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Tom Elmer's Quotes

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

These are quotes that I have posted to my page since 1996 March 15 (now in reverse order)

Hey... someone has even quoted me... I'm immortal now!! Muahahahaha!!!

But first, before we get on to the quotes...

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Now the Quotes...

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
(source unknown) Albert Einstein

Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do... The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Really smart people with reasonable funding can do just about anything that doesn't violate too many of Newton's Laws!
Alan Kay in 1971
Developer of Smalltalk, the inspiration for MacIntosh and subsequent windowing OS's.

"The origin of the quote came from an early meeting in 1971 of PARC, Palo Alto Research Center, folks and the Xerox planners. In a fit of passion I uttered the quote!".
- Alan Kay, in an email on Sept 17, 1998 to Peter W. Lount

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Albert Einstein quoted in The Saturday Review, 1955.04.30

[T]he great tragedy of science [is] the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. [...] But we all too often forget that it is one thing to refute a proposition, and another to prove the truth of a doctrine which, implicitly or explicitly, contradicts that proposition;
Collected Essays VIII, 'Biogenesis and Abiogenesis' by Thomas Huxley

I call architecture frozen music.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An idea is salvation by imagination.
Frank Lloyd Wright

What a man does, that he has. What has he to do with hope or fear? In himself is his might. Let him regard no good as solid, but that which is in his nature, and which must grow out of him as long as he exists. The goods of fortune may come and go like summer leaves; let him scatter them on every wind as the momentary signs of his infinite productiveness.
Essays: First Series, 'Spiritual Laws' by Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Will Rogers

Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.
Frank Lloyd Wright

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Blaise Pascal

I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

How much easier it is to be generous than just! Men are sometimes bountiful who are not honest.
(pseudonym of the unknown author of a series of letters published in a London newspaper during 1769-1772)

This strange second in a life, that unusual event, those remarkable coincidences of environment, opportunity and encounter... all of them have been reproduced over and over on the planet of a sun whose galaxy revolves once in two hundred million years and has revolved nine times already. There has been joy. There will be joy again.
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy - in fact, they're almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other. Both at once can produce unbearable turmoil.
Jubal, Strangers in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature...is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life.
Henri Frederic Amiel

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Pablo Picasso

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The price we pay for anticipation of the future is anxiety about it.
The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
Aldous Huxley (1894- 1963)

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Steve Biko

If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him.
Robert Louis Stevenson

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life, and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Throeau

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist....Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind....I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
  What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy to live in solitude after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
'Self-Reliance' by Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who seizes the right moment, is the right man.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? what passions opposed? what temptation resisted? what virtue acquired? Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.
Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.)

Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore... Dream... Discover.
Mark Twain

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau

The persistence of superannuated institutions in striving to perpetuate themselves is like the obstinacy of a rancid perfume clinging to the hair, to the pretension of a spoiled fish that insists on being eaten, the tenacious folly of a child's garment trying to clothe a man, or the tenderness of a corpse returning to embrace the living.
  "Ungrateful!" exclaims the garment. "I shielded you in weakness. Why do you reject me now?" "I come from the depths of the sea," says the fish. "I was once a rose," cries the perfume. "I loved you," murmurs the corpse. "I civilized you," says the convent.
  To this there is only one reply: "That was long ago."
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.
Myrlie Evers

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment of knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin

My loneliness was born when men praised my talkative faults and blamed my silent virtues.
Sand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy ... neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Thomas Huxley

It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.
Henry David Thoreau

Mankind will always be doomed to distruction if we continue to ask for the truth -- and then refuse to listen to it.
The Outer Limits

A lie is most convincingly hidden between two truths.
Deep Throat, 'E.B.E.', The X-Files

You shouldn't seek happiness through things that other people have control over. Otherwise you will end up enslaved to them... Live for your own values and beliefs: things that nobody can take away. Then nobody can own you.
Epictetus, as translated in Realtime Interrupt by James Hogan

Let this be an example for the acquisition of all knowledge, virtue, and riches. By the fall of drops of water, by degrees, a pot is filled.
The Hitopadesa

O senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm and yet will make Gods by the dozen!
Michel de Montaigne (1533- 1592)

If our life is the sum total of all the choices we've made, then we cannot change who we are; but with each decision we are faced with, we have the ability to change who we will be.
The Outer Limits

Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
Ludwig Witgenstein

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
Oscar Wilde 'The Critic as Artist' [Also attributed to Elbert Hubbard.]

We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry.
John Webster

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
Diane Ackerman

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.
Charles F. Kettering

To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe...
Carl Sagan

Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
Sandra Carey

So Jesus didn't save us, so science didn't save us... When will humanity realize that it's [sic] savior is the person who stares back in the mirror every morning?
David Joseph Hennessy

It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
G. H. Hardy

We're in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it's all gone.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

I have always thought it curious that, while most scientists claim to eschew religion, it actually dominates their thoughts more than it does the clergy.
Fred Hoyle

It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.
C.W. Leadbeater

Either I'm dead or my watch has stopped.
Last words of Groucho Marx

I stand alone on the edge of tommorow to extend the limits of the possible.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend: and inside a dog, it's too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

inspiration is in the one who reads not that which is read.
Joan Elmo- Storey

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
Albert Einstein

As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.
Ursula LeGuin

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Henry David Thoreau

Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, who can't are those in cemeteries.
Everett Dirksen

Faith in the supernatural begins as faith in the superiority of others.
John Galt, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Night fell again. There was war to the south, but our sector was quiet. The battle was over. Our casualties were some thirteen thousand killed - thirteen thousand minds, memories, loves, sensations, worlds, universes - because the human mind is more a universe than the universe itself - and all for a few hundred yards of useless mud.
The Magus by John Fowles

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.
Thomas A. Edison

All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer

"Natura inest in mentibus nostris insatiabilis quaedam cupiditas veri videndi,"
"Nature has planted in our minds the insatiable longing to see the truth."
Cicero (106-43 BCE)

"On resiste a l'invasion des armees; on ne resiste pas a l'invasion des idees,"
"One resists the invasion of armies, but not the invasion of ideas."

