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Cool Quotes - I


If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you'll abort it if you do. Be patient and you'll give birth to it when the time is ripe. Learn to wait.
Robert Heinlein

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
Linus Pauling

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Albert Einstein

Society's course will be changed only by a change in ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers, with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will prevail, and the politicians will follow.
F. A. Hayek (Attributed)

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
John Maynard Keynes

It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
John Maynard Keynes

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
Ken Hakuta

The communication of ideas requires a similitude of thought and language …
Edward Gibbon

Great ideas often look identical to stupid ones right up until the moment they work.
Scott Adams

Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
H. L. Mencken

Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.
Paul Johnson


The great crimes of the twentieth century were committed not by money-grubbing capitalists but by dedicated idealists. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler were contemptuous of money. The passage from the nineteenth to the twentieth century has been a passage from considerations of money to considerations of power. How naive the cliche that money is the root of evil!
Eric Hoffer


I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin


Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.

There's nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.
Scott Adams


An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
Author unidentified

Be not solitary, be not idle.
Robert Burton

[There] is no class so dangerous as the idle educated.
Anthony Daniels

But Idleness taxes many of us much more, if we reckon all that is spent in absolute Sloth, or doing of nothing, with that which is spent in idle Employments or Amusements, that amount to nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Be always asham'd to catch thy self idle.
Author unidentified

Idleness is a dangerous breeding ground.
Winston Churchill


It is worse still to be ignorant of your ignorance.
Saint Jerome


Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

Imagination labors best in distant fields.
Mark Twain

Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.
Richard Feynman


It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
Edmund Burke


I don't want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen


[It] is impossible to reduce, or, at least, to hold a distant country against the wishes and efforts of its inhabitants.
Edward Gibbon

Take up the White Man's burden—
The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden—
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"
Rudyard Kipling

There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest.
Edward Gibbon


I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.
Dwight D. Eisenhower


Anxiety, n. The first time you can't do it a second time.

Panic, n. The second time you can't do it the first time.
Author unidentified

"Hasn't it ever occurred to you that in your promiscuous pursuit of women you are merely trying to assuage your subconscious fears of sexual impotence?"

"Yes, sir, it has."

"Then why do you do it?"

"To assuage my fears of sexual impotence."

Joseph Heller

Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.
Winston Churchill


[The Goths'] poverty was incurable; since the most liberal donatives were soon dissipated in wasteful luxury, and the most fertile estates became barren in their hands …
Edward Gibbon


There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.
Logan Pearsall Smith


[Laurence J. Peter] has devoted his life to discovering remedies for incompetence …
Back Cover of "Peter's Quotations"


I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.
Mark Twain


If you don't find it in the Index, look very carefully through the entire catalogue.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., Consumer Guide (1897)


India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator.
Winston Churchill


I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion.
Robert Louis Stevenson


Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter.
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet)


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.


Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
Milton Friedman


Most People return small Favors, acknowledge middling ones, and repay great ones with Ingratitude.
Author unidentified


Why does my Muse only speak when she is unhappy?
She does not, I only listen when I am unhappy
When I am happy I live and despise writing
For my Muse this cannot but be dispiriting.
Stevie Smith


A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.


Now it is a characteristic of such intellectuals that they see no incongruity in moving from their own discipline, where they are acknowledged masters, to public affairs, where they might be supposed to have no more right to a hearing than anyone else.
Paul Johnson

Nothing appeals to intellectuals more than the feeling that they represent "the people." Nothing, as a rule, is further from the truth.
Paul Johnson

We mustn't forget how quickly the visions of genius become the canned goods of intellectuals.
Saul Bellow

It is further evidence of the curious paradox that intellectuals, who ought to teach men and women to trust their reason, usually encourage them to follow their emotions; and, instead of urging debate and reconciliation on humanity, all too often spur it towards the arbitration of force.
Paul Johnson

Taken as a group, they [intellectuals] are often ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value. That is what makes them, en masse, so dangerous, for it enables them to create climates of opinion and prevailing orthodoxies, which themselves often generate irrational and destructive courses of action.
Paul Johnson


Intelligence has much less practical application than you'd think.
Scott Adams

The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Men of intemperate mind never can be free; their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke


The only intuitive interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.
Bruce Ediger


If the Library of Alexandria was the emblem of our ambition of omniscience, the Web is the emblem of our ambition of omnipresence; the library that contained everything has become the library that contains anything.
Alberto Manguel

[On the Internet,] if you're not paying for the product, you're the product.
Author unidentified


Don't interrupt me when I'm interrupting!
Winston Churchill


The study of history suggests that the sum total of intolerance in society does not vary much. What changes is the object against which it is directed. Those who shape the conventional wisdom at the top are always anxious to censor unorthodoxy, thus demonstrating their power and consolidating their grip.
Paul Johnson


Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.
Warren Buffett


… in Ireland no man visits where he cannot drink.
Samuel Johnson


The Irish people do not gladly suffer common sense.
Oliver St. John Gogarty

We Irish are too poetical to be poets; we are a nation of brilliant failures, but we are the greatest talkers since the Greeks.
Oscar Wilde

It's not that the Irish are cynical. It's rather that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.
Brendan Behan


MOSQUES are plenty [in Istanbul], churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce. The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral.
Mark Twain

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Last updated: December 2, 2022