Random Quotes

Neil Postman

Since there is no such thing as complete knowledge of a subject, one is always working to improve one's reading, writing, etc., of a subject. As Thomas Henry Huxley said, "If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, is there anyone who knows so much as to be out of danger?" ... The problems of learning to read or write are inexhaustible.

René Descartes

One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another.

Mary Shelley, née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Margaret Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs.

Francis Ford Coppola

"The Godfather" films are personal. And they are, even though our family were never gangsters, and we only heard about somebody who knew a gangster. But still, the real day-to-day reality of the Italian family that was put into the gangster film was based on my family and what I remember as a kid. You can't make films without them being personal to some extent.

Martin Tupper, fully Martin Farquhar Tupper

To the timid heart, to the child of unbelief and dread,
That leaneth on his own weak staff, and trusteth the sight of his eyes,
The evil he feared shall come, for the soil is ready for the seed.

German Proverbs

Long-talked-of (or looked-for) comes at last.

Ursula Le Guin, fully Ursula Kroeber Le Guin

I expect it will turn out that sexual intercourse is possible between Gethenian double-sexed and Hainish-norm one-sexed human beings, though such intercourse will inevitably be sterile. It remains to be proved; Estraven and I proved nothing except perhaps a rather subtler point.

Molly Ivins, fully Mary Tyler "Molly" Ivins

Better than the zoo. Better than the circus. [on Texas politics]

William Wordsworth

Her eyes as stars of twilight fair; like twilight's, too, her dusky hair.

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.

German Proverbs

In the evening one may praise the day.

Scottish Proverbs

Ye hae got a stipend-get a kirk when ye 1ike.

Paul Samuelson, fully Paul Anthony Samuelson

To prove that Wall Street is an early omen of movements still to come in GNP, commentators quote economic studies alleging that market downturns predicted four out of the last five recessions. That is an understatement. Wall Street indexes predicted nine out of the last five recessions! And its mistakes were beauties.

Neil Gaiman, fully Neil Richard Gaiman

Listen, gods die when they are forgotten. People too. But the land's still here. The good places, and the bad. The land isn't going anywhere. And neither am I.

Max Lucado

Worry divides the mind.

Peter F. Drucker, fully Peter Ferdinand Drucker

Erroneous assumptions can be disastrous.

Sam Harris, formally Samuel B. "Sam" Harris

According to the most common interpretation of biblical prophecy, Jesus will return only after things have gone horribly awry. Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency.

Frederick Copleston, fully Frederick Charles Copleston

Other thinkers have philosophized since the time of Plato, but that does not destroy the interest and beauty of his philosophy.

Russian Proverbs

For some people war is war, for others - dear mother.

Elihu Root

True love of country is not mere blind partisanship. It is regard for the people of ones country and all of them it is a feeling of fellowship and brotherhood for all of them it is a desire for the prosperity and happiness of all of them it is kindly and considerate judgment toward all of them. The first duty of popular self-government is individual self-control. The essential condition of true progress is that it shall be based upon grounds of reason, and not prejudice. Lincolns noble sentiment of charity for all and malice toward none was not a specific for the Civil War, but is a living principle of action.

William Shakespeare

O, Signior Balthazar, either at flesh or fish, a table-full of welcome makes scarce one dainty dish.

Po Bronson

The things we really want to do are usually the ones that scare us the most.

Michelle Obama, fully Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Studying in countries like China isn't only about your prospects in the global marketplace. It's not just about whether you can compete with your peers in other countries to make America stronger. It's also about whether you can come together and work together with them to make our world stronger. It's about the friendships you make, the bonds of trust you establish and the image of America that you project to the rest of the world.

Loren Eiseley

Primitives of our own species, even today are historically shallow in their knowledge of the past. Only the poet who writes speaks his message across the millennia to other hearts.