Clarke’s three laws

April 28, 2012
  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Source: Wikpedia

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Four Quotes

October 24, 2010

“I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity, and I am more invulnerable than Archilles; Fortune hath not one place to hit me.” – Sir Thomas Browne (1642)

“My Coq proof scripts do not have the conciseness and elegance of Jérôme Vouillon’s. Sorry, I’ve been using Coq for only 6 years…” — Xavier Leroy (2005)

“You never really misunderstand something until you try to teach it…” – Anonymous

‎”Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death.” – 1984


Even More Quotes

September 12, 2009

What the poet laments holds for the mathematician. That he writes his works with the blood of his heart. — Ludwig Boltzmann

“Bring forth what is true; Write it so it it’s clear. Defend it to your last breath.” — Ludwig Boltzmann, quoting Faust

“If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?” — Scott Adams

To err is human, but to really screw up you need the root password.

A day without sunshine is like night. — Douglas Adams

Don’t start by thinking about a thesis or a thesis topic. Your goal is to produce papers. — Mihir Bellare about doing a PhD


Life is Like a Jar of Rocks

November 5, 2008

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous — yes.

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your spouse, your health, your children–things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your husband or wife out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. “Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”


Working Like an Animal (Quote)

August 14, 2008

“Cel care, toata ziua
Este activ ca o albina,
E puternic ca un taur,
Munceste precum un cal,
Si care seara se-ntoarce rupt de oboseala precum un caine,
Ar trebui sa consulte un veterinar,
caci este foarte probabil sa fie un bou!” — Chang Ying Yue

(Coudn’t find this quote in English, help translating the original quote would be welcome.)

(I’m currently in holiday, but otherwise the quote applies very well to me.)


August Quotes

August 30, 2007

“Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” — Abelson & Sussman, SICP

“When I want to read something nice, I sit down and write it myself.” — Mark Twain

“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” — Winston Churchill

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

“To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.” — Winston Churchill

“As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.” — Albert Einstein

“No matter how good you get you can always get better and that’s the exciting part.” – Tiger Woods

“All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” — IBM maintenance manual, 1925

“That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted.” — George Boole

“Any company large enough to have a research lab is too large to listen to it.” — Alan Kay

“If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man.” — Chinese Proverb

“Time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” — Albert Einstein

The quotes are from Georgi Smilyanov’s page


May Quotes

May 9, 2007

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun. — Pablo Picasso

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. — Bertrand Russell

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. — Walter Bagehot

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Teach a man to create an artificial shortage of fish and he will eat steak. — Jay Leno

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. — Ernest Hemingway

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation. — Georg Christoph Lichtenberg