Quotes, 2018 Edition, Volume S

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Rick Sanchez (Rick and Morty)
”You’re missing the point, Morty. Why would he drive a smaller toaster with wheels? Does your car look like a smaller version of your house? No.” (“M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” (Season 1, Episode 4))
“So a few thousand versions of me had the ingenious idea of banding together like a herd of cattle or a school of fish, or… those people who answer questions on Yahoo! Answers.” (“Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” (Season 1, Episode 10))
“Save it for the SemanticsDome, E.B. White!” (“Rickmancing the Stone” (Season 3, Episode 2))
“So everyone’s supposed to sleep every night, now? You realize that nighttime makes up half of all time.” (“Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1))
“I assume they’re Schrodinger’s cats. Actually, I assume they both are and aren’t.” (“A Rickle in Time” (Season 2, Episode 1))
“‘Quantum carburetor?’ Jesus, Morty. You can’t just add a [burp] sci-fi word to a car word and hope it means something. Huh, looks like something’s wrong with the microverse battery.” (“The Ricks Must Be Crazy” (Season 2, Episode 6))

Bennett Sanders
“Whoa, whoa – lets all slow down the Dislike Express and climb aboard the Love Train! Woo-whoooo!”

Jean-Paul Sartre
“What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards. If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself.”
“I have been convinced of the following fact for several years: those who want to do something within the system only end up by preserving it. He who wants to overturn the system by his vote is profoundly in error, since voting opposes the legality of a movement to its legitimacy, e.g., an insurrectional movement. All those who obtain power legally are exactly the same.” (Illegalism and Ultra-Leftism)
“we have all believed that the spidery mind trapped things in its web, covered them with a white spit and slowly swallowed them, reducing them to its own substance. What is a table, a rock, a house? A certain assemblage of “contents of consciousness,” a class of such contents. O digestive philosophy!”
“Since I have lost the chance of dying unknown, I sometimes flatter myself that I live misunderstood.”
“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

Marjane Satrapi
“To be the mistress of a married man is to have the better role. Do you realize? His dirty shirt, his disgusting underwear, his daily ironing, his bad breath, his hemorrhoid attacks, his fuss, not to mention his bad moods, and his tantrums. Well all that is for his wife.
When a married man comes to his mistress… he’s always bleached and ironed, his teeth sparkle, his breath is like perfume, he’s in a good mood, he’s full of conversation, he is there to have a good time with you.”

