The Quotation Collection -

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There are 641 quotations here. "Verified" denotes quotations that I have personally seen myself and copied verbatim from the original source or a trustworthy source. The "unverified" section is a jumbled mix of things I've seen on the Internet and quotations that I have personally seen myself, but have since forgotten where I saw them. (It is a relic of an earlier era of poor organization.) Some highly questionable quotations are marked by asterisks. The numbers attached to quotes mean nothing and will change without warning. I do not edit the content of the quotations I collect in any way other than snipping relevant passages and marking them as such, or explaining things in [brackets]; on rare occasions I Americanize spelling and have to change double quotations to single quotations. Also, occasionally I de-mutate literal strings and move commas outside. Emphasis is always from the original author.

    Verified Quotations

    Isaac Asimov Quotations

  1. "One of Walt Whitman's best-known poems is this one: When I heard the learn'd astronomer,.... The trouble is, Whitman is talking through his hat, but the poor soul didn't know any better" - Isaac Asimov, "Science and Beauty"

  2. "Self-education is a continuing source of pleasure to me, for the more I know, the fuller my life is and the better I appreciate my own existence" - Isaac Asimov, "My Favorite Writing"

  3. "Theories are not so much wrong as incomplete" - Isaac Asimov, "The Relativity of Wrong"

  4. "Scientists expect to be improved on and corrected; they hope to be" - Isaac Asimov, "The Blind Who Would Lead"

  5. "Computerization eliminates the middleman" - Isaac Asimov, "Technophobia"

  6. "When I say I am glad that I live in a century when the Universe is essentially understood, I think I am justified" - Isaac Asmiov, "The Relativity of Wrong"

  7. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." "When, however, the lay public rallies around an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion - the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right." - Arthur C. Clarke's First Law and Isaac Asimov's Corollary

  8. "Many adults, whether consciously or unconsciously, find it beneath their adult dignity to do anything as childish as read a book, think a thought, or get an idea. Adults are rarely embarrased at having forgotten what little algebra or geography they once learned" - Isaac Asimov, "His Own Particular Drummer"

  9. "Tens of millions of Americans who neither know or understand the actual arguments for, or even against, evolution, march in the Army of the Night with their Bibles held high" - Isaac Asimov, "The Army of the Night"

  10. "You have created a new world among the three of you. I congratulate you. Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone, and may each of you fry in hell forever" - Isaac Asimov, "The Dead Past" (spoken by a character)

  11. "In theory, there is nothing the computer can do that the human mind can not do. The computer merely takes a finite amount of data and performs a finite number of operations upon them. The human mind can duplicate the process" - Isaac Asimov, "The Feeling of Power" (spoken by a character)

  12. "Nine times seven, thought Shuman with deep satisfaction, is sixty-three, and I don't need a computer to tell me so. The computer is in my own head. And it was amazing the feeling of power that gave him" - Isaac Asimov, "The Feeling of Power"

  13. "It took me thirty-six years; and, in some fifty stories, ranging in length from short-shorts to novels, I think I must have touched, in one way or another, on every aspect of computers and computerization. And (mark this!) I did it without ever knowing anything at all about computers in any real sense. To this day, I don't. I am totally inept with machinery... on my typewriter I turn out books at the contemptible rate of one a month" - Isaac Asimov, "I Am a Signpost"

  14. "Inspect every piece of psuedoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold" - Isaac Asimov, 1986

  15. "The Iranians are Moslems and the Iraqi are Moslems. Both are certain that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet and believe it with all their hearts. And yet, at the moment, Iraq doesn't trust Iran worth a damn, and Iran trusts Iraq even less than that. In fact, Iran is convinced that Iraq is in the pay of the Great Satan (that's God-fearing America, in case you've forgotten) and Iraq counters with the accusation that it is Iran who is in the pay of the Great Satan. Neither side is accusing the Godless Soviets of anything, which is a puzzle" - Isaac Asimov, "The Reagan Doctrine"

  16. "What do you call that nice, shiny white metal they use to make sidings and airplanes out of? Aluminum, right? Aluminum, pronounced 'uh-LOO-mih-num', right? Anybody knows that! But do you know how the British spell it? 'Aluminium', pronounced 'Al-yoo-MIH-nee-um'. Ever hear anything so ridiculous? The French and Germans spell it 'aluminium', too, but they're foreigners who don't speak Earth-standard. You'd think the British, however, using our language, would be more careful" - Isaac Asimov, "The Mispronounced Metal"

  17. "The important prediction is not the automobile, but the parking problem; not radio, but the soap opera; not the income tax, but the expense account; not the Bomb, but the nuclear stalemate" - Isaac Asimov, "Future? Tense!"

  18. "You see, I had my books. I would rather read" - Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

  19. "Plate glass... has no beauty of its own. Ideally, you ought not to be able to see it at all, but through it you can see all that is happening outside. That is the equivalent of writing that is plain and unadorned. Ideally, in reading such writing, you are not even aware that you are reading. Ideas and events seem merely to flow from the mind of the writer into that of the reader without any barrier between. I hope that is what is happening when you read this book" - Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

  20. "I even got a letter from a young woman in British Columbia that began as follows: 'Today I am eighteen. I am sitting at the window, looking out at the rain, and thinking how much I love you.'" - Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

  21. "I don't expect to live forever, nor do I repine over that, but I am weak enough to want to be remembered forever. - Yet how few of those who have lived, even of those who have accomplished far more than I have, linger on in world memory for even a single century after death" - Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov

    Richard Dawkins Quotations

  22. "For some reason, many people take grave political offense at the suggestion that some individuals are genetically cleverer than others. But this must have been the case when our brains were evolving, and there is no reason to expect that facts will suddenly change to accomodate political sensibilities" - Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

  23. "And no, reason and logic are not masculine instruments of oppression. To suggest that they are is an insult to women" - Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

  24. "[The Internet] is by far the most important innovation in the media in my lifetime. It's like having a huge encyclopedia permanently available. There's a tremendous amount of rubbish on the world wide web, but retrieval of what you want to so rapid that it doesn't really matter" - Richard Dawkins

  25. "Statisticians distinguish false positive from false negative errors, sometimes called type 1 and type 2 errors respectively.... There is a type 3 error in which your mind goes totally blank whenever you try to remember which is which of type 1 and type 2" - Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

  26. "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born" - Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

  27. "Words are our servants, not our masters" - Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker

    Albert Einstein Quotations

  28. "It would be better if you begin to teach others only after you yourself have learned something" - Albert Einstein, in a letter to Arthur Cohen, age 12, who submitted a paper to Einstein

  29. "That little word 'we' I mistrust and here's why:
    No man of another can say, 'He is I.'
    Behind all agreement lies something amiss
    All seeming accord cloaks a lurking abyss." - Albert Einstein

  30. "To punish me for my contempt for authority, Fate made me an authority myself" - Albert Einstein

  31. "Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated" - Albert Einstein

  32. "I never worry about the future. It comes soon enough" - Albert Einstein

  33. "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

  34. "All my life I have dealt with objective matters; hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions" - Albert Einstein

  35. "It is quite curious, even abnormal, that with your superficial knowledge about the subject you are so confident of your judgment. I regret that I cannot spare the time to occupy myself with dilettantes" - Albert Einstein, in a letter to dentist G. Lebau, who claimed he had a better theory of relativity

  36. "To me it is enough to wonder at the secrets" - Albert Einstein

  37. "When I was young, all I wanted and expected from life was to sit quietly in some corner doing my work without the public paying attention to me. And now see what has become of me" - Albert Einstein

  38. "[Max Planck] was one of the finest people I have ever known... but he really didn't understand physics, [because] during the eclipse of 1919 he stayed up all night to see if it would confirm the bending of light by the gravitational field. If he had really understood [general relativity], he would have gone to bed the way I did" - Albert Einstein

  39. "One can't teach a cat not to catch birds" - Albert Einstein

  40. "The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one" - Albert Einstein

  41. "The state is made for man, not man for the state.... That is to say, the state should be our servant and not we its slaves" - Albert Einstein

  42. "Concern for man himself must always constitute the chief objective of all technological effort" - Albert Einstein

  43. "Science will stagnate if it is made to serve practical goals" - Albert Einstein

  44. "I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity" - Albert Einstein

  45. "The important thing is not to stop questioning" - Albert Einstein

    G. H. Hardy Quotations

  46. "Good work is not done by 'humble' men" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  47. "Most people can do nothing at all well" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  48. "No mathematician should ever allow himself to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  49. "I do not know an instance of a major mathematical advance initiated by a man past fifty" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  50. "As history proves abundantly, mathematical achievement, whatever its intrinsic worth, is the most enduring of all" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  51. "317 is a prime, not because we think so, or because our minds are shaped in one way rather than another, but because it is so, because mathematical reality is built that way" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  52. "Bombs are probably more merciful than bayonets" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  53. "The case for my life... is this: that I have added something to knowledge, and helped others to add more" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  54. "Pure mathematics is on the whole distinctly more useful than applied. For what is useful above all is technique, and mathematical technique is taught mainly through pure mathematics" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

  55. "Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. 'Immortality' may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean" - G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

    Eric Hobsbawm Quotations

  56. "It is one of the ironies of this strange century that the most lasting results of the October revolution, whose object was the global overthrow of capitalism, was to save its antagonist, both in war and in peace - that is to say, by providing it with the incentive, fear, to reform itself after the Second World War, and, by establishing the popularity of economic planning, furnishing it with some of the procedures for its reform" - Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes

  57. "The most lasting and universal consequence of the French revolution is the metric system" - Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes

  58. "Telephone and telegraph were better means of communication than the holy man's telepathy" - Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes

  59. "N. S. Khrushchev established his supremacy in the U.S.S.R. after post-Stalinist alarums and excursions (1958-64). This admirable rough diamond, a believer in reform and peaceful coexistence, who incidentally emptied Stalin's concentration camps, dominated the international scene in the next few years. He was also perhaps the only peasant boy ever to rule a major state" - Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes

    Nikita Khrushchev Quotations

  60. "The United States now sleeps under a Soviet moon" - Nikita Khrushchev

  61. "Just imagine: I, a Premier, a Soviet representative, when I came here to this city, I was given a plan - a program of what I was to be shown and whom I was to meet here. But just now, I was told that I could not go to Disneyland. I asked, 'Why not?' What is it, do you have rocket-launching pads there? I do not know" - Nikita Khrushchev

  62. "We took great care never to offend China until the Chinese actually started to crucify us. And when they did start to crucify us - well, I'm no Jesus Christ, and I didn't have to turn the other cheek" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  63. "Comrade Mao Tse-tung, nowadays that sort of thinking is out of date. You can no longer calculate the alignment of forces on the basis of who has the most men. Back in the days when a dispute was settled with fists or bayonets, it made a difference who had the most men and the most bayonets on each side. Then when the machine gun appeared, the side with more troops no longer necessarily had the advantage. And now with the atomic bomb, the number of troops on each side makes practically no difference to the alignment of real power and the outcome of a war. The more troops on a side, the more bomb fodder" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  64. "For centuries, people have been droning, 'Lord, have mercy upon us; Lord, help us and protect us'. And have all the prayers helped? Of course not. But people are set in their ways and continue to believe in God despite all the evidence to the contrary" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  65. "[Comrade Mao Tse-tung] mentioned that there are no foreign words in the Chinese language. 'All the rest of the world uses the word 'electricity,'' he boasted. 'They've borrowed the word from English. But we Chinese have our own word for it!'" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  66. "[Comrade Mao Tse-tung] was right to remove epaulets from Chinese army uniforms. I think it was a mistake on our part when we put epaulets and stripes back onto our own military uniforms. Who the hell needs them? We won the Civil war, and I didn't have any epaulets or stripes even though I held the rank of commissar.... Back in those days we were able to crush our enemies without epaulets. Nowadays our military men are all dressed up like canaries" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  67. "There you have it. That's the substance of my viewpoint, and I think it has some merit. My time has already come and gone. There's nothing I can do now but share my experience with anyone who cares to listen and hope that somebody pays attention" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  68. "We were simply trying to remind other countries that we were powerful and deserved respect, and that we wouldn't tolerate being talked to in the language of ultimatums" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  69. "Any fool can start a war, and once he's done so, even the wisest of men are helpless to stop it - especially if it's a nuclear war" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  70. "We must make sure that we don't allow ourselves to get involved in a lot of senseless competition with the West over military spending.... We will be exhausting our material resources without raising the living standard of our people" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers

  71. "Republican, Democrat - there's not that much difference" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament

  72. "I arrived on schedule and found myself in a fairly big room filled with people... Some looked like typical capitalists, right out of the posters painted during our Civil War - only they didn't have the pigs' snouts our artists always gave them" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament

  73. "We're satisfied to be able to finish off the US the first time around. Once is quite enough. What good does it do to annihilate a country twice?" - Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament

    John Naughton Quotations

  74. "To say that Sputnik gave rise to some concern in the United States would be the understatement of the century. The truth is that the US went apeshit" - John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future

  75. "A paradigm is a powerful theoretical and methodological framework which defines the working lives of thousands of intelligent and disciplined minds. And paradigms do not attract the loyalty of such minds unless they 'work'. One of the first things a graduate student learns is that if there is a discrepancy between the paradigm and what he or she has discovered, then the automatic assumption is that the paradigm is right and the student wrong. Just as a good workman never blames his tools, so the diligent student never blames his paradigm" - John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future

  76. "Elegance? It may seem odd to non-scientists, but there is an aesthetic in software as there is in every other area of intellectual endeavour. Truly great programmers are like great poets or great mathematicians - they can achieve in a few lines what lesser mortals can only approach in three volumes" - John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future

  77. "Computer programmers tend, by and large, to be quirky and highly individualistic. Trying to organize or manage such awkward characters is normally as thankless as herding cats" - John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future

  78. "I got fed up dealing with politicians and businessmen who think the Net is some kind of pipe down which stuff can be pumped at kids (who are seen, incidentally, as empty vessels to be 'filled'). So I started saying to them "Look, it isn't a pipe, it's a beanstalk up which children climb, like Jack in the fairy tale, into other worlds". It was worth it just to see the look of incomprehension on their faces" - John Naughton

    Charles Petzold Quotations

  79. "In some far-off distant time, when the twentieth century history of primitive computing is just a murky memory, someone is likely to suppose that devices known as logic gates were named after the famous co-founder of Microsoft Corporation" - Charles Petzold, Code

  80. "The human species is often amazingly inventive and industrious but at the same time profoundly lazy. It's very clear that we humans don't like to work. This aversion to work is so extreme - and our ingenuity so acute - that we're eager to devote countless hours designing and building devices that might shave a few minutes off our workday" - Charles Petzold, Code

  81. "NOP stands for (and is pronounced) no op, as in no operation. The NOP causes the processor to do absolutely nothing. What's it good for? Filling space. The 8080 can usually execute a bunch of NOP instructions without anything bad happening" - Charles Petzold, Code

  82. "Programming in machine code is like eating with a toothpick" - Charles Petzold, Code

    Carl Sagan Quotations

  83. "Ignorance feeds on ignorance. Science phobia is contagious" - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

  84. "Keeping an open mind is a virtue - but as the space engineer James Oberg once said, not so open that your brains fall out" - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

  85. "We seek meaning, even in random numbers" - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

  86. "God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it" - Carl Sagan, Contact (spoken by a character)

  87. "Fortunately for American molecular biology, the fundamentalists were not as influential in the United States as Stalin had been in the Soviet Union" - Carl Sagan, Contact

  88. "Not all bits have equal value" - Carl Sagan, Cosmos

  89. "If you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from the worthless ones" - Carl Sagan, "The Burden of Skepticism" (Pasadena lecture, 1987)

    J.R.R. Tolkien Quotations

  90. "Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  91. "Hard as di'monds, soft as moonlight. Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars" - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, spoken by Sam of the Lady of Lorien, Galadriel

  92. "'And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!.... All shall love me and despair!'
    She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.
    'I pass the test,' she said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.'" - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  93. "Then Legolas repaid his promise to Gimli and went with him to the Glittering Caves; and when they returned he was silent, and would say only that Gimli alone could find fit words to speak of them. 'And never before has a Dwarf claimed a victory over an Elf in a contest of words,' said he" - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

  94. "[King Finrod] Felagund strove with Sauron in songs of power, and the power of the King was very great; but Sauron had the mastery, as is told in the Lay of Leithian:

    He chanted a song of wizardry,
    Of piercing, opening, of treachery,
    Revealing, uncovering, betraying.
    Then sudden Felagund there swaying
    Sang in answer a song of staying,
    Resisting, battling against power,
    Of secrets kept, strength like a tower,
    And trust unbroken, freedom, escape;
    Of changing and of shifting shape,
    Of snares eluded, broken traps,
    The prison opening, the chain that snaps.

    Backwards and forwards swayed their song.
    Reeling and foundering, as ever more strong
    The chanting swelled, Felagund fought,
    And all the magic and might he brought
    Of Elvenesse into his words.
    Softly in the gloom they heard the birds
    Singing afar in Nargothrond,
    The sighing of the Sea beyond,
    Beyond the western world, on sand,
    On sand of pearls in Elvenland.

    Then the gloom gathered; darkness growing
    In Valinor, the red blood flowing
    Beside the Sea, where the Noldor slew
    The Foamriders, and stealing drew
    Their white ships with their white sails
    From lamplit havens. The wind wails,
    The wolf howls. The ravens flee.
    The ice mutters in the mouths of the Sea.
    The captives sad in Angband mourn.
    Thunder rumbles, the fires burn -
    And Finrod fell before the throne.
    " - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

  95. "Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life" - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, spoken by Gandalf

    Dmitri Volkogonov Quotations

  96. "All revolutions are bloody. The October Revolution was bloodless, but it was only the beginning" - Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky

  97. "Dogmatism grew from the soil of simplistic and frequently wrong concepts. Dogmatism is like a ship that has run aground: the waves run, the ship stays put, but the impression of movement persists" - Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy

  98. "We rarely know who our ancestors were. Who can even remember the names of their great-grandparents? They have vanished into the dim and distant past" - Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy

  99. "The man who occupies the first place in an undemocratic state can give himself any award that takes his fancy, but it does not increase his authority - rather, the contrary. This was something Brezhnev and Chernenko did not understand. In all, Stalin had about as many decorations as, say, Mekhlis, and four or five times fewer than Brezhnev" - Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy

  100. "These myths, which became the basis of the whole of social life, boiled down to two simple propositions. First, the leader of the party and the nation is a wise man in the highest degree. The force of his intellect is capable of answering all questions about the past, understanding the present, and peering into the future: 'Stalin is the Lenin of today'. Secondly, the leader of the party and the nation is the total embodiment of absolute good and he cares for every person. He repudiates evil, ignorance, treachery, cruelty. He is that smiling man with the moustache who is carrying the little girl waving the flag" - Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy

    John Walker Quotations

  101. "Humans may have a limitless ability to ignore unpleasant facts, but we're also able to endure truly awful realities: high school, boot camp, root canals, going public, life - as long as we know it's only for a while and we'll never have to do it again" - John Walker, The Hacker's Diet

  102. "There aren't many times in human history that you can draw a straight line on semi-log paper over forty years, and have that trend continue" - John Walker, March 26, 1992 interview with MicroTimes

  103. "I grew up as a UNIVAC mainframe programmer. I worked from 1967 through 1978, and actually I did consulting into the '80s, on machines that ran programs that were compiled in 1963. Think about that. Basically children running code that was compiled by their fathers" - John Walker, March 26, 1992 interview with MicroTimes

  104. "Maintenance programmers recognize that someday they're going to retire and their children will be maintenance programmers, who are going to have to inherit this thing" - John Walker, March 26, 1992 interview with MicroTimes

  105. "Until the advent of mechanical, electrical, and electronic computers in the twentieth century, any computation or information processing required the attention of a human being and necessarily proceeded at the pace a human could work" - John Walker

  106. "Never invest in something that violates a conservation law" - John Walker

  107. "You can't persuade somebody to be rational. You're better off trying to out-stubborn a cat" - John Walker, The Hacker's Diet

    James Watson Quotations

  108. "I think that because of the way people feel about genetics, it's rather important that all the information be in the public domain" - Dr. James Watson, PBS interview aired June 2000

  109. "The genome wasn't an American product" - Dr. James Watson, PBS interview aired June 2000

  110. "I think science can improve human life. I'm an optimist, and want to use it" - Dr. James Watson, PBS interview aired June 2000

  111. "Miracles are worked by people like Jonas Salk" - Dr. James Watson, PBS interview aired June 2000

    USENET Quotations

  112. "I have developed an encryption software package that I can best describe as a ONE-TIME-PAD GENERATOR." "Is it time for another one of these already? Oh, bother." - Anthony Stephen Szopa's post and Bruce Schneier's response, sci.crypt

  113. "If you could ask that question more precisely, you probably wouldn't be interested in the answer anymore" - Chris Hillman

  114. "Yes, there are many ways to keep a secret. However, nature gives up her secrets if you just ask the right questions" - Jim Carr, sci.physics

  115. "It is the US that often engages in pointless technological overkill. For example, we spend millions of dollars on warning systems to prevent fighter pilots from flying too fast. The Russians paint a red line on the airspeed indicator and tell the pilots if they exceed it the wings will fall off" - David Sternlight, sci.crypt

  116. "I read science fiction because it's not about the mundane, ordinary problems that we face every day. I read science fiction because I want to argue humanity's case before a galactic tribunal. I read science fiction because I want to battle hideous creatures beneath the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I read science fiction because I want to go on a covert mission inside the city of the alien beings who hold humanity in thrall. I read science fiction because, well, hexapodia is the key insight" - Pete McCutchen, rec.arts.sf.written, Oct. 21, 2000

    Visions of Technology Quotations

  117. "I interviewed [Theodore H.] Maiman for the National Geographic at his oceanside condominium in Marina Del Ray, California, in 1988. When I asked him if he had donated his original laser to the Smithsonian, he told me that the Institution had gone to Hughes [Research Laboratories] for it instead of asking him. They thought they had it, he said wryly, but Hughes had unknowingly given them the second model. He still had the original; did I want to see it? I did. From a dining-room cabinet he removed an aluminum case, opened it to a coil of flashlamp and a silver-ended artificial ruby the size of a cigarette filter. I lifted the ruby between two fingers and marveled" - Richard Rhodes, Visions of Technology

  118. "On the day when two armies will be able to annihilate each other in one second all civilized nations will recoil from war in horror and disband their forces" - Alfred Nobel

  119. "To lift farm drudgery off flesh and blood and lay it on steel and motors has been my most constant ambition" - Henry Ford

  120. "What we are entering is a power age, and the importance of the power age lies in its ability, rightly used with the wage motive behind it, to increase and cheapen production so that all of us may have more of this world's goods. The way to liberty, the way to equality of opportunity, the way from empty phrases to actualities, lies through power" - Henry Ford

  121. "If the men of the Middle Ages... lived in filth and discomfort, it was not for any lack of ability to change their mode of life; it was because they chose to live this way, because filth and discomfort fitted in with their principles and prejudices, political, moral, and religious.... It was in the power of medieval... craftsmen to create armchairs and sofas that might have rivaled in comfort those of today" - Aldous Huxley

  122. "Technological civilization... rests fundamentally on power-driven machinery which transcends the physical limits of its human directors, multiplying indefinitely the capacity for the production of goods. Science in all its branches - physics, chemistry, biology, and psychology - is the servant and upholder of this system" - Charles A. Beard

  123. "Science Finds - Industry Applies - Man Conforms" - Motto of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair

  124. "A banker once defined invention as that which makes his securities insecure" - U.S. National Resources Science Committee, 1937

  125. "It is not possible to be a scientist unless you believe that it is good to learn... that it is of the highest value to share your knowledge... with anyone who is interested... that the knowledge of the world, and the power which this gives, is a thing which is of intrinsic value to humanity" - J. Robert Oppenheimer

  126. "If warfare is to consist of a few teams of professors pushing buttons, why have an Army and Navy at all?" - 1945 Life magazine editorial

  127. "Technology is nothing if not liberating" - Emmanuel G. Mesthene

  128. "Put the park rangers to work. Lazy scheming loafers, they've wasted too many years selling tickets at toll booths and sitting behind desks filling out charts and tables" - Edward Abbey

  129. "The nuclear arms race is finally over. [It] raged with full fury for only twenty years, the 1940s and 1950s. Then it petered out slowly for the next thirty years, in three stages.... Nuclear weapons... ceased to be a scientific challenge... ceased to give a military advantage to their owners in real-world conflicts. The political race petered out in the 1980s, after it became clear to all concerned that massive nuclear weapons industries were environmentally and economically disastrous.... Arms control treaties were concluded at each stage... The atmospheric test ban ratified the end of the science race, the ABM and SALT treaties ratified the end of the military race, and the START treaties ratified the end of the political race" - Freeman Dyson

