Quotes

I've held out for 20 years, but now, finally, I'm going to start making a list of favorite quotes. Will add to as I discover and rediscover them.

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

"Our cave-dwelling ancestors had just as big brains as we have, and since they didn't spend their evenings watching TV, I'm sure they asked questions like “What's all that stuff up there in the sky?” and “Where does it all come from?”. They'd been told beautiful myths and stories, but little did they realize that they had it in them to actually figure out the answers to these questions for themselves." -Max Tegmark, "Our Mathematical Universe"

"Je ne dors que d'un oeil; mon sommeil est très dur. Mon lit est rond, percé d'un trou pour le passage de la tete. Toutes les heures, un domestique prend ma température et m'en donne une autre." - Erik Satie, "Mémoires d'un Amnésique"

"Silkworms can be cultivated en masse, but territorialism and cannibalism preclude spider farming as a viable manufacturing approach." - Teule et al, PNAS 109

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." - Samuel Beckett, "Worstward Ho"

"We are who we are in the darkness." - Anonymous

"In the morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present: I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bed-clothes and keep myself warm? - But this is more pleasant. - Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their several parts of the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the work of a human being, and dost thou not make haste to do that which is according to thy nature?" - Marcus Aurelius

"物格而后知至
知至而后意诚
意诚而后心正
心正而后身修
身修而后家齐
家齐而后国治
国治而后天下平" - 孔子

"Physicists advance by standing on one another's shoulders; psychologists advance by standing on one another's faces."- Anonymous

"Instead of believing our life to be fed at the breasts of the greater life, our individuality to be sustained by the greater individuality, which must necessarily have more consciousness and more independence than all that it brings forth, we habitually treat whatever lies outside of our life as so much slag and ashes of life only..." -William James, discussing the worldview of Gustav Fechner

"Freddy, as a younger man, I was a sculptor, a painter, and a musician. There was just one problem: I wasn't very good. As a matter of fact, I was dreadful. I finally came to the frustrating conclusion that I had taste and style, but not talent. I knew my limitations. We all have our limitations, Freddy. Fortunately, I discovered that taste and style were commodities that people desired. Freddy, what I am saying is: know your limitations. You are a moron." - Lawrence Jamieson, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

"Neurons are simply a species-specific set of symbols that Homo sapiens happens to construct in dealing with an objective reality that is surely not spatiotemporal and that is surely utterly different and far more complex than neurons. For most normal neuroscience research, it is a harmless fiction to pretend that neurons have genuine causal powers. However, when we try to solve the mind–body problem—that is, to understand the relationship between neural activity and conscious experience—and then proceed to assume that neurons really do have causal powers and really do, somehow, cause our conscious experiences, then suddenly the fiction is no longer harmless. It has halted progress on the mind–body problem for decades, even centuries." - from Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash's response to Edelman's critique of their 'interface theory' of perception

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard Feynman

"A poor leader will tell you how many people work for them. A great leader will tell you how many people they work for."
~Simon Sinek [this was in a random correspondent's email signature. Made me feel a bit better about myself for a moment.]

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." - Richard Feynman

"The author must shut his mouth when his work begins to speak." - F. Nietzsche

"Finding out what you think is not the same as coming to a decision." - Tim Crane (paraphrase)

"While there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene V. Debs

"Let the young soul look back upon its life and ask itself: what until now have you truly loved, what has drawn out your soul, what has commanded it and at the same time made it happy? Line up these objects of reverence before you, and perhaps by what they are and by their sequence, they will yield you a law, the fundamental law of your true self." - F. Nietzsche

"Do you know why Einstein said the most original and profound things about space and time in our generation? Because he had learned nothing at all about the philosophy and mathematics of time and space." - David Hilbert

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