This is a listing of clippings from my readings from books. Most recent first. The button below shuffles items.

shuffle

Anytime I can write a good letter Tubby it’s a sign I’m not working.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

is better to produce half as much, get plenty of excercise and not go crazy than to speed up so that your head is hardly normal.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

All politics is a matter of working hard without reward, or with a living wage for a time, in the hope of booty later.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

Y.C.: Listen. There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done. The only way he can tell how he is going is to compete with dead men…. MICE: But reading all the good writers might discourage you. Y.C.: Then you ought to be discouraged.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

All the guys who can paint great big pictures can paint great small ones.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

You have to make it good and a man is a fool if he adds or takes hindrance after hindrance after hindrance to being a writer when that is what he cares about. Taking refuge in domestic successes, being good to your broke friends etc. is merely a form of quitting.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

As a man things are as they should or shouldn’t be. As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try to make it absolutely perfect; or if not that then wonderful. Then you write for who you love whether she can read or write or not and whether she is alive or dead.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

A writer without a sense of justice and of injustice would be better off editing the year book of a school for exceptional children than writing novels.

Ernest Hemingway on Writing (Ernest Hemingway)

“ ‘If God made anything better, he kept it for himself.’

Neuromancer (William Gibson)

“Anybody any good at what they do, that’s what they are, right?

Neuromancer (William Gibson)

he also saw a certain sense in the notion that burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones, that Night City wasn’t there for its inhabitants, but as a deliberately unsupervised playground for technology itself.

Neuromancer (William Gibson)

Punches delivered from a deathbed left bruises that never faded.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

we have suffered from a kind of disease: one of detachment, of being unable to connect ourselves to things, events, feelings. Most people define themselves by their work, or where they come from, or suchlike; we have lived too far inside our heads. It makes actuality damn hard to handle.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

these days, character isn’t destiny any more. Economics is destiny. Ideology is destiny. Bombs are destiny. What does a famine, a gas chamber, a grenade care how you lived your life? Crisis comes, death comes, and your pathetic individual self doesn’t have a thing to do with it, only to suffer the effects.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

If love is a yearning to be like (even to become) the beloved, then hatred, it must be said, can be engendered by the same ambition, when it cannot be fulfilled.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

Mahound, any new idea is asked two questions. When it’s weak: will it compromise? We know the answer to that one. And now, Mahound, on your return to Jahilia, time for the second question: How do you behave when you win? When your enemies are at your mercy and your power has become absolute: what then?

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

The universe was a place of wonders, and only habituation, the anaesthesia of the everyday, dulled our sight.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

Truth is a negotiated average of semi-lies.

The Psychopath Code (Pieter Hintjens)

When you have hidden dreams and desires, you are vulnerable. Anyone with the talent can guess those dreams.

The Psychopath Code (Pieter Hintjens)

Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

What’s a ghost? Unfinished business, is what.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

It isn’t easy to be a brilliant, successful woman in a city where the gods are female but the females are merely goods.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

Question: What is the opposite of faith? Not disbelief. Too final, certain, closed. Itself a kind of belief. Doubt.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

A man who Invents himself needs someone to believe in him, to prove he’s managed it. Playing God again, you could say. Or you could come down a few notches, and think of Tinkerbell; fairies don’t exist if children don’t clap their hands.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

The distance between cities is always small; a villager, travelling a hundred miles to town, traverses emptier, darker, more terrifying space.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)

Truth is always in harmony with herself, and is not concerned chiefly to reveal the justice that may consist with wrong-doing.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

If you are chosen town clerk, forsooth, you cannot go to Tierra del Fuego this summer: but you may go to the land of infernal fire nevertheless. The universe is wider than our views of it.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Thaw with his gentle persuasion is more powerful than Thor with his hammer.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures. Let the noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home. There are no larger fields than these, no worthier games than may here be played. Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay. Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to farmers' crops? That is not its errand to thee. Take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds. Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport. Enjoy the land, but own it not. Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

and yet he had rated it as a gain in coming to America, that here you could get tea, and coffee, and meat every day. But the only true America is that country where you are at liberty to pursue such a mode of life as may enable you to do without these, and where the state does not endeavor to compel you to sustain the slavery and war and other superfluous expenses which directly or indirectly result from the use of such things.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

The fruits do not yield their true flavor to the purchaser of them, nor to him who raises them for the market. There is but one way to obtain it, yet few take that way.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass—the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends."

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Pray, for what do we move ever but to get rid of our furniture, our exuviœ:

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

I am wont to think that men are not so much the keepers of herds as herds are the keepers of men, the former are so much the freer.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at;

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Those things for which the most money is demanded are never the things which the student most wants.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

In the metaphorical no less than in the literal use of ‘seeing,’ interpretation begins where perception ends. The two processes are not the same, and what perception leaves for interpretation to complete depends drastically on the nature and amount of prior experience and training.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Men did not all paint alike during the periods when representation was a primary value, but the developmental pattern of the plastic arts changed drastically when that value was abandoned.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Until the very last stages in the education of a scientist, textbooks are systematically substituted for the creative scientific literature that made them possible. Given the confidence in their paradigms, which makes this educational technique possible, few scientists would wish to change it.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Verification is like natural selection: it picks out the most viable among the actual alternatives in a particular historical situation. Whether that choice is the best that could have been made if still other alternatives had been available or if the data had been of another sort is not a question that can usefully be asked.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.

Walden, and On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

Why dignify what science’s best and most persistent efforts have made it possible to discard? The depreciation of historical fact is deeply, and probably functionally, ingrained in the ideology of the scientific profession, the same profession that places the highest of all values upon factual details of other sorts.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

it is hard to make nature fit a paradigm. That is why the puzzles of normal science are so challenging and also why measurements undertaken without a paradigm so seldom lead to any conclusions at all.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

the scientist who looks at a swinging stone can have no experience that is in principle more elementary than seeing a pendulum. The alternative is not some hypothetical “fixed” vision, but vision through another paradigm, one which makes the swinging stone something else.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

“It is fortunate that nothing more [than phenomena known to exist] is in question; for the notion of ‘possible’ cases, of cases that do not exist but might have existed, is far from clear.” No language thus restricted to reporting a world fully known in advance can produce mere neutral and objective reports on “the given.”

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

the process by which either the individual or the community makes the transition from constrained fall to the pendulum or from dephlogisticated air to oxygen is not one that resembles interpretation.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

What a man sees depends both upon what he looks at and also upon what his previous visual-conceptual experience has taught him to see.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Is it really any wonder that the price of significant scientific advance is a commitment that runs the risk of being wrong?

