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The purpose of education is to free us all from the prejudices of our parents.

The definition of an educated person is to truly know the extent of one's ignorance.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The sleep of reason brings forth monsters

If it doesn't matter what the facts are then it doesn't matter what the truth is.

Morality will only survive in a defensible form when seen to be a human creation.

"At bottom," said Freud, "nobody believes in their own death."

Religion is philosophy frozen by dogma, cloaked in the shroud of righteousness.

An open mind is not an empty mind.

Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus.

Speculation on borrowed money is the most toxic combination in capitalism

Practice makes permanent.

The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind both in theory and practice.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

Love is a trick of nature to ensure the reproduction of the species. Any higher feelings are illusory (Schopenhauer).

Life requires no future to complete itself nor explanation to justify itself.

The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.


Strive not to be a success but to be of value.

The life of a man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.

If there is a God, he will have to beg my forgiveness. (Mauthausen concentration camp).

Live as if you were living a second time and is if you had acted wrongly the first time.

The prospect of future annihilation was no worse than the nothingness from which one came.

We are here to change the world. Not just follow rules, earn money and die.

People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

"A man should look for what it is; not for what he thinks should be" Albert Einstein

I encourage all of us to question the basic narratives of our world, to connect past developments with present concerns, and not to be afraid of controversial issues.

The highest to which man can attain is wonder (Goethe)

Life requires no future to complete itself nor explanation to justify itself.

The absurd does not liberate; it binds.

Life is a dance and when you are dancing you are not intent on getting somewhere.

Of all of the species that have ever existed fewer than 1% survive today. The others failed. On an individual level, no matter how much success you may achieve in your life, your eventual story will be one of failure too. Your bodily organs will fail and you will die.

Making plans for the future is of use only to those people capable of living in the present.

The most dangerous risk of all: the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.


Bo Burnham - "Nobody gives a shit what you think. I had a privileged life and I got lucky and I'm unhappy. They call it the "ME" generation but it's not. It's taught and contrived arrogance. Social media is the market's answer for a generation which demanded to perform.

The market said 'here, perform to each other, every time, for no reason'. It's prison. It's horrific. It's performer and audience melded together. I know very little about anything but I do know that if you can live your life without an audience, you should do it."

The Goldfinch: "Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. Life - whatever else it is - is short. Fate is cruel but not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn't mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we're not always so glad to be here, it's our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open.

And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn't touch. Insofar as love is immortal we all have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists and it keeps on existing."

Evolution is based on difference and not equality.

There is an inverse correlation between depression and exercise.

Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.

We have 2 lives and the only time we discover the second life is when we realise we only have one.

I hate small talk. I wanna talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic, intellect, the meaning of life, faraway galaxies, the lies you've told, your flaws, your favorite scents, your childhood, what keeps you up at night, your insecurity and fears... I like people with depth, who speak with emotion from a twisted mind. I don't want to know "what's up".

Directly after copulation, the devil's laughter is heard - Schopenhauer

He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth - Goethe

“If you could lick my heart it would poison you,” an aged Polish Jewish partisan tells Claude Lanzmann near the end of Shoah.

It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilisation is built upon a renunciation of extinct. - Freud

Have as few obligations as possible and as many passions as possible.

The chief enemy of good decisions is a lack of sufficient perspectives on a problem. - Alain de Botton


"It's always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I'll never meet in person."

Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader "that fruitful miracle of a communion in the midst of solitude".

Multitasking is just 'continuous partial attention'.

The key to flow is to pursue an activity for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings.

In a state of flow, you're neither bored nor anxious, and you don't question your own adequacy.

"Tell me straight out, I call on you - answer me: imagine that you yourself are building the edifice of human destiny with the object of making people happy in the finale, of giving them peace and rest at last, but for that you must inevitably and unavoidably torture just one tiny creature, that same child who was beating her chest with her little fist, and raise your edifice on the foundation of her unrequited tears--would you agree to be the architect on such conditions? Tell me the truth."

"No, I would not agree," Alyosha said softly.

"It's not that I'm so smart," said Einstein. "It's that I stay with problems longer."

"The most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door, someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps." Clark Gable

Saving is the oldest excuse for failing to live.

Nature will always prove human common sense to be ridiculously wrong. Science eventually takes people in the right direction, It drags people along.

The story of science changes - it is forward-looking. Religion's story has finished.

The news will not make you an optimist but data and statistics will.

90% of the art of living consists of getting on with people one cannot stand

'We must quietly suffer the laws of man's condition' - Montaigne

“If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”

In 1996 Richard Dawkins interviewed James Watson (with Francis Crick, they determined the double-helix structure of DNA) in a brief film broadcast on the BBC.

Watson said: "I don't think we're for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say 'Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose' but I'm anticipating a good lunch."