Author

Quote

Date

Lao-tse

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

2005-09-28W

Lee, Robert E.

The education of a man is never completed until he dies.

2005-09-28W

Leibniz, Gottfried

Let us calculate.

2005-09-28W

Leibniz, Gottfried

Monads are the real atoms of nature.

2005-09-28W

Einstein, Albert

Restricting a body of knowledge to a small group deadens the philosophical spirit of a people and leads to spiritual poverty.

2005-09-15R

Grossman, Marcel

It is a wonderful feeling to recognize the unifying features of a complex phenomena which present themselves as quite unconnected to the direct experience of the senses.

2005-09-15R

Strathern, Paul

Albert Einstein discovered that even the most complex notions could be reduced to a simple set of fundamental principles.

2005-09-15R

Wilde, Oscar

Education is an admiral thing—but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

2005-09-15R

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Those who hide their complete freedom from themselves out of a spirit of seriousness or by means of deterministic excuses, I shall call cowards.

2005-08-22M

Shakespeare, William

Those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country, as the behavior of the country is most mockable at the court.

2005-08-22M

Weyl, Hermann

We have tried to storm heaven and have only succeeded in pilling up the tower of Babel.

2005-08-22M

Wheeler, John

When I became interested in gravitation and general relativity, I found myself forced to invent the idea of quantum foam—made up not merely of particles popping into and out of existence without limit, but of spacetime itself churned into a lather of distorted geometry.

2005-08-22M

Barnett, Lincoln

The gateway to universal knowledge may be opened by the unified field theory upon which Einstein has been at work for a quarter century.  Today the outer limits of man’s knowledge are defined by relativity, the inner limits by the quantum theory.  Relativity has shaped all our concepts of space, time, gravitation and the realities that are too remote and too vast to be perceived.  Quantum theory has shaped all our concepts of the atom, the basic units of matter and energy, and the realities that are too elusive and too small to be perceived.  Yet these two great scientific systems rest on entirely different and unrelated theoretical foundations.  The purpose of Einstein’s unified field theory is to construct a bridge between them.

2005-08-03W

Hoffmann, Banesh

Quantum theory does not hold undisputed sway, but must share dominion with that other rebel sibling—relativity.  And although these two bodies together have led to the most penetrating advances in the search for knowledge—they must remain enemies.  Their fundamental disagreement will not be resolved until both are subdued by a still more powerful theory that will sweep away our present painfully won fancies concerning such things as space, time, matter, radiation and causality.  The nature of this theory may only be surmised—but it will ultimately come down to the very same certainty as to whether our civilization as a whole survives—no more no less.

2005-08-03W

Kaku, Michio

While relativity uncovers the secrets of energy, gravity and spacetime—the other theory that dominated the twentieth century, quantum theory, is the theory of matter.  What Einstein didn’t realize, as physicists do now, is that the key to the unified field theory is found in the marriage of relativity theory and quantum theory.

2005-08-03W

Lincoln, Abraham

I will prepare—and some day my chance will come.

2005-08-03W

Camus, Albert

The final conclusion of the absurdist process is, in fact, the rejection of suicide and persistence in that hopeless encounter between human questioning and the silence of the universe. Suicide would mean the end of this encounter, and the absurdist position realizes that it could not endorse suicide without abolishing its own foundations. It would consider such an outcome running away or being rescued. But it is plain that absurdist reasoning thereby recognizes human life as the single necessary good, because it makes possible that confrontation, and because without life the absurdist wager could not go on. To say that life is absurd, one must be alive. How can one, without indulging one’s desire for comfort, keep for oneself the exclusive benefits of this argument? The moment life is recognized as a necessary good, it becomes so for all men. One cannot find logical consistency in murder, if one denies it in suicide.

2005-05-28S

Durant, Will

Democracy means drift; it means permission given to each part of an organism to do just what it pleases; it means the lapse of coherence and interdependence, the enthronement of liberty and chaos. It means the worship of mediocrity and the hatred of excellence. It means the impossibility of great men—how could great men submit to the indignities and indecencies of an election? What chance would they have? What is hated by the people, as a wolf by the dogs, is the free spirit, the enemy of all fetters, the not-adorer, the man who is not a regular party-member. How can the superman arise in such a soil? And how can a nation become great when its greatest men lie unused, discouraged, perhaps unknown? Such a society loses character; imitation is horizontal instead of vertical—not the superior man but the majority man becomes the ideal and the model; everybody comes to resemble everybody else; even the sexes approximate—the men become women and the women become men.

2005-05-28S

Durant, Will

The problem of politics is to prevent the businessman from ruling. For such a man has the short sight and narrow grasp of a politician, not the long view and wide range of the born aristocrat trained to statesmanship. The finer man has a divine right to rule—ie. the right of superior ability. The simple man has his place, but it is not on the throne. In his place the simple man is happy, and his virtues are as necessary to society as those of the leader—it would be absolutely unworthy a deeper mind to consider mediocrity in itself as an objection. Industriousness, thrift, regularity, moderation, strong conviction—with such virtues the mediocre man becomes perfect, but perfect only as an instrument. A high civilization is a pyramid; it can stand only upon a broad base; its prerequisite is a strongly and soundly consolidated mediocrity. Always and everywhere, some will be leaders and some followers; the majority will be compelled, and will be happy, to work under the intellectual direction of higher men.

2005-05-28S

Durant, Will

Too long have we been fragments, shattered pieces of what might be a whole. How can a great culture grow in an air of patriotic prejudice and narrowing provincialism? The time for petty politics is over—the compulsion to great politics has come. When will the new race of leaders appear?

2005-05-28S

Camus, Albert

The certainty of a God giving a meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice and that is where the bitterness comes in. The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. Everything is permitted does not mean that nothing is forbidden. The absurd merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions.

2005-05-08N

Camus, Albert

The sense of the absurd, when one first undertakes to deduce a rule of action from it, makes murder seem a matter of indifference, hence, permissible. If one believes in nothing, if nothing makes sense, if we can assert no value whatsoever, everything is permissible and nothing is important. There is no pro or con; the murderer is neither right nor wrong. One is free to stoke the crematory fires, or to give one’s life to the care of lepers. Wickedness and virtue are just accident or whim.

2005-05-08N

Camus, Albert

When man submits God to moral judgment, he kills Him in his own heart. And then what is the basis of morality? God is denied in the name of justice but can the idea of justice be understood without the idea of God? Have we not arrived at absurdity? It is absurdity that Nietzsche meets face to face. The better to avoid it, he pushes it to extremities—morality is the final aspect of God which must be destroyed before the period of reconstruction begins. Then God no longer exists and no longer guarantees our existence; man, in order to exist, must decide to act.

2005-05-08N

McLuhan, Marshall

Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity.

2005-05-08N

Bek, Christopher

It is well established that the greatest scientific problem of all time is how to marry relativity with quantum theory.  Relativity is the natural law of space and time and is based on lightspeed.  Quantum theory is the natural law of matter and is based on Planck’s constant.  I have solved this problem with my theory of one by recognizing that lightspeed and Planck’s constant are the same boundary of the spacetime continuum.  I further argue that even if my theory of one is wrong, it is still effectively right because it sets forth the pathway to truth—which is the question of how to unite relativity with quantum theory.

2005-02-05S

Bek, Christopher

Niels Bohr (1885-1962), one of the founding fathers of quantum theory, defined the complementary principle as the coexistence of two necessary and seemingly incompatible descriptions of the same phenomenon.  One of its first realizations dates back to 1637 when Descartes revealed that algebra and geometry are the same thing.  In 1860 Maxwell revealed that electricity and magnetism are the same thing—electromagnetism.  In 1905 Einstein revealed that light is both waves and particles, that matter and energy are the same thing, and that space and time are the same thing—spacetime.  In 1915 Einstein revealed that gravity and inertia are the same thing.  In 1920 de Broglie revealed that matter is both waves and particles.  In 1925 Dirac revealed that Schrödinger’s wave-based atomic model and Heisenberg’s matrix-based atomic model are the same thing—quantum theory.  In 1930 Bohr and Heisenberg revealed that the complementary principle and the uncertainty principle are the same thing—the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory.  In 2001 Bek revealed that lightspeed and Planck’s constant are the same thing—the boundary of spacetime.

2005-02-05S

Bek, Christopher

William James (1842-1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who developed pragmatism—the philosophy which calls for ideas and theories to be tested in practice to assess whether claims about truth, knowledge and morality can be verified and put to practical use.  Pragmatism embodies the American faith in practicality and the distrust of abstract theories.  Of course the darkside of this so-called distrust of theories is that rejecting a theory because it is a theory is easy.  The very last thing the Everyman wants is the revelation of a higher truth which could call into question his existing beliefs.  James is perhaps most famous for his depiction of the lifecycle of a theory.  According to James, a theory is first ignored, then attached as absurd, then admitted to be true, but obvious—and finally seen to be so important that its adversaries claim to have discovered it themselves.

2005-02-05S

Einstein, Albert

No problem was ever solved by the same mind that created it.

2005-02-05S

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Can it be that what really scares Christians in the doctrine of existentialism is that it leaves man with the possibility of choice?

2005-01-27R

Schumacher, EF

To accept anything as true means to incur the risk of error. If I limit myself to knowledge that I consider true beyond doubt, I minimize the risk of error, but at the same time I maximize the risk of missing out on what may be the subtlest, most important, and most rewarding things in life. Saint Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, taught that “The slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things.” “Slender” knowledge is here put in opposition to “certain” knowledge, and indicates uncertainty. Maybe it is necessarily so that the higher things cannot be known with the same degree of certainty as can the lesser things, in which case it would be a very great loss indeed if knowledge were limited to things beyond the possibility of doubt.

2005-01-27R

Socrates

No God seeks wisdom—for He is already wise.

2005-01-27R

Washington, George

It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being.

2005-01-27R

Camus, Albert

Integrity has no need of rules.

2004-12-21T

Democritus

Bitter and sweet, warm and cold, as well as all the colors—all of these things exist in opinion and not in reality.  What really exist are unchangeable particles or atoms and their motion in empty space.

2004-12-21T

Descartes, René

And indeed it is no surprise that God, in creating me, should have placed this idea in me to be, as it were, the mark of the craftsman stamped on his work—not that the mark need be anything distinct from the work itself. But the mere fact that God created me is a very strong basis for believing that I am somehow made in his image and likeness, and that I perceive that likeness, which includes the idea of God, by the same faculty which enables me to perceive myself.

2004-12-21T

Dirac, Paul

It is more important to have beautiful theories and equations than to have them fit the data.

2004-12-21T

Beecher, Henry Ward

The philosophy of one century is the commonsense of the next.

2004-12-18S

Bible, The

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present. nor things to come, nor anything else, in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ our Lord.

2004-12-18S

Bible, The

For in much wisdom is much grief, and increase of knowledge is increase of sorrow.

2004-12-18S

Camus, Albert

The fate Sisyphus belongs to him. His rock is his thing. Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. In the universe suddenly restored to its silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing.

2004-12-18S

Augustine, Saint

It is solved by walking.

2004-12-16R

Barnett, Lincoln

Modern science was born when Galileo began trying to explain how things happen and thus originated the method of controlled experiment which now forms the basis of scientific investigation.

2004-12-16R

Bek, Christopher

Faith and reason separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality.

2004-12-16R

Berkeley, George

To be is to be perceived.

2004-12-16R

Minkowski, Herman

Space and time separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality.

2004-12-14T

Oxenhandler, Neal

Saints are people who go against the grain, who defy their families and humble their desires—all for the love of God.

2004-12-14T

Pascal, Blaise

The last act is bloody, no matter how charming the rest of the play.

2004-12-14T

Wheeler, John

When I became interested in gravitation and general relativity, I found myself forced to invent the idea of quantum foam—made up not merely of particles popping into and out of existence without limit, but of spacetime itself churned into a lather of distorted geometry.

2004-12-14T

Bible, The

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

2004-12-09R


Gribbin, John

All of chemistry can be explained by the physics of the 1930s—and a very simple model is enough to give an insight into why atoms join together to make molecules in the way  they do.  We don’t need to worry about neutrinos or strong and weak forces.  We certainly don’t have to worry about gravity, which is far too weak to be important in chemical reactions.  And we don’t need to worry about wave-particle duality.  We scarcely need to worry about the fact that the nucleus of an atom is made up of two different kinds of particle—the proton and the neutron.  All we need to know to in explaining basic chemistry is that atoms are made up of negatively charged electrons arranged in accordance with the rules of quantum physics at some distance from the positively charged nucleus and are under the influence of electromagnetic forces.  The basics of chemistry are incredibly simple—but the complexity of the molecules that can be built from the basic simple rules is astonishing.

2004-12-09R

Lincoln, Barnett

The gateway to universal knowledge may be opened by the unified field theory upon which Einstein has been at work for a quarter century.  Today the outer limits of man’s knowledge are defined by relativity, the inner limits by the quantum theory.  Relativity has shaped all our concepts of space, time, gravitation, and the realities that are too remote and too vast to be perceived.  Quantum theory has shaped all our concepts of the atom, the basic units of matter and energy, and the realities that are too elusive and too small to be perceived.  Yet these two great scientific systems rest on entirely different and unrelated theoretical foundations.  The purpose of Einstein’s unified field theory is to construct a bridge between them.  Believing in the harmony and uniformity of nature, Einstein hopes to evolve a single edifice of physical laws that will encompass both the phenomena of the atom and the phenomena of outer space.  Just as relativity reduced gravitational force to a geometrical peculiarity of the spacetime continuum, the unified field theory will reduce electromagnetic force—the other great universal force—to equivalent status.

2004-12-09R

Wilde, Oscar

I dislike arguments of any kind. They are often vulgar and convincing.

2004-12-09R

Hoffmann, Banesh

The factors that first led physicists to distrust their faith in a smoothly functioning mechanical universe loomed on the inner and outer horizons of knowledge—in the unseen realm of the atom and in the fathomless depths of intergalactic space. To describe these phenomena quantitatively, two great theoretical systems were developed between 1900 and 1927. One was the quantum theory, dealing with the fundamental units of matter and energy. The other was relativity, dealing with space, time and the structure of the universe as a whole.

2004-12-06M

Pascal, Blaise

Thus all our dignity consists in thought.  It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time, which we could never fill.  Let us then strive to think well—that is the basic principle of morality.

2004-12-06M

Sartre, Jean-Paul

When I declare that freedom in every concrete circumstance can have no other aim than to want itself, if man has once become aware that in his forlornness he imposes values, he can no longer want but one thing, and that is freedom, as the basis of all values. That does not mean that he wants it in the abstract. It means simply that the ultimate meaning of the acts of honest men is the quest for freedom as such.

2004-12-06M

Schumacher, EF

Faith is not in conflict with reason—nor is it a substitute.

2004-12-06M

Barnett, Lincoln

Just as Relativity reduced gravitational force to a geometrical peculiarity of the spacetime continuum, the unified field theory will reduce electromagnetic force—the other great universal force—to equivalent status.  Moreover, as Relativity showed that energy has mass and mass is congealed energy, the unified field theory will regard matter simply as a concentration of field.  From its perspective the entire universe will be revealed as an elemental field in which each star, each atom, each wandering comet and slow-wheeling galaxy and flying electron is seen to be but a ripple or tumescence in the underlying spacetime unity.  And so a profound simplicity will supplant the surface complexity of nature.

2004-11-28N

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald

The best time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining.

2004-11-28N

Kierkegaard, Søren

The existentialist is first and foremost an individual who is in an infinite relationship with himself and his destiny.

2004-11-28N

Leibniz, Gottfried

Monads are the real atoms of nature.

2004-11-28N

Barnett, Lincoln

The irony of man’s quest for reality is that as nature is stripped of its disguises, as order emerges from chaos and unity from diversity, as concepts merge and fundamental laws assume increasingly simpler form, the evolving picture becomes ever more abstract and remote from experience—far stranger indeed and less recognizable than the bone structure behind a familiar face.  For where the geometry of a skull predestines the outlines of the tissue it supports, there is no likeness between the image of a tree transcribed by our senses and that propounded by wave mechanics, or between a glimpse of the starry sky on a summer night and the four-dimensional continuum that has replaced our perceptual Euclidean space.  In trying to distinguish appearance from reality and lay bare the fundamental structure of the universe, science has had to transcend the rabble of the senses.

2003-10-28T

Einstein, Albert

The idea that there are two structures of space independent of each other, the metric—gravitational and the electromagnetic, is intolerable to the theoretical spirit.

2003-10-28T

Einstein, Albert

The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical.  It is the sower of all true science.  He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.  To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.

2003-10-28T

Sartre, Jean-Paul

The essential consequence of existentialism is that man, being condemned to be free, carries the weight of the whole world on his shoulders.  He is responsible for the world and for himself as a way of Being.

2003-10-28T

Jefferson, President Thomas

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.  That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

2003-08-28R

Poe, Edgar Allan

Truth and immutability are the same thing.

2003-08-28R

United Nations Charter (1945)

We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.  Accordingly, our respective governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.

2003-08-28R

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Existentialism is the doctrine that makes human life possible by declaring that every truth and every action implies a human setting and the starting point of human subjectivity founded on the Cartesian cogito.

2003-08-20W

Heisenberg, Werner

Just as relativity had to abandon the concept of simultaneity, so too does quantum theory have to abandon the concept of electron paths.  The history of physics teaches us that the abandonment of earlier concepts is much more difficult than the adaptation of new ones.

2003-08-14R

Kaku, Michio

Neither relativity nor quantum theory by themselves provides a satisfactory description of nature.  Einstein showed that relativity theory alone cannot form the basis for the unified field theory.  Nor is quantum theory satisfactory without relativity.  Quantum theory can only be used to calculate the behavior of atoms and not the large-scale behavior of galaxies and the expanding universe.  Merging the two theories has consumed the Herculean efforts of scores of theoretical physicists for the past half century.  Only in the last few years have physicists finally formulated, with the help of superstring theory, a possible synthesis of the two theories.

