Arbitrary quotes

  • Understand that legal and illegal are political, and often arbitrary, categorizations; use and abuse are medical, or clinical, distinctions.
    -- Abbie Hoffman

    #Political #Abuse #Arbitrary

  • I wanted to make a movie about the arbitrary nature of love.
    -- Adrian Lyne

    #Arbitrary #Wanted

  • There is nothing to guarantee the superior judgment, knowledge, and integrity of an inspector or a bureaucrat-and the deadly consequences of entrusting him with arbitrary power are obvious.
    -- Alan Greenspan

    #Integrity #Arbitrary #Guarantees

  • The line we draw between animals that are socially acceptable and those we find repugnant can be awfully arbitrary.
    -- Alexandra Harney

    #Animal #Arbitrary #Lines

  • [I]f vice and corruption prevail, liberty cannot subsist; but if virtue have the advantage, arbitrary power cannot be established.
    -- Algernon Sidney

    #Liberty #Vices #Arbitrary

  • A lot of my movies were completely destroyed by the censors, who can be pretty arbitrary. They're not completely fair with how they treat one person vs. another.
    -- Amy Heckerling

    #Arbitrary #Treats #Persons

  • When will the arbitrary be granted the place it deserves in the formation of works and ideas?
    -- Andre Breton

    #Ideas #Arbitrary #Granted

  • Good and bad are really arbitrary words when it comes to character.
    -- Anson Mount

    #Character #Arbitrary #Good And Bad

  • No language is as depending on arbitrary use and custom can ever be permanently the same, but will always be in a mutable and fluctuating state; and what is deem'd polite and elegant in one age, may be accounted uncouth and barbarous in another.
    -- Benjamin Martin

    #Age #Arbitrary #Use

  • No matter how many times your amazing, absolutely brilliant work is rejected by the client, for whatever dopey, arbitrary reason, there is often another amazing, absolutely brilliant solution possible. Sometimes it's even better.
    -- Bob Gill

    #Design #Arbitrary #Matter

  • Rules are foolish, arbitrary, mindless things that raise you quickly to a level of acceptable mediocrity, then prevent you from progressing further.
    -- Bruce Barnbaum

    #Progress #Arbitrary #Mediocrity

  • A person's willingness to conform to arbitrary parameters is not a good criterion for selecting talent or allocating rewards.
    -- Bruce Tulgan

    #Arbitrary #Rewards #Conformity

  • Panentheistic doctrine contains all of deism and pandeism except their arbitrary negations.
    -- Charles Hartshorne

    #Doctrine #Arbitrary #Deism

  • The score must govern the music. It must have authority, and not merely be an arbitrary jumping-off point for improvisation.
    -- Cornelius Cardew

    #Jumping #Arbitrary #Authority

  • Gold and silver, like other commodities, have an intrinsic value, which is not arbitrary, but is dependent on their scarcity, the quantity of labour bestowed in procuring them, and the value of the capital employed in the mines which produce them.
    -- David Ricardo

    #Gold #Scarcity #Arbitrary

  • I no longer see Descartes' statement as arbitrary. It is representative of our culture's narcissism. This narcissism leads to a disturbing disrespect for direct experience and a negation of the body.
    -- Derrick Jensen

    #Disrespect #Culture #Arbitrary

  • Good design is thorough down to the last detail - Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
    -- Dieter Rams

    #Design #Details #Arbitrary

  • When you have trouble with things—whether it's figuring out whether to push or pull a door or the arbitrary vagaries of the modern computer and electronics industries—it's not your fault. Don't blame yourself: blame the designer.
    -- Donald A. Norman

    #Doors #Arbitrary #Electronics

  • Learning should take place when it is needed, when the learner is interested, not according to some arbitrary, fixed schedule
    -- Donald A. Norman

    #Arbitrary #Schedules #Should

  • It is the duty of machines and those who design them to understand people. It is not our duty to understand the arbitrary, meaningless dictates of machines.
    -- Donald A. Norman

    #People #Design #Arbitrary

  • It is true, that a Law of Contract based on causae will always be an arbitrary and inelastic law; but it is a kind of law with which some great nations are satisfied at the present day.
    -- Edward Jenks

    #Law #Arbitrary #Kind

  • Proving one's freedom will often mean insisting on the most arbitrary, odd, unrepeatable aspects of one's behavior.
    -- Ermanno Bencivenga

    #Freedom #Mean #Arbitrary

  • Don't make a big distinction between fiction and non-fiction. These are arbitrary distinctions...
    -- Farley Mowat

    #Arbitrary #Fiction #Bigs

  • The connection between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary.
    -- Ferdinand de Saussure

    #Connections #Arbitrary

  • Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.
    -- Frances Mayes

    #Different #Would Be #Arbitrary

  • Languages exist by arbitrary institutions and conventions among peoples; words, as the dialecticians tell us, do not signify naturally, but at our pleasure.
    -- Francois Rabelais

    #Arbitrary #Language #Pleasure

  • To me, length is an artificial and arbitrary factor in a film.
    -- Frank Darabont

    #Arbitrary #Film #Length

  • Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
    -- Fred Brooks

    #Comfort #Arbitrary #Amusing

  • The possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth.
    -- Frederick Law Olmsted

    #Power #Arbitrary #World

  • Art is not arbitrary. A fine painting is not there by accident; it is not arrived at by chance. We are sensitive to tonalities.
    -- Frederick Sommer

    #Art #Arbitrary #Chance

  • Arbitrary rule has its basis, not in the strength of the state or the chief, but in the moral weakness of the individual, who submits almost without resistance to the domineering power.
    -- Friedrich Ratzel

    #Freedom #Weakness #Arbitrary

  • Throughout history, fairly arbitrary lines drawn on maps have determined who prospers and who needs, who eats and who starves, who attacks and who is attacked, who lives long and who dies young. Oh, we have been slaves to those lines for so long....
    -- Gavin de Becker

    #Long #Needs #Arbitrary

  • Because the Illinois death penalty system is arbitrary and capricious - and therefore immoral - I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.
    -- George Ryan

    #Illinois #Arbitrary #Death Penalty

  • Everything has a reason, including the selection of the photos, which was not arbitrary but appropriate to the period, its highs and lows and my sense of them.
    -- Gerhard Richter

    #Art #Arbitrary #Painting

  • the unconscious forces that govern accessible memory are the most arbitrary of editors and the absolute masters of our lives.
    -- Helen McCloy

    #Memories #Editors #Arbitrary

  • For there have risen many who have given to the plain words of Holy Writ some arbitrary interpretation of their own, instead of its true and only sense, and this in defiance of the clear meaning of words. Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written; the guilt is that of the expositor, not of the text.
    -- Hilary of Poitiers

    #Lying #Guilt #Arbitrary

  • Personally, I don't like the term 'success.' It's too arbitrary and too relative a thing. It's usually someone else's definition, not yours.
    -- Ichiro Suzuki

    #Success #Arbitrary #Definitions

  • There can be no greater stretch of arbitrary power than is required to seize children from their parents, teach them whatever the authorities decree they shall be taught, and expropriate from the parents the funds to pay for the procedure.
    -- Isabel Paterson

    #Children #Parent #Arbitrary

  • Those objecting to the concept of race argue that the taxonomic definitions are arbitrary and subjective.
    -- J. Philippe Rushton

    #Race #Arbitrary #Definitions

  • [C]ensorship in any form is the opening wedge for fascism, since it places arbitrary and unwarranted power in the hands of individuals.
    -- Jack Parsons

    #Power #Hands #Arbitrary

  • Aside from that reservation, a fictive tale even has the advantage of manifesting symbolic necessity more purely to the extent that we may believe its conception arbitrary.
    -- Jacques Lacan

    #Believe #May #Arbitrary

  • Arbitrary benchmarks cheat kids out of a fulfilling education.
    -- James Dyson

