Instead Quotes (20 quotes)
About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.
I despair of persuading people to drop the familiar and comforting tactic of dichotomy. Perhaps, instead, we might expand the framework of debates by seeking other dichotomies more appropriate than, or simply different from, the conventional divisions. All dichotomies are simplifications, but the rendition of a conflict along differing axes of several orthogonal dichotomies might provide an amplitude of proper intellectual space without forcing us to forgo our most comforting tool of thought.
I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.
I shuddered when I saw a crimson flame through the porthole instead of the usual starry sky at the night horizon of the planet. Vast pillars of light were bursting into the sky, melting into it, and flooding over with all the colors of the rainbow. An area of red luminescence merged smoothly into the black of the cosmos. The intense and dynamic changes in the colors and forms of the pillars and garlands made me think of visual music. Finally, we saw that we had entered directly into the aurora borealis.
If I choose to impose individual blame for all past social ills, there will be no one left to like in some of the most fascinating periods of our history. For example ... if I place every Victorian anti-Semite beyond the pale of my attention, my compass of available music and literature will be pitifully small. Though I hold no shred of sympathy for active persecution, I cannot excoriate individuals who acquiesced passively in a standard societal judgment. Rail instead against the judgment, and try to understand what motivates men of decent will.
If you want to build a ship, don’t recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for vast and endless sea.
It doesn’t take a scientist to realize that a chimpanzee or a dog is an intelligent animal. Instead, it takes a bigoted human to suggest that it’s not.
Modern man is weighed down more by the burden of responsibility than by the burden of sin. We think him more a savior who shoulders our responsibilities than him who shoulders our sins. If instead of making decisions we have but to obey and do our duty, we feel it as a sort of salvation.
Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.
Science cannot answer the deepest questions. As soon as you ask why is there something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science.
Science is now the craft of the manipulation, substitution and deflection of the forces of nature. What I see coming is a gigantic slaughterhouse, an Auschwitz, in which valuable enzymes, hormones, and so on will be extracted instead of gold teeth.
The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
The use of traveling is to regulate the imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
Thought-economy is most highly developed in mathematics, that science which has reached the highest formal development, and on which natural science so frequently calls for assistance. Strange as it may seem, the strength of mathematics lies in the avoidance of all unnecessary thoughts, in the utmost economy of thought-operations. The symbols of order, which we call numbers, form already a system of wonderful simplicity and economy. When in the multiplication of a number with several digits we employ the multiplication table and thus make use of previously accomplished results rather than to repeat them each time, when by the use of tables of logarithms we avoid new numerical calculations by replacing them by others long since performed, when we employ determinants instead of carrying through from the beginning the solution of a system of equations, when we decompose new integral expressions into others that are familiar,—we see in all this but a faint reflection of the intellectual activity of a Lagrange or Cauchy, who with the keen discernment of a military commander marshalls a whole troop of completed operations in the execution of a new one.
What nature demands of us is not a quantum theory or a wave theory, instead nature demands of us a synthesis both conceptions, which, to be sure, until now still exceeds the powers of thought of the physicists.
[American] Fathers are spending too much time taking care of babies. No other civilization ever let responsible and important men spend their time in this way. They should not be involved in household details. They should take the children on trips, explore with them and talk things over. Men today have lost something by turning towards the home instead of going out of it.