Quotes

These are some of my favourite wise words from various sources.

Quotes found in The Cathedral and the Bazaar

Perfection in design is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Having been brought up in a serf-owner's family, I entered active life, like all young men of my time, with a great deal of confidence in the necessity of commanding, ordering, scolding, punishing and the like. But when, at an early stage, I had to manage serious enterprises and to deal with free men, and when each mistake would lead at once to heavy consequences, I began to appreciate the difference between acting on the principle of command and discipline and acting on the principle of common understanding. The former works admirably in a military parade, but it is worth nothing where real life is concerned, and the aim can be achieved only through the severe effort of many converging wills.
19th-century Russian anarchist Kropotkin

Interesting phrases


Other quotes

He who knows, but knows not that he knows, is asleep. Wake him.
He who knows not, but knows that he knows not, can be taught. Teach him.
He who knows not, but knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Avoid him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a prophet. Follow him.
Att älska helt och fullt är att utelämna sig helt och fullt.
Sapere aude - hav mod att göra bruk av ditt eget förstånd, utan någon annans ledning. (Från Glappet).
Someone who is truly in love can never be alone. (Dianne Chambers i Skål)
Den man känner sig hotad av nedvärderar man.
Jag vill ha full kontroll - det är det enda sättet att uppnå kvalitet.
Henri E Ciriani, arkitekt och pedagog
Han har blivit kritiserad för att han inte följer med i tiden. Men för honom kan arkitektur aldrig bli ett mode, reduceras till en stil. Det måste finnas ett längre perspektiv, ett större allvar.
May the source be with you. (John Lambert)
Allt som bygger upp egot skymmer själen. (Caroline Giertz)
Abandon the firewall fantasy. (Jakob Nielsen in Alertbox, May 26, 2002)
Perfect is the enemy of good. (Jeff Garzik)
I do not believe that we should ever apply that economic, political, and military power unilaterally. If we had followed that rule in Vietnam, we wouldn't have been there. None of our allies supported us. Not Japan, not Germany, not Britain or France. If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning. (Robert S. McNamara.)
Kapitalism och demokrati är inkompatibla. (Jakob Persson)
At every crossroad on the road that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past.
(Maurice Maeterlinck, who won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature)
We can do whatevah with whatevah attityden genomsyrar det mesta från andra sidan atlanten. (Coffymonk)
People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel.
He championed civil rights and ran afoul of many in his adopted country by his open contempt for capitalism, which he dismissed as the "predatory phase of human development." (wired.com about Albert Einstein)
If you start judging people you will have no time to love them. (Mother Teresa)
If you want happiness for an hour take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month get married.
If you want happiness for a year inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime help others.
(Chinese Proverb)
I am personally very proud (as a former ML type-safe programmer) that I was able to hang-on to Modula-3 until Java came out, therefore avoiding the C++ era altogether!
(Luca Cardelli in a Computerwold AU interview)
I think I finally found the words for why I don't design for "90%" of the use cases. It's because doing so is designing for the past, while my creations will be used in the future, which I see as unboundedly creative. Moreover, the claim that "users won't want to X" turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Conal Elliot)
We need to recognize, you can't kill the instinct that technology produces, we can only criminalize it. We can't stop our kids from using it, we can only drive it underground. We can't make our kids passive again, we can only make them "pirates". Is that good? We live in this weird time, let's call it the age of prohibitions, where in many areas of our life, we live life constantly against the law. Ordinary people live life against the law. And that's what we are doing to our kids, they live life knowing that they live it against the law, and that realization is extraordinarily corrosive, extraordinarily corrupting. And in a democracy, we ought to be able to do better. ( Lawrence Lessig, TED 2007)
The purpose of influence is to speak up for those who have no influence. (Rick Warren)
The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of western European leaders to recreate the Soviet Union in western Europe. (Mikhail Gorbachev) (more EU quotes)
We have lived in this world where little things are done for love and big things for money. Now we have Wikipedia. Suddenly big things can be done for love. (Clay Shirky)
"Arbete expanderar alltid så att det fyller ut anslagen tid."
Parkinsons lag.

