Democracy today suffers from enormous errors regarding estimates of policy consequences, i.e., of passing particular bills. Voters have serious illusions and misconceptions that sway their minds on election day, when they have little expertize and only mild motivations to attend to their task. Candidates have strong expertize and incentives to attend to their task, but that task is largely to pander to voter illusions.
Physicist, Icon of the 20th Century
I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.
Political T.V. Host, Comedian
...in my lifetime, I would have to say that things do seem to be getting worse and they seem to be getting worse because – sorry to say it – people get stupider and stupider every election cycle. ... They think offshore drilling is going to lower the price of gas and they think Obama, the black guy from the single mother, somehow is the elitist.
Inventor of Dictionary, Great 18th century writer
The mental disease of the present generation is impatience of study, contempt of the great masters of ancient wisdom, and a disposition to rely wholly upon unassisted genius and natural sagacity.
As of 2008 the intellectual future of the United States looks dim. [Today's youth] are latter-day Rip Van Winkles, sleeping through the movements of culture and events of history, preferring the company of peers to great books and powerful ideas and momentous happenings.
Iconic Jazz Musician
I won't play nowhere I know has the kind of audiences that you waste your breath to play for. I'm talking about them expense-account ofays that use music as a background for getting high and trying to show off to the women they brought. They ain't come to hear good music.
Musician, Pink Floyd
I remember all that years ago when nobody was buying what we were doing. We were all heavily into the notion that it was good music, good with a capital G, and of course people weren't buying it because people don't buy good music.
Art, in our society, has been so perverted that not only has bad art come to be considered good, but even the very perception of what art really is has been lost. In order to be able to speak about the art of our society, it is, therefore, first of all necessary to distinguish art from counterfeit art.
Novelist, Essayist, English Professor
And I think it's impossible to spend that many slackjawed, spittlechinned, formative hours in front of commercial art without internalizing the idea that one of the main goals of art is simply to "entertain" give people sheer pleasure. ... I think TV promulgates the idea that good art is just art which makes people like and depend on the vehicle that brings them the art.
Actress, Celebrity, Beauty Icon
I never fit in with my peer group. I never hung out with kids my age - I always wanted to hang out with my mom and her girlfriends. I was on a TV show when I was 13, and had a tutor for high school. Everyone was like, “Oh, you’re missing out on the high school experience,” so I’d go with my cousins to these parties where there would be a keg and people doing body shots [etc.]. I was like, What a waste of time. I didn’t want to be doing E and making out with a [loser] guy 3 years older than me...
Baroness, Professor of Brain Physiology
[social networking sites] are devoid of cohesive narrative and long-term significance. As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilised, characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.
Emperor of France
How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares "God wills it thus." Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
We have examined the science behind three of the most popular pseudoscientific beliefs encountered in Hollywood movies. For two of them — the idea of ghosts and vampires — we have shown that they are inconsistent and contradictory to simple facts. ... Wide spread belief in such concepts, we feel, is an indication of a lack of critical thinking skills in the general population. With simple elementary arguments one can easily discredit the validity of such claims.
Iconic Philosopher of 20th Century
The objections which are explicitly urged against women's suffrage are, of course, not those which weigh most with most men. Men fear that their liberty to act in ways that are injurious to women will be curtailed... To substitute cooperation for subjection is everywhere the effort of democracy, and it is one of the strongest arguments in favour of the enfranchisement of women that it will further this substitution in all that concerns the relations of men and women.
Of what use is it to please the herd? They are simply coarse animals — for all that is admirable in man is the artificial product of special breeding. We advocate the preservation of conditions favourable to the growth of beautiful things — imposing palaces, beautiful cities, elegant literature, resposeful art and music, and a physically select human type such as only luxury and a pure racial strain can produce.
Leader of Nazi Party
The German has no idea how much the people must be misled if the support of the masses is required.
Popularity is the crown of laurel which the world puts on bad art. Whatever is popular is wrong. ... The subject of my lecture to-night is what makes an artist and what does the artist make; what are the relations of the artist to his surroundings, what is the education the artist should get, and what is the quality of a good work of art. ....