Friday, June 29, 2007

Quotes: Knowledge

A collection of quotes on a variety of topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Opposites are actually a unity.
Knowledge 295 Aristotle: “The knowledge of opposites is one.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

I only know one thing—that I know nothing.
Knowledge 6 Plato: One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Get knowledge, but understand it.
Knowledge 42 Uncle “Buck” Price: “Get knowledge but get it with understanding.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

Knowledge without greatness of spirit will lead to the destruction of humanity.
Knowledge 52 Homo duplex must learn that knowledge without greatness of spirit is not enough...or there will remain only his calcined cities and the little charcoal of his bones. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Interest leads to knowledge.
Knowledge 118 limit to how much detail you will be able to explore on a subject that interests you...a doorway to all knowledge. Gates, The Road Ahead.

All I know is myself.
Knowledge 255 “I know myself,” he cried, “but that is all.” Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

True knowledge is knowing what we know and what we do not know.
Knowledge 331 Confucius said, “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” Thoreau, Walden.

Restricting knowledge to a small core of people leads to spiritual poverty of the masses.
Knowledge xviii Restricting the body of knowledge to a small group deadens the philosophical spirit of a people and leads to spiritual poverty. Albert Einstein. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

Stupidity leads to clarity in what one knows.
Knowledge 214 The stupider one is, the clearer one is. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

The essence of knowledge is understanding changing reality.
Knowledge 399 Understanding how to get information about a changing reality will be the essence of knowledge…. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

A summary of the human race’s knowledge.
Knowledge vii Human knowledge had become unmanageably vast;…the telescope revealed stars and systems beyond the mind of man to number or to name; geology spoke in terms of millions of years, where men before had thought in terms of thousands; physics found a universe in the atom, and biology found a microcosm in the cell; physiology discovered inexhaustible mystery in every organ, and psychology in every dream; anthropology reconstructed the unsuspected antiquity of man, archeology unearthed buried cities and forgotten states; history proved all history false…theology crumbled…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Knowledge split into a thousand isolated facts and no longer generated wisdom.
Knowledge viii “Facts” replaced understanding; and knowledge, split into a thousand isolated fragments, no longer generated wisdom. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

In the midst of unprecedented knowledge, ignorance flourished.
Knowledge viii In the midst of unprecedented learning popular ignorance flourished…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

No shortcut to knowledge.
Knowledge xiii God knows there is no shortcut to knowledge. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Facts mean nothing without purpose and context.
Knowledge xxvii For a fact…is not complete except in relation to a purpose and a whole. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

To know what to ask is half the solution to a problem.
Knowledge 69 To know what to ask is already to know half. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Knowledge not applied to action is only academic vanity.
Knowledge 111 ...that knowledge unapplied in action was a pale academic vanity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

A man is what he knows.
Knowledge 111 F. Bacon: ...a man is but what he knoweth. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Knowledge is power.
Knowledge 120 F. Bacon: Knowledge is power, not mere argument or ornament. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Happiness is the pursuit of knowledge and the joy of understanding.
Knowledge 166 Spinoza: Only knowledge, then, is power and freedom, and the only permanent happiness is the pursuit of knowledge and the joy of understanding. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Types of knowledge: hearsay, vague experience, from reasoning, and direct perception.
Knowledge 167 Spinoza: [Types of knowledge: hearsay; vague experience (intuitive knowledge?); knowledge reached by reasoning; direct perception.] Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

The lowest kind of knowledge is knowledge that is not unified; science is partly unified knowledge; philosophy is unified knowledge. [Because it is a complete, unified system?]
Knowledge 366 Spencer: Knowledge of the lowest kind is un-unified knowledge; science is partially unified knowledge; philosophy is completely unified knowledge. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

The uninformed think they are omniscient.
Knowledge 377 …the…omniscience of the uninformed…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Too much knowledge leads to skepticism; early true believers become apostates.
Knowledge 449 But too much knowledge leads to skepticism; early devotees are the likeliest apostates. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Bergson.

We know the world through our ideas.
Knowledge 491 Santayana: It is true that we know the world only through our ideas. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

Ignorance is unconsciousness and slavery.
Knowledge 525 Dewey: Ignorance is not bliss, it is unconsciousness and slavery.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Knowledge means conscious awareness.
Knowledge 9 Ira Wolfert: I use “knowledge” in the dictionary sense of conscious awareness…. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Great ideas are not invented; they are discovered.
Knowledge 14 Ira Wolfert: The great ideas have not been invented; they have been discovered. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Philosophers, artists and men of religion have only discovered what exists in themselves and assumed that if it exists in themselves, it exists in everyone else.
Knowledge 14 Ira Wolfert: The philosophers, the artists, the men of religion…have invented nothing…only discovered what exists in themselves[;] if it exists in one, it exists in all. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

You can’t use knowledge if you can’t express it.
Knowledge 53 Johnson: The greatest and most necessary task still remains, to attain a habit of expression, without which knowledge is of little use. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

The more people grow in knowledge, the more their personalities grow.
Knowledge 618 Johnson: A man always makes himself greater as he increases his knowledge. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

With greater powers of expression, people gained the power to create poetry and literary art, but they did not achieve peace or beneficence to mankind.
Knowledge 601 [Knowledge] gave the scholar certain powers of expression, the power of speech, the power of poetry, of literary art, but it did not bring him to peace, or to beneficence. Emerson, New England Reformers.

Knowledge is knowing that we are unable to know.
Knowledge 703 Knowledge is the knowing that we can’t know. Emerson, Representative Men: Montaigne, or The Skeptic.

What we know is very little compared to what we don’t know.
Knowledge 27 What we know, is a point to what we do not know. Emerson, Nature.

If knowledge is not applied, it disappears.
Knowledge 131 Ali the Caliph: “If knowledge calleth into practice, well; if not, it goeth away.” Emerson, Method of Nature.

I enjoy doubting as well as knowing.
Knowledge 21 Dante: I love to doubt as well as know. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

People consult me very little, but they believe me even less.
Knowledge 297 I am consulted very little, but I am believed even less. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The desire for knowledge is natural.
Knowledge 537 There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Knowing that one does not know requires some intelligence.
Knowledge 550 …at least some degree of intelligence is needed for a man to be able to notice that he does not know. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Man can no longer keep track of his achievements.
Knowledge 4 Man has hopelessly surpassed himself…is no longer able to keep track of his own achievements. Feleki. A Random Walk in Science.

Sir Isaac Newton compared his knowledge to playing by the ocean, picking up a shell or two of knowledge but with the whole ocean of truth still to be fathomed.
Knowledge 203 Sir Isaac Newton: I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. A Random Walk in Science.

The more we know the more we need to know.
Knowledge 167 Albert Schweitzer: As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible but more mysterious. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

After all his studying, Plato said all he knew was that he knew nothing.
Knowledge 164 I think it was either Plato or Socrates who after all his study and learning professed that all he knew was that he knew nothing. Steele, 5/2/1711. The Spectator.

Man can study a single topic all his life but still not learn all of its qualities.
Knowledge 291 I remember Mr. Boyle, speaking of a certain mineral, tells us, that a man may consume his whole life in the study of it, without arriving at the knowledge of all its qualities. Addison, 6/18/1711. The Spectator.

