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Most people exhibit what political scientists call "the conservatism of the
peasantry." Don't lose what you've got. Don't change. Don't take a chance,
because you might end up starving to death. Play it safe. Buy just as much
as you need. Don't waste time.
When we think about risk, human beings and corporations realize in their
heads that risks are necessary to grow, to survive. But when it comes down
to keeping good people when the crunch comes, or investing money in
something untried, only the brave reach deep into their pockets and play
the game as it must be played.
- David Lammers, "Yakitori", Electronic Engineering Times, January 18, 1988
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"We can't schedule an orgy, it might be construed as fighting"
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Weekends were made for programming.
- Karl Lehenbauer
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"Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his
roars. Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the
forlorn pastors who belabor halfwits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind
the railroad yards."
- H. L. Mencken, writing of William Jennings Bryan, counsel for the supporters
of Tennessee's anti-evolution law at the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in 1925.
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...we must counterpose the overwhelming judgment provided by consistent
observations and inferences by the thousands. The earth is billions of
years old and its living creatures are linked by ties of evolutionary
descent. Scientists stand accused of promoting dogma by so stating, but
do we brand people illiberal when they proclaim that the earth is neither
flat nor at the center of the universe? Science *has* taught us some
things with confidence! Evolution on an ancient earth is as well
established as our planet's shape and position. Our continuing struggle
to understand how evolution happens (the "theory of evolution") does not
cast our documentation of its occurrence -- the "fact of evolution" --
- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Verdict on Creationism", The Skeptical Inquirer,
Vol XII No. 2
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This was the ultimate form of ostentation among technology freaks -- to have
a system so complete and sophisticated that nothing showed; no machines,
no wires, no controls.
- Michael Swanwick, "Vacuum Flowers"
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Men ought to know that from the brain and from the brain only arise our
pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs
and tears. ... It is the same thing which makes us mad or delirious, inspires
us with dread and fear, whether by night or by day, brings us sleeplessness,
inopportune mistakes, aimless anxieties, absent-mindedness and acts that are
contrary to habit...
- Hippocrates (c. 460-c. 377 B.C.), The Sacred Disease
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Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural function
are perfectly correlated, that one is completely caused by the other. There is
no separate soul or lifeforce to stick a finger into the brain now and then and
make neural cells do what they would not otherwise. Actually, of course, this
is a working assumption only....It is quite conceivable that someday the
assumption will have to be rejected. But it is important also to see that we
have not reached that day yet: the working assumption is a necessary one and
there is no real evidence opposed to it. Our failure to solve a problem so
far does not make it insoluble. One cannot logically be a determinist in
physics and biology, and a mystic in psychology.
- D. O. Hebb, Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory, 1949
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Prevalent beliefs that knowledge can be tapped from previous incarnations or
from a "universal mind" (the repository of all past wisdom and creativity)
not only are implausible but also unfairly demean the stunning achievements
of individual human brains.
- Barry L. Beyerstein, "The Brain and Consciousness: Implications for Psi
Phenomena", The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 163-171
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... Fortunately, the responsibility for providing evidence is on the part of
the person making the claim, not the critic. It is not the responsibility
of UFO skeptics to prove that a UFO has never existed, nor is it the
responsibility of paranormal-health-claims skeptics to prove that crystals
or colored lights never healed anyone. The skeptic's role is to point out
claims that are not adequately supported by acceptable evidcence and to
provide plausible alternative explanations that are more in keeping with
the accepted body of scientific evidence. ...
- Thomas L. Creed, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, pg. 215