November 25

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. ~ Tecumseh
Only by not forgetting the past can we be the master of the future. ~ Ba Jin (born 25 November 1904)
If we have learned anything at all in this century, it is that all new technologies will be put to use, sooner or later, for better or worse, as it is in our nature to do. ~ Lewis Thomas (born November 25, 1913)
Loving truth and living honestly is my attitude to life. Be true to yourself and be true to others, thus you can be the judge of your behavior. ~ Ba Jin (date of birth)
Statistically the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you would think the mere fact of existence would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise. We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics, infinitely outnumbered by all the alternates who might, except for luck, be in our places. ~ Lewis Thomas
Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come. ~ Upton Sinclair (date of death)
The battle to save life is still going on. … This battle to save life will eventually be won. … Blind faith in established experience has been shattered, outmoded regulations have been smashed. ~ Ba Jin
Man is an evasive beast, given to cultivating strange notions about himself. He is humiliated by his simian ancestry, and tries to deny his animal nature, to persuade himself that he is not limited by its weaknesses nor concerned in its fate. ~ Upton Sinclair (date of death)
You have your thoughts and I have mine. This is the fact and you can't change it even if you kill me.
~ Ba Jin ~
All human history is the struggle between systems that attempt to shackle the human personality in the name of some intangible good on the one hand and systems that enable and expand the scope of human personality in the pursuit of extremely tangible aims. The American system is the most successful in the world because it harmonizes best with the aims and longings of human personality while allowing the best protection to other personalities.
~ Ben Stein ~

Believing in the one thing
That has gotten us this far —

That's what love is for
To help us through it
That's what love is for
Nothing else can do it
Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that's what love is for.

~ Amy Grant ~
In the past several years, my hard work, my books which I wrote through blood and tears, and the purpose of my life all has been focused on: helping everyone to have a spring, so that everyone's heart will be bright, everyone will have a happy life, and everyone will have the freedom to develop in any way they want. I aroused people to have thirst for, thirst for brightness; I put a cause in front of people, a cause which is worthy of people's devotion.
~ Ba Jin ~
The future is too interesting and dangerous to be entrusted to any predictable, reliable agency. We need all the fallibility we can get. Most of all, we need to preserve the absolute unpredictability and total improbability of our connected minds. That way we can keep open all the options, as we have in the past.
~ Lewis Thomas ~
Maybe altruism is our most primitive attribute out of reach, beyond our control. Or perhaps it is immediately at hand, waiting to be released, disguised now, in our kind of civilization as affection or friendship or attachment. I can’t see why it should be unreasonable for all human beings to have strands of DNA coiled up in chromosomes, coding out instincts for usefulness and helpfulness. Usefulness may turn out to be the hardest test of fitness for survival, more important than aggression, more effective, in the long run, than grabbiness.
~ Lewis Thomas ~
I must mend the ways of my mind. This is a very big place, and I do not know how it works. I am a member of a fragile species, still new to the earth, the youngest creatures of any scale, here only a few moments as evolutionary time is measured, a juvenile species, a child of a species. We are only tentatively set in place, error prone, at risk of fumbling, in real danger at the moment of leaving behind only a thin layer of of our fossils, radioactive at that.
~ Lewis Thomas ~
We think we have got freedom of the press. When one millionaire has ten newspapers and ten million people have no newspapers — that is not freedom of the press.
~ Anastas Mikoyan ~
It is not a simple life to be a single cell, although I have no right to say so, having been a single cell so long ago myself that I have no memory at all of that stage in my life.
~ Lewis Thomas ~
I am grateful for what I am & have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite — only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next 1000 years, & exhaust it. How sweet to think of! My extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it — for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.
~ Henry David Thoreau ~
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Not a single leaf moves in this country if I'm not the one moving it. I want that to be clear! ~ Augusto Pinochet (born November 25)

  • 3 because taking responsibility is admirable. Zarbon 06:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1
    Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC) because pompous hubris is not admirable at all
  • 1 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not someone who usually sends out threats. I warn only once. ~ Augusto Pinochet (born November 25)

  • 3 because actions speak louder than words. Zarbon 06:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't remember, but it's not true. It's not true, and If it were true, I don't remember. ~ Augusto Pinochet (born November 25)

  • 3 because this answers questions before they are asked. Magnificent answer guideline. Zarbon 06:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
    • [SOURCE: Las frases para el bronce de Pinochet]
  • 1 Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Good political leadership for me involves getting the big decisions right — however difficult, however controversial, however potentially divisive and then being able to take people with you. And that requires something else as well — being wise enough to know when it's time to listen. ~ Charles Kennedy

  • 2 Zarbon 23:59, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

The relationship of a people to their homeland is crucial. A people will naturally have a difficult time maintaining a common cultural identity without a collective presence in their homeland. Only in its homeland can a people develop economically, culturally and socially as a homogeneous entity. In fact, this is the crux of why some of us consider it necessary to struggle to live in our homeland. ~ Monte Melkonian

  • 3 Zarbon 03:17, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

While many of us feel a strong emotional attachment to our homeland, we should not allow emotions to deter us from speaking of things the way they really are. ~ Monte Melkonian

  • 3 Zarbon 03:17, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 13:13, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 20:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:19, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

If it could save a person’s life, could you find a way to save ten seconds off the boot time? If there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year. ~ Steve Jobs

Moved here from a direct edit of the qotd bystander (talk) 00:06, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

The great secret, known to internists and learned early in marriage by internist’s wives, but still hidden from the general public, is that most things get better by themselves. Most things, in fact, are better by morning. Obviously, it is a great time-saver and money-saver for the physician’s family that anxiety about disease is not handled as though it were the disease itself; there is perhaps greater willingness to accept anxiety as a natural, often transient, phenomenon. And certainly there is much less ambition to deploy the full technology of medicine as a corrective for the human condition.
~ Lewis Thomas ~

The need to make music, and to listen to it, is universally expressed by human beings. I cannot imagine, even in our most primitive times, the emergence of talented painters to make cave paintings without there having been, near at hand, equally creative people making song. It is, like speech, a dominant aspect of human biology.
~ Lewis Thomas ~