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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Robert X. Cringely Quotes

Robert X. Cringely
(1953 - )

American writer , the pen name of technology journalist Mark Stephens.

Science Quotes by Robert X. Cringely (3 quotes)

Basic research at universities comes in two varieties: research that requires big bucks and research that requires small bucks. Big bucks research is much like government research and in fact usually is government research but done for the government under contract. Like other government research, big bucks academic research is done to understand the nature and structure of the universe or to understand life, which really means that it is either for blowing up the world or extending life, whichever comes first. Again, that's the government's motivation. The universities' motivation for conducting big bucks research is to bring money in to support professors and graduate students and to wax the floors of ivy-covered buildings. While we think they are busy teaching and learning, these folks are mainly doing big bucks basic research for a living, all the while priding themselves on their terrific summer vacations and lack of a dress code.
Smalls bucks research is the sort of thing that requires paper and pencil, and maybe a blackboard, and is aimed primarily at increasing knowledge in areas of study that don't usually attract big bucks - that is, areas that don't extend life or end it, or both. History, political science, and romance languages are typically small bucks areas of basic research. The real purpose of small bucks research to the universities is to provide a means of deciding, by the quality of their small bucks research, which professors in these areas should get tenure.
— Robert X. Cringely
Accidental Empires (1992), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (12)  |  Government (85)  |  History (302)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Money (125)  |  Political Science (2)  |  Professor (39)  |  Research (517)  |  Tenure (6)  |  Universe (563)  |  University (51)

The companies that can afford to do basic research (and can't afford not to) are ones that dominate their markets. It's cheap insurance, since failing to do basic research guarantees that the next major advance will be owned by someone else.
— Robert X. Cringely
In Accidental Empires (1992), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Basic Research (9)  |  Company (28)  |  Competition (26)  |  Insurance (9)  |  Research (517)  |  Technology (199)

The simple rule about weapons is that if thery can be built, they will be built.
— Robert X. Cringely
Accidental Empires (1992), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Rule (135)  |  Weapon (57)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: Albert Einstein Isaac Newton Lord Kelvin Charles Darwin Srinivasa Ramanujan Carl Sagan Florence Nightingale Thomas Edison Aristotle Marie Curie Benjamin Franklin Winston Churchill Galileo Galilei Sigmund Freud Robert Bunsen Louis Pasteur Theodore Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Ronald Reagan Leonardo DaVinci Michio Kaku Karl Popper Johann Goethe Robert Oppenheimer Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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