I suggest we stop learning about many things until we know everything about one form of life.
Knowledge 27 I suggest that we defer further action until we have acquired a really complete set of information concerning at least one living objective of international, collaborative science to achieve a complete understanding of a single form of life. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Knowledge makes us free.
Knowledge and freedom 185 Spinoza: We are free only where we know. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

We are living in the information age in which we must learn to use and apply it.
Knowledge and information 399 Peter Drucker: We are moving to an information-based economy, in which neither capital, labor, nor raw materials will be as important as knowledge—its use and application. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Science gives us facts, but only philosophy gives us wisdom.
Knowledge and Wisdom xxvii Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

I love knowledge and other people are my teachers.
Knowledge teacher 100 Socrates: I am a lover of knowledge...and men are my teachers. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

The more you know, the less you know. .
Knowledge377 Spencer: There is a story of a Frenchman who, having been three weeks [in England], proposed to write a book on England; who, after three months found that he was not quite ready; and who, after three years, concluded that he knew nothing about it. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Quotes: Kant. Kennedy. Kin. King. King Arthur. Knight Errantry. Knitting.

A collection of quotes. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Kant showed that the mind is not a passive recipient of experience, but selects and constructs its perception of experience.
Kant 287 The great achievement of Kant is to have shown, once for all, that the external world is known to us only as sensation; and that the mind is no mere helpless tabula rasa, the inactive victim of sensation, but a positive agent, selecting and reconstructing experience as experience arrives. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

JFK changed the world’s perception of the U.S. as a country run by old men who were fearful of ideas, change and the future.
Kennedy 940 Of JFK:…wiping away the world’s impression of an old nation of old men, weary, played out, fearful of ideas, change and the future….. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

JFK gave people a sense of hope and the possibilities of life.
Kennedy 940 Of JFK: Above all he gave the world for an imperishable moment the vision of a leader who greatly understood the terror and the hope, the diversity and the possibility, of life on this planet and who made people look beyond nation and race to the future of humanity. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

People who experience the same fate are closer than ties of birth.
Kin 301 Is not the kindred of a common fate a closer tie than that of birth? Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

Kings are oppressed by constraints.
King 46 Creon: …but, once a king, all hedged in by constraint. Sophocles. Oedipus the King.

King Arthur
King Arthur channeled aggression into using it for good purposes.
King Arthur 418 Arthur: When I started the Table, it was to stop anarchy…a channel for brute force, so that the people who had to use force could be made to do it in a useful way. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Force is the mental illness of a humanity that is basically decent.
King Arthur 621 The service for which he [Arthur] had been destined had been against Force, the mental illness of humanity…but the whole structure depended on the first premise: that man was decent. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Force should not be used as an end in itself, but on behalf of justice.
King Arthur 628 Now this king had an idea, and the idea was that Force ought to be used, if it were used at all, on behalf of justice, not on its own account…thought that if he could get his barons fighting for truth, and to help weak people, and to redress wrongs, then their fighting might not be such a bad thing as once it used to be. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Knight Errantry
The problems of being a knight-errant.
Knight-errantry 18 First you have to stop to unwind the brachet [hound that hunts by scent], then your visor falls down, then you can’t see through your spectacles; no where to sleep, never know where you are; rheumatism in the winter, sunstroke in the summer…this horrid armor takes hours to put on…either frying or freezing, and it gets rusty…have to sit up all night polishing the stuff. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

He knitted into his tapestry the skirmish of Fin Macoul.
Knitting 224 …Shemus’s needle flew through the tartan like lightning, and as the artist kept chanting some dreadful skirmish of Fin Macoul, he accomplished at least three stitches to the death of every hero. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quotes: Joy. Judgment. Judgment Day. Jury. Justice. Judaism.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The circumstance does not give joy; we give joy to the circumstance.
Joy 1116 Our first mistake is the belief that the circumstance gives the joy which we give to the circumstance. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Illusions.

People relaxed their formality and enjoyed themselves except for an American who sneered.
Joy 925 Here, as it seemed, had the Golden Age come back again, within the precincts of this sunny glade; thawing mankind out of their cold formalities; releasing them from irksome restraint; mingling them together in such childlike gaiety...the sole exception to the geniality of the moment...a countryman of our own [American], who sneered at the spectacle, and declined to compromise his dignity by making part of it. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Upbraiding people who take life and the world as an opportunity for enjoyment.
Joy 1049 The very children would upbraid the wretched individual who should endeavor to take life and the world as…a place and opportunity for enjoyment. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Cheerfulness is catching.
Joy 1114 Then, no doubt, the bright day, the gay spectacle of the market-place, and the sympathetic exhilaration of so many people’s cheerfulness, had each their suitable effect on a temper naturally prone to be glad. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Herodotus never judged or condemned.
Judgment 149 He [Herodotus] never judged or condemned. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

If you think me a fool, perhaps the one who is passing that judgment is a fool.
Judgment 180 Antigone: And if/ You think I am a fool, perhaps it is/ Because a fool is judge. Sophocles. Antigone.

No one should judge a criminal without realizing that he has the capability to be a criminal.
Judgment 291 For no one can judge a criminal, until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him…. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Judgment Day
Judgment Day will be the moment of eternal harmony.
Judgment Day 213 …in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened with men. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

On Judgment Day the reasons for evil and disasters in the world will become clear.
Judgment Day 221 When the mother embraces the fiend who threw her child to the dogs, and all three cry aloud with tears, ‘Thou art just, o Lord!’ then, of course, the crown of knowledge will be reached and all will be made clear. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Discontented and hungry jurors always find for the plaintiff.
Jury 464 Perker: “Discontented or hungry jurymen, my dear sir, always find for the plaintiff.” Dickens, Pickwick.

You, not I, are the murderer though I did kill him.
Justice 567 And so I want to prove to your face this evening that you are the only real murderer in the whole affair, and I am not the real murderer, though I did kill him. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

He killed because he did not have the power to control the morbid impulse that possessed him.
Justice 608 The Moscow doctor, being questioned in his turn, definitely and emphatically repeated that he considered the prisoner’s mental condition abnormal in the highest degree…talked at length and with erudition of ‘aberration’ and ‘mania,’ and argued that, from all the facts collected, the prisoner had undoubtedly been in a condition of aberration for several days before his arrest, and, if the crime had been committed by him, it must, even if he were conscious of it, have been almost involuntary, as he had not the power to control the morbid impulse that possessed him. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Overwhelming evidence is against him, but not one piece, if separated from the rest, could withstand criticism.
Justice 656 …there is an overwhelming chain of evidence against the prisoner, and at the same time not one fact that will stand criticism, if it is examined separately. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Russian courts are not only for punishment, but also for saving the criminal.
Justice 676 …the Russian court does not exist for the punishment only, but also for the salvation of the criminal. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

People are free to do as they wish, provided they do not infringe on the freedom of others.
Justice 388 Spencer: the formula of justice should be: Every man is free to do that which he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

If you are determined to execute the man, there is no reason for a trial.
Justice 14 If you are determined to execute a man in any case, there is no occasion for a trial.

Not the state or the corporation can commit crimes, which are always committed by people.
Justice 106 Jackson: the idea that a state, any more than a corporation, commits crimes, is a fiction[;] crimes always are committed by persons. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

People are convicted even if they have been acquitted.
Justice 712 Even if a man has been acquitted by a jury, they’ll talk, and nod and wink…. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

The character of individual members of the jury.
Justice 782 From Pilgrim’s Progress: then went the jury out, whose names were Mr. Blindman, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady, Mr. Highmind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, Mr. Implacable …. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

When Christians forced Jews to live in ghettos, the Jews developed a close sense of identity that enabled them to survive through the ages.
Judaism 45 …when the Christian church had the power to segregate the Jews in ghettos, it gave their communal compactness an additional reinforcement, and thus, unintentionally, ensured the survival of Judaism intact through the ages. Hoffer, The True Believer

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quotes: Journal. Journalism.

