Another occasional round-up of recently-encountered quotes which have interested or amused me.
At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas.
He is a vegetarian; I don't know whether from principle or from gourmandaise. One never knows whether people have principles on principle or whether for their own personal satisfaction.
[Karel Čapek on George Bernard Shaw in Letters from England]
He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.
The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.
[Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.]
So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.
The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it's only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on.
[Novelist Chuck Palahniuk. Shades of X Trapnel in Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time]
Everyone should be responsible and if they do visit a wood just make sure they wash their boots, wash their dog, whatever's been running around the leaves, wash their child, to make sure they don't transfer to the next wood.
[Owen Patterson, UK Environment Secretary, talking about how people can help prevent the spread of the fungus which is killing ash trees; quoted in the Daily Telegraph]