A colllection of quotes I like. As you read them, please keep in mind that:
A witty saying proves nothing — Voltaire.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it.
You can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism.
It’s OK to stand on the shoulders of giants, just don’t shit on their heads.
Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
Considerate la vostra semenza
fatti non foste a viver come bruti
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza
We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather: we get educated out of it.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Of course I believe in free will. I have no choice.
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked for forgiveness.
If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.
Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.
One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.
Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.
Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.
When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to have recourse to any other.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
If you continue to do what you do, you will continue to get what you get.
Numbers talk, bullshit walks.
The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.
Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.
My vision of economic morality is more or less Rawlsian: we should try to create the society each of us would want if we didn’t know in advance who we’d be.
No battle plan ever survives contact first contact with the enemy.
Contrary to the ultra-Darwinist view, reverse engineering doesn’t always work in biology for the simple reason that God is not an engineer; God is a hacker.
Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.
Nobody looks back on their life and remembers the nights where they got plenty of sleep.
If you want to make important discoveries, choose an important problem.
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
Love consists in overestimating the differences between one woman and another.
Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.
The suppression of the authorial “I” in academic writing, is, ultimately, a rhetorical ploy [designed to create] the appearance of objectivity.
With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.
There are four basic human needs; food, sleep, sex and revenge.
There is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Do not raise your children the way your parents raised you, they were born for a different time.
There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.
Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order.
A good teacher does not teach facts, he or she teaches enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and values.
What mysterious forces precede the appearance of the processes [dendrites and axon], promoting their growth and ramification, provoking the coherent migration of the cells and fibres in predetermined directions, as if obeying a wise architectonic plan, and finally establishing those protoplasmic kisses, the intercellular articulations [synapses] that appear to constitute the final ecstasy of an epic love story?
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks: but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house.
Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.
Sì come una giornata bene spesa dà lieto dormire, così una vita bene usata dà lieto morire
The man of talent is like a marksman who hits a mark others cannot hit; the man of genius is like a marksman who hits a mark they cannot even see to.
(often quoted as ‘Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see’)