You are nothing more than a lucky species of ape that is trying to understand the complexities of creation via a language that evolved in order to tell one another where the ripe fruit was.
— Terry Pratchett, "Death and What Comes Next"
Category Archives: Quotes
Garbage in, garbage out. Or rather more felicitously, the tree of nonsense is watered with error, and from its branches swing the pumpkins of disaster.
— Nick Harkaway, “The Gone Away World," p.145
The dialogue in this scene is an entertaining take on terrorism, tyranny, and bureaucracy. I would highly recommend this book irrespective of that.
I am opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today.
— Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The best performance improvement is the transition from the nonworking state to the working state.
— John Ousterhout
Nothing is more fatal to the progress of the human mind than to presume that our view of science is ultimate, that our triumphs are complete, that there are no mysteries in nature, and that there are no new worlds to conquer.
— Humphry Davy
At the heart of quantitative reasoning is a single question:
Compared to what?"
— Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information, p. 67
(cf. Bastiat's What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen)
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
— Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition, §32
The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work.
— Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming Vol. II, §4.2.2A
An aeronautical engineer can predict reliably that “If you design a wing like this, then this plane will be airworthy, but if you design it like that, then it will never get in the air.” If you were to build a bunch of airplanes according to each set of specifications, you would discover that he or she is almost always right. This is actual expertise...
Our so-called experts in public policy talk a good game, but in the end are no experts at all. They build castles of words, and call it knowledge.
People who have good arguments do not need bad ones.