Quotes

I share quotes I really love at the end of this page. And I share all the interesting quotes as a curated list anyone can contribute to.

And here are a few quotes that didn't make both of those lists but I still liked.

Life

I don't believe in asceticism or sobriety, moderation is the middle path.

Once you realise what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense - Watchmen by Alan Moore

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. - James Joyce.

In a year from now, you'll wish you had started today.

Don't let anyone tell you your ideas are stupid or the thing you feel most passionate about 'won't work - Dennis Crowley

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. - Bill Gates

Times change, and we change with them.

One tomorrow at a time.

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. - Mark Twain

Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own. - Bruce Lee

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. - Lao Tzu

Empower people. Embrace change. Eliminate waste.

An unexamined life is not worth living.

A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. - Oscar Wilde

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. - Steve Jobs

You can’t be free if you judge people

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. - Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

I wish it need not have happened in my time, said Frodo. So do I, said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. - The Fellowship of the Ring

Anyone, no matter how smart or educated, can be tricked and it's impossible to know when the person being tricked is you.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.

I don't think - said Alice; Then you shouldn't talk said the Hatter. - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. - Alfred D. Souza

I can remember thinking, Oh, someday, like in my mid-thirties maybe, everything's going to just somehow gel and settle, just end. It was like there was this plateau, and it was waiting for me, and I was climbing up it, and when I got to the top, all growth and change would stop. Even exhilaration. But that hasn't happened like that, thank goodness. I think that what we don't take into account when we're young is our endless curiosity. That's what's so great about being human. - From movie “Waking Life

Two famous authors, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller are talking at a party hosted by a billionaire hedge fund manager. Kurt says to Joseph, “You know, this billionaire makes more money in one day than you made in your whole lifetime from your novel Catch-22“. Joe responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have… enough.

All you touch, and all you see is all your life will ever be.

A mistake only stays a mistake if you don't learn from it.

The grass isn't greener on the other side, it's greener where you water it.

Don't spend life daydreaming about 'what could be' in a different place or circumstance. Instead, invest your energy in what is right in front of you and see how it can be cultivated into something beautiful.

Don’t worry about controlling your emotions. Control your actions

Be the person you needed in life.

Perhaps drugs aren't the experience, but life itself is the experience

Energy is the currency of the universe. When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you buy that experience. Be selective with your focus.

Will either find a way, or make one Your soul takes on the colour of your thoughts

Awaken; return to yourself. Now, no longer asleep, knowing they were only dreams, clear-headed again, treat everything around as a dream

It's normal to feel pain in your hands and feet, if your using your feet as feet and your hands as hands. And for a human being to feel stress is normal - if he's living a normal human life. And if it's normal, how can it be bad?

You can hold your breath until you turn blue, but they'll still go on doing it.

Leave other people's mistakes where they lie

Don't mistake the finger for the moon

I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time. - Banksy

The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground. - Trungpa Rinpoche

Success

  • Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.
  • Frameworks descend and burn up in the atmosphere like meteors. Technology changes fast enough that today’s problems are never tomorrow’s problems. Historically, our greatest technologies have been created by those who kept digging until they hit bedrock; who understood foundational ideas and technologies well enough to improve upon them.
  • The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity - it is very much like compound interest
  • Every day we change the world. But to change the world in a way that means anything - that takes more time than most people have. It never happens all at once. It's slow. It's methodical. It's exhausting. We don't all have the stomach for it
  • You want to be the first and last mover. Be the company that defines that area : Google / Amazon. Think of the end game, but do start.

Socialism

  • Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.
    • John Steinbeck

Purpose

  • Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

Freedom

  • Freedom consists of the distribution of power and despotism in its concentration.
  • What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.

