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In any human enterprise, work seeks the lowest hierarchical level.
- Charles R. Vail

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945) in 1895

A painter should not paint what he sees but what should be seen.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945)

God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945)

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945)

Man is only man at the surface. Remove the skin, disect, and immediately you come to machinery.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945)

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
- Paul Valery (1871-1945)

The best index to a person’s character is a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good and b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.
- Abigail Van Buren

Custom is the law of fools.
- Vanburgh

Vance’s Rule of 2 1/2: Any military project will take twice as long as planned, cost twice as much, and produce only half of what is wanted.
- Cyrus Vance

When solving a "panic" you must first ask yourself what you were doing that could possibly frighten an operating system
- Peter van der Linden

I appreciate the fact that this draft was done in haste, but some of the sentences that you are sending out in the world to do your work for you are loitering in taverns or asleep beside the highway.
- Dr. Dwight Van de Vate, Professor of Philosophy, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

The most familiar quotations are the most likely to be misquoted... Some have settled down to false versions that have obscured the true ones. They have passed over from literature into speech.
- Carl Van Doren

Self is the only prison that can bind the soul.
- Henry van Dyke

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
- Henry van Dyke

The world of the commodity is a world updside-down, which bases itself not upon life but upon the transformation of life into work.
- Raoul Vaneigem

Yeah, well we don’t deal the deck down here, we just play the percentages.
- Daryll van Horn

And after all, why should I go to bed every night? Sleep is only a habit.
- Cornelius Van Horne

The biggest things are always the easiest to do because there is no competition.
- William Van Horne

Workstations are like toothbrushes. Nobody else may use mine, especially not while I’m using it!
- Robbert Van Renesse, during his talk at the Usenix

I’ve finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes.
- Dennie Van Tassel

As a child I lived in the prairie province of Saskatchewan, and it was there that I ran into the curious assumption that the world around me was full of common people. This was never said in so many words. It was just understood that greatness or extra value as a human being existed only among the dead, or else it was an attribute of someone far away, whom one never met. I grew up feeling the full weight of my insignificance, and slowly, slowly began to build up my ego. Receiving no help from the environment, I withdrew from it into a world of imagination which was particularly illuminated by fiction stories which I read. . .
- A.E. Van Vogt

The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.
- A.E. Van Vogt, "The Weapon Shops of Isher"

If you wish to make a superior product, you must already be engaged in making an inferior product.
- Jacob A. Varela

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.
- Bill Vaughan

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
- Bill Vaughan

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
- Bill Vaughan

In the game of life it’s a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
- Bill Vaughan

Maybe love hasn’t changed much through history, but can you imagine Heloise and Abelard sitting around rubbing suntan oil on each other?
- Bill Vaughan

Muscles come and go; flab lasts.
- Bill Vaughan

Show us a home with young children and we’ll show you a home where every pack of cards counts out at between 37 and 51.
- Bill Vaughan

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.
- Bill Vaughan

If I may venture my own definition of a folk song, I should call it "an individual flowering on a common stem."
- Ralph Vaughan Williams

Emotion has taught mankind to reason.
- Marquis de Vauvenargues

The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before.
- Thorstein Bunde Veblen (1919)

All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to judicious use of sabotage.
- Thorstein Bunde Veblen

Football has as much to do with Education as Bullfighting has to Agriculture.
- Thorstein Bunde Veblen

Sports makes Higher Education palatable for Students who do not belong.
- Thorstein Bunde Veblen

Look, we play the Star Spangled Banner before every game. You want us to pay income taxes, too?
- Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox

Remember: Don’t eat your data set!
- Lili Velez

The first time you buy a house you see how pretty the paint is and buy it. The second time you look to see if the basement has termites. It’s the same with men.
- Lupe Velez

Possunt, quia posse videntur. (They are able, because they appear to be able.)
- Publius Vergilius Maro, The Aeneid

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.
- Gore Vidal

For certain people after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex.
- Gore Vidal

Free enterprise ended in the United States a good many years ago. Big oil, big steel, big agriculture avoid the open marketplace. Big corporations fix prices among themselves and drive out the small entrepreneur. In their conglomerate forms, the huge corporations have begun to challenge the legitimacy of the state.
- Gore Vidal

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
- Gore Vidal

I can understand companionship. I can understand bought sex in the afternoon. I cannot understand the love affair.
- Gore Vidal

I don’t want prizes. I turned down the National Institute of Arts and Letters when I was elected to it in 1976 on the grounds that I already belonged to the Diner’s Club.
- Gore Vidal

I’m a born-again atheist.
- Gore Vidal

I might be President by now if it weren’t for this ’queer’ thing
- Gore Vidal

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.
- Gore Vidal

Television is now so desperately hungry for material that they’re scraping the top of the barrel.
- Gore Vidal