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Scientific revolutions, as we noted at the end of Section V, need seem revolutionary only to those whose paradigms are affected by them. To outsiders they may, like the Balkan revolutions of the early twentieth century, seem normal parts of the developmental process.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

every problem that normal science sees as a puzzle can be seen, from another viewpoint, as a counterinstance and thus as a source of crisis.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

once it has achieved the status of paradigm, a scientific theory is declared invalid only if an alternate candidate is available to take its place.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

As in manufacture so in science—retooling is an extravagance to be reserved for the occasion that demands it. The significance of crises is the indication they provide that an occasion for retooling has arrived.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Previous practice of normal science had given every reason to consider them solved or all but solved, which helps to explain why the sense of failure, when it came, could be so acute. Failure with a new sort of problem is often disappointing but never surprising. Neither problems nor puzzles yield often to the first attack.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

proliferation of versions of a theory is a very usual symptom of crisis.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Anomaly appears only against the background provided by the paradigm. The more precise and far-reaching that paradigm is, the more sensitive an indicator it provides of anomaly and hence of an occasion for paradigm change.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong. Anomaly appears only against the background provided by the paradigm. The more precise and far-reaching that paradigm is, the more sensitive an indicator it provides of anomaly and hence of an occasion for paradigm change. In the normal mode of discovery, even resistance to change has a

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

the project whose outcome does not fall in that narrower range is usually just a research failure, one which reflects not on nature but on the scientist.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

“Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion.”

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

An apparently arbitrary element, compounded of personal and historical accident, is always a formative ingredient of the beliefs espoused by a given scientific community at a given time.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

When was oxygen discovered? Who first conceived of energy conservation? Increasingly, a few of them suspect that these are simply the wrong sorts of questions to ask. Perhaps science does not develop by the accumulation of individual discoveries and inventions.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Wise lovers of facts, who try to determine the truth about something, do not state a “theory of truth.”

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

Normal science is based on prior scientific achievements acknowledged by some scientific community.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Kuhn, Thomas S.)

The computer does not offer a real model of the relation between the self and other ordinary people. But it does model the way certain kinds of political and capitalist power can be wielded over society, and over other people to the degree that they fit into the model

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

Now we say we have abandoned those beliefs in favor of a general humane egalitarianism— each of us is “capable” of “doing his best. ” But we rarely interrogate those beliefs about the present in terms of the present’s own cultural technology

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

When we presume that the subject of politics just is the rational subject, stripped of her cognitive capacities outside and beyond rationality, we do not merely privilege one form of decision making above others: we work away at the fabric of the polis

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

the oligarchical owners have in an important sense transcended everyday financial needs, while employees remain ever more caught in and by them

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

what has been flattened via IT is not at all individual access to culture, economics, or political power, but rather the “playing field” for capitalist actors

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

Both Chomsky’s pursuit of a Universal Grammar and Fodor’s quest for a “language of thought” can be understood as pursuits of this “real but as yet undiscovered universal language,” a language that is somehow at once spoken and understood by all human beings and yet at the same time inaccessible to all contemporary human beings— again, positing an Ursprache from which mankind has fallen into linguistic and cultural diversity that are responsible for political disunity

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

It is there — like our life.

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

The problem is the following: a “machine” in the sense of a physical system obeying the laws of Newtonian physics need not be a Turing machine

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

Among the most powerful tools for what I will call oligarchical capitalism is the use of large-scale pricing power to manipulate human behavior and the action of the working class so as to deprive them of real political choice and power, in the name of apparently laudable goals like efficiency, personalization, individual desire and need

The Cultural Logic of Computation (David Golumbia)

“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before,” Bokonon tells us. “He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”

Cat's cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)

A lover’s a liar,To himself he lies.The truthful are loveless,Like oysters their eyes!

Cat's cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)

mathematical calculation can be made to stand for propositions that are themselves not mathematical, but must still conform to mathematical rules

Cultural Logic of Computation - David Golumbia

“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order, so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.”

Cat's cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)

“I don’t know whether I agree or not. I just have trouble understanding how truth, all by itself, could be enough for a person.” Miss Faust was ripe for Bokononism.

Cat's cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)

Computers are boring. They only give answers.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

It is simply fallacious to apply PAC learned concepts, such as consciousness, to artificial situations that do not occur in the domain from which the concepts were learned.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

brittleness is inevitable in any system for the theoryless that is programmed.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

For theoryless decisions it is sufficient that the circuit be effective in situations that are most frequently encountered by the owner—no theory or understanding of why it is effective is needed.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

That evolution could work in principle in some infinite limit is obvious and needs little discussion.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

Contrary to common perception, computer science has always been more about humans than about machines.

Probably Approximately Correct (Leslie Valiant)

Exceptions are a fact of life because few facts are always true. Logic fails because it tries to find exceptions to this rule.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

Grammar is the servant of language, not the master.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

If the theory had been any vaguer, it would have been ignored, but if it had been described in more detail, other scientists might have tested it, instead of contributing their own ideas.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

We notice change in spite of change, not because of it.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

The power of consciousness comes not from ceaseless change of state, but from having enough stability to discern significant changes in our surroundings.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

For although words are merely catalysts for starting mental processes, so, too, are real things: we can't sense what they really are, only what they remind us of.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

When we disapprove of this, we complain about stereotypes — and when we sympathize with it, we speak of sensitivity and empathy.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

The most useful sets of properties are those whose members do not interact too much.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

we rarely need to know that anything is absolutely wrong or right; instead, we only want to choose the best of some alternatives.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

A fantasy need not reproduce the fine details of an actual scene. It need only reproduce that scene's effect on other agencies.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

one needs a process that sometimes works before one can proceed to improve it.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

In the long run, the most productive kinds of thought are not the methods with which we solve particular problems, but those that lead us to formulating useful new kinds of descriptions.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

The Exception Principle: It rarely pays to tamper with a rule that nearly always works. It's better just to complement it with an accumulation of specific exceptions.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

Many good ideas are really two ideas in one — which form a bridge between two realms of thought or different points of view.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

whenever any simple idea appears to explain so many things, we must suspect a trick.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

Nothing would get done if we succumbed to satisfaction.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

The surer you are that you like what you are doing, the more completely your other ambitions are being suppressed.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart's desire, their dream… But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted.

Dream Country (Neil Gaiman)

A successful warlock cannot afford to be successful in the real world. He had been greedy; he loved both realms too much.

True Names (Vernor Vinge)

There are some men who are sensible of shame for what regards their bodies, but who are ignorant of shame for what concerns their hearts; and a terrible mistake they make.

Tales of Old Japan (Lord Redesdale)

'Verily I have been familiar with the flowers; yet are they withered and scattered, and we are parted. How sad!'

Tales of Old Japan (Lord Redesdale)

indeed, if you wish to see the most beautiful spots of any Oriental city, ask for the cemeteries: the homes of the dead are ever the loveliest places.

