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Quote of the day

(or week, depending...)




Depending on what we find that appeals to us.


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Previous quotes of the day
(most recent now at added to top of page)


A computer tech's method for fixing a flat tire is to start with the wheel closest to the spare, and change them all until he hits the right one.

The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck is probably the day they start making vacuum cleaners.

Since any reasonable person would choose a Mac over a PC, Apple's market share provides us with an accurate reading of the percentage of reasonable people in our society. -Roger Ebert

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

Steve Jobs on the Mac's 20th Anniversary: "We don't think that televisions and personal computers are going to merge. We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."

Nothing simple is ever easy and nothing free is ever cheap. And nothing simple is ever simple.

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress. -Thomas A. Edison

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. -Winston Churchill

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. -George Bernard Shaw,1856

I realize that if I wait until I am no longer afraid to act, write, speak, be, I'll be sending messages on a ouija board, cryptic complaints from the other side. -Audre Lorde

Vintage is getting faster and faster. -Joyce Rouse

You get what you ask for in this life. If you ask for nothing, you get nothing. - Dr. Phil

One test is worth 1,000 expert opinions! -George Lorimer

All things take place by change. -Marcus Aurelius

You can observe alot by watching. -Yogi Berra

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do. Aristotle

The impossible happens. -R. Buckminster Fuller

Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. -Nelson Mandela, 1994

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Discipline doesn't have to be about restriction, it can be about freedom, it can be about openness. It can be about doing more rather than less. -Batya Zamir

Real manual labor is a fine schoolmaster, that teaches the value of things that are made, and the labor that was put into them. It gives one a respect and reverence for them. Neal Shields

The only person who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without any excuse. -Jules Renard

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. -Charles Kingsley

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.-Albert Einstein

Do only what's next.-Sufi saying

Do not believe the truth. The truth is tiny compared to what you have to do. -Leonard Cohen

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. -Bertrand Russell

Pessimists have better surprises. -bumper sticker by David Vestal

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. -Oscar Wilde

When you said to me: 'Tell me the story of your life,' I was not eager to begin. But when you added, 'What I care most about is learning your reasons for loving life,' then I became eager, for that was a real subject. - from the introduction to Jacques Lusseyran's autobiography, "And There Was Light"

Study and, in general the pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all of our lives. - Albert Einstein

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of childhood into maturity. - Thomas Huxley

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The part is greater than its role in the whole. - Tom Atlee

A frequent theme of his advice was that lives are built on the promises we make to others. He once told a group of Stanford students: “People run around searching for identity, but it isn't handed out free any more—not in this transient, rootless, pluralistic society. Your identity is what you've committed yourself to.” -from an obituary for John Gardner, Science Magazine

Oh, well, then I suppose I shall have to die beyond my means. -Oscar Wilde's last words

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it. -Oscar Wilde

I used to know how to program the VCR. I knew for years. But the older I got the less I could do it. The day came that I had lost the ability. But fortunately I have sons. I am down to my last child at home. Once he leaves I'm going to have to borrow other people's children. -Carolyn Poulter

I would trade all of my technology for an afternoon with Socrates. -Steve Jobs, Newsweek article on the Classroom of the Future

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't,
and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. -Robert Frost

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, 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 the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. -Emerson

If we live truly, we shall see truly. It is as easy for the strong man to be strong as it is for the weak to be weak. -Emerson

Here's a bumper sticker I'd like to see... 'We are the Proud Parents of a Child who has resisted his teacher's attempts to bend him to the will of his corporate masters'. - George Carlin

Clearly, some time ago makers and consumers of American junk food passed jointly through some kind of sensibility barrier in the endless quest for new taste sensations. Now they are a little like those desperate junkies who have tried every known drug and are finally reduced to mainlining toilet bowl cleanser in an effort to get still higher. -Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America.

A man's wealth is measured by what he doesn't need. -Henry David Thoreau

Anyone can count the seeds of an apple. Who can count the apples in a seed? -Stephen Covey

A sense of reverence is necessary for psychological health. If a person has no sense of reverence, no feeling that there is anyone or anything that inspires awe, it cuts the personality off completely from the nourishing springs of the unconscious. -Robert Johnson

It is better to make a piece of music than to perform one, better to perform one than to listen to one, better to listen to one than to misuse it as a distraction, entertainment, or acquisition of "culture." -John Cage

Windows is nonintuitive ... counter intuitive, sometimes. But it's so MALE to just go buy a Windows PC system and waste a bunch of time learning bogus commands and reading a thousand dialog boxes every time you want to change a point size or whatever ... MEN are just used to sitting there, taking orders, executing needless commands, and feeling like they got such a good deal because they saved $200. WOMEN crave efficiency, elegance ... the Mac lets them move within their digital universe exactly as they'd like, without cluttering up their human memory banks. I think the reason why so many women used to feel like they didn't "understand computers" was because PC's are so brain-dead ... the Macintosh is responsible for upping not only the earning potential of women but also the feeling of mastering technology, which they get told is impossible for them. -Douglas Coupland, from the book Microserfs

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of a bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand. -Henri J. M. Nouwen

The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions. -Susan Sontag

And this is the simple truth—that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order to the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce. -Søren Kierkegaard

I believe that when alien beings finally pay us a visit, the circumstance that will baffle them most is how a nation that is so wholly devoted to the ideals of commercial competition allowed itself to become enslaved by a single brutish company. At the dawn of a new era, the nation that presumes to lead the Information Revolution is itself led around by the nose. How can this be? -John Balzar, LA Times

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. -Abraham Lincoln

If you look at history, even recent history, you see that there is indeed progress.... Over time, the cycle is clearly, generally upwards. And it doesn't happen by laws of nature. And it doesn't happen by social laws.... it happens as a result of hard work by dedicated people who are willing to look at problems honestly, to look at them without illusions, and to go to work chipping away at them, with no guarantee of success—in fact, with a need for a rather high tolerance for failure along the way, and plenty of disappointments. -Noam Chomsky

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. -Leonardo da Vinci

You think the world is what it looks like in fine weather at noon day; I think it is what it seems like in the early morning when one first wakes from deep sleep. -Alfred North Whitehead

Real transformation is the opposite of self-improvement. -Johann Arnold

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul. -Edward Abbey

I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can still do. -Edward Everett Hale

The more we take the welfare of others to heart and work for their benefit, the more benefit we derive for ourselves. This is a fact we can see. And the more selfish we remain and self-centered, the more selfish our way of life is, the lonelier we feel and the more miserable. This is also a fact we can see. -The Dalai Lama

I look at the politics of this country as a game that is played on the people, this illusion of choice. It's interesting that the important things have been reduced in number: oil companies, communications, pharmaceuticals, insurance, banking, accounting, all these firms have been merged and reduced. The choices are very limited. But if you want a bagel, we've got twenty-six flavors. There are four hundred kinds of mustard in this country. There are the illusions of choice. I don't really think choice is here to any substantive degree. -George Carlin

The value of having an inner map of the world as it is (not as it's broadcast) is this: it allows you to know that your task is larger than yourself. If you choose, just by virtue of being a decent person, you are entrusted with passing on something of value through a dark, crazy time—preserving your integrity, in your way, by your acts and your very breathing for those who will build again when this chaos exhausts itself. -Michael Ventura

"BUY MORE STUFF, and if it's on SALE, BUY EVEN MORE STUFF!" -Motto of (at least one) unnamed NMU member (?)

Thought creates things by slicing up reality into small bits that it can easily grasp. Thus when you are think-ing you are thing-ing. Thought does not report things, it distorts reality to create things, and as Bergson noted, "In so doing it allows what is the very essence of the real to escape." Thus to the extent we actually imagine a world of discrete and separate things, conceptions have become perceptions, and we have in this manner populated our universe with nothing but ghosts. - D.T. Suzuki

We sabotage our creative possibilities because the world revealed by our imagination may not fit well
with the life we have taken so much trouble to construct over the years. Faced with the pain of that distance, the distance
between desire and reality, we turn just for a moment and quickly busy ourselves.- David Whyte/Heart Aroused

