Monday, July 28, 2008

Jean Paul Sartre

1. “A man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his life as if he were recounting it.”
2. "Being is. Being is in-itself. Being is what it is."
3. “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”
4. "Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete."
5. “Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.”
6. “Hell is other people.”
7. "Human life begins on the far side of despair."
8. "I am responsible for everything except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world... in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant."
9. “If literature isn't everything, it's not worth a single hour of someone's trouble.”
10. “If man, as the existentialist conceives him, is indefinable, it is because at first he is nothing. Only afterward will he be something, and he himself will have made what he will be. Thus there is no human nature, since there is no God to conceive it. Not only is man what he conceives himself to be, but he is also only what he wills himself to be after this thrust toward existence.”
11. "It is only in our decisions that we are important."
12. "Life begins on the other side of despair."
13. "Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal."
14. “Life is nothing until it is lived; but it is yours to make sense of, and the of it is nothing other than the sense you choose.”
15. "Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth."
16. “Philosophy appears to some people as a homogenous milieu: there thoughts are born and die, there systems are built, and there, in turn, they collapse. Others take Philosophy for a specific attitude which we can freely adopt at will. Still others see it as a determined segment of culture. In our view Philosophy does not exist.”
17. “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”
18. "Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself."
19. "My thought is me: that is why I cannot stop. I exist by what I think. and I can't prevent myself from thinking."
20. “One always dies too soon -- or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are your life, and nothing else.”
21. "Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat."
22. "One does not adopt a new idea, one slips into it."
23. "One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one's death, one dies one's life."
24. “Slime is the agony of water.”
25. “So that's what Hell is: I'd never have believed it...Do you remember, brimstone, the stake, the gridiron?...What a joke! No need of a gridiron, Hell is other people.”
26. “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”
27. “Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”
28. “Thus suddenly an object has appeared which has stolen the world from me. Everything is in place; everything still exists for me; but everything is traversed by an invisible flight and congealed in the direction of a new object. The appearance of the Other in the world corresponds therefore to a congealed sliding of the whole universe.”
29. “Thus the final state of sexual desire can be swooning as the final state of consent to the body. It is in this sense that desire can be called the desire of one body for another body. It is in fact an appetite directed toward the Other’s body, and it is lived as the vertigo of the for-itself before its own body. The being which desires is consciousness making itself body.”
30. "We must act out passion before we can feel it."
31. "When one does nothing, one believes oneself responsible for everything."
32. "When the rich wage war it is the poor who die."
33. "Words are loaded pistols."

Samuel Beckett

1. “And all these questions I ask myself. It is not in a spirit of curiosity. I cannot be silent. About myself I need know nothing. Here all is clear. No, all is not clear. But the discourse must go on. So one invents obscurities. Rhetoric.”
2. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
3. ”He stopped crying. The tears of the world are a constant quantity. As soon as someone starts crying, somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. So do not speak ill of this generation. It is no better or worse than it's predecessor. Do not speak well of it either. Do not speak of it at all.”
4. “His plan therefore was not to refuse admission to the idea, but to keep it at bay until his mind was ready to receive it. Then let it in and pulverise it. Obliterate the bastard.”
5. “How can one better magnify the Almighty than by sniggering with him at his little jokes, particularly the poorer ones.”
6. ”"Humanity is a well with two buckets," said Wylie, "one going down to be filled, the other coming up to be emptied."”
7. ”I believe him, I know it's my only chance to -- my only chance, I believe all I'm told, I've disbelieved only too much in my long life, now I swallow everything, greedily. What I need now is stories, it took me a long time to know that, and I'm not sure of it.”
8. ”If I have said anything to the contrary I was mistaken. If I say anything to the contrary again I shall be mistaken again. Unless I am mistaken now. Into the dossier with it in any case, in support of whatever thesis you fancy.”
9. “I have my faults, but changing my tune is not one of them.”
10. ”I say farce deliberately, in the hope of covering up for you. That's what our best authors do, they call their most serious works farces, in case no one is prepared to take them seriously.”
11. “I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.”
12. ”Is not a uniform suffering preferable to one which, by its ups and downs, is liable at certain moments to encourage the view that perhaps after all it is not eternal?”
13. “Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.”
14. "Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful!"
15. “Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it's the most comical thing in the world.”
16. “Nothing matters but writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile. . . a stain upon the silence.”
17. ”"Once a certain degree of insight has been reached," said Wylie, "all men talk, when talk they must, the same tripe."”
18. ”Saying is inventing. Wrong, very rightly wrong. You invent nothing, you think you are inventing, you think you are escaping, and all you do is stammer out your lesson, the remnants of a pensum one day got by heart and long forgotten, life without tears, as it is wept.”
19. “Say what you will, you can't keep a dead mind down.”
20. “She felt, as she felt so often with Murphy, spattered with words that went dead as soon as they sounded; each word obliterated, before it had time to make sense, by the word that came next; so that in the end she did not know what had been said. It was like difficult music heard for the first time.”
21. “That the impossible should be asked of me, good, what else could be asked of me? But the absurd! Of me whom they have reduced to reason.”
22. “There's man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet.”
23. “The sun shone having no alternative on the nothing new.”
24. “To think, when one is no longer young, when one is not yet old, that one is no longer young, that one is not yet old, that is perhaps something.”
25. ”We are all born mad. Some remain so.”
26. “What do I know of man's destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.”
27. ”Words are all we have.”
28. ”You were saying something nice about me, I can feel it.”
29. ” would do better, at least no worse, to obliterate texts than to blacken margins, to fill in the holes of words till all is black and flat and the whole ghastly business looks like what it is, senseless, speechless, issueless misery.”

Ideas move the world

“The ocean itself is one big drop, but it is also made of small drops; many little drops put together become an ocean. But actually, in the ocean, the drops don't exist; they are one integral whole. So, you may say there are no drops in the ocean, yet you can say it is made up of drops. Both notions are correct. Actually, the drops in the ocean are only conceptual. The mind says that there are many parts. Ideas move the world.”

Krishnananda, Swami.

Not what it seems

“In the real world
as in dreams,
nothing is quite
what it seems.”

Dean Koontz

To the library!

“I did what I always do when I am in a strange place, in dreadful circumstances, without an idea in the world of what to do next. I went to the library.”

Kittredge, Mary.

Hidden meanings

“Everything in this world has a hidden meaning.... Men, animals, trees, stars, they are all hieroglyphics. When you see them you do not understand them. You think they are really men, animals, trees, stars. It is only years later that you understand.

Kazantzakis, Nikos.

Unsuspected power

“What was totally clear to me was the unsuspected power of the palette, a power which had earlier been hidden from me, but which surpassed all my dreams. Painting acquired a fairy tale strength and magnificence. And unconsciously the representational became discredited as an unavoidable element of a picture.”

Kandinsky, Wassily.


A schedule defends from chaos and whim.

Annie Dillard

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Albert Einstein

1. “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
2. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.”
3. “All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.”
4. ”A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.”
5. “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.”
6. “All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.”
7. "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
8. “A man's moral worth is not measured by what his religious beliefs are but rather by what emotional impulses he has received from Nature during his lifetime.”
9. "Any fool can know. The point is to understand."
10. "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction."
11. ”Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. “
12. ”Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
13. “Any power must be the enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by terror and force, whether it arises under a Fascist or Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the the opportunity for development accorded to the individual.”
14. “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.”
15. “A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.”
16. "A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?"
17. ”As punishment for my contempt for authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.”
18. “As far as the laws of mathematics
Refer to reality,
They are not certain;
As far as they are certain,
They do not refer to reality.”
19. “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy.”
20. “A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.”
21. "Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."
22. “Body and soul are not two different things, but only two different ways of perceiving the same thing. Similarly, physics and psychology are only different attempts to link our experiences together by way of systematic thought.”
23. “But in physics I soon learned to scent out the paths that led to the depths, and to disregard everything else, all the many things that clutter up the mind, and divert it from the essential. The hitch in this was, of course, the fact that one had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examination, whether one liked it or not.”
24. "Common sense is that layer of prejudices which we acquire before we are sixteen."
25. ”Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Humans beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.”
26. “Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors... Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.”
27. “Curiosity has its own reason for existence.”
28. "Each of us visits this Earth involuntarily, and without an invitation. For me, it is enough to wonder at the secrets."
29. “Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.”
30. “Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
31. ”Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance.”
32. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.”
33. “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
34. "Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."
35. “Few is the number of those who think with their own mind and feel with their own heart.”
36. “For us physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion.”
37. “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”
38. “God is a scientist, not a magician.”
39. "Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love."
40. “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
41. "He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."
42. “He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
43. “Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them! How vile and despicable seems war to me! I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. My opinion of the human race is high enough that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the peoples not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press.”
44. ”How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?”
45. “How long is a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you are on.”
46. “Human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.”
47. “Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. What humanity own to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements the inquiring constructive mind.”
48. "I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
49. "I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the Earth might be killed, but enough men capable of thinking, and enough books, would be left to start again, and civilization could be restored."
50. ”If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies.... It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.“
51. "If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants."
52. “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
53. “I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.”
54. “I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.”
55. "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
56. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
57. “I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.”
58. ”If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”
59. “If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree if independence still available under present circumstances.”
60. ”If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of fear, and of promiscuous misery.”
61. ”If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.”
62. “If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.”
63. "If the possibility of the spiritual development of all individuals is to be secured, a second kind of outward freedom is necessary. The development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit in general requires still another kind of freedom, which may be characterised as inward freedom. It is this freedom of the spirit which consists in the interdependence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices as well as from unphilosophical routinizing and habit in general. This inward freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy object for the individual."
64. “If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, we are engaged in science. If it is communicated through forms whose connections are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively as meaningful, then we are engaged in art.”
65. “If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.”
66. "I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple."
67. “I have just got a new theory of eternity.”
68. “I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
69. “I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations.”
70. “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.”
71. ”I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”
72. “Information is not knowledge.”
73. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
74. "Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”
75. “In light of knowledge attained, the happy achievement seems almost a matter of course, and any intelligent student can grasp it without too much trouble. But the years of anxious searching in the dark, with their intense longing, their alterations of confidence and exhaustion and the final emergence into the light -- only those who have experienced it can understand it.”
76. “In my experience, the best creative work is never done when one is unhappy.”
77. “In our time the military mentality is still more dangerous than formerly because the offensive weapons have become much more powerful than the defensive ones. Therefore it leads, by necessity, to preventive war. The general insecurity that goes hand in hand with this results in the sacrifice of the citizen's civil rights to the supposed welfare of the state. Political witch-hunting, controls of all sorts (e.g., control of teaching and research, of the press, and so forth) appear inevitable, and for this reason do not encounter that popular resistance, which, were it not for the military mentality, would provide a protection. A reappraisal of all values gradually takes place in so far as everything that does not clearly serve the utopian ends is regarded and treated as inferior.”
78. ”Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
79. “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
80. “I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.”
81. "I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him."
82. “I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. Bu t my intellectual development was retarded,as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.”
83. ”It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
84. “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”
85. “It is a magnificent feeling to recognize the unity of complex phenomena which appear to be things quite apart from the direct visible truth.”
86. “It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.”
87. “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.”
88. "It is a miracle curiousity survives formal education."
89. “It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem, to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment.”
90. “It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.”
91. "It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely."
92. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
93. “It is the theory that decides what we can observe.”
94. “It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature.”
95. “It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.”
96. “It would seem that men always need some idiotic fiction in the name of which they can hate one another. Once it was religion. Now it is the State.”
97. “I. It is difficult even to attach a precise meaning to the term "scientific truth." Thus the meaning of the word "truth" varies according to whether we deal with a fact of experience, a mathematical proposition, or a scientific theory. "Religious truth" conveys nothing clear to me at all. II. Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. III. This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as "pantheistic" (Spinoza). IV. Denominational traditions I can only consider historically and psychologically; they have no other significance for me.”
98. “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.”
99. “I want to know God's thoughts. The rest are details.”
100. “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.”
101. “Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. If one asks the whence derives the authority of fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justifed merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as p owerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgements of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. They come into being not through demonst ration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities. One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly.”
102. ”Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”
103. “Logic will get you from A to B, Imagination will take you everywhere.”
104. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