Tales of Old Japan (Lord Redesdale)

Good as a noun rather than an adjective is all the Metaphysics of Quality is about

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

Little children talk to dolls and grown-up adults talk to idols. He supposed that a doll allows a child to pretend he's a parent while an idol allows a parent to pretend he's a child

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

The most moral activity of all is the creation of space for life to move onward

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

Sanity is not truth. Sanity is conformity to what is socially expected. Truth is sometimes in conformity, sometimes not

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

Objects are inorganic and biological values; subjects are social and intellectual values

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

That's what this whole century's been about, this struggle between intellectual and social patterns. That's the theme song of the twentieth century. Is society going to dominate intellect or is intellect going to dominate society

Lila An Inquiry into Morals - Robert Pirsig

experience is not the same as understanding.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

An author's job is using words the ways other people do, not telling others how to use them.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

One can acquire certainty only by amputating inquiry.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

If self-control were easy to obtain, we'd end up accomplishing nothing at all.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

Destructive acts can serve constructive goals by leaving fewer problems to be solved.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

To be sure, general laws apply to everything. But, for that very reason, they can rarely explain anything in particular.

Society of Mind (Marvin Minsky)

“Be regular and orderly in your life like a Bourgeois so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

To the extent that one's behavior is controlled by static patterns of quality it is without choice. But to the extent that one follows Dynamic Quality, which is undefinable, one's behavior is free

A conventional subject-object metaphysics uses the same four static patterns as the Metaphysics of Quality, dividing them into two groups of two: inorganic-biological patterns called 'matter,' and social-intellectual patterns called 'mind

Naturally there is no mechanism toward which life is heading. Mechanisms are the enemy of life. The more static and unyielding the mechanisms are, the more life works to evade them or overcome them

Something is happening right now and you think it's unimportant because you've never seen a movie of it.

Until you're the celebrity you don't see how spooky it is. They love you for being what they want to be but they hate you for being what they're not

If you can't generalize from data there's nothing else you can do with it either.

It's very easy to spend your whole life swishing old tea around in your cup thinking it's great stuff because you've never really tried anything new, because you could never get it in, because the old stuff prevented its entry because you were so sure the old stuff was so good, because you never really tried anything new … on and on in an endless circular pattern

Into every tidy scheme for arranging the pattern of human life it is necessary to inject a certain dose of anarchism, enough to prevent immobility leading to decay, but not enough to bring about disruption

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

but every increase of safety involves some such loss. Steamers are less romantic than sailingships; tax-collectors than highwaymen

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

It is easier to punish a boy for showing boredom than it is to be interesting

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

Opposition to a political measure is roused by the fear that oneself will be damaged; support is won by the hope (usually subconscious) that one’s enemies will be damaged. Therefore a policy that injures no one wins no support, and a policy that wins much support also rouses fierce opposition

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

We do not like to be robbed of an enemy; we want someone to have when we suffer. It is so depressing to think that we suffer because we are fools; yet, taking mankind in the mass, that is the truth

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

The practical objection to Puritanism, as to every form of fanaticism, is that it singles out certain evils as so much worse than others that they must be suppressed at all costs

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

a good man is one whose opinions and activities are pleasing to the holders of power

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practise, and another which we practise but seldom preach

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

a metaphysic can never have ethical consequences except in virtue of its falsehood: if it were true, the acts which it defines as sin would be impossible

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

One reason why theology has lost its hold is that it has failed to provide progressive machinery in heaven

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

And in so far as our desire is competitive, no increase of human happiness as a whole comes from increase of wealth, whether general or particular

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

The mystic is usually a temperamentally active man forced into inaction; the vitalist is a temperamentally inactive man with a romantic admiration for action

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

This book contains, from beginning to end, no argument, and therefore no bad argument

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

A closely similar method can cure the irrationalities of those who are not recognised lunatics, provided they will submit to treatment by a practitioner free from their delusions.Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and Eminent Persons, however, seldom fulfil this condition, and therefore remain uncured

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

Politeness is the practice of respecting that part of a man’s beliefs which is specially concerned with his own merits or those of his group

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

since the infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

The scepticism that I advocate amounts only to this: (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgement

Sceptical Essays - Bertrand Russell

We act as if we wanted to praise Bach, but in truth we only praise ourselves.

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

The basic idea is that the dance of symbols in a brain is itself perceived by symbols, and that step extends the dance, and so round and round it goes.

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

Or perhaps, when there is love, the widowed must stay for the resurrection of the beloved — so that the one who has gone is not really dead, but grows and is created for a second time in the soul of the living?

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

we should have great respect for what seem like the most mundane of analogies, for when they are examined, they often can be seen to have sprung from, and to reveal, the deepest roots of human cognition.

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

I think that’s one of the things about growing older — one’s writing becomes more inward, more reflective, perhaps wiser, or perhaps just sadder.

I Am a Strange Loop (Douglas R. Hofstadter)

“All men are interlopers, old friend.”

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

How easy it was to mistake clear reasoning for correct reasoning!

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

“Men always fear things which move by themselves,”

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

Even danger had been good in those days—clean danger from known sources.

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

“Reason is the first victim of strong emotion,”

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

As with all priests, you learned early to call the truth heresy.

Dune Messiah (Frank Herbert)

Riots and comedy are but symptoms of the times, profoundly revealing. They betray the psychological tone, the deep uncertainties … and the striving for something better, plus the fear that nothing would come of it all.

Dune (Frank Herbert)

Life—all life—is in the service of life.

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“Prophets have a way of dying by violence. ”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it,”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“It’s easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture—it begins in the dignity with which we treat our dead.

Dune (Frank Herbert)

What do you despise? By this are you truly known.

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“Any man who retreats into a cave which has only one opening deserves to die,”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“Parting with people is a sadness; a place is only a place.

Dune (Frank Herbert)

Is it defeatist or treacherous for a doctor to diagnose a disease correctly?

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“When strangers meet, great allowance should be made for differences of custom and training.”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

“If wishes were fishes we’d all cast nets,”

Dune (Frank Herbert)

The most dangerous form of intolerance is precisely the kind that arises in the absence of any doctrine, fueled by elemental drives.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

The term "Fascism" fits everything because it is possible to eliminate one or more aspects from a Fascist regime and it will always be recognizably Fascist.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

The excess of information leads either to casual criteria of decimation or to discriminating choices granted, once more, to a highly educated elite.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

given that it is not possible to read the whole thing in seven days—it is as if the news it gives were censored.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

We would have an elite of extremely well-informed users, who know where and when to look for news, and a mass of information subproletarians, content with knowing that a calf with two heads has been born in their district, and ignoring the rest of the world.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

Once it has demonstrated its self-flagellatory impartiality, the press no longer feels any interest in reforming itself.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

"Pope John must be an atheist. Only a man who does not believe in God can love his fellowman so much!"

