Steven F. Freeman

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Organized by Dewey Decimal System category

page last modified: 03/18/2018 09:16 PM

Who doesn't like a good quotation? Quotations can be vacuously misused (e.g., the systematic use at the beginning of every chapter of every book) as a substitute for exposition and under­standing, but used appropriately (and sparingly), they can effectively communicate, illuminate and inspire.

Not a meal, but an appetizer -- a few bon mots that suggest an entirely new way of understanding.

This list is organized hierarchically using the Dewey decimal system. It's not ideal (not for books either), but it's the best I've found.

Knowledge 001

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. ~John Wooden

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there. ~Richard Feynman, Letter to Armando Garcia J, December 1985

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool. ~Richard Feynman, Caltech commencement address, 1974

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers/ You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. ~Naquib Mahfouz

Number & quantity 119

There are 1011 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astro­nomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers. ~Richard Feynman

Sexes 136

Men are stupid and women are crazy. And the reason women are so crazy is because men are so stupid. ~George Carlin

Psychology 150

The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance, 1841

Attention and Distraction
There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them! ~Richard Feynman

Old habits die hard - if you don't kick them, they kick you. ~Don Westlake (nom de plume, Richard Stark) The Hunter. Recited by the narrator in Payback (1999) after watching his wife stumble home in a drugged state

Nobody likes a monkey on his back: I had three, and they were cramping my style. I was gonna have to lighten the load…~Don Westlake The Hunter and Payback


You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. ~Navajo Proverb

If we possess our why of life, we can put up with almost any how ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (1895) trans. by R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1968, p. 23 (Maxim& Arrow #12)

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost every­thing — all external expecta­tions, all pride, all fear of embarrass­ment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. ~Steve Jobs

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complain­ing that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. ~George Bernard Shaw

What does not kill me, makes me stronger. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (1895) (1895) trans. by R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin Books, Baltimore, 1968, p. 23 (Maxim& Arrow #8)

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

Mental processes 153


I'll play it first and tell you what it is later. ~Miles Davis


When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking. ~John Wooden

Action is consolatory. It is the enemy of thought and the friend of flattering illusions. ~Joseph Conrad, Nostromo p. 66 (q.v., The Review of English Studies 1997 XLVIII(190):211-217; doi:10.1093/res/XLVIII.190.211 Oxford U. Press)

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~Albert Einstein

Creativity 154

Curiosity is the key to creativity.~ Akio Morita, Made in Japan (1986)

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.~ Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. ~Rita Mae Brown

Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.

Taste is the enemy of creativeness

The chief enemy of creativity is good sense. ~Pablo Picasso

Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that's easy. What's hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. ~Charles Mingus, jazz bassist, composer

Another word for creativity is courage ~George Prince, founder of Synectics, The Practice of Creativity,1970

Developmental psychology 155

Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

Applied Psychology 158

Risk taking
To be completely safe is to be completely dead. ~Camus

If you risk nothing, then you risk everything. ~Geena Davis

One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure. ~John W. Gardener

In flying I have learned that careless­ness and over­confidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks. ~ Wilbur Wright, letter to his father, Sept 1900

It is not because things are dangerous that we do not dare. It is because we do dare not that things are dangerous. ~Seneca

Logic 160

See Yogi Berra


Religion 200

In the bullshit department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. … When it comes to … big-time major-league bullshit, you have to stand in awe … at the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims … Religion has actually con­vinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do ANY of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire, and smoke, and burn­ing, and torture, and anguish, where he will send you to live and burn, and suffer, and choke, and scream, and cry, forever and forever, till the end of time! But he loves you. ~George Carlin, You Are All Diseased: Feb 6, 1999

It enrages me that I, as a clearly superior person, should have less money than my neighbor, whose wife I would love to fuck if I weren't so busy eating pork chops and sleeping all day. ~George Carlin using all seven deadly sins -- anger, pride, greed, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth -- in a single sentence. Bird Droppings p 196

Marriage 306

What do I know about sex? I'm a married man. ~Tom Clancy

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution. ~Mae West

Love is temporary insanity, curable by marriage. ~Ambrose Pierce

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and give her a house. ~Lewis Grizzard

Democracy (324 Republican Institutions)

Election Integrity / Fraud

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting. ~Tom Stoppard, Jumpers

With all the mechanical improvements they have in the way of adding machines, and counting machines, they can't seem to invent anything to take the place of the old Political mode of counting – two for me and one for you. More people have been elected between Sundown and Sunup, than ever were elected between Sunup and Sundown. ~Will Rogers, The Illiterate Digest (1924)

American Democracy

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. ~Emma Goldman

Even in the best of circumstances...

