Note: This list of quotations is 19 pages long. You may be surprised to see an unusual amount of quotations concern education, mathematics and science. At a certain point, I considered going back to college to go into teaching. Albeit a necessary thing, I ultimately concluded that I couldn’t take the politics of it, at this point in history.
Now, just as there is a difference in the art of teaching in different fields, so there is a reciprocal difference in the art of being taught.
--Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book, p. 74
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Men do not become dictators only to keep warm.
No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty.
--C. S. Lewis
There have been civilized people in all ages. In all ages they have been surrounded by barbarism.
--Sir Maurice Powicke
In the first place, he (Owen Barfield) made short work of what I have called my “chronological snobbery” the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited. You must find out why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted (and, if so, by whom, where, and how conclusively) or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood.
--C. S. Lewis, Surprised by
8 Joy, Ch.
Our intellectual desire (curiosity) to know the true answer to a question is quite different from out desire to find that one answer, rather than another, is true.
--C. S. Lewis, Surprised by
14 Joy, Ch.
The higher the stakes, the greater the temptation to lose your temper over the game.
--C. S. Lewis, Reflections on Psalms: Cursings
…a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance.
--C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Social Morality
If race, sex, and class were not politically and economically significant categories, it is likely that no one would care very much about biological differences between these groups.
It is virtually impossible to separate the idea of equality from the idea of similarity.
--Germaine Greer, feminist writer
The real most Frequently Asked Questions:
Where’s the bathroom?
Nothing is as good as it seems, nothing is as bad as it seems; somewhere in between is where reality falls.
Here’s the one thing I know about Lady Luck. She likes to hang out with the guys who like to practice the hardest.
--attributed to Jason Mercier (professional poker player) in a commercial
In general, sermons are way too information rich to be particularly useful.
--Ross Rohde, thejesusvirus.com
The sign of a man’s character is how he treats a person who can do nothing for him.
--sign in the Denver Broncos locker room
There’s a new sheriff in town—but the sheriff is Barney Fife.
Nintendo was founded September 23, 1889. Nintendo, in Japanese, means “leave luck to heaven.” Originally, it made playing cards.
--according to CNBC
I don’t get paid for being right; I get paid for being interesting.
--Colin Cowherd, 10/20/2009
Who wants to live a life imprisoned in safety?
When you decide what to do with the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible.
--from the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”
Popcorn needs to be at 14% moisture content to pop properly. It pops at 446 degrees Fahrenheit. It expands 44 ½ times its size as a kernel.
God is not disillusioned with you because He has no illusions about you.
Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered
--Jim Cramer (with the note that someone else probably said it before him)
No faith justifies these murderous and craven acts. No just and loving God looks upon them with favor.
--Barack Obama, the day after the
killings. We need to note that, the person responsible was Muslim; to my knowledge, no part of Islam claims Allah to be loving Ft. Hood
I can name you head football coach at the University of Notre Dame; I cannot name you the leader.
--Fr. Theodore Hesberg, what Lou Holtz says he was told
That’s at the corner of Delicious and Juicy in the middle of Flavortown.
If you put your foot in your mouth, don’t complain about how your toes taste.
Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never achieve it.
Misinformation usually gets spread in a knowledge vacuum.
--Diane Stafford, business writer, Kansas City Star
I want to talk about things that matter to people who care.
My personal life I find extraordinarily interesting. Other people’s personal lives I find tedious, at best.
Since when do people know what they really want?
--God, the character in the movie “Bruce Almighty”
You just lanced a bunch of sacred cows? Where’s the barbecue?
--Brad or Wayne (to the other), thegodjourney.com 10/22/2009 podcast
Nothing is impossible for the man who will not listen to reason.
--the character played by John Belushi in “Animal House”
Life is like a coin; you can spend it any way you want, but you can only spend it once.
As an explanation of the world, materialism has a sort of insane simplicity. It has just the quality of the madman’s argument; we have at once the sense of it covering everything and the sense of it leaving everything out.
--G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 23.
For the more complicated seems the coincidence, the less it can be a coincidence.
--G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p. 82
An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!
--Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (1996 ed.)
If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size.
--Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (1996 Ed.), p. 127
Make to do lists. You can’t achieve dreams if you don’t have a plan together.
--Penelope Trunk, columnist
A plan is like a pie crust—made to be broken and adjusted as things change.
--Bill Coplin, 25 Ways to
Pay Off, p. 56 Make College
State legislators prefer writing new legislation over abolishing dysfunctional legislation.
There is nothing so unequal as equal treatment of unequals.
--Justice Felix Frankfurter
Excellence is a habit.
But if you ask, “Do you see red and blue the same way I see red and blue?” well, that’s something you can’t communicate to me. So I don’t think we’ll be able to explain everything we’re conscious of.
--Francis Crick, (as quoted by Horgan)
I think the reason people like music is to suppress thought—the wrong kinds of thought—not to produce it.
--Marvin Minsky, mathematician/philosopher/scientist
You never understand everything. When one understands everything, one has gone crazy.
--Philip Anderson, physicist, Nobel laureate
A group of hunters, having pitched camp, set out to go bear hunting. They walk one mile due south, then one mile due east, at which point they sight a bear. Bagging their game, they return to camp, and figure out that, altogether they have traveled three miles. What was the color of the bear? Answer down a few quotes.
The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by the skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream things that never were.
--John F. Kennedy
The evidence is overwhelming that individuals grow intellectually at differing rates and at different times.
The primary cause (of learning) is always and only the activity of the student’s mind.
Parents who do not monitor the doing of homework, who do not provide an environment conducive to doing it, who do not encourage the doing of more of it rather than less, are derelict in their emotional duty as parents.
The best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Answer to the riddle: White. To go one mile south, then one mile east, then one mile north, and arrive at the beginning, one is camped on the north pole, and you could only have bagged a polar bear.
In life, most of what we must learn happens outside a classroom.
You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.
--N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo
…the Eskimo people,…have no word for “teacher” or “wise man,” but instead recognize people who play the role of “isumataq.” The isumataq does not teach or preach, but in his presence, wisdom is revealed.
No student knows his subject; the most he knows is where and how to find out the things he does not know.
I have sometimes commented that it amazes me what people think psychologists know—the only thing that amazes me more is what some psychologists think psychologists know!
Successful schools take it for granted that mistakes have a logic to them that needs to be uncovered, not just corrected.
Take care for whom you choose for associates, for they will shape you.
A public company is the most democratic institution in the world, when it comes to who can be an owner. It’s an example of true equal opportunity. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what sex, what religion, what sign of the zodiac, or what nationality, or whether you have bunions, pimples, or bad breath.
--Peter Lynch, “Learn to Earn”
…we should concede to Plato that within our culture we have an obligation to choose and promote our best traditions.
--E. D. Hirsch Jr., “Cultural Literacy”
(An anthropological concept of education) deems it neither wrong or unnatural to teach young children adult information before they fully understand it.
--E. D. Hirsch Jr., “Cultural Literacy”
“Zip”, as in zip code, is an acronym for “zone improvement plan.”
Contranym—a word that has opposite meanings. Examples: oversight, clip, garnish, fast, weather.
I’m unaware of any studies that have addressed the question of whether homework enhances the depth of students’ understanding of ideas or their passion for learning. The fact that more meaningful outcomes are hard to quantify does not make test scores or grades any more valid, reliable, or useful as measures.
--Alfie Kohn, “The Homework Myth,” p. 36
Man consists of body, mind, and imagination. His body is faulty, his mind untrustworthy, but his imagination has made him remarkable. In some centuries, his imagination has made life on this planet an intense practice of all the lovlier energies.
--John Mansfield, “Shakespeare and Spiritual Life”
A mathematician’s ultimate concern is that his or her inventions be logical, not realistic. That is not to say, however, that mathematical inventions do not correspond to real things.
…their ideas are often very abstract and do not initially appear to have any correspondence to the real world. Typically, however, mathematical ideas are eventually successfully applied to describe real phenomena…
--Michael Guillen, “Bridges to Infinity,” p. 4
…mathematicians observe nature with the sense of imagination almost exclusively. That is, mathematicians are as specialized, and therefore as well practiced, with this sixth sense as musicians are with sounds, gourmets are with tastes and smells, and photographers and filmmakers are with sights.
