To imagine not knowing what we know is the indispensable habit of the historian; its opposite is easier to master.
We begin to enjoy being called boys and girls when we know that we no longer are.
The minor vices we all recognize and deplore; the major ones pass for virtues.
We are regularly informed, by people with talent for a discipline, that nothing is required to master it but effort.
Fool-proof is difficult, genius-proof is impossible.
Better than nothing is an exacting standard: medicine has met it only recently, and to many prestigious and lucrative occupations it remains a fond hope.
With each passing year I find the argument that “no one could possibly be that stupid” less persuasive.
The pleasure in having people admire your work lasts until you see what else they like.
Progress, n. The gradually increasing belief in the stupidity of one’s ancestors.
Now and then, in support of a cause, someone exhorts me so ardently, so passionately, so articulately, that I know in my gut, without consulting the facts, that he is wrong.