And this grey spirit yearning in desire, To follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

- "Ulysses", Tennyson We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. - Albert Einstein Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth. - Ludwig Borne The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance: it is the illusion of knowledge.
        - Daniel J. Boorstin, historian

The greatest homage we can pay to truth, is to use it.
        - James Russell Lowell

Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it.
        - Confucius

Art is a lie that tells the truth.
        - Picasso

It is but sorrow to be wise when wisdom profits not.

It isn't what they don't know that hurts people. It's what they do know that isn't so.

        - Mark Twain

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.

        - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Without execution, thinking is mere idleness.

        - Winston Churchill

A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes All things are ready, if our minds be so. - William Shakespeare, Henry V If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter — we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad of instances and applications? - Thoreau, "Walden" "When people think seriously, they think abstractly; they conjure up simplified pictures of reality called concepts, theories, models, paradigms. Without such intellectual constructs, there is, William James said, only 'a bloomin' buzzin' confusion.'"
        - Samuel Huntington, responding to critcism of his "Clash of Civilizations"

It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits—like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing beautiful women, flying thought the stratosphere or landing on the moon. First-rate pursuits — involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding — inevitably result in a sense of failure. A Napoleon, a Churchill, a Roosevelt can feel themselves to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, a Blake. Understanding is for ever unattainable. Therein lies the inevitablility of failure in embarking upon its quest, which is none the less the only one worthy of serious attention.
        - Malcolm Muggeridge

Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

-Samuel Johnson Do not speak unless you can improve on silence ~ Buddhist proverb From listening comes wisdom and from speaking repentance. - Anon He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. - Chinese proverb I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know. - Mark Twain I don't want any "yes-men" around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs. -Samuel Goldwyn The most dangerous silence is noise; noise keeps us from hearing what we need to hear or from speaking what we need to speak.
        - Armin Wiebe, "Hearing the Real Guns Go Off"

The wise many things from their enemies.

- Aristophanes, Birds (414 BC) Men of sense often learn from their enemies. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war.... - Aristophanes A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. - Baltasar Gracian Minds, like parachutes, work only when open. - Sir James Dewar, Scottish scientist, 1877-1923 The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. - Diggers, "Terry Pratchett" If you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it.
        - William A. Orton

Has it ever occurred to you that there might be a difference between having an open mind and having holes in one's head?
        - Richard Schultz

Those who say they dislike dogma, or 'certainty', tend to be liars, hypocrites, or simply wrong. What they really dislike is the dogma of those they disagree with. A society that was certain, certain beyond all certainty, that putting its citizens in death camps was wrong, would never put people in death camps. Such things are only possible when you're open to new ideas.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "An open mind is a dangerous thing" for "National Review"

What men really want is not knowledge but certainty.
        - Bertrand Russell

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything, or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
        - Alfred Korzybski

Once we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our mind, our one duty is to furnish it well.
        - Peter Ustinov

If your professor wrote it, it's as near to the truth as you ever need to get.
        - John Watson, University of Canterbury

What makes information a powerful tool is that others don't have it.
        - Anon

"Not everything that counts can be measured. Not everything that can be measured counts."
        - Albert Einstein (attributed)

A man's feet should be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.

- George Santayana The Earth is the Cradle of the Mind : but one cannot remain in the cradle forever. - Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky ( Pioneer Of Space Flight ) "Where my thoughts are, I am, in truth."

        - Henry Ash in "Possession"

Questions are a burden to others, answers a prison for oneself.

- An alternative view from "The Prisoner" A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad. - Bob Edwards Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. -Bertrand Russell Try to learn something about everything and everything about something. - T.H. Huxley The eye sees what it brings the power to see - Thomas Carlyle Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion,follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - Thomas Huxley A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow. - Charles Brower You are only as wise as others perceive you to be - Anon Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so. - Lord Chesterfield Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

     - TS Eliot, "Choruses from The Rock"

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen, even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.

    - Leonardo Da Vinci

It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth.

    - John Locke


Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.

- Greek Proverb The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. - Albert Einstein Wonder... and not any expectation of advantage from its discoveries, is the first principle which prompts mankind to the study of Philosophy, of that science which pretends to lay open the concealed connections that unite the various appearances of nature. When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it. I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it. - Henry Emerson Fosdick Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has something for every age to investigate. Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all. - Seneca, "Natural Questions", first century There ought not to be anything in the whole universe that man can't poke his nose into - that's the way we're built and I assume there's some reason for it. - Robert A. Heinlein, "Methuselah's Children" If we are unwilling to be aware of the dark, we cannot see the light. - John Cowan Some mysteries are meant to be unsolved. - Dana Scully, "The X-Files" The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. - Ralph W. Sockman He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder. - M.C. Escher I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. - Isaac Newton The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. - Einstein As long as the brain is a mystery, the universe will also be a mystery. - Santiago Rammn y Cajal The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility. - Albert Einstein #

Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.

- W.B. Yeats There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom. - Francis Bacon Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. - GK Chesterton The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.
        - Eric Hoffer

To educate the intelligence is to expand the horizon of its wants and desires.
        - James Russell Lowell

True scholarship consists in knowing not what things exist, but what they mean; it is not memory but judgment.
        - James Russell Lowell

We need education in the obvious more than investigation of the obscure.
        - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know.
        - Daniel J Boorstin (attributed)

"A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the dominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, an aristocracy, or a majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body."

The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life - by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort. - Ayn Rand, "The Anti-Industrial Revolution" Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.
        - Ludwig Von Mises

Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
        - Bertrand Russell

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.
        - George Santayana

The best academy: a mother's knee.
        - James Russell Lowell

One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
        - James Russell Lowell

Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.

- Plato, The Republic. Book VII. 536 There are men that teach best by not teaching at all. - Abraham Flexner, quoted in Ed Regis, "Who got Einstein's office?" I sometimes, in my sprightly moments, consider myself, in my great chair at school, as some dictator at the head of a commonwealth. In this little state I can discover all the great geniuses, all the surprising actions and revolutions of the great world in miniature. I have several renowned generals but three feet high, and several deep-projecting politicians in petticoats. I have others catching and dissecting flies, accumulating remarkable pebbles, cockleshells, etc., with as ardent curiosity as any virtuoso in the Royal Society...

        - John Adams, Second US President, on his time as a teacher


If you can't explain something to a six-year-old, you really don't understand it yourself.

- Albert Einstein The process of learning requires not only hearing and applying but also forgetting and then remembering again. - John Gray, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation. - Saki When people think seriously, they think abstractly; they conjure up simplified pictures of reality called concepts, theories, models, paradigms. Without such intellectual constructs, there is, William James said, only 'a bloomin' buzzin' confusion.'

       - Samuel Huntington

There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.

- Thomas Edison We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. - Mark Twain Example is a dangerous lure: where the wasp got through the gnat sticks fast.

        - Jean de la Fontaine, "Fables"

Wisdom is not about what you know, but how you know it.  If knowledge is a measure of the grasp an individual has of a given subject, wisdom is a measure of his grip.  Does he hold his ideas lightly or loosely? Will he let go when they show signs of wear or inappropriateness?

        - Andrew Hargadon, Harvard Business School

Wisdom is probably the ability to cope. That's why someone who has to walk seven miles every day to get water for their children can be wiser than someone sitting behind a desk in Wall Street.

       - Stephen Fry

How can I tell you what I think until I've heard what I'm going to say?

        - Stephen Fry

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

- TS Eliot If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? -Albert Einstein Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines. - R. Buckminster Fuller They're all so highly educated, you know. Education is a great shield against experience. It offers so much, ready-made and all from the best shops, that there's a temptation to miss your own life in pursuing the lives of your betters. It makes you wise in some ways, but it can make you a blindfolded fool in others. - Robertson Davies, "World Of Wonders" "New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common."
"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials for knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - John Locke There are two kinds of researchers : those that have implemented something and those that have not. The latter will tell you that there are 142 ways of doing things and that there isn't consensus on which is best.The former will simply tell you that 141 of them don't work. - David Cheriton Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer. - Charles Caleb Colton, "Lacon" A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple. - Charles Mingus Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. - B. F. Skinner, in New Scientist One science only will one genius fit: So vast is art, so narrow human wit.

A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

- Alexander Pope, "Epistle III" #

He that studies books alone will know how things ought to be; and he who studies men will know how they are.

- Charles Caleb Colton, 1829 Book - Learning : The dunce's derisive term for all knowledge that transcends his own impertinent ignorance. - Ambrose Bierce Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. - Socrates Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. To know only one thing well is to have a barbaric mind: civilization implies the graceful relation of all varieties of experience to a central humane system of thought. The present age is peculiarly barbaric: introduce, say, a Hebrew scholar to an ichthyologist or an authority on Danish place names and the pair of them would have no single topic in common but the weather or the war (if there happened to be a war in progress, which is usual in this barbaric age). - Robert Graves I said I liked being half-educated; you were so much more surprised at everything when you were ignorant. - Gerald Durrell, "My Family and Other Animals" The stupidity of a stupid man is mercifully intimate and reticient, while the stupidity of an intellectual is cried from the rooftops. - Peter Ustinov, "Dear Me" If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton If I have not seen farther, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. - Anonymous "A philosophy major? Now, what can you do with a philosophy major?"
"You can think deep thoughts about being unemployed." - Dragon, "The Bruce Lee Story" Those of you who think that you know everything are particularly annoying to those of us who do. - Anon Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon. -Alexander Pope The more refined one is, the more unhappy. - Anton Chekhov There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have. -Don Herold So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now. -William of Baskerville, "The Name of the Rose" Beware of one who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds themself no wiser than before. They are full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way. - Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first prime minister A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. - Segal's Law Strange how much you have to know before you know how little you know. - Anon One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know. - John Kenneth Galbraith The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. - William Shakespeare, "As You Like It" The principle is so perfectly general that no particular application of it is possible.

        - George Polya


The truth and the facts aren’t necessarily the same thing. Telling the truth is the object of all art; facts are what the unimaginative have instead of ideas.
        - AA Gill, "The London Times"

The truth isn't just the facts. You can have all the facts imaginable and miss the truth, just as you can have facts missing or some wrong, and reach the larger truth.
        - David McCullough

"Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
        - John Adams, from his defence of British soldiers accused of the Boston 'massacre'

Yu, shall I tell you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, say that you know it. When you do not know a thing, admit you do not know it. This is knowledge.

- K'ung-fu Tzu. Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. - Samuel Johnson The mark of an educated man is not in his boast that he has built his mountain of facts and has stood on top of it, but in his admission that there may be other peaks in the same range with men on top of them, and that, though their views of the landscape may be different from his, they are none the less legitimate. - E.J. Pratt A stupid man never learns from his mistakes. A smart man always learns from his mistakes. A wise man learns from other peoples mistakes.
        - hayes@ug.cs.dal.ca

"It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself."
        - Hyman Rickover

A smart man learns from his mistakes. A really smart man makes sure others are forced to learn from his mistakes.
        - Liam Fay

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
        - William A. Ward

If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others.
        - Tryon Edwards

"You are wise, father."
"It is the difference between knowledge and experience."
        - Lal & Data, "The Offspring", Star Trek TNG

It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.

- Oliver Wendell Holmes Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise. - Francis Bacon, Essays Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses. - William Hazlitt Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended. - Alfred Whitehead An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. - Albert Camus It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle #

It is well to observe the force and virtue and consequence of discoveries, and these are to be seen nowhere more conspicuously than in those three which were unknown to the ancients, and of which the origin, though recent, is obscure and inglorious; namely, printing, gunpowder and the magnet. For these three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.

If a man begins with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done - then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. - Frances H. Burnett 1500 years ago, everyone knew that the sun revolved around the earth. 500 years ago, everyone knew the world was flat. Yesterday you knew that we were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll learn tomorrow. - Men in Black Necessity is the mother of invention. - Greek Proverb Neccesity is the mother of invention, it is true -- but it's father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife. - Jonathan Schattke Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity. - Alfred N. Whitehead #

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