So Cool, So Digital, So Miserable... The most powerful narcotic in the world is the promise of belonging, and in this culture, we belong by being cool. Our desire for belonging can be satisfied at any store, for the right price. -Kalle Lasn

Difficulties increase the nearer we approach our goal. -Goethe (1749-1832)

Little is done where many command. -Dutch Proverb

Ten years ago... I turned my face for a moment, and it became my life. -The Heart Aroused, by David Whyte

In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth—teaching others. -Ibn Gabirol

Apple has done a smart thang and revisited the compact yet efficient form factor of the short-lived but popular PB 2400. You have to wonder why they monkeyed around with the fruit-flavored toilet seat look of the original iBook to begin with." -MacInTouch

Would you rather play the game really well, and lose—or—play really poorly, and win? - question heard on a news show

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1893

If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, you should say: "He obviously does not know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned." - Epictetus 60

Love consists in this—that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. - Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. -Sydney J. Harris

The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against wacking them around a little. -Porterfield

He is able who thinks he is able. -Buddha

Remember, what you get makes a living. What you give makes a life. -Anon

It's noble to teach oneself. It is still nobler to teach others, and less trouble. -Mark Twain

On Fabric Softener: My wife uses fabric softener. I never knew what that stuff was for. Then I noticed women coming up to me (sniff) 'Married' (walk off). That's how they mark their territory. You can take off the ring, but it's hard to get that April fresh scent out of your clothes. -World according to Andy Rooney

What does education often do? It makes a straight cut ditch of a free meandering brook. - Henry David Thoreau

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. - Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997)

When Bob's printer type began to grow faint, he called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed him that the printer probably needed only to be cleaned. Because the store charged $50 for such cleanings, the employee told Bob that he might be better off reading the printer's manual and trying the job himself. Pleasantly surprised by his candor, Bob asked, "Does your boss know that you discourage business?" "Actually, it's my boss's idea," the employee replied sheepeshly. "We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first."-Anon

Tell me ... I forget,   Show me ... I understand,   Let me do it ... I remember!   -Zome System

Have you noticed that they put advertisements in with your bills now? Like bills aren't distasteful enough, they have to stuff junk mail in there with them. I get back at them. I put garbage in with my check when I mail it in. Coffee grinds, banana peels...I write, "Could you throw this away for me?" -Andy Rooney

If computers were cars, the Mac would be a Lexus for its reliability and elegance. The PC? An AMC Gremlin. -PC writer John Dodge

My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life. -Lee Iacocca

Everyone hears what you say. Friends listen to what you say. Good friends listen to what you don't say. -Anon

I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate. - Elbert Hubbard

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself. -Bertrand Russell

Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debuging Monday's code. -Dan Salomon

I have found that sometimes when I think I am treating people as sentient beings capable of rational thought they are not as happy as when I think I am treating them as dummies. -Donald Alan Whiteside, Pirate Emeritus

"E-mail creates writers. I've seen dozens of professional writing careers begin with total inadvertence by people chatting away online, being encouraged by their friends, then being quoted in print somewhere, then getting paid for it, and then they're hooked. Because their writing began as conversation, it's good writing. The magic ingredient is instant reinforcement by peers. Every time you say something useful cleverly online, somebody says 'Bravo.'" -Stewart Brand, "The Media Lab," 1987

Search engines don't work well on the almost unlimited, often unstructured resources of the Internet, says J. Pemberton:
"Think of a search engine as a dog whistle. Blow it in a kennel and you'll just attract dogs. Blow it in a zoo, and you'll get a few dogs, plus many other creatures with good high frequency hearing: maybe some lions or tigers, hyenas, coyotes, timber wolves, perhaps a moose. . . The point is this: the Internet is a zoo." -Jeff Pemberton
Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. -Oscar Wilde

This "telephone" has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
-Western Union internal memo, 1876

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. -Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Janus, the two-faced god. January, a month for looking back and ahead.... -Low End Mac

We drive into the future using only our rear view mirror. -Marshall McLuhan

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person was of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. -Bertrand Russell

As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. -Josh Billings

Get up every morning with a purpose, not a reason. If you don't know the difference, picture a robbery taking place in an alley. The guy holding the gun is being "purposeful." The guy forking over his wallet is being "reasonable."
-Rich Hall, "Self-Help for the Bleak."

