Scientific method consists in applying to those subjects which lie without the range of our immediate experience those same common-sense methods of reasoning which successful men of the world apply in judging of matters which concern their own interests. Simon Newcomb, Principles of Political Economy (1886), chapter III, “Of Scientific
Corruption never has been compulsory; when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains. Robinson Jeffers, “Shine, Perishing Republic” (1939).
Cannon, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries. Capital, n. The seat of misgovernment. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary (two entries)
Science and mathematics Run parallel to reality, they symbolize it, they squint at it,They never touch it: consider what an explosion Would rock the bones of men into little white fragments and unsky the world If any mind for a moment touch truth. Robinson Jeffers, “The Silent Shepherds” (1958).
These associations, or political parties, are actual armies which have been trained to pursue power; their immediate objective is to so increase the number of their adherents as to control an electoral majority. Influential electors are for this purpose promised such or such share in the profits which will follow
Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame. Virginia Woolf, “On Being Ill” (1926).
The early Thomas Jefferson had a dream: a society of honest yeomen, engaged in agricultural pursuits, without large cities, heavy industry, banks, military pretensions. The early (and the late) Alexander Hamilton wanted industry, banks, cities, and a military force capable of making itself felt in world politics. It is a
Plato did not believe any more in his republic than old Homer did in his gods. Arsène Houssaye, Philosophers and Actresses (1886)
Our youthful rebels are anything but inarticulate; and though they utter a great deal of nonsense, the import of what they are saying is clear enough. What they are saying is that they dislike — to put it mildly — the liberal, individualist, capitalist civilization that stands ready to receive
Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction,” The Common Reader (1925).
An individualist is a man who says: ‘I’ll not run anyone’s life — nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone — nor sacrifice anyone to myself. Ayn Rand, “Textbook
The future’s already here; it’s just not evenly distributed. William Gibson, Distrust That Particular Flavor (2012).