Adages, Quotes

What have people said over the years?
Jul 5, 2020Last updated: Jan 19, 2022


Science progresses one funeral at a time. - Max Planck

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. - Dwight Eisenhower

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. - Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest commandments of science is, 'Mistrust arguments from authority.' ... Too many such arguments have proved too painfully wrong. Authorities must prove their contentions like everybody else. - Carl Sagan

The future is already here -- it's just not evenly distributed. - William Gibson

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. - Louis Brandeis (on transparency)

All models are wrong, but some are useful. - George E. P. Box

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. -Henry Ford

E pur si muove (And yet it moves) - Galileo Galilei

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion - Francis Bacon

What we need are notions, not notations. - Gauss

If I want the door to turn, the hinges must stay put. - Ludwig Wittgenstein

We don't know who discovered water, but we are certain it wasn't a fish. - John Culkin

Good mathematicians see analogies between theorems; great mathematicians see analogies between analogies. - Stefan Banach

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality. - Albert Einstein

Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made. - John Godfrey Saxe

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Measures are more than a creation of society, they create society - Ken Adler

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well. And if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them. - George Orwell

volatility is sonly downside deviation. Upside deviation is called performance - Paul Isaac, Arbiter Partners

The worst scientist is he who is not an artist; the worst artist is he who is no scientist. - Armand Trousseau

The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. - Lily Tomlin

Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition. - Alan Turing

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, the wise as false, and the rulers as useful. - Seneca

Far better an approximate answer to the right question,.... than an exact answer to the wrong question - John Tukey

The best explanation for the good old days is a bad memory - Franklin Pierce Adams.


  • The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.
  • No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.
  • If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.
  • If it can't be measured, it becomes politics.
  • Everybody's business is nobody's business.

Movies & TV

  • You know what you do with tough cookies, don't ya? You dip 'em in milk. - Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), Ted Lasso

  • ...the only person who wants to live to a hundred is a ninety-nine year-old anyway. - Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood), The Mule

  • The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again. - Achilles (Brad Pitt), Troy

  • It's not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong - Alexander Supertramp (Emile Hirsch), Into the Wild

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