August 29, 2007: Great Quotations to live by...
I think, therefore I am.
- Rene Descartes
The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Socrates 470399 B.C.E.
The best way to have a good idea
is to have a lot of ideas.
- Linus Pauling
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
- Albert Einstein
Think for yourselves and let others
enjoy the privilege to do so, too.
My strength lies mainly in my tenacity.
I find that the harder I work,
the more luck I seem to have.
- Thomas Jefferson
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.
- Calvin Coolidge
And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.
Only the educated are free.
"There was a star danced,
and under that was I born."
William Shakespeare (15641616), TwelfthNight, II, i, 351
(for my niece, Halley, who was born in December, 1985)
"For rigorous teachers seized my youth,
And purged its faith, and trimmed its fire,
Showed me the high, white star of Truth,
There bade me gaze, and there aspire."
Matthew Arnold (18221888), Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse
I have never let my schooling
interfere with my education.
- Mark Twain (18351910)
When I was a boy of fourteen my father was so ignorant
I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished
at how much he had learned in seven years.
- Mark Twain
A large part of [the purpose] of education may well be
what men have most feared and most desired the
achievement of moments of ecstasy.
- George Leonard
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God
who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
has intended us to forgo their use.
- Galileo Galilei
The universe is full of magical things
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
- Bertrand Russell
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to
have been only a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in
now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than
ordinary. Whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you
have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and love.
- William Wordsworth
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
- Albert Einstein (18791955)
We succeeded in taking that picture [of Earth from deep space], and,
if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us...
on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the
rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in
glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a
fraction of a dot...Our posturings, our imagined selfimportance, the
delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are
challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In
our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help
will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.
It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a
character building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better
demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image
of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal
more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and
cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
- Carl Sagan (19341996), Reflections on a Mote of Dust
(an image of Earth taken by Voyager 1 from the edge of the Solar System)
To sit alone with my conscience
will be judgement enough for me.
- Charles William Stubbs
I am not an Athenian or a Greek,
I am a citizen of the world.
Am I not destroying my enemies
when I make friends of them?
Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.
Far and away the best prize that life offers
is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
It is well to remember that the entire universe,
with one trifling exception, is composed of others.
John Andrew Holmes
At the heart of science is an essential tension between
two seemingly contradictory attitudes an openness to
new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive
they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny
of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are
winnowed from deep nonsense. Of course, scientists make
mistakes in trying to understand the world, but there
is a built in error correcting mechanism: The collective
enterprise of creative thinking and skeptical thinking
together keeps the field on track.
- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,"
Parade, February 1, 1987
I'm often asked the question, "Do you think there is
extraterrestrial intelligence?" I give the standard arguments there
are a lot of places out there, and use the word *billions*,
and so on. And then I say it would be astonishing to me if there
weren't extraterrestrial intelligence, but of course there is as
yet no compelling evidence for it. And then I'm asked, "Yeah,
but what's your gut feeling?" But I try not to think with my gut.
Really, it's okay to reserve judgment until the evidence is in.
- Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism,
The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87
To make an apple pie from scratch,
you must first invent the universe.
- Carl Sagan