105. "Man seeks for himself, in whatever manner is suitable for him, a simplified and lucid image of the world, and so to overcome the world of experience by striving to replace it to some extent by this image."
106. “Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.”
107. “May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers."
108. ”Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.”
109. "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the unlimitable superior who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
110. “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”
111. “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.”
112. “Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.”
113. “Newton, forgive me.”
114. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
115. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
116. "Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice, I can help the greatest of all causes - goodwill among men and peace on earth."
117. “No, this trick won't work. How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”
118. ”Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries - not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.”
119. "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
120. "Of what significance is one's one existence, one is basically unaware. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life? The bitter and the sweet come from outside. The hard from within, from one's own efforts. For the most part I do what my own nature drives me to do. It is embarrassing to earn such respect and love for it."
121. “Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.”
122. “One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.”
123. “One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”
124. “One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.”
125. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.”
126. ”Our separation from each other is an illusion of consciousness.”
127. “Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntary and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore. In our daily lives we only feel that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own.”
128. "Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
129. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjugate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman, and child. Unless you wish to use such drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resorting to arms.”
130. "Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age. "
131. “Physical concepts are the creation of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, determined by our external world. In our endeavor to understand reality, we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He can see the hands move and hear it's ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious, he may form some picture of the mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he will never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observation. He will never be able to compare his pictures with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility of the meaning of such a comparison.”
132. “Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.”
133. “Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.”
134. ”Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”
135. "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."
136. “Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”
137. “Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”
138. “Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary.”
139. “Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
140. “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
141. "Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe."
142. ”Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.”
143. “Somebody who reads only newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely nearsighted man who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.”
144. "Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think."
145. “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
146. “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”
147. "That little word 'we' I mistrust and here's why:No man of another can say, 'He is I.'Behind all agreement lies something amissAll seeming accord cloaks a lurking abyss."
148. ”The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one's own efforts.”
149. "The distinction between past, present and future is an illusion, although a persistent one."
150. “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”
151. “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery--even if mixed with fear--that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms--it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.”
152. “The faster you go, the shorter you are.”
153. "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."
154. “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sent iment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men.”
155. “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”
156. “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.”
157. “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
158. “The hardest thing to understand is why we can understand anything at all.”
159. ”The human mind has first to construct forms, independently, before we can find them in things.”
160. ”The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books --- a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.”
161. “The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.”
162. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
163. “The individual must not merely wait and criticize, he must defend the cause the best he can. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.”
164. “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why.”
165. "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
166. “The joy of looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.”
167. “The main source of all technological achievements is the divine curiosity and playful drive of the tinkering and thoughtful researcher, as much as it is the creative imagination of the inventor.”
168. “The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.”
169. "The more I study science, the more I believe in God."
170. “The most aggravating thing about the younger generation is that I no longer belong to it.”
171. “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
172. “The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.”
173. “The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.”
174. “The only justification for our concepts and systems of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences; beyond this they have no legitimacy.”
175. “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
176. "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."
177. "The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."
178. ”There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
179. “The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil from the spirit of man.”
180. ”The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”
181. "There remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion."
182. "The search for truth is more precious than its possession."
183. ”The truth of a theory is in your mind, not in your eyes.”
184. "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
185. “There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.”
186. "There is only one important question: Is the universe friendly?"
187. “The relativity principle in connection with the basic Maxwellian equations demands that the mass should be a direct measure of the energy contained in a body; light transfers mass. With radium there should be a noticeable diminution of mass. The idea is amusing and enticing; but whether the Almighty is laughing at it and is leading me up the garden path - that I cannot know.”
188. “The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.”
189. “The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism....”
190. "The Rules of Work: 1. Out of clutter, find simplicity. 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
191. “There was this huge world out there, independent of us human beings and standing before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partly accessible to our inspection and thought. The contemplation of that world beckoned like a liberation.”
192. “The scientists' religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”
193. ”The search for truth is more precious than its possession.”
194. “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
195. ”These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterward.”
196. “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”
197. "The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
198. “Time is what is indicated by a clock.”
199. “To get to know a country, you must have direct contact with the earth. It's futile to gaze at the world through a car window.”
200. “To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.”
201. “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”
202. “To understand the world one must not be worrying about one's self.”
203. "Truth is what stands the test of experience."
204. ”Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”
205. “Watch the stars, and from them learn. To the Master's honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton's ground.”
206. “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
207. “We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, w hile we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organised that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easi ly described in words, are the springs of man's actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much aloke in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organising factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.”
208. "We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books . It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranges and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations."
209. “We believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.”
210. “We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.”
211. "We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know."
212. “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.”
213. "What if we are all just random thoughts within the mind of God."
214. ”What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men. The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.”
215. “What science strives for is an utmost acuteness and clarity of concepts as regards their mutual relation and their correspondence to sensory data.”
216. “Watch the stars and from them learn. To the Master's honor all must turn, Each in its track, without a sound, Forever tracing Newton's ground.”
217. “When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of the globe, he doesn't realize that the track he has covered is curved. I was lucky enough to have spotted it.”
218. “When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and graviton have no separate existence from matter.”
219. “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”
220. “When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.”
221. ”When the solution is simple, God is answering. God does not play dice with the universe. God is subtle but he is not malicious.”
222. “When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.”
223. “Where there is love there is no question.”
224. “Where the world ceases to be the stage for personal hopes and desires, where we, as free beings, behold it in wonder, to question and to comtemplate, there we enter the realm of art and of science. If we trace out what we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science; if we show it in forms whose interrelationships are not accessible to our conscious thought but are intutitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing art. Common to both is the devotion to something beyond the personal, removed from the arbitrary.”
225. "With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon."
226. ”Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.”
227. “X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.”
228. “Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.”
229. “You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.”
230. “You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”
231. “You teach me baseball and I'll teach you relativity...No we must not You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball..”

