Saturday 2 September 2023

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue"

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, The Lancet, April 11 2015

"When did your childhood end?"

Edith Eger, who was a prisoner in Auschwitz and still works as a psychologist at 95, considers this question the most important to ask clients with depression or anxiety.

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.”

Richard P. Feynman

“Disorder in the society is the result of disorder in the family.”

St Elizabeth Ann Seton

"The result, the “vapid New Age platitudes” that dominate Washington’s National Museum of the American Indian or the mythicising narratives of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (which “does not mention that those slaves were captured by soldiers of African kingdoms who then marched them to the ports to be sold”) have drifted over from the imperial metropole to us in the periphery, with the consequence that “it was soon widely accepted in the growing field of post­colonial studies that only the native can understand the native. Foreign ‘experts’ (always referenced in scare quotes) are suspect, scholarship discounted.

"Indeed, Kuper notes sadly, “this is apparently now the official view at the Pitt Rivers Museum”, whose director, Laura Van Broeckhoeven, communes with tribal elders in rituals to determine which artefacts she may display and which must be returned. As for the shrunken heads, whose photographic representation Kuper was refused permission to reproduce in an email noting ‘‘the image you suggest is of the display which was removed last summer out of respect for the people involved”, he remarks with disbelief: “The people involved! Who were they, who consulted them, what in fact did ‘they’ believe, and why were they (whoever they were) given the right to determine the policy of a famous and long-­established university museum?” Whether the stakeholders consulted were the tribe who shrank the heads, or the neighbouring tribe whose heads were unwillingly shrunk, remains a mystery."

Aris Roussinos, Unherd

"Be content to remember that those who can make omelettes properly can do nothing else."

Hilaire Belloc

"We need to care less about whether our children are academically gifted and more about whether they sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria."⠀Meme

"If anything, when we consider the challenges faced by profoundly and exceptionally gifted children, there's a high probability that they are the lonely kids in the cafeteria."⠀Debbie Reber in her book Differently Wired


  1. “Mayonnaise, n. One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.”
    Ambrose Bierce

    A revolution is an opinion which discovers bayonets.

    Je croyais qu’il était du marbre dont on fait les statues. En réalité, il est de la faïence dont on fait les bidets.
    Jacques Chirac vu par son ancienne conseillère, Marie-France Garaud.

    1. An example of the sort of joke that is very funny but meaningless, like De Quincey's remark "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination".

  2. A beautiful woman appeals to the eye, a good
    woman appeals to the heart; one is a jewel, the
    other a treasure.

    Napoleon Bonaparte
    Aphorisms and Thoughts
    Selected by Honoré de Balzac

  3. Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.


    1. Ambrose Bierce

    2. Ah I thought I knew it. I once read the Devils Dictionary and doleful reading I found it.

    3. Christian, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.