It's easy to tell the difference [between a cult and an established religion] - a cult is someone else's religion.
Jim Heldberg
Corollary: A fanatic is someone who believes something more strongly than you do.

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Mark Twain

Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
Joseph Joubert

to read good books is like holding a conversation with the most eminent minds of past centuries and, moreover, a studied conversation in which these authors reveal to us only the best of their thoughts.
Discourse on Method by Descartes


A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person - perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.
'The Persistence of Memory' , Cosmos, by Carl Sagan

The impossible is often the untried.
Jim Goodwin

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

Borges wrote The Library of Babel, about a library that contains every book. Not just every book that has been written. Every book. Twenty-six letters. Space, comma, period. Each book has something like 60 characters a line, 20 lines a page, 200 pages. If you go through every possible combination, you go out somewhere far past the trillions. If you're lucky, wandering the library, in the course of your life you might once find "the quick brown fox jumped" in the middle of a volume made up entirely of the letter "p".

If I listen, I have the advantage. If I speak, the others have it.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Albert Einstein

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however
Richard Bach

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

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
Marilyn vos Savant

The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.
H.T. Leslie

Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned.
Heinrich Heine Almansor

I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life.
Mohandas Gandhi

There are many hypotheses in physics of almost comparable brillance and elegance that have been rejected because they did not survive such a confrontation with experiment. In my view, the human condition would be greatly improved if such confrontations and willingness to reject hypotheses were a regular part of our social, political, economic, religious and cultural lives.
The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
Paulo Freire

There is one thing stronger that all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.

Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes. (Per contra, scientia est potentia.)

Quidquid Latine Dictum Sit, Profundum Viditur

Grad school is the snooze button on the clock-radio of life.
Comedian John Rogers (who holds a graduate degree in physics)

When I get a little money, I buy books; And, if any is left, I buy food and clothes.

A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow.
Charles Brower

No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field.
Niels Bohr

The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.
Florence Scovel Shinn

Silence is the voice of complicity.

Education ... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G.M. Trevelyan

Adonna, when he play-acted as God, implanted a very inadequate and corrupt notion of sin in human minds. He said sin was a violation of god's law. That is the philosophy of a tyrant, not a creator. He wished to keep all humans subjugated and ignorant. Human growth was an anathema to him. He wished to keep us in ignorance and darkness. There is no god's law. Why should a god impose arbitrary limits? There is only growth and understanding. Through growth and understanding, there is love. Where there is no understanding and no growth, only ignorance, there is no love. That is sin. But to grow is to commit mistakes. To learn sometimes requires trial and error. It should be apparent to you now that all sins are youthful transgressions. All evil is youthful. After a few thousand years, thoughts of evil become ineffably boring, like the posturing of ill-mannered children.
The Serpent Mage, Songs of Earth and Power by Greg Bear

Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers.
William Penn

It is often better not to see an insult than to avenge it.

It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
Thomas Huxley

A radioactive cat has 18 half lives

Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, there you long to return.
Da Vinci

"Those who do not have history are doomed to retype it!"
Santayana, if he'd been a Unix Geek.

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

There are no facts, only interpretations.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.
John D. Rockefeller

A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Gagehot

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.
Kurt Lewin

Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.
A. Einstein

Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.

#1: "What is it that makes the humans so special? What is it that draws you to them?"
#2: "They fight. They argue. They are ruled by passions and fears."
D: "Yes, and that is their strength. They do not seek conformity. They do not surrender. Out of their differences comes symmetry, their unique capacity to fight against impossible odds. Hurt them and they only come back stronger. The passions we deplore have taken them to their place in their stars and will propel them to a great destiny. Their only weakness is that they do not recognize their own greatness. They forget that they have come to this place through two million years of evolution, struggle and blood and they are better than they think and nobler than they know. They carry within them the capacity to walk amongst the stars like giants. They are the future and we have much to learn from them."
Grey Council #1 & #2 and Delenn, 'Babylon Squared', Babylon 5 by JMS

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you hardly catch it going.
Tennessee Williams

There is no greater sorrow than to recall a time of happiness in misery.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.
Hebrew proverb

Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.
American Indian Proverb

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.
Harry S. Truman

Jack the Ripper excused himself on the grounds that what he did was human nature
A.A. Milne

I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserved them? So, now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Marcus, 'A Late Delivery From Avalon', Babylon 5 by JMS

Two step formula for handling stress: 1. Don't sweat the small stuff. 2. Remember that it's all small stuff.
Anthony Robbins

Nothing contributes more to peace of soul than having no opinion at all.
George Christopher Lichtenberg

program (pro'-gram) [n] A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one's input into error messages.

program (pro'-gram) [vi] To engage in a pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall but with fewer opportunities for reward.

I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.
Elbert Hubbard

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.
Thomas Jefferson
(Unless of course you are doing a long research paper)

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
Helen Keller

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.
Albert Camus

The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self- awareness.
Annie Savoy, Bull Durham
(Tell me what YOU think.)

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.

The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.

The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Thomas Paine

Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.
David Lloyd George

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
Albert Einstein

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
Horace Mann(?)
(Seen on 'Changing of the Guard', Twilight Zone)

One cannot always be a hero, but one can always be a human.

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

Every man has one thing he can do better than anyone else - and usually it's reading his own handwriting.
G. Norman Collie

Thesaurus: n. ancient reptile with large vocabulary.