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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Statements recently seen on Slashdot:

"The Internet interprets advertising as damage and routes around it."

"Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of business."

"A beowulf cluster of Cisco routers? Isn't that the Internet?"

"Geeks aren't interested in politics because government doesn't double its
efficiency and speed once every 18 months."

"Windows 98 hasn't crashed for me once in over a year, either. Oh, wait, I
haven't booted it in over a year."

"For more than 4 generations the IT Professionals were the guardians of
quality and stability in software. Before the dark times. Before
Microsoft..."

"You can tell how desperate they are by counting the number of times
they say 'innovate' in their press releases."
This is a logical analogy too... anyone who's been around, knows the world is
run by paenguins.  Always a paenguin behind the curtain, really getting things
done.  And paenguins in politics--who can deny it?
        -- Kevin M. Bealer, commenting on the penguin Linux logo
< Overfiend> whew.
< Overfiend> I really need to get some sleep.
< Overfiend> but it sure was fun talking guitars, politics, and lesbians.
Now's the time to have some big ideas
Now's the time to make some firm decisions
We saw the Buddha in a bar down south
Talking politics and nuclear fission
We see him and he's all washed up --
Moving on into the body of a beetle
Getting ready for a long long crawl
He  ain't nothing -- he ain't nothing at all...

Death and Money make their point once more
In the shape of Philosophical assassins
Mark and Danny take the bus uptown
Deadly angels for reality and passion
Have the courage of the here and now
Don't taking nothing from the half-baked buddhas
When you think you got it paid in full
You got nothing -- you got nothing at all...
        We're on the road and we're gunning for the Buddha.
        We know his name and he mustn't get away.
        We're on the road and we're gunning for the Buddha.
        It would take one shot -- to blow him away...
                -- Shriekback, "Gunning for the Buddah"
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really
good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change
their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really
do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are
human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot
recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
        -- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address
        THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #2: RENE

Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCartes,
RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence.  The language is being
developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics and Programming under a
grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund.  A spokesman described the language
as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of ours."

The center is very pleased with progress to date.  They say they have almost
succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However, sources inside the
organization say that each time the machine fails to think it ceases to exist.
"The biggest problem facing software engineering is the one it will
never solve - politics."
-- Gavin Baker, ca 1996, An unusually cynical moment inspired by working on a large
    project beseiged by politics
Alliance, n.:
        In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
        their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot
        separately plunder a third.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Dirksen's Three Laws of Politics:
        (1) Get elected.
        (2) Get re-elected.
        (3) Don't get mad, get even.
                -- Sen. Everett Dirksen
politics, n.:
        A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
        The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Revolution, n.:
        In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
                -- Ambrose Bierce
Bread and Circuits:
        The electronic era tendency to view party politics as corny --
no longer relevant of meaningful or useful to modern societal issues,
and in many cases dangerous.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
        Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do,
and how to be, I learned in kindergarten.  Wisdom was not at the top of the
graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
        These are the things I learned:  Share everything.  Play fair.  Don't
hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.   Say you're sorry when you hurt someone.
Wash your hands before you eat.  Flush.  Warm cookies and cold milk are good
for you.  Live a balanced life.  Learn some and think some and draw and paint
and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
        Take a nap every afternoon.  When you go out into the world, watch for
traffic, hold hands, and stick together.  Be aware of wonder.  Remember the
little seed in the plastic cup.   The roots go down and the plant goes up and
nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.  Goldfish and
hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup -- they all
die.  So do we.
        And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you
learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.  Everything you need to know is in
there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.  Ecology and
politics and sane living.
        Think of what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world
-- had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankets for a nap.  Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other
nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own
messes.  And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into
the world it is best to hold hands and stick together.
                -- Robert Fulghum, "All I ever really needed to know I learned
                   in kindergarten"
And yet, seasons must be taken with a grain of salt, for they too have
a sense of humor, as does history.  Corn stalks comedy, comedy stalks
tragedy, and this too is historic.  And yet, still, when corn meets
tragedy face to face, we have politics.
                -- Dalglish, Larsen and Sutherland, "Root Crops and
                   Ground Cover"
Crime does not pay ... as well as politics.
                -- Alfred E. Newman
Diplomacy is about surviving until the next century.  Politics is about
surviving until Friday afternoon.
                -- Sir Humphrey Appleby
Has the great art and mystery of politics no apparent utility? Does it
appear to be unqualifiedly ratty, raffish, sordid, obscene and low down,
and its salient virtuosi a gang of umitigated scoundrels?  Then let us
not forget its high capacity to soothe and tickel the midriff, its
incomparable services as a maker of entertainment.
                -- H.L. Mencken, "A Carnival of Buncombe"
He didn't run for reelection.  "Politics brings you into contact with all
the people you'd give anything to avoid," he said. "I'm staying home."
                -- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegone Days"
I used to be a rebel in my youth.