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

While the industry of state consumption (such as armaments) needs tension, that of individual consumption needs happiness.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

but because the moment of action requires the elimination of nuances and ambiguities (and this is the irreplaceable function of the "decision maker" in every institution), whereas the intellectual function lies in delving for ambiguities and bringing them to light.

Five Moral Pieces (Umberto Eco)

I used the word mystic to refer to those few scientists who derive a perverse satisfaction from knowing that something is not known and who use that ignorance as a pretext for bursting out of the cruel confinements of positivism into the domain of rhapsodic intellection.

Advice to a Young Scientist (Peter Medawar)

A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them.

1984 (George Orwell)

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.

1984 (George Orwell)

That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better.

1984 (George Orwell)

‘Sanity is not statistical,’

1984 (George Orwell)

CRIMESTOP, in short, means protective stupidity.

1984 (George Orwell)

A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors.

1984 (George Orwell)

The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life, imposed by the dead upon the living

1984 (George Orwell)

Wealth and privilege are most easily defended when they are possessed jointly.

1984 (George Orwell)

If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones.

1984 (George Orwell)

which Parsons entered in a small notebook, in the neat handwriting of the illiterate.

1984 (George Orwell)

Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’

1984 (George Orwell)

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?

1984 (George Orwell)

Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what THEY have to put up with.

1984 (George Orwell)

‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’

1984 (George Orwell)

It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.

1984 (George Orwell)

writing a thesis is like cooking a pig: nothing goes to waste.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Be humble and prudent before opening your mouth, but once you open it, be dignified and proud.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Do not play the solitary genius.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Your thesis exists to prove the hypothesis that you devised at the outset, not to show the breadth of your knowledge.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

But the language of the thesis is a metalanguage, that is, a language that speaks of other languages.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

If there were exhaustive rules, we would all be great writers.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

This is academic humility: the knowledge that anyone can teach us something. Perhaps this is because we are so clever that we succeed in having someone less skilled than us teach us something; or because even someone who does not seem very clever to us has some hidden skills; or also because someone who inspires us may not inspire others. The reasons are many.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Do not trust those who say that you must respect books. You respect books by using them, not leaving them alone.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Beware the “alibi of photocopies”!

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

I am talking of the “secret title” of your thesis, the one that then usually appears as the subtitle.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

In other words, it is no excuse to say, “I live in a small city, I do not have the books, I do not know where to start, and nobody is helping me.”

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

“If in company you don’t pee, a spy or a thief you may be.”

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

The more isolated and disregarded the library, the more the librarian is consumed with sorrow for its underestimation. A person who asks for help makes the librarian happy.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

The “thesis neurosis” has begun: the student abandons the thesis, returns to it, feels unfulfilled, loses focus, and uses his thesis as an alibi to avoid other challenges in his life that he is too cowardly to address. This student will never graduate.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

But a thesis that is too broad cannot be understood, and therefore is always an act of pride.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

With time, a writer becomes more astute and knowledgeable, but how he uses his knowledge will always depend on how he originally researched the many things he did not know.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

It would be a society in which a piece of paper was not required to find employment or to obtain a promotion in the public sector, and a university graduate would not surpass other qualified applicants simply because the graduate had earned a laurea.

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

Ironically, jobs are actually easier to enjoy than free time, because like flow activities they have built-in goals, feedback rules, and challenges, all of which encourage one to become involved in one’s work, to concentrate and lose oneself in it. Free time, on the other hand, is unstructured, and requires much greater effort to be shaped into something that can be enjoyed.

Deep Work (Cal Newport)

“Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.”

Deep Work (Cal Newport)

“It does not make them illegal. It does not make them immoral. It does not even make them unpopular. It makes them invisible and therefore irrelevant.”

Deep Work (Cal Newport)

Is this not also what we ask from a teacher, to provoke us to invent ideas?

How to Write a Thesis (Umberto Eco;Caterina Mongiat Farina;Geoff Farina;Francesco Erspamer)

You have to be with other people, he thought. In order to live at all. I mean, before they came here I could stand it, being alone in the building. But now it’s changed. You can’t go back, he thought. You can’t go from people to nonpeople.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Philip K. Dick)

A town cannot live on dreams. The change was slow but harsh. The young men and women, boys and girls left to find work and to build another life. And the town became, not all at once but steadily, a town of pleasure. People swarmed in on weekends, and they still do. And it will no doubt go on. And there is no blame in this. The town had to find another way to live.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

Previously there were small shops because it was a small town. Now there are small shops because the tourists want to think they are still in that little town, which has vanished. It is good business now to appear antiquated, with narrow aisles and quaintly labeled jars.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

Darkness you are gentler than my lover… his flesh was sweaty and panting, I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me. (p. 109)

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

Logic and sermons never convince, The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul (p. 56)

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

It is a simple case. The eye that does not look back does not acknowledge.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

The world sheds, in the energetic way of an open and communal place, its many greetings, as a world should. What quarrel can there be with that?

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

Adults can change their circumstances; children cannot. Children are powerless, and in difficult situations they are the victims of every sorrow and mischance and rage around them, for children feel all of these things but without any of the ability that adults have to change them. Whatever can take a child beyond such circumstances, therefore, is an alleviation and a blessing.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

…in solitude, or in that deserted state when we are surrounded by human beings and yet they sympathise not with us, we love the flowers, the grass and the waters and the sky. In the motion of the very leaves of spring in the blue air there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart.

Upstream (Mary Oliver)

'Thou shalt not live under the same heaven nor tread the same earth with the enemy of thy father or lord,'

Tales of Old Japan (Lord Redesdale)

They were grainy things, soot and chalk. They could have been anybody.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

The window reflected the news. It was about power and sports and anger and death.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

But it was too early in the evening for programs that allowed people with peculiar opinions to speak out. It was only a little after eight o’clock, so all the shows were about silliness or murder.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

It was very exciting for her, taking his dignity away in the name of love.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

“It would sound like a dream,” said Billy. “Other people’s dreams aren’t very interesting, usually.”

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn’t really like life at all.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

“Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

There was a soft drink bottle on the windowsill. Its label boasted that it contained no nourishment whatsoever.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

Among the things Billy Pilgrim could not change were the past, the present, and the future.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

The nicest veterans in Schenectady, I thought, the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

At that time, they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still.

Slaughterhouse-five (Kurt Vonnegut)

Being big is not necessarily a good thing: most organisms are bacteria and very few are elephants.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

'The rabbit runs faster than the fox, because the rabbit is running for his life while the fox is only running for his dinner.'

