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Ye Olde Quote Board

This is a running list of interesting quotations I've heard or read, which I originally kept on my office door. Most are humorous, some are stupid, some are deep, some are Sandia-specific -- a small number are all of the above.


(359) The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution.
-- Hannah Arendt

(358) Always code as if the person who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
Corollary: I usually maintain my own code, so the as-if is true.
-- Martin Golding

(357) SnapChat is the new FaceBook. You take a picture of yourself doing something exciting, send it out to all your friends, they look at it, and then after 30 secs it vanishes from their screen, never to be seen again. Then they do the same to you. It's a bit like publishing in PRL, without all the hassle.
-- Aidan Thompson

(356) If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants.
-- Newton
If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.
-- Hal Abelson

(355) The quantum electronic structure prayer:
Operator, can you help me. Help me if you please. Give me the right piece of code. And the number that I need.
-- Aidan Thompson, with apologies to the Grateful Dead

(354) Linearity breeds contempt.
-- Peter Lax

(353) One of the universal rules of happiness is: always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
-- Terry Pratchett

(352) Give a man a program and you frustrate him for a day. Teach him to program and you frustrate him for life.
-- Anonymous

(351) Premature optimization is not the root of all evil. It pays to design scalability in from the start.
-- Daniel Laney

(350) It's easy to make a small fortune in high performance computing - start with a large one.
-- Unknown

(349) It's harder than you might think to squander millions of dollars, but a flawed software-development process is a tool well suited to the job.
-- Alan Cooper

(348) The better is the enemy of the good.
-- Voltaire (apparently a software developer)

(347) Sarah Palin knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.
-- John McCain, 2008
Oil and coal? Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. ... So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans that get stuck to holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here.
-- Sarah Palin (days later)

(346) Fortran lives on not in spite of its limitations, but because of them.
-- Richard Barrett

(345) Badges must be removed from their case prior to swiping to enter into a turnstile or automatic gate. This recurring task of swiping your badge and placing it back into its case prior to entering a turnstile could result in an injury.
-- Sandia bulletin

(344) Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics.
-- G. H. Hardy

(343) That's the great thing about algorithms. As long as you are rigorous and precise, you can be as sloppy as you want.
-- Charles Leiserson

(342) It was almost mystical in scalability.
-- Rob Leland, on the Intel Tflops (ASCI Red) machine

(341) There are 1 kinds of people in the world, those who use C-style 0-based indexing and those who don't.
-- Unknown

(340) If I'm over the hill, why is it I don't recall ever being on top?
-- Jerry Muscha

(339) I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said.
-- Alan Greenspan

(338) One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.
-- Edward Abbey

(337) Those who can, do. Those who can't, simulate.
-- Unknown

(336) Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasels.
-- Homer Simpson

(335) Give a man a compliment and you'll feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish for compliments and you'll feed his ego for life.
-- Unknown

(334) To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
-- Voltaire

(333) What kind of fish do you think Sandia is?
-- Discussion question from Advanced Concepts Group at Sandia
How about a flounder.
-- John Shadid

(332) If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no one dares criticize it.
-- Pierre Gallois

(331) There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone.
-- Bjarne Stroustrup

(330) Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist.
-- Indiana Jones

(329) As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know.
-- Donald Rumsfeld

(328) Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.
-- George W. Bush

(327) The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.
-- Albert Einstein

(326) I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
-- Richard Feynman

(325) Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
-- Dr. Seuss

(324) We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
-- Robert Wilensky

(323) A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.
-- William Burroughs

(322) Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith

(321) Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well.
-- Elias Schwartz

(320) Experts inside and outside the US government agree that researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are not blowing up stuff often enough.
-- Science magazine

(319) The truth is more important than the facts.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

(318) There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who know binary and those who don't.
-- on a T-shirt

(317) In the 60s people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
-- Unknown

(316) Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself.
-- Weiler's Law

(315) Emacs is a nice OS, but to compete with Linux or Windows it needs a better text editor.
-- Alexander Duscheleit

(314) Did you know that if you play a Windows XP CD backwards, you will hear the voice of Satan? That's nothing! If you play it forward, it'll install Windows XP.
-- Unknown

(313) I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.
-- Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a radio interview

(312) Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different.
-- J. W. Goethe

(311) We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
-- Walt Kelly, Pogo

(310) Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your software.
-- Unknown