    Computer Quotations

  130. "This is the Information Age not only because data processing is so common but because it is increasingly possible to cast all problems as matters of data manipulation - to see the world as a frenzy of bits waiting to be tamed" - John Rennie, Editor in Chief, Scientific American Special Issue: The Solid-State Century

  131. "May no computer ever be idle again" - Adam L. Beberg

  132. "All that computational power was just too tempting for me" - Aaron Blosser (describing using 3000 US West computers to search for Mersenne primes)

  133. "Information is liberating" - Kofi Annan

  134. "And finally, after this long and strange trip down the 3D graphics pipeline, what was a mass of vertices has been converted into the 3D scene we see, which, if we're moving along at 60fps, will be on screen for all of about 17 milliseconds. During its short time in the limelight, the next frame of animation is being transformed, lit, culled, clipped, projected, shaded, textured, fogged, alpha and depth tested, and ultimately, page-flipped onto the screen where it too will enjoy a fleeting 17ms of glory before yet another frame of animation will take its place" - Dave Salvator, "3D Pipeline Part III",

  135. "Our web server,, has been pretty unresponsive today. I ran an analysis of our access logs, and found that, of the 12G of data served between 5pm yesterday and 12:30pm today, 88% of it is from your account, and about 88% of it is .png files. The detailed breakdowns show that it's pretty much all from your Geforce 3 screenshots page" - Erich Schneider, Caltech Information Technology Services, E-mail to Stephan T. Lavavej

  136. "Advances in mathematical logic and physics gave rise in the last century to the new discipline of Computer Science. What gives this discipline its vigor is that any physical device that is reliable enough, or any axiomatic system that is rich enough, to allow repeated combination of elementary operations has an inherent potential for vast complexity. This inescapable complexity is the universal and unifying theme for computational systems in all of their guises: mathematical, electronic, mechanical or chemical. It can be a force to be harnessed or an obstacle to be surmounted. As a phenomenon, it was almost unheralded in human thought before Cantor's work of the late nineteenth century. Since the 1940s and 50s, theoretical and practical progress in Computer Science, as both a mathematical and an engineering discipline, has been dramatic and has wrought fundamental changes in the infrastructure of our society. The computational and communication capabilities in devices all about us are the more obvious signs of this transformation. These have been accompanied by manifestations of the deeper theory, such as the inescapable susceptibility of programs to faults or the aptly named computer viruses" - Dr. Steven E. Koonin

  137. "The products of human creativity grow only arithmetically, whereas the capacity to store and distribute them increases geometrically. The human imagination can't keep up" - Brian Hayes, "Terabyte Territory", American Scientist, May-June 2002

  138. "Narrowness of experience leads to narrowness of imagination" - Rob Pike, "Systems Software Research Is Irrelevant"

  139. "Cleverness is evil; use it only when necessary" - Marshall Cline, Greg Lomow, and Mike Girou, C++ FAQs, Second Edition

  140. "The only software that doesn't have to be changed is software no one uses" - Marshall Cline, Greg Lomow, and Mike Girou, C++ FAQs, Second Edition

  141. "Linux is only free if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski

  142. "The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers" - Richard W. Hamming

    Computer Quotations: Hardware

  143. "We have called it the Transistor, T-R-A-N-S-I-S-T-O-R, because it is a resistor or semiconductor device which can amplify electrical signals as they are transferred through it from input to output terminals. It is, if you will, the electrical equivalent of a vacuum tube amplifier. But there the similarity ceases. It has no vacuum, no filament, no glass tube. It is composed entirely of cold, solid substances. This cylindrical object which I am holding up is a Transistor. Although it is a little bitty thing, it can... do just about everything a vacuum tube can do, and some unique things which a vacuum tube cannot do" - Ralph Bown

  144. "With the advent of the transistor and the work in semiconductors generally, it seems now possible to envisage electronic equipment in a solid block with no connecting wires. The block may consist of layers of insulating, conducting, rectifying, and amplifying materials, the electrical functions being connected directly by cutting out areas of the various layers" - Geoffrey Dummer, May 1952

  145. "Imagine a dream machine... raw video, plenty of it... autoscroll text, a full 16 lines of 64 characters... imagine Zaltair, available now... you can test the entire memory with the MEMTEST statement... A computer engineer's dream... even the 18-slot motherboard. And what a motherboard" - Stephen Wozniak in a joke 1977 ad

  146. "Like iron in 19th-century rails, silicon in 20th-century microchips has transformed society" - Technology Review May/June 2000 issue

  147. "The microprocessor has brought electronics into a new era. It is altering the structure of our society" - Robert Noyce and Marcian Hoff, Jr., "History of Microprocessor Development at Intel", IEEE Micro

  148. "By making things smaller, everything gets better simultaneously.... the cost of doing things electronically drops as a result of technology.... We have made of the order of a ten millionfold decrease in the cost of a transistor and thrown in all the interconnections free" - Gordon E. Moore

  149. "The display is the computer" - Jen-Hsun Huang, Founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation

  150. "Soon, computers will be fast" - Billy Zelsnack

    Computer Quotations: Real Programmers

  151. "Back in the Good Old Days,
    when the term 'software' sounded funny
    and Real Computers were made out of drums and vacuum tubes,
    Real Programmers wrote in machine code.
    Not FORTRAN. Not RATFOR. Not, even, assembly language.
    Machine Code.
    Raw, unadorned, inscrutable hexadecimal numbers.
    Directly." - Ed Nather, in a May 21, 1983 USENET post

  152. "I have often felt that programming is an art form,
    whose real value can only be appreciated
    by another versed in the same arcane art;
    there are lovely gems and brilliant coups
    hidden from human view and admiration, sometimes forever,
    by the very nature of the process.
    You can learn a lot about an individual
    just by reading through his code,
    even in hexadecimal." - Ed Nather in a May 21, 1983 USENET post

  153. "If you can't do it in Fortran, do it in assembly language. If you can't do it in assembly language, it isn't worth doing" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  154. "Real Programmers aren't afraid to use GOTOs. Real Programmers can write five page long DO loops without getting confused. Real Programmers like Arithmetic IF statements - they make the code more interesting. Real Programmers write self-modifying code, especially if they can save 20 nanoseconds in the middle of a tight loop. Real Programmers don't need comments - the code is obvious" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  155. "Since Fortran doesn't have a structured IF, REPEAT ... UNTIL, or CASE statement, Real Programmers don't have to worry about not using them. Besides, they can be simulated when necessary using assigned GOTOs" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  156. "As all Real Programmers know, the only useful data structure is the Array. Strings, Lists, Structures, Sets - these are all special cases of arrays and can be treated that way just as easily without messing up your programming language with all sorts of complications" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  157. "No, your Real Programmer uses OS/370. A good programmer can find and understand the description of the IJK305I error he just got in his JCL manual. A great programmer can write JCL without referring to the manual at all. A truly outstanding programmer can find bugs buried in a 6 megabyte core dump without using a hex calculator. (I have actually seen this done.)" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  158. "The Real Programmer wants a 'you asked for it, you got it' text editor - complicated, cryptic, powerful, unforgiving, dangerous. TECO, to be precise. It has been observed that a TECO command sequence more closely resembles transmission line noise than readable text" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  159. "Oh sure, some computer vendors have come out with Fortran 77 compilers, but every one of them has a way of converting itself back into a Fortran 66 compiler at the drop of an option card - to compile DO loops like God meant them to be" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

  160. "If you ignore the fact that it's 'structured', even 'C' programming can be appreciated by the Real Programmer: after all, there's no type checking, variable names are seven (ten? eight?) characters long, and the added bonus of the Pointer data type is thrown in - like having the best parts of Fortran and assembly language in one place. (Not to mention some of the more creative uses for #define.)" - Ed Post, "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", a letter to the editor of Datamation, vol. 29, #7, July 1983

    Computer Quotations: Thought

  161. "Computation takes [an] input, applies a finite number of well defined operations to it, and gives an output. Thought takes an input, applies a finite number of poorly defined operations to it, and gives an output. In both cases the output will be incomprehensible to the general public" - Jeffrey Gauch, sci.physics

  162. "The easiest programs to use are those which demand the least new learning from the user" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  163. "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do" - B. F. Skinner

  164. "Mankind is a catalyzing enzyme for the transition from a carbon-based to a silicon-based intelligence" - Gerard Bricogne

    Computer Quotations: Programming

  165. "In college, before video games, we would amuse ourselves by posing programming exercises. One of the favorites was to write the shortest self-reproducing program. Since this is an exercise divorced from reality, the usual vehicle was FORTRAN. Actually, FORTRAN was the language of choice for the same reason that three-legged races are popular" - Ken Thompson, "Reflections on Trusting Trust"

  166. "The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense" - Edsger W. Dijkstra, "Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective"

  167. "You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself" - Ken Thompson, "Reflections on Trusting Trust"

  168. "With diligence it is possible to make anything run slowly" - Tom Duff

  169. "The answer to the almost limitless problems of DLLs is obvious: Don't use them. Wherever possible, use static linking. Imagine the benefits. Some other developer's boneheaded installation or poorly designed updated DLL will not break your application. Your application won't fail because a component is missing, or because a registry setting has been lost or modified incorrectly. Your application won't behave differently depending on the applications already loaded, as a DLL-based application can if another application has already loaded a different copy of one of its components. Your installation will be exceptionally simple, and an uninstall will be just as easy. I should warn you of one small hassle if you try DLL-free development. Your users won't believe that there is only one file to install" - Tim Pfeiffer, "Windows DLLs: Threat or Menace?", Dr. Dobb's Journal, June 24, 1998

  170. "I can't think of a job I'd rather do than computer programming. All day, you create patterns and structure out of the formless void, and you solve dozens of smaller puzzles along the way. The wit and ingenuity of the human brain is pitted against the remorseless speed and accuracy of the electronic one" - Peter van der Linden, Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets

  171. "Software is largely a service industry operating under the persistent but unfounded delusion that it is a manufacturing industry" - Eric S. Raymond, "The Magic Cauldron"

  172. "The OO design concept initially proved valuable in the design of graphics systems, graphical user interfaces, and certain kinds of simulation. To the surprise and gradual disillusionment of many, it has proved hard to demonstrate significant benefits of OO outside those areas. A decade later, inspection of open-source archives (in which choice of language reflects developers' judgements rather than corporate mandates) reveals that C++ is still very little used outside of GUI and multimedia toolkits. When all is said and done, C++ is basically just another conventional language. It confines the memory-management problem somewhat better than C does, but doesn't solve it. For many types of application its OO features are not significant, and simply add complexity to C without yielding much leverage. The world is not short of free C++ compilers; if C++ were unequivocally superior to C it would now dominate" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  173. "The Halo programmers have a small whiteboard in their area. Written on the board are the names of all the programmers. Any time one of them breaks something in the code and does not tell the others, that programmer earns a letter. In essence, they are playing a variant of the game 'horse', although the word they are spelling out letter by letter is much cruder than 'horse'. I believe one of them is up to 'K' now. I'm not entirely sure what happens to the [programmer] who completes the entire word, but if the word itself is any indication, it won't be pretty" - Matt Soell, Bungie Studios, Halo Update 1/26/2001

  174. "Complexity control is the central problem of writing software in the real world" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  175. "It is vitally important that the source code to an open source application be available, even if 99% of the people who download the program do not grab [the source]. The source code is far more important than the binary, since the binary can be produced from the source but not vice versa. This is one of the many reasons open source applications are preferable, why others should be encouraged to release source code, and yes, why Richard M. Stallman is not crazy" - Avery Lee

  176. "The penalty for putting an unsigned character in an Mcell of the improper type is... death" - Uche Akotaobi

  177. "Your quote here" - Bjarne Stroustrup

  178. "So much code is appallingly poor" - Bjarne Stroustrup

  179. "Java isn't platform independent; it is a platform" - Bjarne Stroustrup

  180. "Complexity assertions have to be part of the interface" - Alexander Stepanov, March 1995 interview, Dr. Dobb's Journal

