Random Quotes

I figured it was time I did the latest random thing to be wandering its way around Scienceblogs. [Janet has introduced the “random quotes” meme.][janet], in which we’re supposed to go wandering through the [quotes here][quotes], and pick the first five that reflect “who you are or what you believe”.
1. “Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.”, Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958). Could any quote possibly be more true?
2. “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”, Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809). Given recent events in this country, this is particularly apropos.
3. “We are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great breakthrough.”, Rabbi Harold Kushner. I’ve actually taken a class with Rabbi Kushner, and it was wonderful; this quote to me sums up a big part of how I try to live my life.
4. “Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.”, Henri Poincare (1854 – 1912). I couldn’t possibly pick quotes for this blog without quoting a mathematician. Considering what I do on this blog, this one is quote appropriate for me. So many of the creationist screeds that I criticize are based on collections of actual facts put together in stupid ways that turn them in garbage instead of science.
5. “The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure.”, Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592). Yes, I’m a foodie. Maybe someday I’ll post a recipe or two. I used to have a website with the recipes from my Y2K New Years Eve party, but it got lost when I switched ISPs and forgot to copy it.
[janet]: http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2006/08/random_quotations_meme.php
[quotes]: http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3

0 thoughts on “Random Quotes

  1. rudy

    Love the quotes, totally and unequivocally on the money, particularly the Paine quote. The Poincare quote was also a fine, synchronous attribution being that his “mathematical statement” at the turn of the century has been proven by an elusive Russian mathematician who apparently will refuse math’s nobel prize, the Fields Medal.
    Well done!
    augusta, ga

  2. Torbjörn Larsson

    Random, but selected:
    “The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”
    George Santayana (1863 – 1952)
    – If the brain has stopped, you are dead.
    “While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”
    Henry C. Link
    – ATASAP. Always Test As Soon As Possible – or waste work.
    “Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”
    Edward Abbey (1927 – 1989)
    – Truth may hurt, but delusions are sure to.
    “I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people.”
    Mark Twain (1835 – 1910), “Is Shakespeare Dead?”
    – Truth may hurt, but delusions are sure to.
    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”
    Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988), Caltech commencement address, 1974
    – Truth may hurt, but delusions are sure to.
    Hmm – didn’t mean to repeat a theme – but there it is.


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