2. "The reason people don't buy conspiracy theories is they think 'conspiracy' means everybody's on the same program. That's not how it works. Everybody's got a different program. They just all want the same guy dead. Socrates was a gadfly, but I bet he took time out to screw somebody's wife."
- James Lee Burke, Sunset Limited
3. "You may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead as you easily might, then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly."
- Quote by Plato
4. "The State is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the State and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me."
- Plato, Apology
5. "Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates invention. It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving…conflict is a sine qua non of reflection and ingenuity."
- Quote by John Dewey
6. "[Editorial cartooning] is essentially a destructive art. We are not pontificators, or molders of thought—or at least we shouldn't try to be. Ours is more the role of the lowly gadfly: circle and stab, circle and stab. Roughly put, our credo should be, if it's big, hit it."
- Quote by Bill Mauldin
7. "I am often described to my irritation as a 'contrarian' and even had the title inflicted on me by the publisher of one of my early books. (At least on that occasion I lived up to the title by ridiculing the word in my introduction to the book's first chapter.) It is actually a pity that our culture doesn't have a good vernacular word for an oppositionist or even for someone who tries to do his own thinking: the word 'dissident' can't be self-conferred because it is really a title of honor that has to be won or earned, while terms like 'gadfly' or 'maverick' are somehow trivial and condescending as well as over-full of self-regard. And I've lost count of the number of memoirs by old comrades or ex-comrades that have titles like 'Against the Stream,' 'Against the Current,' 'Minority of One,' 'Breaking Ranks' and so forth—all of them lending point to Harold Rosenberg's withering remark about 'the herd of independent minds.' Even when I was quite young I disliked being called a 'rebel"
- Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
8. " merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam. Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another."
- Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
9. " art needs. Did the Oblique Strategy cards actually work? They were probably more important symbolically than practically. A cerebral theoretician like Eno had more need of a mental circuit-breaker than someone like Bowie, who was a natural improviser, collagiste, artistic gadfly. Anyone involved in the creative arts knows that chance events in the process play an important role, but to my mind there’s something slightly self-defeating about the idea of planned accidents. Oblique Strategies certainly created tensions, as Carlos Alomar explained to Bowie biographer David Buckley: Brian Eno had come in with all these cards that he had made and they were supposed to eliminate a block. Now, you’ve got to understand something. I’m a musician. I’ve studied music theory, I’ve studied counterpoint and I’m used to working with musicians who can read music. Here comes Brian Eno and he goes to a blackboard. He says: ‘Here’s the beat, and when I point to a chord, you play the chord.’ So we get a"
- Hugo Wilcken, David Bowie's Low