First published: Nov, 2009 Last Updated: 10 May, 2020
Here is a collection of quotes I love (with videos or audio). Enjoy.
“Technology alone doesn’t solve problems. Social media does not create revolutions. Its a tool. Nothing more or less. Real revolutions are born out of righteous anger and courage and vision. […] The issue is not how accurate a bomb is. The issue is what to do the bombs you have. And more importantly, whether to use bombs at all. Technological problems are not the hardest part of the future. They are the easiest part. The hard part are the human problems that accompany the rise of technology.” – Malcolm Gladwell (1963 -) at University of Toronto: Malcolm Gladwell, Convocation 2011 Honorary Degree speech video
“To me young has no meaning, it is something you can do nothing about. Nothing at all. But youth is a quality, and if you have it you never lose it.” — a comment made by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) in an interview with Mike Wallace (posted online at www.hrc.utexas.edu)
“Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risk.
NASA has this phrase that they like, “Failure is not an option.” But failure has to be an option.
In art and exploration, failure has to be an option. Because it is a leap of faith. And no important endeavour that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. […]
Three following English quotes were embedded in the first synthetic cell.
“To life, to err, to fail, to triumph, and to recreate life out of life.” – by James Joyce (1888 – 1941)
“See things, not as they are, but as they might be.” – from “American Prometheus”
“What I cannot build, I cannot understand.” by Richard Feynman (1918 – 1988)
“Q: Do you ever examine yourself to say, why is that you are so fearless compared to other people?
Ai WeiWei Answer: I was so fearful, that’s not fearless. I am more fearful than other people, may be, then I act more brave because I know the danger is really there. If you don’t act, the dangers become stronger.” – Ai WeiWei in PBS Frontline video “Who is afraid of Ai Weiwei?” (time code: ~17:25)
“New York City to me is a readymade. The beauty about New York City is co-existence, tolerance and sharing.” “Fences can be solid as a wall. But many fences you can see through. You can have hatred or admiration about the other side.” – Ai Weiwei (Vimeo video @1:47 & @2:42) (ref Public Art Fund)
“Ben Hogan said, ‘Golf is a game of luck, the more I practice, the luckier I get.’ The harder you work, the luckier you are. I was 33 years old before I ever went to Washington and New York, 42 before I won my first campaign. […] You’ve been part of something special in my life. I’ll never forget what you’ve done. ” – James Carville (1944 -) in The War Room (1993) (Here is a clip from the movie with the above quote.)
“As human beings who are finite creatures that can think and feel, our function from this time onward is to create islands of meaning in the flood of information.” – Freeman Dyson quoting James Gleick‘s “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood” at the end of the speech video “Big Ideas: Freeman Dyson on Living Through Four Revolutions“.
“… make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.” – Neil Gaiman (1960 -)‘s (author of Stardust (love the film) and Coraline (love the film also)) University of the Arts Class of 2012 Commencement speech video. (transcript)
“I know women look at me and just say, why is she … why doesn’t she do anything to her face. I know people say that. And I know they think that. And I understand that they do that. But I have made that choice, my eyes are my soul. The other day I saw a flower, a faded rose. It was very faded. And it was very brown. And very rogue (?) and all of that. But I thought and you know what, it’s still beautiful.” – Diane Von Furstenberg (1946- ) (via The Conversation)
“If there is any real advice I can give you, it is this. College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don’t worry about your grade. Or the results. Or success. Success is defined in myriad ways. And you will find it. And people will no longer be grading you but it will come from your own internal sense of decency.” – Jon Stewart (1962- ) (via 2004 College of W&M)
“Everything is copy. Everything is material. Some day this will be a funny story. Doesn’t seem funny now, but trust me, someday it will be funny.” – Nora Ephron (1941-2012) via Conversations at KCTS 9 (YouTube video)
Kathi Goertzen (1958-2012) ““I don’t take anything for granted,” she said. “Last night I watched the moon set, and this morning I saw the mountains, clear with snow, and I don’t ever take that for granted. Not for one moment.” […] “Oddly enough, this whole catastrophe with this brain tumor business has been a wonderful experience in many ways,” she said. “It’s changed my life and a lot of people I love. And we’ve learned what’s really important.”“
“War is the the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end” – Meir Dagan (1945-2016) (watch “Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon Google+ Hangout at Fox LA“)
“Principles only mean something if you stick by them when they are inconvenient.” – Senator Laine Hanson in The Contender (2000) [HT imdb memorable quotes] (corrected based on film audio, major spoiler scene/clip with this quote)
“Whatever you do in your career, make it matter and make it count.” – Jeff Daniels (1955 -) quotes playwright Lanford Wilson (1937 – 2011) as he accepted his 2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for “The Newsroom” (2012) (see this YouTube video) (2016 update: Bloomberg Business 32 minutes, “How ‘The Newsroom’ Changed Jeff Daniels’ Career“)
“Deploy or Die.” (instead of “Demo or Die” – Nicholas Negroponte; or “Publish or Die” in the old days) – Joi Ito (1966- ) at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)
“Learning over Education. To me, Education is what people do to you.