--Michael Guillen, “Bridges to Infinity,” p. 5
You resemble the thought which you conceive.
Writing fiction, I’ve always believed, is the very best way of sailing dangerously close to the truth without sinking the ship.
If politics is
for ugly people, then mathematics is art for the logical. Hollywood
Game theory predicts that there will be natural difficulties associated with cooperation, but it also indicates that the alternative would be worse.
--Michael Guillen, “Bridges to Infinity,” p. 145
What the judges failed to realize, as they led us down this lonesome road, was the chilling effect their decisions would have on the school’s mission to help raise decent, caring, ethical human beings—a mission we now know goes hand-in-hand with academic excellence and intellectual discipline.
--Larry Frase and William Streshley, “Top 10 Myths in Education,” p. 82
The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts, but learning how to make facts live.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
In the conditions of modern life, the rule is absolute—the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed.
--Alfred North Whitehead
Culture is activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling. Scraps of knowledge have nothing to do with it.
--Alfred North Whitehead
At the level of the individual learner, (excellence) means performing on the boundry of individual ability in ways that test and push back personal limits, in school and in the workplace.
--“A Nation At Risk,” National Commission on Excellence in Education,
in the early seventies. Most of the songs sounded alike, most of the singers looked alike, and most of the songwriters thought alike, if they thought at all. Nashville
--Kinky Friedman, “’Scuse Me While I Whip This Out,” p. 6
Sometimes a bit of reality sparks an idea, only to be adopted and cultivated by a needy person or group of people, in search of understanding. Other times, a myth is created for profit and gain, rather than to benefit those it is purported to serve.
--Larry Frase and William Streshley, “Top 10 Myths in Education,” p. viii
Many school failures have little to do with what happens at school and a great deal to do with what happens (or fails to happen) at home. For the youngsters who come to school ready for learning, the schools are working pretty well.
--William Raspberry, in 1992
When the American Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation recommended that trampolines by removed from high schools because they were too dangerous, the trampolines were removed. The pressure group behind trampoline use in high schools was virtually nonexistent… A few years later, when varsity football was estimated to be one hundred times more dangerous than trampolines, the public response was to buy more liability insurance.
--Larry Frase and William Streshley, “Top 10 Myths in Education,” p. 71
Who wants to eat 27 bites of the same thing?
--attributed to chef Mario Batali
Our colleagues in educational leadership are quick to fix blame for discipline and morality problems in the school on the courts. Yet our friends in the judiciary explain that they can only make judgments on the argument presented. The maintain quite correctly that it’s up to those who are experts in the dynamics of public schooling to make cogent arguments.
--Larry Frase & William Streshley, “Top 10 Myths in Education,” p. 81
Take music, for example. Is music notes on paper, the sounds made by a symphony, or the groove on a grammaphone record? It is all these things, of course, but none of them, as well.
---Sir John Brainard (as quoted by A. K. Dewdney, “
”, p. 160-1) Mathematical Mystery Town
Mathematical thinking is not like ordinary thinking. Your thoughts are focused in the most extraordinary way on objects so extremely simple, so bereft on detail, that you understand them fully.
--Sir John Brainard (as quoted by Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 163)
Computers establish at least one thing about mathematical realities. How can anyone doubt the independent existence of the numbers 0 and 1? They manifest in many different forms in a computer. They are now either the point of light on the screen, or its absence, now the charge of a transistor or its absence, now the presence of a pulse in a wire or its absence, now a “1” printed on paper or a “0.” They flit from one form to another, forever aloof from final definition, but undeniably real.
--Sir John Brainard (as quoted by Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 198)
The Pythagorean Hypothesis: The cosmos and everything in it is ruled by mathematical laws.
You can’t get a better hog by weighing it more often.
hog farmer Iowa
Mathematics is like the wheel. Almost every culture has its wheel, and the wheels made by different cultures all look different. An Egyptian chariot wheel is quite different from that on a medieval European oxcart, and both wheels are again different from those on a modern automobile. Yet all wheels operate on exactly the same principles.
