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18 Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. Jackson Robert author is former Supreme Court Justice
50 Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals. Paine Thomas Common Sense 36
196 I'm not the greatest pilot in the world, but I've flown with him... and he's not that good. 2010-10-19 AVS
54 It is what you do in your duties, mundane as they may be, day after day that creates the picture that people have of us. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior
163 Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don't even try Grandpa Little Miss Sunshine 2007-01-22
26 You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends. Conrad Joseph Lord Jim
141 Hunger and nakedness and nightmare oppression lying heavy on twenty-five million hearts; this, not the wounded vanities or contradicted philosophies of philosophical advocates, rich shopkeepers, rural noblesse, was the prime mover in the French revolution; as the like will be in all such revolutions, in all countries. Carlyle Thomas Quoted in ubiquity
6 We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm Orwell George
8 His soldiers soon realized that they were not fighting for abstractions such as democracy or against communism; they were fighting because their platoon leaders were leading them to seize objectives ordered by the chain of command. From that time on, Eighth Army became a professional army. Flint Roy K Confontation in Asia: The Korean War Reference is to Matthew Ridgway
169 Being a part of something special doesn't mean that you're something special. Freeland Rob 2007-08-07
76 Total freedom from interference (laissez-faire) - the rule of private power over public goods - is another name for anarchy. Barber Benjamin Democracy and Terror in the Era of Jihad vs. McWorld
172 Thomas Paine said in common sense, 'we have it in our power to begin the world over again.' We Americans had it in our power to start the process of civilization over again on a virgin continent, and this time, to get it right. and if we're going to get it right we have to avoid creating the social, economic, political and cultural conditions which have destroyed other civilizations all over the world. And if we fail, if we squander this thing, and we become just another urban, materialistic, militaristic, profiteering, capitalist sort of nation living for comfort rather than for liberty, then we will have wasted the greatest benefit that any people have ever had. Jenkinson Clay The Thomas Jefferson Hour show 700 2008-02-02
135 One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors Plato
178 A reasonable man adapts himself to his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. Shaw George Bernard 2008-11-18
115 She told me I should keep reading - that books were mirrors, reflective in sometimes unpredictable ways. Lamb Wally I Know This Much is True
75 Democracy responds both to Jihad and McWorld. It responds directly to the resentments and spiritual unease of those for whom the trivialization and homogenization of values is an affront to cultural diversity and spiritual and moral seriousness. However, it also answers the complaints of those mired in poverty and despair as a result of unregulated global markets and of a capitalism run wild because it has been uprooted from the humanizing influences of democratic nation state. Barber Benjamin Democracy and Terror in the Era of Jihad vs. McWorld
91 The analysis of the doctrinal changes cannot be restricted to examining changes to regulations because doctrine that influences nothing beyond the printing press is stillborn. Lupfer Timothy Leavenworth Papers #4
77 A good teacher is someone who sees talents in you that you didn't know you had. Kissinger Henry
59 A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing
161 The new logic of innovation... from the bottom up, from the outside in McEwan Rob Open Source Podcast Gold Corp used open source concepts to mine gold 2006 2006-10-03
173 Technologies will sometimes prove themselves irrelevant or even detrimental. This is all a natural part of experimentation and modernization. It must not become an excuse for an army to collectively whine, 'What if it doesn't work?' For there is a far more fundamental and weighty question we must face. If we are to advance and take hold of the revolution in military affairs, the question we must boldly face is, 'what if it does work?' Leonhard Robert 2008-06-08
200 When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power. Chase Alston State of Fear 580 Quoted in 'State of Fear' by Crichton 2004 2012-07-17
154 Like all religious zealots, they had blessed capacity for blindness, and they were presently convinced that (since the only newspapers they ever read certainly said nothing about it) there were no more of blood-smeared cruelties in court or concentration camp; no restrictions of speech or thought. They believed that they never criticized the Corpo regime not because they were censored, but because "that sort of thing was, like obscenity, such awfully bad form." Lewis Sinclair It Can't Happen Here 306 1935 2006-03-12
193 ...the more we understand, the more there is to be understood. Confronted by this moving target, we are liable to overburden whatever knowledge we have acquired by extending it to areas where it is no longer applicable. Soros George The Crash of 2008 and What it Means 48 2008 2010-01-19
84 Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting out affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. Paine Thomas Common Sense
148 Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow. Guthrie Woody 0
70 The standard of justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that in fact the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War 402
80 You men trained hard and patiently, and your operation against Pearl Harbor was a great success. You must remember, however, that in spite of this important victory, we have only entered upon the first stage of the war and we have only completed one operation. You must guard scrupulously against a smug self satisfaction with this initial success. There are many more battles ahead. I hope that you will continue in the same way to give your best to all coming tasks. Yamamoto Admiral
