- The effort the writer does not put into writing, the reader has to put into reading.
– Stephen Toulmin
- For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.
– H.L. Mencken
- A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong.
– Francis Crick
- Science is not about certainty. Science is about finding the most reliable way of thinking, at the present level of knowledge.
– Carlo Rovelli
- The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
– Gloria Steinem
- The covers of this book are too far apart.
– Ambrose Bierce
- The basic activity of science is confronting ignorance, and often producing more of it.
– Stuart Firestein
- The object of mathematics is not certainty. It is explanation.
– David Deutsch
- Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
– Robert Benchley
- Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.
– Robert Hughes
- Mathematics is the only subject where, once you have proved something, it is true for ever.
– Marcus du Sautoy
- Enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?
– Bette Midler
- Opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists.
– Bertrand Russell
- The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvellously.
– Henry Kissinger
- A man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance.
- “Leadership is the ability to engender a following without a means to compel one.”
– C. Annis
- An ounce of algebra is worth of a ton of verbal argument.
– J.B.S. Haldane
- All my life, I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.
– Lily Tomlin
- An ethicist is someone who sees something wrong with whatever you have in mind.
– Marvin Minsky
- There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
– Dick Cavett
- If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?
– John Cleese
- Love isn’t love ’til you’ve given it away.
– Oscar Hammerstein
- To explode a myth is not to deny the facts, but to re-allocate them.
– Gilbert Ryle
- Saying that cultural objects have value is like saying that telephones have conversations.
– Brian Eno
- “Taleb Distribution:” Many small gains punctuated by occasional huge losses.
– John Kay, 16 January, 2003 Financial Times
- Humans have always found it hard to cope with the idea that every individual has a lifespan even as life itself goes on. The idea of a natural live cycle of a business or industrial centre, is even more difficult to accept.
– John Kay, 21 August 2013 Financial Times
- That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
– Aldous Huxley
- Unless you are writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron.
– Mohsin Hamid
- If any past civilization had succeeded in protecting its values, we’d be stuck with values that we would find horrible.
– Robin Hanson
- Inevitabilities in history never work out. It’s always something else.
– Orhan Pamuk
- The present enables us to understand the past, not the other way round.
– A.J.P. Taylor
- Anyone who speaks in the name of others is always an impostor.
– Emil Cioran
- At the heart of market thinking is the idea that if two consenting adults have a deal, there is no need for others to figure out whether they valued that exchange properly.
– Michael Sandel
- Most of what they call humility is successfully disguised arrogance.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- Don’t be so humble – you are not that great.
– Golda Meir (1898-1978) to a visiting diplomat
- The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. – Roger “Verbal” Kint in “The Usual Suspects” (1995)
- Occam’s razor, “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate” (“Plurality should not be posited without necessity”), is the law of economy or law of parsimony. More colloquially, “Don’t use a more complicated explanation when a simpler one will do the job.” – William of Occam (1285–1347/49)
- Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. – Howard Aiken
- “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” – Woodrow Wilson
- “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”
– Richard Feynman
- “If you want something said, ask a man … if you want something done, ask a woman.”
– Margaret Thatcher (1923-2013)