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“I forget who it was that recommended men for their soul's good to do each day two things they disliked: it was a wise man, and it is a precept that I have followed scrupulously; for every day I have got up and I have gone to bed.” ― W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon And Sixpence

"Equally good is the answer given by the person... who when asked what was the object of all the trouble he took over a piece of craftsmanship when it would never reach more than a very few people, replied: 'A few is enough for me; so is one; and so is none.'" -- Seneca, Letter 7, tr. Robin Campbell

"There is but one genuine love-potion -- consideration." -- Menander of Athens

"WYSIWYG is an abomination and the creed of slaves." -- Ted Nelson

"I am doubtful myself about the undertaking [of writing the Silmarillion]. Part of the attraction of the L.R. is, I think, due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed. Also many of the older legends are purely 'mythological', and nearly all are grim and tragic: a long account of the disasters that destroyed the beauty of the Ancient World, from the darkening of Valinor to the Downfall of Númenor and the flight of Elendil." -- The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1981), No. 247

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." -- Quote from a program at a Coolidge memorial service (1933); cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999).

"Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
Of the rising moon."
-- Mizuta Masahide, quoted in Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

'When you are going about any action, remind yourself what nature the action is. If you are going to bathe, picture to yourself the things which usually happen in the bath: some people splash the water, some push, some use abusive language, and others steal. Thus you will more safely go about this action if you say to yourself, "I will now go bathe, and keep my own mind in a state conformable to nature." And in the same manner with regard to every other action. For thus, if any hindrance arises in bathing, you will have it ready to say, "It was not only to bathe that I desired, but to keep my mind in a state conformable to nature; and I will not keep it if I am bothered at things that happen.' -- Epictetus, The Enchiridion (4), http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html

"How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?"
--William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

"Must I fear what others fear? What nonsense!" -- Tao Te Ching (20)

"Thorn bushes spring up wherever the army has passed;
Lean years follow in the wake of a great war."
-- Tao Te Ching (30)

“[Emacs is] not for everyone, just for the kind of person you should aspire to be.” – Phil Hagelberg, Emacs Chats, ed. Sacha Chua.

“Emacs outshines all other editing software in approximately the same way that the noonday sun does the stars. It is not just bigger and brighter; it simply makes everything else vanish.” – Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning was the Command Line

“Once you’ve spent a few years as a target for the harpoons of fear and guilt in the hermetic hotbox of a political prison, you develop a very keen sensitivity for the first hints of the onset of an extortionistic squeeze play. We who are in hierarchies–be they academic, business, military, or otherwise–are always in positions in which people are trying to manipulate us, to get moral leverage on us. The only defense is to keep yourself clean– never to do or say anything of which you can be made to feel ashamed.” –James Stockdale

“Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.” Russell. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 1944-1969, pp. 71-2.

“My effort should never be to undermine another’s faith but to make him a better follower of his own faith.” Gandhi

“I think the GOP knows the truth. In the Biblical sense, of course.” – Kip Williams

Joe Bay: ‘What part of “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wagn’nagl fhtagn” don’t you understand?’

“It was like watching a mouse rape an elephant.” – Douglas Rushkoff, on the first time he hotsynced his PalmPilot? with a PC

The “Misinformation Superhighway” – Harms & Gonce, auths. of The Necronomicon Files, on online Nec. debates

“…the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Hitler’s chosen successor for ruling Nazi Germany during World War II; quote from the Nuremberg Trials 1945-46

"When grandfather helped found the DGI, in Havana, were the Americans at war with the Russians?" "That was the 'cold war.'" Alejandro nodded, his hands coming up to grip his knees. "A cold civil war." – Spook Country

Plain prose is still the best technology for turning the user’s own mind into a display device! –Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (special edition)

Good games are productive. They're producing a higher quality of life.–JMcG

Here’s the start of Homer’s Odysseus, the T.E. Lawrence translation: "O Divine Poesy, goddess, daughter of Zeus, sustain for me this song of the various-minded man who, after he had plundered the innermost citadel of hallowed Troy, was made to stray grievously about the coasts of men, the sport of their customs, good and bad, while his heart, through all the sea-faring, ached with an agony to redeem himself and bring his company safe home. Vain hope–for them. The fools! Their own witlessness cast them aside. To destroy for meat the oxen of the most exalted Sun, wherefore the Sun-god blotted out the day of their return. Make this tale live for us in all its many bearings, O Muse. . . ."

