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What could I do! Facts are such horrid things!

Jane Austen
Jane Austen (1775-1817) English novelist
Lady Susan, Letter 32 “Mrs. Johnson to Lady Susan” (1794, pub 1871)
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Added on 8-Jun-23 | Last updated 8-Jun-23
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A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty; and inasmuch as babyhood spans but three short years, no baby is competent to be a joy “forever.”

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
“Answers to Correspondents,” Sketches New and Old (1875)
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Ostensibly in response to a "Young Mother" who had written that her new baby was a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
 
Added on 26-Jul-22 | Last updated 26-Jul-22
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Scratch the surface of most cynics and you find a frustrated idealist — someone who made the mistake of converting his ideals into expectations.

Peter Senge
Peter Senge (b. 1947) American systems scientist, lecturer, academic
The Fifth Discipline, Part 3, ch. 8 (1990)
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Added on 19-May-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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Unless one is raised in the minion mindset, it is difficult to understand the allure of the lifestyle. Outside observers merely see put-upon underlings who live and work in insanely dangerous positions, whose lives are ruled by dictatorial psychopaths who have little regard for their lives or sanity. Acclimatized minions realize that everyone on Earth lives under these strictures, they just don’t fool themselves. With clarity comes freedom.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle (2014) [with Kaja Foglio]
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Added on 11-Feb-22 | Last updated 11-Feb-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)
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Added on 5-Jan-22 | Last updated 5-Jan-22
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The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs. Since nothing is ever quite proved or disproved, the most unmistakable fact can be impudently denied.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Notes on Nationalism” (May 1945)
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Added on 14-Jun-21 | Last updated 14-Jun-21
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One of the most troublesome things in life is that what you do or do not want has very little to do with what does or does not happen.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Carnivorous Carnival (2002)
 
Added on 3-Mar-21 | Last updated 3-Mar-21
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Though the terrain of frustration may be vast — from a stubbed toe to an untimely death — at the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 3 “Consolation For Frustration” (2000)
 
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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A wise man weaves a philosophy out of each acceptance life forces upon him.

Elizabeth Bibesco (1897-1945) Romanian-English writer
Haven (1951)
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Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
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At its core, therefore, science is a form of arrogance control.

Carol Tavris (b. 1944) American social psychologist and author
Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts (2008) [with Elliot Aronson]
 
Added on 9-Aug-16 | Last updated 9-Aug-16
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Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
“Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials” (4 Dec 1770)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 29-Mar-17
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O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion ….

Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish national poet
“To a Louse,” l.43-46 (1786)

The poem is reprinted in various forms and anglicizations of Burns' Scottish, e.g.,

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion

O would some Power the gift to give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 18-Aug-17
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Nothing hath an uglier Look to us than Reason, when it is not on our side.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
“Reason and Passion,” Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections (1750)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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Are these things then necessities?
Then let us meet them like necessities.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry IV, Part 2, Act 3, sc. 1, l. 94ff [Henry] (c. 1598)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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