Arthur C. Clarke

1. “A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.”
2. ”All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.”
3. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
4. ”As he stared into the blue infinity that had swallowed his son, the stars seemed suddenly very close. "Give us another hundred years, he whispered, "and we'll face you with clean hands and hearts - whatever shapes you be."”
5. "At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved - if it can be achieved at all - within the next few hundred years."
6. “... change depends on individual acts of courage and commitment. Most such acts are private, invisible, and uncelebiated. But some find a place in the public spotlight; and their influence goes far beyond mere example.”
7. 'Faith is believing what you know isn't true.'
8. ”For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.”
9. “Guns are the crutches of the impotent.”
10. “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean.”
11. ”Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.”
12. “I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.”
13. “Idealism is the horse, but reason is the rider.”
14. "If in fact we are alone, it means that we're not only the heirs to the cosmos, but its guardians, which is a portentous thought.... Either alternative is amazing: whether we're alone or not alone."
15. 'Imagine you are an intelligent extraterrestrial, concerned with only verifiable truths. You discover a species which has divided itself into thousands of tribal groups holding an incredible variety of beliefs about the origin of the universe and the way to behave in it. Although many of them have ideas in common, even when there's a ninety-nine per cent overlap, the remaining one per cent is enough to set them killing and torturing each other, over trivial points of doctorate, utterly meaningless to outsiders. How to account for such irrational behavior? Religion is the by product of fear - a reaction to a mysterious and hostile universe. For much of human prehistory, it may have been a necessary evil - but why so much more evil than necessary? I said evil and I mean it, because fear leads to cruelty.'
16. ”In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again.”
17. "I think that the sort of unmotivated malevolence (of aliens from space) which is typical of many science fiction stories is unlikely because some of the invaders in space that we've encountered in fiction would simply have destroyed themselves before they got anywhere else. And as I've suggested in quite a few essays, with a very high intelligence would also go higher moral values because, without these, intelligence is self-destructive. However, at the same time, one must admit that in a practically infinite universe almost anything is theoretically possible to happen somewhere. One can imagine, for example, a case where even a benevolent and intelligent race, if it lost its home planet, would have no alternative, or at least think it had no alternative, but to conquer another solar syatem. I think this is unlikely but certainly not impossible."
18. "It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God - but to create him."
19. "It may be that the old astrologers had the truth exactly reversed, when they believed that the stars controlled the destinies of men. The time may come when men control the destinies of stars."
20. ”It was a pity that there was no radar to guide one across the trackless seas of life. Every man had to find his own way, steered by some secret compass of the soul.”
21. "Like all revolutionary new ideas, the subject has had to pass through three stages, which may be summed up by these reactions: 1)'It's crazy - don't waste my time'; 2)'It's possible, but it's not worth doing'; 3)'I always said it was a good idea.'"
22. ”Like most human tragedies, this one had been caused not by evil intentions, but by errors of judgement, misunderstandings....”
23. 'Looking out across the immensity to the great suns and circling planets, to worlds of infinite mystery and promise, can you believe that man is to spend all his days cooped and crawling on the surface of this tiny Earth - this moist pebble with its clinging film of air? Or do you, on the other hand, believe that his destiny is indeed among the stars, and that one day our descendants will bridge the seas of space?'
24. ”Many and strange are the universes that drift like bubbles in the foam upon the River of Time.”
25. “My favourite definition of 'Intellectual' is: 'A person whose education surpasses their intelligence.'”
26. “No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.”
27. ”Now he was master of the world, and he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.”
28. “Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.”
29. “Science fiction is the only genuine consciousness expanding drug.”
30. ”The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.”
31. “[Science fiction is] the only genuine consciousness-expanding drug.”
32. ”Space is what stops everything from happening in the same place.”
33. ”The fact that we have not yet found the slightest evidence for life - much less intelligence - beyond this Earth does not surprise or disappoint me in the least. Our technology must still be laughably primitive, we may be like jungle savages listening for the throbbing of tom-toms while the ether around them carries more words per second than they could utter in a lifetime.”
34. ”The lives of men, and all their hopes and fears, were so little against the inconceivable immensities that they dared to challenge.”
35. ”The mind has an extraordinary ability to "see" things that are hoped for.”
36. "The moon is the first milestone on the road to the stars."
37. ”The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be.”
38. "The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible."
39. “The person one loves never really exists, but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion.”
40. “The realization that our small planet is only one of many worlds, gives mankind the perspective it needs to realize sooner that our own world belongs to all of its creatures, that the moon landing marks the end of our childhood as a race and the beginning of a newer and better civilization.
41. ”There is a special sadness in achievement, in the knowledge that a long-desired goal has been attained at last, and that life must now be shaped toward new ends.”
42. “There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.”
43. 'The spirit of curiosity and wonder is the driving force behind all Man's achievements. If it ever fails, the story of our race is coming to an end.'
44. ”This is the first age that's paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.”
45. “We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 -- and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?”
46. “When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”
47. "When beauty is universal, it loses its power to move the heart, and only its absence can produce any emotional effect."

