Wisdom from Around the World #1

Albanian: “For various reasons a good advice or a genuine warning is often disregarded or considered of no importance.” Arab: “Riches disclose bad qualities which poverty conceals.” Cambodian: “The immature rice stock stands erect; the mature stock hangs heavy with seeds.” Chinese: “There are two kinds of perfect people: those who are dead, and those […]

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Quotable #90: Silence

“Be silent or let thy words be worth more than silence.” — Attributed to Pythagoras Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, Only a look and a […]

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“Inspiring” Quotes from a Bot

We have all seen those inspirational quotes printed on posters (or photos, if you are a social media person) that talk about conquering challenges, achieving impossible dreams or learning from failures. They are usually backdropped by powerful imageries of nature, such as sunrise or stars. You may cringe or feel inspired by them depending on […]

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Quotable #89: Abstraction

“What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what […]

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Possible Origins of “God Is Always on the Side of the Heaviest Battalion”

The quotation “God is always on the side of the heaviest battalion” has mainly been attributed to Napoleon (1769 – 1821). Another form of the same quotation you may recognize is “Providence is always on the side of the big battalions”. Nonetheless, this saying has been around long before the time of Napoleon. One of […]

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Gleanings from the Past #88

Fortune Fortune, they say, doth give too much to many; But yet she never gave enough to any. — John Harington, 1600, quoted in The London Quarterly Review, January 1865 Behind every successful fortune there is a crime. — Mario Puzo, The Godfather, 1969 Writing Novels A man who is not born with the novel-writing […]

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Quotable #88: Free Will

“Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg but my will, not even Zeus himself can overpower.”  — Epictetus, The Discourses of Epictetus, with the Encheridion and Fragments (1877 edition), tr. by George Long, c. 2nd century “A horse that is hitched with others to a wagon is not free not […]

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Of Beauty and Truth

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (left), Karl Heinrich Schellbach (right) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1770 – 1831), a notable German philosopher, once remarked, “Who does not know the works of the ancients dies without knowing beauty.” German mathematician Karl Heinrich Schellbach (1805 – 1892) responded, “Who does not know the works of mathematicians and scientists dies without knowing […]

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Quotable #87: Cost of Living

“Air is still free, but it costs more and more to breathe it.” — Evan Esar “We’ve confused the cost of lifestyle with the cost of living. We’ve lost our perspective.” — Tim Costello “The high cost of living isn’t so bad if you don’t have to pay for it.” — Don Marquis “Whatever the […]

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Quotable #86: Bad Debts

“We often pay our debts not because it is only fair that we should, but to make future loans easier.” — La Rochefoucauld “The ideas of debtor and creditor as to what constitutes a good time never coincide.” — P.G. Wodehouse, Love Among the Chickens, 1906 “The customer is always right — until his bill is overdue:.” — Anon., […]

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