Quotations About
mass appeal

I do not write for such dull elves
As have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves.

Letter, January 29, 1813, to her sister, Cassandra.
Posted in: Jane Austen

I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.

Posted in: Johannes Kepler

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

Broca's Brain (1979)
Posted in: Carl Sagan

Aaron: I just risked my life for a network that tests my face with focus groups. I don’t feel good.

Posted in: Broadcast News

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Attributed to Voltaire but unsourced.
Posted in: Voltaire

Men are influenced by big loud empty words, styes which swell the eyelids and impede vision of the truth.

Here Comes Everybody: An Introduction to James Joyce for the Ordinary Reader (1965)
Posted in: Anthony Burgess

You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, and less often, P. T. Barnum.
This quote is attributed / unsourced.

We are all of us more or less the slaves of opinion.

Political Essays (1819)
Posted in: William Hazlitt

You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn’t you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!

Interview for Press Association (10th anniversary as Prime Minister). 3 May 1989

“I like the idea of democracy. You have to have someone everyone distrusts,” said Brutha. “That way, everyone’s happy.”

Small Gods
Posted in: Terry Pratchett