If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People? (2)

Second post in the series, first one is here. As already mentioned the book is a collection of quotes, and it contains quite a few really brilliant quotes I have not seen elsewhere. Some more samples, covering the letters B and C:

i. “As I get older I seem to believe less and less and yet to believe what I do believe more and more.” Gerald Brenan.

ii. “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” Isaac Asimov.

iii. “The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.” Walter Bagehot.

iv. “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Mark Twain.

v. “Everyone has a book in them and that, in most cases, is where it should stay.” Christopher Hitchens.

vi. “When I was four, I told my mother I wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. She said, ‘You can’t do both.'” Steven Tyler.

vii. “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy … neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” John Gardner.

viii. “The feeling of having taken a wrong turning in life was made worse by the fact that he could not, for the life of him, remember having taken any turnings at all.” Charles Fernyhough.

ix. “You can recognize a pioneer by the arrows in his back.” Beverly Rubik.

x. “A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s.” Jean Paul Richter.

xi. “Chess is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside of an adverticing agency.” Raymond Chandler. I beg to differ, but sometimes I do think along similar lines when it comes to the very best players – what could the people at the very top have accomplished if they’d focused their energy elsewhere?

xii. “I have found the best way to give advice to children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” Harry Truman.

xiii. “Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.” Mao.

xiv. “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” Rich Cook.

xv. “No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.” Mignon McLaughlin.

xvi. “Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.” Benjamin Disraeli.

xvii. “There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.” Rebecca West.

xviii. “The greatest crimes are caused by surfeit, not by want. Men do not become tyrants so as not to suffer cold.” Aristotle.

xix. “Honest criticism is hard to take – especially when it comes from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” Franklin P. Jones.


September 29, 2011 - Posted by | Books, Quotes/aphorisms

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