2003-08-14R

Kaku, Michio

Relativity asks questions like—Is there a beginning and end to time?  Where is the farthest point in the universe?  What lies beyond the farthest point?  What happened at the point of Creation?  By contrast, quantum theory asks the opposite questions—What is the smallest object in the universe?  Can matter be divided into smaller and smaller units without limit?  In many ways these two theories appear to be exact opposites.  Relativity concerns itself with the cosmic motion of galaxies and the universe, while quantum mechanics probes the subatomic world.

2003-08-14R

Miller, Henry

There are two paths before us—one backward towards comfort and the security of death and the other forward to nowhere.

2003-08-14R

Guiterman, Michael

He who learns by finding out has sevenfold the knowledge of he who learns by being told.

2003-08-08F

Lindley, David

The idea that physical quantities do not take on any practical reality until someone measures them offended Einstein to the point where he asked the physicist Abraham Pais whether he believed the Moon really exists when no one is looking at it.

2003-08-08F

Locke, John

He who has raised himself above the alms-basket and, not content to live lazily on scraps of begged opinions, sets his own thoughts on the work to find and follow truth will, whatever he lights-on, not miss the hunter’s satisfaction—every moment of his pursuit will reward his pains with some delight and he will not have reason to think his time ill-spent even when he cannot boast of any great trophy for his efforts.

2003-08-08F

Millay, Edna St Vincent

I love humanity but I hate people.

2003-08-08F

Leibniz, Gottfried

Why is there something rather than nothing?

2003-07-30W

Locke, John

If the government violates the rights of individual citizens, then the people have the right to get rid of the government.

2003-07-30W

McLaughlin, Mignon

Society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

2003-07-30W

Millay, Edna St Vincent

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand—come and see my shining palace built upon the sand.

Shining Palaces = Parliament, Senate, Supreme Court
2003-07-30W

Barnett, Lincoln

The mathematical orthodoxy of the universe enables theorists like Einstein to predict and discover natural laws simply by the solution of equations.

2003-07-28M

Poe, Edgar Allan

Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence—whether much that is glorious—whether all that is profound—does not spring from disease of thought—from moods of minds exalted at the expense of general intellect.

2003-07-28M

Poe, Edgar Allan

The universe begins when God creates a primordial particle out of nothing.  From it matter irradiates spherically in all directions in an inexpressibly great yet limited number of unimaginably yet not infinitely minute atoms.

2003-07-28M

Shakespeare, William

This was something of a paradox for which time now gives its proof.

2003-07-28M

Barnett, Lincoln

Right now it is a question whether scientific man is in touch with reality at all—or can ever hope to be.

2003-07-24R

Barnett, Lincoln

The functional harmony of nature Berkeley, Descartes, Spinoza and Einstein attributed to God.

2003-07-24R

Barnett, Lincoln

The human eye suppresses most of the light in the world and what man perceives of the reality around him is distorted and enfeebled by the limitations of his organ of vision.

2003-07-24R

Northrop, FS

If one makes a false or superficial beginning, no matter how rigorous the methods that follow, the initial error will never be corrected.

2003-07-24R

Barnett, Lincoln

Gradually philosophers and scientists have arrived at the startling conclusion that since every object is simply the sum of its qualities, and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars, does not exist except as a construction of the consciousness—an edifice of conventional symbols shaped by the senses of man.

2003-07-21M

Barnett, Lincoln

It is perhaps significant that in terms of simple magnitude man is the mean between macrocosm and microcosm.  Stated crudely this means that a supergiant red star is just as much bigger than man as an electron is smaller.

2003-07-21M

Barnett, Lincoln

Quantum theory deals with fundamental units of matter and energy.  Relativity deals with space, time and the structure of the universe as a whole.  Both are accepted pillars of modern scientific thought.

2003-07-21M

Barnett, Lincoln

The fundamental question of whether light is waves or particles has never been answered.  The dual character of light is, however, only one aspect of a deeper and more remarkable duality which pervades all nature.

2003-07-21M

King, Martin Luther Jr

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

2003-07-14M
Calgary Police

Kipling, Rudyard

If any question why we died tell them because our fathers lied.

2003-07-14M

Millikan, Robert

I spent ten years of my life testing Einstein’s photoelectric effect theory and its attendant assertion that light exists as particles (ie. light quanta or photons) as well as waves and, contrary to all expectations, I am compelled to argue for it unambiguous verification in spite of its seeming unreasonableness.

2003-07-14M

Millikan, Robert

There are only two kinds of immoral conduct.  The first is due to indifference, thoughtlessness and failure to reflect upon what is for the common good.  The second is represented by the unpardonable sin that Christ spoke of—which is the deliberate refusal to follow the light when seen.

2003-07-14M

Miller, Henry

It is silly to go on pretending that we are all brothers under the skin.  The truth is more like under the skin we are all cannibals, assassins, traitors, liars, hypocrites and poltroons.

2003-07-12S

Miller, Joaquin

If you want immortality then go out and make yourself immortal.

2003-07-12S

Milton, John

None can love freedom but good men.  The rest love not freedom but license, which never hath more scope than under tyrants.

2003-07-12S

Milton, John

Truth is compared in scripture to a streaming fountain—if her waters flow not in perpetual progression then they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.  A man becomes a heretic in the truth if he believes things without knowing their reason but instead relies on his pastor’s says so or because the assembly so determines.  Though his belief may be true, the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.

2003-07-12S

Miller, Arthur

When any creativity becomes useful, it is sucked into the vortex of commercialism, and when a thing becomes commercial, it becomes the enemy of man.

2003-07-09W

Miller, Henry

Ideas have to be wedded to action—if there is no sex, no vitality in them, there is no action.  Ideas cannot exist alone in the vacuum of the mind.  Ideas are related to living.

2003-07-09W

Miller, Henry

The task the artist implicitly sets for himself is to overthrow existing values and make of the chaos about him an order which is his own.  He seeks to sow strife and ferment so that by the achievement of emotional release those who are dead may be restored back to life.

2003-07-09W

Holmes, Oliver Wendell

Every opinion tends to become a law.

2003-07-07M

Homer

Put me on earth again and I would rather be a serf in the house of some landless man than the king of all these dead men that are done with life.

2003-07-07M

Hoover, Herbert Clark

We are in danger of developing the cult of the Everyman—meaning a cult of mediocrity.

2003-07-07M

Solomon, Robert

Christ’s teachings encompassed themes that were already central to Jewish thought—for example, love and the importance of helping the unfortunate.  But he also taught the by-no-means-orthodox thesis that the Jewish law could be summarized in terms of loving God with one’s whole heart.  Christ sharply criticized those who made a great show of their holiness but who failed to show compassion—a theme again borrowed from the Hebrew prophets.

2003-07-07M

Zednik, Richard

All the way I thought I was going to go five-hole, and I see he gave me the glove and then thought I’m going to go there.  He probably knew I was going there, so too bad I didn’t go five-hole.

2003-07-07M

Bek, Christopher

Conscious is the perceptual apparatus by which we comprehend reality and the essence of reality is fundamentally different than our conscious perception of it.

2003-07-3R

Bek, Christopher

Relativity is the natural law of spacetime based on lightspeed.  Quantum theory is the natural law of matter based on Planck’s constant.  The theory of one unites relativity and quantum theory by recognizing lightspeed and Planck’s constant as the same boundary of spacetime.  Sir James Jeans once described Einstein’s relativistic universe as the surface of four-dimensional soap bubbles.  John Wheeler once described the universe as empty curved spacetime churned into lathering distorted geometry of quantum foam formed in the wake of electrons and positrons popping into and out of existence without limit—revealing that relativistic bubbles are thus equivalent to quantum foam.

2003-07-3R

Bek, Christopher

Socrates said that no god seeks wisdom—for he is already wise.  Upon assuming behaviorism, doctors, judges, cops and educators effectively issued press releases declaring themselves gods.  As gods, they have no need for soul-searching to solve problems beyond their defined roles.  These self-anointed gods instead focus on projecting and enforcing their god-status.  What society is left with is a bunch of fragile, narrow-minded egomaniacs who are totally out of their depth when faced with true freedom and responsibility.

2003-07-3R

Bek, Christopher

Those who believe in God strictly of the basis of faith are setting themselves up for failure for the reason that their conception of God is based on a static snapshot that is, by definition, not subject to reason.  The Devil is the one who seeks out those who blindly follow.  A true God most certainly wants to be constantly challenged by both faith and reason.  Kevin Spacey tells us in the 1996 movie The Usual Suspects that the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.  And now we know the second greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world we can know God by faith alone.

2003-07-3R

Brennan, Richard

Churchill was so angry that Niels Bohr had managed to influence Roosevelt that he demanded Bohr be arrested—but then grumpily settled for keeping Bohr and anyone under his influence under surveillance.

2003-07-1T

Brennan, Richard

In 1936 the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Johannes Stark and his followers unleashed a newspaper assault in Germany against Jewish physics, by which he meant theoretical physics, which he contrasted with German or experimental physics.

Brennan, Richard

Nobody had shaken the world of science more than Einstein—and now came along another young upstart German in Heisenberg with still another attack on classical physics.

2003-07-1T

Dirac, Paul

Quantum theory explains most of physics and all of chemistry.

2003-07-1T

Einstein, Albert

Concern for man himself and his fate must always be the chief interest of all technical endeavors so that the creations of our mind shall become blessings and not a curses to mankind.  Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.

2003-06-28S

Einstein, Albert

The one thing that I have learned in a long life is that all science measured against reality is primitive and childlike—and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

2003-06-28S

Nicoll, Maurice

Once in Sunday school while going over the Greek New Testament, I asked a question regarding the meaning of a parable.  The headmaster’s answer was so utterly confused and convoluted that I actually experienced my first true moment of consciousness—that is, I suddenly became aware with excruciating clarity that he knew nothing at all.  From that moment forward I began to think for myself, or at least knew that I could.  I remember clearly the classroom with its windows so high that we could not see out, the desks, the platform on which the headmaster sat, his thin scholarly face, his nervous habits of twitching his mouth and jerking his hands—and then suddenly this profound inner revelation that neither he nor anyone else knew about anything that mattered.  It was this threshold moment that was to be the starting point of my liberation from the external world.  I knew then for certain that true knowledge could only be arrived at by authentic inner perception—and that all my loathing of religion, as it was taught to me, was at last vindicated.

2003-06-28S

Oppenheimer, Robert

They should give the Nobel Prize to the first guy who doesn’t discover a new subatomic particle.

2003-06-28S

Gribbin, John

The fate of specialists in anyone area of science is to focus more and more narrowly on their special topic, learning more and more about less and less, until eventually they end up knowing everything about nothing.

2003-06-27F

Heisenberg, Werner

In the early twenties we knew that Bohr’s model of the atom could not be correct, but that it pointed in the right direction.

2003-06-27F

Hoffmann, Banesh

So abstract a matter as the quantum theory serves well as the basis for learned treatises whose pages overflow with the unfriendly symbols of higher mathematics.  Here is a glimpse of the scientific theorist at work, pen and paper his implements, as he experiments with ideas.  Not the least of his gifts is a talent for reaching valuable conclusions from what later prove to be faulty premises.  For his insight is penetrating.  Be it a hint here or a clue there, a crude analogy or a wild guess, he fashions working hypotheses from whatever material is at hand, and, with the divine gift of intuition for guide, courageously follows the faintest will-o-the-wisp till it show him the way toward truth.

2003-06-25W

Hoffmann, Banesh

The magnificent rise of the quantum to a dominant position in modern science and philosophy is a story of drama and high adventure often well-nigh incredible.  It is a chaotic tale, but amid the apparent chaos one gradually discerns a splendid architecture, each discovery, however seemingly irrelevant or nonsensical, falling cunningly into its appointed place till the whole intricate jigsaw is revealed as one of the major discoveries of the human mind.

2003-06-25W

Hoffmann, Banesh

The story of relativity tells what happened to science when one provisional theory of space and time yields to another.  The story of the quantum tells of adventures which recently befell our theories of matter and radiation, and of their unexpected consequences.

2003-06-25W

Hoffmann, Banesh

What are those potent wraiths we call space and time, without which our universe would be inconceivable? What is that mystic essence, matter, which exists within us and around in so many wondrous forms; which is at once the servant and master of mind, and holds proud rank in the hierarchy of the universe as a primary instrument of divine creation?  And what is that swiftest of celestial messengers, radiation, which leaps the empty vastnesses of space with lightning speed?  Though true answers there can be none, science is fated to fret about such problems.  It must forever spin tentative theories around them, seeking to entrap therewith some germ of truth upon which to poise its intricate superstructure.  The balance is delicate and every change sends tremors coursing through the edifice to its uttermost tip.

2003-06-25W

Jaeger, Werner

Once a human potentiality is realized, it exists.

2003-06-23M

Lavine, Thelma

According to the Cartesian cogito, the one truth that is safe and secure from any doubt is that of my own existence as a conscious subject—thereby introducing subjectivity into modern philosophy.

2003-06-23M

Schumacher, EF

On a visit to Leningrad some years ago I consulted a map to find out where I was, but I could not make it out.  From where I stood, I could see several enormous churches, yet there was no trace of them on my map.  When finally an interpreter came to help me, he said—We don’t show churches on our maps.  Contradicting him, I pointed to one that was very clearly marked.  For which he responded—That is a museum and not a living church, which we don’t show.  It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map which failed to show many things I could see right in front of my eyes.  All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance to the conduct of my life.  I remembered that for many years my perplexity had been complete—and no interpreter had come along to help me.  It remained complete until I ceased to suspect the sanity of my perceptions and began instead to suspect the soundness of the maps.

2003-06-23M

Schumacher, EF

People for whom the power of self-awareness is poorly developed cannot grasp it as a separate power and tend to think of it as nothing more than a slight extension of consciousness.

2003-06-23M

Bek, Christopher

If one wishes to better understand the Dark Ages (430-1630) then the most suitable course of action is to turn on the television set.

2003-06-20F

Descartes, René

No beauty is comparable to the beauty of truth.

2003-06-20F

Lavine, Thelma

The principle concerns expressed by the writers of the Renaissance was the need to restore to man the capacities, strengths and powers of the individual person for which the Dark Ages (430-1630) had denied.

2003-06-20F

Lavine, Thelma

The way in which Plato solved the problems of philosophy was to identify what was true in each of the conflicting philosophies and then marshal these truths into a single, unified, original philosophy of his own.

2003-06-20F

Hampshire, Stuart

Until well past the time of Newton there was no distinction between philosophy and science.  Natural philosophy was the common term used to describe what we now call both metaphysics and physics.

2003-06-19R

Heisenberg, Werner

Galileo turned away from the traditional science of his time that was based on Aristotle and took up the philosophical ideas of Plato.  He replaced the descriptive science of Aristotle by the structural science of Plato.

2003-06-19R

Pascal, Blaise

When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space I fill, and even can see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of space of which I am ignorant, and, which knows me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there, why now rather than then.

2003-06-19R

Lindley, David

Physicists must hope that physics can be completed in a manner that the ancient Greeks imagined—by thought alone, unaided by empirical testing.  Modern physics set on its path by the pragmatic methods of Galileo and Newton has in the past three centuries led to the elaborate physical understanding we currently posses—which now seems to have run its course.

2003-06-18W

Plato

The only thing worse than suffering an injustice is committing an injustice.

2003-06-18W

Schumacher, EF

Matter, life, consciousness and self-awareness—these four elements are ontologically—that is, in their fundamental nature—different, incomparable, incommensurable and discontinuous.

2003-06-18W

Socrates

Society attacks people early when they are most helpless.

2003-06-18W

Christ

No one goes to God who does not go through me.

2003-06-16M

Hall, Calvin

While nineteenth-century psychology was busy at work analyzing the conscious mind, psychoanalysis was engaged in explorations of the unconscious mind.  Freud felt that consciousness was only a thin slice of the total mind, that like an iceberg, the larger part of it existed below the surface of awareness.  Psychologists answered Freud by saying that the notion of an unconscious mind was a contradiction in terms; the mind, by definition, was conscious.  The controversy never reached a final conclusion because both psychology and psychoanalysis changed their objective during the twentieth century.  Psychology became the science of behavior and psychoanalysis became the science of personality.

2003-06-16M

Murdoch, Iris

Sartre rightly identified determinism as the primary enemy.

2003-06-16M

Solomon, Robert

Jewish religion stresses the fact that Scripture can be interpreted on many different levels.

2003-06-16M

Bek, Christopher

The theory of one brings the reader face to face with the stunning realization that the universe is bounded—rather than unbounded, as Einstein and others have asserted.  The theory of one delivers the ocean.  It is the theory that spells the end of physics.  It is the monolith of 2001—a spacetime odyssey.

2003-06-04W

Clinton, William

If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our universe that science has ever uncovered.  Its implications are as far-reaching and awe-inspiring as can be imagined.  Even as it promises answers to some of our oldest questions, it poses others even more fundamental.  We will continue to listen closely to what it has to say as we continue the search for answers and for knowledge that is as old as humanity itself, but essential to our people’s future.

2003-06-04W

Hawking, Stephen —concluding paragraph from A Brief History of Time (1996)

When we combine quantum theory and relativity, there seems to be the possibility that space and time might form a finite, four-dimensional continuum without singularities or boundaries.  If we do discover a complete theory of everything, it should be understandable by everyone and not just a few scientists.  Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and ordinary people, be able to take part in discussing questions as to why both we and the universe exist.  If we find the answer to that it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would at last know the mind of God.

