A quotations.


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.

A.A. Milne


Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.

A.H. Weiler.


In the Second World War approximately the same European allies fought approximately the same adversaries as in the first. Though the tide of the battle swung more violently to and fro, the battle ended in much the same way—with the defeat of Germany. The link between the two wars went deeper. Germany fought specifically in the second war to reverse the verdict of the first and to destroy the settlement which followed it. Her opponents fought, though less consciously, to defend that settlement; and this they achieved—to their own surprise. There was much utopian projecting while the second war was on; but at the end virtually every frontier of Europe and the Near East was restored unchanged, with the exception—admittedly a large exception—of Poland and the Baltic. Leaving out this area of north-eastern Europe, the only serious change on the map between the English Channel and the Indian Ocean was the transference of Istria from Italy to Yugoslavia. The first war destroyed old Empires and brought new states into existence. The second war created no new states and destroyed only Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

-The Origins of the Second World War, ch. 2, Atheneum (1961).

A.J.P. Taylor (1906). Aka Alan John Percivale Taylor. British historian.


Anyone who sees in his own occupation merely a means of earning money degrades it; but he that sees in it a service to mankind ennobles both his labor and himself.

Abbot Lawrence Lowell (1856/1943). Educator, historian, President of Harvard University (1909/1933).


Remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power. Never forget that you can still do your share to redeem the world in spite of all absurdities and frustrations and disappointments.

Abraham Joshua Heschel


And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?

I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.

Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this [war], as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.

-Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990), vol. 8, p. 101. Response to a serenade, Nov. 10, 1864.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sence, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

-ibid., vol. 7, p. 23. Address delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, final text, Nov. 19, 1863.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-02-12/1865-04-15). The 16th U.S. President (1861/1865).


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

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.


The major deterrent [to war] is in a man's mind.

-US News & World Report (3 Oct 1960).

 Admiral Arleigh Burke. US Navy.


The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

-1983 retirement speech, recalled on his death 1986-07-08.

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. US Navy.


No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.

Agnes DeMille


The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.

Aiden Nowlan


Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?

Al Boliska


I am happy and content because I think I am.

Alain-Rene Lesage


If you can't be funny, be interesting.

-Said during interview on the "What do you know?" radio show. 2005-12-10.

Alan Alda


Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.

Alan M. Eddison


A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to convince anyone of the existence of God.

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.

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing.

-"Epigrams on Programming". SIGPLAN Notices Vol. 17, No. 9, September 1982, pages 7 - 13. [//www-pu.informatik.uni-tuebingen.de/users/klaeren/epigrams.htm[]

Alan Perlis (1922-04-01/1990-02-07). American computer scientist.


There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.

Something must happen; that is the reason for most human relationships. Something must happen; even servitude in love, in war, or death.

-The Fall, p. 41, Gallimard (1956).

Albert Camus (1913/1960). French-Algerian novelist, essayist, and playwright. Won the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature.


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this, ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth.

-On Gandhi.

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

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.

Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones.

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us a universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a land of prison for us. Restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted [italics his], in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am convinced that such behavior on the part of representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure, a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task...

-Einstein in 1934 at a Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This quote from Einstein appears in "Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium", published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941. [EinsteinAndReligion.com/religion3.html]

Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

The physicist's greatest tool is his wastebasket.

I never think about the future. It comes soon enough.

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

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

Albert Einstein (1879-03-14/1955-04-18). German born Jewish American theoretical physicist.


When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong-- or absolutely right.

Albert Guinon


Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religous or political ideas.

Aldous Huxley


Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Alexis Carrel


Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn



There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.

Alexander Woollcott



The easiest way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alex Kay (1940-05-17/). American computer scientist. See also Peter Drucker.


The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory.

Now the intercourse between individuals and between social groups takes one of two forms, force or persuasion. Commerce is the great example of intercourse by way of persuasion. War, slavery, and governmental compulsion exemplify the reign of force.

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-02-15/1947-12-30). British philosopher and mathematician.


When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.

Alice Paul


Tjaden: How do they start a war?
Albert: Well, one country offends another.
Tjaden: How could one country offend another? You mean there's a mountain over in Germany gets mad at a field in France?

All Quiet On The Western Front  (movie). 1930. Maxwell Anderson (1888/1959), dramatist, screenwriter, and Del Andrews. Tjaden (played by Slim Summerville), Albert (William Bakewell).


Follow me if I advance
Kill me if I retreat
Avenge me if I die.

All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President. Written by Mary Matalin (U.S. Republican political advisor and author) and James Carville (1946) (U.S. Democratic political advisor and author). Random House, 1994.  Epigraph (from a Vietnamese battle cry).


Blunders are an inescapable feature of war, because choice in military affairs lies generally between the bad and the worse.

-Marshal Pétain, in A Question of Loyalties, pt. 3, ch. 11 (1989).

Do you know what a soldier is, young man? He's the chap who makes it possible for civilised folk to despise war.

