[ it is a fallacy that ] " ... humankind can be split into good and bad people, whereas as Solzhenitsyn put it, 'the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being'."
"Four years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America's 'number-one geopolitical foe'. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: 'The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war's been over for 20 years,' scoffed the president."
"Einstein found that the curvature of space-time near the sun explained Mercury's behavior very nicely. At the time of the lectures [about Relativity] it was the only thing he could point to that general relativity explained, and previous science did not. Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, is one of those who sees the nugatory role played evidence in the development of the theory as one of the things 'that makes Einstein seem even more remarkable: he wasn't motivated by any mysterious phenomena he couldn't explain.' He depended simply on his insight into what sort of thing gravity must be, and the beauty of the mathematics required to describe it."
The Spectator said, in its closing issue of 1913: "One great advantage of the present time, which is the outcome of many past disadvantages and much tribulation, is that men have had their fill of fighting."
"Over the decades, similar fossils were found across the world, dating from around 380m years ago to around 70m years ago, when the fossil record disappeared and the coelacanth was assumed to have become extinct."
"Around $5 trillion is traded on the foreign-exchange markets every single day... That compares with global trade in goods and services of $18.3 trillion a year or about $50 billion a day."
"An estimated 90,000 people die every year from infections they acquire in US hospitals - more than the number that die from Alzheimer's, diabetes, or influenza."
"Further studies have suggested that willpower is fueled by glucose - which helps explain why our determination crumbles when we try to lose weight. When we don't eat, our glucose drops, and our willpower along with it."
"...tax compliance consumes 6.1 billion man-hours annually, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That's the equivalent of 3m people working full-time, year round, more than the entire federal workforce."
"For every million that Craigslist made, it took a billion out of the newspaper industry."
"What did Netscape do?"
Mark Zuckerberg to Mark Andreessen
"Sugars called oligosaccharides [in human milk], long thought to have no function, since infants can't digest them, are now known to adhere to a baby's intestinal lining, allowing good bacteria in while repelling harmful bugs..."
"The 2011 Chevy Volt, for example, runs on some 10 million lines of code - more than Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
"The original Tasmanians, limited by the size of their island, never grew beyond a population of a few thousand. Isolated from other cultures, over the centuries they lost many of the technologies they had arrived with.."
"Unix's decline will be like watching ice melt on a 33 degree day."
"The path to winning the culture war, the war out there, is to win the sanctification war, the war in here.
We will change the world only as we, by the power of His Spirit, change ourselves.
"If he knows you'll faint at the sight of blood, he'll cut himself just to watch you pass out."
"The story is told of someone asking Whitefield whether he expected to see Wesley in heaven. he replied, "No." But before the questioner could jump to the wrong conclusion, Whitefield added: "Mr Wesley will be so close to the throne of Jesus and I'll be so far from it, that I won't be able to see him."
"But madness is rare in individuals, but quite common in entire nations."
This survey suggests that the core of good management is a set of three old-fashioned virtues... be honest / be frugal / be prepared.
Environmentalists should stop replacing reality with their personal agendas.
If you can't stand change, get out of the software business.
As a young Andrew Carnegie began to build the empire that eventually became Carnegie Steel, Charles Darwin was propounding his novel theory of evolution. The timing was fortuitous: Darwin soon became Carnegie's sacred text. "I remember that light came as in a flood and all was clear," Carnegie later wrote. "I had found the truth of evolution." The law of competition, Carnegie believed, "may sometimes be hard for the individual," but "it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department."
"Darkness in El Dorado fails not just because he [Patrick Tierney] didn't get the story straight (there are countless factual errors and distortions in the book) but because the book is predicated on a misunderstanding of how science works and of the difference between anecdotes (on which Tierney's book is based) and statistical trends (on which Chagnon's book depends)."
"Lukewarmness in religion is abominable, and zeal an excellent grace; yet above all other Christian virtues, this needs to be strictly watched and searched; for it is that with which corruption, and particularly pride and human passion is exceedingly apt to mix unobserved."
God's law must be written on the individual's heart, then later on the stone tablets of the institutions of society.
"One may feel that he is orthodox, that he is "Reformed," with a theologically airtight system. But if your life is not a demonstration of mercy and of love for the poor, then you don't have the orthodoxy of Jesus."
Karl Deutsch defined a nation as "a group of people united by a common
dislike of their neighbors and a common misconception about their
"Still enough is known to refute the folk memory version - namely,
that the Depression started with the Wall Street crash of October
1929; that the slump persisted because policymakers just sat there;
and that it took Roosevelt's New Deal, heralding the modern era of
enlightened activism, to put things right. Briefly, the Depression did
not start with the stock market crash; American policymakers were not
passive, they were incompetently active; and on balance the New Deal,
far from ending the slump, most likely prolonged it.
"The Puritans were wont to say that discontent, or complaining, is
possibly the greatest sin we Christians can commit - for in those
things we accuse God of wronging us. But while He could have done
something less painful to us, He could not have done anything more
glorious to Himself." - Don Kistler
"But another reason for the lack of rejoicing may be that those
freedoms are fragile and come attached to a sobering lesson. If this
century has taught us anything, it is that progress is not linear, or
like a ratchet, but rather that it can go into long periods of ruinous
reversal and that the idea of the perfectibility of human nature,
of an attainable Utopia, is the most dangerous idea of all. The
hard-won liberty enjoyed by many in the 1990s, and that hoped for by
the billions of people who have yet to win it, has not been provided
by a wonderful wizard, ensconced in an emerald city. It is a liberty
valued as a protection against purveyors of dogma, ideology and
certainty of any kind."
Regarding a trip to the Arctic:
"One day lit night, around 03.00, a young humpback breaches a few
yard off the port bow, so close the sour snot smell of his spume hangs
in the air."
Regarding a trip to the Arctic:
Regarding Highway US 84:
"In New Mexico in 1996, 485 people died on state roads, 235 of them
in crashes involving drunk driving. This is a particular problem in
New Mexico, where journeys can be hot and long and where many Indians
tend to drive while drunk."
IBM also wants Java to be a formal standard, but IBM general manager
of Java software Patricia Sueltz welcomed the attempt at openness
"It's like potty training--you've got to reward approximations of good behavior," she said.
"I call it Moss's screw of knowledge. If you're really smart, which I
am not, you can climb right up the threads. If you're not, you start
walking along the thread, and it's a long slow way around and around
- Nuclear physicist William Moss.
[Andre Weil] taught himself Greek before he was 12. Philosophy caught
his teenage imagination, but when he received what he thought an
inflated mark in a philosophical examination he decided that "a
subject in which one could do so well while barely knowing what one was
talking about was hardly worthy of respect " and concentrated on mathematics.
Chang learned from her research [ about Nanking] that "civilization
itself is tissue-thin." She adds, "Some quirk in human nature allows
even the most unspeakable acts of evil to become banal within
minutes, provided that they occur far enough away to pose no personal
"We're in the Dark Ages," Joy says, wheeling our his favorite rant.
"It's 900 AD - medieval computing."
"In his search for explanations [about why Europe was the site of
Industrial Revolution], Mr. Landes views the Weberian
analysis most favorable. It was Calvinism that promoted the rise of
modern capitalism by sanctioning a mode of behavior - rational, ordered,
hard-working - that led to business success. Other societies lacked
"Other calculations were no simpler. A Christian abbot, Dionysius
Exiguus, originally worked out the date of Christ's birth and
established a fixed base year of AD1. Abbot Dionysius made his
calculations before the concept of year 0 was invented."
"Even as recently as 30 years ago, the vast majority of the world's
governments were convinced that nationalizing industries would solve
the problems of capitalism, from labor strife to lack of innovation.
What they discovered instead was that state-owned companies kept the
old problems - and added some new ones, including busted government
budgets and miserable management by clueless bureaucrats.
