Friday, May 30, 2014

What They Seem

Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem.  Most things are judged by their jackets.

-- Baltasar Gracian y Morales (1601-1658), Spanish Jesuit author, Practical Wisdom for Perilous Times

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Single Aspiration

Just as a cautious businessman avoids tying up all his capital in one concern, so, perhaps, worldly wisdom will advise us not to look for the whole of our satisfaction from a single aspiration.

-- Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian neurologist and psychologist, "Civilization and its Discontents" (1930) [SE, XXI, p.83]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

RIP Maya Angelou

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

-- Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Ann Johnson (4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014), African-American poet, A Brave And Startling Truth (1995)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rolling Drunk

Dear future generations:  Please accept our apologies.  We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

-- Kurt Vonnegut, @Kurt_Vonnegut on Twitter, 22 May 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Printer's Ink

Printer's ink has been running a race against gunpowder these many, many years.  Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book.  But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries.

-- Christopher Morley (1890-1957), American journalist, novelist, poet, and playwright, The Haunted Bookshop (1919)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Progressively Unnecessary

A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.

-- Thomas Carruthers (?-1925), British Physician and educational theorist

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NovaNET's Pad

A society made up of the individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.  The pressure of ideas would simply drive it frantic.

-- Henry Louis (H. L.) Mencken (1880-1956), American writer, satirist, and cultural critic, Minority Report : HL Mencken's Notebooks (1956)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Some people look to their beliefs for the truth, others look to the truth for their beliefs.

-- Robert Haston, rescue helicopter pilot, author, at, 26 March 2013

Monday, May 19, 2014

What Is The Use Of A House

What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?

-- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American writer and philosopher, letter to Harrison Blake (20 May 1860); published in Familiar Letters (1865)

Friday, May 16, 2014

That's Real

No one gets realer than parents.  They compliment you behind your back, but talk shit to your face.  That's real, man.

-- Zaid Ali (@Za1d) on Twitter, 26 April 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Race

History becomes more and more of a race between education and catastrophe. ...  Yet, clumsily or smoothly, the world, it seems, progresses and will progress.

-- H. G. Wells (1866-1946), British novelist, The Outline Of History (1920), Chapter 41

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We Were Together

We were together; I forget the rest.

-- Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American journalist and poet

The line above, which I really like, appears to be a condensed version of the following line from Whitman's "Once I pass'd Through a Populous City", from "Leaves of Grass" (1855)

Day by day and night by night we were together -- all else has long been forgotten by me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Golden Age

Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past, will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present.

-- Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859), British poet, historian, and Whig politician, History of England (1849-1861), Volume 1, Chapter 1

Monday, May 12, 2014


The Internet is forever, and people don't realize that.

-- Nico Sell, a security expert, on Snapchat, which agreed to settle government charges that messages sent through its app do not disappear as easily as promised, NY Times, 9 May 2014

Friday, May 09, 2014

Happy Mothers Day

We weren't supposed to be here.  You made us believe.  You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table.  When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate.  You went to sleep hungry.  You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP.

-- Kevin Durant's tribute to his mother in his NBA MVP acceptance speech, 6 May 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014


Cyberspace.  A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts ....  A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system.  Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data.  Like city lights, receding ....

-- William Gibson (17 March 1948-), American-Canadian writer of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction; Gibson coined the term cyberspace" in his 1981 short story "Burning Chrome", Neuromancer (1984)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

If Trees Gave Off Wi-Fi Signals

[I]magine if trees gave off Wi-Fi signals.  We would be planting so many trees and we'd probably save the planet too.

Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

-- International Citizen Service volunteer Mudabbir Khalid, blogging about risks of deforestation, Progressio, 5 February 2014

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Doesn't Go Away

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-- Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), American science fiction writer, "How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978)

Monday, May 05, 2014


All the best sands of my life are somehow getting into the wrong end of the hourglass.  If I could only reverse it!  Were it in my power to do so, would I?

-- Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907), American poet and novelist, Leaves From a Notebook, Ponkapog Papers (1903)

Friday, May 02, 2014

Who Are You And Who Am I?

Who are you and who am I
    To say we know the reason why
Some are born, some men die,
    Beneath one infinite sky?

There'll be war, there'll be peace,
    But everything one day will cease,
All the iron turned to rust,
    All the proud men turned to dust,

And so all things time will mend,
    So this song will end.

-- David Jon Gilmour (6 March 1946-), English musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the rock band Pink Floyd, "Childhood's End", on Obscured by Clouds (1972)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Music Survives Everything

Music will always find its way to us, with or without business, politics, religion, or any other bullshit attached. Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help, and suffers no hindrance.

-- Eric Clapton (30 March 1945-), British musician of blues, rock, and jazz, Clapton: The Autobiography (2007)