Writing

  • Never use a long word when a short one will do.
    • George Orwell

Simplicity

  • Simplicity Is Complexity Resolved
    • Constantin Brancusi

Funny

Programming

  • A feature that isn't documented is a useless feature.
  • If it doesn't work right, in what sense does it work at all?
  • Just because you turing-can doesn't mean you turing-should
  • When in doubt, use examples
  • Lots of problems arise from a bad understanding of where we should be in the levels of abstraction.
  • The goal is not to write code that works, the goal is to write code you keep using but never touch again.
  • I have made this function so long only because I did not have the time to make it shorter.
  • A programmer will be able to understand a problem in full only when he has solved it at least once.
  • Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.
    • Hardol Abelson
  • Writing programs is just the way you make the machine understand your maths
  • It's so fun to stop every now and then when writing a lambda function and think it through all the way to the electrons hitting the monitor, etc.
  • Error driven development
  • Wait, what? Why does my code depend on that?
    • ancient Google proverb
  • The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.
    • Tom Cargill, Bell Labs
  • The whole point of JavaScript libraries is to abstract away the browser’s internal API and provide a different, better API instead.
  • To be able to speak, one must listen. To be able to write (code), one must read (code)
  • The line of code that the developer can write the fastest, the line of code that the developer can maintain the cheapest, and the line of code that never breaks for the user, is the line of code that the developer never had to write.
  • it's better for your tool to be dumb and work in predictable ways than to implement surprising convenience behaviours. The presence of magic numbers set by default is a good indicator that some tool is too smart for its own good and will cause you grief.

Business

  • Stop thinking about making a million dollars and start thinking about serving a million people
    • Dharmesh Shah
  • If you know how big the market is, you're too late.
  • The best entrepreneurs are not risk-takers. They spend every day reducing risk.
  • Startups mostly don't compete against each other, they compete against no one giving a shit.
  • Our company is worth nothing. That's the difference between you and I. Business isn't about money to me...
  • If tomorrow my company goes under I will just start another paper company. And then another and another and another. I have no shortage of company names.

Startups

  • Take something that people do, and remove a step (or make that step very very easy). That's the key to a successful startup.
    • Ev Williams
  • Fail fast
    • Do your best to validate the business idea before investing a bunch of time and money.
    • The faster you fail, the faster you can move onto another idea that might actually be the winner.
  • Stop making the product perfect. Get it to market and get feedback
  • The ultimate judges are users.
  • The hardest thing to do is start.
  • Focus on selling your product, not selling your company.
  • Focus on the long term, and always do what’s right to grow the company and not make short-term decisions. And outlast everyone
  • The best startup book is one you never open because you're too busy marketing and building your product.

Psychedelics

  • Some people say that we’ve been here before.That we don’t live just once, but hundreds of times.
    • Some people say that we have soulmates, not just one, but many. And that we meet again and again throughout our lives.
    • Some people like to keep their minds on other things. And so they spend their whole lives looking for answers to the wrong questions.
    • But what if the many secrets of life and death were not as unknown as we’ve been taught to believe?
    • Maybe, if you just shift your mind ever so slightly just an inch to the left you’ll see what I mean.
    • You’ll know when it happens. It will feel like a hundred sunsets hitting you all at once.
    • It’s a difficult feeling to explain, maybe you have felt it before. It’s sort of like old friends meeting, or the dawn breaking into the night after a thousand years of darkness.
    • But if I really told you the secrets of the universe, you probably wouldn’t believe me.
    • So I am here to remind you of how it used to be. No longer just the distance of a memory but instead something completely clear as if it were only yesterday.
  • Without salt, an egg is no fun to eat
  • I was no longer afraid to live my life

Consciousness

  • Because you're only free if you refrain from touching the walls of your cell.
  • It's all in your head. You just have no idea how big your head is.
    • Lon Milo Duquette
  • When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
    • Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • The ego is an enlightenment trap.
  • Meditation is the medicine, mindfulness the diet.
  • You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment
    • Thoreau
  • Lately it occurs to me, what a long strange trip it's been...
  • Could it be anything but perfect though?
  • A man was walking along a river bank when he saw another man on the opposite side.
    • Hello! he called out, how do you get to the other side of the river?
    • The man called out in response, you are on the other side of the river!
  • Anxiety's a funny thing. A simple change in perspective and it's just gone. But will it stay gone? That's always the question.
  • We often look, but we rarely see.
  • We often hear, but we rarely listen.
  • I have seen this as well. It's called ego death.
    • The past and future do not exist. Only the moment. And in the moment everything exists. Life... existence... reality itself raging forward. You are only random jumble of some matter from a random part of the universe. You are no more important than any other piece of reality. But in the same sense, you are the most important thing in the universe. You are the universe. The universe is within you and you within it.
    • During ego death you realise this. This fact of existence. You are only another piece of matter. You are exactly the same as a table or chair or the dirt. You are simply matter. Conscious matter. A bunch of atoms with self awareness. Ego death is... in my opinion, the most tangible example of nirvana. It is the greatest form of understanding.
    • We are all just lucky bundles of atoms experiencing existence together. It makes you chill out and have empathy for other life forms.
    • We just exist. We are just alive. And we overcomplicate it all. But all life forms have the same basic feelings about stuff.
  • The universe is endless, limitless and infinite. Any effort to define it's boundaries is an attempt to overcome ignorance. We are physical, mental and spiritual beings ... there is no beginning and there is no end. There is only memory. Our repeated loss of memory experiences create the illusion of beginnings and ends. Immortality is the ability to retain full memory through all consciousness transformations. Loss of memory is man's greatest curse and, in very real terms, death.
  • Let us declare nature to be legitimate. All plants should be declared legal, and all animals for that matter. The notion of illegal plants and animals is obnoxious and ridiculous.
  • Modern man is a prisoner who thinks he is free because he refrains from touching the walls of his dungeon.
  • You are an extra in everyone else's movie
  • God is consciousness without the sense of self
  • After years of meditation, thousands of out of body experiences and one very significant, particular meditation I've come to the conclusion that I am not in the world, but the world is within me.
  • heaven, it's anywhere but where you are
  • So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.
    • And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure during your sleep. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it's gonna be.
    • And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.
    • That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have. Of playing that you weren't god, because the whole nature of the godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he is not. So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not god in a politically kingly sense, but god in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you are all that, only you are pretending you are not.
  • Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

