i. “At a high level of universality, to write anything well, whether it be intellectual or imaginative, is to assume at least two obligations: to be intelligible and to be interesting.” (Norman Maclean)

ii. “If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” (Horace Mann)

iii. “Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.” (-ll-)

iv. “The most ignorant are the most conceited. […] it is quite as important for a man to know the extent of his own ignorance as it is to know any thing else. To know how much there is that we do not know, is one of the most valuable parts of our attainments; for such knowledge becomes both a lesson of humility and a stimulus to exertion.” (-ll-)

v. “Books are not made for furniture but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” (-ll-)

vi. “Affectation hides three times as many virtues as charity does sins.” (-ll-)

vii. “It is well to think well. It is divine to act well.” (-ll-)

viii. “A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided. […] Technological change, in other words, always results in winners and losers.” (Neil Postman)

ix. “Apart from a few macroscopic quantum effects, at the moment fundamental physics is relatively useless in understanding biology, the mind, or society. Similar mistakes occur in genetics, when DNA is incorrectly framed as something that can explain all the features, diseases, and behaviours of humans. In general, the results of basic science should not be taken beyond their real range of effectiveness, and it should be acknowledged that more specialized disciplines can give much deeper insights beyond that range.” (Guido Caldarelli)

x. “Society is not just the product of its individual members; it is also the product of its constituent groups. The aggregate relations among individuals and groups, among individuals within groups, and among groups forms a network of astonishing complexity.” (Clay Shirky)

xi. “The way of truth is along the path of intellectual sincerity.” (Henry Smith Pritchett)

xii. “Disproving a claim that something exists is often quite difficult, and this difficulty is often mistaken for evidence that the claim is true … Presented as I am periodically with these and other fantastical claims, I sometimes feel a little like a formally dressed teetotaler at a drunken orgy for reiterating that not being able to conclusively refute the claims does not constitute evidence for them.” (John Allen Paulos)

xiii. “If we’re not keenly aware of the choices we’re making, we’re not likely to work for better ones.” (-ll-)

xiv. “Bad things happen periodically, and they’re going to happen to somebody. Why not you?” (-ll-)

xv. “There is no such thing as free lunch, and even if there were, there’d be no guarantee against indigestion.” (-ll-)

xvi. “An unknown but certainly significant proportion of the population has almost completely given up on learning. These people seldom, if ever engage in deliberate learning and see themselves as neither competent at it nor likely to enjoy it. The social and personal cost is enormous… Deficiency becomes identity: “I can’t learn French, I don’t have an ear for languages;” “I could never be a businessman, I don’t have a head for figures;”… These beliefs are often repeated ritualistically, like superstitions… Although these negative self-images can be overcome, in the life of and individual they are extremely robust and powerfully self-reinforcing. If people believe firmly enough that they cannot do math, they will usually succeed in preventing themselves from doing whatever they recognize as math. The consequences of such self-sabotage is personal failure, and each failure reinforces the original belief. And such beliefs may be most insidious when held not only by individuals, but by our entire culture.” (Seymour Papert)

xvii. “We should be very careful to distinguish between our knowledge of phenomena and our interpretations of them.” (Alfred Stillé)

xviii. “Secure web servers are the equivalent of heavy armored cars. The problem is, they are being used to transfer rolls of coins and checks written in crayon by people on park benches to merchants doing business in cardboard boxes from beneath highway bridges. Further, the roads are subject to random detours, anyone with a screwdriver can control the traffic lights, and there are no police.” (Gene Spafford)

xix. “The first object of any act of learning, over and beyond the pleasure it may give, is that it should serve us in the future. Learning should not only take us somewhere; it should allow us later to go further more easily.” (Theodore Sizer)

xx. “Tradition is a persuasive teacher, even when what it teaches is erroneous.” (Sherwin Nuland)

June 20, 2018 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms

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