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Quotes '97

Quotes, by subject

Denial / self-deceit
Go with the flow
Government / bureaucracy
Human nature
Information / free speech
Language / precision
Mind / intellect
Middle Age (humourous)
Pridefulness / conceit - The Man in the Glass
Self / self-reliance / self-respect
See also: 

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

and Aaron Fuegi's selected quotations


"Do not wait for the last judgement. It takes place every day" - Camus
"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably wind up somewhere else" - Laurence J Peter
"The most dangerous thing in the world is to leap a chasm in two jumps" - David Lloyd George
"The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise" - Tacitus
"Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him" - Aldous Huxley
"Leadership is action, not position" - Donald McGannon
"To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing" - Elbert Hubbard
"It is people of character who throw the switch" - John Cowan
"Good and evil both increase at compund interest. That is why the little decisons you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." C.S. Lewis
"Some men see things as they are, and say, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were, and say, 'Why not?'" - George Bernard Shaw
"If not now, when?" - Hillel
From "J.D. Falk" jdfalk@cais.com:
"The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions." - Anonymous ('Hacker's Law')
"He who waits for the sword to fall upon his neck will surely lose his head." -Stephen R. Donaldson

"Bad artists always admire each other's work" - Oscar Wilde


"Every man has three characters - that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has" - Alphonse Karr
"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out." - Macaulay
"What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say" - Emerson
"Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life." - William James
"The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live" - Norman Cousins
"Who is more foolish - the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?" - Maurice Freehill
"Thwarted lives have the most character-conditioned hate" - Gordon Allport
"Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue"- Francis Bacon
"'Be yourself' is the worst advice you can give to some poeple" - Tom Masson
"Only a mediocre person is always at his best" - Somerset Maugham
"A virtuous abstinence from the joys of pederasty comes most easily to those who have no taste for it." - Oscar Wilde
"It is people of character who throw the switch, it is people of character who ask probing questions" - John Cowan
"The safest way to avoid hypocrisy is simple; eliminate the standards one might have trouble keeping" - R Scott Richards
"Responsibility is the one thing people dread most of all. Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us" - Frank Crane
"I may be as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best." -Walt Whitman
"The higest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it." - John Ruskin
"God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars." - Elbert Hubbard
"When a small man casts a big shadow, the sun is setting." - skeptic3@aol.com (Skeptic3)
See also:


"Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job." -- Unknown, courtesy of grossman@saints.ssc.nasa.gov
From Loring Holden:
What's wrong with the WWW?
"It's like being in a library where someone has scattered all the books on the floor, attached them together with threads and you are in the dark." MorningSide, CBC Radio, May 1995
If the designers of X-Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same principles -- but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo. Useful feature, that. - Marus J. Ranum, Digital Equipment Corporation


"The unknown is an ocean. What is conscience? The compass of the unknown" - Joseph Cook
"In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place" - Mohandas Gandhi
"How could a state be governed..if every individual remained free to obey or not to obey the law" - Hobbes
"The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it: but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it" - Madame de Stael
See also: The Man In The Glass


"Have the courage to live. Anyone can die." - Robert Cody
"Courage is grace under pressure" - Hemingway
"Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace with yourself" - Amelia Earhart


"A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." - Stalin
"Once you accept your own death, all of a sudden you are free to live" - Saul Alinsky
"In the long run we are all dead" - Keynes
"We are made to be immortal, and yet we die. It's horrible, it can't be taken seriously" - Eugene Ionesco

Denial / self-deceit

"Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted. In its purest form, truth is not a polite tap on the shoulder. It is a howling reproach." - Ted Koppel
"We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves" - Eric Hoffer
"Boy, the truth gets vicious when you corner it" - Dogbert
"You say that you have a great respect for truth. Is that why you always place yourself at such a respectful distance from it? - Escriva
"If we are unwilling to be aware of the dark, we cannot see the light" - John Cowan
"Silliness is the last refuge of the doomed" - Opus
"How can we overcome a handicap we refuse to acknowledge?" - Kurt D. Bruner
"Have I therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?" - Paul
"And justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter." - Isaiah
"Give denial a chance" - Judy Stein
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened" - Winston Churchill
"Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?" - Francis Bacon
"Advice is what people ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." -Erica Jong
See also:


"Like and equal are two different things" - Madeleine L'Engle


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke
"Good and evil both increase at compund interest. That is why the little decisons you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." C.S. Lewis
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousandfold in the future" - Solzhenitsyn
"Healthy mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine, because the evil facts which it refuses postively to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life's significance." - William James
"If we are unwilling to be aware of the dark, we cannot see the light" - John Cowan
"For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root" - Thoreau
From Octobersdad@crecon.demon.co.uk ("T. Bruce Tober"):
All men are evil and will declare themselves to be so when occasion is offered.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) English man of letters, explorer
It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.
H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) American journalist
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) English novelist
So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) Anglo-American poet
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.
Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress

Go with the flow

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current" - Jefferson
"Practical politics consists in ignoring facts" - Henry Adams
"To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards of men" - Abraham Lincoln
"The safest way to avoid hypocrisy is simple; eliminate the standards one might have trouble keeping" - R Scott Richards
"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream" - Malcolm Muggeridge
The trouble with going with the flow is, you might wind up getting sucked down the drain.


"The word good has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man" - Chesterton
"Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance." C.S. Lewis
"Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die." - Thomas Carlyle

Government / bureaucracy

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
"Guidelines for bureaucrats: 1) When in charge ponder 2) When in trouble delegate 3) When in doubt mumble" - James H. Boren
"Public office is the last refuge of the incompetent" - Boies Penrose
"The constitution not only is, but ought to be, what the judges say it is" - Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes
"Who shall guard the guardians themselves?" - Juvenal
"Every nation has the government it deserves" - de Maistre
"A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed" - Descartes
"This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice" - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
"Military justice is to justice what military music is to music." - Georges Clemenceau


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