Sunburn's Page o' Quotes

A few of my favorite quotations.
  • The cry "I could have thought of that" is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn't, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too. <Douglas Adams>

  • Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one idea. <Alain>

  • Written laws are like spider's webs; they will catch, it is true, the weak and the poor, but would be torn in pieces by the rich and powerful. <Anacharsis>

  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. <Anonymous>

  • Let no one enter who does not know mathematics. <Anonymous, inscription on Plato's door>

  • 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>

  • Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. <Albert Axent-Gyorgyi>

  • In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of the phenomenon but only to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience. <Neils Bohr>

  • There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true. <Neils Bohr>

  • Going to parties is a job. Being creative is a job. <David Byrne>

  • Man is a tool-using animal... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. <Thomas Carlyle>

  • The true science and study of man is man. <Pierre Charron>

  • It is completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting. <Agatha Christie>

  • Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. <Winston Churchill>

  • Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him? <Tom Clancy>

  • One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike--and yet it is the most precious thing we have. <Albert Einstein>

  • People are good enough to get through life, poor enough to make predictable and consequential mistakes. <Baruch Fischoff>

  • Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming: any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp. <anonymous, probably Greenspun>

  • The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal. <William James>

  • An unlearned carpenter of my acquaintance once said in my hearing: "There is very little difference between one man and another; but what little difference there is, is very important." This seems to me to go to the root of the matter. <William James>

  • A first-rate theory predicts; a second-rate theory forbids; and a third-rate theory explains after the event. <Aleksander Isaakovich Kitaigorodskii>

  • The naked intellect is an extrodinarily inaccurate instrument. <Madeline L'Engle>

  • To be forewarned and therfore eminently rational if our belief is true; but if our belief is a delusion, this same forewarning and forearming would obviously be the method whereby the delusion rendered itself incurable. <C. S. Lewis>

  • To do just the opposite is also a form of imitatation. <Lichtenberg>

  • Almost 30 years of ... research has yet to find a single case in which intuitive predicters outperform statistical models. <Anne Locksley & Charles Stangor>

  • The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. <unknown>

  • There doesn't exist a category of science to which we can give the name applied science. There are science and the application of science, bound together as the fruit to the tree which bears it. <Louis Pasteur>

  • Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to correct for subjective error. <Linus Pauling>

  • All great progress takes place when two sciences come together, and when their resemblance proclaims itself, despite the apparent disparity of their substance. <Henri Poincaré>

  • Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house. <Henri Poincaré>

  • Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth. <Arthur Schopenauer>

  • Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition. <Adam Smith>

  • We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. <Johnathan Swift>

  • The best is the enemy of the good. <Voltaire>

  • Man is the interpreter of nature, science the right interpretation. <William Whewell>

  • Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations we can perform without thinking about them. <Alfred North Whitehead>

  • We take issue... with every treatment of psychology that is based on simple self-observation or on philosophical supposition. <William Wundt>

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Last modified 2005.04.27, Copyright ©1998-2005 Mike Byrne