103 Doubt is not to be feared, it is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential for human beings. If you know that you are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation. Feynman Richard The Uncertainty of Science
181 And you will find that an act of kindness done at the right moment has the power to dispel old grievances quite out of proportion to the act itself. Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War 61 Corinthian speech to Athens -424 2009-02-27
51 I make the sufferers case my own, and I protest that were I driven from my house and home, my property destroyed and my circumstances ruined, that as a man, sensible of injuries, I could never relish the doctrine of reconciliation, or consider myself bound thereby. Paine Thomas Common Sense 36
66 Plato's four stages of perception 1. Knowledge of real things 2. Reasoned understanding 3. Faith and belief 4. Conjecture. As told by Heisenberg
96 A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and scents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead. Elliot George
192 Because financial markets do not tend towards equilibrium they cannot be left to their own devices. Periodic crises bring forth regulatory reforms. Soros George The Crash of 2008 and What it Means 72 2008 2010-01-19
118 It is clear that the next world war, if it does not end in a draw, will give world supremacy to either Russia or the US. In time the supreme rulers, having become soft will grow lazy. Like the Mirovingran Kings, they will allow their powers to be usurped by the less lordly experts and gradually these experts will become the real government of the world. Russel Bertrand The Scientific Outlook
159 ...the supreme accomplishment of a warrior: to perform the commonplace under far-from commonplace conditions. Not only for oneself alone, but to do it as part of a unit, to feel about oneself one's brothers-in-arms, in an instance like this of chaos and disorder, comrades whom one doesn't even know, with whom one has never trained; to feel them filling the spaces alongside him, from spear side and shield side, fore and rear, to behold one's comrades likewise rallying, not in a frenzy of mad possession driven abandon, but with order and self-composure, each man knowing his role and rising to it, drawing strength from him as he draws it from them; the warrior in these moments finds himself lifted as if by the hand of a god. He cannot tell where his being leaves off and that of the comrade beside him begins. In that moment the phalanx forms a unity so dense and all divining that it performs not merely at the level of a machine or engine of war but, surpassing that, to the state of a single organism, a beast of one blood and heart. Pressfield Steven Gates of Fire 2006-03-31
92 I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of great complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. Tolstoy Tolstoy, quoted in James Gleick’s Chaos, Gleick was quoting Joseph Ford, a physics professor at Georgia Tech, p. 38
119 Act your part well, there all honor lies. He who does something at the head of one Regiment, will eclipse him who does nothing at the head of a hundred. Lincoln Abraham
88 It's queer with how out of touch with truth women are. They live in a world of their own, and there had never been anything like it, and never can be. It's too beautiful altogether, and if they were to set it up it would go to pieces before the first sunset. Some confounded fact that we men have been living contentedly with ever since the day of creation would start up and knock the whole thing over. Conrad Joseph Heart of Darkness
68 The cause of America is, in great measure, the cause of all mankind Paine Thomas
164 Life only makes sense when we look at it backwards. It's too bad we have to live it forwards. 13 conversations about one thing 2007-10-02
78 Huntington has warned in the past that it is pointless to expect people who are not at all like us to become significantly more like us; this well-meaning instinct only causes harms. "In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilization clash, Western belief in the universality of Western Culture suffers three problems: it is false, it is immoral, and it is dangerous." Kaplan Robert Looking the World in the Eye
117 A pile of bricks is to a house as a collection of facts is to the truth
137 Wie es eigentlich gewesen (writing history as it essentially was - Ranke - as opposed to a reflection of the past from the present)
139 When it comes to explaining the course of complex chains of events, there can be no simple deterministic laws. Buchanan Mark Ubiquity
191 Society relies on the professional judgment of regulators, and sensible application of the law, to prevent regulatory regimes from becoming oppressive, unresponsive, or absurd. Managing Risks in Civil Aviation, A Review of the FAA's Approach to Safety 2008 2009-08-26 AVS
129 Complexity requires specialization. Overspecialization leads to extinction. Rifkin Jeremy not a direct quote
130 Now the true and lawful goal of the sciences is none other than this: that human life be endowed with new discoveries and powers. Bacon Francis quoted by Rifkin
98 Human beings cannot create everything, and cannot see everything and cannot define everything... Lukacs John The End of an Age
188 The board concludes that emergency conditions of great complexity were thrust upon the crew in an increasingly deleterious environment, and that human capabilities of perception, recognition, analysis and reaction were insufficient in the time and space restrictions of this accident to accomplish restoration of positive performance control. Boyd Alan Civil Aeronautics Board investigation into Lockheed Electra crash 1960 2009-06-15 AVS
174 Like no institution before it, the Royal society was born dedicated to information flow. It exalted communication and condemned secrecy. Gleick James Isaac Newton 73 2003 2008-07-03
