I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
-- Ralph W. Emerson
I hear and forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
-- Chinese Proverb
A person who can, within a year, solve x2 - 92y2 = 1 is a mathematician.
-- Brahmagupta (Indian Mathematician, 598 AD - 670 AD)
Equality is at once the most natural and the most chimerical thing in the world:
natural when it is limited to rights, unnatural when it attempts to
level goods and powers. Not all citizens can be equally strong; but they can
all be equally free.
-- Voltaire (Dictionnaire philosophique)
Hence the uselessness of logic: no one ever convinced anybody by logic;
and even logicians use logic only as a source of income. To convince
a man, you must appeal to his self-interest, his desires, his will.
-- Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Idea)
That is whole, this is also whole, the whole or fullness originates again
from the whole; if one takes away the whole out of whole only the whole
-- Shukla Yajurveda (Indian Text, 1400 - 1000 BCE)
As the sun eclipses the stars by its brilliancy, so the man of knowledge will eclipse the
fame of others in assemblies of the people if he proposes algebraic problems, and still more
if he solves them.
-- Brahmagupta (Indian Mathematician, 598 AD - 670 AD)
(Quoted in F Cajori, A History of Mathematics)
The problem with "What You See Is What You Get" is
that what you see is all you've got.
-- Brian Kernighan
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race
is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to
men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all.
But in fact the opposition of instinct and reason is mainly illlusory. Instinct,
intuition, or insight is what first leads to the beliefs which subsequent reason
conforms or confutes; but the confirmation, where it is possible, consists, in the
last analysis, of agreement with other beliefs no less instinctive. ....
Even in the most purely logical realm, it is insight that first arrives at what
-- Bertrand Russell (Mysticism and Logic)
The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.
-- John Maynard Keynes
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I
could hardly stand to have the old man around. But
when I got to 21, I was astonished at how much the
old man had learned in 7 years.
-- Mark Twain
The unavoidable price of reliability is simplicity
-- C.A.R. Hoare
As far as laws refer to reality they are not certain and
as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality.
-- A. Einstein.
Either you believe in the law of excluded middle or you don't.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- Robert Frost
(From the poem: The Road not Taken)
Elegance [in programming] is not optional.
-- Richard A. O'Keefe
Big shots are little shots who keep shooting.
Genius is only the power of making continuous effort.
Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent
-- Thomas A. Edison
Every science begins with the observation of striking events
like thunderstorms or fevers, and soon establishes rough
connections between them and other events, such as hot
weather or infection. The next stage is a stage of exact
observation and measurement, and it is often very difficult
to know what we should measure in order to best explain the
events we are investigating. In the case of both thunder-
storms and fevers the clue came from measuring the lengths
of mercury columns in glass tubes, but what prophet could
have predicted this? Then comes a stage of innumerable
graphs and tables of figures, the dispair of students, the
laughing-stock of the man in the street. And out of this
intellectual mess there sudden crystallizes a new and easily
grasped idea, the idea of a cyclone or an electron, a
bacillus or an antitoxin, and everybody wonders why it had
not been thought of before.
-- The Future of Biology
The bigger the real-life problems, the greater the tendency for the discipline to retreat
into a reassuring fantasy-land of abstract theory and technical manipulation.
A genuine first-hand religious experience ... is bound to be
a heterodoxy to its witnesses, the prophet appearing as a mere lonely
madman. If his doctrine prove contagious enough to spread to any others,
it becomes a definite and labeled heresy. But if it
then still prove contagious enough to triumph over persecution, it
becomes itself an orthodoxy; and when a religion has become
an orthodoxy, its day of inwardness is over: the spring is dry;
the faithful live at second hand exclusively and stone the prophets
in their turn.
-- The Varieties of Religious Experience
For a successful technology, reality must take prededence over
public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
-- Report on the Challenger Disaster.
Richard P. Feynman,
This leads to the paradox that the more original a discovery the
more obvious it seems afterwords. The creative act is not an act
of creation in the sense of the Old Testament. It does not create
something out of nothing; it uncovers, selects, re-shuffles,
combines, synthesizes already existing facts, faculties, skills.
The more familiar the parts, the more striking the new whole.
Excellent work is the product of EXCESSIVE revision.
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me - and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.
-- Pastor Martin Niemöller
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no
unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for
the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary
lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not
that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid
all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that
ever word tell.
-- The Elements of Style
W. Strunk and E.B. White
If you can see the bandwagon, it is already too late.
Engineer is a man who can do for a dime what any fool can
do for a dollar.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.
-- J. Addison
I have often pondered over the roles of knowledge or experience, on the
one hand, and imagination or intuition, on the other, in the process of discovery.
I believe that there is a certain fundamental conflict between the two, and
knowledge, by advocating caution, tends to inhibit the flight of imagination.
Therefore, a certain naivete, unburdened by conventional wisdom, can sometimes
be a positive asset.
-- Harish Chandra (Mathematician)
Quoted in R Langlands, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 31 (1985) 197 - 225.
If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged,
because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward
-- Thomas Edison (but see the next quote)
His [Edison's] method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered
to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost
a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation
would have saved him 90% of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book
learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's
instinct and practical american sense.
-- Nikola Tesla (referring to Edison; singificant mutual personal enmity existing between the two)
Ultimately one has to teach oneself.
-- David Plaisted
If we knew the future, it will be here now.
-- Frank Harary
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
-- Statement found on most financial literature
If you want to get something done, find a busy man.
Confidence is knowing what to do when things go wrong.
The three most important things in programming: notation, notation,
(with apologies to all real estate agents)