Some favourite quotes

Assembled herein a randomly ordered random selection of some of my favourite quotes:

Virtue is more to be feared than vice, for it is not subject to the regulation of conscience.

-- Adam Smith

Behold the warranty ... the bold print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

-- Anon.

Truth is never pure and rarely simple.

-- Oscar Wilde

A bore is someone who persists in holding his own views after we have enlightened him with ours.

-- Anon.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

-- Anon.

A computer, to print out a fact,
Will divide, multiply, and subtract.
But this output can be
No more than debris,
If the input was short of exact.

-- Gigo

A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular.

-- Adlai Stevenson

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

-- William James

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work.

-- Anatol Holt

A Law of Computer Programming: Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you will find the programmers cannot write in English.


A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.

-- Gloria Steinem

When people talk about religious tolerance, it is always as a prelude to banning something.

-- Miles Kington

A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.

-- George Wald

A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author.

-- S. C. Johnson

At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer.

-- Marshall Lumsden

The purpose of power is power.

-- George Orwell

The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.

--Fred Brooks

When struck by a thunderbolt it is unnecessary to consult the Book of Dates as to the precise meaning of the omen.

-- Kai Lung

To succeed, planning is not enough. One must improvise as well.

-- Hari Seldon

It pays to be obvious, especially when one has a reputation for being subtle.

-- Hari Seldon

The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink.

-- George Mikes

Furious activity is no substitute for progress.

-- Anon.

The sign of a decadent organization is an overweight manual of procedures.

-- Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact

Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.

-- Anon.

Brook's Law: Adding manpower to a late project makes it later.

-- Fred Brooks

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.

-- Anon.

Documentation is the castor oil of programming. The managers know it must be good, because programmers hate it so much.

-- Weinberg

The First Law of Maintenance:If it happens, it must be possible.

-- Anon.

Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week.

--W.D. Howells

No problem is simple until it's solved.


One man's mean is another man's Poisson.

-- Anon.

The expert is a person who avoids the small errors as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy.

-- Anon.

In the Tipperary Games this afternoon both teams in the final of the tug of war were disqualified for pushing.

-- Anon.

Users don't know what they want until they see what they get.

-- Anon.

You don't need to be well to be wealthy,
But you've got to be whole to be holy.

-- Greg Lake

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.

-- Olin Miller

To criticize the incompetent is easy; it is more difficult to criticize the competent.

-- Anon.

Truth does not triumph. It simply remains when everything else has been squandered.

-- Ludvik Vaculik

Some people think by infection, catching an opinion like a cold.

-- Anon.

The systems designer suffers because the better his system does its job, the less its users know of its existence.

-- Weinberg

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation:

"... it is easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other words - and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded – their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws."

-- Douglas Adams

The moving cursor writes, and having writ, blinks on.

-- Anon.

A bore is a man who talks so much about himself that you can't talk about yourself.

-- Anon.

"The Hon. Member disagrees. I can hear him shaking his head."

-- Pierre Trudeau

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.

-- Anon.

An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.

-- Kahlil Gibran

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Mike Arnautov (23 December 2016)