Allan Massie (b. 1938). British author.


Money is like frozen energy. Connect money with people's dreams and explosive things happen.

Amadeo Peter Giannini (1870-1949). American founder of Bank of America.


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

Ambrose Redmoon


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

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.

Anais Nin


To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

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

It is human to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion.

Anatole France (1844-04-16/1924-10-12). Pseudonym for Jacques Anatole François Thibault. French author.


Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it.

Andre Gide


The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.

Andre Malraux


Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, "I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me."

The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.

Ann Landers


The tradition I cherish is the ideal this country was built upon, the concept of religious pluralism, of a plethora of opinions, of tolerance and not the jihad. Religious war, pooh. The war is between those who trust us to think and those who believe we must merely be led.

-The New York Times (September 6, 1992). Thinking Out Loud, p. 205, Random House (1993).  On hearing Pat Buchanan's "hateful" speech at the 1992 Republican national convention.

Anna Quindlen (1952/    ). U.S. journalist, columnist, author.


I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.

-The Diary of a Young Girl, (1947, trans. 1952), entry for May 3, 1944.

... we often ask ourselves here despairingly: "What, oh, what is the use of the war? Why can't people live peacefully together? Why all this destruction?" The question is very understandable, but no one has found a satisfactory answer to it so far. Yes, why do they make still more gigantic planes, still heavier bombs and, at the same time, prefabricated houses for reconstruction? Why should millions be spent daily on the war and yet there's not a penny available for medical services, artists, or for poor people?... Oh, why are people so crazy?

-ibid., entry dated May 3, 1944 (1947).

Anne Frank (1929/1945). Dutch Jewish diarist; born in Germany.


I do not understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.

Anne LaMott


There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk uprightly.

Anne Sophie Swetchine


Americans will listen, but they do not care to read. War and Peace must wait for the leisure of retirement, which never really comes: meanwhile it helps to furnish the living room. Blockbusting fiction is bought as furniture. Unread, it maintains its value. Read, it looks like money wasted. Cunningly, Americans know that books contain a person, and they want the person, not the book.

-You've Had Your Time, ch. 2 (1990).

Anthony Burgess (1917/). British author, critic.


The butler said there was nothing to being a butler, really —when you're in the room it should be even more empty.

-Spoken on the TV show "Inside the Actor's Studio" in 1994. Anthony Hopkins used this tip that he got from a Buckingham Palace butler, as he was preparing to play a butler in the movie The Remains of the Day (1993).

Anthony Hopkins.


Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction.

If someone wants a sheep, then that means that he exists.

Antoine de Saint-Exupé.


The players who make many blows without tempo or measure, although these may connect their enemies, are nonetheless censurable, and sooner are said to be children of luck than of art, but those are called grave and well-positioned players who seek to strike their adversary with tempo and grace.

-Opera Nova per Imparare a Combattere, & Schermire d'ogni forte Armi. Bologna, northern Italy: 1531.

Antonio Manciolino.


Who is't that to woman's beauty would submit, And yet refuse the fetters of their wit?

Aphra Behn (c. 1640/1689-04-16). English dramatist. Considered to be the first professional woman writer.


Live together like brothers and do business like strangers.

Trust in God, but tie your camel.

Arab sayings.


Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.

-Concerning levers.

Archimedes (c 287/212 BCE). Aka Archimedes of Syracuse. Ancient Greek mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, physicist and engineer. Killed, against orders, by a Roman soldier. Famous for his "Eureka!" moment while bathing.


Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities.

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

We make war that we may live in peace.

Aristotle (384/322-03-07 BCE). Ancient Greek philosopher.


A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke (1917-12-16). British science fiction author, author, and inventor.


The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.

Arthur Koestler


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

Arthur Schopenhauer


The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.

Ashley Montagu


As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation-or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown.

-Philosophy: Who Needs It?

You have no choice about the necessity to integrate your observations, your experiences, your knowledge into abstract ideas, i.e., into principles. Your only choice is whether these principles are true or false, whether they represent your conscious, rational convictions — or a grab-bag of notions snatched at random, whose sources, validity, context and consequences you do not know, notions which, more often that not, you would drop like a hot potato if you knew.

-ibid.

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

-Atlas Shrugged. Signet Book, 1996. Appendix.

Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality.

-The Objectivist. 1966 Feb.

Everyone has the right to make his own decision/s, but none has the right to force his decision on others.

-The Virtue of Selfishness. Chapter 12.

Philosophy is the goal toward which religion was only a helplessly blind groping.

If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man's only moral commandment is: Thou shalt think. But a 'moral commandment' is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.

The three cardinal values of the Objectivist ethics ... are: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem, with their three corresponding virtues: Rationality, Productiveness, Pride.

Ayn Rand (1905-02-02/1982-03-06). Born Alissa "Alice" Zinovievna Rosenbaum. American novelist and philosopher.


Page Modified: (Hand noted: ) (Auto noted: )