Quotes

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. (Robert A. Heinlein)

A mathematician is a machine to turn coffee into theorems. (Alfréd Rényi; usually attributed to Paul Erdős)
And a comathematician is a machine to turn cotheorems into ffee. (via Alessandro D'Andrea)

Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned. (Avicenna)

A PhD in Mathematics is three years of guessing it wrong, plus one week of getting it right and writing a dissertation. (Keith Devlin)

At the University of Life, graduation parties are always a funeral. (personal take on a strip by Quino)

Automata theory is the linear algebra of computer science. (Jacques Sakarovitch)

Being able to break security doesn't make you a hacker anymore than being able to hotwire cars makes you an automotive engineer. (Eric S. Raymond)

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. (Donald Ervin Knuth)

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. (attributed to Edsger Dijkstra)

Confront the enemy with the point of your sword against his face. (Miyamoto Musashi)

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. (Thomas Alva Edison)

God doesn't play dice with the universe. (Albert Einstein)
Albert, stop telling God what He should do! (Enrico Fermi)

Grovelling is not a substitute for doing your homework. (Eric S. Raymond)

I don't understand. What form should be taken by my "respect" for the idea that 3 is greater than 5, that there are 47 integers between 0 and 1, that independent events are not independent, etc.? (Adam Atkinson)

I'm a man; nothing of men's I consider alien to me. (Terence)

In theory, theory and practice are the same; but in practice, they are different. (Yogi Berra)

It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission. (Grace M. Hopper)

I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. (Michael Jordan)

I wonder if "hackers attacked me" is the modern version of "dog ate my homework". (Paolo Attivissimo)

Keep your mind open, but not so much that your brain falls out. (variously attributed to Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins, and Carl Sagan)

Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where experiments are cheap. (Vladimir I. Arnol'd)

Never attribute to malice what is explained well enough by stupidity. (known as Hanlon's Razor)

Nothing is sillier than a silly laughter. (Catullus)

No! Try not. Do. Or, do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost. (Robert A. Heinlein)

One man's technology is another man's sorcery. The legends about enchanted swords are born when iron clashes with steel. (personal take on Clarke's Third Law)

Private property is a nuisance. (Paul Erdős)

Quite often, when people ask us to "think for ourselves", they actually mean that we should shut up and listen to them while they tell us what we should think. (Anonymous)

The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. (Chinese proverb)

The saying "infinite are the ways of the Lord" was invented by the devil, to conceal that almost all the ways actually lead to him. (Piergiorgio Odifreddi)

The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." (Isaac Asimov)

The theory of cellular automata is, at its very root, a simplification gone wonderfully wrong. (Zoran Šunić)

The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)

There is no such easy thing that it cannot become hard when you do it against your will. (Terence)

They think they are left-wingers because they eat fish with a knife. (Leo Longanesi)

Thinking doesn't guarantee that we won't make mistakes. But not thinking guarantees that we will. (Leslie Lamport)

Those who are never afraid of saying what they think should sometimes be ashamed of thinking what they say. (Anonymous)

We humans, as intelligent beings on Earth, belong to the system administrators' crew of our terrestrial computer. A competent administrator would never let some of the simulations die, nor would tolerate overall system overheating. (Francisco J. Vico)

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure. (known as Goodhart's law)

When lies are told to uphold a just cause, that cause is likely not just. (Rodolfo Baraldini)

When you ask a French wineseller about his wine, he will tell you that French wine is the best in the world, the region's wine is the best in France, and the wine in his shop is the best in the region; but when you ask an Italian wineseller about his wine, he will tell you that all wine is bad except Italian, all wine in Italy is adulterated except the region's, and all the region's winesellers are scoundrels except him. (personal take on a blog entry by Luca Trevisan, who heard it from Oded Goldreich, who attributes it to Silvio Micali)


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Last update: 24 October 2017

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