Just a few tidbits collected…
“The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
Turning a man from the snares of death.”
“Facts are stupid things”
I heard him say this on national TV. He never
corrected himself, and no one has ever used it again. I believe he meant
to say ‘facts are stubborn things’. I remember once Walter Mondale (or
was it Jimmy Carter?) was giving a stump speech in
20101013 by the way, the real quote is "Facts are stubborn things", attributed to John Adams by Thomas Sowell in his book Economic Facts and Fallacies .
“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."”
C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man p. 27
Remember this for homeschooling. Don’t turn kids into little cynics, but show them what is right and what is wrong. A natural consequence of this is to read the classics of literature in order to learn the basic themes of life.
Remember how bankers are taught to identify counterfeit bills: they spend lots of time handling good money, so that if a fake bill presents itself, they will know it not by its fakeness, but by its not being good.
“Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.”
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
“The primary difference between information and knowledge is relevance, a personal applicability that renders the … blizzard of data into infostreams that – when an individual draws unique relationships between them – become knowledge.”
From ‘Portal Knowledge’ in IntelligentKM magazine (part of Intelligent Enterprise) October 20, 2000. Written by John Harney.
The emphasis shown is my addition. The question is, how do we draw knowledge out of information?
This quote had a particular interest to me in establishing the relations between data, information, knowledge and wisdom. I have pursued this from a biblical perspective in other writings.
“Attention is the state of mind which allows us to perceive what has to be”
Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), Composer, Conductor and Teacher
This quote hung in my cubicle at SE Technologies. Unfortunately, I cannot remember why it is significant to me! From “The Cardinal Virtues: Conversations with Nadia Boulanger” - found at http://www.sol.com.au/kor/17_02.htm
“Revenge, at first though sweet, bitter ere long back on itself recoils”
I just like the sound of it.
“All the sins we commit are assertions of the self against either God or man”
John R. W. Stott, Basic Christianity
“You will pay for the whole seat, but you will only need the edge”
Jon P. Elliot, Baan Education
The tag line on an e-mail from him inviting us to attend an on-line training workshop for Baan Enterprise Planning. This is a common cliché in the movie reviewing business.
“Success gives you the confidence to be patient with your failures”
Eric Rohmann, 2003 Caldicott medal winner
Said on an interview with NPR, Jan 27, 2003
“Nobody likes change except a wet baby”
“Wine is sunlight, held together by water”
“Work is accomplished when the pressure to get it done exceeds the pain of doing it.”
This is known in the office as “Brock’s Law”
“Women bear children; men build monuments.”
…on our quest for capturing the creative force, eternity, permanence, meaning and relevancy in the universe.
9/2005: Check out http://188.8.131.52/theopenheart/springtides/menbuild.htm
Compare to Calvin Coolidge’s remarks:
"Men build monuments above the graves of their heroes to mark the end of a great life, but women seek out the birthplace and build their shrine, not where a great life had its ending but where it had its beginning, seeking with a truer instinct the common source of things not in that which is gone forever but in that which they know will again be manifest."
The Price of Freedom p. 18
“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening all at once.”
Found at a website (www.theorderoftime.com) while doing some research on the nature of time. I am trying to sort out the creation time & what a ‘day’ <yom> is. I googled on ‘the dual nature of time’ and got all sorts of interesting stuff.
“I’ve found that many people like to talk politics, but few like to listen.”
I went to a church men’s group meeting. The talk turned to politics. I just kept my mouth shut. People were talking about that of which they knew nothing. I wanted no part of it. Why have a discussion with someone whose mind is closed?
“Improvise, Modify, Adapt, Overcome”
This is the motto of the Marines? It comes in several forms; sometimes only three (removing Adapt, I think); sometimes rearranged. I quote it this way from the 2003 movie “The Recruit”. Here, it is applied toward CIA agents.
“When you come to the end of the road, go straight.”
From 1988 or so – my favorite directions to someone’s farm.
“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them.”
Attributed to Big Al in an Orion magazine article (Summer, 2002).
Think about it for a while.
“… a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.”
“… time is the only relationship between the way different things change.”
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
This is a book about an autistic teenage boy who investigates a dog’s murder.
I’m not too sure if there may not be other things besides time: maturity, character come to mind.
“Stick to your gifts and your gifts will stick to you”
Hawkeye, in The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper
“What if you make each moment with someone feel like your first?”
Katherine Vaz, in A World Painted by Birds (short story in Green Man anthology)
What a great way to keep love fresh!
“Poetry is space interrupted by words”
Unknown, heard on ‘Cutting a Dash’ series of British radio essays on punctuation in language.