Dorothy Parker tried to keep a journal but could never find it.
Journal 61 Dorothy Parker: I tried to keep one [a notebook] but I never could remember where I put the damn thing. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Hawthorne and his wife kept a dual journal during the early years of their marriage.
Journal 205 During the early years of their marriage, Hawthorne and Sophia kept a journal, alternating their entries, commenting on each other’s commentaries.... Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

Forcing people to keep journals is heartless and malignant punishment.
Journal 34 If you wish to inflict a heartless and malignant punishment upon a young person, pledge him to keep a journal a year. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

I keep a record of my life, not on my actions, but on my thoughts.
Journal 439 I cannot keep a record of my life by my actions; Fortune places them too low [but] I keep it by my thoughts. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

People who use power are important but equally important are those who question power.
Journalism 926 JFK: “The men who create power…make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable… for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The hindsight of Time and Newsweek has more effect on readers than daily newspaper stories.
Journalism 354 ...he [Kennedy] read Time and Newsweek faithfully and felt their condensed hindsight often influenced their readers more than daily newspaper stories. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK’s belief about the responsibilities of the press.
Journalism 357 It is true that he [Kennedy] believed the press had responsibilities as well as rights--including the responsibility to get the facts straight, to consider the national interest and to save their bias for the editorial columns.... Sorenson, Kennedy

Some stories in newspapers are essentially repeated over and over again.
Journalism 131 [A comment on journalism]: If we have forgotten to mention the date, they [the readers] have only to wait till next summer, and take the account of the first [balloon] ascent, and it will answer the purpose equally well. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Newspapers are always quoting sources who cannot be named.
Journalism 49 No practice in Washington is more beloved than that of attributing statements to sources who cannot be named. Newman, Strictly Speaking.

We have to be careful that government support of the press does not become government control.
Journalism 334 ...government support [of the press] meant government control. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

The newspaper’s function is to startle.
Journalism 123 James Gordon Bennett, editor of the New York Herald: The newspaper’s function is not to instruct but to startle. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

In Lincoln’s time the unrestricted freedom of speech spawned incendiary comments that could inflame the mind of a fool.
Journalism 868 [Wilkes Booth] saw and heard hundreds of men of the educated and privileged classes indulging in an almost unrestricted freedom of speech…on the head of this one man Lincoln had been heaped a thousand infamies any one of which could easily inflame the mind of a vain and cunning fool. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The press bore responsibility for Lincoln’s assassination because of its unbridled malignant spirit.
Journalism 869 The New York Herald…said directly that newspaper editors shared in the guilt of leading an assassin toward his bloody work…as clear as day that the real origin of this dreadful act is to be found in the fiendish and malignant spirit developed and fostered by the rebel press, North and South. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The hurtful newspaper criticism that developed the mood that led to Lincoln's assassination.
Journalism 869 Harper’s Weekly: Directly and indirectly, openly and cunningly, the passions of men were set on fire by ‘the assertion that Mr. Lincoln was responsible for the war, that he had opened all the yawning graves and tumbled the victims in…is it surprising that somebody should have believed all this, that somebody should have said, if there is a tyranny it cannot be very criminal to slay the tyrant? Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Everyday journalism reduces experience to time-worn words and phrases.
Journalism 18 [Everyday journalism] is, in its customary aspects, no more than the reduction of vivid and recent impressions to banal sequences of time-worn words and phrases. Mencken, Minority Report.

The formula for holiday “roundups” in the media.
Journalism 208 Joel Sayre: “roundups” at holidays—Over a billion holiday makers left the city yesterday to spend Labor Day in the country and at the beaches…nineteen deaths from drowning, ten…killed in automobile accidents, sixty-five…injured from sitting on empty pickle bottles, eleven fell down wells, while scores were attacked by mayonnaise rash. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The Times prints what is known and does not hide the extent of the public disaster.
Journalism 913 Its [The Times’] existence honors the people who dare to print all they know, dare to know all the facts, and do not wish to be flattered by hiding the extent of the public disaster. Emerson, English Traits.

Every running story had to have new “leads” for each new edition.
Journalism 106 New York headquarters demanded new “leads” for every edition on a running story, and if there was no really fresh news when the demand came, new leads would be invented, by a turn of a phrase, by a bolder interpretation of somebody’s statement, by a reckless guess as to what would happen next in the affair. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The journalist must always be calm no matter how much emotion is involved in a story.
Journalism 111 America seemed to be in an emotional state, but we were warned over and over again to speak calmly, dispassionately; we must not display a tenth of the emotion that a broadcaster does when describing a prize fight. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Broadcast journalism adds tone and inflection to the printed word, thus conveying extended meaning.
Journalism 146 News reporting by broadcast has its severe limitations, but sometimes it can convey meaning merely by tone and inflection in a way the printed word cannot. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Most “scoops” happened by chance.
Journalism 151 It has been my general experience as a journalist that 80% of so-called “scoops” result from pure chance. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

The novelist can help the reader identify with characters in the story, but the journalist cannot.
Journalism vs. fiction 27 John Hersey: Again, here is a special strength that novelists always have at hand and that journalists rarely have: it is possible in fiction to make a reader identify himself with the human beings in the story—to make a reader feel that he himself took part in the great or despicable events of the story. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Journalism witnesses history; fiction enables readers to live it.
Journalism vs. fiction 27 John Hersey: Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Reporting is literal and without comment and cannot convey depth the way fiction can.
Journalism vs. literature 291 Capote: …in reporting one is occupied with literalness and surfaces, with implication without comment—one can’t achieve immediate depths the way one may in fiction. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quotes: Jail. Japanese-Americans. Jargon. Jealousy. Jefferson. Jesus. Jews. JFK.

The feelings of one who is in jail are indescribable unless you are actually there to see it.
Jail 576 …but there was the same air about them all—a listless jailbird careless swagger, a vagabondish who’s afraid sort of bearing, which is wholly indescribable in words, but which any man can understand in one moment if he wish by setting foot in the nearest debtor’s prison…. Dickens, Pickwick.

A prisoner is a person who is dead to society but without the pity that accompanies real death.
Jail 594 Prisoner: “I am a dead man, dead to society, without the pity they bestow on those whose souls have passed to judgment.” Dickens, Pickwick.

Unlike the Chinese, the Japanese tried to be assimilated into American culture.
Japanese-Americans 328 Unlike the Chinese, [the Japanese immigrants] immediately sought to Americanize themselves…relinquished the ways of their old world. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Examples of jargon:
Jargon 128 “The capacity to generate language viability destruction.” Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Jargon 148 On the other hand, Abraham Lincoln was on the side of social scientists when he said, “God must have loved the people of lower and middle socio-economic status, because he made such a multiplicity of them.” Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Jargon 16 Clutter from inter-office memos: The trend to mosaic communication is reducing the meaningfulness of concern about whether or not demographic segments differ in their tolerance of periodicity. Zinsser, On Writing Well.

Jargon 16 Clutter from the computer world: We are offering functional digital programming options that have built-in parallel reciprocal capabilities with compatible third-generation contingencies and hardware. Zinsser, On Writing Well.

Jargon 16 Clutter from the Pentagon: Invasion = a “reinforced protective reaction strike” … need for “credible second-strike capability” and “counterforce deterrence.” Zinsser, On Writing Well.

Jargon is a method used by professions to keep laymen from understanding their specialized knowledge.
Jargon 17 …every profession has its growing arsenal of jargon to fire at the layman and hurl him back from its walls. Zinsser, On Writing Well.

