Georg Lichtenberg

Posted by – August 17, 2017

On the topic of commenting on nonsense culture war issues:

“I ceased in the year 1764 to believe that one can convince one’s opponents with arguments printed in books. It is not to do that, therefore, that I have taken up my pen, but merely so as to annoy them, and to bestow strength and courage on those on our own side, and to make it known to the others that *they* have not convinced *us*.”


“A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.”

Both from the same author, Georg Lichtenberg! He also provides the True but Impossible path:

“Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all.”

The man is a quote goldmine:

“Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.”

(I have found this to be true, although with a liberal definition of “everyone”.)

“We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.”

“A book is a mirror: if an ape looks into it an apostle is hardly likely to look out.”

“One’s first step in wisdom is to question everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.”

“Just as we outgrow a pair of trousers, we outgrow acquaintances, libraries, principles, etc., at times before they’re worn out and times – and this is the worst of all – before we have new ones.”

“Actual aristocracy cannot be abolished by any law: all the law can do is decree how it is to be imparted and who is to acquire it.”

And many, many more.

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