Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 232

"A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics". All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and
schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer." --George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 231

"Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print." --Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 230

"I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good."

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 229

"If you have the same ideas as everybody else but have them one week earlier than everyone else then you will be hailed as a visionary. But if you have them five years earlier you will be named a lunatic." --Barry Jones, politician, author (1932- )

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 228

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it." --Leo Rosten


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Rule of Threes

The rule of threes:

You can survive for three hours without shelter
You can survive for three days without water
You can survive for three weeks without food

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 227

"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --Richard Feynman, physicist, Nobel laureate (1918-1988)

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 226

"So the conventional wisdom in Galbraith’s view must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting--though not necessarily true. It would be silly to argue that the conventional wisdom is never true. But noticing where the conventional wisdom may be false--noticing, perhaps, the contrails of sloppy or self-interested thinking--is a nice place to start asking questions."

--Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics

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Quotations from Brainy Smurf 225

"The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side." --James Baldwin

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 224

"There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." --Alfred Korzybski

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Dogs and Memory

Quotations from Brainy Smurf 223

Books to the ceiling
Books to the sky
My pile of books is a mile high
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

--Arnold Lobel

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