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. -Isaac Newton

We teach to an ideal, to a higher standard—then as we encounter situations we have to apply our judgement and make adjustments. -Harvard medical school teacher

The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization. -Sigmund Freud, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis (1856-1939)

When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. -Lao-Tzu

Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again. -Robert Heinlein

      > Simply never ever respond to any email asking
      > you to call an 809 area code number...

Such warnings miss the mark. Don't even OPEN any unsolicited emails, much less their attachments. Respond to ANY unsolicited email and you deserve whatever ill consequence you may encounter. Don't recognize a return address? Just delete it. (We should make T-shirts). -Clark


NEWS FLASH..............On November 13, 2000, the Congress of the United States of America voted to change the spelling of one of the 50 states. The state of Florida will now be spelled Floriduh...!

True friends stab you in the front. -Oscar Wilde

Freeze Warning Check List: 1. Uncouple your garden hose from the faucet. 2. Check antifreeze in your car. 3. Cover those vent breathing holes in your attic and foundation. 4. Cover plants. 5. Outdoor pets have cover. 6. Close storm windows. 7. Buy more cookies. *8. (optional) If you live in Mount Juliet, and you have a 31-year-old horse, make sure it's in the barn... -MarkTucker (he writes: I've become an old man now, concerned
about freezing water pipes, etc. This is a crossroads...)


If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. -Murphy

We in the press like to say we're honest brokers of information, and it's just not true. The press does have an agenda. - Bernard Goldberg, CBS "48 Hours"

I think that some restriction on speech is appropriate. - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, on C-span2, Monday, June 5th, 1995

Our constituency aren't the type of people to be on the Internet. - Jesse Helms

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have, and don't worry about the rest. - President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt

In the Fiji islands, it appears, cannibalism is now familiar. They eat thier own wives and children. We only devour widows' houses, and great merchants outwit and absorb the substance of small ones, and every man feeds on his neighbor's labor if he can. It is a milder form of cannibalism. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The very purpose of the First Amendment is to foreclose public authority from assuming a guardianship of the public mind... in this field every person must be his own watchman for the truth, because the forefathers did not trust any government to separate the truth from the false for us. - Thomas v Collins, 323 U.S. 516 (1945)

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. - Winston Churchill

Fools you are who say you like to learn from your mistakes. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others, and avoid the cost of my own. -Otto von Bismarck

Your road is everything that a road ought to be...and yet you will not stay in it half a mile, for the reason that little, seductive, mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen path and explore them. -Mark Twain, 1835-1910, from Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. - Sarah Bernhardt

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed—and thus clamorous to be led to safety—by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

