Quotes Thread


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"Persistence without insight will lead to the same outcome."
- The Armorer (Emily Swallow), The Book of Boba Fett

Scarab Sages

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"It always seems impossible until it's done."

― Nelson Mandela


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“Some people have no idea what they're doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.”
- George Carlin


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“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters”
- Daniel Webster


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“You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. [...] You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward, reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

- Michael Crichton


(Genesis verses 25-27)
25. And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
26. And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27. And the Lord did not ask him again.

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens (1990)

Scarab Sages

I swear my impulse to post this was sheer coincidence:

“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather


"No matter how convinced one is of the righteousness of one's views on any topic, there should still be a wariness about how easily that righteousness can be exploited to ensure that no dissent is considered[.]"
- Glenn Greenwald


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"Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice. Their suggestibility is increased to the point where they cease to have any judgment or will of their own. They become very ex­citable, they lose all sense of individual or collective responsibility, they are subject to sudden accesses of rage, enthusiasm and panic. In a word, a man in a crowd behaves as though he had swallowed a large dose of some powerful intoxicant. He is a victim of what I have called "herd-poisoning." Like alcohol, herd-poison is an active, extraverted drug. The crowd-intoxicated individual escapes from responsibility, in­telligence and morality into a kind of frantic, animal mindlessness."
- Aldous Huxley, foreword to Brave New World (written 1931)


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"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."
- Thomas Sowell


David M Mallon wrote:

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

- Thomas Sowell

Double-faved for a Sowell quote.


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"Grave men are taken by the common people to be wise men."
- Benjamin Franklin

Note: this is likely a truncated quote, and appears as quoted by Walter Isaacson in Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003). The original appeared in Franklin's 1737 essay Talents Requisite in an Almanac Writer; however, I was unable to track down the full text.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Removed a post for baiting.


Hmmm. Too bad. It was hilarious!

Scarab Sages

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"Baiting"? I fail to see how (and I'm not even sure what that means, but it sounds like the kind of thing where intent to do so is important, which would require knowing).

Scarab Sages

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"War is basically an MLM business gone too far."

The Onion


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"Risk cloaked in statistics is a ghost in a suit. It starts to resemble a person."
- Judith Levine


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"Lying to others is shameful, but lying to ourselves and not even realizing it, that's hardcore spiritual decay."

"Never give up memories, no matter how hard you're pushed."

- Matt Taibbi


"It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it."
- George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)


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"The idea that this is not the place to live well, that there is another place where you will live well, is the wrong idea. Who told you that you are not already in a heaven, and making a mess out of it? We are in a heaven and making a mess out of it. [...] Essentially, it's like this: If you feel pleasant in your body, we call this 'health.' If you feel very pleasant in your body, we call this 'pleasure.' If you feel pleasant in your mind, we call this 'peace.' If you feel very pleasant, we call this 'joy.' If you feel pleasant in your emotion, we call this 'love.' If you feel very pleasant, we call it 'compassion.' If you feel very pleasant in your very life energies, the we call this 'blissfulness.' If you become very, very pleasant, then we call it 'ecstasy.' If your surroundings become pleasant, we call it 'success.' So, to create pleasantness in the surroundings, we need the cooperation of people and forces around us. Without everybody's cooperation, you can't create a pleasant atmosphere. But pleasantness of the body, pleasantness of the mind, pleasantness of emotion and energy is one-hundred percent your business, isn't it? So, if you are feeling ecstatic, you are in heaven. Because your idea of heaven is a very pleasant place, isn't it? This place, this planet Earth is very pleasant, except for the human beings who are creating unpleasantness among each other."
- Sadhguru


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“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
- Niels Bohr


"Failure, even when it is not a tragedy, is often the extinguishing of a possible life we may have led, and that is not a reconcilable loss. It may not be very productive to think about those failures, or very pleasant, but what is a consideration of failure without them? Are we to suppose they would have all come good if they had read some inspiring quotes and books? We avoid dwelling on such failures because there is nothing constructive about doing so, nothing much to learn, but accepting that not everything is useful, not everything has a productive outcome, might be as worthwhile a pursuit as insistently refracting our failures to mean something they don’t."
- Megan Nolan


David M Mallon wrote:

"Failure, even when it is not a tragedy, is often the extinguishing of a possible life we may have led, and that is not a reconcilable loss. It may not be very productive to think about those failures, or very pleasant, but what is a consideration of failure without them? Are we to suppose they would have all come good if they had read some inspiring quotes and books? We avoid dwelling on such failures because there is nothing constructive about doing so, nothing much to learn, but accepting that not everything is useful, not everything has a productive outcome, might be as worthwhile a pursuit as insistently refracting our failures to mean something they don’t."