"Utgifterna stiger raskt till inkomsternas nivå."
Parkinsons andra lag.

"Expansion leder till komplexitet och komplexitet leder till förfall."
Parkinsons tredje lag.

Det enda säkra tecknet på makt, är att kunna hindra människor från att göra det de önskar.
(Betrand Russel)
There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.
(Robert A. Heinlein Life-Line (1939))
If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations/Självbetraktelser)
To get the viewpoint of the other person appreciatively and profoundly and reconcile it with his own so far as possible is the supreme achievement of man and his highest vocation.
(Henry Nelson Wieman via conal.net)
Ett företag kan aldrig konkurrera med en hel värld av utvecklare, det går inte att matcha resurserna. Öppen källkod kommer att vinna i slutändan. (Henrik Berggren, idg.se)
Om du har ett äpple, och din kompis har ett, och ni bestämmer er för att ge ert äpple till varandra, har ni fortfarande bara ett äpple var. Men om du har en idé och du möter någon som har en annan, och ni väljer att utbyta idéer har ni plötsligt två var.
(George Bernard Shaw, via www.365saker.se)
What I can not build, I can not understand. (Richard Feynman)
The worst thing you can ever do in life is set yourself goals. (Stephen Fry)
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. (Albert Einstein, via Chip Conley)
Great design does not come from great processes; it comes from great designers.
(Fred Brooks, via wired.com)
Not working is an essential part of working. (Graham Hutton, about procrastination)
Boredom is your window. Once this window opens, don't try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open. (Josaph Brodsky, via wired.com)
Earth provices enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. (Mahatma Gandhi)
People shoud not be afraid of their goverments, goverments should be afraid of their people. (V)
In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion (slides by Erik de Castro Lopo)
Capitalism makes everything complicated. (Johan Lehrer, wired.com)
If it wasn't fun for them, it likely wouldn't be a platform for success for anyone else.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes. (William Gibson)
Haskell Ain't Some Kludgy Enterprisey Lame Language (Eduard_Munteanu)
These security policies are the paranoid delusions of an desperate Empire in decline.
(hackus)
As muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone, it could be argued that those who sit quietly and do nothing are making one of the best possible contributions to a world in turmoil. (Alan Watts, The Way of Zen)
Freedom from censorship and freedom to keep your own money are good reasons to stay with the free Internet instead of the walled garden of proprietary app stores.
In order for the users to control the program, they need these four essential freedoms.
  1. To run the program as you wish.
  2. To study the program's source code, and change it, so it does your computing as you wish.
  3. To make exact copies and redistribute them to others when you wish.
  4. To make copies of your modified versions and redistribute them to others when you wish.
We call that "free software".

If the users don't control the program, then the program controls the users, and the developer controls the program. This is nonfree software. It's an injustice, and our goal is to get rid of the injustice.

