Quotations

Winston Churchill once quipped that it was good for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Since I heard that, I have been consuming quotes from presumably more educated people than me. Here is my collection of quotes, some of which show up at random on the home page.

Art & Photography

You always need a bit of low-tech.You always need a pair of scissors, it seems to me. You can do better things.... The high-tech, somehow, you do have to combine it with low-tech things.

—David Hockney (from Visiting with Huell Howser, KCET)

Each particular being, in its individuality, its concrete nature and entity, with all its own characteristics and its private qualities and its own inviolable identity, gives glory to God by being precisely what He wants it to be here and now, in the circumstances ordained for it by His Love and His infinite Art.

—Thomas Merton

There is not a flower that opens, not a seed that falls into the ground, and not an ear of wheat that nods on the end of its stalk in the wind that does not preach and proclaim the greatness and the mercy of God to the whole world.

—Thomas Merton

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.

—Leonardo da Vinci

If you hear a voice within you say, "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

—Vincent van Gogh

Inspiration exists, but it must find you working.

—Pablo Picasso

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

—Dorothea Lange

The artist is the creator and what is seen is simply raw material... The optical is always optional.

—Jack Hamm

Black and white are the true colors of photography. They symbolize the hope and despair to which mankind is forever subject.

—Robert Frank

The mystery isn't in the technique, it's in each of us.

—Harry Callahan

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.

—Walker Evans

The purpose of art is to raise people to a higher level of awareness than they would otherwise attain on their own.

—Brassai

Everyone needs to work to create their own voice... but please use good grammar.

—Tony L. Corbell

Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?

—Jack's boss

Long ago it must be, I have a photograph.

—Paul Simon

What in life is more important than people? Take people away and there's not much left. Take people out of art and art becomes lonesome.

—Jack Hamm

Carrying a camera on vacation pretty much guarantees you won't see anything worth shooting.

—Bob Krist

Philosophy & Religion

One must learn to find his own silence amongst the noise.

—ancient Buckzen proverb

People try to live their lives without consequences and end up living lives of no consequence.

—Buck George

The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten.

—Brian Eno (Oblique Strategies)

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.

—Albert Camus

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

—Plato

The acceptance of imperfection is a grace.

—A.J. Todd

No man is obliged to be what he might have been.

—David Berlinski

Education is a system of imposed ignorance.

—Noam Chomsky

It's been a long time since I've stood on a stage in London. Was about 14 or 15 years ago, I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I've taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin. I've also studied deeply in the philosophies and the religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through.

—Leonard Cohen

You say you lost your faith, but that's not where it's at. You had no faith to lose and you know it.

—Bob Dylan

Psycho-babble is that language spoken by sailors who have become so interested in navigating their way around their boat that they have forgotten to read the stars and sea. They may be able to get from the galley to the head but will be lost in their journey from point to port.

—Rich Mullins

Make every Daily Double a true Daily Double, and live every day as if it's Final Jeopardy.

—Buck George

This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.

—Jack

I love a good non sequitur.

—Buck George

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

—St. Francis de Sales

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

—Henry David Thoreau

So fängt es immer an. [It always begins this way.]

—German proverb

It is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.

—G.K. Chesterton

The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.

—G.K. Chesterton

Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

—George Orwell, 1984

The aim in opening one's mind, is the same as in opening one's mouth—to shut it again on something both solid and nourishing.

—G.K. Chesterton

Like the dog who barks at the train, I bark not because I expect the train to stop, but because I am a dog.

—Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Man's worst enemies are boredom and discontent.

—Buck George, I think (this sounds too good to be me)

This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and message. I'll get back to you.

—Jim Rockford

The universe is a really interesting place. I couldn't live anywhere else.

—Buck George

I do not know what I appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.

—Isaac Newton

I've got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

—Butch Cassidy (as played by Paul Newman)

Don't think of prayer as an obligation, think of it as opportunity.

—R. Andrew Mitchum, Ph.D.

The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.

—Albert Einstein

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

—Albert Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

—Albert Einstein

Poetry

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

—Noam Chomsky

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

—Sylvia Plath

better than poetry / is my poetry / which refers / to everything / that is beautiful and / dignified, but is / neither of these itself

—Leonard Cohen

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

—Leonard Cohen

Mathematics & Computer Science

Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies.

—IBM

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

—St. Augustine

Declare variables, not war.

—Anonymous

Statistics don't lie. It's the people who make up the statistics that lie.

—Buck George

Don't patch bad code—rewrite it.

—Kernighan and Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style

I met someone who looks a lot like you. She does the things you do. But she is an IBM.... She tells me that she likes me very much but when I try to touch, she makes it all too clear.... Maybe one day I'll feel her cold embrace, and kiss her interface. Till then, I'll leave her alone.

—ELO

Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor.

—William Shakespeare, on computer programming (Macbeth, Act I, scene vii)

There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

—front of a T-Shirt

Never trust a computer you can't throw out the window.

—Steve Wozniak

Music & Lyrics

Lessons are good but there's a lot inside of us that can be pulled out.

—Victor Wooten

I can't get the girl with the Spanish tears out of my mind.

