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goodreads - authlist


QUOTES [0 / 0 - 494 / 494]

KEYS (10k)


   19 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
   18 Thomas Henry Huxley
   16 Hannah Arendt
   16 Albert Einstein
   13 Thomas Jefferson
   13 John Adams
   12 James Gleick
   11 Wilhelm Reich
   9 Erich Fromm
   7 Robert G Ingersoll
   7 Joseph Lewis
   6 Terri Windling
   6 Humphry Davy
   6 Ernst W Mayr
   6 Anonymous
   5 Thomas A Edison
   5 Philip Ball
   5 Karl Pearson
   5 James Clerk Maxwell

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:passages. Goodreads Improvements Goodreads ~ Anonymous
2:Get a wealth of 'GOoD' vibes at ~ T F Hodge
5:Today sites like LibraryThing and GoodReads have users who catalog their own books for fun. ~ Lauren Pressley is actually about fiction not dreading goo. But I have a profile there, anyway... ~ Michael A Arnzen
7:If you aren't on Goodreads, you should be. I've said it before, it's like Facebook for readers on crack. ~ Colleen Hoover
8:There are 2 motives for reading a book; 1. That you enjoy it, 2. that can boast about it on goodreads. ~ Bertrand Russell
9:Dreams have never been this hot!
10:Dreams have never been this hot!
11:Sylvia Day spins a gorgeous adventure in
12:So hot the pages should be on fire! [on
13:He was not of an age, but for all time! ~ Ben Jonson
14: ~
15: ~
16:There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it [on Goodreads]. ~ Bertrand Russell
17:Gripping, nonstop action and one hell of a heroine. [on
18:Gripping, nonstop action and one hell of a heroine. [on
19:The beauty of Goodreads is that you know you’re sowing in a field where everyone, by definition and self-selection, loves to read. ~ Guy Kawasaki
20: ~
21: ~
22: ~
23:You have to be a warrior and say, "Maybe it's everyone else's system, but it's not mine." (from her recent interview here, on Goodreads) ~ Anne Lamott
24: ~ Neil Gaiman
25:I never tire of reading Tom Paine. ~ Abraham Lincoln
26:About these developments George Orwell, in
27:About these developments George Orwell, in
28:Trying to imagine E. M. Forster, who found
29:Stephen Dedalus / Class of Elements / Clongowes Wood College / Sallins / County Kildare / Ireland / Europe / The World / The Universe goodreads ~ James Joyce
30:Lush, evocative, inventive... Livia Dare delights. Fans of Dara Joy will love [
31:No old Men (excepting Dr. Wallis) love Mathematicks. ~ Isaac Newton
32: ~ Mahmoud Darwish
33:The point, as Marx saw it, is that dreams never come true. ~ Hannah Arendt
34:Goodreads could be a source for knowledge but instead does all readers a supreme disservice by allowing the spread of false quotes on the Internet. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
35:still seemed odd to Michael to make friends with complete strangers. When he saw GoodReads members with 3,000+ friends it baffled him; what was the point of it? ~ Anonymous
36:He shook his head and went on to his favourite book website at the moment: GoodReads, intending to check the entrants for his latest giveaway. His Recent Updates page ~ Anonymous
37:Conquests will come and go but Delambre's work will endure. ~ Napol on Bonaparte
38:My mind was formed by studying philosophy, Plato and that sort of thing. ~ Werner Heisenberg
39:The House Beautiful is, for me, the play lousy. ~ Dorothy Parker

[Blog post, March 10, 2014] ~ K J Charles
41:America doesn't know today how proud she ought to be of her Ingersoll. ~ Walt Whitman
42:Before Newton the English word gravity denoted a mood—seriousness, solemnity…. ~ James Gleick
43:description ~
44:description ~
45:description ~
46:You'll never think of the old Cain and Abel battle the same way. Day's gripping, compelling, and kick-ass
47:Fontenelle was the most civilized man of his time, and indeed of most times. ~ Isaiah Berlin
48:The assumption that Derrida always knows what he is talking about is not Derridean. ~ Timothy Morton
49:Aristotle... a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious... ~ Francis Bacon
50:Some people are slow to do what they promise; you are slow to promise what you have already done. ~ Suetonius
51:each one as it pertains to your ideal reader. If you’re not sure, get online and do a little research. Go to Amazon or and look up books similar to your remaining idea cards. ~ Emlyn Chand
52:Because so many people use goodreads, it is an amazingly good—and amazingly underutilized—resource for understanding what people read, why, and how they feel about their reading experiences. ~ John Green
53:Cable by Victor Hugo (then in exile) to his publisher, upon publication of Les Misérables:
54:Day lets her imagination free with an urban adventure that is not only fast-paced, but also erotic and addictive. [on
55:Don't steal - the government hates competition!

~ Ron Paul
56:he found his books pitted as the only independent in major competitions such as the 2010 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy and the 2009 Book Spot Central’s Fantasy Tournament ~ Michael J Sullivan
57:I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore. Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley. ~ Albert Hofmann
58:No one is moral among the god-controlled puppets of the Iliad. Good and evil do not exist. ~ Julian Jaynes
59:You must come to Copenhagen to work with us. We like people who can actually perform thought experiments! ~ Niels Bohr
60:One scientific epoch ended and another began with James Clerk Maxwell. ~ Albert Einstein
61:Truly, Buffon was the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century. ~ Ernst W Mayr
62:I am one of those who think, like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries. ~ Marie Curie
63:The believer is not a slave to fashion.

~ Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
64:From The Mistress Bride ... "you are my heart, my life, my soul.. I am your other half ~ Michelle Reid
65:Decades ago, George Orwell suggested that the best one-word description of a Fascist was “bully, ~ Madeleine K Albright
66:That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons, even death may die. —H. P. Lovecraft ~ Stephen King
67:Though I have started emailing with one of my fellow readers whenever there's something important to say about Modern Family or Friday Night Lights, and with another when I notice her updates on ~ Rachel Bertsche
68:If the average man is made in God's image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.... ~ H L Mencken
69:At lunch Francis winged into the Eagle to tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life. ~ James D Watson
70:Eratosthenes, the mapmaker who was the first man to accurately measure the size of the Earth, was a librarian. ~ Ken Jennings
71:For Hegel, by contrast, liberal society is a reciprocal and equal agreement among citizens to mutually recognize each other ~ Francis Fukuyama
72:A kick-ass heroine to inspire us all, mixed with a fabulous cast of secondary characters and a plot that just won’t quit. Day has hit a home run. [on
73:facts of the mind made manifest in a fiction of matter,' as my friend the late Maya Deren once phrased the mystery. ~ Joseph Campbell
74:Sylvia Day delivers readers to a fantasy world as unique as it is erotic! Ms. Day is an up-and-coming talent in the world of erotic fiction. [on
75:Ford!" he said, "there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out. ~ Douglas Adams
76:Professional loyalty now flows "horizontally" to and from your network rather than "vertically" to your boss, as Dan Pink has noted. ~ Reid Hoffman
77:The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
78:Well, I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals. ~ Abraham Lincoln
79:For Wiener, entropy was a measure of disorder; for Shannon, of uncertainty. Fundamentally, as they were realizing, these were the same. ~ James Gleick
80:I don't understand exactly what's going on, but Goodreads shouldn't be deleting reviews, period. People are smart enough to look at them on their own and make up their mind, and deleting reviews undermines the integrity of the site. ~ Brett J Talley
81:If I may paraphrase Hobbes's well-known aphorism, I would say that 'books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
82:Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion?

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821} ~ John Adams
83:My criticism of Hegel procedure is that when in his discussion he arrives at a contradiction, he construes it as a crisis in the universe. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
84:In Hamilton's The Universe Wreckers... it was in that novel that, for the first time, I learned Neptune had a satellite named Triton... It was from
85:Toughened or coarsened by their worldly lives, the other dissenters could shrug and move on, but Souter couldn't. His whole life was being a judge. ~ Jeffrey Toobin
86:Plato was the first to envisage the idea of timeless existence and to emphasize it—against reason—as a reality, more [real] than our actual experience… ~ Erwin Schr dinger
87:By now, he was also a 'Protestant Atheist', which he remained all his life. ~ John Ellis
88:This play is dedicated to the memory of Clarence Darrow, The Great Defender, whose mental frontiers were the four corners of the sky. ~ Tennessee Williams
89:There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent. ~ Michel de Montaigne
90:The only difference between Hitler and Bush is that Hitler was elected. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
91:Here's the thing: Authors live or die by recommendations. [That's one of the reason I review so many books on Goodreads.] Giving books you love good reviews is one of the nicest things you can do for an author. What's more it's good for the entire community. ~ Patrick Rothfuss
92:Francis Galton, whose mission it seems to be to ride other men's hobbies to death, has invented the felicitous expression 'structureless germs'. ~ James Clerk Maxwell
93:Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan were self-proclaimed atheists. ~ Tariq Ali
94:Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan were self-proclaimed atheists. ~ Tariq Ali
95:Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. ~ Karl Marx
96:Aristippus said: That those that studied particular sciences, and neglected philosophy, were like Penelope's wooers, that made love to the waiting women. ~ Francis Bacon
97:My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests. ~ George Santayana
98:We watch Paracelsus in Basle as though seeing a man run headlong toward a precipice. Like an indestructible lunatic, he will do so again and again throughout his life. ~ Philip Ball
99:Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain. ~ John Adams
100:The highest court is in the end one’s own conscience and conviction—that goes for you and for Einstein and every other physicist—and before any science there is first of all belief. ~ Max Planck
101:During the century after Newton, it was still possible for a man of unusual attainments to master all fields of scientific knowledge. But by 1800, this had become entirely impracticable. ~ Isaac Asimov
102:If it were Hegel, I might suspect it means nothing. But Goethe means something, always. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
103:Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path. ~ Carl Sagan
104:A transference neurosis corresponds to a conflict between ego and id, a narcissistic neurosis corresponds to that between between ego and super-ego, and a psychosis to that between ego and outer world. ~ Sigmund Freud

"Still, not to be English is hardly regarded as a fatal deficiency even by the English, though grave enough to warrant sympathy. ~ Beryl Markham
106:Goodreads: Find your next favourite book! Now the world's largest e-reading community can connect with the world's largest community of book lovers. Join over 20 million other readers and see what your friends are reading, share highlights and rate the books you read with Goodreads on Kindle. ~ Anonymous
107:Gay-Lussac was quick, lively, ingenious and profound, with great activity of mind and great facility of manipulation. I should place him at the head of all the living chemists in France. ~ Humphry Davy
108:...only one man lived who could understand Gibbs's papers. That was Maxwell, and now he is dead. ~ Muriel Rukeyser
109:The merit of Locke's 'Essay Concerning Human Understanding' is its adequacy, and not its consistency. . . He should have widened the title of his book into 'An Essay Concerning Experience. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
110:Robert Ingersoll came to [a small Midwest town] to speak . . . , and after he had gone the question of the divinity of Christ for months occupied the minds of the citizens. ~ Sherwood Anderson
111:In fact a favourite problem of Tyndall is—Given the molecular forces in a mutton chop, deduce Hamlet or Faust therefrom. He is confident that the Physics of the Future will solve this easily. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
112:According to the concept of transformational evolution, first clearly articulated by Lamarck, evolution consists of the gradual transformation of organisms from one condition of existence to another. ~ Ernst W Mayr
113:Feynman resented the polished myths of most scientific history, submerging the false steps and halting uncertainties under a surface of orderly intellectual progress, but he created a myth of his own. ~ James Gleick
114:Is truth something that in fact we do—and should—especially care about? Or is the love of truth, as professed by so many distinguished thinkers and writers, itself merely another example of bullshit? ~ Harry G Frankfurt
115:Quoting Samuel Johnson: "Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves. ~ James Boswell
116:In the judgment of the most competent living mathematicians, Fraulein Noether was the most significant mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began. ~ Albert Einstein
117:This survival of the fittest which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called 'natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. ~ Herbert Spencer
118:Our friend Dirac has a creed; and the main tenet of that creed is: There is no God, and Dirac is his prophet. ~ Wolfgang Ernst Pauli
119:(Quoting Goethe:)

"We lay aside letters never to read them again, and at last destroy them out of discretion, and so disappears the most beautiful, the most immediate breath of life, irrecoverably for ourselves and for others. ~ James Howe
120:Except for my daughters, I have not grieved for any death as I have grieved for his. His was a great and beautiful spirit, he was a man – all man, from his crown to his footsoles. My reverence for him was deep and genuine. ~ Mark Twain
121:From Airborne Emergency ... “Dios, Cassandra, was none of it real? Did you never give me one kiss, one touch, one hug, for me? I don’t even have any of that of you? I can’t keep my memories?” ~ Olivia Gates
122:Now, 75 years [after To Kill a Mockingbird], in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.

[Open Letter, O Magazine, July 2006] ~ Harper Lee
123:Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.

{Letter to his son and 6th US president, John Quincy Adams, November 13 1816} ~ John Adams
124:I had to do a booth for my mom on Saturday. Every time someone from school walked past, I could see them on their cell phones typing so fast the hashtags and troll comments were almost floating above their heads. All because I was stupid enough to think Bennet Miller was interested in the books on my Goodreads list. ~ Amanda Ashby
125:…the boundaries separating science, nonscience, and pseudoscience are much fuzzier and more permeable than Popper (or, for that matter, most scientists) would have us believe. There is, in other words, no litmus test. ~ Massimo Pigliucci
126:Poincaré was a vigorous opponent of the theory that all mathematics can be rewritten in terms of the most elementary notions of classical logic; something more than logic, he believed, makes mathematics what it is. ~ Eric Temple Bell
127:[As a young teenager] Galois read Legendre]'s geometry from cover to cover as easily as other boys read a pirate yarn. ~ Eric Temple Bell
128:I want to set the record straight."
"The record's never straight, you idiot! Haven't you ever read 1984? They rewrite the record anytime it doesn't suit them. You're spinning your wheels and exposing your bare fanny for nothing. ~ David Eddings
129:Government has no right to hurt a hair on the head of an Atheist for his Opinions. Let him have a care of his Practices.

{Letter to his son and future president, John Quincy Adams, 16 June 1816} ~ John Adams
130:Geometry has two great treasures; one is the Theorem of Pythagoras; the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel. ~ Johannes Kepler
131:My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry? ~ Galileo Galilei
132:Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with. ~ Christopher Hitchens
133:From The Doctor's Latin Lover ... "That just hurt. Crippled. Oh, God, don't let him see how much. God heard her. The tropical sky, clear just minutes ago, darkened then wept, obscuring her tears." ~ Olivia Gates
134:The field of human relations in Freud’s sense is similar to the market—it is an exchange of satisfaction of biologically given needs, in which the relationship to the other individual is always a means to an end but never an end in itself. ~ Erich Fromm
135:Classroom Activities
1. Using felt and yarn, make a hand puppet of Clarence Thomas. Ta-da! You're Antonin Scalia! ~ Jon Stewart
136:I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language. ~ Werner Heisenberg
137:Evolution, thus, is merely contingent on certain processes articulated by Darwin: variation and selection. No longer is a fixed object transformed, as in transformational evolution, but an entirely new start is, so to speak, made in every generation. ~ Ernst W Mayr
138:One of the bravest, grandest champions of human liberty the world has ever seen.

{Darrow on the great Robert Ingersoll} ~ Clarence Darrow
139:Socialism, Puritanism, Philistinism, Christianity—he saw them all as allotropic forms of democracy, as variations upon the endless struggle of quantity against quality, of the weak and timorous against the strong and enterprising, of the botched against the fit. ~ H L Mencken
140:hear this a lot but reviews are so massively important to authors. If you’ve enjoyed ‘Safe with Me’ and could spare just a few minutes on Amazon or Goodreads to say so, I would so appreciate that. You can also connect with me via my website, on Facebook or Twitter. If you’ve enjoyed this, my debut novel, you might be interested to know that I’ve been ~ K L Slater
141:With the death of what Sydney Smith described as rational religon and the proponents of what remains sending out such confusing and uncertain messages, all civilised people have to be ethicists. We must work out our own salvation with diligence based on what we believe. ~ P D James
142:I think that the formation of [DNA's] structure by Watson and Crick may turn out to be the greatest developments in the field of molecular genetics in recent years. ~ Linus Pauling
143:The future historian will rank him as one of the heroes of the nineteenth century.

{Stanton's opinion of the great Robert Ingersoll} ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
144:If you can't do great things, Mother Teresa used to say, do little things with great love. If you can't do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can't do them with a little love, do them anyway.
Love grows when people serve. ~ John Ortberg
145:Since the time of Voltaire and two-chamber Government, which is at bottom simply distrust and personal self-examination, and gives the popular mind that bad habit of being suspicious, the Church of France seems to have realised that books are its real enemies. ~ Stendhal
146:Day has mixed her urban fantasy with biblical references, tight plotting, exciting action, and a hero...or won't soon forget. Eve manages to be a kick-ass--and yet human and vulnerable--heroine. I would highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next in the series. [on
147:Day has mixed her urban fantasy with biblical references, tight plotting, exciting action, and a hero...or won't soon forget. Eve manages to be a kick-ass--and yet human and vulnerable--heroine. I would highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next in the series. [on
148:He had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed.

{Edison's opinion of the great Robert Ingersoll} ~ Thomas A Edison
149:Another aspect inviting contemplation is the fact that the affective tone of any feeling depends on the type of contact that has caused its arising. Once this conditioned nature of feelings is fully apprehended, detachment arises naturally and one's identification with feelings starts to dissolve. ~ An layo
150:Nobody knows how the stand of our knowledge about the atom would be without him. Personally, Bohr is one of the amiable colleagues I have met. He utters his opinions like one perpetually groping and never like one who believes himself to be in possession of the truth. ~ Albert Einstein
151:Interviewer: Didn't Sagan want to believe?
Druyan: he didn't want to believe. he wanted to know. ~ Ann Druyan
152:What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name? ~ John Milton
153:Yes, there are in me the makings of a very fine loafer, and also of a pretty spry sort of fellow. I often think of those lines of old Goethe: 'Schade, daß die Natur nur einen Menschen aus dir schuf; Denn zum würdigen Mann war und zum Schelmen der Stoff.' ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
154:Bauer's 'Criticism of the Gospel History' is worth a good dozen Lives of Jesus, because his work, as we are only now coming to recognise, after half a century, is the ablest and most complete collection of the difficulties of the Life of Jesus which is anywhere to be found. ~ Albert Schweitzer
155:Who would not have been laughed at if he had said in 1800 that metals could be extracted from their ores by electricity or that portraits could be drawn by chemistry.

{Commenting on Henri Becquerel's process for extracting metals by voltaic means.} ~ Michael Faraday
156:If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinoza's Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements. ~ Albert Einstein
157:The ideas of Freud were popularized by people who only imperfectly understood them, who were incapable of the great effort required to grasp them in their relationship to larger truths, and who therefore assigned to them a prominence out of all proportion to their true importance. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
158:Following a meeting with Hitler, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, a man who had 'courageously criticized the Nazi attacks on the Catholic Church' - went away convinced that Hitler was deeply religious. ~ Ian Kershaw
159:In her opinion, Alexander Graham Bell and Clarence Birdseye are the two greatest Americans that ever lived excluding Robert E. Lee. She believes we never lost the War Between the States, that General Lee thought General Grant was the butler and just naturally handed him his sword. ~ Fannie Flagg
160:As the physicist Murray Gell-Mann once remarked: “Faculty members are familiar with a certain kind of person who looks to the mathematicians like a good physicist and looks to the physicists like a good mathematician. Very properly, they do not want that kind of person around. ~ James Gleick
161:Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, distinctly heard the voice of Jesus telling him to kill women, and he was locked up for life. George W. Bush says that God told him to invade Iraq (a pity God didn't vouchsafe him a revelation that there were no weapons of mass destruction). ~ Richard Dawkins
162:From Cherish Tomorrow ... “I want you,” she said softly.
His jaw became rigid with disapproval. “I’m too damned old for you.”
“You’re perfect.” She touched the hardness of one cheek with loving fingers.
“You’re too young for me!”
She shrugged. “I’ll get older.”
~ Carole Mortimer
163:If your church continues in this liberty of conscience, making no scruple to take away what she pleases, soon the Scripture will fail you, and you will have to be satisfied with the Institutes of Calvin, which must indeed have I know not what excellence, since they censure the Scriptures themselves! ~ Francis de Sales
164:The answer of Solon on the question, 'Which is the most perfect popular govemment,' has never been exceeded by any man since his time, as containing a maxim of political morality, 'That,' says he, 'where the least injury done to the meanest individual, is considered as an insult on the whole constitution. ~ Thomas Paine
165:You make experiments and I make theories. Do you know the difference? A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.

{Remark to scientist Herman Francis Mark} ~ Albert Einstein
166:I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill. ~ Bill Gates
167:If your church continues in this liberty of conscience, making no scruple to take away what she pleases, soon the Scripture will fail you, and you will have to be satisfied with the Institutes of Calvin, which must indeed have I know not what excellence, since they censure the Scriptures themselves! ~ Saint Francis de Sales
168:Cuvier had even in his address & manner the character of a superior Man, much general power & eloquence in conversation & great variety of information on scientific as well as popular subjects. I should say of him that he is the most distinguished man of talents I have ever known on the continent... ~ Humphry Davy
169:MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. ~ Christopher Hitchens
170:For a long time the human instinct to understand was thwarted by facile religious explanations, as in ancient Greece in the time of Homer, where there were gods of the sky and the Earth, the thunderstorm, the oceans and the underworld, fire and time and love and war; where every tree and meadow had its dryad and maenad. ~ Carl Sagan
171:Freud was so imbued with the spirit of his culture that he could not go beyond certain limits which were set by it. These very limits became limitations for his understanding even of the sick individual; they handicapped his understanding of the normal individual and of the irrational phenomena operating in social life. ~ Erich Fromm
172:Every act of resistance to the government required heroism quite out of proportion to the magnitude of the act. It was safer to keep dynamite during the rule of Alexander II than it was to shelter the orphan of an enemy of the people under Stalin. Nonetheless, how many such children were taken in and saved… ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
173:Very few of us can now place ourselves in the mental condition in which even such philosophers as the great Descartes were involved in the days before Newton had announced the true laws of the motion of bodies. ~ James Clerk Maxwell
174:By the time Carl was four, Feynman was actively lobbying against a first-grade science book proposed for California schools. It began with pictures of a mechanical wind-up dog, a real dog, and a motorcycle, and for each the same question: “What makes it move?” The proposed answer—“Energy makes it move”—enraged him. ~ James Gleick we advance in life these things fall off one by one , and I suspect we are left with only Homer and Virgil, perhaps with only Homer alone. ~ Thomas Jefferson
176:The kind of intelligent book club discussion as now happens on the book sharing site Goodreads might follow the book itself and become more deeply embedded into the book via hyperlinks. So when a person cites a particular passage, a two-way link connects the comment to the passage and the passage to the comment. Even a minor good work could accumulate a wiki-like set of critical comments tightly bound to the actual text. ~ Kevin Kelly
177:Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying, 'that the institution of youth should be accommodated to that form of government under which they live; forasmuch as it makes exceedingly for the preservation of the present government, whatsoever it be. ~ John Adams
178:Hippocrates can be justifiably regarded as the father of Western medicine, and he stands in relation to this science as Aristotle does to physics. Which is to say, he was almost entirely wrong, but he was at least systematic. ~ Philip Ball
179:Everything you think about is a meditation, and you could say that the very form of your consciousness follows what you put your attention to. So Chi is really just focused attention, and it is attention, or awareness, that brings about results of whatever kind, rather than some nebulous energy or vril force. But energy is a good metaphor. ~ James Curcio
180:Notwithstanding all that has been discovered since Newton’s time, his saying that we are little children picking up pretty pebbles on the beach while the whole ocean lies before us unexplored remains substantially as true as ever, and will do so though we shovel up the pebbles by steam shovels and carry them off in carloads. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
181:This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.

{Referring to James Clerk Maxwell's contributions to physics} ~ Albert Einstein
182:The manner in which Epictetus, Montaigne, and Salomon de Tultie wrote, is the most usual, the most suggestive, the most remembered, and the oftener quoted; because it is entirely composed of thoughts born from the common talk of life. ~ Blaise Pascal
183:The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.

{Speech accepting the John Burroughs Medal} ~ Rachel Carson
184:I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighbouring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments? ~ Werner Heisenberg
185:I while yet a youth wrote in a quite large volume three books of magical things, which I called De occulta philosophia, in which whatever was then erroneous because of my curious youth, now, more cautious, I wish to retract by this recantation, for formerly I spent much time and goods on these vanities. ~ Cornelius Agrippa
186:G.W.F. Hegel. "He's perfect," Weishaupt wrote.... "Unlike Kant, who makes sense only in German, this man doesn't make sense in any language. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
187:There are, and always have been, destructive pseudo-scientific notions linked to race and religion; these are the most widespread and damaging. Hopefully, educated people can succeed in shedding light into these areas of prejudice and ignorance, for as Voltaire once said: 'Men will commit atrocities as long as they believe absurdities. ~ Martin Gardner
188:Poincaré [was] the last man to take practically all mathematics, pure and applied, as his province. ... Few mathematicians have had the breadth of philosophic vision that Poincaré had, and none in his superior in the gift of clear exposition. ~ Eric Temple Bell
189:Auguste Comte, in particular, whose social system, as unfolded in his Systeme de Politique Positive, aims at establishing (though by moral more than by legal appliances) a despotism of society over the individual, surpassing anything contemplated in the political ideal of the most rigid disciplinarian among the ancient philosophers. ~ John Stuart Mill
190:The attempt of Lavoisier to reform chemical nomenclature is premature. One single experiment may destroy the whole filiation of his terms; and his string of sulphates, sulphites, and sulphures, may have served no end than to have retarded the progress of science by a jargon, from the confusion of which time will be requisite to extricate us. ~ Thomas Jefferson
191:...I am not, however, militant in my atheism. The great English theoretical physicist Paul Dirac is a militant atheist. I suppose he is interested in arguing about the existence of God. I am not. It was once quipped that there is no God and Dirac is his prophet. ~ Linus Pauling
192:As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.

[Letter to William Short, 31 October 1819] ~ Thomas Jefferson
193:In Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield mentions reading books that make him wish he could be friends with the author and be able to call him on the phone and so forth. I would consider a literary work that made someone feel this way a success. Furthermore, it’s the only kind of success in literature that means anything to me. ~ Thomas Ligotti
194:But if the two countries or governments are at war, the men of science are not. That would, indeed be a civil war of the worst description: we should rather, through the instrumentality of the men of science soften the asperities of national hostility.