--Petros Pygonopdis (quoted by A. K. Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 31)
Truth proceeds more readily from error than from confusion.
I can only say that we apprehend numbers only through our notation, our words. But we cannot dispense with these vehicles any more than we can walk without feet.
(quoted by Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 65) Cairo University
Algebra: from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning balance
But paradoxical as it may sound, only the possibility of being wrong will save science from being a purely cultural exercise.
--Jusuf al-Flayli (quoted by Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 103)
Is there something like a place where mathematics exists? Well, it certainly exists in our minds. ….And the mind, as we know, can have physical effects of the most profound kind. Thus, in an indirect way, I can say that wherever else mathematics may be, it is also part of the physical world.
--Sir John Brainard,
Merton College, (as quoted by Dewdney, “MMT”, 159) Oxford
If you’re too big to fail, you’re too big…period.
--Robert Reich (said on CNBC 6/1/2009, the day GM went bankrupt)
That’s what I always tell people in journalism lectures: You don’t want to assume when you ask someone a question that you know what he’s going to answer.
--Bob Schiefer, CBS News anchor
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
Listening is such an underrated part of any discipline.
--Michael Wilbon, on 6/11/2009
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
The truths of mathematics do not obey our wishes or our fears.
--A. K. Dewdney, “MMT”, p. 5
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS, Yes, life isn’t fair. Other kids have more money. Their English is better. Their parents are better connected. The American dream may be more of a reach for the children of the poor. …If students across town were better readers, we would have to work longer, harder, and with more discipline.
--Rafe Esquith, “There Are No Shortcuts,” p. 21
I want my students to understand that their ability to read and write is a matter of life and death.
--Rafe Esquith, “TANS,” p. 44
It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.
--(I leave this attribution blank; I don’t believe the common attribution)
Once you realize there is life after mistakes, you gain a self-confidence that never goes away.
No country has ever benefited from a protracted war.
--Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
(A child’s brain’s) most important needs cannot be met electronically: frequent and affectionate human interaction, models of thoughtful behavior, and physical exercise are far more important.
--Jane Healy, “Failure to Connect,” p. 176
People don’t have social relationships with tools.
--Byron Reeves & Clifford Nes, “The Media Equation”
Overall, it is far more important to raise our children to be good people than to be founts of information. After all, Hitler had plenty of information.
--Jane Healy, “Failure to Connect,” p. 199
…a dinner which ends without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye
When you plant a fertile meme* in my mind, you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme’s propagation, in just the same way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell.
*meme: an idea or belief system that attains a life of its own, grows, and reproduces itself as it gains public consciousness.
Therefore, on certain pop culture ideas, you don’t have the idea, the idea owns you.
If you have a platform and don’t use it, they might as well put a trained monkey up there.
The roots of language study are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.
What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.
--Aristotle, “Nichomachean Ethics”
--Richard Steele, “The Tattler”
The cumulative and coherent study of mathematics is, in fact, a microcosm of the entire curriculum and reflects in its expanding field the workings of the scholarly mind in a manner analogous to that which we examined in the field of arts and letters.
--David Hicks, “Norms and Nobility”
Anything that makes me talk to one more lawyer or one more accountant, I don’t need.
--Conway Twitty, country music singer who was known as a business success
Tomorrow’s economy will be volatile and dependent on flexible workers with a high level of intellectual skills. Thus, the best vocational education will be…in the use of one’s mind.
--Theodore R. Sizer, “Horace’s Compromise”
The Smithsonian Institution’s recipe for genius and leadership: (1) children should spend a great deal of time with loving, educationally-minded parents; (2) children should be allowed a lot of free exploration (under parental guidance); and (3) children should have little to no association with peers outside family and relatives.
--Harold G. McCurdy, “The Childhood Pattern of Genius,” 1957
McCurdy’s conclusion: Mass education in public schools has “the effect of reducing all three of the above factors to minimum values.”
Becoming a responsible human being is a path filled with potholes and visited constantly by temptations. Children need guidance and moral road maps, and they benefit immensely with the examples of adults who speak truthfully and act from moral strength.