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

But 'chance' is just a word expressing ignorance. It means 'determined by some as yet unknown, or unspecified, means'.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

When we die there are two things we can leave behind us: genes and memes.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

What is it about the idea of a god that gives it its stability and penetrance in the cultural environment? The survival value of the god meme in the meme pool results from its great psychological appeal. It provides a superficially plausible answer to deep and troubling questions about existence. It suggests that injustices in this world may be rectified in the next. The 'everlasting arms' hold out a cushion against our own inadequacies which, like a doctor's placebo, is none the less effective for being imaginary.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

It may be that the overall probability that a random member of the school is a relation is so high that the altruism is worth the cost.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

parental care is just a special case of kin altruism.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Perhaps consciousness arises when the brain's simulation of the world becomes so complete that it must include a model of itself.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

The 'goal' of a machine is simply defined as that state to which it tends to return.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

It leaps from body to body down the generations, manipulating body after body in its own way and for its own ends, abandoning a succession of mortal bodies before they sink in senility and death.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

A gene is defined as any portion of chromosomal material that potentially lasts for enough generations to serve as a unit of natural selection.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Human suffering has been caused because too many of us cannot grasp that words are only tools for our use,

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

The universe is populated by stable things.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

(Curiously, peace-time appeals for individuals to make some small sacrifice in the rate at which they increase their standard of living seem to be less effective than war-time appeals for individuals to lay down their lives.)

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Chosen examples are never serious evidence for any worthwhile generalization.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

“Inspiration is for amateurs,” Close says. “The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

Rather than propose a new theory or unearth a new fact, often the most important contribution a scientist can make is to discover a new way of seeing old theories or facts.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

Anyone can popularize science if he oversimplifies.

The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)

I believe in getting up from the typewriter, away from it, while I still have things to say.”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

“Merde! I absolutely detest all openings and parties! They’re commercial, political, and everybody talks too much. They get on my tits!”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

I always wanted to go at the world and try and do too much, and even to do it for something that was not too cheap. That was wrong of me

The Trial (Kafka, Franz)

If you're under suspicion it better to be moving than still, as if you're still you can be in the pan of the scales without knowing it and be weighed along with your sins."

The Trial (Kafka, Franz)

The pampering of the modern mind has resulted in a population that feels deserving of something without earning that something, a population that feels they have a right to something without sacrificing for it. People declare themselves experts, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, mavericks, and coaches without any real-life experience. And they do this not because they actually think they are greater than everybody else; they do it because they feel that they need to be great to be accepted in a world that broadcasts only the extraordinary.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

“I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

It’s easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would find you attractive, that nobody appreciates your talents, than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

Most people need to go to some sort of therapist just to hear these questions asked for the first time.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

Kids were given inane homework assignments, like writing down all the reasons why they thought they were special, or the five things they liked most about themselves.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

Why? My guess: because giving a fuck about more stuff is good for business.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

should like it to help to open eyes, not to loosen tongues.

The Story of Art (Gombrich, E. H.)

For is it not rather those who misuse 'scientific' language, not to enlighten but to impress the reader, who are 'talking down' to us—from the clouds

The Story of Art (Gombrich, E. H.)

was tired of Miss Montag continuously watching his lips. In that way she took control of what he wanted to say before he said it.

The Trial (Kafka, Franz)

The decisions that democracies make may not demonstrate the wisdom of the crowd. The decision to make them democratically does.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

What they disagree about is what democracy is for and what we can expect it to accomplish. Do we have it because it gives people a sense of involvement and control over their lives, and therefore contributes to political stability? Do we have it because individuals have the right to rule themselves, even if they use that right in ridiculous ways? Or do we have it because democracy is actually an excellent vehicle for making intelligent decisions and uncovering the truth?

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

“It is far more difficult to form an informed opinion about what is good for society as a whole than it is to determine where one’s self-interest lies,”

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

“The United States is a tenaciously philistine society,”

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

is that the best way to disclose public information is without hype or even commentary from people in positions of power.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

Companies tend to pay people based on whether they do what they’re expected to do. In a market, people get paid based simply on what they do.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

One of the real dangers that small groups face is emphasizing consensus over dissent.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

“In science, one’s private property is established by giving its substance away.”

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

selfish—which is to say they are rational, in the economic sense—and always free ride.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

People want to do the right thing, but no one wants to be a sucker.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

The market may not teach people to trust, but it certainly makes it easier for people to do so.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

what is the free market? It’s a mechanism designed to solve a coordination problem,

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

groups are better at deciding between possible solutions to a problem than they are at coming up with them.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

trying to find smart people will not lead you astray. Trying to find the smartest person will.

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

Its easy to have frends if you let pepul laff at you. Im going to have lots of frends where I go.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

at night I go out for walks, wander around the city. I don't know why. To see faces, I guess.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

"There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

ago the adolescent in me thought death could happen only to other people),

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it knows hunger.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

and as soon as exceptional begins to mean anything to anyone they'll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression only as long as it doesn't mean anything to anybody.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

He's no Freud or Jung or Pavlov or Watson, but he's doing something important and I respect his dedication—maybe even more because he's just an ordinary man trying to do a great man's work, while the great men are all busy making bombs."

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

It's getting harder for me to write down all my thoughts and feelings because I know that people are reading them.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

Only in the matirnity ward by the babys where it dont matter if she talks too much.

Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

“No matter how much evidence exists that seers do not exist, suckers will pay for the existence of seers.”

The Wisdom of Crowds (James Surowiecki)

Good fences make good neighbors.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Hunt, Andrew;Thomas, David)

Everyone knows that they personally are the only good driver on Earth.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Hunt, Andrew;Thomas, David)

All software becomes legacy as soon as it's written.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Hunt, Andrew;Thomas, David)

"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission."

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Hunt, Andrew;Thomas, David)

Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Better never means better for everyone,

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before. You do that first, in your head, and then you make it real.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

You can think clearly only with your clothes on.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

who can remember pain, once it's over?

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

nobody dies from lack of sex, It's lack of love we die from.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

It's like a fart in church.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

We lived in the gaps between the stories.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

What you don't know won't hurt you,

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

It's black, of course, the color of prestige or a hearse, and long and sleek.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Not so her eyes, which were the flat hostile blue of a midsummer sky in bright sunlight, a blue that shuts you

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

There's always a black market, there's always something that can be exchanged.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

The threshold of a new house is a lonely place.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

It's good to have small goals that can be easily attained.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There's a lot that doesn't bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Like other things now, thought must be rationed.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

I’d have many acquaintances, friends even, and women, maybe even one woman.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

and humans are defined by their papers.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

Besides, it isn’t these sorts of revelations, more worthy of poetry than science, that are hoped for by the “believers,” oh no; though they themselves are unaware of it, what they are waiting for is a Revelation that would explain to them the meaning of humankind itself!

