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.

— Albert Einstein

Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

— Robert Heinlein

Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it.

— Richard Feynman

You can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism.

— Julian Assange

It’s OK to stand on the shoulders of giants, just don’t shit on their heads.

— unknown

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

— unknown

Considerate la vostra semenza
fatti non foste a viver come bruti
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza

— Ulysses, La Divina Commedia (Dante Alighieri)

We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather: we get educated out of it.

— Ken Robinson

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

— Bertrand Russell

Of course I believe in free will. I have no choice.

— Christopher Hitchens

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.

— Emo Philips

If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.

— Frank Zappa

Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.

— Richard Feynman

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.

— James D. Watson

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.

— Kurt Vonnegut

Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

— Max Radin

When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to have recourse to any other.

— Mitchell Ulmann

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

— Benjamin Franklin

If you continue to do what you do, you will continue to get what you get.

— unknown, Chinese proverb

Numbers talk, bullshit walks.

— Linus Torvalds

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.

— Wilson Mizner

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

— Scott Adams

If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.

— Jean Paul Sartre

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.

— Paul Krugman, Paraphrasing John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance (Theory of Justice)

No battle plan ever survives contact first contact with the enemy.

— Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

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.

— Francis Crick

Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.

— Howard Zinn

Nobody looks back on their life and remembers the nights where they got plenty of sleep.

— Anonymous

If you want to make important discoveries, choose an important problem.

— Peter Medawar

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.

— David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

Love consists in overestimating the differences between one woman and another.

— George B. Shaw

Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.

— Frank Sinatra

The suppression of the authorial “I” in academic writing, is, ultimately, a rhetorical ploy [designed to create] the appearance of objectivity.

— James C. Raymond

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.

— Banksy

There is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse

— Chris Hadfield

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

— Mark Twain

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.

— Theodosius Dobzhansky

Do not raise your children the way your parents raised you, they were born for a different time.

— Ali ibn Abi Talib – circa 630

There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.

— Jack Welch

Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order.

— Sydney Brenner

A good teacher does not teach facts, he or she teaches enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and values.

— Gian-Carlo Rota, A Mathematician’s Gossip

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?

— Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Recuerdos de mi Vida, Moya, Madrid, 1917

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

— Isaac Asimov

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.

— Henri Poincare

Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

— Aubrey de Grey

Sì come una giornata bene spesa dà lieto dormire, così una vita bene usata dà lieto morire

— Leonardo da Vinci, Codice Trivulziano

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’)

— Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation (1886)

The invisible hand never picks up the cheque.

— Kim Stanley Robinson

A few first-rate research papers are preferable to a large number that are poorly conceived or half-finished. The latter are no credit to their writers and a waste of time to their readers.

— Claude Shannon

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

— George Bernard Shaw