And Learning is what you do to yourself.” – Joi Ito at 2014 TED Talk “Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”” (transcript via TED)
“ideas are the currency of the future” – Kevin Roberts (1949- ) (here is a YouTube video of Kevin saying the quote, he first used it earlier than 1991 as I have this quote on my first business card in 1991 (?), I think.)
“I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn’t get the money, then you didn’t have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn’t get the money, at least I’d have the work.” – Neil Gaiman (1960- ) (Keynote Address 2012 at The University of the Arts, with video)
“Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.” – Warren Buffett (1930- ) (YouTube clip of Warren Buffett’s Testimony before the subcommittee on the conduct of Salomon Brothers, September 4th, 1991)(full 4+ hours on YouTube or on C-Span)
“People were paralyzed at the end of 2008. They are just plain scared. Treasure bills went to a negative yield. Imagine that. You could put the money under the mattress and get higher yield than you get on treasure bills. When thats going on, you got to be with a great big tub. When it is raining gold, you do not want to be out with a tea spoon. You want to be out there with a big [tub].” – Warren Buffett in (YouTube video “1h coaching with WARREN BUFFETT – Essentials Business/Investment Strategies ADVICES FOR 2015“)
“ Money has no utility to me. Time has utility to me.” — Warren Buffett (1930 -) in (YouTube video “Buffett Talks His Early Career in Finance and Advice for Investors on ‘The David Rubenstein Show’“)
“Defining your circle of competence is the most important aspect of investing. It is not how large your circle is. You don’t have to be an expert on everything. But knowing where the perimeter of that circle of what you know and what you don’t know is and staying inside of it is all important.” — Warren Buffett in (YouTube video “Warren Buffett speaks to UGA students (2001)“)
“By building solid relationship, this would just automatically happen. Another example was we used to have ambushes occurred on certain places. I once did something and went up to General [David] Fraser and said your ambushes are not longer. And this was without firing a shot. I said, “Don’t worry, I know a guy.” And it was simply just as that. And the ambush disappeared.” – Harjit Sajjan (Canada’s new Minister of National Defence) at Sam Sullivan’s Public Salon in 2010
“To be faithful to the book, you have to betray the book. Really. You can replicate the tone of the book but in detail you cannot. Because the two media are so different. A book is not a movie.” – David Cronenberg (interview on Strombo)
“It is up to us to adjust to our times. And the minute you think the past was better, your present is second hand, and yourself becomes vintage. Its ok for cloths. It is not that great for people.” – Karl Lagerfeld (video interview)
“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” – Sonmi-451 in Cloud Atlas(2012) (quote) (YouTube clip)
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) (VF article, see quote from “Keep Moving From This Mountain (1965)” and also from Wikiquote) (video clip speech supposedly at Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965)
“The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it decidedly and increasingly does not always bend toward justice. Why does that matter? Because it means that too many children will never get to grow up, period. Let alone grow up in a morale universe that bends towards justice.” – The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (1946 -), Closing Remarks at Nuremberg Symposium – May 4, 2016
“Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” from Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)‘s poem “If —“, first read in “Hannibal and Me” by Andreas Kluth. (Note: This quote is inscribed above the entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Quote used in Wimbledon’s video tweet. See also this unverified pix tweet.)
“Finally, I think there are ways in which a stronger relationship makes it easier for our two countries to have regular, frank discussions on issues like good governance, human rights, and the rule of law. Freedom of expression is a true Canadian value, one protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You see, Canada has succeeded, culturally, politically, economically because of our diversity, not in spite of it. […] And I remind everyone that as a country that has seen first-hand the benefits of free expression and good governance, Canada encourages China to do more to promote and protect human rights.” – Justin Trudeau (1971 -) in Shanghai, China (transcript) (YouTube clip)
“Creativity, I think, is based on risk. Only way to make something good is to flirt with disaster. You must walk on the edge of failure in order to succeed. It is a very dangerous position for me but I feel alive when I do that.” – Denis Villeneuve (1967 -) (Arrival video interview with AP)
//“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” “Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open.”
Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words. But then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right, as right as you can anyway, it belongs to anyone who wants to read it or criticize it.// – Stephen King (1947-) (On Writing, Audio book) As King retold what he learned from John Gould, editor of Lisbon Weekly Enterprise, a newspaper King wrote for in his high school years. (note: With minor edits and paraphrasing.)
“A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will go back.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) stated in a 2017 BBC interview (video) that US is “not experiencing the best of times”. Justice Ginsburg also used the idea in this quote in a 1999 forum (video) with UK Supreme Court Justice Baroness Hale of Richmond.
“Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result. Trust your gut. Keep throwing darts at the dartboard. Don’t listen to the critics and you will figure it out.” – Will Ferrell (1967- ) 2017 USC Commencement Speech (with video)
“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly so that you will come to know the value of justice.
I hope that you will suffer betrayal cause that will teach you the importance of loyalty.
Sorry to say but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.
I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and the failures of others is not completely deserved either.
And when you lose as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.
I hope you will be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others.
And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.
Whether I wish these things or not, they are going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will dependent upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.” – John Glover Roberts Jr. (1955- ) 2017 Cardigan’s Commencement Address by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (with video)
“The wider world that perceives fashion as sometimes as frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals. The problems are enormous. The point is, in fact, fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization. Thats what I think.” – Bill Cunningham (1929-2016) from the documentary Bill Cunningham New York (low quality YouTube video excerpt)
“So in medical school, we learned about the heart and lung and I just fell in love with the heart. I love studying it. I love the physiology.” “Going to medical school I didn’t know any Indigenous surgeons and I didn’t known any female heart surgeons, but I didn’t let that stop me. So please go after your dreams.” – Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk (known to her colleagues as “Dr. K”), an Ottawa woman is set to become Canada’s first Inuk heart surgeon (CTV news report, with video)
Jon M. Chu‘s mom: When did you become a snob?!
“Then this script comes across my desk. This is literally five years later. And I’m in the condo that the pair play price (???) bought for me. I’m out of money basically. And I get a script for Step Up 2. I’m like what’s Step Up 2? Oh, it’s a direct-to-dvd sequel to this dance movie. I was like, oh yeah, I think I saw that. And I was like I don’t do direct-to-dvd. And I was like, you know, Steven Spielberg saw my short, he loved it. I’m gonna make features. I’ve been working on it for over five years. It’s only six months away. And I talked to my mom. And she was like, when did you become a snob?!
What are you talking about? She’s like “you trained to be s storyteller and a storyteller can use anything even if it’s campfire. So what makes you think you’re so good and you’re like on the bench of a great team but you’ve never played. Like get your two minutes prove what you can do.”
And I was like, yeah, you’re right. I’m gonna make the best damn direct-to-dvd dance movie sequel ever.”“Jon M. Chu (1979- ) in this 2015 Film Independent Forum Keynote which Chu shared in a tweet “Ironically, I was on THE EXACT same stage that only 2.5 years ago I was giving a painful speech about what it was like for my movie to BOMB its opening weekend. But I think back &that is also the exact moment my #CrazyRichAsians journey began. #persevere” after Crazy Rich Asians opened massively with a box office of $35M+ in a 5-day opening. (see longer transcript here)
“When you discover you were wrong about something, don’t fight it. Treasure the moment: you’ve learnt something.” – Simon Kuper
“I mean, I don’t really think too much about my identity or whatever. For me, I’m just me.
And I know the way that I was brought up, I don’t know, people tell me I act kind of Japanese so I guess there is that. But other than that, if you were talking about my tennis, I think my tennis is very … not very Japanese.” – Naomi Osaka (1997 -) at 2018 US Open victory press Conference in Japan
[Stephen Colbert asked:] “What do you think happens when we die Keanu Reeves?”
“But the moral is not to have as many referendums as possible. The moral is to have none at all.” – Lord Jonathan Sumption (1948- ) (I wrote a post re: BBC Radio audio reference 2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption, Lecture 2, In Praise of Politics, timecode 40:01)
“In my experience at SNL, there really could be no creativity without structure and boundaries. Every week we go from a blank page to on the air in six days, never knowing for sure what the final show will look like. I say every week, we don’t go on because it’s ready. We go on because it’s 11:30.” – Lorne Michaels (1944- ) (Quote starts at the 12s mark)
“For 17 seasons you have been my partners in listening. In fact the most important thing I have learned in hosting The Current is how to listen, not how to talk, not how to ask questions, but how to listen. How to say nothing even and hear what someone else is really saying because I learn not in the asking but in the hearing. I learn about someone or something in the words that are spoken and then how they’re spoken and the words that are used in the exuberance, in the hesitation, in the emotion. Even the silences tell me something and they tell me something loudly.
At a world where so many people are shouting at each other, where so many refuse to hear anything but their own voice, the ability to hear another side to think differently, to question yourself, to learn something new, that is a gift.” – Anna Maria Tremonti (1957- ) (AMT’s final edition, timecode (~1hr 08m 38s))
“I wish people understood just how hard we have to work, even the guys who never touch the floor, because you never know when you’re gonna get that opportunity. You have to do everything to be ready to play.” – Jeremy Lin (1988 -) [Love the context and video clip!]
“Dream big to get big! And don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget your roots! She [Bianca’s mom] has been telling me that ever since I was a little kid.” – Bianca Andreescu (2000- ) (Ref link with video)
“”This is a virus (#SARS-CoV-2 / #covid19) that once it does take off, it is going to move and increase exponentially, … your control measures have got to be exponential as well to get in front of it. So small incremental measures won’t work.”” – Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO
Poems I wrote (with video):