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2030 quotes found  
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4435Ignazio SiloneLiberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social, and even political.Freedom
10148Alfred KorzybskiIt requires no great wisdom, it needs only a little reflection, to see that, if we humans radically misconceive the nature of man—if we regard man as being something which he is not, whether it be something higher than man or lower—we thereby commit an error so fundamental and far reaching as to produce every manner of confusion and disaster in individual life, in community life and in the life of the race.Miscellaneous
10140George H. MeadThe behaviour of an individual can be understood only in terms of the behavior of the whole social group of which he is a member, since his individual acts are involved in larger, social acts which go beyond himself and which implicate the other members of that group.Miscellaneous
10135Alfred KorzybskiWe argue so much today about 'democracy' versus 'totalitarianism'. Democracy presupposes intelligence of the masses;* totalitarianism does not to the same degree. But a 'democracy' without intelligence of the masses under modern conditions can be a worse human mess than any dictatorship could be.
3072Soren KierkegaardPeople demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.Freedom
10013Gregory BatesonA human being in relation with another has very limited control over what happens in that relationship. He is a part of a two-person unit, and the control which any part can have over any whole is strictly limited.Miscellaneous
10006Bruno CancellieriPeople can be divided in two categories: those who cause changes, and those who adapt to changes caused by other people.Changing
9926Erich FrommA sane society is that which corresponds to the needs of man — not necessarily to what he feels to be his needs, because even the most pathological aims can be felt subjectively as that which the person wants most; but to what his needs are objectively, as they can be ascertained by the study of man. It is our first task then, to ascertain what is the nature of man, and what are the needs which stem from this nature.Psychology
9915Stafford BeerManagement problems are not respecters of the company organization, nor of the talents of the people appointed to solve them.Miscellaneous
9914Stafford BeerThe aim of management science is to display the best course of action in a given set of circumstances, and this must include all the circumstances.Miscellaneous
9913Stafford BeerThe purpose of a system is what it does. There is after all, no point in claiming that the purpose of a system is to do what it constantly fails to do.Miscellaneous
9912Jacques MonodBiology occupies a position among the sciences at once marginal and central. Marginal because -- the living world constituting but a tiny and very "special" part of the universe -- it does not seem likely that the study of living beings will ever uncover general laws applicable outside the biosphere. But if the ultimate aim of the whole of science is indeed, as I believe, to clarify man's relationship to the universe, then biology must be accorded a central position.Miscellaneous
9911Jacques MonodArmed with all the powers, enjoying all the wealth they owe to science, our societies are still trying to practice and to teach systems of values already destroyed at the roots by that very science. Man knows at last that he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe, whence which he has emerged by chance. His duty, like his fate, is written nowhere.Miscellaneous
9910Jacques MonodIn science, self-satisfaction is death. Personal self-satisfaction is the death of the scientist. Collective self-satisfaction is the death of the research. It is restlessness, anxiety, dissatisfaction, agony of mind that nourish science.Miscellaneous
9909Jacques MonodThere are living systems; there is no living "matter." No substance, no single molecule, extracted and isolated from a living being possess, of its own, the aforementioned paradoxical properties. They are present in living systems only; that is to say, nowhere below the level of the cell.Miscellaneous
9907Jacques MonodOne of the great problems of philosophy is the relationship between the realm of knowledge and the realm of values. Knowledge is what is; values are what ought to be.Miscellaneous
9906Jacques MonodI would say that all traditional philosophies up to and including Marxism have tried to derive the 'ought' from the 'is.' My point of view is that this is impossible; this is a farce.Miscellaneous
9905Jacques MonodChance alone is at the source of all novelty, all creation in the biosphere.Miscellaneous
9904Jacques MonodWhat I have tried to show is that the scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity - that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe.Miscellaneous
9903Jacques MonodThe ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe's unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.Miscellaneous
9902Jacques MonodModern societies accepted the treasures and the power offered them by science. But they have not accepted - they have scarcely even heard - its profounder message: the defining of a new and unique source of truth, and the demand for a thorough revision of ethical premises, for a complete break with the animist tradition, the definitive abandonment of the 'old covenant', the necessity of forging a new one. Armed with all the powers, enjoying all the riches they owe to science, our societies are still trying to live by and to teach systems of values already blasted at the root by science itself.Miscellaneous
