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Quotations

Some Of My Favorite Quotations

In no particular order... (attributions where I know them):

  • "Scope creep is our business." --Ken Klingenstein on open source project management
  • "Let's save pessimism for better times." --graffitti in South America
  • "It's too soon to tell." --reply attributed to China's Premier Zhou Enlai to Andre Malraux asking what he thought was the significance of the French Revolution.
  • "Did you kill 'em, or just make 'em mad?" --Dan Jordt, with Montana drawl, referring to my blackberries
  • "Tradtional values trump self-expression values." --Wayne Baker, speaking on his book "America's Crisis of Values" and the 2004 election in particular, in which he argues that value polarization has been exaggerated by political parties and media.
  • "Do What You Say You Will Do -DWYSYWD" --John Stanford (former Supt. of Seattle Schools)
  • "Things are never as good --or as bad-- as they seem." --Duc de La Rochefoucauld
  • "I think of Texas as the laboratory for bad government." --Mollie Ivans
  • "Buy the beer first, this job ain't gonna be easy." --unknown
  • "The news is what people want to keep hidden --everything else is publicity." --Bill Moyer (or quoted by him)
  • "Never attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by incompetence." --Ted Glaser
  • "A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking." --Martin H. Fischer
  • "To hell with the Church when it becomes a State and the hell with the State when it becomes a Church." --Ernest Hemingway
  • "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." --Paul Romer, Stanford U. (among others?)
  • "Why do we have so much crime?" "Because we have so much freedom."
  • "Men occasionally stumble on the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." --Sir Winston Churchill
  • "For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others..." --Locke
  • "Courage is the secret of liberty" --Brandeis
  • Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't someone after you.
  • "Psychiatry is the care of the id by the odd" --seen on Slashdot
  • "There are only 10 types of people in this world... those who understand binary, and those who don't." --on a T-Shirt
  • "Science is the business of generating testable hypotheses." --Michael Crichton
  • "Shockey's Law : Money is the answer, what is the question?" --IETF list message
  • "I will shoot the messenger, if you arrive too late." --Jack Brown, COO Pemco
  • "He had delusions of adequacy."
  • "I had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." --Groucho?
  • "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." --Oscar Wilde?
  • "Life is what you do while you're waiting to die." --cited by Donald Trump
  • "If you don't think too good, don't think too much." --Ted Williams
  • What's the secret of being a good baseball manager? "To keep the 8 guys who hate your guts away from the 8 guys who haven't made up their minds yet." --Casey Stengal
  • Be so subtle that you are invisible.
    Be so mysterious that you are intangible.
    Then you will control your rival's fate.
    -- Sun Tzu, in The Art of War (500 BC)
  • "You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered." --Lyndon B. Johnson
  • "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.". --Confucius
  • "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice" --?? (seen on an email sig)
  • "My theory on education is... get one." --Mary Matalin
  • "I'm the boss here... I can do that!" --Colonel Potter (MASH)
  • "It's almost impossible to dislike me, because I do nothing." --Jack Paar
  • "This is part of engineering... Our truths are often temporary." --Rob Manning @JPL (after 2nd Mars rover lands).
  • "Remember that half the people out there are of below average intelligence. Also, half of them are below average moral fiber. Any protocol that doesn't allow for this is doomed to disaster." --Valdis.Kletnieks@vt.edu 11 Nov 2003 on IETF list
  • "I'm an idealist without illusions." --Arnold Schwarzenager
  • "Curiousity did not kill this cat" --Studs Terkel
  • "The first rule of magic is simple. Don't waste your time waving your hands and hoping when a rock or a club will do." --McCloctnik the Lucid
  • "When all is said and done, more is said than done." --Lou Holtz
  • "Aspire to greatness... but remember that no one ever assassinated the refrigerator repairman." --heard on CarTalk 1/3/04, from the Washington Post
  • "As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance." --National Lampoon, "Deteriorata", 1972
  • "When you're in a hole, the first priority is to stop digging."
  • "You can't get ahead while you're getting even." --Armey's Axioms
  • "You can't get your finger on the problem when you've got your finger in the wind." --Armey's Axioms
  • "If you insist on center stage, you get the tomatoes." --Armey's Axioms
  • "Hell is full of musical amateurs" --G. B. Shaw
  • "See shades of grey... Act anyway" --Robert Meeropol (son of Rosenbergs) on activism, and that things are rarely black and white.
