Favorite Quotes



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“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” – Carl Sagan



"When strangers meet, great allowances should be made for differences of custom and training." – Frank Herbert, Dune

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.” – George Orwell

”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee

“It is difficult for us to let you make your own mistakes. Teachers always find this hard.” – Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune

“To reduce funding for science, and in particular for science education, really would be an act of eating our seed corn.” – David Bressoud, past president of MAA

“No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.” – Lily Tomlin

“Then not only custom, but also nature affirms that to do is more disgraceful than to suffer injustice, and that justice is equality.” – Plato

"If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow." – Arab proverb

“Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence.” – Louis Althusser

“I’m delighted that the future is unsure. That’s the way it should be.” – William Sloane Coffin

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."

--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“No one born with a mouth and a need is innocent.” – Greg Bear

”The axe soon forgets but the tree always remembers.” -Old African Proverb

"Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

“Herein lies a riddle: How can a people so gifted by God become so seduced by naked power, so greedy for money, so addicted to violence, so slavish before mediocre and treacherous leadership...?” – Philip Berrigan

Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.” – Latin statement of Occam’s Razor

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.” – William of Ockham’s statement of Ockham’s Razor

“Howard Roark isn’t laughing anymore.” – Me

“I told them that I lived in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all war....” – George Fox

“Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Maturity is the ability to recognize one's mistakes as one is making them again.” – Anonymous

“Military foolishness is ultimately suicidal. They believe that by risking death they pay the price of any violent behavior against enemies of their own choosing. They have the invader mentality, that false sense of freedom from responsibility for your own actions.” – Frank Herbert

“Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” - Bertrand Russell

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." – E.B. White

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir

“All things are connected. We did not weave the web of life. We are but a strand in it. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the people of the earth.” – Chief Seattle

“When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it is too late.” – Frank Herbert, Dune

"No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero," – Frank Herbert, Dune

“I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
"Go not to the elves for advice, for they will say both no and yes" -- J.R.R. Tolkien

"We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are." – Talmud


"Justice too long delayed is justice denied." – Thurgood Marshall
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We can have justice whenever those who have not been injured by injustice are as outraged by it as those who have been." – Solon (594 B.C.)

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral" -- Paulo Freire.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." – Martin Luther King, Jr.


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
"To hold a philosophy of nonviolence in a time of crisis depends to a large extent on an inner discipline,

and one may think he has it when he has not." – Bayard Rustin


"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers...." – Bayard Rustin

"Progress happens one funeral at a time." – Anonymous

“Everybody loves progress but nobody likes change.” – Anonymous

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” – Mark Twain

“All we can hope for is that the next generation will be a little less sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic than the last.” – Anonymous

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win.” – Gandhi

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

“A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to." – Granville Hicks

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” – Mark Twain

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” – Mark Twain


"Hatred tries to cure disunion by annihilating those who are not united with us. It seeks peace by the elimination of everybody else

but ourselves. But love, by its acceptance of the pain of reunion, begins to heal all wounds." –Thomas Merton


"In Republics, the great danger is that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority." – James Madison
"The bigot is like the pupil of an eye; the more light you shed on it, the more it contracts." – Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
"History is a race between education and catastrophe." – H. G. Wells
"Nothing human can be alien to me." – Terence (Roman playwright)
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." – Thomas Jefferson
"We must ever be on guard lest we erect our prejudices into legal principles." – Louis Brandeis
"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." – Anatole France
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead
"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important  whether I am afraid." – Audre Lorde
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall." – Cicero

"We can have justice whenever those who have not been injured by injustice are as outraged by it as those who have been." – Solon (594 B.C.)

"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion.  Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler

whom they consider God fearing and pious.” – Aristotle


"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." – Bertrand de Jouvenal
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.

Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." – Albert Einstein

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." – Blaise Pascal
"First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for

me, and there was no one left to speak out for me." – Pastor Martin Niemoller

“Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more.” – Oscar Wilde

“All men desire peace, but few indeed desire those things which make for peace.” – Thomas A Kempis

“Making peace, I have found, is much harder than making war.” – Gerry Adams

"The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." – Aristotle
"It is not the differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." – Audre Lorde
"Be kind, for everybody you meet is fighting a difficult battle." – Philo
"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise, and thinking that having problems is a problem." – Theodore Rubin.
"Doubt is an unpleasant condition, but certainty is absurd." – Voltaire
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." – George Bernard Shaw
"We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism.  We know that the only way to avoid

error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire." – J. Robert Oppenheimer


"If you never encounter anything in your community that offends you, then you are not living in a free society." – Kim Campbell
"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." – Ambrose Bierce
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." – Albert Einstein

“A gestalt cannot be separated into its component parts without losing its identity.” – Lloyd Lee, Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an old one.” – Albert Einstein

”Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." – Edward Abbey


"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I assure you that mine are greater." – Albert Einstein
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." – Albert Einstein
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" – Albert Einstein

"42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot." – Unknown


"All generalizations are false, including this one." – Mark Twain
"To understand recursion, you first have to understand recursion." – Unknown
"Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." – Unknown
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.  I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong."

– Richard Feynman


“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. " – Albert Einstein

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next.” – Ursula K. LeGuin

“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don't let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.” – R. I. Fitzhenry

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” – Erich Fromm

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” – John Allen Paulos

“Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.” – Bertrand Russell

“Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart, for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” – James Baldwin

“Unthinking faith is a curious offering to be made to the creator of the human mind.” – John A. Hutchinson

“There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.” – Theodore Rubin

"A little learning is a dangerous thing.  Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." – Alexander Pope
"We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow-men; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes,

and they come back to us as effects." – Herman Melville

"All it takes for the triumph of evil is for good men to stand by and do nothing." – Edmund Burke
"Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs in one." – Hilary Putnam
"Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die." – Unknown
"It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it." – J. Joubert
"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
"Each of us is all the sums he has not counted:  subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that

ended yesterday in Texas." – Thomas Wolfe


"As soon as we abandon our own reason, and are content to rely upon authority, there is no end to our troubles." – Bertrand Russell
"The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.  There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why." – Albert Einstein
“To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a postmortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of. – Ronald Fisher at the Indian Statistical Congress, Sankhya, ca 1938

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence."

- Erma Bombeck

"If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment." – Ernest Rutherford

“I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow is not looking too good either.” – Dilbert

“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.” – Henri Poincare

“All models are false, but some models are useful.” – George Box

University of South Carolina, Department of Statistics         American Statistical Association        Institute of Mathematical Statistics


And on a lighter note:  Recreational Mathematics


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