Jesse Schell
“But if you can’t get the materials you prefer, don’t you dare whine about it—use what you’ve got! There is work to be done!”
“Don’t the items in the numbered list seem more important, somehow? If one of them suddenly disappeared, you would be much more likely to notice. This dignity will make you (and others) more likely to take the ideas on the list seriously.”
“The waterfall model had one good quality: it encouraged developers to spend more time in planning and design before just jumping into the code. Except for that, it is complete nonsense, because it violates the Rule of the loop. Managers found it incredibly appealing, but programmers knew it to be absurd—software is simply too complex for such a linear process to ever work. Even Winston Royce, who wrote the paper that was the foundation for all of this, disagreed with the waterfall model as it is commonly understood. Interestingly, his original paper emphasizes the importance of iteration and the ability to go back to previous steps as needed. He never even used the word “waterfall”! but what was taught at universities and corporations everywhere was this linear approach. The whole thing seems to have been wishful thinking, mostly promulgated by people who did not actually have to build real systems themselves.”
“by recoding your system while it is running, you can get in more loops per day, and the quality of your game goes up commensurately. I have used Scheme, Smalltalk, and Python for this in the past, but any late-binding language will do the job. Unity makes it possible with javascript or C#. If you are afraid that these kinds of languages run too slowly, remember that it is okay to write your games with more than one kind of code: write the low-level stuff that doesn’t need to change much in something fast but static (assembly, C++, etc.), and write the high-level stuff in something slower but dynamic. This may take some technical work to pull off, but it is worth it because it lets you take advantage of the Rule of the loop.”
“if we can avoid using rapid-fire machine guns, multi- play will be a lot easier.”
“If you think hard, you can come up with some possible exceptions to this model, but overall, it works well enough”
“You can experience the same thing with your microwave oven. It is hard to know exactly what time to put in when reheating leftovers. and if you just make rough guesses, rounded to thirty seconds, you’ll never get much better at guessing. but if you guess exactly every time you put food in the microwave (1:40? Too hot… 1:20? Too cold… 1:30? Hmm… No, 1:32 seems right), in a couple months, you will be able to make surprisingly accurate guesses because you will have trained your intuition.”
“puzzles are just games that aren’t fun to replay, just as penguins are birds that cannot fly. This is why both puzzles and games have problem solving at their core—puzzles are just miniature games whose goal is to find the dominant strategy.”
“Young children, in particular, seem to take to touch interfaces with surprising ease. but why? The obvious answer is “because they are intuitive.” but that’s really a pretty vaporous answer, since the definition of “intuitive” is “easy to understand.” So the question becomes “why is it that touch interfaces are so easy to understand?” and the answer is this: they are primal.”
“Players who try to take the middle path (the, uh, beige side of the force?) generally find the experience to be dissatisfactory.”
“In war, things are simpler, since all normal rules and laws are set aside. and the transcendence comes from a powerful weaponry that lets participants become like gods, deciding who lives and who dies. It is a horror in reality, but in fantasy it gives a player powerful feelings of simplicity and transcendence.”
“The Grand Theft Auto series uses criminal life to give both simplicity (life is simpler when you don’t obey laws) and transcendence (you are more powerful when you don’t obey laws).”
“We don’t always have to give the player true freedom—we only have to give the player the feeling of freedom. for, as we’ve discussed, all that’s real is what you feel—if a clever designer can make a player feel free, when really the player has very few choices, or even no choice at all, then suddenly we have the best of both worlds, the player has the wonderful feeling of freedom, and the designer has man- aged to economically create an experience with an ideal interest curve and an ideal set of events.”
“You must run like death is behind you because death is behind you.”

Arthur Schopenhauer
“Still, instead of trusting what their own minds tell them, men have as a rule a weakness for trusting others who pretend to supernatural sources of knowledge.”

Eric Schwitzgebel
“Butt in the chair beats inspiration. Bad writing can bloom into something; perfectionism is for later.”
“The best fiction is a walk inside someone’s mind, and philosophers often have very interesting minds.”
“Write for the ten percent. Even among people who like fiction, most will not like your work. Even among people who like your specific genre of fiction, most will not like your work. Your friends and family will not like it. Your colleagues will not like it. Other writers will not like it. That’s fine! Aim for the ten percent.”
“Every sentence should be doing at least three things.”
“To discover one’s degree of jerkitude, the best approach might be neither (first-person) direct reflection upon yourself nor (second-person) conversation with intimate critics, but rather something more third-person: looking in general at other people. Everywhere you turn, are you surrounded by fools, by boring nonentities, by faceless masses and foes and suckers and, indeed, jerks? Are you the only competent, reasonable person to be found? In other words, how familiar was the vision of the world I described at the beginning of this essay?”

Michael Scott (The Office (US))
“If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice.”
“Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he’s really not a part of our family. Also, he’s divorced, so he’s really not a part of his family.”

Stephen Schwartz
“Empiricists were calling Marxism unscientific, while the Marxists accused empiricism of being a reactionary bourgeois doctrine.”

General John Sedgwick
“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” (just before being killed during a U.S. Civil War battle, 1864)

Seneca
“It is one thing to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to the memory. But to know is to make each thing one’s own, not depend on the text and always to look back to the teacher.
Zeno said this, Cleanthes said this— Let there be space between you and the book.”

Charlie Sheen
“I’m bi-winning. I win here, I win there.”
“As kids we’re not taught how to deal with success; we’re taught how to deal with failure. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. If at first you succeed, then what?”
“Slash sat me down at his house and said, You’ve got to clean up your act. You know you’ve gone too far when Slash is saying, Look, you’ve got to get into rehab.”

