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"We are all much too curious about the affairs of our neighbours. Particularly about the affairs of an erotic nature. What an itch we have to know whether Mr. Smith makes love to his secretary, whether his wife consoles herself, whether a certain Cabinet Minister is really the satyr he is rumoured to be. And meanwhile the most incredible miracles are happening all round us: stones, when we lift them and let them go, fall to the ground; the sun shines; bees visit the flowers; seeds grow into plants, a cell in nine months multiplies its weight a few thousands of thousands of time, and is a child; and men think, creating the world they live in. These things leave us almost perfectly indifferent."
Mark Twain, from "Adam's diary":
"... she brought some of those apples. I was obliged to eat them. It was against my principles, but I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed."
"Success is going from one failure to the next without a loss of enthusiasm."Washington Irving:
"Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them."Walker Percy, from The Message in the Bottle:
"That is why people in the modern age took photographs by the million: to prove despite their deepest suspicions to the contrary that they were not invisible."Fran Lebowitz:
"I was supposed to be writing a book, but I took ten years off to sulk."
"Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving one's home."Calvin Coolidge:
"Press on--nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent."
And finally here's a prescient observation about statistical natural language processing from Ovid:
"Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast. In the pool, where you least expect it, will be a fish."