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Clifford IT Services OD Pages (continued)

Quotes I have found over the years that I like, from various sources.
I have tried to identify the author/source where I could.

Please let me know of any copyright infringements.


A person will not easily give up opinions they believe to be facts in place
of facts they believe to be opinions.

Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.
W. Edwards Deming

We have learned to live in a world of mistakes and defective products as if they were necessary to life. It is time to adopt a new philosophy in America.
W. Edwards Deming

The world is a source of revelation, not a problem to be solved.
William Butler Yeats

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.
Bob Edwards

Making a wrong decision is understandable. Refusing to search continually for learning is not.
Philip Crosby, Reflections on Quality

It is not wisdom, wealth, or pleasure that brings us pain, but the mistaking of those for something they are not, the use of these to grasp something that is not.

Our quest for permanence is the root of our suffering.
- Ecclesiastes 2:17(interpretation)

In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear;
In every voice, in every ban*, 
The mind-forged manacles I hear.

* an old word meaning "a public announcement".

William Blake, "London".

No man can reveal aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your own knowledge.

The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom
but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed
wise he does not bid you enter the house
of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the
unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of
strength and resolutions.
Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him.
Benjamin Franklin

Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action.

We need both plumbers and philosophers in our society, and unless we provide quality education
for both, neither our pipes nor our ideas will hold water.
John Gardner, 1963

Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
Robert Byrne

Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

The least of learning is done in the classrooms.
Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
Rabbinical Saying

What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity.
In the end there are no certain answers.
Martina Horner, President of Radcliffe College

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The
quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.
Eugene S. Wilson

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.
Bill Gates (1955 - ), Business @ The Speed of Thought

Sometimes the most important learning we do is to un-learn.
Tom Clifford (and probably a few others......)

Everyone who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

Teaching is more difficult that learning because what teaching calls for is this: to let learn.
The real teacher, in fact, let nothing else be learned than learning. His conduct, therefore, often
produces the impression that we properly learn nothing from him, if by "learning" we now
suddenly understand merely the procurement of useful information.
Martin Heidegger

There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of
learning from experience.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Setting loose on the battlefield weapons that are able to learn may be one of the biggest
mistakes mankind has ever made. It could also be one of the last.
Richard Forsyth - Machine Learning for Expert Systems

Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much, are the three pillars of learning.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881)

It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then
try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child's curiosity
and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his
scholastic coaching for his scholastic difficulties.
Alice Duer Miller

Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see -- to see correctly -- and that means a
good deal more than merely looking with the eye.
Kimon Nicolaides

"You can close your eyes and say; ‘Oh, I see!’.
Jim Rohn

We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is
always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.
John Dewey (1859 - 1952)


Long ago we stated the reason for labour organizations. We said that union was essential to give
labourers opportunity to deal on an equality with their employers.
US Supreme Court

Equality...is the result of human organization. We are not born equal.
Hannah Arendt (1906 - 1975), German-Jewish political theorist.

The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up.
Harold R. McAlindon, writer.

An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and
opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.
Stephen R. Covey, Principle-centered Leadership

Jingshen is the Mandarin word for spirit and vivacity. It is an important word for those who would
lead, because above all things, spirit and vivacity set effective organizations apart from those
that will decline and die.
James L. Hayes, Memos for Management: Leadership, 1983

It isn't the incompetent who destroy an organization. It is those who have achieved something and
want to rest upon their achievements who are forever clogging things up.
Charles Sorenson

Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were
close and to take a distanced view of close things.
Miyamoto Musashi

To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship
is to conquer the enemy by strategy.
Ancient Chinese Warlord

The essential element of successful strategy is that it derives its success from the differences between
competitors with a consequent difference in their behavior. Ordinarily, this means that any corporate
policy and plan which is typical of the industry is doomed to mediocrity. Where this is not so, it should
be possible to demonstrate that all other competitors are at a distinct disadvantage.
Bruce Henderson (1915-1992), The Boston Consulting Group.

When a paradigm shifts, everyone goes back to zero. The industry leaders under one paradigm
can be defeated by new/weaker players who attain a better position under the new paradigm. (p.140)

New paradigms put everyone practicing the old one at great risk. The higher one's position, the greater
the risk. The better you are at your paradigm, the more you have invested in it, the more you have to
lose by changing paradigms (p.69).
Joel A. Barker, Future Edge, NY: William Morrow, 1992

It seemed that every time we were beginning to form up in teams we would be reorganized. I was
to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful
method it can be for creating an illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and
Petronius Arbiter, 200 B.C.

Note some of Parkinson's Laws:
(1) work expands to fill the time available,
(2) expenditures rise to meet income,
(3) the printed word expands to fill the space available for it.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.
Woody Allen (1935 - )

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through
life trying to save.
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935), New York TImes, Apr. 29, 1930

Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was
dripping invisibly all over the house.
James Thurber (1894 - 1961), My Life and Hard Times (1933)
(I now wonder if people now feel that way about computer technology...)

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), Letter to Mrs Foote, Dec. 2, 1887

Is there life before death?
Graffito, in Belfast

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious
when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that
none of it has tried to contact us.
Bill Watterson (1958 - ), cartoonist, "Calvin and Hobbes"

I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

One's real life is often the life that one does not lead.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), L'Envoi, 1882

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act I

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain(1835 - 1910)

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
Brendan Gill

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the
rest of your life.
Rita Rudner

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.
Alice Kahn

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Bagehot (1826 - 1877)

The deepest definition of youth is life as yet untouched by tragedy.
Alfred North Whitehead (1861 - 1947)

Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1869 - 1959)

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
William James (1842 - 1910)

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of
life than death.
James F. Byrnes (1879 - 1972)

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction
involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted
than when we read it in the original author?
Philip G. Hamerton, "The Intellectual Life"

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you
underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
Matt Groening (1954 - ), "Life in Hell"

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Man and Superman" (1903), act 4

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana (1863 - 1952), The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784), quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson
We must become that which we wish to change in the world.
Mahatma Ghandi

Better to pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than to
fade and wither dismally with age.
James Joyce, The Dead


Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday...The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that
abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.
Ayn Rand(1905 - 1982)

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982), Atlas Shrugged, 1957

I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982), Anthem, 1946

Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public,
ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982), The Fountainhead (1943)

Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future.
Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982)

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one we have.
Roger von Oech

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know,
that is true knowledge.

It's not what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so.
Will Rogers

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposite ideas in mind at the
same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

What concerns me is not the way things are, but rather the way people think things are.


One definition of insanity is continuing do the same things and expecting different results.
Unknown Nothing is impossible for the person who does not have to make it happen.


To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Farmers' Almanac, 1978

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.
H.L. Mencken(1880 - 1956), Mencken's Metalaw

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
P.B. Medawar (1915 - )

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.
Gore Vidal (1925 - )

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and
cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
Tom Robbins (1936 - )

Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better.

To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
Robert Orben

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working
smoothly, it is completely honest.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are
also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), "Last Chance to See"

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's
the essense of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "The Devil's Disciple" (1901), act II

...when your advice is directed toward assisting people to change their orientations, then your
feedback and advice-giving should begin with a focus on internals, not externals. Instead of
giving information, you need to collect it. You need to learn the personal assumptions that
lead another person to behave in ways that you judge counterproductive and to seek outcomes
that you read as self-defeating. You need to do this in order to understand what change in
thinking will produce changes and adjustments...
Culbert, Samuel A., 1996. Mind-set management: The heart of leadership.
New York: Oxford. p.249

The five most important words: "I am proud of you."
The four most important words: "What is your opinion?"
The three most important words: "If you please."
The two most important words: "Thank you."
The least important word: "I."

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt!

The Chinese character for conflict is made up of two different symbols - one indicates danger,
the other indicates opportunity.
The Japanese symbol for listening is made up of three symbols - those for ear, eyes, and heart.


Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They
never mention that part to us, do they?
George Carlin (1937 - 2008)

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they
seldom use.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)

Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Nobody can give you freedom.
Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything.
If you're a man, you take it.
Malcolm X (1925 - 1965), Malcolm X Speaks, 1965

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor
in freedom.
Albert Einstein(1879 - 1955), 'Out of My Later Years,' 1950

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and
enhances the freedom of others.
Nelson Mandela (1918 - )

If there is any principle ...that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the
principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the
thought that we hate.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the
world's ills and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all. Such extremism
comes easily to men who have doped themselves with delusions of their own unblemished
virtue and the rascality of others. Blind belief in one's cause and a low view of the morality
of other Americans - these seem mild failings. But they are the soil in which ranker weeds
take root - political lunacy, terrorism, and the deep, destructive cleavages that paralyze
John Gardner, former Secretary of HEW under Pres. Johnson

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican
form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion
may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas Jefferson, in his first Inaugural Address

The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived and dishonest –
but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
Pres. John F. Kennedy, at Yale Univ, 6/11/62

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the
spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is
the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias.
Justice learned Hand, in his comments to a group of newly naturalized Americans, quoted
by Justice Antonin Scalia (U.S. Supreme Court) in the WSJ 9/7/99

If we could shrink the Earth's population to a village of 100 people, preserving all existing human
ratios, we would have: 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from North and South America, and 8
Africans. Seventy would be non-white, 70 non-Christian. Half of the world's wealth would be in
the hands of six people, all but one U.S. citizens. Only 30 people would be able to read, half
would suffer from malnutrition, and 80 would live in substandard housing. Only one person
would have a college education.

Some DILBERT quotes (see www.dilbert.com):

(I may make a management decision not to use these quotes if an attorney shows up.)

DNRC Wise-Ass Encouragement

There are many situations in which you would like to insult an Induhvidual while making it
sound like encouragement. Here are some examples sent in by DNRC operatives.

"The key to our success will be your execution."

"You're a minefield of information."

"You're like a snowball gathering steam."

Observant DNRC members continue to send me true quotes of Induhviduals. For your convenience,
I organized the boner mots into logical categories.

Quotes From Induhviduals
Quotes that sound painful:

"Can I pick your ear?"
"I've got an ace up my hole."
"It leaves a real bad note in your mouth."
"I don't want to shoot myself in the hip."
"We have to make this deadline. Otherwise, we eat it in the shorts."

Critter-related quotes:

"I've been running around like a chicken with my legs cut off!"
"The monkey is in their court."
"There's more than one way to screw a cat!"
"That really grinds my goat."

Mutated Metaphors:

"There's a school of thumb that believes..."
"The money clock runneth over."
"Yesterday, it worked like a top."
"We'll kill two rocks in one basket."
"You can lead a blind man to water but you can't make him chug it."
"They're so busy they don't have two minutes to rub together."
"The phones were ringing out of their wits."
"Well, that really puts a wrinkle in my ointment."
"That was a real notch in his feather."
"I'm going to watch you like the back of a hawk."

Possibly naughty quotes:

"That guy beats to a different drum!"
"Whatever rubs your boat!"

Hall of Duhhh Quotes:

"I don't get why we're having a war. I mean, if Bush owns Texas, that means he owns all that
oil they farm there, right?
So why do we need the oil in Arabia? I mean, it probably costs a fortune just to drive the stuff
over here, what with the price of gas and all."

My high school gym coach, God help me, once instructed the class to "line up in a straight circle
and count off by ones."

Back to my OD page.......