[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 18 July 2020]
Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him.
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.
Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.
Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing.
The big thieves hang the little ones.
Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.
The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.
—Sir William Osler#
It is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he already thinks he knows.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.
It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.
—Sir Terry Pratchett#
“Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
—W.E.B. Du Bois#
An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.
—George Jean Nathan#
Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.
A wet man does not fear rain.
It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.
Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
—H. L. Mencken#
Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.
Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.
Hell is truth seen too late.
―Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan#
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.
A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.
Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.
—Thomas Henry Huxley#
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.
—Jerome K. Jerome#
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.
In this day and age, when the increasing complexity of modern life leaves one barely any time for reading …
—Proust (1919) (via James Gleick)#
Fervor is the weapon of choice for the impotent.
The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
It is the folly of too many, to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of a kingdom.
—Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) via The QI Elves on Twitter#
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe#
Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
Fanaticism is a monster that pretends to be the child of religion.
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
The higher the buildings, the lower the morals.
At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look; At 45 they are caves in which we hide.
There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.
—H. L. Mencken#
Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.
Evil is the product of the ability of humans to make abstract that which is concrete.
If one man says to thee ‘Thou art a donkey’, pay no heed. If two speak thus, purchase a saddle.
Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be.
History is the autobiography of a madman.
Never confuse movement with action.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
A cult is a religion with no political power.
Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.
Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.
—H. G. Wells#