Engineering-related quotes – for inspiration and reflection.
This list of quotations has been compiled through the continuous efforts of members of the lab to draw attention to the individuals, phrases, philosophies, and concepts from around the world and throughout history that serve to shape the thinking of engineers. Many of these quotes previously appeared, in regular rotation, on the projection screen above the door in the EDS; now you can enjoy them from wherever you are on earth.
There are innumerable existing lists of similar quotes; in particular, many of the quotes in the article 101 Engineering Quotes from the Minds of Innovators align well with the ethos of the Engineering Design Studio, and appear on our list, as well.
Note: Many of the quotes below have been altered to be gender-neutral. If you're seeking an original quote, please double-check and cross-reference with sources available.
"Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies."
"Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
"As a freelance writer, I'd be asked to become an expert for various magazines on any subject, whether food or wine or history or the life span of veterinarians. I was completely unschooled in any of these things."
"I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done."
"The 2 hardest things you'll have to do when running a company are recruiting and talking people out of leaving."
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."
"Potential has a shelf life."
"No matter how hard you try, you cannot push a string."
"An object should be judged by whether it has a form consistent with its use."
"Any good software engineer will tell you that a compiler and an interpreter are interchangeable."
"Politeness is the poison of collaboration."
"Architecture is the art of how to waste space."
"I made choices, and then, having made them, I had fewer choices."
"One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with."
"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
"We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe."
"A shatterproof object will always fall on the only surface hard enough to crack or break it."
— Murphy's Law of Selective Gravitation
"Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations."
"It is much more rewarding to do more with less."
"Do I need a blockchain?"
"I am a passenger on the spaceship Earth."
"The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question; it's to post the wrong answer."
"Don't fear moving slowly. Fear standing still."
"Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true."
"At a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking."
"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."
"Since the Internet of Things is built on silicon, on the tremendous instability of modern electronics, it’s built on literal sand."
"Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp."
"Education: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding."
"When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. Press pause."
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
"Paths are made by walking"
"A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about 1. What its product is. 2. Who its customers are. 3. How to make money."
"A common fallacy: to imagine a measure will be easy because we have private motives for desiring it."
"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it."
"The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone."
"Offer a financial reward for each exterminated poisonous snake, and eventually, enterprising individuals will begin breeding snakes."
"Excusing bad programming is a shooting offence, no matter what the circumstances."
"I'm smart enough to know that I'm dumb."
"The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human."
"Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution."
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."
"I don't spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems."
"Under Bayes' theorem, no theory is perfect. Rather, it is a work in progress, always subject to further refinement and testing."
"Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable."
"The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught."
"You shouldn’t try to manufacture progress."
"It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves."
"When safety measures are implemented, people’s perception of risk decreases, and so people may feel that they can now afford to make riskier decisions."
"I think the most important thing we can teach our kids for their long-term health and happiness is how to cook."
"Everything not forbidden is compulsory."
"Fall in love with some activity, and do it!"
"If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong"
— Murphy's Law of Complex Systems
"To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it takes only a little courage."
"A 22nd-order all-pass filter is, technically, a filter."
"Leaps of innovation require a bravery that borders on absurdity."
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use."
"The minute you choose to do what you really want to do, it's a different kind of life. "
"If you put a frog in boiling water, it'll jump straight out. If you put it in cold water and gradually bring it to the boil, it'll sit right there until it dies."
"When they think that they know the answers, people are difficult to guide. When they know that they don't know, people can find their own way."
"Acceptance is the spiritual hammock."
"That is not only not right; it is not even wrong."
"Beauty perishes in life, but is immortal in art."
"...an optimistic mind-set finds dozens of possible solutions for every problem that the pessimist regards as incurable."
"The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program."
"The sun comes up just about as often as it goes down, in the long run, but this doesn't make its motion random."
"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them."
"If a sign is not necessary, then it is meaningless."
"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
"Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found."
"The internet brought many laudable things, but prosperity, stability, accountability and honest politics were not four of them."
"These days, the problem isn't how to innovate; it's how to get society to adopt the good ideas that already exist."
"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run."
"Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right."
"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own."
"Why look for conspiracy when stupidity can explain so much."
"As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product."
"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."
"It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves."
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
"It would be rather naive to imagine that Oprah doesn't have an Earth Evacuation Plan. You know Richard Branson does - his is in plain sight."
"One must never miss an opportunity of quoting things by others which are always more interesting than those one thinks up oneself."
"Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it."
"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."
"A design isn't finished until someone is using it."
"No evidence against a firmly-held belief, no matter how good or abundant it may be, will sway the true believer."
"I can’t make you the smartest or the brightest, but it’s doable to be the most knowledgeable. It’s possible to gather more information than somebody else."
"Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received."
"Design is where science and art break even."
"Utopia means elsewhere."
"The key thing about all the world's big problems is that they have to be dealt with collectively. If we don't get collectively smarter, we're doomed."
"Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical."
"A hacker to me is someone creative who does wonderful things."
"The Linux philosophy is ‘Laugh in the face of danger’. Oops. Wrong One. ‘Do it yourself’."
"Any wire cut to length will be too short."
"A person with a watch knows what time it is. A person with two watches is never sure."
"Teachers are those who use themselves as bridges, over which they invite their students to cross; then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own."
"To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level."
"People exaggerate their confidence in their plans - something we call the planning fallacy... The existence of the plan tends to induce overconfidence."
"Do what's good for humans, modeled on how humans already do things; ignore what's convenient for computers."
"Information wants you to give me a dollar."
"Trees sprout up just about everywhere in computer science."
"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on their own terms, not anyone else's."
"I have not failed, but found 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb."
"Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping Tom to install your window blinds."
"As a university student, if you don't need to work to pay tuition, set the price of your time to Zero, not because it's worthless, but because it's too valuable to exchange or any amount of cash to work on anything except that which ignites your passions."
"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent."
"Enjoy what you can, endure what you must."
"The Sun does not realise how wonderful it is until after a room is made."
"If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy."
"Almost every dot-com idea from 1999 that failed will succeed."
"I do not see the world at all; I invent it."
"A critic is a person who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative people."
"Au•to•di•dac•ti•cis•m (n.) — The art of self-education without the guidance of masters or institutions."
"Those who believe without reason cannot be convinced by reason."
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
"Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth."
"Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute."
"New capabilities emerge just by virtue of having smart people with access to state-of-the-art technology."
"A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops."
"There will be two types of businesses in the next 5 years, those that are on the Internet, and those that are out of business."
"Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors."
"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."
"The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange."
"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up."
"Moonshot thinking starts with picking a big problem: something huge, long existing, or on a global scale."
"I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one 'race' - the human race - and that we are all members of it."
"Write your values in pen, your tactics and strategies in pencil."
"Measurements will be quoted in the least practical unit; velocity, for example, will be measured in 'furlongs-per-fortnight'."
"If you're the village blacksmith and a model T comes along, you better become a mechanic. People's lives are better when they get news online versus having to wait for the morning paper. It's a lot more efficient, a lot more real time, a lot less waste."
"There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true."
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy people trying to find easier ways to do something."
"Think deeply about things. Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say. Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think."
"Linux is only free if your time has no value."
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
— Mae West
"No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else."
"Many things are improbable, only a few are impossible."
"What is a rebel? A person who says no."
"In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying."
"All cats are equal, but some cats are more equal than others."
"All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA."
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
"You can’t argue with facts. You’re not entitled to your own facts."
"The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past."
"Ninjas over Tanks."
"In the fields of observation chance favors only the prepared mind."
"Doors, not Walls."
"It is no accident that Silicon Valley is in America... In other countries, people color inside the lines."
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themself."
"Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre."
"Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
— Alan Kay
"Don't become a well rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person."
"It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."
"I want to be cremated, and I want my ashes blown in Uri Geller's eyes."
"If you don’t have a sense of wonder it’s like you’re dead inside. But your sense of wonder can be used to trick you. You can have a sense of wonder over a thing that’s basically a conjurer’s trick, or a con job, or a rip-off."
"No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of elders. They do not grow wise. They grow careful."
"Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable."
"I rebel; therefore I exist."
"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
"In any dispute, the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake."
"There is also no clothing policy at Netflix, but no one comes to work naked."
"If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off."
"When I walk into the Engineering Design Studio, I'm instantly inspired and want to know what's going on here."
"What is the difference between someone who is convinced and one who is deceived? None, if they are well deceived."
"Tyr•an•ny of Small De•cis•ions (n.) — A situation where a series of small, individually rational decisions can negatively change the context of subsequent choices, even to the point where desired alternatives are irreversibly destroyed."
"Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone."
"A computer shall not waste your time or require you to do more work than is strictly necessary."
"Perfect, not Flawless."
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed. "
"Evaluating candidates using only numeric metrics, discounting non-quantifiable factors and attributes, may ultimately ignore the factors most relevant to the applicant's success in the position."
"The remaining work increases as the deadline approaches."
"It's better to create an ecology that gets all the world’s smartest people toiling in your garden for your goals. If you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers' needs."
— Bill Joy
"Paper is always strongest at the perforation."
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."
"A human doesn't begin to attain wisdom until they recognize that they are no longer indispensable."
"Projects we have completed demonstrate what we know - future projects decide what we will learn."
"All complex organizations, regardless of how democratic they are when started, eventually develop into oligarchies."
"The reason that university politics is so vicious is because stakes are so small."
"I’ve actually not read any books on time management."
"If you consider yourself a credible person, when a lie reaches you, that’s where the fallacy should end."
"You need to understand things in order to invent beyond them."
"Being inoffensive, and being offended, are now the twin addictions of the culture."
"All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth."
"A person will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to them to pull rather than push it."
"The most knowledgeable person in one domain may be the most ignorant in another."
"Don't be afraid of new arenas."
"I don't need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me."
"Judge a person by their questions rather than their answers."
"Systems are organic, living creations: if people stop working on them and improving them, they die."
"A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader."
"A hacker is someone who enjoys playful cleverness, not necessarily with computers."
"I can't shake the feeling that all these conspiracy theorists are in on it."
"If software's the only thing in your bag of tools, I'm not going to give you great odds."
"These young people naturally grow up with ideas different from ours, for they are born for times when we shall no longer be here"
"During dark times, real entrepreneurs come out. They are not competing with 10 look-alike companies for engineering talent, so it's a great time to invest and help build companies."
"The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch."
"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
"I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company."
"The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off."
"People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves."
"Life may be miraculous in its unlikelihood in the universe, but it would be a fallacy to suggest that its rareness makes it inextinguishable."
"Sometimes, magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect."
"There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change."
"The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century’s frontier."
"The world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I'm successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work, and be self-managing."
"You can do anything except light a paper match on a marshmallow under water"
"I’ve learned that by doing things, things get done."
"By using Bayes' theorem, we are forced to look at all data and update our hypothesis with new evidence."
"The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future, but sometimes to prevent it."
"Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it."
"Keep your identity small."
"You can easily judge the character of a person by how they treat those who can do nothing for them."
"Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious. Great speech is impassioned, small speech cantankerous."
"It’s kind of fun to do the impossible."
"Everything is hard before it is easy."
"Your title makes you a manager. Your people will decide if you're a leader, and it's up to you to live up to that."
"There are exponentially diminishing returns of extending a library search."
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
"The first rule of [insert buzzword] is to never shut up about [insert buzzword]."
"Trust only those who stand to lose as much as you."
"Don’t take too much advice... Just build things and find out if they work."
"One has to watch out for engineers - they begin with the sewing machine and end up with the atomic bomb."
"I invented the web just because I needed it really because it was so frustrating that it didn't exist."
"Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth"
"Anyone who can appease a person's conscience can take their freedom away from them."
"The industrial age was not about craftspeople trading peer to peer. It was about stopping that. You weren't supposed to be a craftsperson, you were supposed to be an employee."
"They who know, do not speak. They who speak, do not know."
— Lao Tzu
"Pyr•rhic Vic•to•ry (n.) — A victory that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat."
"Geniuses are like thunderstorms: they go against the wind, terrify people, clear the air."
"Architects and engineers are among the most fortunate of humans since they build their own monuments with public consent, public approval and often public money."
"Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius."
"Utopias rest on the fallacy that perfection is a legitimate goal of human existence."
"The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong."
"One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions."
"How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress."
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
"Being strong-willed is not enough, however. You also have to be hard on yourself. Someone who was strong-willed but self-indulgent would not be called determined. Determination implies your willfulness is balanced by discipline."
"Constantly think about how you could be doing things better."
"It is foolish to be convinced without evidence, but it is equally foolish to refuse to be convinced by real evidence."
"To get others to come into our ways of thinking, we must go over to theirs; and it is necessary to follow, in order to lead."
"You need the kind of objectivity that makes you forget everything you've heard, clear the table, and do a factual study like a scientist would."