2003-06-04W

Lindley, David —concluding paragraph from The End of Physics (1993)

The final theory of everything will undoubtedly be a mathematical system of uncommon tidiness and rigor that accommodates the physical facts of the universe as we know it.  The mathematical neatness will arrive first followed by its explanatory power.  Perhaps one day physicists will find a theory of such compelling beauty that its truth cannot be denied—truth will be beauty and beauty will be truth.  The theory will be, in precise terms, a myth.  A myth is a story that makes sense on its own terms, offers explanations of everything we see before us, but can neither be disproved nor tested.  This theory of everything will indeed spell the end of physics.  It will be the end not because physics has been able to explain everything, but because physics has at last reached the end of all the things for which it has the power to explain.

2003-06-04W

Heraclitus

One cannot step in the same river twice.

2003-05-30F

Heraclitus

The way up and the way back are the same.

2003-05-30F

Socrates

I would rather die than give up philosophy.

2003-05-30F

Socrates

In order to know anything absolutely, we must be free from the body and behold actual reality with the eyes of the soul alone.

2003-05-30F

Hoffman, Philip Seymour

The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you are uncool.

2003-05-28W

Spinoza, Baruch

Man is deceived if he thinks himself free.

2003-05-28W

Spinoza, Baruch

The true aim of government is liberty.

2003-05-28W

Strathern, Paul

Leibniz envisioned monads as being like souls—metaphysical, immortal and each one unique.  A monad is windowless in that there is no perception or effect on the monads around it—yet, at the same time, each monad is said to mirror the entire universe.  Together they exist in an exhaustive hierarchy.  Superior monads have a higher degree of consciousness while others are dimmer and mirror the universe much less clearly and distinctly.

2003-05-28W

Hoffman, Philip Seymour

Listen, my advise to you, and I know you think these guys are your friends, if you want to be a true friend to them—be honest and unmerciful.

2003-05-26M

Kierkegaard, Søren

Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards.

2003-05-26M

Mill, John Stuart

Over himself—over his own body and mind—the individual is sovereign.

2003-05-26M

Nietzsche, Friedrich

Man is a rope tied between the beast and the Superman—a rope over the abyss.

2003-05-26M

Heisenberg, Werner

Einstein once maintained against me that theory first decides what can be observed.

2003-05-22R

Lawrence, DH

Everything that can possibly be painted has been painted, every brush-stroke that can possibly be laid on canvas has been laid on.  Then suddenly at the age of forty I began painting myself and became fascinated.

2003-05-22R

Poincaré, Henri

A mathematical argument is not a simple juxtaposition of Forms, it is Forms placed in a certain order.  And the order in which these elements are arranged is much more important than the elements themselves.

2003-05-22R

Poincaré, Henri

What are the mathematical entities to which we attribute the character of beauty and elegance—and which are capable of developing in us a sort of aesthetic emotion?  They are those elements harmoniously disposed so that without effort the mind can embrace their totality while also realizing the details.

2003-05-22R

Chesterton, GK

The primary objective of education is not to learn things—but to unlearn things.

2003-05-18N

Descartes, René

Conquer yourself rather than the world.

2003-05-18N

Frost, Robert

We dance around in a ring and suppose while the secret sits in the middle and knows.

2003-05-18N

Hall, Calvin

While nineteenth-century psychology was busy at work analyzing the conscious mind, psychoanalysis was engaged in explorations of the unconscious mind.  Freud felt that consciousness was only a thin slice of the total mind, that like an iceberg, the larger part of it existed below the surface of awareness.  Psychologists answered Freud by saying that the notion of an unconscious mind was a contradiction in terms; the mind, by definition, was conscious.  The controversy never reached a final conclusion because both psychology and psychoanalysis changed their objective during the twentieth century.  Psychology became the science of behavior and psychoanalysis became the science of personality.

2003-05-18N

Augustine, Saint

Miracles happen, not in opposition to nature, but in opposition to what we know of nature.

2003-05-16F

Bernstein, Peter

In 1654, a time when the Renaissance was in full flower, the Chevalier de Mere, a French nobleman with a taste for both gambling and mathematics, challenged the famed French mathematician Blaise Pascal to solve a puzzle.  The question was how to divide the stakes of unfinished game of chance between two players when one of them is ahead.  The puzzle had confounded mathematicians since it was posed some two hundred years earlier by the monk Luca Paccioli.  This was the man who brought double-entry bookkeeping to the attention of the business managers of his day—and tutored Leonardo da Vinci in the multiplication tables.  Pascal turned for help to Pierre de Fermat, a lawyer who was also a brilliant mathematician.  The outcome of their collaboration was intellectual dynamite.  What might appear to have been a seventeenth-century version of the game of Trivial Pursuit led to the discovery of the theory of probability, the mathematical heart of the concept of risk.  Their solution to Paccioli’s puzzle meant that people could for the first time make decisions and forecast the future with the help of mathematics.  In the medieval and ancient worlds, even in preliterate and peasant societies, people managed to make decisions, advance their interests, and carryon trade but with no real understanding of risk or the nature of decisionmaking.

2003-05-16F

Bernstein, Peter

The modern conception of risk is rooted in the Hindu-Arabic numbering system that reached the West seven to eight hundred years ago. But the serious study of risk began during the Renaissance, when people broke loose from the constraints of the past and subjected long held beliefs to open challenge. This was a time when much of the world was to be discovered and its resources exploited.  It was a time of religious turmoil, nascent capitalism and a vigorous approach to science and the future.

2003-05-16F

Leibniz, Gottfried

Nature never makes leaps.

2003-05-16F

Bernstein, Peter

In 1952 a young graduate student named Harry Markowitz studying operations research demonstrated mathematically why putting all your eggs in one basket is an unacceptable strategy and why optimal diversification is the best one can do.  His revelation touched off an intellectual movement that has revolutionized Wall Street, corporate finance and decisionmaking of all kinds.  Its effects are still being felt today.

2003-05-15R

Bernstein, Peter

To judge the extent to which today’s methods of dealing with risk are either a benefit or a threat, we must know the whole story, from its very beginnings.  We must know why people of past times did—or did not—try to tame risk, how they approached the task, what modes of thinking and language emerged from their experience and how their activities interacted with other events, large and small, to change the course of culture.  Such a perspective will bring us to a deeper understanding of where we stand, and where we may be heading.  Along the way we shall refer often to games of chance, which have applications that extend far beyond the spin of the roulette wheel.  Many of the most sophisticated ideas about managing risk and making decisions have developed from the analysis of the most childish of games.  One does not have to be a gambler or even an investor to recognize what gambling and investing reveal about risk.

2003-05-15R

White, EB

The only commonsense in the long run is the sense for change—which we all desperately avoid.

2003-05-15R

Wittgenstein, Ludwig

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by the means of our language.

2003-05-15R

Barrett, William

From the beginning of Christianity Saint Paul has told us over and over again that the faith he preaches is foolishness to the Greeks for they demand wisdom—which Saint Paul believed meant rational philosophy and not religious faith.

2003-05-14W

Delacroix, Eugène

Genius is merely the art of generalizing and choosing.

2003-05-14W

Descartes, René

I do my best thinking in a warm bed.

2003-05-14W

Descartes, René

The first rule is never to accept anything as true if I did not have evident knowledge of its truth—that is, carefully to avoid precipitate conclusions and preconceptions, and to include nothing more in my judgments than what presented itself to my mind so clearly and so distinctly that I had no occasion to call it into doubt. The second, to divide each of the difficulties I examined into as many parts as possible and as may be required in order to resolve them better. The third, to direct my thoughts in an orderly manner, by beginning with the simplest and most easily known objects in order to ascend little by little, step by step, to knowledge of the most complex, and by supposing some order even among objects that have no natural order of precedence. And the last, throughout to make enumerations so complete, and reviews so comprehensive, that I could be sure of leaving nothing out.

2003-05-14W

Barnett, Lincoln

Until a hundred years ago electricity and magnetism—while known and studied since early Greek times—were regarded as separate quantities.

2003-05-12M

Hegel, GW

There soon creeps in the misconception of already knowing before you actually know.

2003-05-12M

Hugo, Victor

To name Voltaire is to characterize the entire eighteenth century.

2003-05-12M

Kopp, Sheldon

The anti-hero of Franz Kafka’s hauntingly sinister novel, The Castle, is a wandering stranger, perhaps a land-surveyor.  He is a hapless wayfarer, searching for some confirmation of his identity.  He is K, a man with no more name than that.  He strives desperately to attain a place for himself within the authority of The Castle, wishing to trade his lonely rootlessness, his permanent homelessness, for a sense of belonging to something greater than himself.  But the harder he tries to make contact with the faceless authorities who run The Castle, the more he is confronted with the frustration of their vagueness and impersonality.  He just cannot get the hang of their ambiguous procedures.  He is ever in a state of doubt.  At times he feels unfairly treated and so responds with ineffectual defiance.  But more often, he feels vaguely guilty, as though his frustration must be his own fault.  After all, if there is a rule, it must have some meaning.  There must be some sense to their incomprehensible regulations.  In his isolation and impotence, he senses that the problem must be the result of his own basic inferiority.  He is again and again stuck in the obsessional mire of his indecision, his unwillingness to choose between freedom and obligation.  He feels that he must keep on trying.  There must be a way to satisfy the unclear requirements of the authorities, to behave satisfactorily so that they will accept him.  If only he could figure out the rules, then he would follow them.

2003-05-12M

Hegel, GW

The finite has no genuine Being.

2003-05-10S

Plato

They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.

2003-05-10S

Porter, Katherine Anne

I can’t tell you what gives true intensity, but I know it when I find it, even in my own work—there perhaps first of all.  It is not a matter of how you feel at any one moment, certainly not at the moment of writing.  A calculated coldness is the best mood for that, most often.  Feeling is more than mood, it is a whole way of being, it is the nature you are born with, you can’t invent it.  The question is, how to convey a sense of whatever is there, as feeling, within you, to the reader; and that is a problem of technical expertise.  I can’t tell you how to go about getting this technique either, for that is an internal matter, if it is to have any value beyond a kind of juggling or tightrope walking.  You know it when you have it, and you will finally be able to depend on it somewhat.  But for myself, unless my material, my feelings and my problem in each new piece of work are not well ahead of my technical skill at that moment, I should distrust the whole thing.  When virtuosity gets the upper hand of your theme, or is better than your idea, it is time to quit.  Be bold, and try not to fall in love with your faults.  Don’t be so afraid of giving yourself away either, for if you write, you must.  And if you can’t face that, better not write.

2003-05-10S

Schumacher, EF

People ask for bread and are given stones.  They beg for advice on how to be saved and are told that salvation is an infantile neurosis.  They long for guidance on how to live responsibly and are told they are machines, like computers, without freewill and therefore without responsibility.

2003-05-10S

Shakespeare, William

Some men never seem to grow old.  Always active in thought, always ready to adopt new ideas, they are never chargeable with foggyism.  Satisfied, yet ever dissatisfied, settled, yet ever unsettled, they always enjoy the best of what is, are the first to find the best of what will be.

2003-05-10S

Bronner, Stephen

John Locke and Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire and others envisioned a new world in which the arbitrary authority of the Church and an arrogant aristocracy would cease to exist; a world in which reason and democracy would temper provincial ethnic and religious hatreds between states and races; a world of unfettered freedom, without radical differences in the distribution of wealth, in which an individual might better his lot through hard work and without fear of obstruction by the state.  The constitution was the jewel in the crown of this new world. The individual would be no longer an object of domination but rather a subject vested with rights—a citizen.

2003-05-05M

Locke, John

Individuals have the right to the fruits of their labours only if they leave enough and as good for others.

2003-05-05M

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Man is good by nature and only made bad by institutions.

2003-05-05M

Voltaire

Once a nation begins to think, it is impossible to stop.

2003-05-05M

Camus, Albert

Memory is the enemy of totalitarianism.

2003-04-30W

Locke, John

We are compelled by reason to acknowledge the existence of natural, inalienable rights and duties independent of convention, agreement or contract.

2003-04-30W

Scruton, Roger

As Kant himself pointed out, the moral law has an absolute character.  Rights cannot be arbitrarily overwritten, or weighed against the profit of ignoring them.  Duties cannot be arbitrarily set aside, or canceled by the bad results or due obedience.  I must respect your right, regardless of conflicting interests, since you alone can renounce or cancel it.  That is the point of the concept—to provide an absolute barrier against invasion.  A right is an interest that is given special protection, and cannot be overwritten or canceled without the consent of the person who possess it.  By describing an interest as a right we lift it from the account of cost and benefit, and place it in the sacred precinct of the self.  Likewise duty, if it is to exist at all, must have an absolute moral character.  In the final analysis, to treat a person as an end rather than a means is to acknowledge their rights against ours, and our duties towards him—and to recognize that neither right nor duty can be cancelled by some other good.

2003-04-30W

Scruton, Roger

The totalitarian system embodies the conviction that nothing is sacred.  In such a system, human life is driven underground, and the ideas of freedom and responsibility—ideas without which our picture of man as a moral subject disintegrates entirely—have no public recognition and no place in the administrative process.

2003-04-30W

Bek, Christopher

My unified field theory solves the problem Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life working on by recognizing conscious as electrons or monads—ie. metaphysical gonads.  What we call consciousness is in fact the accumulation of inertial effects experienced by the monads as they travel through four-dimensional relativistic bubbles or, alternatively, through quantum foam.

2003-04-10R

Hobbes, Thomas

Unless sovereignty finds concrete expression in an individual, it neither commands the allegiance of the people nor supports the cohesion of the state.

2003-04-10R

Jeans, Sir James

The hard sphere has always a definite position in space; the electron apparently has not. A hard sphere takes up a very definite amount of room; an electron—well it is probably as meaningless to discuss how much room an electron takes up as it is to discuss how much room fear, anxiety or uncertainty takes up.

2003-04-10R

Palmer, Donald

The true philosopher attempts to transcend the purely human perspective and view reality from the perspective of reality itself.

2003-04-10R

Barnett, Lincoln

In this vast cosmic picture the abyss between macrocosmos and microcosmos—the very big and the very little—will be bridged, and the whole complex of the universe will resolve into a homogeneous fabric in which matter and energy are indistinguishable and all forms of motion from the slow wheeling of the galaxies to the wild flight of electrons become simply changes in the structure and concentration of the primordial field.

2003-03-28F

Flew, Anthony

To be illogical is to be stupid or to be incoherent or to be insufficiently concerned with the truth—or all three together.

2003-03-28F

Kennedy, Robert

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

2003-03-28F

Lincoln, Abraham

Be sure you put your feet in the right place and then stand firm.

2003-03-28F

Bek, Christopher

The word philosophy comes from ancient Greece and is defined as the love of wisdom.  Socrates (470-399 BC) set the table for Plato (427-347 BC) by radically insisting that we must first answer the question of what X is before we can say anything else about X.  Plato then founded philosophy by daring to ask what existence would be like outside the cave.  Plato’s theory of knowledge and theory of Forms holds that true or a priori knowledge must be certain and infallible.  The Greeks Thales (624-546 BC) and Pythagoras (582-500 BC) founded geometry as the very first mathematical discipline.  Mathematics is the systematic treatment of Forms, the science of drawing conclusion and the primordial foundation of absolutely all other science.  While the Church was jumping up and down on everyone’s head in the Western world for over a millennium, Arab mathematicians like Muhammad al-Khwârizmî (780-850) were carrying the ball in founding algebra and algorithms.  An algorithm is the procedural method for calculating and drawing conclusions with Arabic numerals and the decimal notation.  Al-Khwârizmî served as librarian at the court of Caliph al-Mamun and as astronomer at the Baghdâd observatory.  Interestingly, both the terms algebra and algorithm stem from the God, Allah.  According to Arab philosophy, mathematics is the way God’s mind works.  The Arabs believe that, by understanding mathematics, they are comprehending the mind of God.  In fact the very core of their religion lies with the belief that the people must submit to the will of God’s sovereignty—meaning simply that the Godmade laws of nature (ie. mathematics) trump the manmade laws of government.  The Latin version of al-Khwârizmî’s work is responsible for a great deal of the mathematical knowledge that resurfaced during the Renaissance.  The notion that mathematics and God are the very same thing was adapted as the foundation for the Renaissance by thinkers like Descartes, Pascal, Fermat, Newton, Locke and Berkeley.  Then, in what John Stuart Mill called the single greatest advance in the history of science, Descartes fulfilled the Pythagorean dream in conceiving analytic geometry and modern mathematics by synthesizing Greek geometry with Arab algebra.

2003-03-22S

Dowbiggin, Bruce

In the French language a crowd is known as a foule. After watching the booing boors at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Thursday 20 March 2003, I’d have to say the etymologists at the Acadmie Française got it just about right. Sticking your finger in the eye of your closest neighbour and friend in his time of crisis is the work of fools. For a nation like Canada where second-guessing comes in a close second to hockey as the national pastime, these smug outbursts are becoming commonplace. And the recent acid-etched words of Liberal cabinet ministers and backbenchers in the House of Commons describing Americans as bastards gives a whole new meaning to the term foule.

2003-03-22S

Morris, Jim

The United States anthem was greeted with cheers at hockey games in Vancouver and Calgary on Thursday 20 March 2003 and at the Toronto Raptors’ basketball game on Wednesday.

2003-03-22S

Solomon, Robert

Muhammad (570-632) was a merchant in Mecca who became the central prophet and founder of Islam. The term Islam derives from slam and means peace and surrender—namely, the peace that comes from surrendering to the will of God’s sovereignty. Before Islam the religions of the Arabic world involved the worship of many gods—Allah being one of them. Muhammad taught the worship of Allah as the only God, whom he identified as the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews. And Muhammad also accepted the authenticity of both the Jewish prophets and Christ—as do his followers.

2003-03-22S

Hutchins, Robert Maynard

The death of a democracy is not likely to be an assassination by ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment.

2003-03-20R

Jefferson, Thomas

A wise and frugal government shall restrain men from injuring one another and shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum total of good government.

2003-03-20R

Jefferson, Thomas

On matters of style, swim with the current.  On matters of principle, stand like a rock.

