Here are some quotes I like!

If the most intelligent people we know—the "best-educated," to use a current term—were also the people who make most extensive use of logico-experimental [scientific] principles in social matters to the exclusion of all other principles, it would be legitimate to conclude that, in course of time, such people would reject everything of a non- experimental character; and that other people, more or less their equals in knowledge, would also be more or less like them in their exclusive acceptance of logico-experimental principles. But the facts do not stand that way. If theologians have diminished in number among our educated people and lost much of their power, metaphysicists, properly so called, are still prospering and enjoying fame and influence, to say nothing of those metaphysicists who call themselves "positivists" or under some other name are merrily overstepping the boundaries of the logico-experimental. Many scientists who are supremely great in the natural sciences, where they use logico-experimental principles exclusively or almost so, forget them entirely when they venture into the social sciences. As regards the masses in the large, what one observes is an unending alternation of theologies and systems of metaphysics rather than any reduction in the total number of them.

--Vilfredo Pareto. The Mind and Society.

Many a second-rate fellow gets caught up in some little twitting of the system, and carries it through to warfare. He expends his energy in a foolish project. Now you are going to tell me that somebody has to change the system. I agree; somebody's has to. Which do you want to be? The person who changes the system or the person who does first-class science? Which person is it that you want to be? Be clear, when you fight the system and struggle with it, what you are doing, how far to go out of amusement, and how much to waste your effort fighting the system. My advice is to let somebody else do it and you get on with becoming a first-class scientist. Very few of you have the ability to both reform the system and become a first-class scientist.

--Richard Hamming. You and Your Research

Where agreement over questions of virtue, the good life, and the true religion was unraveling, the immediate attempt involved forging such an agreement through force. This force escalated in the periods of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, and culminated in the paroxysm of the Thirty Years’ War, which remains perhaps the most deadly period in the history of Europe. By some estimates, in Germany, the locus of the conflict, well over half the population was eradicated. However, at the end of this process, agreement had become more elusive than ever, the differences greater than ever. The violence had failed to create a new unity. This failure was formalized in the Peace of Westphalia, so that 1648 can be fixed as the single year that dates the birth of the modern era. Questions of virtue and the true religion henceforth would be decided by each sovereign. The sovereigns would agree to disagree. Inexorably, questions of virtue and religion became private questions; polite and respectable individuals learned not to talk about them too much, because they could lead to nothing but unproductive conflicts.

--Peter Thiel. The Straussian Moment