Indulge your passion for science, says [Nature], but let your science be human, and such as may have a direct reference to action and society. Abstruse thought and profound researches I prohibit, and will severely punish, by the pensive melancholy which they introduce, by the endless uncertainty in which they involve you, and by the cold reception which your pretended discoveries shall meet with, when communicated. Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke, 1776
As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life -- so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.
-- Matt Cartmill
The life of man is but a succession of vain hopes and groundless fears.
-- Baron de Montesquieu
Believers in supernatural dogma of all sorts accept, without a shred of objective evidence, comprehensive propositions about the universe, our place in it, and how we should relate to one another.
-- Jeffrey Tayler
Nobody on their deathbed has ever said "I wish I had spent more time at the office".
-- Heard from Rabbi Harold Kushner; Attributed by some to Senator Paul Tsongas.
The whole entire world is a very narrow bridge.
But the main thing to recall, is to have no fear at all.
-- Rabbi Nachman of Breslav
Who has not found the Heaven - below -
Will fail of it above -
For Angels rent the House next ours,
Wherever we remove
-- Emily Dickinson
When they turn the pages of history,
When these days have passed long ago,
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?
-- Neil Peart
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another which states that this has already happened.
-- Douglas Adams,
"The restaurant at the end of the universe"
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
If I could live my life again
in the next one I would try to make more mistakes
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be more dumb than I have been, in fact
I would take very few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
I would take more risks, more trips,
I would watch more sunsets,
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers.
I would go to places where I have never been to,
I would eat more ice-cream and less beans,
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who live sensibly and
prolifically every minute of their life.
Of course I had happy moments. But if I could
go back I would try to have only happy moments.
In case you didn't know life is is made of that, of
moments only; don't waste this very minute.
I was one of those people who never went anywhere without
a thermometer, a bag of hot water, an umbrella and
a parachute; if I could live again, I would travel light.
If I could live again I would start to walk barefoot
at the beginning of the Spring and stay like that until the end
of the Fall. I would go around more on the calash, I would contemplate more
dawns and I would play with more children, if I had again life
But, you see, I am 85 years old and I know I am dying.
-- J. L. Borges
Department of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University