„Until we invent telepathy, books are our best choice for understanding the rest of humanity.“

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Christopher Paolini photo
Christopher Paolini166
American author 1983

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„Until we understand languages of communication involving humans as they are then it is unlikely many of our software problems will vanish.“

—  Richard Hamming American mathematician and information theorist 1915 - 1998

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn (1991)
Context: The fundamentals of language are not understood to this day.... Until we understand languages of communication involving humans as they are then it is unlikely many of our software problems will vanish.

Kuruvilla Pandikattu photo
Richelle Mead photo
Nassim Nicholas Taleb photo

„Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.“

—  Nassim Nicholas Taleb, book The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Source: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010), p. 95

Kurt Vonnegut photo

„They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books.“

—  Kurt Vonnegut, book Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions (1973)
Context: I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.
As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.
Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their madeup tales.
And so on.
Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.
If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead.
It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.

Eleanor Roosevelt photo
Barack Obama photo

„We always have the opportunity to choose our better history. We can always understand that most important decision -- the decision we make when we find our common humanity in one another. That’s always available to us, that choice.“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961

2013, Cape Town University Address (June 2013)
Context: We always have the opportunity to choose our better history. We can always understand that most important decision -- the decision we make when we find our common humanity in one another. That’s always available to us, that choice. [... ] it can be heard in the confident voices of young people like you. It is that spirit, that innate longing for justice and equality, for freedom and solidarity -- that’s the spirit that can light the way forward. It's in you.

Jane Roberts photo

„Basically there is no difference between precognition and telepathy. The apparent difference is the result of an inadequate understanding of the nature of time.“

—  Jane Roberts American Writer 1929 - 1984

Session 240, Page 3
The Early Sessions: Sessions 1-42, 1997, The Early Sessions: Book 6

Bill Nye photo

„The passion and beauty and joy of science is that we humans have invented a process to understand the universe in a way that is true for everyone. We are finding universal truths.“

—  Bill Nye American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, scientist and former mechanical engineer 1955

[NewsBank, 35, Associated Press, TV host decries U.S. failure to value science, math education, The Star-Ledger, Newark, New Jersey, December 10, 2000]

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Foreword (January 1960)
You Learn by Living (1960)
Context: One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In stopping to think through the meaning of what I have learned, there is much that I believe intensely, much I am unsure of. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

„What are books but tangible dreams? What is reading if it is not dreaming? The best books cause us to dream; the rest are not worth reading.“

—  Rikki Ducornet American writer and artist 1949

Source: The Fan-Maker's Inquisition: A Novel of the Marquis de Sade

Konrad Adenauer photo

„We will never forget. If it takes us five or ten or twenty years, we will never rest until we get our revenge.“

—  Konrad Adenauer German statesman, Federal Chancellor of Germany, politician (CDU) 1876 - 1967

As quoted by General Sir Charles Fergusson in a memorandum (10 July 1945), recalling conversations with Adenauer in 1918-1919, at the end of World War I. As published in Adenauer : The Father of the New Germany (2000) by Charles Williams, p. 293 books.google https://books.google.de/books?id=7mhpKYpugJsC&pg=PA293

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Benjamin Disraeli photo

„Books are fatal: they are the curse of the human race. Nine- tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Source: Books, Coningsby (1844), Lothair (1870), Ch. 29.

George W. Bush photo

„The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.“

—  George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946

Alleged to have been made in a September 13, 2001 press conference. This wording has not been confirmed.
Attributed, Misquotations

Yasser Arafat photo

„Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations… We shall not rest until the day when we return to our home, and until we destroy Israel.“

—  Yasser Arafat former Palestinian President, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient 1929 - 2004

Quoted in The Times, UK (5 August 1980).
1980s and 1990s

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Carl Sagan photo

„Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996

Source: The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 21 : The Path to Freedom, p. 357
Context: Books, purchasable at low cost, permit us to interrogate the past with high accuracy; to tap the wisdom of our species; to understand the point of view of others, and not just those in power; to contemplate — with the best teachers — the insights, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history. They allow people long dead to talk inside our heads. Books can accompany us everywhere. Books are patient where we are slow to understand, allow us to go over the hard parts as many times as we wish, and are never critical of our lapses. Books are key to understanding the world and participating in a democratic society.

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