# wisdom

“You literally aught to be asking yourself, all of the time, what is the most important thing I can be working on, in the world, right now? and if you’re not working on that, why aren’t you?”

– Aaron Swartz

“The question is the attitude. What attitude do you have to society? Do you look at what there is and you accept that as god given, or do you see society as something where you identify a problem and then you find a creative solution for that problem? So it is a matter of, are you a spectator? or are you actively participating in society?”

Daniel Schmitt

”If you live in a democracy and don’t have freedom of information, it’s not a democracy. And people have to understand that if you don’t have freedom of information online, it’s not going to be offline, either.”

Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic MP

“So much of what we do in science isn’t actually science. I say let robots do the mindless work so that we can spend more time thinking about our questions.”

Henry Markram on the Blue Brain project

“A person spends years coming into this own, developing his talent, his unique gifts, perfecting his discriminations about the world, broadening and sharpening his appetite, learning to bear the disappointments of life, becoming mature, seasoned – finally a unique creature in nature, standing with some dignity and nobility and transcending the animal condition, no longer a complete reflex, not stamped out of any mold – and then the real tragedy: That it might take sixty years of incredible suffering and effort to make such an individual, and then he is good only for dying.”

Citing Ernest Becker

“…what one believes ought to be secondary to why one believes it. Or, in different words, the reasons for holding a belief ought to have priority over the content of that belief, whatever it may be. And, since content in part determines who one is as a person – i.e., which beliefs one accepts will determine whether one is a Christian, a socialist, a civil libertarian, and so on – one’s identity should also be secondary to issues of justifiability.”

Philippe Verdoux on ethical technology

“What about the truth has helped you?”

– Jacob Appelbaum discussing WikiLeaks and citing Moxie Marlinspike

“…in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information.”

Julian Assange

“Information shouldn’t be used for a purpose other than for which it was originally intended.”

Simon Davies on the re-sale of personal information

“…there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.”

– President Barack Obama

“I would do everything I could, and I would do everything I could because this is what love means, that the odds are irrelevant and that you do whatever the hell you can, the odds be damned.”

Lawrence Lessig

“The very purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent Congress from picking and choosing which type of disseminators of information are worthy of protection.”

– Barry Pollack, Washington, D.C.-based attorney representing WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange

“incantation of the magic word ‘national security’ without further substantiation is simply not enough to justify significant deprivations of liberty.”

– Judge James Boasberg, U.S. District Court

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