2003-03-20R

Jung, Carl

Modern man has acquired the willpower to carryout his work proficiently without recourse to chanting, drumming or praying.  He is able to translate his ideas into actions without a hitch, while primitive man was hampered by fears and superstitions at each step along the way.  Yet in maintaining his creed, modern man pays the price in a remarkable lack of introspection.  He is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by powers beyond his control that keep him restlessly on the run.

2003-03-20R

Heisenberg, Werner

The violent reaction to the recent developments of modern physics can only be understood when one realizes that the foundations of physics have started moving—and that this motion has caused the feeling that the ground would be cut from science.

2003-03-18T

Horowitz, Vladimir

Mozart is too simple for beginners and too difficult for experts.

2003-03-18T

Jefferson, Thomas

I know no safer depository for the ultimate powers of society but with the people themselves.  And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to shed light on their discretion.

2003-03-18T

Matrix, Morpheus from the 1999 movie Matrix

You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up.  And you are here because you know something.  What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it.  You’ve felt it your entire life.  That there’s something wrong with the world.  You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad.  It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.  Like everyone you are a slave.  You were born into bondage, born into a prison you cannot smell or taste or touch—a prison for your mind.

2003-03-18T

Einstein, Albert

The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest mainspring of scientific research.

2003-03-16N

Flew, Anthony

To be illogical is to be stupid or to be incoherent or to be insufficiently concerned with the truth—or all three together.

2003-03-16N

Lincoln, Abraham

He who makes an assertion without knowing its truthfulness is guilty of falsehood—and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify the lie.

2003-03-16N

Russell, Bertrand

A pedant is someone who prefers their arguments to be true.

2003-03-16N

Einstein, Albert

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals Himself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

2003-03-13R

Housman, AE

A moment’s thought would have shown him.  But a moment is a long time and thinking is a painful thing.

2003-03-13R

Russell, Bertrand

Most people would sooner die than think.  In fact they do.

2003-03-13R

Socrates

We must follow the argument wherever it leads.

2003-03-13R

Boslough, John

Not all physicists believe that a unified theory is possible.  The Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli (1900-58) once joked—What God has put asunder, no man shall ever join.

2003-03-10T
Why about a demigod?

Boslough, John

Physicists are searching for a single interaction at the heart of the universe that is the key to all physical phenomena.

2003-03-10T
Planck’s constant equals lightspeed—Hello, wake up McFly

Boslough, John

The universe seems to operate according to several sets of different rules that act in layers independently of one another.

2003-03-10T
The unified field theory

Penrose, Roger

I am able to show that space and time come to a physical, rather than a merely metaphysical, end.

2003-03-10T
End of spacetime is, by definition, boundary between physical and metaphysical

Einstein, Albert

This is so simple that God could not have passed it up.

2003-03-09N

Hawking, Stephen

Nobody wants to believe that the truth is as simple as it is.

2003-03-09N

Hoffmann, Banesh

Hermann Weyl (1885-1955) made everybody realize that to treat gravity as an aspect of geometry but not to do so with electromagnetism was artless.  At the time, gravity and electromagnetism were the two known universal forces.

2003-03-09N

Alcott, AB

To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.

2003-03-08S

Barrett, William

In Plato’s extraordinary emphasis upon mathematics we see the vestiges of Pythagoreanism, in which mathematics has been given a sacred, a religious status. Behind Plato’s emphasis upon mathematics lies his theory of Forms—the “really real” objects in the universe are the universals or Forms. Particular things are real only insofar as they exist eternally.

2003-03-08S

Barrett, William

The terror of confronting oneself in situations calling for subjective judgment is so great that most people immediately panic and run for cover under the first obvious argument that seems to apply.

2003-03-08S

Descartes, René

Make a simple set of rules and follow them.

2003-03-08S

Bible, The

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

2003-03-06R

Christ

I will lead the blind by a road they do not know, by paths they have not known I will guide them, I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I will do, I will not forsake them.

2003-03-06R

Churchill, Winston

We are shaping the world faster than we can change ourselves, and we are applying to the present the habits of the past.

2003-03-06R

Durant, Will

Let our students of philosophy enter the world with no favor shown them; they shall compete with men of brawn and men of cunning; in the mart of strife they shall learn from the book of life itself; they shall hurt their fingers and scratch their philosophic shins on the crude realities of the world; they shall earn their bread and butter by the sweat of their brows. This last and sharpest test shall go on ruthlessly for fifteen long years. Those that survive, scarred and fifty, sobered and self-reliant, shorn of scholastic vanity by the merciless friction of life, and armed now with all the wisdom that tradition and experience, culture and conflict, can cooperate to give—these men at last shall become our leaders.

2003-03-06R

God

Thou shall have no other god before me.

2003-03-04T

Goethe, Johann —the last words

More light.

2003-03-04T

Hoffmann, Banesh

Great science transcends logic.

2003-03-04T

The Devil

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

2003-03-04T

Heisenberg, Werner

The history of physics in this century teaches us that the abandonment of earlier concepts is much more difficult than the adaptation of new ones.

2003-03-03M

Pascal, Blaise

A soul weighs more than the whole universe.

2003-03-03M

Scruton, Roger

Freedom is lost when the subject surrenders to the object.

2003-02-28F

Shakespeare, William

All doubts are traitors—and make us lose the good we oft win by fearing to attempt.

2003-02-28F

Shakespeare, William

This above all—to thine own self be true.  And it must follow, as night follows day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

2003-02-28F

Talbot, Michael

One of the most important experiment of the century was performed in 1982 by physicists Alain Aspect, Jean Dalibard, and Gerard Roger of the Institute of Optics at the University of Paris.  It focused on the kind of interconnectedness that manifests itself between particles in the classic double-slit experiment. In the 1970s the technology became available to provide evidence that particles believed to be twins were actually connected—but it wasn’t until 1982 that Aspect and his team settled the matter conclusively. Their experiment was designed to determine if photons were interconnected in a seemingly faster-than-light manner. Aspect and his team allowed each photon to travel through 6.5 meters of pipe and pass through special optical switches that rerouted them towards one of two polarization analyzers. When Aspect and his team performed the experiment and tallied the results they discovered that the angles of polarization were indeed correlated in such a way that indicated the photons were instantaneously connected with one another. And this is a mind-boggling finding. It means that some of our most cherished and accepted notions about reality are radically in error. What is all the more astounding is that the Aspect experiment—an experiment which, most assuredly, will eventually change our understanding of reality as much as the revelations of Copernicus or Darwin—went almost completely unnoticed by the mass media. Even the scientific world, as evidenced by the response of the scientific journals, greeted it with an unusual lack of fanfare. Articles appeared announcing the results of the experiment and concluded with remarks such as leads to realities beyond our common experience and indicates that we must be prepared to consider radically new views of reality. But beyond that not much more has been said.

2003-02-28F

Barnett, Lincoln

In its popular sense, mass is just another word for weight. But as used by the physicist, it denotes a rather different and more fundamental property of matter—namely, resistance to a change of motion. A greater force is necessary to move a freight car than a velocipede; the freight car resists motion more stubbornly than the velocipede because it has greater mass. In classical physics the mass of any body is a fixed and unchanging property. Thus the mass of a freight car should remain the same whether it is at rest on a siding, rolling across country at 60 miles an hour, or hurtling through outer space at 60,000 miles a second. But relativity asserts that the mass of a moving body is by no means constant, but increases with its velocity. The old physics failed to discover this fact simply because man's senses and instruments are too crude to note the infinitesimal increases of mass produced by the feeble accelerations of ordinary experience. They become perceptible only when bodies attain velocities close to that of light. And this phenomenon does not conflict with the relativistic contraction of length. One is tempted to ask how can an object become smaller and at the same time get heavier? The contraction, it should be noted, is only in the direction of motion; width and breadth are unaffected. Moreover mass is not heaviness but simply the resistance to motion.

2003-02-27R

Barnett, Lincoln

In man’s brief tenancy on earth he egocentrically orders events in his mind according to his own feelings past, present, and future. But except on the reels of one’s own consciousness, the universe, the objective world of reality, does not happen—it simply exists. It can be encompassed in its entire majesty only by a cosmic intellect. But it can also be represented symbolically, by a mathematician, as a four-dimensional spacetime continuum. An understanding of the spacetime continuum is requisite to a comprehension of the general theory of relativity and of what it says about gravitation, the unseen force that holds the universe together and determines its shape and size.

2003-02-27R

Barnett, Lincoln

Relativity, like the quantum theory, draws man's intellect still farther away from the Newtonian universe, firmly rooted in space and time and functioning like some great, unerring, and manageable machine. Einstein's laws of motion, his basic principles of the relativity of distance, time, and mass, and his deductions from these principles comprise what is known as the special theory of relativity. In the decade following the publication of this original work, he expanded his scientific and philosophical system into the general theory of relativity, through which he examined the mysterious force that guides the whirling of the stars, comets, meteors, and galaxies, and all the moving systems of iron, stone, vapor, and flame in the immense inscrutable void. Newton called this force universal gravitation. From his own concept of gravitation Einstein attained a view of the vast architecture and anatomy of the universe as a whole.

2003-02-27R

Barnett, Lincoln

Since time is an impalpable quantity it is not possible to draw a picture or construct a model of a four-dimensional spacetime continuum. But it can be imagined and it can be represented mathematically. And in order to describe the stupendous reaches of the universe beyond our solar system, beyond the clusters and star clouds of the Milky Way, beyond the lonely outer galaxies burning in the void, the scientist must visualize it all as a continuum in three dimensions of space and one of time. In our minds we tend to separate these dimensions; we have an awareness of space and an awareness of time. But the separation is purely subjective; and as special relativity showed, space and time separately are relative quantities which vary with individual observers. In any objective description of the universe, such as science demands, the time dimension can no more be detached from the space dimension than length can be detached from breadth and thickness in an accurate representation of a house, a tree, or Betty Grable. According to the great German mathematician, Herman Minkowski, who developed the mathematics of the spacetime continuum as a convenient medium for expressing the principles of relativity—Space and time separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality.

2003-02-27R

Barnett, Lincoln

The element of caprice in atomic behavior cannot be blamed on man's coarse-grained implements. It stems from the very nature of things, as shown by Heisenberg in 1927 in a famous statement of physical law known as the Uncertainty Principle.

2003-02-25T

Barnett, Lincoln

The mathematical orthodoxy of the universe enables theorists like Einstein to predict and discover natural laws simply by the solution of equations.

2003-02-25T

—Concluding paragraph from The Universe and Dr. Einstein (1948) by Lincoln Barnett

In the evolution of scientific thought, one fact has become impressively clear—that there is no mystery of the physical world which does not point to a mystery beyond itself.  All highroads of the intellect, all byways of theory and conjecture lead ultimately to an abyss that human ingenuity can never span.  For man is enchained by the very condition of his Being, his finiteness and his involvement in nature.  The further he extends his horizons, the more vividly he recognizes the fact that, as the physicist Niels Bohr put it, we are both spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.  Man is thus his own greatest mystery.  He does not understand the vast veiled universe into which he has been cast for the reason that he does not understand himself.  He comprehends little of his organic process and even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world about him in his rationality and his dreams.  Least of all does he understand his noblest and most mysterious faculty—the ability to transcend himself by perceiving himself in the act of perception.  Man’s inescapable impasse is that he himself is part of the world that he seeks to explore—his body and proud brain are but mosaics of the same elemental particles that compose the dark, drifting clouds of interstellar space.  Man is, in the final analysis, merely an ephemeral confirmation of the primordial spacetime field.  Standing midway between macrocosm and microcosm, he finds barriers on every side and can perhaps but marvel, as Saint Paul did nineteen hundred years ago in saying that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen is composed of things which do not appear.

2003-02-25T

—Introductory paragraph from The Strange Story of the Quantum (1947) by Banesh Hoffmann

The story of the quantum is a confused and groping search for knowledge conducted by scientists of many lands on a front far wider than the world of physics had ever seen before—illuminated by flashes of insight, aided by accidents and guesses, and enlivened by coincidences that one would only expect to find in works of fiction.  It is the story of turbulent revolution—of the undermining of a complacent physics that had long ruled a limited domain, of a subsequent interregnum predestined for its own destruction by its inherent contradictions, and of the tempestuous emergence of a much more chastened regime—quantum theory.  And while quantum theory rules newly discovered land with a firm hand, its victory is not complete.  What looks like mere scratches on the brilliant surface of its domain reveal themselves as fascinating crevasses betraying the darkness within and luring the intrepid on to new adventure.  Nor does quantum theory hold undisputed sway but must share dominion with that other rebel sibling—relativity.  And although together these two bodies have led to the most penetrating advances in the search for knowledge—they must remain enemies.  Their fundamental disagreement will not be resolved until both are subdued by a still more powerful theory that will sweep away our present painfully won fancies concerning such things as space, time, matter, radiation and causality.  The nature of this theory may only be surmised—but it will ultimately come down to the very same certainty as to whether our civilization as a whole survives—no more no less.

2003-02-25T

Bek, Christopher

The theory of one brings the reader face to face with the stunning realization that the universe is bounded—rather than unbounded, as Einstein and others have asserted.  The theory of one delivers the ocean.  It is the theory that spells the end of physics.  It is the monolith of 2001—a spacetime odyssey.

2003-02-24M

Hawking, Stephen —concluding paragraph from A Brief History of Time (1996)

When we combine quantum theory and relativity, there seems to be the possibility that space and time might form a finite, four-dimensional continuum without singularities or boundaries.  If we do discover a complete theory of everything, it should be understandable by everyone and not just a few scientists.  Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and ordinary people, be able to take part in discussing questions as to why both we and the universe exist.  If we find the answer to that it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would at last know the mind of God.

2003-02-24M

Lindley, David —concluding paragraph from The End of Physics (1993)

The final theory of everything will undoubtedly be a mathematical system of uncommon tidiness and rigor that accommodates the physical facts of the universe as we know it.  The mathematical neatness will arrive first followed by its explanatory power.  Perhaps one day physicists will find a theory of such compelling beauty that its truth cannot be denied—truth will be beauty and beauty will be truth.  The theory will be, in precise terms, a myth.  A myth is a story that makes sense on its own terms, offers explanations of everything we see before us, but can neither be disproved nor tested.  This theory of everything will indeed spell the end of physics.  It will be the end not because physics has been able to explain everything, but because physics has at last reached the end of all the things for which it has the power to explain.

2003-02-24M

Newton, Sir Isaac

I know not what the world thinks of me, but as for myself, I seem to be only a boy playing on the seashore, now and again finding a smoother stone or a more beautiful shell—all the while the great ocean of truth lies undiscovered before me.

2003-02-24M

Camus, Albert

What is a rebel? A man who says no—but whose refusal does not imply a renunciation. He is also a man who says yes as soon as he begins to think for himself. He rebels because he categorically refuses to submit to conditions that he considers intolerable and also because he is confusedly convinced that his position is justified, or rather, because in his own mind he thinks that he has the right to.

2003-02-22S

Camus, Albert

When war breaks out people say its stupid and cannot last long.  But being stupid does not prevent it from lasting.  Stupidity has a knack of getting its way, which we would see if we were not always so wrapped up in ourselves.

2003-02-22S

Barnett, Lincoln

Quantum theory deals with fundamental units of matter and energy. Relativity deals with space, time and the structure of the universe as a whole. Both are accepted pillars of modern physical thought.

2003-02-20R

Barnett, Lincoln

Right now it is a question whether scientific man is in touch with reality at all—or can ever hope to be.

2003-02-20R

Barnett, Lincoln

The fundamental question of whether light is waves or particles has never been answered. The dual character of light is, however, only one aspect of a deeper and more remarkable duality which pervades all nature.

2003-02-20R

Bek, Christopher

Recognizing lightspeed and Planck’s constant as the boundary between spacetime and nothingness reveals the mechanism that allows electrons and positrons to exit and re-enter the universe at any point in spacetime.  We can also see that the boundary between spacetime and nothingness is the medium that supports both light and matter waves.

2003-02-20R

Archimedes

Give me one fixedpoint and I will move the earth.

2003-02-14F

Bek, Christopher

The separate concepts of faith and reason will now fade into the past to be replaced by the combined concept of mathematical reason.

2003-02-14F

Jefferson, Thomas

I swear my hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

2003-02-14F

Minkowski, Hermann

The separate concepts of space and time will now fade into the past to be replaced by the combined concept of spacetime.

2003-02-14F

Locke, John

If the government violates the rights of individuals, then the people have the right to get rid of the government.

2003-02-01S

Locke, John

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth—and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man but to have only the laws of nature for his rule.

2003-02-01S

Microsoft Encarta

John Locke argued that sovereignty resides in individuals, not rulers.

2003-02-01S

Microsoft Encarta

Thomas Jefferson’s belief in the social contract came from British political philosopher John Locke, who argued that government existed by consent of the governed and that people should rebel if their natural rights are violated.

2003-02-01S

Barnett, Lincoln

It is perhaps significant that in terms of simple magnitude man is the mean between macrocosm and microcosm. Stated crudely this means that a supergiant red star is just as much bigger than man as an electron is smaller.

2003-01-30R

Barnett, Lincoln

The functional harmony of nature Berkeley, Descartes, Spinoza and Einstein attributed to God.

2003-01-30R

Locke, John

The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth—and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man but to have only the law of nature for his rule.

2003-01-30R

Margenau, Henry

A second Enlightenment is now needed in which man can live in peace with his own discoveries and creations—enabled by a fuller comprehension to use them for his enrichment and pleasure.  The realization of this second Enlightenment cannot be fulfilled by ordinary educational means.  What we require are books with sufficient appeal and persuasive power to enlighten the intelligent but scientifically uninformed multitudes.

