Quotes

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

War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.

— Ambrose Bierce

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

There are four basic human needs; food, sleep, sex and revenge.

— Banksy

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 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

Everyone dies one day. Everyone. Even wolves. But not books. Not words. Words don’t die.

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

— Sydney Brenner