{Davy's remarks to Thomas Poole on accepting Napoleon's prize for the best experiment on Galvanism.} ~ Humphry Davy
195:History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

{Letter to celebrated scientist Alexander von Humboldt, 6 December, 1813} ~ Thomas Jefferson
196:Arendt's point is rather that throughout modern German history Jews were pawns, more or less and almost necessarily willing pawns, in the game of power politics. They were used by the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the liberals, and discarded by each of those opposed factions when their usefulness, which was financial, was either used up or no longer deemed socially desirable. ~ Jerome Kohn
197:Arendt's point is rather that throughout modern German history Jews were pawns, more or less and almost necessarily willing pawns, in the game of power politics. They were used by the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the liberals, and discarded by each of those opposed factions when their usefulness, which was financial, was either used up or no longer deemed socially desirable. ~ Jerome Kohn
198:You have to understand the nature of Communism. The very ideology of Communism, all of Lenin's teachings, are that anyone who doesn't take what's lying in front of him is a fool If you can take it, do so. If you can attack, strike. But if there's a wall, retreat. The Communist leaders respect only firmness and have contempt for persons who continually give in to them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
199:What a deep [trust] in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work! ~ Albert Einstein
200:I am no friend of probability theory, I have hated it from the first moment when our dear friend Max Born gave it birth. For it could be seen how easy and simple it made everything, in principle, everything ironed and the true problems concealed. Everybody must jump on the bandwagon [Ausweg]. And actually not a year passed before it became an official credo, and it still is. ~ Erwin Schr dinger
201:Speaking one day to Monsieur de Buffon, on the present ardor of chemical inquiry, he affected to consider chemistry but as cookery, and to place the toils of the laboratory on the footing with those of the kitchen. I think it, on the contrary, among the most useful of sciences, and big with future discoveries for the utility and safety of the human race. ~ Thomas Jefferson
202:Seneca had made the bargain that many good men have made when agreeing to aid bad regimes. On the one hand, their presence strengthens the regime and helps it endure. But their moral influence may also improve the regime's behavior or save the lives of its enemies. For many, this has been a bargain worth making, even if it has cost them—as it may have cost Seneca—their immortal soul. ~ James Romm
203:The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Parmenides taught that the only things that are real are things which never change... and the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that everything changes. If you superimpose their two views, you get this result: Nothing is real. ~ Philip K Dick
204:And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this artificial scaffolding...

{Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823} ~ Thomas Jefferson
205:That which struck the present writer most forcibly on his first perusal of the 'Origin of Species' was the conviction that Teleology, as commonly understood, had received its deathblow at Mr. Darwin's hands. For the teleological argument runs thus: an organ or organism (A) is precisely fitted to perform a function or purpose (B); therefore it was specially constructed to perform that function. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
206:This survival of the fittest implies multiplication of the fittest.

{The phrase 'survival of the fittest' was not originated by Charles Darwin, though he discussed Spencer's 'excellent expression' in a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace (Jul 1866).} ~ Herbert Spencer
207:I am a Jane Austenite, and therefore slightly imbecile about Jane Austen. My fatuous expression, and airs of personal immunity—how ill they sit on the face, say, of a Stevensonian! But Jane Austen is so different. She is my favourite author! I read and reread, the mouth open and the mind closed. Shut up in measureless content, I greet her by the name of most kind hostess, while criticism slumbers. ~ E M Forster
208:The longing to behold this pre-established harmony [of phenomena and theoretical principles] is the source of the inexhaustible patience and perseverance with which Planck has devoted himself ... The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart. ~ Albert Einstein
209:Pierre and Marie (then Maria Sklodowska, a penniless Polish immigrant living in a garret in Paris) had met at the Sorbonne and been drawn to each other because of a common interest in magnetism. ~ Siddhartha Mukherjee
210:What for Hitler, the sole, lonely plotter of the Final Solution (never had a conspiracy, if such it was, needed fewer conspirators and more executors), was among the war’s main objectives, with its implementation given top priority, regardless of economic and military considerations, and what for Eichmann was a job, with its daily routine, its ups and downs, was for the Jews quite literally the end of the world. ~ Hannah Arendt
211:Medals are great encouragement to young men and lead them to feel their work is of value, I remember how keenly I felt this when in the 1890s. I received the Darwin Medal and the Huxley Medal. When one is old, one wants no encouragement and one goes on with one's work to the extent of one's power, because it has become habitual. ~ Karl Pearson
212:Because of the "city upon a hill" sound bite, "A Model of Christian Charity" is one of the formative documents outlining the idea of America. But dig deep into its communitarian ethos and it reads more like an America that might have been, an America fervently devoted to the quaint goals of working together and getting along. Of course, this America does exist. It's called Canada. ~ Sarah Vowell
213:… for it is very probable, that the motion of gravity worketh weakly, both far from the earth, and also within the earth: the former because the appetite of union of dense bodies with the earth, in respect of the distance, is more dull: the latter, because the body hath in part attained its nature when it is some depth in the earth.

{Foreshadowing Isaac Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation (1687)} ~ Francis Bacon
214:I would by all means have men beware, lest Aesop's pretty fable of the fly that sate on the pole of a chariot at the Olympic races and said, 'What a dust do I raise,' be verified in them. For so it is that some small observation, and that disturbed sometimes by the instrument, sometimes by the eye, sometimes by the calculation, and which may be owing to some real change in the sky, raises new skies and new spheres and circles. ~ Francis Bacon
215:… our 'Physick' and 'Anatomy' have embraced such infinite varieties of being, have laid open such new worlds in time and space, have grappled, not unsuccessfully, with such complex problems, that the eyes of Vesalius and of Harvey might be dazzled by the sight of the tree that has grown out of their grain of mustard seed. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
216:Amicus Plato — amicus Aristoteles — magis amica veritas. (Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.) ~ Isaac Newton
217:We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth. ~ Rachel Carson
218:Ingersoll could not understand the mind of those who, once having been told the truth, preferred to remain under the spell of superstition and in ignorance. He could not understand why people would not accept 'new truths with gladness.'

He also knew, however, that once a person's mind had been poisoned with religious superstition, it was almost impossible to free it from the paralyzing fear which destroyed its ability to think. ~ Joseph Lewis
219:Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion, one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made these steps. The astonishing thing is that these discoveries were made at all. ~ Albert Einstein
220:The importance of C.F. Gauss for the development of modern physical theory and especially for the mathematical fundament of the theory of relativity is overwhelming indeed; also his achievement of the system of absolute measurement in the field of electromagnetism. In my opinion it is impossible to achieve a coherent objective picture of the world on the basis of concepts which are taken more or less from inner psychological experience. ~ Albert Einstein
221:In 1962 the president of the American Historical Association, Carl Bridenbaugh, warned his colleagues that human existence was undergoing a “Great Mutation”—so sudden and so radical “that we are now suffering something like historical amnesia.” He lamented the decline of reading; the distancing from nature (which he blamed in part on “ugly yellow Kodak boxes” and “the transistor radio everywhere”); and the loss of shared culture. ~ James Gleick
222:I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved - the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 3, 1816] ~ John Adams
223:Aristotle raped reason. He implanted in the dominant schools of philosophy the attractive belief that there can be discrete separation between mind and body. This led quite naturally to corollary delusions such as the one that power can be understood without applying it, or that joy is totally removable from unhappiness, that peace can exist in the total absence of war, or that life can be understood without death.
—ERASMUS, Corrin Notes ~ Brian Herbert
224:We've already had Malthus, the friend of humanity. But the friend of humanity with shaky moral principles is the devourer of humanity, to say nothing of his conceit; for, wound the vanity of any one of these numerous friends of humanity, and he's ready to set fire to the world out of petty revenge—like all the rest of us, though, in that, to be fair; like myself, vilest of all, for I might well be the first to bring the fuel and run away myself. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
225:The Christians who engaged in infamous persecutions and shameful inquisitions were not evil men but misguided men. The churchmen who felt they had an edict from God to withstand the progress of science, whether in the form of a Copernican revolution or a Darwinian theory of natural selection, were not mischievous men but misinformed men. ~ Martin Luther King Jr
226:As Thorstein Veblen correctly surmised over a century ago, the failure of economics to become an evolutionary science is the product of the optimizing framework of the underlying paradigm, which is inherently antithetical to the process of evolutionary change. This is the primary reason why the neoclassical mantra that the economy must be perceived as the outcome of the decisions of utility-maximizing individuals must be squarely rejected. ~ Steve Keen
227:As Thorstein Veblen correctly surmised over a century ago, the failure of economics to become an evolutionary science is the product of the optimizing framework of the underlying paradigm, which is inherently antithetical to the process of evolutionary change. This is the primary reason why the neoclassical mantra that the economy must be perceived as the outcome of the decisions of utility-maximizing individuals must be squarely rejected. ~ Steve Keen
228:The best that Gauss has given us was likewise an exclusive production. If he had not created his geometry of surfaces, which served Riemann as a basis, it is scarcely conceivable that anyone else would have discovered it. I do not hesitate to confess that to a certain extent a similar pleasure may be found by absorbing ourselves in questions of pure geometry. ~ Albert Einstein
229:In the last generation, this country produced one of the most eminent men of science in the whole world. His name was quite unknown among us while he lived, and it is still unknown. Yet I may say without too great exaggeration that when I heard it mentioned in a professional assembly in the Netherlands two years ago, everybody got down under the table and touched their foreheads to the floor. His name was Josiah Willard Gibbs. ~ Albert Jay Nock
230:From Bought: The Greek's Innocent Virgin ... He drew in a long breath. ‘You are very difficult to please.’
‘No, I’m not. I’m easy to please. When you peel my orange for breakfast, you please me. When you rub my shoulders before I go to sleep, that pleases me. When you defend me from a nasty comment, that pleases me. I’m easy to please, Angelos.’ Her heart was pounding. ‘Just don’t try and buy me.
~ Sarah Morgan
231:Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this 'blunder,' rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly head again and again and again. ~ George Gamow
232:Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
233:ARGHH! Those Goodreads Quotes drive me to distraction with their disrespect for knowledge. They just make the s**t up.

Today it has a nice quote -“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
GR attributed to Plato - only there is no evidence that Plato ever said/wrote anything similar.

A 19th century minister wrote something similar: “ “Be pitiful, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” (as in full of pity not the modern sense) John Watson aka Ian McLaren
Stop the B.S. by checking validated sources such as The Yale Book of Quotations. ~ Anonymous
234:I leave pansies, the symbolic flower of freethought, in memory of the Great Agnostic, Robert Ingersoll, who stood for equality, education, progress, free ideas and free lives, against the superstition and bigotry of religious dogma. We need men like him today more than ever. His writing still inspires us and challenges the 'better angels' of our nature, when people open their hearts and minds to his simple, honest humanity. Thank goodness he was here. ~ Bruce Springsteen
235:Hitler lied shamelessly about himself and about his enemies. He convinced millions of men and women that he cared for them deeply when, in fact, he would have willingly sacrificed them all. His murderous ambition, avowed racism, and utter immorality were given the thinnest mask, and yet millions of Germans were drawn to Hitler precisely because he seemed authentic. They screamed, “Sieg Heil” with happiness in their hearts, because they thought they were creating a better world. ~ Madeleine K Albright
236:Many people have been protesting against what they describe as censorship on Goodreads. I disagree. In fact, I would like to say that I welcome the efforts that Goodreads management is making to improve the deplorably low quality of reviewing on this site.

Please, though, just give me clearer guidelines. I want to know how to use my writing to optimize Amazon sales, especially those of sensitive self-published authors. This is a matter of vital importance to me, and outweighs any possible considerations of making my reviews interesting, truthful, creative or entertaining. ~ Manny Rayner
237:One can truly say that the irresistible progress of natural science since the time of Galileo has made its first halt before the study of the higher parts of the brain, the organ of the most complicated relations of the animal to the external world. And it seems, and not without reason, that now is the really critical moment for natural science; for the brain, in its highest complexity—the human brain—which created and creates natural science, itself becomes the object of this science. ~ Ivan Pavlov
238:Tacitus appears to have been as great an enthusiast as Petrarch for the revival of the republic and universal empire. He has exerted the vengeance of history upon the emperors, but has veiled the conspiracies against them, and the incorrigible corruption of the people which probably provoked their most atrocious cruelties. Tyranny can scarcely be practised upon a virtuous and wise people. ~ John Adams
239:Nein, die Schule hat keinen bestimmenden Einfluss auf meine Entwicklung gehabt. Die Schule hat von meinen besonderen Anlagen wohl instinktiv etwas gespürt, sie aber als obstinate Untauglichkeit gewertet und verworfen. Ein Lehrer drohte, zufällig nicht mir, sondern einem anderen Schüler, mit den Worten: "Ich werde dir deine Karriere schon verderben!" Am gleichen Tag las ich bei Storm den Spruch: "Was du immer kannst, zu werden, scheue Arbeit nicht und Wachen, aber hüte deine Seele vor dem Karrieremachen. ~ Thomas Mann
240:This society [Jesuits] has been a greater calamity to mankind than the French Revolution, or Napoleon's despotism or ideology. It has obstructed the progress of reformation and the improvement of the human mind in society much longer and more fatally.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816. Adams wrote an anonymous 4 volume work on the destructive history of the Jesuits} ~ John Adams
241:In the First World War we lost in all about three million killed. In the Second we lost twenty million (so Khrushchev said; according to Stalin it was only seven million. Was Nikita being too generous? Or couldn't Iosif keep track of his capital?) All those odes! All those obelisks and eternal flames! Those novels and poems! For a quarter of a century all Soviet literature has been drunk on that blood! ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
242:When I began my physical studies [in Munich in 1874] and sought advice from my venerable teacher Philipp von Jolly...he portrayed to me physics as a highly developed, almost fully matured science...Possibly in one or another nook there would perhaps be a dust particle or a small bubble to be examined and classified, but the system as a whole stood there fairly secured, and theoretical physics approached visibly that degree of perfection which, for example, geometry has had already for centuries. ~ Max Planck
243:But there was never any such thing as Stalinism. It was contrived by Khrushchev and his group in order to blame all the characteristic traits and principal defects of Communism on Stalin—it was a very effective move. But in reality Lenin had managed to give shape to all the main features before Stalin came to power. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
244:After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. The Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain. ~ Johannes Kepler
245:As long as there is one person suffering an injustice; as long as one person is forced to bear an unnecessary sorrow; as long as one person is subject to an undeserved pain, the worship of a God is a demoralizing humiliation.

As long as there is one mistake in the universe; as long as one wrong is permitted to exist; as long as there is hatred and antagonism among mankind, the existence of a God is a moral impossibility.

Ingersoll said: 'Injustice upon earth renders the justice of of heaven impossible. ~ Joseph Lewis
246:The “Howard” in the entry had to be Howard Phillips Lovecraft, that twentieth-century puritanic Poe from Providence, with his regrettable but undeniable loathing of the immigrant swarms he felt were threatening the traditions and monuments of his beloved New England and the whole Eastern seaboard. (And hadn’t Lovecraft done some ghost-writing for a man with a name like Castries? Caster? Carswell?) ~ Fritz Leiber
247:Parents - be aware of the books your teens are reading, and the authors they follow. If an author manipulates their teen readers to attack another author through social media or Goodreads or other sites; that author is endorsing bullying and hate. An author who publishes for teens and children, no matter who publishes them, especially one who represents a big publisher, should be held to a higher standard of conduct. But parents should be aware of what books teens are reading, what they are teaching, and the author's standing in the community. - Kailin Gow, Parent Teacher Advisory Boardmember, PTA organizer and founder ~ Kailin Gow
248:Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don't believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. ~ Wolfgang Ernst Pauli
249:But he knew his Boss. One must never work full force for Stalin, never go all out. He did not tolerate the flat failure to carry out his orders, but he hated thoroughly successful performance because he saw in it a diminution of his own uniqueness. No one but himself must be able to do anything flawlessly.

So even when he seemed to be straining in harness, Abakumov was pulling at half-strength—and so was everyone else.

Just as King Midas turned everything to gold, Stalin turned everything to mediocrity. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
250:In other words, if a patent forgery like the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is believed by so many people that it can become the text of a whole political movement, the task of the historian is no longer to discover a forgery. Certainly it is not to invent explanations which dismiss the chief political and historical facts of the matter: that the forgery is being believed. This fact is more important than the (historically speaking, secondary) circumstance that it is a forgery. ~ Hannah Arendt
251:I've met at least three Great Beast 666's over the last few years, and not one of them had even one-tenth of the wit, humour, wisdom or panache that I would expect from a figure of Crowleyan proportions. Isn't it curious how those who strive to be someone else are very selective; yes, I can see that you've got the heroin habit and mastered the art of beating up on your 'scarlet women,' but you haven't been extradited [sic] from any countries, you haven't published anything, nor have you climbed any mountains of late. ~ Phil Hine
252:That small word “Force,” they make a barber's block,
Ready to put on
Meanings most strange and various, fit to shock
Pupils of Newton....
The phrases of last century in this
Linger to play tricks—
Vis viva and Vis Mortua and Vis Acceleratrix:—
Those long-nebbed words that to our text books still
Cling by their titles,
And from them creep, as entozoa will,
Into our vitals.
But see! Tait writes in lucid symbols clear
One small equation;
And Force becomes of Energy a mere
Space-variation. ~ James Clerk Maxwell
253:Charles de Lint creates a magical world that’s not off in a distant Neverland but here and now and accessible, formed by the “magic” of friendship, art, community, and social activism. Although most of his books have not been published specifically for adolescents and young adults, nonetheless young readers find them and embrace them with particular passion. I’ve long lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people from troubled backgrounds say that books by Charles saved them in their youth, and kept them going. ~ Terri Windling
254:Bohr's standpoint, that a space-time description is impossible, I reject a limine. Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science. The aim of atomic research is to fit our empirical knowledge concerning it into our other thinking. All of this other thinking, so far as it concerns the outer world, is active in space and time. If it cannot be fitted into space and time, then it fails in its whole aim and one does not know what purpose it really serves. ~ Erwin Schr dinger
255:Willard Gibbs is the type of the imagination at work in the world. His story is that of an opening up which has had its effect on our lives and our thinking; and, it seems to me, it is the emblem of the naked imagination —which is called abstract and impractical, but whose discoveries can be used by anyone who is interested, in whatever 'field'— an imagination which for me, more than that of any other figure in American thought, any poet, or political, or religious figure, stands for imagination at its essential points. ~ Muriel Rukeyser
256:If you want to win this argument with Dad, look in chapter two of the first book of the Feynman Lectures on Physics. There's a quote there about how philosophers say a great deal about what science absolutely requires, and it is all wrong, because the only rule in science is that the final arbiter is observation - that you just have to look at the world and report what you see. Um... off the top of my head I can't think of where to find something about how it's an ideal of science to settle things by experiment instead of arguments - ~ Eliezer Yudkowsky
257:Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics, before being tragically struck down by tuberculosis at the age of 33... Working in total isolation from the main currents of his field, he was able to rederive 100 years’ worth of Western mathematics on his own. The tragedy of his life is that much of his work was wasted rediscovering known mathematics. ~ Michio Kaku
258:A trope is an attempt to simplify something inherently complex so that it will sit neatly in a basket. A reduction. It then encourages you to negativity by saying (falsely) "look, these things are all the same", again reducing them with the implication of lack of variety and encouraging a negative dismissal.

Tropes are a form of stereotypes, and viewing the world as an assembly of stereotypes isn't positive or particularly useful.

I've not really seen the concept used in a way that I feel adds any value.

- goodreads Sep 06, 2017 09:40AM
goodreads-DOT-com/questions/1163391-re-here-is-an-interesting-13-minute-talk ~ Mark Lawrence
259:But on the question of whether the robots will eventually take over, he {Rodney A. Brooks} says that this will probably not happen, for a variety of reasons. First, no one is going to accidentally build a robot that wants to rule the world. He says that creating a robot that can suddenly take over is like someone accidentally building a 747 jetliner. Plus, there will be plenty of time to stop this from happening. Before someone builds a "super-bad robot," someone has to build a "mildly bad robot," and before that a "not-so-bad robot. ~ Michio Kaku
260:A young house painter who fails miserably in his choice of profession is capable, also for a period of twenty years, of having himself talked about the world over, without having accomplished a single, useful, objective, practical piece of work. In this case, also, it is a tremendous noise that one day quietly fades away into an "all to no avail." The world of work continues on its calm, quiet, vitally necessary course. Of the great tumult, nothing remains but a chapter in falsely oriented history books, which are only a burden to our children. ~ Wilhelm Reich
261:According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don't bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous. (quoted by Carol Lynn Pearson in Consider the Butterfly) ~ Deepak Chopra
262:Her statistics were more than a study... For her, Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique Sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed—and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief—that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator—to say nothing of the politician—too often failed for want of this knowledge. ~ Karl Pearson
263:Her statistics were more than a study... For her, Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique Sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed—and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief—that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator—to say nothing of the politician—too often failed for want of this knowledge. ~ Karl Pearson
264:A hundred years ago, Auguste Comte, … a great philosopher, said that humans will never be able to visit the stars, that we will never know what stars are made out of, that that's the one thing that science will never ever understand, because they're so far away. And then, just a few years later, scientists took starlight, ran it through a prism, looked at the rainbow coming from the starlight, and said: "Hydrogen!" Just a few years after this very rational, very reasonable, very scientific prediction was made, that we'll never know what stars are made of. ~ Michio Kaku
265:The Copenhagen Interpretation is sometimes called "model agnosticism" and holds that any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model of the world and should not be confused with the world itself. Alfred Korzybski, the semanticist, tried to popularize this outside physics with the slogan, "The map is not the territory." Alan Watts, a talented exegete of Oriental philosophy, restated it more vividly as "The menu is not the meal. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
266:Your book, 'The Tyranny of God,' is well done. It is a very clear statement of the question, bold and true beyond dispute. I am glad that you wrote it. It is as plain as the multiplication table, which doesn't mean that everyone will believe it. I thank you for writing it. I wish I were the author.

{Preface to 'The Tyranny of God by Joseph Lewis} ~ Clarence Darrow
267:During the time that Landsteiner gave me an education in the field of immunology, I discovered that he and I were thinking about the serologic problem in very different ways. He would ask, What do these experiments force us to believe about the nature of the world? I would ask, What is the most. simple and general picture of the world that we can formulate that is not ruled by these experiments? I realized that medical and biological investigators were not attacking their problems the same way that theoretical physicists do, the way I had been in the habit of doing. ~ Linus Pauling
268:I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her "I love you madly", because he knows that she knows (and that she knows he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still there is a solution. He can say "As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly". At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly it is no longer possible to talk innocently, he will nevertheless say what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her in an age of lost innocence. ~ Umberto Eco
269:The only time I've ever learned anything from a review was when John Lanchester wrote a piece in the Guardian about my second novel, The Heather Blazing. He said that, together with the previous novel, it represented a diptych about the aftermath of Irish independence. I simply hadn't known that – and I loved the grandeur of the word "diptych". I went around quite snooty for a few days, thinking: "I wrote a diptych."

[Colm Tóibín, Novelist – Portrait of the Artist, The Guardian, 19 February 2013] ~ Colm T ib n
270:...But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice... I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can. ~ Charles Darwin
271:There are some men who are counted great because they represent the actuality of their own age, and mirror it as it is. Such an one was Voltaire, of whom it was epigrammatically said: 'he expressed everybody's thoughts better than anyone.' But there are other men who attain greatness because they embody the potentiality of their own day and magically reflect the future. They express the thoughts which will be everybody's two or three centuries after them. Such as one was Descartes. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
272:If you have to put the disclaimer, "My opinions are my own and not my employers" on your Social Media, which means Facebook, Twitter, and even Goodreads, then you are broadcasting to your employers, clients, future clients and anyone who can hire you that you deviate much from your work persona. The truth is, to anyone looking to hire you, they look at the whole person. You are who you are at work and off work. If you use your social media in a positive way, your clients and employer will see that. If you use your social media to bully and harass people, then they will see that too. Be responsible with your Social Media. It is an extension of you. At work and off-work. - Strong by Kailin Gow ~ Kailin Gow
273:All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon’s time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts. This is incontestable, in our present advanced stage; but, if we look back to the primitive stage of human knowledge, we shall see that it must have been otherwise then. If it is true that every theory must be based upon observed facts, it is equally true that facts cannot be observed without the guidance of some theory. Without such guidance, our facts would be desultory and fruitless; we could not retain them: for the most part we could not even perceive them. ~ Auguste Comte
274:The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.'

Said [author:Diogenes|3213618, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king". ~ Anthony de Mello
275:And yet surely to alchemy this right is due, that it may be compared to the husbandman whereof Aesop makes the fable, that when he died he told his sons that he had left unto them gold buried under the ground in his vineyard: and they digged over the ground, gold they found none, but by reason of their stirring and digging the mould about the roots of their vines, they had a great vintage the year following: so assuredly the search and stir to make gold hath brought to light a great number of good and fruitful inventions and experiments, as well for the disclosing of nature as for the use of man's life. ~ Francis Bacon
276:None of the various 'language rules,' carefully contrived to deceive and to camouflage, had a more decisive effect on the mentality of the killers than this first war decree of Hitler, in which the word for 'murder' was replaced by the phrase 'to grant a mercy death.' Eichmann, asked by the police examiner if the directive to avoid 'unnecessary hardships' was not a bit ironic, in view of the fact that the destination of these people was certain death anyhow, did not even understand the question, so firmly was it still anchored in his mind that the unforgivable sin was not to kill people but to cause unnecessary pain. ~ Hannah Arendt
277:We expect the world of doctors. Out of our own need, we revere them; we imagine that their training and expertise and saintly dedication have purged them of all the uncertainty, trepidation, and disgust that we would feel in their position, seeing what they see and being asked to cure it. Blood and vomit and pus do not revolt them; senility and dementia have no terrors; it does not alarm them to plunge into the slippery tangle of internal organs, or to handle the infected and contagious. For them, the flesh and its diseases have been abstracted, rendered coolly diagrammatic and quickly subject to infallible diagnosis and effective treatment.
278:You have heard of the new chemical nomenclature endeavored to be introduced by Lavoisier, Fourcroy, &c. Other chemists of this country, of equal note, reject it, and prove in my opinion that it is premature, insufficient and false. These latter are joined by the British chemists; and upon the whole, I think the new nomenclature will be rejected, after doing more harm than good. There are some good publications in it, which must be translated into the ordinary chemical language before they will be useful. ~ Thomas Jefferson
279:For these two years I have been gravitating towards your doctrines, and since the publication of your primula paper with accelerated velocity. By about this time next year I expect to have shot past you, and to find you pitching into me for being more Darwinian than yourself. However, you have set me going, and must just take the consequences, for I warn you I will stop at no point so long as clear reasoning will take me further.

