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Engineering & Science Notable Tech Quote Archive #24

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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  • "If you have a truly new idea, you don't have to worry about people stealing it. You will have to pound it into their heads." - John A. O'Keefe, assistant chief of the Theoretical Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center from 1958-1974.


  • "If you've got someone who's good in an emergency, get rid of him or you'll always have emergencies." Anon - old engineering saying per Sherlock Ohms author Rod Hine.


  • "A fool with a tool is still a fool." - Anon. This comment was left by a website visitor in response to the news story about a drone operator who ran his craft into a groom's head while filming a wedding video.


  • "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional for a job, wait until you hire an amateur." - Red Adair, famous global firefighter.


  • "An acquisition is the end of a dream." - Jake Lodwick, co-founder of Vimeo. This quote appeared in the July/August 2013 Inc magazine, where Mr. Lodwick describes the Heck he went through with his company. He further states, "If you truly believe in the potential of your company to change the world for the better, there's no excuse for settling for an acquisition."


  • Today, August 12, Google's honors Erwin Schrödinger's birthday with a homepage Doodle referencing the famous Schrödinger's cat paradox (here is the Doodle archive if you miss it). "When I hear of Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my pistol." - Stephen Hawking. Here are a couple humorous items to go along with the notable quote. "Wave if you've met Schrödinger" - Bumper sticker | "Wanted: Schrödinger's Cat, Dead or Alive" - Bumper sticker | "Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar and doesn't" - Bar joke


  • "Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems." - Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert


  • "The theory of a relativistic universe is the hostile work of the agents of fascism. It is the revolting propaganda of a moribund, counter-revolutionary ideology." -- Astronomical Journal of the Soviet Union, quoted in The American Mercury, March 1940


  • Gugliemo Marconi on 'Electric Woman' - RF Cafe Notable QuoteEccentricity in geniuses is not unusual, and accordingly neither is a propensity to make goofy statements. Wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi was no exception. Dig this little piece I ran across in Gugliemo Marconi on 'Electric Woman' in 1934 Radio News - RF Cafe Notable Quotea 1934 edition of Radio News and The Short-Wave, "Marconi Calls 'Electric Woman' Genuine." "ROME - Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, famous radio inventor and scientist, said today there was no doubt as to the authenticity of the phenomena of the 'electric woman' Signora Anna Monaro, according to the Times. From Signora Monaro's breasts, several times nightly while she sleeps, there emanates enough light to illuminate a room, it is said." It sounds like she's really lighting up somebody's life.


  • "de Forest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public... has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company." - U.S. District Attorney, prosecuting Lee de Forest for fraud in 1913


  • "If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done." - Scott Adams, Dilbert creator


  • "The sleep that shuns my restless bed | Returns to haunt my desk instead." - Frank R. Canning, July 8, 1950 Saturday Evening Post


  • "It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign." - GNU founder Richard Stallman on embracing Cloud Computing for its ostensibly "free" data storage on uncontrolled servers rather than on your local machine.


  • "Competition among investors is good. If you are talking to one big VC and wind up talking to another, they will find out. How much that matters is insane." - Luis Von Ahn, co-founder of Captcha, in June 2013 Inc magazine.


  • "That's one of the reasons we can't sell a telecom switch in most countries, for instance." - Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, on news of NSA's ubiquitous PRISM spy program that coerces companies into complying with demands for user data. (what a difference 5 years makes - video)


  • "We rely on our early customers to identify issues like this for us." - Fisker Automotive representative to IEEE Spectrum's John Voelcker during demo drive when the $106k Karma electric car put itself to sleep while recovering from a fault. Now that's bad karma.


  • "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," - Lucius Annaeus Seneca, 4 BC - A.D. 65 (thanks to Ted B.)


  • "The world is run by 'C' students." - Anon. Bush and Clinton were both 'C' students. We have no idea what Obama's GPA was because his records are sealed, but we're assured by the media he is an absolute genius.


  • "We tried everything from seed oils to high-temperature lubricant to glycerin in search of the right liquid. It's the closest I've ever felt to Thomas Edison when he was looking for the perfect element" - Dave Horn, Switch Lighting CTO, regarding the liquid silicone cooling used in their game-changing LED light bulb.


  • "Communications do not just grow; they are planned." - Brigadier General Wesley T. Guest, Planning Integrated Signal Communications

    10/16/2020,  5/6/2013

  • "As your company grows, you'll progress through the three phases of Internet customer feedback: 1. not enough; 2. just the right amount; and 3. way, way too much. I'm joking, of course. There is no Phase Two." - Phil Libin, co-founder and CEO of evernote.


  • "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston" - FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski tweet. So, the FCC has now endorsed dropping the F-bomb over public airwaves. You can be excused to just about anything these days if you're the right person.


  • "It's very hard to find a work ethic better than that in the Upper Midwest." -- Bob Whitney, Itron, VP of manufacturing. This newspaper article interview reports on Itron's history in Waseca, MN, after beginning as EnScan in the early 1990s. I was there as an RF engineer in 1992 right after the break-off from EF Johnson, and during the move to the new facilities. Grant Whissemore, mentioned in a 2012 story, was once a crewmember on the Edmond Fitzgerald (before it sank, fortunately). I think I still have my "2 Millionth ERT" T-shirt somewhere.


  • "Ah consensus … the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead.  What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner 'I stand for consensus'?" - Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Briton, 1979-1990


  • "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be." - Lord Kelvin, aka William Thompson, in lecture on "Electrical Units of Measurement" (3 May 1883)


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