Monday, July 31, 2006

Wildness Is A Necessity

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

-- John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Indictments Of Civilization

One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.

-- William Feather (1888-1981, American writer, businessman)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Acknowledge A Fault

Always acknowledge a fault quite frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

-- Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Every Great Advance

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

-- Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Memories Are Card Indexes

Our memories are card indexes -- consulted, and then put back in disorder, by authorities whom we do not control.

-- Cyril Connolly

Friday, July 21, 2006

To Punish Me

To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.

-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Unthinking Respect

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Always Right

Under the law of war, the President is always right.

-- Justice Department representative Steven Bradbury; cited by Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2006

Monday, July 17, 2006

Undesirable To Believe

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.

-- Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays (1928), "On the Value of Scepticism"

Friday, July 14, 2006

One Of The Commonest Mistakes

It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.

-- C. W. Leadbeater

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Power Of The Symbol

The power of the symbol comes from the nature of perception and thought. The train whistle makes us see the train, the footstep in the hall reminds us of the family relative. The oranges bring back the breakfast table.

-- Delmore Schwartz

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Syd Barrett

My head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
Please, please, lift a hand
I'm only a person whose armbands beat
On his hands, hang tall
Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?

-- Syd Barrett (January 6, 1946 - July 7, 2006), Co-founder of British psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd, lyrics to "Dark Globe" from the album "The Madcap Laughs"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chastity Of The Intellect

Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon, or to the first comer.

-- George Santayana, 1863 - 1921

Monday, July 10, 2006

What And How

Once the "what" is decided, the "how" always follows. We must not make the "how" an excuse for not facing and accepting the "what".

-- Pearl Buck

Friday, July 07, 2006

Free And Unrestrained Press

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.

-- Hugo Black, Supreme Court Justice

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Skepticism A Virtue

Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.

-- Robert King Merton, sociologist (1910-2003)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


To the question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic.

-- Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)