{Letter of support to Charles Darwin on his theory of evolution} ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
280:Cavendish was a great Man with extraordinary singularities—His voice was squeaking his manner nervous He was afraid of strangers & seemed when embarrassed to articulate with difficulty—He wore the costume of our grandfathers. Was enormously rich but made no use of his wealth... Cavendish lived latterly the life of a solitary, came to the Club dinner & to the Royal Society: but received nobody at his home. He was acute sagacious & profound & I think the most accomplished British Philosopher of his time. ~ Humphry Davy
281:How many people today live in a language that is not their own? Or no longer, or not yet, even know their own and know poorly the major language that they are forced to serve? This is the problem of immigrants, and especially of their children, the problem of minorities, the problem of a minor literature but also a problem for all of us: how to tear a minor literature away from its own language, allowing it to challenge the language and making it follow a sober revolutionary path? How to become a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one's own language? Kafka answers: steal the baby from its crib, walk the tight rope. ~ Gilles Deleuze
282:Do you have a truth of your own, Anton? Tell me, do you? Are you certain of it? Then believe it, not in my truth, not in Geser's. Believe in it and fight for it. If you have enough courage. If the idea doesn't make you shudder. What's bad about Dark freedom is not just that it's freedom from others. That's another explanation for little children. Dark freedom is first and foremost freedom from yourself, from your own conscience and your own soul. The moment you can't feel any pain in your chest—call for help. Only by then it'll be too late ~ Sergei Lukyanenko
283:Years ago, when I was about to go on a book tour for Someplace to Be Flying, my editor at the time Terri Windling and I sat down to figure out what to call what I was writing for the interviews that were to come. Terri came up with the term mythic fiction and I think that sums it up perfectly. There are almost invariably mythic elements in my fiction (as well as bits of folk and faerie lore) and the term doesn’t lock me into writing only in an urban setting since many of my stories take place in rural areas. It never caught on, but when I don’t describe what I do as simply fiction, I’ll go with mythic fiction. ~ Charles de Lint
284:But I return to that terrible statement of Bertrand Russell's: "Better Red than dead." Why did he not say it would be better to be brown than dead? There is no difference. All my life and the life of my generation, the life of those who share my views, we all have had one viewpoint: Better to be dead than to be a scoundrel. In this horrible expression of Bertrand Russell's there is an absence of all moral criteria. Looked at from a short distance, these words allow one to maneuver and to continue to enjoy life. But from a long term point of view it will undoubtedly destroy those people who think like that. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
285:I hope that in due time the chemists will justify their proceedings by some large generalisations deduced from the infinity of results which they have collected. For me I am left hopelessly behind and I will acknowledge to you that through my bad memory organic chemistry is to me a sealed book. Some of those here, Hofmann for instance, consider all this however as scaffolding, which will disappear when the structure is built. I hope the structure will be worthy of the labour. I should expect a better and a quicker result from the study of the powers of matter, but then I have a predilection that way and am probably prejudiced in judgment. ~ Michael Faraday
286:Examined in color through the adjustable window of a computer screen, the Mandelbrot set seems more fractal than fractals, so rich is its complication across scales. A cataloguing of the different images within it or a numerical description of the set's outline would require an infinity of information. But here is a paradox: to send a full description of the set over a transmission line requires just a few dozen characters of code. A terse computer program contains enough information to reproduce the entire set. Those who were first to understand the way the set commingles complexity and simplicity were caught unprepared—even Mandelbrot. ~ James Gleick
287:These people, who had experienced on their own hides twenty-four years of Communist happiness, knew by 1941 what as yet no one else in the world knew: that nowhere on the planet, nowhere in history, was there a regime more vicious, more bloodthirsty, and at the same time more cunning and ingenious than the Bolshevik, the self-styled Soviet regime. That no other regime on earth could compare with it either in the number of those it had done to death, in hardiness, in the range of its ambitions, in its thoroughgoing and unmitigated totalitarianism—no, not even the regime of its pupil Hitler, which at that time blinded Western eyes to all else. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
288:Very few, even among those who have taken the keenest interest in the progress of the revolution in natural knowledge set afoot by the publication of the 'Origin of Species'; and who have watched, not without astonishment, the rapid and complete change which has been effected both inside and outside the boundaries of the scientific world in the attitude of men's minds towards the doctrines which are expounded in that great work, can have been prepared for the extraordinary manifestation of affectionate regard for the man, and of profound reverence for the philosopher, which followed the announcement, on Thursday last, of the death of Mr Darwin. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
289:They were the good old days. Don't give up hope in the bad new days, which will become the good old days. We appreciate Kennedy because he was killed; Martin Luther King was a great man. If you'd meet Naropa or Tilopa on the spot you'd be pissed off. History is very deceptive, reality is more important. There is a piece of philosophy for you. ~ Ch gyam Trungpa
290:Luther's personality as well as his teachings shows ambivalence toward authority. On the one hand he is overawed by authority—that of a worldly authority and that of a tyrannical God—and on the other hand he rebels against authority—that of the Church. He shows the same ambivalence in his attitude toward the masses. As far as they rebel within the limits he has set he is with them. But when they attack the authorities he approves of, an intense hatred and contempt for the masses comes to the fore. […] we shall show that this simultaneous love for authority and the hatred against those who are powerless are typical traits of the "authoritarian character. ~ Erich Fromm
291:But I suspect the reported number of good novels this year is a result of 9/11 and all the other alarums of recent years. I think it set a certain gear into movement, unseen, silent, at the heart of many writers. Writers with children, writers with that hope of a peaceful century; a sort of literary battle stations. I was not surprised to hear Ali Smith describe her wonderful book The Accidental as a war book.
Sebastian Barry, in interview with TMO (2005) ~ Sebastian Barry
292:There is nothing opposed in Biometry and Mendelism. Your husband and I worked that out at Peppards [on the Chilterns] and you will see it referred in the Biometrika memoir. The Mendelian formula leads up to the 'ancestral law'. What we fought against was the slovenliness in applying Mendel's categories and asserting that such formulae apply in cases when they did not. ~ Karl Pearson
293:{Debbs' letter to Robert Ingersoll's granddaughter}

I was the friend of your immortal grandfather and I loved him truly… the name of Ingersoll is revered in our home, worshipped by us all, and the date of birth is holy in our calendar... I have never loved another mortal as I have loved Robert Green Ingersoll. ~ Eugene V Debs
294:Marx, concerning himself with a less remote time ("Critique of the Gotha Program"), declared with equal conviction that the one and only means of correcting offenders (true, he referred to criminals; he never even conceived that his pupils might consider politicals offenders) was not solitary contemplation, not moral soul-searching, not repentance, and not languishing (for all that was superstructures!)—but productive labor. He himself had never taken a pick in hand. To the end of his days he never pushed a wheelbarrow, mined coal, felled timber, and we don't even know how his firewood was split—but he wrote that down on paper, and the paper did not resist. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
295:It was my good fortune to be linked with Mme. Curie through twenty years of sublime and unclouded friendship. I came to admire her human grandeur to an ever growing degree. Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgement— all these were of a kind seldom found joined in a single individual... The greatest scientific deed of her life—proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them—owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable, such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed. ~ Albert Einstein
296:In consequence of Darwin's reformed Theory of Descent, we are now in a position to establish scientifically the groundwork of a non-miraculous history of the development of the human race. ... If any person feels the necessity of conceiving the coming into existence of this matter as the work of a supernatural creative power, of the creative force of something outside of matter, we have nothing to say against it. But we must remark, that thereby not even the smallest advantage is gained for a scientific knowledge of nature. Such a conception of an immaterial force, which as the first creates matter, is an article of faith which has nothing whatever to do with human science. ~ Ernst Haeckel
297:The Reformation is one root of the idea of human freedom and autonomy as it is represented in modern democracy. However, while this aspect is always stressed, especially in non-Catholic countries, its other aspect—its emphasis on the wickedness of human nature, it insignificance and powerlessness of the individual, and the necessity for the individual to subordinate himself to a power outside himself—is neglected. This idea of the unworthiness of the individual, his fundamental inability to rely on himself and his need to submit, is also the main theme of Hitler's ideology, which, however, lacks the emphasis on freedom and moral principles which was inherent to Protestantism. ~ Erich Fromm
298:Signal learning (or classical or Pavlovian conditioning) is the simplest example [of learning without consciousness]. If a light signal immediately followed by a puff of air through a rubber tube is directed at a person's eye about ten times, the eyelid, which previously blinked only to the puff of air, will begin to blink to the light signal alone, and this becomes more and more frequent as trials proceed. Subjects who have undergone this well-known procedure of signal learning report that it has no conscious component whatever. Indeed, consciousness, in this example the intrusion of voluntary eye blinks to try to assist the signal learning, blocks it from occurring. ~ Julian Jaynes
299:The history of the knowledge of the phenomena of life and of the organized world can be divided into two main periods. For a long time anatomy, and particularly the anatomy of the human body, was the a and ? of scientific knowledge. Further progress only became possible with the discovery of the microscope. A long time had yet to pass until through Schwann the cell was established as the final biological unit. It would mean bringing coals to Newcastle were I to describe here the immeasurable progress which biology in all its branches owes to the introduction of this concept of the cell. For this concept is the axis around which the whole of the modem science of life revolves. ~ Paul R Ehrlich
300:These estimates may well be enhanced by one from F. Klein (1849-1925), the leading German mathematician of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. 'Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of self-evident things.' ... If mathematics is indeed the science of self-evident things, mathematicians are a phenomenally stupid lot to waste the tons of good paper they do in proving the fact. Mathematics is abstract and it is hard, and any assertion that it is simple is true only in a severely technical sense—that of the modern postulational method which, as a matter of fact, was exploited by Euclid. The assumptions from which mathematics starts are simple; the rest is not. ~ Eric Temple Bell
301:The first effect of the mind growing cultivated is that processes once multiple get to be performed in a single act. Lazarus has called this the progressive 'condensation' of thought. ... Steps really sink from sight. An advanced thinker sees the relations of his topics is such masses and so instantaneously that when he comes to explain to younger minds it is often hard ... Bowditch, who translated and annotated Laplace's Méchanique Céleste, said that whenever his author prefaced a proposition by the words 'it is evident,' he knew that many hours of hard study lay before him. ~ William James
302:A.N. Kolmogorov and Yasha Sinai had worked out some illuminating mathematics for the way a system's "entropy per unit time" applies to the geometric pictures of surfaces stretching and folding in phase space. The conceptual core of the technique was a matter of drawing some arbitrarily small box around some set of initial conditions, as one might draw a small square on the side of a balloon, then calculating the effect of various expressions or twists on the box. It might stretch in one direction, for example, while remaining narrow in the other. The change in area corresponded to an introduction of uncertainty about the system's past, a gain or loss of information. ~ James Gleick
303:Power, according to Hobbes, is the accumulated control that permits the individual to fix prices and regulate supply and demand in such a way that they contribute to his own advantage. The individual will consider his advantage in complete isolation, from the point of view of an absolute minority, so to speak; he will then realize that he can pursue and achieve his interest only with the help of some kind of majority. Therefore, if man is actually driven by nothing but his individual interests, desire for power must be the fundamental passion of man. It regulates the relations between individual and society, and all other ambitions as well, for riches, knowledge, and honor follow from it. ~ Hannah Arendt
304:If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: 'Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.' Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible. ~ Sam Harris
305:Kepler's laws, although not rigidly true, are sufficiently near to the truth to have led to the discovery of the law of attraction of the bodies of the solar system. The deviation from complete accuracy is due to the facts, that the planets are not of inappreciable mass, that, in consequence, they disturb each other's orbits about the Sun, and, by their action on the Sun itself, cause the periodic time of each to be shorter than if the Sun were a fixed body, in the subduplicate ratio of the mass of the Sun to the sum of the masses of the Sun and Planet; these errors are appreciable although very small, since the mass of the largest of the planets, Jupiter, is less than 1/1000th of the Sun's mass. ~ Isaac Newton
306:It is extraordinarily entertaining to watch the historians of the past ... entangling themselves in what they were pleased to call the "problem" of Queen Elizabeth. They invented the most complicated and astonishing reasons both for her success as a sovereign and for her tortuous matrimonial policy. She was the tool of Burleigh, she was the tool of Leicester, she was the fool of Essex; she was diseased, she was deformed, she was a man in disguise. She was a mystery, and must have some extraordinary solution. Only recently has it occrurred to a few enlightened people that the solution might be quite simple after all. She might be one of the rare people were born into the right job and put that job first. ~ Dorothy L Sayers
307:It is extraordinarily entertaining to watch the historians of the past ... entangling themselves in what they were pleased to call the "problem" of Queen Elizabeth. They invented the most complicated and astonishing reasons both for her success as a sovereign and for her tortuous matrimonial policy. She was the tool of Burleigh, she was the tool of Leicester, she was the fool of Essex; she was diseased, she was deformed, she was a man in disguise. She was a mystery, and must have some extraordinary solution. Only recently has it occrurred to a few enlightened people that the solution might be quite simple after all. She might be one of the rare people were born into the right job and put that job first. ~ Dorothy L Sayers
308:He carded his fingers through Bach's gleaming hair. "You're like the sun," he whispered.

"What does that make you?" Bach asked, nuzzling his face into the cradle of Einion's hip and untying his stockings with work-nimble fingers.

"Common as earth."

"More like the moon." Bach sat back on his heels and looked up. His eyes were gravity, night-dark and huge. Einion felt himself about to fall in. "Moving tides with the force of your will, forever holding half of yourself away from the rest of creation, silent and still and seductively changeable. Maddening. Caught in a dance with the sun for all of time." (Einion and Bach from The Prophecy of Ydrys Vega ~ Bran Mydwynter
309:But it is impossible to picture any of our interrogators, right up to Abakumov and Beria, wanting to slip into prisoner's skin even for one hour, or feeling compelled to sit and meditate in solitary confinement.

Their branch of service does not require them to be educated people of broad culture and broad views—and they are not. Their branch of service does not require them to think logically—and they do not. Their branch of service requires only that they carry out orders exactly and be impervious to suffering—and that is what they do and what they are. We who have passed through their hands feel suffocated when we think of the legion, which is stripped bare of universal human ideals. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
310:In his wretched life of less than twenty-seven years Abel accomplished so much of the highest order that one of the leading mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century (Hermite, 1822-1901) could say without exaggeration, 'Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years.' Asked how he had done all this in the six or seven years of his working life, Abel replied, 'By studying the masters, not the pupils. ~ Eric Temple Bell
311:The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. And even a cursory glance at the history of the biological sciences during the last quarter of a century is sufficient to justify the assertion, that the most potent instrument for the extension of the realm of natural knowledge which has come into men's hands, since the publication of Newton's ‘Principia’, is Darwin's ‘Origin of Species. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
312:...a copy of his Ninty-five Theses, a formal declaration of his arguments against indulgences. This is the document that Luther is said to have nailed to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. If it happened at all, it was not quite as dramatic as it sounds—this was not an uncommon way to distribute pamphlets and polemics, and the Theses, written in Latin, would not have been accessible to most of the lay townspeople. But the timing—on the eve of All Saints' Day—made the challenge auspicious, and the document was soon thereafter distributed in a German translation by a local printer. ~ Philip Ball
313:Human nature with all its infirmities and deprivation is still capable of great things. It is capable of attaining to degrees of wisdom and goodness, which we have reason to believe, appear as respectable in the estimation of superior intelligences. Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute. The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing. Isaac Newton and John Locke are examples of the deep sagacity which may be acquired by long habits of thinking and study. ~ John Adams
314:new features include: Household Support and Family Library You can now set up a Household with another adult in your family, enabling both of you to jointly manage up to four FreeTime child profiles. Family Library lets you share books and other digital content with each other across Amazon devices and Kindle apps. You can activate Family Library when adding an adult to your Household. To set up a Household and activate Family Library, go to Settings and then Registration and Household. About This Book Before starting a new book, you can now get valuable information about the book that improves your overall reading experience. For instance, you can mark a book as "Currently Reading" on Goodreads, discover more about the series or read more about the author of the book. Word Wise For global readers learning ~ Anonymous
315:It was badly received by the generation to which it was first addressed, and the outpouring of angry nonsense to which it gave rise is sad to think upon. But the present generation will probably behave just as badly if another Darwin should arise, and inflict upon them that which the generality of mankind most hate—the necessity of revising their convictions. Let them, then, be charitable to us ancients; and if they behave no better than the men of my day to some new benefactor, let them recollect that, after all, our wrath did not come to much, and vented itself chiefly in the bad language of sanctimonious scolds. Let them as speedily perform a strategic right-about-face, and follow the truth wherever it leads. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
316:In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were [someone to] drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside. Our Planck is one of them, and that is why we love him. ~ Albert Einstein
317:I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

[Letter to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814] ~ Thomas Jefferson
318:I realized that more and more I was saying, 'It seems to me that we have come to the time war ought to be given up. It no longer makes sense to kill 20 million or 40 million people because of a dispute between two nations who are running things, or decisions made by the people who really are running things. It no longer makes sense. Nobody wins. Nobody benefits from destructive war of this sort and there is all of this human suffering.' And Einstein was saying the same thing of course. So that is when we decided — my wife and I — that first, I was pretty effective as a speaker. Second, I better start boning up, studying these other fields so that nobody could stand up and say, 'Well, the authorities say such and such '. ~ Linus Pauling
319:Johnson is a radical skeptic, insisting, in the best Socratic tradition, that everything be put on the table for examination. By contrast, most skeptics opposed to him are selective skeptics, applying their skepticism to the things they dislike (notably religion) and refusing to apply their skepticism to the things they do like (notably Darwinism). On two occasions I’ve urged Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, to put me on its editorial board as the resident skeptic of Darwinism. Though Shermer and I know each other and are quite friendly, he never got back to me about joining his editorial board. ~ William A Dembski
320:Robert G. Ingersoll was a great man. a wonderful intellect, a great soul of matchless courage, one of the great men of the earth -- and yet we have no right to bow down to his memory simply because he was great. Great orators, great soldiers, great lawyers, often use their gifts for a most unholy cause. We meet to pay a tribute of love and respect to Robert G. Ingersoll because he used his matchless power for the good of man.

{Darrow's eulogy for Ingersoll at his funeral} ~ Clarence Darrow
321:The reason why camps proved economically profitable had been foreseen as far back as Thomas More, the great-grandfather of socialism, in his Utopia. The labor of the zeks was needed for degrading and particularly heavy work, which no one, under socialism, would wish to perform. For work in remote and primitive localities where it would not be possible to construct housing, schools, hospitals, and stores for many years to come. For work with pick and spade—in the flowering of the twentieth century. For the erection of the great construction projects of socialism, when the economic means for them did not yet exist. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
322:The compulsive quest for certainty, as we find with Luther, is not the expression of genuine faith but is rooted in the need to conquer the unbearable doubt. Luther's solution is one which we find present in many individuals today, who do not think in theological terms: namely to find certainty by elimination of the isolated individual self, by becoming an instrument in the hands of an overwhelmingly strong power outside of the individual. For Luther this power was God and in unqualified submission he sought certainty. But although he thus succeeded in silencing his doubts to some extent, they never really disappeared; up to his last day he had attacks of doubt which he had to conquer by renewed efforts toward submission. ~ Erich Fromm
323:When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart.

{Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, 15 August 1820} ~ Thomas Jefferson
324:If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India. ~ F Max M ller
325:The proof of “sudden” changes (p. 223 to the end) is quite convincing and meritorious. If you had done nothing else but to gather and present in a clear way this mass of evidence, you would have already a considerable merit. Unfortunately, this valuable accomplishment is impaired by the addition of a physical-astronomical theory to which every expert will react with a smile or with anger—according to his temperament; he notices that you know these things only from hearsay—and do not understand them in the real sense, also things that are elementary to him. . . . To the point, I can say in short: catastrophes yes, Venus no. ~ Albert Einstein
326:Shocked? I consider Bob one of the constellations of our time — of our country — America — a bright, magnificent constellation. Besides, all the constellations—not alone of this but of any time—shock the average intelligence for a while. In one respect that helps to prove it a constellation. Think of Voltaire, Paine, Hicks, not to say anything of modern men whom we could mention.

{Whitman's thoughts on his close friend, the great Robert Ingersoll} ~ Walt Whitman
327:It is indisputable that the being whose capacities of enjoyment are low, has the greatest chance of having them fully satisfied; and a highly endowed being will always feel that any happiness which he can look for, as the world is constituted, is imperfect. But he can learn to bear its imperfections, if they are at all bearable; and they will not make him envy the being who is indeed unconscious of the imperfections, but only because he feels not at all the good which those imperfections qualify.

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, is of a different opinion, it is only because they only know their own side of the question. ~ John Stuart Mill
328:I published that theory [of speciational evolution] in a 1954 paper…and I clearly related it to paleontology. Darwin argued that the fossil record is very incomplete because some species fossilize better than others... I noted that you are never going to find evidence of a small local population that changed very rapidly in the fossil record... Gould was my course assistant at Harvard where I presented this theory again and again for three years. So he knew it thoroughly. So did Eldredge. In fact, in his 1971 paper Eldredge credited me with it. But that was lost over time. ~ Ernst W Mayr
329:It is significant that modern believers in power are in complete accord with the philosophy of the only great thinker who ever attempted to derive public good from private interest and who, for the sake of private good, conceived and outlined a Commonwealth whose basis and ultimate end is the accumulation of power. Hobbes, indeed, is the only great philosopher to whom the bourgeoisie can rightly and exclusively lay claim....
.... The consistency of this conclusion is in no way altered by the remarkable fact that for some three hundred years there was neither a sovereign who would "convert this Truth of Speculation into the Utility of Practice," nor a bourgeoisie politically conscious and economically mature enough openly to adopt Hobbes's philosophy of power. ~ Hannah Arendt
330:Accordingly, we find Euler and D'Alembert devoting their talent and their patience to the establishment of the laws of rotation of the solid bodies. Lagrange has incorporated his own analysis of the problem with his general treatment of mechanics, and since his time M. Poinsot has brought the subject under the power of a more searching analysis than that of the calculus, in which ideas take the place of symbols, and intelligent propositions supersede equations. ~ James Clerk Maxwell
331:In public at least, Roberts himself purports to have a different view of the Court than his conservative sponsors. "Judges are like umpires," he said at his confirmation hearing. "Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them." Elsewhere, Roberts has often said, "Judges are not politicians." None of this is true. Supreme Court justices are nothing at all like baseball umpires. It is folly to pretend that the awesome work of interpreting the Constitution, and thus defining the rights and obligations of American citizenship, is akin to performing the rote […] task of calling balls and strikes. When it comes to the core of the Court's work, determining the contemporary meaning of the Constitution, it is ideology, not craft or skill, that controls the outcome of cases. ~ Jeffrey Toobin
332:I am bold to Say that neither you nor I, will live to See the Course which 'the Wonders of the Times' will take. Many Years, and perhaps Centuries must pass, before the current will acquire a Settled direction... yet Platonic, Pythagoric, Hindoo, and cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 16 1814} ~ John Adams
333:Hence, what he wants—and it is openly admitted—is to implement nationalistic imperialism with methods he has borrowed from Marxism, including its technique of mass organization. But the success of this mass organization is to be ascribed to the masses and not to Hitler. It was man's authoritarian freedom-fearing structure that enabled his propaganda to take root. Hence, what is important about Hitler sociologically does not issue from his personality but from the importance attached to him by the masses. And what makes the problem all the more complex is the fact that Hitler held the masses, with whose help he wanted to carry out his imperialism, in complete contempt. ~ Wilhelm Reich
334:What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility. ~ Neil Postman
335:Significantly, it was Disraeli who said, "What is a crime among the multitude is only a vice among the few"—perhaps the most profound insight into the very principle by which the slow and insidious decline of nineteenth-century society into the depth of mob and underworld morality took place. Since he knew this rule, he knew also that Jews would have no better chances anywhere than in circles which pretended to be exclusive and to discriminate against them; for inasmuch as these circles of the few, together with the multitude, thought of Jewishness as a crime, this "crime" could be transformed at any moment into an attractive "vice." Disraeli's display of eroticism, strangeness, mysteriousness, magic, and power drawn from secret sources, was aimed correctly at this disposition in society. ~ Hannah Arendt
336:The funny thing is if in England, you ask a man in the street who the greatest living Darwinian is, he will say Richard Dawkins. And indeed, Dawkins has done a marvelous job of popularizing Darwinism. But Dawkins' basic theory of the gene being the object of evolution is totally non-Darwinian. ~ Ernst W Mayr
337:I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color-line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out the caves of the evening that swing between the strong-limbed earth and the tracery of the stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius... and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the Veil. ~ W E B Du Bois
338:1. Society needs laws. While anarchy can often turn a humdrum weekend into something unforgettable, eventually the mob must be kept from stealing the conch and killing Piggy. And while it would be nice if that "something" was simple human decency, anybody who has witnessed the "50% Off Wedding Dress Sale" at Filene's Basement knows we need a backup plan—preferably in writing. On the other hand, too many laws can result in outright tyranny, particularly if one of those laws is "Kneel before Zod." Somewhere between these two extremes lies the legislative sweet-spot that produces just the right amount of laws for a well-adjusted society—more than zero, less than fascism. ~ Jon Stewart
339:If we wanted to construct a basic philosophical attitude from these scientific utterances of Pauli's, at first we would be inclined to infer from them an extreme rationalism and a fundamentally skeptical point of view. In reality however, behind this outward display of criticism and skepticism lay concealed a deep philosophical interest even in those dark areas of reality of the human mind which elude the grasp of reason. And while the power of fascination emanating from Pauli's analyses of physical problems was admittedly due in some measure to the detailed and penetrating clarity of his formulations, the rest was derived from a constant contact with the field of creative processes, for which no rational formulation as yet exists. ~ Werner Heisenberg
340:I've been very influenced by folklore, fairy tales, and folk ballads, so I love all the classic works based on these things -- like George Macdonald's 19th century fairy stories, the fairy poetry of W.B. Yeats, and Sylvia Townsend Warner's splendid book The Kingdoms of Elfin. (I think that particular book of hers wasn't published until the 1970s, not long before her death, but she was an English writer popular in the middle decades of the 20th century.)