This cause... that cause... (chuckle) I backed 'em ALL!  But I learned.
Rebellion is simply a device used by the immature to hide from his own
problems.  So I lost interest in politics.  Now when I feel aroused by
a civil rights case or a passport hearing... I realize it's just a device.
I go to my analyst and we work it out.  You have no idea how much better
I feel these days.
                -- J. Feiffer
"If you ever want to get anywhere in politics, my boy, you're going to
have to get a toehold in the public eye."
Politics -- the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign
funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.
                -- Oscar Ameringer
Politics and the fate of mankind are formed by men without ideals and without
greatness.  Those who have greatness within them do not go in for politics.
                -- Albert Camus
Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous.  In war,
you can only be killed once.
                -- Winston Churchill
Politics is not the art of the possible.  It consists in choosing
between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith
Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next
week, next month and next year.  And to have the ability afterwards to
explain why it didn't happen.
                -- Winston Churchill
Politics makes strange bedfellows, and journalism makes strange politics.
                -- Amy Gorin
Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the
systematic organisation of hatreds.
                -- Henry Adams, "The Education of Henry Adams"
Politics, like religion, hold up the torches of matrydom to the
reformers of error.
                -- Thomas Jefferson
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
                -- Henry Adams
The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.
                -- Buckminster Fuller
The question is, why are politicians so eager to be president?  What is it
about the job that makes it worth revealing, on national television, that
you have the ethical standards of a slime-coated piece of industrial waste?
                -- Dave Barry, "On Presidential Politics"
There is no act of treachery or mean-ness of which a political party
is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.
                -- Benjamin Disraeli, "Vivian Grey"
"Those who do not do politics will be done in by politics."
                -- French Proverb
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really
good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change
their minds and you never hear that old view from them again.  They really
do it.  It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are
human and change is sometimes painful.  But it happens every day.  I cannot
recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
                -- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address
The policy is not to have policy. It works as well in kernel design as politics.

        - Alan Cox on linux-kernel
Oh, come on.  Every government is right on some issues.  Proof:                
                                                                                
        For every government X there is at least one government Y such that X
would claim that Y is a bunch of corrupt assholes.  Since every government    
is  a bunch of corrupt assholes, every government is right at least in one    
of its claims.

        - Al Viro discussing politics on linux-kernel
Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics,
because the stakes are so low.
                -- Wallace Sayre
University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
                -- C. P. Snow
...And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers.  No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions.  This is true in religion as
it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.
As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be
advised to leave them to heaven.  They will not, unfortunately, do us the
same courtesy.  They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword.  My own belief in
God, then, is just that -- a matter of belief, not knowledge.  My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the
most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth.  But even well-educated Christians
are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure
of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.
Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every
recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it.  Some Christians, alas,
resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.
- Steve Allen, comdeian, from an essay in the book "The Courage of
  Conviction", edited by Philip Berman
The history of the rise of Christianity has everything to do with politics,
culture, and human frailties and nothing to do with supernatural manipulation
of events.  Had divine intervention been the guiding force, surely two
millennia after the birth of Jesus he would not have a world where there
are more Muslims than Catholics, more Hindus than Protestants, and more
nontheists than Catholics and Protestants combined.
-- John K. Naland, "The First Easter", Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2
"He didn't run for reelection.        `Politics brings you into contact with all the
people you'd give anything to avoid,' he said. `I'm staying home.'"
-- Garrison Keillor, _Lake_Wobegone_Days_
Alliance:  In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their
hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot separately
plunder a third.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Administration:  An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive
the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Politics:  A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Presidency:  The greased pig in the field game of American politics.
-- Ambrose Bierce
"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having
a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
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