Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded - here and there, now and then - are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck".

-- Robert Heinlein

You ever plow a field? To plant quinoa or sorghum or whatever the hell it is you eat? You kill everything on the ground and under it. You kill every snake, every frog, every mouse, mole, vole, worm, quail... you kill them all. So I guess the only real question is: how cute does an animal have to be before you care if it dies to feed you?

-- John Dutton, Yellowstone

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

-- Aldous Huxley

A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.

-- Friedrich Hayek

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.

George Orwell

Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.

Thomas Sowell

Susan: Now... tell me...

Death: What would have happened if you hadn't saved him?

Susan: Yes.

Death: The sun would not have risen.

Susan: Then what would have happened?

Death: A mere ball of flaming gas would have illuminated the world.

Susan: All right, I'm not stupid. You're saying that humans need fantasies to make life bearable.

Death: No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

Susan: They're not the same at all!

Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and THEN show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet... you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some... some rightness in the universe by which it may be judged.

Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?

Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?

-- Conversation between Death and Suzan from the Hogfather by Terry Pratchett.

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a .protector,. and that he takes men.s money against their will, merely to enable him to .protect. those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful .sovereign,. on account of the .protection. he affords you. He does not keep .protecting. you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (1870)

"But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love ... Was not Amos an extremist for justice: 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.' ... And John Bunyan: 'I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.' And Abraham Lincoln: 'This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.' And Thomas Jefferson: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal....' So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men...were [all] crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


To be a modern liberal is to believe that cops are evil racists and that only they should be allowed to have guns.

Austin Petersen

The huge printing presses of a major Chicago newspaper began malfunctioning on the Saturday before Christmas, putting all the revenue for advertising that was to appear in the Sunday paper in jeopardy. None of the technicians could track down the problem. Finally, a frantic call was made to the retired printer who had worked with these presses for over 40 years. "We'll pay anything; just come in and fix them," he was told.

When he arrived, he walked around for a few minutes, surveying the presses; then he approached one of the control panels and opened it. He removed a dime from his pocket, turned a screw 1/4 of a turn, and said, "The presses will now work correctly." After being profusely thanked, he was told to submit a bill for his work.

The bill arrived a few days later, for $10,000! Not wanting to pay such a huge amount for so little work, the printer was told to please itemise his charges, with the hope that he would reduce the amount once he had to identify his services. The revised bill arrived: $1 for turning the screw; $9,999 for knowing which screw to turn.

Nowhere will you find the statue of a critic or the biography of a committee.


What causes #poverty? Nothing. It's the original state, the default and starting point. The real question is, What causes #prosperity?


Evolution does not tell you anything about whether or not God exists; it simply proves that, if he does exist, he really hates top-down central planning.

Matt Ridley

The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects - his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.

Henry Hazlitt

A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.

Frederik Pohl

It is no coincidence that the century of Total War coincided with the century of Central Banking.

Ron Paul

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

Mark Twain

When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.

Tyrion Lannister (George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings)

The Constitution . . . is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.

Thomas Jefferson, about the Marshall Court

You'll grow up not ever really knowing if you deserve love, but one day you'll meet someone who loves you, and you'll be able to accept yourself. Then, once they really get to know you, they'll find you unbearable and leave, but the important thing is to stay hydrated.

Frankie Boyle

If we'd asked the customers what they wanted, they would have said "faster horses"

Henry Ford

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747.1813)

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'.

Isaac Asimov
Murray's Rule:

Any country with "democratic" in the title isn't.

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.

James Madison

Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity.

Friedrich Nietzsche

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.

-- H. H. Munroe a.k.a. Saki, "The Square Egg" (1924)

Nardole: How do we even know this water thing is actually dangerous?

Doctor: Because most things are.

Nardole: Oh, thats true.

Bill: Why? Is everything out here evil?

Doctor: Hardly anything is evil, but most things are hungry. Hunger looks very like evil from the wrong end of the cutlerly.

-- Doctor Who (2005), Season 10 Episode 1

HTTPS & SSL doesn't mean "trust this." It means "this is private." You may be having a private conversation with Satan.

-- Scott Hanselman

Incentives matter greatly - underestimate them at your peril. People will navigate the shortest path to the incentive. The curious among us will pay particular attention to incentives, monetary or otherwise.

-- Charlie Munger

In a libertarian society we allow for voluntary socialism. In a socialist society they don't allow voluntary freedom.

-- Ron Paul

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

-- Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

"In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is -- if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong."

-- Richard Feynman

And do you think that unto such as you A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew God gave a secret, and denied it me? Well, well - what matters it? Believe that, too!

-- Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

-- Thomas Jefferson

Nature doesn't ask your permission; it doesn't care about your wishes, or whether you like its laws or not. You're obliged to accept it as it is, and consequently all its results as well.

