On Quotes

“A man is one whose body has been trained to be the ready servant of his mind; whose passions are trained to be the servants of his will” - John Ruskin

"There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." - MLK

"Creedy: Die! Die! Why won't you die?! Why won't you die? V: [Gasping] Because beneath this mask, there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask, there is an idea, Mr Creedy. And ideas are bullet-proof!" - V for Vendetta

"From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes." - Justice Roberts's speech at son’s middle school graduation

"Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." - Steve Jobs

Commentary: A friend recently asked me an interesting related question: If I was diagnosed with Huntington's disease (a disease that progressively kills you over 10-30 years), would I still go to grad school? I answered with resounding yes! I want to go to grad school (PhD) because research and learning just make me happy. I know I could probably make way more money as a software engineer, but ultimately I feel that career path would leave me unfulfilled.

The wise man gets used to future evils: what other men make bearable by long endurance, he makes bearable by long reflection. We sometimes hear the inexperienced say, "I didn’t know this was in store for me." The wise man knows that everything is in store for him. Whatever happens, he says, 'I knew.' - Stoic Philosopher

Commentary: In my experience, reaping the benefits of this mindset indisputably requires separating yourself emotionally from most aspects of your own life.

"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"If you are ever going to get upset about X, you should realize that chances for X are everywhere, so you might as well be upset all the time – or be sensible and stop ever (or so often) getting upset about X at all." - Stoic Philosopher

"No one but you knows whether you are cowardly and cruel or loyal and devout. Others never see you; they only guess about you by uncertain conjectures. They do not see your nature so much as they see your artifice. So do not cling to their judgments; cling to your own." - Montaigne

"Be radically skeptical and radically open-minded" - some random guy at a protest

Commentary: With politics being so polarizing nowadays, I feel this sentiment is especially important.

But may I humbly recommend that if one is informed that you’ll never do anything remarkable with your life, perhaps the most apprropriate response isn’t “Yea, you’re probably right”, but instead: “Fuck off, and who the fuck are you anyway?” -exurb1a

"One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant." John Locke, Demon-Haunted World

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking." - Albert Einstein

Commentary: I'd bet good money that Einstein would have hated how social media and the internet have affected society.

"Men of ideas and men of action have much to learn from each other, and the truly great are men of both action and abstraction." – Jack Donovan

Commentary: In my opinion, one of the greatest skills an engineer can posses is the ability to connect high-level ideas with low-level details.

"Remember your failures, but don't fester in them." - Mr. Engel, AP Computer Science

"Towards a high quality information society" - From a random at a net neutrality protest

"high tech, low life" - William Gibson

"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?" – Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

"Brother Cavil: I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to - I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to - I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I'm a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I'm trapped in this absurd body!” - Battlerstar Galactica

"0 year in being successful, 28 years in improving" - Reddit comment

"As a student, [the scientific method] seemed to me more than a way of thinking. It was a way of being—a weird way of being. You are supposed to have skepticism and imagination, but not too much. You are supposed to suspend judgment, yet exercise it. Ultimately, you hope to observe the world with an open mind, gathering facts and testing your predictions and expectations against them. Then you make up your mind and either affirm or reject the ideas at hand. But you also hope to accept that nothing is ever completely settled, that all knowledge is just probable knowledge." - Atul Gawande, The Mistrust Of Science

"[A scientist has] a healthy skepticism, suspended judgement, and disciplined imagination." - Edwin Hubble, Caltech Commencement 1938,

"When you let go of individual survival, all of your priorities change, because you actually see the entire world as your body, you see the suffering of others as your own suffering, and you want to help. And what is the actual power of a human being to really benefit the world, when they're able to the priorities of the whole system in front of themselves, even if that means they have to die in the process? How many of us can do that right now? What if 7 billion of us did that? Maybe the one thing that keeps us from actually solving all of the other problems in the world is this persistent flawed thought that we are separate from the world." - Jeff Lieberman, Science and Spirituality

"What I cannot create, I do not understand." - Richard Feynman