May 7

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

2004
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. ~ Emily Dickinson
2005
Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities. ~ David Hume (born 7 May 1711 (26 April O.S.)
2006
The meaning of the living words that come out of the experiences of great hearts can never be exhausted by any one system of logical interpretation. They have to be endlessly explained by the commentaries of individual lives, and they gain an added mystery in each new revelation. ~ Rabindranath Tagore (born 7 May 1861)
2007
Nothing appears more surprising to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. When we enquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. It is therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. ~ David Hume
2008
If nature has been frugal in her gifts and endowments, there is the more need of art to supply her defects. If she has been generous and liberal, know that she still expects industry and application on our part, and revenges herself in proportion to our negligent ingratitude. The richest genius, like the most fertile soil, when uncultivated, shoots up into the rankest weeds; and instead of vines and olives for the pleasure and use of man, produces, to its slothful owner, the most abundant crop of poisons. ~ David Hume
2009
The very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength. ~ Edwin H. Land (born 7 May 1909 )
2010
Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand
With a grip that kills it. ~ Rabindranath Tagore (born May 7)
2011
You cannot rely upon what you have been taught. All you have learned from history is old ways of making mistakes. There is nothing that history can tell you about what we must do tomorrow. Only what we must not do. ~ Edwin H. Land
2012
The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert
2013
We live in a world changing so rapidly that what we mean frequently by common sense is doing the thing that would have been right last year.
~ Edwin H. Land ~
2014
All the great utterances of man have to be judged not by the letter but by the spirit — the spirit which unfolds itself with the growth of life in history.
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~
2015 
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:


Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


Suggestions[edit]

The more exquisite any good is, of which a small specimen is afforded us, the sharper is the evil, allied to it; and few exceptions are found to this uniform law of nature. The most sprightly wit borders on madness; the highest effusions of joy produce the deepest melancholy; the most ravishing pleasures are attended with the most cruel lassitude and disgust; the most flattering hopes make way for the severest disappointments. ~ David Hume (born April 26, 1711)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki (talk · contributions) 09:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC) * 3 Kalki 17:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 3
  • 3 Aphaia 19:15, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 but this can be trimmed down to the last sentence starting from "the most flattering hopes make way for the severest disappointments." Zarbon 05:05, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Arjen Dijksman 20:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hear the verbal protestations of all men: Nothing so certain as their religious tenets. Examine their lives: You will scarcely think that they repose the smallest confidence in them. ~ David Hume


Honour is a great check upon mankind: But where a considerable body of men act together, this check is, in a great measure, removed; since a man is sure to be approved of by his own party, for what promotes the common interest; and he soon learns to despise the clamours of adversaries. ~ David Hume

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:43, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 17:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 Aphaia 19:15, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 05:05, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Arjen Dijksman 20:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Your idol is shattered in the dust to prove that God's dust is greater than your idol. ~ Rabindranath Tagore (born May 7)

  • 3 because people who believe that some people are immortal in their physical essence are proven wrong when the end of their life comes just as any other person. And truly, ashes to ashes, dust to dust becomes a descriptive outlook. Zarbon 04:28, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 00:21, 6 May 2008 (UTC) with a lean toward 4 (though with little regard for Zarbon's assessment of its significance)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:21, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Arjen Dijksman 20:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play, and here have I caught sight of him that is formless. ~ Rabindranath Tagore


An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. Scientists made a great invention by calling their activities hypotheses and experiments. They made it permissible to fail repeatedly until in the end they got the results they wanted. In politics or government, if you made a hypothesis and it didn't work out, you had your head cut off. ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 preferred for Edwin Land's centennial 2009 Arjen Dijksman 20:49, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 01:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) I like this, but I prefer some other quotes by Land, and others — with a lean toward 3 or perhaps eventually a 4.

Eyes raised toward heaven are always beautiful, whatever they be. ~ Joseph Joubert


We comprehend the earth only when we have known heaven. Without the spiritual world the material world is a disheartening enigma. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 01:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.

A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.

A work is perfectly finished only when nothing can be added to it and nothing taken away. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.

All are born to observe order, but few are born to establish it. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 and strong lean toward 4. Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

All beings come from little, and little is needed for them to come to nothing. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 and strong lean toward 4. Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Children have more need of models than of critics. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.

Drawing is speaking to the eye; talking is painting to the ear. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.

Genius is the ability to see things invisible, to manipulate things intangible, to paint things that have no features. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

He who has not the weakness of friendship has not the strength. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

It is better to debate a question without deciding it than to decide it without debate. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

Misery is almost always the result of thinking. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 and strong lean toward 4. Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) but usually of thinking too much of little and too little of much.

Perhaps, for worldly success, we need virtues that make us loved and faults that make us feared. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

The direction of the mind is more important than its progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a slight lean toward 4.

The mind conceives with pain, but it brings forth with delight. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

The talkative man speaks from his mouth, the eloquent man speaks from his heart. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.

There is a physical weakness which stems from mental ability, and a mental weakness which comes from physical ability. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 2 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.

You arrive at truth through poetry; I arrive at poetry through truth. ~ Joseph Joubert

  • 3 Zarbon 00:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.

Over the years, I have learned that every significant invention has several characteristics. By definition it must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention. ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

One of the best ways to keep a great secret is to shout it. ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

If you sense a deep human need, then you go back to all the basic science. If there is some missing, then you try to do more basic science and applied science until you get it. So you make the system to fulfill that need, rather than starting the other way around, where you have something and wonder what to do with it. ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

One of my jests is to say that we work empirically — we use bull's eye empiricism. We try everything, but we try the right thing first! ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a slight lean toward 4, but would now extend this for context to read:
There's a tremendous popular fallacy which holds that significant research can be carried out by trying things. Actually it is easy to show that in general no significant problem can be solved empirically, except for accidents so rare as to be statistically unimportant. One of my jests is to say that we work empirically — we use bull's eye empiricism. We try everything, but we try the right thing first! ~ Edwin H. Land

My motto is very personal and may not fit anyone else or any other company. It is: Don't do anything that someone else can do. Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. ~ Edwin H. Land

  • 3 Kalki 12:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4, in this form OR trimmed to just the motto itself, which is all which is normally quoted. I prefer to retain the qualifying expressions prior to it.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

There's a rule they don't teach you at the Harvard Business School. It is, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing to excess. ~ Edwin H. Land


Adolescents are simply those people who haven't as yet chosen between childhood and adulthood. For as long as anyone tries to hold on to the advantages of childhood — the freedom from responsibility, principally — while seeking to lay claim to the best parts of adulthood, such as independence, he is an adolescent. [...] Eventually most people choose to be adults, or are forced into it. A very few retreat into childhood and never leave it again. A large number remain adolescents for life. ~ Gene Wolfe (born 1931-05-07)


If you shed tears when you miss the sun, you also miss the stars. ~ Rabindranath Tagore