-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

BSD is what you get when a bunch of Unix hackers sit down to try to port a Unix system to the PC. Linux is what you get when a bunch of PC hackers sit down and try to write a Unix system for the PC.

If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.
-- Tao Te Ching Written by Lao-tzu From a translation by S. Mitchell

Why doesn't everybody leave everybody else the hell alone?

-- Jimmy Durante

The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices -- paid by others.

-- Thomas Sowell

I am so old that I can remember when other people's achievements were considered to be an inspiration, rather than a grievance.

-- Thomas Sowell

All political power comes from teh barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.

-- Mao Zedong

The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations.

-- David D. Friedman, "The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism"
Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy:

"Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge."

If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of sh*t.

-- Rustin Cohle

Anyone who says that economic security is a human right has been too much babied. While he babbles, other men are risking and losing their lives to protect him. They are fighting the sea, fighting the land, fighting diseases and insects and weather and space and time, for him, while he chatters that all men have a right to security and that some pagan god -- Society, The State, The Government, The Commune -- must give it to them. Let the fighting men stop fighting this inhuman earth for one hour, and he will learn how much security there is.

-- Rose Wilder Lane

Superstitions typically involve seeing order where in fact there is none, and denial amounts to rejecting evidence of regularities, sometimes even ones that are staring us in the face.

-- Murray Gell-Mann, "Quark and the Jaguar"

The movement that I'm in favor of is a movement of libertarians who do not substitute whim for reason. Now some of them do, obviously, and I'm against that. I'm in favor of reason over whim. As far as I'm concerned, and I think the rest of the movement, too, we are anarcho-capitalists. In other words, we believe that capitalism is the fullest expression of anarchism, and anarchism is the fullest expression of capitalism. Not only are they compatible, but you can't really have one without the other. True anarchism will be capitalism, and true capitalism will be anarchism.

-- Murray Rothbard

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science'. But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.

-- Murray N. Rothbard

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

-- H.L. Mencken

You can't just say there is a God because well, the world is beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths. There is not any way that you can just choose the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is. The wonder of nature must be taken in its totality and it is a wonderful thing. It is absolutely marvelous and the idea that an atheist or a humanist if you want to put it that way, doesn't marvel and wonder at reality, at the way things are, is nonsensical. The point is we wonder all the way. We don't just stop and say that which I cannot understand I will call God, which is what mankind has done historically.

-- Stephen Fry
"The Importance of Unbelief"
Interview on - recorded December 8, 2009

All politics are obsolete as fundamental problem solvers. Politics are only adequate for secondary housekeeping tasks.

-- Buckminster Fuller 1969

The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.

-- Buckminster Fuller

I keep what I earn, and you keep what you earn. If you believe that you deserve some of what I earn, please explain why.

-- Walter Williams

We should have some ways of coupling programs like garden hose --screw in another segment when it becomes when it becomes necessary to massage data in another way.

-- M. D. McIlroy October 11, 1964

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.

-- C. A. R. Hoare

Belief is when someone else does the thinking.

-- Buckminster Fuller

In the precapitalistic ages the difference between rich and poor was the difference between traveling in a coach and four and traveling, sometimes without shoes, on foot. Today in the industrialized parts of the U.S. the difference between rich and poor is the difference between a late model Cadillac and a second-hand Chevrolet. It is difficult to see how this result could have been achieved without bigness in business.

-- Ludwig von Mises

Capitalism is the best. It's free enterprise. Barter. Gimbels, if I get really rank with the clerk, 'Well I don't like this', how I can resolve it? If it really gets ridiculous, I go, 'Frig it, man, I walk.' What can this guy do at Gimbels, even if he was the president of Gimbels? He can always reject me from that store, but I can always go to Macy's. He can't really hurt me. Communism is like one big phone company. Government control, man. And if I get too rank with that phone company, where can I go? I'll end up like a schmuck with a dixie cup on a thread.

-- Lenny Bruce

I am wiser than this man, for neither of us appears to know anything great and good; but he fancies he knows something, although he knows nothing; whereas I, as I do not know anything, so I do not fancy I do. In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.

-- attributed to Socrates, from Plato, Apology

It's tempting to view each of these extremes as merely an alternative to compromise, but compromise isn't a goal, it's a temporary tactic.

-- Seth Godin

If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?

-- Tom Snyder

Suggesting I hate people with religion because I hate religion is like suggesting I hate people with cancer becaue I hate cancer.

-- Ricky Gervais

"Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader--the barbarians enter Rome."

--Robert A. Heinlein, To Sail Beyond the Sunset (1987) pg 223

"the individual is the one supreme consideration. No society can possibly be built upon a denial of individual freedom. It is contrary to the very nature of man. Just as a man will not grow horns or a tail, so will he not exist as man if he has no mind of his own. In reality even those who do not believe in the liberty of the individual believe in their own."

-- Mahatma Gandhi

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.

-- Isass Asimov

There are only two rules for drinking whisky. First, never take whisky without water, and second, never take water without whisky.

-- Chic Murray - Scottish Actor/Comedian

First, we guess. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see if this is right, what would it imply? Then we compare the results to nature. If it disagrees with experiments, it's wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't make a difference how beautiful your guess is, how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiments, it's wrong.

-- Richard Feynman explaining the scientific method.

You know, I think I understand what you're like now. You're very beautiful and you think men are only interested in you because you're beautiful, but you want them to be interested in you because you're you. The problem is, aside from all that beauty, you're not very interesting. You're rude, you're hostile, you're sullen, you're withdrawn. I know you want someone to look past all that at the real person underneath but the only reason anyone would bother to look past all that is because you're beautful. Ironic, isn't it? In an odd way you're your own problem.

-- Jack Nicholson, Wolf
It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.

-- Richard Feynman

Suggesting people can't live without government is like saying animals couldn't live survive without farms...

-- Philosoraptor

[T]he endeavors of philosophers to define neatly the attributes of an absolute being, free from all the limitations and frailties of human existence, by the use of praxeological concepts, are no less questionable.

Scholastic philosophers and theologians and likewise Theists and Deists of the Age of Reason conceived an absolute and perfect being, unchangeable, omnipotent, and omniscient, and yet planning and acting, aiming at ends and employing means for the attainment of these ends. But action can only be imputed to a discontented being, and repeated action only to a being who lacks the power to remove his uneasiness once and for all at one stroke. An acting being is discontented and therefore not almighty. If he were contented, he would not act, and if he were almighty, he would have long since radically removed his discontent. For an all-powerful being there is no pressure to choose between various states of uneasiness; he is not under the necessity of acquiescing in the lesser evil. Omnipotence would mean the power to achieve everything and to enjoy full satisfaction without being restrained by any limitations. But this is incompatible with the very concept of action. For an almighty being the categories of ends and means do not exist. He is above all human comprehension, concepts, and understanding. For the almighty being every "means" renders unlimited services, he can apply every "means" for the attainment of any ends, he can achieve every end without the employment of any means. It is beyond the faculties of the human mind to think the concept of almightiness consistently to its ultimate logical consequences. The paradoxes are insoluble. Has the almighty being the power to achieve something which is immune to his later interference? If he has this power, then there are limits to his might and he is no longer almighty; if he lacks this power, he is by virtue of this fact alone not almighty.

Are omnipotence and omniscience compatible? Omniscience presupposes that all future happenings are already unalterably determined. If there is omniscience, omnipotence is inconceivable. Impotence to change anything in the predetermined course of events would restrict the power of any agent.

-- Ludwig von Mises, in Human Action

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered. If we're compassionate, we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint."

-- Penn Jillette

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. Both are the frefuge of political and economic opportunists.

-- Ernest Hemingway

If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.

-- Thomas Sowell

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

My personal view is that recognizing the validity of an evolutionary process does not support atheism nor should it diminish one's view about God and the Universe.

-- Ron Paul, Liberty Defined

I keep forgetting people invented Google. I started thinking of it like lakes and trees, stuff that is just there and always has been.

-- Mike Jones

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

-- George Orwell

That's right; the upper-case shift works fine on the screen, but they're not coming out on the damn printer... Hold? Sure, I'll hold."

-- e.e. cummings last service call

Faith is belief without reason. I think as soon as you turn your back on reason, you turn your back on what makes us human.

-- Iain M. Banks, 2010-10-07

The major problem - one of the major problems, for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.

To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job..

-- Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

He lay there a bit longer. Through the tumbled heap of his memories came the recollections of mornings in bed when he was a little boy, desperately subdividing the passing time into smaller and smaller units to put off the terrible momment of getting up and having to face all the problems of life such as, in this case, who he was, where he was, and why he was.

-- Rincewind, from Eric by Terry Pratchett

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

-- disputed origin
The Consultant's Curse:

When the customer has beaten upon you long enough, give him what he asks for, instead of what he needs. This is very strong medicine, and is normally only required once.

Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world "No, you move."

-- Captain America

I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank.You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out and, by the Eternal, I will rout you out.

-- Andrew Jackson

Those who claim to foresee the future are lying, even if by chance they are later proved right.

-- Arabic saying

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.

-- Abraham Lincoln

If there happens to be a trough, there will be pigs.

