C quotations.


...Einstein, twenty-six years old, only three years away from crude privation, still a patent examiner, published in the Annalen der Physik in 1905 five papers on entirely different subjects. Three of them were among the greatest in the history of physics. One, very simple, gave the quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect--it was this work for which, sixteen years later he was awarded the Nobel prize. Another dealt with the phenomenon of Brownian motion, the apparently erratic movement of tiny particles suspended in a liquid: Einstein showed that these movements satisfied a clear statistical law. This was like a conjuring trick, easy when explained: before it, decent scientists could still doubt the concrete existence of atoms and molecules: this paper was as near direct proof of their concreteness as a theoretician could give. The third paper was the special theory of relativity, which quietly amalgamated space, time and matter into one fundamental unity.

This last paper contains no references and quotes no authority. All of them are written in a style unlike any other theoretical physicist's. They contain very little mathematics. There is a good deal of verbal commentary. The conclusions, the bizarre conclusions, emerge as though with the greatest of ease: the reasoning is unbreakable. It looks as though he had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.

It is pretty safe to say that, so long as physics lasts, no one will again hack out three major breakthroughs in one year.

-Variety of Men. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books, 1969. pp 85-86.

I have never belonged wholeheartedly to a country, a state, nor to a circle of friends, nor even to my own family. When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives. Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.

-ibid, p 77.

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: 'Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?'

I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question -- such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, 'Can you read?' -- not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.

When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.

C.P. Snow (1905/1980). Born Charles Percy Snow. English scientist and novelist.


Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.

C.S. Lewis


Civilized man conceals from himself the extent of his subordination to nature. The grandeur of culture, the consolation of religion absorb his attention and win his faith. But let nature shrug, and all is in ruin. Fire, flood, lightning, tornado, hurricane, volcano, earthquake - anywhere at any time. Disaster falls upon the good and bad. Civilized life requires a state of illusion.

Camille Paglia (1947-04-02). American social critic, author and feminist.


Tolerance is not acceptance, and indifference is not assimilation.

Carey McWilliams (1905/1980). American journalist, editor and lawyer.


Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves.

Carl Sagan


Four elements make up the climate of war: danger, exertion, uncertainty and chance.

-On War. Ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976. p 104.

War is merely the continuation of policy by other means

No Battle Plan Survives First Contact With the Enemy

The Conqueror is always a lover of peace: he would prefer to take over our country unopposed.

War is an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will

War is nothing but a duel on a larger scale.

War is such a dangerous business that the mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst.

War is very simple, but in War the simplest things become very difficult.

To introduce into the philosophy of war a principle of moderation would be an absurdity - war is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds.

Carl von Clausewitz (1780-06-01/1831-11-16). Aka Carl Phillip Gottlieb von Clausewitz. Prussian general and military thinker.


They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Carl W. Buechner


I believe that the extraordinary should be pursued. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say 'God did it'.

-Contact

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

Carl Sagan (1934-11-09/1996-12-20). American astronomer and science popularizer.


We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Castaneda


You can't talk to a man with a shotgun in his hand.

Carole King (1942-02-09). American singer and songwriter.


A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.

Carl Sandburg (1878-01-06/1967-07-22). American poet, historian, novelist, and folklorist.


There are two schools of thought on Nostradamus: either (1) he had supernatural powers which enabled him to prophesy the future with uncanny accuracy, or (2) he did for bullshit what Stonehenge did for rocks.

Cecil Adams. Pseudonym for the author of The Straight Dope, a syndicated Q&A column on usually odd topics.


The only joy in the world is to begin.

Cesare Pavese


When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Charles A. Beard


True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.

Charles Caleb Colton


It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.

Cheerfulness and contentment are great beautifiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks.

Charles Dickens (1812-02-07/1870-06-09). English novelist.


We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

Charles Kingsley


I am more afraid of an army of one hundred sheep led by a lion than an army of one hundred lions led by a sheep.

Charles Maurice


Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use.

Charles M. Schultz


A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it... by way of the poem itself to, all the way over to, the reader.

Charles Olson (1910-12-27/1970-01-10). American modernist poet.


[Shows like The O'Reilly Factor] are little more than a form of professional wrestling aimed at the parents of the kids who watch actual professional wrestling.

Charles P. Pierce. American at The Boston Globe Magazine.


There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz (1865-04-09/1923-10-26). German scientist.


Courage is not limited to the battlefield or to the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are... the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody's looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you're misunderstood, like fighting for what is right even when you know you are going to lose.

-Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life.

Charles Swindoll (1934). American author and radio show host of Insight for Living.


Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.

Charlotte Whitton


What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. And what I do, I understand.

-Variation: "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I'll understand."

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

The saber is like a tiger, the sword is like a phoenix, and the spear is like a swift dragon.

Chinese sayings.


Always dive down into a problem and get your hands on the deepest issue behind the problem. All other considerations are to dismissed as "engineering details"; they can be sorted out after the basic problem has been solved.

Chris Crawford


There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way.

Christopher Morley


... this I conceive to be no time to prate of moral influences. Our men's nerves require their accustomed narcotics and a glass of whiskey is a powerful friend in a sunstroke, and these poor fellows fall senseless on their heavy drills.

-As quoted in Angel of the Battlefield, ch. 3, by Ishbel Ross (1956). In an 1861 letter to her cousin Elvira. Once an opponent of tobacco, Barton now recognized the value of it and other intoxicating substances in wartime and supplied it to the Civil War soldiers herself. During World War II, after her death, the Red Cross would send 87 million packages of cigarettes abroad to service people.

Clara Barton (1821—1912). U.S. Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross.


True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.

Clarence Darrow


Friends are like melons. Shall I tell you why? To find a good one, you must a hundred try.

Claude Mermet


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work.

Clive Barker (1952-10-05). British author, director, and visual artist. Best known for his work in horror.


How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

Fashion is not simply a matter of clothes. Fashion is in the air, born upon the wind. One intuits it. It is in the sky and on the road.

Coco Chanel (1883-08-19/1971-01-10). Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. Aka "Mademoiselle". French coutrier.


At fifteen, I set my mind upon learning;
At thirty, I took my stand;
At forty, I no longer had doubts;
At fifty, I knew the will of the heavens;
At sixty my ear was attuned;
At seventy, I follow all the desires of my heart without breaking any rule.

The more a man knows, the more he forgives.

What one does not wish for oneself, one ought not to do to any one else; what one recognizes as desirable for oneself, one ought to be willing to grant to others.

-Richard Wilhelm. Confucius and Confucianism.

To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.

Confucius (traditionally -551-09-08/-479). Chinese thinker and social philosopher.


Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.

Corita Kent


Wisdom is what's left after we've run out of personal opinions.

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.

Cullen Hightower


In life, the wanting is always better than the getting... except maybe oral sex.

Curt Beeson's brother.


In the sex-war thoughtlessness is the weapon of the male, vindictiveness of the female. Both are reciprocally generated, but a woman's desire for revenge outlasts all other emotion.

Cyril Connolly (1903-09-10/1974-11-26). English man of letters.


There are two kinds of men who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.

Cyrus Curtis (1850/1933). Aka Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis. American publisher.


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