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Set your expectations even lower than that. You'll still be disappointed, but at least you won't be surprised.

Let me remind you what fascism is. It need not wear a brown shirt or a green shirt. It may even wear a dress shirt.

Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege.

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it will happen again.

Either mathematics is too big for the human mind, or the human mind is more than a machine.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Stop trying to make so much sense and just make.

Although we are free by the law, we are not so in practice.

It was not easy. It needed a sort of athleticism of mind; an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic, and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.

I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.

Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.

It's good to think using a first-principles physics approach: rather than reasoning by analogy, you boil things down to their most fundamental truths, and then reason up from there. This is a good way to figure out if something really makes sense, or if it's just what everybody else is doing.

It's hard to think this way -- it takes a lot of effort -- but if you're trying to do something new, it's the best way to think. This method was developed by physicists to figure out unintuitive things, like quantum mechanics, so it's really a powerful method.

Humans live through their myths and only endure their realities.

The future is up for grabs. It belongs to any and all who will take the risk and accept the responsibility of consciously creating the future they want.

You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you.

Part of the humor of living on this backward planet is listening to the hominids rationalize their predations.

The easiest way to get brainwashed is to be born. All of the above principles then immediately go into action, a process which psychologists euphemistically call socialization.

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.

Certitude belongs exclusively to those who own only one encyclopedia.

Just remember: when you go to court, you are trusting your fate to twelve people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty!

When you tug at a single thing in the universe, you find it's attached to everything else.

A person needs to learn from childhood how to be alone. It means not being bored when you're by yourself, because a person who finds himself bored when alone -- as it seems to me -- is in danger.

Physicists found they needed imagery... a style of thinking based on seeing and feeling. That was what physical intuition meant.

Feynman said to Dyson, and Dyson agreed, that Einstein's great work had sprung from physical intuition, and that when Einstein stopped creating, it was because "he stopped thinking in concrete physical images and became a manipulator of equations."

Intuition was not just visual but also auditory and kinesthetic. Those who watched Feynman in moments of intense concentration came away with a strong, even disturbing sense of the physicality of the process, as though his brain did not stop with the grey matter but extended through every muscle in his body.

When a politician says yes, he means maybe; when he says maybe, he means no; and if he says no, he's not a politician. When a lady says no, she means maybe; when she says maybe, she means yes; and if she says yes, she's not a lady.

It's amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

We came to insist upon business and money-making and material improvement as good in themselves
They took on the aspects of moral virtues
We came to consider an unthinking optimism essential
We refused to look on the seamy and sordid realities of any situation in which we found ourselves
We regarded criticism as obstructive and dangerous for our new communities
We came to think manners undemocratic, and a cultivated mind a hindrance to success, a sign of inefficient effeminacy
Size and statistics of material development came to be more important in our eyes than quality and spiritual values
In the ever-shifting advance of the frontier we came to lose sight of the past in hopes for the future
We forgot to live, in the struggle to 'make a living'
Our education tended to become utilitarian or aimless
Other unfortunate traits only too notable today were developed

An organism has the astonishing gift of controlling 'a stream of order' on itself and thus escaping the decay into atomic chaos. Existing order displays the pwoer of maintaining itself and producing orderly events.

One of the ways that mental illness really fucks with you is by distorting your ability to recognize and process things appropriately. It will hook onto tiny things and dig them into you for days and days, or it will numb you over things you really should be processing.

Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial—but Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.

The quest is to be liberated from the negative, which is really our own will to nothingness. And once having said yes to the instant, the affirmation is contagious. It bursts into a chain of affirmations that knows no limit. To say yes to one instant is to say yes to all of existence.

An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes in a narrow field.

No language which lends itself to visualizability can describe quantum jumps.

Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.

The democratic rule that all men are equal is sometimes confused with the quite opposite idea that all men are the same and that any man can be substituted for any other so that his differences make no difference. The two are not at all the same. The democratic rule that all men are equal means that men's being different cannot be made a basis for special privilege or for the invidious advantage of one man over another; equality, under the democratic rule, is the freedom and opportunity of each individual to be fully and completely his different self. Democracy means the right to be different.

Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.

The Internet is the story of a fundamental shifting of human interaction, scaled globally, against all odds, without intrinsic control. Never in human history has pure anonymity been so available, interactions under it so easy, or its benefits and negatives so unsettled.

Make no mistake: This wasn't supposed to happen. We don't live in the universe where everything is normal. We live in the alternate universe where the Internet exists. Other universes have something like it, sure. Taped-together gardens surrounded by barbed wired called Comcasternet, and Verizoconnect, and TimeWarnfusion. We don’t have that. In our universe, they dropped the ball in the beginning - humanity broke free.

But don't worry. We'll be back in our little corporate fiefdom cages their controlled, safe Interoperable Network Zone Transversal Access Tiers soon enough.

The NSA's vision statement is: keep the problem going so the money keeps flowing.

The requisitions of the income tax have added greatly to the attractions of mercenary crime.

Any spoke will lead an ant to the hub.

Besides, in this century of the overwhelming triumph of science, the appeal of the cause of human freedom is no longer that it is great and noble; it is essential. It is no greater than the cause of edible food or the cause of effective shelter. Man must have freedom or he will cease to exist as man.

A schedule broken at will becomes a mere procession of vagaries.

There is nothing in the world as indestructible as human dignity. That woman makes money killing time for fools. With it she pays me for rooting around in mud. Half of my share goes for taxes which are used to make bombs to blow people to pieces. Yet I am not without dignity.

The trouble with mornings is that they come when you're not awake.

I cannot agree that mountain climbing is merely one manifestation of man's spiritual aspirations. I think instead it is a hysterical paroxysm of his infantile vanity.

When an international financier is confronted by a holdup man with a gun, he automatically hands over not only his money and jewelry but also his shirt and pants, because it doesn't occur to him that a robber might draw the line somewhere.

I wouldn't use physical violence even if I could, because one of my romantic ideas is that physical violence is beneath the dignity of a man, and that whatever you get by physical aggression costs more than it is worth.

War doesn't mature men; it merely pickles them in the brine of disgust and dread. Pfui!

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.

To assert dignity is to lose it.

To be broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe.

The spooks are all cowards. Sunlight is the solution to these things.

Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you're donating blood.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

The creative person is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn't need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right ideas.

Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything - whatever is bringing you down - get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.

The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful: yourself.

Please, people, do not f-- with depression. It's merciless. All it wants is to get you in a room alone and kill you. Take care of yourself.

I think a lot of the problems in the world happen because people are thinking from a lower level of consciousness - e.g. from a self-centered or conformist or numbers-oriented or even consensus-driven perspective. Each of those is progressively better than the one before, but they all have issues. If I were to pick a goal at this point in my life, I'd say that I try to help people think from a more advanced perspective than what they previously did.

Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success.

Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love -- and to put its trust in life!!

What makes mankind tragic is not that they are the victims of nature, it is that they are conscious of it.

Every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end.

It is not the clear-sighted who lead the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm mental fog.

Egoism, which is the moving force of the world, and altruism, which is its morality, these two contradictory instincts, of which one is so plain and the other so mysterious, cannot serve us unless in the incomprehensible alliance of their irreconcilable antagonism.

Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.

It is to be remarked that a good many people are born curiously unfitted for the fate awaiting them on this earth.

In plucking the fruit of memory one runs the risk of spoiling its bloom.

The last thing a woman will consent to discover in a man whom she loves, or on whom she simply depends, is want of courage.

Facing it -- always facing it -- that's the way to get through.

It's only those who do nothing that make no mistakes, I suppose.

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

Once you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you've never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can't wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it's like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn't exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day's work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there's no need for continuous conversation, but you find you're quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there's a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that's so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.

catoptric tristesse n. the sadness that you'll never really know what other people think of you, whether good, bad or if at all -- that although we reflect on each other with the sharpness of a mirror, the true picture of how we're coming off somehow reaches us softened and distorted, as if each mirror was preoccupied with twisting around, desperately trying to look itself in the eye.

When you try to live a more balanced life, traditional businessmen think that you are not a real man. But who is not the real man? You are telling me? You have not taken a weekend with your wife, you have no spare time that you use constructively, you do not have any hobbies, you do not know how to spell Mozart. And here you are telling me that I am weak?

The true way goes over a line that, rather than spanning heights, is hardly above the ground. It appears more decidedly to make one trip than to be walked along.

All human errors are impatience, an untimely or premature breaking off of methodical procedure, an apparent fencing-in of what is apparently at issue.

There are two cardinal human sins out of which all others derive, deviate, and dissipate: impatience and lassitude (or perhaps nonchalance). On account of impatience they are driven out of paradise; on account of lassitude or nonchalance they do not return. Perhaps, however, only one main sense of sin is given: impatience. On account of impatience they are driven out, on account of impatience they do not turn back.

What I cannot create, I do not understand.

It's worse than you think
Everything you know is wrong
Nothing is as it seems
You've been lost inside somebody else's dream
But this dream is your reality
And you'll follow it through
To its illogical end

There's no need to apologize
There's no need to say you're wrong
It's something you've always known inside
You've suspected it all along

So don't waste another day
Listen to what your higher self is trying to say

A limitation of supply by artificial causes, creates scarcity in order to create property. To limit that which is in its nature unlimited, and thereby to confer an exchangeable value on that which, without such interference, would be the gratuitous possession of mankind, is to create an artificial monopoly which has no warrant in the nature of things, which serves to produce scarcity where there ought to be abundance, and to confine to the few gifts which were intended for all.

I think Kafka was right when he said that for a modern, secular, nonreligious man, state bureaucracy is the only remaining contact with the dimension of the divine; the impenetrable omnipotence of bureaucracy harbors is divine enjoyment. It is the performance of its very purposelessness that generates an intense enjoyment, ready to reproduce itself forever.

I've always felt that if you're not on your own side, why should anyone else be? So, I always encourage people to be confident (and sometimes, even a little falsely so, just so you can give yourself an opportunity.)


Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.

Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing

Singularitarianism: the belief that the nonexistance of gods is an engineering problem.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them.