2003-01-30R

Barnett, Lincoln

A few years ago Einstein observed—The idea that there are two structures of space independent of each other, the metric—gravitational and the electromagnetic is intolerable to the theoretical spirit. Moreover, as Relativity showed that energy has mass and mass is congealed energy, the Unified Field Theory will regard matter simply as a concentration of field. From its perspective the entire universe will be revealed as an elemental field in which each star, each atom, each wandering comet and slow-wheeling galaxy and flying electron is seen to be but a ripple or tumescence in the underlying spacetime unity. And so a profound simplicity will supplant the surface complexity of nature; the distinction between gravitational and electromagnetic force, between matter and field, between electric charge and field will be forever lost; and matter, gravitation, and electromagnetic force will all thus resolve into configurations of the four-dimensional continuum which is the universe.

2003-01-28T

Barnett, Lincoln

Completion of the Unified Field Theory will climax the long march of science towards unification of concepts. For within its framework all man’s perceptions of the world and all his abstract intuitions of reality—matter, energy, force, space, time merge finally into one. It touches the grand aim of all science, which, as Einstein defines it, is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms. The urge to consolidate premises, to unify concepts, to penetrate the variety and particularity of the manifest world to the undifferentiated unity that lies beyond is not only the leaven of science; it is the loftiest passion of the human intellect. The philosopher and mystic, as well as the scientist, have always sought through their various disciplines of introspection to arrive at a knowledge of the ultimate immutable essence that undergirds the mutable illusory world. More than twenty-three hundred years ago Plato declared—The true lover of knowledge is always striving after being. He will not rest at those multitudinous phenomena whose existence is appearance only.

2003-01-28T

Barnett, Lincoln

The other gateway to this knowledge may be opened by the Unified Field Theory upon which Einstein has been at work for a quarter century. Today the outer limits of man’s knowledge are defined by Relativity, the inner limits by the Quantum Theory. Relativity has shaped all our concepts of space, time, gravitation, and the realities that are too remote and too vast to be perceived. Quantum Theory has shaped all our concepts of the atom, the basic units of matter and energy, and the realities that are too elusive and too small to be perceived. Yet these two great scientific systems rest on entirely different and unrelated theoretical foundations. The purpose of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory is to construct a bridge between them. Believing in the harmony and uniformity of nature, Einstein hopes to evolve a single edifice of physical laws that will encompass both the phenomena of the atom and the phenomena of outer space. Just as Relativity reduced gravitational force to a geometrical peculiarity of the spacetime continuum, the Unified Field Theory will reduce electromagnetic force—the other great universal force—to equivalent status.

2003-01-28T

Bohr, Niels

We all agree that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough.

2003-01-28T

Camus, Albert

I grew in the sea and poverty was my wealth, then I lost the sea, then all luxury seemed grey, poverty intolerable. Since then, I wait. I wait for the return voyage, the house by the sea, the clear light of day. I wait, I struggle to be polite. People see me pass in elegant cultured streets, I admire the views, I applaud like everyone else, I shake hands, it’s not really me speaking. People praise me, I daydream a little, I’m offended, but show almost no surprise. Then I forget and smile at whoever insults me, or I greet those I love too courteously. What’s to be done if I can only remember a single image? Finally they urge me to say who I am. Still nothing, still nothing.

2003-01-23R

Chrétien, Canadian Prime Minister Jean

I've never tried marijuana.  I don't even know what it smells like.

2003-01-23R
May God help us all—marijuana is a natural, healing drug

Heidegger, Martin

Thinking only begins at the point where we come to know that human reason, glorified for centuries, is the most obstinate adversary of thought.

2003-01-23R

Pascal, Blaise

Man escapes freedom by means of the two sovereign anodynes of habit and diversion. He chases a bouncing ball or rides to hounds after a fleeing animal—or the ball and fleeing game are pursued through the labyrinth of social intrigue and amusement—anything, so long as he manages to escape from himself.

2003-01-23R
What about chasing a puck or writing about chasing pucks?

Freud, Sigmund

This alone I know with certainty, namely that the moral judgment of man is absolutely guided by his desire for happiness—and is therefore merely an attempt to bolster his delusions with arguments.

2003-01-22W

Nietzsche, Friedrich

Never trust human reason at face value for it seeks to mask what it fears to confront—the most unpleasant truth of all.

2003-01-22W

Schumacher, EF

The maps produced by modern materialistic scientism leave all the questions that really matter unanswered; more than that—they deny the validity of the questions. The situation was desperate enough in my youth half a century ago; it is even worse now because the ever more rigorous application of the scientific method to all subjects and disciplines has destroyed even the last remnants of ancient wisdom—at least in the Western world. It is being loudly proclaimed in the name of scientific objectivity that values and meanings are nothing but defense mechanisms and reaction formations; that man is nothing but a complex biochemical mechanism powered by a combustion system which energizes computers with prodigious storage facilities for retaining encoded information.

2003-01-22W

Skinner, B.F. from the telling title of his 1971 book Beyond Freedom and Dignity

Many anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists have used their expert knowledge to prove that man is free, purposeful and responsible. This escape route is slowly being closed as new evidence of the predictability of human behavior is discovered. Any personal exemption from complete determinism is being revoked as scientific analysis progresses—particularly when accounting for the behavior of the individual.

2003-01-22W
Working for the clampdown

Barnett, Lincoln

Today most newspaper readers know vaguely that Einstein had something to do with the atomic bomb—beyond that his name is simply a synonym for the abstruse. While his theories form part of the body of modern science, they are not yet part of the modern curriculum. It is not surprising therefore that many a college graduate still thinks of Einstein as a kind of mathematical surrealist rather than as the discoverer of certain cosmic laws of immense importance in man's slow struggle to understand physical reality.

2003-01-21T

Matrix, Neo from the 1999 movie Matrix

That’s why its going to work.

2003-01-21T

Matrix, Trinity from the 1999 movie Matrix

Neo. No one’s ever done anything like this before.

2003-01-21T

Stevenson, Adlai during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

Don’t worry. If they’re still sticking to their stonewalling tactics—I’ll get them.

2003-01-21T

Barrett, William

Essences Plato called Forms. These Forms, as we saw in the previous chapter, were for him “really real,” more real than the particular things that derived their own individual being from participation in the Forms. The circle, that is, about which the geometrician reasons is the essence common to every individual circle in nature, and without which the individual circles could not exist; it is more real than the individual circle that he may draw on the blackboard for illustration. Now, the circle that the mathematician reasons about is one he never draws upon the blackboard; it cannot be drawn because it never comes into existence; it is outside time and therefore eternal. So too it never comes to be in actual physical space; and it is non-spatial in the same sense in which it is non-temporal. All the Forms, for Plato, thus constitute a realm of absolute realities beyond time, change, and existence, and existence is merely a shadowy replica of essence. When an Idea comes into existence, it is through a fall (a kind of original sin) from some higher realm of Being. Time itself—that invisible and tormenting medium of our own individual existence—becomes merely a shadowy image of eternity.

2003-01-20M

Barrett, William

Existentialism is an attempt to gather all of the elements of human reality into a total picture of man.

2003-01-20M

Barrett, William

The psychology of a Pascal is different from that of a Saint Augustine in that Pascal’s observations of the human condition are among the most negative that have ever been made. Readers of Sartre who have protested that his psychology is too morbid or sordid, and possibly therefore only an expression of the contemporary Paris school of despair, would do well to look into Pascal. They will find his view of our ordinary human lot every bit as mordant and clinical as Sartre’s. “The natural misfortune of our mortal and feeble condition,” Pascal says, “is so wretched that when we consider it closely, nothing can console us.” Men escape from considering it closely by means of the two sovereign anodynes of habit and diversion. Man chases a bouncing ball or rides to hounds after a fleeing animal; or the ball and fleeing game are pursued through the labyrinth of social intrigue and amusement; anything, so long as he manages to escape from himself.

2003-01-20M

Barrett, William

There is a story is told by Kierkegaard of an absent-minded man so abstracted from his own life that he hardly knows he exists until, one fine morning, he wakes up to find himself dead.

2003-01-20M

Bek, Christopher

Totalitarianism is the practice of governance that attempts to monopolize all possible influences affecting the behavior of individuals.  It atomizes people and existentially alienates them from themselves and each other, thus forcing them to capitulate to the to the external authority of government in order to survive.  Totalitarianism depends upon the masses to control the masses by either physical or metaphysical force.  The Canadian Government defines itself as totalitarian in that it denies the children access to the mind of God by buggering them with a wrongheaded education that is founded on a false, flat, dehistorized version of mathematics.

2003-01-18S

Kennedy, Robert

The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather, it will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of society.

2003-01-18S

Palmer, Donald

The true philosopher attempts to transcend the purely human perspective and view reality from the perspective of reality itself. From this perspective, one comes to realize that the human has no privileged position in the cosmos, that the human has no more and no less dignity than anything else in nature.

2003-01-18S

Socrates

Know thyself.

2003-01-18S

Ecclesiastes 8:9

Where the word of a King is—there is power.

2003-01-17F

Lopez, Jennifer

My mind. My rules.

2003-01-17F

Peter 2:13

Respect all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King.

2003-01-17F

Socrates (the last words)

Only those who have lived an evil life hope that death is the end of everything for them. This is perfectly reasonable, for it is in their best interests that it should be so. However, I am convinced that the souls of the wicked wander desolately through the lower world of Tartarus—ie. the lowest region of the underworld. Only those who have lived good lives will be admitted to the Real World.

2003-01-17F

Microsoft Encarta

No simple, agreed-upon definition of consciousness exists. Attempts to define consciousness have tended to be merely tautological or descriptive—such as awareness, sensations, thoughts or feelings. In spite of this, the subject of consciousness has had a remarkable history and at one time was the primary subject matter of psychology, although has since suffered an almost complete and total downfall.

2003-01-14T

Sartre, Jean-Paul

There can be no other truth to take off from this—I think, therefore I exist—ie. the Cartesian cogito.  There we have the absolute truth of consciousness becoming aware of itself.  Every theory which takes man out of the moment in which he becomes aware of himself is, at its very beginning, a theory which confounds the truth, for outside the Cartesian cogito, all views are only probable, and a doctrine of probability which is not bound to a truth dissolves into thin air.  In order to describe the probable, you must have a firm hold on the true.  Therefore, before there can be any truth whatsoever, there must be an absolute truth; and this one is easily arrived at; it is on everyone’s doorstep; it is a matter of grasping it directly.

2003-01-14T

Schumacher, EF

Man has the power of life like the plants, the power of consciousness like the animals, and something more—the power of consciousness recoiling upon itself—which is the power of self-awareness. Man is not merely a conscious being, but a being capable of consciousness of his own consciousness—not merely a thinker, but a thinker able to watch and study his own thinking. This power of self-awareness opens up unlimited possibilities for purposeful learning, investigating, exploring and of formulating and accumulating knowledge.

2003-01-14T

Skinner, B.F.

Consciousness? Can you see it? Measure it? Pass it around? Then how is it different than something that does not exist at all?

2003-01-14T
Skinner 1904-90 was the father of modern behaviorism

Camus, Albert

I sometimes wonder what future historians will say of us.  It seems to me a single sentence should suffice for modern man—He fornicated and read the papers.  After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.

2003-01-13M

Freeloader, Freddie

If you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras.

2003-01-13M

Einstein, Albert

Great spirits are always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

2003-01-11S

Hoffmann, Banesh

Quantum theory does not hold undisputed sway, but must share dominion with that other rebel sibling—relativity.  And although these two bodies together have led to the most penetrating advances in the search for knowledge—they must remain enemies.  Their fundamental disagreement will not be resolved until both are subdued by a still more powerful theory that will sweep away our present painfully won fancies concerning such things as space, time, matter, radiation and causality.  The nature of this theory may only be surmised—but it will ultimately come down to the very same certainty as to whether our civilization as a whole survives—no more no less.

2003-01-11S
T1 unites quantum theory and relativity—thus delivering the planet into salvation

Nietzsche, Friedrich

God is dead. We have killed him, you and I.

2003-01-11S

Einstein, Albert

I want to know God’s thoughts.  The rest are details.

2003-01-08W
I know God’s thoughts—So who am I?

Einstein, Albert

No problem was ever solved by the same mind that created it.

2003-01-08W
ie. Chrétien—Kyoto

Pascal, Blaise

If Cleopatra’s nose would have been shorter, the entire face of the world would be different.

2003-01-08W

Pascal, Blaise

Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him—a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows none of this.

2003-01-08W

Einstein, Albert

Does the moon really exist when no one is looking at it?

2003-01-07T

Einstein, Albert

Only daring speculation can lead us further—and not simply the accumulation of facts.

2003-01-07T

Bek, Christopher

Alberta doctors are to health and wellness what quicksand is to surefootedness.

2003-01-06M

Camus, Albert

My mother died today, or maybe it was yesterday.

2003-01-06M

Klein, Alberta Premier Ralph

Give a man a barbequed child and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to force a wrongheaded education on the children and he can feed off them for an entire political lifetime.

2003-01-06M

Microsoft Encarta

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) was a Canadian writer whose unorthodox theories on communications sprang from his conviction that electronic media themselves have a far greater impact than the actual material they communicate—as represented by his famous claim that the medium is the message. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, McLuhan was educated at the universities of Manitoba and Cambridge, and later taught at various universities in the United States and Canada.

2003-01-06M

Russell, Bertrand

Ever since I was engaged on Principia Mathematica, I have had a certain method of which at first I was scarcely conscious, but which has gradually become unequivocal in my thinking. The method consists in an attempt to build a bridge between the world of sense and the world of science. I accept both as, in broad outline, not to be questioned. As in making a tunnel through an Alpine mountain, work must proceed from both ends in the hope that at last the labour will be crowned by a meeting in the middle.

2002-12-31T

Russell, Bertrand

I believe that to a mind of sufficient intellectual power, the whole of mathematics would seem to be utterly trivial—as trivial as the statement that a four-footed animal is an animal.

2002-12-31T
Happy Birthday to my great dog/god Camus—who taught me all the math I will ever need

Russell, Bertrand

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in it thirty Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

2002-12-31T

Russell, Bertrand

To my mind, the process of sound philosophizing consists mainly in passing from those obvious, vague, ambiguous things, that we feel quite sure of, to something precise, clear, definite, which by reflection and analysis we find is involved in the vague thing that we start from, and is, so to speak, the real truth of which that vague thing is a sort of shadow.

2002-12-31T
ie. Platonic Forms

Jeans, Sir James

A soap-bubble with corrugations on its surface is perhaps the best simple and familiar representation of the new universe revealed to us by Einstein’s relativity.  The universe is not the interior of the soap-bubble but its surface, and we must always remember that while the surface of the soap bubble has only two dimensions, the universe bubble has four—three spatial and one of temporal. And the substance out of which this bubble is blown, the soap-film, is empty space welded onto empty time.

2002-12-30M

Keller, Helen

Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst evil of them all—the apathy of human beings.

2002-12-30M
Philosophymagazine is the cure

Socrates

The only good is knowledge—the only evil, ignorance.

2002-12-30M
 Knowledge le savior

Davis, Geena from the 1991 movie Thelma and Louise

Something has crossed over in me.

2002-12-29N

Davis, Geena—the last words from the 1991 movie Thelma and Louise

Go.

2002-12-29N

God

You have failed me.

2002-12-29N

Pascal, Blaise

If there is a God, He is infinitely beyond our comprehension, since, being indivisible and without limits, He bears no relation to us. We are therefore incapable of knowing either what He is or whether He is. That being so, who would dare to attempt an answer to the question? Certainly not we, who bear no relation to Him.

2002-12-29N
 God is not beyond my comprehension—Bek

Bek, Christopher

The single greatest thought problem occupying the world of physics during the past seventy-five years involved the attempt to unite the macrocosmos of relativity with the microcosmos of quantum theory.  The theory of one resolves this seventy-five year old thought problem by recognizing the fact that lightspeed and Planck’s constant are the very same boundary of the spacetime continuum.

2002-12-28S

Marshall and Zohar

Planck’s constant is one of the two most important constants in the whole of modern physics, the other being the speed of light.  Max Planck was one of the early founding fathers of quantum physics.  His main contributions were the theory that electromagnetic radiation happens in discrete quanta, and the discovery that the size of each quanta is associated with a universal constant, a physical ratio or proportion that stays the same in all circumstances and in all frames of reference.

2002-12-28S

Marshall and Zohar

The speed of light in a vacuum is one of nature’s few universal constants.  Special relativity established that the speed of light is the universal speed limit.  No material object can actually reach this speed.  Since any object gains apparent mass as it goes faster, gaining an infinite amount at the lightspeed, it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate to this speed.  By the same token, this would become zero if light could slow down.

2002-12-28S

Pascal, Blaise

The art of revolution lies in dislodging established customs by probing down into their origins in order to show how they lack authority and justice. There must be a return to the basic and primordial laws of the state which unjust custom has since eradicated.

2002-12-28S

Adams, Henry

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

2002-12-27F

Augustine

Endeavor to think well, for it is the only morality.

2002-12-27F

Barnett, Lincoln

Gradually philosophers and scientists have arrived at the startling conclusion that since every object is simply the sum of its qualities, and since qualities exist only in the mind, the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars, does not exist except as a construction of the consciousness—an edifice of conventional symbols shaped by the senses of man.

2002-12-27F

Barnett, Lincoln

The human eye suppresses most of the light in the world and what man perceives of the reality around him is distorted and enfeebled by the limitations of his organ of vision.

2002-12-27F

Bible, The

Christ looked at them and said—With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

2002-12-26R

Camus, Albert

May I, monsieur, offer my services without running the risk of intruding?  I fear you may not be able to make yourself understood by the worthy ape who presides over the fate of this establishment.  In fact, he speaks nothing but Dutch.  Unless you authorize me to plead your case, he will not guess that you want gin.  There, I dare hope he understood me—that nod must mean that he yields to my arguments.  He is taking steps—indeed, he is making haste with prudent deliberation.  You are lucky—he didn’t grunt.  When he refuses to serve someone he merely grunts.  No one insists.  Being master of one’s moods is the privilege of the larger animals.  Now I shall withdraw, monsieur, happy to have been of help to you.  Thank you—I’d accept if I were sure of not being a nuisance.  You are too kind.  Then I shall bring my glass over beside yours.

2002-12-26R

Einstein, Albert

The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

2002-12-26R

2001—A Space Odyssey

I am sure that you are all aware of the extremely grave potential for cultural shock and social disorientation contained in this present situation if the facts were suddenly made public without adequate presentation and conditioning.

2002-12-25W

Augustine, Saint

The universe was created with time and not in time.

2002-12-25W

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Intellect annuls fate.  So long as a man thinks he is free.

2002-12-25W

Microsoft Encarta

Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. However, most scholars believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Before the introduction of Christmas, each year beginning on December 17 Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, in a festival called Saturnalia. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter solstice, which usually occurred around December 25 on the ancient Julian calendar. During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves. Many Romans also celebrated the lengthening of daylight following the winter solstice by participating in rituals to glorify the ancient Persian god of Light.

2002-12-25W

Devil, The

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.

2002-12-24T

God

Thou shall have no other god before me.

2002-12-24T

Hegel, G.W.

History teaches us that we have never learned anything from history.

2002-12-24T

Hoffmann, Banesh

Quantum theory does not hold undisputed sway, but must share dominion with that other rebel sibling—relativity.  And although these two bodies together have led to the most penetrating advances in the search for knowledge—they must remain enemies.  Their fundamental disagreement will not be resolved until both are subdued by a still more powerful theory that will sweep away our present painfully won fancies concerning such things as space, time, matter, radiation and causality.  The nature of this theory may only be surmised—but it will ultimately come down to the very same certainty as to whether our civilization as a whole survives—no more no less.

2002-12-24T

Einstein, Albert

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

2002-12-23M

Einstein, Albert

I don’t know with what weapons World War III will be fought—but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

2002-12-23M

Einstein, Albert

When the solution is simple, God has answered.

2002-12-23M
 The Theory of One

Eliot, T.S.

Man cannot bear very much reality at all—and it is doubtful whether he can even bear the reality of being told so.

2002-12-23M

Bek, Christopher

I know I am intelligent because I know that I know everything.

2002-12-22N

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk. It will be as if a conflagration has broken out in a great city—and no man knows what is safe or where it will end.

2002-12-22N

Shakespeare, William

Not one wise man in twenty will praise himself.

2002-12-22N

Socrates

I know I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.

2002-12-22N

James, William

The world is all the richer for having the Devil in it—so long as we do not forget to keep our foot firmly planted on his neck.

2002-12-21S

Plotinus

Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself to be beautiful yet—act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful—he cuts away here, smoothes there, makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also never cease chiseling your statue.

2002-12-21S

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Empirical psychoanalysis (ie. Freudian) and existential psychoanalysis both search within an existing situation for a fundamental attitude which cannot be expressed by simple, logical definitions because it is prior to all logic, and which requires reconstruction according to the laws of specific syntheses. But whereas empirical psychoanalysis seeks to determine the complex, existential psychoanalysis seeks to determine the original choice.

2002-12-21S

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Existential psychoanalysis is guided from the start towards a comprehension of being, and must not assign itself any other goal than to discover being and the mode of being of the being confronting this being. It is forbidden to stop before attaining this goal.

2002-12-21S

Barrett, William

The price one pays for having a profession is a déformation professionelle, as the French put it—a professional deformation. The reaction of professional philosophers to Existentialism was merely a symptom of the philosophers imprisonment in the narrowness of their own discipline. Never before has there been a déformation professionelle more in evidence. The divorce of mind from life was something that simply happened as the result of philosophers pursuing their own specialized interests.

2002-12-20F

ie. the agency problem

Sayers, Dorothy

War is a judgment which overtakes societies that have been living upon ideas that conflict too violently with the laws of nature.

2002-12-20F

Shaw, George Bernard

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them—and that is the essence of inhumanity.

2002-12-20F

Barnett, Lincoln

The element of caprice in atomic behavior cannot be blamed on man’s coarse-grained implements. It stems from the very nature of things, as shown by Heisenberg in 1927 in a famous statement of physical law known as the Uncertainty Principle.

2002-12-19R

Jung, Carl

Modern man has acquired the willpower to carryout his work proficiently without recourse to chanting, drumming or praying. He thoughtfully and skillfully translates his ideas into actions without a hitch—while primitive man was hampered by fears and superstitions at each step along the way. Yet in maintaining his creed, modern man pays the price in a remarkable lack of introspection. He is blind to the fact that, with all his rationality and efficiency, he is possessed by powers beyond his control that keep him restlessly on the run.

2002-12-19R

Jung, Carl

My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious.

2002-12-19R

Karr, Alphonse

Every man has three characters—that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.

2002-12-19R

Nietzsche, Fredrick

We can never see around our own corner.

2002-12-18W

Pascal, Blaise

Man occupies the middle position in the universe between the infinite and the infinitesimal.

2002-12-18W

Pascal, Blaise

The heart has its reasons for which reason knows nothing about.

2002-12-18W

Sayers, Dorothy

That Dante’s Inferno is a picture of human society in a state of sin and corruption, everyone will readily agree. And since we are today fairly well convinced that society is in a bad way and not necessarily evolving in the direction of perfectibility, we find it easy enough to recognize the various stages by which the depth of corruption is reached. Futility; lack of a living faith; the drift into loose morality, greedy consumption, financial irresponsibility, and uncontrolled bad temper; a self-opinionated and obstinate individualism; violence, sterility, and lack of reverence for life and property including one’s own; the exploitation of sex, the debasing of language by advertisement and propaganda, the commercializing of religion, the pandering to superstition and the conditioning of people’s minds by mass-hysteria and spell-binding of all kinds, venality and string pulling in public affairs, hypocrisy, dishonesty in material things, intellectual dishonesty, the fomenting of discord (class against class, nation against nation) for what one can get out of it, the falsification and destruction of all the means of communication; the exploitation of the lowest and stupidest mass-emotions; treachery even to the fundamentals of kinship, country, the chosen friend, and the sworn allegiance: these are the all-too-recognizable stages that lead to the cold death of society and the extinguishing of all civilized relations.

2002-12-18W

Russell, Bertrand

The finding of arguments for conclusions given in advance is neither philosophy nor mathematics—but special pleading.

2002-12-17T

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Any man who sets up a determinism is a dishonest man.

2002-12-17T

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Hell is other people.

2002-12-17T

Descartes, René

I have noticed certain laws which God has so established in nature, and of which he has implanted such notions in our minds, that after adequate reflection we cannot doubt that they are exactly observed in everything which exists or occurs in the world.

2002-12-16M

Descartes, René

I understand the term idea to mean the form of any given thought, immediate perception of which makes me aware of the thought. Hence, whenever I express something in words, and understand what I am saying, this very fact makes it certain that there is within me an idea of what is signified by the words in question.

2002-12-16M

Descartes, René

There are two facts about the human soul on which depend all things we know of its nature. The first is that it thinks; the second is that it is united to the body and can act and be acted upon along with it. About the second I have said hardly anything.

2002-12-16M

Descartes, René

What then am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understands, affirms, denies, is willing, is unwilling, and also imagines and has sensory perceptions.

2002-12-16M

Buddha, The last words of

Work out your salvation with diligence.

2002-12-15N

Burke, Edmund

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

2002-12-15N

Carlyle, Thomas

What is philosophy but a constant battle against tradition?

2002-12-15N

Carroll, Lewis

The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things.

2002-12-15N

Locke, John

The business of education is not to make the young perfect in anyone of the sciences, but so to open and dispose their minds as may best make them capable of any, when they shall apply themselves to it.

2002-12-14S

McLaughlin, Mignon

No one really listens to anyone else. If you try it for a while you will see why.

2002-12-14S

Polkinghorne, John

Your average quantum mechanic is about as philosophically minded an your average garage mechanic.

2002-12-14S

Shakespeare, William

Life is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

2002-12-14S

Locke, John

The discipline of desire is the background of character.

2002-12-13F

Miner, Jack

A man’s reputation is the opinion other people have of him—his character is what he really is.

2002-12-13F

Monroe, Marilyn

When they said Canada, I thought it would be up in the mountains somewhere.

2002-12-13F

Peter, Laurence

Education is the method by which one acquires a higher grade of prejudice.

2002-12-13F

Peter, Laurence

A philosopher is a person who says he doesn’t care which side his bread is buttered on because he eats both sides anyway.

2002-12-12R

Roosevelt, Eleanor

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

2002-12-12R

Socrates

He who is neither good nor wise is nonetheless satisfied with himself.

2002-12-12R

Thomas, Gwyn

If a prolonged education does nothing else it gives the mind a sort of shyness and induces either a perfect sensitivity to words, or it induces silence, the conviction that nothing can ever again be said better than it has been said before.

2002-12-12R

Bek, Christopher

Christmas is first and foremost about paying homage to Christ.

2002-12-11W

Bek, Christopher

I want to be the perfect philosopher.

2002-12-11W

Garner, Jennifer

I want to be the perfect agent. I am the perfect agent. I am the perfect actor.

2002-12-11W

Naylor, Dr J

The Man does not want to hear about an iceberg.

2002-12-11W

Socrates

From virtue comes wealth.

2002-12-11W

Camus, Albert

I want to be the perfect actor.

2002-12-10T

Camus, Albert

Of whom and of what indeed can I say—I know that!  This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists.  This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists.  There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.  For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.  I can sketch one by one all the aspects that it is able to assume, all those likewise that have been attributed to it, this upbringing, this origin, this ardor of these silences, this nobility or this vileness.  But aspects cannot be added up.  This very heart which is mine will forever remain undefinable to me.  Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance, the gap will never be filled.  Forever I shall be a stranger to myself.  In psychology as in logic, there are truths but no truth.  Socrates’ Know thyself has as much value as the Be virtuous of our confessionals.  They reveal a nostalgia at the same time as an ignorance.  They are sterile exercises on great subjects.  They are legitimate insofar as they are approximate.

2002-12-10T

Camus, Albert

The only true philosophical question is that of suicide.

2002-12-10T

Camus, Albert

When one has no character, one has to apply a method.

2002-12-10T

Sartre, Jean-Paul

Existential psychoanalysis is guided from the start towards a comprehension of being and must not assign itself any other goal than to discover being and the mode of being of the being confronting this being. It is forbidden to stop before attaining this goal.

2002-12-09M

Spinoza, Baruch

What everyone wants from life is continuous and genuine happiness. Happiness is found in the rational understanding of life and the universe.

2002-12-09M

T.S. Eliot

Blaise Pascal is a writer who must be studied afresh by every generation.

2002-12-09M

Tennyson, Alfred Lord

Without the possibility of immortality, I shall throw myself in the sea.

2002-12-09M

Lieutenant Worf from the starship Enterprise

You can only kill me. You cannot defeat me.

2002-12-08N

Locke, John

Whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by law, and makes use of the force he has under his command to compass that upon the subject which the law does not allow—may be opposed as any other man, who by force invades the right of another.

2002-12-08N

Alighieri, Dante

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crises.

2002-12-07S

Grof, Stanislav

We are approaching the time of a major paradigm shift.

2002-12-07S

Hoffmann, Banesh

Great science transcends logic.

2002-12-07S

Hubben, William

Modern man wants neither God nor Christ—for what he desires is simply the authority of the Church.  He wants the physical security of bread, the spiritual security of dogma, and the so-called proof of the existence of miracles.  To follow God irrespective of the consequences presents too great a risk.  The Church offers up a lighter burden.  It serves, selects and explains the truth, forgives sins and bestows upon man the happiness of children.  Yet the price is high.  Man must surrender his freedom of thought and, indeed, he willingly does so.  He no longer serves God as God demands of him, but only as the Church tells him so.  God’s mysteries and miracles are henceforth monopolized and administered by the Church.

2002-12-07S

Marx, Karl

To be radical is to go to the root of the question.

2002-12-06F

Wahl, Jean

It is clear that one of the consequences of the existential movement is that we must first destroy the majority of so-called philosophical commonsense before we can make any forward progress.

2002-12-06F

Whitehead, Alfred

Not ignorance but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.

2002-12-06F

Atwood, Margaret

If the mental illness of the United States is megalomania—that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia.

2002-12-04W

Nietzsche, Fredrick

Something profoundly convulsive and disturbing suddenly becomes both visible and audible with indescribable definiteness and exactness—bringing on the overwhelming feeling that one is utterly out of hand.  Everything occurs without volition—as if by eruption of freedom, independence, power and divinity—thus giving rise to the most immediate, exact and intense form of expression.

2002-12-04W

Bek, Christopher

The pen is mightier than the Glock—and no one’s pen is mightier than mine.

2002-12-03T

Berdyaev, Nicholas

Average goodness is no longer enough.

2002-12-03T

Carlyle, Thomas

History is the biography of great men.

2002-12-03T

Harry, Debbie

Die young stay pretty.

2002-12-03T

Lincoln, Abraham

Once you familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage, you prepare your own limbs to wear them.

2002-12-01N

Mar, Gary

It is important that the different levels of government are not accountable to each other.

2002-12-01N

Nietzsche, Fredrick

Never accept human reasoning at face value, for it seeks to mask what it fears to confront—the most unpleasant truth of all.

2002-12-01N

Pascal, Blaise

Those who do not love truth excuse themselves on the grounds that it is disputed and that very many people deny it.

2002-12-01N

Jeans, Sir James

God is a mathematician.

2002-11-29F

Keats, John

Truth is beauty and beauty is truth.  That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.

2002-11-29F

Wheeler, John

Science must provide a mechanism for the universe to come into being.

2002-11-29F
T1 provides the mechanism with the story of Creation.

Wigner, Eugene

Mathematics is unreasonably effective in science.

2002-11-29F

Beckett, Samuel

Nothing is more real than nothing.

2002-11-28R

Poe, Edgar Allan (from the 1848 poem, Eureka)

The universe of stars has always been considered as coincident with the universe proper. It has been always assumed either directly or indirectly—at least since the dawn of intelligible astronomy—that, were it possible for us to attain any given point in space, we should still find on all sides of us an interminable succession of stars. This was the untenable idea of Pascal when making perhaps the most successful attempt ever made at periphrasing the conception for which we struggle in the word universe. According to Pascal The universe is a sphere in which the centre is everywhere and the boundary is nowhere. But although this intended definition is, in fact, no definition of the universe of stars, we may accept it as a definition of the universe proper—that is to say, of the universe of space. And in fact, while we find it impossible to fancy an end to space, we have no difficult in picturing to ourselves any one of an infinity of beginnings.

2002-11-28R

Wheeler, John

No phenomena is a real phenomena until it is an observed phenomena.

2002-11-28R

Wheeler, John

There is nothing in the universe but empty, curved space.

2002-11-28R

Blalock, Jolene

I am a superior species.

2002-11-26T

Harry, Debbie

I’m not living in the real world no more.

2002-11-26T

Hawkins, Stephen

Every time someone mentions Schrödinger’s cat, I go for my gun.

2002-11-26T

Palmer, Donald

The true philosopher attempts to transcend the human perspective and view reality from the perspective of reality itself.

2002-11-26T

Nietzsche, Fredrick

My enemies are those that destroy the world without creating themselves.

2002-11-23S

Poe, Edgar Allan

Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence—whether much that is glorious—whether all that is profound—does not spring from disease of thought—from moods of minds exalted at the expense of general intellect.

2002-11-23S

Shakespeare, William

The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves.

2002-11-23S

Witten, Edward

Superstring theory is a miracle, through and through.  It will dominate the world of physics for the next fifty years.  We are witnessing a revolution in physics as great as the birth of quantum theory.

2002-11-23S

Dyson, Freeman

An electron is an active agent making conscious choices.

2002-11-20W

Hubben, William

To be fully human means to perpetually face new moral choices.

2002-11-20W

Matrix, Morpheus from the 1999 movie Matrix

Remember.  All I’m offering is the truth.  Nothing more.

2002-11-20W

Matrix, Neo from the 1999 movie Matrix

No.

2002-11-20W

Myerson, George

The hallmark of the existential hero is one who refuses to settle for ordinary certainty.

2002-11-20W

Bek, Christopher

It is said that every man is either born a Platonist or an Aristotelian.  While Plato (428-347 BC) gazed in awe at the universe, Aristotle (384-322 BC) tried to explain how it worked.  Plato’s theory of knowledge and theory of forms holds that true or a priori knowledge must be certain and infallible, and it must be of real objects or Forms.  The foundation for Plato and Aristotle was laid by the Greeks Thales (624-546 BC) and Pythagoras (582-500 BC) in founding mathematics.  Mathematics is the systematic treatment of Forms and relationships between Forms.  It is the science of drawing conclusions and is the primordial foundation of absolutely all other science.  The Greeks synthesized mathematical elements from both the Babylonians and the Egyptians in developing the concepts of proofs, axioms and the logical structure of definitions—all of which come together to produce what we call mathematical or a priori reason—which, when combined with empirical or a posteriori validation, enables us to arrive at a priori knowledge, which is the highest form of knowledge and is certainly the form of knowledge for which the Government of Canada refers when proclaiming—Knowledge le savoir.  While Thales introduced geometry to ancient Greece, it was Pythagoras who first provided a mathematical proof of the Pythagorean theorem, which establishes a priori knowledge that the square of the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angle triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the two sides.  Interestingly, Einstein’s special relativity in 1905 is little more than an application of the Pythagorean theorem.

2002-09-16M

Canadian Government

Knowledge le savior. (as depicted on the 2000 two-dollar coin)

2002-09-16M

James, William

Belief in the thing creates the thing.

2002-09-16M

Sartre, Jean-Paul

When I choose I choose for all men.

