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"I think that grammar is so lovely that even if it were utterly useless, one would still irresistibly explore it, as one explores chess, or architecture, or the spiral geometries of shells. Grammar is a sort of magic aesthetic lens, through which we can view the delicate structures upon which ideas rest. As scientists marvel at the silicate skeletal frames which support and form living organisms, through grammar we can view the delicate relationships which give form and pattern to the phenomena of the mind. If this comparison strikes you as idealistic and metaphorical, please consider it further. These relationships do exist, and they are beautiful." --- Michael Thompson, Magic Lens: A Spiral Tour Through the Human Ideas of Grammar , 1995.

"Survival is power, and not vice versa." --- Alan Ho, 1996.

"Life is a Sine Wave." --- Zhan Huan Zhou, Off On A Tangent, 1997.

"Imagine what it would be like to dive into a pool of army ants? You would be nothing but bone in a matter of seconds. If you're not up to that, just imagine putting your hand in a jar of them. It would have to be labeled corrosive or something." --- Zhan Huan Zhou

"Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain." --- Friedrich von Schiller, The Maid of Orleans, 1801.

"Le monde est plein de fous,
Et qui n'en veut pas voir,
Doit se tenir tout seul,
Et casser son miroir." --- Thomas Love Peacock, Crotchet Castle, 1831.

(Which roughly translates to:
"The world is full of fools,
And he who wishes not to see any,
Must keep entirely to himself,
And break his mirror.")

"Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them." --- Plato.

"Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pacman affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music." --- unknown

The above quote is commonly attributed to "Kristian Wilson, CEO of Nintendo, 1989," but the CEO of Nintendo from 1950 to the present day is Hiroshi Yamauchi. In some of the earlier postings on Usenet, the quote is attributed to "Dan Jenkins Server Support BCWA HealthCare", and a stand-up comedian named Marcus Brigstock, but the very first time it appears on Usenet, on Dec. 12, 2000, it is unattributed.

"Teach a man to make fire; he will be warm for a day. Set a man on fire; he will be warm for the rest of his life." --- unknown

"Yakko, Wakko and Dot: Wheel of Morality turn turn turn, tell us the lesson that we should learn.
Yakko: Moral number five -- Early to rise and early to bed. Makes a man healthy but socially dead.
Wakko: The mind boggles.
Yakko: I'm touched.
Dot: In the head.
[chased off screen]" --- Animaniacs, early 1990s

"The welfare of all the world is not worth the life of one child." --- Doukhobor saying.

"Self-honesty is a prerequisite for self-discipline." --- Ellen Kaye-Cheveldayoff, 2002.

"Engineers ARE at the centre of the universe. We define the coordinate system." --- unknown

"Music is the pleasure the human soul experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting." --- Gottfried Whilhem Leibniz (1646-1716)

"Escape is not a dirty word. None of us can face what's happening head-on all of the time." --- Sheldon Kopp

"A problem never exists in isolation; it is surrounded by other problems in space and time. The more of the context of a problem that a scientist can comprehend, the greater are his chances of finding a truly adequate solution.” --- Russell L. Ackoff

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." --- Mahatma Gandhi

"The mathematician's best work is art, a high perfect art, as daring as the most secret dreams of imagination, clear and limpid. Mathematical genius and artistic genius touch one another." --- Gosta Mittag-Leffler in Mathematical Maxims and Minims, 1988.

"The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of the truth -- that error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one." --- H.L. Mencken

"Shared pain is lessened. Shared joy is increased. Thus do we refute entropy." --- Spider Robinson

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." --- Paulo Freire

"We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us....For it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it." --- Wendell Berry, Recollected Essays

"Free enterprise is a good servant, but a bad master." --- Sir John Solston, Nobel Laureate, National Genome Symposium, October 2002.

(Similarly:) "For all their power and vitality, markets are only tools. They make a good servant but a bad master and a worse religion." --- Amory Lovins, Natural Capitalism; The Next Industrial Revolution.

"But the number of those who seriously hope to set back the clock, or even stop it, remains very small. To most men who have considered the matter...they see the choice as either continued progress in all fields, or else a return to the Dark Ages. Either we press on with neutron bombs and biogenetic engineering, or we give up dentistry and window glass. Selective control of technology is impossible, they suppose. The history of Tokugawa Japan does not support this gloomy view, however. The Japanese did practice selective control. They utterly ceased weapon development -- indeed went backwards -- and meanwhile they went ahead in dozens of other fields. Slowly, to be sure. Technological change occurred much more gradually in seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth century Japan than in the West. It may even have occurred at a rate better suited to the human mind. There was no future shock in Tokugawa Japan." --- Noel Perrin, Giving up the gun: Japan's reversion to the sword, 1543-1879, 1979.

"Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line." --- Benoit Mandelbrot, The Fractal Geometry of Nature, 1983.

"We cannot know the consequences of our actions" --- Goethe [or something like that, I haven't found corroboration for my memory of this quote]

"There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal, kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do." --- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

"I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it." --- Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time." --- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets: Little Gidding

"Speaking at a Santa Fe workshop in May 1990 -- by now he was a co-chairman with Cowan -- Gell-Mann pointed out that 'sustainibility' has in truth become a trendy cliché of late, the source of endless platitudes. For most people it seems to mean something like business as usual -- but, you know, sustainable. And yet business as usual is precisely the problem, he said. At the World Resources Institute, a Washington-based environmental think tank that Gell-Mann had helped set up in his capacity as a directior of the MacArthur Foundation, founding director Gus Speth and others have argued that global sustainibility is possible only if human society undergoes at least six fundamental transitions within a very few decades:

1. A demographic transition to a roughly stable world population

2. A technological transition to a minimal environmental impact per person.

3. An economic transition to a world in which serious attempts are made to charge the real costs of goods and services -- including environmental costs -- so that there are incentives for the world economy to live off nature's 'income' rather than depleting its 'capital'.

4. A social transition to a broader sharing of that income, along with increased opportunities for nondestructive employment for the poor families of the world.

5. An institutional transition to a set of supranational alliances that facilitate a global attack on global problems and allow various aspects of policy to be integrated with one another.

6. An information transition to a world in which scientific research, education, and global monitoring allow large numbers of people to understand the nature of the challenges they face.

"The trick, of course, is to get from here to there without one of Cowan's Class A global catastrophes. And if we're to have any hope of doing that, said Gell-Mann, the study of complex adaptive systems is clearly critical. Understanding these six fundamental transitions means understanding economic, social and political forces that are deeply intertwined and mutually dependent on one another. You can't just look at each piece of the problem individually, as has been done in the past, and hope to describe the behaviour of the system as a whole. The only way to do it is to look at the world as a strongly interconnected system -- even if the models are crude.

"But more than that, said Gell-Mann, the trick in getting from here to there is to make sure that 'there' is a world worth living in. A sustainable human society could easily be some Orwellian dystopia characterized by rigid control and narrow, confined lives for almost everyone in it. What it should be is a society that is adaptable, robust, and resilient to lesser disasters, that can learn from mistakes, that isn't static, but that allows for growth in the quality of human life instead of just the quantity of it." --- M. Mitchell Waldrop, paraphrasing Murray Gell-Mann, Complexity: the emerging science at the edge of order and chaos

"Somehow, the agenda has been put into the form of talking about a set of transitions from state A, the present, to a state B that's sustainable. The problem is that there is no such state. You have to assume that the transitions are going to continue forever and ever and ever. You have to talk about systems that are continuously dynamic, and that are embedded in environments that themselves are continuously dynamic." --- George Cowan, quoted by M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity: the emerging science at the edge of order and chaos

"I feel like slipping into something more comfortable...........Like a coma..." --- Chase Watson (I have no idea who Chase Watson is, but I saw the quote in a quiz and liked it.)

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." --- James Joyce

"I think the next century will be the century of complexity." --- Stephen Hawking, 2000

"Experience never misleads; what you are misled by is only your judgment, and this misleads you by anticipating results from experience of a kind that is not produced by your experiments." --- Leonardo Da Vinci

"The Western Tradition is a continuing debate between those who hold that it is possible to achieve a society without any form of coercion and those who disagree....The jury in 2001 A.D. is still out." --- Duane Ellison, Montgomery College, on H-World email list

"You are not an electron. You do not have to follow the path of least resistance." --- Ellen Kaye-Cheveldayoff, 2001

"We don't need more strength or more ability or greater opportunity. What we need is to use what we have." --- Basil S. Walsh

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." --- John Kenneth Galbraith

"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." --- A.J. Muste

"If we evolved a race of Isaac Newtons, that would not be progress. For the price Newton had to pay for being a supreme intellect was that he was incapable of friendship, love, fatherhood, and many other desirable things. As a man he was a failure; as a monster he was superb." --- Aldous Huxley,
Interview with J. W. N. Sullivan, Contemporary Mind, London, 1934.

"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." --- Abraham Lincoln

"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." --- Abraham Lincoln

"What are we on this world for, except to help others?" --- Vera Cheveldayoff

"When Fascism comes to America, it will be called anti-Fascism." --- Huey Long

"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." --- Andre Gide

"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything." --- Kurt Vonnegut

"In the past twelve years I've been able to look at the issues, groups, and people I used to be angry with and see their humanity. I was angry at them for being so oppressive or so wrongheaded or so narrow-minded. Now I look at their oppressive attitudes, their wrongheadedness, or their narrow-mindedness--what I call "desconocimientos"--and I see their humanity--how they came to be this way, what made them racist or homophobic. These oppressive ways are caused by fear, the strongest of all human emotions." --- Interviews/Entrevistas, Gloria Anzaldua

"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." --- Erica Jong

"Whomsoever you follow, howsoever great he might be, see to it that you follow the spirit of the master and not imitate him mechanically." --- Mohandas Gandhi

