Food for wider thought

It is much easier to recognize error than to find truth; for error lies on the surface and may be overcome; but truth lies in the depths, and to search for it is not given to everyone. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Truth is a gem that is found at a great depth; whilst on the surface of this world, all things are weighed by the false scale of custom - Lord Byron


That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history - Aldous Huxley


I shall speak and converse with you on the following condition: viz., that unless you are compelled by reason, you will reject as unimportant everything you will hear from me. - Nicholas of Cusa


It is easier to make measurements than to know what we are measuring. – Bradford S. Weeks


The roots of ecology are in the ecology of roots. – D. N. Sen


Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth. - P.B. Medawar


The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. - Arthur C. Clarke


Seek simplicity and distrust it. - Alfred North Whitehead


A good scientist is less mindful of the risk of making a wrong prediction than of the stupidity of refraining from prediction. - Antoni Milewski

Repetition makes us feel secure and variation makes us feel free. - Robert Hass


Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation by thinking once or twice a week. - George Bernard Shaw


As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness. - Albert Einstein


Science seeks complexity in description but simplicity in explanation. - Antoni Milewski


What a cancer cell would say to a normal cell, without irony, is ‘It’s the Economy, stupid’. - Antoni Milewski

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. ― Arthur C. Clarke


In order to explore Biology to the limits of the scientific method, be skeptical about everything - beginning with skepticism. - Antoni Milewski


Wisdom and technology are neither each other’s cause, nor each other’s consequence. - Antoni Milewski


A good scientist is less mindful of the risk of making a wrong prediction than of the stupidity of refraining from prediction. - Antoni Milewski


A scientist can never clarify any puzzle too much, or test any clarification too soon. - Antoni Milewski


What a cancer cell would say to a normal cell, without irony, is ‘It’s the Economy, stupid’. - Antoni Milewski

Seek simplicity and distrust it. ― Alfred North Whitehead


Repetition makes us feel secure and variation makes us feel free. ― Robert Hass


Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation by thinking once or twice a week. ― George Bernard Shaw


As the circle of light increases, so does the circumference of darkness. ― Albert Einstein


Of all the worst ways of defining man, the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal. ― Anatole France


Decisions of the kind the executive has to make are not made well by acclamation. They are made well only if based on the clash of conflicting views, the dialogue between different points of view, the choice between different judgements. The first rule in decision-making is that one does not make a decision unless there is disagreement.

  • Alfred P. Sloane is reported to have said at a meeting of one of his top committees: “Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here.” Everyone around the table nodded in assent. “Then,” continued Mr. Sloane, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about.”

― Peter F. Drucker


To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle. ― George Orwell


If you are old and you wish to be young again, if only for a moment, try and identify a dragonfly. ― Simon Barnes


There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humour. ― George Santayana


There is a light at the end of every tunnel. Some tunnels just happen to be longer than others. ― Ada Adams


We are all born mad. Some remain so. ― Samuel Beckett


The forceps of our minds are clumsy things and crush the truth a little in the course of taking hold of it. ― H.G. Wells


If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day. ― John A. Wheeler


Science ... commits suicide when it adopts a creed. ― Thomas Huxley


The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land, to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions. ― Thomas Huxley 


Ask a scientist what he conceives the scientific method to be and he will adopt an expression that is at once solemn and shifty-eyed: solemn, because he feels he ought to declare an opinion; shifty-eyed, because he is wondering how to conceal the fact that he has no opinion to declare. ―  Peter Medawar 


Our mistake is not that we take our theories too seriously, but that we do not take them seriously enough. ― Steven Weinberg


We accomplish the apparently miraculous feat of reducing a chaotic world to order, because we carefully confine our attention and our efforts only to those portions which we find can be ordered. ― Norman Campbell


...an academic discipline (is) a group of scholars who (have) agreed to not ask certain embarrassing questions about key assumptions. ― Mark Nathan Cohen 


Thought does not ennoble us and neither does it differentiate humans from other animals. ― George Bataille 


The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. ― John Kenneth Galbraith 


If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. ― William Blake


In the realm of Nature there is nothing purposeless, trivial, or unnecessary. ― Maimonides


More than any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. ― Woody Allen


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. ― H.G. Wells


Man is neither angel nor beast; and the misfortune is that he who would act the angel acts the beast. ― Blaise Pascal


I was a student in the Department of Anthropology. At that time, they were teaching that there was absolutely no difference between anybody. They may be teaching that still. ― Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


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


Molecule, n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. ― Ambrose Bierce


This has always been a man's world, and none of the reasons hitherto brought forward in explanation of this fact has seemed adequate. ― Simone de Beauvoir


The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ― Bertrand Russell 


The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing ― to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. — John Keats 


With knowledge comes more doubt. — Johann Wolfgang Goethe 
When you have exhausted all the possibilities, remember this, you haven't. — Thomas Edison

...there's no reason why scholarship can't be as seriously playful as bubble-blowing. — Jonathon Keats 


 Nowhere did he reveal his originality so forcefully as in the ideas he borrowed. — Delacroix


You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea. — John Nuveen
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ― Mark Twain
We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality. ― Iris Murdoch
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign. ― Robert Louis Stevenson
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts. ― Henry Rosovsky

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ― Gloria Steinem


Truth is a gem that is found at a great depth; whilst on the surface of the world all things are weighed by the false scale of custom. — Lord Byron


It is easier to make measurements than to know what we are measuring. ― Bradford S. Weeks