2002-09-16M

Thoreau, Henry David

The horizon is not east, west, north or south, but whenever man confronts an irrefutable fact.

2002-08-15R

Tolstoy, Leo

Never did Christ utter a single word suggesting the possibility of life after death.

2002-08-15R

Tzu, Sun

War is a moral contest that is won in the temples before it is ever fought.

2002-08-15R

Wahl, Jean

In order that we may truly exist, rather than remain in the sphere of the things-seen and things-used, we must quit the inauthentic sphere of existence.  Ordinarily, due to our own laziness and the pressure of society, we remain in an everyday world, where we are not really in contact with ourselves.  This everyday world is what Heidegger calls the domain of the Everyman.  In this domain of Everyman, we are not conscious of our existence.  And an awareness of ourselves is only attainable by traversing certain experiences like that of anguish, which puts us in the presence of the background of Nothingness—from which Being erupts.

2002-08-15R

Lindley, David

It seemed to Einstein as it has seemed to many others over the years that if you take away from science the idea of a unique underlying reality that all observers can agree on, then you are taking away the very foundation of science itself.

2002-07-18R

Lindley, David

Whether the collapse of the wavefunction in quantum mechanics is a physical or a psychological event is not easy to say.

2002-07-18R

Margenau, Henry

With these high hopes I greet the publication of the present volume, the first in a series on the physical and biological sciences.  It is particularly useful that it should deal with mathematics, which has a usefulness and a prestige sufficient for it to merit the title of Queen of the Sciences, indispensable to all the rest.

2002-07-18R

Rutherford, Ernest

All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

2002-07-18R

Kafka, Franz

You are free and that is why you are lost.

2002-07-10W

Kaku, Michio

Einstein always began with the simplest possible ideas, and then put them into their proper context.  But Einstein failed in his attempt to create a unified field theory because he abandoned this simple conceptual approach and instead resorted to the safety of obscure mathematics.

2002-07-10W

Kaku, Michio

In many ways the destinies of Einstein and Heisenberg were strangely interwoven, although the theories they created, relativity and quantum theory, are universes apart.  Both were revolutionary iconoclasts who challenged the established wisdom of their predecessors.

2002-07-10W

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald

I call for a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.  I recognize the difficulties of this goal—for all this will not be finished in the first 100 days, nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet.  But let us begin.

2002-07-10W

Barnett, Lincoln

In the evolution of scientific thought, one fact has become impressively clear—that there is no mystery of the physical world which does not point to a mystery beyond itself.  All highroads of the intellect, all byways of theory and conjecture lead ultimately to an abyss that human ingenuity can never span.  For man is enchained by the very condition of his Being, his finiteness and his involvement in nature.  The further he extends his horizons, the more vividly he recognizes the fact that, as the physicist Niels Bohr put it, we are both spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.  Man is thus his own greatest mystery.  He does not understand the vast veiled universe into which he has been cast for the reason that he does not understand himself.  He comprehends little of his organic process and even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world about him in his rationality and his dreams.  Least of all does he understand his noblest and most mysterious faculty—the ability to transcend himself by perceiving himself in the act of perception.  Man’s inescapable impasse is that he himself is part of the world that he seeks to explore—his body and proud brain are but mosaics of the same elemental particles that compose the dark, drifting clouds of interstellar space.  Man is, in the final analysis, merely an ephemeral confirmation of the primordial spacetime field.  Standing midway between macrocosm and microcosm, he finds barriers on every side and can perhaps but marvel, as Saint Paul did nineteen hundred years ago in saying that the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen is composed of things which do not appear.

2002-07-09T

Northrop, FS

There is a general awareness that contemporary physics has brought about an important revision in man’s conception of the universe and his relation to it.

2002-07-09T

Park, Robert

The greatest discoveries in science have been those which force us to rethink the universe and our place in it.

2002-07-09T

Sutcliffe, FE

Descartes had a very clear idea of the type of reader he was trying to reach—that of the cultured public—the ladies of the salon rather than the pedants of the university.

2002-07-09T

Augustine, Saint

The first step forward is to see that attention is fastened on the truth.

2002-07-08M

Bohr, Niels

Anyone who is not totally offended by quantum theory does not understand it.

2002-07-08M

Bohr, Niels

We are both spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.

2002-07-08M

Camus, Albert

An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.

2002-07-05F

Christ

The number of times a person should be forgiven is seven times seventy.

2002-07-05F

Einstein, Albert

Commonsense is nothing more than the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of eighteen.

2002-07-05F

Gardiner, Martin

If the reader wonders why my book does not include a chapter on the philosophical consequences of relativity, it is because I am firmly persuaded that in the ordinary sense of the word philosophical—relativity has no consequences.  As far as the great traditional topics of philosophy are concerned—God, immortality, free will, good and evil, and so on—relativity has absolutely nothing whatsoever to say.

2002-07-05F

Bernstein, Peter

The definition of risk is that more things can happen than will happen.

2002-07-04R

Camus, Albert

One recognizes one’s course by the paths that stray from it.

2002-07-04R

Gamow, George

In characterizing Planck’s constant—it is as if we are able to drink a pint of beer or no beer at all.  Nature strictly prohibits us from drinking any quantity in between.

2002-07-04R

Newton, Sir Isaac

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.

2002-07-04R

Ford, Henry

Never ask of another person what you have not already done yourself.

2002-07-03W

Gell-Man, Murray

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I am surrounded by dwarfs.

2002-07-03W

Lindley, David

What’s the difference between the Moon and an electron?  I can’t be altogether sure if the Moon is there if no on is looking at it.  But I can be sure—because of its constant and reliable utility over many long years—that my theoretical Moon exists at all times.

2002-07-03W

Morpheus from the 1999 movie Matrix

The Matrix is a system.  That system is our enemy.  But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see—businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters—the very minds of the people we are trying to save.  But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy.  You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged.  And many of them are so innered, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it. 

2002-07-03W

Lindley, David

Let me be utterly skeptical.  If someone asks me whether I believe the Moon is there even when no one is looking at it, I am obligated to say that the question makes no sense.  If you want to verify that the Moon is there, then go ahead and look—but then, of course, you are not answering the question.  If you want an objective proof of the Moon’s existence, I will respond that I am a physicist—and not a divine—and therefore have no interest in unanswerable questions.

2002-07-02T

He is unwilling to open the door.

Sayers, Dorothy

War is a judgment that overtakes societies which have been living too long upon ideals that conflict too violently with the laws of nature.

2002-07-02T

Socrates

Wisdom begins with the definition of terms.

2002-07-02T

Einstein, Albert

God is the sum total of the laws of nature.

2002-06-28F

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

People only see what they are prepared to see.

2002-06-28F

Tzu, Lao

All suffering stems from attachment.

2002-06-28F

Wahl, Jean

The existentialist is, first and foremost, an individual who has an infinite relationship with himself and his own destiny.

2002-06-28F

Alighieri, Dante

In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself astray in a dark wood where the straight road had been lost.

2002-06-27R

Kaku, Michio

During the period from 2020 to 2050 we are likely to enter the fourth phase of computing, when intelligent automatons begin to walk the earth, and populate the internet.  Beyond 2050 we are likely to enter the fifth phase of computing, with the beginnings of robots with consciousness and self-awareness.

2002-06-27R

Kaku, Michio

While relativity uncovers the secrets of energy, gravity and spacetime—the other theory that dominated the twentieth century, quantum theory, is the theory of matter.  What Einstein didn’t realize, as physicists do now, is that the key to the unified field theory is found in the marriage of relativity theory and quantum theory.

2002-06-27R

Locke, John

A company of chessmen stand on the same squares as where we left them—although perhaps the chessboard has, in the meantime, been carried out of the room into another.

2002-06-27R

Berkeley, George

All the choir of heaven and furniture of earth—in a word all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world—have not any substance without the mind.  So long as they are not perceived by me, or do not exist in my mind or in the mind of any spirit, they have no existence whatsoever.

2002-06-26W

Bernstein, Peter

Paradigm shifts are not unpredictable, just unthinkable.

2002-06-26W

Camus, Albert

I am not interested in being a hero.  What interests me is being a man.

2002-06-26W

Bek, Christopher

I won’t forget who my friends are when I’m standing on the podium in Stockholm.

Bek, Christopher

In Canada, honourable is just another word for gangster.

Bible, The

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Bible, The

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Bible, The

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Bible, The

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Bible, The

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Bible, The

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Bible, The

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Bible, The

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Bible, The

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

Bible, The

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Bible, The

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Bible, The

The appetite of the lazy craves and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.  

Bible, The

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Bible, The

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.

Bible, The

Those who hope in God will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles—they will run and not grow weary—they will walk and not be faint.

Bible, The

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.

Bible, The

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And he shall direct your paths.

Camus, Albert

A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world. But in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.

Camus, Albert

If God exists, all depends on Him and we can do nothing against His will.  If He does not exist, everything depends on us.

Camus, Albert

Man stands face to face with the irrational.  He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.

Camus, Albert

The absurdist method, like that of systematic doubt, has wiped the slate clean. It leaves us in a blind alley. But, like the method of doubt, it can, by returning upon itself, disclose a new field of investigation. Reasoning follows the same reflexive course. I proclaim that I believe in nothing and that everything is absurd, but I cannot doubt the validity of my own proclamation and I am compelled to believe, at least, in my own protest. The first, and only, datum that is furnished me, within absurdist experience, is rebellion.

Camus, Albert

The actor teaches us that there is no frontier between being and appearing.

Camus, Albert

To an absurd mind reason is useless and there is nothing beyond reason. The absurd is lucid reason noting its limits. I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand it only in human terms.

Camus, Albert

We may then decide not to act at all, which comes down to condoning other people’s murder, plus a little fastidious sorrow over human imperfection. Or we may hit upon tragic dilettantism as a substitute for action; in this case, human lives become counters in a game. Finally, we may resolve to undertake some action that is not wholly arbitrary. In this case, since we have no higher value to direct our action, we shall aim at efficiency. Since nothing is true or false, good or bad, our principle will become that of showing ourselves to be the most effective, in other words the most powerful. And then the world will no longer be divided into the just and the unjust, but into masters and slaves. Thus, whichever way we turn in the depths of negation and nihilism, murder has its privileged position.

Christ, King

In exercising the Divine Right of Kings, I, Christopher Lloyd Bek, acting under the legitimate agency of God and having demonstrated my morally superiority, lawfully and rightfully claim My Kingship and sole Sovereignship to the Sovereignty of Canada.  May anyone who morally stands against me speak now or forever hold your peace. As the King of Canada, I will hold no political power, will walk among the people, and will be above the manmade laws of government.  I answer only to God, but will endeavor to respect the salient manmade laws of government—28 September 2002.

Coward, Noel

I’ve over-educated myself in all the things I shouldn’t have known at all.

Descartes, René

Aristotle’s most enthusiastic contemporary followers have an interest in my refraining from publishing the principles of the philosophy I use. For my principles are so very simple and evident that in publishing them I should, as it were, be opening windows and admitting daylight into that cellar where they have gone down to fight.

Descartes, René

As to the fact that there can be nothing in the mind, in so far as it is a thinking thing, of which it is not aware, this seems to me to be self-evident. For there is nothing that we can understand to be in the mind, regarded in this way, that is not a thought or dependent on a thought. In view of this I do not doubt that the mind begins to think as soon as it is implanted in the body of an infant.

Descartes, René

At that time I was in Germany, where I had been called by the wars that are not yet ended there. While I was returning to the army from the coronation of the Emperor, the onset of winter detained me in quarters where, finding no conversation to divert me and fortunately having no cares or passions to trouble me, I stayed all day shut up alone in a stove­heated room, where I was completely free to converse with myself about my own thoughts.

Descartes, René

But immediately I noticed that while I was trying thus to think everything false, it was necessary that I, who was thinking this, was something. And observing that this truth I am thinking, therefore I exist was so firm and sure that all the most extravagant suppositions of the skeptics were incapable of shaking it, I decided that I could accept it without scruple as the first principle of the philosophy I was seeking.

Descartes, René

But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition—I think, therefore I exist—is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.

Descartes, René

Good sense is the best distributed thing in the world—for everyone thinks himself so well endowed with it that even those who are the hardest to please in everything else do not usually desire more of it than they possess.  In this it is unlikely that everyone is mistaken.  It indicates rather that the power of judging well and of distinguishing the true from the false—which is what we properly call good sense or human reason—is naturally equal in all men.

Descartes, René

How often, asleep at night, am I convinced of just such familiar events that I am here in my dressing-gown, sitting by the fire—when in fact I am lying undressed in bed. As I think about this more carefully, I see plainly that there are never any sure signs by means of which being awake can be distinguished from being asleep. The result is that I begin to feel dazed, and this very feeling only reinforces the notion that I may be asleep.

Descartes, René

I will suppose therefore that not God, who is supremely good and the source of truth, but rather some malicious demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me. I shall think that the sky, the air, the earth, colours, shapes, sounds and all external things are merely the delusions of dreams which he has devised to ensnare my judgment.

Descartes, René

If I simply refrain from making a judgment in cases where I do not perceive the truth with sufficient clarity and distinctness, then it is clear that I am behaving correctly and avoiding error. But if in such cases I either affirm or deny, then I am not using my free will correctly. In this incorrect use of free will may be found the privation which constitutes the essence of error.

Descartes, René

If the sense of hearing transmitted to our mind the true image of its object then, instead of making us conceive the sound, it would have to make us conceive the motion of the parts of the air which is then vibrating against our ears. Everyone knows that the ideas of tickling and of pain, which are formed in our mind on the occasion of our being touched by external bodies, bear no resemblance to these bodies. Suppose we pass a feather gently over the lips of a child who is falling asleep, and he feels himself being tickled. Do you think the idea of tickling which he conceives resembles anything present in this feather? I see no reason which compels us to believe that what it is in objects that gives rise to the sensation of light is any more like this sensation than the actions of a feather are like a tickling sensation.

Descartes, René

In the bodies we call colored the colors are nothing other than the various ways in which the bodies receive light and reflect it against our eyes.

Descartes, René

It does not seem to me that the human mind is capable of conceiving at the same time the distinction and the union between body and soul, because for this it is necessary to conceive them as a single thing and at the same time to conceive them as two things; and this is absurd. Everyone feels that he is a single person with both body and thought so related by nature that the thought can move the body and feel the things which happen to it.

Descartes, René

It is quite evident that existence can no more be separated from the essence of God than the fact that its three angles equal two right angles can be separated from the idea of a triangle, or than the idea of a mountain can be separated from the idea of a valley. Hence it is just as much of a contradiction to think of God (that is, a supremely perfect being) lacking existence (that is, lacking a perfection), as it is to think of a mountain without a valley.

Descartes, René

Nature likewise teaches me by these sensations of pain, hunger, thirst, etc., that I am not only lodged in my body as a pilot in a vessel, but that I am besides so intimately conjoined, and as it were intermixed with it, that my mind and body compose a certain unity. For if this were not the case, I should not feel pain when my body is hurt, seeing I am merely a thinking thing, but should perceive the wound by the understanding alone, just as a pilot perceives by sight when any part of his vessel is damaged; and when my body has need of food or drink, I should have a clear knowledge of this, and not be made aware of it by the confused sensations of hunger and thirst: for, in truth, all these sensations of hunger, thirst, pain, etc., are nothing more than certain confused modes of thinking, arising from the union and apparent fusion of mind and body.

Descartes, René

Next I examined attentively what I was. I saw that while I could pretend that I had no body and that there was no world and no place for me to be in, I could not for all that pretend that I did not exist. From this I knew I was a substance whose whole essence or nature is to think, and which does not require any place, or depend on any material thing, in order to exist. Accordingly this I—that is, the soul by which I am what I am—is entirely distinct from the body, and indeed is easier to know than the body, and would not fail to be whatever it is, even if the body did not exist.

Descartes, René

Now it is manifest by the natural light that there must be at least as much reality in the efficient and total cause as in the effect of that cause. For where, I ask, could the effect get its reality from, if not from the cause? And how could the cause give it to the effect unless it possessed it?

Descartes, René

On the one hand I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in so far as I am simply a thinking non-extended thing; and on the other hand I have a distinct idea of body, in so far as this is simply an extended, non-thinking thing. And accordingly, it is certain that I am really distinct from my body, and can exist without it.

Descartes, René

Since I sometimes believe that others go astray in cases where they think they have the most perfect knowledge, how do I know that God has not brought it about that I go wrong every time I add two and three or count the sides of a square?

Descartes, René

So what was it in the wax that I understood with such distinctness? Evidently none of the features which I arrived at by means of the senses; for whatever came under taste, smell, sight, touch or hearing has now altered—yet the wax remains. But what is this wax which is perceived by the mind alone? It is of course the same wax which I see, which I touch, which I picture in my imagination, in short the same wax which I thought it to be from the start. And yet, and here is the point, the perception I have of it is a case not of vision or touch or imagination ­nor has it ever been, despite previous appearances—but of purely mental scrutiny.

Descartes, René

Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last.

Descartes, René

The nature of matter, or body considered in general, consists not in its being something which is hard or heavy or colored, or which affects the senses in any way, but simply in its being something which is extended in length, breadth and depth.

Descartes, René

There is a great difference between the mind and the body, inasmuch as the body is by its very nature always divisible, while the mind is utterly indivisible. For when I consider the mind, or myself in so far as I am merely a thinking thing, I am unable to distinguish any parts within myself; I understand myself to be something quite single and complete. By contrast, there is no corporeal or extended thing that I can think of which in my thought I cannot easily divide into parts; and this very fact makes me understand that it is divisible.

Descartes, René

This will not seem at all strange to those who know how many kinds of automatons, or moving machines, the skill of man can construct with the use of very few parts, in comparison with the great multitude of bones, muscles, nerves, arteries, veins and all the other parts that are in the body of any animal. For they will regard this body as a machine which, having been made by the hand of God, is incomparably better ordered than any machine that can be devised by man, and contains in itself movements more wonderful than those in any such machine.

