Favourite Quotes of 2014

What’s really wrong

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

–– Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

–– Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.

–– Confucius (551-479 BCE)

Learning and Inspiration

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

–– Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.

–– Mahatma Ghandi (1869 -1948)

Happy ideas come unexpectedly, without effort, like an inspiration. So far as I am concerned, they have never come to me when my mind was fatigued, or when I was at my working table. They came particularly readily during the slow ascent of wooded hills on a sunny day.

–– Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894)

Clear Thinking

The wise man in charge of governing the empire should know the cause of disorder before he can put it in order. Unless he knows its cause, he cannot regulate it.

­–– Mo Di (c. 470-391 BCE)

Know thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat every time.

–– Sun Wu (fl. 6th century BCE)

When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of its momentum. When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing.

–– Sun Wu (fl. 6th century BCE)

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

–– Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Do the right thing

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
–– Sun Wu (fl. 6th century BCE)

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

–– George Orwell (1903-1950)

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