October 23

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. ~ Maya Angelou
Reality is always greater — much greater — than what we know, than whatever we can say about it. ~ Michael Crichton (born 23 October 1942)
I am certain there is too much certainty in the world. ~ Michael Crichton
Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
Once the curtain is raised, the actor ceases to belong to himself. He belongs to his character, to his author, to his public. He must do the impossible to identify himself with the first, not to betray the second, and not to disappoint the third. And to this end the actor must forget his personality and throw aside his joys and sorrows. He must present the public with the reality of a being who for him is only a fiction. With his own eyes, he must shed the tears of the other. With his own voice, he must groan the anguish of the other. His own heart beats as if it would burst, for it is the other's heart that beats in his heart. And when he retires from a tragic or dramatic scene, if he has properly rendered his character, he must be panting and exhausted. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
The best doctors found a middle position where they were neither overwhelmed by their feelings nor estranged from them. That was the most difficult position of all, and the precise balance — neither too detached nor too caring — was something few learned. ~ Michael Crichton
Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
In the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better.
~ Michael Crichton ~
Nothing is more curious than the almost savage hostility that Humour excites in those who lack it.
~ George Saintsbury ~
It is always darkest before the dawn.
~ Anonymous ~
We shall not busy ourselves with what men ought to have admired, what they ought to have written, what they ought to have thought, but with what they did think, write, admire.
~ George Saintsbury ~
If we are to be a great democracy, we must all take an active role in our democracy. We must do democracy. That goes far beyond simply casting your vote. We must all actively champion the causes that ensure the common good.
~ Martin Luther King III ~
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
~ Michael Crichton ~
The purpose of the I Ching or the tarot … is to help you get access to yourself, by providing ambiguity for you to interpret. And this quality of ambiguity is shared with nearly all forms of divination — cast artifacts, or entrails, or weather formations, or events such as the flight of birds, that one could choose either to see as "omens" or to ignore.
The very thing that makes these divination techniques seem so unscientific is what makes it possible for them to work.
~ Michael Crichton ~
~ Travels ~
Science is a kind of glorified tailoring enterprise, a method for taking measurements that describe something — reality — that may not be understood at all.
~ Michael Crichton ~
~ Travels ~
The conjuror or con man is a very good provider of information. He supplies lots of data, by inference or direct statement, but it's false data. Scientists aren't used to that scenario. An electron or a galaxy is not capricious, nor deceptive; but a human can be either or both.
~ James Randi ~
  • proposed by Kalki, in regard of his recent death.
I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely emerges in another form. Even if you don't believe in God, you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
~ Michael Crichton ~
We are all assumed, these days, to reside at one extreme of the opinion spectrum, or another. We are pro-abortion or anti-abortion. We are free traders or protectionist. We are pro-private sector or pro-big government. We are feminists or chauvinists. But in the real world, few of us hold these extreme views. There is instead a spectrum of opinion.
The extreme positions of the Crossfire Syndrome require extreme simplification — framing the debate in terms that ignore the real issues.
~ Michael Crichton ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

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1 : Acceptable – but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable – not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.
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Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's commander. ~ Dutch Schultz, shot that day

Strictly speaking, no hypothesis or theory can ever be proven. When we say that we believe a theory, what we really mean is that we are unable to show that the theory is wrong — not that we are able to show, beyond doubt, that the theory is right. ~ Michael Crichton Gerhard Robbins

  • 1 Kalki 20:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC) 3 Kalki 23:36, 22 October 2005 (UTC) downgraded rank, as this is not actually Crichton's, and therefore not strongly linked to the date
  • 2 InvisibleSun 17:36, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 if linked to the correct person and date Zarbon 05:29, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
  • The above quote is actually attributable to the physicist Gerhard Robbins. Michael Crichton does use it (in the appendix to his book Eaters of the Dead...but he has correctly acknowledged it) ~ SusanPitt (Talk)
  • 2 //Gbern3 (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

For beauty being the best of all we know
Sums up the unsearchable and secret aims
Of nature.
~ Robert Bridges (born 23 October 1844)

Ah, my faith! I know nothing about it; I am my own ancestor. ~ Jean-Andoche Junot

The world would not have had a Barack Obama or a Hillary Clinton if it had not been for my father's movement 40 years ago. To elect Senator Obama would be aproportion of that dream fulfilled. I believe we can do that if we elect the right leader. ~ Martin Luther King III

  • 2 Zarbon 03:41, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 05:33, 18 October 2009 (UTC) 0 Kalki 20:17, 16 October 2008 (UTC) I might normally rank this 2 or 3, but it is far too explicitly partisan a statement to be a Wikiquote QOTD at this stage of a major US election.
  • 1 InvisibleSun 22:11, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 //Gbern3 (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

The beautiful are shyer than the ugly, for they move in a world that does not ask for beauty. ~ Ned Rorem

  • 3 Zarbon 03:41, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 20:17, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 because it is unsourced. - InvisibleSun 22:11, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Comment: The quote is not unsourced. The source is stated right under. - Zarbon 02:04, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 //Gbern3 (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

There'll never be a soccer player like Pelé. Better than Pelé, maybe, but not like Pelé. ~ Pelé

  • 2 Zarbon 03:41, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 20:17, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 because it is unsourced. InvisibleSun 22:11, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 //Gbern3 (talk) 19:04, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I cannot walk a single step or make any movement or gesture, sit down, go out, look at the sky or ground, without feeling some reason for hope or despair, until at last, exasperated by the trammels put upon my actions by my thought, I defy all superstitions and just act as I want to act. ~ Sarah Bernhardt

Sometimes I think man needs to feel a special position within nature, and this leads him to believe that he is either specially hated by other animals or specially cherished. Instead of the truth, which is that he's just another animal on the plain. A smart one, but just another animal. ~ Michael Crichton

The extreme positions of the Crossfire Syndrome require extreme simplification — framing the debate in terms which ignore the real issues. ~ Michael Crichton

I want to mention in passing that punditry has undergone a subtle change over the years. In the old days, commentators such as Eric Sevareid spent most of their time putting events in a context, giving a point of view about what had already happened. Telling what they thought was important or irrelevant in the events that had already taken place. This is of course a legitimate function of expertise in every area of human knowledge.
But over the years the punditic thrust has shifted away from discussing what has happened, to discussing what may happen. And here the pundits have no benefit of expertise at all. Worse, they may, like the Sunday politicians, attempt to advance one or another agenda by predicting its imminent arrival or demise. This is politicking, not predicting. ~ Michael Crichton

Science is nothing more than a method of inquiry. The method says an assertion is valid — and merits universal acceptance — only if it can be independently verified. The impersonal rigor of the method means it is utterly apolitical. A truth in science is verifiable whether you are black or white, male or female, old or young. It's verifiable whether you like the results of a study, or you don't. ~ Michael Crichton

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period. ~ Michael Crichton

To give up responsibility for our lives is not healthy. ~ Michael Crichton

The doctor is not a miracle worker who can magically save us but, rather, an expert adviser who can assist us in our own recovery. ~ Michael Crichton

Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge.
~ Michael Crichton ~

The romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.
~ Michael Crichton ~

Historians may lie, but History cannot.
~ George Saintsbury ~

Majorities are generally wrong, if only in their reasons for being right.
~ George Saintsbury ~

The Book of History is the Bible of Irony.
~ George Saintsbury ~