Descartes, René

Those long chains composed of very simple and easy reasonings, which geometers customarily use to arrive at their most difficult demonstrations, had given me occasion to suppose that all the things which come within the scope of human knowledge are interconnected in the same way.

Descartes, René

Thought. I use this term to include everything that is within us in such a way that we are immediately aware of it. Thus all the operations of the will, the intellect, the imagination and the senses are thoughts.

Descartes, René

Thought: this alone is inseparable from me. I am, I exist—that is certain. But for how long? For as long as I am thinking. For it could be that were I totally to cease from thinking, I should totally cease to exist. At present I am not admitting anything except what is necessarily true. I am, then, in the strict sense only a thing that thinks; that is, I am a mind, or intelligence, or intellect, or reason—words whose meaning I have been ignorant of until now. But for all that I am a thing which is real and which truly exists. But what kind of thing? As I have just said—a thinking thing.

Descartes, René

When I said that we can know nothing for certain until we are aware that God exists, I expressly declared that I was speaking only of knowledge of those conclusions which can be recalled when we are no longer attending to the arguments by means of which we deduced them.

Descartes, René

When we become aware that we are thinking things, this is a primary notion which is not derived by means of any syllogism. When someone says I think, therefore I exist, he does not deduce existence from thought by means of a syllogism, but recognizes it as something self-evident by a simple intuition of the mind.

Descartes, René

When we know how much the beasts differ from us, we understand much better the arguments which prove that our soul is of a nature entirely independent of the body, and consequently that it is not bound to die with it. And since we cannot see any other causes which destroy the soul, we are naturally led to conclude that it is immortal.

Descartes, René

Whereas reason is a universal instrument which can be used in all kinds of situations, bodily organs need some particular disposition for each particular action; hence it is for all practical purposes impossible for a machine to have enough different organs to make it act in all the contingencies of life in the way in which our reason makes us act. This shows not merely that the beasts have less reason than men, but that they have no reason at all.

Dossey, Larry

Recovering the nonlocal nature of the mind is essentially recovering the soul.

Einstein, Albert

An empty stomach tends not to be a very good political advisor.

Einstein, Albert

I should not want to be forced into abandoning strict causality without fending it more strongly than I have so far. I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming house, than a physicist.

Einstein, Albert

In so far as the statements of geometry speak about reality, they are not certain, and in so far as they are certain, they do not speak about reality.

Einstein, Albert

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Einstein, Albert

It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life, perpetuating itself through all eternity; to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the Universe; and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.

Einstein, Albert

One may well say the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.

Einstein, Albert

Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me at it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the old one. I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing dice.

Einstein, Albert

Restricting a body of knowledge to a small group deadens the philosophical spirit of a people and leads to spiritual poverty.

Einstein, Albert

Restricting knowledge to a small group of people leads to spiritual poverty.

Einstein, Albert

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Einstein, Albert

Space and time are forms of intuition that can be no more divorced from consciousness than our concepts of color, shape and size.

Einstein, Albert

The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms.

Einstein, Albert

The important thing is to not stop questioning.

Einstein, Albert

The lack of definiteness which, from the point of view of empirical importance adheres to the notion of time in classical mechanics, was veiled by the axiomatic representations of space and time as things given independent of the senses. Such use of notions—independent of the empirical basis to which they owe their existence—does not necessarily damage science. One may, however, easily be led into the error of believing that these notions, whose origin is forgotten, are necessary and unalterable accompaniments of our thinking, and this error may constitute a serious danger to the progress of science.

Einstein, Albert

There is no more commonplace statement to make than the world in which we live is a four-dimensional spacetime continuum.

Einstein, Albert

Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing—we can then say that we have entered the realm of art and science.

Eliot, T.S.

No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead. I mean this as a principle of aesthetic, not merely historical, criticism. The necessity that he shall conform, that he shall cohere, is not one-sided; what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it. The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new work of art among them.

Eliot, TS

Humankind cannot bear very much reality—and it is doubtful whether they can even bear the reality of being told so.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Hitch your wagon to a star.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, Always do what you are afraid to do.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Men are what their mothers made them.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The less a man thinks or knows about his virtues, the better we like him.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The only reward of virtue is virtue.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The secret of education is respecting the pupil.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.

Galileo

Color, taste, smell and sound can no more be ascribed to the external objects than can the tickling or the pain caused sometimes by touching such objects.

Galileo

Dumb idiots.

Galileo

Sense qualities like color, taste, smell and sound can be no more ascribed to the external objects than the tickling or pain caused by touching such objects.

Goethe, Johann (the last words)

More light.

Griswold, Whitney

In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.

Hawking, Stephen

Every time someone mentions Schrödinger's Cat, I go for my gun.

Hawking, Stephen

I want to know what happened between 10^-43 and 10^-33 seconds after the big bang.  It is there where all the ultimate questions about the universe, including life itself, are answered.

Heisenberg, Werner

Just as in relativity the old concept of simultaneity had to be abandon, so too in quantum theory the notion of electron pathways had to be given up.

Hemingway, Ernest

I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice and the expression in vain. We had heard them, sometimes standing in the rain almost out of earshot, so that only the shouted words came through, and had read them, on proclamations that were slapped up by billposters over other proclamations, now for a long time, and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except to bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity. Certain numbers were the same way and certain dates and these with the names of places were all you could say and have them mean anything. Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates.

Heraclitus

Character is destiny.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell

Whenever I want to understand what is really happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow—I look back.

James, William

The whole drift of my education goes to persuading me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist.

James, William

Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.

Jeans, Sir James

The hard sphere has always a definite position in space; the electron apparently has not. A hard sphere takes up a very definite amount of room; an electron—well it is probably as meaningless to discuss how much room an electron takes up as it is to discuss how much room a fear, an anxiety, or an uncertainty takes up.

Jefferson, Thomas

I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

Jefferson, Thomas

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Jefferson, Thomas

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

Johnson, Lyndon

At the desk where I sit, I have learned one great truth. The answer for all our national problems—the answer for all the problems of the world comes to a single word. That word is education.

Jones, Franklin

Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they’re going to catch you in next.

Jones, Franklin

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

Kant, Immanuel

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe—the starry heavens above me, and the moral law within me.

Keats, John

I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of imagination.

Keller, Helen

Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald

A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles, dangers and pressures.  This is the basis of morality.

Kennedy, John Fitzgerald

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Kennedy, Robert

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Kennedy, Robert

Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

King James VI

God gives not Kings the style of Gods in vain, For on his throne his Scepter do they sway—and as their subjects ought them to obey, Kings should fear and serve their god again. If then ye would enjoy a happier reign, observe the statutes of your Heavenly King; and from his law, make all your Laws to spring—Since his Lieutenant hear ye should remain, reward the just, be steadfast, true and plain—repress the proud, maintaining ay the right, walk always so, as ever in his sight who guards the godly, plaguing the profane, and so ye shall in princely virtues shine. Resembling right your mighty King Divine.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life, in a great cause.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

One who condones evils is just as guilty as the one who perpetrates it.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

The old law about an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

The time is always right to do the right thing.

King, Martin Luther Jr.

We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.

Laertius, Diogerles

When asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated, Aristotle answered—As much as the living are to the dead.

Leibnitz, Gottfried

I am able to prove that not only light, color, heat, and the like, but motion, shape, and extension too are mere apparent qualities.

Lincoln, Abraham

I am not concerned that you have fallen—I am concerned that you arise.

Lincoln, Abraham

Sir my concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to be on God's side.

Miller, Henry

For some reason or other man looks for the miracle—and to accomplish it he will wade through blood.  He will debauch himself with ideas, he will reduce himself to a shadow if for only one second of his life he can close his eyes to the hideousness of reality.  Everything is endured—disgrace, humiliation, poverty, war, crime, ennui—in the belief that overnight something will occur, a miracle, which will render life tolerable.

Miller, Henry

Warrior, jailer, priest—the eternal trinity which symbolizes our fear of life.

Milton, John

I call a complete and generous education that which fits a man to perform justly, skillfully, and magnanimously all the offices, both private and public, of peace and war.

Milton, John

Truth cannot be soiled by an outward touch anymore than can be a sunbeam.

Minkowski, Herman

Space and time separately have vanished into mere shadows—and only a combined notion of the two preserves any reality.

Nietzsche, Friedrich

The perfect woman is higher than the perfect man—and also much rarer. One cannot be gentle enough towards women.

Gretchen Mol, Jolene Blalock, Jennifer Connelly

Ouspensky, P.D.

Evolution of man means the development of certain inner qualities and features which usually remain undeveloped, and cannot develop by themselves.

Ouspensky, P.D.

Man as we know him is not a completed being. Nature develops him only up to a certain point and then leaves him, either to develop further by his own efforts and devices—or to live and die such as he was born.

Oxenhandler, Neal

Saints are people who go against the grain, who defy their families and humble their desires—all for the love of God.

Pascal, Blaise

A given man lives a life free from boredom by gambling a small sum every day. Give him every morning the money he might win that day, but on condition that he does not gamble, and you will make him unhappy. It might be argued that what he wants is the entertainment of gaming and not the winnings. Make him play then for nothing; his interest will not be fired and he will become bored, so it is not just entertainment he wants. A half-hearted entertainment without excitement will bore him. He must have excitement, he must delude himself into imagining that he would be happy to win what he would not want as a gift if it meant giving up gambling. He must create some target for his passions and then arouse his desire, anger, fear, for this object he has created, just like children taking fright at a face they have daubed themselves.

 

Pascal, Blaise

My hands are tied and my lips are sealed; I am being forced to wager and I am not free; I am being held fast and I am so made that I cannot believe. What do you want me to do then?—That is true, but at least get it into your head that, if you are unable to believe, it is because of your passions, since reason impels you to believe and yet you cannot do so. Concentrate then not on convincing yourself by multiplying proofs of God's existence but by diminishing your passions.

Pascal, Blaise

The last act is bloody, no matter how charming the rest of the play.

Pascal, Blaise

The most reasonable things in the world become the most reasonable because men are so unbalanced. What could be less reasonable than to choose as ruler of a state the eldest son of a queen? We do not choose as captain of a ship the most highly born of those aboard. Such a law would be ridiculous and unjust, but because men are, and always will be, as they are, it becomes reasonable and just, for who else could be chosen? The most virtuous and able man? That sets us straight away at daggers drawn, with everyone claiming to be the most virtuous and able. Let us then, attach this qualification to something incontrovertible. He is the king's eldest son; that is quite clear, there is no argument about it. Reason cannot do any better, because civil war is the greatest of evils.

Pascal, Blaise

There is an infinity of infinitely happy life to be won, one chance of winning against a finite number of chances of losing, and what you are staking is finite. That leaves no choice; wherever there is infinity, and where there are not infinite chances of losing against that of winning, there is no room for hesitation, you must give everything. And thus, since you are obliged to play, you must be renouncing reason if you hoard your life rather than risk it for an infinite gain, just as likely to occur as a loss amounting to nothing.

Pascal, Blaise

Who then will condemn Christians for being unable to give rational grounds for their belief, professing as they do a religion for which they cannot give rational grounds? They declare that it is a folly, stultitiam, in expounding it to the world, and then you complain that they do not prove it. Let us then examine this point, and let us say—Either God is or he is not. But to which view shall we be inclined? Reason cannot decide this question. Infinite chaos separates us. At the far end of this infinite distance a coin is being spun which will come down heads or tails. How will you wager? Reason cannot make you choose either, reason cannot prove either wrong. You must wager. There is no choice, you are already committed. Which will you choose then? Let us see: since a choice must be made, let us see which offers you the least interest. You have two things to lose: the true and the good; and two things to stake: your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to avoid: error and wretchedness. Since you must necessarily choose, your reason is no more affronted by choosing one rather than the other. That is one point cleared up. But your happiness? Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then; wager that he does exist.

Passmore, John

The concept of imaginativeness has been greatly damaged by those who confuse it with mere fancy.  They have supposed that in order to be imaginative one must break not only with routines but with the restraints imposed by the very character of an enterprise and its relationship to the social and political world surrounding it. They have condemned application, conscientiousness, carefulness, as obstacles to imaginativeness whereas in fact they are characteristics of which the imaginative person has particular need if he is not to collapse into fantasy.

Peter, Kathleen

I am not going to starve to death to live a little longer.

Plato

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.

Plato

Democracy is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequal alike.

Plato

Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.

Plato

He best keeps from anger who remembers that God is always looking upon him.

Plato

Honesty is for the most part is less profitable than dishonesty.

Plato

I have good hope that there is something after death.

Plato

Let nobody speak mischief of anybody.

Plato

Not one of them who took up in his youth with this opinion that there are no gods, ever continued until old age faithful to his conviction.

Plato

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.

Plato

Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.

Plato

States are as the men, they grow out of human characters.

Plato

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

Plato

The only thing he ought to consider, if he does anything, is whether he does right or wrong, whether it is what a good man does or a bad man.

Plato

Wealth is well known to be a great comforter.

Plato

When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.

Richter, Jean Paul

A man never discloses his own character as clearly as when he describes another’s.

Romans 13:1

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God—the powers that be are ordained of God.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Those committed to practical political change must make reference to the habits, customs and ingrained sentimentality.

Russell, Bertrand

All pure mathematics—arithmetic, analysis and geometry—is built up by combinations of the primitive ideas of logic, and its propositions are deduced from the general axioms of logic, such as the syllogism and the other rules of inference. And this is no longer a dream or an aspiration. On the contrary, over the greater and more difficult part of the domain of mathematics, it has been already accomplished; in the few remaining cases, there is no special difficulty, and it is now being rapidly achieved. Philosophers have disputed for ages whether such deduction was possible; mathematicians have sat down and made the deduction. For the philosophers there is now nothing left but graceful acknowledgements.

Russell, Bertrand

Electricity is not a thing like St. Paul's Cathedral—it is a way in which things behave. When we have told how things behave when they are electrified, and under what circumstances they are electrified, we have told all there is to tell.

Russell, Bertrand

For my part, I believe that, partly by means of study of syntax, we can arrive at considerable knowledge concerning the structure of the world.

Russell, Bertrand

I conclude that, while it is true that science cannot decide quest value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever know I, attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what cannot discover, mankind cannot know.

Russell, Bertrand

If I see the sun and it makes me blink, what I see is not 93,000,000 miles and eight minutes away, but is causally and therefore spatially and temporally intermediate between the light-waves striking the eye and the consequent blinking.

Russell, Bertrand

In a logically perfect language, there will be one word and no more for every simple object, and everything that is not simple will be expressed by a combination of words, by a combination derived, of course, from the words for the simple things that enter in, one word for each simple component.

Russell, Bertrand

It was Whitehead who was the serpent in this paradise of Mediterranean clarity. He said to me once—You think the world is what it seems like in fair weather at noon-day. I think it is what it seems like in the early morning when one first wakes from deep sleep. I thought his remark horrid, but could not see how to prove that my bias was better than his. At last he showed me how to apply the technique of mathematical logic to his vague and higgledy-piggledy world, and dress it up in Sunday clothes that the mathematician could view without being shocked.

Russell, Bertrand

There is absolutely nothing that is ever seen by two minds simultaneously.  When we say that two people see the same thing, we always find that, owing to difference of point of view, there are differences, however slight, between their immediate sensible objects.

Russell, Bertrand

Undoubtedly, the desire for food has been and still is one of the principle causes of great political events.

Shakespeare, William

Each present joy or sorrow seems the chief.

Shakespeare, William

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

Shakespeare, William

Gold is worse poison to a man's soul, doing more murders in this loathsome world, than any mortal drug.

Shakespeare, William

He is not great who is not greatly good.

Shakespeare, William

I had rather have a fool make me merry, than experience make me sad.

Shakespeare, William

In false quarrels there is no true valor.

Shakespeare, William

In time we hate that which we often fear.

Shakespeare, William

It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds.

Shakespeare, William

It is meant that noble minds keep ever with their likes; for who so firm that cannot be seduced.

Shakespeare, William

It is the mind that makes the body rich; and as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit.

Shakespeare, William

Love looks not with eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged cupid painted blind nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste. Wings and no eyes figure unheady haste. And therefore is love said to be a child. Because in choice, he is oft beguiled.

Shakespeare, William

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Shakespeare, William

Oft expectation fails, and most oft where most it promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest; and despair most sits.

Shakespeare, William

Our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

Shakespeare, William

Pain pays the income of each precious thing.

Shakespeare, William

Strong reasons make strong actions.

Shakespeare, William

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind; the thief doth fear each bush an officer.

Shakespeare, William

The web of our life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together.

Shakespeare, William

There is a history in all men’s lives.

Shakespeare, William

We know what we are—but not what we may be.

Shakespeare, William

What this power is I cannot say; All I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.

Shakespeare, William

Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.

Socrates

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

Socrates

I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live.

Socrates

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.

Socrates

If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.

Socrates

Let him that would move the world first move himself.

Socrates

Nothing in excess.

Socrates

Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.

Socrates

Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.

Socrates

The perfect human being is all human beings put together, it is a collective, it is all of us together that make perfection.

Socrates

What you cannot enforce, do not command.

Socrates (the second last words)

We go our separate ways—I to die, and you to live. Which one is better God only knows.

Stevenson, Adlai

A hungry man is not a free man.

Titus 3:1

Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey Magistrates, to be ready to every good work.

Twain, Mark

Principles lose all their power when one is not well fed.

Washington, George

Do not let any one claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics.

Washington, George

I never mean, unless some particular circumstances should compel it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.

Washington, George

It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being.  Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to religion.  The one cannot exist without the other.  A reasoning being would lose his reason in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to; and will has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one.

Washington, George

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.

Washington, George

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.

Washington, George

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who are in the habit of making excuses.

Washington, George

No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

Washington, George

There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature.  Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.