  • "Money can't buy happiness... but it does provide a superior grade of melancholy." --heard from Bob Hunt
  • "How can you stand on this stage, do something stupid, and then deny it?" --D. Smothers   "I'm an American" --T. Smothers
  • "P.C. -The art of saying something totally bland when a good insult would be more satisfying, and more deserved." --Harry Newton
  • "A college president is like the lawn mower at a cemetary: he has a lot of people under him, but they don't pay much attention to him" --Steven Sample, USC President
  • "A radioactive cat has eighteen half-lives."
  • "Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies." --St. Augustine
  • "Pournelle's law applies to Linux as much as any other OS: 'If you don't know what you are doing, make sure you deal with people who do.'" --Chris Davies
  • "How do I look?" "Almost life-like." --Colonel Potter to Major Burns
  • "Never start a vast project in a half-vast way." --Heard from my dad, M. E. Gray
  • "There's still no substitute for knowing what you're doing" --Cmdr Beedle, XO of USS Lynde McCormick, circa 1969.
  • "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." --First heard from Joseph Eliot Spires III while walking in Claremont, CA.
  • "Your money, our way." --First heard from Ron Johnson (best in latin)
  • "No good deed goes unpunished." --First heard from D. K. Sickler.
  • "You've taught me more than you know." --First heard from D. K. Sickler.
  • "All generalizations are false." --??
  • "My mother used to tell me, 'Elwood,' --she always called me Elwood-- 'Elwood, in this world you can be oh-so-smart or oh-so-pleasant. For years I tried smart. I recommend pleasant.'" - from Harvey (Elwood P. Dowd, as portrayed by Jimmie Stewart.)
  • "All men are ignorant, just on different subjects." --Mark Twain and/or Will Rogers
  • "All men are ignorant, just in different fields." --Albert Einstein
  • "Things should be made as simple as possible... but no simpler" --Albert Einstein
  • "Two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity." --Albert Einstein
  • "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." --Albert Einstein
  • "The difference between theory and real life is that in theory, there is no difference between theory and real life, but in real life, there is a difference." --DV Filmmaker Marshall Spight
  • "Nothing ever fell off of the floor" --Dave Zeitlin, Santa Monica guitar teacher (attributed to his father)
  • "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." --G. B. Shaw
  • "In politics there are no principles, just opportunities" --Bill Press
  • "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt." --First heard on a Tonight Show skit, 17 May 01
  • "When you tell someone to 'go to hell', you better make sure you can get him there!" --LBJ
  • "Is there any beginning to your knowledge?"    "Is there a village that needs its idiot back?"   --(Anne Robinson, Weakest Link lady)
  • "The true measure of a man is how much love he leaves behind, after he moves on." --From "Movin' On" sung (and likely written) by John Kelly of San Diego, c. 1974, although someone told me it might be from an obscure Leonard Cohen song (which I could never confirm).
  • "We're all package deals." --Judy Estrin
  • "It may kill you, but it won't hurt you." --Don Rippberger
  • "There is no law of nature that requires mankind to be a success" --(paraphrased from memory of a Bucky Fuller speech, mid 60's)
  • "We try to be tremendously efficient and reliable, always open to the public, and ambitious within our means." --Chauncey Starr, EPRI
  • "That's a headache waiting to happen." --Mike Cameron, Mariners' Center Fielder, re heavy metal music (6/01)
  • "I no longer give Power Point presentations, because I've come to believe that power corrupts, and Power Point corrupts absolutely." --Vint Cerf
  • "It takes time to love and open minds to love And who's got time on their hands? Well, life can be hard when your holes in a card In some electronic hand" --Star Track, Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane: Crown of Creation, 1968)
  • "Sometimes I think it's a shame when I get to feelin' better when I'm feelin' no pain. Sometimes I think it's a sin when I feel like I'm winnin' when I'm losin' again." --Sundown, Gordon Lightfoot
  • "If I knew where I was going, I wouldn't go there." --Frank O. Gehry, on Charlie Rose (Jul 2001)
  • "Crybabies and Busybodies" --Time magazine cover article, August 1991
  • "There is no such thing as a 'one time cost'" --(many... recently Jeremy Noetzleman)
  • "It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts" --Jimmy Williams
  • "Isn't there just one company anymore?" --Steve Hubert (while discussing HP/Compaq merger)
  • "If you want peace, work for justice" --Bumper sticker
  • "Puritanisim: the fear that someone, somewhere, is happy"
  • "It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information." --Oscar Wilde
  • "We know communication is important. But, we are not going to be able to discuss it with employees." --Dilbert
  • "Progress is our most important product." --E. I. DuPont
  • "Progress is our most important slogan." --D. K. Sickler
  • "Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long." --Ogden Nash
  • I think his ship has sailed, and he just isn't on it yet. --Susan Payntor (PI columnist, on Arrafat)
  • "Anyone lies when the alternative is intolerable." --Nero Wolfe, in "Murder is Corny"
  • "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." --Press critic A.J. Liebling
  • MASH:  Burns: "Why do people take an instant dislike to me?"  Trapper: "It saves time, Frank"
  • "Always Telling the Truth, Means Never Having to Remember Anything". --unknown
  • "I've changed my mind." Mae West: "Does it work any better?"
