“Gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.” - Albert Camus

“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” - Albert Camus

Philosophy

“We are creatures of matter. And we should learn to live with that fact.” - Paul M. Churchland

“The reductionist worldview is chilling and impersonal. It has to be accepted as it is, not because we like it, but because that is the way the world works.” - Steven Weinberg

“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. – Steven Weinberg

“Yes, we have a soul. But it’s made of lots of tiny robots.” — Giulio Giorelli

Life

“A balance that does not tremble cannot weigh. A man who does not tremble cannot live. “ – Erwin Chargaff

“Try to learn something about everything, and everything about something.” – T. H. Huxley

“I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.” – H. L. Mencken

“For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.” – H. L. Mencken

“Do not be too squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” - Abraham Lincoln

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” - Dale Carnegie

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” – Francis Bacon

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” – Albert Einstein

“There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It’s a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you ‘play’ with them!” - Richard P. Feynman (written in the 1950s (!))

Politics

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” – H.L. Mencken

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” - Lord Action

“The socialists believe in two things which are absolutely different and perhaps even contradictory: freedom and organization.” - Elie Halevy

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who loves his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” – H. L. Mencken

“Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.” – H. L. Mencken

“When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.” – C. P. Snow

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man” - George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him a spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” – Albert Einstein

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” – Albert Einstein

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.” – Frederic Bastiat

“Recent studies in the sociology of law once more confirm that the fundamental principle of formal law by which every case must be judged according to general rational precepts, which have as few exceptions as possible and are based on logical subsumptions, obtains only for the liberal competitive phase of capitalism.” Karl Mannheim

Liberty

“Many liberals, including Berlin, have suggested that the positive concept of liberty carries with it a danger of authoritarianism.” - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

“Liberty consists in doing what one desires.” – John Stuart Mill, in On Liberty (1859)

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Liberty describes the absence of a particular obstacle — coercion by other men … the range of physical possibilities from which a person can choose at a given moment has no direct relevance to freedom.” - F. A Hayek

“Freedom, in a political context, has only one meaning: the absence of physical coercion.”” - Ayn Rand

“Only freedom has compassion.” - Ron Paul

“There are many paths to libertarianism. Many reasons for becoming a libertarian. Ethical: Embracing the “Non-Aggression Principle”. Opposition to the use of force. Pragmatic: Freedom works. Freedom is practical and effective and efficient. Utilitarian: Freedom provides the greatest good for the greatest number. Egoistic: Freedom benefits you. Freedom is in your self-interest. Altruistic: Freedom benefits others. Freedom is in their interest. Outcome: Freedom produces results that you want. It maximizes individual choice. Freedom promotes and rewards personal responsibility. Freedom creates prosperity.” – Michael Cloud

“Laissez-faire capitalism is the only social system based on the recognition of individual rights and, therefore, the only system that bans force from social relationships. By the nature of its basic principles and interests, it is the only system fundamentally opposed to war.” - Ayn Rand

“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery” - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Barnard Shaw

“If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all.” – Jacob Hornberger (1995)

“Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

“We maybe free and yet miserable. To be free may mean freedom to starve, to make costly mistakes, or to run mortal risks.” - F.A. Hayek

“Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it… The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.” - Woodrow Wilson

“All government, of course, is against liberty.” - H.L. Mencken

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” - George Orwell

“The liberty of speaking and writing guards our other liberties.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” – Albert Einstein

“There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as we are free to ask what we must, free to say what we think, free to think what we will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.” - J. Robert Oppenheimer

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaces by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” - Leon Trotsky (1937)

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” – Thomas Jefferson

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

“The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.” - John Stuart Mill, in On Liberty

“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” – Fredric Bastiat, early French economist

“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either the one or the other, but not both at the same time.” – Friedrich von Hayek

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal.”” – F.A. Hayek

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” - Benjamin Franklin

“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” - Adam Smith

“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” ― Milton Friedman

“…where dreams alone are blueprints, nightmares result.” -T. Dalrymple

Human nature

“If only it were all so simple! 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 dividing line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being, and who is willing to destroy his own heart?” – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated 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 us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” – Marie Curie

