Engineering & Science Notable Tech Quote Archive #25
The number of statements
uttered verbally and/or in print is uncountable. Some are more noteworthy than others either
because of sheer brilliance, good humor, or utter inanity. We all hope our own remembered
words, if any, fall into one of the first two categories rather than the third. I do a lot
of reading and find many notable quotes to use that fit the theme of RF Cafe; they fall into
all three categories. I always try to verify quotes from original sources or at least from
printed books like
The Experts Speak, of which I own a hard copy. Enjoy.
Notable Tech Quote Archive
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"So here we have pi squared, which an engineer would call 10." -
King, cartoonist, creator of Gasoline Alley (Source: Wikipedia).
That statement was made by Walt Wallet (the main character)
to his tech-inclined nephew
(cowboy slang for a motherless calf). Over the years, Gasoline
Alley included many episodes with Skeezix dabbling in electronics - usually not very successfully.
- "Let's face it: Engineering companies in general
have more men than women. Google has tried really hard to recruit women. On the other hand,
we have a standard. Google tries to recruit the best engineers." -
Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president in charge of product management
and engineering at YouTube (Source: Forbes)
- "The worst thing in the world that can happen
to you if you're an engineer that has given life to something is for someone to rip it off
and put their name on it." -
CEO of Apple Inc. (Source: Wikipedia)
- "Never trust an atom. They make up everything."
- "The path to the CEO's office should not be through
the CFO's office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through
engineering and design." -
CEO and chief product architect, Tesla Motors and SpaceX (engineering
degree from U. of Penn., business degree from Wharton) (Source:
"Do not blame Caesar,
blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced
in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions and laughed
delightedly at his licentiousness and thought it very superior of him to acquire vast amounts
of gold illicitly. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new,
wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease,
more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' Julius was always an
ambitious villain, but he is only one man." - Cicero, as quoted by the Honorable Millard F.
Caldwell in Cicero's
- "It is inconceivable that inanimate Matter
should, without the Mediation of something else, which is not material, operate upon, and
affect other matter without mutual Contact…That Gravity should be innate, inherent and essential
to Matter, so that one body may act upon another at a distance thro' a Vacuum, without the
Mediation of any thing else, by and through which their Action and Force may be conveyed from
one to another, is to me so great an Absurdity that I believe no Man who has in philosophical
Matters a competent Faculty of thinking can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an
Agent acting constantly according to certain laws; but whether this Agent be material or immaterial,
I have left to the Consideration of my readers." -
Newton, letter to Richard Bently, c. 1692
- The barman says, "We don't serve faster-than-light
particles here." A tachyon enters a bar. - Anon. Ok, so it's not really a quote, but
put it on the cover of your next presentation for a good laugh.
- "Long live the amateur, long live wireless!"
- Opening sentence in opening article in first edition of Hugo Gernsback's new
The Electrical Experimenter magazine (May 1913). Gernsback was an
indefatigable pioneer electrical and electronics inventor, publisher of many electronics magazines,
and founder of the Wireless Association of America.
- "Scientific knowledge is an enabling power
to do either good or bad - but it does not carry instructions on how to use it." Theoretical
physicist Richard Feynman in The Value of Science
- Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer
than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law." -
(hat tip to Gary S.)
- "[W]hat do you think you get more radiation
from, leaning up against an atomic reactor or your wife? ... I don't want to alarm you, but
all human beings have radioactive potassium in their blood - and that includes your wife.
This reactor may have more radioactivity, but much greater shielding. If you compare the two
for radiation, you get just a bit more from Dresden III than from your wife." -
Dr. Edward Teller ("father of the hydrogen bomb") at Atomic Energy Commission
hearing concerning Dresden III reactor in Illinois.
- "The facts and knowledge learned in any course
will become obsolete well before you retire. The ability to think critically is a skill that
will last a lifetime." -
Kenneth C. Young, University of Arizona, in December 2013 Scientific American
- "Twitter is the only place where you're thrilled when a complete stranger starts following
you." - Anon
- "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences" - title of article
by theoretical physicist and mathematician
- "If the U.S. Post Office goes away, TSA agents will be the only government employees handling
packages." - Anon (heard it on the radio)
- "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector,
nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables,
in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."
- Neil Armstrong
(I had forgotten about free-body diagrams in Statics class!)
- "Right now, there are about a thousand satellites
operating in space. Of those, just two were designed to be serviced in orbit: the Hubble Space
Telescope and the International Space Station." -
Benjamin Reed, PM of NASA's Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office, regarding
work in progress to built automated robotic satellite service platforms for repair and refueling
satellites not originally designed to be serviced.
- "Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them." "I'm not a genius.
I'm just a tremendous bundle of experience." - R. Buckminster Fuller
- "Dual-band." - Response (referring to AM/FM) given
by Ham radio operator when asked by policeman in Virginia what type of radio he had installed
in his car (hat tip to RF Cafe visitor KA).
requires that "A vehicle displaying Call Letter License Plates is subject to inspection by
DMV or any police officer to determine if the operator and the vehicle comply with the requirements."
You must "Have operational transmitting and receiving equipment permanently installed in your
vehicle." The specific wording requires Tx AND Rx equipment (AM/FM radio is Rx only and therefore
might not qualify), but that could just be bureaucratic ineptness. Now thieves on the prowl
rigs know exactly which vehicles to target for a guaranteed payoff. BTW, I also learned
while researching details on the aforementioned that VA DOT charges a special $64 registration
fee on electric-only vehicles (see above link), probably to compensate for not paying gasoline
taxes for road access. That's like the requirement for all-electric vehicles to install
noise generators so pedestrians can hear them coming (pathetic that Delphi
feels the need to mention their device is "environmentally friendly").
- "In the mid-'90s, when downsizing was the dominant trend in business, Dilbert
took off." -
- "If something can't be explained off the back of an envelope, its rubbish." -
Richard Branson, Virgin CEO
have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in
zeal and hard work; and I still think there is an eminently important difference." -
Charles Darwin, letter citing R. Pearson (1914-1930)
in The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton,
- "I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work." - Ashton Kutcher re never
having had a job below him, at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards (see video).
- "Keynesian economics is the theory that when consumers don't spend sufficiently,
in the opinion of the government, then the government should seize their money and spend it
for them." - Steve Forbes