--Vigen Guroian, “Tending the Heart of Virtue”
Employment is nature’s physician, and is essential to human happiness.
Let no one ignorant of mathematics enter here.
--Plato (inscription written over the entrance to the Academy)
Knowledge is virtue.
--Plato (if you’re going to be wrong, go big!)
I’m here to do a job and for that job I’m paid a sum of money. You are here to do a job also, and you better do it as if you are paid. You are not paid in money right now, but you are paid in points, and those points gather and accumulate into a transcript that is going to get you into some school that is going to get you a further education that is going to get you a job that is going to pay money. This is your job. It is your job to pay attention and your job to do your homework.
--Cliff Gill, 9th grade math teacher,
, to his students. Mamaronck High School
When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.
…educational bureaucracies, like all bureaucracies, tend to replace their original task with the goal of self-perpetuation. And in the achievement of that goal there has been tremendous success.
--Douglas Wilson, “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning,” p. 133
For if we are not all professional teachers, we have all, at some time or other, been taught. Even if we learned nothing—perhaps in particular if we learned nothing—our contribution to the discussion may have a potential value.
--Dorothy Sayers, “The Lost Tools of Learning”
C. S. Lewis’ opinion of average undergraduate students in 1927 (he was still an atheist at this time): “a drinking, guffawing cry of barbarians with hardly any taste among them.”
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
--C. S. Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”
The critic means by “civilization” things like big cities and offices. I mean things like justice, mercy, free speech, honour, and courtesy. It is unfortunate that English uses the word in both senses.
--C. S. Lewis, in response to a criticism of his book, “The Last Battle”
When you have a stormy romance, and the umbrella breaks, people get rained on.
Talking to yourself is OK; its lying to yourself that’s dangerous. --?
Carl Sagan endorsed Stanislav Grof’s hypothesis that near-death experiences are recollections of the birth experience. Therefore persons born by cesarian section would not have a “tunnel” in the experience, persons born naturally would. Experiments conducted by interviewing persons who have had a near-death experience proved the hypothesis false.
--Wynn & Wiggins, “Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction,” p. 79
Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science.
--Edwin Powell Hubble
If only one nation exists, that nation can …oppress its citizens and corporations, and those citizens and corporations have no recourse.
--Hugh Ross, “The Genesis Question,” p. 175
In English (when workers get 24 vacation days) leisure and pleasure rhyme. In the
, leisure rhymes with seizure. United States
…a native in
America, especially of New England, who cannot read and write is as rare a phenomenon as a comet.
--Pres. John Adams, from his diary
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
--a bumper sticker
We did try ignorance, now it wants a raise.
To have people who are well informed but not constrained by conscience is, conceivably, the most dangerous outcome of education possible. Indeed it could be argued that ignorance is better than unguided intelligence, for the most dangerous people are those who have knowledge without a moral framework.
--Ernest Boyer, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
“The Third Wave of School Reform,” Christianity Today, 9/22/1989
If I criticize somebody, its because I have higher hopes for the world, something good to replace the bad. I’m not saying what the Beat Generation: “Go away because I’m not involved.” I’m here and I’m involved.
--Mort Sahl, 1950’s and 60’s comic
The word processor is the writer’s dishwasher: it liberates you from a chore that’s not creative and saps your energy.
--William Zinsser, “On Writing Well,” p. 225
Obviously, educators want to get students to think in class. But the real goal should be to get them to think in the hallways between classes.
--Douglas Wilson, “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning,” p. 59
Without an infinite reference point, all finite points are absurd.
Now it is true that some who claim to hold to Christian truth are unreasoning idealogues. But to argue from that fact to the position that all commitment to truth (by schools or individuals) must be unreasoning ideology is to be guilty of a non sequitur of the first rank. One could similarly argue that because counterfeit money exists, real money does not.
--Douglas Wilson, “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning,” p. 61-62
To what can I devote my life? It’s one of the few things in life where being smarter doesn’t give you any advantage in finding your answers.
Po Brosnan, “What Should I Do with My Life,” p. 176
You know what my dad would say? He’d say, “You want to find yourself? Go look in the mirror. Now get back to work.”