I'm also a big Pre-Raphaelite fan, so I love William Morris' early fantasy novels.

Oh, and "Lud-in-the-Mist" by Hope Mirrlees (Neil Gaiman is a big fan of that one too), and I could go on and on but I won't! ~ Terri Windling
341:The fateful moment for the Chinese economy, crippled by central planning and collectivized production, was when Deng Xiaoping, China’s long-term leader after Mao’s death, announced that the country would pursue “Socialism with Chinese characteristics,” which is to say a market economy under an authoritarian technocracy. This was in 1977, as good a year as any for marking the birth of modern China. Deng and his associates undertook a job akin to that of a political bomb squad, laboriously dismantling most of the economic ideology installed by Mao without blowing up political continuity at the same time. That they succeeded is in many ways the single most important political fact of contemporary China. ~ Clay Shirky
342:The fundamental reason for the superiority of totalitarian propaganda over the propaganda of other parties and movements is that its content, for the members of the movement at any rate, is no longer an objective issue about which people may have opinions, but has become as real and untouchable an element in their lives as the rules of arithmetic. The organization of the entire texture of life according to an ideology can be fully carried out only under a totalitarian regime. In Nazi Germany, questioning the validity of racism and antisemitism when nothing mattered but race origin, when a career depended upon an “Aryan” physiognomy (Himmler used to select the applicants for the SS from photographs) and the amount of food upon the number of one’s Jewish grandparents, was like questioning the existence of the world. ~ Hannah Arendt
343:Es gibt keinen Gott und Dirac ist sein Prophet. (There is no God and Dirac is his Prophet.)

{A remark made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), after a discussion of the religious views of various physicists, at which all the participants laughed, including Dirac, as quoted in Teil und das Ganze (1969), by Werner Heisenberg, p. 119; it is an ironic play on the Muslim statement of faith, the Shahada, often translated: 'There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.'} ~ Wolfgang Ernst Pauli
344:John Dalton was a very singular Man: He has none of the manners or ways of the world. A tolerable mathematician He gained his livelihood I believe by teaching the mathematics to young people. He pursued science always with mathematical views. He seemed little attentive to the labours of men except when they countenanced or confirmed his own ideas... He was a very disinterested man, seemed to have no ambition beyond that of being thought a good Philosopher. He was a very coarse Experimenter & almost always found the results he required.—Memory & observation were subordinate qualities in his mind. He followed with ardour analogies & inductions & however his claims to originality may admit of question I have no doubt that he was one of the most original philosophers of his time & one of the most ingenious. ~ Humphry Davy
345:The village club manager went with his watchman to buy a bust of Comrade Stalin. They bought it. The bust was big and heavy. They ought to have carried it in a hand barrow, both of them together, but the manager's status did not allow him to. "All right, you'll manage it if you take it slowly." And he went off ahead. The old watchman couldn't work out how to do it for a long time. If he tried to carry it at his side, he couldn't get his arm around it. If he tried to carry it in front of him, his back hurt and he was thrown off balance backward. Finally he figured out how to do it. He took off his belt, made a noose for Comrade Stalin, put it around his neck, and in this way carried it over his shoulder through the village. Well, there was nothing here to argue about. It was an open-and-shut case. Article 58-8, terrorism, ten years. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
346:Paine was a grand fellow — high—with the most splendid sense of justice. But he was a reasoner — not warm — not letting out the natural palpitating passion... which perhaps he didn't have. But I see all that and more in Ingersoll. His imagination flames and plays up, up, up. It is a grand height! And he has so sharp a blade, too; is many-sided, gifted for great effects in different spheres. I don't suppose we ever had a man here so well adapted to that work.

{Whitman's thought on Thomas Paine and his good friend, Robert Ingersoll} ~ Walt Whitman
347:The publication of the Darwin and Wallace papers in 1858, and still more that of the 'Origin' in 1859, had the effect upon them of the flash of light, which to a man who has lost himself in a dark night, suddenly reveals a road which, whether it takes him straight home or not, certainly goes his way. That which we were looking for, and could not find, was a hypothesis respecting the origin of known organic forms, which assumed the operation of no causes but such as could be proved to be actually at work. We wanted, not to pin our faith to that or any other speculation, but to get hold of clear and definite conceptions which could be brought face to face with facts and have their validity tested. The 'Origin' provided us with the working hypothesis we sought. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
348:{Letter from Debbs to Eva Ingersoll, husband of Robert Ingersoll, just after the news of Robert's death}

We were inexpressibly shocked to hear of the sudden death of your dear husband and our best loved friend. Most tenderly do we sympathize with you, and all of yours in your great bereavement... Gifted with the rarest genius, in beautiful alliance with his heroism, his kindness and boundless love, he made the name of Ingersoll immortal.

To me, he was an older brother and as I loved him living, so will I cherish his sweet memory forever. ~ Eugene V Debs
349:Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilárd, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration. ...

This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable—though much less certain—that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat or exploded in a port, might well destroy the whole port altogether with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air. ~ Albert Einstein
350:My stories may seem to be the stories of men, but a check of my books will show that I have probably written the stories of more strong women than any other writer....[examples include] Miss Nesselrode of The Lonesome Gods, Ruth Macken of Bendigo Shafter, Echo Sackett of Ride the River, Em Talon of Ride the Dark Trail are some....[and] one of my favorites is Miss Jessica Trescott of Matagorda. (The Sackett Companion) ~ Louis L Amour
351:Kepler’s discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler—such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal—were abandoning the study of geometry ... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien régime. ~ Charles Sanders Peirce
352:I placed some of the DNA on the ends of my fingers and rubbed them together. The stuff was sticky. It began to dissolve on my skin. 'It's melting -- like cotton candy.'
'Sure. That's the sugar in the DNA,' Smith said.
'Would it taste sweet?'
'No. DNA is an acid, and it's got salts in it. Actually, I've never tasted it.'
Later, I got some dried calf DNA. I placed a bit of the fluff on my tongue. It melted into a gluey ooze that stuck to the roof of my mouth in a blob. The blob felt slippery on my tongue, and the taste of pure DNA appeared. It had a soft taste, unsweet, rather bland, with a touch of acid and a hint of salt. Perhaps like the earth's primordial sea. It faded away.

Page 67, in Richard Preston's biographical essay on Craig Venter, "The Genome Warrior" (originally published in The New Yorker in 2000). ~ Timothy Ferris
353:Engineers had not framework for understanding Mandelbrot's description, but mathematicians did. In effect, Mandelbrot was duplicating an abstract construction known as the Cantor set, after the nineteenth-century mathematician Georg Cantor. To make a Cantor set, you start with the interval of numbers from zero to one, represented by a line segment. Then you remove the middle third. That leaves two segments, and you remove the middle third of each (from one-ninth to two-ninths and from seven-ninths to eight-ninths). That leaves four segments, and you remove the middle third of each- and so on to infinity. What remains? A strange "dust" of points, arranged in clusters, infinitely many yet infinitely sparse. Mandelbrot was thinking of transmission errors as a Cantor set arranged in time. ~ James Gleick
354:Before an experiment can be performed, it must be planned—the question to nature must be formulated before being posed. Before the result of a measurement can be used, it must be interpreted—nature's answer must be understood properly. These two tasks are those of the theorist, who finds himself always more and more dependent on the tools of abstract mathematics. Of course, this does not mean that the experimenter does not also engage in theoretical deliberations. The foremost classical example of a major achievement produced by such a division of labor is the creation of spectrum analysis by the joint efforts of Robert Bunsen, the experimenter, and Gustav Kirchhoff, the theorist. Since then, spectrum analysis has been continually developing and bearing ever richer fruit. ~ Max Planck
355:The starting point of Darwin's theory of evolution is precisely the existence of those differences between individual members of a race or species which morphologists for the most part rightly neglect. The first condition necessary, in order that any process of Natural Selection may begin among a race, or species, is the existence of differences among its members; and the first step in an enquiry into the possible effect of a selective process upon any character of a race must be an estimate of the frequency with which individuals, exhibiting any given degree of abnormality with respect to that, character, occur. The unit, with which such an enquiry must deal, is not an individual but a race, or a statistically representative sample of a race; and the result must take the form of a numerical statement, showing the relative frequency with which the various kinds of individuals composing the race occur. ~ Karl Pearson
356:We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

{Letter from the commissioners, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson, to John Jay, 28 March 1786} ~ Thomas Jefferson
357:The radiance of which he speaks is the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. The supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal. The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist, Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley’s, called the enchantment of the heart. ~ James Joyce
358:We may regard the cell quite apart from its familiar morphological aspects, and contemplate its constitution from the purely chemical standpoint. We are obliged to adopt the view, that the protoplasm is equipped with certain atomic groups, whose function especially consists in fixing to themselves food-stuffs, of importance to the cell-life. Adopting the nomenclature of organic chemistry, these groups may be designated side-chains. We may assume that the protoplasm consists of a special executive centre (Leistungs-centrum) in connection with which are nutritive side-chains... The relationship of the corresponding groups, i.e., those of the food-stuff, and those of the cell, must be specific. They must be adapted to one another, as, e.g., male and female screw (Pasteur), or as lock and key (E. Fischer). ~ Paul R Ehrlich
359:We may regard the cell quite apart from its familiar morphological aspects, and contemplate its constitution from the purely chemical standpoint. We are obliged to adopt the view, that the protoplasm is equipped with certain atomic groups, whose function especially consists in fixing to themselves food-stuffs, of importance to the cell-life. Adopting the nomenclature of organic chemistry, these groups may be designated side-chains. We may assume that the protoplasm consists of a special executive centre (Leistungs-centrum) in connection with which are nutritive side-chains... The relationship of the corresponding groups, i.e., those of the food-stuff, and those of the cell, must be specific. They must be adapted to one another, as, e.g., male and female screw (Pasteur), or as lock and key (E. Fischer). ~ Paul R Ehrlich
360:من كتاب هذا ما رأيت فى دبى

البداية : البحث عن فرصة سفر
كأى شاب ،كنت احلم بالسفر للخارج ليس فقط للعمل وجنى الاموال (^ـ^) وانما لإكتساب الخبرات والتعامل مع جنسيات و ثقافات مختلفة .
بدأت حياتى العملية فى مصر بإحدى شركات البرمجة بالجيزة وتحديدا فى شارع الهرم بجوار كازينو الليل . وكانت الشركة توفر لنا سكنا فى نفس المبنى ،فكنا نعمل نهارا ونقف فى الشرفة ليلا (^ـ^) .
كنت لا أعرف احدا بالخارج كى يساعدنى فى الحصول على الوظيفة التى أريدها فما كان أمامى إلا خيارا واحدا وهو البحث على الإنترنت ،فربما يحالفنى الحظ واجد غايتى.
كنت امضى اكثر من ساعتين يوميا بعد إنتهاء العمل اتصفح فيها الإنترنت بحثا عن وظيفة مبرمج فى دول الخليج وتحديا دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة .
أرسلت سيرتى الذاتية الاف المرات ولكن دون جدوى ، فلم يكن احد يعيرنى اى اهتمام بالرد على إيميلاتى ولكن كان أملى فى الله كبير فلم يعرف الياس او الملل لى بابا ، حتى بدأت بوادر الامل تظهر .
وذات صباح .... ~ Tarek Hassan
361:من كتاب هذا ما رأيت فى دبى

البداية : البحث عن فرصة سفر
كأى شاب ،كنت احلم بالسفر للخارج ليس فقط للعمل وجنى الاموال (^ـ^) وانما لإكتساب الخبرات والتعامل مع جنسيات و ثقافات مختلفة .
بدأت حياتى العملية فى مصر بإحدى شركات البرمجة بالجيزة وتحديدا فى شارع الهرم بجوار كازينو الليل . وكانت الشركة توفر لنا سكنا فى نفس المبنى ،فكنا نعمل نهارا ونقف فى الشرفة ليلا (^ـ^) .
كنت لا أعرف احدا بالخارج كى يساعدنى فى الحصول على الوظيفة التى أريدها فما كان أمامى إلا خيارا واحدا وهو البحث على الإنترنت ،فربما يحالفنى الحظ واجد غايتى.
كنت امضى اكثر من ساعتين يوميا بعد إنتهاء العمل اتصفح فيها الإنترنت بحثا عن وظيفة مبرمج فى دول الخليج وتحديا دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة .
أرسلت سيرتى الذاتية الاف المرات ولكن دون جدوى ، فلم يكن احد يعيرنى اى اهتمام بالرد على إيميلاتى ولكن كان أملى فى الله كبير فلم يعرف الياس او الملل لى بابا ، حتى بدأت بوادر الامل تظهر .
وذات صباح .... ~ Tarek Hassan
362:Recent brain scans have shed light on how the brain simulates the future. These simulation are done mainly in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the CEO of the brain, using memories of the past. On one hand, simulations of the future may produce outcomes that are desirable and pleasurable, in which case the pleasure centers of the brain light up (in the nucleus accumbens and the hypothalamus). On the other hand, these outcomes may also have a downside to them, so the orbitofrontal cortex kicks in to warn us of possible dancers. There is a struggle, then, between different parts of the brain concerning the future, which may have desirable and undesirable outcomes. Ultimately it is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that mediates between these and makes the final decisions. (Some neurologists have pointed out that this struggle resembles, in a crude way, the dynamics between Freud's ego, id, and superego.) ~ Michio Kaku
363:There is a law in the Archipelago that those who have been treated the most harshly and who have withstood the most bravely, who are the most honest, the most courageous, the most unbending, never again come out into the world. They are never again shown to the world because they will tell tales that the human mind can barely accept. Some of your returned POW's told you that they were tortured. This means that those who have remained were tortured ever more, but did not yield an inch. These are your best people. These are your foremost heroes, who, in a solitary combat, have stood the test. And today, unfortunately, they cannot take courage from our applause. They can't hear it from their solitary cells where they may either die or remain for thirty years like Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who was seized in 1945 in the Soviet Union. He has been imprisoned for thirty years and they will not give him up. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
364:According to Teleology, each organism is like a rifle bullet fired straight at a mark; according to Darwin, organisms are like grapeshot of which one hits something and the rest fall wide.

For the teleologist an organism exists because it was made for the conditions in which it is found; for the Darwinian an organism exists because, out of many of its kind, it is the only one which has been able to persist in the conditions in which it is found.

Teleology implies that the organs of every organism are perfect and cannot be improved; the Darwinian theory simply affirms that they work well enough to enable the organism to hold its own against such competitors as it has met with, but admits the possibility of indefinite improvement. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
365:…one main point in Luther's teachings was his emphasis on the evilness of human nature, the uselessness of his will and of his efforts. Calvin placed the same emphasis on the wickedness of man and put in the center of his whole system the idea that man must humiliate his self-pride to the utmost; and furthermore, that the purpose of man’s life is exclusively God's glory and nothing of his own. Thus Luther and Calvin psychologically prepared man for the role which he had to assume in modern society: of feeling his own self to be insignificant and of being ready to subordinate his life exclusively for purposes which were not his own. Once man was ready to become nothing but the means for the glory of a God who represented neither justice nor love, he was sufficiently prepared to accept the role of a servant to the economic machine—and eventually a “Führer. ~ Erich Fromm
366:An interesting contrast between the geology of the present day and that of half a century ago, is presented by the complete emancipation of the modern geologist from the controlling and perverting influence of theology, all-powerful at the earlier date. As the geologist of my young days wrote, he had one eye upon fact, and the other on Genesis; at present, he wisely keeps both eyes on fact, and ignores the pentateuchal mythology altogether. The publication of the 'Principles of Geology' brought upon its illustrious author a period of social ostracism; the instruction given to our children is based upon those principles. Whewell had the courage to attack Lyell's fundamental assumption (which surely is a dictate of common sense) that we ought to exhaust known causes before seeking for the explanation of geological phenomena in causes of which we have no experience. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
367:In capitalism economic activity, success, material gains, become ends in themselves. It becomes man’s fate to contribute to the growth of the economic system, to amass capital, not for purposes of his own happiness or salvation; but as an end in itself. Man became a cog in the vast economic machine—an important one if he had much capital, an insignificant one if he had none—but always a cog to serve a purpose outside of himself. This readiness for submission of one’s self to extra-human ends was actually prepared by Protestantism, although nothing was further from Luther's or Calvin’s mind than the approval of such supremacy of economic activities. But in their theological teaching they had laid the ground for this development by breaking man’s spiritual backbone, his feeling of dignity and pride, by teaching him that activity had no further aims outside himself. ~ Erich Fromm
368:In 1934, at the January Plenum of the Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the Soviet Communist Party, the Great Leader (having already in mind, no doubt, how many he would soon have to do away with) declared that the withering away of the state (which had been awaited virtually from 1920 on) would arrive via, believe it or not, the maximum intensification of state power.

This was so unexpectedly brilliant that it was not given to every little mind to grasp it, but Vyshinsky, ever the loyal apprentice, immediately picked it up: "And this means the maximum strengthening of corrective-labor institutions."

Entry into socialism via the maximum strengthening of prisons! And this was not some satirical magazine cracking a joke, either, but was said by the Prosecutor General of the Soviet Union! ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
369:For the admirable gift of himself, and for the magnificent service he renders humanity, what reward does our society offer the scientist? Have these servants of an idea the necessary means of work? Have they an assured existence, sheltered from care? The example of Pierre Curiee, and of others, shows that they have none of these things; and that more often, before they can secure possible working conditions, they have to exhaust their youth and their powers in daily anxieties. Our society, in which reigns an eager desire for riches and luxury, does not understand the value of science. It does not realize that science is a most precious part of its moral patrimony. Nor does it take sufficient cognizance of the fact that science is at the base of all the progress that lightens the burden of life and lessens its suffering. Neither public powers nor private generosity actually accord to science and to scientists the support and the subsidies indispensable to fully effective work. ~ Marie Curie
370:...the qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians—none, none that you don't have. The only difference is, I don't pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I'd refuse—because I don't understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there's nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think but there's nothing deep—if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they've been kept a carefully guarded secret. ~ Noam Chomsky
371:Lyell and Poulett Scrope, in this country, resumed the work of the Italians and of Hutton; and the former, aided by a marvellous power of clear exposition, placed upon an irrefragable basis the truth that natural causes are competent to account for all events, which can be proved to have occurred, in the course of the secular changes which have taken place during the deposition of the stratified rocks. The publication of 'The Principles of Geology,' in 1830, constituted an epoch in geological science. But it also constituted an epoch in the modern history of the doctrines of evolution, by raising in the mind of every intelligent reader this question: If natural causation is competent to account for the not-living part of our globe, why should it not account for the living part? ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
372:from Wilhelm Reich, the esoteric teachings of Secret Orders and Tantric practices. We believed that this "mixture" of ancient and modern wisdom would lead to the creation of the Magickal Child and Enlightenment. The idea of creating a homunculus or a Magickal Child is ancient. The alchemists experimented with the homunculus idea for centuries. Even as late as the 1970's reports were circulated that some students of the late Frater Albertus had created life using alchemical means. I am not qualified to comment on the accuracy or validity of these reports; however, the idea of using Sexual practices for the purpose of Enlightenment and incarnating "souls" or psychic energies has been a goal of most magical orders. The idea of creating or generating a race to heal the planet and help man to evolve is a desire as old as history itself. In fact, influencing the characteristics of the foetus by incantations, prayer and other means is common. Some parents today for example use various means from ~ Christopher S Hyatt
373:The breakdown of the European party system occurred in a spectacular way with Hitler's rise to power. It is now often conveniently forgotten that at the moment of the outbreak of the second World War, the majority of European countries has already adopted some form of dictatorship and discarded the party system, and that this revolutionary change in government has been effected in most countries without revolutionary upheaval. Revolutionary action more often than not was a theatrical concession to the desires of violently discontented masses rather than an actual battle for power. After all, it did not make much difference if a few thousand almost unarmed people staged a march on Rome and took over the government of Italy, or whether in Poland (in 1934) a so-called "partyless bloc," with a program of support for a semifascist government and a membership drawn from the nobility and the poorest peasantry, workers and businessmen, Catholics and orthodox Jews, legally won two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. ~ Hannah Arendt
374:Those whom nature destined to make her disciples have no need of teachers. Bacon, Descartes, Newton — these tutors of the human race had no need of tutors themselves, and what guides could have led them to those places where their vast genius carried them? Ordinary teachers could only have limited their understanding by confining it to their own narrow capabilities. With the first obstacles, they learned to exert themselves and made the effort to traverse the immense space they moved through. If it is necessary to permit some men to devote themselves to the study of the sciences and the arts, that should be only for those who feel in themselves the power to walk alone in those men's footsteps and to move beyond them. It is the task of this small number of people to raise monuments to the glory of the human mind. ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau
375:So many of the properties of matter, especially when in the gaseous form, can be deduced from the hypothesis that their minute parts are in rapid motion, the velocity increasing with the temperature, that the precise nature of this motion becomes a subject of rational curiosity. Daniel Bernoulli, John Herapath, Joule, Krönig, Clausius, &c., have shewn that the relations between pressure, temperature and density in a perfect gas can be explained by supposing the particles move with uniform velocity in straight lines, striking against the sides of the containing vessel and thus producing pressure. (1860) ~ James Clerk Maxwell
376:Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.

Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct. ~ W E B Du Bois
377:I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in this republic ... It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood ... it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me, then, about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember, very vividly, the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings, and I recall thinking, at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!' My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days. ~ Thomas A Edison
378:We are told: "We should not protect those who are unable to defend themselves with their own human resources." But against the overwhelming forces of totalitarianism, when all of this power is thrown against a country—no country can defend itself with its own resources. For instance, Japan doesn't have a standing army.

We are told: "We should not protect those who do not have a full democracy." This is the most remarkable argument of all. This is the leitmotif I hear in your newspapers and in the speeches of some of your political leaders. Who in the world, when on the front line of defense against totalitarianism, has ever been able to sustain a full democracy? You, the united democracies of the world, were not able to sustain it. America, England, France, Canada, Australia together did not sustain it. At the first threat of Hitlerism, you stretched out your hands to Stalin. You call that sustaining democracy? Hardly. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
379:The vulgar Marxist concept of 'private enterprise' was totally misconstrued by man's irrationality; it was understood to mean that the liberal development of society precluded every private possession. Naturally, this was widely exploited by political reaction. Quite obviously, social development and individual freedom have nothing to do with the so-called abolishment of private property. Marx's concept of private property did not refer to man's shirts, pants, typewriters, toilet paper, books, beds, savings, houses, real estate, etc. This concept was used exclusively in reference to the private ownership of the social means of production, i.e., those means of production that determine the general course of society. In other words: railroads, waterworks, generating plants, coal mines, etc. The 'socialization of the means of production' became such a bugbear precisely because it was confounded to mean the 'private exploitation' of chickens, shirts, books, residences, etc., in conformity with the ideology of the expropriated. ~ Wilhelm Reich
380:National Socialism made use of various means in dealing with various classes, and made various promises depending upon the social class it needed at a particular time. In the spring of 1933, for example, it was the revolutionary character of the Nazi movement that was given particular emphasis in Nazi propaganda in an effort to win over the industrial workers, and the first of May was "celebrated," but only after the aristocracy had been appeased in Potsdam. To ascribe the success solely to political swindle, however, would be to become entangled in a contradiction with the basic idea of freedom, and would practically exclude the possibility of a social revolution. What must be answered is: Why do the masses allow themselves to be politically swindled? The masses had every possibility of evaluating the propaganda of the various parties. Why didn't they see that, while promising the workers that the owners of the means of production would be disappropriated, Hitler promised the capitalists that their rights would be protected? ~ Wilhelm Reich
381:Compare King William with the philosopher Haeckel. The king is one of the anointed by the most high, as they claim—one upon whose head has been poured the divine petroleum of authority. Compare this king with Haeckel, who towers an intellectual colossus above the crowned mediocrity. Compare George Eliot with Queen Victoria. The Queen is clothed in garments given her by blind fortune and unreasoning chance, while George Eliot wears robes of glory woven in the loom of her own genius.

The world is beginning to pay homage to intellect, to genius, to heart.

We have advanced. We have reaped the benefit of every sublime and heroic self-sacrifice, of every divine and brave act; and we should endeavor to hand the torch to the next generation, having added a little to the intensity and glory of the flame. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
382:It should be said that all these years, in all the Special Camps, orthodox Soviet citizens, without even consulting each other, unanimously condemned the massacre of the stoolies, or any attempt by prisoners to fight for their rights. We need not put this down to sordid motives (though quite a few of the orthodox were compromised by their work for the godfather) since we can fully explain it by their theoretical views. They accepted all forms of repression and extermination, even wholesale, provided they came from above—as a manifestation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Even impulsive and uncoordinated actions of the same kind but from below were regarded as banditry, and what is more, in its "Banderist" form (among the loyalists you would never get one to admit the right of the Ukraine to secede, because to do so was bourgeois nationalism). The refusal of the katorzhane to be slave laborers, their indignation about window bars and shootings, depressed and frightened the docile camp Communists. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
383:David Park is a physicist and philosopher at Williams College in Massachusetts with a lifelong interest in a time which he too thinks doesn't pass. For Park, the passage of time is not so much an illusion as a myth, "because it involves no deception of the senses.... One cannot perform any experiment to tell unambiguously whether time passes or not." This is certainly a telling argument. After all, what reality can be attached to a phenomenon that can never be demonstrated experimentally? In fact, it is not even clear how to think about demonstrating the flow of time experimentally. As the apparatus, laboratory, experimenter, technicians, humanity generally and the universe as a whole are apparently caught up in the same inescapable flow, how can any bit of the universe be "stopped in time" in order to register the flow going on in the rest of it? It is analogous to claiming that the whole universe is moving through space at the same speed—or, to make the analogy closer, that space is moving through space. How can such a claim ever be tested? ~ Paul Davies
384:Forty of Paracelsus's theological manuscripts still survive, as well as sixteen Bible commentaries, twenty sermons, twenty works on the Eucharist, and seven on the Virgin Mary. Half of these have never been properly edited, let alone printed in modern form. There is no question that Paracelsus thought long and hard about Christianity, and by styling himself a professor of theology (without, it seems, any official academic sanction) he implies that he regarded this component of his output to be the equal of his medical and chemical theories. That his role in the history of science and medicine has received far more attention than his theological oeuvre is, however, understandable and probably apt, for it cannot be said that he had much influence even on the religious debates of his day. In theology he never aspired to be a Luther, and that would in any case have been a futile aspiration for one so lacking in political acumen or the ability to foster disciples. ~ Philip Ball
385:Another way to speak of the anxiety is in terms of the gap between information and knowledge. A barrage of data so often fails to tell us what we need to know. Knowledge, in turn, does not guarantee enlightenment or wisdom. (Eliot said that, too: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? / Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”) It is an ancient observation, but one that seemed to bear restating when information became plentiful—particularly in a world where all bits are created equal and information is divorced from meaning. The humanist and philosopher of technology Lewis Mumford, for example, restated it in 1970: “Unfortunately, ‘information retrieving,’ however swift, is no substitute for discovering by direct personal inspection knowledge whose very existence one had possibly never been aware of, and following it at one’s own pace through the further ramification of relevant literature.” He begged for a return to “moral self-discipline. ~ James Gleick
386:He is a type of our best — our rarest. Electrical, I was going to say, beyond anyone, perhaps, ever was: charged, surcharged. Not a founder of new philosophies — not of that build. But a towering magnetic presence, filling the air about with light, warmth, inspiration. A great intellect, penetrating, in ways (on his field) the best of our time — to be long kept, cherished, passed on... It should not be surprising that I am drawn to Ingersoll, for he is 'Leaves of Grass.' He lives, embodies, the individuality I preach. 'Leaves of Grass' utters individuality, the most extreme, uncompromising. I see in Bob the noblest specimen —American-flavored—pure out of the soil, spreading, giving, demanding light.

