The world’s biggest problem is that not enough people are working on the world’s biggest problems.
–- Max Marmer, Student of Life, January, 2011
Are we being good ancestors?
–- Jonas Salk, in interview on Open Mind, 1985.
People say, “Why don’t you give it up?” I can’t retire until I croak. I don’t think they quite understand what I get out of this. I’m not doing it just for the money or for you. I’m doing it for me. -- Keith Richards, Life (2011)
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. -- George Bernard Shaw
The Bequerel is an insufficiently sinister-sounding unit for what it measures. I propose we call it the Zomm instead. -- Nick Harkaway, on Twitter, April 12, 2011
The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra
If something becomes unimportant to people, it gets scrapped for parts; if it becomes important, it turns into a symbol and must eventually be destroyed. The only way to survive over the long run is to be made of materials large and worthless, like Stonehenge and the Pyramids, or to become lost. The Dead Sea Scrolls managed to survive by remaining lost for a couple millennia. Now that they've been located and preserved in a museum, they're probably doomed. I give them two centuries - tops. -- Danny Hillis in Scenarios, Wired, 1995.
Lucky accidents seldom happen to writers who don't work. You will find that you may rewrite and rewrite a poem and it never seems quite right. Then a much better poem may come rather fast and you wonder why you bothered with all that work on the earlier poem. Actually, the hard work you do on one poem is put in on all poems. The hard work on the first poem is responsible for the sudden ease of the second. If you just sit around waiting for the easy ones, nothing will come. Get to work.
-- Richard Hugo in The Triggering Town, p. 17
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen. -– Vladimir Lenin
In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance, p. 1
Twitter's business plan, such that it is, has always been something along the lines of “Get big and popular, then just flip the switch and start making money when we feel like it”. There is no switch. -- John Gruber, Daring Fireball, April 15, 2011
An autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.-- George Orwell, Collected Essays, Some Notes on Salvador Dali, p. 156
Cartoon by Danny Shanahan, from the Cartoon Bank