Gene Roddenberry

The strength of a civilization is not measured by its ability to fight wars, but rather by its ability to prevent them.

Roger Rosenblatt, Time Magazine

"The Constitution is more than literature, but as literature, it is primarily a work of the imagination. It imagined a country: fantastic. More fantastic still, it imagined a country full of people imagining themselves. Within the exacting articles and stipulations there was not only room to fly but also tacit encouragement to fly, even the instructions to fly, traced delicately within the solid triangular concoctions of the framers."

Bertrand Russell

"What men want is not knowledge, but certainty"

"In the modern world, the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt."
      ('The Triumph of Stupidity', 1933)

Leonard Nimoy

"The miracle is this--the more we share, the more we have."

Alan Alda

"Life is great--I wouldn't know what I'd do without it."

Warren Buffett

"It is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong."

Robert J. Meltzer

"Paper work is the embalming fluid of bureaucracy, maintaining an appearance of life where none exists."

Jeannine Baticle

"Nations like to drive their rulers out, but they object when strangers do it for them."

Nelson Mandela

"Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement."

Sam Walton

"High expectations are the key to everything."

Danish proverb

"Better to ask twice than lose your way once."

Japanese proverbs

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."

"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance."

Indian proverb

"To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak."

Isaac Asimov

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them......

The true delight is in the finding out, rather than in the knowing

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way thorugh our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
      Newsweek, 21 January 1980

Jules Renard

"The idea of calm exists in a sitting cat."

Rushworth M. Kidder

"Good ideas, like good pickles, are crisp, enduring and devilishly hard to make."

Arnold H. Glasow

"The truth will ouch."

Donald E. Westlake, Drowned Hopes

"Whenever things sound easy, it turns out there's one part you didn't hear."

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

Sam Ewing

"Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it."

Will Rogers

"Government investigations have always contributed more to our amusement than they have to our knowledge."

"Everything is funny as long as it is happening to someone else."

"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for"

Doug Larson

"The surprising thing about young fools is how many survive to become old fools."

"You've let the lawn go too far when it requires harvesting."

"Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it."

Mohandas K. Gandhi

"There is more to life than increasing its speed."

Ross Perot

"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river."

Boris Yeltsin

"You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long."

Diana Schneider

"Optimism is an intellectual choice."

Robert Heinlein

When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.

What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history" — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

Lazarus Long (Robert A. Heinlein)

"Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark."

"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get."

"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."

"A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain."

"Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself."

"To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods."

"$100 placed at 7% interest compounded quarterly for 200 years will increase to more than $100,000,000--by which time it will be worth nothing."

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh."

"One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word."

"Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy."

"Men are more sentimental than women. It blurs their thinking."

"The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship."

"Of all the strange 'crimes' that human beings have legistlated out of nothing, 'blasphemy' is the most amazing--with 'obscenity' and 'indecent exposure' fighting it out for second and third place."

"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite."

"Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower their field of knowledge, the more likely they are to think so."

"The phrase "we(I)(you) simply MUST..." designates something that need not be done. "That goes without saying" is a red warning. "Of course" means you had best check it yourself. These small-change cliches and others like them, when read correctly, are reliable channel markers."

"Yield to may not pass your way again."

Oscar Wilde

"The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."


"I cried all the way to the bank."

Abraham Lincoln

"Public opinion in this country is everything."

Has it not got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death? But at last, when it is brought to the test of close reasoning, there is not even that thin decoction of it left.
      (ridiculing Stephen A. Douglas's "popular sovereignty")

Edsger W. Dijkstra

If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in.

The effective exploitation of his powers of abstraction must be regarded as one of the most vital activities of a competent programmer.
      The Humble Programmer, 1972 Turing Award Lecture

Rich Cook

Applications programming is a race between software engineers, who strive to produce idiot-proof programs, and the universe which strives to produce bigger idiots. So far the Universe is winning.
      The Wizardry Compiled (1989), Ch. 6

Larry Flon

There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from making bad programs.
      "On research in structured programming", SIGPLAN Notices, 10(10), pp. 16-17.

Alan Kay

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
      -- in ACM Queue A Conversation with ALan Kay, 2(9) - Dec2004/Jan2005

Donald Knuth

Premature optimization is the root of all evil.
      --"Structured Programming with Goto Statements", Computing Surveys 6:4 (December 1974), pp 261-301.

