Memorable quotes

“A butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the planet can effect a hurricane on the other side.” (The Butterfly Effect)

“The opposite of a correct statement is an incorrect statement. The opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.” Nils Bohr

“In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in, shockproof crap detector.” Ernest Hemingway

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Ernest Hemingway

“Good and evil are not like the Redskins and the Cowboys.” Maureen Dowd

“What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mattheu 16:26)

“He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche

"Our knowledge will take its revenge on us, just as ignorance exacted its revenge during the Middle Ages." Friedrich Nietzsche

“There comes a point in many a person’s life when things that Nietzsche said begin to make good sense.” Erik Campbell

“Universities are not intended to teach the knowledge required to fit men for some special mode of gaining their livelihood. Their object is not to make skillful lawyers, or physicians, or engineers, but capable and cultivated human beings.” John S. Mill

“[In the financial sector], those whom the gods want to destroy they first teach math.” Niall Ferguson (2009)

“If I only followed CNBC's advice. I’d have a million dollars today – provided I’d started with $100 million.” Jon Stewart (2009)

“The inevitable never happens. It is the unexpected always.” John Maynard Keynes

“I would rather be vaguely right, than precisely wrong.” John Maynard Keynes

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein

“Science marches on, funeral by funeral.” Max Planck

“What’s odd about so many modern technologies is that they are achievements of human liberation in their emergency use, and they decivilize in their daily use.” n+1

“Democracy in our time is more likely to die of indifference than of intolerance.” Christopher Lasch

“The prison life of the past looks in our own time like liberation itself.” Christopher Lasch

“The best defense against the terror of existence are the homely comforts of love, work, and family life, which connect us to a world that is independent of our wishes yet responsive to our needs.” Christopher Lasch

“The man of conservative temperament believes that a known good is not lightly to be surrendered for an unknown better.” Michael Oakeshott

"The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please: we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations." Edmund Burke

"Sovereigns always see with pleasure a taste for the arts of amusement and superfluity, which do not result in the exportation of bullion, increase among their subjects. They very well know that, besides nourishing that littleness of mind which is proper to slavery, the increase of artificial wants only binds so many more chains upon the people." Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“The secret of every durable ... social system is the recasting of ‘functional prerequisites’ into behavioral motives for actors.” Zygmunt Bauman

“People who cannot experience their own ultimate purposes provide a vacuum to be filled by the purposes inherent in their [social] systems.” Andrew Bard Schmookler

“Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair.” Soren Kierkegaard

“The more certain our knowledge the less we know." Georg Hegel

"A good caricature, like every work of art, is more true to life than reality itself." Annibale Carracci

"It is a poore Centre of a mans actions, himselfe." Francis Bacon

"Excess of liberty, whether it lies in state or individuals, seems only to pass into excess of slavery." Plato

"For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories." Plato

"A truth that's told with bad intent,
Beats all the lies you can invent." William Blake

"As a man is, so he sees." William Blake

"The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." Blaise Pascal

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Thought is a man in his wholeness, wholly attending." D. H. Lawrence

"It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up." Muhammad Ali

"We care about nothing, believe in nothing, live for nothing, because we are free, free, free - like empty sailboats lost at sea." Tess Slesinger

"When we are headed the wrong way, the last thing we need is progress." Nick Bostrom

"Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after." Lord Byron

“What we need is Progress with an escape hatch.” John Updike

“No iron can stab the heart with such force as a full stop put just at the right place.” Isaac Babel

If a caterpillar doesn’t know its future has wings, it hardly experiences itself as land-bound.” Robert Kagan

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.” Abraham Lincoln

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

“We shall, I expect, open the last door in [Bluebeard's] castle even if it leads, perhaps because it leads, onto realities which are beyond the reach of human comprehension and control.” George Steiner

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Simone Weil

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” Saul Bellow

“The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.” Karl Marx

Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation.” W. H. Auden

Man does not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“It is certain that most who concentrate upon achievement miss life.” Michael Oakeshott

An equal share for men and women or whites and blacks in administering a toxic society is hardly a worthwhile goal, and certainly not a radical one.” George Scialabba