Our brains differ as much as our bodies. Indeed, they may differ more. One part of the brain, the anterior commissure, varies seven-fold in area between one person and the next. Another part, the massa intermedia, is not found at all in one in four people. The primary visual cortex can vary three-fold in area. Something called our amygdala (it is responsible for our fears and loves) can vary two-fold in volume -- as can something called our hippocampus (involved in memory). Most surprisingly, our cerebral cortex varies in non-learning impaired people nearly two-fold in volume.

The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.

I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
    • -- Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt)

Civilization is made up of people, and well, even if you uproot these individuals and brainwash them into a hyper-advanced 25th century society, they'll still act out in the same tribal ways. People are people and that inertia is overwhelming. The world is getting better in a lot of ways, but the underlying structures imply that some people are more equal than others, even if you have something like post-scarcity.

Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up.

Every once in a while, someone not an NSA employee, but who had longstanding ties to NSA, would make a suggestion that reduced privacy or security, but which seemed to make sense when viewed by people who didn't know much about crypto. For example, using the same IV (initialization vector) throughout a session, rather than making a new one for each packet. Or, retaining a way to for this encryption protocol to specify that no encryption is to be applied.

If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.

There is a mistaken proverb which tells us that those who are ignorant of the past are condemned to repeat it. In fact, they're lucky if they're allowed to repeat it. More probably, they're condemned to something even worse than the past. This is doubly true of those who believe that their ignorance somehow makes them morally superior to those who don't share it.

Destiny is a feeling that you know something about yourself that nobody else does; that the picture you have in your mind of what you're about will come true. It's a thing you have to keep to your own self, because it's a fragile feeling; if you put it out there, someone will kill it. So, it's best to keep that all inside.

For the record, knowing when people are only pretending to like you isn't such a great skill to have.

To live outside the law, you must be honest.

When people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

[In the 20th century], the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be; it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this: not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story. If their employees came home at day’s end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Saeculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion. How else could you see yourself as part of an adventure? Something with a beginning, middle, and end in which you played a significant part?

It is hard enough to remember my opinions without also having to remember my reasons for them.

We cannot achieve more in life than what we believe in our heart of hearts we deserve to have.

...for the time being I gave up writing -- there is already too much truth in the world -- an over-production which apparently cannot be consumed!

Early man is thinking, "This world fits me very well. Here are all these things that support me and feed me and look after me; yes, this world fits me nicely," and he reaches the inescapable conclusion that whoever made it, made it for him.

This is rather as if you imagined a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in -- an interesting hole I find myself in -- fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well! It must have been made to have me in it!"

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Franz Kafka, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to Felice Bauer in 1912, "time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers."

News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.

"It is worth repeating at this point the theories that Ford had come up with, on his first encounter with human beings, to account for their peculiar habit of continually stating and restating the very very obvious, as in "It's a nice day," or "You're very tall," or "So this is it, we're going to die."

His first theory was that if human beings didn't keep exercising their lips, their mouths probably shriveled up.

After a few months of observation he had come up with a second theory, which was this--"If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, their brains start working."

Because the Internet is so new we still don’t really understand what it is. We mistake it for a type of publishing or broadcasting, because that’s what we’re used to. So people complain that there’s a lot of rubbish online, or that it’s dominated by Americans, or that you can’t necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone. Of course you can’t ‘trust’ what people tell you on the web anymore than you can ‘trust’ what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. For some batty reason we turn off this natural scepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can’t easily answer back – like newspapers, television or granite. Hence ‘carved in stone.’ What should concern us is not that we can’t take what we read on the internet on trust – of course you can’t, it’s just people talking – but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV – a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’.

Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent, adolescent boy, Canada is like an intelligent, 35 year old woman. Australia is like Jack Nicholson.

Love is a better teacher than duty.

A distinctive feature of conspiracy theories is their self-sealing quality. Conspiracy theorists are not likely to be persuaded by an attempt to dispel their theories; they may even characterize that very attempt as further proof of the conspiracy. Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a "crippled epistemology," in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.

The population becomes the internal enemy. Any sign of life, of protest, or even mere doubt, is a dangerous challenge from the standpoint of military doctrine and national security. So complicated mechanisms of prevention adn punishment have been developed ... To operate effectively, the repression must appear arbitrary. Apart from breathing, any human activity can constitute a crime ... State terrorism aims to paralyze the population with fear.

Luhmann claimed that his filing system was something of a collaborator in his work, a largely independent partner in his research and writing. It might have started out as a mere apprentice when Luhmann was still studying himself (in 1951), but after thirty years of having been fed information by the human collaborator, it had acquired the ability of surprising him again and again. Since the ability of genuinely surprising one another is an essential characteristic of genuine communication, he argued that there was actually communication going on between himself and his partner in theory.

It's tempting to judge what you read by agreeing with certain statements, and disagreeing with others.

However, a great thinker who has spent decades on an unusual line of thought cannot induce their context into your head in a few pages. It's almost certainly the case that you don't fully understand their statements.

Instead, you can say: "I have now learned that there exists a worldview in which all of these statements are consistent."

And if it feels worthwhile, you can make a genuine effort to understand that entire worldview. You don't have to adopt it. Just make it available to yourself, so you can make connections to it when it's needed.

Thinking about education during this century has almost entirely involved just three ideas—socialization, Plato's academic idea, and Rousseau's developmental idea... The combination of these ideas governs what we do in schools, and what we do to children in the name of education.

Our problems... are due to these three ideas each being fatally flawed and being also incompatible with one other.

A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on. A psychotic is a guy who's just found out what's going on.

Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.

Poor empty pants
With nobody inside them.

You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

A ton of people is literally 12 to 15 people.

There is nothing more practical than a good theory.

Oh, you're in television! That's interesting. No, I mean, the word television is interesting. It's a hybrid, you see: tele- comes from the greek, and -vision comes from the latin. It should have been either "telerama", or "procolvision".

I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

I was filling out an application, and it said: "In case of emergency, notify: _________". So I wrote, "DOCTOR".

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time, it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage...

I've never been worried about taking risks. I guess my parents have been doing that all their lives. Throw me in the deep end and I'll learn how to swim. In the paddling pool, I'll just do what is necessary to paddle. I love new challenges. I haven't drowned yet, but we'll see.

Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation!

Freedom of speech you have, but freedom after speech, that I cannot guarantee

There comes a time when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn't even jump puddles for you.

A lot of the strings that hold us like puppets are really inventions of our own minds. I'm not saying that there aren't armies and police and various ways to punish deviants, but there isn't any way to punish a large number of deviants. It's too expensive to even try. So, the solution is to colonize the minds of children as they're growing up, so that they become their own police, and to report on others who are deviating.

It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.

Those who are heartless once cared too much.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.

Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.

The most unsatisfactory men are those who pride themselves on their virility and regard sex as if it were some form of athletics at which you win cups. It is a woman's spirit and mood which a man has to stimulate in order to make sex interesting. The real lover is the man who can thrill you by just touching your head or smiling into your eyes -- or just by staring into space.

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.

There are only two industries that call their customers users: the illegal drug trade, and the computer industry.

In general, I think audiences are a lot smarter than people think. So, it's not "know your audience", it's "respect your audience, and really know your content".

Fight against yourself, recover yourself to decency, to modesty, to freedom. And, in the first place, condemn your actions; but when you have condemned them, do not despair of yourself. For both ruin and recovery are from within.

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless, but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things.

Realize you can be happy this moment for no reason. Otherwise, you eternally depend on conditions for happiness. Unconscious of this moment, you remain a victim of circumstances.

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.

Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.

Cynicism (n.): fault-finding without any interest in improving people and things.

You can tell if a discipline is BS if the degree depends severely on the prestige of the school granting it. I remember when I applied to MBA programs being told that anything outside the top 10 or 20 would be a waste of time. On the other hand a degree in mathematics is much less dependent on the school (conditional on being above a certain level, so the heuristic would apply to the difference between the top 10 and top 2000 schools.) The same applies to research papers. In math and physics, a result posted on arXiv (with a minimum hurdle) is fine. In low quality fields like academic finance (where almost all academics are charlatans and all papers some form of complicated storytelling), the "prestige" of the journal is the sole criterion.

We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it's all about.

Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.

When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that is present... we experience heaven on earth.

The very remembrance of my former misfortune proves a new one to me.

Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.

How do I know that politicians are crooks? Because they all spend millions of dollars to get a job that pays $100,000.

Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.

I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Distrust all those who love you extremely upon a very slight acquaintance and without any visible reason.

Proverbs for Paranoids #3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.

The sunlights differ, but there is only one darkness.

Existence is larger than any model that is not itself the exact size of existence.

Every war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil.

Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren't even mammals.

Obviously, the faster we process information, the more rich and complex our models or glosses -- our reality-tunnels -- will become. Resistance to new information, however, has a strong neurological foundation in all animals, as indicated by studies of imprinting and conditioning. Most animals, including most domesticated primates (humans) show a truly staggering ability to "ignore" certain kinds of information -- that which does not "fit" their imprinted/conditioned reality-tunnel. We generally call this "conservatism" or "stupidity", but it appears in all parts of the political spectrum, and in learned societies as well as in the Ku Klux Klan.

Every national border in Europe marks the place where two gangs of bandits got too exhausted to kill each other anymore and signed a treaty. Patriotism is the delusion that one of these gangs of bandits is better than all the others.

The secret to my success has been optimism tempered by anger.

The good die young -- because they see it's no use living if you've got to be good.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi. Unfortunately, they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their programming.

Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around.

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue, but have gotten them second-hand from others.

The greatest love is a mother's, then a dog's, then a sweetheart's.

What convinces is not necessarily true--it is merely convincing: a note for asses.

The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation.

Normal person: "I'm too lazy to figure it out, I'll just look it up."
Programmer: "I'm too lazy to look it up, I'll just figure it out."

It is better to have 100 functions operate on one data structure than 10 functions on 10 data structures.


He came to understand that, "Faith in a fact can help create the fact." So, for example, a belief that one "has a significant contribution to make to the world" can keep one from committing suicide during a period of deep despair, and remaining alive makes it possible to in fact make a significant contribution.

Pissing people off doesn't mean you're doing the right things, but doing the right things will almost inevitably piss people off.


The most important early product on the way to developing a good product is an imperfect version.

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

The politician is someone who deals in man's problems of adjustment. To ask a politician to lead us is to ask the tail of a dog to lead the dog.

We are all so fascinated with recalling things: taking photographs, writing them down, and above all, remembering them. It's phonographic. 'Cause you see; if you don't remember anything, you don't know you're there. A person who had total amnesia, and lived in split seconds only, wouldn't know he was there.

But certainly, to know that you're there, you need an echo.

There was a young man who said: though it seems that I know that I know, what I would like to see is the I that knows me when I know that I know that I know.

It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "Try to be a little kinder."

Bower's Law:

I hope everybody could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of, so they will know that it's not the answer.

The odds were good, but the goods turned out to be odd.

Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

As kids we're not taught how to deal with success; we're taught how to deal with failure. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. If at first you succeed, then what?

Sturgeon's Law:

Being in love is like discovering a concealed ballroom in a house you've long inhabited.

Making one brilliant decision and a whole bunch of mediocre ones isn't as good as making a whole bunch of generally smart decisions throughout the whole process.

If you love a flower, don't pick it up, because if you pick it up, it dies and ceases to be what you love. If you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession; love is about appreciation.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

She is the only evidence of God I have seen with the exception of the mysterious force that removes one sock from the dryer every time I do my laundry.

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness, I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force.

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

If someone stinks, view it as a reason to help them, not a reason to avoid them.

Dow's Law:

Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that, too.

Facebook makes me hate the people I know, and Reddit makes me love the people I don't.

A biologist, a chemist, and a statistician are out hunting. The biologist shoots at a deer and misses 5ft to the left, the chemist takes a shot and misses 5ft to the right, the statistician yells "We got 'em!"

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.


A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.

It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

Everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge. It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

If [Edison] had a needle to find in a haystack he would not stop to reason where it was most likely to be, but would proceed at once, with the feverish diligence of a bee, to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was almost a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.

If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time serving it...

Peter's Laws:

The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself to its own self.

It seems like most people ask: 'How can I throw my life away in the least unhappy way?'

Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.

...Local prohibitions cannot block advances in military and commercial technology... Democratic movements for local restraint can only restrain the world's democracies, not the world as a whole.

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Oh wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound.

Almost in the same way as earlier physicists are said to have found suddenly that they had too little mathematical understanding to be able to master physics; we may say that young people today are suddenly in the position that ordinary common sense no longer suffices to meet the strange demands life makes. Everything has become so intricate that for its mastery an exceptional degree of understanding is required. For it is not enough any longer to be able to play the game well; but the question is again and again: what sort of game is to be played now anyway?

To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics: If you think things are in a mess now, just wait!

He who always plows a straight furrow is in a rut.

A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.

Galbraith's Law of Human Nature:

I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible.

No one is fit to be trusted with power. ... No one. ... Any man who has lived at all knows the follies and wickedness he's capabe of. ... And if he does know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to decide a single human fate.

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it.


Those who have some means think that the most important thing in the world is love. The poor know that it is money.

The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think

Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.

For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.

A specialist is a barbarian whose ignorance is not well-rounded.

The Greatest Generation gets too much credit. Those World War II guys, if they had all the shit we have today, they'd be assholes too. It's just circumstantial. It's what you're called on to do that makes you great. We haven't been called on to do anything but buy shit and get fat.

The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.

Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.

Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather than to pick a strategy that is most efficient [...] People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.

Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.

Anthropologists have been complaining about the Myth of Barter for almost a century. Occasionally, economists point out with slight exasperation that there’s a fairly simple reason why they’re still telling the same story despite all the evidence against it: anthropologists have never come up with a better one. This is an understandable objection, but there’s a simple answer to it. The reasons why anthropologists haven’t been able to come up with a simple, compelling story for the origins of money is because there’s no reason to believe there could be one. Money was no more ever “invented” than music or mathematics or jewelry. What we call “money” isn’t a “thing” at all, it’s a way of comparing things mathematically, as proportions: of saying one of X is equivalent to six of Y. As such it is probably as old as human thought. The moment we try to get any more specific, we discover that there are any number of different habits and practices that have converged in the stuff we now call “money,” and this is precisely the reason why economists, historians, and the rest have found it so difficult to come up with a single definition.

One of the most difficult tasks confronting philosophers is to descend from the world of thought to the actual world.

Doctors prescribe medicine of which they know little,
to cure diseases of which they know less,
in human beings of which they know nothing.

Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.

To be ourselves causes us to be exiled by many, but to comply with others causes us to be exiled from ourselves.

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: "Whose?"

The world operates through power. [...] If you have a world with scarce resources and inequality, power is inevitable. It's a fact. [...] Kissinger is like an ancient ghost from another time that says, I am powerful, and what I do can have some effect. But you have to look at it in this hard, realistic way. [...] It’s rather like in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, where there’s Napoleon who thinks he can change history and then there’s this other character who I’ve always rather admired, Marshal Kutuzov, who is Napoleon’s opponent, an old general who everyone despises, but in the end saves Moscow. His view is that the events of world history are just chaotic, so complex. You can never understand them. But there come moments in the chaotic flow of events when the mist of confusion suddenly clears and it allows you to see that if you act at that moment in a particular way, you can shift your position, turn the pivot your way. And then the mist will roll in again. It’s about how to use power creatively in a dynamic world--how to turn history your way for a moment. But, unlike Kissinger, you are driven by a moral vision of what kind of society you are trying to achieve.


I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.

100 fools are louder than 100,000 wise men.

Radford Neal: I don't necessarily think that the Bayesian method is the best thing to do in all cases...
Geoff Hinton: Sorry Radford, my prior probability for you saying this is zero, so I couldn't hear what you said.

Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.


Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence.

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

It is so easy to be wise, just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.


No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.

Most men die at 27, we just bury them at 72.

One can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person, give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.

Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

The history of mankind for the last four centuries is rather like that of an imprisoned sleeper, stirring clumsily and uneasily while the prison that restrains and shelters him catches fire, not waking but incorporating the crackling and warmth of the fire with ancient and incongruous dreams, than like that of a man consciously awake to danger and opportunity.


Beans, beans, the magic legumes -- the more you ingest, the more you consume.

Wodehouse better than Milton? Shakespeare? Keats? Well, of course it's an absurd comparison. How can I possibly mention the author of Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin and Pigs Have Wings in the same breath as these men? He's just not serious!

He doesn't need to be serious. He's better than that. He's up in the stratosphere of what the human mind can do, above tragedy and strenuous thought, where you will find Bach, Mozart, Einstein, Feynman, and Louis Armstrong, in the realms of pure, creative playfulness.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.

Our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

If only our great thinkers could learn to talk, and our great talkers could learn to think.

In human intercourse, the tragedy begins not when there is misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.

The quiet ones are the ones that change the universe... The loud ones only take the credit.

People inspire you, or they drain you -- pick them wisely.

The less you talk, the more you're listened to.

If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.

You are who you are when nobody's watching.


The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but how it thinks.

Sonder (noun) the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

Ironically, making a statement with words is the least effective method.

The best way to sound like you know what you're talking about is to know what you're talking about.

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

Talent is formed in solitude, character in the bustle of the world.

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.

If you see fraud and do not say fraud, you are a fraud.

Have you noticed how those who move, move fast? And those who don't, just stand still; motionless?

Yes, you can go ahead and rant to me about how an object in motion stays in motion, and how an object at rest stays at rest. But, I think there’s more to this than physics.

I think those in motion have seen something the others have not; their imprisonment. (I think they've noticed it, and escaped.)

Those who do not move do not notice their chains.

It's important to understand that we are all "brainwashed" in some way. We've all been raised by certain traditions, cultures, and social norms that have built expectations in us on how to live our lives and what choices to make.

So we haven't made the choices in our life solely of our own free will, they are in many ways shaped by these social influences, outside of our own reason, logic, and commonsense.

Acknowledging this truth about our minds is at least one small step in beginning to untangle all the unhelpful conditioning we've learned since birth.

Just starting a project can sometimes be the only way to get yourself more motivated to actually accomplish it. It's only once we begin something that we start to feel a bigger commitment to it.

There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.

Compare yourself to others only to learn from them, not to judge them as "better" or "worse."

The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs.


If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.

Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul.


I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.

The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

The problem with introspection is that it has no end.

Some of us drink deeply from the fountain of knowledge; others just gargle and spit.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

The unlived life is not worth examining.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

It's not that people are completely stupid, but if there's a big idea and you have deadlines and you have expedience and you have competitors, very likely what you'll do is take a low-pass filter on that idea and implement one part of it and miss what has to be done next. This happens over and over again. If you're using early-binding languages as most people do, rather than late-binding languages, then you really start getting locked in to stuff that you've already done. You can't reformulate things that easily.

The adoption of programming languages has very often been somewhat accidental, and the emphasis has very often been on how easy it is to implement the programming language rather than on its actual merits and features. For instance, Basic should never have surfaced because there was always a language better than Basic for that purpose. That language was Joss, which predated Basic and was beautiful. But Basic happened to be on a GE timesharing system that was done by Dartmouth, and when GE decided to franchise that, it started spreading Basic around just because it was there, not because it had any intrinsic merits whatsoever.

This happens over and over again. The languages of Niklaus Wirth have spread wildly and widely because he has been one of the most conscientious documenters of languages and one of the earlier ones to do algorithmic languages using p-codes (pseudocodes) -- the same kinds of things that we use. The idea of using those things has a common origin in the hardware of a machine called the Burroughs B5000 from the early 1960s, which the establishment hated.

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

I seem to be a verb.


You Earth people glorified organized violence for forty centuries. But you imprison those who employ it privately.

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

Behind us: the unknown. Before us: the secret.

A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation.

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.


All the mind's activity is easy if it is not subjected to reality.

Truth will sooner come out from error than from confusion.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.

