Some Improvement

Sunday, April 12, 2009 – Some Improvement


Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius. ~ William Blake


Though all society is founded on intolerance, all improvement is founded on tolerance. ~ George Bernard Shaw


To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement. ~ Thomas Jefferson


I hate it when people say somebody has a “speech impediment,” even if he does, because it could hurt his feelings. So instead, I call it a “speech improvement”, and I go up to the guy and say, “Hey, Bob, I like your speech improvement.” I think this makes him feel better. ~ Jack Handy


Those who would administer wisely must, indeed, be wise, for one of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity. ~ Andrew Carnegie


Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible. ~ Frank Moore Colby


All intellectual improvement arises from leisure. ~ Samuel Johnson


The rich adopt novelties and become accustomed to their use. This sets a fashion which others imitate. Once the richer classes have adopted a certain way of living, producers have an incentive to improve the methods of manufacture so that soon it is possible for the poorer classes to follow suit. Thus luxury furthers progress. Luxury is the roadmaker of progress: it develops latent needs and makes people discontented. In so far as they think consistently, moralists who condemn luxury must recommend the comparatively desireless existence of the wild life roaming in the woods as the ultimate ideal of civilized life. ~ Ludwig von Mises


The diffusion of taste is not the same thing as the improvement of taste. ~ William Hazlitt


It’s the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you’re mad, then dangerous, then there’s a pause and then you can’t find anyone who disagrees with you. ~ Tony Benn


Time advances: facts accumulate; doubts arise. Faint glimpses of truth begin to appear, and shine more and more unto the perfect day. The highest intellects, like the tops of mountains, are the first to catch and to reflect the dawn. They are bright, while the level below is still in darkness. But soon the light, which at first illuminated only the loftiest eminences, descends on the plain, and penetrates to the deepest valley. First come hints, then fragments of systems, then defective systems, then complete and harmonious systems. The sound opinion, held for a time by one bold speculator, becomes the opinion of a small minority, of a strong minority, of a majority of mankind. Thus, the great progress goes on. ~ Thomas Babington Macaulay


But for the silly chaps, we would still be living in the Stone Age. ~ Sir Christopher Cockerell


A collection of good books, with a soul to it in the shape of a librarian, becomes a vitalized power among the impulses by which the world goes on to improvement. ~ Justin Winsor


I feel not unlike a small boy, waking from a bad dream to find reality not much of an improvement. ~ John Byrne


If the world were extremely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. That makes it hard to plan the day. ~ William Allen White


No one imagines that a symphony is supposed to improve in quality as it goes along, or that the whole object of playing it is to reach the finale. The point of music is discovered in every moment of playing and listening to it. It is the same, I feel, with the greater part of our lives, and if we are unduly absorbed in improving them we may forget altogether to live them. ~ Alan Watts


The Cube is an imitation of life itself – or even an improvement on life. ~ Erno Rubik


That is why, no matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane, straightening my derby hat and fixing my tie, even though I have just landed on my head. ~ Charlie Chaplin