Favorite Quotes

A list of some of my favorite quotes, which also appear randomly in the sidebar:

I really didn’t foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very much, of course – the computer industry didn’t even foresee that the century was going to end.

— Douglas Adams

Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.

— Albert Schweitzer

Science is like sex: sometimes something useful came out, but that’s not the reason we’re doing it.

— Richard Feynman

The worst decisions […] are ones that are arrived at quickly, but are just as quickly reversed, and thus the apparent speed turns into an illusion.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

— Victor Hugo

Without requirements or design, programming is the art of adding bugs to an empty text file.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.

— Wernher von Braun

I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us.

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.

— Thomas Paine

Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can’t see them.

Be good to people for no reason

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm.
When meeting with a sudden shower, you try
not to get wet and run quickly along the road.
By doing such things as passing under the eaves
of houses, you still get wet. When you are
resolved from the beginning, you will not be
perplexed, though you will still get the same
soaking. This understanding extends to all things.

— Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samauri

He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.

— Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2.

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

— George Bernard Shaw

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

— Mark Twain

“God’s plan” is often a front for men’s plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil.

— Mary Daly, theologian, feminist, and freethinker, Beyond God The Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation, 1973

When we die, we may be set to write an essay on our life story. Fifty years behind a desk will be summed up in a few paragraphs while a few days in the wilds will expand into the story.

— Stephen Graham

Hargo Day was established to also recognize the human capacity for appreciation, wonder, and awe that can be achieved when small plastic things are arranged in a certain order near and around a cat

Code comes and goes. It gets refactored and deleted. Lessons taught to other developers live on. They survive longer than any feature or project.

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.

— Matt Groening

Each place has its own advantages – heaven for the climate, and hell for the society.

— Mark Twain

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

— Ellen Parr

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

— Thomas Paine

Everything depends. Nothing is always. Everything is sometimes.

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody 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.

— Douglas Adams

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.

— Edith Sitwell

Well the hours are good, but now you come to mention it, most of the actual minutes are pretty lousy.

— Vogon Guard

We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.

— Alfred Hitchcock

Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing taking.

— Tim McMahon

Code is inherently incorrect. It’s always in a state of undiscovered failure.

— Kerri Miller, RubyConf 2020 Day 2 Keynote: If You Can Move It, It Isn’t Broken

How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.

— Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

— Harriet Van Horne, Vogue Magazine, 1956

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities.

— Matt Groening

Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb. You may never reach the summit; for that you will be forgiven. But if you don’t make at least one serious attempt to get above the snow-line, years later you will find yourself lying on your deathbed, and all you will feel is emptiness.

Alone and at the mercy of the elements, every sailor’s creed must include a founded belief in their seamanship, their boat’s capabilities, and the innate goodness of others who share a love of life on the water.

— Tania Aebi, Maiden Voyage

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.

— Albert Einstein

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

— Mark Twain

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

— H.R. Haldeman

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

— Dennis Wholey

If you can eliminate all the other choices, the remaining choice, no matter how improbable, is the answer.

— Sherlock Holmes

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

— Mark Twain

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

— Harry S. Truman

We had a holy cow here a year-and-a-half ago. You don’t get two that close together.

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it through not dying.

— Woody Allen

I really didn’t foresee the Internet. But then, neither did the computer industry. Not that that tells us very much, of course – the computer industry didn’t even foresee that the century was going to end.

— Douglas Adams