„The greatest ideas are the simplest.“

Source: Lord of the Flies

Last update Sept. 20, 2021. History
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William Golding79
British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Lite… 1911 - 1993

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„Classification in its simplest terms, means putting together things or ideas that are alike, and keeping separate those that are different.“

—  Brian Campbell Vickery British information theorist 1918 - 2009

Source: Classification and indexing in science (1958), Chapter 1: The need for classification, p. 1; Partly cited in Jens-Erik Mai (2010) Classification in a social world: bias and trust http://jenserikmai.info/Papers/2010_Classificationinasocialworld.pdf Journal of Documentation Vol. 66 No. 5, 2010. p. 640; Also cited in ( Bawden, 1991 http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~dbawden/reactionspaper.pdf).

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„One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.“

—  Walter Bagehot British journalist, businessman, and essayist 1826 - 1877

Source: Physics and Politics https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4350 (1869), Ch. 5, The Age of Discussion

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„The greatest threat of the Cuban revolution is its own example, its revolutionary ideas“

—  Ernesto Che Guevara Argentine Marxist revolutionary 1928 - 1967

Tactics and Strategy of the Latin American Revolution (1962)
Context: The most submissive countries and consequently, the most cynical, talk about the threat of Cuban subversion, and they are right. The greatest threat of the Cuban revolution is its own example, its revolutionary ideas, the fact that the government has been able to increase the combativity of the people, led by a leader of world stature, to heights seldom equaled in history. Here is the electrifying example of a people prepared to suffer nuclear immolation so that its ashes may serve as a foundation for new societies. When an agreement was reached by which the atomic missiles were removed, without asking our people, we were not relieved or thankful for the truce; instead we denounced the move with our own voice. We have demonstrated our firm stand, our own position, our decision to fight, even if alone, against all dangers and against the atomic menace of Yankee imperialism.

E. B. White photo

„When you consider that there are a thousand ways to express even the simplest idea, it is no wonder writers are under a great strain. Writers care greatly how a thing is said — it makes all the difference.“

—  E. B. White American writer 1899 - 1985

Paris Review interview (1969)
Context: When you consider that there are a thousand ways to express even the simplest idea, it is no wonder writers are under a great strain. Writers care greatly how a thing is said — it makes all the difference. So they are constantly faced with too many choices and must make too many decisions.
I am still encouraged to go on. I wouldn't know where else to go.

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„The idea that the Natives must all be removed and confined in their own kraals is in my opinion the greatest nonsense I have ever heard.“

—  Jan Smuts military leader, politician and statesman from South Africa 1870 - 1950

In August 1946, as quoted by James Barber in South Africa in the Twentieth Century, p. 134

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„Do you know, one of the greatest problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas? Now, thoughts and ideas, that interests me.“

—  Margaret Thatcher British stateswoman and politician 1925 - 2013

Variant: Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.
Source: Margaret Thatcher

Terence McKenna photo

„You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.“

—  Terence McKenna American ethnobotanist 1946 - 2000

LSD - Terence Mckenna - The Purpose Of Psychedelics http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=27759640
Context: My notion of what the psychedelic experience is, for us, that we each must become like fishermen, and go out on to the dark ocean of mind, and let our nets down into that sea. And what you're after is not some behemoth, that will tear through your nets, follow them and drag you in your little boat, you know, into the abyss, nor are what we're looking for a bunch of sardines that can slip through your net and disappear. Ideas like, "Have you ever noticed that your little finger exactly fits your nostril?", and stuff like that. What we are looking for are middle-size ideas, that are not so small that they are trivial, and not so large that they're incomprehensible. Middle-size ideas we can wrestle into our boat and take back to the folks on shore, and have fish dinner. And every one of us when we go into the psychedelic state, this is what we should be looking for. It's not for your elucidation, it's not part of your self-directed psychotherapy. You are an explorer, and you represent our species, and the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is in danger by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it's really all about.

Wernher von Braun photo

„I would like simply to point out that the space program has by all standards become America's greatest generator of new ideas in science and technology.“

—  Wernher von Braun German, later an American, aerospace engineer and space architect 1912 - 1977

Responsible Scientific Investigation and Application (1976)
Context: Without wanting to seem overly partisan, I would like simply to point out that the space program has by all standards become America's greatest generator of new ideas in science and technology. It is essentially an organization for opening new frontiers, physically and intellectually. Today we live in a different world because in 1958 Americans accepted the challenge of space and made the required national investment to meet it.
Young people today are learning a new science, but even more importantly, they are viewing the earth and man's relationship to it quite differently — and I think perhaps more humanly — than we did fifteen years ago. The space program is the first large scientific and technological activity in history that offers to bring the people of all nations together instead of setting them further apart.

Olly Blackburn photo

„Nic Roeg inspires me. He’s one of the greatest British film directors. His work is bold, challenging, cinematic and full of mesmerising ideas.“

—  Olly Blackburn Film director and screenwriter

Olly Blackburn meets Nic Roeg, TimeOut London, Olly Blackburn, Time Out Group Ltd and Time Out Digital Ltd., 9 July 2008, 23 February 2012 http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/5148/olly-blackburn-meets-nic-roeg.html,

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„Conformity to nature has no connection whatever with right and wrong. The idea can never be fitly introduced into ethical discussions at all, except, occasionally and partially, into the question of degrees of culpability. To illustrate this point, let us consider the phrase by which the greatest intensity of condemnatory feeling is conveyed in connection with the idea of nature - the word "unnatural."“

—  John Stuart Mill British philosopher and political economist 1806 - 1873

That a thing is unnatural, in any precise meaning which can be attached to the word, is no argument for its being blamable; since the most criminal actions are to a being like man not more unnatural than most of the virtues.
Source: On Nature (1874), p. 102

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„I'm not a Reichian in the sense of somebody who thinks he was the greatest scientist who ever lived and discovered the basic secrets of psychology, physics and everything else, all in one lifetime. But I think he has enough sound ideas that his unpopular ideas deserve further investigation.“

—  Robert Anton Wilson American author and polymath 1932 - 2007

"Robert Anton Wilson on Wilhelm Reich" (March 1995)
Context: He {Wilhelm Reich} had a great capacity to arouse irrational hatred obviously, and that's because his ideas were radical in the most extreme sense of the word "radical." His ideas have something to offend everybody, and he ended up becoming the only heretic in American history whose books were literally burned by the government.
Timothy Leary spent five years in prison for unorthodox scientific ideas. Ezra Pound spent 13 years in a nuthouse for unorthodox political and economic ideas. Their books were not burned.
Reich was not only thrown in prison, but they chopped up all the scientific equipment in his laboratory with axes and burned all of his books in an incinerator. Now that interests me as a civil liberties issue.
When I started studying Reich's works, I went through a period of enthusiasm, followed by a period of skepticism, followed by a period of just continued interest, but I think a lot of his ideas probably were sound. A lot probably were unsound. And, I'm not a Reichian in the sense of somebody who thinks he was the greatest scientist who ever lived and discovered the basic secrets of psychology, physics and everything else, all in one lifetime. But I think he has enough sound ideas that his unpopular ideas deserve further investigation.

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