A Biblical passage transformed into jargon.
Jargon 126 Ecclesiastes: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. [Orwell translates into jargon]: Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account. Zinsser, On Writing Well.

Some examples of jargon in education.
Jargon and education 144 “Authored”: Why not, “He playwrighted a play”...? Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Jargon in education 143 In June, 1974, Hampshire College in South Amherst, Massachusetts graduated it first class...plans for the college were set out in December 1966, as a “working paper,” and…these were some of the positions taken: that social structure should optimally be the consonant patterned expression of culture; that higher education is enmeshed in a congeries of social and political change; that the field of the humanities suffers from a surfeit of leeching, its blood drawn out by verbalism, explication of text, Alexandrian scholasticism, and the exquisite preciosities and pretentiousness of contemporary literary criticism; that a formal curriculum of academic substance and sequence should not be expected to contain mirabilia which will bring all the educative ends of the college to pass, and that any formal curriculum should contain a high frangibility factor; that the College hopes that the Hampshire student will have kept within him news of Hampshire’s belief that individual man’s honorable choice is not between immolation in a senseless society or withdrawal into the autarchic self but instead trusts that his studies and experience in the College will confirm for him the choice that only education allows: detachment and skill enough to know, engagement enough to feel, and concern enough to act, with self and society in productive interplay, separate and together; that an overzealous independence reduces linguistics to a kind of cryptographic taxonomy of linguistic forms, and that the conjoining of other disciplines and traditional linguistics becomes most crucial as problems of meaning are faced in natural language; and that the College expects its students to wrestle most with questions of the human condition, which are, What does it mean to be human? How can men become more human? What are human beings for? Newman, Strictly Speaking.

Jealousy leads to shameless degradation.
Jealousy 344 It is impossible to picture to oneself the shame and moral degradation to which the jealous man can descend without a qualm of conscience. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Thomas Jefferson was versatile.
Jefferson 430 JFK: “This is the most extraordinary collection of talent [American Nobel Prize winners] …that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Sorenson, Kennedy.

Jefferson was a universal man.
264 Thomas Jefferson…was the typical universal man of the eighteenth century, linguist, scientist, agriculturist, educator, town planner and architect…love of music, the management of horses…. Clark, Civilization.

Jesus used techniques of modern advertising.
Jesus 18 Bruce Barton…who had discovered two decades earlier that Jesus, too, was an advertising man. Blum, V Was for Victory

The essence of being a Jew is suffering.
Jews 82 “I think a Jew is a Jew…because he suffers.” Blum, V Was for Victory

The history of the Jews.
Jews 146 The story of the Jews since the Dispersion is one of the epics of European history: Driven from their natural home by the Roman capture of Jerusalem (70 AD), and scattered by flight and trade among all the nations and to all continents; persecuted and decimated by the adherents of the great religions--Christianity and Mohammedanism--which had been born of their scriptures and their memories; barred by the feudal system from owning land, and by the guilds from taking part in industry; shut up within congested ghettos...mobbed by the people and robbed by the kings; building with their finance and trade the towns and cities indispensable to civilization; outcast and excommunicated, insulted and injured;--yet, without any political structure, without any legal compulsion to social unity, without even a common language, this wonderful people has maintained itself in body and soul, has preserved its racial and cultural integrity, has guarded with jealous love its oldest rituals and traditions, has patiently and resolutely awaited the day of its deliverance, and has emerged greater in number than ever before, renowned in every field for the contributions of its geniuses, and triumphantly restored, after two thousand years of wandering, to its ancient and unforgotten home. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

The Jews survived because of hatred and persecution.
Jews 165 Spinoza: The Jews have survived chiefly because of Christian hatred of them; persecution gave them the unity and solidarity necessary for continued racial existence; without persecution they might have mingled and married with the peoples of Europe, and been engulfed in the majorities with which they were everywhere surrounded. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Joseph Alsop said that JFK was a Stevenson with courage and panache [vigor].
JFK 24 Joseph Alsop on JFK: “Isn’t he marvelous—a Stevenson with balls!” Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Intoxication. Introversion. Irish. Irony. Isolation. Itching and Scratching.

He was fully conscious of every sense in his body.
Intoxication 359 His [Lancelot’s] blood might have had too much oxygen in it, from the way he was conscious of every stone in every wall, and all the colors of the valley, and the joyful stepping of his horse. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Extreme introversion is a sign of immaturity.
Introversion 5 Pearl Buck: Introversion, at least if extreme, is a sign of mental and spiritual immaturity. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The introvert thinks himself interesting; the extrovert is bored with himself and turns outward toward society.
Introvert, extrovert 5 Pearl Buck: the only difference that seems practical between an introvert and extrovert is that the introvert thinks himself the most interesting person in the world, and the extrovert finds himself boring and so gladly turns to anybody else he can find. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The Irish point of view: politics, language, romantic sense of history, physical daring, joy in living, life as both comedy and tragedy.
Irish 80 [The Irishness of the Kennedy family]: ...the relish for politics, the love of language, the romantic sense of history, the admiration for physical daring...the joy in living, the view of life as comedy and as tragedy. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The Irish know that the world will inevitably break their hearts.
Irish 937 Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “I don’t think there’s any point in being Irish if you don’t know that the world is going to break your heart eventually.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The joy of the war’s ending contrasted with the agony that these men had died in the final moments of that war.
Irony 224 Surrounded everywhere by returning service men and scenes of joyous reunion, it all seemed too much to comprehend, too much to bear. Childers, Wings of Morning

I cannot interpret irony, so I will answer the plain meaning of your words.
Irony 261 “Mr. Waverley,” answered Talbot, “I am dull at apprehending irony; and therefore I shall answer your words according to their plain meaning.” Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Do-gooder lady gives soldier a tract against dancing; both his legs have been shot off.
Irony 342 Wounded soldier laughing at a tract given him by a well-dressed do-gooder lady: “Mr. President, how can I help laughing…she has given me a tract on the ‘Sin of Dancing’ and both of my legs are shot off.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The general was hit in the brain after saying to his men: They can’t hit an elephant at that distance.
Irony 525 Grant’s pride and joy among major generals, the dauntless and priceless John Sedgwick, took a sharpshooter’s bullet in his brain one May day as he smiled in jest to his soldiers, his last words, “Don’t duck; they couldn’t hit an elephant at that distance.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Lincoln could never kill a chicken, yet he was responsible for the carnage of the Civil War.
Irony 658 Lincoln: …don’t it seem strange…that I who could never so much cut off the head of a chicken, should be elected, or selected, into the midst of all this blood? Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

The Chinese looked different from whites, but they excelled in applying the Protestant work ethic.
Irony 327 Almanac of American History: “Aside from vicious racial antipathy, there is also the fact that the Chinese work harder, better and longer for less money than anyone else”…in other words, the Chinese created problems because, even though they looked different from whites, they seemed fervently to practice the Protestant work ethic. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

The irony of asking Japanese-Americans to swear allegiance to the country that has imprisoned them.
Irony 331 In addition to the combat request [recruiting Japanese-Americans into the Armed Forces in WWII] all Japanese Americans were asked to renounce allegiance to the Japanese Emperor…irony of asking American citizens, detained because of their ancestry, to profess loyalty to the country that denied them the full rights of citizenship was not lost on residents of those camps…comparable to asking Joe Dimaggio, the son of Italian immigrants, to forswear allegiance to Mussolini. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Sam. Johnson’s view of a patron: watches a man drowning, but helps him only after he has reached safety.
Irony 156 Johnson to the Right Honorable the Earl of Chesterfield: Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

The Russians did everything to prevent the only thing that could save them; the French did everything to succeed at what would destroy them.
Irony 811 ...but on the Russian side every effort [without knowing it] was systematically directed towards preventing the only thing that could save Russia, while on the French side, despite Napoleon’s experience and so-called military genius, every exertion was made to push on to Moscow at the end of the summer, that is, to do the very thing that was bound to lead to destruction. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Resigned to isolation, Schweitzer became world famous.
Irony 15 Prepared to sacrifice his influence as philosopher and scholar and to accept oblivion and isolation in the jungle, he [Albert Schweitzer] found years later that his influence had spanned the world. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

A man contemplating suicide has the good fortune to be murdered.
Irony 155 …my fortune somewhat resembled that of a person who should entertain an idea of committing suicide, and, altogether beyond his hopes, meet with the good hap to be murdered. Introductory: “The Custom House.” Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

What you wrote about other men’s wives, your own wife did to you.
Irony 402 Dionysus to Euripides: The things you had written of other men’s wives, your own inflicted on you, sir! Aristophanes, Frogs.