  181. "I decided to use a dialect of Lisp called Scheme to build such a toolbox [of graph algorithms].... I realized during this activity that side effects are important, because you cannot really do graph operations without side effects. You cannot replicate a graph every time you want to modify a vertex. Therefore, the insight at that time was that you can combine high order techniques when building generic algorithms with disciplined use of side effects. Side effects are not necessarily bad; they are bad only when they are misused" - Alexander Stepanov, March 1995 interview, Dr. Dobb's Journal

  182. "Object-oriented programming aficionados think that everything is an object.... this [isn't] so. There are things that are objects. Things that have state and change their state are objects. And then there are things that are not objects. A binary search is not an object. It is an algorithm" - Alexander Stepanov, March 1995 interview, Dr. Dobb's Journal

  183. "I spent several months programming in Java. Contrary to its author's prediction, it did not grow on me. I did not find any new insights - for the first time in my life programming in a new language did not bring me new insights. It keeps all the stuff that I never use in C++ - inheritance, virtuals - OO gook - and removes the stuff that I find useful. It might be successful... but it has no intellectual value whatsoever" - Alexander Stepanov

  184. "Learning the fundamentals of a programming language is one thing; learning how to design and implement effective programs in that language is something else entirely. This is especially true of C++, a language boasting an uncommon range of power and expressiveness. Properly used, C++ can be a joy to work with. An enormous variety of designs can be directly expressed and efficiently implemented. A judiciously chosen and carefully crafted set of classes, functions, and templates can make application programming easy, intuitive, efficient, and nearly error-free. It isn't unduly difficult to write effective C++ programs, if you know how to do it. Used without discipline, however, C++ can lead to code that is incomprehensible, unmaintainable, inextensible, inefficient, and just plain wrong" - Scott Meyers, Effective C++, Third Edition

  185. "I spent years trying to find some use for inheritance and virtuals, before I understood why that mechanism was fundamentally flawed and should not be used" - Alexander Stepanov

  186. "There are only two kinds of programming languages: those people always bitch about and those nobody uses" - Bjarne Stroustrup

  187. "The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise" - Edsger W. Dijkstra, "The Humble Programmer", October 1972

  188. "Our civilization depends critically on software, and we have a dangerously low degree of professionalism in the computer fields" - Bjarne Stroustrup

  189. "When you said you wanted free software, you should have specified you wanted bug-free software" - Avery Lee

  190. "The technology is at the point that the speed and memory usage are much better than before, but it seems that every time a language is converted to garbage collection the first thing the language designers do is kill destructors. Sorry, my scoped lock class can't release a critical section in a finalizer called with random delay between zero and infinity" - Avery Lee

    Computer Quotations: Programming: Style

  191. "I don't like using my brain, and avoid doing so whenever possible. Overuse dulls a sharp blade" - Richard Heathfield, comp.lang.c

  192. "I find it easier to write code which does not depend on the arithmetic features of the machine. Such code is also easier to understand, being free of trickery that exploits the representation's properties" - Kaz Kylheku, comp.lang.c

  193. "The avoidance of delving [behind] the scenes is what makes a superior programmer. A programmer should be able to read an interface specification, and then code to that specification without overly speculating about the behavior behind a given implementation of it. This skill comes into play not only in using an abstract programming language, but in constructing large software decomposed into cohesive, loosely-coupled blackboxes. If you write one module such that it is dependent on what is going on behind the scenes of another module, you have committed a programming mistake, no matter how clever your solution is or how many cycles it shaves off the execution" - Kaz Kylheku, comp.lang.c

  194. "When in doubt, use brute force" - Ken Thompson

  195. "If you aren't sure which way to do something, do it both ways and see which works better" - John Carmack

  196. "The only way to write complex software that won't fall on its face is to hold its global complexity down - to build it out of simple pieces connected by well-defined interfaces, so that most problems are local and you can have some hope of fixing or optimizing a part without breaking the whole" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  197. "A software system is transparent when you can look at it and immediately see what is going on. It is simple when what is going on is uncomplicated enough for a human brain to reason about all the potential cases without strain" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  198. "Procedure names should reflect what they do; function names should reflect what they return" - Rob Pike, Notes on Programming in C

    Computer Quotations: C

  199. "You know, you cannot write production code as bad as this [Lisp code] in C" - Richard P. Gabriel, "Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big"

  200. "Unix and C are the ultimate computer viruses" - Richard P. Gabriel, "Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big"

  201. "Never eat at a place called 'Mom's'. Never play cards with a man called 'Doc'. And never, ever, forget that C treats an l-value of type array-of-T in an expression as a pointer to the first element of the array" - C programmers' saying (traditional), quoted by Peter van der Linden, Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets

  202. "You are in a maze of twisty compiler features, all different" - GNU C compiler source, version 1.34

  203. "Symbol: Static
    Meaning: Inside a function, retains its value between calls
    At the function level, visible only in this file
    .... You're probably wondering what possible reason there could be for re-using the static keyword with these wildly different meanings. If you find out, please let us know, too" - Peter van der Linden, Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets

  204. "Of course, C proved indispensible to the developers of all its alternatives. Dig down through enough implementation layers under any of the other languages surveyed here and you will find a core implemented in pure, portable C" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  205. "Early C had no separate operators for & and && or | and ||" - Dennis Ritchie, net.lang.c, Oct. 22, 1982

  206. "Those who claim 'C++ is a better C' are wrong" - Richard Heathfield, C Unleashed

  207. "I'm sure there's an effective drinking game lurking in this book [C: The Complete Reference by Herbert Schildt]" -

  208. "It wouldn't be a new C standard if it didn't give a new meaning to the word static" - Peter Seebach, C Unleashed

  209. "The main() function returns int.... If you void main() and you're writing code for a nuclear reactor or a military aircraft, you're probably feeling a little unsettled right now, and I don't blame you.... To be portable, you must return int from main and you must take either no arguments or the two specified by the standard" - Richard Heathfield, C Unleashed

  210. "Some people say that casts are so-named because they help something broken to limp along" - Peter van der Linden, Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets

  211. "Let's consider now why C is a great language. It is commonly believed that C is a hack which was successful because Unix was written in it. I disagree.... C, reflecting the genius of Dennis Ritchie, provided a minimal model of the computer that had evolved over 30 years. C was not a quick hack. As computers evolved to handle all kinds of problems, C, being the minimal model of such a computer, became a very powerful language to solve all kinds of problems in different domains very effectively. This is the secret of C's portability: it is the best representation of an abstract computer that we have. Of course, the abstraction is done over the set of real computers, not some imaginary computational devices. Moreover, people could understand the machine model behind C. It is much easier for an average engineer to understand the machine model behind C than the machine model behind Ada or even Scheme. C succeeded because it was doing the right thing" - Alexander Stepanov, March 1995 interview, Dr. Dobb's Journal

    Computer Quotations: Optimization

  212. "Today's mystery: I've found a case where adding a NOP instruction speeds up the code by 9%. Not just a small loop, the 9% speedup affects the entire 2nd pass of the FFT!" - George Woltman

  213. "As compelling as it is to try to make things go faster, remember that optimization should usually be the last stage of the development process, and generally should be subordinate to other software goals.... The worst time to optimize is the instant you start writing code.... the most premature optimization is the one you do without using a profiler or other measurement tool first" - Michael Lee, C Unleashed

  214. "As a general rule, 90% of your program will be spent in 10% of its code. Profilers are tools that help you identify the 10% 'hot spots' that constrain the speed of your program. This is a good thing for making it faster. But in the Unix tradition, profilers have a far more important function. They enable you not to optimize the other 90%! This is good, and not just because it saves you work. The really valuable effect is that not optimizing that 90% holds down global complexity and reduces bugs" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  215. "Prototype, then polish. Get it working before you optimize it" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  216. "Rushing to optimize before the bottlenecks are known may be the only error to have ruined more designs than feature creep. From tortured code to incomprehensible data layouts, the results of obsessing about speed or memory or disk usage at the expense of transparency and simplicity are everywhere. They spawn innumerable bugs and cost millions of man-hours - often, just to get marginal gains in the use of some resource much less expensive than debugging time" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  217. "Rule 1. You can't tell where a program is going to spend its time. Bottlenecks occur in surprising places, so don't try to second guess and put in a speed hack until you've proven that's where the bottleneck is" - Rob Pike, Notes on Programming in C

  218. "Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

  219. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" - Donald E. Knuth

    Computer Quotations: Bugs

  220. "Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent finding mistakes in my own programs" - Maurice Wilkes (creator of the EDSAC)

  221. "To paraphrase Mark Twain, the difference between the right program and almost the right program is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. The difference is just a bug" - Danny Hillis, The Pattern on the Stone

  222. "Bugs are an unintended source of inspiration. Many times I've seen a bug in a game and thought, 'That's cool - I wouldn't have thought of that in a million years'" - Will Wright


  224. "One guy in our office keeps a wooden head at the top of his cube - the God of Debugging. He makes offerings to it daily" - Maurice Doucet

  225. "Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?" - Brian W. Kernighan and P.J. Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style, Second Edition

  226. "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it" - Donald E. Knuth

  227. "The central problem of C and C++ is that they require programmers to do their own memory management" - Eric S. Raymond, The Art of Unix Programming

    Computer Quotations: Hackers

  228. "It is counter-intuitive to hackers to mutilate literal strings with characters that don't belong in them" - The Jargon File 4.3.1

  229. "There seems to be a meta-rule behind these nonstandard hackerisms to the effect that precision of expression is more important than conformance to traditional rules; where the latter create ambiguity or lose information they can be discarded without a second thought" - The Jargon File 4.3.1

  230. "It is widely grokked that cats have the hacker nature" - The Jargon File 4.3.1

  231. "Imperfect systems infuriate hackers, whose primal instinct is to debug them" - Steven Levy, Hackers

  232. "Multics... required a truly non-trivial hack before it bombed. So there'd always be macho programmers proving themselves by crashing Multics. [The Incompatible Time-sharing System] ITS, in contrast, had a command whose specific function was crashing the system. All you had to do was type KILL SYSTEM, and the PDP-6 would grind to a halt" - Steven Levy, Hackers

  233. "We were called computer nerds. Anyone who spends their life on a computer is pretty unusual" - Bill Gates

  234. "Writing good English is a rare skill among programmers" - Richard Stallman, "Free Software and Free Manuals",

  235. "Writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that's good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better" - Richard Stallman

  236. "Note to self: pasty-skinned programmers ought not stand out in the Mojave desert for multiple hours" - John Carmack

    Computer Quotations: The Internet

  237. "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" - John Gilmore

  238. "As the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed, the Internet deserves the highest protection from governmental intrusion" - Judge Stewart Dalzell, in a decision later upheld by the Supreme Court

  239. "You know, we're not actually competing w[ith] Sonique and if they're smart, they'll keep it that way" - Brennan Underwood

  240. "View this site at at least 800x600 or be prepared for a whole new universe of 'ugly', not to mention some major horizontal scrolling. You've been warned" - Shamus Young

    Computer Quotations: Games

  241. "Man is a game-playing animal, and a computer is another way to play games" - Scott Adams

  242. "If the former Soviet Union had churned out a few more games such as Tetris and fewer nuclear warheads, they might have won the Cold War. We capitalists would have been too engrossed in our Tetris games to have noticed their tanks rolling across the Iron Curtain - that's how addictive Alexey Pajitnov's seemingly simple puzzle game was. Of course, Soviet Communism collapsed under its own weight, and it's interesting to note that Pajitnov is now working at Microsoft. Coincidence? We think not" - CNET Gamecenter, "The Top 40 Games of the Millennium"

  243. "Then there's the giant tentacle creature. Which is probably the most awesome collection of polygons we've seen in a 3D game. Naturally you want to unload several thousand rounds into its face. Except it hasn't got a face. And anyway, that's the worst thing you can do because it hunts by sound, menacingly tippity-tapping away on the metal grates surrounding it.... The tentacle beast... obviously resides in the lovely warmth of a missile silo, just below the main engines of a rocket. Firing that rocket immediately becomes your sole reason for existence" - Mark Donald of PC Gamer UK, reviewing Half-Life

  244. "I play games of medieval adventure and heroism to slay princesses and rescue dragons; I don't play them to spend two-thirds of my time dickering with shopkeepers. I want to be a hero, but the game forces me to be an itinerant second-hand arms dealer. Earning money by robbing corpses doesn't make me feel all that noble, either" - Ernest Adams, "The Designer's Notebook", Gamasutra

  245. "The world's a lot less scary when you're carrying a rocket launcher around with you" - Ernest Adams, "The Designer's Notebook", Gamasutra