7 Given such conditions in such an unpopular war, given such soft youths trained to luxury in a nation only recently gone mad in the pursuit of - not happiness, but possessions, pleasure and prestige - the wonder is that they actually stayed to fight at all. Leckie Robert Conflict, the History of the Korean War
116 Change is constant, but so is identity. The whole truth can only be achieved by taking both into consideration. This is the ultimate inspiration of the Hegelian dialectic, which sought the reconciliation of opposites in a higher synthesis... to ignore either pole of a problem is to miss the full reality Stone The Trial of Socrates
110 We passed Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the night and arrived in Arizona at dawn. I woke up from a deep sleep to find everybody sleeping like lambs and the car parked God knows where, because I couldn't see out the steamy windows. I got out of the car. We were in the mountains: there was a heaven of sunrise, cool purple airs, red mountainsides, emerald pastures in valleys, dew, and transmuting clouds of gold; on the ground gopher holes, cactus, mesquite. It was time for me to drive on. Kerouac Jack On the Road
63 A really new field of experience will always lead to the crystallization of a new system of scientific concepts and laws Heisenberg Werner Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics 25
126 And they sat in their own chairs in their own house and watched Darling learning to drink canned milk out of a sardine can. Darling was and was destined to remain a very happy dog, for in the group of five men there were five distinct theories of dog training, theories which clashed so that Darling never got any training at all. From the first she was a precocious bitch. She slept on the bed of the man who had given her the last bribe. They really stole for her sometimes. They wooed her away from on another. Occasionally all five agreed that things had to change and that Darling must be disciplined, but in the discussion of method the intention invariably drifted away. They were in love with her. They found the little puddles she left on the floor charming. They bored all their acquaintances with her cuteness and they would have killed her with food if in the end she hadn't had better sense than they. Steinbeck John Cannery Row
40 Nothing lasts as long as the provisional Napolean
158 Getting through one day does not guarantee the next Letterman David death of Paul Dana 2006 2006-03-28
13 History is lived forward, but it is written is retrospect. We know the end before we consider the beginning, and we can never wholly recapture what it was like to know the beginning only. Wedgewood C. V.
144 Since knowing before hand how everything would workout was an impossibility, the key factor was the possession of a military-political leadership adept at juggling the various elements and a military instrument flexible enough to respond to new circumstances. Kennedy Paul The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers 183 2006-02-07
43 I went in with the very best intentions in the world of being objective about the course of the study and the conduct of the study. The deeper we got into this thing, the more I found that it was difficult to abandon prejudices and to abandon some of the notions that I had acquired over too many years and to be able to look at something really honestly. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 137 Referring to a study ordered by the Sec Def on the use of tactical nuclear weapons
127 We are all free-to walk our appointed paths. Just as a stone is free to fall when you toss it into the air. Heinlein Robert Farnham's Freehold
49 I made the typical mistake of believing I could do more for the country and the Army if I stayed in than if I got out. I am now going to my grave with that lapse in moral courage on my back. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 304 Said in retrospect after his retirement; referring to his decision not to resign in protest to LBJ’s refusal to mobilize the reserves.
170 I remember once...imagining what my life would be like, what I'd be like. I pictured having all these qualities. Strong, positive qualities that people could pick up on from across a room. But as time passed few ever became any qualities I actually had. And all the possibilities I faced, and the sorts of people I could be all of them got reduced every year to fewer and fewer until finally they got reduced to one who I am. And that's who I am...the weatherman. Spritz David The Weatherman 2007-08-19
179 But what truly distinguishes their histories is not their extraordinary talent but their extraordinary opportunities. Gladwell Malcolm Outliers 55 2008 2008-12-12
67 We are in the beginning stages of a formidable social revolution and people are scared. When they get scared they try to refuel old value systems. Nelson Sam Sam Nelson, associate professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Quoted in “An Empire Wilderness” by Robert Kaplan
19 indecision is the key to flexibility Unattributed
82 He would have been the first to admit that there is no absolute truth. But he continued chasing something that was always receding from his grasp. And in the pursuit he came far closer to the unattainable than do most men. Coram Robert The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War refering to Col John Boyd
2 It is an undeniable privilege of every man to prove himself right in the thesis that the world is his enemy: for if he reiterates it frequently enough and makes it the background of his conduct he is bound eventually to be right. Keenan George The Sources of Soviet Conduct, Foreign Affairs, July 1947 1947
149 All scientific knowledge is uncertain... to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right. Feynman Richard The Uncertainty of Science
27 I realized that Djilas was always right. He was able to predict the future. His technique was a simple one for an East European, but a difficult one for an American: he seemed to ignore the daily newspapers and think purely historically. The present for him was merely a stage of the past moving quickly into the future. What appeared inconceivable to conventional analysts was Kaplan Robert Balkan Ghosts 89
81 Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone. Eisenhower Dwight D. written the night of June 5, 1944
114 We may return again to the old mode of philosophizing and make facts bend to systems, instead of establishing systems upon facts. The great and consistent theory of Newton will be placed upon the same footing as the wild and eccentric hypotheses of Descartes. Malthus Thomas An Essay on the Principle of Population IX, 125
150 When things get too complicated it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: have I asked the right question. Bombieri Enrico
24 The cabman looked at the pieces of silver, which, appearing very minute in his big, grimy palm, symbolized the insignificant results which reward the ambitions, courage and toil of a mankind whose day is short on this earth of evil. Conrad Joseph The Secret Agent
182 If you wait another year, then you'll be a year older when you finally decide to do it Miller Warren Storn 2009-04-09
87 No living man can exist without some aim and the endeavor to attain it. A man who has lost his purpose and his hope not infrequently turns monster from misery. Dostoevsky Memoirs from the House of the Dead
183 It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it. Sinclair Upton Quoted in Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres 2009-04-10
72 Let's talk about being a man. I think you're old enough to understand. Being a man isn't about being big, or smart, or strong or tough. Being a man means knowing that your life is over. What I mean by that is a man does stuff for others first and for himself last. From a news article about letters home from troops in Iraq, written by Air Force Sergeant Scott Buckingham to his son Kyle.
23 As a general rule, a reputation is built on manner as much as on achievement. Conrad Joseph The Secret Agent
138 The fabric of ideas is organized so that the tiniest chance discovery might at any moment and without warning activate a domino-like chain of effects leading to a terrific revolution. Buchanan Mark Ubiquity
121 The unity of Greece was finally achieved under Philip and Alexander of Macedon. But this imperial unity was also a tyrannical nemesis for Greek culture. The analogy in present global terms would be the final unification of the world through the preponderant power of either America or Russia, whichever proved herself victorious in a final global structure. The analogy teaches us nothing about the possibilities of a constitutional state. It may teach us that thought the perils of international anarchy are very great, they may still be preferable to international tyranny. Russel Bertrand
106 The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark without the need for any official ban... The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right thinking people will accept without question. Orwell George Preface to Animal Farm
123 to do that would mean, not merely to be defeated, but to acknowledge defeat - and the difference between these two things is what keeps the world going. Sinclair Upton The Jungle 14
120 Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored…It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction Lincoln Abraham
1 All great leaders walk alone. Their singularity springs from their ability to discern challenges that are not yet apparent to their contemporaries. Kissinger Henry Diplomacy ch 15
147 The acts of the mind, wherein it exerts its power over simple ideas, are chiefly these three: 1. Combining several simple ideas into one compound one, and thus all complex ideas are made. 2. The second is bringing two ideas, whether simple or complex, together, and setting them by one another so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them into one, by which it gets all its ideas of relations. 3. The third is separating them from all other ideas that accompany them in their real existence: this is called abstraction, and thus all its general ideas are made. Locke John An Essay Concerning Human Understanding 1690
15 We place the real disgrace of poverty not in owning to the fact, but in declining to struggle against it. Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War attributed to Pericles
171 Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts. Adams Henry The Education of Henry Adams ch25 1900 2008-01-02
47 Military service centers around the single characteristic of selflessness. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 138
186 If these were not the sharpest guys around, they were ordinary for the type, until then functional enough, and not so stupid that stupidity alone can explain the disaster that they brought about. Langewiesche William The Devil at 37,000 Feet 2009 2009-06-02 AVS
142 You can build up any amount of complexity from the interactions of simple things. Torvalds Linus Just for Fun
180 My curiosity is infinitely wider than my capacity Jenkins Clay The Thomas Jefferson Hour 2008 2008-12-12
4 Hope is not a course of action unattributed
57 All men have the right to rise as far as their talent will take them. Lincoln Abraham
10 Sometimes it is not enough to do your best, sometimes you have to get the job done Churchill Winston
133 Organizations with strong safety cultures generally acknowledge that a leader's best response to unanimous consent is to play devil's advocate and encourage an exhaustive debate. Final report, Columbia Accident Investigation Board p 192 AVS
37 But he still thought it self evident that one had to do what was right; he had never learned how people could do otherwise; he had learned only that they did. It still seemed simple and incomprehensible to him: simple that things should be right, and incomprehensible that they weren't. Rand Ayn Atlas Shrugged 6 refering to Eddie Willers
131 Beyond a certain point property becomes a barrier to happiness. Rifkin Jeremy
134 There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyages of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. Shakespeare William Julius Caesar
3 A president has to know when to stop taking advice. Truman Harry Diplomacy as told by Henry Kissinger
187 The best pilots are masters of minimalism who rely less on the equipment and more on their brains, but such pilots are rare. Langewiesche William The Devil at 37,000 Feet 2009 2009-06-02 AVS
199 The mark of a great pilot is that they admitted in advance to their capacity for error, and the addressed their mistakes vigorously after making them. Langewiesche William Fly By Wire 2009 2010-10-31 AVS
111 It is an acknowledged truth in philosophy that a just theory will always be confirmed by experiment. Yet so much friction and so many minute circumstances occur in practice, which it is next to impossible for the most enlarged and penetrating mind to foresee, that on a few subjects can any theory be pronounced just, till all the arguments against it have been maturely weighed and clearly and consistently refuted. Malthus Thomas An Essay on the Principle of Population ch 1, p 69
48 Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom Patton George
94 Different perspectives on military tactics have often made me open my eyes, reflect and see events in a new light. Yahara Hiromichi The Battle for Okinawa
185 ...that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found by long experience was the best state in the world, the most suited to human happiness, not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labor and the sufferings of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy of the upper part of mankind. Defoe Daniel Robinson Crusoe 6 1719 2009-05-01
9 The galleries are full of critics. They play no ball, they fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down in the arena are the doers. They make mistakes because they try many things. The man who makes no mistakes lacks boldness and the spirit of adventure. He is the one who never tries anything. His is the brake on the wheel of progress. And yet it cannot be truly said he makes no mistakes, because his biggest mistake is the very fact that he tries nothing, does nothing, except criticize those who do things. Shoup Gen David M
99 Human fallibility is inevitably connected with the complexity of human nature Lukacs John The End of an Age
39 One makes plans to fit the circumstances and does not try to create circumstances to fit the plans. Patton George
97 The doctor glanced up at the statue of the republic then said he did not know if he was using the language of reason, but he knew he was using the language of facts as everybody could see them - which wasn't necessarily the same thing. Camus Albert The Plague
152 It's like letting the universe take care of itself. By not controlling the technology, you are not limiting its uses. You make it available and people make local decisions - to use it as a launching pad for their own products and services. Torvalds Linus Just for Fun 229 2001 2006-03-07
153 Eisenhower also realized that "optimism and pessimism are infectious and they spread more rapidly from the head downward than in any other direction." Ambrose Stephen E. Eishenhower, Soldier and President 82 1990 2006-03-07
28 They'll never do this to you again, never again will anyone defeat you. Milosevic Slobodan Said in a speech June 28, 1987 (the anniversary of the Serb defeat by Turks at Kossovo Polje in 1389) 1987
35 I think the Union Army had something to do with it Pickett George Referring to a question by a reporter as to why his charge failed, and why the Army of Northern Virginia lost the battle of Gettysburg
31 The fact is that besides the great events of which history treats there are innumerable little facts of daily life which the casual observer may fail to see. These facts individually may be insignificant. Collectively, their volume and power may threaten the existence of the government. USMC Small Wars Manual 20
132 Military misfortunes - like natural or man made disasters - come in many different kinds. Any explanation of their causes must find a balance between the emotional urge to simplify and the intellectual acknowledgment of complexity. Cohen and Gooch Military Misfortunes
73 The diversity of our opinions does not proceed from some men being more rational than others, but solely from the fact that our thoughts pass through diverse channels and the same objects are not considered by all Descartes Rene Discourse on Method
17 The danger inherent in a masterpiece is its slavish imitation Strachan Reference to Frederick the Great and the Oblique order
20 There has been too much discussion about the religious roots of the Islamic Revolution, too little about its cultural and historical roots, and even less about the demographic and environmental roots of the event, which contain the important clues to the likely shifts in cartography that will occur in the Near East and Central Asia at the close of the twentieth century, or soon after. Kaplan Robert The Ends of the Earth
11 Hemmed in by forests and marshes and ambuscades, the column was exterminated almost to a man by the very enemy whom it had always slaughtered like cattle, whose life or death had depended solely upon the wrath or pity of the Romans. On hearing this news, Augustus, now aged seventy-one, seems to have succumbed to a temporary nervous breakdown, In fact, they say that he was so greatly affected that for several months in succession he neither cut his beard nor his hair, and sometime he would dash his head against a door, crying: "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions." Paterculus Velleius
45 Challenge the assertion Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior
104 No knowledge worthy of the name can be gathered up in a single human mind limited to the span of a human life and gifted only with finite powers, except by the most exquisite economy of thought and by the careful amassment of the economically ordered experience of thousands of co-workers. Mach Ernst
42 My basic premise is that a man's future lies ahead of him and not behind him Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 81
93 We were so busy with staff work that there was no time to think about the demise of our army. Yahara Hiromichi The Battle for Okinawa Col Yahara was the operations officer for the 32d Army
