A collection of quotes gathered on my journey through the world of literature.

By pumping up hyper-partisanship, our country (America) is playing with forces that can easily get out of control.  We are giving purpose and cover – and sometimes a sense of purpose – to the crazy among us.  We are encouraging a culture of extremism-John Avlon

Wingnuts are addicted to their drug of choice – a righteous indignation that makes them unable to see any perspective other than their own-John Avlon

Our politics are being hijacked by a comparatively small number of people who seek to dominate the debate by screaming the loudest.  They see the world as an urgent struggle between true believers and nonbelievers.  They attempt to impose strict litmus tests and insist on conformity.  They demonize dissent and consider all political opponents their enemies.  Fear is their favourite tactic as they try to divide and conquer-Jon Avlon

In a place where everybody thinks alike, nobody thinks very much-Quote from Wingnuts

Once you’ve invested your trust in partisan ‘truth tellers’, heartbreak is sure to follow-John Avlon

So let’s call the 9/11 Truthers what they are-al-Qaeda apologists-Jon Avlon

The line between political fanatsy and reality can blur for the unhinged

We cannot hope to change human nature.  There will always be cranks and conspiracy theorists among us.  But we can try to improve things – we don’t have to accept the debasement of civil discourse or civic decline.  We can take steps to ensure that the lunatic fringe remains on the fringe and stops bleeding into the base and then poisoning the mainstream-Jon Avlon

But in his Farewell Address, George Washington made it clear that he perceived no greater threat to the American experiment than a partisan demagogue who ‘agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against the other’-Jon Avlon

I love the truth; it’s facts I’m not a fan of-Stephen Colbert

The middle of the road is all the usable surface.  The extremes, left and right, are in the gutters-President Eishenhower

“If the Bible is a creation myth, it is an amorphous confusing one” – Todd Giltin and Liel Leibovitz

“America is not just ‘a nation with the soul of a church,’ as G.K. Chesterton wrote in 1992: it is a nation with the mind of a crusade”-Todd Giltin and Liel Leibovitz

Ideology offers human beings the illusion of dignity and morals while making it easier to part with them-Vaclav Havel

Religion is an excellent reinforcement of shaky temporal authority-Christopher Hitchens

The real struggle for us is for the citizen to cease to be the property of the state-Christopher Hitchens

Mutato nomine et de te fabula narratur: Change only the name and this story is about you-Christopher Hitchens

John Maynard Keynes’s question: “When the facts change then my opinion changes: and you, sir?-Christopher Hitchens

Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing-Christopher Hitchens

Don’t drink on an empty stomach: the main point of refreshment is the enhancement of food.  Don’t drink if you have blues: it’s a junk cure.  Drink when you are in a good mood.  Cheap booze is a false economy.  It’s not true that you shouldn’t drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain-Christopher Hitchens

You only find out what you ought to have known by pretending to know at least some of it already-Christopher Hitchens

Many of the best lack all conviction, hesitating to defend the society that makes their existence possible, while the worst are full to the brim and boiling over with murderous exaltation-Christopher Hitchens

The defense of science and reason is the great imperative of our time-Christopher Hitchens

The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of this conspiracy in apocalyptic terms…He is always manning the barricade of civilization.  He constantly lives at the turning point: It is now or never in organizing resistance to conspiracy.  Time is forever running out-Richard Hofstadter

She often thought of the cross there as the religious version of the Chevrolet Bowtie, a logo that had come into being for no other reason than because some guy saw it on the wallpaper of a Paris hotel room a hundred years ago and liked it.  If you saw such symbols as divine, you were probably a lunatic-Stephen King

If you don’t control your temper, your temper will control you-Stephen King

It’s the Sherlock Rule: When you eliminate the impossible, the answer, no matter how improbable, is what remains-Stephen King

I must accept those things over which I have no control.  I must turn my adversities into advantages-Stephen King

America’s two great specialties are demagogues and rock and roll, and we’ve all heard plenty in our time-Stephen King

Pity was not love, Barbie reflected … but if you were a child, giving clothes to someone who was naked had to be a step in the right direction-Stephen King.

“There would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest”-James Madison

Regression toward the mean. That is, in any series of random events an extraordinary event is most likely to be followed, due purely to chance, by a more ordinary one.-Leonard Mlodinow

That’s why successful people in every field are almost universally members of a certain set – the set of people who don’t give up -Leonard Mlodinow

The probability that two events will both occur can never be greater than the probability that each will occur individually-Leonard Mlodinow

If the details we are given fit our mental picture of something, then the more details in a scenario, the more real it seems and hence the more probable we consider it to be – even though any act of adding less-than-certain details to a conjecture makes the conjecture less probable-Leonard Mlodinow

Psychologists call that type of mistake the availability bias because in reconstructing the past, we give unwarranted importance to memories that are most vivid and hence most available for retrieval-Leonard Mlodinow

Cicero wrote that “probability is the very guide of life” -quoted by Leonard Mlodinow

If two possible events, A and B, are independent, then the probability that both A and B will occur is equal to the product of their individual probabilities-Leonard Mlodinow

If an event can have a number of different and distinct possible outcomes, A, B, C, and so on, then the probability that either A or B will occur is equal to the sum of the individual probabilities of A and B, and the sum of the probabilities of all possible outcomes (A, B, C, and so on) is 1 (that is, 100 percent)-Leonard Mlodinow

The chances of an event depend on the number of ways in which it can occur-Leonard Mlodinow

When we are in the grasp of an illusion – or, for that matter, whenever we have a new idea – instead of searching for ways to prove our ideas wrong, we usually attempt to prove them correct.  Psychologists call this the confirmation bias, and it presents a major impediment to our ability to break free from the misinterpretation of randomness-Leonard Mlodinow

What I’ve learned, above all, is to keep marching forward because the best news is that since chance does play a role, one important factor in success is under our control: the number of at bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized.  For even a coin weighted toward failure will sometimes land on success.  Or as the IBM pioneer Thomas Watson said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate”-Leonard Mlodinow

You cannot reason someone out of something he has not been reasoned into-Jonathan Swift


One response to “Quotes

  1. dancerontheedge

    It’s the Sherlock Rule: When you eliminate the impossible, the answer, no matter how improbable, is what remains-Stephen King

    Hi.. this quote doesnt make sense.
    If you eliminate the impossible from what you know, what remains is still only what you know. There is no answer. Knowledge is finite, our minds are finite, our understanding is childlike and incomplete.
    If I have a basket of fruit, and know nothing of the existence of other more unusual fruits, what is the point of deducing that the fruit I have is all the fruit there is.

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