My job is not to deliver information, but rather it is to design learning experiences.
– Frederick P. Brooks at SIGCSE 2012
We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.
– marshall mcluhan
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
~ Isaac Asimov, column in Newsweek (21 January 1980)
NB: Asimov, despite his vision, was by his own account and that of his contemporaries a habitual and well known sexual assailant, groping and imposing himself upon others without their consent. See https://www.publicbooks.org/asimovs-empire-asimovs-wall/
I note this here, rather than removing this entry, because you’ll eventually come across Isaac Asimov, quotations from him, or tributes to him. 99% of those will knowingly or unknowingly gloss over his flaws while promoting his contributions to science, writing, and culture. I think you should know the whole story.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
— Steven Paul Jobs
Everything about computers today surprises me; there wasn’t a single thing that I could have predicted 30 years ago
When you give people too much information, they instantly resort to pattern recognition to structure the experience. The work of the artist is to find patterns
— Marshall McLuhan
Over a hundred years ago, the German poet Heine warned the French not to underestimate the power of ideas: philosophical concepts nurtured in the stillness of a professor’s study could destroy a civilization.
— Isaiah Berlin, The Power of Ideas
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
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
— Martin Luther King Jr.
Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
— William Faulkner
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
You have to write down what you’re going to abandon, you’ve got to see how it works in the whole thing, and then throw it away.
— Leonard Cohen
Our job is to hold a mirror up to nature. To constantly examine who we are, how we got here, and how we’re managing to get through all of this.
— Tom Hanks
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)
Every once in a while, I manage to say something that resonates with people. They come up to me some time later or send me email and riff on how what I said inspired them in some way. Here are a few of the phrases that people accuse me of having uttered that they’ve felt compelled to comment on.
You must not be misused, overused, or abused, but you must be of use to someone other than yourself.
— Maya Angelou
Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. Ideas are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
–Derek Sivers of CDBaby
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)