If all the pens that ever poets held Had fed the feeling of their masters’ thoughts, And every sweetness that inspir’d their hearts, Their minds, and muses on admired themes; If all the heavenly quintessence they still From their immortal flowers of poesy, Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive The highest reaches of a human wit; If these had made one poem’s period, And all combin’d in beauty’s worthiness, Yet should there hover in their restless heads One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least, Which into words no virtue can digest. -- TAMBURLAINE THE GREAT A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe (in Cabell, Beyond Life)

Thomas Mann, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

“A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values.” -- Marcus Aurelius - Meditations, Book 7.3 cf. https://oddsnentities.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/the-opposite-of-a-great-fuckin-truth-is-also-true/

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“Out of this world we cannot fall.” –CHRISTIAN GRABBE

“It really worked for tens of millions of people and changed their computing lives. And there was some wonderful software that resulted. That said: Windows is the Superbowl Halftime Show of operating systems. Given what everyone got paid, and how many people were involved, you’d think it would be a lot more memorable.” https://medium.com/message/networks-without-networks-7644933a3100

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.” – Neil Gaiman, http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming

“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms.” J.D. SALINGER


“Little Men and Flying Saucers,” The Immense Journey, Loren Eiseley

“What Eiseley wrote about humanoids also applies to primates and the whole mammalian family. Actual extraterrestrial megafauna would stand out like a sore thumb.

Eiseley thought and wrote as big and cosmic as an SF author, but there is little reassurance or glamour in his essays. His writings wouldn’t have appealed to me 30 years ago. Today, they mean far more to me than virtually all of the SF I’ve read.” -- http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/07/more-than-alien-larry-nivens-protector


“The dog is the god of frolic.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.” —William Hazlitt

“You may have noticed that when you are upset it is more difficult to balance a checkbook and study a text than it is to wash your car or rearrange furniture or do the vacuuming. While we wait for our feelings to settle down, we need not turn off our lives; we can continue with constructive activity, getting done what needs doing. Somehow it’s easier to keep our minds on tasks that require physical effort. A reminder: the purpose of doing a task is to get the task done (to get the dishes clean, to clear the weeds from the garden, to dust the bookcase), and not to distract ourselves from unpleasant feelings (although that may be a beneficial side effect).” http://www.constructiveliving.org/works/fountain.html

“A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.” – Robert Hughes (Australian art Critic and Author, b.1938)

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes

“You’d better be more proactive than your agent or your manager.” – Tavis Smiley

“Yo, que me figuraba el Paraíso / Bajo la especie de una biblioteca.” (I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library.) – “Poem of the Gifts” [“Poema de los Dones”], Dreamtigers (1960), Borges.

“One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves.” –Jung and the Story of Our Time, Laurens van der Post (1977)

“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” – Albert Camus, Notebook IV in Notebooks: 1942-1951

“All religions promise a reward beyond life, in eternity, for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding.” – Schopenhauer

“So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.” – Bertrand Russell

“The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature.” – Alfred North Whitehead


“Most interesting of recent Utopias to me is that of Buckminster Fuller in which money is abolished, and computers manage the economy, programmed with a prime directive to advantage all without disadvantaging any – the same goal sought by the mutualist system of basing society entirely on negotiated contract.” –Robert Anton Wilson, Left and Right: A Non-Euclidean Perspective, http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/robert-anton-wilson-left-and-right-a-non-euclidean-perspective

“How can we make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?” — Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), http://www.cjfearnley.com/cgi-bin/cjf-fortunes.pl?srchstr=Fuller

“advantage all without disadvantaging any” – RAW, after RBF.


“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” – Horace Walpole

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” – Inscribed on Thomas Huxley’s memorial

“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.” – Francis Bacon

“If I love you, what business is it of yours?” – Goethe

“Heresy is the side that loses.” – J.V. Fleming

“What makes us so bitter against people who outwit us is that they think themselves cleverer than we are.” – La Rochefoucauld

“Nothing hath an uglier Look to us than Reason, when it is not of our side.” – George Savile, Marquess of Halifax

“Behind every argument is someone’s ignorance.” – Louis Brandeis

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.” – Marcus Aurelius

“Mr. Hoover, if you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you and you have to battle with only one of them.” – Calvin Coolidge, to Herbert Hoover

“I wrote somewhere once that the third-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the majority, the second-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the minority, and the first-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking.” – A.A. Milne

“Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.” – Bertrand Russell

“[E]ven the very best projects often hit a spot where they look hopeless, and success as an artist depends on being able to push past that spot.” – Howard Tayler, http://www.schlockmercenary.com/blog/tagon-hammock-preview

“To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct.” –Montaigne


Nasrudin was caught in the act and sentenced to die. Hauled up before the king, he was asked by the Royal Presence: “Is there any reason at all why I shouldn’t have your head off right now?” To which he replied: “Oh, King, live forever! Know that I, the mullah Nasrudin, am the greatest teacher in your kingdom, and it would surely be a waste to kill such a great teacher. So skilled am I that I could even teach your favorite horse to sing, given a year to work on it.” The king was amused, and said: “Very well then, you move into the stable immediately, and if the horse isn’t singing a year from now, we’ll think of something interesting to do with you.”

As he was returning to his cell to pick up his spare rags, his cellmate remonstrated with him: “Now that was really stupid. You know you can’t teach that horse to sing, no matter how long you try.” Nasrudin’s response: “Not at all. I have a year now that I didn’t have before. And a lot of things can happen in a year. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die.

“And, who knows? Maybe the horse will sing.” -- http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/aue/sig.html