  246. "It is difficult to make good scalable use of a CPU like you can of a graphics card. You certainly don't want 'better or worse' physics or AI in your game" - John Carmack

  247. "We expect to see whole new genres... of games being developed. Many of those will take advantage of the fact that gaming is a very social activity; you play with your friends, you sit on the couch, you have some pizza and a couple Cokes, and you play your games. It's a lot of fun. You're talking and communicating. But now, imagine that your best friend has moved across the city or across the country, imagine keeping that same great game experience because Xbox, with the broadband connectivity is letting you do that, through the fact that we have a headset called the Xbox Communicator, you could actually talk to them real time while you're playing the game. So, if you take them down and march on past the 10-yard line into the end zone and get that touchdown, you can tell them, dude, I just nailed your ass, and you'll hear it real time, and there will be no question that you are the king of football" - John O'Rourke (Director, Games Sales & Marketing, Microsoft Corporation), transcript from the 2001 Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting

  248. "The system itself has the mark of cleverness and ingenuity.... When you manipulate the menu system, you feel as though you are at the helm of the future.... The Xbox probably has the most raw potential for excellent games" - Jerry Holkins

  249. "Half-Life is the finest implementation of a game on rails anybody has ever done" - Warren Spector

    Computer Quotations: Games: Deus Ex

  250. "Many crowbars we call 'murder of crowbars'. Always have one for kombat. Ha" - Gunther Hermann, Deus Ex

  251. "All this blood has ruined my chrome" - Anna Navarre, Deus Ex

  252. "Maybe I'll cap his ass, too" - J. C. Denton, Deus Ex

  253. "Bravery is not a function of firepower" - J. C. Denton, Deus Ex

  254. "A bomb's a bad choice for close-range combat" - J. C. Denton, Deus Ex

  255. "You've found an interesting way to break the script compiler" - Tim Sweeney to Albert Yarusso

  256. "Setting the AI reactions for a giant spiderbot is pretty easy... hate, hate, hate, hate" - Steve Powers

  257. "Math is so cool. Hooray for math!" - Chris Norden

  258. "Women are very high poly count" - Dan Rubenfield

  259. "I remember having some problems with [the Deus Ex theme] when I first heard it and I was trying to figure out how to tell [Alex Brandon] I wanted changes. But then I noticed that I couldn't get it out of my mind. I was whistling or humming it to myself all the time. So I just kept my mouth shut and let it be. I think it's a highly addictive tune" - Warren Spector

  260. "Ultimately, all I wanted was for players to feel like they were in the real world. I wanted them to be able to apply real world common sense to the problems confronting them, and I thought recreating real world locations would encourage that kind of thinking. There's also just a real power, a real thrill, when you fire up a game and see a place you've been or want to go, and then get to do all the stuff you WANT to do there but know you'll get arrested if you try! If that isn't the stuff of fantasy - far more than exploring some goofy dwarven mine or alien spaceship - I don't know what is!" - Warren Spector

  261. "Creating a really believable world is just insanely hard" - Warren Spector

    Computer Quotations: Games: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  262. "Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill" - CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Ethics of Greed", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  263. "There are two kinds of scientific progress: the methodical experimentation and categorization which gradually extend the boundaries of knowledge, and the revolutionary leap of genius which redefines and transcends those boundaries. Acknowledging our debt to the former, we yearn nonetheless for the latter" - Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "Address to the Faculty", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  264. "Our ancestors harnessed the power of a sun, and so again shall we" - Commissioner Pravin Lal, "The Science of Our Fathers", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  265. "We have reached an informational threshold which can only be crossed by harnessing the speed of light directly. The quickest computations require the fastest possible particles moving along the shortest paths. Since the capability now exists to take our information directly from photons travelling molecular distances, the final act of the information revolution will soon be upon us" - Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted The Fruit", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  266. "I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice" - CEO Nwabudike Morgan, MorganLink 3DVision Interview, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  267. "What actually transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that" - Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted The Fruit", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

  268. "Look at any photograph or work of art. If you could duplicate exactly the first tiny dot of color, and then the next and the next, you would end with a perfect copy of the whole, indistinguishable from the original in every way, including the so-called 'moral value' of the art itself. Nothing can transcend its smallest elements" - CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Ethics of Greed", Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

    Mathematics Quotations

  269. "We live in a universe of patterns" - Ian Stewart, Nature's Numbers

  270. "I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain" - Pierre de Fermat

  271. "This expression is admittedly downright hideous and whether it will be of any practical use whatever depends on our being able to pound the left-hand side into a form which looks and acts at least half-civilized. We turn to this task now" - Harry Moritz Schey, Div, grad, curl, and all that: an informal text on vector calculus

  272. "But is zero divided by zero also one? If no fruits are divided among no one, will each still get one?" - Srinivasa Ramanujan as a young child

  273. "There was nothing 'wrong' with what Ramanujan did; it was just weird" - Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity

  274. "I am ashamed to tell you to how many figures I carried these calculations [of Pi], having no other business at the time" - Isaac Newton

  275. "One brilliant young mathematics student at Madras's Presidency College, T. Vijayaraghavan, deliberately neglected his studies and failed his examinations, the more perfectly to follow in Ramanujan's footsteps" - Robert Kanigel, The Man Who Knew Infinity

  276. "Finally I am becoming stupider no more" - Paul Erdos' epitaph, written by himself

  277. "Mathematics is the surest way to immortality. If you make a big discovery in mathematics, you will be remembered after everyone else will be forgotten" - Paul Erdos

  278. "Problems worthy of attack, prove their worth by fighting back" - Piet Hein, also said by Paul Erdos

  279. "Mathematics is the Queen of the Sciences, and [Number Theory] the Queen of Mathematics" - Carl Friedrich Gauss

  280. "The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life" - Ernest Renan

  281. "Accurate reckoning: the entrance into knowledge of all existing things and all obscure secrets" - Ahmes

    Nuclear Quotations

  282. "Much of the standard nomenclature in nuclear science was developed at this time.... I thought for a while that this term [Fermi's term 'pile' for a uranium-graphite lattice] was used to refer to a source of nuclear energy in analogy with Volta's use of the Italian term 'pila' to denote his own great invention of a source of electrical energy [the battery]. I was disillusioned by Fermi himself, who told me that he simply used the common English word 'pile' as synonymous with 'heap'" - Emilio Segre

  283. "The reactor... had to contain material to decelerate the neutrons. Fermi, in his straightforward way, called this material a 'slower downer'. That term got under my skin so much that I was forced to think up a different term. I chose 'moderator' and it stuck" - John Archibald Wheeler, Geons, Black Holes, & Quantum Foam

  284. "If anyone wants a hole in the ground, nuclear explosives can make big holes" - Edward Teller

  285. "May all our devices explode as successfully as today's, but always over test sites and never over cities" - Andrei Sakharov, at the testing of Russia's first true thermonuclear bomb

  286. "Nuclear weapons have not, as some expected, 'made war obsolete'. It may well be, however, that they have made it obsolete between nuclear powers" - Laurence Martin, The Changing Face of Nuclear Warfare

    Physics Quotations

  287. "It's not so much a universe in which - as Einstein memorably refused to believe - God plays dice: it seems more a universe in which dice play God" - Ian Stewart, Nature's Numbers

  288. "Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity" - Democritus of Abdera, quoted in Leon Lederman's The God Particle

  289. "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space, everything else is opinion" - Democritus of Abdera, quoted in Leon Lederman's The God Particle

  290. "There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics" - Richard Feynman

  291. "There are all kinds of neat stuff we can do with ultra-cold fermions" - Randall Hulet

  292. "Bosons love to come together; fermions can't stand each other" - Daniel Kleppner

  293. "The situation is not weirder than you imagine, it is weirder than you can imagine" - Lewis Carroll Epstein, Relativity Visualized

  294. "Remember, an experimentalist, in contrast to a theoretician, will be mistaken only once, and then they will no longer believe him" - Lev Andreevich Artsimovich

  295. "Spacetime grips mass, telling it how to move, and mass grips spacetime, telling it how to curve" - John Archibald Wheeler

  296. "If you are wondering what the hell I am doing subtracting particles from each other, well, that's quantum mechanics" - James Bottomley and John Baez, sci.physics FAQ

  297. "You cannot have an elliptical orbit that passes through the Schwarzchild radius. I mean, more than once" - Paul Lutus, sci.physics

  298. "I've often wondered what would happen if a macroscopic lump of antimatter - say, an anticup of anticoffee - was just plonked down on an ordinary surface" - Jon Grove, sci.physics

  299. "I don't know where the idea that the rotation of the Earth causes gravity came from, but it seems to be widespread" - Bryan Reed, sci.physics

  300. "All the effects of nature are only the mathematical consequences of a small number of immutable laws" - Pierre-Simon de Laplace

    Space Quotations

  301. "When a Saturn V stage was in place for a night firing, its bright flame would cast a glow across the land. During the brief minutes of its firing it would hold back the night. And in that state, one could cherish the dream that somehow there would be other lights, brighter and stronger, to drive shadows from the hearts of men" - T. A. Heppenheimer, Countdown: A History of Space Flight

  302. "The next step will be for the colonists on Mars to throw off the hand of the United States. There will be this wonderful historical irony. When the people on Mars write a declaration of independence saying, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident...', the US will be rather pissed off" - Eric Idle

  303. "The exploration of space will go ahead whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time... we set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained... But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain?... We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win" - John F. Kennedy

  304. "Everybody knows what the moon is, everybody knows what this decade is, and everybody can tell a live astronaut who returned from the moon from one who didn't" - Wernher Von Braun

  305. "Oh, my God, our building is shaking! Part of the roof has come in here!" - Walter Cronkite, during the first launch of the complete Saturn V in November 1967

  306. "The time will come when a spacecraft carrying human beings will leave the earth and set out on a voyage to distant planets - to remote worlds. Today this may seem only an enticing fantasy, but such in fact is not the case. The launching of the first two Soviet Sputniks has already thrown a sturdy bridge from the earth into space, and the way to the stars is open" - Sergei Korolev

  307. "The further conquest of space will make it possible, for example, to create systems of satellites making daily revolutions around our planet at an altitude of some 40,000 kilometers, and to assure universal communications and the relaying of radio and television transmissions. Such an arrangement might prove more useful, economically, than the construction of radio relay systems over the whole surface of the earth. The great accuracy of movement of these satellites will provide a reliable basis for solving navigational problems" - Sergei Korolev

  308. "I'm one of your own people, comrades! One of your own!" - Yuri Gagarin's first words upon returing to Earth [Note: This was attributed in a Russian book from the Soviet era and thus may not be wholly accurate]

  309. "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" - Neil Armstrong while on the Moon

  310. "Approaching the end of Apollo, my frustration often surfaced. No one in America seemed to care that we were giving up, surrendering the future of the next generation of young people with stars in their eyes.... How I wished John F. Kennedy were still alive, challenging us to dare and to dream. I feel the same way today; the boldness and scope of his vision is not to be found today in our space program and in our nation" - Gene Kranz, Failure Is Not An Option

  311. "Entering the twenty-first century, we have an unimaginable array of technology and a generation of young Americans schooled in these technologies. With our powerful economy, we can do anything we set our mind to do. Yet we stand with our feet firmly planted on the ground when we could be exploring the universe. Three decades ago... Americans placed six flags on the Moon. Today we no longer try for new and bold space achievements; instead we celebrate the anniversaries of the past.... Our work is unfinished" - Gene Kranz, Failure Is Not An Option

  312. "Agh, you see one Earth, you've seen them all" - Jack Schmitt, on the Moon

  313. "In retrospect, it is clear that Apollo was an element of twenty-first-century exploration which was somehow drawn forward 50 years and, incredibly, implemented with early-1960s electronics technology - a fact which demonstrates the supreme mastery that the astronauts and their ground support team had over their remarkable vehicles" - David M. Harland, Exploring the Moon: The Apollo Expeditions

    Fiction Quotations

  314. "It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality Control', they called it; in Newspeak, 'doublethink'" - George Orwell, 1984

  315. "Orthodoxy is unconsciousness" - George Orwell, 1984

  316. "I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts" - Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia

  317. "Be patient, for the world is broad and wide" - Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland and William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

  318. "O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant" - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

  319. "Increasing vision is increasingly expensive" - Michael Crichton, The Andromeda Strain

  320. "The key to winning arguments... is to always be right. And to be able to prove that you're right so conclusively that no one can prevail against you" - John Cramer, Einstein's Bridge (spoken by a character)

  321. "Wealth that is stored up in gold is dead. It rots and stinks. True wealth is made every day by men getting up out of bed and going to work. By schoolchildren doing their lessons, improving their minds" - Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (spoken by a character)

  322. "The world is full of power and energy and a person can go far by just skimming off a tiny bit of it" - Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

  323. "Jones is my name. I'm in insurance" - 12 Monkeys

  324. "Any context conceals within it the means of advancing one's own desires" - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Wheelers

  325. "Life turns up everywhere it can. Life turns up everywhere it can't" - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Wheelers

  326. "Still, [Pavel Petrovich Gogol] was careful to tell his stories carefully and clearly, so that the children and grandchildren he'd never had would see what a great man he'd been" - Tom Clancy, The Bear and the Dragon

  327. "So high, so low, so many things to know" - Vernor Vinge, A Deepness In The Sky

  328. "Maybe I would find something there, an edge. Then, when I came back--" - The Man, A Deepness In The Sky by Vernor Vinge

  329. "Debts owed to a madman are still real debts" - Vernor Vinge, A Deepness In The Sky

  330. "They could never know the glory; they might never know the truth" - Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon The Deep

  331. "Money cannot work, only people and machines can work" - Iain M. Banks, Feersum Endjinn

    Verified Unsorted Quotations

  332. "Don't misunderstand my position here... I merely have something bad to say about absolutely everybody" - Kenneth Broll, "Linux - The New CP/M?"