9901Jacques MonodThe future of mankind is going to be decided within the next two generations, and there are two absolute requisites: We must aim at a stable-state society [with limited population growth] and the destruction of nuclear stockpiles. … Otherwise I don't see how we can survive much later than 2050.Miscellaneous
9900Jacques Monod...the scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity—that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe. Now, this is basically incompatible with virtually all the religious or metaphysical systems whatever, all of which try to show that there is some sort of harmony between man and the universe and that man is a product—predictable if not indispensable—of the evolution of the universe.Miscellaneous
9899Jacques MonodThe fundamental biological variant is DNA. That is why Mendel's definition of the gene as the unvarying bearer of hereditary traits, its chemical identification by Avery (confirmed by Hershey), and the elucidation by Watson and Crick of the structural basis of its replicative invariance, are without any doubt the most important discoveries ever made in biology. To this must be added the theory of natural selection, whose certainty and full significance were established only by those later theories.Miscellaneous
9880Gregory BatesonIf it were possible adequately to present the whole of a culture , stressing every aspect exactly as appears in the culture itself, no single detail would appear bizarre or strange or arbitrary to the reader, but rather the details would all appear natural and reasonable as they do to the natives who have lived all their lives within the culture.Miscellaneous
9879Gregory BatesonA man walking is never in balance, but always correcting for imbalance.Miscellaneous
9878Gregory BatesonPerhaps there is no such thing as unilateral power. After all, the man in power depends on receiving information all the time from outside. He responds to that information just as much as he causes things to happen... it is an interaction, and not a lineal situation.Miscellaneous
9877Gregory BatesonSchizophrenia --its nature, etiology, and the kind of therapy to use for it--remains one of the most puzzling of the mental illnesses. The theory of schizophrenia presented here is based on communications analysis, and specifically on the Theory of Logical Types. From this theory and from observations of schizophrenic patients is derived a description, and the necessary conditions for, a situation called the "double bind"--a situation in which no matter what a person does, he "can't win." It is hypothesized that a person caught in the double bind may develop schizophrenic symptomsMiscellaneous
9876Gregory BatesonLogic cannot model causal systems, and paradox is generated when time is ignored [as in logic].Miscellaneous
9875Gregory BatesonThe wise legislator will only rarely initiate a new rule of behaviour; more usually he will confine himself to affirming in law what has already become the custom of the people.Miscellaneous
9874Gregory BatesonEvolution has long been badly taught. In particular, students - and even professional biologists - acquire theories of evolution without any deep understanding of what problem these theories attempt to solve. They learn but little of the evolution of evolutionary theory.Miscellaneous
9873Gregory BatesonLife and 'Mind' are systemic processes.Miscellaneous
9872Gregory BatesonNo organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels. Broadly, we can afford to sink those sorts of knowledge which continue to be true regardless of changes in the environment, but we must maintain in an accessible place all those controls of behavior which must be modified for every instance. The economics of the system, in fact, pushes organisms toward sinking into the unconscious those generalities of relationship which remain permanently true and toward keeping within the conscious the pragmatic of particular instances.Miscellaneous
9871Gregory BatesonCreative thought must always contain a random component.Miscellaneous
9870Gregory BatesonPlay is the establishment and exploration of relationship.Miscellaneous
9869Gregory BatesonThere are many matters and many circumstances in which consciousness is undesirable and silence is golden, so that secrecy can be used as a marker to tell us that we are approaching the holy.Miscellaneous
9868Gregory BatesonMultiple descriptions are better than one.Miscellaneous
9867Gregory BatesonThe map is not the territory (coined by Alfred Korzybski), and the name is not the thing named.Miscellaneous
9866Gregory BatesonScience probes; it does not prove.Miscellaneous
9865Gregory BatesonDesired substance, things, patterns, or sequences of experience that are in some sense "good" for the organism - items of diet, conditions of life, temperature, entertainment, sex, and so forth - are never such that more of the something is always better than less of the something. Rather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.Miscellaneous
9864Gregory BatesonOur initial sensory data are always "first derivatives," statements about differences which exist among external objects or statements about changes which occur either in them or in our relationship to them. Objects and circumstances which remain absolutely constant relative to the observer, unchanged either by his own movement or by external events, are in general difficult and perhaps always impossible to perceive. What we perceive easily is difference and change and difference is a relationship.Miscellaneous
9863Gregory BatesonWisdom is the intelligence of the system as a whole.Wisdom
9862Gregory BatesonThe creature that wins against its environment destroys itself.Miscellaneous