12 Ne Cras not like yesterday
25 If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always got.
83 But hard work and success so not always go together in the military, where success is defined by rank, and reaching higher rank requires conforming to the military's value system. Those who do not conform will one day realize that the path of doing the right thing has diverged from the path of success, and they must decide which path they will follow through life. Coram Robert The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War
109 When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim, that a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall. Lincoln Abraham
85 Confronted with anomaly or with crisis, scientists take a different attitude toward existing paradigms and the nature of their research changes accordingly. The proliferation of competing articulations, the willingness to try anything, the expression of explicit discontent, the recourse to philosophy and to debate over fundamentals, all these are symptoms of a transition from normal to extraordinary research. Kuhn Thomas Structure of Scientific Revolutions
128 We usually begin to think about radical changes in the way we do things when our present approach to life fails us in some way. Rifkin Jeremy Entropy
34 Habitual perception kills' the trick is to observe things fresh, in all their unfamiliarity. This is only possible during the first few moments and hours in a place, before familiarity sets in Watts Cedrick quoted by Kaplan in The Ends of the Earth
105 My fifth son is kind and good; promised less than he performed; Kafka Franz Eleven Sons
61 It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities. Dumbledore Professor Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
52 Language is not neutral. Concepts and terms can have political, legal or emotional undertones, sometimes without the users awareness. Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. Srebrenica, a "Safe" Area - Reconstruction, Background, Consequences and Analyses of the Fall of a Safe Area. The Hague. 2002. Prologue para 2
168 The history of military innovation is littered with the truncated careers of reformers who saw gathering threats clearly and advocated change boldly. Yingling Paul A Failure in Generalship 2007-04-27
190 Perfect knowledge is not within our reach; but we must try to come as close to it as we can. Reality is a moving target, yet we need to pursue it. In short, understanding reality ought to take precedence over manipulating it. Soros George The Crash of 2008 and What it Means 44 2008 2009-07-29
166 There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion. Thornson Gen William 2007-04-11
14 We must not be hemmed into deciding in a day's brief space a question which concerns many lives and fortunes and many cities, and in which honor is deeply involved - but we must decide calmly. Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War attributed to Archidamus
162 The only real function of a teacher is to guide students in asking and pursuing questions. Once a student develops the rare talent for seeking out his own ignorance, teachers become irrelevant, but it's hard to look and your own ignorance, and it's not easy to ask a true question, it feels like humiliation...knowledge flows to the point of greatest ignorance. Lienhard John Questions and Ignorance, Engines of Our Ingenuity Podcast 2006 2006-07-24
5 Never confuse energy with strength Adenauer Konrad
189 It's not going to be perfect the first time -- it doesn't have to be perfect the first time --- but it's never going to be perfect unless there is a first time. 2009-06-22
112 Say first of God above, and man below, what can we reason, but from what we know? Pope Alexander Essay on Man 17-19 quoted by Malthus
122 All forms of organized religion are alike in certain social respects. Each claims to be the sole custodian of the essential truth, Each claims to speak with the final authority on all ethical questions. And every church has requested, demanded, or ordered the state to enforce it's particular system of taboos. Heinlein Robert For Us the Living
44 The four I's... Intelligence, imagination, initiative and integrity Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior
151 the error of youth is assuming education and enthusiasm are an adequate substitute for experience and wisdom. The error of age is in assuming that experience is an adequate substitute for continued learning and enthusiasm. unattributed
184 Once we form a mistaken belief about something, we tend to cling to it. As new evidence arrives, we're likely to discount disconcerting evidence and focus instead on evidence that supports our preexisting beliefs. Ayres Ian Super Crunchers 122 2007 2009-04-26
29 This discussion has been less an objective analysis than a groping for the truth. Clausewitz On War 483
125 It has always seemed strange to me," said Doc. "the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. Steinbeck John Cannery Row
167 After all what's the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if in the end all we're willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true Rowland Sherwood podcast on global warming 2007-04-15
90 In terms of realism sophisticated pessimism is preferable to the naive optimism of the moderns. Niebuhr Reinhold Optimism, Pessimism and Religious Faith
71 the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do. Huntington Samuel P.
95 The death of General Buckner, the enemy commanding general, was the greatest news of the entire operation. We had managed to kill the enemy leader before our own commanding general committed ceremonial suicide. It seemed as if our forces had actually won a victory Yahara Hiromichi The Battle for Okinawa The moral…the difference between success and failure is often a matter of the standards that you set for yourself.
