Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quotes: Polls. Pony Express. Possessions. Posterity. Poverty.

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

The wording of questions can produce the answers that are wanted
Polls 120 [JFK on Polls]: The weight of their answers often varies with the wording of their questions. Sorenson, Kennedy

Pony Express
Impressions of the Pony Express in action.
Pony Express 575 …kept him at his utmost speed for ten miles, and then, as he came crashing up to the station where stood two men holding fast a fresh, impatient steed, the transfer of rider and mailbag was made in the twinkling of an eye, and away flew the eager pair and were out of sight before the spectator could get hardly the ghost of a look. Twain, Roughing It

More impressions of the Pony Express in action.
Pony Express 576 In a second or two it becomes a horse and rider, rising and falling, rising and falling—sweeping toward us nearer and nearer—growing more and more distant, more and more sharply defined—nearer and still nearer, and the flutter of the hoofs comes faintly to the ear—another instant a whoop and a hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the rider’s hand, but no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces, and go winging away like a belated fragment of a storm! Twain, Roughing It

We may buy a house but we may soon find out that the house owns us.
Possessions 349 And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him. Thoreau, Walden.

My greatest asset was to want very little..
Possessions 377 For my greatest skill has been to want but little. Thoreau, Walden.

A man is rich according to the things he does not need.
Possessions 387 For a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone. Thoreau, Walden.

In having more possessions, we enjoy the world less.
Possessions 285 They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

The mind that creates speaks to other minds centuries later.
Posterity 271 ...the kind of mind which, once having shaped an object of any sort, leaves an individual trace behind it which speaks to others across the barriers of time and language. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

The more a man belongs to posterity, the more he is alienated from his own generation.
Posterity 305 Schopenhauer: the more a man belongs to posterity—in other words, to humanity in general—so much the more is he an alien to his contemporaries. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

You write for posterity when you have been turned down by publishers.
Posterity 141 George Ade: Posterity--what you write for after being turned down by publishers. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Poverty and wealth cannot coexist for long in a democracy.
Poverty 104 Jefferson: Widespread poverty and concentrated wealth cannot long endure side by side in a democracy. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Feeding people without changing their lifestyle will only result in their working less.
Poverty 171 Furtado: If you give them food and do nothing to change their way of life, they will only work less. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The poor of this generation have inherited their poverty and consider it a permanent condition.
Poverty 921 Galbraith had warned that the poor, unlike the ambitious immigrants of the nineties or the politically aggressive unemployed of the thirties, were now a demoralized and inarticulate minority who in many cases had inherited their poverty and accepted it as a permanent condition. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Samuel Johnson was so poor that he stopped attending lectures because his shoes were worn out and noticed by the other students.
Poverty 37 Mr. Bateman’s lectures were so excellent, that Johnson used to come and get them at second hand from Taylor, till his poverty being so extreme, that his shoes were worn out, and his feet appeared through them, he saw that this humiliating circumstance was perceived by the Christ-Church men, and he came no more. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Poverty and unemployment are different types of problems; those who were impoverished were not necessarily unemployed.
Poverty and Unemployment 920 Kennedy knew that unemployment and poverty were in part separate problems (indeed statistics showed that a majority of the unemployed were not below the poverty line and a majority of the poor were not unemployed…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

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