Superfluous Quotes (11 quotes)
A good title should aim at making what follows as far as possible superfluous to those who know anything of the subject.
As an Art, Mathematics has its own standard of beauty and elegance which can vie with the more decorative arts. In this it is diametrically opposed to a Baroque art which relies on a wealth of ornamental additions. Bereft of superfluous addenda, Mathematics may appear, on first acquaintance, austere and severe. But longer contemplation reveals the classic attributes of simplicity relative to its significance and depth of meaning.
Hypotheses may be useful, though involving much that is superfluous, and even erroneous: for they may supply the true bond of connexion of the facts; and the superfluity and error may afterwards be pared away.
It is superfluous to be humble on one's own behalf; so many people are willing to do it for one.
It is the constant aim of the mathematician to reduce all his expressions to their lowest terms, to retrench every superfluous word and phrase, and to condense the Maximum of meaning into the Minimum of language.
Mathematics is that peculiar science in which the importance of a work can be measured by the number of earlier publications rendered superfluous by it.
Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.
Only human beings were given the power of speech, because only to them was it necessary. It was not necessary that either angels or the lower animals should be able to speak; rather, this power would have been wasted on them, and nature, of course, hates to do anything superfluous. As for the lower animals, since they are guided only by their natural instinct, it was not necessary for them to be given the power of speech. For all animals that belong to the same species are identical in respect of action and feeling; and thus they can know the actions and feelings of others by knowing their own. Between creatures of different species, on the other hand, not only was speech unnecessary, but it would have been injurious, since there could have been no friendly exchange between them.
The fact is that up to now the free society has not been good for the intellectual. It has neither accorded him a superior status to sustain his confidence nor made it easy for him to acquire an unquestioned sense of social usefulness. For he derives his sense of usefulness mainly from directing, instructing, and planning-from minding other peoples business-and is bound to feel superfluous and neglected where people believe themselves competent to manage individual and communal affairs, and are impatient of supervision and regulation. A free society is as much a threat to the intellectuals sense of worth as an automated economy is to the workingmans sense of worth. Any social order that can function with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual.
Though human ingenuity may make various inventions which, by the help of various machines answering the same end, it will never devise any inventions more beautiful, nor more simple, nor more to the purpose than Nature does; because in her inventions nothing is wanting, and nothing is superfluous, and she needs no counterpoise when she makes limbs proper for motion in the bodies of animals.
When I read the Bhagavad Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.