Neat Quotes (5 quotes)
Every complex problem has a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
Nature does not consist entirely, or even largely, of problems designed by a Grand Examiner to come out neatly in finite terms, and whatever subject we tackle the first need is to overcome timidity about approximating.
The problem for a writer of a text-book has come now, in fact, to be thisto write a book so neatly trimmed and compacted that no coach, on looking through it, can mark a single passage which the candidate for a minimum pass can safely omit. Some of these text-books I have seen, where the scientific matter has been, like the ladys waist in the nursery song, compressed so gent and sma, that the thickness barely, if at all, surpasses what is devoted to the publishers advertisements. We shall return, I verily believe, to the Compendium of Martianus Capella. The result of all this is that science, in the hands of specialists, soars higher and higher into the light of day, while educators and the educated are left more and more to wander in primeval darkness.
The pursuit of pretty formulas and neat theorems can no doubt quickly degenerate into a silly vice, but so can the quest for austere generalities which are so very general indeed that they are incapable of application to any particular.