A little background is necessary for this one: Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut had a complete electrical failure - everything but his radio dead, no instruments, no control system - while in orbit. The capsule wasn't designed for pilot control so he had to manually operate the boosters with a watch and the fuel valves. After nearly dieing in space:
"... that's really what we'd been wanting to do all along. So, it just gave me the opportunity to do what we'd been wanting to do."
A variation on the Robin Hall quote would be: "Lawyers believe that a corporation is guilty until proven broke."
The buttered cat paradox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttered_cat_paradox) results in perpetual motion.
The wikipedia article states:
"Toast, however, lacks both the ability and any desire to right itself."
The author obviously does not believe (as I do) that there is no such thing as an inanimate object..... :-)
Or perhaps the author was being subtle--toast lacks the ability and desire to _right_ itself, i.e., it cannot and does not wish to force itself to land butter-side up, rather, it has the ability and desire to force itself to land butter-side down. :-)
As is often the case, Jennings was there first. See his 1963 article on research into Resistentialism (or the belief that "The Things are Against Us"). He didn't get as far as buttered cats but documented very careful experiments with marmalade and carpets...
After having a supervisor who was rightfully afraid people would find out he didn't know what he was doing, I came up with my own paranoia qoute: "Paranoid people scare me to death."
Gary L Webb
And I do understand that this quoute has some fingers pointing back at myself.
One that I love, although I got a different version first time:
"The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time." —Tom Cargill, Bell Labs
I originally had this told to me with the substiturion of "job" for "code" hence making it more universally applicable. Which it is.
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. -John Wooden
Walking on water and writing software to specification are easy as long as both are frozen.--Edward V. Berard
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Douglas Adam - Author of "Hitchhikers Guide" series
The shortest answer is doing the thing. --Ernest Hemingway
If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. --Yogi Berra
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”--Charles Darwin
I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.--Bjarne Stroustrup
Otter: "I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!"
Bluto: "And we're just the guys to do it."
“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently—they're not fond of rules... 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.”
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects!" -- Robert A. Heinlein
Unfortunately I collect them as well...
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them." -- Joseph Brodsky
"Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer." -- Fred Brooks
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." -- Henry Ford
First let me say that I only surf pornography sites for the purpose of researching human behavior -- and someday all of mankind will benefit from my acquired wisdom. -- Michael Hickins
"The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
"I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Einstein
Yesterday they said today was tomorrow but today they know better. -- Poul Anderson
“The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” -- Carl Sagan
Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight. –- Bill Gates
“Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.” -– Martin Golding
“The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it’s too late.” -– Seymour Cray
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. –- Rick Cook
“Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris.” –- Larry Wall
My email tagline:
"It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies."
-- William J. ("Wild Bill") Donovan
[Source: "Donovann of the OSS" by Corey Ford]
From someone else's tagline:
"It's sometimes difficult to determine if quotes found on the internet are genuine or not."
- Abraham Lincoln.
"THEY (WHO) SEEK TO ESTABLISH SYSTEMS OF GOVERNMENT BASED ON THE REGIMENTATION OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS BY A HANDFUL OF INDIVIDUAL RULERS CALL THIS A NEW ORDER. IT IS NOT NEW AND IT IS NOT ORDER."
-- Inscription on FDR Memorial in Washington, D. C.
"The appalling thing about fascism is that you've got to use fascist methods to get rid of it."
- Doctor Richard Fletcher, "It Happened Here" (1965) [IMDB.com]
Mark Twain on Cecil Rhodes from "Following the Equator" (end of Chapter LXIX)
"I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake."
When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.
- Sinclair Lewis
"There's an old adage that says you don't learn a lot from a second kick in the shin by a mule."
-- Rep. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
It seems that many of us are such collectors...
A good scientist is a person with original ideas.
A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible.
– Freeman Dyson
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 probably wrong.
– Clarke’s Law
It’s only late until it ships,
but it sucks forever.
– Origin Systems team
The first time you do something, you’re a scientist.
The second time you do, you’re an engineer.
The third time, you’re just a technologist.
— Clifford Stoll
Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
– Alan Perlis
Software and cathedrals are much the same – first we build them, then we pray.
– Samuel T. Redwine, Jr.
Statistics are like a bikini: What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
– Aaron Levenstein
Testing can only prove the presence of bugs, not their absence.
– Edsger Dijkstra
The four most expensive words in the English language are: “This time it’s different.”
– Sir John Templeton
Engineering is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two…
– Arthur Wellington
When testing, never ask a computer a question unless you already know the answer.
– Jim Adams
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked....
A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work.
– John Gall
Avid student of H. L. Mencken