„I cannot understand how people can still call themselves Christians and not be furious adversaries of Hitler's regime.“

—  Henning von Tresckow, April 1943. Bodo Scheurig, Henning Von Tresckow: Ein Preuße Gegen Hitler.
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Henning von Tresckow1
général allemand 1901 - 1944
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„I can understand companionship. I can understand bought sex in the afternoon, but I cannot understand the love affair.“

—  Gore Vidal American writer 1925 - 2012
Quoted in profile by Martin Amis, "Mr. Vidal: Unpatriotic Gore" (1977) in The Moronic Inferno (1987)

„How can we design improvement in large systems without understanding the whole system, and if we the answer is that we cannot, how is it possible to understand the whole system?“

—  C. West Churchman American philosopher and systems scientist 1913 - 2004
Context: It is only natural to expect that improvement can occur in certain sectors of the system without our having delved deeply into the characteristics of the whole system. Thus, for example, there is a tradition in Western thought that parts of the whole system can be studied and improved more or less in isolation from the rest of the system. So deeply ingrained is this concept of social improvement in Western thought that we naturally think it proper to subdivide our society into functional elements. We think it proper that each element develop its own criteria of improvement and that the elements be as free as possible from the interference of the other parts of the social structure... Men have neglected a very serious problem in defining improvement. The problem is very simple: How can we design improvement in large systems without understanding the whole system, and if we the answer is that we cannot, how is it possible to understand the whole system? p. 2 as cited in: John P. van Gigch (1991) System Design Modeling and Metamodeling. p. 145.

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John Glenn photo

„To me, there is no greater calling … If I can inspire young people to dedicate themselves to the good of mankind, I've accomplished something.“

—  John Glenn American astronaut and politician 1921 - 2016
On inspiring others to public service, as quoted in "John Glenn had the stuff U.S. heroes are made of http://enquirer.com/editions/2002/02/20/loc_john_glenn_had_stuff.html" by Howard Wilkinson, in The Cincinnati Enquirer (20 February 2002).

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„Now I realise that many people don't believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he's a terrible character. I don't like him.“

—  Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Context: Maybe at the very bottom of it... I really don't like God. You know, it's silly to say I don't like God because I don't believe in God, but in the same sense that I don't like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He's a god who will... who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don't worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don't believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he's a terrible character. I don't like him.

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„And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free?“

—  Wendell Berry author 1934
Context: The issue here really is not whether international trade shall be free but whether or not it makes any sense for a country — or, for that matter, a region — to destroy its own capacity to produce its own food. How can a government, entrusted with the safety and health of its people, conscientiously barter away in the name of an economic idea that people’s ability to feed itself? And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free? "A Bad Big Idea".

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Terry Pratchett photo

„They called themselves the Munrungs. It meant The People, or The True Human Beings.
It's what most people call themselves, to begin with.“

—  Terry Pratchett English author 1948 - 2015
Context: They called themselves the Munrungs. It meant The People, or The True Human Beings. It's what most people call themselves, to begin with. And then one day the tribe meets some other People or, if it's not been a good day, The Enemy. If only they'd think up a name like Some More True Human Beings, it'd save a lot of trouble later on.

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„I cannot articulate enough to express my dislike to people who think that understanding spoils your experience… How would they know?“

—  Marvin Minsky American cognitive scientist 1927 - 2016
Mat Buckland, AI Techniques for Game Programming (2002), Cincinnati, OH: Premier Press, 36 .

Hiroo Onoda photo

„People cannot live completely by themselves.“

—  Hiroo Onoda Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer 1922 - 2014
Judit Kawaguchi, "Words to Live By: Hiroo Onoda"