John Sebastian

"The more I see, the more I see there is to see"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

Albert Einstein

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science."

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

"Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else--unless it is an enemy."

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible"

"For an observer falling freely from the roof of a house there exists no gravitational field"
[but it will make itself quite noticable at the pavement... :-)]

"Why socks? They only make holes!"

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

"Dancers are athletes of God."

Niels Bohr (Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner)

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.

Mark Twain

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.

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

Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.

Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching.
Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.

Herbert von Karajan

He who reaches all his goals has probably not chosen them high enough.

Johnny Nash

There are more questions than answers--and the more I find out, the less I know.

Werner Mitsch

Ignorance isn't not knowing, but not wanting to know.


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

Charles Bukowski

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts and the stupid ones are full of confidence.

Frank Zappa

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.

Albert Camus (French author)

Freedom consists first and foremost not of privileges, but of responsibilities.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.

George Bergman

'Well-adjusted' means you can make the same mistakes over and over again, and keep smiling.

Norbert Wiener

Machines will do what we ask them to do and not what what we ought to ask them to do.

Danny Thomas

Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.

Ralph W. Sockman

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

John F. Kennedy

Let both sides invoke the wonders of science instead of the terrors.

The Rev. R. Inman

A great teacher never strives to explain his vision--he simply invites you to stand beside him and see for yourself.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.

Arthur Schnitzler (Austrian Dramatist)

Tolerance means excusing the mistakes others make. Tact means not noticing them.

Frank Wilczek (2004 Nobel Prize winner in physics)

If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake.

Mikhail Basryshnikov

I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.

Ayn Rand

No man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man--or group or society or government--has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. The ethical principle involved is simple and clear-cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Space has been a midwife to the birth of a new global consciousness. Two decades ago, with my first serendipitous sighting of a satellite, I was one of the lucky few to be touched for a moment by this philosophy. The children of the future, however, will be raised with the benefits of these space-age lessons... With this new education, we may provide our progeny with a delight and an insight we ourselves have not yet experienced. When they travel in their spacecraft, creating the illusion of falling stars across the heavens, perhaps they will look down on earth and think, with reverence, of the tiny creatures making stardust in the sea.

Winston Churchill

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

John von Neumann

There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about.

Douglas Adams

There is a theory that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable..... There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
      Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Robert Frost

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.

Edsger Dijsktra

Teaching COBOL ought to be regarded as a criminal act.

Mary Pickford

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

William Strong

The only time you don't fail is the last time you try anything—and it works.

John Kenneth Galbraith

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

Arnold H. Glasow

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.

Andre Maurois

The value of the average conversation could be enormously improved by the constant use of four simple words: "I do not know."

Wernher von Braun

Crash programs fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby in a month.

Eleanor Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.

Calvin Coolidge

If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.

Thomas Alva Edison

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

Alice Abrams

In life as in dance: grace glides on blistered feet.


Let us read and let us dance -- two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

Maurice Béjart

The dance: a minimum of explanation, a minimum of anecdotes, and a maximum of sensations.

Scott Nilsson

Dance is the poetic baring of the soul through motion.

Martha Graham

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.

Maya Angelou

Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances.

George Carlin

Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music.

Vince Lombardi

Responding to the suggestion that football is a contact sport:
"No. Ballroom dancing is a contact sport. Football is a collision sport."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Without music, life would be a mistake... I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

You must have chaos within you to give rise to a dancing star.

George Bernard Shaw

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

Vicki Baum

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.

Jerome Robbins

Dance is like life; it exists as you're flitting through it, and when it's over, it's done.

Dave Barry

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

J. Robert Oppenheimer

There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. ... Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.

Marco Randazza

The correct reaction to terrorism is to do exactly the opposite of what the terrorists want you to do.


War does not determine who is right--only who is left.

If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.

If dancing were any easier, it would be called football.

n. A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one's input into error messages.
tr.v. To engage in a pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.
      -- from a flyer advertising for Inside Turbo Pascal
Documentation is the castor oil of programming. Managers know it must be good because the programmers hate it so much.