79 War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. Mill John Stuart
56 Modern wars are not internecine wars in which the killing of the enemy is the object. The destruction of the enemy in modern war, and indeed modern war itself, are means to obtain that object of the belligerent which lies beyond the war. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 233 War Department General Order 100, 24 April 1863, quoted from Honorable Warrior
74 The human race is facing forms of slavery which are new and more subtle than those of the past, and for far too many people, freedom remains a word without meaning. John Paul Pope
145 We notice first, and reason later ... if ever. So we are biased in favor of seeing something rather than nothing, pattern rather than randomness, certainty rather than uncertainty, existence rather than nonexistence, predator in the bushes rather than random pattern of leaves and shadows, cluster of edible berries rather than random colouring of earth. Strickland Andrew Coincidence, correlation and chance
124 In these chutes the stream of animals was continuous; it was quite uncanny to watch them, pressing on to their fate, all unsuspicious - a very river of death. Our friends were not poetical, and the sight suggested to them no metaphors of human destiny; they thought only of the wonderful efficiency of it all. Sinclair Upton The Jungle 14
55 Military force... should be committed with the object of war in mind. Broadly speaking the object beyond war should be the restoration of stability with the minimum of destruction, so that society and lawful government may proceed in an atmosphere of justice and order. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior
157 Smart data structures and dumb code works a lot better than the other way around. Show me your flowchart and conceal your tables, and I shall continue to be mystified. Show me your tables, and I won't usually need your flowchart; it'll be obvious. The Cathedral and the Bazaar 1992 2006-03-28
38 Life is tough, but it's even tougher when you're stupid Striker Sgt Sands of Iwo Jima
197 And because the effects of these facts in any particular instance cannot be confirmed by quantitative evidence, they are simply disregarded by those sworn to admit only what they regard as scientific evidence: they thereupon happily proceed on the fiction that the factors which they can measure are the only ones that are relevant Hayek Friedrich The Pretence of Knowledge 1974 2010-10-15
60 Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness. Niebuhr Reinhold The Irony of American History
65 Every word of our language can refer to different aspects of reality. The real meaning of words often emerges only in their context or is determined by tradition and habit. Heisenberg Werner Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics 67
53 No language thus restricted to reporting a world fully known in advance can produce mere neutral and objective reports on "the given." Philosophical investigation has not yet provided even a hint of what language able to do that would be like. Kuhn Thomas The Structure of Scientific Revolution
198 Intelligence is not a prerequisite for safe flying, but an acceptance of human fallibility is, and the two are generally linked. Langewiesche William Fly by Wire 2009 2010-10-24 AVS
36 The opinion of other human beings matters, but the less it motivates me the better. Kerrey Bob Vistica Magazine article about Thanh Phong
22 The only thing harder than getting a new idea into the military mind is to get an old one out. Hart B. H. Liddell
195 We should all bear one thing in mind when we talk about a troop who rode one in. He called upon the sum of all his knowledge and made a judgment. He believed in it so strongly that he knowingly bet his life on it. That he was mistaken in that judgment is a tragedy, not stupidity. Every supervisor and contemporary who ever spoke to him had an opportunity to influence his judgment, so a little bit of all of us goes in with every troop we lose. anonymous AETC Handbook 11-1 Road to Wings 2010-10-19 AVS
155 More and more, as I think about history, he pondered, I am convinced that everything that is worth while in the world has been accomplished by the free inquiring, critical spirit, and that the preservation of the spirit is more important than any social system whatsoever. But the men of ritual and the men of barbarism are capable of shutting up the men of science and silencing them forever Lewis Sinclair It Can't Happen Here 313 1935 2006-03-12
46 Armed forces exist to maintain, to restore, or to create an environment of order or a climate of stability within which government under law can function effectively. How do you create order? You create order by establishing control. How do you establish control? By closing with and defeating the enemy. You do that through a process of fire and maneuver. Armies have the ultimate role in waging war, because only armies can perform the function of closing and imposing control. Johnson H. K. Honorable Warrior 130
62 It must however be stressed that the hope of gaining an understanding of the whole world from a small part of it can never be supported rationally. Heisenberg Werner Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics 23
165 We must realize too, that, both for cities and for individuals, it is from the greatest danger that the greatest glory is to be won. Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War Pericles reply to the Spartan ultimatum 2007-02-10
86 Reality is infinitely diverse, compared with even the subtlest conclusions of abstract thought, and it does not allow of clear cut and sweeping distinctions, Reality resists classification. Dostoevsky Memoirs from the House of the Dead
156 While I don't claim to be a great programmer, I try to imitate one. An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness. They know that you get an A not for effort but for results, and that it's almost always easier to start from a good partial solution than from nothing at all. The Cathedral and the Bazaar 1992 2006-03-15
