noted, it was not original to him.
 
Added on 5-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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Then welcome fate!
‘Tis true I perish, yet I perish great:
Yet in a mighty deed I shall expire,
Let future ages hear it, and admire!

[νῦν αὖτέ με μοῖρα κιχάνει.
μὴ μὰν ἀσπουδί γε καὶ ἀκλειῶς ἀπολοίμην,
ἀλλὰ μέγα ῥέξας τι καὶ ἐσσομένοισι πυθέσθαι.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 22, l. 303ff (22.303) [Hector] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20), l. 385ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

But Fate now conquers; I am hers; and yet not she shall share
In my renown; that life is left to every noble spirit,
And that some great deed shall beget that all lives shall inherit.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 266ff]

But I will not fall
Inglorious; I will act some great exploit
That shall be celebrated ages hence.
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 347ff]

Fate overtakes me. Nevertheless I will not perish cowardly and ingloriously at least, but having done some great deed to be heard of even by posterity.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

My fate hath found me now.
Yet not without a struggle let me die,
Nor all inglorious; but let some great act,
Which future days may hear of, mark my fall.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

Now my fate hath found me. At least let me not die without a struggle or ingloriously, but in some great deed of arms whereof men yet to be born shall hear.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Now again is my doom come upon me. Nay, but not without a struggle let me die, neither ingloriously, but in the working of some great deed for the hearing of men that are yet to be.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

But now my death is upon me. Let me at least not die without a struggle, inglorious, but do some big thing first, that men to come shall know of it.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

Now the appointed time's upon me. Still, I would not die without delivering a stroke, or die ingloriously, but in some action memorable to men in days to come.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

So now I meet my doom. Well let me die --
but not without struggle, not without glory, no,
in some great clash of arms that even men to come
will hear of down the years!
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 359ff]

But now has my doom overcome me. But let me at least not die without making a fight, without glory, but a great deed having done for the men of the future to hear of.
[tr. Merrill (2007)]

May I not die without a fight and without glory
but after doing something big for men to come to learn about.
[tr. @Sentantiq (2011)]

 
Added on 24-Mar-21 | Last updated 8-Dec-21
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More quotes by Homer

A friend is one who rejoices in our good and grieves for our pain, and this purely on our own account.

[τούτων δὲ ὑποκειμένων ἀνάγκη φίλον εἶναι τὸν συνηδόμενον τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς καὶ συναλγοῦντα τοῖς λυπηροῖς μὴ διά τι ἕτερον ἀλλὰ δι᾽ ἐκεῖνον.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Rhetoric [Ῥητορική; Ars Rhetorica], Book 2, ch. 4, sec. 3 (2.4.3) / 1381a (350 BC) [tr. Jebb (1873)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

  • "He who rejoices with one in prosperity, and sympathises with one in pain, not with a view to anything else but for his friend's sake, is a friend." [Source (1847)]

  • "One who participates in another's joy at good fortune, and in his sorry at what aggrieves him, not from any other motive, but simply for his sake, is his friend." [tr. Buckley (1850)]

  • "Your friend is the sort of man who shares your pleasure in what is good and your pain in what is unpleasant, for your sake and for no other reason." [tr. Roberts (1924)]

  • "He is a friend who shares our joy in good fortune and our sorrow in affliction, for our own sake and not for any other reason." [tr. Freese (1926)]

  • "The following people are our friends: those who share our pleasure when good things happen and our distress when bad things happen for no other reason than for our sake." [tr. Waterfield (2018)]

  • "A friend is one who shares in the other fellow's pleasure at the good things and his pain at what is grievous, for no other reason than that fellow's sake." [tr. Bartlett (2019)]

  • "A friend is someone who is a partner in our happiness and a partner in our sorrow not for any other reason but for friendship." [tr. @sentantiq (2019)]

 
Added on 19-Mar-21 | Last updated 1-Feb-22
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Oh, but I hate it more
when a traitor, caught red-handed,
tries to glorify his crimes.

[μισῶ γε μέντοι χὤταν ἐν κακοῖσί τις
ἁλοὺς ἔπειτα τοῦτο καλλύνειν θέλῃ.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 495ff [Creon] (441 BC) [tr. Fagles (1982), l. 552ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Howbeit, to me it is no less abhorrent,
When, caught in criminality, the culprit
Seeks with fine words to beautify his deed.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

More hateful still the miscreant who seeks
When caught, to make a virtue of a crime.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

But not less hateful
Seems it to me, when one that hath been caught
In wickedness would give it a brave show.
[tr. Campbell (1873)]

But, truly, I detest it, too, when one who has been caught in treachery then seeks to make the crime a glory.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

I cannot bear to see the guilty stand
Convicted of their crimes, and yet pretend
To gloss them o'er with specious names of virtue.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

But verily this, too, is hateful, -- when one who hath been caught in wickedness then seeks to make the crime a glory.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

But now much worse than this
Is brazen boasting of barefaced anarchy.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), l. 390ff]

The criminal who being caught still tries.
To make a fair excuse , is damned indeed.
[tr. Watling (1947), l. 414ff]

I hate it too when someone caught in crime
then wants to make it seem a lovely thing.
[tr. Wyckoff (1954)]

But this is worst of all: to be convicted
And then to glorify the name as virtue.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

But how I hate it when she's caught in the act, And the criminal still glories in her crime. [tr. Woodruff (2001)]

I hate it when someone, caught in ugliness, afterwards wants to make it look pretty. [tr. Tyrell/Bennett (2002)]

And there’s nothing I hate more than when someone is caught committing a crime and tries to hide it by embellishing it with sweet words.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

How I despise
a person caught committing evil acts
who then desires to glorify the crime.
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 562ff]

I, for my part, hate anyone caught in the act who tries to beautify his crimes thereupon.
[tr. Thomas (2005)]

I hate it when someone is caught in the midst of their evil deeds and tries to gloss over them.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

 
Added on 18-Mar-21 | Last updated 18-Mar-21
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When all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“On Violence,” Crises of the Republic (1972)
    (Source)
 
Added on 11-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Mar-21
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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
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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
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A man’s tongue is a glib and twisty thing …
plenty of words there are, all kinds at its command —
with all the room in the world for talk to range and stray.
And the sort you use is just the sort you’ll hear.

[Στρεπτὴ δὲ γλῶσσ᾽ ἐστὶ βροτῶν, πολέες δ᾽ ἔνι μῦθοι
παντοῖοι, ἐπέων δὲ πολὺς νομὸς ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα.
ὁπποῖόν κ᾽ εἴπῃσθα ἔπος, τοῖόν κ᾽ ἐπακούσαις.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 20, l. 248ff (20.248) [Aeneas] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 287ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

A man’s tongue is voluble, and pours
Words out of all sorts ev’ry way. Such as you speak you hear.
[tr. Chapman (1611), ll. 228-29]

Armed or with truth or falsehood, right or wrong,
So voluble a weapon is the tongue;
Wounded, we wound; and neither side can fail,
For every man has equal strength to rail.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

The tongue of man is voluble, hath words
For every theme, nor wants wide field and long,
And as he speaks so shall he hear again.
[tr. Cowper (1791), ll. 309-11]

The language of mortals is voluble, and the discourses in it numerous and varied: and vast is the distribution of words here and there. Whatsoever word thou mayest speak, such also wilt thou hear.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

For glibly runs the tongue, and can at will
Give utt’rance to discourse in ev’ry vein;
Wide is the range of language; and such words
As one may speak, another may return.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

Glib is the tongue of man, and many words are therein of every kind, and wide is the range of his speech hither and thither. Whatsoever word thou speak, such wilt thou hear in answer.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

The tongue can run all whithers and talk all wise; it can go here and there, and as a man says, so shall he be gainsaid.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Glib is the tongue of mortals, and words there be therein many and manifold, and of speech the range is wide on this side and on that. Whatsoever word thou speakest, such shalt thou also hear.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

The tongue of man is a twisty thing, there are plenty of words there
of every kind, the range of words is wide, and their variance.
The sort of thing you say is the thing that will be said to you.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

Men have twisty tongues, and on them speech of all kinds; wide is the grazing land of words, both east and west. The manner of speech you use, the same you are apt to hear.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

Pliant and glib is the tongue men have, and the speeches in it are many and various -- far do the words range hither and thither; such as the word you speak is the word which you will be hearing.
[tr. Merrill (2007)]

 
Added on 17-Feb-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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For arms are of little value in the field unless there is wise counsel at home.

