Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I love quotes.. coz if you put some quotes in your essays it gives the impression that you are indeed a well-read person. Hence I always start my essays with a quote.

While attending a seminar by the 2005 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology/Medicine Barry Marshall, he captivated my attention coz he started with a very good quote:

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

How true. Perhaps it's this quote that inspire him to challenge the widely-accepted and deeply-rooted notion that peptic ulcers are stress related and not caused by bacteria. Perhaps it's this insight - on the illusion on knowledge - that spur him on to find out the truth behind the cause of peptic ulcer.

Quotes are powerful. They make you think. They make you reflect. The right quotes can inspire you to think outside the box and give you deep insights. The best quotes are usually the deviously simple ones, which alwaz gives you the illusion that 'hey, I can write a quote like that too!'. It's on things that we know in the deep recesses our of brain but which we aren't consciously aware of. The quoters are those who make the connection. And that had made the difference. They got remembered, attaining immortality in the process. Juz by a simple quote. A good example: Murphy's Law.

By the way, the quote quoted by Barry Marshall was by Daniel J Boorstein (1914-2004), who was one the librarian of the US congress. Out of curiousity, I googled this guy and found out that he had other inspiring quotes too. Three others quotes by him that I felt are powerful:

'There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, 'How dull is the world today!' Nowadays he says, 'What a dull newspaper!' '

'Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.'

'We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions. We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.'

This guy seems to have a sense of humour too:

'Reading is like the sex act-done privately, and often in bed.'

Utterly profound.

For more of his quotes visit the link here.

P/s: I didn't know that Steve Irwin aka the Crocodile Hunter was so popular. The newspapers was full of his news. Children cried for him. He was offered a state funeral. There's a special tribute show just for him. A guy who criticised him before got hundreds of hate mails. People put him on the same plane as Princess Di and Mother Teresa. Described as 'larger than life'. And yet he was just a simple, humble guy doing something he like whole-heartedly. Interesting. What make him popular?

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