“Bullet point culture”
Unknown, but often seen in conjunction with derogatory reference to Microsoft’s PowerPoint.
“Contentment is turning your desires toward what you already have, not what you don’t”
“Stress is the gap between what we expect to happen and what is actually happening.”
Gary Smalley, in The DNA of Relationships
"Children, it is not enough to love much; you must love well. Great love is good, undoubtedly; wise love is better. May yours be as mild as it is strong; may it want nothing, not even indulgence, and may some pity be mingled with it. You are young, beautiful and good; but you are human, and, for that very reason, subject to many miseries. This is why, if some pity does not form part of the feelings you have for each other, these feelings will not be adapted to the circumstances of your common life; they will be like holiday clothes which are no protection against the wind and the rain. You only love those securely whom you love even in their weaknesses and meannesses. Mercy, forgiveness, consolation, that is love and all its science. "
Farewell Speech of King Loc,
“The only thing worse than waiting is wishing that I had waited.”
Waiting on God is hard, sometimes. It involves
faith & trust. Often the world will accuse you of inaction and
procrastination. Abraham & Sarah knew God’s promise, but conspired to
have a son through Hagar. Think now – does the nation of
“There is no justice, only mercy.”
Adrian Paul as “The Highlander” from the TV series.
It is far nobler for humans to grant mercy than to pursue justice (usually just revenge disguised as justice). Justice will be done in this life or the next, regardless of our input.
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” says the LORD. Deuteronomy 32:35
3/12/2007: And in James 2:13: “…because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” (NIV)
“We ask for help when the pain of not knowing exceeds the fear of admitting it.”
Chris Jamison, 7/2006
“Jamison’s Law” – in a nod to Brock’s Law (and Celebrate Recovery’s step one).
“To get back one’s youth one has merely to repeat one’s follies.”
“Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect: simply a confession of failure.”
“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”
Quotes from Lord Henry
“There is a luxury in self-reproach. When we blame ourselves we feel that no one else has a right to blame us.”
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
“Love, in ignorance, squanders what love informed crowds and overfills with tokens of eternity.”
Brother Cadfael in Ellis Peters’ An Excellent Mystery
Sadly, how true.
“But a certain sign of grace is this:
From the broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt.”
David Crowder Band, “Wholly Yours” from the CD A Collision.
“Curiosity flourishes only when the outcome of experience is in question.”
Robert Michael Pyle, in “The Great Indoors”, an article for “The Tangled Bank” column in Orion magazine (Nov-Dec, 2006)
“I could get a lot done if I didn’t have so much to do.”
Chris Jamison, 2007
“The measure of any knowledge system is not how well it can store data, but how well that information can be retrieved.”
Chris Jamison, January 30, 2007
“Being is the essence of acceptance.”
Dr. Robert Roney, February 5, 2007
Accepting ourselves as God made us is sometimes difficult. I do what I know is wrong, and pursue a life more like Christ. The tension between what I think and what I do is very stressful for me. I have great difficulty accepting the situation as it is. This quote was very helpful for me. Being, I can handle, as a first step of accepting the flawed person I am. Thanks, Bob!
“You will not think clearly about your life until you think mythically; until you see with the eyes of your heart.”
John Eldredge, Waking the Dead
I am very much drawn to Mythology, and the idea that I’m meant for ‘something better’. Eldredge affirms this as a valid belief we all should share. And I very much like that he doesn’t shy away from speaking about myth and biblical truth in the same sentence, without lowering the bible to human standards, or dismissing mythology as misguided human attempts to understand God.
“A personal walk with God comes to us through Wisdom and Revelation.”
Eldredge then references Proverbs 1:32-33 and 2:9-11.
“Community cannot survive without solitude.”
John Eldredge, Waking the Dead
Small intimate communities are where the church
lives. This is the
“There is an adventure awaiting a surrendered life.”
Pastor Drew Grubbs, 3/25/7 at Sugarloaf Community Church (during his Sunday message on an obedient heart)
“That which a woman most desires… is to have her will.”
Answer to the Enchanter-Knight’s riddle in Howard Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and His Knights.
“You can only rationalize with rational human beings.”
David Rosenberg, 5/1/07
“Some people will give you directions. Others simply tell you where to go.”
Chris Jamison, 6/24/7
“If God’s timing is perfect, and if timing is the key to Comedy, does that make God the ultimate comedian?”
Chris Jamison, 6/23/7
“All human beings should try and learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.”