[Parvi enim sunt foris arma, nisi est consilium domi.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 22 (1.22) / sec. 76 (44 BC) [tr. Miller (1913)]
    (Source)

Peabody comments, "A verse, quoted probably from some lost comedy, the measure being one employed by the comic poets." None of the other translators call this out or show the text as separate except Peabody.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For armies can signify but little abroad, unless there be counsel and wise management at home.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

Armies abroad avail little, unless there be wisdom at home.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

An army abroad is but of small service unless there be a wise administration at home.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Valor abroad is naught, unless at home be wisdom.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

An army in the field is nothing without wisdom at home.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

For weapons have small value abroad unless there is good advice at home.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 15-Feb-21 | Last updated 8-Sep-22
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Nothing so outrages the feelings of the church as a moral unbeliever — nothing so horrible as a charitable Atheist.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Thomas Paine” (1870)
    (Source)
 
Added on 8-Feb-21 | Last updated 8-Feb-21
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Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Mark Twain’s Notebook (1935) [ed. Albert Bigelow Paine]
    (Source)

With an entry for 4 Jul 1893. The core phrase, from the Latin "Magna est veritas et prævalebit," was first formulated in English by Thomas Brooks. An earlier variant can be found in Cicero, Pro Caelio Rufo (56 BC): "How great is the power of truth" [O magna vis veritas].
 
Added on 5-Feb-21 | Last updated 5-Feb-21
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War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.

Benjamin Ferencz (b. 1920) American lawyer, international legal scholar, activist
“What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know,” interview with Leslie Stahl, 60 Minutes (7 May 2017)
    (Source)

Ferencz served as chief prosecutor of twenty Einsatzgruppen officers during the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Longer excerpt:

STAHL: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?
FERENCZ: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite --
STAHL: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?
FERENCZ: He's not a savage. He's an intelligent, patriotic human being.
STAHL: He's a savage when he does the murder though.
FERENCZ: No. He's a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.
STAHL: You don't think they turn into savages even for the act?
FERENCZ: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
 
Added on 8-Jan-21 | Last updated 8-Jan-21
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Several excuses are always less convincing than one.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
Point CounterPoint, ch. 1 (1928)
    (Source)
 
Added on 15-Dec-20 | Last updated 15-Dec-20
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In mathematics, you don’t understand things, you just get used to them.

John von Neumann (1903-1957) Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, inventor, polymath [János "Johann" Lajos Neumann]
(Attributed)

The primary source for this comes from Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), in a footnote on p. 208, related to von Neumann's time working on the H-bomb.

Dr. Felix Smith, Head of Molecular Physics, Stanford Research Institute, once related to me the true story of a physicist friend who worked at Los Alamos after World War II. Seeking help on a difficult problem, he went to the great Hungarian mathematician, John von Neumann, who was at Los Alamos as a consultant.

"Simple," said von Neumann. "The can be solved by using the method of characteristics."

After the explanation, the physicist said, "I'm afraid I don't understand the method of characteristics."

"Young man," said von Neumann, "in mathematics you don't understand things, you just get used to them."


David Wells offers a variant in The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics (1997):

Van Neumann had just about ended his lecture when a student stood up and in a vaguely abashed tone said he hadn't understood the final argument. Von Neumann answered: "Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.

Variant: "Don't worry, young man: in mathematics, none of us really understands any idea -- we just get used to them."
 
Added on 17-Nov-20 | Last updated 17-Nov-20
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How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
Dictation (2 Dec 1906), The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2 (2013)
    (Source)

A sentiment that may be behind the spurious Twain quotation, "It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
 
Added on 29-Oct-20 | Last updated 29-Oct-20
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It comes as a great shock around the age of 5, or 6, or 7, to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance, along with everybody else, has not pledged allegiance to you.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American novelist, playwright, activist
“The American Dream is at the Expense of the American Negro,” opening comments, Cambridge Union, Cambridge, England (17 Feb 1965)
    (Source)

Debate with William F. Buckley, Jr.
 
Added on 27-Oct-20 | Last updated 27-Oct-20
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And however dark the skies may appear,
And however souls may blunder,
I tell you it all will work out clear,
For good lies over and under.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) American author and poet.
“Insight,” An Erring Woman’s Love (1892)
    (Source)
 
Added on 26-Oct-20 | Last updated 19-May-21
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