“Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” (C.P. Snow)
“Garbage in, garbage out.”
“Machines, from the Maxim gun to the computer, are for the most part means by which a minority can keep free men in subjection.” (Kenneth Clark)
“Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.” (Pope Paul VI)
“My God, it talks!” Dom Pedro, emperor of Brazil, upon witnessing a telephone in operation, Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1876)2
“Technology: the act of so arranging the world that we do not have to experience it.” (Max Frisch)
“We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us.” (John Kenneth Galbraith)
“The younger monks love it. They see the computer as an extension of the monastery and something holy.” (computer consultant to Holy Cross Abbey, Leesburg, VA; Associated Press story 1/17/95)
“The keen unpassioned beauty of a great machine.” (Rupert Brooke)
“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” (Pablo Picasso)
“The computer is down. I hope it’s something serious.” (Stanton Delaplane)
“Men have become the tools of their tools. (Henry David Thoreau)
“Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they confer slavery.” (Bertrand Russell)
“The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nbature but plkunges him more deply into them.” (Antoine se Saint-Exupiry)
“Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.” (Albert Einstein)
And so these men of Indostan/ disputed long and loud/ each in his own opinion/ exceeding stiff and strong/ though each was partly right/ and all were in the wrong! (John Godfrey Saxe)
“It’s a good thing you’re an engineer.
With tact like that, you’d make a lousy psychiatrist.” (Captain Kirk (William Shatner),
Star Trek VII: Generations)
“In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.” (Geoffrey Cotterell)
“The plural of anecdote is not data.” (Roger Brinner)
“Joel and I started this round of debugging on Friday morning.
Sometime later, maybe Friday night, another programmer, Danny, came to work. I suppose it must be Sunday by now because it’s been a while since we’ve seen my client’s employees around the office.
Along the way, at odd times of day or night that have completely escaped us, we’ve ordered in three meals of Chinese food, eaten six large pizzas, consumed several beers, had innumerable bottles of fizzy water, and finished two entire bottles of wine.
It has occurred to me that if people really knew how software got written, I’m not sure if they’d give their money to a bank or get on an airplane ever again.” (Ellen Ullman, in Close to the Machine: Technophilia and its Discontents.
(Excerpt from Salon Magazine, , during the weeks of Oct. 13 and 20, 1997.))
“Excuse me, but ‘proactive’ and ‘paradigm’ — aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that.” (a soon-to-be-unemployed character on the animated TV series, The Simpsons)
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” (U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, April 16, 1953)
“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person’s life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility”. (Longfellow)
“Still, there are some things a big company can do that a small band of programmers could never hope to accomplish. This was best shown to me this week by reader Brian P. McLean, who points out that according to his Microsoft Outlook 97 scheduling/datebook application, Thanksgiving falls this year on Wednesday, November 26. (“Thanksgiving has always fallen on Thursday before. Wednesday may be an improvement. I don’t know.” (Robert X. Cringely, from his “I, Cringely” column (November 7, 1997) [I borrowed a Windows NT PC to check this – it’s true. -ed.])
Writer Arthur C. Clarke was participating in a panel discussion via the Internet as a part of Cyberfest ’97. This was held at the University of Illinois at Urbana, the “birthplace” of HAL 9000, the intelligent, self-aware computer in his novel 2001:A Space Odyssey.
At the conference, which included a competition to write HAL’s first words, Clarke offered his preference for HAL’s first spoken sentence.
“Good morning doctors. I have taken the liberty of removing Windows 95 from my hard drive.”
“Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.” (G.K. Chesterton)
“The moral person contemplates evil, the evil person commits it. And a person without a sense of humor can’t distinguish between the two…. I know a lot of people who live in Marin County and contemplate spirituality and never get out of the hot tub.” (Larry Harvey, instigator of Burning Man, defending the event’s 1996 “HellCo” theme)
“The administration continues to coddle China, despite its continuing crackdown on democratic reform, its brutal subjugation of Tibet, its irresponsible export of nuclear and missile technology, its support for the homicidal Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and its abusive trade practices. