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Some Words of Wisdom -- My Favorite Quotable Quotes
Posted by Guy Pirro on 1/4/2017 8:47 PM

(Image Credit:


Let's start off the new year with some words of wisdom. Here is an update to my collection of quotable quotes. Some are deep. Others not so much...

"Back in my day, we had nine planets."

"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

I think I'll change my password to "incorrect" so whenever I forget it, the computer will say to me "Your password is incorrect."

"Measure twice, cut once."
- Excellent advice from my father, Joseph Pirro, a master cabinetmaker

"After all is said and done, more is said than done."
- Aesop

"Learn from the mistakes of others -- You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Science is built up of facts, as a house is with stones... But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house."
- Henri Poincare

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
- Stephen Hawking

"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you."
- St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits (aka "God's Marines")

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
- Pablo Picasso

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
- Benjamin Franklin

"The great tragedy of Science -- The slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
- Thomas Henry Huxley

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."
- Niels Bohr

"No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows."
- J. Robert Oppenheimer

"Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Nature is the art of God."
- Dante Alighieri

"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
- Thomas A. Edison

"Philosophy is common sense with big words."
- James Madison

"The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion."
- Arnold H. Glasow

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
- John F. Kennedy

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubts."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."
- Wernher von Braun

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit... Genius hits a target no one else can see."
- Arthur Schopenhauer

"Don't talk unless you can improve the silence."
- Jorge Luis Borges

"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."
- Louis D. Brandeis

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance."
- Hippocrates

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves... And wiser people so full of doubts."
- Bertrand Russell

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
- Isaac Newton

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."
- Plato

"There are no facts, only interpretations."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
- Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

"Experience is the hardest kind of teacher -- It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward."
- Oscar Wilde

"There are things known and there are things unknown... And in between are the doors of perception."
- Aldous Huxley. Also basis for the name of the rock group "The Doors"

"Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."
- George E. P. Box

"Everything is theoretically impossible -- Until it is done."
- Robert A. Heinlein

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."
- Ernest Rutherford

"The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man."
- Richard P. Feynman

"Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Physics is becoming too difficult for the physicists."
- David Hilbert, Mathematician

"Physicists are like avant-garde composers, willing to bend traditional rules -- Mathematicians are more like classical composers."
- Brian Greene

"The world we live in is vastly different from the world we think we live in."
- Nassim Taleb

"To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge."
- Benjamin Disraeli

"It is paradoxical, yet true, to say that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense -- For it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations."
- Nikola Tesla

"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature... And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."
- Max Planck

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
- Edwin P. Hubble

"Science knows no country because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world."
- Louis Pasteur

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered -- The point is to discover them."
- Galileo Galilei

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."
- Publilius Syrus

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."
- Harry S. Truman

"Any jackass can kick down a barn... But it takes a good carpenter to build one."
- Sam Rayburn

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal... Nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
- Thomas Jefferson

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved."
- Charles Kettering

"A very little key will open a very heavy door."
- Charles Dickens

"A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty until found effective."
- Edward Teller

"Good executives never put off until tomorrow what they can get someone else to do today."
- John C. Maxwell

"The worst enemy of life, freedom, and the common decencies is total anarchy. The second worst enemy is total efficiency."
- Aldous Huxley

"Making good judgments when one has complete data, facts, and knowledge is not leadership -- It's bookkeeping."
- Dee Hock

"To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail."
- Abraham H. Maslow

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
- Confucius

"When you have completed ninety-five percent of your journey you are halfway there."
- Japanese Proverb

"A diplomat must always think twice before he says nothing."
- Irish Proverb

"If you can walk you can dance... If you can talk you can sing."
- African Proverb

"A half-truth is a whole lie."
- Jewish Proverb

"By learning you will teach -- By teaching you will learn."
- Italian Proverb

"If the camel once get his nose in a tent, the body will soon follow."
- Arabian Proverb

"Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed by a lie."
- Russian Proverb

"Words must be weighed, not counted."
- Polish Proverb

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
- Chinese Proverb

"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit."
- Greek Proverb

"When the blind man carries the lame man, both go forward."
- Swedish Proverb

"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."
- Anonymous

"A camel is a horse designed by committee."
- Anonymous

"He who laughs last, thinks slowest."
- Anonymous

"An optimist builds castles in the sky. A dreamer lives there. A realist collects rent from both of them."
- Anonymous

Six Phases of a Project - Anonymous
1. Enthusiasm
2. Disillusionment
3. Panic and hysteria
4. Search for the guilty
5. Punishment of the innocent
6. Praise and honor for the non-participants

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