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Ideas II

Creativity is not always bred in an environment of tranquility; sometimes you have to squeeze a little to get the paste out of the tube.

Truth prevails where opinions are free. -- Tom Paine

The more we disagree, the more chance there is that at least one of us is right.

In point of form Logical doctrine has three sides: [a] the Abstract side, or that of understanding; [b] the Dialectical, or that of negative reason; [c] the Speculative, or that of positive reason. These three sides do not make three parts of logic, but are stages or 'moments' in every logical entity, that is, of every notion and truth whatever. They may all be put under the first stage, that of understanding, and so kept isolated from each other; but this would give an inadequate conception of them. The statement of the dividing lines and the characteristic aspects of logic is at this point no more than historical and anticipatory. -- Hegel, Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences [also: intro to Hegel]

Why is philosophy so complicated? It ought to be entirely simple. Philosophy unties the knots in our thinking that we have, in a senseless way, put there. To do this it must make movements that are just as complicated as these knots. Although the result of philosophy is simple, its method cannot be if it is to succeed. The complexity of philosophy is not a complexity of its subject matter, but of our knotted understanding. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

A mortal should think mortal thoughts, not immortal thoughts. -- Epicharmus of Syracuse

The best ideas come after you think you've run out of them.

Ideas come as you walk, Nietzsche said. Walking dissipates thoughts, Shankara taught. -- E. M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born

Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule. -- David Guaspari

Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again. -- Goethe (?)

To follow foolish precedents, and wink
With both our eyes, is easier than to think. -- William Cowper

Indecision is the key to flexibility.

I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.

Rhetoric: Words without action.
Reify: Action following words.

Television reporting and punditry are the tributes that entertainment pays to the democratic ideal of discourse. The political talk does not, in the main, evaluate or research: It "covers." When CNN's Washington bureau chief can say casually, "The Texas governor hammered home some of his major themes, including Social Security," this is shorthand, but not only shorthand -- it is a surrogate for reasoning. Positions are signaled -- candidates "position themselves" -- rather than defended; no defending is demanded of them. A topic is a "theme" is a "position" is an "issue" is news. -- Todd Gitlin, The Renaissance of Anti-Intellectualism

Your motives for doing whatever good deed you may have in mind will be misinterpreted by somebody.

Everyone talks about apathy, but no one does anything about it.

Most people will listen to your unreasonable demands, if you'll consider their unacceptable offer.

The professors have ideas; the rest of us have emanations of our psychological needs and neuroses. -- George Will, Washington Post columnist

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. -- George Bernard Shaw

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. -- Victor Hugo

An idealist is one who helps the other fellow to make a profit. -- Henry Ford

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
Where is the information we have lost in data?
  -- T. S. Eliot, The Rock (c. 1915)

The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.

He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book. -- Ben Franklin (?)

When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. -- Mark Twain

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