Thursday, September 04, 2014


"Anyone looking for confirmation will find enough of it to deceive himself—and no doubt his peers. It is ... naive empiricism to provide, in support of some argument, series of eloquent quotes by dead authorities. By searching, you can always find someone who made a well-sounding statement that confirms your point of view—and, on every topic, it is possible to find another dead thinker who said the exact opposite." —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan (2007)

"There is not less wit nor invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought. Cardinal du Perron has been heard to say that the happy application of a verse of Virgil has deserved a talent." —Pierre Bayle (1647 - 1706)

"Beware of thinkers whose minds function only when they are fueled by a quotation." —E.M. Cioran (1911 - 1995)

"Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it." —George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

"I've always felt that if a thing had been said in the best way, how can you say it better?" —Marianne Moore (1887 - 1972)

"We are as much informed of a writer's genius by what he selects as by what he originates. We read the quotation with his eyes, and find a new and fervent sense; as a passage from one of the poets, well recited, borrows new interest from the rendering. As the journals say, 'the italics are ours.'" —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)