(309) For every hour of brains, you will be charged three hours. The other two hours go to management and project management, which is to say they are wasted.
-- Robert Cringely

(308) Committee: A group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
-- Fred Allen

(307) Debugging is at least twice as hard as writing the program in the first place. So if your code is as clever as you can possibly make it, then by definition you're not smart enough to debug it.
-- Brian Kernighan

(306) Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?
-- Charlie McCarthy

(305) The difference between this company and the Titanic is that the Titanic had paying customers.
-- Unknown

(304) On two occasions I have been asked by members of Parliament, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
-- Charles Babbage

(303) Never mistake motion for action.
-- Ernest Hemingway

(302) The need for accuracy must be weighed against the need for finality.
-- Supreme Court, ruling on the 2000 presidential election

(301) Power Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.
-- Unknown

(300) One of the criticisms that's been raised about PowerPoint is that it can give the illusion of coherence and content when there really isn't very much coherence or content.
-- Edward Miller

(299) It's the opinion of some that crops could be grown on the moon. Which raises the fear that it may not be long before we're paying somebody not to.
-- Franklin Jones

(298) Perpetual optimism is annoying. It's a sign that you are not paying attention.
-- Maureen Dowd

(297) Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
-- Samuel Johnson

(296) The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
-- Robert Coveyou

(295) If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 of them sharpening my axe.
-- Abraham Lincoln

(294) It takes 100s of years for deadwood to turn into mulch.
-- Anonymous

(293) If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.
-- Mario Andretti

(292) No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.
-- Levy

(291) They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
-- Carl Sagan

(290) Computer science is the discipline that believes all problems can be solved with one more layer of indirection.
-- Dennis DeBruler

(289) Earth first! We'll mine the other planets later.
-- Anonymous

(288) Brilliance is like four-wheel drive; it enables a person to get stuck in even more remote places.
-- Garrison Keillor

(287) I am guilty of the great crime of optimism.
-- Edward Teller, asked about Star Wars

(286) What is research but a blind date with knowledge?
-- Will Harvey

(285) If you don't know how to do something, you don't know how to do it with a computer.
-- Anonymous

(284) With the possible exception of veterans, farmers, and college students, there is no group that squeals more loudly over a reduction of federal subsidies than scientists. They are the quintessential special interest group, and in effect, they make the oil industry look like a piker.
-- OMB official

(283) DOE is updating a policy to prevent the unauthorized use of US nuclear weapons and explosives.
-- Tri-Valley Herald newspaper

(282) Being President is like running a cemetery. You've got a lot of people under you, but nobody's listening.
-- Bill Clinton

(281) A developer is someone who wants to build a house in the woods. An environmentalist is someone who already owns a house in the woods.
-- Dennis Miller

(280) Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
-- Albert Einstein

(279) We need to make the pie higher.
-- George W. Bush

(278) The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.
-- Unknown

(277) Heuristic methods don't work ... if they did, they would be called algorithms.
-- Unknown

(276) If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
-- Unknown

(275) Success in life consists of going from one mistake to the next without losing enthusiasm.
-- Winston Churchill

(274) It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a B-52 to raze a village.
-- Unknown

(273) To try to do something which is inherently impossible is always a corrupting enterprise.
-- Michael Oakshott

(272) If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age.
-- George Burns

(271) Any sufficiently well-rigged demo is indistinguishable from advanced technology.
-- Unknown

(270) The trouble is, if any part of the DOE complex gets cancer, the whole complex gets chemotherapy.
-- Paul Robinson, Sandia president

(269) HPC is not leading edge anymore, it's lagging edge.
-- Bill Camp

(268) The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
-- Oscar Wilde

(267) An expert is someone who doesn't know more than you, but uses vugraphs.
-- Unknown

(266) If I had enough time, I could write less.
-- Pascal

(265) If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't.
-- Lyall Watson

(264) Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft. And the only one that can be mass-produced with unskilled labor.
-- Wernher von Braun

(263) The sysadmin uncertainty principle: If you have a question the sysadmins can answer, they won't be in their office. If they can't answer it, they'll be there.
-- Anonymous

(262) 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

(261) A grain of wisdom is worth an ounce of knowledge, which is worth a ton of data.
-- Neil Larson

(260) When dealing with management, you have to boxcar average over your boss's temporal interest fluctations.
-- Carl Sovinec