Arnold's Laws of Documentation:

        (1) If it should exist, it doesn't.
        (2) If it does exist, it's out of date.
        (3) Only documentation for useless programs transcends the
            first two laws.

"Education is more than a luxury; it is a responsibility that society owes to itself."
-- Robin Cook, Coma
"When things start going your way, it's usually because you stopped going the wrong way down a one-way street."
"Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind."
-- Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind
"Good sense is easier to have than to use."
-- James Grady, Runner in the Street

Seen in a Usenet .signature:

"Oh yeah?!? Well, MY computer is SOOOOO FAST, it executes an infinite loop in 6 seconds!!!"

Layman's Guide to Computer Terms:

   6502:	the year your computer will be paid off
   Bit:		the increment by which programmers slowly go mad
   Cassette drive: a paperweight after buying a disk drive
   Crash:  	the normal termination of a program
   DIM ARRAY:   stupid storage
   Dump:	slang term for the computer building
   Endless loop:  see infinite loop
   EPROM:	acronym for "Exit Program, Read Owner's Manual"
   Function: 	what a program never does the first time
   GOSUB:   	a very fast submarine
   GOTO:	often used in conjunction with Biblical location
   Infinite loop: see endless loop
   Keyboard:	a random arrangement of letters
   Null String: normal termination of a four-hour sort
   Postmortem dump: where they bury dead programmers
   RS232:	R2D2's father
   Terminal:    the mental state of most programmers

Seen in PC Magazine:

Hardware: A product which, if you play with it enough, will break
Software: If you play with it long enough, it will work
Provided by Derek Beatty @

   From The Devil's DP Dictionary:

standby: adj. Denoting a relationship between two installed computers.

> Given two systems A and B (usually, but not necessarily, from the
same manufacturer) installed at points in the same compact manifold, we
say that B is a standby for A ... if B is down or overloaded whenever A is
down or overloaded.  It is clear that the standby relationship is
reflexive ... and transitive ... but not necessarily symmetric... .

Quotes from the bottoms of the pages of Infomania: The Guide to Essential Electronic Services, by Elizabeth M Ferrarini:

"That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one?"
-- President Rutherford B. Hayes, referring to the telephone

"I think there is a world market for about five computers"
-- Thomas J. Watson, Sr., 1943

"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers"
-- Sydney J. Harris

"Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value."
-- Editorial in the Boston Post, 1865

"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it"
-- Benjamin Franklin

"We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge"
-- John Naisbitt, Megatrends

"Knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts not to bother with"
-- Robert Lynd

"Thinking is one thing no one has ever been able to tax"
-- Charles F. Kettering

"Law is a bottomless pit"
-- John Arbuthnot, 1712

"The radio craze ... will die out in time"
-- Thomas A Edison, 1922

"Reagan doesn't have the presidential look"

        -- United Artists executive dismissing the suggestion that Ronald 
           Reagan be offered the starring role in the movie The Best Man, 

"A sound education must include learning to know when one should differ from his fellow man"
-- Paul Woodring

"The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows"
-- Frank Zappa

"Bankers are just like anybody else, except richer"
-- Ogden Nash

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans"
-- John Lennon

Poster sold by American Computer Supply (mail-order house):

   Dr. Bob's Universal Laws of Computing

   The two most abused words in computing are "User Friendly"
   Never hire a programmer who can communicate with people.
   The closer to the leading edge you operate, the more often you will be cut 
      by it.
   Systems only crash at month end and prior to scheduled back-ups.
   Your problem will be solved in the next release.
   "English-like" languages use the same alphabet.  That's all.
   "Mean time between failures" only means something if you are the mean.  You
   Fail-safe systems do.  Operating systems don't.
   If you don't know what you're talking about, use acronyms.
   Any user can crash a system--given enough time.
   All computers are rendered obsolete six months after you buy them.
   Any good system may be destroyed with enough enhancements.
   Documentation never describes the current system.
   There is no such thing as "enough" mass storage.
   Field Engineers are always out on another call.
   Half of all bugs will be discovered after testing.
   Packages fit every company except yours.
   The longer the report, the bigger the mess will be behind the printer.

Seen in Digital Deli by The Lunch Group & Guests:


The Computer is my taskmaster; I need not think.
He maketh me to write flawless reports
He leadeth me with Computer-Aided Instruction
He restoreth my jumbled files
He guideth me through the program with menus.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the endless GOTO,
I will fear no error messages; for thy User's Manual is with me.