Beauty and purity

“Rare is the union of beauty and purity.”


Someone is thinking

“If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.”

Lyndon Johnson


“Virginity can be lost by a thought.”

St. Jerome

An immense ocean

“There is an immense ocean over which the mind can sail, upon which the vessel of thought has not yet been launched . . . Let us haul it over the belt of land, launch on the ocean and sail outwards. There is much beyond all that has ever yet been imagined.”

Richard Jeffries

A great thought

“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine.”

Sir James Jeans


"Your secret is your prisoner; once you reveal it, you become its slave."

Ibn Gabirol

One thousand paths

I dreamed a thousand new paths...
I woke and walked my old one.

Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


1. "A child understands fear, and the hurt and hate it brings."
2. “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.”
3. “A man that seeks truth and loves it must be reckoned precious to any human society.”
4. ”Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.”
5. “Common and vulgar people ascribe all ills that they feel to others; people of little wisdom ascribe to themselves; people of much wisdom, to no one.”
6. “Demand not that events should happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.”
7. “Difficulties show men what they are. In case of any difficulty remember that God has pitted you against a rough antagonist that you may be a conqueror, and this cannot be without toil.”
8. “Every art and every faculty contemplates certain things as its principal objects.”
9. “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak."
10. “For what constitutes a child?—Ignorance. What constitutes a child?—Want of instruction; for they are our equals so far as their degree of knowledge permits.”
11. “God has entrusted me with myself.”
12. “If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.”
13. ”If you do not wish to be prone to anger, do not feed the habit, give it nothing which may tend to its increase.”
14. ”Is freedom anything else than the power of living as we choose? Nothing else. Tell me then, you men, do you wish to live in error? We do not. No one who lives in error is free. Do you wish to live in fear? Do you wish to live in sorrow? Do you wish to live in tension? By no means. No one who is in a state of fear or sorrow or tension is free, but whoever is delivered from sorrows or fears or anxieties, he is at the same time also delivered from servitude.”
15. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
16. "It is much better to die of hunger unhindered by grief and fear than to live affluently beset with worry, dread, suspicion, and unchecked desire."
17. “It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.”
18. “Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.”
19. “Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”
20. “Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”
21. “No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”
22. “No man is free who is not master of himself.”
23. “Nothing is in reality either pleasant or unpleasant by nature; but all things become so through habit.”
24. “Only the educated are free.”
25. “Practise yourself, for heaven’s sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater.”
26. "Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a part as it may please the master to assign you, for a long time or for a little as he may choose. And if he will you to take the part of a poor man, or a cripple, or a ruler, or a private citizen, then may you act that part with grace! For to act well the part that is allotted to us, that indeed is ours to do, but to choose it is another's."
27. “Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.”
28. “The essence of good and evil is a certain disposition of the will.”
29. ”The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.“
30. “There is nothing good or evil save in the will.”
31. “The soul's impurity consists in bad judgments, and purification consists in producing in it right judgments, and the pure soul is one which has right judgments.”
32. “The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing.”
33. “Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.”
34. “To accuse others for one's own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one's education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one's education is complete.”
35. “Two rules we should always have ready,—that there is nothing good or evil save in the will; and that we are not to lead events, but to follow them.”
36. "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
37. “Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I a swan, the part of a swan.”
38. “What is the first business of one who studies philosophy? To part with self-conceit. For it is impossible for any one to begin to learn what he thinks that he already knows.”
39. “When the idea of any pleasure strikes your imagination, make a just computation between the duration of the pleasure and that of the repentance that is likely to follow it.”
40. “When you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; but God is within, and your genius is within,—and what need have they of light to see what you are doing?”
41. “Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.”