(259) Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said.
-- Mark Twain

(258) The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants.
-- Adam Walinsky
And exponentially with the size of the bureaucracy.
-- Sandia amendment

(257) To be a programmer is to develop a carefully managed relationship with error. There's no getting around it. You either make your accomodations with failure, or the work will become intolerable.
-- Ellen Ullman

(256) I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
-- Button

(255) Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.
-- Unknown

(254) The purpose of most computer languages is to lengthen your resume by a word and a comma.
-- Larry Wall

(253) Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
-- Larry Wall

(252) New DOE policy: Scientists at the nation's nuclear weapons laboratories must report any romantic liaison with a foreigner, unless it's a one-night stand.
-- Washington Post

(251) One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
-- Bertrand Russell

(250) Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-- Robert Heinlein

(249) The nuclear weapons complex needs to be rescued from the Energy Department.
-- Senator Shelby

(248) Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.
-- Victor Hugo

(247) They call the CPlant machine Alaska because it's big, sparsely populated, and lacks infrastructure.
-- Kent Budge

(246) If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed, he'd be a billionaire.
-- Unknown

(245) The paperless office will happen soon after the paperless toilet.
-- Unknown

(244) The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you.
-- Rita Mae Brown

(243) Basic research is like shooting an arrow into the air and where it lands, painting a target.
-- Homer Adkins

(242) Development is when you know the answer, but not how to get there. Applied research is when you know the question, but not the answer. Pure research is when you don't know the question.
-- Nick MacLaren

(241) How could this be a problem in a country where we have Intel and Microsoft.
-- Al Gore, on the Y2K problem

(240) Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction has to make sense.
-- Unknown

(239) Always forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
-- John F. Kennedy

(238) Farming looks easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a 1000 miles from a corn field.
-- Dwight Eisenhower

(237) The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
-- Winston Churchill

(236) Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river.
-- Cordell Hull

(235) Football combines two of the worst things about American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings.
-- George Will

(234) Americans will always do the right thing ... after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.
-- Winston Churchill

(233) No good deed goes unpunished.
-- Clare Booth Luce

(232) Do not look directly into laser beam with remaining eye.
-- sign in Sandia lab

(231) I'll do business with anyone, but I'll only go sailing with gentlemen.
-- J. P. Morgan

(230) You should never settle for the lesser of two weasels.
-- Dilbert

(229) The search was like listening for a gnat's whisper in a hurricane.
-- Frederick Reines, discoverer of the neutrino

(228) The EPA thinks it's better to pound on the wrong nail than not to pound at all.
-- Commentary on EPA radon rulings

(227) It is pretty hard to talk about responsibility unless you have exercised it yourself.
-- Bill Clinton, 1987.

(226) Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
-- Abraham Lincoln

(225) In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
-- Franz Kafka

(224) The most serious idleness is to be busy about things that do not matter.
-- Chinese proverb

(223) There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
-- Peter Drucker

(222) If you see a snake do not approach it. Sandia is negotiating a contract for snake pick-up.
-- Porcelain Press

(221) No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.
-- Jacob Bronowski

(220) We can imagine scientific users with thoughtful looks on their faces, surrounded by their data as they wander through their offices and hallways, talking to the applications, listening to the results, and drawing on the walls.
-- Turner Whitted of Microsoft, on un-tethering graphics from the desktop

(219) Physics isn't a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money.
-- Leon Lederman

(218) Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
-- Jonathan Kozol

(217) In mythology, Janus = the two-faced God of Gateways.
-- Al Hurd (Janus is the name of Sandia's Intel TFLOPS supercomputer)

(216) Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
-- Pablo Picasso

(215) By the time you kill and mount what you catch, it has lost that very thing that made it worth having. I knew this only as a vague sense of disappointment at age 10; not until later did I recognize it as a metaphor for much of life.
-- Anna Quindlen, on collecting butterflies

(214) The hallmark of science is an experiment that can be repeated. The hallmark of psuedo-science is a headline that can be repeated.
-- The Economist

(213) Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.
-- Lawrence Peter

(212) One World, One Web, One Program.
-- Microsoft Promotional
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer.
-- Adolf Hitler

(211) Windows 98 (n): 32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor, written by a 2-bit company that can't stand for 1 bit of competition.
-- Stan Brown

(210) If you want ASCI funding, you have to go to Washington and kiss Gil Weigand's ASCI ring.
-- Anonymous