Oh yeah -- you have to write every day. Or every weekday. Because writing is a job. It's not eureka moments over and over. It's grueling work, panning for gold. You just keep at it and eventually you get a few grains. Or flakes. Or whatever gold looks like in rivers. Or maybe it's like fishing. Who cares? You just have to do it every day because you never know which day is going to be your productive day.

...revolutions are not won by enlisting the masses. Revolution is a science for the few who are competent to practice it. It depends on correct organisation and above all, on communications.

Nature is monstrously unjust. There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all the virtues are of no avail.

There's only one thing money can't buy -- poverty.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Nusbaum's Rule:

The three laws of thermodynamics:

  1. You can't get anything without working for it.
  2. The most you can accomplish by working is to break even.
  3. You can only break even at absolute zero.

Animals can be driven crazy by putting too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens are the only animal that voluntarily does this to themselves.

Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time.

Men have as exaggerated an idea of their rights as women have of their wrongs.

They seem to have learned the habit of cowering before authority even when not actually threatened. How very nice for authority. I decided not to learn this particular lesson.

Sometimes "pi = 3.14" is (a) infinitely faster than the "correct" answer and (b) the difference between the "correct" and the "wrong" answer is meaningless. And this is why I get upset when somebody dismisses performance issues based on "correctness". The thing is, some specious value of "correctness" is often irrelevant because it doesn't matter. While performance almost always matters. And I absolutely detest the fact that people so often dismiss performance concerns so readily.

After 35 years, I have finished a comprehensive study of European comparative law. In Germany, under the law, everything is prohibited, except that which is permitted. In France, under the law, everything is permitted, except that which is prohibited. In the Soviet Union, under the law, everything is prohibited, including that which is permitted. And in Italy, under the law, everything is permitted, especially that which is prohibited.

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.


Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.

It's import to understand that it's not that capital does not want to fund free and open platforms, or that capitalists choose not to: capital simply can not do so.

Capital can not fund free and open platforms because capitalists must capture profit or lose their capital, and thus for-profit platforms that can not capture profit must eventually vanish.

Somebody remarked: 'I can tell by my own reaction to it that this book is harmful.' But let him only wait and perhaps one day he will admit to himself that this same book has done him a great service by bringing out the hidden sickness of his heart and making it visible.

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.

Ownership has been separated from control; and this separation has removed many of the checks which formerly operated to curb the misuse of wealth and power.

When plunder becomes a way of life, for a group of men, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.

The desire for gold is the desire to make others do what they do not want to do.

Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with.

If a train stops at a train station, what do you think happens at a work station?

You are locked into your suffering and your pleasures are the seal.

Forming your own opinion is no more necessary than building your own furniture.

Truth is the most valuable thing we have -- so let us economize it.

It's lucky you're going so slowly, because you're going in the wrong direction.

The hundred parts of the body are all complete in their places. Which should one prefer? Do you like them all equally? Are they all servants? Are they unable to control one another and need a ruler? Or do they become rulers and servants in turn? Is there any true ruler other than themselves?

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs a step at a time.

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory'," Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously.
"Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But glory doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

We are accustomed to use our eyes only with the memory of what other people before us have thought about the object we are looking at.

Life; loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it.

The best way to complain is to make things.

your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

People who are firmly ensconced in a local, kinship-based community are less susceptible to consumerism and fascism alike, because both base their appeal on a need for self-identity. Therefore, to introduce consumerism to a previously isolated culture it is first necessary to destroy its sense of identity. Here's how: Disrupt its networks of reciprocity by introducing consumer items from the outside. Erode its self-esteem with glamorous images of the West. Demean its mythologies through missionary work and scientific education. Dismantle its traditional ways of transmitting local knowledge by introducing schooling with outside curricula. Destroy its language by providing that schooling.

If we understand the revolutionary transformations caused by new media, we can anticipate and control them; but if we continue in our self-induced subliminal trance, we will be their slaves.

The 4 canons of good spin:

  1. It is not a bare-faced lie.
  2. You have to be able to say it with a straight face.
  3. It has to relieve skepticism without arousing curiousity.
  4. It should seem profound.
    • -- Daniel Dennett

If it's not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.


You can buy a house, but you can't buy a home
Money buys you a watch, but it can't buy you time
You can buy a book, but you can't buy knowledge
You can buy a bed, but you can't buy sleep
Money pays the doctor, but it can't cure disease

We are nine meals away from anarchy.


Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

The history of the media is saturated with communicational kidnappings.

Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.

Church and state are like light in a prism:
Far more beautiful after the schism.
Some take issue with this,
And support antidis-

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and deaf husband.

Anyone who is more interested in human beings than in the rules is a threat to the system.

...nobody can stand truth if it is told to him. Truth can be tolerated only if you discover it yourself because then, the pride of discovery makes the truth palatable.

To mature means to take responsibility for your life, to be on your own. Psychoanalysis fosters the infantile state by considering that the past is responsible for the illness.

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as 'parasites' fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.

Admit nothing, deny everything, and make counter-accusations.

People decry the degree to which tech is a fashion-driven industry, but there's a reason for it. As Smalltalk creator Alan Kay said, "Once you have something that grows faster than education grows, you’re always going to get a pop culture."

Brevity is the soul of wit.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.

Eliminating the middleman is never as simple as it sounds. 'Bout 50% of the human race is middlemen, and they don't take kindly to being eliminated.

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. They are work, family, health, friends and spirit, and you're keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls -- family, health, friends and spirit -- are made of glass. If you drop these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad, or an economist.

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.

Decay is inherent in all compound things. Work out your own salvation with diligence.

Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.

It is terrible to see how a single unclear idea, a single formula without meaning, lurking in a young man’s head, will sometimes act like an obstruction of inert matter in an artery, hindering the nutrition of the brain and condemning its victim to pine away in the fullness of his intellectual vigor and in the midst of intellectual plenty.

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.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.

Language is the liquid, that we're all dissolved in. Great for solving problems, after it creates the problem.

The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people". Everything about it is false; it even bites with stolen teeth.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

From the beginning there have been people who have been there to encourage me in various endeavors. And there have also been those who have actively sought to discourage me and painstakingly point out the many errors of my ways. I would like to thank each of these groups equally. The former gave me the positive reinforcement that helped convince me that this was all worth it and that it would eventually have a beneficial and lasting effect. The latter gave me the obstinacy and unmitigated wrath to prove them wrong. A positive outlook fueled by anger is really all you need to succeed in this world.

If everyone else is such an idiot, how come you're not rich?

Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.

The truth is that Tolstoy, with his immense genius, with his colossal faith, with his vast fearlessness and vast knowledge of life, is deficient in one faculty and one faculty alone. He is not a mystic; and therefore he has a tendency to go mad. Men talk of the extravagances and frenzies that have been produced by mysticism; they are a mere drop in the bucket. In the main, and from the beginning of time, mysticism has kept men sane. The thing that has driven them mad was logic. The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism -- the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem.

Briefly, you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it.

Children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.

There are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world. One way is to put nonsense in the right place; as when people put nonsense into nursery rhymes. The other is to put nonsense in the wrong place; as when they put it into educational addresses, psychological criticisms, and complaints against nursery rhymes or other normal amusements of mankind.

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

The academic mind reflects infinity, and is full of light by the simple process of being shallow and standing still.

Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.

Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.

Moderate strength is shown in violence; supreme strength is shown in levity.

It isn't that they can't see the solution; it's that they can't see the problem.

Every positive change -- every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness -- involves a rite of passage. Each time to ascend to a higher rung on the ladder of personal evolution, we must go through a period of discomfort, of initiation. I have never found an exception.

"They are the words that finally turned me into the hermit I have become. It was quite sudden. I saw them and I knew what I had to do." The sign read: "Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion."

"It seemed to me," said Wonko the Sane, "that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."

To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for.

Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason. Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature, and for uniformity in general, is to suppose them results of evolution.

Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.
Convince others to do a job you loathe, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Nature is commonly viewed as harmonious and human markets as full of strife, yet the above comparison suggests the opposite. The psychological prominence of unusual phenomena may explain the apparent inversion of the common view. Symbiosis stands out in biology: we have all heard of the unusual relationship between crocodiles and the birds that pluck their parasites, but one hears less about the more common kind of relationship between crocodiles and each of the many animals they eat...

Similarly, fraud and criminality stand out in markets. Newspapers report major instances of fraud and embezzlement, but pay little attention to each day's massive turnover of routinely satisfactory cereal, soap and gasoline in retail trade. Crime is unusual and interesting; trade is common and boring.

... [I]magine that predation were as fundamental to markets as to biology. Instead of confronting occasional instances of theft in a background of trade, one would be surrounded by neighbors who had stolen their cars from dealers who had mounted an armed assault on factories in Detroit, which in turn had grabbed their parts and equipment by pillaging job-shops in the surrounding countryside.

If you understand something in only one way, then you don't really understand it at all. The secret of what anything means to us depends on how we've connected it to all other things we know.

To suppose universal laws of nature capable of being apprehended by the mind and yet having no reason for their special forms, but standing inexplicable and irrational, is hardly a justifiable position. Uniformities are precisely the sort of facts that need to be accounted for. Law is par excellence the thing that wants a reason. Now the only possible way of accounting for the laws of nature, and for uniformity in general, is to suppose them results of evolution.

Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed.

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

Almost all the other fellows do not look from the facts to the theory but from the theory to the facts; they cannot get out of the network of already accepted concepts; instead, comically, they only wriggle about inside.

Voting in a democracy makes you feel powerful, much as playing the lottery makes you feel rich.

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm.

Shinji: What should I do?
Gendou: I give you a constraint.
Asuka: Now you have a top and a bottom.
Rei: Now you have lost one degree of freedom.
Misato: Now you have to stand on the ground.
Ryouji: But you obtain a comfort.
Makoto: Your mind becomes slightly easier.
Shigeru: And you walk.

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spent the first four sharpening the axe.

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Geniuses remove it.

Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

I'll go anywhere as long as it's forward.

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.

I don't like work--no man does--but I like what is in the work,--the chance to find yourself. Your own reality--for yourself, not for others--what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.

The language of friendship is not words, but meanings.

Man is surely mad. He cannot make a worm; yet he makes Gods by the dozen.

Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.

You wouldn't worry so much about what other people think if you knew how seldom they do.

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one.

Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.

There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

It is here that we encounter the central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.

The wisest men follow their own direction.

Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.

If you speak the truth, have a foot in the stirrup.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.


Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

You can get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philisophy.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but [when they do] the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.

One doesn't discover new lands without losing sight of the shore.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.

What gunpowder did for war, the printing press has done for the mind.

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in car.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.

The future will be better tomorrow.

There is a single light of science and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome.

If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.

Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back.

You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.

You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot.

Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.

True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

The biggest challenge of the 21st century is the irony of technologies of abundance in the hands of those thinking in terms of scarcity.

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

Alas for those that never sing, but die with their music still in them!

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something... You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.

Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. This is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth. The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul.

A Poem is never finished, it is abandoned in despair.

If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."

Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.

The whole world turns upside down in ten years, but you turn upside down with it.

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't.

Two excellent advices for wielding too much power:

  1. Do less; don't do everything that seems like a good idea, but only what you must do.
  2. Avoid doing things you can't undo.
    • -- Eliezer Yudkowsky

(ED: Interestingly, this is also great advice for programmers. Coincidence?)

Why don't I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, "Why don't you believe I can fly?" You'd say, "Why would I?" I'd reply, "Because it's a matter of faith". If I then said, "Prove I can't fly. Prove I can't fly... See? See?? You can't prove it, can you?!" You'd probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, "F--ing fly then, you lunatic."

Smart people underestimate the ordinarity of ordinary people.

Controversy equalizes fools and wise men -- and the fools know it.


We live in strange times.

We also live in strange places: each in a universe of our own. The people with whom we populate our universes are the shadows of whole other universes intersecting with our own. Being able to glance out into this bewildering complexity of infinite recursion and say things like, "Oh, hi, Ed! Nice tan. How’s Carol?" involves a great deal of filtering skill for which all conscious entities have eventually to develop a capacity in order to protect themselves from the contemplation of the chaos through which they seethe and tumble. So give your kid a break, okay?

[...extract from Practical Parenting in a Fractally Demented Universe]

I like pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals.

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Why is Mr Universe always from Earth?

If you're being chased by a police dog, try not to go through a tunnel, then on to a little seesaw, then jump through a hoop of fire. They're trained for that.

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. These auxiliary precautions require primarily a separation of power between the different branches of government, and secondarily a dispersion of power among the citizenry. The underlying purpose is to prevent the rulers from oppressing the ruled, and to render it improbable, if not impracticable, for one segment of society to oppress another.

Work fascinates me -- I could watch it for hours!

As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.

The superclass of the eigenclass of a class is the eigenclass of the class's superclass.

Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either.

Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged -- people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can't. Everything is deeply intertwingled.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and have forgotten the gift.

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

The communist creed:

The capitalist creed:


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

Freedom is actually a bigger game than power. Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash.

Revolutions simply replace one story with another. The capitalist narrative is replaced by that of the communist; the religious fundamentalist's replaced by the gnostic's. The means may be different, but the rewards are the same. So is the exclusivity of their distribution. That's why they're called revolutions -- we're just going in a circle.

This is why it might be more useful to understand the proliferation of interactive media as an opportunity for renaissance: a moment when we have the ability to step out of the story altogether. Renaissances are historical instances of widespread recontextualisation. People in a variety of different arts, philosophies and sciences have the ability to reframe their reality. Renaissance literally means 'rebirth'. It is the rebirth of old ideas in a new context.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life and don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage.

The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.

We've got paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technologies.

You can't have everything at once... but you can switch back and forth really fast.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

I cannot afford to waste my time making money.

The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their field of endeavor.

No art, however minor, demands less than total dedication if you want to excel in it.

There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.

Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all.

I have great faith in fools. Self-confidence, my friends call it.

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.

Believe, if thou wilt, that mountains change their place, but believe not that man changes his nature.

There are three kinds of academic reviews: review by name, review by reference and review by value.

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after.

The crisis of modern democracy is a profound one. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder.

The nomadic parasites will shift out of London and into Manhattan. And this will be presented under a camouflage of national slogans. It will be represented as an American victory. It will not be an American victory. The moment is serious. The moment is also confusing. It is confusing because there are two sets of concurrent phenomena, namely, those connected with fighting this war, and those which sow seeds for the next one.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Any sufficiently primitive technology is indistinguishable from hard work.
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
Any sufficiently advanced malice is indistinguishable from incompetence.

And, isn't sanity really just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean all you get is one trick: rational thinking. But when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, oooh! The sky is the limit!

We're all in the same boat, brother;
You can't rock one end without rocking the other.

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.

Only the mediocre can always be at their best.

He who thinks great thoughts often makes great errors.

When you don't create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people -- so create.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.

I think programmers have become inured to incidental complexity... when they encounter complexity, they consider it a challenge to overcome, rather than an obstacle to remove. Overcoming complexity isn't work, it's waste.

There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Sex relieves tension; love causes it.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

I used to be an atheist, but I gave up because I didn't have anything to say during a blowjob. "Oh, random chance.. random chance.. random chance!!!" does not convey the gravity of the situation.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

Society everywhere is in a conspiracy against the humanity of every one of its members.

This idea that there is generality in the specific is of far-reaching importance.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

If you're trying to chase the shadows of success rather than generate something you're enthusiastic about, you're a charlatan.

Truth and Falsehood were bathing. Falsehood came out of the water first and dressed herself in Truth's clothes. Truth, unwilling to put on the garments of Falsehood, went naked.

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.

The rapists of the intellectual world become politicians; the seducers become artists.

Television is an anesthetic for the pain of the modern world.

PHP is a minor evil perpetrated by incompetent amateurs, whereas Perl is a great and insidious evil perpetrated by skilled but perverted professionals.


If you don't change your direction, you may end up where you're heading.

Debugging code is at least twice as hard as writing it in the first place. Therefore, if you write a program as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

Confidence, n.: The feeling you have before you understand the situation.

The best book on programming for the layman is Alice in Wonderland; but that's because it's the best book on anything for layman.

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident.

Those who are enamored of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory.

Worry is a dividend paid to disaster before it is due.

Any problem in computer science can be solved with another layer of indirection. But that usually will create another problem.

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.

All the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arise not from defects of the Constitution, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law. and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

Do not try to imitate the old masters; seek what they sought.

Experience has shown repeatedly that a mathematical theory with a rich internal structure generally turns out to have significant implications for the understanding of the real world, often in ways no one could have envisioned before the theory was developed.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . . . If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] . . . will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

As any artist knows, you can break the rules much better when you know what they are.

Seek freedom and become slave to your desires. Learn discipline and find freedom.

Privatized profit and socialized risk! What a country!

The whole world steps aside for a man who knows where he's going.

I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster,
and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

I thought that my invincible power
would hold the world captive,
leaving me in a freedom undisturbed.
Thus night and day I worked at the chain
with huge fires and cruel hard strokes.
When at last
the work was done,
I found that it held me in its grip.

Those who say it cannot be done should not get in the way of the person doing it.

In our time, the curse is monetary illiteracy, just as inability to read plain print was the curse of earlier centuries.

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

Governments are based pincipally on force and deception. Democratic governments are based chiefly on deception, other governments on force. And democratic governments, if you get too uppity, give up on the deception and resort to brute force, as a lot of us found out in the sixites. Those who didn't find out in the sixites will find out in the near future because we're going to have a rerun.

If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practiced, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point.

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.

We each create a story -- a narritive, a picture, an allegory, a model -- for what's going on in the universe. And then we fight -- sometimes to the death -- to make others believe in that model, or to be able to keep believing in it ourselves. In other words, we try to erase contradictory evidence to that model.

To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own that both of them together is certain death.

...compartmentalization of occupations and interests bring about a separation of that mode of activity commonly called 'practice' from insight; of imagination from executive 'doing.' Each of these activities is then assigned its own place in which it must abide. Those who write the anatomy of experience then suppose that these divisions inhere in the very constitution of human nature.

Citizens as conceived by governments are persons who admire the status quo and are prepared to exert themselves for its preservation. Oddly enough, while all governments aim at producing men of this type to the exclusion of all other types, their heroes in the past are of exactly the sort that they aim at preventing in the present. Americans admire George Washington and Jefferson, but imprison those who share their political opinions.

Biology is really chemistry, chemistry is really physics, physics is really math, and math is really hard.

Don't ask whether it is right or wrong. Instead try to find out what is going on.

Individuals achieve optimal stupidity when they're given substantial powers while being insulated from the results of their actions.

When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.

While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals may vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician.

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.

John Swinton, a preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. A person who didn't know much about the press or Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

The artifacts [of technology] that we have invented to satisfy our material wants have now developed, in size and complexity, to the point of delimiting or even determining our conception of the wants themselves. In that way, we as a civilization are losing mastery over our own tools...

Only by recognizing the boundaries of our socially constructed scientific-technological reality can we transcend them in imagination and then achieve effective human action.

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.

In my course I have known and, according to my measure, have co-operated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.

Identity is only productive when one doesn't think about it. There's nothing more sterile for a person or a country than to be never-endingly affirming itself, because one always affirms oneself by denying others.

I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is shut up.

The Ninja's Nine Levels of Power (aka. The Nine Finger Cuts):

Rin (臨) - Strength of mind and body
Byō (兵) - Direction of energy
Tō (闘) - Harmony with the universe
Sha (者) - Healing of self and others
Kai (皆) - Premonition of danger
Jin (陣) - Knowing the thoughts of others
Retsu (列) - Mastery of Time and Space
Zai (在) - Controlling the elements of nature
Zen (前) - Enlightenment

Our only freedom is choosing between bitterness and pleasure. Since the insignificance of all things is our lot, we should not bear it as an affliction but learn to enjoy it.

Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.

Our life is frittered away by detail . . . Simplify, simplify.

No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone, turn back.

There are a hundred hacking at the branches of evil to the one who is striking at the root.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.

