September 27, 1999

Quote Fest -- Part One

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language
--Larry Wall, inventor of the Perl language

Lord, Baseball is a worrying thing.
--Stanley Coveleski, Hall of Fame spitballer

(Could I ever learn to be the life of the party?) Ha ha! Actually, I've never been invited to a party.
--Charlie Brown

Poetry is "the human soul entire, squeezed like a lemon or a lime, drop by drop, into atomic words."
--Langston Hughes

Just as any two people on earth are said to be connected by a human chain of acquaintanced with no more than a few links, so can you pick two web sites at random and get from one to the other with about four clicks.
--George Johnson, (New York Times, April 11, 1999) regarding Lada Adamic, a graduate student at Stanford with Xerox PARC's Internet Ecology Project

Optimism is the engine for change. In a climate without hope, even people with money won't invest. But when you see things happening around you, you want to join in.
--Neveea Abasolo, communications director of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain

Why did you buy a TV if you don't want anyone to watch it?
--The Buckets, April 17, 1999

I got here senior year and immediately went to the prom.
--Brendan Shanahan, Detroit Red Wing as quoted in Mitch Albom's April 21, 1999 column

There may be no thinking except creative thinking.
--Robert W. Weisberg

Who's contented? You're dead if you're contented. Nothing is perfect.
--Wendy Lesser (New York Times, May 8, 1999)

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he wil meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Fundamental inventions overturn the cultures that created them and bring forth whole new ones in their place.
--Gail Collins, New York Times Magazine, May 16, 1999

Knowledge for the sake of a buzzer is worthless.
--my friend Amanda

Around the world, thoughts shall fly in the twinkling of an eye.
--later paraphrase of Mother Shipton

We are the ones who live here, in this world, on the verge of the next century. We cannot afford to exclude any vision--any way of looking at the world--that human beings have invented for ourselves...we're going to need all the help we can get to see our way through.
--John Clute, Salon, May 25, 1999

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Walk with kings, but never lose the common touch.
--Rudyard Kipling

One had better die fighting injustic than die like a dog or a rat in a trap.
--Ida B. Wells Barnett

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of him.
--James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Real democracy is not just about what you do in a voting booth in November. It's about what you do with your voice, with your hands, and with your heart all year long.
--Bob Harris

A successful person isn't necessarily better than her less successful peers at solving problems; her pattern recognition facilities have just learned what problems are worth solving.
--Ray Kurzweil

If one is going to change things, one has to make a fuss and catch the eye of the world.
--Elizabeth Janeway

Non numerantur, sed ponderantur. [They are not counted, they are weighed.]
--cited by Erdos

The study of architecture is a marvelous training for anything but architecture.
--Saul Steinberg

It's easy to sing, but it's not easy to do.
--Pope John Paul II, at Wadowice, Poland, June 16, 1999, upon hearing the traditional Polish song "Sto Lat"--"(May you live a) hundred years"

Books are not rolls, to be devoured only when they are fresh.
--Clifton Fadiman

We need You [God, to provide a Heaven]. Hell we can make for ourselves.
--Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature because in the last analysis we are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.
--Max Planck

What a strange machine man is. You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and out come sighs, laughter, and dreams.

We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp.
--Calvin Coolidge

Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in men.
--David Sarnoff

If this television craze continues, we are destined to become a nation of morons.
--Daniel Marsh, president of Boston University, 1950

You never know what you can do until you have to do it.
--Betty Ford

Of those to whom much is given, much is required.
--paraphrase of Luke 12:48

Human territory is defined least of all by physical frontiers. Seek to expand your mind.
--the Quantum Fortune Cookie

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.
--Michel de Montaigne

The film industry---an industry that gorges on mediocrity.
--from the book Major Directors of the 20th Century

Travel is like knowledge--the more you see, the more you know you haven't seen.
--Mark Hertsgaard

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
--Aldous Huxley

If E.M. Forster were alive today, he would regret his most famous remark. "Only disconnect" is what he really meant.
--Caroline Seebohm, Titusville, New Jersey, in a July 26, 1999, New York Times letter

As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us form it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.
--Margaret Atwood

Science knows no national boundaries but is the property of all mankind.
--Louis Pasteur

Once in a while a baseball deity dips his toes in before he walks on water.
--Gerry Calahan, Sports Illustrated, April 5, 1999, about Sammy Sosa

Scientists don't discover in order to know; they know in order to discover.
--Alfred North Whitehead

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you fell that you, too, can become great.
--Mark Twain

Effort: Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them.
--quote seen in the Dow building of the University of Michigan campus, August 7, 1999

When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.
--The Prince and the Pauper

A writer--and I believe generally all persons--must think that whatever happns to him [sic] is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
--Jorge Luis Borges

A man [sic] is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.
--John Barrymore