--Jonathon Greenblatt, homestore.com
You’ll get over your fears if you’re in a situation where you simply have to. --?
People who love what they do are much more productive than those who are doing it for the paycheck.
Po Brosnan, “What Should I Do with My Life,” p. 82
Don’t be kind of bold. Be bold.
--William Zinsser, “On Writing Well,” p. 111
Words are like harpoons. Once they go in, they are very hard to pull out.
--Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer-physicist
…you can’t explain (speciation) at the level of the adaptive struggle of the individuals in…conventional Darwinian terms.
--Stephen Jay Gould
Scientists are no cleaner with respect to being untouched by culture than anyone else.
U. of Massachusetts at Amherst
Provocateur: gadfly, one who is “fruitfully wrong” (hopefully the second is an improper definition).
If their argument is just based on provocative adjestives about me rather than the substance of the issue, then…
--Lynn Margulis, from John Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 131
…the origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going.
--Francis Crick, “Life Itself”
In the wake of the publication of
’s “On the Origin of Species,” the idea of progress was raised to the level of a scientific religion. Darwin
--Gunther Stent, “The Paradoxes of Progress,” professor of molecular biology,
Most philosophers are really deeply depressed becaused they can’t produce anything worthwhile.
--Sir Karl Popper, philosopher-scientist
(Scientific philosopher Paul) Feyerabend (in his book “Against Method”) sought to show that there is no logic to science; scientists create and adhere to scientific theories for what are ultimately subjective and even irrational reasons.
--John Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 48
(Scientific philosopher Paul Feyerabend’s) talent for advancing absurd positions through sheer cleverness led to a growing suspicion that rhetoric rather than truth is crucial for carrying for carrying an argument.
--John Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 51
There is separation between state and church, but more between state and science.
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity. --?
Mathematics is the study of patterns to solve problems. Mathematics is a language… It is shared most effectively as a journey with love, joy, and wonder.
--Patricia Clark Kenschaft
Math is not about computers, as cooking is not about stoves, and chemistry is not about pyrex tubes. --?
A (person) who learns that repeated failed attempts often end in success has learned one of life’s greatest lessons.
--Patricia Clark Kenschaft
The paid attendance at baseball games would not increase if we required every 5th grader to memorize the current batting averages of every player in the Red Sox lineup. Nor would the understanding of the game be increased. The true flavor of math, like baseball, is subtle…
Honest is going out of your way to tell people the truth, even when it would be easy not to.
--Dave Thomas (of Wendy’s)
And I’m afraid my generation has used stimulation as a synthetic substitute for other types of gratification that can be ultimately more rewarding and enduring.
--Po Brosnan, writer
Go out into the world and watch what you naturally pay attention to. This will reveal your interests.
--unknown career counselor
They (scientists) also believe, as I do, that the quest for knowledge is by far the noblest and most meaningful of all human activities.
--John Horgan, columnist for Scientific American
It must be as impossible for us to know the future of science—pure or applied—as it would have been for Thomas Aquinas to anticipate Madonna or microwave ovens. --John Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 18
Writing is an act of ego.
--William Zinsser, “On Writing Well,” p. 26
You learn to write by writing. It’s a truism, but what makes it a truism is that it’s true.
--William Zinsser, “On Writing Well,” p. 59
…if you try to go any farther in life, you keep hitting the same old issues. And you have to resolve that issue before you can grow anymore.
Po Brosnan, “What Should I Do with My Life?” p. 145
QED: an acronym for “quod erat demonstandum,” Latin for “which was to be demonstrated.” It denotes the end of a successful proof.
If you can live without coaching, don’t coach.
--Paul “Bear” Bryant, great college football coach
What we do know is that not requiring challenging courses results in mediocre test scores, high percentages of students entering college in remedial courses, and high school graduates who are unprepared for the workplace.
--from Southern Regional Education Board report “High School Graduation
Standards: What We Expect and What We Get,” 1976
The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which, in morals, is the more heroical virtue.
--Francis Bacon, “Of Adversity”
The “why” of school is not just to graduate kids who can get a job. The real “why” is the process of bringing out a passion for living, a joy for learning, and a desire to have an active role in society as a contributor. It’s passion that makes life vibrant and exciting.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 210
The perpetuity by generation is common to beasts, but memory, merit and noble works are proper to men.