Good teaching is one-frouth preparation and three-fourths theater. -Gail Godwin

Power corrupts the few while weakness corrupts the many. -Eric Hoffer


For those unfamiliar with Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard... before becoming an exceedingly succesfull businessman, he was one of the most innovative and influential rock climbers and mountaineers in the world. This quote was posted on the Editorial Photographers maillist.
"It's all about process. Part of the process of life is to question how you live it. Nobody takes the time to do things right. Same with mountain climbing. Nowadays, people are interested only in reaching the top so they can tell others they did it. So they climb Everest with a Sherpa tied to them by a 3-foot rope, one behind and one in front. Their beds are made when they reach camp. Someone has put a chocolate mint on the sheets. They don't tough out their problems, and they say they climbed Everest. They start out assholes, and they end up assholes. And it's the same with business. If you focus on the goal and not the process, you inevitably compromise. Businessmen who focus on the profits wind up in the hole. For me, profit is what happens when you do everything else right. A good cast will catch a fish. It's like Zen archery. Success has nothing to do with sticking an arrow into the bull's-eye. It's all about practice: practicing taking the arrow out of the quiver, practicing notching the string. When you have worked at the process for years, the arrow hits the target naturally. Fishing, climbing, selling, it's all the same."
To which Michael Rowland responded with this note:
"He's also one of the most pessimistic people I've ever seen interviewed..."
------------------------
And, I just talked with my friend Mike Rozek, who's interviewed Chouinard, and Rozek described him as the most "REALISTIC" person he'd ever interviewed....! -C.
------------------------
To which Michael Rowland responded:
Yeah, I could see that. The fact that you have no faith that "good" will triumph, but you choose own course based on what seems right to you instead of just trying to back the right horse... that seems to me more "realistic" than "pessimistic" (in spite of what I said earlier). Choosing to go against your own conscience just because you're afraid you're going to lose, though... a lot of people would call THAT realistic... -jmr
------------------------
On Power and Authority ...Many people, raised on television...do not understand
    the basic principles of power associated with authority:
Cary deserves credit for two extremely cogent pieces of thinking in regard to hotly debated issues in the computer world. First, in his position of helping decide the computer policies of his daughter's elementary school, he noted that it made little difference what platform a child used in third grade because the industry moved so quickly that all computers would be completely different by the time that third grader reached college. Second, in regard to the age-old question of what computer platform should you buy, Cary commented accurately that it should be the platform used by your closest technical friend, the kind of person you could call on a Saturday night if you had a problem. -Adam Engst, "Cary Lu Remembered" TidBITS#399, 9/29/97.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler (AWAD 970717)

I'll take a "5" with a "10" attitude over a "10" with a "5" attitude any day. (AWAD 970816)

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. -Helen Keller (AWAD 27Dec97)

Our best thoughts come from others. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you see a problem, it's yours. If you think somebody should do something about it, remember, you're as much a somebody as anybody. - Center for Zen Buddhism (Ken Laws' TCC 18jun98)

An old writer says that there are four sorts of readers: Sponges, which attract all without distinguishing; Hour-glasses, which receive and pour out as fast; Bags, which retain the degrees of the spices and let the wine escape; and Sieves, which retain the best only. A man wastes a great many years before he reaches the 'sieve' stage. - Sir William Osler (1849-1919)

Mention the word leadership and the vast majority of folks think of Ghandi or Churchill or Iacocca. It would greatly help if we could get more people to think of leadership in the "small l" sense, and not just the "larger than life capital L" sense. -John Kotter

Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Live in your truth, that your children may live in theirs.... The people you have to lie to, own you. The things you have to lie about, own you. When your children see you owned, then they are not your children anymore, they are the children of what owns you. If money owns you, they are the children of money. If your need for pretense and illusion owns you, they are the children of pretense and and illusion. If your fear of loneliness owns you, they are the children of loneliness. If your fear of the truth owns you, they are the children of the fear of truth. -Michael Ventura

The degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes they can bring to bear on the same topic. -Lisa Alther

I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customer got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don't think we are. I think we're responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don't become missionaries. Don't feel as if you're Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don't feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more. -Alan Perlis

"...since the Mac OS now provides for multiple appearances, there is no longer a direct correspondence between the appearance of Mac OS interface elements and their behavior." -MacOS 8 Human Interface Guidelines

The inherent paradox about arguments... Before you get involved in one, you need to have some point you passionately adhere to. But in order for it to be a good argument, there has to be the possibility of seeing the opponent's viewpoint... which sets a theoretical limit to the extent of your passion. (ixtlan list-jmr)

"I am one of the culprits who created the problem. I used to write those programs back in the '60s and '70s, and was so proud of the fact that I was able to squeeze a few elements of space by not having to put '19' before the year."
-Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve chair

Referring to undocumented private communications allows one to claim virtually anything: "we discussed this idea in our working group last year, and concluded that it was totally brain-damaged".
     Also, if you have nothing to say on a subject, replying with a line such as, "I agree with this." puts you in the TO:'s for all future messages, and establishes you as "one who really cares", if not an actual expert, on the topic at hand.
-Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail

"For close on twenty years I have watched Microsoft peddle inferior technology with slick marketing, destroy competitors with dirty tricks, and buy its way out of trouble. Like most people in the know, I grumbled about it to colleagues. I expressed my resistance to the Borg of Redmond by refusing to use Microsoft products, and by helping develop alternative open-source software. But in the end, if software consumers remained oblivious, what could be done?"
    "...a net-worth of fifty-eight billion dollars doesn't equal success in my terms, not when it was bought with crappy engineering and unethical business practices." -Eric Raymond

It's all about process... "Part of the process of life is to question how you live it. Nobody takes the time to do things right. ... Same with mountain climbing. Nowadays, people are interested only in reaching the top so they can tell others they did it. So they climb Everest with a Sherpa tied to them by a 3-foot rope, one behind and one in front. Their beds are made when they reach camp. Someone has put a chocolate mint on the sheets. They don't tough out their problems, and they say they climbed Everest. They start out assholes, and they end up assholes. And it's the same with business. If you focus on the goal and not the process, you inevitably compromise. Businessmen who focus on the profits wind up in the hole. For me, profit is what happens when you do everything else right. A good cast will catch a fish. It's like Zen archery. Success has nothing to do with sticking an arrow into the bull's-eye. It's all about practice: practicing taking the arrow out of the quiver, practicing notching the string. When you have worked at the process for years, the arrow hits the target naturally. Fishing, climbing, selling, it's all the same." -Yvon Chouinard
     For those unfamiliar with Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard, before becoming an exceedingly succesful businessman, he was one of the most innovative and influential rock climbers and mountaineers in the world. The quote was posted on the Editorial Photographers maillist.

Those who are used to a cage will weep for a cage. -Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet

Where ideas are concerned, America can be counted on to do one of two things: Take a good idea and run it completely into the ground, or take a bad idea and run it completely into the ground. -George Carlin

"We tend to steer clear of areas outside the apparent realm of our natural talent. The secret of success becomes *avoiding failure*, leaving much of our potential untapped. In order to reach our full potential to learn, we must accept and then transform anxiety and fear, relentlessly seeking accurate information on our performance. What used to be perceived as criticism now becomes a gift for constructive growth." -Michael J. Gelb and Tony Buzan, "Lessons from the Art of Juggling"

One should guard against inculcating a young person with the idea that success is the aim of life, for a successful person normally receives from their peers an incomparably greater portion than the services they have been able to render them, deserve. The value of a person resides in what they give and not in what they are capable of receiving. The most important motive for study at school, at the university and in life, is the pleasure of working and thereby obtaining results which will serve the community. -Albert Einstein

No one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the "expert" state of mind a great number of things become impossible. -Henry Ford, Sr., My Life and Work

I passionately hate the idea of being 'with it.' I think an artist is always out of step with his time. -Orson Welles

Success, like happiness, can not be pursued. Rather, it must ensue as the unintended side effect of dedication to a course greater than oneself. -Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. -Samuel Johnson

You will hear from those who say we ought to preserve special breaks for some businesses and impose an income tax on working Tennesseans. That's not tax relief; it's not tax reform; it's not tax simplification; and it's not tax fairness. All an income tax does is raise the tax burden on Tennesseans and create a way to finance the easy and endless expansion of government. Tennessee does not need a state income tax. -Governor Don Sundquist, 2/8/99 (just 9 months ago...)

Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds. -Einstein

Compassion for people's wants is not a mature perspective. -Dr. Laura

Management works in the system; Leadership works on the system. -Stephen Covey

iCab is a little slower than Explorer, but it gets better and better with each preview release, and at version 1.7 really is a viable alternative to Explorer and Communicator. Unlike either of the latter, iCab is run by people who are truly committed to the Mac platform -- not just as a corporate strategy, but out of conviction. And reading through Thomas Penfield Jackson's "Findings of Fact" really hammers home how important that is. - Charles Moore

No great thing can ever get off the ground if all the reasonable objections to it are considered first. - Samuel Johnson

"The world is not to be put in order, the world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order." - Henry Miller

Murphy's Law of Research: Enough research will tend to support your theory.