    #Kids #Arbitrary #Cheat

  • Under budgetary pressure (arbitrary or not) it is truly remarkable how many options one discovers one can do without.
    -- James R. Schlesinger

    #Arbitrary #Pressure #Remarkable

  • Valuation is vague and arbitrary, when there is no assurance that it will be generally acquiesced in by others.
    -- Jean-Baptiste Say

    #Arbitrary #Assurance #Valuation

  • Habit is altogether too arbitrary a master for me to submit to.
    -- Johann Kaspar Lavater

    #Arbitrary #Habit #Masters

  • The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes.
    -- John Maynard Keynes

    #Income #Employment #Arbitrary

  • Superstition moulds nature into an arbitrary semblance of the supernatural, and then bows down to the work of its own hands.
    -- John Sterling

    #Hands #Arbitrary #Superstitions

  • Virtue and vice are not arbitrary things; but there is a natural and eternal reason for goodness and virtue, and against vice and wickedness.
    -- John Tillotson

    #Vices #Arbitrary #Wickedness

  • Arbitrary power is but the first natural step from anarchy, or the savage life.
    -- Jonathan Swift

    #Savages #Arbitrary #Anarchy

  • But in the present century, thanks in good part to the influence of Hilbert, we have come to see that the unproved postulates with which we start are purely arbitrary. They must be consistent, they had better lead to something interesting.
    -- Julian Coolidge

    #Interesting #Arbitrary #Thanks

  • It is convention and arbitrary rewards which make all the merit and demerit of what we call vice and virtue.
    -- Julien Offray de La Mettrie

    #Vices #Arbitrary #Rewards

  • Schinkel was not arbitrary in his use of historical modes but rather eclectic in the best sense of the word. He could search the past for its conspicuous successes using them both freely and discursively as the basis for a contemporary architecture.
    -- Karl Friedrich Schinkel

    #Past #Historical #Arbitrary

  • Art is subject to arbitrary fashion.
    -- Kary Mullis

    #Fashion #Art #Arbitrary

  • And Nature takes no account of moral consequences, of arbitrary conditions which we create, and which we feel obliged to maintain at any cost.
    -- Kate Chopin

    #Arbitrary #Cost #Moral

  • Designs of purely arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.
    -- Kenzo Tange

    #Long #Design #Arbitrary

  • He is annoyed with their lack of interest, their blithe ignorance of the arbitrary genetic lottery that has granted them their privileged lives.
    -- Khaled Hosseini

    #Ignorance #Annoyed #Arbitrary

  • All the proliferating falsifications of what I and everyone I know experienced once in what it is now so convenient to call the "fifties" or "sixties," as if life was really measured or lived in arbitrary decades, when the history books are sold like comix.
    -- Lester Bangs

    #Book #Arbitrary #Falsification

  • Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.
    -- Lewis Mumford

    #Technology #Novelty #Arbitrary

  • Hard times are purposeful, meant to refine and redirect us. They're not arbitrary or random, and they're definitely not cruel.
    -- Liz Curtis Higgs

    #Hard Times #Arbitrary

  • The reason it's worth standing up for punctuation is not that it's an arbitrary system of notation known only to an over-sensitive elite who have attacks of the vapours when they see it misapplied. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning.
    -- Lynne Truss

    #Way #Arbitrary #Vapour

  • I read things like theology, and I read about science, Scientific American and publications like that, because they stimulate again and again my sense of the almost arbitrary given-ness of experience, the fact that nothing can be taken for granted.
    -- Marilynne Robinson

    #Taken #Facts #Arbitrary

  • I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing.
    -- Mark Twain

    #Clothes #Arbitrary #Use

  • All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.
    -- Marshall McLuhan

    #Media #Perception #Arbitrary

  • Standards of beauty are arbitrary. Body shame exists only to the extent that our physiques don't match our own beliefs about how we should look.
    -- Martha Beck

    #Arbitrary #Body #Looks

  • Why are there beings at all instead of nothing? That is the question. Presumably it is not arbitrary question, "Why are there beings at all instead of nothing"- this is obviously the first of all questions. Of course it is not the first question in the chronological sense [...] And yet, we are each touched once, maybe even every now and then, by the concealed power of this question, without properly grasping what is happening to us. In great despair, for example, when all weight tends to dwindle away from things and the sense of things grows dark, the question looms.
    -- Martin Heidegger

    #Dark #Despair #Arbitrary

  • "Pieces" almost always appear 'as parts' in whole processes. ... To sever a "'part" from the organized whole in which it occurs-whether it itself be a subsidiary whole or an "element"-is a very real process usually involving alterations in that "part". Modifications of a part frequently involve changes elsewhere in the whole itself. Nor is the nature of these alterations arbitrary, for they too are determined by whole-conditions.
    -- Max Wertheimer

    #Nature #Real #Arbitrary

  • Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted.
    -- Michael Behe

    #Games #Arbitrary #Used

  • If you don't believe there's some organising principle, or somebody up in the sky pulling the strings, then it can be very stressful. And nature itself is very arbitrary - it's not malevolent or benevolent; it doesn't even know we're here.
    -- Michael Shannon

    #Believe #Sky #Arbitrary

  • You can build a statistical model and that's all well and good, but if you're dealing with a new type of financial instrument, for example, or a new type of situation - then the choices you're making are pretty arbitrary in a lot of respects.
    -- Nate Silver

    #Choices #Arbitrary #Example

  • A fundamental element of human nature is the need for creative work, for creative inquiry, for free creation without the arbitrary limiting effects of coercive institutions. A decent society should maximize the possibilities for this fundamental human characteristic to be realized.
    -- Noam Chomsky

    #Creative #Needs #Arbitrary

  • Terrorists can endanger some of us, but the war on terror endangers us all. How much more can the Constitution be diminished before it is completely replaced by arbitrary government power?
    -- Paul Craig Roberts

    #War #Government #Arbitrary

  • Chaos, the life force of the universe, is not human-hearted. Therefore the wizard cannot be human-hearted when he seeks to tap the force of the universe. He performs monstrous and arbitrary acts to loosen the hold of human limitations upon himself.
    -- Peter J. Carroll

    #Arbitrary #Wizards #Chaos

  • I wanted to dismantle the bollocks that there's a military structure to a gang, with a leader, second leader, the good looking one, first babe, second babe. It's far more arbitrary than that and their values shouldn't be romanticised. They aren't something you want to sign up to.
    -- Peter Mullan

    #Military #Leader #Arbitrary

  • Movies tie things up in an arbitrary length of time, but I have always liked things that aren't fully realised.
    -- Peter Weir

    #Ties #Arbitrary #Length

  • To will a new form is unacceptable, because will builds distortion. Desire, too, is incomplete and arbitrary. These strategies, however intimate they might become, must especially be removed to clear the way for something else...
    -- Philip Guston

    #Desire #Arbitrary #Might

  • In the first place, it is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure. This dictatorship is being most forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the money and completely control it, control credit also and rule the lending of money.
    -- Pope Pius XI

    #Hands #Directors #Arbitrary

  • Democracy is about non-arbitrary decisions. Democracy is about spreading decisions; it is not about destroying processes.
    -- Rahul Gandhi

    #Decision #Democracy #Arbitrary

  • I don't go into the studio with the idea of 'saying' something. What I do is face the blank canvas and put a few arbitrary marks on it that start me on some sort of dialogue.
    -- Richard Diebenkorn

    #Ideas #Arbitrary #Faces

  • Officially in America we now have a totally arbitrary and limitless government. That is, we have a ‘total government.’ In short, we’ve got totalitarian government.
    -- Richard Salsman

    #America #Government #Arbitrary

  • Space in typography is like time in music. It is infinitely divisible, but a few proportional intervals can be much more useful than a limitless choice of arbitrary quantities.
    -- Robert Bringhurst

    #Space #Choices #Arbitrary

  • I think many of the boundaries that convention has placed upon us are arbitrary, so we can fiddle with them if we fancy. Gravity's hard to dispute, and breathing, but a lot of things we instinctively obey are a lot of old tosh.
    -- Russell Brand

    #Thinking #Breathing #Arbitrary

  • There is something so arbitrary about prizes.
    -- Steve Toltz

    #Arbitrary #Prize

  • They were saying computers deal with numbers. This was absolutely nonsense. Computers deal with arbitrary information of any kind.
    -- Ted Nelson

    #Numbers #Information #Arbitrary

  • When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.
    -- Thomas Piketty

    #Growth #Income #Arbitrary

  • Every phenomenon can be experienced in two ways. These two ways are not arbitrary, but are bound up with the phenomenon – developing out of its nature and characteristics : Externally – or – inwardly.
    -- Wassily Kandinsky

    #Two #Way #Arbitrary

  • Page after page of professional economic journals are filled with mathematical formulas leading the reader from sets of more or less plausible but entirely arbitrary assumptions to precisely stated but irrelevant theoretical conclusions.
    -- Wassily Leontief

    #Arbitrary #Pages #Assumption

  • We move from more or less plausible but really arbitrary assumptions, to elegantly demonstrated but irrelevant conclusions.
    -- Wassily Leontief

    #Moving #Arbitrary #Assumption

  • Every seemingly arbitrary destructive action is a reaction of the organism to the frustration of a gratification of a vital need, especially of a sexual need.
    -- Wilhelm Reich

    #Frustration #Arbitrary #Needs

  • Be just and if you can't be just, be arbitrary.
    -- William S. Burroughs


  • Later, however, I came to recognize the objective nature of these dreams or fantasies ... Thus it was that I gradually came to acknowledge that such fantasies or dreams are neither meaningless nor purely arbitrary but rather convey a sort of "second meaning" of the terms applied.
    -- Wolfgang Pauli

    #Dream #Arbitrary #Fantasy

  • The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit.
    -- Wyndham Lewis

    #Clothes #Ideas #Arbitrary

  • I have to trick myself into writing a story - impose some arbitrary constraint to distract me from the constraints of my past habits or my fear that I don't have much to say.
    -- Catherine Brady

    #Writing #Past #Arbitrary

  • I'm interested in finding new and more humane modes of safety, and in exposing the arbitrary and superficial protections that have failed us.
    -- Laura Mullen

    #Safety #Arbitrary #Protection

  • The most insupportable of tyrants exclaim against the exercise of arbitrary power.
    -- Roger L'Estrange

    #Exercise #Tyrants #Arbitrary

  • If you dread the thought of wasted time in meetings, chances are that your team members feel the same way. Team members are also demotivated by one-way discussions, haphazard participation and arbitrary decisions. Structure every meeting at the start and summarize them at the end.
    -- Martin Zwilling

    #Team #Decision #Arbitrary

  • I don't believe that Freedom of Information laws, which have arbitrary time periods or broad blanket exemptions, meet the level of transparency that society needs today.
    -- Chelsea Manning

    #Believe #Law #Arbitrary

  • Any argument where one supposes an arbitrary choice to be made an uncountably infinite number of times ...[is] outside the domain of mathematics.
    -- Emile Borel

    #Numbers #Choices #Arbitrary

  • Fascism is [...] arbitrary rule by a charismatic head of state.
    -- Tibor R. Machan

    #Arbitrary #States #Fascism

  • No arbitrary regulation, no act of the legislature, can add anything to the capital of the country; it can only force it into artificial channels.
    -- John Ramsay McCulloch

    #Country #Add #Arbitrary

  • The recommended daily allowances are based on arbitrary, unscientific, and tainted standards.
    -- William Proxmire

    #Arbitrary #Allowance #Standards