(209) I don't see Merced appearing on a mainstream desktop inside of a decade.
-- Andy Grove, Intel

(208) The enormous volumes that Intel can generate with Merced will drive the current RISC microprocessors off the desktops over the next 5 years.
-- Larry Smarr, NCSA

(207) If it's not on the Web, it's not worth knowing.
-- Steve Attaway

(206) A lot of people in physics are solving problems that don't need to be solved.
-- Steve Wolfram

(205) As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
-- Albert Einstein

(204) Internet gambling is the same as my last career, except the folks I work with now are less sleazy.
-- Jay Cohen, former stock trader

(203) Gambling is the future of the Internet; you can only look at so many dirty pictures.
-- Simon Noble, Intertops bookmaking

(202) It's based on science, so it's pretty accurate.
-- Sandia spokesman Chris Miller on dinosaur noise simulations

(201) I like to keep an open mind, but not so open my brains fall out.
-- Arthur Sulzberger, NY Times chairman

(200) Knowledge grows linearly, ignorance exponentially.
-- Malthus Law of Research

(199) Boxing is like ballet, except there's no dancing, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
-- Unknown

(198) JAVA - write once, debug everywhere.
-- Unknown

(197) The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.
-- Samuel Butler

(196) Complexity is not a goal. I don't want to be remembered as an engineer of complex systems.
-- David Parnas

(195) Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling; the incomprehensible should cause suspicion rather than admiration.
-- Niklaus Wirth

(194) Even though this concept is implausible, the potential implications are enormous. Can we not afford to invest a small amount in pursuit of this question?
-- NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, in Nature, defending research into homeopathic claims that biological information can be stored in water

(193) You must be willing to bet your paycheck on a simulation.
-- Russ Skocypek (since moved to new job) on ASCI fire simulations, in Science News

(192) The chief source of problems is solutions.
-- Eric Sevareid

(191) In science, if the last 50 years were the age of physics, the next 50 years will be the age of biology.
-- Bill Clinton

(190) Some problems don't go away until people retire.
-- Dan Hitchcock, DOE

(189) I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
-- Douglas Adams

(188) I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either.
-- Dave Morse

(187) If it doesn't have a badge, kill it.
-- Lucille Verdugo

(186) Ride the synergy.
-- David Greenberg, on Cplant.

(185) At Sandia we promise the world -- and deliver the 3rd world.
-- Sandia manager

(184) Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art.
-- Charles McCabe, SF Chronicle

(183) If at first you don't succeed, skydiving's not for you.
-- Unknown

(182) If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to.
-- Old Irish saying

(181) You can't get to overexposed, without going thru filthy rich first.
-- Scott Adams

(180) An application area does not become devoid of intellectual challenge simply because someone can make money from it.
-- IBM manager

(179) Science is a wonderful thing, if one does not have to earn a living at it.
-- Albert Einstein

(178) ASCI is a Ponzi scheme.
-- Gerry Yonas

(177) Reaching a teraflop is the single biggest computer science achievement in two decades. Ten years ago, the most credible leaders in computing said it was not possible.
-- Gil Weigand

(176) If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start every day by tying a little noose around your neck?
-- Linda Ellerbee

(175) There are 3 kinds of mathematicians -- those who can count and those who can't.
-- Unknown

(174) It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you place the blame.
-- Sandia motto

(173) When C++ is your hammer, every problem looks like your thumb.
-- Preston Briggs

(172) If you've been pounding nails with your forehead for years, it may feel strange the first time someone hands you a hammer. But that doesn't mean that you should strap the hammer to a headband just to give your skull that old familiar jolt.
-- Off the Internet

(171) The more I watch television, the more I wonder why I'm not already Supreme ruler of Earth.
-- Dogbert

(170) If storms are caused by the flapping of butterfly wings as chaos theory suggests, maybe we can eliminate hurricanes by killing all butterflies.
-- Robert Park, APS What's New

(169) What happens if the mean-time to failure for nodes on the Tflops machine is shorter than the boot time?
-- Courtenay Vaughan

(168) As for the people who think that Java applets will replace real software, you have to wonder what they're smoking.
-- John Dvorak, PC Week

(167) The stock market goes nuts over any company that so much as mentions the word Internet. All this proves to me is that the boneheads on Wall Street are as dumb as they were in college when they had to switch their majors to business to keep from flunking out.
-- John Dvorak, PC Week

