Xah's Favorite Quotations

By Xah Lee. Date:

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are not even capable of forming such opinions.
Albert Einstein, 1954

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back.
Abigail Van Buren

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society
Mark Twain

A serious problem in America is the gap between academe and the mass media, which is our culture. Professors of humanities, with all their leftist fantasies, have little direct knowledge of American life and no impact whatever on public policy.
—Camille Paglia

A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.
—Camille Paglia

Education has become a prisoner of contemporaneity. It is the past, not the dizzy present, that is the best door to the future.
Camille Paglia

The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it! (It's rather like getting tenure.)
— From CONSCIOUSNESS EXPLAINED, by Daniel Dennett, p. 177

They Say. What They Say, Let Them Say
— (Motto of Marischal College, Aberdeen), as quoted by Eric Temple Bell (1883 to 1960) from his book Men of Mathematics.

Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
—Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the U.S (1809 to 1865)

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
H. L. Mencken (1880 to 1956)

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
Mignon McLaughlin, author (1913 to 1983)

Laws are the spider's webs which, if anything small falls into them they ensnare it, but large things break through and escape.
—Solon, statesman (~638 BCE – 558 BCE)

The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.
—attributed to Gloria Leonard (born 1940)

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so.
Bertrand Russell (1872 to 1970)

«pant, pant» i'm a bad hungry wolf, having my eyes set on a pretty girl. My saliva has dripped a river, and i'm gonna slide on it smoothly, to my little red riding hood in New York.
—Xah Lee, 2005-10