computer science

The algorithm designer who does not run experiments risks becoming lost in abstraction. —Sedgewick

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. —unknown

The Limits of Quantum Computers (or: What We Can’t Do With Computers We Don’t Have) —Aaronson


There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature. —Bohr

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. … Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, “But how can it be like that?” because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that. —Feynman

I felt that Einstein’s intellectual superiority over Bohr, in this instance, was enormous; a vast gulf between the man who saw clearly what was needed, and the obscurantist. —Bell

We always have had a great deal of difficulty in understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents… I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there’s not a real problem, but I am not sure there’s no real problem. —Feynman

I once asked Bell what he thought the problem with the quantum theory was. He laughed and said that if he knew, he might make some progress toward solving it. —Bernstein

Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. / If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. —Bohr


Mathematics is not yet ripe for such problems. —Erdös

Combinatorics is the slums of topology. —Whitehead

But I confess that Fermat’s theorem as an isolated proposition has very little interest for me, because I could easily lay down a multitude of such propositions, which one could neither prove nor dispose of. —Gauss

So each of these breakthroughs, while sometimes they’re momentary, sometimes over a period of a day or two, they are the culmination of, and couldn’t exist without, the many months of stumbling around in the dark that precede them. —Wiles

An engineer thinks that his equations are an approximation to reality. A physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations. A mathematician doesn’t care. —anonymous

Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. —Einstein

The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics. —Hardy

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. —Einstein

I have never done anything ‘useful’. No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world. —Hardy

There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world. —Lobachevsky

science/ discovery/ imagination

I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. —Newton

No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others. —Kuhn

Imagination is more important than knowledge. —Einstein

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Clarke

The future is already here; its just not evenly distributed.—Gibson

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. —Planck

Basic research is what Im doing when I dont know what Im doing. —Wernher von Braun

One can’t produce original research by publishing things one understands. —unknown

collective intelligence

In short, if a large group of mathematicians could connect their brains efficiently, they could perhaps solve problems very efficiently as well. —Gowers

The “genius” that I defined before as an ability to put together the zeitgeist, could just be in the union of many minds, each doing nothing more than saying what is obvious to them. —Trevisan

Today, online tools offer us a fresh opportunity to improve the way discoveries are made, an opportunity on a scale not seen since the early days of modern science. —Nielsen

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. —Newton


A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. —James

A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it. —Strickland

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. —Shaw

Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it. —Bohr

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. —Einstein

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress. —Bohr

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. —Gramsci

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. —Whitehead

leadership/ virtuosity

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. —Schopenhauer

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. —unknown

The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. —Fitzgerald

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. —Gandhi

The pioneers are the ones with arrows in their backs. —anonymous

I’m not interested in money or fame; I don’t want to be on display like an animal in a zoo. —Perelman

to be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
—ee cummings

There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. —anonymous

truth/ reality

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. —Bohr

Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it? —Einstein

Humankind cannot bear very much reality. ―T.S. Eliot

Every truth runs through three stages: First it is distorted and ridiculed. Then it is vehemently fought against. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident. —Schopenhauer

People stumble over the truth from time to time, but most get up and go on as if nothing had happened. —Churchill

Like the sun and the moon, the truth cannot remain long hidden. —Buddha

The reverse side also has a reverse side. —japanese aphorism

For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory, [we must turn] to those kinds of problems with which thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonize our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence. —Bohr

1 thought on “quotes

  1. EvilJS

    “Everyone knew it was impossible. Then came along a fool who didn’t know it, and he did it.”

    It is better to have pretended smile than true tears. – this is mine.


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