People in Maine were so isolated that even funerals became social gatherings.
Isolation 468 To see these affectionate meetings and then the reluctant partings, gave one a new idea of the isolation in which it was possible to live in that…thinly settled region[;] they did not expect to see one another again very soon; the steady, hard work on the farms, the difficulty of getting from place to place, especially in winter when boats were laid up, gave double value to any occasion which could bring a large number of families together[;] even funerals in this country of the pointed firs were not without their social advantages and satisfactions. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Itching and Scratching
Itching in one place in your body soon spreads to every other place.
Itching and scratching 512 First something tickles your right knee, and then the same sensation irritates your left…it comes again in the arms…you have a sudden relapse in the nose, which you rub as if to rub it off. Dickens, Pickwick.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Internationalism. Internet. Interview. Intolerance.

If certain ways of thought (science) are vital to us, internationalism is accepted.
The Church was a democratic institution in which ability rose to the top.

Internationalism 35 [The Church] was powerful for positive reasons[:] men of intelligence, naturally and normally took holy orders, and could rise from obscurity to positions of immense influence...basically a democratic institution where ability--administrative, diplomatic, and sheer intellectual ability made its way [Ray: I bet politics also had a lot to do with success in the Church.] shows that where some way of thought or human activity is really vital to us, internationalism is accepted unhesitatingly. Clark, Civilization.

The Internet will be of great use to people living in remote areas.
Internet 261 The highway will let those who live in remote places consult, collaborate, and be involved with the rest of the world. Gates, The Road Ahead.

With the Internet, you will be able to tour hotels before renting a room.
Internet 164 You will be able to take a video tour of the hotel before you make a reservation. Gates, The Road Ahead.

With the Internet, you will be signaled when a new book appears on a topic of interest to you.
Internet book 169 I would also like to have it signal me when a new book appears on some topic that interests me…. Gates, The Road Ahead.

The Internet encourages long-distance collaboration.
Internet collaborate 200 Especially at the college level, academic research has been aided enormously by the Internet, which has made it easier for far-flung institutions and individuals to collaborate. Gates, The Road Ahead.

With the Internet, you will be able to include pictures, floor plans, etc. for prospective buyers of real estate.
Internet real estate 173 If you put your house on the market, you will be able to describe it fully and include photographs, video, floor plans, tax records, utility and repair bills, even a little mood music. Gates, The Road Ahead.

With the Internet, you will be able to tour a city before visiting it.
Internet travel 221 If you’re planning to visit Hong Kong soon, you might ask the screen in your room to show you pictures of the city. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Before interviewing Einstein, the interviewer read everything he could find on Einstein and relativity.
Interview viii From the outset, he [Barnett] realized he could not proceed at once to Princeton to interview Dr. Einstein, for he did not have the faintest notion of what questions to ask…began to read everything he could find on Einstein and relativity. Editors of Time. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

The interviewer talked to anyone who could prepare him for interviewing Einstein.
Interview viii In the midst of his [Barnett’s] researches, he began going to Princeton—not to see Einstein, but to see others who could prepare him to see Einstein. Editors of Time. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

The interviewers read materials by the authors, prepared questions and listened to the answers.
Interviewing 4 Malcolm Cowley: [The interviewers] …have done their assigned reading, they have asked the right questions, and have listened carefully to the answers. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Distinguish between steadfastness and intolerance.
Intolerance 708 One should not confuse steadfastness with intolerance. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Insult. Insurance Salesmen. Intellectuals. Intelligence. Interaction.

I have a high opinion of all that you are capable of knowing.
Insult 97 Mr. Collins to Elizabeth: I have the highest opinion in the world of your excellent judgment in all matters within the scope of your understanding.... Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Your presences is a stain on the air.
Insult 109 Theseus: And now…your presence stains the air. Euripides, Hippolytus.

He is the epitome of cowardice.
Insult 430 …he’s the epitome of all the cowardice in the world walking on two legs. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

The weapon of the cleric is the same as that of a woman—the tongue.
Insult 753 Don Quixote to the Ecclesiastic: …I know, as all know, that the weapon of gownsmen is the same as that of women, namely, the tongue…. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

A string of negative nouns topped by a charge of “ungrammatical.”
Insult 725 ‘If you can wade through a few sentences of malice, meanness, falsehood, perjury, treachery, and cant,’ said Slurk, ‘…you will perhaps, be somewhat repaid by a laugh at the style of this ungrammatical twaddler.’ Dickens, Pickwick.

You must be a bastard because your mother's father was an honorable man.
Insults 136 Meeting a Lancaster lawyer who had double-crossed him, he [Thaddeus Stevens] stood still, leaned on his cane and slowly clipped his words: ‘You must be a bastard, for
I knew your mother’s husband and he was a gentleman and an honest man.’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

He wouldn’t steal a red-hot stove; I take that back.
Insults 138 Early he [Thaddeus Stevens] had gone to warn Lincoln that Cameron had taking ways and might not be the man for War Department head… ‘You don’t mean to say you think Cameron would steal?’ Lincoln asked… ‘No’ was the reply, ‘I don’t think he would steal a red-hot stove’…[and, after Lincoln told this to Cameron, Stevens told Lincoln]: ‘Well he, [Cameron] is very mad and made me promise to retract…I believe I told you he would not steal a red-hot stove…I now take that back.’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Lincoln was a baboon and a clown.
Insults 293 Atlanta Intelligencer: Lincoln was ‘the Baboon President, a low-bred obscene clown….’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

He’s such an ass that he should stay as President.
Insults 542 Various anti-Lincoln journals reprinted a long editorial from the Richmond Dispatch, not entirely courteous: We say of Old Abe it would be impossible to find such another ass in the United States, and therefore we say let him stay [as president]. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Better looking since he had the small pox.
Insults 608 New York Herald on Lincoln: Mr. Lincoln stands six feet twelve in his socks, which he changes once every ten days…anatomy is composed mostly of bones…complexion that of a Saratoga trunk…brushed his hair sometimes and is said to wash…swears fluently…strict temperance man himself…does not object to another man’s being pretty drunk, especially when he is about to make a bargain with him…fond of fried liver and onions…can hardly be called handsome, though he is certainly much better looking since he had the small-pox. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

A politician who struts even when sitting down.
Insults 746 Butler…a politician who could strut sitting down. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Insurance Salesman
Insurance salesmen are annoying because they remind you that you will die.
Insurance salesman 237 The general unpopularity of the insurance solicitor is not hard to understand…insofar as he tells the truth about the uses of life insurance, he presses a moral duty on his customer and so annoys him acutely…reminds his customer of death and so annoys him again. Mencken, Minority Report.

