25 best things ever said

by: plf515

Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 19:18:04 PM EST



Not in any particular order, except the last one, which is my favorite.

25.

If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.

-- Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973)

(I have seen this attributed to Truman, as well)

24.

The legitimate powers of government extend only to such acts as are injurious to others It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) (quoting or paraphrasing John Locke)

23.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

--- Galileo Galilei

22.

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

21.

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.

-- Desiderius Erasmus (1465-1536) (Books were very expensive in the 16th century)

20.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

-- Epictetus (c.55-c.135)

19.

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.

-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

18.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

17.

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

-- John Donne (1572-1631), Meditation XVII (the first piece of writing I memorized)

16.

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

-- Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)

15. This needs a little intro. It is part of Pratchett's Discworld series; it is a conversation between DEATH and Susan (his granddaughter).

"All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little-"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET-Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point-"

MY POINT EXACTLY."

Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

14.

I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

-- Barbara Jordan

13.

The gods are amused when the busy river condemns the idle clouds

Rabindranath Tagore

12.

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.

-- Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

11. I love the precision of language in this one:

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

-- William Pitt (1759-1806)

10. The motto of good blogs could be:

Pain shared is lessened, joy shared, increased

--- Spider Robinson

9.

The good old days. I was there. Where was they?

--- Moms Mabley 1894-1975

8.

All models are wrong but some are useful.

-- George Box

7.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."

-- Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

6.

That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

--- Hillel, upon being challenged to describe the Torah while standing on one foot

5.

If I am not for myself, who is for me?
If I am for myself alone, what am I?
If not now, when?

--- Hillel

4.

Those who would give up a little freedom to get a little security shall soon have neither

--- Benjamin Franklin

3.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let each man march to his own rhythm, however measured, or far away

--- H. D. Thoreau

2.

There is nothing so horrible in nature as to see a beautiful theory murdered by an ugly gang of facts

--- Benjamin Franklin

and, my favorite

1.

Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we all ought to be worried abut our own souls, and other people's bellies

Rabbi Israel Salanter 1810-1883
plf515 :: 25 best things ever said
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Great collection (2.00 / 18)
Some of these I've heard before, and the Hillel is the source title of Primo Levi's amazing novel - so amazing it reads like fact.

But I'm going to tweet this to Richard Dawkins when he starts banging on about Catholics, Jews or Muslims again. I'm an avowed atheist, but I'm also a secularist, which means I respect people's private faith in a way too many zealots do not.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
 

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

Moms Mabley... Lord I hadn't thought of her in a long time. (2.00 / 11)
Loved that woman.

"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

I grew up in NY (2.00 / 6)
about 2 miles from Moms Mableys house (In the Parkway homes Subdivision).
My sister at about age 8-9 rode her bike and knocked on the door. What followed was hysterical and memorable. Mrs. Mabley was quite gracious.

" Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi "

[ Parent ]
Oh, tell the story, please! n/t (2.00 / 3)


"Pin your money to your girdle and don't talk to strangers."  My Grandmom's advice when I went away to school.  I don't wear a girdle and have never met a stranger.  Sorry Grandmom!

[ Parent ]
good choices. (2.00 / 13)
especially Bohrs and Azimov.  Four of my favorite quotes:

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

To sing the blues, you got to live the dues and carry on.

-Stephen Stills, in Carry On.

We're the Flyin' Elvises, Utah Chapter!

-Burton Gilliam as Roy Bacon in Honeymoon in Vegas.

O, brave new world, that has such people in't!

-William Shakespeare, The Tempest  

Thank you. (2.00 / 14)
This was fun.

I think my favorite of the ones you cite is

To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

P.S. Hope this comment "takes." Haven't been here before.


You 'took'. In fact you 'took off' (2.00 / 11)
You're now launched on the Moose. As an old timer on the Moose, let me extend my creaky shaking hand and say 'welcome, pardner. Mine's a Lagavulin. A little water. No ice'.