"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors" --- Thomas Jefferson

"You have struggled to the end of the pay period and have received a check negotiable in spiritual development credits. Okay, you can't cash it at your local tavern, but there are sometimes rewards that transcend even beer." --- Stephanie Clement

"The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance." --- Robert Coveyou

"The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology." --- H.L. Mencken

"All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike--and yet is the most precious thing we have." --- Albert Einstein

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed." --- Herman Melville

"Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so." --- Bertrand Russell

"Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius." --- Comte de Buffon

"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." --- G. K. Chesterton

"A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury." --- John Stuart Mill

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." --- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." --- Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine, September 2002

"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other." --- Eric Hoffer

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." --- Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version of the Bible

"All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action." --- James Russell Lowell

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --- Phillip K. Dick, 1972

"You know when you are a kid and you don't understand anything and everything is really confusing and you think when you grow up that its all going to somehow make sense? Then you grow up, you keep waiting for the day. Do you ever think it happens?" --- Witches of Eastwick

"Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’." --- Yoda (fictional character) in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by George Lucas

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." --- Marcus Cole (fictional character) to Dr. Stephen Franklin, "A Late Delivery from Avalon", Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski

"I apologize. I'm… sorry. [pause] I'm sorry we had to defend ourselves against an unwarranted attack. I'm sorry that your crew was stupid enough to fire on a station filled with a quarter million civilians, including your own people. And I'm sorry I waited as long as I did before I blew them all straight to hell. [pause] As with everything else, it's the thought that counts." --- Captain John Sheridan (fictional character), practicing his mandatory public apology to the Centauri government, "The Fall of Night", Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski

"… the only way to get pertinent information is by asking impertinent questions." --- Ranger Findell (fictional character), relating Whitestar Captain Montoya's philosophy, Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski

"Sometimes it's possible to make no mistakes and still lose. It is not a weakness. It is life." --- Jean-Luc Picard (fictional character), "Peak Performance", Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode written by Robert Schreerer

"With the first link, a chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." --- Picard (fictional character), "The Drumhead", Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode written by Jeri Taylor

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." --- Isaac Asimov, Foundation, 1942

"You get people wrong. You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again." --- Phillip Roth

"since time began
the dead alone know peace.
life is but melting snow." --- Nandai

(The original, in romanji, is:
"Kanete naki
mi koso yasukere
yuki no michi"
--- Nandai)

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." --- Thomas Edison

"You need some knowledge to recognize knowledge, so where does the first knowledge come from?" ---Plato (Meno Paradox)

"It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." --Benjamin Disraeli

"People are wrong when they say that the opera isn't what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That's what's wrong with it." --- Noel Coward

"The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it."--- J. Robert Oppenheimer

"Breakdown and breakthrough can be the same process seen from different angles." --- Uncle River

"Appropriate action means to advance your own goals, without unintentional harm to anyone else." --- Steven Brust, Issola

"One should not confuse familiarity with comprehension." --- Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, As it Happens, Jan. 28, 2005

"It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English (up to fifty words used in correct context) [Editor's note: even higher since Sagan died] no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese." --- Carl Sagan (attributed)

"Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to predict the future is to invent it." --- Alan Kay, Stanford Engineering, Volume 1, Number 1, Autumn 1989, pg 1-6

"I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained." --- Walt Disney

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable." --- J. K. Galbraith, Letter to Kennedy, 1962

"The condition of man is already close to satiety and arrogance, and there is danger of destruction of everything in existence." --- a Brahmin to Onesicritus, 327 BC, reported in Strabo's Geography

"The word 'aptitude' is misleading, because it implies something innate. The most powerful sort of aptitude is a consuming interest in some question, and such interests are often acquired tastes." --- Paul Graham, What You'll Wish You'd Known, 2005

"Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future." --- Charles Lindbergh

"Religious people often say that religion offers absolute certainty about right and wrong; 'god tells them' what it is. Even supposing that the aforementioned gods exist, and that the believers really know what the gods think, that still does not provide certainty, because any being no matter how powerful can still be wrong. Whether gods exist or not, there is no way to get absolute certainty about ethics. Without absolute certainty, what do we do? We do the best we can. Injustice is happening now; suffering is happening now. We have choices to make now. To insist on absolute certainty before starting to apply ethics to life decisions is a way of choosing to be amoral." --- Richard Stallman, in Slashdot interview, 2000

"The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with facts for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life." ---Ernest Renan

"Man is a rational animal - so at least I have been told. Throughout a long life, I have looked diligently for evidence in favor of this statement, but so far I have not had the good fortune to come across it, though I have searched in many countries spread over three continents." --- Bertrand Russell, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish

"The Bible tells us to 'be like God', and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization." --- Robert Anton Wilson

"If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." --- Anatole France

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." --- Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge

"Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty." --- Mark Twain

"Perfection. Excellence. What a passionate lover. But once having tasted the lips of excellence, once having given oneself to its perfection, how dreary and burdensome and filled with anomie are the remainder of one's waking hours trapped in the shackled lock-step of the merely ordinary, the barely acceptable, the just okay and not a stroke better." --- Harlan Ellison

Parkinson's law - "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". --- C. Northcote Parkinson, 1958

"I'd always assumed I was the central character in my own story, but now it occured to me I might in fact be only a minor character in someone else's." --- Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary

"Hate is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies." --- Dr. Phil

"Please act towards others with goodwill and with courtesy; Otherwise, be polite." --- Guitar Craft House Rules

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." ---Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1852

"We were initially our own worst enemies in this undertaking, victims of a way of thinking to which we engineers are dangerously susceptible. This way of thinking is characterized by the conceit that all things may be planned in advance and then directly implemented according to the plan's detailed specification. For persons schooled in the design and construction of systems based on simple, well-defined and well-understood foundation principles, this is a natural attitude to have. Moreover, it is entirely appropriate when undertaking most engineering projects. It is a frame of mind that is an essential part of a good engineer's conceptual tool kit. Alas, in keeping with Maslow's assertion that, "to the person who has only a hammer, all the world looks like a nail", it is a frame of mind that is easy to carry beyond its range of applicability. This happens when a system exceeds the threshold of complexity above which the human mind loses its ability to maintain a complete and coherent model." --- Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat, 1990

"In our tenure on this planet we have accumulated dangerous evolutionary baggage, hereditary propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders and hostility to outsiders, which place our survival in some question. But we have also acquired compassion for others, love for our children and our children's children, a desire to learn from history, and a great soaring passionate intelligence--the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity. Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our vision and understanding and prospects are bound exclusively to the Earth--or, worse, to one small part of it. But up there in the immensity of the Cosmos, an inescapable perspective awaits us." --- Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980

"I think the roots of this antagonism to science run very deep. They're ancient. We see them in Genesis, this first story, this founding myth of ours, in which the first humans are doomed and cursed eternally for asking a question, for partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It's puzzling that Eden is synonymous with paradise when, if you think about it at all, it's more like a maximum-security prison with twenty-four hour surveillance. It's a horrible place. Adam and Eve have no childhood. They awaken full-grown. What is a human being without a childhood? Our long childhood is a critical feature of our species. It differentiates us, to a degree, from most other species. We take a longer time to mature. We depend upon these formative years and the social fabric to learn many of the things we need to know." --- Ann Druyan, Talks About Science, Religion, Wonder, Awe . . . and Carl Sagan, 2003

"It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works--that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it." --- Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980

"A true creator researches how to have confidence in nonsense." --- Burt Rutan, designer of Spaceship One

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." --- Neil Gaiman, in his online journal

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love." --- Neil Gaiman, Spoken by the character Rose Walker in Sandman #65

"You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world for people. Otherwise it's just a cage." --- (Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad)

"Fail again. Fail better." -- Samuel Beckett

"For a finite-size open system to persist in time (to survive) it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier and easier access to the currents that flow through it." --- Adrian Bejan, 1996

"When you find yourself attached, remember that 'letting go' is not 'getting rid of' or 'throwing away'.

"If I'm holding onto this clock and you say "Let go of it," that doesn't mean 'throw it out'.

"I might think that I have to throw it away because I'm attached to it, but that would just be the desire to get rid of it.

"We tend to think that getting rid of the object is a way of getting rid of attachment. But if I can contemplate attachment, this grasping of the clock, I realise that there is no point in getting rid of it - it's a good clock; it keeps good time and is not heavy to carry around. The clock is not the problem.

"The problem is grasping the clock. So what do I do? Let it go, lay it aside - put it down gently without any kind of aversion. Then I can pick it up again, see what time it is and lay it aside when necessary." --- Ajahn Sumedho

"There comes a point where you just love someone. Not because they're good, or bad, or anything really. You just love them. It doesn't mean you'll be together forever. It doesn't mean you won't hurt each other. It just means you love them. Sometimes in spite of who they are, and sometimes because of who they are. And you know that they love you, sometimes because of who you are, and sometimes in spite of it." --- Laurell K. Hamilton, Incubus Dreams, 2004.

"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." -- Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, Oblique Strategies

"When you follow your bliss, doors will open where there were no doors before, where you would not have thought there were going to be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else." ---Joseph Campbell

"I learned very early and painfully that you have to decide at the outset whether you are trying to make money or make sense -- I feel that they are mutually exclusive." --- Buckminster Fuller

"The only dumb question is a question you don’t ask." --- Paul MacCready

"If you tell the truth, make them laugh, or they'll kill you" --- George Bernard Shaw

"It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society." --- J. Krishnamurti

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

"All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

"Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.

