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Quotations about intelligence

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.

 - E. F. Schumacher

Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places.

 - Garrison Keillor

Anne FrankI don't have much in the way of money or worldly possessions, I'm not beautiful, intelligent or clever, but I'm happy, and I intend to stay that way! I was born happy, I love people, I have a trusting nature, and I'd like everyone else to be happy too.

 - Anne Frank

Aldous HuxleyIt is man's intelligence that makes him so often behave more stupidly than the beasts. Man is impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic.

Thus, no animal is clever enough, when there is a drought, to imagine that the rain is being withheld by evil spirits, or as punishment for its transgressions. Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. No horse, for example would kill one of its foals to make the wind change direction. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat's meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough.

 - Aldous Huxley

Albert EinsteinIf a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

 - Albert Einstein

Neil deGrasse TysonOur academic system rewards people who know a lot of stuff and generally we call those people smart, but at the end of the day who do you want- the person who can figure things out that they've never seen before or the person who can rattle off a bunch of facts?

 - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Lao TzuKnowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.

 - Laozi / Lao-Tzu

Diane AckermanBecause IQ tests favor memory skills and logic, overlooking artistic creativity, insight, resiliency, emotional reserves, sensory gifts, and life experience, they can't really predict success, let alone satisfaction.

 - Diane Ackerman

Friedrich NietzscheThe most intelligent men, like the strongest, find their happiness where others would find only disaster: in the labyrinth, in being hard with themselves and with others, in effort; their delight is in self-mastery; in them asceticism becomes second nature, a necessity, an instinct. They regard a difficult task as a privilege; it is to them recreation to play with burdens that would crush all others.

 - Friedrich Nietzsche

OshoIntelligence is dangerous. Intelligence means you will start thinking on your own; you will start looking around on your own. You will not believe in the scriptures; you will believe only in your own experience.

 - Osho

Albert CamusAn intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.

 - Albert Camus

Niccolo MachiavelliMen are of three different capacities: one understands intuitively; another understands so far as it is explained; and a third understands neither of himself nor by explanation. The first is excellent, the second, commendable, and the third, altogether useless. - Niccolò Machiavelli

 - Niccolò Machiavelli

Richard FeynmanIt doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

 - Richard Feynman

Henry Wadsworth LongfellowWith many readers brilliancy of style passes for affluence of thought: they mistake buttercups in the grass for immeasurable gold mines under the ground.

 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Albert EinsteinIf you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

 - Albert Einstein

Albert EinsteinEverybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

 - Albert Einstein

Jean PiagetLogical activity is not the whole of intelligence. One can be intelligent without being particularly logical.

 - Jean Piaget

Albert EinsteinAs a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.

 - Albert Einstein

Fyodor DostoevskyPain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.

 - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Voltaire ArouetOnce your faith, sir, persuades you to believe what your intelligence declares to be absurd, beware lest you likewise sacrifice your reason in the conduct of your life. In days gone by, there were people who said to us: "You believe in incomprehensible, contradictory and impossible things because we have commanded you to; now then, commit unjust acts because we likewise order you to do so." Nothing could be more convincing. Certainly any one who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. If you do not use the intelligence with which God endowed your mind to resist believing impossibilities, you will not be able to use the sense of injustice which God planted in your heart to resist a command to do evil. Once a single faculty of your soul has been tyrannized, all the other faculties will submit to the same fate. This has been the cause of all the religious crimes that have flooded the earth.

 - Voltaire Arouet

John KeatsThe only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing -- to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. Not a select party.

 - John Keats

Elon MuskLet's say you create a self-improving A.I. to pick strawberries, and it gets better and better at picking strawberries and picks more and more, and it is self-improving, so all it really wants to do is pick strawberries. So then it would have all the world be strawberry fields. Strawberry fields forever.

 - Elon Musk