{Whitman's thought on his good friend, the great Robert Ingersoll} ~ Walt Whitman
387:I have received the favor of your letter of August 17th, and with it the volume you were so kind as to send me on the Literature of Negroes. Be assured that no person living wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a complete refutation of the doubts I have myself entertained and expressed on the grade of understanding allotted to them by nature, and to find that in this respect they are on a par with ourselves. My doubts were the result of personal observation on the limited sphere of my own State, where the opportunities for the development of their genius were not favorable, and those of exercising it still less so. I expressed them therefore with great hesitation; but whatever be their degree of talent it is no measure of their rights. Because Sir Isaac Newton was superior to others in understanding, he was not therefore lord of the person or property of others. On this subject they are gaining daily in the opinions of nations, and hopeful advances are making towards their reestablishment on an equal footing with the other colors of the human family. ~ Thomas Jefferson
388:Darwinism met with such overwhelming success because it provided, on the basis of inheritance, the ideological weapons for race and well as class rule and could be used for, as well as against, race discrimination. Politically speaking, Darwinism as such was neutral, and it has led, indeed, to all kinds of pacifism and cosmopolitanism as well as to the sharpest forms of imperialistic ideologies. In the seventies and eighties of the last century, Darwinism was still almost exclusively in the hands of the utilitarian anti-colonial party in England. And the first philosopher of evolution, Herbert Spencer, who treated sociology as part of biology, believed natural selection to benefit the evolution of mankind and to result in everlasting peace. For political discussion, Darwinism offered two important concepts: the struggle for existence with optimistic assertion of the necessary and automatic "survival of the fittest," and the indefinite possibilities which seemed to lie in the evolution of man out of animal life and which started the new "science" of eugenics. ~ Hannah Arendt
389:The careful observations and the acute reasonings of the Italian geologists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the speculations of Leibnitz in the 'Protogaea' and of Buffon in his 'Théorie de la Terre;' the sober and profound reasonings of Hutton, in the latter part of the eighteenth century; all these tended to show that the fabric of the earth itself implied the continuance of processes of natural causation for a period of time as great, in relation to human history, as the distances of the heavenly bodies from us are, in relation to terrestrial standards of measurement. The abyss of time began to loom as large as the abyss of space. And this revelation to sight and touch, of a link here and a link there of a practically infinite chain of natural causes and effects, prepared the way, as perhaps nothing else has done, for the modern form of the ancient theory of evolution. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
390:We hold these truths to be self-evident.

{Franklin's edit to the assertion in Thomas Jefferson's original wording, 'We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable' in a draft of the Declaration of Independence changes it instead into an assertion of rationality. The scientific mind of Franklin drew on the scientific determinism of Isaac Newton and the analytic empiricism of David Hume and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. In what became known as 'Hume's Fork' the latters' theory distinguished between synthetic truths that describe matters of fact, and analytic truths that are self-evident by virtue of reason and definition.} ~ Benjamin Franklin
391:I esteem myself happy to have as great an ally as you in my search for truth. I will read your work ... all the more willingly because I have for many years been a partisan of the Copernican view because it reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypothesis. To refute the latter I have collected many proofs, but I do not publish them, because I am deterred by the fate of our teacher Copernicus who, although he had won immortal fame with a few, was ridiculed and condemned by countless people (for very great is the number of the stupid).

{Letter to fellow revolutionary astronomer Johannes Kepelr} ~ Galileo Galilei
392:In thinking about these questions I have been stimulated by criticisms of the prevailing scientific world picture... by the defenders of intelligent design. Even though writers like Michael Behe and Stephen C. Meyer are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves. Another skeptic, David Berlinski, has brought out these problems vividly without reference to the design inference. Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair. ~ Thomas Nagel
393:In thinking about these questions I have been stimulated by criticisms of the prevailing scientific world picture... by the defenders of intelligent design. Even though writers like Michael Behe and Stephen C. Meyer are motivated at least in part by their religious beliefs, the empirical arguments they offer against the likelihood that the origin of life and its evolutionary history can be fully explained by physics and chemistry are of great interest in themselves. Another skeptic, David Berlinski, has brought out these problems vividly without reference to the design inference. Even if one is not drawn to the alternative of an explanation by the actions of a designer, the problems that these iconoclasts pose for the orthodox scientific consensus should be taken seriously. They do not deserve the scorn with which they are commonly met. It is manifestly unfair. ~ Thomas Nagel
394:The name of Robert G. Ingersoll is in the pantheon of the world. More than any other man who ever lived he destroyed religious superstition. He was the Shakespeare of oratory -- the greatest that the world has ever known. Ingersoll lived and died far in advance of his time. He wrought nobly for the transformation of this world into a habitable globe; and long after the last echo of destruction has been silenced, his name will be loved and honored, and his fame will shine resplendent, for his immortality is fixed and glorious.

{Debbs had this much respect for Ingersoll, despite their radically different political views. This statement was made at Ingersoll's funeral} ~ Eugene V Debs
395:Why should I have to hide the fact that I don't believe there’s a supreme being? There’s no proof of it. There’s no harm in saying you’re an atheist. It doesn't mean you treat people any differently. I live by the Golden Rule to do unto others, as you'd want to be treated.

I just simply don't believe in religion, and I don’t believe necessarily that there’s a supreme being that watches over all of us. I follow the teachings of George Carlin. George said he worshipped the sun. He was a fellow atheist. I’m in good company … Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin. It’s not like I’m not with good company and intelligent people. There have been some good, intelligent atheists who have lived in the world. ~ Jesse Ventura
396:So let the reader who expects this book to be a political exposé slam its covers shut right now.

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

During the life of any heart this line keeps changing place; sometimes it is squeezed one way by exuberant evil and sometimes it shifts to allow enough space for good to flourish. One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being. At times he is close to being a devil, at times to sainthood. But his name doesn't change, and to that name we ascribe the whole lot, good and evil.

Socrates taught us: Know thyself!

Confronted by the pit into which we are about to toss those who have done us harm, we halt, stricken dumb: it is after all only because of the way things worked out that they were the executioners and we weren't. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
397:By apeculiar coincidence, the very day when I was giving my address in Washington, Mikhail Suslov was talking with your senators in the Kremlin. And he said, "In fact the significance of our trade is more political than economic. We can get along without your trade." That is a lie. The whole existence of our slaveowners from beginning to end relies on Western economic assistance....The Soviet economy has an extremely low level of efficiency. What is done here by a few people, by a few machines, in our country takes tremendous crowds of workers and enormous amounts of material. Therefore, the Soviet economy cannot deal with every problem at once: war, space (which is part of the war effort), heavy industry, light industry, and at the same time feed and clothe its own population. The forces of the entire Soviet economy are concentrated on war, where you don't help them. But everything lacking, everything needed to fill the gaps, everything necessary to free the people, or for other types of industry, they get from you. So indirectly you are helping their military preparations. You are helping the Soviet police state. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
398:For the purposes of science, information had to mean something special. Three centuries earlier, the new discipline of physics could not proceed until Isaac Newton appropriated words that were ancient and vague—force, mass, motion, and even time—and gave them new meanings. Newton made these terms into quantities, suitable for use in mathematical formulas. Until then, motion (for example) had been just as soft and inclusive a term as information. For Aristotelians, motion covered a far-flung family of phenomena: a peach ripening, a stone falling, a child growing, a body decaying. That was too rich. Most varieties of motion had to be tossed out before Newton’s laws could apply and the Scientific Revolution could succeed. In the nineteenth century, energy began to undergo a similar transformation: natural philosophers adapted a word meaning vigor or intensity. They mathematicized it, giving energy its fundamental place in the physicists’ view of nature.

It was the same with information. A rite of purification became necessary.

And then, when it was made simple, distilled, counted in bits, information was found to be everywhere. ~ James Gleick
399:The reason Dick's physics was so hard for ordinary people to grasp was that he did not use equations. The usual theoretical physics was done since the time of Newton was to begin by writing down some equations and then to work hard calculating solutions of the equations. This was the way Hans and Oppy and Julian Schwinger did physics. Dick just wrote down the solutions out of his head without ever writing down the equations. He had a physical picture of the way things happen, and the picture gave him the solutions directly with a minimum of calculation. It was no wonder that people who had spent their lives solving equations were baffled by him. Their minds were analytical; his was pictorial. ~ Freeman Dyson
400:The reason Dick's physics was so hard for ordinary people to grasp was that he did not use equations. The usual theoretical physics was done since the time of Newton was to begin by writing down some equations and then to work hard calculating solutions of the equations. This was the way Hans and Oppy and Julian Schwinger did physics. Dick just wrote down the solutions out of his head without ever writing down the equations. He had a physical picture of the way things happen, and the picture gave him the solutions directly with a minimum of calculation. It was no wonder that people who had spent their lives solving equations were baffled by him. Their minds were analytical; his was pictorial. ~ Freeman Dyson
401:Critics are also overwhelmingly male—one survey of film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes found only 22 percent of the critics afforded “top critic” status were female.14 More recently, of course, we have become accustomed to a second set of gatekeepers: our friends and family and even random strangers we’ve decided to follow on social media, as well as “peer” reviewers on sites like Goodreads and IMDb. But peer review sites are easily skewed by a motivated minority with a mission (see the Ghostbusters reboot and the handful of manbabies dedicated to its ruination) or by more stubborn and pervasive implicit biases, which most users aren’t even aware they have. (The data crunchers at found that male peer reviewers regularly drag down aggregate review scores for TV shows aimed at women, but the reverse isn’t true.)15 As for the social networks we choose? They’re usually plagued by homophily, which is a fancy way to say that it’s human nature to want to hang out with people who make us feel comfortable, and usually those are people who remind us of us. Without active and careful intervention on our part, we can easily be left with an online life that tells us only things we already agree with and recommends media to us that doesn’t challenge our existing worldview. ~ Jaclyn Friedman
402:It is true that those of us who have political experience could wrestle for power just as any other politician. But we have no time; we have more important things to do. And there is no doubt that the knowledge we hold to be sacred would be lost in the process. To acquire power, millions of people have to be fed illusions. This too is true: Lenin won over millions of Russian peasants, without whom the Russian Revolution would have been impossible, with a slogan which was at variance with the basic collective tendencies of the Russian party. The slogan was: "Take the land of the large land-owners. It is to be your individual property." And the peasants followed. They would not have offered their allegiance if they had been told in 1917 that this land would one day be collectivized. The truth of this is attested to by the bitter fight for the collectivization of Russian agriculture around 1930. In social life there are degrees of power and degrees of falsity. The more the masses of people adhere to truth, the less power-mongering there will be; the more imbued with irrational illusions the masses of people are, the more widespread and brutal individual power-mongering will be. ~ Wilhelm Reich
403:What Pascal overlooked was the hair-raising possibility that God might out-Luther Luther. A special area in hell might be reserved for those who go to mass. Or God might punish those whose faith is prompted by prudence. Perhaps God prefers the abstinent to those who whore around with some denomination he despises. Perhaps he reserves special rewards for those who deny themselves the comfort of belief. Perhaps the intellectual ascetic will win all while those who compromised their intellectual integrity lose everything.

There are many other possibilities. There might be many gods, including one who favors people like Pascal; but the other gods might overpower or outvote him, à la Homer. Nietzsche might well have applied to Pascal his cutting remark about Kant: when he wagered on God, the great mathematician 'became an idiot. ~ Walter Kaufmann
404:We not only do not believe that man is punished for his 'sins,' but emphatically state that there is no such thing as sin. There are wrongs and injustices, but no sin. Sin, like purgatory and hell, was invented by priests, first to frighten, and then to rob the living.

We do not fear these myths and curses, and that is why we devote our time and energies to help our fellow man. That is why we build educational institutions and seek, by a slow and painful process, to teach man the true nature of the universe and a proper understanding of his place as a member in society. At the same time we try to fortify his mind with courage to withstand the rebuffs, the trials and tribulations of life. That it is a difficult and arduous task no one can deny because we cannot correct all of 'God's mistakes' in one life time.

As Ingersoll so succinctly states: 'Nature cannot pardon.'
Remember this: You are not a depraved human being.
You have no sins to atone for.
There is no need for fear.
There are no ghosts—holy or otherwise.
Stop making yourself miserable for 'the love of God.'
Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being. ~ Joseph Lewis
405:When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However [Dr. Rush] observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice... I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

{The Anas, February 1, 1800, written shortly after the death of first US president George Washington} ~ Thomas Jefferson
406:In one respect, though, the Court received unfair criticism for Bush v. Gore—from those who said the justices in the majority "stole the election" for Bush. Rather, what the Court did was remove any uncertainty about the outcome. It is possible that if the Court had ruled fairly—or better yet, not taken the case at all—Gore would have won the election. A recount might have led to a Gore victory in Florida. It is also entirely possible that, had the Court acted properly and left the resolution of the election to the Florida courts, Bush would have won anyway. The recount of the 60,000 undervotes might have resulted in Bush's preserving his lead. The Florida legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, might have stepped in and awarded the state's electoral votes to Bush. And if the dispute had wound up in the House of Representatives, which has the constitutional duty to resolve controversies involving the Electoral College, Bush might have won there, too. The tragedy of the Court's performance in the election of 2000 was not that it led to Bush's victory but the inept and unsavory manner with which the justices exercised their power. ~ Jeffrey Toobin
407:I understand that it’s disheartening to pour effort and money into a work of art and find that others do not value it with the same intensity. I’ve been to this rodeo more than a few times, and yes, it’s painful and hard on the soul. It is also the sort of thing that grown-ups do every day. Anyone deluded enough to think they are owed monetary success because they bled for their art is in for some hard, hard knocks and buckets full of tears. There will be many cries of “unfair” and much jealousy and hatred. And to be fair, all authors go through this every time they watch their books ride the waves of bestseller charts and the ego torture chamber known as Goodreads reviews. Even the most well-adjusted of us watch that horrible piece of shit book beat our baby to pieces and gnash our teeth and shout at our monitors demanding to know what brain-donors are shopping on these days.

But holy Smart Bitch on a cracker, Batman, to write a post about how stupid readers are and worse to actually put it out there on the internet is so beyond the pale there’s a special hell for that kind of idiocy. Let me repeat: authors exist at the pleasure of readers. Without the people who buy and read my books, I am just another dizzy broad writing shit down. Readers aren’t just an author’s audience; they are her lifeblood.
-- ~ Heidi Cullinan
408:As a rule, theologians know nothing of this world, and far less of the next; but they have the power of stating the most absurd propositions with faces solemn as stupidity touched by fear.

It is a part of their business to malign and vilify the Voltaires, Humes, Paines, Humboldts, Tyndalls, Haeckels, Darwins, Spencers, and Drapers, and to bow with uncovered heads before the murderers, adulterers, and persecutors of the world. They are, for the most part, engaged in poisoning the minds of the young, prejudicing children against science, teaching the astronomy and geology of the bible, and inducing all to desert the sublime standard of reason. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
409:In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast ... 'To physics and metaphysics.' Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and ... the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory. ~ Carl Sagan
410:This failure of nerve already was manifest in the selection and confirmation process of Clarence Thomas. Bush's choice of Thomas caught most black leaders off guard. Few had the courage to say publicly that this was an act of cynical tokenism concealed by outright lies about Thomas being the most qualified candidate regardless of race. Thomas had an undistinguished record as a student (mere graduation from Yale Law School does not qualify one for the Supreme Court); he left thirteen thousand age discrimination cases dying on the vine for lack of investigation in his turbulent eight years at the EEOC; and his performance during his short fifteen months as an appellate court judge was mediocre. The very fact that no black leader could utter publicly that a black appointee for the Supreme Court was unqualified shows how captive they are to white racist stereotypes about black intellectual talent. The point here is not simply that if Thomas were white they would have no trouble shouting this fact from the rooftops. The point is also that their silence reveals that black leaders may entertain the possibility that the racist stereotype may be true. ~ Cornel West
411:As to the ancient historians, from Herodotus to Tacitus, we credit them as far as they relate things probable and credible, and no further: for if we do, we must believe the two miracles which Tacitus relates were performed by Vespasian, that of curing a lame man, and a blind man, in just the same manner as the same things are told of Jesus Christ by his historians. We must also believe the miracles cited by Josephus, that of the sea of Pamphilia opening to let Alexander and his army pass, as is related of the Red Sea in Exodus. These miracles are quite as well authenticated as the Bible miracles, and yet we do not believe them; consequently the degree of evidence necessary to establish our belief of things naturally incredible, whether in the Bible or elsewhere, is far greater than that which obtains our belief to natural and probable things. ~ Thomas Paine
412:In the beginning of the eighteenth century, De Maillet made the first serious attempt to apply the doctrine [of evolution] to the living world. In the latter part of it, Erasmus Darwin, Goethe, and Lamarck took up the work more vigorously and with better qualifications. The question of special creation, or evolution, lay at the bottom of the fierce disputes which broke out in the French Academy between Cuvier and St.-Hilaire; and, for a time, the supporters of biological evolution were silenced, if not answered, by the alliance of the greatest naturalist of the age with their ecclesiastical opponents. Catastrophism, a short-sighted teleology, and a still more short-sighted orthodoxy, joined forces to crush evolution. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
413:When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with the enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God. For, as all right-thinking people were aware, lightning is sent by God to punish impiety or some other grave sin—the virtuous are never struck by lightning. Therefore if God wants to strike any one, Benjamin Franklin [and his lightning-rod] ought not to defeat His design; indeed, to do so is helping criminals to escape. But God was equal to the occasion, if we are to believe the eminent Dr. Price, one of the leading divines of Boston. Lightning having been rendered ineffectual by the 'iron points invented by the sagacious Dr. Franklin,' Massachusetts was shaken by earthquakes, which Dr. Price perceived to be due to God's wrath at the 'iron points.' In a sermon on the subject he said, 'In Boston are more erected than elsewhere in New England, and Boston seems to be more dreadfully shaken. Oh! there is no getting out of the mighty hand of God.' Apparently, however, Providence gave up all hope of curing Boston of its wickedness, for, though lightning-rods became more and more common, earthquakes in Massachusetts have remained rare. ~ Bertrand Russell
414:In the beginning of the year 1665 I found the Method of approximating series & the Rule for reducing any dignity of any Binomial into such a series. The same year in May I found the method of Tangents of Gregory & Slusius, & in November had the direct method of fluxions & the next year in January had the Theory of Colours & in May following I had entrance into ye inverse method of fluxions. And the same year I began to think of gravity extending to ye orb of the Moon & (having found out how to estimate the force with wch [a] globe revolving within a sphere presses the surface of the sphere) from Kepler's rule of the periodic times of the Planets being in sesquialterate proportion of their distances from the center of their Orbs, I deduced that the forces wch keep the Planets in their Orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about wch they revolve: & thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the earth, & found them answer pretty nearly. All this was in the two plague years of 1665-1666. For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy more then than at any time since. ~ Isaac Newton
415:Some say that the spiritual founder of the Rosicrucians was Paracelsus himself. In Huser's edition of his Prognostication Concerning the Next Twenty-four Years there is a woodcut of a child looking toward a heap of Paracelsus's books, some inscribed with a capital R and one bearing the word Rosa. But the significance of this imagery for the Rosicrucians seems spurious.* The rose that the secret society chose as its symbol is in fact derived from the emblem of Martin Luther, in which a heart and cross spring from the center of the flower. The movement began as a society of Protestant Paracelsians founded by the alchemist Johann Valentin Andreae of Herrenberg.

*The Paracelsus connection remains puzzling, however. In the first edition of the Philosophia Magna, published by Birckmann in 1567, the Hirschvogel woodcut of Paracelsus appears in modified form with various strange images in the background that later became clearly associated with Rosicrucianism, such as a child's head emerging from a cleft in the ground. What is the significance of these symbols, fifty years before the Rosicrucian movement came into the open? ~ Philip Ball
416:there is found a third level of religious experience, even if it is seldom found in a pure form. I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. Indications of this cosmic religious sense can be found even on earlier levels of development—for example, in the Psalms of David and in the Prophets. The cosmic element is much stronger in Buddhism, as, in particular, Schopenhauer's magnificent essays have shown us. The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that we find precisely among the heretics of all ages men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints. ~ Albert Einstein
417:The philosophy of Hobbes, it is true, contains nothing of modern race doctrines, which not only stir up the mob, but in their totalitarian form outline very clearly the forms of organization through which humanity could carry the prerequisite for all race doctrines, that is, the exclusion in principle of the idea of humanity which constitutes the sole regulating idea of international law. With the assumption that foreign politics is necessarily outside of the human contract, engaged in the perpetual war of all against all, which is the law of the "state of nature," Hobbes affords the best possible theoretical foundation for those naturalistic ideologies which hold nations to be tribes, separated from each other by nature, without any connection whatever, unconscious of the solidarity of mankind and having in common only the instinct for self-preservation which man shares with the animal world. If the idea of humanity, of which the most conclusive symbol is the common origin of the human species, is no longer valid, then nothing is more plausible than a theory according to which brown, yellow, or black races are descended from some other species of apes than the white race, and that all together are predestined by nature to war against each other until they have disappeared from the face of the earth. ~ Hannah Arendt
418:But recently I have learned from discussions with a variety of scientists and other non-philosophers (e.g., the scientists participating with me in the Sean Carroll workshop on the future of naturalism) that they lean the other way: free will, in their view, is obviously incompatible with naturalism, with determinism, and very likely incoherent against any background, so they cheerfully insist that of course they don't have free will, couldn’t have free will, but so what? It has nothing to do with morality or the meaning of life. Their advice to me at the symposium was simple: recast my pressing question as whether naturalism (materialism, determinism, science...) has any implications for what we may call moral competence. For instance, does neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our choices, cannot justifiably be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? Abandon the term 'free will' to the libertarians and other incompatibilists, who can pursue their fantasies untroubled. Note that this is not a dismissal of the important issues; it’s a proposal about which camp gets to use, and define, the term. I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of discarding the term 'free will' altogether, but that course too involves a lot of heavy lifting, if one is to avoid being misunderstood. ~ Daniel C Dennett
419:But recently I have learned from discussions with a variety of scientists and other non-philosophers (e.g., the scientists participating with me in the Sean Carroll workshop on the future of naturalism) that they lean the other way: free will, in their view, is obviously incompatible with naturalism, with determinism, and very likely incoherent against any background, so they cheerfully insist that of course they don't have free will, couldn’t have free will, but so what? It has nothing to do with morality or the meaning of life. Their advice to me at the symposium was simple: recast my pressing question as whether naturalism (materialism, determinism, science...) has any implications for what we may call moral competence. For instance, does neuroscience show that we cannot be responsible for our choices, cannot justifiably be praised or blamed, rewarded or punished? Abandon the term 'free will' to the libertarians and other incompatibilists, who can pursue their fantasies untroubled. Note that this is not a dismissal of the important issues; it’s a proposal about which camp gets to use, and define, the term. I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of discarding the term 'free will' altogether, but that course too involves a lot of heavy lifting, if one is to avoid being misunderstood. ~ Daniel C Dennett
420:Calvin's theory of predestination has one implication which should be explicitly mentioned here, since it has found its most vigorous revival in Nazi ideology: the principle of the basic inequality of men. For Calvin there are two kinds of people—those who are saved and those who are destined to eternal damnation. Since this fate is determined before they are born and without their being able to change it by anything they do or do not do in their lives, the equality of mankind is denied in principle. Men are created unequal. This principle implies also that there is no solidarity between men, since the one factor which is the strongest basis for human solidarity is denied: the equality of man's fate. The Calvinists quite naïvely thought that they were the chosen ones and that all others were those whom God had condemned to damnation. It is obvious that this belief represented psychologically a deep contempt and hatred for other human beings—as a matter of fact, the same hatred with which they had endowed God. While modern thought has led to an increasing assertion of the equality of men, the Calvinists' principle has never been completely mute. The doctrine that men are basically unequal according to their racial background is confirmation of the same principle with a different rationalization. The psychological implications are the same. ~ Erich Fromm
421:Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly formulated as by Hutten:

''Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure.''

We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up.

The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and compulsive marriage and family:

''Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship.''

Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, fit together like the parts of a machine:

''Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity.''

It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma! ~ Wilhelm Reich
422:Yet, it was precisely our failure to differentiate between work and politics, between reality and illusion; it was precisely our mistake of conceiving of politics as a rational human activity comparable to the sowing of seeds or the construction of buildings that was responsible for the fact that a painter who failed to make the grade was able to plunge the whole world into misery. And I have stressed again and again that the main purpose of this book—which, after all, was not written merely for the fun of it—was to demonstrate these catastrophic errors in human thinking and to eliminate irrationalism from politics. It is an essential part of our social tragedy that the farmer, the industrial worker, the physician, etc., do not influence social existence solely through their social activities, but also and even predominantly through their political ideologies. For political activity hinders objective and professional activity; it splits every profession into inimical ideologic groups; creates a dichotomy in the body of industrial workers; limits the activity of the medical profession and harms the patients. In short, it is precisely political activity that prevents the realization of that which it pretends to fight for: peace, work, security, international cooperation, free objective speech, freedom of religion, etc. ~ Wilhelm Reich
423:The 'Manifesto' being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus belongs to Marx. That proposition is: that in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and the oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without, at the same time, and once for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles.

This proposition, which, in my opinion, is destined to do for history what Darwin's theory has done for biology, we, both of us, had been gradually approaching for some years before 1845. ~ Friedrich Engels
424:To day we made the grand experiment of burning the diamond and certainly the phenomena presented were extremely beautiful and interesting... The Duke's burning glass was the instrument used to apply heat to the diamond. It consists of two double convex lenses ... The instrument was placed in an upper room of the museum and having arranged it at the window the diamond was placed in the focus and anxiously watched. The heat was thus continued for 3/4 of an hour (it being necessary to cool the globe at times) and during that time it was thought that the diamond was slowly diminishing and becoming opaque ... On a sudden Sir H Davy observed the diamond to burn visibly, and when removed from the focus it was found to be in a state of active and rapid combustion. The diamond glowed brilliantly with a scarlet light, inclining to purple and, when placed in the dark, continued to burn for about four minutes. After cooling the glass heat was again applied to the diamond and it burned again though not for nearly so long as before. This was repeated twice more and soon after the diamond became all consumed. This phenomenon of actual and vivid combustion, which has never been observed before, was attributed by Sir H Davy to be the free access of air; it became more dull as carbonic acid gas formed and did not last so long. ~ Michael Faraday
425:Cats catch mice, small birds and the like, very well. Teleology tells us that they do so because they were expressly constructed for so doing—that they are perfect mousing apparatuses, so perfect and so delicately adjusted that no one of their organs could be altered, without the change involving the alteration of all the rest. Darwinism affirms on the contrary, that there was no express construction concerned in the matter; but that among the multitudinous variations of the Feline stock, many of which died out from want of power to resist opposing influences, some, the cats, were better fitted to catch mice than others, whence they throve and persisted, in proportion to the advantage over their fellows thus offered to them.

Far from imagining that cats exist 'in order' to catch mice well, Darwinism supposes that cats exist 'because' they catch mice well—mousing being not the end, but the condition, of their existence. And if the cat type has long persisted as we know it, the interpretation of the fact upon Darwinian principles would be, not that the cats have remained invariable, but that such varieties as have incessantly occurred have been, on the whole, less fitted to get on in the world than the existing stock. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
426:The dilemma facing Bush and the Republicans was clear. If Marshall left, they could not leave the Supreme Court an all-white institution; at the same time, they had to choose a nominee who would stay true to the conservative cause. The list of plausible candidates who fit both qualifications pretty much began and ended with Clarence Thomas.

… There was awkwardness about the selection from the start. "The fact that he is black and a minority has nothing to do with this," Bush said. "He is the best qualified at this time." The statement was self-evidently preposterous; Thomas had served as a judge for only a year and, before that, displayed few of the customary signs of professional distinction that are the rule for future justices. For example, he had never argued a single case in any federal appeals court, much less in the Supreme Court; he had never written a book, an article, or even a legal brief of any consequence. Worse, Bush's endorsement raised themes that would haunt not only Thomas's confirmation hearings but also his tenure as a justice. Like the contemporary Republican Party as a whole, Bush and Thomas opposed preferential treatment on account of race—and Bush had chosen Thomas in large part because of his race. The contradiction rankled. ~ Jeffrey Toobin
427:Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient "coincidences" and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics".

To see the problem, imagine playing God with the cosmos. Before you is a designer machine that lets you tinker with the basics of physics. Twiddle this knob and you make all electrons a bit lighter, twiddle that one and you make gravity a bit stronger, and so on. It happens that you need to set thirtysomething knobs to fully describe the world about us. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile.

Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn't exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleuses and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life. Like Baby Bear's porridge in the story of Goldilocks, the universe seems to be just right for life. ~ Paul Davies
428:You could give Aristotle a tutorial. And you could thrill him to the core of his being. Aristotle was an encyclopedic polymath, an all time intellect. Yet not only can you know more than him about the world. You also can have a deeper understanding of how everything works. Such is the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues.

I'm not saying you're more intelligent than Aristotle, or wiser. For all I know, Aristotle's the cleverest person who ever lived. That's not the point. The point is only that science is cumulative, and we live later. ~ Richard Dawkins
429:Now because Britain, France, and recently the United States are imperial powers, their political societies impart to their civil societies a sense of urgency, a direct political infusion as it were, where and whenever matters pertaining to their imperial interests abroad are concerned. I doubt that it is controversial, for example, to say that an Englishman in India or Egypt in the later nineteenth century took an interest in those countries that was never far from their status in his mind as British colonies. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism. For if it is true that no production of knowledge in the human sciences can ever ignore or disclaim its author’s involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances, then it must also be true that for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second. And to be a European or an American in such a situation is by no means an inert fact. It meant and means being aware, however dimly, that one belongs to a power with definite interests in the Orient, and more important, that one belongs to a part of the earth with a definite history of involvement in the Orient almost since the time of Homer. ~ Edward W Said
430:It was not until the year 1808 that Great Britain abolished the slave trade. Up to that time her judges, sitting upon the bench in the name of justice, her priests, occupying her pulpits, in the name of universal love, owned stock in the slave ships, and luxuriated upon the profits of piracy and murder. It was not until the same year that the United States of America abolished the slave trade between this and other countries, but carefully preserved it as between the States. It was not until the 28th day of August, 1833, that Great Britain abolished human slavery in her colonies; and it was not until the 1st day of January, 1863, that Abraham Lincoln, sustained by the sublime and heroic North, rendered our flag pure as the sky in which it floats.

Abraham Lincoln was, in my judgment, in many respects, the grandest man ever President of the United States. Upon his monument these words should be written: 'Here sleeps the only man in the history of the world, who, having been clothed with almost absolute power, never abused it, except upon the side of mercy.'

Think how long we clung to the institution of human slavery, how long lashes upon the naked back were a legal tender for labor performed. Think of it.

With every drop of my blood I hate and execrate every form of tyranny, every form of slavery. I hate dictation. I love liberty. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
431:Like many of the kids I write about, I once was a runaway myself—and a few (but not all) of the other writers in the series also come from troubled backgrounds. That early experience influences my fiction, no doubt, but I don't think it's necessary to come from such a background in order to write a good Bordertown tale. To me, "running away to Bordertown" is as much a metaphorical act as an actual one. These tales aren't just for kids who have literally run away from home, but also for every kid, every person, who "runs away" from a difficult or constrictive past to build a different kind of life in some new place. Some of us "run away" to college . . . or we "run away" to a distant city or state . . . or we "run away" from a safe, secure career path to follow our passions or artistic muse. We "run away" from places we don't belong, or from families we have never fit into. We "run away" to find ourselves, or to find others like ourselves, or to find a place where we finally truly belong. And that kind of "running away from home"—the everyday, metaphorical kind—can be just as hard, lonely, and disorienting as crossing the Nevernever to Bordertown . . . particularly when you're in your teens, or early twenties, and your resources (both inner and outer) are still limited. I want to tell stories for young people who are making that journey, or contemplating making that journey. Stories in which friendship, community, and art is the "magic" that lights the way.

(speaking about the Borderland series she "founded") ~ Terri Windling
432:The totalitarian movements aim at and succeed in organizing masses—not classes, like the old interest parties of the Continental nation-states; citizens with opinions about, and interests in, the handling of public affairs, like the parties of Anglo-Saxon countries. While all political groups depend upon proportionate strength, the totalitarian movements depend on the sheer force of numbers to such an extent that totalitarian regimes seem impossible, even under otherwise favorable circumstances, in countries with relatively small populations. After the first World War, a deeply antidemocratic, prodictatorial wave of semitotalitarian and totalitarian movements swept Europe; Fascist movements spread from Italy to nearly all Central and Eastern European countries (the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was one of the notable exceptions); yet even Mussolini, who was so fond of the term "totalitarian state," did not attempt to establish a full-fledged totalitarian regime and contented himself with dictatorship and one-party rule. Similar nontotalitarian dictatorships sprang up in prewar Rumania, Poland, the Baltic states, Hungary, Portugal and Franco Spain. The Nazis, who had an unfailing instinct for such differences, used to comment contemptuously on the shortcomings of their Fascist allies while their genuine admiration for the Bolshevik regime in Russia (and the Communist Party in Germany) was matched and checked only by their contempt for Eastern European races. ~ Hannah Arendt
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Brain on Fire: My Month of MadnessBrain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
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Brain on Fire Quotes (showing 1-30 of 52)
“Sometimes, Just when we need them, life wraps metaphors up in little bows for us. When you think all is lost, the things you need the most return unexpectedly.”
― Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
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“We are, in the end, a sum of our parts, and when the body fails, all the virtues we hold dear go with it.”
― Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
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“To move foward, you have to leave the past behind”
― Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
tags: leaving-the-past, life, moving-forward 43 likes Like
“Someone once asked, "If you could take it all back, would you?"
At the time I didn't know. Now I do. I wouldn't take that terrible experience back for anything in the world. Too much light has come out of my darkness.”
― Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
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“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness,” Aristotle said.”
― Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
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“I had asked him many times why he stayed, and he always said the same thing: “Because I love you, and I wanted to, and I knew you were in there.” No matter how damaged I had been, he had loved me enough to still see me somewhere inside. ~ Susannah Cahalan
434:The moment after, I began to respire 20 quarts of unmingled nitrous oxide. A thrilling, extending from the chest to the extremities, was almost immediately produced. I felt a sense of tangible extension highly pleasurable in every limb; my visible impressions were dazzling, and apparently magnified, I heard distinctly every sound in the room and was perfectly aware of my situation. By degrees, as the pleasurable sensations increased, I last all connection with external things; trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind, and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. I existed in a world of newly connected and newly modified ideas. I theorised—I imagined that I made discoveries. When I was awakened from this semi-delirious trance by Dr. Kinglake, who took the bag from my mouth, indignation and pride were the first feelings produced by the sight of the persons about me. My emotions were enthusiastic and sublime; and for a minute I walked round the room, perfectly regardless of what was said to me. As I recovered my former state of mind, I felt an inclination to communicate the discoveries I had made during the experiment. I endeavoured to recall the ideas, they were feeble and indistinct; one collection of terms, however, presented itself: and with the most intense belief and prophetic manner, I exclaimed to Dr Kinglake, 'Nothing exists but thoughts!—the universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures and pains! ~ Humphry Davy
435:I heard Mr. Ingersoll many years ago in Chicago. The hall seated 5,000 people; every inch of standing-room was also occupied; aisles and platform crowded to overflowing. He held that vast audience for three hours so completely entranced that when he left the platform no one moved, until suddenly, with loud cheers and applause, they recalled him. He returned smiling and said: 'I'm glad you called me back, as I have something more to say. Can you stand another half-hour?' 'Yes: an hour, two hours, all night,' was shouted from various parts of the house; and he talked on until midnight, with unabated vigor, to the delight of his audience. This was the greatest triumph of oratory I had ever witnessed. It was the first time he delivered his matchless speech, 'The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child'.

I have heard the greatest orators of this century in England and America; O'Connell in his palmiest days, on the Home Rule question; Gladstone and John Bright in the House of Commons; Spurgeon, James and Stopford Brooke, in their respective pulpits; our own Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, and Webster and Clay, on great occasions; the stirring eloquence of our anti-slavery orators, both in Congress and on the platform, but none of them ever equalled Robert Ingersoll in his highest flights.

{Stanton's comments at the great Robert Ingersoll's funeral} ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
436:The triad, being the fundamental principle of the whole Kabalah, or Sacred Tradition of our fathers, was necessarily the fundamental dogma of Christianity, the apparent dualism of which it explains by the intervention of a harmonious and all-powerful unity. Christ did not put His teaching into writing, and only revealed it in secret to His favored disciple, the one Kabalist, and he a great Kabalist, among the apostles. So is the Apocalypse the book of the Gnosis or Secret Doctrine of the first Christians, and the key of this doctrine is indicated by an occult versicle of the Lord's Prayer, which the Vulgate leaves untranslated, while in the Greek Rite, the priests only are permitted to pronounce it. This versicle, completely kabalistic, is found in the Greek text of the Gospel according to St Matthew, and in several Hebrew copies, as follows:

Ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εις τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.

The sacred word MALKUTH substituted for KETHER, which is its kabalistic correspondent, and the equipoise of GEBURAH and CHESED, repeating itself in the circles of heavens called eons by the Gnostics, provided the keystone of the whole Christian Temple in the occult versicle. It has been retained by Protestants in their New Testament, but they have failed to discern its lofty and wonderful meaning, which would have unveiled to them all the Mysteries of the Apocalypse. There is, however, a tradition in the Church that the manifestation of this mysteries is reserved till the last times. ~ liphas L vi
437:A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension.

I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow.

In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze.

I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead.

But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning.

There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants. ~ Isaac Asimov
438:{Yogananda on the death of his dear friend, the eminent 20th century scientist, Luther Burbank}

His heart was fathomlessly deep, long acquainted with humility, patience, sacrifice. His little home amid the roses was austerely simple; he knew the worthlessness of luxury, the joy of few possessions. The modesty with which he wore his scientific fame repeatedly reminded me of the trees that bend low with the burden of ripening fruits; it is the barren tree that lifts its head high in an empty boast.

I was in New York when, in 1926, my dear friend passed away. In tears I thought, 'Oh, I would gladly walk all the way from here to Santa Rosa for one more glimpse of him!' Locking myself away from secretaries and visitors, I spent the next twenty-four hours in seclusion...

His name has now passed into the heritage of common speech. Listing 'burbank' as a transitive verb, Webster's New International Dictionary defines it: 'To cross or graft (a plant). Hence, figuratively, to improve (anything, as a process or institution) by selecting good features and rejecting bad, or by adding good features.'

'Beloved Burbank,' I cried after reading the definition, 'your very name is now a synonym for goodness! ~ Paramahansa Yogananda
439:Some guns were fired to give notice that the departure of the balloon was near. ... Means were used, I am told, to prevent the great balloon's rising so high as might endanger its bursting. Several bags of sand were taken on board before the cord that held it down was cut, and the whole weight being then too much to be lifted, such a quantity was discharged as would permit its rising slowly. Thus it would sooner arrive at that region where it would be in equilibrio with the surrounding air, and by discharging more sand afterwards, it might go higher if desired. Between one and two o'clock, all eyes were gratified with seeing it rise majestically from above the trees, and ascend gradually above the buildings, a most beautiful spectacle. When it was about two hundred feet high, the brave adventurers held out and waved a little white pennant, on both sides of their car, to salute the spectators, who returned loud claps of applause. The wind was very little, so that the object though moving to the northward, continued long in view; and it was a great while before the admiring people began to disperse. The persons embarked were Mr. Charles, professor of experimental philosophy, and a zealous promoter of that science; and one of the Messrs Robert, the very ingenious constructors of the machine.

{While U.S. ambassador to France, writing about witnessing, from his carriage outside the garden of Tuileries, Paris, the first manned balloon ascent using hydrogen gas by Jacques Charles on the afternoon of 1 Dec 1783. A few days earlier, he had watched the first manned ascent in Montgolfier's hot-air balloon, on 21 Nov 1783.} ~ Benjamin Franklin
440:The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal. ~ Karl Popper
441:In my opinion, if, as the result of certain combinations, Kepler's or Newton's discoveries could become known to people in no other way than by sacrificing the lives of one, or ten, or a hundred or more people who were hindering the discovery, or standing as an obstacle in its path, then Newton would have the right, and it would even be his duty... to remove those ten or a hundred people, in order to make his discoveries known to mankind. It by no means follows from this, incidentally, that Newton should have the right to kill anyone he pleases, whomever happens along, or to steal from the market every day. Further, I recall developing in my article the idea that all... well, let's say, the lawgivers and founders of mankind, starting from the most ancient and going on to the Lycurguses, the Solons, the Muhammads, the Napoleons, and so forth, that all of them to a man were criminals, from the fact alone that in giving a new law, they thereby violated the old one, held sacred by society and passed down from their fathers, and they certainly did not stop at shedding blood either, if it happened that blood (sometimes quite innocent and shed valiantly for the ancient law) could help them. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
442:It did not take National Socialism long to rally workers, most of whom were either unemployed or still very young, into the SA [Sturmangriff, Stormtroopers, "brown shirts"]. To a large extent, however, these workers were revolutionary in a dull sort of way and still maintained an authoritarian attitude. For this reason National Socialist propaganda was contradictory; it's content was determined by the class for which it was intended. Only in its manipulation of the mystical feelings of the masses was it clear and consistent.

In talks with followers of the National Socialist party and especially with members of the SA, it was clearly brought out that the revolutionary phraseology of National Socialism was the decisive factor in the winning over of these masses. One heard National Socialists deny that Hitler represented capital. One heard SA men warn Hitler that he must not betray the cause of the "revolution." One heard SA men say that Hitler was the German Lenin. Those who went over to National Socialism from Social Democracy and the liberal central parties were, without exception, revolutionary minded masses who were either nonpolitical or politically undecided prior to this. Those who went over from the Communist party were often revolutionary elements who simply could not make any sense of many of the German Communist party's contradictory political slogans. In part they were men upon whom the external features of Hitler's party, it's military character, its assertiveness, etc., made a big impression.

To begin with, it is the symbol of the flag that stands out among the symbols used for purposes of propaganda. ~ Wilhelm Reich
443:Dr. Mary Atwater's story was so inspiring. Growing up, Dr. Atwater had a dream to one day be a teacher. But as a black person in the American South during the 1950s, she didn't have many great educational opportunities. It didn't help that she was also a girl, and a girl who loved science, since many believed that science was a subject only for men. Well, like me, she didn't listen to what others said. And also like me, Dr. Atwater had a father, Mr. John C. Monroe, who believed in her dreams and saved money to send her and her siblings to college. She eventually got a PhD in science education with a concentration in chemistry. She was an associate director at New Mexico State University and then taught physical science and chemistry at Fayetteville State University. She later joined the University of Georgia, where she still works as a science education researcher. Along the way, she began writing science books, never knowing that, many years down the road, one of those books would end up in Wimbe, Malawi, and change my life forever.

I'd informed Dr. Atwater that the copy of Using Energy I'd borrowed so many times had been stolen (probably by another student hoping to get the same magic), so that day in Washington, she presented me with my own copy, along with the teacher's edition and a special notebook to record my experiments.

"Your story confirms my belief in human beings and their abilities to make the world a better place by using science," she told me. "I'm happy that I lived long enough to see that something I wrote could change someone's life. I'm glad I found you."

And for sure, I'm also happy to have found Dr. Atwater. ~ William Kamkwamba
444:In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it onto motion, sits the Leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his “intangible preponderance.” His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its members and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. He owes his rise to leadership to an extreme ability to handle inner-party struggles for power rather than to demagogic or bureaucratic-organizational qualities. He is distinguished from earlier types of dictators in that he hardly wins through simple violence. Hitler needed neither the SA nor the SS to secure his position as leader of the Nazi movement; on the contrary, Röhm, the chief of the SA and able to count upon its loyalty to his own person, was one of Hitler’s inner-party enemies. Stalin won against Trotsky, who not only had a far greater mass appeal but, as chief of the Red Army, held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Russia at the time. Not Stalin, but Trotsky, moreover, was the greatest organizational talent, the ablest bureaucrat of the Russian Revolution. On the other hand, both Hitler and Stalin were masters of detail and devoted themselves in the early stages of their careers almost entirely to questions of personnel, so that after a few years hardly any man of importance remained who did not owe his position to them. ~ Hannah Arendt
445:I think about Rilke, who said that it's the questions that move us, not the answers. As a writer I believe it is our task, our responsibility, to hold the mirror up to social injustices that we see and to create a prayer of beauty. The questions serve us in that capacity. Pico Iyer describes his writing as "intimate letters to a stranger," and I think that is what the writing process is. It begins with a question, and then you follow this path of exploration.

... I write out of my questions. Hopefully, if we write out of our humanity, our vulnerable nature, then some chord is struck with a reader and we touch on the page. I know that is why I read, to find those parts of myself in a story that I cannot turn away from. The writers who move me are the ones who create beauty and truth out of their sufferings, their yearnings, their discoveries. It is what I call the patience of words born out of the search.

... Perhaps as writers we are really storytellers, finding that golden thread that connects us to the past, present, and future at once. I love language and landscape. For me, writing is the correspondence between these two passions. It is difficult to ever see yourself. I don't know how I've developed or grown as a writer. I hope I am continuing to take risks on the page. I hope I am continuing to ask the hard questions of myself. If we are attentive to the world and to those around us, I believe we will be attentive on the page. Writing is about presence. I want to be fully present wherever I am, alive to the pulse just beneath the skin. I want to dare to speak "the language women speak when there's no one around to correct them". ~ Terry Tempest Williams
446:...she knew from school that that sort of literature was boring: Gorky was correct but somehow ponderous; Mayakovsky was very correct but somehow awkward; Saltykov-Shchedrin was progressive, but you could die yawning if you tried to read him through; Turgenev was limited to his nobleman's ideals; Goncharov was associated with the beginnings of Russian capitalism; Lev Tolstoi came to favor patriarchal peasantry—and their teacher did not recommend reading Tolstoi's novels because they were very long and only confused the clear critical essays written about him. And then they reviewed a batch of writers totally unknown to anyone: Dostoyevsky, Stepnyak-Kravchinsky, and Sukhovo-Kobylin. It was true that one did not even have to remember the titles of their works. In all this long procession, only Pushkin shone like a sun. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
447:The past folds accordion-like into the present. Different media have different event horizons—for the written word, three millennia; for recorded sound, a century and a half—and within their time frames the old becomes as accessible as the new. Yellowed newspapers come back to life. Under headings of 50 Years Ago and 100 Years Ago, veteran publications recycle their archives: recipes, card-play techniques, science, gossip, once out of print and now ready for use. Record companies rummage through their attics to release, or re-release, every scrap of music, rarities, B-sides, and bootlegs. For a certain time, collectors, scholars, or fans possessed their books and their records. There was a line between what they had and what they did not. For some, the music they owned (or the books, or the videos) became part of who they were. That line fades away. Most of Sophocles' plays are lost, but those that survive are available at the touch of a button. Most of Bach's music was unknown to Beethoven; we have it all—partitas, cantatas, and ringtones. It comes to us instantly, or at light speed. It is a symptom of omniscience. It is what the critic Alex Ross calls the Infinite Playlist, and he sees how mixed is the blessing: "anxiety in place of fulfillment, and addictive cycle of craving and malaise. No sooner has one experience begun than the thought of what else is out there intrudes." The embarrassment of riches. Another reminder that information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom. ~ James Gleick
448:With the growth of civilisation in Europe, and with the revival of letters and of science in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the ethical and intellectual criticism of theology once more recommenced, and arrived at a temporary resting-place in the confessions of the various reformed Protestant sects in the sixteenth century; almost all of which, as soon as they were strong enough, began to persecute those who carried criticism beyond their own limit. But the movement was not arrested by these ecclesiastical barriers, as their constructors fondly imagined it would be; it was continued, tacitly or openly, by Galileo, by Hobbes, by Descartes, and especially by Spinoza, in the seventeenth century; by the English Freethinkers, by Rousseau, by the French Encyclopaedists, and by the German Rationalists, among whom Lessing stands out a head and shoulders taller than the rest, throughout the eighteenth century; by the historians, the philologers, the Biblical critics, the geologists, and the biologists in the nineteenth century, until it is obvious to all who can see that the moral sense and the really scientific method of seeking for truth are once more predominating over false science. Once more ethics and theology are parting company. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
449:Psychologists have devised some ingenious ways to help unpack the human "now." Consider how we run those jerky movie frames together into a smooth and continuous stream. This is known as the "phi phenomenon." The essence of phi shows up in experiments in a darkened room where two small spots are briefly lit in quick succession, at slightly separated locations. What the subjects report seeing is not a succession of spots, but a single spot moving continuously back and forth. Typically, the spots are illuminated for 150 milliseconds separated by an interval of fifty milliseconds. Evidently the brain somehow "fills in" the fifty-millisecond gap. Presumably this "hallucination" or embellishment occurs after the event, because until the second light flashes the subject cannot know the light is "supposed" to move. This hints that the human now is not simultaneous with the visual stimulus, but a bit delayed, allowing time for the brain to reconstruct a plausible fiction of what has happened a few milliseconds before.

