Some of My Favorite Phrases

Below you will find several insightful quotes I have come across while reading books or watching movies. Quotes are arranged by author. I hope you enjoy them.

Yukio Mishima (from his book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

What transforms this world is - knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed. You may ask what good is does us. Let's put it this way - human beings possess the weapon of knowledge in order to make life bearable. For animals such things aren't necessary. Animals don't need knowledge or anything of the sort to make life bearable. But human beings do need something, and with knowledge they can make the very intorelableness of life a weapon, though at the same time that intorelableness is not reduced in the slightest. That's all there is to it.

(Kashiwagi, after showing Tsurukawa's letters to Mizoguchi)

Frank Herbert (from his book Heretics of Dune)

Technology, in common with many other activities, tends toward avoidance of risks by investors. Uncertainty is ruled out if possible. Capital investment follows this rule, since people generally prefer the predictable. Few recognize how destructive this can be, how it imposes severe limits on variability and thus makes whole populations fatally vulnerable to the shocking ways our universe can throw the dice.

(Assessment of Ix, Bene Gesserit Archives)

In my estimation, more misery has been created by reformers than by any other force in human history. Show me someone who says, "Something must be done!" and I will show you a head full of vicious intentions that have no other outlet. What we must strive for always! is to find the natural flow and go with it.

(The Reverend Mother Taraza, Conversational Record, BG File GSXXMAAT9)

Oscar Wilde

There is no sin except stupidity.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.

In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

Moderation is a fatal thing; nothing succeeds like excess.

When people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.

To call an artist morbid because he deals with morbidity as his subject-matter is as silly as to call Shakespeare mad because he wrote King Lear.

Duty is what one expects from others.

Arthur Connan Doyle (from one of his Sherlock Holmes stories)

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Joao Meidanis
Last modified: Thu Oct 31 07:00:05 BRST 2013