(166) TV is passive; computers are active. TV is just a really, really good screensaver.
-- Bill Machrone, PC Week

(165) If time means nothing to you, then surf the Web.
-- John Dvorak, PC Week

(164) Imagine having your hand impaled on a sharp hook and then having your entire body lifted up into an atmosphere where you can't breathe! That's fishing.
-- spokeswoman for PETA (People for Equal Treatment of Animals)
Fishing? Sounds like a typical staff meeting around here.
-- Anonymous

(163) Three stages of truth for scientists: (1) It's not true. (2) If it is true, it's not very important. (3) We knew it all along.
-- Leo Szilard

(162) In science it is not enough to think of an important problem on which to work. It is also necessary to know the means which could be used to investigate the problem.
-- Leo Szilard

(161) With the crummy raises Sandia's giving, it's getting hard to steal enough office equipment to keep up with inflation.
-- Carl Diegert

(160) Sometimes I feel like I'd have a lot more fun if I didn't have a conscience.
-- Karen Devine

(159) When you are thinking about something you don't understand you have a terrible, uncomfortable feeling called confusion. The confusion is, because we are all some kind of apes that are kind of stupid trying to figure out how to put two sticks together to reach the banana, and we can't quite make it. So I always feel stupid. Once in a while, I put the two sticks together, and I reach the banana.
-- Richard Feynman

(158) Many young people simply do not want to work in the area of nuclear weapons; they prefer to direct their talents to careers in environmental or energy R&D. With a few years experience and a more seasoned perspective, they are often eager to contribute their talents to national security programs.
-- Al Narath, Sandia president

(157) A concensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually.
-- Abba Eban

(156) The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat.
-- Lily Tomlin

(155) The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously.
-- Hubert Humphrey

(154) Like disco dancing, pet rocks, and mood rings, the Department of Energy's time has come and gone.
-- Rep Todd Tiahrt, House Republican

(153) Prostitutes are also customer-focused and market-driven.
-- Kevin McCurley

(152) We stand at a crossroads. One path leads to despair, the other to destruction. Let's hope we make the right choice.
-- Woody Allen

(151) If DOE becomes part of DOD, then WFO will become WFM = Work for Mother. Mother = Military Officials That Hire Energy Researchers.
-- Gerry Yonas

(150) Enjoy everything in moderation, but don't overdo it.
-- Anonymous

(149) If you have a Y-chromosome and a PhD, you could be Dr. December.
-- Solicitation to male scientists for the Studmuffins of Science calendar

(148) The role of the experimentalist is to perform crude analog simulations of theoretical predictions.
-- Frank Stillinger

(147) It may be possible to wipe out the entire budget on this project without doing any technical work whatsoever.
-- Bob Benner

(146) To do is to be.
-- Kant
To be is to do.
-- Rousseau
Do be do be do.
-- Sinatra

(145) Managers used to spend half their time doing research. Now they don't do anything.
-- Sudip Dosanjh

(144) After being referred to as the father of the multi-computer, I will be very pleased to contribute to its demise.
-- Chuck Seitz

(143) What's the difference between a computer salesman and a used-car salesman? The used-car salesman knows when he's lying.
-- Anonymous

(142) In the past, it was the science and engineering markets that really pushed us. Now, more often than not, it's the entertainment community, and the scientists and engineers are benefiting from the advances.
-- Greg Estes, SGI

(141) What is the world's fastest computer and how fast is it? Currently, it's an HP notebook. It's used on the Space Shuttle to compute orbital position and has been clocked at 17,500 mph.
-- Robert Hyatt

(140) Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.
-- Ronald Reagan

(139) Virtual reality currently has an extremely high talk-to-work ratio.
-- 1994 National Research Council report

(138) Heisenberg Certainty Principle for the US Congress: If your position is everywhere, your momentum is zero.
-- William Lipscomb, Nobel laureate

(137) What programs can we eliminate? Maybe the DoE. I don't see any useful purpose it serves.
-- Bob Dole, Senate majority leader

(136) Instead of putting one man on the moon, we should aim to put every child on the Internet by the age of 10.
-- Ed McCracken, CEO of SGI

(135) Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness.
-- Cullen Hightower

(134) What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.
-- Pearl Bailey

(133) The underlying physical laws necessary for the mathematical theory of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty is only that the exact solution of these laws leads to equations much too complicated to be soluble.
-- Dirac, 1929

