Really, I have no gifts — no gifts at all — except perhaps a certain knowledge of human nature. People, I find, are apt to be far too trustful. I’m afraid that I have a tendency always to believe the worst. Not a nice trait, but so often justified by subsequent events.
Notes from the Golden Orange
EppsNet Archive: Quotations
Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. — Jack Kerouac
The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.
Optima dies . . . prima fugit — Virgil
I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: “Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it. — Voltaire
The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic. — H. L. Mencken
The usual purpose of ‘why’ is to elicit information. One wants to be comforted with some explanation which one can accept and be satisfied with. The lateral use of why is quite opposite. The intention is to create discomfort with any explanation. By refusing to be comforted with an explanation one tries to look at things in a different way and so increases the possibility of restructuring a pattern.
General agreement about an assumption is no guarantee that it is correct. It is historical continuity that maintains most assumptions – not a repeated assessment of their validity.
The arguments for regulation of the market for goods and the regulation of the market for ideas are essentially the same, except that they’re perhaps stronger in the area of ideas if you assume consumer ignorance. It’s easier for people to discover that they have a bad can of peaches than it is for them to discover that they have a bad idea.
I often say, “Well, it’s just over on the other side of that canyon. So all we have to do is go.” It is always surprising to me that other people would expect me to tell them how we’re going to get there directly. That it is not enough to say, “Well, it would be important to get there and there is probably a way. Let’s go.”
From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.
Almost all of the projects of social reformers of these days are really liberticide.
The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. — Aristotle
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. — Friedrich Nietzsche
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. — Albert Camus
There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. — Plato
I’d have a lot more respect for the president if he just came out and said, “As Otter so cogently observed in Animal House, ‘You fucked up … You trusted us!’”
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion . . .”