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Cynical Quotes

Picasso

Picasso

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After Cynical Texts here comes a thread to share funny and whimsical quotes and to preserve the previous thread for texts which are the long of like one page or two.

I begin by the lively witty book of Jose Saramago: Cain.



But man cannot live by bread alone, especially one who has grown used to gastronomic delicacies far above his original station and social class.

~~~

At that moment, everyone realised that the third man present was the lord god in person. We forgot to mention that, before going into the tent, cain had pulled the edge of his turban low over his forehead to hide the mark from curious eyes, especially from the lord, whom he immediately recognized, and so when the lord asked if his name was cain, he answered, Yes, it is, but I'm not that cain.

 
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  • Picasso

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    First came a cricket's disease caught by one cricket in a thousand and doing no particular harm; Dr Trelawney wanted to examine them all and find the right cure.

    Italo Calvino ~ Our Ancestors/ The Cloven Viscount
     
    Picasso

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    As they were rekindling the light the old man with raised fists enumerated his son's sins as the foulest ever committed by any human being; but he only knew a small part of them.

    Italo Calvino ~ Our Ancestors/ The Cloven Viscount
     
    Picasso

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    But at heart they were still living in the times of the Wars of Succession, she with her artillery, he with his genealogical trees; she dreaming of a career for us boys in some army, no matter which, he, on the other hand, seeing us married to a Grand-duchess and Electress of the Empire…

    ~~~

    “Vorsicht! Vorsicht! Now he’ll fall down, poor little thing!” anxiously exclaimed our mother, who would not have turned a hair at seeing us under cannon fire, but was in agony meanwhile at our games.

    Italo Calvino ~ Our Ancestors/ Baron in the Trees
     
    Picasso

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    "No, I meant washing your faces and bodies."

    Don Frederico grunted and shrugged his shoulders, as if this problem had never presented itself to him.

    ~~~

    Others were pointing naval telescopes (one of them had the rank of admiral) which they probably only used to look at each other from one tree to another, in idleness and gossip.

    Italo Calvino ~ Our Ancestors/ Baron in the Trees
     
    Picasso

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    Though indeed his need of conversation seemed rather physical than mental, arising more from preoccupation than frankness, from agitation and excitement, for the sake of looking at some one and exercising his tongue.

    Dostoevsky ~ The Idiot
     
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    بمُضِيِّ ما يَزيدُ على الخمسمائة سنة، راح أوريجينُس يعلّم، في الإسكندريّة، بأنّ الأبرار وحدَهم يُبعثون على هيئةِ كُراتٍ ويدخلونَ الأبديّة دَحْرَجَةً

     
    Picasso

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    We can be sure that his aunt Alexandra (who was so holy that she did not wash, and gave off 'a specific acid smell') imparted her piety to the children.

    Tolstoy by A.N. Wilson
     
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    He was ambitious and blessed with nerves of oak - in a word he was what is called brave. He recalled how an adjutant, Napoleon’s he thought, having delivered an order, galloped with bleeding head full speed to Napoleon. “Vous êtes blessé?“ said Napoleon. “Je vous demande pardon, sire, je suis mort,“ and the adjutant fell from his horse, dead...

    Tolstoy by A.N. Wilson
     
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    Capuchin monkeys taking part in experiments keep track of the rewards they are getting. If one is offered a poor reward (such as a slice of cucumber), while another gets a tasty grape, the first will refuse to continue the test. Chimpanzees do this, too.

    Animals think, therefore...; The Economist; Christmas 2015 issue
     
    Indie

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    “That's the whole trouble. You can't even find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "**** you" right under your nose.”
    ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
     
    Indie

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    “The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun's just started.”
    ― John Updike, Rabbit Is Rich
     
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    واكتشفا أنّ الإثارة الكهربائية لبعض مناطق الدماغ كانت أكثر تعويضاً عن الطعام. تعويض بلغَ حَدّاً أنّ فأراً يكادُ يموتُ جوعاً ينصرفُ عن طعامٍ يُقدَّمُ إليه مفضّلاً إثارة كهربائية ذاتية

    تطور المتع البشرية، رغبات وقيود ~ شارل كورنريخ ~ المنظمة العربية للترجمة
     
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    [Jochi] pressed on to Jend, reached on 20 April 1220, but this time the citizens had the good sense to surrender; they nonetheless had to evacuate the town to allow the Mongols to plunder in peace.

    ~ Genghis Khan biography by Frank Mclynn
     
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    Derbent was initially defiant but Subedei offered the citizens a deal: he would spare the city so long as ten of its leading oligarchs volunteered to guide the Mongol army over the Caucasus. The ten duly arrived at Subedei's tent, whereupon he had one of them beheaded on the spot, to show that he meant business - pour encourager les autres, as Voltaire would say. Suitably cowed, the nine survivors guided the Mongols over the difficult passes with no tricks or treachery.

    ~ Genghis Khan biography by Frank Mclynn
     
    Picasso

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    You have to get up early, work hard all day and go to bed still working on your objective. Yes money does sometimes grow on trees - or so it seems. Yes, people do win the lottery, the jackpot, the big prize. People do get sudden inheritances from long lost relatives. Yes, people do suddenly find fame and fortune where they sought for none. But it isn't going to happen to you.

    ~ The Rules of Wealth by Richard Templar
     
    Picasso

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    By this time the Russians had called up more than 100,000 reserves, but at the confused Battle of Inkerman in November 1854 they failed to use them against an inferior Allied force, which was thus able to beat back the Russian attack. After this, the war settled down into a prolonged siege of Sevastopol. The incompetence of the British leadership quickly became notorious. The commanding general, Lord Raglan (1788-1855), who had spent years fighting against Napoleon and lost an arm at the battle of Waterloo, kept on referring to the enemy as 'the French', much to the annoyance of the French officers sitting on their horses at his side.

    ~ The Pursuit of Power by Richard J. Evans
     
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    Volunteers rushed to its [Poland] aid, including Francois Rochebrune (1830-70), a French teacher and ex-soldier living in Warsaw who had taken part in a military expedition to China in 1857. As a sideline Rochebrune also ran a fencing school, and he enlisted some of his students in a unit he called the 'Zouaves of Death', clad in baggy trousers and fez caps. At the Battle of Grochowiska in March 1863, seeing Polish insurgents flee in panic, he grabbed them and pushed them back into the line at gunpoint, shouting repeatedly: 'Psiakrew! Ktora godzina?' - 'Damn it! What time is it?' - which was the only Polish he knew.

    ~ The Pursuit of Power by Richard J. Evans
     
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    The publics on both sides had been exposed to two decades of hostility and suspicion; they had to be prepared for a diplomatic revolution.

    ~ On China by Henry Kissinger
     
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    Even when they don't break down completely, learning systems sometimes learn to achieve their goals in the wrong way. In a research paper last year, a group of 52 AI researchers recounted dozens of times when AI systems showed surprising behavior. An algorithm learning to walk in a simulated environment discovered it could move fastest by repeatedly falling over. A Tetris-playing bot learned to pause the game before the last brick fell, so that it would never lose. One program deleted the files containing the answers against which it was being evaluated, causing it to be awarded a perfect score. As the researchers wrote, "It is often functionally simpler for evolution to exploit loopholes in the quantitative measure than it is to achieve the actual desired outcome." Surprise seems to be a standard feature of learning systems.

    Foreign Affairs ~ Killer Apps. The Real Dangers of an AI Arms Race ~ May/June 2019
     
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