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

It is faith wrapped in the cloak of science; contact, the goal for which we are striving, is as vague and obscure as communion with the saints or the coming of the Messiah.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

Human beings set out to encounter other worlds, other civilizations, without having fully gotten to know their own hidden recesses, their blind alleys, well shafts, dark barricaded doors.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

If an elephant isn’t a very large bacterium, then an ocean can’t be a very large brain.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

Every science comes with its own pseudo-science, a bizarre distortion that comes from a certain kind of mind: astronomy has its caricaturist in astrology, chemistry used to have alchemy.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

We’re not searching for anything except people. We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

We don’t need other worlds. We need mirrors.

Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)

The common people will let it go, oh yes.  They will sell liberty for a quieter life.  That is why they must be prodded, prodded -

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man."

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

"He resisted his lawful arresters."

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

More, badness is of the self, the one, the you or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty.  But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

They don't go into the cause of goodness, so why the other shop? If lewdies are good that's because they like it,

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

human hole products,

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil. The important thing is moral choice.

A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

Happiness is never grand.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

You've got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art. We've sacrificed the high art. We have the feelies and the scent organ instead.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

You can't make flivvers without steel-and you can't make tragedies without social instability. The world's stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can't get.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

It was a masterly piece of work. But once you began admitting explanations in terms of purpose-well, you didn't know what the result might be.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Unorthodoxy threatens more than the life of a mere individual; it strikes at Society itself.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

"If one's different, one's bound to be lonely.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Five minutes later roots and fruits were abolished; the flower of the present rosily blossomed.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

He hated these things-just because he liked Bernard.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

"Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly."

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

the three great London newspapers-777e Hourly Radio, an upper-caste sheet, the pale green Gamma Gazette, and, on khaki paper and in words exclusively of one syllable, The Delta Mirror.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

“I must pursue my goal through thick and thin and I must not allow bourgeois society to turn me into a money-making machine,”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

“work is still the best way of escaping from life!”

Daily Rituals How Artists Work (Mason Currey)

seeking a “biological” (which is to say, an adaptive) explanation for all patterning and collectivity in animal populations runs the risk of invoking a contingent explanation for something that is in fact an immediate consequence of the “physics” of the situation.

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

"Moral education, which ought never, in any circumstances, to be rational."

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Primroses and landscapes, he pointed out, have one grave defect: they are gratuitous.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Major instruments of social stability.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fret-sawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

Wintriness responded to wintriness.

Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

The DLA cluster is a map of frozen accidents of history.

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

“Time forks perpetually towards innumerable futures,”

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

“Free will is for history only an expression connoting what we do not know about the laws of human life.”

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

Assessing individual events in the context of their average rate of occurrence is a relatively modern practice. Without it, the world is ripe for magic, superstition, miracles, and conspiracy theories.

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

“Man is free if he needs to obey no person but solely the laws.”1

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

Hobbes’s supreme authority, whether an individual or a collective body, subsequently had the right to decide who would succeed it—democracy is exercised once and then relinquished.

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

Mankind’s volitions, therefore, are divided by Hobbes into “appetites” and “aversions”:

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

The greater the religious diversity, it seemed, the greater the intolerance.

Critical Mass (Philip Ball)

Memory is immortality of a sort. In the night, when the wind dies and silence rules the place of glittering stone, I remember. And they all live again.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

A few minutes of that reminded me why I always resisted visiting till I had forgotten the despair a visit inspired.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

Is that what happens when you get old? You worry more about people and their interaction than you do about drama and the violence and the wicked deeds those people do?

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

“You feel guilty. You wonder why him and not me, then you’re glad it was him and not you, then you feel guilty. Soldiers live. And wonder why.”

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

Generating rumors is one thing even the most inept armed force does exceedingly well.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

The ability to ignore seems to be coupled with a talent for sorcery.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

I had plenty of regrets. I am sure she had more. She gave up so much more.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

“The Captain is still solving her personnel problems by exiling the questionables to Khatovar.”

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

the past is, as history, a hall of mirrors that reflect the needs of souls observing from the present. Absolute fact serves the hungers of only a few disconnected

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

The thing that you know to be true is the lie that will kill you.

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

“Physician, heal thyself.”

Soldiers Live (Glen Charles Cook)

Soldiers live. And wonder why.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

God is Great. God is Merciful. In Forgiveness He is Like the Earth. But He can become a tad mean-spirited with unbelievers.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

Bunions should be our seal, not a fire breathing skull.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

If you always do the easier thing, then you cannot possibly remain steadfast when it becomes necessary to take a difficult stand.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

“She’ll be pretty when she’s older and she doesn’t have a brain in her head to complicate things.”

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

Men driven solely by a need for revenge are flawed tools at best.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

“Places are natural, Sleepy. People are good and evil.”

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

diarrhea of the mouth.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

I realize that most history may really pivot on personal considerations like that, not on the pursuit of ideals dark or shining.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

Kind of like real life, where the same demon comes back again and again.

Water Sleeps (Glen Charles Cook)

This asymmetry of information prevents the various parties from joining forces—which is precisely the point of a democratic government.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

it will become harder to access the political messages our neighbors are seeing—and as a result, to understand why they believe what they do, often passionately.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

Only the machine knew, and it wasn’t talking.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

arbitrary, unaccountable, unregulated, and often unfair—in short, they’re WMDs.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

The model is optimized for efficiency and profitability, not for justice or the good of the “team.” This is, of course, the nature of capitalism.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

Phrenology was a model that relied on pseudoscientific nonsense to make authoritative pronouncements, and for decades it went untested. Big Data can fall into the same trap.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

People who favor policies like stop and frisk should experience it themselves. Justice cannot just be something that one part of society inflicts upon the other.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

In a system in which cheating is the norm, following the rules amounts to a handicap.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

when you create a model from proxies, it is far simpler for people to game it.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

We’re modeled as shoppers and couch potatoes, as patients and loan applicants, and very little of this do we see—even in applications we happily sign up for.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

Models are opinions embedded in mathematics.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

The privileged, we’ll see time and again, are processed more by people, the masses by machines.

Weapons of Math Destruction (Cathy O'Neil)

You gain nothing by arguing with your critics.

She Is The Darkness (Glen Charles Cook)

The best of the diviner breed are never wrong because they never set anything in stone.

She Is The Darkness (Glen Charles Cook)

People want to believe what they want to believe, good, bad, or indifferent, and do not confuse them with facts.

She Is The Darkness (Glen Charles Cook)

I have always found the religious tolerance of the southerners amazing and disconcerting, though it was really only an ancient habit predicated on the fact that no religious community was strong enough to show the rest the errors in their thinking at swordspoint.

She Is The Darkness (Glen Charles Cook)

Like any good soldier, if he was bitching he was perfectly all right.

She Is The Darkness (Glen Charles Cook)

Nobody got hurt. In our gang.

Bleak Seasons (Glen Charles Cook)

Hagop and I each spent one of our diminishing supply of single finger salutes.