Role for intellectuals: unremitting hostility to power.
Intellectuals 682 John Taylor’s principle: …one role for intellectuals was that of unremitting hostility to power. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Intellectuals are characterized by self-doubt.
Intellectuals 140 Even the most gifted and prolific [intellectuals] seem to live a life of eternal self-doubting.... Hoffer, The True Believer

From the supremacy of intellectual life to the soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances.
Intellectuals 701 Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life—the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it—can understand the grief of one who falls from that serene activity into the absorbing soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Intellectuals believe in knowledge for its own sake, while I believe in its application.
Intellectuals 198 They were the true intellectuals, not I, for they believed in knowledge for its own sake, while for me it had no meaning beyond its application…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Intellectuals believe that any public problem can be remedied.
Intellectuals [Liberals?] 28 They [the intellectuals] believed as a cardinal article of faith that there was a remedy at hand for every conceivable public ill…. Mencken, Minority Report.

The test of intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still function.
Intelligence 18 …the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald on

The ability to foresee with the mind makes one superior to those who work only with the body.
Intelligence 82 For he who can foresee with his mind is by nature intended to be lord and master; and he who can work only with his body is by nature a slave. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

The more noise one can bear without being disturbed by it is a sure sign of low intelligence.
Intelligence 304 Schopenhauer: I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity, and may therefore be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Brilliant minds are admired, but never loved.
Intelligence 314 Schopenhauer : Brilliant qualities of mind win admiration, but never affection. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Intelligence began with skepticism.
Intelligence 67 It was not until skepticism arose in the world that genuine intelligence dawned. Mencken, Minority Report.

His smile conveyed that this story had been often repeated.
Interaction 426 I thought by the polite absent-minded smile on Mrs. Todd's face this was no new story. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Influence. Information. Inhibitions. Inhumanity. Injustice. Innocence. Innovators. Instinct. Institution.

Influence is mirrored by a stone thrown into a pond, with its multiplying circles.
Influence 21 Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence. Emerson, Nature.

The idea of reverence for life will spread from individual to individual, not from mass meetings, radio or TV.
Influence 38 The idea of reverence for life will spread from one person to another, he [Schweitzer] believes, not by mass meetings or radio or television.... Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

An information society is not as measurable as materials that defined other ages.
Information 21 ...information isn’t as tangible or measurable as the materials that defined previous ages.... Gates, The Road Ahead.

Hyperlinks allow users to jump from one piece of information to a related piece of information.
Information 82 Hyperlinks let users leap from informational place to informational place instantly. Gates, The Road Ahead.

In the world of the future, everyone will have access to most of the world’s information.
Information 111 Everyone will have access to most of the world’s information. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Information is modern society’s source of energy.
Information 112 Information is our source of energy; we are driven by it. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Inhibitions are caused by conflicts between instincts and training.
Inhibitions 454 He [Freud] knew what caused inhibitions in waking life…a conflict of will, a strong act of volition coming from one’s instinctual nature, opposed by a strong “No!” which arises out of background or training. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Does man have an instinct for inhumanity?
Inhumanity 182 Nature herself, I fear, fixes in man a kind of instinct to inhumanity. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Life is unfair.
Injustice 47 JFK: There is always inequity in life...some men are killed in a war, and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the is unfair. Sorenson, Kennedy

I am an innocent in an evil world, wearing a white robe that I want to return to God as spotless as I received it.
Innocence 1025 Hilda: But I am a poor, lonely girl, whom God has set here in an evil world, and given her only a white robe, and bid her wear it back to him, as white as when she put it on. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

The public is usually unaware of the innovator among them.
Innovators 208 Rarely…is the contemporary mass conscious of the innovator in its midst. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

We should have been controlled by our instincts, living out our lives like mindless clocks.
Instinct 38 Mammalian insects perhaps we should have been--solid-brained, our neurons wired for mechanical responses, our lives running out with the perfection of beautiful, intricate, and mindless clocks. Eiseley, The Immense Journey

Instincts are designed to preserve us.
Instinct 178 Spinoza: Every instinct is a device developed by nature to preserve the individual. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Instincts are racial habits.
Instinct 376 Spencer: …instincts are habits acquired by the race…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Institutions are destroyed by personal interests that are unimportant to the success of the institution.
Institution 278 Waverley had, indeed, as he looked closer into the state of the Chevalier’s Court, less reason to be satisfied with it...contained, as they say an acorn includes all ramifications of the future oak, as many seeds of...intrigue...every person of consequence had some separate object, which he pursued with a fury that Waverley considered as altogether disproportioned to its importance. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Institutions inevitably become rigid.
Institution 382 Spencer: It is the law of all organization that as it becomes complete it becomes rigid. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

In all institutions, beware the humorless man with a sneer—or the torch.
Institutions 269 ...there can be found in all ages and in all institutions--even the institution of professional learning--the humorless man with the sneer, or if the sneer does not suffice, then the torch.... Eiseley, The Star Thrower.

If things appear to be going well and without controversy, not much is going on.
Institutions 629 JFK: “My experience in government…is that when things are noncontroversial, beautifully coordinated…it must be that not much is going on.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The Navy screws up everything it touches.
Institutions 19 JFK: “...the super-human ability of the Navy to screw up everything they touch.” JFK. Sorenson, Kennedy

The cycle of institutions.
Institutions 468 The Round Table: There had been the first feeling, a companionship of youth…the second, of chivalrous rivalry growing staler every year…until it had nearly turned to feud and empty competition…the enthusiasm of the Grail…. Now the maturer or the saddest phase had come, in which enthusiasms had been used up for good. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Collection of Quotes on a Variety of Topics (I) Individuality.

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

A man is only himself in his particular circumstances. Do circumstances make the man?
Individuality 32 E.M. Forster: …a man’s only himself amidst the particular circumstances of his life and not amid other circumstances. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Most of the rules of the world make us abandon our individuality for the benefit of society.
Individuality 513 Most of the rules and precepts of the world take this course of pushing us out of ourselves and chasing us into the market place for the benefit of public society. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The less a person strives to achieve excellence for himself, the more he sees excellence in the organizations he is a part of.
Individuality 14 The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause. Hoffer, The True Believer

The decline in personal craftsmanship increases frustration and makes people susceptible to mass movements.
Individuality 35 The decline of handicrafts in modern times is perhaps one of the causes for the rise of frustration and the increased susceptibility of the individual to mass movements. Hoffer, The True Believer

The ideal of self-advancement also leads to frustration.
Individuality 39 The ideal of self-advancement which the civilizing West offers to backward populations brings with it the plague of individual frustration. Hoffer, The True Believer

Freedom, independence and self-reliance lead to isolation.
Individuality 40 What…individual freedom and independence…[and] self-reliance…actually amount to is individual isolation. Hoffer, The True Believer

Incentive plans with bonuses to individuals do more harm than good.
Individuality 42 “Incentive wage plans that offer bonuses to individual workers do more harm than good.” Peter Drucker. Hoffer, The True Believer

Group bonus plans promote productivity and lead to greater satisfaction among workers.
Individuality 42 “Group incentive plans in which the bonus is based on the work of the whole team, including the foreman…are much more likely to promote greater productivity and greater satisfaction on the part of the workers.” Peter Drucker. Hoffer, The True Believer

Mass movements hold their following not because of doctrine and promises but because they are a refuge from the meaninglessness of individual existence.
Individuality 42 A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrine and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence. Hoffer, The True Believer

People, when asked who they are, usually respond with an organization to which they belong.
Individuality 65 When asked who he [the individual] is, his automatic response is that he is a German, a Russian, a Japanese, a Christian, a Moslem, a member of a certain tribe or family. Hoffer, The True Believer

People freed from the decency that comes from individual judgment will be ruthless and cruel.
Individuality 104 There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgment. Hoffer, The True Believer

Even if the organization fails, the individual does not see himself as being responsible.
Individuality 123 When the common undertaking fails, they [the frustrated] are still spared the one thing they fear most, namely, the showing up of their individual shortcomings. Hoffer, The True Believer

Most things of value have been produced by individuals.
Individuality 201 I believe that almost everything of value which has happened in the world has been due to individuals. Clark, Civilization.