89 to believe in a meaningful existence which has its center and source beyond itself makes it possible to preserve moral vitality, because the world as it exists is not regarded as perfect even though it is meaningful. Niebuhr Reinhold Optimism, Pessimism and Religious Faith
33 The application of purely military measures may not, by itself restore peace and orderly government because the fundamental causes of the condition of unrest may be economic, political or social. USMC Small Wars Manual 15
58 It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. Roosevelt Theodore Citizenship in a Republic Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
136 All great deeds and all great thoughts have ridiculous beginnings Camus Albert Albert Camus, from Mark Buchanan, Ubiquity
113 The two great causes of the degradation of man... misery and too great riches Malthus Thomas An Essay on the Principle of Population IX, 125
41 If you wait until the last minute - it only takes a minute. unattributed
100 but where would we be if we could speak only of things we knew with certainty Popeliniere Henri Voisin de la
32 Any profound understanding of a revolution necessitates a knowledge of the mental soil in which the ideas that direct its course have to germinate. USMC Small Wars Manual 21
143 Linus Torvalds's style of development - release early and often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity - came as a surprise. No quiet, reverent cathedral-building here - rather, the Linux community seemed to resemble a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches (aptly symbolized by the Linux archive sites, who'd take submissions from anyone) out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles. Raymond Eric S. The Cathedral and the Bazaar
21 The senate declared that "the wars of the present time are influenced more by the force of bombards and artillery than by men and arms," and frantically set about acquiring firearms... the republic of Siena had lost its independence forty years earlier largely because its leaders embarked on a program of fortifications that they could not afford. Parker The Military Revolution c. 1498 CE
160 The collision between forces favoring this new system of wealth creation and defenders of the old smokestack system is the dominant economic conflict of our time, exceeding in historical importance the conflict between capitalism and communism or among the United States, Europe and Japan. Toffler Alvin Power Shift 26 1990 2010-09-02
69 Perhaps the best that can be expected of nations is that they should justify their hypocrisies by a slight measure of real international achievement, and learn how to do justice to wider interests than their own. Niebuhr Reinhold Moral Man and Amoral Society 108 1938
140 The next tiny crises just might, by domino like action, lead to a revolution out of all proportion to itself. In a nutshell, it is intellectual friction that holds a framework of ideas in place, and intellectual curiosity that puts it under stress. Buchanan Mark Ubiquity
64 Every scientific theory arises in a certain mental climate which implies some idea as to how the projected theory might later be applied. Heisenberg Werner Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics 65
175 Do you believe then, that the sciences would ever have arisen and become great if there had not beforehand been magicians, alchemists, astrologers and wizards, who thirsted and hungered after abscondite and forbidden powers? Neitzsche Quoted by Gleick in Isaac Newton 2008-07-03
101 It is hard to exaggerate the importance of the effect on history of science produced by this great success of the theory of gravitation. Compare the confusion, the lack of confidence, the incomplete knowledge that prevailed in the earlier ages, when there were endless debates and paradoxes, with the clarity and simplicity of this law - this fact that all the moons and planets and stars have such a simple rule to govern them, and further that man could understand it and deduce how the planets should move! This is the reason for the success of the sciences in the following years, for it gave hope that the other phenomena of the world might also have such beautifully simple laws. Feynman Richard The Theory of Gravitation
146 every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. Smith Adam An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
30 Bare survival provides precious little room for moral choices. Kaplan Robert Balkan Ghosts 89
16 No one starts a war without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. Clausewitz
108 Unlike McClellan (with his "I can do it all" attitude), Lincoln was smart enough to know that he could not do it all. Phillips Donald Lincoln on Leadership
201 I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they had thirty years ago. The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don't. Crichton Michael State of Fear 571 2004 2012-07-17
176 The most trifling events can, in a mere moment of time, totally change the course of a man's life. And often it is not possible, even at the end, to decide whether the change was for better or worse. Clarke Arthur C. The Hammer of God 34 1993 2008-07-20
102 to every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates to hell. And so it is with science. In a way it is a key to the gates of heaven, and the same key opens the gates of hell, and we do not have any instructions as to which is which gate. Shall we throw away the key and never have a way to enter the gates of heaven? Or shall we struggle with the problem of which is the best way to use the key? Feynman Richard The Uncertainty of Science
177 Wang Lung was conscious that he had money more than he need spend, and when he walked among his fellows he walked at ease with himself and with all. Buck Pearl S. The Good Earth 45 1931 2008-07-29