W.H. Auden

1. “A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.”
2. "A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own."
3. "A false enchantment can all too easily last a lifetime."
4. “Algebra reverses the relative importance of the factors in ordinary language. It is essentially a written language, and it endeavors to exemplify in its written structures the patterns which it is its purpose to convey. The pattern of the marks on paper is a particular instance of the pattern to be conveyed to thought. The algebraic method is our best approach to the expression of necessity, by reason of its reduction of accident to the ghostlike character of the real variable.”
5. "All poets adore explosions, thunderstorms, tornadoes, conflagrations, ruins, scenes of spectacular carnage. The poetic imagination is therefore not at all a desirable quality in a chief of state."
6. “All sins tend to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.”
7. “All the possibilities
It had to reject are
What give life and warmth to
An actual character;
The roots of wit and charm tap
Secret springs of sorrow,
Every brilliant doctor
Hides a murderer.”
8. “All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work "comes" to him.”
9. “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.”
10. “Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.”
11. ”A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language."
12. “A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.”
13. “As I walked out one evening,
Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
"Love has no ending.

"I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street.

"I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.

"The years shall run like rabbits
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages
And the first love of the world."

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
"O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

"In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.

"In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

"Into many a green valley
Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
And the diver's brilliant bow.

"O plunge your hands in water,
Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
And wonder what you've missed.

"The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
A lane to the land of the dead.

"Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer
And Jill goes down on her back.

"O look, look in the mirror,
O look in your distress;
Life remains a blessing
Although you cannot bless.

"O stand, stand at the window
As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart."

It was late, late in the evening,
The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming
And the deep river ran on.”
14. "A society which really was like a poem and embodied all the esthetic values of beauty, order, economy, subordination of detail to the whole effect, would be a nightmare of horror, based on selective breeding, extermination of the physically or mentally unfit, absolute obedience to its Director, and a large slave class kept out of sight in cellars."
15. “At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell to the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
Still waters run deep, my dear, there's never smoke without fire.”
16. ”Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.”
17. "Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be."
18. "Every autobiography is concerned with two characters, a Don Quixote, the Ego, and a Sancho Panza, the Self."
19. “Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.”
20. “Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.”
21. "Faust is damned, not because he has sinned, but because he made a pact with the Devil, that is, like a poet he planned a life of sin beforehand."
22. “Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.”
23. “Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.”
24. “Half the literature, highbrow and popular, produced in the West during the past four hundred years has been based on the false assumption that what is an exceptional experience is or ought to be a universal one. Under its influence so many millions of persons have persuaded themselves they were 'in love' when their experience could be fully and accurately described by the more brutal four-letter words, that one is sometimes tempted to doubt if the experience is ever genuine, even when, or especially when, it seems to have happened to oneself.”
25. “He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.”
26. “I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a "suspension of belief." A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.”
27. “If all a top physicist knows
About the Truth be true,
Then, for all the so-and-so's,
Futility and grime,
Our common world contains,
We have a better time
Than the Greater Nebulae do,
Or the atoms in our brains.

Marriage is rarely bliss
But, surely it would be worse
As particles to pelt
At thousands of miles per sec
About a universe
Wherein a lover's kiss
Would either not be felt
Or break the loved one's neck.

Though the face at which I stare
While shaving it be cruel
For, year after year, it repels
An ageing suitor, it has,
Thank God, sufficient mass
To be altogether there,
Not an indeterminate gruel
Which is partly somewhere else.

Our eyes prefer to suppose
That a habitable place
Has a geocentric view,
That architects enclose
A quiet Euclidian space:
Exploded myths - but who
Could feel at home astraddle
An ever expanding saddle?

This passion of our kind
For the process of finding out
Is a fact one can hardly doubt,
But I would rejoice in it more
If I knew more clearly what
We wanted the knowledge for,
Felt certain still that the mind
Is free to know or not.

It has chosen once, it seems,
And whether our concern
For magnitude's extremes
Really become a creature
Who comes in a median size,
Or politicizing Nature
Be altogether wise,
Is something we shall learn.”
28. “I'll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.”
29. “In general, when reading a scholarly critic, one profits more from his quotations than from his comments.”
30. "In the course of many centuries a few labor-saving devices have been introduced into the mental kitchen--alcohol, coffee, tobacco, benzedrine--but these mechanisms are very crude, liable to injure the cook, and constantly breaking down. Writing poetry in the twentieth century A.D. is pretty much the same as it was in the twentieth century B.C.: nearly everything has still to be done by hand."
31. “In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings grasp at straws for premises and float on gossamers for deductions.”
32. “In things to be seen at once, much variety makes confusion, another vice of beauty. In things that are not seen at once, and have no respect one to another, great variety is commendable, provided this variety transgress not the rules of optics and geometry.”
33. “It is already possible to imagine a society in which the majority of the population, that is to say, its laborers, will have almost as much leisure as in earlier times was enjoyed by the aristocracy. When one recalls how aristocracies in the past actually behaved, the prospect is not cheerful.”
34. “It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.”
35. “It is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true. This statement is almost a tautology. For the energy of operation of a proposition in an occasion of experience is its interest and is its importance. But of course a true proposition is more apt to be interesting than a false one.”
36. “It takes little talent to see what lies under one's nose, a good deal to know in what direction to point that organ.”
37. “I will not go so far as to say that to construct a history of thought without profound study of the mathematical ideas of successive epochs is like omitting Hamlet from the play which is named after him. That would be claiming too much. But it is certainly analogous to cutting out the part of Ophelia. This simile is singularly exact. For Ophelia is quite essential to the play, she is very charming ... and a little mad.”
38. “Let mortals beware
Of words, for
With words we lie,
Can we say peace
When we mean war,
Foul thoughts speak fair
And promise falsely.”
39. “Man is a history-making creature who can neither repeat his past nor leave it behind.”
40. "Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful but because it is like himself."
41. “"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth.”
42. “Nobody can honestly think of himself as a strong character because,however successful he may be in overcoming them, he is necessarily aware of the doubts and temptations that accompany every important choice.”
43. ”No good opera plot can be sensible:... people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.”
44. “No hero is immortal till he dies.”
45. "No human being is innocent, but there is a class of innocent human actions called Games."
46. “No poet or novelist wishes he were the only one who ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.”
47. “"One and one make two" assumes that the changes in the shift of circumstance are unimportant. But it is impossible for us to analyze this notion of unimportant change.”
48. “One sign that a book has literary value is that it can be read in a number of different ways.”
49. “Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.”
50. “Poetry makes nothing happen. It survives in the valley of its saying.”
51. “Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.”
52. ”Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.”
53. “Seek simplicity, and distrust it.”
54. "Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered."
55. “Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.”
56. “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
cribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
57. “The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.”
58. “The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar, and is shocked by the unexpected: the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.”
59. "The masculine imagination lives in a state of perpetual revolt against the limitations of human life. In theological terms, one might say that all men, left to themselves, become Gnostics. They may swagger like peacocks, but in their heart of hearts they all think sex an indignity and wish they could beget themselves on themselves. Hence the aggressive hostility towards women so manifest in most club-car stories."
60. “The progress of Science consists in observing interconnections and in showing with a patient ingenuity that the events of this ever-shifting world are but examples of a few general relations, called laws. To see what is general in what is particular, and what is permanent in what is transitory, is the aim of scientific thought.”
61. “There's only one good test of pornography. Get twelve normal men to read the book, and then ask them, "Did you get an erection?" If the answer is "Yes" from a majority of the twelve, then the book is pornographic.”
62. “The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living.”
63. “Through and through the world is infested with quantity: To talk sense is to talk quantities. It is not use saying the nation is large .. How large? It is no use saying the radium is scarce ... How scarce? You cannot evade quantity. You may fly to poetry and music, and quantity and number will face you in your rhythms and your octaves.”
64. “Those who hate to go to bed fear death; those who hate to get up fear life.”
65. “Those who will not reason
Perish in the act:
Those who will not act
Perish for that reason.”
66. ”To ask the hard question is simple.”
67. “To be happy means to be free, not from pain or fear, but from care or anxiety.”
68. ”To pray is to pay attention to something or someone other than oneself. Whenever a man so concentrates his attention- on a landscape, a poem, a geometrical problem, an idol, or the True God- that he completely forgets his own ego and desires, he is praying... The primary task of the schoolteacher is to teach children, in a secular context, the technique of prayer.”
69. “To read is to translate, for no two persons' experiences are the same. A bad reader is like a bad translator: he interprets literally when he ought to paraphrase and paraphrases when he ought to interpret literally. In learning to read well, scholarship, valuable as it is, is less important than instinct; some great scholars have been poor translators.”
70. “War can protect; it cannot create.
71. “We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know.”
72. "We must love one another or die."
73. “We think in generalities, but we live in details.”
74. "When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes."
75. “When one has great gifts, what answer to the meaning of existence should one require beyond the right to exercise them?”

Full of light

“A drop of water has the tastes of the water of the seven seas: there is no need to experience all the ways of worldly life. The reflections of the moon on one thousand rivers are from the same moon: the mind must be full of light.”

Hung Tzu-Ch´eng


"When men are most sure and most arrogant they are commonly most mistaken."

David Hume

Hold fast

"Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly."

Langston Hughes

Cheap trick

“It is a cheap trick merely to surprise and shock the reader, especially at the expense of logic. And a lack of invention on the writers' part cannot be covered up by sensational action and clever prose. It is also a kind of laziness to write the obvious, which does not entertain, really. The idea is an unexpected turn of events, reasonably consistent with the characters of the protagonists. Stretch the reader's credulity, his sense of logic, to the utmost - it is quite elastic - but don't break it. In this way, you will write something new, surprising and entertaining both to yourself and the reader.”

Patricia Highsmith

Gather ye rosebuds

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Times is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.”

Robert Herrick

To dance with a man

“To dance with a man is to concentrate a twelve-month's regulation fire upon him in the fragment of an hour. To pass to courtship without acquaintance, to pass to marriage without courtship, is a skipping of terms reserved for they alone who tread this royal road.”

Thomas Hardy

A variable

“Reality is above all else a variable, and nobody is qualified to say that he or she knows what it is. As a matter of fact, with a firm enough commitment, you can sometimes create a reality which did not exist before.”

Margareth Halsey

A dream

"A dream commonly has one or more scenes, several characters in addition to the dreamer, and a sequence of actions and interactions usually involving the dreamer. It resembles a motion picture or dramatic production in which the dreamer is a participant-observer. Although a dream is an hallucination, the dreamer experiences it as he does any perceptual phenomenon. Scenes, people, objects, and actions are experienced as though they were impressing themselves on the senses from the external world. The world of dreams, it goes without saying, is a world of pure projection."

