quote My philosophy
like colour TV
is all there
in black and white
Monty Python

Quotes, Aphorisms, Laws & Thoughts

66Optimism & Pessimism 99

A lot of people become pessimists from financing optimists.

A pessimist is one who builds dungeons in the air.

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Cheer up, the worst is yet to come.
Philander Chase Johnson (1866-1939)

It is impossible for an optimist to be pleasantly surprised.

Smile, they said,
It could be worse.
So, I did
And it was.

Start every day with a smile and get it over with.
W.C. Fields (1879-1946)

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It is twice as large as it needs to be.

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it.
J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967)

Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.
McLandburgh Wilson

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66Originality 99

Originality is the art of concealing your source.
Franklin P. Jones

When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
Anatole France (1844-1924)

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66Paradise 99

The only paradise is paradise lost.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

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66Parents 99

We are the people our parents warned us about.

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.
Phyllis Diller (1917-)

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66Patriotism 99

An author's first duty is to let down his country.
Brendan Behan (1923-1964)

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

'My country right or wrong' is like saying 'My mother drunk or sober'.
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Patriotism is the veneration of real estate above principles.
George Jean Nathan (1882-1958)

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

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66Peace 99

Don't tell me peace has broken out.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

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66Philosophy 99

Ah, what is man?
Wherefore does he why?
Whence did he whence?
Whither is he withering?

Emmanuel Kant but Genghis Khan.

Existentialism has no future.

For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.

For every why he had a wherefore.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

An existential map has 'you are here' written all over it.

Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.
David T. Wolf

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but, in practice, there is.

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
William Blake (1752-1827)

Most people are fools, most authority is malignant, god does not exist, and everything is wrong.
Ted Nelson (1937-)

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

My son has taken up meditation - at least it's better than sitting doing nothing.
Max Kauffmann

O Lord, help me be pure, but not yet.
St. Augustine (?-605)

The conclusion of your syllogism is fallacious, being based upon licensed premises.
Myles na gCopaleen (1911-1966)

What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong.

What if there were no hypothetical situations?

When ideas fail, words can come in handy.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?
Artemus Ward (1834-1867)

Your karma ran over my dogma.

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66Physics 99

A radioactive cat has eighteen half-lives.

A rolling stone gathers momentum.

Absolute zero is cool.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)

Chemistry is physics without thought; mathematics is physics without purpose.

God does not play dice with the cosmos.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Devil runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Sir Lawrence Bragg (1890-1971)

Every body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, except insofar as it doesn't.
Sir Arthur Eddington (1882-1944)

Quarks are the dreams that stuff is made of.

Schrödinger rules the waves.

We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankensteinian logic.

What makes the universe so hard to comprehend is that there's nothing to compare it with.

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66Poetry 99

Always be a poet, even in prose.
Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867)

he sang his didn't he danced his did
ee cummings (1894-1962)

I know that poetry is indispensable, but to what I could not say.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)

It's hard to say why writing verse
Should terminate in drink or worse.

lady will you come with me into
the extremely little house of
my mind.
ee cummings (1894-1962)

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

Poetry is proof that rhyme doesn't pay.

She has muscles that men adore so
And a torso even more so.
E.Y. Harburg

Some prose writers go from bad to verse.

The best words in the best order.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

The earth keeps some vibration going
There in your heart, and that is you.
Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950)

The poet ranks far below the painter in the representation of visible things, and far below the musician in that of invisible things.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

There is no money in poetry, but then there is no poetry in money, either.
Robert Graves (1895-1985)

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66Politics 99

A conservative is a politician who wants to keep what the liberals fought for a generation ago.

A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)

A liberal is a conservative who has gone to jail, and a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.

A liberal is someone too poor to be a capitalist, and too rich to be a communist.

A liberal thinks that goats are just sheep from broken homes.

An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought.
Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

Any man who is under thirty, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over thirty, and is not a conservative, has no brains.*

Banana Republic Constitution: Prohibido todo lo que no sea obligatorio.

Bread is the staff of life; toast a decadent capitalist luxury.

Congressmen are the finest body of men money can buy.

Conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever. The facts work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid.

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
E.B. White (1899-1985)

Don't vote, it only encourages them.

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind the slime of a new bureaucracy.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

I must follow them. I am their leader.
Bonar Law (1858-1923)

If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
Anatole France (1844-1924)

If I were two-faced would I be wearing this one?
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

If voting changed anything it would be illegal.

In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equal to 'civil master'.

In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.
Sir Tom Stoppard (1937-)

Men and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted.

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.
Henry Kissinger (1923-)

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-)

One fifth of the people are against everything all the time.
Robert Kennedy (1925-1968)

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river.
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)

Politics is like being a football coach. You've got to be smart enough to play the game and dumb enough to think it is important.
Eugene McCarthy (1916-)

Politics is the art of the possible.
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Henry Kissinger (1923-)

Pro is to con as progress is to Congress.

Taxes are not raised for the benefit of the taxed.

The supply of government exceeds the demand.

We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate.

What luck for rulers that men do not think.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)

You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long.
Boris Yeltsin

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66Poverty 99

I complained that I had no shoes
Until I met a man who had no feet.

I owe much; I have nothing; the rest I leave to the poor.
François Rabelais (1483-1553)

It is only the poor who are forbidden to beg.
Anatole France (1844-1924)

We didn't starve, but we didn't eat chicken unless we were sick, or the chicken was.
Bernard Malamud (1914-1986)

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66Prison 99

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small confined space.