- Megan Nolan

Wow! And I thought *I* was a cranky pessimist!

Scarab Sages

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"Beware of self-righteousness. The black devil of licentiousness destroys his hundreds, but the white devil of self-righteousness destroys his thousands."

― Charles Spurgeon

Scarab Sages

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David M Mallon wrote:

"The idea that this is not the place to live well, that there is another place where you will live well, is the wrong idea. Who told you that you are not already in a heaven, and making a mess out of it? We are in a heaven and making a mess out of it. [...] Essentially, it's like this: If you feel pleasant in your body, we call this 'health.' If you feel very pleasant in your body, we call this 'pleasure.' If you feel pleasant in your mind, we call this 'peace.' If you feel very pleasant, we call this 'joy.' If you feel pleasant in your emotion, we call this 'love.' If you feel very pleasant, we call it 'compassion.' If you feel very pleasant in your very life energies, the we call this 'blissfulness.' If you become very, very pleasant, then we call it 'ecstasy.' If your surroundings become pleasant, we call it 'success.' So, to create pleasantness in the surroundings, we need the cooperation of people and forces around us. Without everybody's cooperation, you can't create a pleasant atmosphere. But pleasantness of the body, pleasantness of the mind, pleasantness of emotion and energy is one-hundred percent your business, isn't it? So, if you are feeling ecstatic, you are in heaven. Because your idea of heaven is a very pleasant place, isn't it? This place, this planet Earth is very pleasant, except for the human beings who are creating unpleasantness among each other."

- Sadhguru

Think I've heard others express this better...


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Think I've heard others express this better...

Well played.

For the record, I unironically enjoy that song...


"Understand that befriending a cat is like befriending a hurricane. It'll be violent. It'll be devastating. But in the eye of the storm, in that calm, serene center, it'll be beautiful. And then it'll just be violent again."
- Matthew Inman (AKA The Oatmeal)


"The planet is fine--the people are f&@@ed."
- George Carlin

Scarab Sages

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“What Paul says about Peter tells us more about Paul than about Peter.”

― Baruch Spinoza


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"[C]ensorship always starts as something people like. And then it turns into something that they don't."
- David Sacks


"The logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle. That is the goal towards which we are already moving, though, of course, we have no intention of getting there; just as a man who drinks a bottle of whiskey a day does not actually intend to get cirrhosis of the liver."
- George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)


"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak."
- John Adams


"I've always been someone who felt we are court jesters. That's what we do, as far as I'm concerned, you should step away from saying anything so that you can still be seen by the audience in any character. There's no reason entertainers can't learn just as much as anybody else about a subject, whatever it is. But I think that what's sad about it is that they lose their status as a court jester. And I'm a court jester. That's what I was born to do."
- Kurt Russell


"First, we’re taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we’re all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought. Once safely captured, we’re trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest. Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both. [...] Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems. We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent."
- Matt Taibbi


Are you feeling nervous? Are you having fun?
It's almost over, it's just begun
Don't overthink this, look in my eye
Don't be scared, don't be shy, come on in, the water's fine
You say the ocean's rising like I give a s##*
You say the whole world's ending, honey, it already did
You're not gonna slow it, Heaven knows you tried
Got it? Good, now get inside

- Bo Burnham, "All Eyes On Me"


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"If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. [...] And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please."
- Hannah Arendt


"Happiness only real when shared."
- Christopher McCandless


“There isn’t nearly enough nothing in the world anymore.”
- Christopher Thomas Knight

Scarab Sages

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Self-QFT of the week:

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

"But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! "

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Also Sprach Zarathustra


"Modernity is a permanent revolution. We were all really born for an age of walnut trees and shaded pools, but instead we find ourselves in the Machine’s maw with the jaws closing, and it is hard to know whether to fight or run, or whether either is possible, or whether all of this is just words, of the kind I should have stayed away from. But these are our times, and those of us cursed to think too much must work out how to live in them. We must work out, if only for our own peace of mind, what we think about the breakdown of forms, the widening gyre, the solidity melting ever faster into air. We have to work it out so that we know where we stand, and what we will not stand for. Where the lines are, and whether to cross them and what we will do if one day the times come for us [...] and demand a public pledge of loyalty."
- Paul Kingsnorth