Democracy, too, is a religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses. ~H.L. Mencken

Democracy: The state of affairs in which you consent to having your pocket picked, and elect the best man to do it. ~Benjamin Lichtenberg

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representa­tives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them." ~Karl Marx

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~Winston Churchill

Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor. ~James Russell Lowell

Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract atten­tion from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of cerebra­tion man can normally muster.~ James Harvey Robin­son, The Human Comedy, 1937 (Good idea; clumsy wording)

Education 370

The educated person is not the person who can answer the questions, but the person who can question the answers. ~T. Schick Jr.

Humans have an instinct for creativity and a moral instinct. A good educational system ought to ... allow them to flourish. But of course that ... means that you will encourage challenge of authority and domination. It will encourage questioning of powerful institutions. So schools actually ... filter out independence of thought, creativity, imagination, and in their place foster obedience and subordination. ~Noam Chomsky

Education in America
[E]ducation sucks … because the owners of this country … don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. … they don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they've been getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard … They want obedient workers … who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paper­work, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. ~George Carlin, Life Is Worth Losing HBO special, Nov. 5, 2005

Language 400

See Yogi Berra

Philosophy of Science 501

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self- evident. Thus the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees. ~Arthur Schopenhauer

If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they'll kill you. ~George Bernard Shaw

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.~Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

Peak Performance 613

There are no limits. There are plateaus, and you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. ~Bruce Lee

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

Be quick, but don't hurry. ~John Wooden

Leadership 658

See John Wooden

Dance (793 Indoor amusements)

If you can talk, you can sing / If you can walk, you can dance ~African Proverb

If you don't dance you will grow moldy. ~Yupik Indian Song

Content To Add:

  1. Best of Yogi's in Logic and Language
  2. predictions about technological innovation
  3. Al Swearingen

Rhetoric/Writing 808

It's Easy

Sports columnist Red Smith was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore. …Why, no, dead-panned Red. You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed. [1]


The difference between the almost right word and the right word is ... the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~Mark Twain, Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888


Simplicity is the natural result of profound thought. ~William Hazlitt

If you've nothing to say, say it any way you like. Stylistic innovations, contorted story lines or none, exotic or genderless pronouns, internal inconsistencies, the recipe for preparing your lover as a cannibal banquet: feel free. If what you have to say is important and/or difficult to follow, use the simplest language possible. If the reader doesn't get it then, let it not be your fault. ~Niven's Laws for Writers, #5

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. ~Albert Einstein


Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. ~William Strunk Jr., 1919, The Elements of Style

Brevity is the soul of wit. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603

America 973

When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat. ~George Carlin

Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities. ~Winston Churchill (maybe from The Great Democracies, 1958)



For of all sad words of tongue or pen / The saddest are these: 'It might have been!' ~John Greenleaf Whittier


Don't play what's there, play what's not there. ~Miles Davis


Work, finish, publish. ~Michael Faraday (the scientist's advice when asked him the secret of success. John Hall Gladstone, Michael Faraday (1874: 123)

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

If you are going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Multiple sources, including article title by Paul S. Keim in the journal Science (2007)

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassemb­ling were dis­assembled by you. There­fore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer. ~IBM maintenance manual, 1925

Kindness in thought leads to wisdom / Kindness in speech leads to eloquence / Kindness in action leads to love. ~Lao-Tsu

“When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him.... In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.” ~Karl A. Menninger

Peace is not the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

no category yet

I dream, therefore I become. ~Cheryl Renée Grossman


Sources and other Sites for quotations:

Quotationspage (has original source info) | refspacethinkexist | Ken Manheimer's Myriad City

To fix on this page:

  1. I like Verdana for headlines, consider as change to site in general
  2. color, font for <h3>?, (blue Verdana as per Precision?). Consider as change to site in general.
  3. Change color, font for <h4>? (green Verdana?). Consider as change to site in general.
  4. too tight line spacing on H1?
  5. Create css style for Denial format, 11px
  6. Use "Denial" format more widely
    • right align short quotes (add padding to right in left and center columns)
    • negative bottom margins on header.
    • PROBLEM: Too much space when used after header. Perhaps a change to H3 and H4 for the page, or even the whole site.
  7. consistency in citations
  8. separate poetry format
  9. background or pics?
  10. can we use "hanging indent" format for these numbered notes, and numbered notes in general?
Formatting Questions
  1. why doesn't vertical align in label header work?
  2. why do i need all the extra lines at the end of this column?
  1. Consider (Roget's) Thesaurus as alternate organizing system.
  2. Find numbers for unnumbered topics and insert numerically.
  3. named sections with links including links from course pages
  4. separate section for those with many quotes
  5. Label more specifically and include DD category in parentheses, as per Dance (793 Indoor amusements)
  1. Add in tabs by topic?
  2. include comments/add option?
  3. too tight line spacing on H1?
  4. make cite work properly?
  5. Identify inspirational/motivational quotes (and have them circulate at the top)

Anything more to do with this page?

  • publish as book?
  • ads?

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