"Begin it now." --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832

"Marketing isn't done by computers, it's done by people. And people who sense opportunity and have the confidence to be remarkable will always defeat defensive actions by people who have given up." --- Seth Godin, Sept. 16, 2005

"The law presumes you are innocent until proven broke." --- Solomon Short (fictional character? quoted in David Gerrold's books)

"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed." --- Desmond Tutu

"We cannot do everything
And there is a sense of liberation
In realizing that.
This enables us to do something
And to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
A step along the way,
An opportunity for God’s grace
To enter and do the rest." --- Archbishop Oscar Romero, Martyred Catholic Bishop of El Salvador

"The psychic task which a person can and must set for himself is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity." --- Erich Fromm

"Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve" --- Erich Fromm

"The only thing that makes life possible is a permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next" --- Ursula K. LeGuin

"There are no right answers to wrong questions." --- Ursula K. LeGuin

"When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep" --- Ursula K. LeGuin

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few" --- Shunryu Suzuki

"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." --- Mark Twain

"All generalizations are false, including this one." --- Mark Twain

"There is something Pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything." --- Lord Byron

"My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite." --- William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet" (2.2.139-41)

"In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch enemy, sorrow, one can remain alive long past the the usual state of integration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways." --- Edith Wharton

"If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." --- Michelangelo Buonarroti

"If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone." --- Alfred Korzybski

"Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at the moment." --- Robert "The Bench" Benchley

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

"We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?

"You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were each born to manifest the glory of God that is within each of us.

"It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.

"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." --- Marianne Williamson, quoted in Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela

"Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself." --- Robert Green Ingersoll

Churches are becoming political organizations.... It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed. 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. All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy -- making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment. It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind. Surely politicians could be better employed than in passing laws to protect the literary reputation of the Jewish God. --- Robert Green Ingersoll Some Mistakes of Moses, Section III., "The Politicians," in Works, Dresden Edition, Volume 2

"If you think something's supposed to hurt, you're less likely to notice if you're doing it wrong. That about sums up my experience of graduate school." --- Paul Graham, How To Do What You Love, January 2006

"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim." --- Edsger W. Dijkstra

"Even if I should learn that the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant this apple tree today." --- Martin Luther

"How could she let them do that to her?
She forgot she was a grown up.
Our childhood is spent doing things against our will. Against our instincts, our desires, our judgment (such as it is) we're compelled to do things we don't want to do. Eat our vegetables. Wash. Go to school. And usually we look back on those things later and realize they were the right things to do at the time.
Childhood is about trust. And somewhere in most of us the trusting child lives on. And sometimes, years later, it can be lured into horror, step by step, by the voice that says: Just do it. I know what's best. You need to do this. It's best for you.
The icons of Manson of Jonestown are never far from us, and sometimes adulthood is the easiest thing to give away when people ask us to give them things. Some people thrust their adulthood into any hands even halfway willing to take it. I didn't know where to assign the blame. I only knew my chest hurt." --- Rosemary Edghill, Speak Daggers To Her (1994), in omnibus Bell, Book and Murder, pg. 47

"The cure for boredom is curiosity; there is no cure for curiosity." --- Dorothy Parker

"That night I was obsessed with rebellion. Sumer had always had a rough provision for popular uprising; if you botched your stewardship badly enough, the people would rise up and remove you from power. (Sumer's original author was an optimist.) I thought there needed to be more variety in the game's insurrections, so I started inventing additions -- new subroutines that would plunge Sumer into civil war or introduce rival governments competing for legitimacy.
"I didn't care how late it was. The F train ran all night to take me home to Queens. The revolution had to be customized!" --- Scott Rosenberg, Dreaming in Code, p.2, 2007.

"The object isn't to be perfect. The goal isn't to hold back until you've created something beyond reproach. I believe the opposite is true. Our birthright is to fail and to fail often, but to fail in search of something bigger than we can imagine. To do anything else is to waste it all." --- Seth Godin, blog post, June 17, 2008.

"Persistence isn't using the same tactics over and over. That's just annoying. Persistence is having the same goal over and over." --- Seth Godin, blog post, March 14, 2008.

"In any case, Brooks found that much of the work in creating software also suffers from 'sequential constraints' that limit how far you can go in splitting up the tasks: One task must be completed before the next can be tackled, regardless of how many hands work on it. 'The bearing of a child takes nine months,' he wrote, 'no matter how many women are assigned.'" --- Scott Rosenberg, in Dreaming in Code, 2007, p.18, quoting Frederick Brooks, author of The Mythical Man-Month, 1975.

"In science, the whole system builds on people looking at other people's results and building on top of them. In witchcraft, somebody had a small secret and guarded it -- but never allowed others to really understand it and build on it. Traditional software is like witchcraft. In history, witchcraft just died out. The same will happen in software. When problems get serious enough, you can't have one person or one company guarding their secrets. You have to have everybody share in the knowledge." --- Linus Torvalds, in Business Week interview in 2004, quoted in Dreaming in Code by Scott Rosenberg, 2007, p. 41.

"If wishing super-hard for something really made it happen, your daughter’s room would be full of unicorn shit." --- Oskar Kennedy, in blog post March 26, 2007.