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real,
so he escapes the suffering. -Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

"I didn't arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind." - Albert Einstein

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

In case your family is stressed about Xmas there is a book entitled "Unplug The Christmas Machine." It explores the longing people have for a more simple, more spiritual, less hectic, less commercial Xmas. The book reminds that after all you are in charge. No time to bake, then don't. Feel guilty about not getting junior the Cabbage Patch Tickle Me ElmoFurby or Pokemon cards—but you made the decision—not all the hype in the malls. As people reclaim Xmas, in a true sense, the more we stop being victims. In a world of pain and poverty, suffering and loneliness, isn't it silly to complain of too many gifts to wrap, too many print ads in the mailbox and too much baking to do. Enjoy Xmas this year!!! -Margaret Tucker

Happiness: "I asked the professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them.
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and
a keg of beer and an accordion." - Carl Sandburg

The people I consider successful are so because of how they handle their
responsibilities to other people, how they approach the future; people who have a full sense of the value of their life and what they want to do with it. I call people "successful" not because they have money or their business is doing well but because, as human beings, they have a fully developed sense of being alive and engaged in a lifetime task of collaboration with other human beings—their mothers and fathers, their family, their friends, their loved ones, the friends who are dying, the friends who are being born.
Ralph Fiennes, Parade magazine, 9Mar97.

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
   First, by reflection which is noblest;
   second, by imitation, which is the easiest;
   and third, by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius (B.C. 551-479)

A wise philosopher once said, "He who has a homepage must either face the reality of his own irrelevance or invent for himself an identity worthy of 5mb of storage space." - Larry Frazier

Learners VS. Learned:   In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world which no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer

The most important time you spend is the time you spend planning your time. -Stewart Brand

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception,
is composed of others. -John Andrew Holmes
When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation,
we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.-Joseph Campbell

To allow ourselves to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. -Thomas Merton

By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams. The 'right answer' approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems, where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn't that way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers - all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you'll stop looking as soon as you find one. - Roger von Oech, "A Whack On the Side Of The Head"

It is important to do what you don't know how to do. It is important to see your skills as keeping you from learning what is deepest and most mysterious. If you know how to focus, unfocus. If your tendency is to make sense out of chaos, start chaos. - Carlos Castaneda

Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, there you long to return. - Da Vinci

On no account should you select a colored desktop pattern—they are there only to brighten the mundane lives of unfortunate people who have to spend their entire lives looking at spreadsheets. In digital imaging, a brightly colored desktop is a sure sign of someone who doesn't understand what he or she is doing. You have been warned! - John Henshall

You see, Microsoft for all its success is NOT an innovator, they are a follower. They wait for everyone else to define what will be the next big thing, and then swoop in, buy what they have to, crush the rest and take over the new innovation.
    What bothers me most is not that Microsoft doesn't really innovate—that is a fine and successful strategy for them. What bothers me is the fact that the industry and especially the media give Microsoft credit for the innovations of other companies. - John Kinsella

Our best thoughts come from others. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle. - Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

The worst thing that can happen to you as an enthusiastic adult is that you could appear foolish to people who need to criticize. Let me assure you -- enthusiasm is worth this risk. If you allow yourself to be enthusiastic, you'll be so full of wonder, you won't care what people think. - Barbara Sher, "I Could Do Anything If I only Knew What It Was."

The better you get at solving problems, the worse problems you're going to get. - R. Buckminster Fuller, by way of Stephen Gaskin's "Volume One - Sunday Morning Services on The Farm"

During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, NASA decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $1 million. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on earth.
The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is
nothing left to take away. -Antoine de St. Exupery

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them. -George Bernard Shaw

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. -Albert Einstein

The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases. The terrible temptation to tweak should be resisted unless the payoff is really noticeable. -Jon Bentley and Doug McIlroy

A charlatan makes obscure what is clear; a thinker makes clear what is obscure. -Hugh Kingsmill

After a time, you may find that 'having' is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as 'wanting.' It is not logical, but it is often true. -Spock, "Amok Time," stardate 3372.7

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

When better choices are not to be had, we needs must take the seeming best of bad.-Samuel Daniel (1562-1619)

