Notable Quotes

Life Advice

It’s lack that gives us inspiration, it’s not fullness.

– Ray Bradbury

 

What I cannot create, I do not understand

– Feynman

 

 

If a problem can’t be solved, enlarge it

– Eisenhower

 

The future is here already, it’s just not yet evenly distributed

– William Gibson

 

If one doesn't know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable

– unknown

 

When it's darkest, men see the stars

– R W Emerson

 

All we have is our time and our souls. Why not make the most of both?
Think of your life as a story of which you are an author. Tell that story as you choose. Tell it passionately

– T. A. Barron

When they train racecar drivers, one of the first lessons is when you are going around a curve at 200 mph, don’t focus on the wall. focus on the road

–  Ben Horowitz

 

We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

– Stephen M.R. Covey

 

I don't buy the adage that you should start a company when you are very young, because that's when you have the energy. Insight, not energy, is the key to success in technology, and insight does not arrive on a particular timetable.

– Andy Rachleff

 

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time

– Henry Ford

 

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

– Charles R. Swindoll

 

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

– John F Kennedy

 

If you're not the worst musician in in your band, you should immediately switch bands

– unknown

 

Knowing where to look -- and remembering what you have seen -- is a hallmark of experience and expertise.

– unknown

 

Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes

– Dorian Gray

 

A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.

– John Burroughs

 

 

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. 

– Maya Angelou

 

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

– William G.T. Shedd

 

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

– Antoine de Saint Exupéry

 

It is better to have a clear idea and have it fail than to be unclear in conception, because you can learn from a failure and go on to the next clear idea. But if you never make a commitment to anything with clarity, or care about it, then you don’t get any feedback and you can never know if the idea was good or bad.

– unknown

 

True fishermen cast their lines not because they want the fish, but because they like fishing. It’s fine to be an angel investor – just don’t do it for the money.

– unknown

 

 [Members of the orchestra] have exceptional technical abilities, follow directions very well, and deftly blend in to a larger unit. Conductors, on the other hand, communicate easily, have compelling vision, and can assemble others into a coherent, meaningful whole. Our education system rewards excellent members of the orchestra, and so ambitious young people — those who will one day run our cultural institutions — focus on becoming just that.

– Derick Stace-Naughton

 

For Reflection

 

Oh,
I
know
I too shall cease and be as when I was not yet, only all over instead of in store. That makes me happy, often now my murmur falters and dies and I weep for happiness as I go along and for love of this old earth
that has carried me so long and whose uncomplainingness will soon be mine. Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate, and drift through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me.
A ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought,
a ton of worms, I believe it.

– Samuel Beckett, “Death”

 

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

–William Henry Davies

 

When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.

– John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

 

Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and persistently thought considers them: the starred sky above me and the moral law inside me.

– Kant

 
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

– Einstein

 

If the stories are boats taking you places, in the hulls of these boats are ideas

– T. A. Barron

 

Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever

– Konstantin E Tsiolkovsky, 1911

 

Make visible what, without you might perhaps never have been seen

– Robert Bresson

 

In our society, meritocracy has created the notion that success is earned but so is failure. This brings about envy.

– unknown

 

Technology

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems.

– Jamie Zawinski

  

This project is experimental and of course comes without any warranty whatsoever. However, it could start a revolution in information access.

– Tim Berners-Lee

 

You have achieved a perfection in design when you can't take anything away.
– unknown

 

Welcome to the new decade: Java is a restricted platform, Google is evil, Apple is a monopoly and Microsoft are the underdogs

– unknown (in 2011)

 

Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.

  – unknown

 

Invention requires a long-term willingness to be misunderstood.

– Jeff Bezos

 
If you're long-term oriented, customer interests and shareholder interests are aligned.

– Jeff Bezos

 

I very frequently get the question: 'What's going to change in the next 10 years?' And that is a very interesting question; it's a very common one. I almost never get the question: 'What's not going to change in the next 10 years?' And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two -- because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. ... [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that's going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. 

– Jeff Bezos

 

Your margin is my opportunity.