"'Elizabeth, my dear, do you know what the dearest kindness is that a woman can offer herself in the autumn of her years?'
"I shook my head.
"'It is the gift of giving herself permission to take risks.'
"And then she winked at me." --- Robin Jones Gunn, in Sisterchicks Go Brit!, 2008.

"At the moment of an epic event, those involved have no idea what the future will look like." --- Ernst Bieri, quoted in It's Not All About Money by Hans J. Baer, p. 179.

"To love successfully, is to love more today than yesterday. It is knowing that sometimes the most romantics words in the world are not, I love you, or sweet nothings, but, "Don’t worry about it, I’ll do it." For love, true love, is a partnership. It is two individuals who together make a bigger whole, and a better person together than they were apart. To be truly, madly, deeply, in love is to understand that romance consists not just of lingerie and sweaty forgetfulness between the sheets, but in getting up each day and being there for each other. Being there on days when nothing goes right, and everything goes wrong, but even at the worst of times you’d rather be with this man, this person, beside you, than anyone else." --- Laurell K. Hamilton, in blog post, September 29, 2008.

"Every generation has the illusion that things were easier and better in a simpler past. Dead wrong. Things are better today than at any time in human history. Our primal ignorance is what keeps us whacking each other over the head with sticks, and not what allows us to paint a Mona Lisa or design a space shuttle. We have great big brains that can foresee the future in a way that no other animal ever has, and in a way that our own species could not just a few million years ago. Foresight isn’t twenty-twenty, and sometimes it seems to be legally blind, but in general it allows us to glimpse the long-term consequences of our actions and to take measures to avoid the bad ones and promote the good ones. The “primal ignorance that keeps us happy” gives rise to obesity and global warming, not Miles Davis or the Magna Carta. If human kind flourishes rather than flounders over the next thousand years, it will be because we fully embraced learning and reason, and not because we surrendered to some fantasy about returning to a world that never really was. " --- Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, in interview on BookLounge, 2007.

"Great researchers are now my model for how to be an exemplary human being, because they are smart enough to do the work required to question the universe, and humble enough to listen to the answers they get. They're also smart enough to stay connected with others in their field, and in far reaching fields, so that their dataset is constantly changing up and being challenged. I call these idealized researchers a model, because as you can imagine, scientists can be just as silly, myopic, egocentric, power mad, and wonky as anyone else. They can be jealous of others, married to cherished ideas, confused by data they don't understand or can't accept, isolated by their own sense of importance, hypnotized by fame, money, or power, or stuck in the morass of bureaucracy and petty infighting that occurs in academia. But even though there are tremendous obstacles in their way, we have been blessed with brilliant researchers and scientists who have helped us know more about our world. Bless their hearts!" --- Karla McLaren, 2008.

"A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." --- Paul Romer, quoted in The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, 2005, p.305.

"Suspense doesn't come from uncertain outcomes [...] Suspense comes from putting off the inevitable." --- Vincent Baker, March 22, 2004, quoted in Paul Tevis' blog, June 2, 2008.

"Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation." --- Walter Cronkite

"A colleague once defined an academic discipline as a group of scholars who had agreed not to ask certain embarrassing questions about key assumptions." --- Mark Nathan Cohen, 1989, Health and the Rise of Civilization, p. viii.

"One way to illustrate that most technologies are, in fact, pretty 'hi,' is to ask yourself of any manmade object, Do I know how to make one?
Anybody who ever lighted a fire without matches has probably gained some proper respect for 'low' or 'primitive' or 'simple' technologies; anybody who ever lighted a fire with matches should have the wits to respect that notable hi-tech invention.
I don't know how to build and power a refrigerator, or program a computer, but I don't know how to make a fishhook or a pair of shoes, either. I could learn. We all can learn. That's the neat thing about technologies. They're what we can learn to do." --- Ursula K. Le Guin, A Rant about "Technology", 2004.

"The creative adult is the child who has survived." --- Ursula K. Le Guin

"Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

"If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.

"Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. [...]

"Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear.

"Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.

"But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings. [...] And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom [...]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing." --- David Foster Wallace, 2005. Commencement Speech at Kenyon College, mentioned in LivePaola's blog.

"Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste... years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just... take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that, and walk away. But that's hard." --- Lois McMaster Bujold, in A Civil Campaign, 1999, p. 268.

"It seemed very important that I get outside and see it. I don’t argue with that voice in my head anymore. It’s the same voice that warns you about danger, but if you listen long enough and well enough the voice will also tell you about wonderful things, joyous things, special things." --- Laurell K. Hamilton, August 15, 2009 in her blog.

"The only thing that can keep you from enjoying all that you already are is a thought. One thought. Your thought. Not someone else’s thought. Your thought…whatever thought you are thinking at the moment that feels more important to think than being grateful, alive, content, joyful, optimistic, loving, and at peace…that’s the only thing that’s between you and happiness." --- Mavis Karn, in a letter quoted on a blog in August 2009.

"In the 1950s, artifice was not a bad thing in food. Indeed, a postwar culture seemed to delight in seeing just how far food could be removed from nature. Consider Kraft Dinner. That orange color. It looked radio active.  And that was regarded as a good thing, something one looked for in a family dinner." --- Grant McKracken, January 29, 2010, in a blog post titled "By Their Lettuce, You Shall Know Them"

"I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone." --- Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language

"If failure is not an option, then neither is creativity. If failure is not an option, don’t waste time with trust. If failure is not an option, you’d better stay in beta forever. If failure is not an option, you can only keep doing what has worked in the past. If failure is not an option, you can act only on things you can measure. If failure is not an option, neither is experimentation." --- Andy Rutledge, Sept. 28, 2009, in a blog post

"I prefer non-standard protagonists generally, as a glance at my other work will show.  If a writer wants to stand out in a crowd, it’s a wise idea to pick a direction no one else is going, and head there. So any risks were outweighed by the potential rewards.  God knows, the world has more than enough fantasy novels replaying Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” tropes.

"It was clear to me from reading Campbell and listening to his recorded lectures that while he was very big on the Hero's Journey, he was utterly clueless about women. The journey into maturity (for which the above was metaphor, in Campbell's view) has an entirely different structure for women than for men, starting from the fact that while the male goes out into the world and returns to his starting point to take over the role of his father, the successful female (in exogamous cultures, which most are) goes out and keeps on going, never to return. The Hero's Journey is just the wrong shape for the Heroine." --- Lois McMaster Bujold, June 2009, in an interview for Women Writers zine.

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." --- Victor Borge

"Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years." --- Simone Signoret

"Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry." --- Robert Heinlein

"Mathematics is like unicorn anatomy. You imagine this thing, and it doesn't exist, yet it still comes with facts. I know how many legs a unicorn has." --- Tom Henderson, 2010, in an interview.

"Verbing weirds language." --- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

"The real problem is that babies are shipped while still in early beta." -- Graeme Perrow, January 31, 2009, in a blog post called "Ship It Now, Test It Later"

"The energy of the plant is there but, in the context of old shamanism, you must know its 'secret name.' And my theory about that is this: The secret name of any being is 'me.'" --- Paul Beyerl, The Hermit's Grove, January 25, 2006.

"For a sorting strategy, the more metaphorical 'Past, Present, Future', 'Friends, Strangers and Acquaintances' or 'Love It, Like It, Leave It' methods will be more effective than the traditional 'Keep, Toss and Giveaway.'" --- Hellen Buttigieg, Neat TV Tips, Season 1, Episode 11

"Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous, or brilliant - you just don't know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
"Trust your demon." -- Roger Zelazny

"Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." --- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We tend to mistake a clear view of the future for a short distance." --- Paul Saffo

"A mistake is still a mistake, even if you get away with it." --- Ed Viesturs, mountaineer

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." --- Aristotle

"This idea holds out hope that the human race will prosper mightily in the years ahead—because ideas are having sex with each other as never before." -- Matt Ridley, Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2010

"The Three Rules of Implementation

"RULE 1: There is no design so good that it can't be screwed up by bad implementation.

"RULE 2: There is are some designs so bad that they cannot be made to work by any form of implementation.

"RULE 3: In any given implementation, it can be hard to tell whether Rule 1 or Rule 2 applies." --- Randy Winn, in a comment to David Brin's blog, April 2010. I'm not sure whether he made the rules up or was quoting from somewhere.

"Work is love made visible." --- Kahlil Gibran

"The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art." --- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Having searched for him hundreds and thousands of times in the crowd, suddenly turning back by chance, I find him there in the dimmest candlelight." --- Xin Qiji, in a Song Dynasty poem "Green Jade Table in The Lantern Festival," inspiration for the name of Baidu.

"Absolute truisms rot brains absolutely.[...]'Power corrupts' is useless as a tool for understanding the past, and gives us nothing as a guide to action." --- Steven Brust, in blog post, August 9, 2010

"Stalin is the perfect example of what I was talking about. To simply call him corrupt tells us nothing useful. What circumstances put him into power? What objective pressures, as well as subjective characteristics, led him to make the decisions he made? I'm currently reading Trotsky's writings from 1932 (scary how accurately he predicts the way WWII would play out), and analyzing the details of why Stalin did as he did is far more complex and useful than just, 'power corrupts.'

