This page aggregates all the quotes appearing in the “Quote of the Week” text widget at the right hand side bar of this blog.
>> The quotes are mentioned in the order they were put up on the text box.
>> Oftentimes a quote is posted as a blog article itself. For such posts, check this out.
[Feynman’s Blackboard at the time of his death: Copyright – Caltech]
1. What I can not create, I do not understand.
– Richard P. Feynman
2. You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
– Franz Kafka
3. You have to learn to be ruthless in dividing between “possible”, “impossible” and “might be possible”. There is much which is quite “possible” but currently would be considered “fantastic”. Pursuit of the “impossible fantastic” is a recipe for endless frustration. Pursuit of the “possible fantastic” is a path which leads to significant rewards.
– Robert Bradbury
[Rudyard Kipling’s “If”: Image Source – World Gallery]
4. If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with 60 seconds worth of distance run.
Your’s is the Earth and everything that’s in it
And, which is more, you’ll be a man, my son.
– Rudyard Kipling (From “if”)
5. Anger is creative; depression is useless.
– Freeman Dyson
6. I believe that through discipline we learn to preserve what is essential to our happiness in more and more adverse circumstances, and to abandon with simplicity what would else have seemed to us indispensable.
– J. Robert Oppenheimer
[Cover of “Scientist as Rebel” by Freeman Dyson]
7. There is no such thing as a unique scientific vision, any more than there is a unique poetic vision. Science is a mosaic of partial and conflicting visions. But there is one common element in these visions. The common element is rebellion against the restrictions imposed by the locally prevailing culture. Western or Eastern as the case may be.
– Freeman Dyson
8. The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
– Albert Einstein
9. Belief in progress does not mean believing in progress that has already occurred. That would require no belief.
– Franz Kafka
10. Chance is a more fundamental conception than causality.
– Max Born
11. What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day.
– Pygmalion (George B Shaw).
12. It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take Hofstadter’s law into account.
– Douglas Hofstadter (Godel Escher and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid)
13. You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
– Buckminster Fuller
14. The sound of water says what I think.
– Chaung Tzu
15. He who thinks a great deal is not suited to be a party man: he thinks his way through the party and out the other side too soon.
– Frederich Nietzsche
16. The same mental processes are at play while telling a joke, proving a theorem and making an invention
– Arthur Kroestler
17. The murmuring of the water is its natural talent, not something done deliberately. The Perfect Man stands in the same relationship in virtue. Without cultivating it, he possesses it to such an extent that things cannot draw away from him. It is as natural as the height of heaven, the depth of the earth, the brightness of sun and moon. What is there to be cultivated?
– Chaung Tzu
18. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
– Oscar Wilde
19. To conjecture and not to test is the mark of a savage.
– George Pólya
20. There is no such thing as empty space or empty time. There is always
something to see, to hear. In fact, try as we make a silence, we
– John Cage
21. Think not existence closing your account and mine,
Shall see the likes of you and me no more;
The eternal saki has poured from the bowl millions of bubbles
like you and me, and shall pour
– The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
22. There are two famous labyrinths where our reason very often goes astray. One concerns the great question of the free and the necessary, above all in the production and the origin of Evil. The other consists in the discussion of continuity, and of the indivisibles which appear to be the elements thereof, and where the consideration of the infinite must enter in.
– Gottfried Leibniz
23. The ant is a collectively intelligent and individually stupid animal; man is the opposite
– Karl von Frisch
24. Hofstadter’s Strange Loop:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
— T. S. Eliot (Little Gidding)
25. A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine.
— Alan Turing (1948)
26. The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem. (Is not this the reason why those who have found after a long period of doubt that the sense of life became clear to them when they have been unable to say what constituted that sense?)
— Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, 6.521 )
27. The mind can be highly delighted in two ways,—by perception and conception. But the former demands a worthy object, which is not always at hand, and a proportionate culture, which one does not immediately attain. Conception, on the other hand, requires only susceptibility: it brings its subject-matter with it, and is itself the instrument of culture.
— Goethe (Dichtung und Wahrheit)
28. The modern Diogenes: Before one seeks men one must have found the lantern. Will it have to be the lantern of the cynic?
— Nietzsche (The Wanderer and his Shadow)
29. Feynman on Averaging: This question of trying to figure out whether a book is good or bad by [either] looking at it carefully or by taking the reports of a lot of people who looked at it carelessly is like this famous old problem: Nobody was permitted to see the Emperor of China, and the question was, What is the length of the Emperor of China’s nose? To find out, you go all over the country asking people what they think the length of the Emperor of China’s nose is, and you average it. And that would be very “accurate” because you averaged so many people. But it’s no way to find anything out; when you have a very wide range of people who contribute without looking carefully at it, you don’t improve your knowledge of the situation by averaging.
— Richard Feynman ( Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!)
30. At a given moment there is only a fine layer between the ‘trivial’ and the impossible. Mathematical discoveries are made in this layer.
— Andrey Kolmogorov (his diary, 14 September, 1943)
31. One of the favorite maxims of my father was the distinction between the two sorts of truths, profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd.
— Niels Bohr