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Engineering & Science Notable Quote Archive #12

Notable Tech Quotes - RF CafeThe 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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  • "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire said it first
  • "Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells 
  • "...this is the first time in American history that managers have had to motivate a workforce comprised of three generations." - Elizabeth Lions, IEEE
  • "The Univac operator's console had more switches and lights than an airliner cockpit and was the antithesis of 'user friendly'." - Robert V. Head
  • "Lesson: Reporters may be friendly, but they're never your friends. Assume nothing; they often have their own agendas." - Carl Selinger, "Stuff You Don't Learn in Engineering School: Skills for Success in the Real World"
  • "...but even here our ability to manipulate materials at the nanoscale for commercial applications may come down to serendipity rather than scientific method and design." - Dexter Johnson, Cientifica
  • "A general rule: If you are told what someone does for a living and it makes sense to you -- orthodontist, store owner, professor -- that means he's not rich. But if it's a man in a suit who does something that takes him five sentences to explain and still you walk away confused, and castigating yourself as to why you couldn't understand the central facts of the acquisition of wealth in the age you live in -- well, chances are you just talked to a billionaire." - Peggy Noonan
  • "I have found there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." - Mark Twain
  • "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." - The Peter Principle, by Laurence J. Peter
  • "When I am flying onboard a commercial airplane I want the word 'flap' to be a noun and not a verb!" - Andy Lanouette, IEEE Spectrum, remarking on his unnerving observation of wing motion an A-340 reacting to flap extension during landing approach.
  • "Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand." - Putt's Law, by Archibald Putt, in Putt's Law and the Successful Technocrat: How to Win in the Information Age
  • "The program itself could earn a good mathematics degree at any major university." - regarding Steven Wolfram's Mathematica software


  • "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." - Albert Einstein
  • "My theory is the tie is simply showing a natural aversion to being near you." - Scott Adams' reason for why Dilbert's tie curls upward
  • "The difference between intelligence and education, is this - intelligence will make you a good living." - Charles F. Kettering


  • "The world can't come to an end today because it is already tomorrow in some other part of the world." - Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts
  • "If the semiconductor industry ran on pharmaceutical models...We'd test semiconductors by building products, device datasheets would appear in 2-point typefaces, and no design engineer would ever pay for lunch again." - Brad Thompson, T&M World
  • "Knowledge is power... if you know it about the right person." - Ethel Watts Mumford
  • "And so it also seems to me superfluous to look for the causes of the motion to the center when it is once for all clear from the very appearances that the earth is in the middle of the world and all weights move towards it." - Ptolemy's The Almagest
  • "By the end of the decade, a third of a car's value will lie in its electronics and advanced technologies." - Bill Howard, PCMag.com (2007)
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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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