"And it is even more true for the other great dictators of the 20th Century: I don’t think you can even say that Hitler and Mussolini were corrupt: they came to power in order to do the very things they did." --- Steven Brust, in blog post, August 9, 2010

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” --- Upton Sinclair

"Different people feel more affected by gender expectations than others. Some of us -- women and men alike -- still hear these voices in the back of our heads, still feel them shaping our reflexes, still see a need to consciously drag these messages into the light so we know how to recognize them and have an easier time tossing them overboard. And some folks -- again, both women and men -- feel like this is really not that big a deal. Yes, they say, society wants men to be one way and women to be another. Who cares what society wants? For some people, it takes years of introspection and therapy and processing to unload this junk. Some people never unlearn it, in fact; some people let their whole lives be run by it. And other people seem to unload it just by deciding to do it.
"So I don't know what to tell you about how to do that.
"All I can tell you is that it's totally worth it." --- Greta Christina, July 24, 2010

"Scott calls the thinking style behind the failure mode 'authoritarian high modernism,' but as we'll see, the failure mode is not limited to the brief intellectual reign of high modernism (roughly, the first half of the twentieth century).

"Here is the recipe:

  • Look at a complex and confusing reality, such as the social dynamics of an old city
  • Fail to understand all the subtleties of how the complex reality works
  • Attribute that failure to the irrationality of what you are looking at, rather than your own limitations
  • Come up with an idealized blank-slate vision of what that reality ought to look like
  • Argue that the relative simplicity and platonic orderliness of the vision represents rationality
  • Use authoritarian power to impose that vision, by demolishing the old reality if necessary
  • Watch your rational Utopia fail horribly

"The big mistake in this pattern of failure is projecting your subjective lack of comprehension onto the object you are looking at, as 'irrationality.' We make this mistake because we are tempted by a desire for legibility." --- Venkatesh Rao, discussing the book Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott

"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." --- Henry Ford

"Be compassionate, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." --- Philo of Alexandria

"Walking your path doesn’t mean you don’t hurt, it means the pain is worth the progress. Sometimes you have to break something down in order to remake it, and that includes yourself, or it did for me. There were moments when I wept for an easier road, but in the end I would not trade my path for anyone else’s. It is mine and the traveling of it has made me who I am, and continues to shape and remold me into the best, happiest, most productive, most playful me, I’ve ever been." --- Laurell K. Hamilton, April 12, 2011

"My favorite definition of forgiveness is 'giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.'" --- Oprah Winfrey, May 11, 2011 on Oprah's Farewell Countdown Video

"My friends and acquaintances are probably weirder than my models of them would predict" -- Anna Salamon

"There are many different kinds of writers, I like to use the analogy of architects and gardeners. There are some writers who are architects, and they plan everything, they blueprint everything, and they know before the drive the first nail into the first board what the house is going to look like and where all the closets are going to be, where the plumbing is going to run, and everything is figured out on the blueprints before they actually begin any work whatsoever. And then there are gardeners who dig a little hole and drop a seed in and water it with their blood and see what comes up, and sort of shape it. They sort of know what seed they've planted - whether it's an oak or an elm, or a horror story or a science fiction story, but they don't how big it's going to be, or what shape it's going to take. I am much more a gardener than an architect." --- George R. R. Martin, April 08, 2006

"All men were created free and equally funny. Before you laugh too
much at that, take another look at it. Four hundred years ago the only
people who were funny were yokels… Now, today, even kings are funny.
We’ve come a long way." --- Robert Frost, 1937, What Became of New

"Lean into the sharp points" --- Pema Chodron, 2001. The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, p. 75

"Remember this: Quite often we are nowhere near the burden to our loved ones that we fear we are. Quite often they have willingly chosen to be exactly where they are, no matter the challenges." --- Lupa, Nov. 1, 2010

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads." --- Erica Jong

"An articulated guess beats an unspoken assumption." --- Frederick Brooks, The Design of Design: Chapter 9: User Models -- Better Wrong Than Vague.

"The more similar the person giving the testimonial is to the new target audience, the more persuasive the message becomes … You should begin not with the testimonial you’re most proud of, but with the one whose circumstances are most comparable to your audiences." --- Robert Cialdini, Yes

"U.S. Liberalism is characterized by four unique premises:

(1) political and economic development is easy;
(2) all good things go together;
(3) radicalism and revolution are bad; and
(4) democracy is more important than political order (Packenham, 1973).

"These last two premises may seem contradictory, but they can be made consistent by arguing, as many Liberals do, that instability in the short term is acceptable to achieve 'perpetual peace' over the long term. Not surprisingly, 'perpetual war for perpetual peace' has been a recurrent theme in the history of Liberal states (Divine, 2000). Individually, these four premises seem benign; taken together, however, they can be the source of illiberalism." --- Michael C. Desch, "America’s Liberal Illiberalism: The Ideological Origins of Overreaction" in U.S. Foreign Policy, International Security, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Winter 2007/08), pp. 7–43

"Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect, that’d happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine, by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes, wasn’t a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time..." --- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

"You really don't know someone 'til you've had recess with them." --- Alex Ziton, age 8

"The fundamental premise of sci-fi is not spaceships and lasers — it’s that children can learn from the mistakes of their parents." --- David Brin, Feb. 18, 2010, in Nature.

"What a magnificent B-flat!" --- Maurice Ravel, upon visiting Niagara Falls, Canada, in 1928.


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