Favorite Quotes

This is a selection of my favorite quotes. Some of them are humorous, others reflect an opinion of mine. A few merely bring to attention something that's of current importance. Some combine the above. Some I just like. I'm sure you can figure out which is which for yourself.


The only happy people I know are those who are working well on something they consider important.
- Abraham H. Maslow

Things you can get access to, you should never memorize.
- Albert Einstein

Happiness isn't having what you want, it's wanting what you have.
- Anonymous

Don't attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.
- Anonymous

I want delayed gratification and I want it now.
- Anonymous

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
- Aristotle

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

Gloat not at a genius' misfortunes.
- Bernard Chazelle

People who want to make meth will find ways to do it that don't require an Erlenmeyer flask. But raising a generation of people who are technically incompetent is a recipe for disaster.
- Bill Nye

Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.
- Brian W. Kernighan

If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.
- Cardinal Richelieu

At the heart of science is an essential tension between two seemingly contradictory attitudes - an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense.
- Carl Sagan

Hateful is the power, and pitiable is the life, of those who wish to be feared rather than loved.
- Cornelius Nepos

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.'
- Dani Berry

A scholar is just a library's way of making another library.
- Daniel Dennett

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Some consider the puzzles that are created by their omissions as spicy challenges, without which their texts would be boring; others shun clarity lest their work is considered trivial.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Once he could read and write he would have a mind fit to rule. So ran the democratic doctrine. But instead of a mind, universal literacy has given him rubber stamps, rubber stamps inked with advertising slogans, with editorials, with published scientific data, with the trivialities of the tabloids and the platitudes of history, but quite innocent of original thought.
- Edward Bernays

I am praying that you will never be the same after this hearing.
- Elijah Cummings

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
- G. K. Chesterton

If you spell a word wrong you have some temptation to think it wrong.
- G. K. Chesterton

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.
- George W. Bush

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
- George W. Bush

Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacuum and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.
- Henry David Thoreau

As if the main object was to talk fast and not to talk sensibly.
- Henry David Thoreau

The ultimate effect of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.
- Herbert Spencer

Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
- Hermann Göring

Asceticism is not that you should not own anything, but that nothing should own you.
- Imam Ali

The universe tends toward maximum irony. Don't push it.
- Jamie Zawinski

All professional men are handicapped by not being allowed to ignore things which are useless.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whenever something is convenient or was modified after 1970, you probably shouldn't use it as root.
- John Huston

A state of things in which a large portion of the most active and inquiring intellects find it advisable to keep the genuine principles and grounds of their convictions within their own breasts, and attempt, in what they address to the public, to fit as much as they can of their own conclusions to premises which they have internally renounced, cannot send forth the open, fearless characters, and logical, consistent intellects who once adorned the thinking world.
- John Stuart Mill

Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
- John Stuart Mill

The more you socialize the costs of personal liberty, the more license you give others to regulate it.
- Jonah Goldberg

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim".
- Lyndon B. Johnson

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
- Mark Twain

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

[...]If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
- Oscar Wilde

Most grad students are stuck working on big problems they don't really like, and grad school is thus synonymous with procrastination.
- Paul Graham

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Insist on yourself; never imitate.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hate the prostitution of the name of friendship to signify modish and worldly alliances.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you would serve your brother, because it is fit for you to serve him, do not take back your words when you find that prudent people do not commend you. Adhere to your own act, and congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant and broken the monotony of a decorous age.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
- Richard Feynman

Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone.
- Richard Stallman

I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.
- Shaquille O'Neal

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.
- Sir Francis Bacon

So the question of how God can permit evil in the world is jointly the fault of theologians sitting back and collecting paychecks for centuries without advancing their field a millimeter, and historically illiterate skeptics unaware that there ever was a time when the whole world was hungry and poor.
- Steve Dutch

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
- Steven Weinberg

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
- Teddy Roosevelt

The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.
- Thomas Carlyle

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise.
- Thomas Paine

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
- Thomas Paine

The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time...The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.
- Tom Cargill

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
- Victor Hugo

A witty saying proves nothing.
- Voltaire

Clever tyrants are never punished.
- Voltaire

The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Voltaire

Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.
- William Blackstone

The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
- William Hutton

To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?
- William Shakespeare

I am not standing in the way of progress I am just asking progress what it plans to do with everybody else.
- Wray Smith

Valid XHTML, CSS, RSS | 2ms | Copyright 2004-2017 Eric Stein