There is a cult of ignorance in the United States... nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'.

Isaac Asimov

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

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.

-- https://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/01
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

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

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 bigthink.com - 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."

--reddy@lion.austin.ibm.com

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.

--Einstein

"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 reddit.com http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/b9o5y/my_girlfriend_proffered_this_test_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