"Greater philosophers than I have long reflected that intellect’s highest evolutionary benefit is that of providing us with a smooth-running engine of hypocrisy[.]"
- Simon Evans

"So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do."
- Benjamin Franklin


"When forms have no underlying substance, when people in positions of responsibility don’t believe in anything, when words are empty, anything can become anything. Reality floats, unmoored."
- Chris Bray


"There are two instruments worse than a clarinet – two clarinets.”
- Ambrose Bierce


"The urge to deconstruct and challenge is a necessary developmental step. It helps us question fixed narratives, for a start. Deconstructing rigid structures brings a necessary flexibility and allows culture to regenerate itself from the margins it was previously ignoring or suppressing, However, it has to be mediated by a transcendent ideal or purpose, and move toward something deeper than perpetual deconstruction."
- Alexander Beiner


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“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
- Marcus Aurelius

Horizon Hunters

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“My name is George Lucas. I am a writer, director, and producer of motion pictures and Chairman of the Board of Lucasfilm Ltd., a multi-faceted entertainment corporation. I am not here today as a writer-director, or as a producer, or as the chairman of a corporation. I've come as a citizen of what I believe to be a great society that is in need of a moral anchor to help define and protect its intellectual and cultural heritage. It is not being protected.

The destruction of our film heritage, which is the focus of concern today, is only the tip of the iceberg. American law does not protect our painters, sculptors, recording artists, authors, or filmmakers from having their lifework distorted, and their reputation ruined. If something is not done now to clearly state the moral rights of artists, current and future technologies will alter, mutilate, and destroy for future generations the subtle human truths and highest human feeling that talented individuals within our society have created.

A copyright is held in trust by its owner until it ultimately reverts to public domain. American works of art belong to the American public; they are part of our cultural history. People who alter or destroy works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise of power are barbarians, and if the laws of the United States continue to condone this behavior, history will surely classify us as a barbaric society. The preservation of our cultural heritage may not seem to be as politically sensitive an issue as "when life begins" or "when it should be appropriately terminated," but it is important because it goes to the heart of what sets mankind apart. Creative expression is at the core of our humanness. Art is a distinctly human endeavor. We must have respect for it if we are to have any respect for the human race.

These current defacements are just the beginning. Today, engineers with their computers can add color to black-and-white movies, change the soundtrack, speed up the pace, and add or subtract material to the philosophical tastes of the copyright holder. Tomorrow, more advanced technology will be able to replace actors with "fresher faces," or alter dialogue and change the movement of the actor's lips to match. It will soon be possible to create a new "original" negative with whatever changes or alterations the copyright holder of the moment desires. The copyright holders, so far, have not been completely diligent in preserving the original negatives of films they control. In order to reconstruct old negatives, many archivists have had to go to Eastern bloc countries where American films have been better preserved.

In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be "replaced" by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten.

There is nothing to stop American films, records, books, and paintings from being sold to a foreign entity or egotistical gangsters and having them change our cultural heritage to suit their personal taste.

I accuse the companies and groups, who say that American law is sufficient, of misleading the Congress and the People for their own economic self-interest.
I accuse the corporations, who oppose the moral rights of the artist, of being dishonest and insensitive to American cultural heritage and of being interested only in their quarterly bottom line, and not in the long-term interest of the Nation.

The public's interest is ultimately dominant over all other interests. And the proof of that is that even a copyright law only permits the creators and their estate a limited amount of time to enjoy the economic fruits of that work.

There are those who say American law is sufficient. That's an outrage! It's not sufficient! If it were sufficient, why would I be here? Why would John Houston have been so studiously ignored when he protested the colorization of "The Maltese Falcon?" Why are films cut up and butchered?

Attention should be paid to this question of our soul, and not simply to accounting procedures. Attention should be paid to the interest of those who are yet unborn, who should be able to see this generation as it saw itself, and the past generation as it saw itself.

I hope you have the courage to lead America in acknowledging the importance of American art to the human race, and accord the proper protection for the creators of that art, as it is accorded them in much of the rest of the world communities.”

― 1988 speech before Congress


Wow... some irony there...


"God save us from people who dream big, without the brains to match."
- Matt Taibbi


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"[Men] came to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well."
- anonymous

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