Pretty Quotes (10 quotes)
I am quite aware that we have just now lightheartedly expelled in imagination many excellent men who are largely, perhaps chiefly, responsible for the buildings of the temple of science; and in many cases our angel would find it a pretty ticklish job to decide. But of one thing I feel sure: if the types we have just expelled were the only types there were, the temple would never have come to be, any more than a forest can grow which consists of nothing but creepers. For these people any sphere of human activity will do, if it comes to a point; whether they become engineers, officers, tradesmen, or scientists depends on circumstances.
I find sitting at a specially equipped desk in front of some pretty ugly plastics and staring at a little window is a very unnatural event.
If texts are unified by a central logic of argument, then their pictorial illustrations are integral to the ensemble, not pretty little trifles included only for aesthetic or commercial value. Primates are visual animals, and (particularly in science) illustration has a language and set of conventions all its own.
In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty formulae extracted from our minds.
Notwithstanding all that has been discovered since Newtons time, his saying that we are little children picking up pretty pebbles on the beach while the whole ocean lies before us unexplored remains substantially as true as ever, and will do so though we shovel up the pebbles by steam shovels and carry them off in carloads.
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.
The point in which I am different from most inventors is that I have, besides the usual inventors make-up, the bump of practicality as a sort of appendix, the sense of the business, money value of an invention. Oh, no, I didnt have it naturally. It was pounded into me by some pretty hard knocks.
The required techniques of effective reasoning are pretty formal, but as long as programming is done by people that dont master them, the software crisis will remain with us and will be considered an incurable disease. And you know what incurable diseases do: they invite the quacks and charlatans in, who in this case take the form of Software Engineering gurus.
Truly, we do live on a water planet. For us, water is that critical issue that we need. Its the most precious substance on the planet, and it links us to pretty much every environmental issue, including climate change, that were facing.
[Science moves] with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.