(132) The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwords.
-- Arthur Koestler

(131) There are 2 kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.
-- Indira Gandhi

(130) Percentage of Canadians who say they approve of the information superhighway: 63% Percentage of Canadians who say they know what the information superhighway is: 54%
-- PC Magazine

(129) Computer scientists are smarter than mathematicians. It took computer scientists only 30 years to do what it took mathematicians 300 years to do. Become irrelevant.
-- David Kuck

(128) The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.
-- Casey Stengel

(127) We're all crash-test dummies on the information superhighway.
-- Unknown

(126) The information superhighway? That sounds like a place that's long and boring and kills 50,000 people a year.
-- Dick Cavett

(125) Hype is the fast lane of the information superhighway.
-- Unknown

(124) The Paragon turned my code to roadkill on the information superhighway.
-- Universal sentiment

(123) For a research worker, the unforgotten moments of his life are those rare ones, which come after years of plodding work, when the veil over nature's secret seems suddenly to lift and when what was dark and chaotic appears in a clear and beautiful light and pattern.
-- Gerty Cori

(122) I'm undergoing an ethical realignment of my value system.
-- Anonymous commentary on the Gordon Bell process

(121) The only genuinely objective benchmark is the one left on a person's trousers when they sit on a bench that has just been painted.
-- HPC Wire

(120) The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds a spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure (or becoming a manager).
-- Rodolfo Llinas

(119) C++ is a lot like teenage sex. Everyone's talking about it; no one is doing it.
-- Unknown

(118) Forget UNIX - it will be gone in 5 years.
-- Tom Jermoluk, president of SGI

(117) My feeling is that every town that has cable TV is going to have a supercomputer. We have the chance to be the 1st country that has truly scalable computing that is available to everyone just the way you plug your hairdryer into the wall.
-- Larry Smarr

(116) There is no way to educate the rest of Sandia. You can only take over their work.
-- Kevin McCurley

(115) More $ is not the only source of job satisfaction.
-- Bruce Hendrickson
Must be a CS guy.
-- Bill Camp
There's a donor.
-- Ed Barsis

(114) Ethically speaking, no one around here is lily-white. At least none of the managers are.
-- Ed Barsis

(113) I don't understand computers. I don't even understand people who understand computers.
-- Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

(112) We think the gigaflop workstation will have perhaps a 1000 times more impact on society than the teraflop supercomputer.
-- Ed McCracken, CEO of SGI

(111) Think of the tremendous human tragedy of time and energy a lot of scientists have lost trying to use MP machines.
-- Henry Burkhardt, deposed CEO of KSR

(110) The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.
-- Cole

(109) The farther away the future is, the better it looks.
-- Finnigan

(108) Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.
-- Weiler

(107) SUNMOS and C++ are the answer. Now what was the question?
-- John Shadid

(106) It's impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious.
-- Unknown

(105) For every vision there is an equal and opposite revision.
-- Thal

(104) Never confuse hard work with hard thinking.
-- Jim Watson

(103) Fortran is the language used for what God intended computers to do.
-- Alan Laub, professor at UCSB

(102) Fortran is like Latin. There's a lot of it laying around, but it's a dead language.
-- Dexter Senft, financial guru at Shearson-Lehman

(101) If you can distinguish between good advice and bad advice, then you don't need advice.
-- Van Roy

(100) Tie-in is a virtual concept.
-- Bill Camp

(99) Wisdom consists of knowing when to avoid perfection.
-- Horowitz

(98) The biggest impediment to making decisions is too much knowledge.
-- Bill Camp

(97) The Paragon OSF Unix operating system slays a dragon that has plagued the entire parallel computing industry --- the lack of a fully scalable, industry- standard OS.
-- Intel press release

(96) If I see Danny Hillis quoted as an expert on MPP one more time, I'm going to puke.
-- Larry Ellison, Oracle

(95) Message-passing will become the minority way of doing things.
-- Steve Wallach, Convex

(94) Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they don't manage, and those who manage what they don't understand.
-- Unknown

(93) The length of a progress report is inversely proportional to the amount of progress.
-- Unknown

(92) There are numerous reasons why a global warming CRADA on cow flatulence is appropriate for the tech-transfer funding process.
-- Kevin McCurley

(91) PAP = Peak Advertised Performance
SAP = System Advertised Price
as in "Only a sap would pay the SAP for a machine with that PAP."
-- Jack Worlton

