Interesting Quotes


"There is nothing more practical than a good theory." - Ludwig Boltzmann

"Theory is the first term in the Taylor series expansion of practice." - Thomas Cover

"I am very seldom interested in applications. I am more interested in the elegance of a problem. Is it a good problem, an interesting problem?"- Claude Shannon

"I know not, but I wager that one day your government will tax it." - Michael Faraday, in response to the British Prime Minister's question on the uses of the dynamo.

"Most of us would treat with great suspicion a model that predicts stable flight for an airplane if some parameter is irrational but predicts disaster if that parameter is a nearby rational number. Few of us would board a plane designed from such a model." - David Slepian

"Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it." - From Yann LeCun’s AMA on Reddit

"Physics is a harsh meritocracy. Most of the merit is concentrated in a small number of legendary figures at the top. If you aren't Feynman, you're no one. A competent, but not brilliant, research physicist had little to feel good about; who needs what you provide?" - Emanuel Derman

"If you ask why did all the rocket scientists go to work on Wall Street in the '90s to create new financial products, and you say well they were paid too much in finance and we have to beat up on the finance industry, that seems like that's the wrong side to focus on. I think the answer was, no, they couldn't get jobs as rocket scientists anymore because you weren't able to build rockets, or supersonic airplanes, or anything like that. And so you have to -- it's like why did brilliant people in the Soviet Union become grand master chess players? It's not that there's something deeply wrong with chess, it's they weren't allowed to do anything else." - Peter Thiel

"All your economic models are premised on people being smart and rational, and yet all the people you know are idiots." - The Undoing Project. Amos Tversky's comment to an economist who was complaining about people around him being fools.


"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back." - Civilization 4 attributed this quote to the Buddha

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." - Carl Jung

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." - Samuel Johnson

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Salvor Hardin in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. According to Wikiquote, this quote was derived from the patriotism quote by Samuel Johnson

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - John F. Kennedy


"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." - Randy Pausch

"The greater fool is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool— someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their life trying not to be the greater fool; we toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools." - Sloan Sabbith in The Newsroom

"The only way to avoid making mistakes is not to do anything, and that, in the final analysis, will be the ultimate mistake." - Lim Siong Guan attributed this quote to Dr Goh Keng Swee in his book "The Leader, The Teacher and You"

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." - John F. Kennedy


"But my rule is when you have to beg, borrow or steal, the best option is to steal. You see, to beg is very humiliating. To borrow, you must return. Stealing is the best, as long as it is for the public good and not for personal gain. So I encourage my officers to steal." - Philip Yeo