  • "Do you know who I am?" Tillie: "Isn't there anyone who can tell you?"
  • "This is a self-paralyzing structure. That's how it was designed, and that's how it will behave." --Ron Johnson
  • "In a research university, space is senior to money --just because you have money doesn't mean you can get space." --Ron Johnson
  • "This message is furnished in the fanatical pursuit of accuracy. Remember if we don't give an aura of precision to the small stuff, nobody will pay any attention to our major flights of fancy and unfounded opinion." --Dr. Frank Snively (PhD, Physics and Economics, California Institute of Technology; Senior Technical Specialist, electro-optical systems and nuclear/electromagnetic effects, Boeing, retired)
  • "Computers are amplifiers of intelligence... but they can't change the sign". --UW's Craig Hogan @ CSG workshop
  • On Corporations vs. Universities: "Their business is to turn knowledge into money; Our business is to turn money into knowledge." --UW's Craig Hogan @ CSG workshop
  • "I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." --Calvin & Hobbes
  • "You wouldn't worry about what people thought of you if you knew how infrequently they did." --Dr. Phil's dad.
  • "You can't go to Windows Update and get a patch for stupidity." --Kevin Mitnick at 2003 security conf:
  • "Taxation WITH representation ain't so hot either!"
  • "You don't have to have a Harvard M.B.A. to know that more money has to come in than goes out." --Martin Pichinson, Sherwood Partners
  • "What makes us different? We're the creature that can decide not to do something that we are capable of doing." -Bill McKibben, author of "Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age"
  • "The most interesting thing about coincidences is that you never notice when they don't happen." --In an email from Victor Lewis
  • "A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular." --Adlai Stevenson
  • As one exasperated executive said, "In all my years of hiring and firing, I've learned one important thing: first-rate people hire first-rate people, second-rate people hire third-rate people, and third-rate people hire morons." "Five Frogs on a Log - A CEO's Field Guide to Accelerating the Transition in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Gut Wrenching Change" by Mark Feldman and Michael Spratt
  • "The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge." --Daniel J. Boorstin
  • "Things that can't go on forever... don't." --Herb Stein
  • "Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them." --Aaron Sorkin
  • Walter Lippman once said, "A man has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so."
  • "Don't think that just because you've had an unbroken series of successes in your life that you can't get involved in a disaster," Turner said. He compared the AOL-TW merger to "a guy running up to his girlfriend saying: 'I got the last two tickets on the Titanic. I had to pay scalpers' prices but I got 'em. We're going to be on the maiden voyage.' . . . Oh boy."
  • "I put myself in a vulnerable position, particularly after we merged with AOL, where I could be phased out," Turner said. "If you say, 'Well, Ted made a mistake,' then it was that he believed in people a little too much. I put too much faith in human nature. But on the other hand, if I had to make a mistake, then I'd rather make a mistake in believing that people were better than they are than going through life thinking that they're worse than they are."
  • I'm not sure which upsets me more: that people are so unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate everyone else's. --Kee Hinckley - Somewhere.Com, LLC - Cyberspace Architects
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