Inspiration

“You see things that are and ask, “Why?” But I dream things that never were and ask “Why not?”” - George Bernard Shaw

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” - Guillaume Appollinaire

“It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.” ― H.G. Wells

“It is the stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that come on doves’ feet guide the world.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” - Soren Kierkegaard

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” - Albert Camus

Science

“I don’t know anything, but I do know that everything is interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” - Richard P. Feynman

“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” - Richard P. Feynman

“If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” – Albert Einstein

“It seems to me that Keats was wrong when he asked, rhetorically, “Do not all charms fly…at the mere touch of cold philosophy?” The word “philosophy” standing, in his day, for what we now call “physical science.” But Keats was wrong, I say, because there is more charm in one “mere” fact, confirmed by test and observation, linked to other facts through coherent theory into a rational system, than in a whole brainful of fancy and fantasy. I see more poetry in a chunk of quartzite than in a make-believe wood nymph, more beauty in the revelations of a verifiable intellectual construction than in whole misty empires of obsolete mythology…Any good poet, in our age at least, must begin with the scientific view of the world; and any scientist worth listening to must be something of a poet, must possess the ability to communicate to the rest of us his sense of love and wonder at what his work discovers.” – Edward Abbey

“It is the sense of mystery that, in my opinion, drives the true scientist; the same blind force, blindly seeing, deafly hearing, unconsciously remembering, that drives the larva into the butterfly. If [the scientist] has not experienced, at least a few times in his life, this cold shudder down his spine, this confrontation with an immense invisible face whose breath moves him to tears, he is not a scientist.” – Erwin Chargaff

“I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties; that no matter how much we learn; whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just as infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.” – Isaac Asimov

“There are many aspects of the universe that still can’t be explained satisfactorily by science; but ignorance implies only ignorance that may some day be conquered. To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature up to this time, and it remains premature today.” – Isaac Asimov

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’”– Isaac Asimov

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” – Francis Bacon

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” – Francis Bacon

“Let the mind be enlarged, according to its capacity, to the grandeur of the mysteries, and not the mysteries contracted to the narrowness of the mind.” – Francis Bacon

“Knowledge is power.” – Francis Bacon

“Physics is to math what sex is to masturbation.” - Richard P. Feynman

“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 than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here…I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn’t frighten me.” – Richard P. Feynman

“A poet once said, “The whole universe is in a glass of wine.” We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts – physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on – remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!” – Richard P. Feynman

“Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is “mere.” I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination – stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern – of which I am a part – perhaps my stuff was belched from some forgotten star, as one is belching there. Or see them with the greater eye of Palomar, rushing all apart from some common starting point when they were perhaps all together. What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined! Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?” – Richard P. Feynman

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” – Albert Einstein

“One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.” – Albert Einstein

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” - Albert Einstein (referring to the death of a fellow physicist)

“…all the sciences, and not just the sciences but all the efforts of intellectual kinds, are an endeavor to see the connections of the hierarchies, to connect beauty to history, to connect history to man’s psychology, man’s psychology to the working of the brain, the brain to the neural impulse, the neural impulse to the chemistry, and so forth, up and down, both ways. And today we cannot, and it is no use making believe that we can, draw carefully a line all the way from one end of this thing to the other, because we have only just begun to see that there is this relative hierarchy. And I do not think either end is nearer to God. To stand at either end, and to walk off that end of the pier only, hoping that out in that direction is the complete understanding, is a mistake. And to stand with evil and beauty and hope, or to stand with the fundamental laws, hoping that way to get a deep understanding of the whole world, with that aspect alone, is a mistake. It is not sensible for the ones who specialize at the other end, to have such disregard for each other. (They don’t actually, but people say they do.) The great mass of workers in between, connecting one step to another, are improving all the time our understanding of the world, both from working at the ends and working in the middle, and in that way we are gradually understanding this tremendous world of interconnecting hierarchies.” – Richard P. Feynman (source unknown)