If they ever make a movie version of that book, you know who should play Leonard's mother? Sandra Bullock! Because she is great in everything.
(Raj Koothrappali on Big Bang Theory)
I mean, you know a movie is bad when my home girl Sandy B can't save it.
(Raj Koothrappali on Big Bang Theory)
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. (Albert Einstein, via zenhabits)
Be nice to nerds. (Regina Dugan, director of DARPA)
We've bought into the idea that education is about training and "success", defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
(Insight from Pulitzer-winning journalist and best-selling author Chris Hedges, via Conal Elliot)
We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors & people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school & think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along & told them they had to earn a living.
(Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), via Conal Elliot)
"Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen"
(Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)
For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.
(Albert Einstein, via Mina Bissell)
There’s always a little truth behind every “just kidding” - A little knowledge behind “I don’t know” – A little emotion behind every “I don’t care” – And a little pain behind every “It’s OK”
Object-oriented programming is eliminated entirely from the introductory curriculum, because it is both anti-modular and anti-parallel by its very nature, and hence unsuitable for a modern CS curriculum. (Bob Harper)
A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind.
(Robert Oxton Bolt via Conal Elliot)
Writing is nature’s way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is.
(Dick Guindon, via Leslie Lamport)
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
We can't fight for Internet freedom around the world, then turn around and destroy it back home. Even if we don't see the contradiction, the rest of the world does.
Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted from not from disobedience, but from obedience.
(Howard Zinn via Henrik Alexandersson)
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
(Benjamin Franklin via Henrik Alexandersson)
What does censorship reveal? It reveals fear. (Julian Assange via Sang Mun)
There is value lost to the world when you take someone who is an expert in one thing and make them be a novice in something else. (John Carmack at Quakecon 2013)
The question of whether Machines Can Think is about as relevant as the question of whether Submarines Can Swim. (Edsger W. Dijkstra via Alex Wissner-Gross)
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horse.
(Henry Ford, via Henry Lin)
Governments have stopped talking about the ‘public interest’ and started talking about the ‘national interest’. When these diverge, something is wrong.
(Edward Snowden via theguardian.com)
It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.
(Edsger W. Dijkstra in How do we tell truths that might hurt?, 18 June 1975)
The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
(Socrates, via hax)
Nothing will stop you from being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.
(John Cleese, via hax)
Det här är trots allt landet där en regeringsmedlem på musikindustrins uppdrag beordrade räden mot Pirate Bays servrar och där polisen agerade som en privat styrka åt utländska jättar i underhållningsbranschen på bekostnad av den svenska konstitutionen.
(Cory Doctorow, via idg.se)
How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarity (in short: what mathematicians call "elegance") are not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure?
(Edsger W. Dijkstra, via hwn)
Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.
(Edsger W. Dijkstra, via hwn)
Those who have learned from history are bound to helplessly watch other people repeat it.
(monochrom, via hwn)
Americans have shown that they are politically naïve. If you look at how successful plutocratic candidates are in the U.S.—you can get Americans to vote to give their money to the rich. You have to just say certain predictable, silly things to them, and most of them will be fooled.
(Richard Stallman, via The New Yorker)
I was like the tin man, perfectly content, until that evil wizard gave him a heart.
(Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory)
Voyager far efter 38 år fortfarande omkring vid solsystemets yttersta gräns, med endast 72 kB kärnminne och rapporterar hem på daglig basis. Men så är de inte programmerade i Java eller C# heller. De byggdes av folk som kunde sin sak.
(Jörgen Städje, idg.se)
“Standards are for losers”
— The cynical perspective
Software development often isn’t done well in a pressurised, interrupt driven, environment.
Ju mer myndigheterna i effektivitetens intresse samkör dataregister, ju mer de telefonavlyssnar, ju mer de flygspanar, ju mer de detaljkontrollerar och luskar i människornas privata livsföring, desto nödvändigare blir det att garantera hundraprocentig rättssäkerhet i gammal god mening. Ingenting är viktigare än detta rättsstatens krav. Vi vill inte leva i ett genomreglerat samhälle. Vi vill inte leva i en polisstat. Människans krav på skydd mot statens anspråk är viktigare än statens ekonomiska intressen. (…) Rättssäkerhet ingår i demokratins kvalitetskrav. I sin tur är detta beroende av synen på individen. Är han eller hon till för staten eller är staten till för de enskilda människornas skull?
(Gösta Bohman, via hax)
Whatever development has taken place in their software over the past four years, it remains spectacularly incapable of making any kind of reliable inference about facts in the real world.
(Greg Egan, about Google's automatically generated biographies)
There are two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors.
Debugging is like being the detective in a crime movie where your're also the murderer.
(Filipe Fortes)

Last modified: Tue Mar 14 10:04:15 CET 2017
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