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
- Gore Vidal

Young people are more hopeful at a certain age than adults, but I suspect that’s glandular. As for children, I keep as far from them as possible. I don’t like the sight of them. The scale is all wrong. The heads tend to be too big for the bodies, and the hands and feet are a disaster. They keep falling into things. The nakedness of their bad character! We adults have learned how to disguise our terrible character, but children, well, they are like grotesque drawings of us. They should be neither seen nor heard, and no one must make another one.
- Gore Vidal, Conversations With Gore Vidal - 1981

Scientia sine arte nihil est; ars sine scientia nihil est.
- Jean Vignot, 1392

Hey! Respect your elders. Call me Mr. Old Fart.
- Dick Vignoni

Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
- Last words of Pancho Villa

Though his invention worked superbly, his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end.
- Vernor Vinge, The Peace War

Do not commit your poems to pages alone, sing them I pray you.
- Virgil (70-19 BC)

For they can conquer who believe they can.
- Virgil

They are able because they think they are able.
- Virgil

A machine is as distinctively and brilliantly and expressively human as a violin sonata or a theorem in Euclid.
- Gregory Vlastos

It’s simple. It’s just things with chalk on a board.
- Helmut Vogel, when asked to explain a physics equation

The human heart is often the victim of the sensations of the moment; success intoxicates it to presumption, and disappointment dejects and terrifies it.
- Volney

Those who have nver seen two well-trained armies drawn up for battle, can have no idea of the beauty and brilliance of the display. Bugles, fifes, oboes, drums, and salvoes of artillery produced such a harmony as Hell itself could not rival. The opening barrage destroyed about six thousand men on each side. Rifle-fire which followed rid the best of all worlds of about nine or ten thousand villains who infested its surface. Finally, the bayonet provided ’sufficient reason’ for the death of several thousand more. The total casualties amounted to about thirty thousand. Candide trembled like a philosopher, and hid himself as best he could during this heroic butchery.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778), Candide

This poem will never reach its destination.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778), on Rousseau’s "Ode to Posterity

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

A good imitation is the most perfect originality.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Anything too stupid to be said is sung.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

A witty saying proves nothing.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Canada: A few acres of snow.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

God created sex. Priests created marriage.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

If God didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

It is amusing that a virtue is made of the vice of chastity; and it’s a pretty odd sort of chastity at that, which leads men straight into the sin of Onan, and girls to the waning of their color.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity would be thought a virtue and not the barrier that separates ignorance from knowledge
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast or of one thing too exclusively.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Once a philosopher, twice a pervert.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Once the people begin to reason, all is lost.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an Empire.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics... We repeat, there was far more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

The superfluous is very necessary.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

Whatever you do, stamp out abuses, and love those who love you.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly- that is the first law of nature.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

When the speaker and he to whom he is speaks do not understand, that is metaphysics.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

This is no time to make new enemies.
- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet, 1694-1778), when asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan.

Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own.
- Don Vonada

Basic research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

Crash programs fail because they are based on the premise that, with nine women pregnant, you’ll get a baby in a month
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

I have learned to use the word ’impossible’ with the greatest caution.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

Science does not have a moral dimension. It is like a knife. If you give it to a surgeon or a murderer, each will use it differently.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program: your dollar will go further.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.
- Wernher Von Braun (1912 - 1977)

1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., "Breakfast of Champions"

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before," Bokonon tells us. "He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., "Cat’s Cradle"

Thompson, if he is to be believed, has sampled the entire rainbow of legal and illegal drugs in heroic efforts to feel better than he does. As for the truth about his health: I have asked around about it. I am told that he appears to be strong and rosy, and steadily sane. But we will be doing what he wants us to do, I think, if we consider his exterior a sort of Dorian Gray facade. Inwardly, he is being eaten alive by tinhorn politicians. The disease is fatal. There is no known cure. The most we can do for the poor devil, it seems to me, is to name his disease in his honor. From this moment on, let all those who feel that Americans can be as easily led to beauty as to ugliness, to truth as to public relations, to joy as to bitterness, be said to be suffering from Hunter Thompson’s disease. I don’t have it this morning. It comes and goes. This morning I don’t have Hunter Thompson’s disease.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

We are what we pretend to be.
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years.
- John Von Neumann (ca. 1949)

You wake me up early in the morning to tell me I am right? Please wait until I am wrong.
- John von Neumann, on being phoned at 10 a.m.

Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.
- John von Neumann

There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about
- John von Neumann

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.
- John von Neumann

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.
- John Von Neumann

With stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
- Friedrich Von Schiller



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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z Unknown

This page is maintained by Tom Strong <strong@dementia.org>. If you find an error or omission on these pages, I would appreciate an update or correction.

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