Monday, December 29, 2008

Brilliant Thoughts

By Alan Caruba

In my capacity as a veteran book reviewer—nearly fifty years—I recently received some books in a series called the “Daily Dose of Knowledge.” I must confess I like these bite-sized offerings and one of the series is titled “Brilliant Thoughts.”

Oh? You thought I was going to write about my brilliant thoughts? Well, that would be redundant, wouldn’t it?

For every day of the year, each page offers up brilliant thoughts from thinkers great and minor from the distant and not so distant past. It is an energizing way to start one’s day and since we all live in a universe of our own minds, feeding your mind on a daily basis is always a good idea.

Here are a few excerpts from the book which is published by West Side Publishing, a division of Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois.

“Technology: The knack of so arranging the world that we need not experience it.”
--Max Frisch

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
--Benjamin Franklin

“If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.”
--Thomas Szaz

“He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great.”
--Samuel Johnson

“The only zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
--Robert M. Pirsig

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.”
--Edward R. Murrow

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
--Carl Sagan

“Three things cannot be hidden: The sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Did the proverbial light bulb go on over your head when you read one of these thoughts? If so that means your mind is still receptive to insight and understanding. If nothing whatever happened, you need to ask yourself if you have fallen into an intellectual ditch from which you need help to extricate yourself.

We all have people, institutions, governments, media, friends and family telling us what the “truth” is and perhaps the single most difficult and demanding task we have in life is to find our own way to our own truths. And then to be willing to abandon them if they are proven wrong.


Gramfan said...

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
--Carl Sagan

I can't help but wonder what Sagan would have thought of "global warming" since he knew we were but a 'blip' in the Universe.

Alan Caruba said...

That was exactly my thought when I read Sagan's advice.

Alan Caruba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gramfan said...

Glad we are on the same wavelength Mr Caruba!

Frank said...


Given Sagan's stance on many things he more than probably would've been one the world's leading alarmist.

I will have to look for that book at my local library though as thought provoking quotes are to often buried in history.

Alan Caruba said...

You're not likely to find this new book in your local library. That's why I provided the information about its publisher. I suspect it is available on