– Jeff Bezos

 

[Silicon Valley] is more like Wall Street, where things become impossibly expensive, but the best players still want to be there, in close proximity to the best players. That is a hallmark of knowledge work that makes it curiously local, when you think it would be portable

– unknown

 

In 2005 I visited Google’s headquarters, and was utterly floored by what I saw. “We are not scanning all those books to be read by people. We are scanning them to be read by an AI,” an engineer whispered to me.

– George Dyson

 

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.

– Douglas Adams

 

I would say that modern software engineering is the ongoing refinement of the ever-increasing degrees of decoupling. Yet, while the history of software shows that coupling is bad, it also suggests that coupling is unavoidable. An absolutely decoupled application is useless because it adds no value. Developers can only add value by coupling things together. The very act of writing code is coupling one thing to another. The real question is how to wisely choose what to be coupled to.

– Juval Löwy

 

Software requirements is a communication problem

– unknown

 

Ideas

Ideas have their time, and it’s not for us to choose when they arrive.  But when they do, they almost always occur to many people at more or less the same time, often in a slightly disguised form whose underlying unity becomes apparent only later.  This is perhaps not too surprising, the same seeds taking root in many a fertile mind.  A bit harder to explain, though, is the moment in time when an idea comes to fruition.  Often all of the ingredients are available, and yet no one thinks to put two-and-two together and draw what seems, in retrospect, to be the obvious inference. Until, suddenly, everyone does.  Why didn’t we think of that ages ago? Nothing was stopping us, we just didn’t notice the opportunity!

– unknown

 

You see, I think he better than anyone understood that while ideas ultimately can be so powerful, they begin as fragile, barely formed thoughts, so easily missed, so easily compromised, so easily just squished.

– Jonathan Ive

 

You don't pull ideas out of your head; they push themselves to it

 – unknown

 

 

All Other

A woman with a voice of a classroom and a mouth of a bar room.
[...] If you don’t know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.
[...] Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.
[...] Who is John Galt?

– Atlas Shrugged

 

Education is inherently and inevitably an issue of human goals and human values

– Howard Gardner

 

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

– H. G. Wells

 


Missing a train is only painful if you run after it!

There are schools named after high school dropouts

The reason free markets work is that they allow people to be lucky through aggressive trial and error not by incentives for skill

Read books are far less valuable than unread ones

– Nassim Taleb

 
People buy what you believe in, not what you're selling.  The most successful vendors say why, then how, then what.

– unknown

 

 

Do you believe that I think about your miserable fiddle when the muse strikes me?

– Beethoven, when a violinist complained about a particularly difficult section

 

Democracy is an ingenious way of giving the masses an impression of power.

– Lukasz Strozek

 

We long for living in a metropolis – a place densely packed with people. But then once we're there, we avoid humans at all cost – we avoid eye contact on the subway, we tend not to talk to people on the street, we just want to go about our day uninterrupted. This contradiction stems from our greed: we want the metropolis all to ourselves.

– Lukasz Strozek

 

Peace, though beloved of our Lord, is a cardinal virtue only if your neighbors share your conscience.
[...] An abyss cannot be crossed in two steps.
[...] Golf isn’t just a game y’ know, golf is a career advantage!

– Cloud Atlas

 

The plural of anecdote is not data

– unknown

 

The economic approach isn’t meant to describe the world as any one of us might want it to be, or fear that it is, or pray that it becomes—but rather to explain what it actually is. Most of us want to fix or change the world in some fashion. But to change the world, you first have to understand it.

– Superfreakonomics

 

Heteronormative terms make pronoun references easier

Jasper Sherman-Presser

 

Sure, it works in practice, but does it work in theory?

– unknown

 

Most of us have no problem with copying (so long as it’s us doing it)

– unknown

 

We’re no longer judging you by what sort of widgets your factory makes. We’re judging you by what we can expect from you in the future.
[...] No one ever bought anything in the elevator-purpose is to make it so compelling, the person will stay after the ride is over
[...] Placebos are underrated by almost everyone.
[...] Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.
[...] Once the water is deep enough that you must swim to stay afloat, does it really matter how deep the pool is?
[...] Plans are great.  But missions are better. Missions survive when plans fail, and plans almost always fail.
[...] Learn guts (i.e. a willingness to fail), not confidence

 

– Seth Godin

 

The silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.

– Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales

 

Often, as with the big pharmacies, the script is fine but it is the illumination that scars us.

– Just My Type

 

When the train of history hits a curve, the intellectuals fall off.

– Karl Marx

 

This is narrative ballast.

– Oracle Night

 

Cynics may shake their heads but cynics never do much anyway except shake their heads

– Freelancers Union ad

 

Most people aren’t [reasonable], even though they’d protest that they are. They prefer to be coaxed or wheeled, or even driven. That way they never make a mistake.
[...] It’s an affectation to consider yourself too spiritual to understand anything mechanical. It is a petty and a very silly form of vanity. Everyone starts by knowing nothing about anything, but God gives him–and even her–brains to find out with. Failure to use them is not a virtue to be praised; even in women it is a gap to be deplored

– The Day of the Triffids

 

If you want to end racism, stop talking about it.

Morgan Freeman 

 

There are no facts, only interpretations.

– Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Parents should never want to teach us life; for they teach us their life.
[...] Each person ought to be guided only to the point where he becomes capable of thinking by himself, working by himself, learning by himself. [...] Schools ought to think above all in terms of individuals and not in terms of grades.

– Rilke, Letters on Life

 

 

 

Proximity to power deludes some into thinking they wield it

 – unknown

 

Past a certain point all meditation techniques must end because they are just techniques. The real meditation is a natural exploration of the mind.

– Sam Zeiger

 

The essence of strategy is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals do.
[...] A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve.
[...] Strategy is making trade-offs in competing. The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.

– Michael E Porter, What is Strategy

 

What is a feeling if not a thought groping its way into articulation

– unknown

 

Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice
[...] We are no longer confident that atoms, much less organisms, will respond in the future as we think they have responded in the past.
[...] History cannot be a science — it can only be an industry (by ferreting out the facts), an art (by establishing a meaningful order in the chaos of materials), and a philosophy (by seeking perspective and enlightenment).
[...] Since Nature has not read very carefully the American Declaration of Independence or the French Revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man, we are all born unfree and unequal. Nature loves difference as the necessary material of selection and evolution. Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias.
[...] The conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it. It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely.
[...] We must remind ourselves again that history as usually written is quite different from history as usually lived: the historian records the exceptional because it is interesting–because it is exceptional.
[...] Roman morals began to “decay” soon after the conquered Greeks passed into Italy (146 B.C.), but Rome continued to have great statesmen, philosophers, poets, and artists until the death of Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 180). Politically Rome was at nadir when Caesar came (60 B.C.); yet it did not quite succumb to the barbarians till A.D. 465. May we take as long to fall as did Imperial Rome!
[...] Only when priests used the fears [of hidden forces in the earth, rivers, oceans, trees, winds, and sky] and rituals to support morality and law did religion become a force vital and rival to the state.
[...] If history supports any theology this would be a dualism like the Zoroastrian or Manichaean: a good spirit and an evil spirit battling for control of the universe and men’s souls.
[...] Just as the moral development of the Hellenes had weakened their belief in the quarrelsome and adulterous deities of Olympus, so the development of the Christian ethic slowly eroded Christian theology. Christ destroyed Jehovah.
[...] As long as there is poverty there will be gods.
[...] We conclude that the concentration of wealth is natural and inevitable, and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial redistribution. In this view all economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast systole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive recirculation.
[...] The longest-lasting regime of socialism yet known to history was set up by the Incas in what we now call Peru, at some time in the thirteenth century.
[...] There may be a redivision of the land, but the natural inequality of men soon re-creates an inequality of possessions and privileges, and raises to power a new minority with essentially the same instincts as in the old. The only real revolution is in the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionists are the philosophers and saints.
[...] Peace is an unstable equilibrium, which can be preserved only be acknowledged supremacy or equal power.
[...] We shall here define progress as the increasing control of the environment by life.

– Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History

 

The worst slave owners were those who were kind to their slaves

– Slavoj Zizek

 

Historically, the most terrible things – war, genocide, and slavery – have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience

– unknown

 

Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire
[...] Sometimes a few birds, a horse, have saved the ruins of an amphitheater.

– Jorge Luis Borges

 

If the food tastes bad, then large portions are not a virtue

– anonymous