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.
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you have only one idea.
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.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
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 ..."
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what
nobody has thought.
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.
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.
Going to parties is a job. Being creative is a job.
Man is a tool-using animal... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he
The true science and study of man is man.
It is completely unimportant. That is why it is so interesting.
Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he
will pick himself up and continue on.
Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll
tell you. If not, why embarrass him?
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.
People are good enough to get through life, poor enough to make
predictable and consequential mistakes.
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.
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.
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.
To be forewarned and therfore forearmed...is 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
<C. S. Lewis>
To do just the opposite is also a form of imitatation.
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.
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.
Do unto others 20% better than you would expect them to do unto you, to
correct for subjective error.
All great progress takes place when two sciences come together, and when
their resemblance proclaims itself, despite the apparent disparity of their
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.
Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth.
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us
love one another.
The best is the enemy of the good.
Man is the interpreter of nature, science the right interpretation.
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.