Favorite Quotes

For every complicated problem, there is a solution that is short, simple,
and wrong.
H.L. Mencken

Some problems are so complex that you have to be
highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.
Laurence J. Peter

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
But, in practice, there is.
Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut
(the original variation was probably by Yogi Berra)

For a successful technology,
reality must take precedence over public relations,
for nature cannot be fooled.
Richard P. Feynman

You can’t criticize geometry.
It’s never wrong.
Paul Rand

Ubi materia, ibi geometria
Where there is matter, there is geometry
Johannes Kepler

Architecture is geometry in space
Music is geometry in time.
Arthur Honegger (music)

Now, here, you see,
it takes all the running you can do,
to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else,
you must run at least twice as fast as that!
Lewis Carol, Red Queen, in "Through the Looking Glass"

You must do
what others don’t
to achieve
what others won’t.
Laura Mitchell’s ceiling

Work and hope. But never hope more than you work.
Beryl Markham’s father, in "West Into the Night"

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
The Bible, Proverbs 23:4

We but mirror the world.
All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.
As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.
This is the divine mystery supreme.
A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness.
We need not wait to see what others do.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Popular modern paraphrasing of Gandi’s original.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.
Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
Gloria Steinem

All men dream; but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty
recesses of their minds
Awake to find that it was vanity;
But the dreamers of day are dangerous men.
That they may act their dreams with open
eyes to make it possible.
T. E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia)

The law of nature cannot allow all human beings to think together…
All our minds, all our thoughts, are parallel.
But I respect everybody’s thoughts.
Eliud Kipchoge
(Responding to criticism of the unofficial conditions under which he ran a marathon in under 2 hours.)

Men wanted for hazardous journey.
Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness,
constant danger, safe return doubtful.
Honour and recognition in case of success.
Sir Ernest Shackleton (apocryphal)

He belonged to the men who have cared for great things,
not to bring themselves honor,
but because doing great things could alone satisfy their natures.
Emma De Long, of George’s obsessive arctic exploration

Proceed as the way opens.
William Least Heat-Moon, in "River-Horse"

These are the hard times in which a genius would wish to live.
Abigail Adams

If you can answer "yes" to these three questions, then you probably have a good job (and manager):
Do I know what is expected of me?
Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
Does someone at work care about me?

Either what we do everyday is important, or nothing is.
George Sheehan

The bicycle is a simple solution to some of the worlds most complicated problems.
The bicycle is the most efficient form of human transportation.
It can combat climate change, ease urban congestion, and build human fitness.
It brings us together, yet allows us to escape.
And it takes us places we would never see any other way.
Trek blog/marcom

Where is the rare one? Where is the saint?
Who has the words of beauty?
Bobby McFerrin

Where’d all the good people go?
I’ve been changing channels I don’t see them on the tv shows
Where’d all the good people go?
We’ve got heaps and heaps of what we sow
Jack Johnson

Somewhere in the world there is a defeat for everyone.
Some are destroyed by defeat, and some made small and mean by victory.
Greatness lives in one who triumphs equally over defeat and victory.
John Steinbeck, The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

Life is to be lived, not controlled;
and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.
Jalaluddin Rumi

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.
Harry S. Truman

See everything; judge little; forgive much.
Richard Rohr

Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many —
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood, that we are bound together
in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong.
We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead.
James Taylor in "Shed a Little Light"

The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice.
Theodore Parker, 1857, paraphrased; made famous by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris

A human being should be able to
change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog,
conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet,
balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone,
comfort the dying, take orders, give orders,
cooperate, act alone, solve equations,
analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer,
cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.
Robert A. Heinlein

The ant is knowing and wise; but
he doesn’t know enough to take a vacation.
Clarence Day

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