Clay Shirky
“Paywalls do indeed help newspapers escape commodification, but only by ejecting the readers who think of the product as a commodity. This is, invariably, most of them.”

Ed Simon
“Christianity, by its own definition, is a countercultural faith, one which stands in opposition to the things of this world while still being in this world. But humans being humans the history of the religion is replete with moments where Augustine’s City of Man has overwhelmed the City of God in the heart of the believer. From Constantine’s usurpation of the Roman Church to Henry VIII’s appropriation of ecclesiastical power, Christians have been more than willing to sell their allegiance for thirty pieces of silver. Trumpian Christianity is but one chapter in a long lineage of hypocritical capitulation of principle to sovereigns in the name of worldly power.”

Agent Smith
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.”

Allix S—-
“I would fuck Little Jimmy up.”

Roger Smith
“The Good Lord made time, and he is not an idiot.”

Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”

Lemony Snicket
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.”
“Wicked people never have time for reading. It’s one of the reasons for their wickedness.”
“Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another.”
“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” (The Grim Grotto)
“Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator.” (Horseradish)
“I suppose I’ll have to add the force of gravity to my list of enemies.” (The Penultimate Peril)
“If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats.” (The Wide Window)
“All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.”
“Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby- awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.” (Horseradish)
“It is one of life’s bitterest truths that bedtime so often arrives just when things are really getting interesting.” (The Grim Grotto)
“If you are a student you should always get a good nights sleep unless you have come to the good part of your book, and then you should stay up all night and let your schoolwork fall by the wayside, a phrase which means ‘flunk’.”
“The sad truth is the truth is sad.” (The Hostile Hospital)
“I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.” (The Bad Beginning)
“If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say in a pleasant and hopeful voice, “Well this isn’t too bad, I don’t have a left arm anymore but at least nobody will ever ask me if I’m left-handed or right-handed,” but most of us would say something more along the lines of, “Aaaaaa! My arm! My arm!” (Horseradish)
“The moral of Snow White is never eat apples.”
“No matter who you are, no matter where you live, and no matter how many people are chasing you, what you don’t read is often as important as what you do read.”
“It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.”
“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.” (The Carnivorous Carnival)
“A man of my acquaintance once wrote a poem called “The Road Less Traveled”, describing a journey he took through the woods along a path most travelers never used. The poet found that the road less traveled was peaceful but quite lonely, and he was probably a bit nervous as he went along, because if anything happened on the road less traveled, the other travelers would be on the road more frequently traveled and so couldn’t hear him as he cried for help. Sure enough, that poet is dead.” (The Slippery Slope)
“It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself.”
“Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.”
“A library is like an island in the middle of a vast sea of ignorance, particularly if the library is very tall and the surrounding area has been flooded.” (Horseradish)
“It is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right.” (The Blank Book)
“A passport, as I’m sure you know, is a document that one shows to government officials whenever one reaches a border between two countries, so that the official can learn who you are, where you were born, and how you look when photographed unflatteringly.”
“For some stories, it’s easy. The moral of ‘The Three Bears,’ for instance, is “Never break into someone else’s house.’ The moral of ‘Snow White’ is ‘Never eat apples.’ The moral of World War I is ‘Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand.” (TWW)
“Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if, for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house, and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it would be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it.” (TWW)
“The burning of a book is a sad, sad sight, for even though a book is nothing but ink and paper, it feels as if the ideas contained in the book are disappearing as the pages turn to ashes and the cover and binding–which is the term for the stitching and glue that holds the pages together–blacken and curl as the flames do their wicked work. When someone is burning a book, they are showing utter contempt for all of the thinking that produced its ideas, all of the labor that went into its words and sentences, and all of the trouble that befell the author . . .” (TPP)

Joseph Sobran
“Why on earth is it ‘anti-Jewish’ to conclude from the evidence that the standard numbers of Jews murdered are inaccurate, or that the Hitler regime, bad as it was in many ways, was not, in fact, intent on racial extermination?”

Socrates
“… I’m a lover of learning, and trees and open country won’t teach me anything, whereas men in the town do.”

Somni-451
“To be is to be perceived. And so to know thyself is only possible through the eyes of the other. The nature of our immortal lives is in the consequences of our words and deeds, that go on and are pushing themselves throughout all time. Our lives are not our own, from womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

Sophie (Chibi-Robo)
“After all, I’m just a woman who gets used as a dog’s plaything! I’m nothing!”

Lysander Spooner
“A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”

Alexander I. Stingl
“I haven’t read this book of Unger’s nor would I call myself well-versed in his work. I will have to caution, thus, that my impression is based on a few shorter texts I have read and interviews, specifically the one linked here, of course…. What it feels like, however, is that Unger enjoys to come across as a ‘fashionable nihilist’, who likes to paint himself and philosophy as such, shrugs, and then says but we (including me) do it because we’re really hedonists, except the others are either less honest about with themselves, or far more shrewd. It’s a bit too smug, for my liking, and I should know, I can be quite smug (gosh, I mean, I am an obnoxious German). I also think that the story Brian linked in a post right below, about thought-experiments in the class-room to show what philosophy does, is the best (applied/empirical) counter-argument to Unger, and, yes, one needs epistemology and metaphysics to be able to think through and prepare thought-experiments…. There is a strong sense of disillusionment a lot of people feel when they begin to engage academic/professional philosophy, since it is not what they expect, and Unger plays into that, and one may ask: To sell a product?… I am reminded of a little story, actually, anecdotal but it’s a good analogy here. While I was a PhD student in Germany, I worked as barkeeper to be able to make a living. All of my colleagues knew that I had an MA (sociology/philosophy/literature), and that I was doing quite some theoretical work, even though they weren’t clear on what it was, but to them it meant that since ‘sociology’ didn’t seem like it was ‘social work’ in my descriptions, I had to be ‘a philosophy guy’. But they quickly lost interest in conversations about what I really do, and I wasn’t too eager to explaining my PhD project, because I was and still am of the opinion that forcing someone to reduce a 500 plus x page book into a small-talk sized piece of no more than two sentences is hardly ever a good idea, since, when you do ‘dumb it down’ to a point where it is easily and quickly communicated, you tend to lose what’s interesting and novel about it and get a snooty response like ‘but we already know that’ or ‘who needs that’, and then you have to start unpacking it again, which people have had no patience for in the first place, and they have already their crafted their opinion of you and your work. A bit like describing Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to someone as “it’s a picture of a woman smiling”, and the person saying in response “How boring, I got several of those on my cell-phone of my mom smiling, and she’s a woman, duh”. So, what really struck me, however, was when one nite a colleague said about one of our younger waiters (almost ten years younger than me), when we were having a conversation about personality and views on life, that she thought he was ‘such a deep person’, and then she further qualified this in terms of him seeming to have such deep thoughts, and coming across as so philosophical, and so on. It was strange to me, this contrast, her knowing that I had studied philosophy at a university and that it’s part of my MA degree, while on the other hand in describing our younger colleague as ‘philosophical’ she clearly indicated it as a very positive feature. This is the schizophrenic aspect, that she clearly seemed to hold two ideas about ‘philosophy’ in her head at the same time, and yet they were also connected somehow. And this is precisely what is mentioned a the end of the interview, however, without appreciating the schizophrenic aspect. I think that people who actually read books and go to book stores regularly (precisely for those books about self-help and Buddhism in the ‘philosophy’ section), know that what they qualify as being philosophical or having philosophical thoughts and doing philosophy are two very different things, and they have a grasp of what this difference means. They just like the ‘excuse’ to act as if they didn’t know, so they do not have to justify that they would rather not engage more difficult paths of thinking and their necessity. Why, well, let’s be good Kantians: People are lazy. Unger knows this, and he helps people perpetuate their excuses, and the best way to continue such an excuse is by ridiculing and/or bashing down on others, who’d be equipped to unmask excuses for what they. If you take Wittgenstein’s ‘what one can’t talk about, one should be silent about’, then you can apply this here in a sense, but with a twist: One should be silent about it, including not making excuses, but many people don’t like to be silent, they like to be able to have a say, to have an opinion, to have a right to an opinion, and to have their opinion be right (consequences be damned – this certainly explains the American Tea Party, I guess). And because they have to have a say, and having a say means using and understanding spoken/written language, so whatever is said or published in language (i.e. English) should be able to be understood by everybody, since after all it’s not nuclear physics, for nuclear physics is written in math and math is not like language, and then we’re back again with the whole ‘dumbing down’ issue. But from that point of view, these people are hammers for whom every problem looks like nail, whereas professional philosophers are more like (continually expanding) tool-boxes – oh my, Foucault would have like that one. But for the hammers, it’s really hard to grasp that a screw cannot be hammered into a wall and hold. In their eyes, however, if toolboxes come around and try to explain it to them and try to show them a drill and a screw driver, it’s too much, it’s horrible, it’s nothing they want to hear. But they do like the other hammer that says: ‘The wall is too soft and there are nail-looking things that aren’t nails.’ They tend to enjoy these as ‘deep’ and ‘philosophical’. And the Unger-hammers (which are really non-hammers who talk in hammer-speak) play on that, and say who needs all these tool-boxes with drills and screw-drivers, and so on, when the world is still full of nails… Now, the trick for the tool-boxes is to figure out ways to show – again, think about the thought experiments – how the world is not just full of nails, while also still getting to use all their tools and maintain them and so on…. Now, you can call me elitist or whatever you like. But I don’t believe in catering to a ‘culture of excuses’, to use my friend Fritz Breithaupt’s term, who thinks that at the heart of human cultural evolution one finds such a culture of excuses. I believe that this culture is an obstacle, perhaps very much because it is a culture that is incredibly egoistic, hedonistic, and so on, and always allows one to defend their own comfortability. I argue, instead, that we must overcome this culture and create a culture of justification and liberation – in terms of Rainer Forst and Enrique Dussel. But if I really had to go up against the hammers, and also do that in a defense of analytic philosophy (and I really am not an analytic philosopher), than I’d do it with Hannah Arendt: Thinking without banisters. Hammer-language and excuses are banisters. (As usual apologies for misunderstandings, etc. due to me being not a native speaker of English…. see: cheap excuses always work.)”