--Francis Bacon, “Of Parents and Children”
But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring.
--Francis Bacon, “Of
…for there is rarely any rising (politically) but by a commixture of good and evil arts.
--Francis Bacon, “Of Nobility”
…it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness.
--Francis Bacon, “On Friendship”
We know that nearly anyone can become good at mathematics. And if they’re will to put in the hours, anyone who works hard at it can become a mathematician.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 168
…the gifted make unique contributions to society. The numbers show that they are overrepresented in the arts, in higher education, in research, economics, science, and other highly valued fields in society. In addition, they stay married longer, pay more taxes, and use fewer social and medical services, that their more typical counterparts.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 171
I don’t know anyone with just a high school diploma who feels they have enough education to sustain a career anymore.
--Karen Wells, Vice President for Instruction,
Sinclair Communnity College, Dayton, OH
Better a pint of sweat than a gallon of blood.
--Gen. George Patton
A common technique used by Asian teachers in mathematics classes is to have (students) present as many different solutions to a problem as possible, and then to have the class discuss which methods are most efficient, and why.
--Stevenson & Stigler, “The Learning Gap,” p. 140
Innumeracy: the inability or unwillingness to understand basic mathematical ideas involving numbers or logic as they apply to everyday life.
Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
--Stephen Leacock, “The
” Garden of Folly
None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.
--David Stockman, Pres. Reagan’s Budget Director, in 1981
In the long run, we are all dead.
--John Maynard Keynes, economist
Math class is tough.
--Barbie, 1992 Mattel voice chip
Conventional scientists have found that if they publicly critique something they don’t agree with (creationism, ESP, perpetual motion machine, either side of global warming issue), such critique brings the opposing view credibility as being equal scientific wisdom, media coverage, financial support, and sympathetic intellectual study. Ignoring it seems intellectually improper, but public criticism works to the opposite side’s advantage.
The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
--J.B.S. Haldane, geneticist
I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.
Things get more and more complicated, but they don’t converge to a single point. They spread out and disperse in a very complex way. So I don’t see everything heading toward some grand integration. I see it as much more pluralistic and differentiated.
--Clifford Gertz, speaking on where anthropology is headed
Note: The same statement could be applied to all other social sciences (as opposed to natural sciences)
Utility companies are bound to their local communities by the wires and pipelines that carry their products and services. They are, therefore, dependent on the quality of the economic resources—namely, the workforce—in their service area.
--Steven Kussman, Utility/Business Education Coalition
Proving a negative hypothesis is impossible.
Anthropology, or at least interpretive anthropology, is a science whose progress is marked less by a perfection of consensus than by a refinement of debate. What gets better in the precision with which we vex each other.
…to postmodernists, a text is a text is a text.
--John Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 155
Possibly, but what’s the use of describing a Beethoven symphony in terms of air-pressure waves?
--Albert Einstein, when asked if science was exhausted
Factors such as stress, nutrition, exercise, social factors, trauma, and even extended emotional states can each influence gene expression.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 7-8
My attitude is that it’s always a good idea to read works that are contrary to your point of view. It does the mind some good.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 35
Talent is the compatibility between biology and environment, and learning differences only become learning disabilities through specific environments.
--Eric Jensen, “Enriching the Brain,” p. 131
When asked whether our nation’s public schools do a good job preparing students for the world of work, only 4% of business leaders in a 1995 survey said yes, compared with 44% of high school teachers, and 68% of school superintendents.
--Lynn Olsen, “The School to Work Revolution”
Work is one of our greatest blessings. Everyone should have an honest occupation.
--inscription over the front door of Ringe School of Technical Arts,
Perfection is our goal. Excellence will be tolerated.
--a sign at Siemens-
Stromberg Carlson Apprenticeship Training Center, Lake Mary, FL
A lot of my colleagues like the idea of final theories because they’re religious. And they use it as a replacement for God, which they don’t believe in. But they just created a substitute.
--Mitchell Feigerbaum, (quoted by Horgan, “The End of Science,” p. 222)