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. -Norman MacEwen

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time.
Vision with action can change the world. -Joel Barker

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example. -Mark Twain

To create a new standard, it takes something that is not just a little bit different. It takes something that's really new and really captures the people's imagination. And the Macintosh, of all the machines I have ever seen, is the only one that meets that standard. -Bill Gates

Involvement in a form is the beginning of the death of life. It is a straightening and a limiting; a binding and a constricting. Form checks life, thwarts it, and yet enables it to organize. Seen from the point of view of free-moving force, incarceration in a form is extinction. Form disciplines force with a merciless severity. -Kabbalah

You may have noticed a TV ad for Microsoft's Internet Explorer which uses the musical theme of the "Confutatis Maledictis" from Mozart's Requiem. "Where do you want to go Today?" is the cheery line on the screen. While the chorus sings "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis,". This translates to "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."

In fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Meet the situation without tenseness yet not recklessly, your spirit settled yet unbiased. An elevated spirit is weak and a low spirit is weak. Do not let the enemy see your spirit. -Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645)

For want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for want of care about a horse-shoe nail. -Franklin (1706-1790)

Learn that the advantage lieth not in possessing good things, but in the knowing to use them. -Noble Drew Ali

"A man's ignorance sometimes is not only useful, but beautiful—while his knowledge, so called, is oftentimes worse than useless, besides being ugly. Which is the best man to deal with, he who knows nothing about a subject, and, what is extremely rare, knows that he knows nothing, or he who really knows something about it, but thinks that he knows all?" -Henry David Thoreau, Walking

Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all. -Thomas Szasz

It is the greatest mistake to think that man is always one and the same. A man is never the same for long. He is continually changing. He seldom remains the same even for half an hour. -Gurdjieff (1873-1949)

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. -George Bernard Shaw

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
-Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. -Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -D. van Tassel

Being well-informed is but a stone's throw from being boring. And stones WILL be thrown. -Quentin Crisp

It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, "Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer". By then, pigs will be your style. - Quentin Crisp

I think that it's extraordinarily important that we in computer science keep fun in computing. When it started out, it was an awful lot of fun. Of course, the paying customer got shafted every now and then, and after a while we began to take their complaints seriously. We began to feel as if we really were responsible for the successful, error-free perfect use of these machines. I don't think we are. I think we're responsible for stretching them, setting them off in new directions, and keeping fun in the house. I hope the field of computer science never loses its sense of fun. Above all, I hope we don't become missionaries. Don't feel as if you're Bible salesmen. The world has too many of those already. What you know about computing other people will learn. Don't feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What's in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make it more. -Alan Perlis

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher regard those who think alike than those who think differently. -Nietzsche

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. - Nobel laureate economist Herbert A. Simon

Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. -Albert Schweitzer

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. -Plutarch

Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it, but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. -Charles A. Lindbergh

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give Other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others. - Nelson Mandela, 1994

Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. -Oscar Wilde

Nothing is wonderful when you get used to it. -E.W. Howe

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. -Henry David Thoreau

Discipline without freedom is tyranny. Freedom without discipline is chaos. -Cullen Hightower

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. -Albert Einstein

The difference between Cats and Dogs? A Dog doesn't want much, and is happy with that. A Cat doesn't know what it wants, and wants more of it. Which are you?

The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it. -Abbie Hoffman

Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. - Marie Curie

No one who has been thouroughly awake to the real universe would swap it for a "virtual" one. Our deepest urge is to bring our lives into direct contact with elemental life. No matter how clever our works, they will never satisfy our hunger. The likeliest way to achieve contact with life, the likeliest way to recover our senses, is by shutting off our machines, climbing out of our cars, our electrified boxes, walking beyond the pavement to actual dirt or rock, and opening ourselves to the world we have not made. -Scott Russell Sanders

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. -Think Different, Apple

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities.
In the expert's mind there are few. - Suzuki

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. -Joseph Campbell

The discovery of the alphabet will create forgetfullness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves...You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing. -Socrates, "Phaedrus"

(beginning 8/28/00, our most recent quotes are added to top of this page)



Home page quotes edited by Clark Thomas


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