Anyone

Anyone not shocked by quantum mechanics has not yet understood it.

Niels Bohr

A Scientific Fact

It is a scientific fact that your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person’s plate.

Dave Barry

Research

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.

Zora Neale Hurston

Dogmatism and skepticism

Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.

Bertrand Russell

Skepticism

Skepticism is a virtue in history as well as in philosophy.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Do you know

Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.

Amy Chua

The past

The past is always tense, the future perfect.

Zadie Smith

Translation

Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.

Günter Grass

Without translation

Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.

George Steiner

The Difference

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.

Mark Twain

A man once asked me

A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.

Dorothy L. Sayers

When we knowingly write

When we knowingly write in ways that we would not want others to write to us, we abrade the trust that sustains a civil society.

Joseph M. Williams

When you have committed enough words to paper

When you have committed enough words to paper, you feel you have a spine stiff enough to stand up in the wind. But when you stop writing, you find that’s all you are – a spine, a row of rattling vertebrae, dried out like an old quill pen.

Hilary Mantel

History

History offers us vicarious experience. It allows the youngest student to possess the ground equally with his elders; without a knowledge of history to give him a context for present events, he is at the mercy of every social misdiagnosis handed to him.

Hilary Mantel

How did you go bankrupt?

“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

I cannot

I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else – I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.

Queen Elizabeth II

People sleep peaceably

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

George Orwell

PG Note: Colleen just informed PG that this post showed seven comments, but she couldn’t see any of them.

When PG popped the TPV hood open, he found seven spam comments that WordPress and/or one or more of PG’s installed plugins had counted as legitimate, despite the fact that the comments had been sent to spam hell where nobody could see them.

PG will assure one and all that nothing about the spam comments would interest them, unless they’re longing to interact with sexy Russian girls online or desire to have some malware installed on their computer.

PG will keep an eye on this plugin to see if it needs to be replaced and thanks Colleen for pointing out the problem for him.

Secrets

Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.

James Joyce – Ulysses

Lucidity of expression

Lucidity of expression, Petrarch wrote, was “the highest proof of intelligence and knowledge.”

James Hankins

With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon

With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.

Elon Musk

Amateurs sit

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work.

Stephen King

Without ambition

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is not paid

A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them.

Elbert Hubbard

Labor Day

Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.

Samuel Gompers

The story so far

The story so far: in the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Opening Line from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Once there were four children

Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.

Opening lines of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

There is a saying

There is a saying that if you get something for free, you should know that you’re the product. It was never more true than in the case of Facebook and Gmail and YouTube. You get free social-media services, and you get free funny cat videos. In exchange, you give up the most valuable asset you have, which is your personal data.

Yuval Noah Harari

You know, the whole thing about perfectionism

You know, the whole thing about perfectionism. The perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in…it’s actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And there were a couple of years where I really struggled with that.

David Foster Wallace

There is a stubbornness about me

There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Aspiring Authors

Aspiring authors, get this through your head. Cover art serves one purpose, and one purpose only, to get potential customers interested long enough to pick up the book to read the back cover blurb. In the internet age that means the thumb nail image needs to be interesting enough to click on. That’s what covers are for.

Larry Correia

There is a vague popular belief

There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief. Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.

Abraham Lincoln

How many lawyer jokes

How many lawyer jokes are there? One, the rest are true stories.

Thomas F. Shubnell

At the most pragmatic level

At the most pragmatic level, lawyers are society’s professional problem solvers. Lawyers are called upon to make distinctions, to explain how and why cases or experiences are alike or different. Lawyers are expected to restore equilibrium, to be balancers. Every discipline, every profession, every job, and every calling has a cutting edge. At that cutting edge, lines are drawn. Lawyers and judges are society’s ultimate line drawers. On one side of the line, the conduct, action, or inaction is proper; on the other side of the line, it is not.

Rennard Strickland and Frank T. Read

We all want progress

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

C. S. Lewis

If your customer base is aging

If your customer base is aging with you, then eventually you are going to become obsolete or irrelevant. You need to be constantly figuring out who are your new customers and what are you doing to stay forever young.

Jeff Bezos

I finished my first book

I finished my first book seventy-six years ago. I offered it to every publisher on the English-speaking earth I had ever heard of. Their refusals were unanimous: and it did not get into print until, fifty years later; publishers would publish anything that had my name on it.

George Bernard Shaw

When you’re in jail

When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.

Groucho Marx

There is nothing noble

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

Ernest Hemingway

They are just really stupid people in Hollywood

They are just really stupid people in Hollywood. You write them a script, and they say they love it, they absolutely love it. Then they say, ‘But doesn’t it need a small dog, and an Eskimo, and shouldn’t it be set in New Guinea?’ And you say, ‘But it is a sophisticated romantic comedy set in Paris.’

P. J. O’Rourke