The individual must be subordinated to the species in order to assure its continuance.
Individuality 320 Schopenhauer : …subordination of the individual to the species as instrument of its continuance. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

The existence of most human beings is of no significance to history or human progress.
Individuality 39 The existence of most human beings is of absolutely no significance to history or to human progress. Mencken, Minority Report.

Most human beings die anonymously.
Individuality 39 [Most human beings] live and die as anonymously and as nearly uselessly as so many bullfrogs or houseflies. Mencken, Minority Report.

Most human beings are simply a part of the assembly line of life and only leave a mark by creating difficulties.
Individuality 39 [Most human beings] are, at best, undifferentiated slaves upon an assembly line, and at worst they are robots who leave their mark upon time only by occasionally falling into the machinery, and so incommoding their betters. Mencken, Minority Report.

Believing in the individual means believing in the soul.
Individuality 46 F. Mauriac: the generation that preceded ours was no longer Christian, but it believed in the individual, which comes to the same thing as believing in the soul. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The individual is constructed around the soul.
Individuality 46 F. Mauriac: What each of us understands by the word “soul” is different; but in any case it is the fixed point around which the individual is constructed. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Man is only interesting because of his differences.
Individuality 204 RP Warren: Man is interesting in his differences. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

I don’t like trying to legislate “undifference.”
Individuality 205 RP Warren: But I feel pretty strongly about attempts to legislate undifference. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

People believe that there is something about them that makes them different.
Individuality 294 Johnson: There lurks perhaps in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe that nature has given him something peculiar to himself. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

People go through the daily events of life without thinking about the people around them.
Individuality 823 Each man walks, eats, drinks, shaves, dresses, gesticulates, and, in every manner, acts and suffers without reference to the bystanders, in his own fashion, only careful not to interfere with them, or annoy them; not that he is trained to neglect the eyes of his neighbors—he is really occupied with his own affair, and does not think of them. Emerson, English Traits.

The chief disgrace in the world is looking at people as members of groups, not as individuals.
Individuality 71 Is it not the chief disgrace in the world...not to yield that peculiar fruit which each man was created to bear, but to be reckoned in the gross, in the hundred, or the thousand, of the party, the section to which we belong; and our opinion predicted geographically. Emerson, The American Scholar.

People do not understand their individuality until they try to do what is distinctive about them.
Individuality 259 The power that resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Emerson, Self-Reliance.

We must do what we must do and not worry about what people think.
Individuality 263 What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. Emerson, Self-Reliance.

We are all wrapped up in ourselves and can’t see beyond the length of our nose.
Individuality 28 We are all confined and banked up within ourselves and have our sight limited to the length of our nose. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

When a person sees himself as the size of a point made by a pencil, then he sees the world in its true proportion.
Individuality 29 …whoever shall observe himself…as a point made with the least touch of a pencil, that man alone evaluates things according to their true proportion. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The god at Delphi warned against dispersing oneself, rather, devoting oneself to concentrating one’s self.
Individuality 508 The god at Delphi: “Look into yourself, know yourself, keep to yourself; bring back your mind and will, which are spending themselves elsewhere, into themselves; you are running out; you are scattering yourself; concentrate yourself, hold yourself in; you are being betrayed, you are being dispersed, you are being stolen away from yourself.” Montaigne, Selected Essays.

People don’t give money to others, but they do give their time and portions of their lives.
Individuality 512 No one distributes his money to others, but everyone distributes his time and his life. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Every man was aware of his insignificance, but he was also aware that he was a part of a powerful organization consisting of hundreds of thousands of others.
Individuality 282 From general to private, every man was conscious of his own insignificance, aware that he was but a grain of sand in that ocean of humanity, and yet at the same time had a sense of power as a part of that vast whole. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

He felt he was a chip in a piece of machinery that worked without a flaw.
Individuality 1139 Pierre felt himself an insignificant chip fallen among the wheels of a machine whose mechanism he did not understand but which worked without a hitch. Tolstoi, War and Peace

He recognized that everybody thought, felt and saw things his own way and that people’s convictions could not be changed by words
Individuality 1312 There was a new feature in Pierre’s relations with…all the people he met now, which gained for him universal good will: ...his acknowledgment of the freedom of everybody to think, feel, and see things in his own way-—his recognition of the impossibility of altering a man’s convictions by words. Tolstoi, War and Peace

We leave influences from ourselves wherever we go.
Individuality 37 We leave traces of ourselves wherever we go, on whatever we touch. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Henry Clay: We are an almost invisible atom, a drop of water in an ocean, a grain of sand swept up in dust storms.
Individuality 183 Henry Clay: An individual man is “an atom, almost invisible without a magnifying glass…a drop of water in the giant deep, which evaporates and is borne off by the winds; a grain of sand, which is soon gathered to the dust from which it sprung….” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Collection of Quotes on a Variety of Topics (I): Immortality. Indecent Humor. Indian Summer.

The sentence in boldface is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The True Believer sees himself as belonging to a collective body that will never die.
Immortality 65 He [the individual] has no purpose, worth and destiny apart from his collective body; and as long as that body lives he cannot really die. Hoffer, The True Believer

The best of what we did will outlive us.
Immortality 188 George Eliot on immortality: …whereby that which is most rational and beautiful in our thought and our lives survives us to have an almost timeless efficacy down the years. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

When we are absorbed by what we are doing, we do not think about immortality.
Immortality 1075 Of immortality, the soul, when well employed, is incurious. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Worship.

There is only a short time in which people are interested in our existence.
Immortality 951 Sadly measure the little, little time, during which our lineaments are likely to be of interest to any human being. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

People are content who realize that their greatest memorial is the grass that grows above and around their grave.
Immortality 952 It is a good state of mind for mortal man, when he is content to leave no more definite memorial than the grass, which will sprout kindly and speedily over his grave…. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Indecent Humor
Aristophanes makes indecency merely a part of life with humorous possibilities.
Indecent humor 139 He [Aristophanes] is so frank, so fearless, so completely without shame, one ends by feeling that indecency is just a part of life and a part with specially humorous possibilities. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

Indian Summer
A time when the Indians, who retreated from the cold, would again bring destruction to the settlers.
Indian summer 349 It however sometimes happened, after the apparent onset of winter, the weather became warm; the smoky time commenced, and lasted for a considerable number of days...[called] the Indian summer, because it afforded the Indians another opportunity of visiting the settlements with their destructive warfare. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Collection of Quotes on a Variety of Topics. (I): Ideology. Idleness. Illness. Illusion. Imagination

The statement in boldface is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Topics: Ideology. Idleness. Illness. Illusion. Imagination.

Ideology shapes minds regardless of reality.
Ideology 338 The National Socialist system like no other demonstrated the superior ability of an ideology, however vague, to shape minds, whatever the social reality. Bracher, The German Dictatorship.