In a fascinating refinement of the experiment, the first spot is colored red, the second green. This clearly presents the brain with a problem. How will it join together the two discontinuous experiences—red spot, green spot—smoothly? By blending the colors seamlessly into one another? Or something else? In fact, subjects report seeing the spot change color abruptly in the middle of the imagined trajectory, and are even able to indicate exactly where using a pointer. This result leaves us wondering how the subject can apparently experience the "correct" color sensation before the green spot lights up. Is it a type of precognition? Commenting on this eerie phenomenon, the philosopher Nelson Goodman wrote suggestively: "The intervening motion is produced retrospectively, built only after the second flash occurs and projected backwards in time." In his book
450:The psychological significance of the doctrine of predestination is a twofold one. It expresses and enhances the feeling of individual powerlessness and insignificance. No doctrine could express more strongly than this the worthlessness of human will and effort. The decision over man's fate is taken completely out of his own hands and there is nothing man can do to change this decision. He is a powerless tool in God's hands. The other meaning of this doctrine, like that of Luther's, consists in its function to silence the irrational doubt which was the same in Calvin and his followers as in Luther. At first glance the doctrine of predestination seems to enhance the doubt rather than silence it. Must not the individual be torn by even more torturing doubts than before to learn that he was predestined either to eternal damnation or to salvation before he was born? How can he ever be sure what his lot will be? Although Calvin did not teach that there was any concrete proof of such certainty, he and his followers actually had the conviction that they belonged to the chosen ones. They got this conviction by the same mechanism of self-humiliation which we have analyzed with regard to Luther's doctrine. Having such conviction, the doctrine of predestination implied utmost certainty; one could not do anything which would endanger the state of salvation, since one's salvation did not depend on one's own actions but was decided upon before one was ever born. Again, as with Luther, the fundamental doubt resulted in the quest for absolute certainty, but though the doctrine of predestination gave such certainty, the doubt remained in the background and had to be silenced again and again by an ever-growing fanatic belief that the religious community to which one belonged represented that part of mankind which had been chosen by God. ~ Erich Fromm
451:That concentration camps were ultimately provided for the same groups in all countries, even though there were considerable difference in the treatment of their inmates, was all the more characteristic as the selection of the groups was left exclusively to the initiative of the totalitarian regimes: if the Nazis put a person in a concentration camp and if he made a successful escape, say, to Holland, the Dutch would put him in an internment camp. Thus, long before the outbreak of the war the police in a number of Western countries, under the pretext of "national security," had on their own initiative established close connections with the Gestapo and the GPU [Russian State security agency], so that one might say there existed an independent foreign policy of the police. This police-directed foreign policy functioned quite independently of the official governments; the relations between the Gestapo and the French police were never more cordial than at the time of Leon Blum's popular-front government, which was guided by a decidedly anti-German policy. Contrary to the governments, the various police organizations were never overburdened with "prejudices" against any totalitarian regime; the information and denunciations received from GPU agents were just as welcome to them as those from Fascist or Gestapo agents. They knew about the eminent role of the police apparatus in all totalitarian regimes, they knew about its elevated social status and political importance, and they never bothered to conceal their sympathies. That the Nazis eventually met with so disgracefully little resistance from the police in the countries they occupied, and that they were able to organize terror as much as they did with the assistance of these local police forces, was due at least in part to the powerful position which the police had achieved over the years in their unrestricted and arbitrary domination of stateless and refugees. ~ Hannah Arendt
452:When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful. ~ Ann Druyan
453:(Golden Globe acceptance speech in the style of Jane Austen's letters):

"Four A.M. Having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding, was not without its pleasures. Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children. The gowns were middling. There was a good deal of shouting and behavior verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintances. Miss Lindsay Doran, of Mirage, wherever that might be, who is largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said. Mr. Ang Lee, of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly apppeared to understand me better than I undersand myself. Mr. James Schamus, a copiously erudite gentleman, and Miss Kate Winslet, beautiful in both countenance and spirit. Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and a Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behavior one has lernt to expect from that race. Mr. Mark Canton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a vast deal of money. Miss Lisa Henson -- a lovely girl, and Mr. Gareth Wigan -- a lovely boy. I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack, but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him. The room was full of interesting activitiy until eleven P.M. when it emptied rather suddenly. The lateness of the hour is due therefore not to the dance, but to the waiting, in a long line for horseless vehicles of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport.

P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Tomkins who has purloined my creation and added things of her own. Nefarious creature."

"With gratitude and apologies to Miss Austen, thank you. ~ Emma Thompson
454:In the history of philosophy, the term “rationalism” has two distinct meanings. In one sense, it signifies an unbreached commitment to reasoned thought in contrast to any irrationalist rejection of the mind. In this sense, Aristotle and Ayn Rand are preeminent rationalists, opposed to any form of unreason, including faith. In a narrower sense, however, rationalism contrasts with empiricism as regards the false dichotomy between commitment to so-called “pure” reason (i.e., reason detached from perceptual reality) and an exclusive reliance on sense experience (i.e., observation without inference therefrom). Rationalism, in this sense, is a commitment to reason construed as logical deduction from non-observational starting points, and a distrust of sense experience (e.g., the method of Descartes). Empiricism, according to this mistaken dichotomy, is a belief that sense experience provides factual knowledge, but any inference beyond observation is a mere manipulation of words or verbal symbols (e.g., the approach of Hume). Both Aristotle and Ayn Rand reject such a false dichotomy between reason and sense experience; neither are rationalists in this narrow sense.

Theology is the purest expression of rationalism in the sense of proceeding by logical deduction from premises ungrounded in observable fact—deduction without reference to reality. The so-called “thinking” involved here is purely formal, observationally baseless, devoid of facts, cut off from reality. Thomas Aquinas, for example, was history’s foremost expert regarding the field of “angelology.” No one could match his “knowledge” of angels, and he devoted far more of his massive Summa Theologica to them than to physics. ~ Andrew Bernstein
455:We think ourselves possessed, or at least we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact. There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny, or to doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself, it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not much better; even in our Massachusetts, which, I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemies upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any arguments for investigation into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Volney's Recherches Nouvelles? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws... but as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, January 23, 1825} ~ John Adams
456:{On to contributions to evolutionary biology of 18th century French scientist, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon}

He was not an evolutionary biologist, yet he was the father of evolutionism. He was the first person to discuss a large number of evolutionary problems, problems that before Buffon had not been raised by anybody.... he brought them to the attention of the scientific world.

Except for Aristotle and Darwin, no other student of organisms [whole animals and plants] has had as far-reaching an influence.

He brought the idea of evolution into the realm of science. He developed a concept of the "unity of type", a precursor of comparative anatomy. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the acceptance of a long-time scale for the history of the earth. He was one of the first to imply that you get inheritance from your parents, in a description based on similarities between elephants and mammoths. And yet, he hindered evolution by his frequent endorsement of the immutability of species. He provided a criterion of species, fertility among members of a species, that was thought impregnable. ~ Ernst W Mayr
457:I've just come to my room, Livy darling, I guess this was the memorable night of my life. By George, I never was so stirred since I was born. I heard four speeches which I can never forget... one by that splendid old soul, Col. Bob Ingersoll, — oh, it was just the supremest combination of English words that was ever put together since the world began... How handsome he looked, as he stood on that table, in the midst of those 500 shouting men, and poured the molten silver from his lips! What an organ is human speech when it is played by a master! How pale those speeches are in print, but how radiant, how full of color, how blinding they were in the delivery! It was a great night, a memorable night.

I doubt if America has seen anything quite equal to it. I am well satisfied I shall not live to see its equal again... Bob Ingersoll’s music will sing through my memory always as the divinest that ever enchanted my ears. And I shall always see him, as he stood that night on a dinner-table, under the flash of lights and banners, in the midst of seven hundred frantic shouters, the most beautiful human creature that ever lived... You should have seen that vast house rise to its feet; you should have heard the hurricane that followed. That's the only test! People might shout, clap their hands, stamp, wave their napkins, but none but the master can make them get up on their feet.

{Twain's letter to his wife, Livy, about friend Robert Ingersoll's incredible speech at 'The Grand Banquet', considered to be one of the greatest oratory performances of all time} ~ Mark Twain
458:In Paley's famous illustration, the adaptation of all the parts of the watch to the function, or purpose, of showing the time, is held to be evidence that the watch was specially contrived to that end; on the ground, that the only cause we know of, competent to produce such an effect as a watch which shall keep time, is a contriving intelligence adapting the means directly to that end.

Suppose, however, that any one had been able to show that the watch had not been made directly by any person, but that it was the result of the modification of another watch which kept time but poorly; and that this again had proceeded from a structure which could hardly be called a watch at all—seeing that it had no figures on the dial and the hands were rudimentary; and that going back and back in time we came at last to a revolving barrel as the earliest traceable rudiment of the whole fabric. And imagine that it had been possible to show that all these changes had resulted, first, from a tendency of the structure to vary indefinitely; and secondly, from something in the surrounding world which helped all variations in the direction of an accurate time-keeper, and checked all those in other directions; then it is obvious that the force of Paley's argument would be gone. For it would be demonstrated that an apparatus thoroughly well adapted to a particular purpose might be the result of a method of trial and error worked by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct application of the means appropriate to that end, by an intelligent agent.

Now it appears to us that what we have here, for illustration's sake, supposed to be done with the watch, is exactly what the establishment of Darwin's Theory will do for the organic world. For the notion that every organism has been created as it is and launched straight at a purpose, Mr. Darwin substitutes the conception of something which may fairly be termed a method of trial and error. Organisms vary incessantly; of these variations the few meet with surrounding conditions which suit them and thrive; the many are unsuited and become extinguished. ~ Thomas Henry Huxley
459:The failure of Hellenism has been, largely, a matter of organization. Rome never tried to impose any sort of worship upon the countries it conquered and civilized; in fact, quite the contrary, Rome was eclectic. All religions were given an equal opportunity and even Isis—after some resistance—was worshipped at Rome. As a result we have a hundred important gods and a dozen mysteries. Certain rites are—or were—supported by the state because they involved the genius of Rome. But no attempt was ever made to coordinate the worship of Zeus on the Capitol with, let us say, the Vestals who kept the sacred fire in the old forum. As time passed our rites became, and one must admit it bluntly, merely form, a reassuring reminder of the great age of the city, a token gesture to the old gods who were thought to have founded and guided Rome from a village by the Tiber to world empire. Yet from the beginning, there were always those who mocked. A senator of the old Republic once asked an auger how he was able to get through a ceremony of divination without laughing. I am not so light-minded, though I concede that many of our rites have lost their meaning over the centuries; witness those temples at Rome where certain verses learned by rote are chanted year in and year out, yet no one, including the priests, knows what they mean, for they are in the early language of the Etruscans, long since forgotten.

As the religious forms of the state became more and more rigid and perfunctory, the people were drawn to the mystery cults, many of them Asiatic in origin. At Eleusis or in the various caves of Mithras, they were able to get a vision of what this life can be, as well as a foretaste of the one that follows. There are, then, three sorts of religious experiences. The ancient rites, which are essentially propitiatory. The mysteries, which purge the soul and allow us to glimpse eternity. And philosophy, which attempts to define not only the material world but to suggest practical ways to the good life, as well as attempting to synthesize (as Iamblichos does so beautifully) all true religion in a single comprehensive system. ~ Gore Vidal
460:This new situation, in which "humanity" has in effect assumed the role formerly ascribed to nature or history, would mean in this context that the right to have rights, or the right of every individual to belong to humanity, should be guaranteed by humanity itself. It is by no means certain whether this is possible. For, contrary to the best-intentioned humanitarian attempts to obtain new declarations of human rights from international organizations, it should be understood that this idea transcends the present sphere of international law which still operates in terms of reciprocal agreements and treaties between sovereign states; and, for the time being, a sphere that is above the nation does not exist. Furthermore, this dilemma would by no means be eliminated by the establishment of a "world government." Such a world government is indeed within the realm of possibility, but one may suspect that in reality it might differ considerably from the version promoted by idealistic-minded organizations. The crimes against human rights, which have become a specialty of totalitarian regimes, can always be justified by the pretext that right is equivalent to being good or useful for the whole in distinction to its parts. (Hitler's motto that "Right is what is good for the German people" is only the vulgarized form of a conception of law which can be found everywhere and which in practice will remain effectual only so long as older traditions that are still effective in the constitutions prevent this.) A conception of law which identifies what is right with the notion of what is good for—for the individual, or the family, or the people, or the largest number—becomes inevitable once the absolute and transcendent measurements of religion or the law of nature have lost their authority. And this predicament is by no means solved if the unit to which the "good for" applies is as large as mankind itself. For it is quite conceivable, and even within the realm of practical political possibilities, that one fine day a highly organized and mechanized humanity will conclude quite democratically—namely by majority decision—that for humanity as a whole it would be better to liquidate certain parts thereof. ~ Hannah Arendt
461:A little while ago, I stood by the grave of the old Napoleon—a magnificent tomb of gilt and gold, fit almost for a dead deity—and gazed upon the sarcophagus of rare and nameless marble, where rest at last the ashes of that restless man. I leaned over the balustrade and thought about the career of the greatest soldier of the modern world.

I saw him walking upon the banks of the Seine, contemplating suicide. I saw him at Toulon—I saw him putting down the mob in the streets of Paris—I saw him at the head of the army of Italy—I saw him crossing the bridge of Lodi with the tri-color in his hand—I saw him in Egypt in the shadows of the pyramids—I saw him conquer the Alps and mingle the eagles of France with the eagles of the crags. I saw him at Marengo—at Ulm and Austerlitz. I saw him in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves. I saw him at Leipsic in defeat and disaster—driven by a million bayonets back upon Paris—clutched like a wild beast—banished to Elba. I saw him escape and retake an empire by the force of his genius. I saw him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where Chance and Fate combined to wreck the fortunes of their former king. And I saw him at St. Helena, with his hands crossed behind him, gazing out upon the sad and solemn sea.

I thought of the orphans and widows he had made—of the tears that had been shed for his glory, and of the only woman who ever loved him, pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door, and the grapes growing purple in the kisses of the autumn sun. I would rather have been that poor peasant with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky—with my children upon my knees and their arms about me—I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been that imperial impersonation of force and murder, known as 'Napoleon the Great. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
462:Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race? ~ Robert G Ingersoll
463:It will be noticed that the fundamental theorem proved above bears some remarkable resemblances to the second law of thermodynamics. Both are properties of populations, or aggregates, true irrespective of the nature of the units which compose them; both are statistical laws; each requires the constant increase of a measurable quantity, in the one case the entropy of a physical system and in the other the fitness, measured by m, of a biological population. As in the physical world we can conceive the theoretical systems in which dissipative forces are wholly absent, and in which the entropy consequently remains constant, so we can conceive, though we need not expect to find, biological populations in which the genetic variance is absolutely zero, and in which fitness does not increase. Professor Eddington has recently remarked that 'The law that entropy always increases—the second law of thermodynamics—holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature'. It is not a little instructive that so similar a law should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences. While it is possible that both may ultimately be absorbed by some more general principle, for the present we should note that the laws as they stand present profound differences—-(1) The systems considered in thermodynamics are permanent; species on the contrary are liable to extinction, although biological improvement must be expected to occur up to the end of their existence. (2) Fitness, although measured by a uniform method, is qualitatively different for every different organism, whereas entropy, like temperature, is taken to have the same meaning for all physical systems. (3) Fitness may be increased or decreased by changes in the environment, without reacting quantitatively upon that environment. (4) Entropy changes are exceptional in the physical world in being irreversible, while irreversible evolutionary changes form no exception among biological phenomena. Finally, (5) entropy changes lead to a progressive disorganization of the physical world, at least from the human standpoint of the utilization of energy, while evolutionary changes are generally recognized as producing progressively higher organization in the organic world. ~ Ronald A Fisher
464:It will be noticed that the fundamental theorem proved above bears some remarkable resemblances to the second law of thermodynamics. Both are properties of populations, or aggregates, true irrespective of the nature of the units which compose them; both are statistical laws; each requires the constant increase of a measurable quantity, in the one case the entropy of a physical system and in the other the fitness, measured by m, of a biological population. As in the physical world we can conceive the theoretical systems in which dissipative forces are wholly absent, and in which the entropy consequently remains constant, so we can conceive, though we need not expect to find, biological populations in which the genetic variance is absolutely zero, and in which fitness does not increase. Professor Eddington has recently remarked that 'The law that entropy always increases—the second law of thermodynamics—holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature'. It is not a little instructive that so similar a law should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences. While it is possible that both may ultimately be absorbed by some more general principle, for the present we should note that the laws as they stand present profound differences—-(1) The systems considered in thermodynamics are permanent; species on the contrary are liable to extinction, although biological improvement must be expected to occur up to the end of their existence. (2) Fitness, although measured by a uniform method, is qualitatively different for every different organism, whereas entropy, like temperature, is taken to have the same meaning for all physical systems. (3) Fitness may be increased or decreased by changes in the environment, without reacting quantitatively upon that environment. (4) Entropy changes are exceptional in the physical world in being irreversible, while irreversible evolutionary changes form no exception among biological phenomena. Finally, (5) entropy changes lead to a progressive disorganization of the physical world, at least from the human standpoint of the utilization of energy, while evolutionary changes are generally recognized as producing progressively higher organization in the organic world. ~ Ronald A Fisher
465:When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.

Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.

That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.

Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb
466:When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.

Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.

That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.

Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb
467:The declining age of learning and of mankind is marked, however, by the rise and rapid progress of the new Platonists. The school of Alexandria silenced those of Athens; and the ancient sects enrolled themselves under the banners of the more fashionable teachers, who recommended their system by the novelty of their method and the austerity of their manners. Several of these masters—Ammonius, Plotinus, Amelius, and Porphyry—were men of profound thought and intense application; but, by mistaking the true object of philosophy, their labors contributed much less to improve than to corrupt human understanding. The knowledge that is suited to our situation and powers, the whole compass of moral, natural and mathematical science, was neglected by the new Platonists; whilst they exhausted their strength in the verbal disputes of metaphysics, attempted to explore the secrets of the invisible world, and studied to reconcile Aristotle with Plato, on subjects of which both of these philosophers were as ignorant as the rest of mankind. Consuming their reason in these deep but unsubstantial meditations, their minds were exposed to illusions of fancy. They flattered themselves that they possessed the secret of disengaging the soul from its corporeal prison, claimed a familiar intercourse withe dæmons and spirits; and, by a very singular revolution, converted the study of philosophy into that of magic. The ancient sages had derided the popular superstition; after disguising its extravagance by the this pretense of allegory, the disciples of Plotinus and Porphyry becomes its most zealous defenders. As they agreed with the Christians in a few mysterious points of faith, they attacked the remainder of their theological system with all the fury of civil war. The new Platonists would scarcely deserve a place in the history of science, but in that of the church the mention of them will very frequently occur. ~ Edward Gibbon
468:When I visited George Bernard Shaw, in 1948, at his home in Aylot, a suburb of London, he was extremely anxious for me to tell him all that I knew about Ingersoll. During the course of the conversation, he told me that Ingersoll had made a tremendous impression upon him, and had exercised an influence upon him probably greater than that of any other man. He seemed particularly anxious to impress me with the importance of Ingersoll's influence upon his intellectual endeavors and accomplishments.

In view of this admission, what percentage of the greatness of Shaw belongs to Ingersoll? If Ingersoll's influence upon so great an intellect as George Bernard Shaw was that extensive, what must have been his influence upon others?

What seed of wisdom did he plant into the minds of others, and what accomplishments of theirs should be attributed to him? The world will never know.

What about the countless thousands from whom he lifted the clouds of darkness and fear, and who were emancipated from the demoralizing dogmas and creeds of ignorance and superstition?

What will be Ingersoll's influence upon the minds of future generations, who will come under the spell of his magic words, and who will be guided into the channels of human betterment by the unparalleled example of his courageous life?

The debt the world owes Robert G. Ingersoll can never be paid. ~ Joseph Lewis
469:...The Presidential election has given me less anxiety than I myself could have imagined. The next administration will be a troublesome one, to whomsoever it falls, and our John has been too much worn to contend much longer with conflicting factions. I call him our John, because, when you were at the Cul de sac at Paris, he appeared to me to be almost as much your boy as mine.

...As to the decision of your author, though I wish to see the book {Flourens’s Experiments on the functions of the nervous system in vertebrated animals}, I look upon it as a mere game at push-pin. Incision-knives will never discover the distinction between matter and spirit, or whether there is any or not. That there is an active principle of power in the universe, is apparent; but in what substance that active principle resides, is past our investigation. The faculties of our understanding are not adequate to penetrate the universe. Let us do our duty, which is to do as we would be done by; and that, one would think, could not be difficult, if we honestly aim at it.

Your university is a noble employment in your old age, and your ardor for its success does you honor; but I do not approve of your sending to Europe for tutors and professors. I do believe there are sufficient scholars in America, to fill your professorships and tutorships with more active ingenuity and independent minds than you can bring from Europe. The Europeans are all deeply tainted with prejudices, both ecclesiastical and temporal, which they can never get rid of. They are all infected with episcopal and presbyterian creeds, and confessions of faith. They all believe that great Principle which has produced this boundless universe, Newton’s universe and Herschel’s universe, came down to this little ball, to be spit upon by Jews. And until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.

I salute your fireside with best wishes and best affections for their health, wealth and prosperity.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 22 January, 1825} ~ John Adams
470:I remember on one of my many visits with Thomas A. Edison, I brought up the question of Ingersoll. I asked this great genius what he thought of him, and he replied, 'He was grand.' I told Mr. Edison that I had been invited to deliver a radio address on Ingersoll, and would he be kind enough to write me a short appreciation of him. This he did, and a photostat of that letter is now a part of this house. In it you will read what Mr. Edison wrote. He said: 'I think that Ingersoll had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed....'

I mention this as an indication of the tremendous influence Ingersoll had upon the intellectual life of his time. To what extent did Ingersoll influence Edison?

It was Thomas A. Edison's freedom from the narrow boundaries of theological dogma, and his thorough emancipation from the degrading and stultifying creed of Christianity, that made it possible for him to wrest from nature her most cherished secrets, and bequeath to the human race the richest of legacies.

Mr. Edison told me that when Ingersoll visited his laboratories, he made a record of his voice, but stated that the reproductive devices of that time were not as good as those later developed, and, therefore, his magnificent voice was lost to posterity. ~ Joseph Lewis
471:Children write essays in school about the unhappy, tragic, doomed life of Anna Karenina. But was Anna really unhappy? She chose passion and she paid for her passion—that's happiness! She was a free, proud human being. But what if during peacetime a lot of greatcoats and peaked caps burst into the house where you were born and live, and ordered the whole family to leave house and town in twenty-four hours, with only what your feeble hands can carry?... You open your doors, call in the passers-by from the streets and ask them to buy things from you, or to throw you a few pennies to buy bread with... With ribbon in her hair, your daughter sits down at the piano for the last time to play Mozart. But she bursts into tears and runs away. So why should I read Anna Karenina again? Maybe it's enough—what I've experienced. Where can people read about us? Us? Only in a hundred years?
"They deported all members of the nobility from Leningrad. (There were a hundred thousand of them, I suppose. But did we pay much attention? What kind of wretched little ex-nobles were they, the ones who remained? Old people and children, the helpless ones.) We knew this, we looked on and did nothing. You see, we weren't the victims."
"You bought their pianos?"
"We may even have bought their pianos. Yes, of course we bought them."
Oleg could now see that this woman was not yet even fifty. Yet anyone walking past her would have said she was an old woman. A lock of smooth old woman's hair, quite incurable, hung down from under her white head-scarf.

"But when you were deported, what was it for? What was the charge?"
"Why bother to think up a charge? 'Socially harmful' or 'socially dangerous element'—S.D.E.', they called it. Special decrees, just marked by letters of the alphabet. So it was quite easy. No trial necessary."
"And what about your husband? Who was he?"
"Nobody. He played the flute in the Leningrad Philharmonic. He liked to talk when he'd had a few drinks."
“…We knew one family with grown-up children, a son and a daughter, both Komsomol (Communist youth members). Suddenly the whole family was put down for deportation to Siberia. The children rushed to the Komsomol district office. 'Protect us!' they said. 'Certainly we'll protect you,' they were told. 'Just write on this piece of paper: As from today's date I ask not to be considered the son, or the daughter, of such-and-such parents. I renounce them as socially harmful elements and I promise in the future to have nothing whatever to do with them and to maintain no communication with them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
472:Some years ago I had a conversation with a man who thought that writing and editing fantasy books was a rather frivolous job for a grown woman like me. He wasn’t trying to be contentious, but he himself was a probation officer, working with troubled kids from the Indian reservation where he’d been raised. Day in, day out, he dealt in a concrete way with very concrete problems, well aware that his words and deeds could change young lives for good or ill.
I argued that certain stories are also capable of changing lives, addressing some of the same problems and issues he confronted in his daily work: problems of poverty, violence, and alienation, issues of culture, race, gender, and class...
“Stories aren’t real,” he told me shortly. “They don’t feed a kid left home in an empty house. Or keep an abusive relative at bay. Or prevent an unloved child from finding ‘family’ in the nearest gang.”
Sometimes they do, I tried to argue. The right stories, read at the right time, can be as important as shelter or food. They can help us to escape calamity, and heal us in its aftermath. He frowned, dismissing this foolishness, but his wife was more conciliatory. “Write down the names of some books,” she said. “Maybe we’ll read them.”
I wrote some titles on a scrap of paper, and the top three were by Charles de lint – for these are precisely the kind of tales that Charles tells better than anyone. The vital, necessary stories. The ones that can change and heal young lives. Stories that use the power of myth to speak truth to the human heart.
Charles de Lint creates a magical world that’s not off in a distant Neverland but here and now and accessible, formed by the “magic” of friendship, art, community, and social activism. Although most of his books have not been published specifically for adolescents and young adults, nonetheless young readers find them and embrace them with particular passion. I’ve long lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people from troubled backgrounds say that books by Charles saved them in their youth, and kept them going.
Recently I saw that parole officer again, and I asked after his work. “Gets harder every year,” he said. “Or maybe I’m just getting old.” He stopped me as I turned to go. “That writer? That Charles de Lint? My wife got me to read them books…. Sometimes I pass them to the kids.”
“Do they like them?” I asked him curiously.
“If I can get them to read, they do. I tell them: Stories are important.
And then he looked at me and smiled. ~ Terri Windling
473:Some years ago I had a conversation with a man who thought that writing and editing fantasy books was a rather frivolous job for a grown woman like me. He wasn’t trying to be contentious, but he himself was a probation officer, working with troubled kids from the Indian reservation where he’d been raised. Day in, day out, he dealt in a concrete way with very concrete problems, well aware that his words and deeds could change young lives for good or ill.
I argued that certain stories are also capable of changing lives, addressing some of the same problems and issues he confronted in his daily work: problems of poverty, violence, and alienation, issues of culture, race, gender, and class...
“Stories aren’t real,” he told me shortly. “They don’t feed a kid left home in an empty house. Or keep an abusive relative at bay. Or prevent an unloved child from finding ‘family’ in the nearest gang.”
Sometimes they do, I tried to argue. The right stories, read at the right time, can be as important as shelter or food. They can help us to escape calamity, and heal us in its aftermath. He frowned, dismissing this foolishness, but his wife was more conciliatory. “Write down the names of some books,” she said. “Maybe we’ll read them.”
I wrote some titles on a scrap of paper, and the top three were by Charles de lint – for these are precisely the kind of tales that Charles tells better than anyone. The vital, necessary stories. The ones that can change and heal young lives. Stories that use the power of myth to speak truth to the human heart.
Charles de Lint creates a magical world that’s not off in a distant Neverland but here and now and accessible, formed by the “magic” of friendship, art, community, and social activism. Although most of his books have not been published specifically for adolescents and young adults, nonetheless young readers find them and embrace them with particular passion. I’ve long lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people from troubled backgrounds say that books by Charles saved them in their youth, and kept them going.
Recently I saw that parole officer again, and I asked after his work. “Gets harder every year,” he said. “Or maybe I’m just getting old.” He stopped me as I turned to go. “That writer? That Charles de Lint? My wife got me to read them books…. Sometimes I pass them to the kids.”
“Do they like them?” I asked him curiously.
“If I can get them to read, they do. I tell them: Stories are important.
And then he looked at me and smiled. ~ Terri Windling
474:[L]et us not overlook the further great fact, that not only does science underlie sculpture, painting, music, poetry, but that science is itself poetic. The current opinion that science and poetry are opposed is a delusion. ... On the contrary science opens up realms of poetry where to the unscientific all is a blank. Those engaged in scientific researches constantly show us that they realize not less vividly, but more vividly, than others, the poetry of their subjects. Whoever will dip into Hugh Miller's works on geology, or read Mr. Lewes's “Seaside Studies,” will perceive that science excites poetry rather than extinguishes it. And whoever will contemplate the life of Goethe will see that the poet and the man of science can co-exist in equal activity. Is it not, indeed, an absurd and almost a sacrilegious belief that the more a man studies Nature the less he reveres it? Think you that a drop of water, which to the vulgar eye is but a drop of water, loses anything in the eye of the physicist who knows that its elements are held together by a force which, if suddenly liberated, would produce a flash of lightning? Think you that what is carelessly looked upon by the uninitiated as a mere snow-flake, does not suggest higher associations to one who has seen through a microscope the wondrously varied and elegant forms of snow-crystals? Think you that the rounded rock marked with parallel scratches calls up as much poetry in an ignorant mind as in the mind of a geologist, who knows that over this rock a glacier slid a million years ago? The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded. Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedge-rows can assume. Whoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found. Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and aquarium, has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are. Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena—care not to understand the architecture of the universe, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!—are learnedly critical over a Greek ode, and pass by without a glance that grand epic... upon the strata of the Earth! ~ Herbert Spencer
475:I lived in New York City back in the 1980s, which is when the Bordertown series was created. New York was a different place then -- dirtier, edgier, more dangerous, but also in some ways more exciting. The downtown music scene was exploding -- punk and folk music were everywhere -- and it wasn't as expensive to live there then, so a lot of young artists, musicians, writers, etc. etc. were all living and doing crazy things in scruffy neighborhoods like the East Village.

