To Err Is Human

Posted on 2012 July 19


It has been said by some wits that that there are three degrees of unveracity: ‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ — Cornelia Augusta Hewitt Crosse

You can prove the truth of anything, as long as your assumptions are false. — Jim Hull

There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong. — H.L. Mencken

People should enjoy feeling self-satisfied; it makes up partly for being foolish. — JH

So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do. — Benjamin Franklin

Of course the poor tend to be liberal while the rich tend to be conservative, but it makes one wonder whether these are philosophies, not of logic, but of convenience. — JH

He who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. — Thomas Jefferson

Just beause it’s in Wikipedia doesn’t mean it’s true. — JH

If we are uncritical we shall always find what we want: we shall look for, and find, confirmations, and we shall look away from, and not see, whatever might be dangerous to our pet theories. — Karl Popper

It’s easy, once you’ve decided on the truth, to find evidence that proves it. — JH

Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect. — Herbert Spencer

Holding fingers in one’s ears and singing “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA” is somewhat unconvincing as an argument. — JH

He had only one vanity; he thought he could give advice better than any other person. — Mark Twain

Americans tend to think they’re experts at everything. We have the luxury of arrogance. — JH

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The renowned entomologist received an insect sample, held it in his palm, and realized that this new species would overturn decades of the research that had made him famous, so he did the only appropriate thing: he clapped his hands. — JH

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. — Carl Sagan

There are no sure answers in life; we’ve got to wing it. — JH