Belief in order at the expense of a pluralistic society.
Ideology order 236 …an ideology of order which vilifies the pluralistic character of modern society…. Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Few people know how to be idle.
Idle 219 “How few people in this world know how to be idle.” Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

Two types of illness: the childlike need for attention; the morose who see good humor as an insult.
Illness 315 …less of the peevish temper of a child which frets and teases on purpose to be soothed, and more of the self-absorbed moroseness of a confirmed invalid, repelling consolation and ready to regard the good-humored mirth of others as an insult. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

He fed his illusions of Daisy so much that the real woman was nothing like his illusion.
Illusion 97 There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion [which] had gone beyond her, beyond everything…he had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time…. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

One person sees only a falling leaf; another sees in the falling leaf the nostalgia of autumn.
Imagination 241 One man sees with indifference a leaf fall; another with the vision of Thoreau invokes the whole of that nostalgic world which we call autumn. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

For some people the cricket’s song in autumn and the flying snowflakes are transformed into imaginative creations. Imagination 241 He transmutes the cricket’s song in an autumn night to an aching void in the heart; snowflakes become the flying years. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Imagination 242 “Find eternity in each moment.” Thoreau. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Imagination and fantasy are different.
Imagination 219 A. Moravia: Don’t confuse imagination and fantasy. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Imagination is rearranging the known.
Imagination 41 Francis Steegmuller: … imagination is the faculty of rearranging the known….

The imagination converts things into other things.
Imagination 1111 The feat of the imagination is in showing the convertibility of every thing into every other thing. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Beauty.

Imagination flows, doesn’t freeze.
Imagination 463 But the quality of the imagination is to flow, and not to freeze. Emerson, The Poet.

Eyes shut to reality but open to imagination.
Imagination 736 …with my eyes of sense half shut, and those of the imagination widely opened…. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ideal. Ideas.

The sentence in boldface is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The ideal man feels no malice and forgets injuries.
Ideal person 79 Aristotle's ideal man: …never feels malice, and always forgets and passes over injuries. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

The ideal man is never vehement because for him nothing is so terribly important.
Ideal person 79 Aristotle's ideal man: …is not prone to vehemence, for he thinks nothing very important. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

The ideal man delights in solitude.
Ideal person 79 Aristotle's ideal man: …is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

The ideal person has energy, intellect and pride.
Ideal person 427 Nietzsche: Energy, intellect, and pride—these make the superman. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche.

The ideal person creates something beyond himself and then dies.
Ideal person 445 [Nietzsche] Zarathustra: “I love him who willeth the creation of something beyond himself, and then perisheth.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzsche.

Idealism, not materialism, is the curse of the world.
Idealism 211 It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world…but idealism. Mencken, Minority Report.

JFK: idealist without illusions.
Idealist 24 Jackie on JFK: idealist without illusions. Sorenson, Kennedy

The addition of ideas through the centuries does change the intellectual climate.
Ideas 208 The accretion of ideas through the centuries does change the intellectual climate. Eiseley, The Star Thrower.

The [JF] Kennedy people respected ideas.
Ideas 668 A…component of the Kennedy image was respect for ideas. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

An idea is a gift.
Ideas 151 “An idea comes like a gift, and one must pursue it no matter its source.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

Ideas can be buried and come back at a more propitious time.
Ideas 124 Like a mutation, an idea may be recorded in the wrong time, to lie latent like a recessive gene and spring once more to life in an auspicious era. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

JFK was interested in the practical use of ideas.
Ideas 15 “An interest in ideas and in their practical uses...came naturally to him [Kennedy].” Arthur Holcombe, Professor of Government. Sorenson, Kennedy

The only flaw in his idea was that it had to be carried out by real people in real places.
Ideas 84 The only flaw in this scheme was that it had to be carried out by real people at some real place on earth. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

The birth of a new idea is high drama.
Ideas vii …the birth of the new idea is…drama of the highest order. Foreword. Sir Lawrence Bragg. Watson, The Double Helix.

The repressed idea will come back strong.
Ideas 347 The repressed idea takes its revenge…. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

We need people who can think new thoughts without having to prove them.
Ideas 368 …we cannot do without men with the courage to think new thoughts before they can prove them. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

When people do not want new ideas it is because they are not prepared for them.
Ideas 397 Nobody wants [these ideas] because nobody is prepared for them. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Ideas lie dormant until their time comes.
Ideas 288 And how many ideas there have been on earth in the history of man which were unthinkable ten years before they appeared…when their destined hour had come, they came forth and spread over the whole earth. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

A new idea stimulates a physical reaction in the thinker.
Ideas 313 Baudelaire said that when an idea shot through his mind his muscles quivered with impatience and his eyes shone like a tiger stalking its prey. Clark, Civilization.

Ideas must be completed by actions.
Ideas 177 Spinoza: Every idea becomes an action unless stopped in the transition by a different idea; the idea is itself the first stage of a unified organic process of which external action is the completion. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Ideas are the beginning of action; action is the last stage of an idea.
Ideas 375 Spencer: An idea is the first stage of an action, an action is the last stage of an idea. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

To find the meaning of an idea, we must anticipate its consequences.
Ideas 511 To find the meaning of an idea, said Peirce, we must examine the consequences to which it leads in action. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, William James.

No man fears age, misfortune or death if he lives in the world of ideas.
Ideas 37 No man fears age or misfortune or death in their serene company [of ideas], for he is transported out of the district of change. Emerson, Nature.

We assume that everything worth thinking has already been set down and all we do is repeat it.
Ideas 101 We assume that all thought is already long ago adequately set down in books...and what we say, we only throw in as confirmatory of this supposed complete body of literature. Emerson, Literary Ethics.

Ideas have a way of appearing when their time has come.
Ideas 129 Has anything been done?...Who did it?...plainly not any man, but all men: it was the prevalence and inundation of an idea. Emerson, Method of Nature.

We need to listen for the voices who do not express what everyone else is saying.
Ideas 208 ...when every voice is raised for a new road or another statute, or a subscription of stock, for an improvement in dress, or in dentistry, for a new house or a larger business, for a political party, or the division of an estate—will you not tolerate one or two solitary voices in the land, speaking for thoughts and principles not marketable or perishable? Emerson, The Transcendentalist.

Some thoughts keep us young.
Ideas 388 Some thoughts always find us young, and keep us so. Emerson, The Over-Soul.

Ideas seem to take me unawares and I lose them because I have nothing to attach them to.
Ideas 362 But I am displeased with my mind in that it ordinarily brings forth its deepest ideas, its wildest, and those which I like the best, unexpectedly and when I am seeking them the least; and then they suddenly vanish, having at the moment nothing to which to attach themselves; on horse back, at table, in bed, but mostly on horseback where my thoughts range most widely. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

He wrote on whatever was available so as not to lose an idea.
Ideas 967 …snatching whatever material was nearest, so as to seize the first glimpse of an idea that might vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Ideas that circulate through all generations keep civilization alive.
Ideas 164 Albert Schweitzer: ...because of the ideas conceived and circulated generation after generation civilization endures, progresses, and deepens. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Intuitions are sometimes the sources of ideas.
Ideas 100 …the abrupt, unaccountable aggregation of random notions, intuitions, known in science as good ideas…. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

The Quaker view of the Indians was unrealistic, inflexible and based on false beliefs about human nature.
Ideas and experience 54 But the Quakers’ view of the Indian was of a piece with their attitude toward war...unrealistic, inflexible and based on false premises about human nature. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

People who never doubt their dogmas and don’t compare dogmas to experience likely suffer defeat.
Ideas and experience 48 Men who set too much store for their dogmas and who will not allow themselves to be guided by the give-and-take between ideas and experience are likely to suffer defeat.... Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience