quotations about ideas
An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
VICTOR HUGO, Histoire d'un crime
One who accepts the general ideas of his time gets along smoothest, but he does the least for progress.
LEWIS F. KORNS, Thoughts
I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
JOHN CAGE, Conversing with Cage
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES, attributed, Engines of Creation
All great ideas are dangerous.
OSCAR WILDE, De Profundis
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, "The Crack Up"
An idea ran back and forward in his head like a blind man knocking over the solid furniture.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, Notebooks
Speculation and the exploration of ideas beyond what we know with certainty are what lead to progress.
LISA RANDALL, New York Times, Sep. 18, 2005
Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, JR., Inspirational Quotes to Motivate
As a rule, with me an unfinished [idea] is a thing that might as well be rubbed out. It’s better, if there’s something good in it that I might make use of elsewhere, to leave it at the back of my mind than on paper in a drawer. If I leave it in a drawer it remains the same thing but if it’s in the memory it becomes transformed into something else.
T. S. ELIOT, The Paris Review, 1959
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Crack-Up
Wide acceptance of an idea is not proof of its validity.
DAN BROWN, The Lost Symbol
If those in charge of our society -- politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television -- can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
HOWARD ZINN, Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology
Good ideas do not need to be shouted. They can take care of themselves.
JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Self," Reactions and Other Essays
We change ideas like neckties.
EMIL CIORAN, A Short History of Decay
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin’ me insane
BOB DYLAN, "Maggie's Farm"
Almost everyone who has had an idea that's somewhat revolutionary or wildly successful was first told they're insane.
LARRY PAGE, CNNMoney interview, May 1, 2008
The idea enters the brain from the outside. It rearranges the furniture to make it more to its liking. It finds other Ideas already in residence, and picks fights or forms alliances. The alliances build new structures, to defend themselves against intruders. And then, whenever the opportunity arises, the Idea sends out its shock troops in search of new brains to infect. The successful Idea travels from mind to mind, claiming new territory, mutating as it goes. It's a jungle out there ... many ideas are lost. Only the strongest survive.
BERNARD BECKETT, Genesis
Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are least dangerous is the man of ideas. He is acquainted with ideas, and moves among them like a lion-tamer. Ideas are dangerous, but the man to whom they are most dangerous is the man of no ideas. The man of no ideas will find the first idea fly to his head like wine to the head of a teetotaller.
G. K. CHESTERTON, Heretics
Every revolutionary idea--in science, politics, art or whatever--seems to evoke three stages of reaction. They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It's completely impossible. (2) It's possible, but it's not worth doing. (3) I said it was a good idea all along.
ARTHUR C. CLARKE, The Promise of Space