-- Russian poet Pushkin in his novella Dubrovsky

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

-- John Adams,
'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,'
December 1770
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch. Nay, you may kick it about all day, and it will be round and full at evening.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Giving everyone a pony is impractical.

-- Matt Mackall (Mercurial users mailing list)

"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it." .

-- Brian W. Kernighan

"If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment."

-- Lord Ernest Rutherford

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

-- Bertrand Russell

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."

-- H. L. Mencken
  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  3. You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
  10. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

--William J. H. Boetcker, 1916

Some part of the internet is always broken and now its just your turn.

-- John Serdy

Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.

-- Henry L. Mencken

If you think you are smart enough to write multi-threaded programs, then you're not.

-- Jim Ahlstrom

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if i have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

-- Buddha

You know you're getting old when you think "wow, what a great hat."

-- Bill Klingenburg

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

-- Winston Churchill

i dont know what i am attempting to do

-- Jimmy

If you want to understand your job you should work in fast food.

-- John Serdy

Artificially created Federal Reserve credit is like XML - if it doesn't work use more.

-- John Serdy

Nobel Prize-winning French novelist Andre Gide had a point when he advised, "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

"I saw `cout' being shifted "Hello world" times to the left and stopped right there."

--Steve Gonedes

"There is a God, but He drinks."

-- Blore

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean.

-- Albert Einstein

When I was seven years old, I was once reprimanded by my mother for an act of collective brutality in which I had been involved at school. A group of seven-year-olds had been teasing and tormenting a six-year-old. "It is always so," my mother said. "You do things together which not one of you would think of doing alone." ... Wherever one looks in the world of human organization, collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards. The military establishment is an extreme case, an organization which seems to have been expressly designed to make it possible for people to do things together which nobody in his right mind would do alone.

-- Freeman Dyson, "Weapons and Hope"

The problem with the world is stupidity. Not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

-- Frank Zappa

"[Perl] combines all the worst aspects of C and Lisp: a billion different sublanguages in one monolithic executable. It combines the power of C with the readability of PostScript."

-- Jamie Zawinski

"If you aim the gun at your foot and pull the trigger, it's UNIX's job to ensure reliable delivery of the bullet to where you aimed the gun (in this case, Mr. Foot)."

-- Terry Lambert, FreeBSD-hackers mailing list.

A leader is best when people barely know that he exists. Less good when they obey and acclaim him. Worse when they fear and despise him. Fail to honor people, and they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "We did this ourselves."

-- Lao-Tzu

Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling . the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than admiration. Possibly this trend results from a mistaken belief that using a somewhat mysterious device confers an aura of power on the user"

-- Niklaus Wirth

"This is Unix; stop acting so helpless"

-- djb

"To me vi is Zen. To use vi is to practice zen. Every command is a koan. Profound to the user, unintelligible to the uninitiated. You discover truth everytime you use it."

Patent. n. Genius is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. A patent is a tool for doing 5% of the work and then sitting around waiting for someone else to do the other 95% so you can sue them.

There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.

-Ed Howdershelt (Author)

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.


"About as straight as you'd expect hotrodders to look. It's that kind of fanaticism. A true hacker is not a group person. He's a person who loves to stay up all night, he and the machine in a love-hate relationship. ... They're kids who tended to be brilliant but not very interested in conventional goals. And computing is just a fabulous place for that, because it's a place where you don't have to be a Ph.D. or anything else. It's a place where you can still be an artisan. People are willing to pay you if you're any good at all, and you have plenty of time for screwing around."

-- Alan Kay describes the standard Computer Bum in a 1972 Rolling Stone article on "Spacewar," written by Stewart Brand

It is surely insulting to the people of Moses to imagine that they had come this far under the impression that murder, adultery, theft, and perjury were permissible.

-- Christopher Hitchens

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.

-- German proverb

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.

-- Pericles (430 BC)

Well, I've wrestled with reality for over thirty five years, doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.

-- Jimmy Stewart, in "Harvey"

We decided to try out a new Mexican restuarant in town. After being seated, I drew her attention to a cast Metal picture of a shirtless Mayan warrior carrying a nude woman.

"Hey, check out the porn on the wall."

"It's not porn." She said " It's art"

"What? There's metal boobs right there, what makes it art and not porn." I asked.

"If you can add a naked midget and it doesn't seem completely out of place, it's porn. If there was a naked midget standing behind them, what would you say?"

"Probably something along the lines of. What the fuck, why is there a naked midget?"

"Then it's Art."

-- by monkeiboi on

"This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector."

- Plato

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

- U.S. President James Madison

"Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death."

- Adolph Hitler

"Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

"The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened".

- Josef Stalin

"Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter's prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes' excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (1926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud."

- Benito Mussolini