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Quotes of the Day for 14 January 2004 – Selection

Each night I sit down to choose a theme and select quotes. First, I look at that day in history, looking for notable persons and events, but I try not to repeat myself. On this day over the last three years, I've already done Albert Schweitzer (born 1875) twice and Benedict Arnold (1741) once, and there isn't much else on the calendar. If I were willing to repeat myself, I would then search my database for quotes from Schweitzer, choosing a half dozen that hadn't been used in at least six months. I might search for terms that relate to the person, like betrayal in the case of Arnold. Sometimes those strategies come up with fewer good quotes than I want to include, and I head to my many quotation collections to add a few. If even that fails, I dig into the various requests, to see if there is anything there that I can actually make a theme out of, again needing five or six quotes that haven't recently been used. If I haven't found anything by then, there is a real chance I'll go pour a glass of wine and just skip the day! On rare occasions, I'll just whine about the difficulty of doing this job for you every day. In that vein, I thought you might tolerate my disclosing the fiendishly complex task of Selection.

Van's signature


The quotes:

Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.
     - Ayn Rand

You have to choose where you look, and in making that choice you eliminate entire worlds.
     - Barbara Bloom

Any man who selects a goal in life which can be fully achieved has already defined his own limitations.
     - Cavett Robert

I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.
     - Charles Robert Darwin, 1809 - 1882

It is well to open one's mind, but only as a preliminary to closing it ... for the supreme act of judgement and selection.
     - Irving Babbitt

When you know absolutely nothing about the topic, make your forecast by asking a carefully selected probability sample of 300 others who don't know the answer either.
     - Edgar R. Fiedler


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