Adults are obsolete children.

Adolescence was invented in the 19th century to enable middle-class families to keep their children out of sweatshops. But it has degenerated into a process of enforced boredom and age segregation that has produced one of the most destructive social arrangements in human history: consigning 13-year-old males to learning from 15-year-old males.

The world is fundamentally characterized by an underlying flex or slop--a kind of slack or "play" that allows some bits to move about or adjust without much influencing, and without being much influenced by, other bits.

Programming languages are a web of interlocking design choices. I believe that fundamental progress requires that we alter many of these design choices at the same time, including some that are so deeply entrenched that they have become assumptions. Because these choices are interlocking, altering just one at a time keeps us locked into the few sweet spots that existing languages cluster around.

The Way I See It: If you're worried about getting a job--or keeping one--start a company of your own. By doing so, you'll reap the rewards of your hard work and you'll only get fired if you fail. This is the land of opportunity. Live in it.

Another of the qualities of science is that it teaches the value of rational thought, as well as the importance of freedom of thought; the positive results that come from doubting that all the lessons are true... Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.


I believe in science. Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can't be proved. They can only be tested again and again, until only a fool would not believe them.

I cannot prove that electrons exist, but I believe fervently in their existence. And if you don't believe in them, I have a high voltage cattle prod I'm willing to apply as an argument on their behalf. Electrons speak for themselves.

Science may be described as the art of systematic oversimplification.

Doubt clouds the mind; be certain about your uncertainty.

Preparation is -- if not the key to genius -- then at least the key to sounding like a genius.

Good writing is partly a matter of character. Instead of doing what's easy for you, do what's easy for your reader.

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe with the eyes of another, of hundreds of others, in seeing the hundreds of universes that each of them sees.

The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It's not failure but aiming too low, that is life's greatest tragedy.

The purpose of life is not to fight against evil and misfortune; it is to unveil magnificence.

What do I care for your suffering? Pain, even agony, is no more than information before the senses, data fed to the computer of the mind. The lesson is simple: you have received the information, now act on it. Take control of the input and you shall become master of the output.

The tendency for entropy to increase in isolated systems is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics -- perhaps the most pessimistic and amoral formulation in all human thought.

I don't think I'm really all that intelligent, but I have a talent for amplifying my intelligence.

What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.


It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.

Administration covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom restrained from acting, such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which government is the shepherd.

The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States... and that is its aim everywhere else.

I'm a 20-year veteran of pursuing the folly of supporting the lesser-of-two-evils between the two parties. Because when you do that, you end up allowing them to both get worse every 4 years.

Wisdom is rooted in watching with affection the way people grow.

Guard against Murphy, not Machiavelli.

truth can
be used as
a foundation for
a mountain of lies,
and if we dig down deep
enough in the mountain of lies,
and bring out that truth, to set it
on top of the mountain of lies; the entire
mountain of lies will crumble under the weight of
that one truth, and there is nothing more devastating to a
structure of lies than the revelation of the truth upon which
the structure of lies was built, because the shock waves of
the revelation of the truth reverberate, and continue to
reverberate throughout the Earth for generations to
follow, awakening even those
people who had no
desire to be
to the

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.

Does truth come from authority, or does authority come from truth?

The opposite of risk is not safety -- it's stagnation.

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will themselves not be realized.

We have a drug problem in America and it's called television. We have a nation being turned into a bunch of fucking droids and getting so fat that pretty soon Americans are going to start oozing into each other's protoplasm. We'll just be giant globs with several feet and several heads probably wired straight into the television. This is the future I see. Someone asked, "How do you explain what we do next," and I said, "Dance. Fuck. Fight." Make yourself indigestible to the system so that if you are ever swallowed up, you will be vomited out. I really think so. Make yourself unemployable. You'll never get an interesting job if you're employable. Get arrested, form a punk band and go to Indonesia and fall in love with someone who doesn't speak your language. I'm not kidding.

Life isn't about the pursuit of happiness, it's about being happy in your pursuits.

My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.

If you're not tough it's hard to survive in this world; and if you're not kind then you don't deserve to survive.

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.


Men ought to know that from the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joys, laughter and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs and tears. Through it, in particular, we think, see, hear, and distinguish the ugly from the beautiful, the bad from the good, the pleasant from the unpleasant... It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious, inspires us with dread and fear, whether by night or by day, brings sleeplessness, inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, absent-mindedness, and acts that are contrary to habit. These things that we suffer all come from the brain, when it is not healthy, but becomes abnormally hot, cold, moist, or dry, or suffers any other unnatural affection to which it was not accustomed. Madness comes from its moistness. When the brain is abnormally moist, of necessity it moves, and when it moves neither sight nor hearing are still, but we see or hear now one thing and now another, and the tongue speaks in accordance with the things seen and heard on any occasion. But when the brain is still, a man can think properly.

I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it - there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.

Don't reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can't have two sets of manners, two social codes - one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people.

Motivation is undoubtedly the single greatest influence on how well people perform. Most productivity studies have found that motivation has a stronger influence on productivity than any other factor.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called religion.

In the time of your life, live -- so that in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed.

Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are the things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart.

Be the inferior of no man, or of any men be superior. Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. No man's guilt is not yours, nor is any man's innocence a thing apart. Despise evil and ungodliness, but not men of ungodliness or evil. These, understand. Have no shame in being kindly and gentle but if the time comes in the time of your life to kill, kill and have no regret.

In the time of your life, live -- so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I've concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven't yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.

A change of perspective is worth 80 IQ points.

A great, great deal has been said about the weather, but very little has ever been done.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.

There's also a down side.

The multitude of books is making us ignorant.

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Institutions imprison us because of hierarchical traditions, private preserves and specializations that ossify them; their genius is to remain the same while giving the impression of change. We need a politic and utopian method that bring balance and imagination to a world dying of mediocrity. "Demand the impossible", Parisians used to say. The land teaches us more than all books because it resists us.

Be careful what you pretend to be, because that is what you become.

Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

You can't help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.

I'd rather have a bottle in front a me than a frontal lobotamy.

A new competitor seemed to emerge out of the woodwork every month or so. The first thing I would do, after checking to see if they had a live online demo, was look at their job listings. After a couple years of this I could tell which companies to worry about and which not to. The more of an IT flavor the job descriptions had, the less dangerous the company was. The safest kind were the ones that wanted Oracle experience. You never had to worry about those. You were also safe if they said they wanted C++ or Java developers. If they wanted Perl or Python programmers, that would be a bit frightening-- that's starting to sound like a company where the technical side, at least, is run by real hackers. If I had ever seen a job posting looking for Lisp hackers, I would have been really worried.

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

One can only display complex information in the mind. Like seeing, movement or flow or alteration of view is more important than the static picture, no matter how lovely.

Optimization hinders evolution. Everything should be built top-down, except the first time. Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

The idea that hardware on networks should just be caches for movable process descriptions and the processes themselves goes back quite a ways. There's a real sense in which MS and Apple never understood networking or operating systems (or what objects really are), and when they decided to beef up their OSs, they went to (different) very old bad mainframe models of OS design to try to adapt to personal computers.

All programming is an exercise in caching.

Computer languages differ not so much in what they make possible, but in what they make easy.

Computer science has as much to do with computers as astronomy has to do with telescopes.

Writing Haskell is like writing poetry...as opposed to Python and Ruby, which are more prosaic, and Enterprise Java, which is more like a tax form.

Java is like a variant of the game of Tetris in which none of the pieces can fill gaps created by the other pieces, so all you can do is pile them up endlessly.

My main programming language is Python because I don't forget it quite as fast as C, C++, Matlab or Perl.

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customers got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don't think we are. I think we're responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don't become missionaries. Don't feel as if you're Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don't feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more.

As I was walking down the stair I met a man who wasn't there; He wasn't there again today-- I wish that man would go away!

At exactly what point do you start to realise that life without knowledge is death in disguise?

Madness is rare in individuals -- but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.


I love deadlines, especially the whooshing sound they make as they go by.

The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad (there is more ignorance than evil).

The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.

Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end.

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

We think we have come so far -- that the torture of heretics and the burning of witches is ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, it threatens to start all over again. ... Villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot; those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camoflaged. ... [They] will always be with us, waiting for the right climate to flourish, spreading disease in the name of liberty. Vigilance is the price we must continuously pay.

You're so blind even your hindsight needs glasses!

There are just two rules for success: 1) Never tell all you know

Love yields to business. If you seek a way out of love, be busy; you'll be safe, then.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you will have to catch up.

Science and democracy are the right and left hands of what I'll refer to as the move from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.

Advances in science help to delegitimize the rule of kings and the power of the Church.

Creativity is the desire to give a gift to the world in return for the gifts you have recieved.

When you're really involved in something, adding one more aspect to that involvement is like a drop in an ocean.

It seems to be the special peculiarity of human beings that they reflect: they think about thinking and know that they know. This, like other feedback systems, may lead to vicious circles and confusions if improperly managed, but self-awareness makes human experience resonant. It imparts that simultaneous "echo" to all that we think and feel as the box of a violin reverberates with the sound of the strings. It gives depth and volume to what would otherwise be shallow and flat.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.

I think that this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined here alone.

To UFOlogists who publicly criticize me or who even think unkind thoughts about me in private, I do hereby leave and bequeath THE UFO CURSE: No matter how long you live, you will never know any more about UFOs than you know today. You will never know any more about what UFOs really are, or where they come from. You will never know any more about what the U.S. Government really knows about UFOs that you know today. As you lie on your own death-bed you will be as mystified about UFOs as you are today. And you will remember this curse.


"You begin," he said, "by setting your scene. You have to see your scene, either in reality or in imagination. For instance, from here you can see across the lake. But on a day like this you can't see across the lake, it's too misty. You can't see the other side." Rowland took off his reading glasses to stare at his creative writing class, whose parents' money was being thus spent: two boys and three girls around sixteen to seventeen years of age, some more, some a little less. "So," he said, "you must just write, when you set your scene, 'the other side of the lake was hidden in mist.' Or if you want to exercise imagination, on a day like today, you can write, 'The other side of the lake was just visible.' But as you are setting the scene, don't make any emphasis as yet. It's too soon, for instance, for you to write, 'The other side of the lake was hidden in the fucking mist.' That will come later. You are setting your scene. You don't want to make a point as yet."