  333. "Against stupidity the gods themselves fight in vain" - Friedrich von Schiller

  334. "Man wrongs, but time avenges" - Lord Byron

  335. "Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition" - Adam Smith

  336. "Humans are tough. We have to be. We're the survivors of the saber-tooth tigers and the glaciers, of tyrannical empires and barbarian invasions, of horrible famines and devastating plagues. You name it, you've got ancestors that have faced it, and overcome it" - Robert Zubrin, The Case for Mars

  337. "Wonder is the basis of worship" - Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

  338. "Do we, holding that the gods exist, deceive ourselves with insubstantial dreams and lies, while random careless chance and change alone control the world?" - Euripides, Hecuba

  339. "Scientists cannot make objects float skywards merely by agreeing among themselves that the force of gravity acts up rather than down. There has to be a reality check. Science has more stringent reality checks than any other area of human activity, and applies them more frequently. Religion hinges upon faith, politics hinges upon who can tell the most convincing lies or maybe just shout the loudest, but science hinges upon whether its conclusions resemble what actually happens" - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Figments of Reality

  340. "Human beings seem to have an innate tendency to confuse functions with purposes" - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, Figments of Reality

  341. "The Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go" - Pope John Paul II

  342. "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own governours, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives" - James Madison, quoted on the Library of Congress

  343. "For seeing life is but a motion of Limbs... why may we not say, that all Automata (Engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life?" - Thomas Hobbes

  344. "If the Church is not now as bad as the Soviet Government, that is due to the influence of those who attacked the Church" - Bertrand Russell

  345. "The U.S., Russia, and China have never come directly to blows. When one is actively engaged in a war, the others fight by proxy" - Holger Jensen, international editor of the Denver Rocky Mountain News

  346. "The future is going to take care of itself, like it always has" - Andy Grove

  347. "If we would get off our butts and provide the necessary funding for research, we would have a cure for all types of cancers" - Norman Schwarzkopf

  348. "People refer to 'the good ol' days', but I don't know what they're talking about. As someone who's battled cancer, if I lived more than 20 years ago, I'd be a dead man" - Lance Armstrong

  349. "Prepare for a new septic age" - Bruce Sterling

  350. "It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them" - Robert Oppenheimer

  351. "If you want to succeed in this world you don't have to be much cleverer than other people, you just have to be one day earlier" - Leo Szilard

  352. "Poor science. We look to it to extend our lifespan, explain our origins, chart the stars, shrink the globe, and make us sexy until our dying day. But do we revere it? Adore it?" - Stephanie Salter

  353. "The true men of action in our time, those who transform the world, are not the politicians and statesmen, but the scientists" - W. H. Auden

  354. "I was born human. But this was an accident of fate - a condition merely of time and place. I believe it's something we have the power to change" - Kevin Warwick

  355. "Capitalism is the only economic system compatible with free individuals" - Peter McWilliams

  356. "I have deposited in the county of Bedford, about four miles from Buford's, in an excavation or vault six feet below the surface of the ground, the following articles..." - Thomas J. Beale

  357. "Although the whole of this life were said to be nothing but a dream and the physical world nothing but a phantasm, I should call this dream or phantasm real enough, if, using reason well, we were never deceived by it" - Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

  358. "For the greatest nation on Earth, we have crummy coins and currency.... that's not a partisan statement because there's no partisanship when it comes to crummy coins" - Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm

  359. "Microorganisms are the real masters of any planet" - John Rennie, Scientific American (March 2000)

  360. "It was awful. So I left. I just walked away one day" - Mitch Kapor, former Lotus CEO

  361. "The most fundamental thing is the progress of science which has been truly extraordinary... This is what characterizes our century" - Severo Ochoa

  362. "The magic words are squeamish ossifrage" - R. Rivest, A. Shamir, and L. Adleman

  363. "I always assume that what is in the power of one man to do is in the power of another" - Herbert Osborne Yardley

  364. "If you take the test again, especially if you study between now and then, your scores may go up" - SAT Student Score Report for a 1600 score

  365. "I think everyone, once in his life, should be given a ticker-tape parade" - Gene Kranz, Failure Is Not An Option

  366. "There aren't many people who can honestly say they've destroyed an entire galaxy single-handedly, but Greg Roelofs is one of the few who can" - Greg Roelofs

  367. "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" ["But who will watch the watchers?"] - Juvenal

  368. "Carthage must be destroyed" - Cato the Elder, at the end of every speech

  369. "Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt" ["Men gladly believe that which they wish for"] - Julius Caesar, Comentarii De Bello Gallico, III.18

  370. "Aude aliquid dignum" ["Dare something worthy"] - Latin motto

  371. "Bene agendo nunquam defessus" ["Never weary of doing good"] - Latin motto

  372. "Dura usu molliora" ["Difficult things become easier with practice"] - Latin motto

  373. "While I visited Nigeria this summer, my cousin Anayo talked about how the people over there believe in curses, voodoo magic, and crack cures for diseases. That was when I came up with the Law of Inverse Proportion: The number of acts of superstition being reported in a given area is inversely proportional to the number of educated people residing therein. I came back to the states and found to my delight that the Law still holds" - Uche Akotaobi

  374. "It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people... Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid... The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science" - Jawaharlal Nehru, 1962

  375. "The beauty that is there is also available for me, too. But I see a deeper beauty that isn't so readily available to others.... I don't see how studying a flower ever detracts from its beauty. It only adds" - Richard Feynman

  376. "[Stephen Jay] Gould occupies a rather curious position, particularly on his side of the Atlantic. Because of the excellence of his essays, he has come to be seen by non-biologists as the preeminent evolutionary theorist. In contrast, the evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists. All this would not matter, were it not that he is giving non-biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory" - John Maynard Smith, New York Review of Books, November 1995

  377. "Only human beings guide their behavior by a knowledge of what happened before they were born and a preconception of what may happen after they are dead; thus only humans find their way by a light that illuminates more than the patch of ground they stand on" - P. B. and J. S. Medawar, The Life Science

  378. "Imagine this: 7000 years [have] gone by. We take a filmcrew to Helm's Deep... it's now looking a little older, but still impresses as a mighty fortress. The Art Dep[artmen]t [goes] to work, patching up holes and removing tourist signs. The current owner strikes a hard bargain, but New Line money finally gets us permission to film there for 6 weeks. Rohan heraldry is studied and faithfully reproduced. Theoden's original saddle is in a museum - far too valuable to use in the movie, but an exact copy is made. Archeological expeditions have unearthed an incredibly preserved mummified Uruk-hai carcass. We make exact prothestic copies of these vicious killers... use CG to give us a 10,000 strong army. We have cast actors who look like Aragorn and Theoden. In an amazing casting coup, Legolas has agreed to return from Valinor with Gimli to recreate their part in this cinematic retelling of the events at the end of the Third Age. They stand on the battlements of the Deeping Wall, wind blowing in their hair, leading a group of extras proudly portraying the brave garrison of Rohan soldiers... Uruk drums roll up the valley... huge lighting rigs flash simulated lightning... rain towers send gallons of water into the air... on an assistant director's signal, twenty 35mm cameras start rolling simultaneously... the battle of Helm's Deep is about to be captured on film" - Peter Jackson, in an interview (spelling corrected, slightly edited - ellipses his)

  379. "Universities, even modern universities, are not in the business of maintaining security over information. On the contrary, universities, as institutions, predate the 'information economy' by many centuries and are not-for-profit cultural entities, whose reason for existence (purportedly) is to discover truth, codify it through techniques of scholarship, and then teach it. Universities are meant to pass the torch of civilization, not just download data into student skulls, and the values of the academic community are strongly at odds with those of all would-be information empires. Teachers at all levels, from kindergarten up, have proven to be shameless and persistent software and data pirates. Universities do not merely 'leak information' but vigorously broadcast free thought" - Bruce Sterling, The Hacker Crackdown

  380. "I (heart) technology. Last Thursday, I was eating a hard pretzel when I broke off the front of one of my back teeth and was left with a giant bleeding hole in my tooth. This was terrible. However, four hours later, I walked out of the dentist's office with a totally rebuilt tooth. A few hours after that, the novocaine wore off and I enjoyed a meal as if nothing had ever gone wrong. In the thousands of years of human history, only in the last few decades has this sort of thing been possible. In centuries past, I would either have had to have it pulled (if I had access to a dentist) or wait for the tooth to become infected, die, and fall out on its own. Either way, that one mishap would have meant weeks of pain and discomfort. Technology is cool" - Shamus Young

  381. "The explanation of a lesser entity in terms of a greater one is a perversion of what it means to explain" - Peter Atkins, "Awesome Versus Adipose"

  382. "Every heat engineer knows he can design his heat engine reliably and accurately on the foundation of the second law [of thermodynamics]. Run alongside one of the molecules, however, and ask it what it thinks of the second law. It will laugh at us. It never heard of the second law. It does what it wants. All the same, a collection of billions upon billions of such molecules obeys the second law with all the accuracy one could want" - John Archibald Wheeler

  383. "[Philip] Kitcher likes to argue by setting out polar extremes, deciding that neither can be correct and concluding that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle. This technique makes him seem eminently reasonable at every step, no matter how far off the real axis he leads us" - David Goodstein

  384. "Actually, things aren't quite that straightforward, but we'll come to that presently. There's no reason to get ahead of ourselves. First we crawl. Later we crawl on broken glass" - Scott Meyers, Effective STL

  385. "How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?