"Computing is too important to be left to men."
"A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze."
"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 and repair."
"Hacking involves a different way of looking at problems that no one's thought of."
"Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used."
"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
"When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
"A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things."
"You know your business model is broken when you're suing your customers."
"After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.'"
"...fact takes no heed of human hopes."
"Innovation is serendipity, so you don't know what people will make."
"For the most ambitious young people, the corporate ladder is obsolete."
"When you’re forced to be simple, you’re forced to face the real problem. When you can’t deliver ornamentation, you have to deliver substance."
"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."
"What you think is the point is not the point at all but only the beginning of the sharpness."
"If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach."
"In a big company, you can do what all the other big companies are doing. But a startup can’t do what all the other startups do."
"We are free to change the world and start something new in it."
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend."
"The recipe for great work is: very exacting taste, plus the ability to gratify it."
"Our opportunity, as designers, is to learn how to handle the complexity, rather than shy away from it, and to realize that the big art of design is to make complicated things simple."
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
"The bulk of discussion on programming language design centers on syntax, as opposed to semantics."
"Don't let schooling interfere with your education."
"Con•ser•va•tive (n.) – A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones."
"You will always find something in the last place you look."
"AI will probably most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies."
"We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."
"Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience. The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
"Creating fake facts does require a measure of haphazard research, insofar as they need to not just be possible, but also interesting."
"To change is to lose identity; yet to change is to be alive."
"if you can imagine someone surpassing you, you should do it yourself."
"If something has to be designed and invented, and you have to figure out how to ensure that the value of the thing you create is greater than the cost of the inputs, then that is probably my core skill."
"Dare to be naïve."
"If things were simple, word would have gotten around."
"I don’t believe in honors – it bothers me. Honors bother: honors are epaulets; honors are uniforms."
"When the enemy is making a false movement we must take good care not to interrupt him."
"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the person who calls themself a fool at least once a month."
"I think we're just going to have to live with the microcosm in the electronic world of the kind of things that we might see in the physical world."
"A police officer sees someone searching under a streetlight and asks what's been lost. 'My keys.' The officer helps search for a few minutes then to the question, "Are you sure they're here?' receives the reply, 'no, I lost them in the park.' The officer asks, "why are you searching here, then?" The person responds, 'this is where the light is'."
"Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant."
"You can't learn the truth about a person's intentions by asking them."
"One of the advantages of moving quickly is if you do something wrong you can change it."
"At that time (1909) the chief engineer was almost always the chief test pilot as well. That had the fortunate result of eliminating poor engineering early in aviation."
"Any idiot can build a bridge that stands, but it takes an engineer to build a bridge that barely stands."
"Money makes people rich; it is a fallacy to think it makes them better, or even that it makes them worse. People are what they do, and what they leave behind."
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage."
"I don't know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do."
"Leadership is about recognizing that there’s a greatness in everyone, and your job is to create an environment where that greatness can emerge."
"What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult."
"I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself."
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
"We can't blame the technology when we make mistakes."
"When you want to know how things really work, study them when they're coming apart."
"Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can."
"Integrity needs no rules."
"A patient can have as many diseases as they damn well please."
"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."
"Losing your way on a journey is unfortunate. But, losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel."
"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense."
"Engineers are not mere technicians and should not approve or lend their name to any project that does not promise to be beneficent to humankind and the advancement of civilization."
"It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it's the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time."
"The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing."
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery."
"The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas."
"All books should be trilogies; I mean, I think we all agree on that."
"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."
"Unless specified in design documents, nails, superglue, and duct tape are not engineering materials."
"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion."
"Push the envelope, Disrupt, Innovate, Leverage, Get our ducks in a row, Streamline, Drill down, Take it offline, Interface, Boil the ocean, Align, Synthesize, Touch base, Circle back, Get down to brass tacks, Give 110%, Move the needle, Architect, Put it on the back burner, Cast a wide net, Lean in, Raise the bar, Move up the value chain, Run it up the flagpole, Put boots on the ground, Spend calories doing X, Flex your [design, creative, analytical, etc.] muscle, Take a step back, Circle the wagons, Punt (an idea), Peel the onion, Build it from the ground up"
"If you are in a spaceship that is traveling at the speed of light, and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?"
"People developed planes first and then took care of flight safety. If people were focused on safety first, no one would ever have built a plane."
"Build a person a fire, and they'll be warm for a day. Set a person on fire, and they'll be warm for the rest of their life."
"No loophole goes unexpoited."
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."
"I don't believe a mistake-free learning environment exists."
"But the upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance."
"There is no fool like an educated fool."
"One always has exaggerated ideas about what one doesn't know."
"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
"Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."
"Over•view Eff•ect (n.) — A cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space."
"A science only advances with certainty, when the plan of inquiry and the object of our researches have been clearly defined; otherwise a small number of truths are loosely laid hold of, without their connexion being perceived, and numerous errors, without being enabled to detect their fallacy."
"To convince someone of the truth, it is not enough to state it, but rather one must find the path from error to truth."
"When test scores become the goal of the teaching process, they both lose their value as indicators of educational status and distort the educational process in undesirable ways."
"How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?"
"To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history, but to articulate it."
"I call the notion that we are nothing but killer apes the Beethoven fallacy. Beethoven was disorganized and messy, and yet his music is the epitome of order."
"Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery."
"Policies are made by humans and can only be changed by humans."
"The amount of energy needed to refute bullsht on the internet is an order of magnitude larger than that required to produce it."*
"What is thinkable is also possible."
"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, they are almost certainly right. When they state that something is impossible, they are very probably wrong."
"Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock."
"You can't think seriously about thinking without thinking about thinking about something."
"Most pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."
"It’s easy to say, ‘I’m going to build something that already exists,’ but it’s difficult to clearly and succinctly describe something new."
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
"Do nothing, and everything is done."
— Lao Zi
"People who build their own home tend to be very courageous. These people are curious about life. They're thinking about what it means to live in a house, rather than just buying a commodity and making it work."
"Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every human problems — neat, plausible, and wrong."
"If you’re trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right."
"The way to create something beautiful is often to make subtle tweaks to something that already exists, or to combine existing ideas in a slightly new way. This kind of work is hard to convey in a research paper."
"The real test of character is how you treat someone who has no possibility of doing you any good."
"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned."
"The intrinsic rate of human performance is exponential."
"The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn't one."
"I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste."
"The fool doth think themself wise, but the wise indivual knows themself to be a fool."
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."
"Work on that which creates the world you want to live in"
"The way to build billion dollar companies is to first build something people love. There isn’t really a shortcut there."
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
"Science fiction is not about the freedom of imagination. It's about a free imagination pinched and howling in a vise that other people call real life."
"Flying down a tunnel of 1s and 0s is not how hacking is really done."
"The moment-of-conception fallacy implies that fertilization is a simple process with never a doubt as to whether it has or has not happened."
"It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts."
"The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases."
"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness."
"The first rule of Virtual Reality is to never shut up about Virtual Reality."
"If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged."
"I decry the current tendency to seek patents on algorithms. There are better ways to earn a living than to prevent other people from making use of one's contributions to computer science."
"Human beings, thanks to culture and genetics, are inclined to be pessimistic, fearful, skeptical and believers in conspiracy theories."
"Take responsibility for making your own life beautiful."
"When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe."
"Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it."
"Dignity does not come in possessing honors, but in deserving them."
"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against."
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer."
"During the 8 hours a human is awake and alert, they will experience one "event" per second, which may be either exceptional or unexceptional. In 35 days, they will experience about one million events. Therefore, expect one-in-a-million events at a rate of about once a month. "
"Don't let the bastards grind you down."
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
"We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress."
"Sometimes, carrying on, just carrying on, is the superhuman achievement."
"Movement is not the same as forward motion."
"You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts."
"The Enlightened take things Lightly."
"The future is better than the past. The world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to the environment, makes it better."
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry."
"Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because the idea wasn't theirs."
"A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering."
"Temp(°C) = 5 + N(chirps per 8s). The relationship between air temperature and the rate at which crickets chirp."
"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."
"I try to make everyone's day a little more surreal."
"Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past."
"It is difficult to get a human to understand something when their salary depends upon not understanding it."
"My favorite three words in the English language are: ’I don’t know’, because every time I say them, I learn something new."
"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that."
"Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves."
"The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do."
"When presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions."
"A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice."
"You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do."
"What really matters is what you do with what you have."
"It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action."
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
"We, in the modern world, expect that tomorrow will be better than today."
"Beware the fury of a patient human."
"When we can't think for ourselves, we can always quote."
"A hacker does for love what others would not do for money."
"The start-ups that do well are the ones that are working all the time."
"Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it."
"Our problem right now is that we're so specialized that if the lights go out, there are a huge number of people who are not going to know what to do."
"Mooers's Law tells us that information will be used in direct proportion to how easy it is to obtain."
"It's a fallacy to believe that age in itself brings wisdom, but one thing it infallibly brings is experience."
"Hope is passion for what is possible."
"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers."
"The wise person does not discriminate; they gather all the shreds of light, from wherever they may come."
"I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
"Outside-the-box, Next generation, Intentional, Progressive, In agreeance, Mission critical, Revolutionary, Leading, Cutting-edge, High-tech, Forward-thinking, Dynamic, Proactive, Bleeding-edge, Impactful, Actionable, Granular, Viral, Scaleable, Robust, Cut and dry, Transformative, Integrated, Holistic"
"Your battles inspired me - not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead."
"Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation."
"Why try to pursue what is completed?"
"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer into a selflessness which links us with all humanity."
"We owe it to our kids to inform them and train them how to think, not what to think."
"Mass transportation is doomed to failure in North America because a person's car is the only place to be alone and think. "
"Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep."
"When a broken appliance is demonstrated for the repair technician, it will work perfectly."
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
"Tomorrow composts today."
"Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company."
"We're even wrong about which mistakes we're making."
"Explore the situation. Statements are expendable. Don't keep on looking in the rearview mirror and defending the status quo which is outmoded the moment it happened."
"An attempt to hide, remove, or censor information will have the opposite and unintended consequence of further publicizing that information."
"Superstition is the religion of feeble minds."
"A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding."
"Very often the opinion of the clients must be disregarded in their own interest."
"Anyone can create an algorithm that they themselves can't imagine how to break. What is hard is creating an algorithm that no one else can break."
"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."
"Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."
"We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world."
"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew."
"Be careful who you choose as your enemy because that's who you become most like."
"By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox."
"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire."
"High expectations are the key to everything."
"Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves."
"An administrator in a bureaucratic world is someone who can feel big by merging their non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in them."
"Vast is the field of Science ... the more a person knows, the more they will find they have to know."
"The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes them a mother - which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician."
"We live in our fantasies and endure our realities."
"Somehow even a popular fallacy has an aspect of truth when it suits one's own case."
"Humans beings always do the most intelligent thing ...after they’ve tried every stupid alternative and none of them have worked."
"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."
"It is almost impossible to bear the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard."
"七転び八起き — Fall down seven times, get up eight."
"The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor."
"The engineer’s first problem in any design situation is to discover what the problem really is."
"There was a time when people felt the internet was another world, but now people realise it's a tool that we use in this world."
"Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future."
"At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you."
"You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality."
"Intelligence is usually easy to tell in a 10-minute conversation. Determination is harder."
"Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places."
"The tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but […] once you do that, the rest is really easy."
"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. There is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof."
"A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind."
"When we build, let us think that we build forever."
"I define UNIX as 30 definitions of regular expressions living under one roof."
"I am not ranting. I possess a perspective here that you people, who are locked in the ivory basements of your own sub-cultures, simply do not possess."
"You want to do things you’re passionate about but also are useful to other people."
"A lot of hacking is playing with other people, you know, getting them to do strange things."
"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly."
"When you’re in a hole, stop digging."
"An algorithm must be seen to be believed."
"Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."
"Any architectural work that does not express serenity is an error."
"Why is there no Flat Mars Society!?"
"The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children."
"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
"I think that the anti-Microsoft sentiment is simply due to their having been so successful selling a lot of crap."
"Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral."
"Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care. "
"We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."
"People who are smart get into Mensa. People who are really smart look around and leave."
"The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before."
"Any program is only as good as it is useful."
"The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning."
"Physics is a good framework for thinking. ... Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there."
"Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve."
"I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible."
"I've never been a good estimator of how long things are going to take."
"That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up."
"You really want a company full of missionaries, not mercenaries."
"What we usually consider as impossible are simply engineering problems. there’s no law of physics preventing them."
"Phones would not be better if they could be cooler looking, if they could weigh less, or if they could have more battery. Phones would be better if we didn't have to carry them around."
"Leadership is nature's way of removing morons from the productive flow."
"A person who chases two rabbits at once will catch none."
"The ideal engineer is a composite... not a scientist, not a mathematician, not a sociologist or a writer, but uses the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems."
"Hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done."
"Find some fun way to get a little more oil on your hands or mud on your boots. Sometimes, that's what it takes to take down some of the really big problems."
"Do you want to have an easy life? Then always stay with the herd and lose yourself in the herd."
"I did write some code in Java once ...the island in Indonesia."
"An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information than for them not to have it."
"There is nothing more effectual in showing us the weakness of any habitual fallacy or assumption than to hear it sympathetically through the ears of a skeptic."
"I'm always identifying some fallacy in my own life. I'm sort of making fun of myself by exploring and unpacking just why I'm sort of automatically thrown to be a certain way."
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
"Sa•la•mi Tac•tics (n.) — An aggressor can influence and eventually dominate a landscape, typically political, piece by piece. In this fashion, the opposition is eliminated 'slice by slice' until it realizes, usually too late, that it is virtually gone in its entirety."
"We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us."
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
"All that counts in life is intention."
"If one challenges a statement and another cannot prove it, it does not necessarily follow that the statement is false."
"To argue with a fool is like lighting candles for the blind."
"In what moment or at what percentage does the ship stop being the same ship and become something else?"
"In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals that the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely."
"Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning."
"The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of humans."
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is."
"I don't believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee... I'm going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone... Not on a committee. Not on a team."
"Some of the most crucial steps in mental growth are based not simply on acquiring new skills, but on acquiring new administrative ways to use what one already knows."
"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."
"You cannot use butterfly language to communicate with caterpillars"
"I think you should always be seeking negative feedback."
"猿も木から落ちる — Even monkeys fall from trees."
"If you give a hacker a new toy, the first thing he'll do is take it apart to figure out how it works."
"It's a truism in technological development that no silver lining comes without its cloud."
"The token's marginal status [is] as a participant who is permitted entrance, but not full participation…someone who meets all of the formal requirements…but does not possess the ‘auxiliary characteristics.’ Consequently, they are never permitted by ‘insiders’ to become full members and may even be ejected if they stray too far from the special ‘niche’ outlined for them."
"Doctor can bury their mistakes but architects can only advise their clients to plant vines."
"All I can ask from society is that it please stop telling me why I should like sports."
"Reinventing beats inventing nearly every time."
"No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority."
"One person's “magic” is another person's engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word."
"The designer of a new kind of system must participate fully in the implementation."
"Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others."
"The planning fallacy is that you make a plan, which is usually a best-case scenario. Then you assume that the outcome will follow your plan, even when you should know better."
"An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in inventing something."
"ze•bra (n.) — a surprising, often exotic, medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely."
"People don't change. They just slowly reveal who they really are."
"An individual will be more motivated to perform a particular activity if they know they will partake in a more desirable activity as a consequence."
"I can go into a lab and fool the rear ends off any group of scientists."
"The art of handling university students is to make oneself appear, and this almost ostentatiously, to be treating them as adults....""
"The victory always has a lot of parents but the defeat is always an orphan."
"It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do."
"The system should treat all user input as sacred."
"In the old days, you would chastise people for reinventing the wheel. Now we beg, 'Oh, please, please reinvent the wheel.'"
— Alan Kay
"Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware is becoming faster."
"Great minds always tend to see virtue in misfortune."
"Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before."
"The legibility of a copy is inversely proportional to its importance."
"We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and human beings together in a higher unity."
"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions."
"When you understand things, there's no more magic."
"Improvement means deterioration. (a stated improvement often actually hides a deterioration)"
"The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older."
"pro•noi•a (n.) — the suspicion that the Universe is conspiring on your behalf. (antonym: paranoia)"
"The main reason nerds are unpopular is that they have other things to think about."
"Function reforms form, perpetually."
"The value of an idea lies in the using of it."
"Every utopia faces the same problem: What do you do with the people who don't fit in?"
"When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun."
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right."
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."
"A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist."
"Pessimists sound smart. Optimists make money."
"I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
"Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed."
"If we understood the enigmas of life there would be no need for art."
"In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture."
"E.U.O.M.U.A.I.A.S.I.T.C. (Excessive use of made-up acronyms is a significant impediment to communication)"
"At every period of history, people have believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you risked ostracism or even violence by saying otherwise. If our own time were any different, that would be remarkable. As far as I can tell it isn't."
"I believe in the future, and to be a good investor, you have to believe in the future."
"It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done."
"Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other."
"Butterflies are self propelled flowers."
"The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man."
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
"Never fire a laser at a mirror."
"No one wants to learn by mistakes, but we cannot learn enough from successes to go beyond the state of the art."
"I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."
"The minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion."
"Uri Geller may have psychic powers by means of which he can bend spoons; if so, he appears to be doing it the hard way."
"When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."
"Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy."
"You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong."
"In order to understand what someone is telling you, it is necessary for you to assume the person is being truthful, then imagine what could be true about it."
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
"If you buy a ticket to hell, it isn't fair to blame hell."
"Knowing Murphy's Law doesn't help."
"It's OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket."
"The invention is by its very nature disruptive. If you want to be understood at all times, then don't do anything new."
"Adding more humans to an already late software project makes it even later."
"We are limited only by our imagination and our will to act."
"SMOP (n.) — Something quite possible, but requiring unavailable resources to achieve. 'Why isn't that function available in the program?' − 'It's just a Simple Matter Of Programming'"
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."
"Until you do what you believe in, you don't know whether you believe it or not."
"Only the madman is absolutely sure."
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision."
"So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard."
"There is the opportunity to do more and better if you're smaller and more nimble."
"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."
"I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room."
"Engineering problems are under-defined, there are many solutions, good, bad and indifferent. The art is to arrive at a good solution. This is a creative activity, involving imagination, intuition and deliberate choice."
— Ove Arup
"Incentives designed to solve a problem may end up rewarding people for making it worse."
"Everything is designed. Few things are designed well."
"Except for some effects that I attribute mostly to age, my intuitive thinking is just as prone to overconfidence, extreme predictions, and the planning fallacy as it was before I made a study of these issues."
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."
"Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations."
"I don’t think an economic slump will hurt good ideas."
"I like quoting Einstein. Know why? Because nobody dares contradict you."
"A good engineer thinks in reverse and asks about the stylistic consequences of the components and systems being proposed."
"In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it."
"Everything has been figured out, except how to live."
"If one ox could not do the job they did not try to grow a bigger ox, but used two oxen. When we need greater computer power, the answer is not to get a bigger computer, but to build systems of computers and operate them in parallel."
"Premature optimization is the root of all evil."
"There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. "
"Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution."
"Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it."
"A person's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe."
"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road."
"It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower."
"The structure of any system designed by an organization is isomorphic to the structure of the organization."
"They were building a Ferrari for every launch, when it was possible that a Honda Accord might do the trick."
"People often think I’m a faker, but I’m usually honest, in a certain way - in such a way that often nobody believes me!"
"Set a clear, easy-to-understand vision for your company, and make it be a mission people believe in."
"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence."
"If robots are granted citizenship, under what conditions is it permissible for any entity other than themselves to execute an 'upgrade'?"
"Take big bites. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. (Lazarus Long)"
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
"Deep dive, Paradigm shift, Synergy, Core competency, Game-changer, Window of opportunity, Wheelhouse, Low-hanging fruit, Bandwidth, Learnings, Big picture, Many moving parts, Hard stop, 360 view"
"Moonshots live in that place between audacious projects and pure science fiction."
"It's not worth doing something unless you are doing something that someone, somewere, would much rather you weren't doing."
"However much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing."
"The ability of computers to track us doubles every eighteen months."
"Anything that can go wrong, will — and at the worst possible moment."
"We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it."
"It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas."
"Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom."
"The most damaging phrase in the language is: 'It's always been done that way.'"
"Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of humankind is nothing but science fiction."
"Everybody has a different Internet."
"Curiosity is the essence of our existence."
"Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labor-saving device in the face of complexity."
"Wherever smart people work, doors are unlocked."
"Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born."
— Alan Kay
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
— Lao Tzu
"We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and no learning."
"If we are to make reality endurable, we must all nourish a fantasy or two."
"Everyone is looking for the hack, the secret to success without hard work."
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."
— Lao Tzu
"Without a clear indicator of the author's intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views such that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied."
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
"Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations."
"Making money is often more fun than spending it, though I personally have never regretted money I’ve spent on friends, new experiences, saving time, travel, and causes I believe in."
"It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
"A good leader takes a little more than their share of the blame, a little less than their share of the credit."
"Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren't even mammals."
"Stupidity has a knack of getting its way."
"The road to wisdom? — Well, it's plain and simple to express: Err and err and err again but less and less and less."
"To say that someone who invents a piece of knowledge or technology is responsible for all future uses is ridiculous."
"Many founders hire just because it seems like a cool thing to do, and people always ask how many employees you have."
"You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over."
"The letter box is always on the other side of the road"
"Critical thinking is an active and ongoing process. It requires that we all think like Bayesians, updating our knowledge as new information comes in."
"The number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar."
"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of humankind."
"Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you."
"Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort."
"Designers think everything done by someone else is awful, and that they could do it better themselves, which explains why I designed my own living room carpet, I suppose."
"The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur."
"If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written."
"Human communications usually fail, except by accident."
"Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it."
"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences."
"When you can’t imagine how things are going to change, that doesn’t mean that nothing will change. It means that things will change in ways that are unimaginable."
"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."
"I don’t think people spend nearly enough time thinking about what they like and what they’re good at."
"Your mind will give back to you exactly what you put into it."
"The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved."
"We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges."
"The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment they can tolerate."
"Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available."
"The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."
"Do robot citizens have the right to electricity?"
"Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up."
"Beauty arises out of human inspiration."
"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."
"The poet, the artist, the sleuth, whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely 'well adjusted,' they cannot go along with currents and trends. "
"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule."
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."
"Humor is the only reason to live."
"At the core of Silicon Valley is a passion for ‘yes.'"
"Be nice to people on your way up because you'll meet them on your way down."
"You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind."
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
"I am in a very peculiar business: I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know."
"There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering."
"Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward."
"Engineering or technology is the making of things that did not previously exist, whereas science is the discovering of things that have long existed."
"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
"We always want to make sure that our machines haven’t by accident learned something that isn’t what we intended."
"The first rule of cryptocurrency is to never shut up about cryptocurrency."
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."
"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity."
"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
"Technology is dominated by two types of people, those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand."
"Never offer what you'd hate someone for accepting."
"If a grasshopper tries to fight a lawnmower, one may admire its courage but not its judgement."
"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done."
"Fortunes are built during the down market and collected in the up market."
"Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it."
"It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. Overnight success is a fallacy. It is preceded by a great deal of preparation."
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary humans. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary human."
"If I only did what I can do, I wouldn’t do anything."
"In 20 or 30 years, you'll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world."
"I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure"
"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."
"Art has the lovely habit of ruining all artistic theories."
"I don't think there's much distinction between surveillance and media in general. Better media means better surveillance."
"The best way to get rich on the Internet is to talk about how to get rich on the Internet."
"True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing."
"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."
"I started SpaceX with the expectation of failure."
"An unlimited-length file name is a file. The content of a file is its own best name."
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
"Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time."
"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition."
"If a company is profitable, the founder is in control. If it’s not, investors are in control."
"It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make them realize how much worrying they have done over the squalls."
"The path to success in a fast-moving, highly competitive, technology-driven business world is to form high-performing teams and give them the resources and freedom to do great things."
"A stopped clock is correct twice a day, but a sundial can be used to stab someone, even at nighttime."
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
"Random numbers should not be generated with a method chosen at random."
"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."
"Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy."
— Lao Tzu
"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it."
"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."
"Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost."
"The speed of software halves every 18 months."
"What's another word for Thesaurus?"
"Focusing is about saying no."
"Where there is no hope, we must invent it."
"Design for Disassembly."
"Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry."
"Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage."
"The trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table."
"How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read."
"Never chase the next hot thing. Stop trying to chase the wave. You will never catch it."
"Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn't give you the key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
"I retired from modelling a long time ago. It’s time I retired from tech, too."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
"Judge a model not by its explanatory power but by its predictive power."
"No one reads; if someone does read, they don’t understand; if they understand, they immediately forget."
"There are few sources of energy so powerful as a procrastinating college student."
"America is the spirit of human exploration distilled."
"Everyone who believes in telekinesis, raise my hand."
"An invention that is quickly accepted will turn out to be a rather trivial alteration of something that has already existed."
"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom."
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
"Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks."
"If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business."
— Ray Kroc
"Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard."
"Bech•del Test (n.) — A movie must have at least two women in it; who talk to each other; about something other than a man."
"This isn't my first Rodeo."
— Person at their Second Rodeo
"Of course I'm crazy, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong."
"Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself."
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
"Any person blaming tools for shoddy work is either unskilled at using them or has chosen them unwisely, or likely, both."
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
"The more unusual or interesting the data, the more likely they are to have been the result of an error."
"Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world."
"If you try to make such projects, unseen by others, as perfect as any human could, you'll develop skills that other professionals don't have."
"Much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome."
"Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success."
"Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve."
"The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything — or nothing."
"It's not so much staying alive, it's staying human that's important. What counts is that we don't betray each other."
"It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to."
"If one knows only what one is told, one does not know enough to be able to arrive at a well-balanced decision."
"Don't look for the meanings; look for the use."
"It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it’s wrong."
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
"There is no permanent place in this universe for evil."
"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."
"Imagine a world in which time seems to vanish and space becomes completely malleable. Where the gap between need or desire and fulfillment collapses to zero."
"Given the choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier."
"The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work."
"Clothes make the person. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."
"Engineering stimulates the mind. Kids get bored easily. They have got to get out and get their hands dirty: make things, dismantle things, fix things. When the schools can offer that, you'll have an engineer for life."
"Humans are the only creatures who refuse to be what they are."
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew."
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."
"wit•zel•sucht (n. German) — Excessive and abnormal joviality with morbid tendency to pun, make poor jokes, and tell pointless stories."
"The New Age? Its just the old age stuck in a microwave oven for fifteen seconds."
"TeX has found at least one bug in every Pascal compiler it's been run on, I think, and at least two in every C compiler."
"If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too."
— Tim Cook
"The first rule of blockchain is to never shut up about blockchain."
"Only by not forgetting the past can we be the master of the future."
— Ba Jin
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
"You do not write your life with words...You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do."
"Over•ton Win•dow (n.) — The range of policies that a politician can recommend without appearing too extreme to gain or keep public office given the climate of public opinion at that time."
"The border between the Real and the Unreal is not fixed, but just marks the last place where rival gangs of shamans fought each other to a standstill."
"TCP implementations will follow a general principle of robustness: be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others."
"We designed Google to be the kind of place where the kind of people we wanted to work here would work for free."
"Good, to evil, seems evil"
"Wisdom tends to grow in proportion to one's awareness of one's ignorance."
"There are lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world."
"The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you."
"Sometimes people think Y Combinator has big ideas about themes. But really, we just fund the best startups."
"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant."
"Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others."
"In the long-term, the universe rewards resilience over rigidity."
"People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me."
"I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything."
"A certain amount of opposition is a great help. Kites rise against, not with, the wind."
"You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done."
"You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
"Working on the wrong thing and not knowing it feels exactly like working on the right thing, up until the moment you realize it's not."
"We can influence the future but not see it."
"You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again."
"Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
"When engineers and quantity surveyors discuss aesthetics and architects study what cranes do we are on the right road."
— Ove Arup
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
"Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic."
"Everything looks like a failure in the middle."
"Space is an inspirational concept that allows you to dream big."
"Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage."
"A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost."
"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field."
"I don’t invest in companies where my mental model is that they need to get themselves acquired in the next few years – or ever."
"We must believe in free will — we have no choice."
"Always remember, however, that there’s usually a simpler and better way to do something than the first way that pops into your head."
"As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown."
"You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve."
"Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining."
"I don't necessarily agree with everything I say."
"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
"History is much more the product of chaos than of conspiracy."
"Only feeble minds are paralyzed by facts."
"One person's theology is another's belly laugh."
"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."
"Information wants to be free."
"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."
"People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better."
"Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration."
"When you struggle with a problem, that's when you understand it."
"One of the less publicized benefits of the open source movement is that it has made it easier to learn to program."
"We have fought long and hard to escape from medieval superstition. I, for one, do not wish to go back."
"Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence (ECREE)"
"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."
"All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning."
"If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success."
"Whenever a major organization develops a new system as an official standard for X, the primary result is the widespread adoption of some simpler system as a de facto standard for X."
"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."
"I could either watch it happen or be a part of it."
"The more people who believe something, the more apt it is to be wrong. The person who's right often has to stand alone."
"As an online debate increases in length, it becomes inevitable that someone will eventually compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis."
"For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD."
"Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear."
"In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity."
— Sun Tzu
"Playfully doing something difficult, whether useful or not, that is hacking."
"If you want to have good ideas, you must have many ideas. Most of them will be wrong, and what you have to learn is which ones to throw away."
"I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary."
"Leap, and the net will appear."
"I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here."
"Lies are often much more plausible, more appealing to reason, than reality, since the liar has the great advantage of knowing beforehand what the audience wishes or expects to hear."
"Science is not a boy's game, it's not a girl's game. It's everyone's game. It's about where we are and where we're going."
"The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion."
"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards."
"The probability of being observed is in direct proportion to the stupidity of ones actions."
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
"Free time and proximity to smart, motivated people. University students nearly always take for granted these super-powers and, looking back, wonder how they could vanish so quickly after graduation."
"thra•shing (n.) — When an OS pages constantly, rapidly exchanging data in memory for data on disk, causing performance to degrade or collapse, ultimately blocking completion of any useful work until the underlying cause is addressed."
"All operating systems sucks, but Linux just sucks less."
"I have a hunch that the unknown sequences of DNA will decode into copyright notices and patent protections."
"Don’t hire for the sake of hiring. Hire because there is no other way to do what you want to do."
"The past may not hurt you, but it won't challenge you, either."
"Whether or not money can buy happiness, it can buy freedom, and that’s a big deal. Also, lack of money is very stressful."
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
"No, you can’t force other people to change. You can, however, change just about everything else. And usually, that’s enough."
"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."
"Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things."
"It is the classic fallacy of our time that a moron run through a university and decorated with a Ph.D. will thereby cease to be a moron."
"The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them."
"It is better to debate a question without deciding it than to decide it without debate."
"The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less."
"No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen."
"Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it."
"Stay self-funded as long as possible."
"The cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years."
"Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do."
"...Henrik Fisker. He's a designer, so he's good at the styling of the cars, but he thinks it's all about styling, and it's not. The reason we don't have electric cars is not for lack of styling..."
"One's ability to perform a normally automatic or unconscious activity is impaired when disrupted by becoming conscious of it or reflecting on it."
"Science is a method to keep yourself from kidding yourself. "
"Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded."
"Hell, there are no rules here; We're trying to accomplish something."
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."
"Vision without execution is daydreaming."
