Tag: Quotes

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Quote of the Day: Alexis de Tocqueville

 

I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.

I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.

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Quote of the Day, Feb. 25: Keep It Simple, Stupid

 

“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can play weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” — Charles Mingus

When looking for quotes, I was considering some lofty sentiment from a philosopher or war hero. But I’ve found that musicians offer some of the best quotes I’ve come across. In providing the advice above, Charlie Mingus doesn’t only speak to his fellow jazzbos, but to every writer, professor, architect, and anyone else trying to communicate in any medium.

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Quote of the Day

 
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Photo Credit: Zooterkin via WikiCommons.

Putting aside whether the author correctly applies this standard to his own beliefs — Novella’s a little quick to dismiss all questioning of global warming’s severity as “denial” for my taste — the quote is magnificent:

One’s dedication to science [and empiricism in general] is tested when the science conflicts with your agenda. Then you have to be able to adapt to what an objective review of the science says. If you only accept the scientific consensus when it agrees with your ideology, then you are not pro-science. You just selectively use science to support your ideological agenda.

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The Wit and Wisdom of Thomas Sowell

 

Thomas-Sowell“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

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Words of Wisdom from the Movies

 

“As a lawyer, I’ve had to learn that people aren’t just good or bad. People are many things.”

jimmy stewartThis line is spoken by Paul Beigler, a fictional small-town lawyer brilliantly played by Jimmy Stewart in the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder. I don’t want to have to summarize the whole movie (if you haven’t seen it, though, please make sure to do so; it’s a great flick and also features George C. Scott in what I believe was his film debut), so I’m going to oversimplify the context of the scene.

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220… 221… Whatever It Takes

 

Yesterday at lunch, one of my former co-workers shared that she’s “educating” her 12-year-old son regarding some of her favorite movies by spending the summer “screening” them for him. Her reasoning? Because she uses so many lines from each movie’s dialog that it has become part of her everyday vernacular. She wants him to understand the context behind the comments so he now could join in the conversation and truly be part of her family’s movie culture/language.

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A Thought for Monday Morning — Peter Robinson

 

Last Monday morning I quoted Auberon Waugh, for which Barbara Kidder either chid me or chode me—despite our disputations on this site, I remain uncertain of the past tense of “chide”—for selecting an Englishman who was “cruel,” “outrageous,” and “bizarre,” asking me to choose an Englishman next time of more “honorable characteristics.”

Barbara, I think, was a little too hard on Auberon Waugh, who, by contrast with his father, Evelyn Waugh, was beloved of his friends and children, which surely says something basic about his character. But enough Waughs. Bowing to Barbara, I begin this week with a quotation from G. K. Chesterton, than whom no Englishman ever has or ever could prove more honorable.

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