    Copyright law does not protect sightings. However, copyright law will protect your photo (or other depiction) of your sighting of Elvis. Just send it to us with a form VA application and the $30 filing fee. No one can lawfully use your photo of your sighting, although someone else may file his own photo of his sighting. Copyright law protects the original photograph, not the subject of the photograph" - U.S. Copyright Office FAQ

  386. "To follow the path:
    look to the master,
    follow the master,
    walk with the master,
    see through the master,
    become the master" - Modern Zen poem, quoted by Eric S. Raymond, "How To Become A Hacker"

  387. "There are many places in which this document is incomplet and incorrekt" - GNU Compiler Collection Internals

  388. "Of course, the difficulty with age and youth is to find a common language; an attitude in which they can approach each other. It is hard for age to admit or understand that it has not thought of everything or attempted everything, or done what it has done as efficiently as it might have done. It is equally difficult for youth to know that age has thought of some of the various problems which bother youth; has tried and failed and succeeded and for reasons not explained altogether by either stupidity or cowardice" - W.E.B. Du Bois, "Youth And Age At Amenia"

  389. "I see a possible connection here with the Great Secrets" - Twirlip of the Mists, A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge

  390. "There are two fundamentally different ways to approach the matter: the way most people do it and the right way" - Scott Meyers, More Effective C++

  391. "Most programmers have lousy intuition about the performance characteristics of their programs, because program performance characteristics tend to be highly unintuitive" - Scott Meyers, More Effective C++

  392. "Abstraction is selective ignorance" - Andrew Koenig

  393. "Every successful large system is a redesign of a somewhat smaller working system" - Bjarne Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition

  394. "The reason that data structures and algorithms can work together seamlessly is... that they do not know anything about each other" - Alex Stepanov

  395. "To be reusable, software must first be usable" - Bjarne Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition

  396. "The most fundamental problem in software development is complexity. There is only one basic way of dealing with complexity: divide and conquer" - Bjarne Stroustrup, The C++ Programming Language, Special Edition

  397. "My vision was becoming clearer.... The ultimate evil was stupidity. The cure for it was knowledge based on scientific investigation" - W.E.B. Du Bois, Dusk Of Dawn: An Essay Toward An Autobiography Of A Race Concept

  398. "There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know" - W.E.B. Du Bois, Dusk Of Dawn: An Essay Toward An Autobiography Of A Race Concept

  399. "Either the United States will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy the United States" - W.E.B. Du Bois, Dusk Of Dawn: An Essay Toward An Autobiography Of A Race Concept

  400. "How to explain? How to describe? Even the omniscient viewpoint quails" - Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon The Deep

  401. "In normal chess play, certain types of situation recur - certain patterns - and it is to those high-level patterns that the master is sensitive. He thinks on a different level from the novice; his set of concepts is different. Nearly everyone is surprised to find out that in actual play, a master rarely looks ahead any further than a novice does - and moreover, a master usually examines only a handful of possible moves! The trick is that his mode of perceiving the board is like a filter: he literally does not see bad moves when he looks at a chess situation - no more than chess amateurs see illegal moves when they look at a chess situation. Anyone who has played even a little chess has organized his perception so that diagonal rook-moves, forward captures by pawns, and so forth, are never brought to mind. Similarly, master-level players have built up higher levels of organization in the way they see the board; consequently, to them, bad moves are as unlikely to come to mind as illegal moves are, to most people. This might be called implicit pruning of the giant branching tree of possibilities. By contrast, explicit pruning would involve thinking of a move, and after superficial examination, deciding not to pursue examining it any further. The distinction can apply just as well to other intellectual activities... intelligence depends crucially on the ability to create high-level descriptions of complex arrays, such as chess boards, television screens, printed pages, or paintings" - Douglas R. Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

  402. "To taste the sea all one needs is one gulp" - Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, Volume Two, Part III

  403. "Outstanding. Like an ideal gas, my arcane power shall expand to fill the vessel in which it is contained" - Vaarsuvius, The Order Of The Stick #296

  404. "When writing a specialization, be careful about its location; or to make it compile will be such a trial as to kindle its self-immolation" - ISO/IEC 14882:2003(E) 14.7.3/7

  405. "In the following situations exception handling must be abandoned for less subtle error handling techniques" - ISO/IEC 14882:2003(E) 15.5.1/1

  406. "There is a building. Inside this building, there is a level where no elevator can go and no stair can reach. This level is filled with doors. These doors lead to many places. Hidden places. But one door is special. One door leads to the source" - The Keymaker, The Matrix Reloaded

  407. "WHAT DO ALL THE PARTS DO? I have no idea. Neither do you. The reason we have no idea is that the Kicksey-winsey is so unfathomably huge, so titanically complex, and has been so out of control for so long that it has grown beyond our ability to understand it" - Limbeck Bolttightner, "Appendix III: The Kicksey-Winsey Demystificated" in The Hand Of Chaos by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

  408. "We must know. We will know" - David Hilbert's epitaph

    Star Trek Quotations

  409. "I never imagined I would see the clouds from the other side" - Nuria, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Who Watches the Watchers?

  410. "Everybody dies, Data. Well, almost everybody" - Dr. Noonian Soong, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brothers

  411. "How can anything be too efficient?" - Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Code of Honor

  412. "Of course, in the end, I was proven correct" - Sarek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Unification Part I

  413. "Never! I will accept many things, but never that!" - Sarek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Unification Part I

  414. "No, I never knew what Spock was doing. When he was a boy, he would disappear for days into the mountains. I would ask him where he had gone, what he had done; he refused to tell me. I insisted that he tell me; he would not. I forbade him to go; he ignored me. I punished him; he endured it silently. But always he returned to the mountains. One might as well tell the river not to run. But secretly, I admired him - that proud core of him that would not yield" - Sarek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Unification Part I

    Television and Movie Quotations

  415. "Print is dead" - Egon Spengler, Ghostbusters

  416. "We shall prevail!" - Big Brother/IBM voice in Apple's 1984 commercial

  417. "If you disengage your vocal subroutines for one second, I'll explain" - The Doctor, Star Trek: Voyager, Message In A Bottle

  418. "I'm taking power from life support. We don't need that!" - EMH Mark II, Star Trek: Voyager, Message in a Bottle

  419. "I'm content to be the best possible diagonstic program I can be" - Lewis Zimmerman, Star Trek: Voyager, The Swarm

  420. "What are the rules?" - Quark, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Move Along Home

  421. "When in doubt, be ruthless" - Grand Nagus Zek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Nagus

  422. "You were right, sir. I do tend to babble" - Data, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Justice

  423. "Intelligent conversation is impossible. You do not discuss. You gibber" - The Sheliak Corporate, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Ensigns of Command

  424. "The replicators on decks four through nine are producing nothing but cat food." "Cat food?" - Riker's status report and Picard's response, Star Trek: The Next Generation, A Fistful of Datas

  425. "I can't change the laws of physics!" - Scotty, Star Trek (innumerable times)

  426. "I am more vicious than you realize, Ship" - Operator of Starfighter 31, The Outer Limits

  427. "It is imperative that this inevitability be prevented" - Taelon Synod, Earth: Final Conflict

  428. "The best way to predict the future is to invent it" - The Well-Manicured Man, The X-Files (also said by Alan Kay)

  429. "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" - Homer Simpson

  430. "Church, cult. Cult, church" - Bart Simpson

  431. "Ahoy hoy, lowly mortals" - C. M. Burns

  432. "Not enough room? My place is two cubic meters, and we only take up one point five cubic meters! We've got room for a whole 'nother two thirds of a person!" - Bender, character in Futurama

  433. "I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life" - Fry, character in Futurama

  434. "But this is HDTV. It's got better resolution than the real world" - Fry, character in Futurama

  435. "There is no fate but what we make for ourselves" - John Connor, character in Terminator 2

  436. "I see everything" - Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 101 Version 2.4, Terminator 2

  437. "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." - Dave Bowman and Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

  438. "If it's broke, don't fix it" - A saying from the Brave New World movie

  439. "How time is fun when you're having flies" - Ben Jahvri, character in Short Circuit II

  440. "Oooooooh! Input!" - Number Johnny Five, character in Short Circuit II

    Song Quotations

  441. "We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl" - Madonna

  442. "A man will die - but not his ideas" - Ace of Base, the song Happy Nation

  443. "All my life I wanted to fly,
    Like the birds that you see way up in the sky,
    Making circles in the morning sun
    Flying high in the sky 'til the day is done.
    I can't break away!
    Like a child in his fantasy
    Punchin' holes in the walls of reality.
    All my life I wanted to fly
    But I don't have the wings and I wonder why
    I can't break away" - Big Pig, the song Breakaway

  444. "You can make or break,
    You can win or lose,
    That's the chance you take
    When the heat's on you.
    The heat is on" - Glenn Frey, the song The Heat is On

  445. "I heard you on the wireless back in '52,
    Lying awake intent at tuning in on you.
    If I was young it didn't stop you coming through.
    They took the credit for your second symphony,
    Rewritten by machine and new technology,
    And now I understand the problems you can see.
    I met your children;
    What did you tell them?
    Video killed the radio star" - The Buggles, the song Video Killed the Radio Star (the first music video shown on MTV)

    Internet-Collected Quotatations

  446. "Vincit veritas" ["Truth conquers"] - Latin motto

  447. "Ex vitio sapiens aleno emendat suum" ["The wise man corrects his own fault from the fault of another"] - Publius Syrus

  448. "Numquam periclum sine peric'lo vincitur" ["Danger is never overcome without further danger"] - Publius Syrus

  449. "Virum bonum natura, non ordo, facit" ["Nature, not rank, makes a man good"] - Publius Syrus

  450. "Deliberando saepe perit occasio" ["Opportunity often vanishes through excessive deliberation"] - Publius Syrus

  451. "Homines, dum docent, discunt" ["While men teach they learn"] - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  452. "Non est ad astra mollis e terris via" ["The journey from the earth to the stars is not easy"] - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  453. "Nemo ... regere potest nisi qui et regi" [None can govern who cannot also be governed"] - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  454. "Effugere non potes nessitates; potes vincere" ["You cannot run away from what is necessary, but you can conquer it"] - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

  455. "In virtute sunt multi ascensus" ["There are many degrees in excellence"] - Marcus Tullius Cicero

  456. "Nihil est... simul et inventam et perfectum" ["Nothing is at the same time both discovered and perfected"] - Marcus Tullius Cicero

  457. "Jucundi acti labores" ["Pleasant are past labors"] - Marcus Tullius Cicero

  458. "Nihil recte sine exemplo nocetur aut discetur" ["Nothing is taught or learned correctly without an example"] - Columnella

  459. "Minorem ne contempseris" ["Do not despise an inferior"] - Dionysius Cato

  460. "Nihil arbitrio virum fecereis" ["Do nothing at the dictate of force"] - Dionysius Cato

  461. "Ipsa scientia potestas est" ["Knowledge itself is power"] - Francis Bacon

    Unverified Quotations

    Unverified Albert Einstein Quotations

  462. "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" - Albert Einstein

  463. "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not more so" - Albert Einstein

  464. "Insofar as we may at all claim that slavery has been abolished today, we owe its abolition to the practical consequences of science" - Albert Einstein

  465. "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education" - Albert Einstein

  466. "A mathematical equation stands forever" - Albert Einstein

  467. "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them" - Albert Einstein

  468. "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" - Albert Einstein

    Unverified Thomas Jefferson Quotations

  469. "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" - Thomas Jefferson*

  470. "Information is the currency of democracy" - Thomas Jefferson

  471. "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all" - Thomas Jefferson

  472. "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" - Thomas Jefferson

  473. "I live for books" - Thomas Jefferson*

  474. "I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too" - Thomas Jefferson

  475. "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have" - Thomas Jefferson*

  476. "Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it" - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Speech (1801)

  477. "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it" - Thomas Jefferson

  478. "It is always better to have no ideas, than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong" - Thomas Jefferson

  479. "When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon" - Thomas Jefferson

  480. "[If a book were] very innocent, and one which might be confided to the reason of any man; not likely to be much read if let alone, but if persecuted, it will be generally read. Every man in the United States will think it a duty to buy a copy, in vindication of his right to buy and to read what he pleases" - Thomas Jefferson

  481. "Freedom [is] the first-born daughter of science" - Thomas Jefferson

  482. "I look to the diffusion of light and education as the resource most to be relied on for ameliorating the conditions, promoting the virtue and advancing the happiness of man" - Thomas Jefferson

  483. "Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong" - Thomas Jefferson

  484. "By nature's law, every man has a right to seize and retake by force his own property taken from him by another, by force of fraud. Nor is this natural right among the first which is taken into the hands of regular government after it is instituted. It was long retained by our ancestors. It was a part of their common law, laid down in their books, recognized by all the authorities, and regulated as to circumstances of practice" - Thomas Jefferson

  485. "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own" - Thomas Jefferson

  486. "We generally learn languages for the benefit of reading the books written in them" - Thomas Jefferson

  487. "In America, no other distinction between man and man had ever been known but that of persons in office exercising powers by authority of the laws, and private individuals. Among these last, the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar" - Thomas Jefferson

    Unverified Isaac Asimov Quotations

  488. "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" - Isaac Asimov

  489. "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it) but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

  490. "Dalton's records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war" - Isaac Asimov

    Unverified Bertrand Russell Quotations

  491. "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts" - Bertrand Russell

  492. "One of the main causes of trouble in the world is dogmatic and fanatical belief in some doctrine for which there is no adequate evidence" - Bertrand Russell

  493. "Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do" - Bertrand Russell

  494. "Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines" - Bertrand Russell

  495. "Insight, untested and unsupported, is an insufficient guarantee of truth" - Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic

  496. "Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science" - Bertrand Russell

  497. "In view of the stupidity of the majority of the people, a widely held opinion is more likely to be foolish than sensible" - Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

    Unverified Mathematics Quotations

  498. "Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems" - Rene Descartes, Discours de la Methode

  499. "The primary purpose of the Data statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable Pi can be given that value with a Data statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change" - Fortran manual for Xerox Computers