9861Gregory BatesonThere are times when I catch myself believing that there is such a thing as something; which is separate from something else.Miscellaneous
9860Gregory BatesonWe are discovering today that several of the premises which are deeply ingrained in our way of life are simply untrue and become pathogenic when implemented with modern technology.Miscellaneous
9859Gregory BatesonI shall argue that the problem of grace is fundamentally a problem of integration and what is to be integrated is the diverse parts of the mind - especially those multiple levels of which one extreme is called 'consciousness' and the other the 'unconscious'.Miscellaneous
9858Gregory BatesonThe pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do.Miscellaneous
9857Gregory BatesonBut the myth of power is, of course, a very powerful myth, and probably most people in this world more or less believe in it. It is a myth, which, if everybody believes in it, becomes to that extent self-validating. But it is still epistemological lunacy and leads inevitably to various sorts of disaster.Miscellaneous
9856Gregory BatesonWhat is the pattern that connects the crab to the lobster and the primrose to the orchid, and all of them to me, and me to you?Miscellaneous
9855Gregory BatesonWithout context words and actions have no meaning at all.Miscellaneous
9854Gregory BatesonMembers of weakly religious families get, of course, no religious training from any source outside the family.Miscellaneous
9853Gregory BatesonIt is of first-class importance that our answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx should be in step with how we conduct our civilisation, and this should in turn be in step with the actual workings of living systems.Miscellaneous
9852Gregory BatesonSynaptic summation is the technical term used in neurophysiology for those instances in which some neuron C is fired only by a combination of neurons A and B.Miscellaneous
9851Gregory BatesonWe do not know enough about how the present will lead into the future.Miscellaneous
9850Gregory BatesonEvery move we make in fear of the next war in fact hastens it.Miscellaneous
9849Gregory BatesonRather, for all objects and experiences, there is a quantity that has optimum value. Above that quantity, the variable becomes toxic. To fall below that value is to be deprived.Miscellaneous
9848Gregory BatesonLogic is a poor model of cause and effect.Miscellaneous
9847Gregory BatesonScience, like art, religion, commerce, warfare, and even sleep, is based on presuppositions.Miscellaneous
9846Gregory BatesonAll experience is subjective.Miscellaneous
9845Gregory BatesonMoney is always transitively valued. More money is supposedly always better than less money.Miscellaneous
9844Gregory BatesonThere is a strong tendency in explanatory prose to invoke quantities of tension, energy, and whatnot to explain the genesis of pattern. I believe that all such explanations are inappropriate or wrong.Miscellaneous
9843Gregory BatesonInteresting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined, and these phenomena illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another.Miscellaneous
9842Gregory BatesonIn the transmission of human culture, people always attempt to replicate, to pass on to the next generation the skills and values of the parents, but the attempt always fails because cultural transmission is geared to learning, not DNA.
9841Gregory BatesonWe are most of us governed by epistemologies that we know to be wrong.Miscellaneous
9840Gregory BatesonLanguage continually asserts by the syntax of subject and predicate that 'things' somehow 'have' qualities and attributes. A more precise way of talking would insist that the 'things' are produced, are seen as separate from other 'things,' and are made 'real' by their internal relations and by their behaviour in relationship with other things and with the speaker. It is necessary to be quite clear about the universal truth that whatever 'things' may be in their pleromatic and thingish world, they can only enter the world of communication and meaning by their names, their qualities and their attributes (i.e., by reports of their internal and external relations and interactions).Miscellaneous
9839Gregory BatesonWhen we think of coconuts or pigs, there are no coconuts or pigs in the brain.Miscellaneous
9838Gregory BatesonWe create the world that we perceive, not because there is no reality outside our heads, but because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in. The man who believes that the resources of the world are infinite, for example, or that if something is good for you then the more of it the better, will not be able to see his errors, because he will not look for evidence of them. For a man to change the basic beliefs that determine his perception - his epistemological premises - he must first become aware that reality is not necessarily as he believes it to be. Sometimes the dissonance between reality and false beliefs reaches a point when it becomes impossible to avoid the awareness that the world no longer makes sense. Only then is it possible for the mind to consider radically different ideas and perceptions.Miscellaneous
9837Gregory BatesonThere is a quasi-scientific fable that if you can get a frog to sit quietly in a saucepan of cold water, and if you then
raise the temperature of the water very slowly and smoothly so that there is no moment marked to be the moment at which the frog should jump, he will never jump. He will get boiled. Is the human species changing its own environment with slowly increasing pollution and rotting its mind with slowly deteriorating religion and education in such a saucepan?