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't.

Television is the first truly democratic culture -- the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want.

Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.

In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not the man to whom the idea first occurs.

Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that great gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right -- especially when one is right.

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.

If you want to raise your I.Q., eat gifted children.

Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.

Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.

Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

Learn to admit rightly; the great pleasure of life is that.

Note what the great men admire for examples of their own limitation.

Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't as all. You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you will find success.

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.

To sum up:

  1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute.
  2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it.
  3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.
    • -- HL Mencken

The surest test if a man be sane Is if he accepts life whole, as it is, Without needing by measure or touch to understand The measureless untouchable source Of its images...

We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entereing a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of books--a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange of ignorance.

Ask the experienced, not the learned.


War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

The characteristic of a genuine heroism is its persitency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generousity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yoruself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave 5 minutes longer.

I saw the best minds of my generation running on empty, superglued to the T.V., dreaming of prosperity, talking incessantly... selling nothing.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Don't worry about anything... Go out and have a good time.

The Americans will always do the right thing... after they've exhausted all the alternatives.

To say that the universe exists is silly, because it says that the universe is one of the things in the universe. So there's something wrong with questions like, "What caused the Universe to exist?"

I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.

... all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I've always wanted to call the shots because I would rather fail than not have a chance to figure it out on my own. I'm a very lazy person by nature. I have to be really engaged, and then I go straight from lazy to obsessive. I couldn't study chemistry, but I could memorize all the books for Dungeons and Dragons. It was ridiculous. The trick is to find what I like to do.

For every complex problem there is a solution which is straightforward, simple, and wrong.

If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white notes together.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us worthy evidence of the fact.

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people to do so.

When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

Drop this mean and sordid and selfish devotion to the saving of your shabby little souls, and hunt up something to do that's got some dignity to it! Risk your souls! Risk them in good causes; then if you lose them, why should you care? Reform!

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, giveorders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.

Pride is sinful because it is not simple happiness about having done something well or having something nice. It is happiness associated with having done something better than someone else or having something nicer than someone else. In other words, pride is associated with placing oneself above another person, not simply enjoying whatever it is that we have attained.

Property, said Proudhon, is theft. This is the only perfect truism that has been uttered on the subject.

I don't know what the effective ratio would be, but I've always had some sort of intuition that for every hour you spend in the company of other human beings, you need "x" number of hours alone. Now, what "x" represents I don't really know; it might be two and seven-eighths or seven and two-eighths, but it is a substantial ratio.

All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then beleive them to be true.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me.

You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'

The important thing is to never stop questioning.


He who struggles with monsters should ensure that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you stare into the abyss, the abyss also stares back into you.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.

I open myself genuinely to all people by being willing to fully communicate my deepest feelings since hiding in any degree keeps me stuck in my illusion of separateness from other people.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

Of all manifestations of power, restraint impresses men most.

Two things control men's nature, instinct and experience.

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor from sleeping under bridges.

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only one you have.

Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

Attack the idea, not the person.

Mother said, "Don't take money from strangers! Don't take money from your friends!" Who does that leave? Known enemies!

We can do no great things; only small things with great love.

It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.

Think globally; act locally.

Don't worry about where you are. Watch the first derivative.

Do what you fear most and you control fear.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

I can usually judge a fellow by what he laughs at.

Always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits.

It isn't necessary to want to or to decide to or to get it together in order to or to motivate oneself, or to make the effort or otherwise insert some step before the doing. It is the doing that counts.

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.

No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut.

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering -- and it's all over much too soon.

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, and from dependency back to bondage.

Of all the strange features of the universe, none are stranger than these: time is transcended, laws are mutable, and observer participancy matters.

If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination.

It is not irritating to be where one is; it is only irritating to think that one would like to be somewhere else.

Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power, that is not easy.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my WORK... I want to achieve immortality by NOT DYING!

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.

Work is the curse of the drinking class.

Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

In the arena of human life the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities.

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he would never be found out.

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way...you become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.

What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.

It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.

I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

To perceive is to suffer.

Man perfected by society is the best of all animals; he is the most terrible of all when he lives without law, and without justice.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

The less we deserve good fortune, the more we hope for it.

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

A true patriot will defend his country from its government.

Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best ---" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.

He who does not lay his foundations beforehand may by great abilities do so afterwards, although with great trouble to the architect and danger to the building.

I do not seek the ignorant; the ignorant seek me -- I will instruct them. I ask nothing but sincerity. If they come out of habit, they become tiresome.

We are each entitled to our own opinion, but no one is entitled to his own facts.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered ... Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; ... Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; ... Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; ... Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; ... Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; ... Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; ... Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; ... Give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway."

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

Grown-up people reconcile themselves too willingly to a supposed duty of preparing young ones for the time when they will regard as illusion what now is an inspiration to heart and mind. Deeper experience of life, however, advises their inexperience differently. It exhorts them to hold fast, their whole life through, to the thoughts which inspire them. It is through the idealism of youth that man catches sight of truth, and in that idealism he possesses a wealth which he must never exchange for anything else.

That ideals, when they are brought into contact with reality, are usually crushed by facts does not mean they are bound from the very beginning to capitulate to the facts, but merely that our ideals are not strong enough; and they are not strong enough because they are not pure and strong and stable enough in ourselves.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

Admiration is the highest form of apathy.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.

Steady movement is more important than speed, much of the time. So long as there is a regular progression of stimuli to get your mental hooks into, there is room for lateral movement. Once this begins, its rate is a matter of discretion.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.

Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.

Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing.

There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

There is no delight in owning anything unshared.

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.

There is in us something wiser than our head.

The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.

There is an old time toast which is golden for its beauty. "When you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend."

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

It is by the fortune of God that, in this country, we have three benefits: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

If you laid all of our laws end to end, there would be no end.

Be different: conform.

Computer science is not as old as physics; it lags by a couple of hundred years. However, this does not mean that there is significantly less on the computer scientist's plate than on the physicist's: younger it may be, but it has had a far more intense upbringing!

Conscience doth make cowards of us all.

A long habit of not thinking a thing is wrong gives it the superficial appearance of being right.

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

Your reasoning is excellent -- it's only your basic assumptions that are wrong.

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.

In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

Your depth of comprehension may tend to make you lax in worldly ways.

If it's free, it's advice. If you pay for it, it's counseling. If you can use it, it's a miracle.

I only talk intelligently when I'm out of stupid things to say.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.

As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life -- so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.

"The combination of a number of things to make existence worthwhile." "Yes, the philosophy of 'none,' meaning 'all.'"

You can't hug your children with nuclear arms.

Death is nature's way of telling you its time to slow down.

If while you are in school, there is a shortage of qualified personnel in a particular field, then by the time you graduate with the necessary qualifications, that field's employment market is glutted.

Women give themselves to God when the Devil wants nothing more to do with them.

Big whorls have little whorls Which feed on their velocity, And little whorls have lesser whorls And so on to viscosity.

Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds.

Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

Does true randomness exist? Since all causes -- all questions of "why" -- cascade back to the question of the first cause, the existence of true randomness can never be proven or disproven until the nature of the first cause is known. If the first cause was a predictable event, then it is safe to say that true randomness does not exist. Otherwise *everything* is random since the first cause was a random event spawning an infinite number of cascading random events. So, the question of whether or not there is order in chaos cannot be answered until the nature of the ultimate cause can be determined.

Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

He who fights with a monster might take care, lest he there by becomes a monster.

An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt.

I've touch'd the highest point of all my greatness; And from that full meridian of my glory I haste now to my setting. I shall fall, Like a bright exhalation in the evening And no man see me more.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word. Consider the flea!--incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. Whether you are asleep or awake he will attack you, caring nothing for the fact that in bulk and strength you are to him as are the massed armies of the earth to a sucking child; he lives both day and night and all days and nights in the very lap of peril and the immediate presence of death, and yet is no more afraid than is the man who walks the streets of a city that was threatened by an earthquake ten centuries before. When we speak of Clive, Nelson, and Putnam as men who "didn't know what fear was," we ought always to add the flea--and put him at the head of the procession.

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities.

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge (Reading this makes me wonder how much sooner man could have walked on the moon...had we listened to a child's fantasies. It is truly a pity that so many lose their gift of imagination to the steady hum of the status quo.)

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

You cannot love or hate another unless you see yourself in that brother.

The more you love, the more you can love -- and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just.

Enough is as good as a feast.

In order to discover who you are, first learn who everybody else is; you're what's left.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting.

All things that are, are with more spirit chased than enjoyed.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant.

The square, perfected, has no corner; Music, perfected, has no melody; Love, perfected, has no climax; Art, perfected, has no meaning.

Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess.

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

The secret of being boring is to say everything.

This is the first age that's paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.

How much of their influence on you is a result of your influence on them?

All who joy would win Must share it -- Happiness was born a twin.

From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.

Most burning issues generate far more heat than light.

What excuses stand in your way? How can you eliminate them?

When does later become never?

In my opinion, anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy.

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.

The surest protection against temptation is cowardice.

The Three Laws of Thermodynamics: 1) You can't win. 2) You can't break even. 3) You can't even get out of the game.

All energy flows according to the whims of the great magnet.

Even as the finite encloses an infinite series, And in the unlimited, limits appear, So the soul of immensity dwells in minuta, And in the narrowest limits, no limits inhere. What joy to discern the minute in infinity! The vast to perceive in the small, what Divinity!

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

"Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty."

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs."

War doesn't prove who's right, just who's left.

When you dig another out of trouble, you've got a place to bury your own.

[It is] best to confuse only one issue at a time.

All things come in pairs, one opposite to the other, and He has made nothing incomplete. Each supplements the virtues of the other. (Exerpt from Sirach in the biblical Apocrypha)

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing.

There are 3 sides to every issue. Yours, theirs and the truth.

