What blinds us, or makes historical progress very difficult, is our lack of awareness that our beliefs have grown obsolete and should be put aside…. This is I think much of the problem of the modern dilemma: Direct experience has been discounted, and in its place all kinds of belief systems have been erected&helliip;. If you believe something, you are automatically precluded from believing its opposite; which means that a degree of your human freedom has been forfeited in the act of committing yourself to this belief.
Hatred is nearly always honest—rarely, if ever, assumed. So much cannot be said for love.
And then, not expecting it, you become middle-aged and anonymous. No one notices you. You achieve a wonderful freedom. It is a positive thing. You can move about, unnoticed and invisible.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
One must never look for happiness: one meets it by the way…
Life doesn’t suck, it is just inconvenient sometimes.
Wise men talk because they have something to say—fools, because they have to say something.
Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
If religionists applied reason and science to their faith, their religion would simply die. That’s why faith must oppose science for its very survival.
You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
…Religious belief has been a massively negative force in human history, causing great suffering and conflict, and standing deliberately in the way of most of mankind’s efforts at progress, freedom and flourishing.
What good is a smart bomb if you have a dumb president?
In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
Stop looking at the opposite sex as the enemy.
Don’t describe your long-term marital ambitions on the first date.
We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and, like the grave, cries, ‘Give, give!’
If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.
Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.
The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.
People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.
While forbidden fruit is said to taste sweeter, it usually spoils faster.
If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to put up with a few blisters.
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
You don’t know a woman until you have had a letter from her.
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
God made man, and then said I can do better than that and made woman.
I think every woman is entitled to a middle husband she can forget.
Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness—happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.
You don’t manage people; you manage things. You lead people.
I’ve always objected to doing anything over again if I had already done it once.
If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.
It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
The most dangerous phrase in the language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’
Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.
A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things.
Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.
One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.
We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.
To me, programming is more than an important practical art. It is also a gigantic undertaking in the foundations of knowledge.
After all is said and done, more is said than done.
I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.
…but surely for everything you love you have to pay some price.
I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness—to save oneself trouble.
Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.
There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think, than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger.
An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her.