Random Quotations: (some quite humorous)
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Every artist was first an amateur."
"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is
easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in
the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of
Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull:
"Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eyes of
"It is not certain that everything is uncertain."
"The more I see of men, the better I like my dog."
"The sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room."
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
"We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out."
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
" Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."
"Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish."
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain;
and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."
"The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that
it is at all comprehensible."
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
"One thing I have learned in a long life is that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike... and yet, it is the most precious thing we have."
"The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought."
"Complexity creates opportunity."
"Imperfection creates opportunity as well as its converse: risk."
"The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides."
Edgar Allan Poe:
"I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. "
"If a man never contradicts himself, the reason must be that he
virtually never says anything at all."
"This paper is so bad it is not even wrong."
A classical referee's report (author unknown):
"This paper contains much that is new and much that is true.
Unfortunately, that which is true is not new
and that which is new is not true."
Moses Hadas (1900-1966) in a book review:
"This book fills a much-needed gap."
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."
"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast
to coast without seeing anything."
"Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination."
"The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth
stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it."
"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."
"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution."
"Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government."
"War does not determine who is right -- only who is left. "
"What is new in our time is the increased power of the authorities to enforce their prejudices."
"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
"Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation."
"There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less."
Zak's Razor (Robert Zak, 1997, Quoted from Prof. Mark D. Hill's page)
Architects say, "It COULD work."
Implementors say, "It SHOULD work."
Verifiers say, "It WILL work."
Harris, Sydney J.
"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men,
but that men will begin to think like computers."
Shakespeare in "As You Like it" :
"I do desire we may be better strangers. "
"And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe;
And then from hour to hour we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale. "
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can
be made in a very narrow field."
"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.
But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
"The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears it is true."
"The highest result of education is tolerance."
Malcolm S. Forbes:
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten"
G. M. Trevelyan:
"Education... has produced a vast population able to read but
unable to distinguish what is worth reading."
"The future is much like the present, only longer."
"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."
George Bernard Shaw:
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those
who have not got it."
"An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."
"If you think the world is all wrong, remember that it contains people like you."
"Better to light the candle, than curse the darkness."
"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."
"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
"A good listener is usually thinking about something else."
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will do."
"If you don't know where you are, a map won't help."
"Some people make things happen, some watch while things happen, and
some wonder 'What happened?'"
"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two
watches is never sure."
"We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward."
"Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer
"I phoned my dad to tell him I had stopped smoking. He called
me a quitter."
W. C. Fields:
"Last week, I went to Philidelphia, but it was closed."
"Television -- a medium. So called because it is neither rare
"Give a man fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire
and he's warm for the rest of his life."
"Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking
off your shoes."
Mark Twain or Jim Horning?
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from
(Jim Horning kindly informed ykz on 5/12/2004 that this quotation should
be attributed to the great 13th century Sufi sage/fool Mullah Nasrudin)
"The researches of many commentators have already thrown much darkness
on this subject, and it is probable that if they continue we shall soon
know nothing at all about it."
E. F. Schumacher:
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more
violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move
in the opposite direction."
"Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco!"
"People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing."
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
"You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."
"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save."
"If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn't have to advertise them."
"You will be much more in control, if you realize how much you are not in control."
Thomas J. Watson:
"It is better to aim at perfection and miss, than to aim at imperfection and hit it."
"Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness."
"There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second."
"Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste."
"How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than 60 years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?"
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."
"A wise man does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices
for those which he has."
"The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing."
"The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the
happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their
control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts."
Dr. Seuss :
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
Mary Anne Radmacher:
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
Alexander Graham Bell:
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."
"A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with -- a man is what he makes of himself."
"I realize that, oddly enough, my lack of success was a benefit in disguise."
"He has a gift of making you understand how trivial your complaint is in the big scheme of things."
"The way they believed they could jump to the end of the learning curve
was an integral part of their demise."
James L. Fraser:
What Humphrey really did well is be humble, the
opposite of a know-it-all. Don't have an open mind,
because that cannot hold anything, but rather have an
inquiring mind. Believe in the guidance value of contrary
opinions while never being opinionated."
"A recession need not be bearish. However, we need to accept rapid changes that are
upon us to see if we can think ourselves into proper perspective."
"The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate apparently ordinary people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people."
"The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind."
"A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though awakens your own expectations."
"Comfort zone is often extended by discomfort."
"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength."
"May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy."
Edited by: ykz