Quotations

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.

Buddha

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.

A civilization cannot progress without criticism, and must therefore, to save itself from stagnation and putrefaction, declare impunity for criticism. This means impunity not only for propositions which, however novel, seem interesting, statesmanlike, and respectable, but for propositions that shock the uncritical as obscene, seditious, blasphemous, heretical, and revolutionary.

To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

Black holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.

Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Every student can learn, just not on the same day, or the same way.

The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

Until the deep conflicts of nations and classes which infect our world have been resolved, it is hardly to be expected that mankind will return to a rational habit of mind.

It seems a long time since the morning mail could be called correspondence.

How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break.

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.

A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.

No one ever believes that the Bible means what it says: They are always convinced that it says what they mean.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

The flood of words keeps rising. Millions are marooned, alone, who won't be throw a line.

As a technology, the book is like a hammer. That is to say, it is perfect: a tool ideally suited to its task. Hammers can be tweaked and varied but will never go obsolete. Even when builders pound nails by the thousand with pneumatic nail guns, every household needs a hammer. Likewise, the bicycle is alive and well. It was invented in a world without automobiles, and for speed and range it was quickly surpassed by motorcycles and all kinds of powered scooters. But there is nothing quaint about bicycles. They out sell cars.

The trouble with integers is that we have examined only the very small ones. Maybe all the exciting stuff happens at really big numbers, ones we can't even begin to think about in any very definite way. Our brains have evolved to get us out of the rain, find where the berries are, and keep us from getting killed. Our brains did not evolve to help us grasp really large numbers or to look at things in a hundred thousand dimensions.

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that....

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Buddha

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.

I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow.

All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." .... Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.

The tantalizing and compelling pursuit of mathematical problems offers mental absorption, peace of mind amid endless challenges, repose in activity, battle without conflict, "refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings," and the sort of beauty changeless mountains present to sense tried by the present-day kaleidoscope of events.

It is absolutely impossible to transcend the laws of nature. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws expose themselves.

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Twice two makes four seems to me simply a piece of insolence. Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo barring your path and spitting. I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Sidelights on Relativity

You have to do math; it's not a spectator sport.

I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

What was lacking in the usual approach, even at its best, was any sense of genuine enquiry, or any stimulus to curiosity, or appeal to the imagination. There was little feeling that one can puzzle out an approach to fresh problems withouth having to be given detailed instructions.

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.

Buddha

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Still more astonishing is that world of rigorous fantasy we call mathematics.

For God’s sake, let us be people, not monkeys minding machines, or sitting with our tails curled, while the machine amuses us, the radio or film or gramophone.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

They hang the man, and flog the woman, That steals the goose from off the common; But let the greater villain loose, That steals the common from the goose.

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.

It was in the 1980s that food began disappearing from the American supermarket, gradually to be replaced by “nutrients,” which are not the same thing.