Thy disk drive and thy Pac-Man--they comfort me.
Thou displayest a spreadsheet program before me
    in the presence of my supervisor.

Thou enableth the printout; the floor runneth over (with paper).
Surely good jobs and good pay shall follow me
    All the days of my life;

And I shall access your CPUs, forever.

    -- Revised by Charles P. Rubenstein, with apologies to King David

Signature seen on net.lang.forth:


Seen on USENET:

"OK, you workstations, sing!"
"This LAN is my LAN,
this LAN is your LAN,..."

Seen on USENET:

	Programming hints:
		Choose proper variable names:

		BOOL e_coyote ;

		while (e_coyote)

Signature seen on USENET:

   Ewan Tempero  UUCP: ...!uw-beaver!uw-june!ewan    ARPA: ewan@washington.ARPA
   I have found a most wonderful proof for P <> NP but net etiquette on the
   size of .signature files doesn't allow me to give it here.....

Seen on net.micro.pc:

Reality is for those who are not strong enough for Science Fiction

{ good, fast, cheap }: choose two.

Seen in net.unix:

Famous Computer Songs: "On a Clear Disk You Can Seek Forever"

Seen on USENET:

Q: How many DEC repairmen does it take to fix a flat?
A: Five: four to hold up the car and one to swap tires.

Q: How long does it take?
A: It's indeterminate, it depends on how many flats they brought with them.

Ad in The Chicago Tribune classified:
	Programmer with at least 203 years experience in
	IBM mainframe environment, especially FORTRAN

Schofield's 3 Laws of Computing

Schofield's First Law: never put data into a program unless you can see exactly how to get it out.
Schofield's Second Law: data doesn't really exist unless you have at least two copies of it.
Schofield's Third Law: the easier it is for you to access your data, the easier it is for someone else to access your data.

The Six Stages of Debugging

  1. DENIAL: That can't happen
  2. FRUSTRATION: That doesn't happen on my machine
  3. DISBELIEF: That shouldn't happen
  4. TESTING: Why does that happen?
  5. GOTCHA: Oh, I see...
  6. RELIEF: How did that ever work?
-- (also

Seen in Digital Deli by The Lunch Group & Guests

Silicon Valley is so crowded, to get over on the other side of El Camino Real you have to be born there ...
And the money! A rich guy bought his kid a computer outfit: IBM ...
A Silicon Valley couple got divorced, then they got remarried. The divorce didn't work out ...
Computer executive's wife will buy anything marked down. She brought home two dresses and an escalator ...
      -- Henny Youngman

User "Dex" @

Baseball has a mythic quality. It's the oldest of organized sports in North America and incredibly, we have statistics going back in the late 19th century, which creates a connection between the game today and its entire scope of history. The most successful African-American business of all time were the Negro Leagues. Latin America is dominated by baseball fans, more so than in America.

It's also gloriously contradictory. It's the only team sport where the defense has the ball. It has no clock and no tie games, so teams have to be beaten in every game, allowing for the impossible comeback. It is a team sport that highlights and measures individual performance and yet, cannot be dominant based on any one individual.

English folk poem, c. 1764

They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the Common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the Common from the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own.
But leaves the Lords and Ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the Common,
And geese will still a Common lack
'Til they go and steal it back.

John Scalzi

Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think — and my experience of geekdom bears on this thinking — that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It's the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say "Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love." When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say "ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER."

Christian Batchelor

Some folks think that only the rhythm section is responsible for making a band swing. In a good swing jazz dance band, the whole band swings. Here's a story:
In April 1941 Gene Krupa played a battle of the bands with Jimmie Lunceford in Baltimore. "It was no fight at all - we lost terribly, it was rout", recalls trumpeter Graham Young. "They pulled one thing in the first set. They started the last number and I remember the first guy to quit was the drummer, but the dancers kept on cooking as if they had one. Then, pretty soon afterwards, the bass player left, then the guitar and the piano, and they were swinging like crazy without a rhythm section at all - thus proving they were just using a rhythm section for sound, they weren't leaning on it."
      "This Thing Called Swing", p. 239 (via
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