Wikiquote:Quote of the day/November 2017

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Today is Wednesday, September 19, 2018; it is now 16:59 (UTC)

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November 1
Saint Francis Statue.jpg  
They say that the world rests on the backs of 36 living saints — 36 unselfish men and women. Because of them the world continues to exist. They are the secret kings and queens of this world.
~ Neil Gaiman ~
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~ The Sandman ~
 

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November 2
Brocken-tanzawa2.JPG  
The general laws of Nature are not, for the most part, immediate objects of perception. They are either inductive inferences from a large body of facts, the common truth in which they express, or, in their origin at least, physical hypotheses of a causal nature serving to explain phenomena with undeviating precision, and to enable us to predict new combinations of them. They are in all cases, and in the strictest sense of the term, probable conclusions, approaching, indeed, ever and ever nearer to certainty, as they receive more and more of the confirmation of experience. But of the character of probability, in the strict and proper sense of that term, they are never wholly divested. On the other hand, the knowledge of the laws of the mind does not require as its basis any extensive collection of observations. The general truth is seen in the particular instance, and it is not confirmed by the repetition of instances.
~ George Boole ~
 

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November 3
Kampf der untergehenden Götter by F. W. Heine.jpg  
At Ragnarok the world as we know it will be destroyed. But that is not the end. After a long time, a time of healing, a new universe will be created, one better and cleaner and free from the evils of this world. It too will last for countless millennia... until again the forces of evil and cold contend against the forces of goodness and light... and again there is a time of rest, followed by a new creation and another chance for men. Nothing is ever finished, nothing is ever perfect, but over and over again the race of men gets another chance to do better than last time, ever and again without end.
~ Robert A. Heinlein ~
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~ Job: A Comedy of Justice ~
 

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November 4
Will Rogers 1922.jpg  
If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.
~ Will Rogers ~
 

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November 5
J27 black bloc at US Capitol with black banner.jpg  
If the average man had had his way there would probably never have been any state. Even today he resents it, classes death with taxes, and yearns for that government which governs least. If he asks for many laws it is only because he is sure that his neighbor needs them; privately he is an unphilosophical anarchist, and thinks laws in his own case superfluous. In the simplest societies there is hardly any government.
~ Will Durant ~
 

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November 6
Krupp Factory WWI.jpg  
Where words prevail not, violence prevails;
But gold doth more than either of them both.
~ Thomas Kyd ~
 

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November 7
A spectacular view over the Atacama.jpg  
All the final answers were given in the beginning. They stand shining, above and beyond us, but they are always there to be seen. They may be too bright for us, they may be too clear for us. Well then, we must clarify our own eyes. Our task is to grow out until we reach them.
~ R. A. Lafferty ~
 

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November 8
Double-alaskan-rainbow.jpg  
The fulness of joy is to behold God in all: for by the same blessed Might, Wisdom, and Love, that He made all-thing, to the same end our good Lord leadeth it continually, and thereto Himself shall bring it; and when it is time we shall see it.
~ Julian of Norwich ~
 

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November 9
Robot Arm Over Earth with Sunburst - GPN-2000-001097.jpg  
We on Earth have just awakened to the great oceans of space and time from which we have emerged. We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution. We have a choice: We can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us, or we can squander our 15 billion-year heritage in meaningless self-destruction. What happens in the first second of the next cosmic year depends on what we do, here and now, with our intelligence and our knowledge of the cosmos.
~ Carl Sagan ~
 

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November 10
 
I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists. … I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawnmower.
~ Mikhail Kalashnikov ~
  AK-47 type II.png

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November 11
 
It's life that matters, nothing but life — the process of discovering, the everlasting and perpetual process, not the discovery itself, at all. But what's the use of talking! I suspect that all I'm saying now is so like the usual commonplaces that I shall certainly be taken for a lower-form schoolboy sending in his essay on "sunrise", or they'll say perhaps that I had something to say, but that I did not know how to "explain" it. But I'll add, that there is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one's idea for thirty-five years; there's something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky ~
  Dream (15247629165).jpg

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November 12
 
In the construction of a country, it is not the practical workers but the idealists and planners that are difficult to find.
~ Sun Yat-sen ~
 

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November 13
William Shenstone by Edward Alcock.jpg  
Some men are called sagacious, merely on account of their avarice: whereas a child can clench its fist the moment it is born.
~ William Shenstone ~
 

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November 14
PJ O'Rourke 1.jpg  
Killing innocent people by surprise is not called "a thousand points of light." But, as frightening as terrorism is, it's the weapon of losers. The minute somebody sets off a suicide bomb, you can be sure that person doesn't have "career prospects." And no matter how horrendous a terrorist attack is, it's still conducted by losers.
~ P. J. O'Rourke ~
 

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November 15
This terrified baby was almost the only human being left alive in Shanghai's South Station after brutal Japanese bombing HD-SN-99-02790.jpg  
In wartime Shanghai I saw so many horrors … Civilised life is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is, we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.
~ J. G. Ballard ~
 