Bleak Seasons (Glen Charles Cook)

Fickle folk. A little hunger and stress and they forgot all about liberty.

Bleak Seasons (Glen Charles Cook)

in the future there will be two types of jobs: people who tell computers what to do, and people who are told by computers what to do.

Chaos Monkeys (Antonio Garcia Martinez)

But is selection really necessary in the strongest sense to create the complex creatures we see around us? Or is it possibly a restriction that limits the creativity of evolution?

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

If you don’t have a clear objective, then you can’t be wrong, because wherever you end up is okay.

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

All of us can transform the present into the future. None can transform the future into the present.

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

The problem is that when individuals with opposing preferences are forced to vote, the winner often represents no one’s ideals (which perhaps explains the nearly-universal frustration people have with politics).

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

“You can’t control what you can’t measure [69].”

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

The past doesn’t tell us about the objective but it does offer a clue to something equally if not more important—the past is a guide to novelty.

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned (Kenneth O. Stanley;Joel Lehman)

The theory goes that ideas are rare, so the trick is to capture them. It's like non-musicians being awed by a guitar player, not realizing that great talent is so cheap it literally plays on the streets for coins.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

It's like non-musicians being awed by a guitar player, not realizing that great talent is so cheap it literally plays on the streets for coins.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

Ideas are cheap. What does work sensibly as property is the hard work we do in building a market.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

Diversity beats education any time.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

In business, marriage, and collective works, sooner or later, we either stop caring, or we fight and we argue.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

Software dies, but community survives.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

there are no dangerous opinions, only dangerous responses.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

Profits often come from the ignorance of customers.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

The core trick is to accept authority without giving it the "right to command."

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

diversity of opinion, independence of members from one another, decentralization, and effective ways to aggregate opinions.

Social Architecture (Pieter Hintjens)

‘Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?’

The God delusion (Richard Dawkins)

With infinite life comes an infinite list of relatives. Grandparents never die, nor do great-grandparents, great-aunts . . . and so on, back through the generations, all alive and offering advice. Sons never escape from the shadows of their fathers. Nor do daughters of their mothers. No one ever comes into his own . . . Such is the cost of immortality. No person is whole. No person is free.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

If I convert it’s because it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

Religion’s surest foundation is the contempt for life.”

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

he was able to avail himself of a historically unprecedented level of care, while at the same time being exposed to a degree of suffering that previous generations might not have been able to afford.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

For me, to remember friendship is to recall those conversations that it seemed a sin to break off: the ones that made the sacrifice of the following day a trivial one.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

The call to prayer is self–cancelling.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

People don’t have cancer: They are reported to be battling cancer.

Mortality (Christopher Hitchens)

First came the conquerers, unstoppable in war. Then came the administrators, who bound it all together into one apparently unshakable, immortal edifice. Then came the wasters, who knew no responsibility and squandered the capital of their inheritance upon whims and vices.

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

Nice people tend to think everybody is nice.

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

“Careful is my middle name.”

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

any dork who became a soldier for an idea instead of the money deserved to die for his country.

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

He had learned self-control in a hard school. He had been married for thirty years.

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

Short people weren’t supposed to be joyous, they were supposed to be cocky and obnoxious. Then you could thump on them and shut them up without feeling bad about it.

The Silver Spike (Glen Charles Cook)

I’ve never met a priest who honestly expected miracles in his own lifetime.

Dreams of Steel (Glen Charles Cook)

More evil gets done in the name of righteousness than any other way. Few villains think they are villains.

Dreams of Steel (Glen Charles Cook)

hadn’t planned on investigating the source of the noise, because, as you know from watching scary movies, people who investigate noises die.

Hyperbole and a Half (Allie Brosh)

It was the time of the Monthly Meeting. The big confab during which nothing gets done.

The White Rose (Glen Charles Cook)

Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die,

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up under them.

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal.

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?"

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

"Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine."

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

"I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly,"

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Little people have to hate, have to blame someone for their own inadequacies.

Shadows Linger (Glen Charles Cook)

In some ways he was an ideal overlord. All he wanted from his people was to be left alone. He was willing to grant the same favor.

Shadows Linger (Glen Charles Cook)

“The mystic nails a symbol to one meaning that was true for a moment but soon becomes false. The poet, on the other hand, sees that truth while it’s true but understands that symbols are always in flux and that their meanings are fleeting.”

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

Being watched by females changed everything.

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

the Convox was political, and made decisions by compromise.

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

The people who’d made the system thus were jealous, not of money and not of power but of story.

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

Communicating and coordinating with others was often more trouble than it was worth.

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

brain was so organized that he was blind to facial expressions.

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

“Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.”

Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

I have been too close to her. I am not in love now.

The Black Company (Glen Charles Cook)

There are no self-proclaimed villains, only regiments of self-proclaimed saints.

The Black Company (Glen Charles Cook)

“Dead heroes don’t get a second chance.”

The Black Company (Glen Charles Cook)

“It's difficult to work in a group when you are omnipotent.”

The physics of Star Trek (Lawrence Maxwell Krauss)

‘History,’ the witcher smiled. ‘Is a relation, mostly mendacious, of events mostly irrelevant, given by historians, mostly idiots.’

Season of Storms (Fan Translation) (Andrzej Sapkowski)

the agony of choice.’

Season of Storms (Fan Translation) (Andrzej Sapkowski)

A philosophy, which is sometimes called an understanding of the law, is simply a way that a person holds the laws in his mind in order to guess quickly at consequences.

The Character of Physical Law (Richard P Feynman)

It is usually said when this is pointed out, ‘When you are dealing with psychological matters things can’t be defined so precisely’. Yes, but then you cannot claim to know anything about it.

The Character of Physical Law (Richard P Feynman)

you cannot prove a vague theory wrong.

The Character of Physical Law (Richard P Feynman)

And to stand with evil and beauty and hope, or to stand with the fundamental laws, hoping that way to get a deep understanding of the whole world, with that aspect alone, is a mistake.

The Character of Physical Law (Richard P Feynman)

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

Requirements made in the abstract are invariably wrong. Requirements produced by asking people what they need are invariably wrong. Requirements are developed by watching people in their natural environment

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

There is nothing like a firm deadline to get creative minds to reach convergence

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

Engineers and businesspeople are trained to solve problems. Designers are trained to discover the real problems

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

The physics of Star Trek (Lawrence Maxwell Krauss)

It is a strange world we live in – that all the new advances in understanding are used only to continue the nonsense which has existed for 2,000 years.

The Character of Physical Law (Richard P Feynman)

Destiny is not the way to providence or comfortable fatalism. Destiny is hope.

Lady of the Lake (Fan Translation) (Andrzej Sapkowski)

Do you know, Ciri, what university studies give a person?’ ‘No. What?’ ‘The ability to make use of sources.’