Pleased to meet you  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Thank you for the welcome. (2.00 / 11)
Had no idea what Lagavulin was; now I know. Always good to learn something new :)

[ Parent ]
The wonders of google double clicks (2.00 / 9)
I try to learn a trifecta of eristic aporias everyday on the net. I invariably fail though. Those last three are decades old

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Oooh, Love it (2.00 / 5)
I wonder if Floja or someone could do a NEW WORD FOR THE DAY in their diaries.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
A word a day or a week would be fun to do. (2.00 / 6)
I have a lot of obscure but interesting words

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
I have no idea myself, but I'll bet (2.00 / 9)
without cheatin' and searchin' - that it's single malt Scotch.

[ Parent ]
asdf (2.00 / 15)
"You will not become a saint through other people's sins." - Chekhov

I always knew that guy on Star Trek was deep! (2.00 / 13)
He also said: "Who would have thought I'd live so long in such a short time?"

[ Parent ]
asdf (2.00 / 11)
There's only two kinds of music... The Blues and Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.

--Townes Van Zandt

Townes van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.

--Steve Earle

Shoes are the first adult machines we are given to master.

--Nicholson Baker

sricki learned to braid gimp at jesus camp.  

--spacemanspiff

Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent."

--Cormac McCarthy, in Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

--Umberto Eco



Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


Fog, my brother... (2.00 / 9)
You just made me, literally, snort coffee out my nose.

sricki learned to braid gimp at jesus camp.  

--spacemanspiff




Photobucket

[ Parent ]
this is my goal, as always. (2.00 / 7)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Anybody still awake? (2.00 / 12)
A favorite quote about animals (not the cute lol pets, although I adore them) from Henry Beston:

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

I love the phrase "caught with ourselves in the net of life and time."

It's 11:30 p.m. where I am. Good night :)


G'night and sweet dreams, carolanne! :) n/t (2.00 / 8)


Photobucket

[ Parent ]
Very nice. (2.00 / 7)
I prefer "nonhumans," though.  

[ Parent ]
The Hillel quote on the Torah (2.00 / 7)
It's so simple and clear that it took my breath away.

My rabbi wrote a big paper (it might have been his dissertation) (2.00 / 5)
on the differences between the positive and negative golden rule (DO unto as you WOULD have done vs. DO NOT as you would NOT have done).  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
So many quotes.... (2.00 / 12)
Few sitting in my craw lately:

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." ~ Charles Bukowski

Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them" ― Rita Levi-Montalcini

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


A friend wrote a book with the great title (2.00 / 8)
"All the wrong people have self-esteem"  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
I will cheat, (2.00 / 9)
but it really is one of my favorites in life:

Conway, whom experience had taught that rudeness was by no means a guarantee of good faith, was even less inclined to regard a well-turned phrase as a proof of insincerity.  

- James Hilton, Lost Horizon

The Shangrila story, for those who have not read it. The search for refinement and subtlety in a harsh world. Avoid the Hollywood version.

And this:

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.

- Admiral "Amazing" Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper was the first female US Navy admiral and invented the word "bug" when she found a dead beetle in a relay while operating an early computer. The log book with the bug taped into it is in the Smithsonian.

She also used to give seminars in which - to explain the challenges of satellite communication - she handed out 11" pieces of wire. She then pulled out a 1000' reel and explained that a information (light) can travel the length of the first wire in a nanosecond, the length of the reel in a millisecond. I know several folks who sat in those lectures, none of them kept their nanosecond (Damn dirty apes!).

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Antoine du St. Exupery (2.00 / 6)
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.


"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
Steinbeck (2.00 / 7)
"It has always seemed strange to me," said Doc. "The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second". - Doc, in Cannery Row. Go read that if you haven't already.

My one of my favorite quotes (2.00 / 7)
"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts."
― Charles Dickens


" Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi "

Gabriel García Márquez, from "Love in the Time of Cholera": (2.00 / 8)
"He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves."

One of my personal favorites (2.00 / 4)
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."
― John Lennon  

These are great, thank you. (2.00 / 3)
Two of my favorites:

1.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy;
I awoke and saw that life was service;
I acted and behold, service was joy.

~Rabindranath Tagore

2.

Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

~Abraham Lincoln


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