9836Gregory BatesonRigor alone is paralytic death, but imagination alone is insanity.Miscellaneous
9835Gregory BatesonThe rules of the universe that we think we know are buried deep in our processes of perception.Miscellaneous
9834Gregory BatesonThirty years ago, we used to ask: Can a computer simulate all processes of logic? The answer was yes, but the question was surely wrong. We should have asked: Can logic simulate all sequences of cause and effect? And the answer would have been no.Miscellaneous
9833Gregory BatesonInformation is a difference that makes a difference.Miscellaneous
9832Gregory BatesonWe can never be quite clear whether we are referring to the world as it is or to the world as we see it.Miscellaneous
9831Gregory BatesonYes, metaphor. That's how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.Miscellaneous
9830Gregory BatesonThe meaning of your communication is the response you get.Miscellaneous
9829Gregory BatesonThe major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.Miscellaneous
9828Gregory BatesonLanguage commonly stresses only one side of any interaction.Language
9791Manfred Max NeefA simplistic mind is a mind full of answers. It is also a mind that seldom realizes the simple fact that answers must be preceded by pertinent questions. The person with a simplistic mind looks for inspiration and knowledge in simplistic theories, mainly in those that confirm his or her preconceptions. Furthermore, he or she tends to be very active. Hence, we are talking about someone who can be very dangerous indeed.Simplicity
9786Manfred Max NeefWe will never deny that subsistence is a fundamental human need which must be satisfied through adequate income, nutrition, housing and work for all. But we will also insist that protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom are extremely fundamental human needs as well.Need
9785Manfred Max NeefThe aim of development must be neither producerism not consumerism, but the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, which are not only needs of humanity.Need
9784Manfred Max NeefI also know that one must do what one can do. No matter how little it is, it is nonetheless a human testimony and human testimonies, as long as they are not based on greed or personal ambition for power, can have unexpected positive effects. ...I believe in local action and in small dimensions. It is only in such environments that human creativity and meaningful identities can truly surface and flourish.Miscellaneous
9783Manfred Max NeefHistory is made by historians. No event becomes a historic event unless historians turn it into one.History
9782Manfred Max NeefYou can never understand love, unless you fall in love. This is valid for eve ry living system. You cannot attempt to understand something of which you are not a part.Understanding
9675George H. MeadThe beauty of a face is not a separate quality but a relation or proportion of qualities to each other.Beauty
9674George H. MeadSocial psychology is especially interested in the effect which the social group has in the determination of the experience and conduct of the individual member.Psychology
9513Emil CioranWe dread the future only when we are not sure we can kill ourselves when we want to.Suicide
9512Emil CioranI can be friends with people only when they are at their lowest point and have neither the desire nor the strength to restore their habitual sentimental illusions.Friendship
9442Emil CioranOnly an idiot could think there is a point to any of this.Miscellaneous
9437Emil CioranOnly the village idiot thinks they "belong",Miscellaneous
9436Emil CioranWhat do you do from morning to night? I endure myself.Miscellaneous
9435Emil CioranWrite books only if you are going to say in them the things you would never dare confide to anyone.Books
9434Emil CioranOnly optimists commit suicide, optimists who no longer succeed at being optimists. The others, having no reason to live, why would they have any to die?Suicide
9433Emil CioranIt is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late.Suicide
9349Yuval Noah HarariReality is not confined to a single discipline.Reality
9203Bruno CancellieriEnvy is the hidden face of the sense of justice.Envy
9098AnonymousTrump can run for president with no political experience but I need a masters and 5 years experience for an entry level job.Politics
8951SenecaLuck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.Luck
8949AnonymousEducation Is what remains after you have forgotten everything you learned in school.Miscellaneous
8885Don FreemanWe need to stop looking to politicians to make our world better. Politicians don't make the world a better place. Everything that's ever made the world a better place has come from inventors, engineers, scientists, teachers, artists, builders, philosophers, healers, and people that choose love over hate.Politics
8838BanksyArt should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.Art
2030 quotes found