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November 16
Palais des Nations unies, à Genève.jpg  
One persistent strand in utopian thinking, as we have often mentioned, is the feeling that there is some set of principles obvious enough to be accepted by all men of good will, precise enough to give unambiguous guidance in particular situations, clear enough so that all will realize its dictates, and complete enough to cover all problems which actually arise. Since I do not assume that there are such principles, I do not presume that the political realm will whither away. The messiness of the details of a political apparatus and the details of how it is to be controlled and limited do not fit easily into one's hopes for a sleek, simple utopian scheme.
~ Robert Nozick ~
 

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November 17
1896 Alfred-Pierre Agache - The Sword.jpg  
Note the difference between a right and a privilege. A right, in the abstract, is a fact; it is not a thing to be given, established, or conferred; it is. Of the exercise of a right power may deprive me; of the right itself, never. Privilege, in the abstract, does not exist; there is no such thing. Rights recognized, privilege is destroyed.
But, in the practical, the moment you admit a supreme authority, you have denied rights. Practically the supremacy has all the rights, and no matter what the human race possesses, it does so merely at the caprice of that authority.
~ Voltairine de Cleyre ~
 

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November 18
 
There were a lot of utopias in the nineteenth century, wonderful societies that we might possibly construct. Those went pretty much out of fashion after World War I. And almost immediately one of the utopias that people were trying to construct, namely the Soviet Union, threw out a writer called Zamyatin who wrote a seminal book called We, which contains the seeds of Orwell and Huxley. Writers started doing dystopias after we saw the effects of trying to build utopias that required, unfortunately, the elimination of a lot of people before you could get to the perfect point, which never arrived. … I don’t believe in a perfect world. I don’t believe it’s achievable, and I believe the people who try to achieve it usually end up turning it into something like Cambodia or something very similar because purity tests set in. Are you ideologically pure enough to be allowed to live? Well, it turns out that very few people are, so you end up with a big powerful struggle and a mass killing scene.
~ Margaret Atwood ~
  George Orwell, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood Warned Us (34078351001).jpg

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November 19
Garfield Monument1.JPG  
Sections and races should be forgotten and partisanship should be unknown. Let our people find a new meaning in the divine oracle which declares that "a little child shall lead them", for our own little children will soon control the destinies of the Republic.
~ James A. Garfield ~
 

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November 20
 
Only earthbound man still clings to the dark and poisoning superstition that his world is bounded by the nearest hill, his universe ends at river shore, his common humanity is enclosed in the tight circle of those who share his town or his views and the color of his skin.
It is — It is your job, the task of young people in this world, to strip the last remnants of that ancient, cruel belief from the civilization of man.
~ Robert F. Kennedy ~
  Kennedy discusses school with young Ricky Taggart.jpg

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November 21
 
When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer ~
  Isaac Bashevis Singer (upright).jpg

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November 22
 
I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations. The heart will by and by be still … the eye will cease to entreat; the ear will be deaf; the brain will have ceased from all wants as well as from all work. Then your charitable speeches may find vent; then you may remember and pity the toil and the struggle and the failure; then you may give due honour to the work achieved; then you may find extenuation for errors, and may consent to bury them.
~ George Eliot ~
  George Eliot (1865) by Frederick William Burton.jpg

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November 23
Areopagitica 1644 gobeirne.jpg  
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. 'Tis true, no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse.
~ John Milton ~
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~ Areopagitica ~
 

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November 24
 
The more a government strives to curtail freedom of speech, the more obstinately is it resisted; not indeed by the avaricious … but by those whom good education, sound morality, and virtue have rendered more free. Men in general are so constituted that there is nothing they will endure with so little patience as that views which they believe to be true should be counted crimes against the laws. … Under such circumstances they do not think it disgraceful, but most honorable, to hold the laws in abhorrence, and to refrain from no action against the government.
~ Baruch Spinoza ~
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~ Tractatus Theologico-Politicus ~
  Spinoza.jpg

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November 25
L'origine de l'évolution.jpg  
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 ~
 

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November 26
Eugene Ionesco 01.jpg  
People always try to find base motives behind every good action. We are afraid of pure goodness and of pure evil.
~ Eugène Ionesco ~
 

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November 27
 
It is in silence, denial, evasion and suppression that danger really lies, not in open and free analysis and discussion … everywhere there seems to be a fear of reliance upon that ancient device so gloriously celebrated by John Milton three hundred years ago — the device of unlimited inquiry. Let us put aside resolutely that great fright, tenderly and without malice, daring to be wrong in something important rather than right in some meticulous banality, fearing no evil while the mind is free to search, imagine, and conclude, inviting our countrymen to try other instruments than coercion and suppression in the effort to meet destiny with triumph, genially suspecting that no creed yet calendared in the annals of politics mirrors the doomful possibilities of infinity.
~ Charles A. Beard ~
  Charles Austin Beard.jpg

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November 28
Jerusalem Plate 100.jpg  
Reason, or the ratio of all we have already known, is not the same that it shall be when we know more.
~ William Blake ~
 

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November 29
William Holman Hunt - Christ And The Two Marys.jpg  
The miracles in fact are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
~ C. S. Lewis ~
 

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November 30
Dean Swift - Long Room.jpg  
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
~ Jonathan Swift ~
 

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Today is Wednesday, September 19, 2018; it is now 16:59 (UTC)