Category Archives: Quotations

Colin Powell on Leadership

Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.

— Colin Powell

Charles Babbage on Mental Models

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

— Charles Babbage

Ron Jeffries on Respect

If you don’t respect others, you’re not doing it right. I try always
to let my great respect show through for people who try hard to do
the right thing. And sure enough, they do try, in almost every case.
The others, who are perhaps trying in some way I don’t understand…
I Respect them too… and wish them success elsewhere.

— Ron Jeffries on eXtreme Programming (XP)

Mr. Justice Brandeis on Liberty

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

OLMSTEAD v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928)
Mr. Justice BRANDEIS (dissenting)

Treat Williams on The Holy Time

Evelyn Rowser [fictional character] had an expression for the few seconds before the curtain went up. She called it the holy time. But you don’t have to be an actor to know what the holy time feels like. It’s that breath you take just seconds before you become the person you were meant to become. For some people, it feels like forever. And for some, it’s a moment over far too fast.

— Irv, narrator of the closing of Everwood, Season 1 Episode 13