Calvin S. Hall

The further you go, the less you know...

Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the
ways of heaven.
The further you go, the less you know.

Thus the sage knows without traveling;
He sees without looking;
He works without doing.


No alloy

The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.

Anthony Trollope

Reason manifested in nature

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure
of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion,
be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It_

Reason manifested in nature

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure
of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion,
be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."

Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It_

Law and right

"It is not so desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.

Henry David Thoreau
_ Resistance to Civil Government _ 1849

No more walls

I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.

Anais Nin 1903-1977

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stephen Hawking

1. ”According to this theory [strong anthropic principle], there are either many different universes or many different regions of a single universe, each with its own initial configuration and, perhaps, with its own set of laws of science. In most of these universes the conditions would not be right for the development of complicated organisms; only in the few universes that are like ours would intelligent beings develop and ask the question: "Why is the universe the way we see it?" The answer is then simple: If it had been different, we would not be here!”
2. “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory... Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.”
3. “Disorder increases with time because we measure time in the direction in which disorder increases.”
4. “Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”
5. “God not only plays dice. He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.”
6. “Hamlet may have meant that although we human beings are very limited physically, our minds are free to explore the whole universe, and to go boldly where even “Star Trek” fears to tread – bad dreams permitting.”
7. “... if there were a complete set of laws, that would infringe God's freedom to change his mind and intervene in the world. It's a bit like the old paradox: Can God make a stone so heavy that he can't lift it? But the idea that God might want to change his mind is an example of the fallacy, pointed out by St. Augustine, of imagining God as a being existing in time: time is a property only of the universe that God created. Presumably, he knew what he intended when he set it up!”
8. “... if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.”
9. ”Imaginary time is indistinguishable from directions in space. If one can go north, one can turn around and head south; equally, if one can go forward in imaginary time, one ought to be able to turn around and go backward. This means that there can be no important difference between the forward and backward directions of imaginary time. On the other hand, when one looks at "real" time, there's a very big difference between the forward and backward directions, as we all know. Where does this difference between the past and the future come from? Why do we remember the past but not the future?”
10. “Is the universe actually infinite or just very large? And is it everlasting or long-lived? How could our finite minds comprehend an infinite universe? Isn´t it presumptuous of us even to make the attempt? Do we risk the fate of Prometeus, who in classical mythology stole fire from Zeus for human beings to use, and was punished for his temerity by being chained to a rock where an eagle picked at his liver?”
11. "I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image."
12. "It is said that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch."
13. “It matters if you just don't give up.”
14. "My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it as it is and why it exists at all."
15. “Physics is the most fundamental of the sciences. In that sense, it is the most poetic."
16. “Someone told me that each equation I included in the book [A Brief History of Time ] would halve its sales.”
17. “Some people have blamed the atom bomb on Einstein because he discovered the relationship between mass and energy, but that is like blaming Newton for causing airplanes to crash because he discovered gravity.”
18. “So what is real and what is imaginary? Is the distinction only in our minds?”
19. "Space and time are now dynamic quantities: when a body moves, or a force acts, it affects the curvature of space and time--and in turn the structure of space-time affects the way in which bodies move and forces act. Space and time not only affect but also are affected by everything that happens in the universe."
20. "The conclusion of this lecture is that rapid space-travel, or travel back in time, can't be ruled out, according to our present understanding. They would cause great logical problems, so let's hope there's a Chronology Protection Law, to prevent people going back, and killing our parents. But science fiction fans need not lose heart. There's hope in string theory."
21. ”The discovery of a complete unified theory, therefore, may not aid the survival of our species. It may not even affect our life-style. But ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.”
22. ”The progress of the human race in understanding the universe has established a small corner of order in an increasingly disordered universe. If you remember every word in this book, your memory will have recorded about two million pieces of information: the order in your brain will have increased by about two million units. However, while you have been reading this book, you will have converted at least a thousand calories or ordered energy, in the form of food, into disordered energy, in the form of heat that you lose to the air around you by convection and sweat. This will increase the disorder of the universe by about twenty million million million million units - or about ten million million million times the increase in order in your brain - and that's if you remember everything in this book.”
23. “The universe has multiple histories, each one determined by a tiny nut.”
24. “The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”
25. “The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”
26. “The world has changed far more in the last hundred years than in any previous century. The reason has not been new political or economic doctrines, but the vast developments in techonology made possible by advances in basic science. Who better symbolizes those advances than Albert Einstein?”
27. “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.”
28. “Today scientists describe the universe in terms of two basic partial theories - the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics... The general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity and the large-scale structure of the universe, that is, the structure on scales from only a few miles to as large as a million million million million (1 with twenty-four zeros after it) miles, the size of the observable universe. Quantum mechanics, on the other hands, deals with phenomena on extremely small scales, such as a millionth of a millionth of an inch. Unfortunately, however, these two theories are known to be inconsistent with each other - they cannot both be correct.”
29. “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”
30. “We now know that every particle has an antiparticle, with which it can annihilate. There could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of antiparticles. However, if you meet your antiself, don't shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light.”
31. "We see the universe the way it is because we exist."
32. “What is time? Is it an ever rolling stream that bears all our dreams away, as the old hymn says? Or is it a railroad track? Maybe it has loops and branches, so you can keep going forward and yet return to an earlier station on the line.”
33. “Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence?”