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Words of Wisdom

“Trust your hopes, not your fears”
– Martin Hochstein, repeating the words of a man who created a large advertising agency (and lost it) and still carried on.

“Far better it is to dare mighty deeds, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”
– Theodore Roosevelt, 19 April 1899, Chicago

“Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.”
– Schopenhauer

“Wer wenig weiss, muss viel glauben” (Who knows little must believe much)
– Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (cited in Glottometrics.3.129)

“But that night as I drove back to Montreal I at least discovered this: that there is no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and that the human tragedy, or the human irony, consists in the necessity of living with the consequences of actions performed under the pressure of compulsions so obscure we do not and cannot understand them.”
– Hugh MacLennan. 1959. The Watch that Ends the Night. Toronto: Macmillan. p. 274.

“But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it.”
– Thucydides (from a clipping)

"You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left ."
– Nov. 18, 1995, Itzhak Perlman, the violinist, at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City after playing a concert with one string broken

“His voice was rather rich and dark; the accent was Middle Western, but underneath the nasalities there was something soft and furry that came from the South.”
– Mary McCarthy. 1942. The Man in the Brooks Brothers Shirt. The Company She Keeps. Harcourt, Brace (1965 Penguin Books).

“None the less, he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of a final victory. It could be only the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never-ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers.”
– Albert Camus, from La Pest. 1947 (translation 1948. by Stuart Gilbert, The Plague, published by Hamish Hamilton; republished in 1960 by Penguin Books. pp 251-252)

“ Don't be sad it is over. Be happy it happened”.
(more or less) –Pat Burns, NHL hockey coach, as he faced fatal cancer, Spring 2010

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
– A. Einstein (from Altmann et al.)

“Life is short and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals co-operate."
–Hippocrates (by attribution). Aphorisms. 1.

“We think only through the medium of words.--Languages are true analytical methods.-- Algebra, which is adapted to its purpose in every species of expression, in the most simple, most exact, and best manner possible, is at the same time a language and an analytical method.--The art of reasoning is nothing more than a language well arranged.”
–Abbé de Condillac. Logic. as quoted approvingly by Antoine Lavoisier. (translated by Robert Kerr). Elements of Chemistry (1789 . Traite Elémentaire de Chimie)

“To be happy you must be wise. You must have tasted the fruits of your passions, taken the measure of your powers, and learned your place in the world, and what things in it can truly serve you.”
– Jorge (George) Santayana [1863-1952]

“Happiness is impossible, and even inconceivable, to a mind without scope and without pause, a mind driven by craving, pleasure or fear. To be happy, you must be reasonable, or you must be tamed. You must have taken the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion, and learned your place in the world and what things in it can really serve you. To be happy, you must be wise.”
– George Santayana (this quote appears around the inner perimeter of Ondaatje Hall in Massey Hall, University of Toronto)

T. S. Eliot (1942) wrote, “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
– quoted on page 226 by John H. Miller & Scott E. Page. 2007. Complex Adaptive Systems. Princeton University Press,

“In their [surgeons'] researches into the human frame, it may be that the higher and more subtle faculties of such men were materialized, and that they lost the spiritual view of existence amid the intricacies of that wondrous mechanism, which seemed to involve art enough to comprise all of life within itself.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter. 1850 (1959). Scarborough Ontario: New American Library. Signet Classics. 118.