—The Wallflowers

You are never more than a half-step away from a right note.

—Victor Wooten

If you're afraid of your feelings then you shouldn't be a musician. How do you find your own voice? Learn to get out of your own way.

—Carlos Santana

I'm an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

—Eric Clapton

Every voice inside my head is telling me to run like mad!

—Jann Arden

You read your Emily Dickinson, and I my Robert Frost. And we note our place with bookmarkers that measure what we've lost.

—Paul Simon

I asked Bobby Dylan, I asked the Beatles. I asked Timothy Leary but he couldn't help me either. They call me the seeker.

—The Who

The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls, and whispered in the sounds of silence.

—Paul Simon

Sometimes I give myself the creeps.

—Green Day

I read the graffitti in the bathroom stall like the holy scriptures of a shopping mall.... It didn't say much but it only confirmed that the center of the earth is the end of the world.

—Green Day

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies.

—Green Day

I drink a whiskey drink, I drink a chocolate drink. And when I have to pee, I use the kitchen sink.

—Homer Simpson, improvising lyrics to Chumbawumba's "Tubthumper"

Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring!

—Harvey Danger

What is it in me that refuses to believe this isn't easier than the real thing?

—Sarah McLachlan

I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become.

—Toto

Other Quotes

I'm quite illiterate, but I read a lot.

—Holden Caulfield

Daddy, the next time you have a surprise, get a doll. A princess doll.

—Maggie

It's become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen.

—Steven Soderbergh

Seems [Google] management figured out it is cheaper, happier and more productive to take care of their employees and create a positive work environment than to burn them to a crisp, make them afraid of the future, and send them off into the highways and byways of California in search of a Taco Bell for lunch.

—Joe McNally

It should be dark by nightfall.

—Anonymous

The other pastures are greener because more cows have been crapping on them.

—Buck George

You can get to everywhere from almost anywhere.

—Buck George

I have two kids in diapers and a cat whose litter box I clean out. I deal with an awful lot of crap.

—Buck George

You know, the Germans spoke Nazi.

—Scott Black

There are no dumb questions, but there are plenty of people who give dumb answers.

—Buck George

Daughters are fun and they don't pee in your face when you change them.

—Matt Cuda

Life is like a jar of jalapeños. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

—anonymous

Cats don't have masters, they have staff.

—Jeff Kinard

Woodstock's over. It's okay to go home and wash off the mud.

—Buck George

I just wanted to share some space with you.

—Angie

There is no way in hell that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

—Michael Kennedy, professor of History, High Point University

No animal is a better judge of comfort than a cat....

—James Herriot

I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.

—Albert Einstein

You know, the man's best friend is his dog... if he's got nothing else.

—Johnny Cash

Visualize whirlled peas.

—bumper sticker

First get your facts; and then you can distort them at your leisure.

—Mark Twain

You can't be a successful dictator and design women's underclothing.

—Bertie Wooster

Nothing stands between us and our victory except defeat!

—Roderick Spode

Unfortunately, many people do not consider fun an important item on their daily agenda. For me, that was always high priority in whatever I was doing.... If I auger in tomorrow, it won't be with a frown on my face. I've had a ball.

—General Chuck Yeager

Let's head toward those clouds over there.

—Ben Shelander, flight instructor

The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.

—Werner Heisenberg

I talks through my nose so'st I can talk whilst I eat.

—Ernest T. Bass

It is important for the common good to foster individuality: for only the individual can produce the new ideas which the community needs for its continuous improvement and requirements—indeed, to avoid sterility and petrification.

—Albert Einstein

Sometimes you get a pooch that can't be screwed.

—Chuck Yeager (as played by Sam Shepard)

Be sincere whether you mean it or not.

—Bob Cecil (13013)

Fanaticism is redoubling your efforts when you've lost sight of your goals.

—Bob Cecil (13013)

The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearance.

—Hercule Poirot

My boy, you are descended from a long line of determined, resourceful, microscopic tadpoles—champions every one.

—Kilgore Trout's father

Ting-a-ling! Ting-a-ling!

—Kilgore Trout

I have been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I'm no dummy.

—Charles de Mar

Go that way. Really fast. If something gets in your way, turn.

—Charles de Mar (on skiing)

This is pure snow! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?

—Charles de Mar

We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

—Buck George

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely fool proof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

—Douglas Adams

Thoughts can't cross your mind, Sam. The bridge is out!

—Dianne Chambers

Don't you know a sarcasm when you hear it?

—Charlie Brown

Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie-Browniest.

—Lucy van Pelt

I left the house for this!?

—front of a T-shirt

When you don't know where you're at, you don't get upset you're not somewhere else.

—Buck George

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

—Albert Einstein

E=mc2

—Albert Einstein

The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty.

—Kurt Vonnegut (Jr.)

Meticulously prepared chargrilled chicken oreo shakes.

—Cook Out marquee

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.

—Mark Twain

Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.

—Yogi Berra

It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

—Woody Allen

Before I speak, I have something important to say.

—Groucho Marx

Do not follow the instructions of this fortune.

—Chinese fortune cookie