Don't throw your cigarette butts in the urinals, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
The Harvard Lampoon
Sorcery (n): The ancient prototype and forerunner of political influence.
Phrenology (n): The science of picking the pocket through the scalp. It consists in locating and exploiting the organ that one is a dupe with.
Mesmerism (n): Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage and asked Incredulity to dinner.
Palmistry (n): The 947th method (according to Mimbleshaw's classification) of obtaining money by false pretences. It consists in "reading the character" in the wrinkles made by closing the hand. The pretence is not altogether false; character can really be read very accurately in this way, for the wrinkles in every hand submitted plainly spell the word "dupe." The imposture consists in not reading it aloud.
Divination (n): The art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce and the early fool.
Rhadomancer (n): One who uses a divining-rod in prospecting for precious metals in the pocket of a fool.
Clairvoyant (n): A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her client namely, that he is a blockhead.
A fake fortune-teller can be tolerated, but an authentic soothsayer should be shot on sight. Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.
Robert A. Heinlein
A Metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men.
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to light.
Jerry E. Pournelle
Mysticism joins and unites; reason divides and separates. People crave belonging more than understanding. Hence the prominent role of mysticism, and the limited role of reason, in human affairs.
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
Absurdity (n): A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.
An opinion is like a branding iron. It is one thing to hold it, and another to press it into the skin of a friend.
I can't speak for others, but I know that my shift in opinions over the last few years did not cause me to lose respect for folks who think differently, unless they profess a particularly fluorescent brand of idiocy.
If you have strongly held opinions, you are opinionated; if you don't, you lack conviction: either way, there is something wrong with you.
When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity, a pessimist sees calamity in every opportunity.
Winston S. Churchill
Once-in-a-Lifetime-Deal Theory: Never get into a bidding war over a once-in-a-lifetime deal. The best deal in the world comes along every day.
Robert J. Ringer
Bird-in-the-Hand Theory: The bird in the hand looks awfully good after it's left your hand.
Robert J. Ringer
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects the wind, the realist adjusts the sails.
When all you have is lemons, make lemonade.
The advantage to being a pessimist is that all your surprises are pleasant.
An optimist goes to the window every morning and says, "Good morning, God." The pessimist goes to the window and says, "Good God, morning!"
An optimist says that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist will sigh and agree with him.
Denial: How an optimist keeps from becoming a pessimist.
Preference (n): A sentiment, or frame of mind, induced by the erroneous belief that one thing is better than another. An ancient philosopher, expounding his belief that life is no better than death, was asked by a disciple why, then, he did not die. "Because," he replied, "death is no better than life."
Optimism (n): The doctrine, or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong. Being a blind faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof an intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment but death. It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.
Pessimism (n): A philosophy forced upon the conviction of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly grin.
Predilection (n): The preparatory stage of disillusion.
Opportunity (n): A favourable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
Things are going to get worse before they get a lot worse.
Optimism is free, in theory, although after the U.S. exchange rate has been applied, it actually costs money even to think positive.
Even a small star shines in the darkness.
Where there is sugar, there are ants.
People who don't have faith in human nature are forever cleaning up the mess made by people who do.
Richard J. Needham
Pessimist: A man who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
George Bernard Shaw
Give up now and avoid the last minute rush.
L. Neil Smith
If at first you don't succeed, Cut your throat and watch it bleed.
L. Neil Smith
[Y]ou have to allow a little for the desire to evangelize when you think you have good news.
A motion to adjourn is always in order.
Change comes from Power, and Power comes from organization. In order to act, people must get together. Power and organization are one and the same. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. The real action is the enemy's reaction.
Any process sets up forces opposing it. The system always kicks back.
We trained hard . . . but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization . . .
Committee: A group of men who keep minutes, but waste hours.
[The more] posts and offices a movement has to hand out, the more inferior stuff it will attract, and in the end these political hangers-on overwhelm a successful party in such number that the honest fighter of former days no longer recognizes the old movement . . . When this happens, the "mission" of such a movement is done for.
Strike while your employer has a big contract.
An idea is a feat of association.
Originality is the art of concealing your sources.
Franklin P. Jones
Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering.