Links & Quotes



Who do you think you are, I am!

- Pete Weber, Bowling's 69th U.S. Open Stepladder Finals 2012

Learn by doing (Discere Faciendo).

- Motto of the California Polytechnic State University, at San Luis Obispo

The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

- Arab proverb

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

- John A. Sledd (popularized by Grace M. Hopper), Salt from My Attic 1928

When you pray, move your feet.

- African proverb

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

- Mark Twain

There are good people who are in politics, in both parties, who hold this [global warming] at arms length because if they acknowledge it and recognize it then the moral imperative to make big changes is inescapable.

- Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth 2006

It is difficult to get a man [person] to understand something when his [their] salary depends upon his [them] not understanding it.

- Upton Sinclair, Oakland Tribune 1934

To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him [them] to conduct a post mortem examination. He [they] can perhaps say what the experiment died of.

- R. A. Fisher, First Session of the Indian Statistical Conference, Calcutta, 1938

Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.

- Phyllis Whitney, 1982

"Not having to think about it" is certainly a measure of success for a given technology. By contrast, I think about Bluetooth a lot. I wish I didn't.

- Amos, The HTTP crash course nobody asked for 2022

I would unite with anyone to do right; and with nobody to do wrong.

- Frederick Douglass, A lecture before the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society. 1855

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.

- Anton Ego, Disney Pixar's Ratatouille 2007

It is not the critic who counts; not the man [person] who points out how the strong man [person] stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man [person] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he [they] fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his [their] place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic” at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

- Dale Carnegie

Its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself.

- Peter Medawar, criticism of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenon of Man 1961

So, what we have here is a very well collected catalogue utterly devoid of either a conceptual framework or even an idea about primary motor cortex. Thus, in effect we have been given a (surely useful) database with some English sentences sprinkled on top of it. I do not see why this data base needs to be read in a journal. The experience is like a reading a phone book despite the fact that it is full of new information.

- John Krakauer, Peer Review of Yao, Z., Liu, H., Xie, F. et al. Nature 598, 103-110 (2021).

Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side.

- Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) 965

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful, but don't try to catch a falling knife. Instead, wait for it to hit the ground then pick it up.

- ChatGPT mashup of Warren Buffet and Adrian Mastracci

A healthy man wants a thousand things, a sick man only wants one.

- Likely Confucius but Origin unknown

It is the peculiar feature of political life that within it, behavior that could only otherwise be considered insane is perfectly effective. If you managed to convince everyone on earth that you can breathe under water, it won’t make any difference: if you try it, you will still drown. On the other hand, if you could convince everyone in the entire world that you were King of France, then you would actually be the King of France.

- David Graeber, Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

- Martin Luther King Jr., "The Most Durable Power" sermon, 1956

To the mouse and any smaller animal it presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes. For the resistance presented to movement by the air is proportional to the surface of the moving object. Divide an animal's length, breadth, and height each by ten; its weight is reduced to a thousandth, but its surface only a hundredth. So the resistance to falling in the case of the small animal is relatively ten times greater than the driving force.

- J. B. S. Haldane, On Being the Right Size, March 1926