(90) An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
-- Unknown

(89) Definition of a paradigm -- shift happens.
-- Allain Rossman

(88) Most Sandians realized there would be pain and this is compatible with that expectation.
-- Pace Vandevender, on the DOE salary freeze

(87) Experts and their forecasts: from The Experts Speak
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
-- Lord Kelvin, 1895
There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable.
-- Albert Einstein, 1932
I think there is a world market for about four or five electronic computers.
-- Thomas Watson, IBM, 1943
There is no reason for an individual to have a computer in their home.
-- Ken Olsen, DEC, 1977
I think funding for the national labs should increase.
-- Bill Clinton at Sandia during the `92 campaign

(86) People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and continue on.
-- Churchill

(85) If an idea can survive a bureaucratic review and be implemented, it wasn't worth doing.
-- Mollison

(84) Message-passing Fortran is the assembly language of high performance computing. People who program in it once, don't want to do it again.
-- Ken Kennedy, Fortran D guru

(83) Every fool can ask a question (about prime numbers), that the wisest man cannot answer.
-- Hardy

(82) If you're not pissing somebody off, you're not doing your job.
-- Bill Camp

(81) The practical scientist is trying to solve tomorrow's problem on yesterday's computer. Computer scientists often have it the other way around.
-- Numerical Recipes, C Edition

(80) All you need to be a manager are good English skills and a liking for science fiction.
-- Bill Camp

(79) UNIX is a command-line driven OS that only nerds could love.
-- PC Magazine

(78) UNIX folks can't market their way out of a paper bag.
-- PC Magazine

(77) There are 3 rules to follow when parallelizing large codes. Unfortunately, no one knows what these rules are.
-- W. Somerset Maugham and Gary Montry

(76) Six Phases of a Project:
(a) Enthusiasm
(b) Disillusionment
(c) Panic
(d) Search for the guilty
(e) Punishment of the innocent
(f) Praise and honor for the non-participants.
-- Karla Jennings

(75) One of the worst sins you can commit around here is to believe your own baloney.
-- a Congressman, at the space station hearings

(74) Life is tough. It's tougher if you're stupid.
-- a John Wayne character

(73) We talk to scientists who insist the president-elect should accord science and technology issues top priority. It's like talking to mental patients - you have to look like you take them seriously.
-- Member of Clinton administration

(72) I'd love to be the lab that screwed NSA.
-- Anonymous Sandian

(71) The trouble with the gene pool is that there's no lifeguard.
-- Baldwin

(70) In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.
-- Anonymous computer scientist

(69) Don't decide what it's like to be a manager by watching Ernie.
-- Sudip Dosanjh

(68) God is smooth.
-- Bill Camp, discussing PDEs

(67) Management took the ball and ran with it before it was fully inflated. The ball that is.
-- Bruce Hendrickson, on his research results

(66) The Intel Paragon - a one-and-a-half dimensional mesh.
-- Steve Plimpton

(65) Computer scientists are the historians of computing.
-- Gordon Bell

(64) Without the vector units, the CM-5 is a well-balanced machine.
-- TMC employee

(63) I think I might believe what I just said.
-- Bill Camp

(62) An expert is a person who avoids the small errors as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.
-- Stolberg

(61) I don't mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.
-- Pauli

(60) We tend to meet every situation in life by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.
-- Petronius, 100 AD

(59) Don't worry about people at Sandia with the wrong attitudes. Those people get old and die.
-- Bill Camp

(58) Technical competence is a dime-a-dozen.
-- Peter Feibelman

(57) Of course I have my snout in the LDRD trough. How else are we going to support cream-of-the-crop researchers around here?
-- Kevin McCurley

(56) Millionaires drive a Mercedes; billionaires drive a pick-up.
-- Art Hale

(55) We're being screwed by people who are better liars than us.
-- Bill Camp

(54) Now we know how important MIMD is.
-- TMC corporate line on the CM-5

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

(52) A good scientist is one who knows enough to steal from the best people.
-- J. Holton

(51) All of science can be divided into physics and stamp-collecting.
-- Lord Kelvin

(50) A state-of-the-art calculation requires 100 hours of CPU time on the state-of-the-art computer, independent of the decade.
-- Edward Teller

(49) A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a master of pattern.
-- G. Hardy