I was a Fantasy Editor for a publishing company back then -- but in those days, "fantasy" to most people meant "imaginary world" books, like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. A number of the younger writers in the field, however, wanted to create a branch of fantasy that was rooted in contemporary, urban North America, rather than medieval or pastoral Europe. I'd already been working with some of these folks (Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, etc.), who were writing novels that would become the foundations for the current Urban Fantasy field. At the time, these kinds of stories were considered so strange and different, it was actually hard to get them into print.

When I was asked by a publishing company to create a shared-world anthology for Young Adult readers, I wanted to create an Urban Fantasy setting that was something like a magical version of New York...but I didn't want it to actually be New York. I want it to be any city and every city -- a place that anyone from anywhere could go to or relate to. The idea of placing it on the border of Elfland came from the fact that I'd just re-read a fantasy classic called The King of Elfland's Daughter by the Irish writer Lord Dunsany. I love stories that take place on the borderlands between two different worlds...and so I borrowed this concept, but adapted it to a modern, punky, urban setting.

I drew upon elements of the various cities I knew best -- New York, Boston, London, Dublin, maybe even a little of Mexico City, where I'd been for a little while as a teen -- and scrambled them up and turned them into Bordertown. There actually IS a Mad River in southern Ohio (where I went to college) and I always thought that was a great name, so I imported it to Bordertown. As for the water being red, that came from the river of blood in the Scottish folk ballad "Thomas the Rhymer," which Thomas must cross to get into Elfland.

[speaking about the Borderland series she "founded" and how she came up with the setting. Link to source; Q&A with Holly, Ellen & Terri!] ~ Terri Windling
476:I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do -- that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman:

Now hollow fires burn out to black,
And lights are fluttering low:
Square your shoulders, lift your pack
And leave your friends and go.
O never fear, lads, naught’s to dread,
Look not left nor right:
In all the endless road you tread
There’s nothing but the night.

...Here it Leopold’s father -- and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life’s hopes crumble into dust.

...I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man.

...I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love.

I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyám. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

So I be written in the Book of Love,
I do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.
~ Clarence Darrow
477:[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:]

Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime.

Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system?

Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe. ~ Christopher Hitchens
478:The temporary alliance between the elite and the mob rested largely on this genuine delight with which the former watched the latter destroy respectability. This could be achieved when the German steel barons were forced to deal with and to receive socially Hitler's the housepainter and self-admitted former derelict, as it could be with the crude and vulgar forgeries perpetrated by the totalitarian movements in all fields of intellectual life, insofar as they gathered all the subterranean, nonrespectable elements of European history into one consistent picture. From this viewpoint it was rather gratifying to see that Bolshevism and Nazism began even to eliminate those sources of their own ideologies which had already won some recognition in academic or other official quarters. Not Marx's dialectical materialism, but the conspiracy of 300 families; not the pompous scientificality of Gobineau and Chamberlain, but the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"; not the traceable influence of the Catholic Church and the role played by anti-clericalism in Latin countries, but the backstairs literature about the Jesuits and the Freemasons became the inspiration for the rewriters of history. The object of the most varied and variable constructions was always to reveal history as a joke, to demonstrate a sphere of secret influences of which the visible, traceable, and known historical reality was only the outward façade erected explicitly to fool the people.

To this aversion of the intellectual elite for official historiography, to its conviction that history, which was a forgery anyway, might as well be the playground of crackpots, must be added the terrible, demoralizing fascination in the possibility that gigantic lies and monstrous falsehoods can eventually be established as unquestioned facts, that man may be free to change his own past at will, and that the difference between truth and falsehood may cease to be objective and become a mere matter of power and cleverness, of pressure and infinite repetition. Not Stalin’s and Hitler's skill in the art of lying but the fact that they were able to organize the masses into a collective unit to back up their lies with impressive magnificence, exerted the fascination. Simple forgeries from the viewpoint of scholarship appeared to receive the sanction of history itself when the whole marching reality of the movements stood behind them and pretended to draw from them the necessary inspiration for action. ~ Hannah Arendt
479:Could I but acquaint the world with Robert G. Ingersoll's humanity, with his ideas and his sentiments of love, patience and understanding, a renascence would automatically take place that would give life and living on this little earth of ours some semblance of what we call paradise.

And this great and wonderful man had to die!

I do not know the purpose of life, nor do I understand why death should come to all that is; but this I do know -- that when Robert G. Ingersoll died, on July 21, 1899, then you and I, and the whole world, suffered a mortal blow.

When the mighty heart, of his mighty body, that supplied the blood to his mighty brain, burst, never again was there to fall from his eloquent lips the pearls of thought that had been so wondrously formed in his brain.

The mightiest voice in all the world was silenced, forever. No wonder the people wept when they heard that Ingersoll was dead.

He was the greatest of the Great -- the Mightiest of the Mighty. He was 'as constant as the Northern Star whose true fixed and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament.' He was the indistinguishable star whose brilliance never dimmed.

When Robert G. Ingersoll died, his death was 'the ruins of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of time ... When shall we ever see another?'

When Robert G. Ingersoll died, the sky should have been rent asunder, and Nature should have gone into mourning.

When this man died, Nature's masterpiece was destroyed, and hot tears of grief should have fallen from the heavens.

Robert G. Ingersoll no longer belongs to his family;

He no longer belongs to his friends;

He no longer belongs to his country;

Robert G. Ingersoll now belongs to all the world -- the whole universe --

He is immortal and eternal.

Among the galaxies of Nature's masterpieces, none shine with a greater brilliance than the babe who was born in this house 121 years ago today, and named Robert Green Ingersoll. ~ Joseph Lewis
480:Religion, with its metaphysical error of absolute guilt, dominated the broadest, the cosmic realm. From there, it infiltrated the subordinate realms of biological, social and moral existence with its errors of the absolute and inherited guilt. Humanity, split up into millions of factions, groups, nations and states, lacerated itself with mutual accusations. "The Greeks are to blame," the Romans said, and "The Romans are to blame," the Greeks said. So they warred against one another. "The ancient Jewish priests are to blame," the early Christians shouted. "The Christians have preached the wrong Messiah," the Jews shouted and crucified the harmless Jesus. "The Muslims and Turks and Huns are guilty," the crusaders screamed. "The witches and heretics are to blame," the later Christians howled for centuries, murdering, hanging, torturing and burning heretics. It remains to investigate the sources from which the Jesus legend derives its grandeur, emotional power and perseverance.

Let us continue to stay outside this St. Vitus dance. The longer we look around, the crazier it seems. Hundreds of minor patriarchs, self-proclaimed kings and princes, accused one another of this or that sin and made war, scorched the land, brought famine and epidemics to the populations. Later, this became known as "history." And the historians did not doubt the rationality of this history.

Gradually the common people appeared on the scene. "The Queen is to blame," the people's representatives shouted, and beheaded the Queen. Howling, the populace danced around the guillotine. From the ranks of the people arose Napoleon. "The Austrians, the Prussians, the Russians are to blame," it was now said. "Napoleon is to blame," came the reply. "The machines are to blame!" the weavers screamed, and "The lumpenproletariat is to blame," sounded back. "The Monarchy is to blame, long live the Constitution!" the burgers shouted. "The middle classes and the Constitution are to blame; wipe them out; long live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat," the proletarian dictators shout, and "The Russians are to blame," is hurled back. "Germany is to blame," the Japanese and the Italians shouted in 1915. "England is to blame," the fathers of the proletarians shouted in 1939. And "Germany is to blame," the self-same fathers shouted in 1942. "Italy, Germany and Japan are to blame," it was said in 1940.

It is only by keeping strictly outside this inferno that one can be amazed that the human animal continues to shriek "Guilty!" without doubting its own sanity, without even once asking about the origin of this guilt. Such mass psychoses have an origin and a function. Only human beings who are forced to hide something catastrophic are capable of erring so consistently and punishing so relentlessly any attempt at clarifying such errors. ~ Wilhelm Reich
481:This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance--at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin, and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts. His light has broken in on some of the clergy, and the greatest man who to-day occupies the pulpit of one of the orthodox churches, Henry Ward Beecher, is a believer in the theories of Charles Darwin--a man of more genius than all the clergy of that entire church put together.

...The church teaches that man was created perfect, and that for six thousand years he has degenerated. Darwin demonstrated the falsity of this dogma. He shows that man has for thousands of ages steadily advanced; that the Garden of Eden is an ignorant myth; that the doctrine of original sin has no foundation in fact; that the atonement is an absurdity; that the serpent did not tempt, and that man did not 'fall.'

Charles Darwin destroyed the foundation of orthodox Christianity. There is nothing left but faith in what we know could not and did not happen. Religion and science are enemies. One is a superstition; the other is a fact. One rests upon the false, the other upon the true. One is the result of fear and faith, the other of investigation and reason. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
482:Paine suffered then, as now he suffers not so much because of what he wrote as from the misinterpretations of others...

He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds - or on persons devoted to them - have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life.

When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a 'dirty little atheist' he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. If Paine had ceased his writings with 'The Rights of Man' he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution. But 'The Age of Reason' cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen - a greater loss to them than to Tom Paine.

I was always interested in Paine the inventor. He conceived and designed the iron bridge and the hollow candle; the principle of the modern central draught burner. The man had a sort of universal genius. He was interested in a diversity of things; but his special creed, his first thought, was liberty.

Traducers have said that he spent his last days drinking in pothouses. They have pictured him as a wicked old man coming to a sorry end. But I am persuaded that Paine must have looked with magnanimity and sorrow on the attacks of his countrymen. That those attacks have continued down to our day, with scarcely any abatement, is an indication of how strong prejudice, when once aroused, may become. It has been a custom in some quarters to hold up Paine as an example of everything bad.

The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925} ~ Thomas A Edison
483:The German and Russian state apparatuses grew out of despotism. For this reason the subservient nature of the human character of masses of people in Germany and in Russia was exceptionally pronounced. Thus, in both cases, the revolution led to a new despotism with the certainty of irrational logic. In contrast to the German and Russia state apparatuses, the American state apparatus was formed by groups of people who had evaded European and Asian despotism by fleeing to a virgin territory free of immediate and effective traditions. Only in this way can it be understood that, until the time of this writing, a totalitarian state apparatus was not able to develop in America, whereas in Europe every overthrow of the government carried out under the slogan of freedom inevitably led to despotism. This holds true for Robespierre, as well as for Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. If we want to appraise the facts impartially, then we have to point out, whether we want to or not, and whether we like it or not, that Europe's dictators, who based their power on vast millions of people, always stemmed from the suppressed classes. I do not hesitate to assert that this fact, as tragic as it is, harbors more material for social research than the facts related to the despotism of a czar or of a Kaiser Wilhelm. By comparison, the latter facts are easily understood. The founders of the American Revolution had to build their democracy from scratch on foreign soil. The men who accomplished this task had all been rebels against English despotism. The Russian Revolutionaries, on the other had, were forced to take over an already existing and very rigid government apparatus. Whereas the Americans were able to start from scratch, the Russians, as much as they fought against it, had to drag along the old. This may also account for the fact that the Americans, the memory of their own flight from despotism still fresh in their minds, assumed an entirely different—more open and more accessible—attitude toward the new refugees of 1940, than Soviet Russia, which closed its doors to them. This may explain why the attempt to preserve the old democratic ideal and the effort to develop genuine self-administration was much more forceful in the United States than anywhere else. We do not overlook the many failures and retardations caused by tradition, but in any event a revival of genuine democratic efforts took place in America and not in Russia. It can only be hoped that American democracy will thoroughly realize, and this before it is too late, that fascism is not confined to any one nation or any one party; and it is to be hoped that it will succeed in overcoming the tendency toward dictatorial forms in the people themselves. Only time will tell whether the Americans will be able to resist the compulsion of irrationality or whether they will succumb to it. ~ Wilhelm Reich
484:Luther Burbank was born in a brick farmhouse in Lancaster Mass,
he walked through the woods one winter
crunching through the shinycrusted snow
stumbling into a little dell where a warm spring was
and found the grass green and weeds sprouting
and skunk cabbage pushing up a potent thumb,
He went home and sat by the stove and read Darwin
Struggle for Existence Origin of Species Natural
Selection that wasn't what they taught in church,
so Luther Burbank ceased to believe moved to Lunenburg,
found a seedball in a potato plant
sowed the seed and cashed in on Darwin’s Natural Selection
on Spencer and Huxley
with the Burbank potato.

Young man go west;
Luther Burbank went to Santa Rosa
full of his dream of green grass in winter ever-
blooming flowers ever-
bearing berries; Luther Burbank
could cash in on Natural Selection Luther Burbank
carried his apocalyptic dream of green grass in winter
and seedless berries and stoneless plums and thornless roses brambles cactus—
winters were bleak in that bleak
brick farmhouse in bleak Massachusetts—
out to sunny Santa Rosa;
and he was a sunny old man
where roses bloomed all year
everblooming everbearing

America was hybrid
America could cash in on Natural Selection.
He was an infidel he believed in Darwin and Natural
Selection and the influence of the mighty dead
and a good firm shipper’s fruit
suitable for canning.
He was one of the grand old men until the churches
and the congregations
got wind that he was an infidel and believed
in Darwin.
Luther Burbank had never a thought of evil,
selected improved hybrids for America
those sunny years in Santa Rosa.
But he brushed down a wasp’s nest that time;
he wouldn’t give up Darwin and Natural Selection
and they stung him and he died
They buried him under a cedartree.
His favorite photograph
was of a little tot
standing beside a bed of hybrid
everblooming double Shasta daisies
with never a thought of evil
And Mount Shasta
in the background, used to be a volcano
but they don’t have volcanos
any more. ~ John Dos Passos
485:Luther Burbank was born in a brick farmhouse in Lancaster Mass,
he walked through the woods one winter
crunching through the shinycrusted snow
stumbling into a little dell where a warm spring was
and found the grass green and weeds sprouting
and skunk cabbage pushing up a potent thumb,
He went home and sat by the stove and read Darwin
Struggle for Existence Origin of Species Natural
Selection that wasn't what they taught in church,
so Luther Burbank ceased to believe moved to Lunenburg,
found a seedball in a potato plant
sowed the seed and cashed in on Darwin’s Natural Selection
on Spencer and Huxley
with the Burbank potato.

Young man go west;
Luther Burbank went to Santa Rosa
full of his dream of green grass in winter ever-
blooming flowers ever-
bearing berries; Luther Burbank
could cash in on Natural Selection Luther Burbank
carried his apocalyptic dream of green grass in winter
and seedless berries and stoneless plums and thornless roses brambles cactus—
winters were bleak in that bleak
brick farmhouse in bleak Massachusetts—
out to sunny Santa Rosa;
and he was a sunny old man
where roses bloomed all year
everblooming everbearing

America was hybrid
America could cash in on Natural Selection.
He was an infidel he believed in Darwin and Natural
Selection and the influence of the mighty dead
and a good firm shipper’s fruit
suitable for canning.
He was one of the grand old men until the churches
and the congregations
got wind that he was an infidel and believed
in Darwin.
Luther Burbank had never a thought of evil,
selected improved hybrids for America
those sunny years in Santa Rosa.
But he brushed down a wasp’s nest that time;
he wouldn’t give up Darwin and Natural Selection
and they stung him and he died
They buried him under a cedartree.
His favorite photograph
was of a little tot
standing beside a bed of hybrid
everblooming double Shasta daisies
with never a thought of evil
And Mount Shasta
in the background, used to be a volcano
but they don’t have volcanos
any more. ~ John Dos Passos
486:The cases described in this section (The Fear of Being) may seem extreme, but I have become convinced that they are not as uncommon as one would think. Beneath the seemingly rational exterior of our lives is a fear of insanity. We dare not question the values by which we live or rebel against the roles we play for fear of putting our sanity into doubt. We are like the inmates of a mental institution who must accept its inhumanity and insensitivity as caring and knowledgeableness if they hope to be regarded as sane enough to leave. The question who is sane and who is crazy was the theme of the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. The question, what is sanity? was clearly asked in the play Equus.
The idea that much of what we do is insane and that if we want to be sane, we must let ourselves go crazy has been strongly advanced by R.D. Laing. In the preface to the Pelican edition of his book The Divided Self, Laing writes: "In the context of our present pervasive madness that we call normality, sanity, freedom, all of our frames of reference are ambiguous and equivocal." And in the same preface: "Thus I would wish to emphasize that our 'normal' 'adjusted' state is too often the abdication of ecstasy, the betrayal of our true potentialities; that many of us are only too successful in acquiring a false self to adapt to false realities."
Wilhelm Reich had a somewhat similar view of present-day human behavior. Thus Reich says, "Homo normalis blocks off entirely the perception of basic orgonotic functioning by means of rigid armoring; in the schizophrenic, on the other hand, the armoring practically breaks down and thus the biosystem is flooded with deep experiences from the biophysical core with which it cannot cope." The "deep experiences" to which Reich refers are the pleasurable streaming sensations associated with intense excitation that is mainly sexual in nature. The schizophrenic cannot cope with these sensations because his body is too contracted to tolerate the charge. Unable to "block" the excitation or reduce it as a neurotic can, and unable to "stand" the charge, the schizophrenic is literally "driven crazy."
But the neurotic does not escape so easily either. He avoids insanity by blocking the excitation, that is, by reducing it to a point where there is no danger of explosion, or bursting. In effect the neurotic undergoes a psychological castration. However, the potential for explosive release is still present in his body, although it is rigidly guarded as if it were a bomb. The neurotic is on guard against himself, terrified to let go of his defenses and allow his feelings free expression. Having become, as Reich calls him, "homo normalis," having bartered his freedom and ecstasy for the security of being "well adjusted," he sees the alternative as "crazy." And in a sense he is right. Without going "crazy," without becoming "mad," so mad that he could kill, it is impossible to give up the defenses that protect him in the same way that a mental institution protects its inmates from self-destruction and the destruction of others. ~ Alexander Lowen
487:No institution of learning of Ingersoll's day had courage enough to confer upon him an honorary degree; not only for his own intellectual accomplishments, but also for his influence upon the minds of the learned men and women of his time and generation.

Robert G. Ingersoll never received a prize for literature. The same prejudice and bigotry which prevented his getting an honorary college degree, militated against his being recognized as 'the greatest writer of the English language on the face of the earth,' as Henry Ward Beecher characterized him. Aye, in all the history of literature, Robert G. Ingersoll has never been excelled -- except by only one man, and that man was -- William Shakespeare. And yet there are times when Ingersoll even surpassed the immortal Bard. Yes, there are times when Ingersoll excelled even Shakespeare, in expressing human emotions, and in the use of language to express a thought, or to paint a picture. I say this fully conscious of my own admiration for that 'intellectual ocean, whose waves touched all the shores of thought.'

Ingersoll was perfection himself. Every word was properly used. Every sentence was perfectly formed. Every noun, every verb and every object was in its proper place. Every punctuation mark, every comma, every semicolon, and every period was expertly placed to separate and balance each sentence.

To read Ingersoll, it seems that every idea came properly clothed from his brain. Something rare indeed in the history of man's use of language in the expression of his thoughts. Every thought came from his brain with all the beauty and perfection of the full blown rose, with the velvety petals delicately touching each other.

Thoughts of diamonds and pearls, rubies and sapphires rolled off his tongue as if from an inexhaustible mine of precious stones.

Just as the cut of the diamond reveals the splendor of its brilliance, so the words and construction of the sentences gave a charm and beauty and eloquence to Ingersoll's thoughts.

Ingersoll had everything: The song of the skylark; the tenderness of the dove; the hiss of the snake; the bite of the tiger; the strength of the lion; and perhaps more significant was the fact that he used each of these qualities and attributes, in their proper place, and at their proper time. He knew when to embrace with the tenderness of affection, and to resist and denounce wickedness and tyranny with that power of denunciation which he, and he alone, knew how to express. ~ Joseph Lewis
488:Is it possible that the Pentateuch could not have been written by uninspired men? that the assistance of God was necessary to produce these books? Is it possible that Galilei ascertained the mechanical principles of 'Virtual Velocity,' the laws of falling bodies and of all motion; that Copernicus ascertained the true position of the earth and accounted for all celestial phenomena; that Kepler discovered his three laws—discoveries of such importance that the 8th of May, 1618, may be called the birth-day of modern science; that Newton gave to the world the Method of Fluxions, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, and the Decomposition of Light; that Euclid, Cavalieri, Descartes, and Leibniz, almost completed the science of mathematics; that all the discoveries in optics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and chemistry, the experiments, discoveries, and inventions of Galvani, Volta, Franklin and Morse, of Trevithick, Watt and Fulton and of all the pioneers of progress—that all this was accomplished by uninspired men, while the writer of the Pentateuch was directed and inspired by an infinite God? Is it possible that the codes of China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome were made by man, and that the laws recorded in the Pentateuch were alone given by God? Is it possible that Æschylus and Shakespeare, Burns, and Beranger, Goethe and Schiller, and all the poets of the world, and all their wondrous tragedies and songs are but the work of men, while no intelligence except the infinite God could be the author of the Pentateuch? Is it possible that of all the books that crowd the libraries of the world, the books of science, fiction, history and song, that all save only one, have been produced by man? Is it possible that of all these, the bible only is the work of God? ~ Robert G Ingersoll
489:Finally, we arrive at the question of the so-called nonpolitical man. Hitler not only established his power from the very beginning with masses of people who were until then essentially nonpolitical; he also accomplished his last step to victory in March of 1933 in a "legal" manner, by mobilizing no less than five million nonvoters, that is to say, nonpolitical people. The Left parties had made every effort to win over the indifferent masses, without posing the question as to what it means "to be indifferent or nonpolitical."

If an industrialist and large estate owner champions a rightist party, this is easily understood in terms of his immediate economic interests. In his case a leftist orientation would be at variance with his social situation and would, for that reason, point to irrational motives. If an industrial worker has a leftist orientation, this too is by all mean rationally consistent—it derives from his economic and social position in industry. If, however, a worker, an employee, or an official has a rightist orientation, this must be ascribed to a lack of political clarity, i.e., he is ignorant of his social position. The more a man who belongs to the broad working masses is nonpolitical, the more susceptible he is to the ideology of political reaction. To be nonpolitical is not, as one might suppose, evidence of a passive psychic condition, but of a highly active attitude, a defense against the awareness of social responsibility. The analysis of this defense against consciousness of one's social responsibility yields clear insights into a number of dark questions concerning the behavior of the broad nonpolitical strata. In the case of the average intellectual "who wants nothing to do with politics," it can easily be shown that immediate economic interests and fears related to his social position, which is dependent upon public opinion, lie at the basis of his noninvolvement. These fears cause him to make the most grotesque sacrifices with respect to his knowledge and convictions. Those people who are engaged in the production process in one way or another and are nonetheless socially irresponsible can be divided into two major groups. In the case of the one group the concept of politics is unconsciously associated with the idea of violence and physical danger, i.e., with an intense fear, which prevents them from facing life realistically. In the case of the other group, which undoubtedly constitutes the majority, social irresponsibility is based on personal conflicts and anxieties, of which the sexual anxiety is the predominant one. […] Until now the revolutionary movement has misunderstood this situation. It attempted to awaken the "nonpolitical" man by making him conscious solely of his unfulfilled economic interests. Experience teaches that the majority of these "nonpolitical" people can hardly be made to listen to anything about their socio-economic situation, whereas they are very accessible to the mystical claptrap of a National Socialist, despite the fact that the latter makes very little mention of economic interests. [This] is explained by the fact that severe sexual conflicts (in the broadest sense of the word), whether conscious or unconscious, inhibit rational thinking and the development of social responsibility. They make a person afraid and force him into a shell. If, now, such a self-encapsulated person meets a propagandist who works with faith and mysticism, meets, in other words, a fascist who works with sexual, libidinous methods, he turns his complete attention to him. This is not because the fascist program makes a greater impression on him than the liberal program, but because in his devotion to the führer and the führer's ideology, he experiences a momentary release from his unrelenting inner tension. Unconsciously, he is able to give his conflicts a different form and in this way to "solve" them. ~ Wilhelm Reich
490:We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right. ~ Neil Postman
491:It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind.

[Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787] ~ John Adams
492:4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ.

...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...

[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787] ~ Thomas Jefferson
493:I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen.

I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man...

Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing.

Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object.

...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration:

'The world is my country; to do good my religion.'

Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'.

Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him.

'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.'

Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France.

So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument.

But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part.

Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925} ~ Thomas A Edison
494:Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.'

But it is hardly strange.

Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind.

We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen.

Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty.

I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it.

Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution.

Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine.

...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession.

In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925} ~ Thomas A Edison



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