Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Some of my Favourite Quotes

I’ve been collecting quotes for years. Some are pithy, some deep, some make you laugh but the ones I’ve kept have always made an impression on me. Here are some of my favourites.

Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.

Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.
Andy Rooney

DOS computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form.
New York Times, November 26, 1991

Memory is like an orgasm. It’s a lot better if you don’t have to fake it.
Seymore Cray, on virtual memory

Programmer /n./ A red-eyed, mumbling mammal capable of conversing with inanimate objects.

2 + 2 = 5, for extremely large values of 2

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck.
Rob Pike, commenting on the X Window System

You start coding. I’ll go find out what they want.
Computer analyst to programmer

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
Rich Cook

Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
Donald E. Knuth

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
Robert R. Coveyou, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.
John von Neumann (1951)

Before software can be reusable it first has to be usable.
Ralph Johnson

Linux is only free if your time is worthless.

Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one.
Kernighan & Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.
Jeremy S. Anderson

19 Jan 2038 at 3:14:07 AM
The end of the word according to Unix (2^32 seconds after Jan 1st 1970)

In C++ it’s harder to shoot yourself in the foot, but when you do, you blow off your whole leg.
Bjarne Stroustrup

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should therefore be regarded as a criminal offense.
E.W. Dijkstra (1930-2002)

The ultimate metric that I would like to propose for user friendliness is quite simple: if this system was a person, how long would it take before you punched it in the nose?
Tom Carey

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.
Western Union internal memo, 1876

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Ken Olson, president/founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

The Internet? Is that thing still around?
Homer Simpson

Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million typewriters, and Usenet is nothing like Shakespeare.
Blair Houghton

Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea; massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it.
Eugene Spafford [can be equally well applied to the Internet]

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.
Bill Gates

I don’t believe in painted roses or bleeding hearts while bullets rape the night of the merciful.
Bono, U2, One Tree Hill

The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
Lao-tzu (604-531 B.C.)

The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter.
Winston Churchill

In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
Napoleon Bonaparte

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.
Winston Churchill
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.
Jesus Christ

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.

At the time of Caliph Omar’s invasion of Egypt, the Arab officer on duty in the destruction of the library of Alexandria used two stamps with which he marked the books. One said: ‘Does not agree with the Koran – heretic, must be burned’. The other said: ‘Agrees with the Koran – superfluous, must be burned’.
Nils Kjaer

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.
G.K. Chesterton

When did ignorance become a point of view?
Scott Adams

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
Winston Churchill

Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned.
Heinrich Heine

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.
Lord Byron

If you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?
Stephen Wright

Children are like a house full of drunken midgets.
Dennis Leary

Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.
Ovid (43 BC-18 AD)

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
William James (1842-1910)

People who are smart get into MENSA. People who are really smart look around and leave.
James Randi

Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher

Ich kann nicht mehr (I can do no more).
Toni Kurz while within touching distance of the rescue team, north face of Eiger, 1936

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