Stone walls do not a prison make
Nor iron bars a cage.
Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)

Two men look out through the same bars:
One sees the mud, and one the stars.
Frederick Langbridge (1849-1923)

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66Problems 99

For every solution he had a problem.

Inside every big problem there is a small problem struggling to get out.

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66Professionalism 99

Professionals built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

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66Progress 99

A lot of what appears to be progress is just technological rococo.

All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

Automatic simply means that you can't repair it yourself.
Frank Capra (1897-1991)

Horsepower was a wonderful thing when only horses had it.

Is it progress when a cannibal uses a knife and fork?

It is better for civilisation to be going down the drain than to be coming up it.

Men have become tools of their tools.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to modern people who blow horns to break up traffic jams.

Progress may have been acceptable once but it has gone on too long.
Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

The impossibility of yesterday has become the luxury of today and the necessity of tomorrow.

What is now proved was once only imagined.
William Blake (1752-1827)

What was sliced bread the greatest thing since?

You are making progress if each mistake is a new one.

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66Provincialism 99

There are few who would not rather be taken in adultery than in provincialism.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

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66The Psyche 99

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

A neurotic builds castles in the air.
A psychotic lives in them.
A psychiatrist collects the rent.

A psychiatrist asks a lot of expensive questions your wife asks for nothing.

All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974)

Either heaven or hell will have continuous background music. Which one you think it will be tells a lot about you.

He was so narrow-minded he could see through a keyhole with both eyes.

He who despises himself esteems himself as a self-despiser.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

I am now cured of schizophrenia: but where am I now that I need me?

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

I have always been crazy, but it kept me from going insane.

If everybody hated you, you'd be paranoid too.

Just because you are not paranoid doesn't mean somebody isn't out to get you.

Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.
Voltaire (1694-1778)

My inferiority complex is not as good as yours.

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

Psychiatry is the care of the Id by the odd.

Psychoanalysis makes quite simple people feel they're complex.
S.N. Behrman (1893-1973)

Schizophrenia is better than dining alone.

There's nothing wrong with the average person that a good psychiatrist can't exaggerate.

What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.
Dan Quayle (1947-)

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66Punctuality 99

Punctuality is the thief of time.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966)

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.

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66Religion 99

A cult becomes a religion when it stops killing its members and starts killing non-members.

A religious conservative is a fanatic about a dead radical.

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Stendhal (1783-1842)

Avoid like the plague any clergymen who are also businessmen.
Saint Jerome (c.347-419/420)

Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?
Jules Feiffer (1929-)

I believe in the Lord's Prayer or a bottle of Jack Daniel's; whatever gets you through the night.
Frank Sinatra (1915-)

If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.

Living with a saint is more gruelling than being one.
Robert Neville

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
Napoleon Buonaparte (1769-1821)

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The nearer the Church the further from God.
Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)

The Bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.

The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
al-Ma'arri (973-1057)

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

When the Europeans arrived, we had the land and they had the Bible. We closed our eyes to pray and when we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.
Desmond Tutu (1931-)

When we talk to God, we're praying. When God talks to us, we're schizophrenic.

Why does the Vatican have lightning rods?

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66Science 99

A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.

All the effects of nature are only the mathematical consequence of a small number of immutable laws.
Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749-1827)

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get very nervous and give the wrong answers.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke (1917-)

Art is I; science is we.
Claude Bernard (1813-1878)

All probabilities are 50%. Either a thing will happen or it won't.

Entropy isn't what it used to be.

Heisenberg may have been here.

Human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.
Tom Robbins (1936-)

If scientists knew what they were doing, it wouldn't be called research.

If the odds are a million to one against something occurring, chances are 50-50 it will.

In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, is the mistake.

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
Paul Dirac (1902-1984)

It has been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

Klein bottle for rent. Inquire within.

No leg's too short to reach the ground.

Osborn's Law: Constants aren't; variables won't.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.
Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893-1986)

Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1997)

The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship.

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

Velilind's Laws of Experimentation:
1. If reproducibility may be a problem, conduct the test only once.
2. If a straight line fit is required, obtain only two data points.

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66Secrets 99

I know that's a secret, for it's whispered everywhere.
William Congreve (1670-1729)

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66Self Respect 99

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

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66Sex 99

A kiss that speaks volumes is seldom a first edition.
Clare Whiting

Celibacy is not hereditary.

Chaste makes waste.

Continental people have sex lives; the English have hot-water bottles.
George Mikes (1912-)

Her kisses left something to be desired: the rest of her.

I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood: sex and the dead.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

I like sadism, necrophilia, and zoophilia. Am I flogging a dead horse?

I'd like to meet the man who invented sex and see what he's working on now.

I'm as pure as the driven slush.
Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968)

Incest is relatively boring.

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.
Voltaire (1694-1778)

I've been in more laps than a napkin.
Mae West (1892-1980)

Love is a matter of chemistry, sex is physics.

Man has two basic desires: to get and to beget.

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Mistress: Something between a master and a mattress.

Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.

No one will ever win the battle of the sexes; there's too much fraternizing with the enemy.
Henry Kissinger (1923-)

Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to conceive.

Sex is an emotion in motion.
Mae West (1892-1980)

Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. 'Yes' is the answer.

Sexual harassment at work - is it a problem for the self-employed?

She was just a passing fiancée.
Alfred McFote

The pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.
Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)

What men call gallantry and gods adultery
Is much more common where the climate's sultry.
Lord Byron (1788-1824)

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