Quotations

These quotes are available on the homepage, but there is quite a collection. I thought I’d list them all on one page. These quotations were sourced mostly from email signatures, but also from some good quotations websites and from various readings on- and offline.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse
– Henry Ford

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
– Steve Jobs

It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought.
– Steve Jobs, 1996

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome
– Samuel Johnson

A “real” [programming] language is one that people who don’t want to learn anything new are already familiar with.

Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen.
– Edward V Berard

Things which are different in order simply to be different are seldom better, but that which is made to be better is almost always different.
– Dieter Rams 1993

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

In the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
– Bertrand Russell

La femme serait vraiment l’égale de l’homme le jour où, à un poste important, on désignerait une femme incompétente. ~= Women will be truly equal to men the day an incompetent woman is given a high-level job.
– Françoise Giroud

My Father had a profound influence on me, he was a lunatic.
– Spike Milligan

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.
– Oscar Wilde

There are two ways of constructing a software design; one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.
– C. A. R. Hoare

Technology is dominated by two types of people: Those who understand what they do not manage. Those who manage what they do not understand.
– Putt’s Law

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
– Andy Warhol

And the users exclaimed with a laugh and a taunt: “It’s just what we asked for but not what we want.”

Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop – because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds.
– TIME, 1966

Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition.
– Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962.

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
– Albert Einstein

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
– Thomas Alva Edison

The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty: it’s twice as big as it needs to be.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
–Bertrand Russell

Warsaw’s Fourth Law: The Law of Pinball Machine Instructions. It doesn’t matter a wit if the instructions are printed clearly for all to see, nobody will read them. They’ll just drop their quarters and start pushing buttons like a Tommy. Software is the same.
– B. Warsaw

UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.
– Dennis Ritchie

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just…
– Mark Twain

Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
– St Exupéry

Neutron stars are almost unimaginably dense: a teaspoon of neutron star material weighs a billion tons (1.016 billion tonnes).

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
– H.L. Mencken

Sendmail: Shiva as a postman. Many arms delivering mail, dancing, taking drugs, destroying as it sees fit. Often makes creative changes to the mail for kicks, but ultimately can be persuaded to do anything with the right incantation…

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
– Dr. Seuss

If it dies, it’s biology. If it blows up, it’s chemistry, and if it doesn’t work, it’s physics.

In the end, what was it all for? Your servers and your bosses won’t beat your bedside when you’re really sick and/or dying. But family, friends and loved ones will.
– Sandman1971 on /.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
– Rich Cook

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.

It is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
– E. W. Dijkstra

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
– Blaise Pascal

When truth is outlawed; only outlaws will tell the truth.

In a time of universal lies, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
– George Orwell

Die Zeit für kleine Politik ist vorbei. Schon das nächste Jahrhundert bringt den Kampf um die Erdherrschaft. ~= The time for petty politics is past. Already the next century hails a struggle for global domination.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.
–Friedrich Nietzsche

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to.
– Old Irish Saying

When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people; the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.
– Martin Luther King

What steps could I follow to prevent the [exploitable Microsoft ActiveX]control from being silently re-introduced onto my system? The simplest way is to make sure you have no trusted publishers, including Microsoft.
– Security Bulletin MS02-065

Microsoft isn’t the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is no.

Tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
– Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes we sit and read other people’s interpretations of our lyrics and think, ‘Hey, that’s pretty good.’ If we liked it, we would keep our mouths shut and just accept the credit as if it was what we meant all along.
– John Lennon.

The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.
– JFK, American University, June 10, 1963

Not only does Jesus save, but he makes nightly off-site backups.

IDIOT, n – A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
– Ambrose Bierce

Hofstadter’s Law states that projects take longer than expected, even when Hofstadter’s Law is taken into account.

Has it every occurred to you that God might be a committee?
– Robert Heinlein, 1907-1988

It’s amazing how some people can put their foot in their mouth with their head so far up their ass.

Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabilem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caperet.
– Fermat’s Theorum (margin note)

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
– Diderot

To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of war mongering. For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventative war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences.
– Jimmy Carter 10/12/02

The only reason I’m burning my candle at both ends, is because I haven’t figured out how to light the middle yet.

If the brain was so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we could not understand it
– Lyall Watson

Recognizing disagreements in belief requires having enough agreements in belief to translate or understand the words and deeds of my opponent.
– Anthony O’Hear (combining, somewhat, several modern philosophers).

All this talk about everyone being connected to the Internet by the year xxxx ignores the simple fact that a large number of people in the world are fighting for survival.

Alcohol and Calculus don’t mix. Never drink and derive.

Finished the quotations? Read some jokes!

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