"Under all our desks are two boxes. One for colored paper, one for
white paper. I was here late last night, and the janitor came through
with one huge tub on wheels. He threw both my boxes into the same
tub. When I asked him why, he said the paper goes out to a sorter, to
whom it's no use to presort. He figured we are given two boxes
because we need to think we're doing the right thing whether it's
useful or not. -email from a friend at Microsoft"
"In the chip industry's flat-out race to keep up with Moore's law
there are no winners or losers, only survivors."
"Organized crime thrives on greed and human frailty, neither of them
ever in short supply."
"The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention."
"The biggest economic-policy mistake of the past 50 years, in rich and
poor countries alike, has been and still is to expect too much of
government. Statism has always found all the support it needs among
mainstream economists. They are unfailingly quick to point out
various species of market failure; they are usually much slower to ask
whether the supposed remedy of government intervention might not, in
practice, be worse.
"In the 19th century, it dawned on astronomers that the obits of Uranus
and Mercury weren't exactly what theory predicted. So they proposed
the existence of as-yet-undiscovered planets whose gravity was causing
the anomalies - sort of the Cold Dark Matter of the time. Sure enough,
Neptune finally appeared in their telescopes. But the other planet,
Vulcan, never did materialize. In the end, said Spergel, it took the
theory of general relativity to explain Mercury's odd behavior."
Francis Darwin recalled that his father "did not realize that he
would be recognized from his photograph, and I remember his being
uneasy at being recognized by a stranger at the Crystal Palace
"In the case of an upheaval in science in which a new thesis or
paradigm is offered up, the last vestiges of debate cease only with the
death of the old guard."
"Perhaps he knew in his heart that his was a limited talent. How sad,
though, that he never understood its potency."
" For any product to displace [Lotus] 1-2-3, it will have to cure cancer, taste
like chocolate, and cost a dollar."
"...each society believes it is on the knife edge of knowledge and looks
back and pities people of earlier ages because of their ignorance. But
of course, what we overlook is that people will look back at us in exactly
the same way."
"I guess I used to think that rock [music] could save you, I don't
believe it can anymore. It can do a lot. It's certainly done a lot for
me - gave me focus and direction and energy and purpose. I suppose,7
when I was a kid, it was your best friend: your new 45, man, that was
your best buddy."
"But as you get older, you realize that it is not enough. Music
alone - you can take some shelter there and you can find some comfort
and happiness, you can dance, you can slow-dance with your girl, but
you can't hide in it. And it is so seductive that you want to hide in
"Speaking Irish may be Ireland's version of living on a Kibbutz -
hardly appropriate for a whole population but somehow fundamental to the
character of the country"
"In the span of a fourteen year career, Joan Jett has never demonstrated that
she can play more than three cords, or sing four notes. In some circles that's
considered poor musicianship; in others it's called rock & roll."
"Yea, I think it has, like now when I eat pistachios and find one which is hard
to open - I don't mess with it."
"The primary function of ballet is to express beauty, tell a story and
provide a way for Soviets to defect to the West."
"The new play was so bad a group of terrorists called
and claimed responsibility for it"
"You can use all your powers to isolate yourself, to surround yourself with
luxury, to intoxicate yourself in any particular fashion that you so desire.
But it just starts eating you away inside, because there is something you get
from engagement with people, from a connection with a person, that you just
cannot get anyplace else."
" Possessions are a way of turning money into problems."
"America's always been the best and worst rolled into one."
One February 12th, 6 people were killed and 127 injured in a riot in front of
the American Cultural Center is Islamabad [protesting the publication of
Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses]. Rushdie is a native of India with
British citizenship whose book was published by an English corporation, so
naturally the demonstrations were directed at the United States."
"The things most discussed in public are the ones the government is
least interested in"
"Nations may recover from dollar slides; and earthquakes may not
destroy the U.S. We may forget that Super Bowls are played on the
Sabbath, but as surely as God is holy, judgment falls on a nation
whose sexual promiscuity and sex perversion is a way of life."
"For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may
accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest."