„It's a shame that we have to choose between two such second-rate countries as the USSR and the USA.“

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Jorge Luis Borges118
1899 - 1986
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„First rate mathematicians choose first rate people, but second rate mathematicians choose third rate people.“

—  André Weil French mathematician 1906 - 1998
As quoted in Comic Sections (Dublin 1993) by D MacHale

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Leonid Brezhnev photo

„Of late, attempts have been made in the USA — at a high level and in a rather cynical form — to play the "Chinese card" against the USSR. This is a shortsighted and dangerous policy.“

—  Leonid Brezhnev General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1906 - 1982
As quoted in Peace, Détente, and Soviet-American Relations : A Collection of Public Statements (1979), p. 222

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„Wisdom we know is the knowledge of good and evil not the strength to choose between the two.“

—  John Cheever American novelist and short story writer 1912 - 1982
The Late Forties and the Fifties, 1956 entry.

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment's hesitation.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
Context: A perfectly stupid race can never rise to a very high plane; the negro, for instance, has been kept down as much by lack of intellectual development as by anything else; but the prime factor in the preservation of a race is its power to attain a high degree of social efficiency. Love of order, ability to fight well and breed well, capacity to subordinate the interests of the individual to the interests of the community, these and similar rather humdrum qualities go to make up the sum of social efficiency. The race that has them is sure to overturn the race whose members have brilliant intellects, but who are cold and selfish and timid, who do not breed well or fight well, and who are not capable of disinterested love of the community. In other words, character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment's hesitation. Responding to the social theories of Benjamin Kidd, in "Kidd's 'Social Evolution'" in The North American Review (July 1895), p. 109

Winston S. Churchill photo

„Everything is overshadowed by the impending trial of will-power which is developing in Europe. I think we shall have to choose in the next few weeks between war and shame, and I have very little doubt what the decision will be.“

—  Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965
Letter to David Lloyd George (13 August 1938), quoted in Martin Gilbert, Prophet of Truth: Winston S. Churchill, 1922–1939 (London: Minerva, 1990), p. 962

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Helen Keller photo

„Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.…“

—  Helen Keller American author and political activist 1880 - 1968
Context: Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.… You ask for votes for women. What good can votes do when ten-elevenths of the land of Great Britain belongs to 200,000 and only one-eleventh to the rest of the 40,000,000? Have your men with their millions of votes freed themselves from this injustice? Letter published in the Manchester Advertiser (3 March 1911), quoted in A People's History of the United States (1980) page 345.

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Buckminster Fuller photo

„If we have two spherical bodies of equal mass at a given distance from each other and insert a third spherical body of the same mass half way between the two we do not double the mass attraction between any two of the three. We increase the attraction by 2 to the second power which is 4.“

—  Buckminster Fuller American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist 1895 - 1983
Context: I will give you one very simple example of synergy. All our metallic alloys are synergetic. We will examine chrome-nickel steel. The outstanding characteristic of metallic strength is its ability to cohere in one piece. We test the metals tensile strength per square inch of cross section of the tested sample. The very high number of pounds-per-square-inch tensile strength of chrome-nickel steel has changed our whole economy because it retained its structural integrity at so high a temperature as to make possible the jet engine which has halved the time it takes to fly around the world. The prime constituents are chromium, nickel, and iron. We will take the highest ultimate tensile strength of those three. The iron’s ultimate tensile strength is about 60,000 pounds per square inch. Nickel’s ultimate is about 80,000 p. s. i. Chromium is about 70,000 p. s. i. Ultimate tensile strengths of the other minor constituents: carbon, manganese, et cetera, added together total about 40,000 psi. If we use the same tensile logic as that applied to a chain and say that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, then we would assume that chrome-nickel steel would part at between 40,000 and 60,000 p. s. i. But we find experimentally that is not the case. We find by test that chrome-nickel steel is 350,000 pounds a square inch which is 50 percent stronger than the sum of the strength of all its alloys. To prove so we add 60,000, 70,000 and 80,000 which comes to 210,000. To this we add the 40,000 of minor alloying constituents which brings the sum of the strengths of all its alloying to only 250,000 pounds a square inch. The explanation for this is Newton’s gravitational law which noted the experimentally proven fact that the relative mass attraction of one body for another is proportioned to the second power of the relative proximity of the two bodies as expressed in the relative diameters of the two bodies. If we have two spherical bodies of equal mass at a given distance from each other and insert a third spherical body of the same mass half way between the two we do not double the mass attraction between any two of the three. We increase the attraction by 2 to the second power which is 4. Halving the distance fourfolds the inter-mass attraction. When we bring a galaxy of iron atoms together with the chromium atoms and a galaxy of nickel atoms they all fit neatly between one another and bring about the multifolding of their intercoherency. But there is nothing in one body by itself that says that it will have mass attraction. This can only be discovered by experimenting with two and more bodies. And even then there is no explanation of why there must be mass attraction and why it should increase as the second power of the relative increase of proximity. That is synergy. p. 14

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Nikolai Krylenko photo

„After two decades of building socialism in the USSR there is no reason for anybody to be a homosexual.“

—  Nikolai Krylenko Russian revolutionary, politician and chess organiser 1885 - 1938
Krylenko on the law re-criminalizing homosexuality in 1936. Quoted in David Tuller, Cracks in the Iron Closet: Travels in Gay and Lesbian Russia, University of Chicago Press, 1996

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