Products

  • Apple often doesn't invent the whole thing, but definitely puts a usable version on the market.

Motivation

  • If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
    • Dr. Martin Luther King

History

  • If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
    • Henry Ford

Health

  • if you don’t measure it, it won’t get fixed

Compassion

  • The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.
    • Gandhi

Thinking

  • Just because other people are idiots doesn't mean we should be.
  • Think for yourself, question authority

Planning

  • Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
    • Abraham Lincoln

Relationship

Fear

  • The more afraid you are the more power your fear has.

Books

  • The problem with books is that they end.
    • Caroline Kepnes
  • A reader lives a thousand lives before they die. The person who never reads lives only one.
    • George R. Martin

Nature

  • Man is the most insane species.
    • He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature.
    • Unaware that the Nature he is destroying is this God he is worshipping.

Happiness

  • The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

Focus

  • Do the simple thing first.
  • Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.
    • Elon Musk

Work

You are a business, your skills are the product. Treat it like that.

You don’t get paid what you deserve. You get paid what other people think you're worth.

Show, don't tell.

You don't remember the work, you remember the exhilaration. - Robert Herjavec

You don't pay a plumber to bang on your pipes, you pay them to know where to bang

If you think a pro is expensive, wait until you have to fix the work of an amateur

Intelligence

  • An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialised knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.
  • An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialised knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.
    • Napoleon Hill
  • The wise warrior avoids the battle.
  • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
  • “Study without devotion damages the brain”.
    • Leonardo da Vinci

Finance

  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
    • Benjamin Franklin
  • Wealthy is meaningless; use Unwealth: the difference, at any point in time, between what you have and what you would like to have
  • One man's debt is another man's financial asset
  • Rich people buy things that make them more money; poor people buy big screen TV's and cars

Knowledge

  • Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, inquiry its progress, ignorance its end.
  • An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
    • Benjamin Franklin
  • Learn to love and admire the right people, live or dead.
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
    • Aldous Huxley
  • If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.
    • Albert Einstein
  • We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
  • I leaned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
  • Review the intuitive definition. Rephrase technical definitions in terms that make sense to you.

Cosmos

  • The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.
    • Carl Sagan
  • In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Artificial Intelligence

  • The last 10 years have been about building a world that is mobile-first. In the next 10 years, we will shift to a world that is AI-first.
  • Artificial Intelligence is the study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better.

Capitalism

  • I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? It’s like, “Hey, if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law“
    • Chris Rock

Math

  • Mathematics requires a small dose, not of genius, but of an imaginative freedom which, in a larger dose, would be insanity.
    • Angus K. Rodgers
  • fractals are shapes with a non-integer dimension
  • She, like many, had always thought that mathematics did not derive its meaning from the universe, but rather imposed some meaning onto the universe.
  • Geometry without algebra is dumb! Algebra without geometry is blind!
  • Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
    • John von Neumann
  • Most people who are Bad At Math simply don't have the fundamentals down. It happens in school where, if you don't have a concept well understood, too bad we're onto the next topic. And you don't have the skills to cope with the new topic. You fall behind and it's kind of over unless you really apply yourself.
    • I know this because it happened to me. So what I suggest is, no matter what course you take, start at the very beginning. Even if you think you know it, do all the exercises. You'll build your skills piece by piece much like programming and before long you'll wonder why you found it hard in the beginning. It becomes like programming where even with huge problems you just break them down into smaller and smaller pieces until you can cope.