Arguments are extremely vulgar, for everyone in good society holds exactly the same opinion.

We the unwilling, led by the ungrateful, are doing the impossible. We've done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do something with nothing.

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

If it's hard to remember, it'll be difficult to forget.

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.

But I don't HAVE to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things; by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose -- which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn't frighten me.

There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. There's the answer.

Official Project Stages:

Nothing endures but change.

Given sufficient time, what you put off doing today will get done by itself.

Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television's message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth *and* fresher breath.

Remember, Information is not knowledge; Knowledge is not wisdom; Wisdom is not truth; Truth is not beauty; Beauty is not love; Love is not music; Music is the best.

I'm a good influence on everyone I meet -- but they don't realize until decades later. That's what I keep telling myself.

Everyone hates me because I'm paranoid.

The next time you are contemplating a decision in which you are debating whether or not to go for the gusto, ask yourself this important question: "How long am I going to be dead?" With that perspective, you can now make a free, fearless choice to do just about any goddamned sneaky thing your devious little mind can think up. Go ahead. Have your fun. You're welcome. Go on. See you in hell.

Backward conditioning:

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: This is the ideal life.

"Force is but might," the teacher said-- "That definition's just." The boy said naught but thought instead, Remembering his pounded head: "Force is not might but must!"

Doing gets it done.

Those who prey upon the ignorant for money are no better than common thieves.

It is not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's one damn thing over and over.

So, if happiness isn't being rich, then it's probably not being middle class, which means you're just as likely to find it at rock bottom, which doesn't require all the effort, and hell, I'm already there.

Quantity has a quality all its own.

Punning is the worst vice, and there's no vice versa.

All the molecules in your body were formed inside stars. We are the future of ancient stars.

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.

Wisdom lies in understanding our limitations.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Everything should be as simple as possible -- but not simpler.

Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.

Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

The Feynman Problem-Solving Algorithm: (1) write down the problem; (2) think very hard; (3) write down the answer.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft and the only one that can be mass-produced with unskilled labor.

Do nothing unless you must, and when you must act -- hesitate.

What foods these morsels be!

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.

The past resembles the future as water resembles water.

Pohl's law:

It is explained that all relationships require a little give and take. This is untrue. Any partnership demands that we give and give and give and at the last, as we flop into our graves exhausted, we are told that we didn't give enough.

Teach children to be polite and courteous in the home, and, when they grow up, they won't be able to edge a car onto a freeway.

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say that she did it with her teeth.

An idea is an eye given by God for the seeing of God. Some of these eyes we cannot bear to look out of, we blind them as quickly as possible.

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah's flood; and their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents.

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have much of anything to do with it.

The whole human race suffers from three basic misconceptions. They believe they must do well; that other people must treat them kindly, nobly and do their bidding; and that conditions be absolutely just so -- or else they become horribly depressed. It's deadly for people to feel that they must have these things. These things are contary to the facts of life. They are preferences.

We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.

The nice thing about Windows is - It does not just crash, it displays a dialog box and lets you press 'OK' first. (Arno Schaefer's .sig)

... Where was Stac Electronics when Microsoft invented Doublespace? Where were Xerox and Apple when Microsoft invented the GUI? Where was Apple's QuickTime when Microsoft invented Video for Windows? Where was Spyglass Inc.'s Mosaic when Microsoft invented Internet Explorer? Where was Sun when Microsoft invented Java?

Risch's decision procedure for integration, not surprisingly, uses a recursion on the number and type of the extensions from the rational functions needed to represent the integrand. Although the algorithm follows and critically depends upon the appropriate structure of the input, as in the case of multivariate factorization, we cannot claim that the algorithm is a natural one. In fact, the creator of differential algebra, Ritt, committed suicide in the early 1950's, largely, it is claimed, because few paid attention to his work. Probably he would have received more attention had he obtained the algorithm as well.

As they say in my country, the only thing that separates us from the animals is mindless superstition and pointless ritual.

You've been dead before, remember. What was the first 15 billion years of the universe like for you?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality.

I often dream about falling. Such dreams are commonplace to the ambitious or those who climb mountains. Lately I dreamed I was clutching at the face of a rock, but it would not hold. Gravel gave way. I grasped got a shrub, but it pulled loose, and in cold terror I fell into the abyss. Suddenly I realized that my fall was relative; there was no bottom and no end. A feeling of pleasure overcame me. I realized that what I embody, the principle of life, cannot be destroyed. It is written into the cosmic code, the order of the universe. As I continued to fall in the dark void, embraced by the vault of the heavens, I sang to the beauty of the starts and made my peace with the darkness.

I think art should be in the place in our culture where religion used to be. Where magic used to be, there should be art.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Can liberty be destroyed by the truth?

The truth is just an excuse for lack of imagination.

Business is a good game -- lots of competition and minimum of rules. You keep score with money.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.

Before you judge someone too harshly, walk a mile in their shoes. Then, if you still don't like them, at least you're a mile away from them and you've got their shoes!

If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would be crazier. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers and watch more sunsets. I'd travel and see. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments and, if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I have been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hotwater bottle, a gargle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would go places and do things and travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start bare-footed earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I probably wouldn't make such good grades, but I'd learn more. I would ride on more merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies.

My grandfather was a painter ... was looking at me and he said, "Harry, there are two kinds of tired, there's good-tired, and there's bad-tired. Ironically enough, bad-tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people's battles, you lived other people's days, other peoples agendas, other people's dreams -- and when it was all over there was very little 'you' in there, and when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn, you don't settle easy. Good-tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost. But you don't have to tell yourself, because you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days, and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy -- you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say 'take me away'. Now, Harry, all my life I've painted... God I would've loved to be more successful, but I have painted and I have painted, and I am good-tired, and they can take me away."

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom." The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!" But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more. And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!" And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delight to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure." But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the rocks, making legends of a Saviour.

I am a friend of the working man, and I would rather be his friend than be one.

There are no "facts" -- there is only the fact that man, every man everywhere in the world, is on his way to ordination. Some men take the long route and some take the short route. Every man is working out his own way and nobody can be of help except by being kind, generous, and patient.

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different.

I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.

Love is always open arms. With arms open you allow love to come and go as it wills, freely, for it will do so anyway. If you close your arms about love you'll find you are left only holding yourself.

On a tous un peu peur de l'amour, mais on a surtout peur de souffrir ou de faire souffrir. [One is always a little afraid of love, but above all, one is afraid of pain or causing pain.]

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

Without love intelligence is dangerous; without intelligence love is not enough.

Certain teachings in the Bible are as diamonds in a dung-heap.

Memory should be the starting point of the present.

Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

It is exactly because a man cannot do a thing that he is a proper judge of it.

I'll never make that mistake again, reading the experts' opinions. Of course, you only live one life, and you make all your mistakes, and learn what not to do, and that's the end of you.

Neglect of duty does not cease, by repetition, to be neglect of duty.

I love children. Especially when they cry -- for then someone takes them away.

bureaucracy, n:


The world really isn't any worse. It's just that the news coverage is so much better.

You plan things you do not even attempt because of your extreme caution.

You attempt things that you do not even plan because of your extreme stupidity.

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the emnity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.

There is a secret person undamaged within every individual.

A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.

If the human brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.

History repeats itself only if one does not listen the first time.

The only stupid questions are the ones that remain unasked.

Those of you who think you know everything are annoying those of us who do.

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death. What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating... you finish off as an orgasm.

The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.

At first light lay proud foundations. Sense the greatness that before you unfolds. Seek no more for hollow answers. Answers that lay within you all along. Farewell to dawns seen through saddened eyes. Farewell to pasts to sorrows chained. Forget your fears. You will have everything. You will be strong and want no more. You'll be adored. You will have everything. Forget your fears and want no more.

Perhaps the most widespread illusion is that if we were in power we would behave very differently from those who now hold it -- when, in truth, in order to get power we would have to become very much like them. (Lenin's fatal mistake, both in theory and in practice.)

Not existing and existing; two separate states.

Why does the universe exist? What purpose does it serve?

The definitions of both existence and non-existence depend on each other. Non-existence cannot be defined without existence, and vice-versa.

Therefore, the Universe exists because Nothing exists.

God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.

Expansion means complexity; and complexity decay.

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep.

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance.

For good, return good. For evil, return justice.

For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.

... "fire" does not matter, "earth" and "air" and "water" do not matter. "I" do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming.

Facts are the enemy of truth.

Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book.

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

I have a simple philosophy:

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment.

What really shapes and conditions and makes us is somebody only a few of us ever have the courage to face: and that is the child you once were, long before formal education ever got its claws into you -- that impatient, all-demanding child who wants love and power and can't get enough of either and who goes on raging and weeping in your spirit till at last your eyes are closed and all the fools say, "Doesn't he look peaceful?" It is those pent-up, craving children who make all the wars and all the horrors and all the art and all the beauty and discovery in life, because they are trying to achieve what lay beyond their grasp before they were five years old.

To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education.
To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun.
To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.

It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

If you wish to be a writer, write.

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.

If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.

It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.

Difficulties are things that show a person what they are.

The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.

We must not believe the many, who say that free persons only ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers, who say that the educated only are free.

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty.

Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.

Good news is just life's way of keeping you off balance.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

We're mortal -- which is to say, we're ignorant, stupid, and sinful -- but those are only handicaps. Our pride is that nevertheless, now and then, we do our best. A few times we succeed. What more dare we ask for?

Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.

Of course, degeneration is programmed into our DNA: Nature seems to want us to reproduce and then fall by the wayside. But your generation wants to hang onto its youth into its 90s, on the theory that if you stay around long enough maybe you can get your life together.

Oh, yes. The important thing about having lots of things to remember is that you've got to go somewhere afterwards where you can remember them, you see? You've got to stop. You haven't really been anywhere until you've got back home. I think that's what I mean.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.

Life is the living you do, Death is the living you don't do.

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord; but they that deal truly are his delight. A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

When you understand why you reject other gods you will understand why I reject yours.

The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Quotes (last edited 2015-07-22 04:37:01 by Chris)