Chapter heading in Holly Black’s Valiant; heard 7/12/2007
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
Philip K. Dick
Chapter heading in Holly Black’s Valiant; heard 7/12/2007
“Guns represent a combination of finality and irresponsibility that makes me extremely nervous.”
Chris Jamison, 8/1/2007
“Bitterness is a poison you drink and hope the other person dies.”
Heard first person, attributed to Anonymous (paraphrased by me), 8/8/2007
8/16/07: Here’s a cool God thing (a godincidence):
Last night I picked up a book I hadn’t read in nearly nine months. I continued on at the chapter head and finished it. I glanced ahead to the next chapter, and saw this quote:
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
“Courage is acting in accordance with your heart, when your heart says ‘this is the right thing to do’, but your gut says ‘don’t do it!’”
Chris Jamison, 8/26/07
“Cookies as big as your head”
Office co-worker Kim S, 9/21/7
That's a nice image.
"To connect with others and have an effect"
Biographer/Historian Jane Dunn's characterization of the driving force in the life of Mary, Queen of Scots.
From her book Elizabeth and Mary; 11/2/2007
“Law is the only place where reason controls power.”
Attributed to Richard Cates in the Economist Magazine Dec. 8, 2007.
“How normally you can live is not determined by the degree of the disability but by how much support you have around you.”
Tetsuyuki Akashi, quoted in Keiko Tobe’s With the Light.
Tetsuyuki is a 30 year old autistic man living and working in Japan. With the Light is a series of Manga volumes about raising an autistic child in Japan.
“It’s hard to make mental notes when there’s nothing to write on.”
-anonymous friend, Feb. 15, 2009
“Listen to me play my song to you through my special interest and you will no longer be convinced I am the one in need of a cure. With autism, I can dance everyday even when there is no music playing. With autism, I can shut the world out and hear only the trees and the sky and the earth. With autism, I care about the world so much that pretending seems mean when I know I can be truthful. I am not autism. I am me and I have autism.”
adult with Autism, posted on the Spectrum listserver,
Sept. 26, 2009
“Without imitation, all the great inventions of the world would just be prototypes.”
Mike Rowe, heard on TV 6/14/2010; italics mine.
“You campaign in poetry and govern in prose.”
Attributed to Mario Cuomo by Tony Blair in Time Magazine, Sept. 13, 2010.
“The meaning of the world does not reside in the world.”
Attributed to Ludwig Wittgenstein in Logicomix, a graphic novel by Apostolos Doxiadis; read Sept. 29, 2010.
This just blows me away. It takes me in so many directions: in theology, it means that we humans cannot find our ultimate purpose by looking within ourselves. We must surrender to something larger than ourselves. I remember reading in John McCain's autobiography that his one piece of advice to young people was to find something bigger than yourself that you can believe in. For me, that is the Christian God, and his son Jesus, my Lord.
In computer programming, it means that an object (say, a Class) is meaningless without context. Once cannot discern the purpose of a class from reading the lines of code in the class. This leads me to insist on proper documentation of a class. Just having the 'contract' - that is, the inputs & outputs - is not enough. I need to know where this class fits in the larger story; what comes before it, and what comes after. I am becoming convinced that a Class should stand as a representation of an Idea. And that idea should be prominent in the documentation of the class. For example, 'this class represents the transactional data sent from an interfacing system, which will be processed and transacted into the current system as a customer sales order'.
For the idea of Intelligent Design, it blows away the main premise of ID, namely that one can deduce the requirement of an external Creator (or Designer) based solely on the evidence of the universe itself. I guess that's like saying the existence of a clock presupposes that the clock was designed and made by a clock maker. We realize this is true since we are also outside the clock. We are aware that there exists 'other-than-clock'. But does the clock itself know this? Or rather, does the fact of the clock necessitate a clock maker. Strictly speaking, No, it does not.
Thankfully, my Faith tells me that God exists, cares about me, and is active in the world He created, moving all things forward toward ultimate good.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
“Shared experience is the core of any friendship.”
David G. Benner, in The Gift of Being Yourself (chapter 2, p37).
My paraphrase: "The basis of friendship is shared experience."
This struck me - how do we build a network of friendships over our lifespan? Shared experience is the basis of it - think especially of trying times like... military service, natural disasters, Thanksgiving meals at the relatives, college, high school, long journeys.
“Denial is not a long-term strategy.”
Rahm Emanuel, running for Chicago mayor, quoted in Time magazine, Feb. 28, 2011 issue (p43).
“Collaboration leads to acceleration”
David Pritchard, Sunday May 15, 2011.
Referring to business dynamics, although delivered in the context of a spiritual exploration. This stuck with me because at work we are talking a lot about accelerators in Dynamics AX. Our development team just released a Chemical Industries accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics AX. And I'm intrigued with the development of "implementation accelerators" - meaning little AX jobs that I can write, run and share with others that will help with the implementation of AX2009.
Also, I like the mathematics of it: If something takes me two weeks to learn, it will take another consultant something on the order of two weeks to learn as well. But if I collaborate with him, I can reduce his learning curve substantially. And this reduction should be more than linear; it should be exponential. Thus the acceleration: an exponential increase, not merely a linear one.
“Oratory is the distillation of emotion into exact words.”
Author Robert Harris, in his book of Cicero's Rome, Conspirata, read May 29, 2011.
“You're entitled to your own opinions, but you're not entitled to your own facts.”
Congressman Rob Woodall, in a town hall meeting on Aug 20, 2011 at Duluth, GA
I really like Woodall's genuine interest in the questions he received - from both pro and con constituents. The line above is a great example of how he handled difficult questions, especially ones that thinly veiled the asker's agenda. In this case, the question asker accused Woodall of continuing to hold campaign fundraisers while the budget / debt limit debates were ongoing in July, 2011. Woodall allowed him to have the opinion of continuing to raise funds, but wouldn't cede the fact to him. In fact, Woodall held only two fund raising events all of 2011.
“Deep inside every pearl of wisdom is an irritating grain of sand.”
Chris Jamison, Jan. 22, 2012;
That grain of sand is likely Truth.
“Limits on good things keep them good.”
Cloud and Thompson, in Boundaries, chapter 11, read Dec 2, 2012
This is talking about balance and moderation.
“Without risk, there can be no progress.”
George M Low, 14th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“Without judgment, we normalize sin”
Dan Brown (not the author, my discipleship group leader), April 28, 2013.
For me, this is an underpinning reason why I need to keep a fellowship of good men around me. For their perspective and judgment.
“Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”
Paul Tillich, on brainyquote.com, referenced June 11, 2013.
“Boredom is rage spread thin.”
Paul Tillich, on brainyquote.com, referenced June 11, 2013.
“Neurosis is the way of avoiding non-being by avoiding being.”
Paul Tillich, on brainyquote.com, referenced June 11, 2013.
“There is no meaning absent context”
Chris Jamison, July 1, 2013
“For the simplicity on this side of complexity, I wouldn't give you a fig. But for the simplicity on the other side of complexity, for that I would give you anything I have.”
This quote is attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. It is mentioned without attribute in Steve Brown’s book A Scandalous Freedom.
Steve says “simplicity on this side of complexity is worthless, but simplicity on the other side of complexity is worth anything you had to pay to get there”. I like SB’s modernization better. For me, as a computer programmer, I recognize the simplicity on the other side as being “elegance”. So my quote would be
“Elegance is simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
Chris Jamison, July 2, 2013
20130703 – just saw a quote from Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
“Everybody counts, or nobody counts.”
The character Harry Bosch, in Michael Connelly’s The Drop. Read on 20130730.
Harry’s point is that he doesn’t like people who demand special treatment, especially at the expense of those without political clout. I think Jesus would agree with the sentiment. In fact, he might say “It’s the nobodies who count more than everybody else.”
“Perfume is the soul of the flower.”
Read 20130908, spoken by Dr. Aronnax, in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, on the occasion of smelling violets.
“All men are brothers, that’s why we shed tears for people we don’t know.”
Character Ruth Evershed, to Harry Pierce on BBC’s MI-5, 2009. This is a reference to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy: “Alle menschen werden brueder”.
“Being amazed by people’s willingness to mess the world up, and being amazed by just how messed up the world actually is, doesn’t take much work. … It is legitimate to be amazed by it, and legitimate to complain about it. But declaring how messed up things are … does not create change. … Change isn’t enacted by absorbing and sharing bad news. Real change – or better yet, transformation – is enacted when we change the way we see the world and are moved to take action. Transformation happens when we stop just looking at something that is wrong, and are stirred to look toward what is right – even if the outcome is unknown.”
H. Emerson Blake, editor of Orion magazine, in his preamble to the November | December 2013 edition.
Or, as I’ve observed, enraged enumeration of the world’s injustices is not to be confused with having compassion. Compassion stirs one to action. Compassion without action is merely pity. Jesus, when he looked with compassion on someone, always followed it with action.
“Melancholy is the happiness of being sad.”
“Art should have truth as its object and the interesting as it means.”
“I submit to you that authentic creative work brings into our lives more space than it uses.”
3/25/14 Wm Paul Young, author of The Shack, in Facebook post/unpublished article.
“No offense is so heinous as unorthodoxy of behavior.”
Aldous Huxley in Brave New World. Read 4/29/2014
“Education is the best contraceptive of all.”
Alan Weisman in Orion magazine, Sept/Oct 2013
“I am responsible for what I say. I am not responsible for what you hear.”
Anonymous eBay forum poster’s signature line, 1/14/2004
It used to be that when my boss said "Jump!" I said "How high?"
But now when he says "Jump!" I say "How? Why?"
Chris Jamison, 9/15/2014
“It’s not a lie, if you believe it.”
Jerry Seinfeld to George Costanza, on Seinfeld TV show.
“A typeface is the clothing of the alphabet.”
2/8/2015, noted as a “very famous quote” by Paul Bailey on an NPR news item about Sweden’s new national typeface.
“I don’t think I’m allowed to get out from under the bus.”
3/4/2015, Anonymous co-worker, on hearing that he’d been ‘thrown under the bus’ again.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
Good advice. I know my writing sounds different than my speaking. I remember writing my testimony for Celebrate Recovery, then reading it and thinking ‘it sounds like an essay’. So I rewrote it in a conversational style. Much better.
“The question is always the same with a dragon. Will he talk with you, or will he eat you?”
- Sparrowhawk, in The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.”
Joe Klein in Time Magazine, May, 2015.
“A tragic hero is an individual who, with every attempt to restore things to normalcy, only pushes himself further away from normalcy.”
Gobjia, in “Au Revoir Crazy European Chick”, by Joe Schreiber, read Aug. 2015.
“Philosophy is the study of important matters that cannot be resolved through scientific experimentation alone.”
Ray Kurzweil, in Time Magazine, Sept. 21, 2015.
“If you're going to be a leader, lead at a speed that people can follow.”
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, as heard on NPR, Oct. 8, 2015.
Talking with Robert Siegel about his book “Not in God’s Name”.
“Never confuse patience with apathy.”
Chris Jamison, Nov. 6, 2015
The apathetic man may appear patient due to his calmness. But his calmness is there only because he doesn’t care about the outcome. It is a patient man who both cares about the outcome, and is able to remain calm.
“If you’re trying to find your purpose, look in your pain.”
Brandon Marshall (NFL player), as heard on a TV segment spotlighting his work on mental illness awareness. Searching the internet, I could not find this exact quote, but only “Find your purpose through/in your pain”. But those are in the ballpark. I like the one I heard on TV better.
“Handling the Truth can be tricky. Being Truthful is not.”
Dan Brown, Nov. 13, 2016
Dan Brown is co-leader of my Discipleship group at Perimeter Church.
“It is very difficult to dispel ignorance if you retain arrogance.”
Sam Wilson, in the context of the Vietnam War, as seen on Ken Burns’ film 9/20/17.
“Pain is information rushing in to fill a gap in knowledge.”
Jerry Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, episode with Noah Trevor, 2013.
For example, stubbing your bare toe on a rock you didn’t know was there.
“If you find the right balance between desperation and fear, you can make people believe anything.”
Trevor Noah, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, episode with Noah Trevor, 2013.
He was speaking of Apartheid in South Africa, with an ongoing reference to Hitler’s Germany. But I think it applies universally to demagogues everywhere.
“Fear can be conquered. Anxiety must be endured.”
Max Brooks, from World War Z, as quoted on NPR’s Fresh Air August 15, 2017.
I cannot find the follow-up to this in the online transcript, but as I recall, Max reasons that fear is based on a threat – a real threat. You cannot ignore it, you need to face it; it’s not going away. Anxiety, rather, is in response to the threat of a threat. It’s not real. And so you cannot face and conquer it.
“I think politics at its best is trying to find out how you do create a society in which there is genuine equality which acknowledges that we are different.”
Glenda Jackson, actor and British MP, in Time magazine, April 16, 2018
“…everything can be inspiring if you are curious about it.”
Jane Smiley, Smithsonian magazine, March, 2018
“To keep a path, you have to walk the path.”
Chris Jamison, August, 2018
I have carved out several walking paths in the woods. But if I don’t continually walk them, the undergrowth will quickly reclaim and obscure the path. So, I have to keep walking them to keep them clear and useful. Spiritually, if I don’t continue to walk my Christian walk – or any chosen path – it will quickly be overgrown by thorns.
“Human history is … a perpetual testimony to the achievement of the impossible.”
Cory Booker, September, 2018, in a speech (watched on video from thehill.com).
Copyright 2005-2018 Chris Jamison.