The Tower of Swallows (Andrzej Sapkowski)

somebody always wants to give to a pauper, even if out of calculation.

The Tower of Swallows (Andrzej Sapkowski)

The king loved the queen boundlessly, and she loved him with all her heart. Something so fair had to finish unhappily.

The Tower of Swallows (Andrzej Sapkowski)

A given land’s history is very often created by foreigners. Foreigners are the cause–but the effects are always invariably borne by the local people.

The Tower of Swallows (Andrzej Sapkowski)

Some things can only be solved by massive cultural changes, which probably means they will never be solved

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

It is possible to avoid failure, to always be safe. But that is also the route to a dull, uninteresting life

Design of Everyday Things, The - Don Norman

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)

when you are seven, beauty is an abstraction, not an imperative.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)

Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)

“Math is not a spectator sport; you need to play the game.”

Count Like an Egyptian (Reimer, David)

Many people, of course, use ' sentimentalism' as a term of abuse for other people's decent feelings, and 'realism' as a disguise for their own brutality.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

The seriousness of a theorem, of course, does not lie in its consequences, which are merely the evidence for its seriousness.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

A man's first duty, a young man's at any rate, is to be ambitious.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

Good work is not done by 'humble' men. It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

The public does not need 64 to be convinced that there is something in mathematics.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

'It is never worth a first class man's time to express a majority opinion. By definition, there are plenty of others to do that.'

A Mathematicians Apology (G.H. Hardy)

‘In Wonder all Philosophy began: in Wonder it ends…But the first Wonder is the Offspring of Ignorance; the last is the Parent of Adoration.’

The Age of Wonder (Richard Holmes)

Consider, for a moment, the following information: A man who preaches love and tolerance is recognized by political and civic leaders as a man of God. He runs a wealthy and growing church. He can show his power to raise the dead and cure fatal illnesses, and no one denies his abilities. He creates and promotes interest in a community in another country wherein followers will be safe from the evils of pollution and prejudice. He teaches them methods of self-defense, warns them against "outsiders," and is obeyed and believed in all he does. Would it not be logical to follow this man wherever he leads?

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

Nothing succeeds like failure.

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

The real story of automation is not what it replaces but what it enables.

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (Pedro Domingos)

Statisticians are prone to murder and maim for much less provocation.

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

“How many Bayesians does it take to change a lightbulb? They’re not sure. Come to think of it, they’re not sure the lightbulb is burned out.”

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (Pedro Domingos)

data mining means “torturing the data until it confesses.”

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (Pedro Domingos)

“every time I fire a linguist, the recognizer’s performance goes up.”

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (Pedro Domingos)

Michelangelo said that all he did was see the statue inside the block of marble and carve away the excess stone until the statue was revealed.

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (Pedro Domingos)

"Man wishes to be deceived; deceive him."

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

But he at no point calls to our attention the miracle known as Chartres Cathedral, the Parthenon in Greece, or even Stonehenge—that most remarkable astronomical construction—because these wonders are European, built by people he expects to have the intelligence and ability to do such work. He cannot conceive of our brown and black brothers having the wit to conceive or the skill to build the great structures they did leave behind.

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

"bread before poetry"

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

"Quacks are the greatest liars in the world, except their patients."

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions (James Randi)

Pleasure is nature’s shortcut; it enables humans to respond quickly to changing life demands by prioritizing basic needs that involve different neural systems on a single metric.

The Pleasure Instinct (Gene Wallenstein)

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.

The Pleasure Instinct (Gene Wallenstein)

Happiness is a Norman Rockwell painting hanging over your fireplace on a cold winter’s eve. Pleasure is the warmth and aesthetic beauty of the flames, the heat beating on your skin.

The Pleasure Instinct (Gene Wallenstein)

‘Do not grieve for the cabbage when the forest is burning,’

Time of Contempt (Andrzej Sapkowski)

Two kinds of people use these machines: the children of the rich, or the fully grown adults of the poorer class, who remain all their lives children.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

Enough to feed a whole family, or one rich man.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

From the amount of garbage thrown outside the walls of the house, you knew that rich people lived here.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

The Rooster Coop was doing its work. Servants have to keep other servants from becoming innovators, experimenters, or entrepreneurs.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

a servitude so strong that you can put the key of his emancipation in a man’s hands and he will throw it back at you with a curse.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

They remain slaves because they can’t see what is beautiful in this world.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

The story of a poor man’s life is written on his body, in a sharp pen.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

and logs of wood, as many as we could pay for, were piled on top of the body.

The White Tiger (Adiga, Aravind)

The printing press changed the way in which we made mistakes. Routine errors of transcription became less common. But when there was a mistake, it would be reproduced many times over, as in the case of the Wicked Bible.

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't (Nate Silver)

“vast amounts of theory applied to extremely small amounts of data,”

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't (Nate Silver)

Only death consistently excites your emotions, whether contemplating it when life is safe and stale, or fleeing it when life is threatened and precious.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

If he wants to test this hypothesis, one in twenty, he cannot do it from the same data that gave him the clue.

The Meaning of it All (Richard Feynman)

No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines.

The Meaning of it All (Richard Feynman)

So in science we are not interested in where an idea comes from.

The Meaning of it All (Richard Feynman)

And the newspapers, as you know, have a standard line for every discovery made in physiology today: "The discoverer said that the discovery may have uses in the cure of cancer." But they cannot explain the value of the thing itself.

The Meaning of it All (Richard Feynman)

If you look closely enough at anything, you will see that there is nothing more exciting than the truth,

The Meaning of it All (Richard Feynman)

Only fear can defeat life.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.

'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' (Richard P Feynman)

In science, you learn a kind of standard integrity and honesty.

'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' (Richard P Feynman)

he sent me to all these universities in order to find out those things, and he never did find out.

'What Do You Care What Other People Think?' (Richard P Feynman)

For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

Socially inferior animals are the ones that make the most strenuous, resourceful efforts to get to know their keepers.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

animals don’t escape to somewhere but from something.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

Life will defend itself no matter how small it is.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

Hate is many-sided, just as love can be.

Simply Complexity (Johnson, Neil)

The doer must do only when the receiver is ready to receive. Otherwise, the act is wasted.

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

the only thing a sane person can do in a lunatic asylum is to pretend that he is as mad as the others and at the first opportunity scale the walls and get out.’

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

Logic was never a strong point with Sikhs;

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

‘A wise man swims with the current and still gets across.’

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

His mind was like the delicate spring of a watch, which quivers for several hours after it has been touched.

Train to Pakistan (Khushwant Singh)

when what has been marginal would leap to the center, every trace of the center would be lost.

Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)

Who of us is able to say now whether Hector or Achilles was right, Agamemnon or Priam, when they fought over the beauty of a woman who is now dust and ashes?

Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)

reading books of medicine, you are always convinced you feel the pains of which they speak.