"It is important to doubt and that the doubt is not a fearful thing, but a thing of great value."
"When we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army"
"Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I'm borrowing energy from the ideas themselves."
"To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time."
"Teaching is the last refuge of feeble minds with a classical education."
"Work expands to fill the time available for completion."
"Many people tend to look at programming styles and languages like religions: if you belong to one, you cannot belong to others. But this analogy is another fallacy."
"I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go."
"The stated purpose of schools is to educate the kids. But there is no external pressure to do this well."
"Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind."
"There is no greater misfortune in the world than the loss of reason."
"It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas."
"花より団子 — Dumplings over Flowers."
"Some people, when confronted with a problem, think 'I know, I'll use regular expressions.' Now they have two problems."
"The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind."
"If you're going to eat a creature alive, you have to expect some screaming."
"In conclusion, there is no conclusion. Things will go on as they always have, getting weirder all the time."
"It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."
"Generally speaking, I think it is fair to say that I am a friend to the creatures of the Earth when I am not busy eating them or wearing them."
"PI•DOO•MA (n.) — U.S. Department of Energy class 5 Cost Estimate, 50% error margins. (Pulled It Directly Out Of My Ass)"
"Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought."
"B•HAG (n.) — Big Hairy Audacious Goal. A a huge, seemingly-impossible, long-term objective that is easily understood and serves to inspire and rally stakeholders and outsiders alike during a process of transformation."
"Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal."
"One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen. "
"Funded by the government just means funded by the people. Government, by the way, has no money. It only takes money from the people. Sometimes people forget that that's really what occurs."
"One recognizes one's course by discovering the paths that stray from it."
"They use everything about the hog except the squeal."
"Time's glory is to command contending kings, To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light."
"If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done."
"If a law is unjust, a person is not only right to disobey it, they are obligated to do so."
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it."
"The greatest risk of a startup is not that they moved too slowly in dominating the entire marketplace, but rather that they spread their scarce resources too thin and ended up securing few or no customers at all."
"The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true."
"Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget."
"Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other."
"There are plenty of smart people who get nowhere."
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
"We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability?"
"There is nothing more awful, insulting, and depressing than banality."
"The question is not 'To be or not to be,' it is what we should be until we are not."
"I've never seen a job being done by a five-hundred-person engineering team that couldn’t be done better by fifty people."
"Most inventors and engineers I've met are like me. They're shy and they live in their heads. The very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone."
"Manage things. Lead people."
"Here is the surprising truth: It's often easier to make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better."
"None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see."
"Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."
"A leader is best when people barely know they exists, when their work is done, their aim fulfilled, the people will say: we did it ourselves."
— Lao Tzu
"You simply cannot invent any conspiracy theory so ridiculous and obviously satirical that some people somewhere don't already believe it."
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
"The longer a period something has survived to exist or be used in the present, the more likely it is to have a longer remaining life expectancy."
"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."
"If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods."
"Every human is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit."
"You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that's wrong with it and fix it."
"Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results."
"The suddenness of the leap from hardware to software cannot help but produce a period of anarchy and collapse, especially in the developed countries."
"Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems."
"Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you."
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact."
"To create, one must first question everything."
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed."
"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without."
"The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion."
"My dream appliance circa 2050 has one big dial on it, and when I twist it to the right, my IQ goes up to 450."
"First rule of engineering; beware prototypes. Along with, avoid anything made by an engineer who doesn't have all their own fingers"
"900 years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important."
"Don't start an argument with somebody who has a microphone when you don't. They'll make you look like chopped liver."
"You should be innovating so fast that you're invalidating your prior patents."
"Give them the vision of Oz, show them the direction, convince them you can create the yellow brick road; the rest is civil engineering."
"You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case."
"This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes."
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
— Lao Tzu
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
"Do not waste your time looking for an obstacle - maybe there is none."
"Start-ups should be based on radical ideas. There should be a high failure rate for start-ups, because if there isn't their ideas aren't bold enough."
"Remind yourself that all men assert that wisdom is the greatest good, but that there are few who strenuously seek out that greatest good."
"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."
"However little television you watch, watch less."
"Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes."
"The easy, conversational tone of good writing comes only on the eighth rewrite."
"Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious."
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
"But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time."
"The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."
"A problem adequately stated is a problem well on its way to being solved."
"There is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."
"Talk is cheap. Show me the code."
"Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It's based on wonder."
"It is never wise to let a piece of electronic equipment know that you are in a hurry."
"When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. Press pause."
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system."
"One of the issues of social networking silos is that they have the data and I don't."
"The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship."
"1,000,000 grains of sand is a heap. A heap minus one grain is still a heap. At what point is the heap no longer a heap?"
"Every problem has a better solution when you start thinking about it differently than the normal way."
"In the end it is how you fight, as much as why you fight, that makes your cause good or bad."
"Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more."
"The most common form of despair is not being who you are."
"Upon meeting, you're judged by your clothes, upon parting you're judged by your wits."
"Marketing is what you do when your product is no good."
"If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large."
"We learn by rearranging what we know."
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."
"History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap."
"Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down."
"Everything goes wrong all at once."
"Scientific knowledge is an enabling power to do either good or bad — but it does not carry instructions on how to use it."
"When you take away verisimilitude, you do not automatically find the veridical but, perhaps, the implausible."
"Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far."
"Gutenberg made everybody a reader. Xerox makes everybody a publisher."
"Life is a commingling of the sacred and the profane, good and evil. To try and separate them is fallacy."
"Hey, I’m a good software engineer, but I’m not exactly known for my fashion sense."
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be had."
"You shouldn't do things differently just because they're different. They need to be... better."
"I think the only way to behave is as if nothing is private. And then fight to make what you care about legal and acceptable."
"We all see only that which we are trained to see."
"The reasonable person adapts themself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to themself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable person."
"I'm convinced that without bad design, the world would be a far less stimulating place; we would have nothing to marvel over and nothing to be nostalgic about."
"Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority."
"Predictions about future technology will fall within the Maes–Garreau point, the latest possible date that a prediction could both come true and still feasibly happen within the lifetime of the person making it."
"One essential object is to choose that arrangement which shall tend to reduce to a minimum the time necessary for completing the calculation."
"Why shoot for the moon? When you try to do something radically hard, you approach the problem differently than when you try to make something incrementally better. "
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought."
"Conspiracy theories are the refuge of the disempowered."
"We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
"What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal."
"Most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying."
"All buildings are predictions. All predictions are wrong."
"Wisdom.... comes not from age, but from education and learning."
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