... It is not even wrong.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
One of the chief inhibitions to human progress arises because of the extreme slowness with which the advances in knowledge become translated into action for the benefit of society as a whole. There is no step more important for the removal of that inhibition than that of providing for intimate contact between the leaders in the fields of pure and applied science.
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
There's no sense in being precise about something when you don't even know what you're talking about.
Simplicity is the final achievement.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius---and a lot of courage---to move in the opposite
If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Good design comes from experience. Experience comes from bad design.
The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.
In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.
The scientist describes what is; the engineer creates what never was.
A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment.
An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment
to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Generalizations are generally wrong.
Beware of the man who won't be bothered with details.
If you torture the data enough, it will confess.
Less is more.
Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.
An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually
winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul
becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out
and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the
Many undergraduates come to Caltech simply to enjoy the social life.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But,
in practice, there is.
Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.
Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands
a chance to succeed.
If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no
longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take
Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the
time he will pick himself up and continue.
Brilliance is typically the act of an individual, but
incredible stupidity can usually be traced to an organization.
When you argue with a fool, chances are he is doing just the same.
Mathematics in general is fundamentally the science of
Engineers think that theory approximates reality.
Physicists think that reality approximates theory.
Mathematicians never make the connection.
For many years it was believed that countless monkeys
working on countless typewriters would eventually reproduce
the genius of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the World Wide
Web, we know this to be false.
Einstein was a genius: Head in the clouds, feet on the ground.
But those of us who are not as tall, have to make a choice.
I am not interested in what todays' mathematicians find
The man who does not read good books is at no advantage over the
man that can't read them.
Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could
Hello. I'm Rob's answering machine. What are you?
Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have
two, opulence is when you have three . . . and paradise is when you have
Last night as I went up the stair
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential
is invisible to the eye.
In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a
degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional
assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow,
but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics
A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
because there's bugger all down here on earth.
If an algorithm is going to fail, it should have the decency to
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't
even know existed can render your own computer unusable.
The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than
the question of whether a submarine can swim.
Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about
Save a tree. Disband an ISO working group today.
. . . Meanwhile, those of us who can compute can hardly be
expected to keep writing papers saying 'I can do the following
useless calculation in two seconds', and indeed what editor would
Those who can, do. Those who can't, simulate.
The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to get
At first I hoped that such a technically unsound project would collapse
but I soon realized it was doomed to success. Almost anything in
software can be implemented, sold, and even used given enough
determination. There is nothing a mere scientist can say that will
stand against the flood of a hundred million dollars. But there is
one quality that cannot be purchased in this way---and that is
reliability. The price of reliability is the pursuit of the utmost
simplicity. It is a price which the very rich find most hard to pay.
There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to
make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the
other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious
Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.
Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when
your program doesn't deliver it.
Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon.
When we write programs that "learn," it turns out that we do and they don't.
In the early chapters, try to get as much finger practice as you can.
Remember that the slowest link in the APL system is you, the user. You
are limited by the speed with which you can enter information via the
I want electricity to become so cheap that only the rich can
Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and
talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data
processing is a fad that won't last out the year.
But . . . what is it good for?
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982