(48) ES&H is my number one priority!
-- ex-Sandian Venki Narayanamurti

(47) Fasten your seat belts.
-- Justin Rattner, Intel, on the Paragon

(46) For some people buying a MP machine is like buying a sports car. They want maximum performance, no matter how rough the ride.
-- Gary Montry

(45) It's impossible to do anything in real time.
-- Bill Camp

(44) There are lies, damn lies, and benchmarks.
-- Mark Twain, Kevin McCurley

(43) I know how to make 4 horses pull a cart - I don't know how to make 1024 chickens do it.
-- Enrico Clementi

(42) The weapons labs are not here to understand the world, publish papers, or educate students; they are here to get practical results.
-- The Economist

(41) Weapons lab researchers look at the world of commerce like teenagers anticipating sex - with keen expectation, some trepidation, and no idea of the enganglements and messiness involved.
-- The Economist

(40) If a machine quacks like SIMD and waddles like SIMD, it's SIMD.
-- John Shadid, on the CM-5

(39) The new CM is a SIMD machine in drag.
-- John Shadid, on the CM-5

(38) The customer is a pinhead.
-- Ray Tuminaro

(37) Maybe we'll give the nCUBE-10 to some 3rd world university.
-- Bill Camp

(36) I hope these viewgraphs don't insult your intelligence - they were prepared for management.
-- Conference speaker

(35) It's deja-screw all over again.
-- Gary Montry

(34) I wouldn't bet a fortune on nCUBE being the CRAY of the 90's.
-- Bill Camp

(33) The world's an exciting place when you know CFD.
-- John Shadid

(32) If you're not making progress, make viewgraphs.
-- Juan Meza

(31) When we move to 980 there will be no network problems.
-- Carl Diegert

(30) The most powerful passion in life is not love or hate, but the desire to edit someone else's words.
-- sign in Ed Barsis's office

(29) In times of change, the learners inherit the earth - the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to understand a world that no longer exists.
-- Eric Hoffer

(28) The Intel Touchstone will be transparent to program.
-- Bill Camp

(27) Conversion of any code to parallel takes a few weeks, perhaps longer.
-- Ed Barsis

(26) The possibilities are frightening.
-- Bob Benner

(25) There's no point putting whipped cream on manure.
-- John Madden

(24) Quality is not goodness.
-- Sandia National Labs document

(23) Folklore and rumor are inadequate means of spreading information about how to use a computer system.
-- John Gustafson, on the nCUBE

(22) We're much too busy to do any real work.
-- John Shadid, Ray Tuminaro

(21) Massively parallel machines are generally considered to be hard-to-program special-purpose engines. But the nCUBE is different.
-- Doug Harless, nCUBE

(20) The nCUBE 2 can work in two modes: SIMD and MIMD.
-- Doug Harless, nCUBE

(19) The managers were taken to a rice paddy and unceremoniously shot to death as workers looked on.
-- Wall Street Journal

(18) Great meal guys!
-- Gene Golub to Sandia hosts after $150 dinner

(17) You can count on nCUBE to do the intelligent thing.
-- Andy Cleary

(16) nCUBE - software from hell.
-- Mark Sears

(15) With the new nCUBE software, you should never have to nboot again.
-- Bob Benner

(14) Let's blow LANL off the map.
-- Anonymous Sandian

(13) Fundamental science is not where I'd put the incremental dollar.
-- Al Narath, Sandia president

(12) We must overcome our preoccupation with scientific issues.
-- Al Narath, Sandia president

(11) Parallel machines are hard to program and we should make them even harder - to keep the riff-raff off them.
-- Gary Montry

(10) It's on the top of my list; that's an action item; I'll get right on it.
-- Bob Benner, helpful supervisor

(9) What day of the week is Thursday?
-- Bill Camp

(8) I hate this machine. (loop 1 to P: I hate it.)
-- John Shadid

(7) You have to normalize that by everything else that goes on around here.
-- unknown Sandian

(6) That's why they call it research.
-- John Shadid

(5) As a professional you know the value of quality support.
-- Elan, alleged software company

(4) Newton's got laws to burn.
-- John Shadid

(3) When we get our new machine we'll be living off the fat of the land.
-- Steve Plimpton

(2) Life isn't mostly symmetric positive definite.
-- John Shadid

(1) What's time to a pig?
-- Carl Diegert

(0) You have to remember - this is an nCUBE.
-- Courtenay Vaghan