Time

  • I am reminded of the story of the great French Marshal Lyautey, who once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.
    • John F. Kennedy

Friends

  • To know who your true friends are, look out for the ones who say good things behind your back and bad things to your face.

Awareness

  • Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.
    • now here’s Tom with the weather

Learning

  • It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

Language

  • I didn’t learn to talk from a linguist, I learned to talk from hearing other people talk
  • A language isn't something you learn so much as something you join.

Engineering

  • A brilliant professor of mine liked to say The Answer of the Engineer: it depends.

Justice

  • All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

Drugs

  • When you drink alcohol you are just borrowing happiness from tomorrow.
  • Know your body, know your mind, know your substance, know your source.

Psychedelics

DMT

  • DMT will not teach you anything about this universe. The only guaranteed truths you will find there are about the self. Everything else is just what could be, in my opinion.

Future

  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
    • Alan Kay
  • Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.
    • Steve Jobs

Politics

  • Democracy is the worst form of government ... except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it
    • Upton Sinclair
  • Political battles are won with money not words
  • If you don't read the paper you are uninformed, if you do you are misinformed
    • Mark Twain

War

  • If we don’t end war, war will end us.
  • The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.
    • Carl Sagan

Creativity

  • Everything you can imagine is real.
    • Pablo Picasso

Loneliness

  • The self hides in many ways, under every stone, the self can hide in compassion, going to India and looking after poor people, because the self is attached to some idea, faith, conclusion, belief, which makes me compassionate because I love Jesus or Krishna, and I go up to heaven. The self has many masks, the mask of meditation, the mask of achieving the highest, the mask that I am enlightened, that “I know of what I speak.” All this concern about humanity is another mask. So one has to have an extraordinary, subtle, quick brain to see where it is hiding. It requires great attention, watching, watching, watching.
    • On Mind and Thought, p 133

Physics

  • What is special about atomic theory is the supposition that there is an endpoint to recursive reduction. That at some point you cannot find anything simpler.
  • The general principle that any problem you face, no matter how big, can be broken down into smaller and easier to solve problems, recursively, is the most important idea in human history.
    • Atomic theory is just a special case of this insight.
  • The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.
    • Heisenberg

Internet

  • I knew when I was eight .. that I might sincerely regret not having participate in this thing called the internet..
    • Jeff Bezos

Ideas

  • It is the simplest version of the idea that sticks.
    • Christopher Nolan

Literature

  • You must have a map, no matter how rough. Otherwise you wander all over the place. In The Lord of the Rings I never made anyone go farther than he could on a given day.
    • Tolkien
  • What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?
    • Anthony Bourdain

Space

  • I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact
    • Elon Musk

Problem Solving

  • If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules.

Art

  • Art washes from the soul, the dust from every day life

Innovation

  • If others would think as hard as I did, then they would get similar results.
    • Newton
  • We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.

History

  • What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.
    • Anne Frank
  • the philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next

Design

  • You cannot understand good design if you do not understand people; design is made for people

Change

  • There are decades when nothing happens. There are weeks where decades happen.
    • Vladimir Lenin

Choice

  • The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.
    • M. E. Porter
  • If it's not a hell yes, it's a no.
  • In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
    • Donny Miller

Nutrition

  • Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Privacy

  • There is no cloud, just other people's computers

Control

  • If everything is under control, you're going too slow.
    • Mario Andretti

Books

  • She smiled at him.
    • And then it arose and struck Vimes that, in her own special category, she was quite beautiful; that was the category of all the women, in his entire life, who had ever thought he was worth smiling at. She couldn’t do worse, but then, he couldn’t do better. So maybe it balanced out. She wasn’t getting any younger but then, who was? And she had style and money and common sense and self-assurance and all the things that he didn’t, and she had opened her heart, and if you let her she could engulf you; the woman was a city.
    • And eventually, under siege, you did what Ankh-Morpork had always done–unbar the gates, let the conquerors in, and make them your own.

Insanity

  • It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
    • Philip K Dick

Universe

  • It's all either order or chaos. You momentarily ordered what was already there in a more structured way. Then when you deleted it, that specific order disappeared. Like a plant assembling itself out of minerals and water and atmospheric compounds, and the dying and decomposing back into them again. The underlying elements are still there, but the structure is gone.

Science

  • If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

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