  500. "Euler ascertained that 231 - 1 = 2,147,483,647 is a prime number; and this is the greatest at present known to be such, and, consequently, the last of the above perfect numbers, which depends on this, is the greatest perfect number known at present, and probably the greatest that ever will be discovered; for, as they are merely curious without being useful, it is not likely that any person will attempt to find one beyond it" - Peter Barlow, an article in A New Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary (1814)

  501. "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin" - John Von Neumann

  502. "Revolutions never occur in mathematics" - Michael Crowe

  503. "Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so" - Galileo Galilei

  504. "Who would not rather have the fame of Archimedes than that of his conqueror Marcellus?" - Sir William Rowan Hamilton

  505. "Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration" - Pierre-Simon de Laplace

  506. "Usually mathematicians have to shoot somebody to get this much publicity" - Thomas R. Nicely, on the attention he received after finding the flaw in Intel's Pentium chip in 1994

  507. "In the fall of 1972, President Nixon announced that the rate of increase of inflation was decreasing. This was the first time a sitting president used the third derivative to advance his case for reelection" - Hugo Rossi

  508. "I turn away with fright and horror from the lamentable evil of functions which do not have derivatives" - Charles Hermite

  509. "To tell if a given number of 15 or 20 digits is prime or not, all time would not suffice for the test, whatever use is made of what is already known" - Marin Mersenne

  510. "The problem of distinguishing prime numbers from composite numbers, and of resolving the latter into their prime factors is known to be one of the most important and useful in arithmetic... Nevertheless we must confess that even for numbers that do not exceed the limits of tables constructed by estimable men, they try the patience of even the most practiced calculator. And these methods do not apply at all to larger numbers... It frequently happens that the trained calculator will be sufficiently rewarded by reducing large numbers to their factors so that it will compensate for the time spent... Further, the dignity of the science itself seems to require that every possible means be explored for the solution of a problem so elegant and so celebrated... The techniques that were previously known would require intolerable labor even for the most indefatigable calculator" - Carl Friedrich Gauss, Disquisitiones Arithmeticae

  511. "In mathematics, you don't understand things, you just get used to them" - John von Neumann

  512. "But just as much as it is easy to find the differential of a given quantity, so it is difficult to find the integral of a given differential. Moreover, sometimes we cannot say with certainty whether the integral of a given quantity can be found or not" - Johann Bernoulli

  513. "One began to hear it said that World War I was the chemists' war, World War II was the physicists' war, World War III (may it never come) will be the mathematicians' war" - Philip J. David and Reuben Hersh

  514. "Whenever you can, count" - Sir Francis Galton

  515. "It would be very discouraging if somewhere down the line you could ask a computer if the Riemann hypothesis is correct and it said, 'Yes, it is true, but you won't be able to understand the proof'" - Ronald Graham

  516. "Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house" - Robert A. Heinlein

  517. "One can measure the importance of a scientific work by the number of earlier publications rendered superfluous by it" - David Hilbert

  518. "There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world" - Nikolai Lobatchevsky

    Unverified Unsorted Quotations

  519. "There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness" - George Washington (in an address to Congress)

  520. "An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject and how to avoid them" - Werner Heisenberg

  521. "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them" - Mark Twain

  522. "Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows" - Robert G. Ingersoll

  523. "Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood" - Henry Louis Mencken

  524. "A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master - to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world. Now, if you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave" - Captain Hugh Auld [ordering his wife to stop teaching Frederick Douglass how to read]

  525. "The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers" - Bill Gates, The Road Ahead

  526. "Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake" - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower

  527. "It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error" - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

  528. "What luck for the rulers that men do not think" - Adolf Hitler

  529. "This universe is not hostile, or yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent" - John H. Holmes, The Sensible Man's View of Religion

  530. "Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl" - Mike Adams

  531. "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit" - Thomas Paine

  532. "Grove giveth and Gates taketh away" - Bob Metcalfe

  533. "I know how to make 4 horses pull a cart - I don't know how to make 1024 chickens do it" - Enrico Clementi (commenting on Parallel Computing)

  534. "No miracle has ever taken place under conditions science can accept. Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence of persons who are disposed to believe them" - Ernest Renan

  535. "There are lies, damn lies, and benchmarks" - Mark Twain paraphrased by Kevin McCurley

  536. "Let us not unlearn what we have already learned" - Diogenes

  537. "It's impossible to do anything in real time" - Bill Camp

  538. "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  539. "The science of today is the technology of tomorrow" - Edward Teller

  540. "Knowledge is power" - Thomas Hobbes

  541. "Believe nothing and be on your guard against everything" - Latin proverb

  542. "I do not know everything; still many things I understand" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  543. "The better is the enemy of the good" - Voltaire

  544. "A physicist is just an atom's way of looking at itself" - Niels Bohr

  545. "Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed" - Blaise Pascal

  546. "I like having a machine called 'Elvis' on the network because that way, I can say 'ping Elvis' and have it come back with 'Elvis is alive'" - Carl Shipley

  547. "Whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future" - Euripides

  548. "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his" - General George Patton

  549. "The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence" - Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri

  550. "Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research" - Wilson Mizner

  551. "Opportunities multiply as they are seized" - Sun Tzu

  552. "It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies" - Mark Twain commenting on the Bible

  553. "There was more imagination in the head of Archimedes than in that of Homer" - Voltaire

  554. "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time" - James Thurber

  555. "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress" - Mark Twain

  556. "Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines" - Steven Wright

  557. "Early bird gets the worm, but second mouse gets the cheese" - Steven Wright

  558. "After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one" - Cato the Elder

  559. "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong" - H. L. Mencken

  560. "We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are" - Harry S Truman

  561. "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it" - Max Planck

  562. "If we die, do not mourn for us. This is a risky business we're in, and we accept those risks. The space program is too valuable to this country to be halted for too long if a disaster should ever happen" - Gus Grissom

  563. "One very important ingredient of success is a good, wide-awake, persistent, tireless enemy" - Frank B. Shutts

  564. "An open mind, like an open window, should be screened to keep the bugs out" - Virginia Hutchinson

  565. "He who would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself" - Thomas Paine

  566. "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties" - Abraham Lincoln

  567. "I'll sleep when I'm dead" - Warren Zevon

  568. "The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth" - Niels Bohr

  569. "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite" - Paul Dirac

  570. "It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct" - Michio Kaku

  571. "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself" - Mark Twain

  572. "Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen, even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind" - Leonardo Da Vinci

  573. "Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself" - Richard Feynman

  574. "Faith is believing what you know ain't so" - Mark Twain

  575. "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" - Carl Sagan

  576. "Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish" - Euripides

  577. "If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin

  578. "When the globe is covered with a net of railroads and telegraph wires, this net will render services comparable to those of the nervous system in the human body, partly as a means of transport, partly as a means for the propagation of ideas and sensations with the speed of lightning" - Wilhelm Weber, in 1835

  579. "Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all" - Charles Babbage

  580. "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question" - Charles Babbage

  581. "Unfortunately what is little recognized is that the most worthwhile scientific books are those in which the author clearly indicates what he does not know; for an author most hurts his readers by concealing difficulties" - Evariste Galois

  582. "You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length" - Carl Friedrich Gauss

  583. "I will be sufficiently rewarded if when telling it to others you will not claim the discovery as your own, but will say it was mine" - Thales

  584. "Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning" - Rich Cook

  585. "We often hear that mathematics consists mainly of 'proving theorems'. Is a writer's job mainly that of 'writing sentences'?" - Giancarlo Rota

  586. "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology" - Carl Sagan

  587. "Astrology is a disease, not a science" - Maimonides (Moshe Ben Maimon), Laws of Repentance

  588. "Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory" - Leonardo Da Vinci

  589. "We should not worry about what happens when computers pass the Turing test, but rather what happens when humans fail" - Unknown

  590. "Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science, as strangled snakes beside that of Hercules" - Thomas Huxley

  591. "Whenever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people" - Heinrich Heine

  592. "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis" - Pierre-Simon de Laplace (to Napoleon on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God)

  593. "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe" - H. G. Wells

  594. "Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel" - Ambrose Bierce

  595. "A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes" - James Feibleman

  596. "He who learns, and runs away, lives to learn another day" - Edward Lee Thorndike

  597. "Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see Paradise as Hell; and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as Paradise" - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

  598. "He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools" - Confucius

  599. "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it" - Voltaire

  600. "The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do" - Galileo Galilei

  601. "Science is not the exclusive property of scientists, it is a common human enterprise, a heritage of every thinking person on this planet" - Frank Shu, The Physical Universe

  602. "I'm proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill" - Thomas A. Edison

  603. "The interesting and inspiring thing about America is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself" - Woodrow Wilson

  604. "To keep your secret is wisdom, but to expect others to keep it is folly" - Samuel Johnson

  605. "Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead" - Benjamin Franklin

  606. "The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism" - George Jean Nathan

  607. "To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race" - Calvin Coolidge

  608. "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion" - Thomas Paine

  609. "Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish" - Timothy Jones

  610. "The Church says that the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the Moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church" - Ferdinand Magellan*

  611. "My mind is its own church" - Thomas Paine

  612. "Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star" - Confucius

  613. "Nothing is worse than active ignorance" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  614. "You sons of bitches. Give my love to Mother" - Francis "Two Gun" Crowley, executed in an electric chair

  615. "I honestly believe it is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so" - Josh Billings

  616. "That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time" - John Stuart Mill

  617. "The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other" - Francis Bacon

  618. "No man has a right in America to treat any other man 'tolerantly' for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. Our liberties are equal rights of every citizen" - Wendell L. Willkie

  619. "Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes" - Jawaharlal Nehru

  620. "The true civilization is where every man gives to every other every right that he claims for himself" - Robert G. Ingersoll

  621. "Science is to see what everyone else has seen but think what no one else has thought" - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

  622. "As I look back upon my education in chemistry and physics, I see that each year I learned that the stuff I learned the previous year was either a special case of a more general theory, an approximation, or, on occasion, an outright lie! Nonetheless, I needed those lower order approximations to be able to make sense of more general and conceptually more difficult formulations" - Don A. Berkowitz

  623. "I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises" - Neil Armstrong

  624. "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality" - George Bernard Shaw

  625. "I'm working on that" - Stephen Hawking (on a visit to the Paramount lot, when he saw the warp core of the USS Enterprise-D)

  626. "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army" - Edward Everett

  627. "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers" - Nikita Khrushchev

  628. "Sacred cows make the best hamburgers" - Mark Twain

  629. "If triangles had a God, he'd have three sides" - Yiddish proverb

  630. "I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way" - Franklin P. Adams

  631. "You will be able to appreciate the influence of such an Engine on the future progress of science. I live in a country which is incapable of estimating it" - Charles Babbage

  632. "May every young scientist remember... and not fail to keep his eyes open, for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery" - Patrick Blackett (ellipsis his)

  633. "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it" - Winston Churchill

  634. "Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories" - Arthur C. Clarke

  635. "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs" - Henry Ford

  636. "Ask her to wait a moment; I am almost done" - Carl Friedrich Gauss (while working when informed that his wife was dying)

  637. "To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit" - Stephen W. Hawking

  638. "A lady came up to me on the street and pointed to my suede jacket. 'You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?' she sneered. I replied in a psychotic tone, 'I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too'" - Jake Johanson

  639. "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM" - Lyndon B. Johnson

  640. "A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on" - John F. Kennedy

  641. "Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions; it only guarantees equality of opportunity" - Irving Kristol

  642. "Physics isn't a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money" - Leon Lederman

  643. "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone" - John Maynard Keynes

  644. "If Karl, instead of writing a lot about capital, had made a lot of it, it would have been much better" - Karl Marx's mother

  645. "In fact, one thing that I have noticed... is that all of these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever. I think you'll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid" - Brian E. Moore (ellipsis his)

  646. "Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous" - William Proxmire

  647. "Why, yes - a bulletproof vest" - James Rodges, murderer (on his final request before the firing squad)

  648. "I didn't think; I experimented" - Wilhelm Roentgen

  649. "There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science" - Louis Pasteur

  650. "Go on, get out - last words are for fools who haven't said enough" - Karl Marx, to his housekeeper, who urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down for posterity

  651. "Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals - the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all" - Martin Gardner (updated a long time ago)
Stephan T. Lavavej
This is my personal website. I work for Microsoft, but I don't speak for them.