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Keynotes
Too much digital; not enough critical thinking; more physical reality. ~Leon Wieseltier
We are drowning in information, but we are starved for knowledge. ~John Naisbitt
Men and animals regard each other across a gulf of mutual incomprehension. ~W.G. Sebald
God made the integers, all else is the work of man. (Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk.) ~Leopold Kronecker
The idea that nothing unlikely happens… is also unlikely. ~Lisa Randall, 2015 interview with Michael Shermer
People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they're too stupid and they've already taken over the world. ~Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm
The question of whether Machines Can Think... is about as relevant as the question of whether Submarines Can Swim. ~Edsger Dijkstra, 1984, The Threats to Computing Science
I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every nation has the government it deserves. (Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.) ~Joseph de Maistre
The worst possible thing…was to lie dead in the water with any problem. Solve it, solve it quickly… If you solved it wrong, it would come back and slap you in the face, and then you could solve it right. ~Thomas J. Watson, Jr
Creator — A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh. ~H. L. Mencken, 1949, A Mencken Chrestomathy
[Sometimes misattributed to Voltaire: “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”]
Some subjects are so serious that one can only joke about them. ~Niels Bohr
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion. ~William Ralph Inge, 1919, Patriotism
An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. ~Albert Camus, 1951, Notebooks
It takes a long time to understand nothing. ~Edward Dahlberg
Experience is a comb life gives you after you lose your hair. ~Judith Stern
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. ~Frank Zappa
There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life. ~Frank Zappa
You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. ~Frank Zappa
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — this is to have succeeded." ~Bessie Anderson Stanley
Anyone who isn't a liberal when they are young has no heart. Anyone who isn't a conservative when they are older has no brain. ~unknown
Bumperstickers
Science proceeds despite scientists.
Accept the probable reality of things that are probably real.
One person's "Duh!" is another person's "Huh?"
A "Whoa! What? Wait... Wow!" moment.
Modern life: A triumph of Lies & Illusions over Truth & Substance
An ellipse is a schizo circle (confused about its center, at least).
Lead by your loins; pulled by your heart; or steered by your head?
Silent and Listen are spelled with the same letters!
Garden and Danger are spelled with the same letters!
If it makes a loud noise, goes very fast, flies, explodes, or catches fire,… it's cool!
If riding in an airplane is flying, then riding in a boat is swimming! To experience the element, get out of the vehicle!
You are to yourself your thoughts. You are to others your actions.
How's my programming? Call 1-800-DEV-NULL
UNIX is a very user-friendly operating system … it's just picky about who it's friends with.
1 Pot T == 1 Pot P … 1 Pot P != 1 Pot T
I hear I forget, I read I remember, I do I understand.
Given enough time, atoms arrange themselves and start to wonder why they exist.
The brain is nothing without imagination.
I'm not 60. I'm 18 with 42 years experience!
At some point your parents put you down and never picked you up again.
The brain is the only thing that named itself.
Albert Einstein (1879–1955) Wiki Quote
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well. (Remark made in 1923; recalled by Archibald Henderson, Durham Morning Herald, August 21, 1955)
It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks. (1921, on Thomas Edison's opinion that a college education is useless; quoted in Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, p. 185.)
My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a "lone traveler" and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family with my whole heart.
Leon Wieseltier
A democratic society, an open society, places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility on ordinary men and women, because we are governed by what we think, we are governed by our opinions. So the content of our opinions, and the quality of our opinions, and the quality of the formation of our opinions, basically determines the character of our society. (The Colbert Report, Oct 7, 2014)
And that means that in a democratic society, in an open society, a thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy. (ditto)
Human life is never going to suffer from too little feeling. We all feel all the time. We're mortal creatures; we have hearts. (ditto)
The role of the mind is to actually question some of the assumptions and dogmas and prejudices of the heart. (ditto)
The important thing is that we have reasons for those beliefs, and that we articulate those reasons, and that we can defend them. (ditto)
Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) Wiki Quote
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
We need to be the change we wish to see in the world
Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different road, so long as we reach the same goal.
In reality there are as many religions as there are individuals
I came to the conclusion long ago ... that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu ... But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligenqe and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.
I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) Wiki Quote
And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered. (Letter to his family, 1918)
Happiness is often presented as being very dull but, he thought, lying awake, that is because dull people are sometimes very happy and intelligent people can and do go around making themselves and everyone else miserable. (Islands in the Stream, 1970 Pt. 1:Bimini, Section 4)
It wasn't by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. (Letter, 1945)
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. (Death in the Afternoon, 1932, Ch. 16)