Steve Stockman, US Rep Texas
“The right to keep and bear arms is granted by God.” (2013)

Paul Street
“Since taking the oath, Insane Clown President (ICP) Donald Trump’s presidency has been a great homage to the American reality television series “Jackass.””

Benjamin Studebaker
“If Plato can do it, I can do it.”
“That’s what happens when you don’t write your shit down.” (In response to Nichi feeling bad for people who Plato recorded who are not Socrates)
“Then there’s the fact that ancient and medieval people chose to save and transcribe some stuff and not other stuff. Why did they save some and not others? We’ll never know for sure, but I like to think that they saved the best stuff.
…but it’s also possible that because they were medieval and ridiculous they saved a bunch of mediocre crap and ignored the REALLY good stuff.”
“We are all screaming into the void, and everyone is entitled to scream into the void about whatever they damn well please.”
“My entire feed is just “Nichi added more videos to playlists””
“They say we’re not ready, but that does not make it so.”
“A market economy is a centrally planned economy. The government has planned for an artificial market to exist in which people pretend to own and buy things that all belong, in reality, to the government.” (Aug 2009)
“The government creates the free market economy. In that respect, a free market is simply a centrally planned economy in which the government decides to make private citizens do all the work. At any moment it can change its mind and regulate it or change it.” (Aug 2009)
“I have legions of followers? Where are they? Why don’t more of them read my blog?”
“Lenin is not a nation that you “power up”.” (In response to Nichi claiming Lenin was a nation that was powered up.)

Joe S——-
“You have to look at this from a Republican perspective. If they help people with mental illness, who will be left to vote for them?”

Madi S———–
“I don’t understand how people “get ready” for bed, like I’m always ready for bed.”

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