Angelino Desmet

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Christopher Hitchens
“Find a society that's adopted the teachings of Spinoza, Voltaire, Galileo, Einstein, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and gone down the pits—as a result of doing that—into famine and war and dictatorship and torture and repression. That's the experiment I would like to run. I don't think that's going to end up with a gulag.”
Christopher Hitchens

“Men and women range themselves into three classes or orders of intelligence; you can tell the lowest class by their habit of always talking about persons; the next by the fact that their habit is always to converse about things; the highest by their preference for the discussion of ideas.”
Henry Thomas Buckle

Richard P. Feynman
“You ask me if an ordinary person—by studying hard—would get to be able to imagine these things like I imagine. Of course. I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There's no miracle people. It just happens they got interested in this thing, and they learned all this stuff. They're just people. There's no talent or special miracle ability to understand quantum mechanics or a miracle ability to imagine electromagnetic fields that comes without practice and reading and learning and study. So if you take an ordinary person who's willing to devote a great deal of time and study and work and thinking and mathematics, then he's become a scientist.”
Richard P. Feynman

Blaise Pascal
“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”
Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters

“Nowadays, whether we like it or not, we are stuck with one form or another of advanced technology and we have got to make it work safely and efficiently: this involves, among other things, the intelligent application of structural theory. However, man does not live by safety and efficiency alone, and we have to face the fact that, visually, the world is becoming an increasingly depressing place. It is not, perhaps, so much the occurrence of what might be described as 'active ugliness' as the prevalence of the dull and the commonplace. Far too seldom is the heart rejoiced or does one feel any better or happier for looking at the works of modern man. Yet most of the artefacts of the eighteenth century, even quite humble and trivial ones, seem to many of us to be at least pleasing and sometimes incomparably beautiful. To that extent people—all people—in the eighteenth century lived richer lives than most of us do today. This is reflected in the prices we pay nowadays for period houses and antiques. A society which was more creative and self-confident would not feel quite so strong a nostalgia for its great-grandfathers' buildings and household looks.”
J.E. Gordon, Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down

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The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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