Random Awesome Quotes

Just three days until Random Rationality is released. Until then, here are twenty random and awesome quotes!

“How fortunate that men do not think.”

Adolf Hitler

“Universal truth is not measured in mass appeal.”

Immortal Technique

The time will come when you will see, we are all one.”

The Beatles

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.”

Unknown

In the end we discover the only condition for living is to die.

José Saramago

“I am only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.”

Unknown

You cannot reason a man out of that which he was not reasoned into.”

Benjamin Franklin

“The first principle is you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard Feynman

“The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”

Arthur C. Clarke

We long to be here for a purpose, even though despite much self-deception. None is evident.

Carl Sagan

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

Plato

As long as you still experience the stars as something above you, you still lack a viewpoint of knowledge.”

Frederick Nietzsche

“Depressions and mass unemployment are not caused by the free market but by government interference in the economy.”

Ludwig von Mises

“Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.”

Carl Sagan

“There are many things given to us in this life for the wrong reasons. What we do with such blessings, that is the true test of a man.”

Gnannicus

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Every one who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.”

George Matthew Adams

“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” 

Gandhi

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of poison 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.”

Albert Einstein

You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing, then to have answers that might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, and I’m not absolutely sure about everything, and there are many things I know nothing about. I don’t have to know an answer, I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it is as far as I can tell, and so all together I can’t believe the special stories that are made up about our relationship to the Universe.

Richard Feynman

I’m An Idiot…Are You?

If you have read my author bio, or my letter to my future self, you will make the astute observation that I call myself idiot rather often, and you may ask why do I do this

The answer lies in a good friend of mine. It was some years back, as we were having one of our many debates, Israel vs Palestine I believe it was. Upon concluding our debate, with no clear victor, he said something along the lines of “What do I know, I’m stupid…”. That struck me as rather odd. He was, and still is, one of the most intelligent people I know. I would never had admitted something like that about myself. As far as I was concerned, I was at least somewhat intelligent.

I believe I finally understand his meaning. If you admit to yourself that you are smart, you will eventually begin assuming you are smart, and not keep up the necessary hard work and sacrifice needed to actually stay smart. If you keep telling yourself you are intelligent, or reveling in others praise of your intelligence, eventually you become dumb; the world just moves on by.

We live in a fast-moving world, bombarded every day with information from a multitude of sources. Just to keep up to date with the latest issues, requires hours a day of reading, watching and social interaction.

I spent hours a day reading articles on philosophy, science, politics, economics, and technology on my computer at home, my laptop when my girlfriend is showering, on my tablet when I am out and about, on my iPhone when I am and about and forgot my tablet, and on my Kindle when I tire of backlit screens. I do all this to try to be up-to-date, to know stuff, and stay an idiot, for I can never be smart. I don’t do this just to release a book. It is my default mode, I just like to know everything, and I like to pass on that knowledge to others. But to be smart is a fantasy, a goal that will never be realized. It took me a few years to realize that, which just proves the point of this post.

At the end of the day, we are all idiots at a lot of different things, while only competent in a few areas, and only smart in even less. The best thing we can do is let go of the fantasy that we are smart. I get a little better at it every day.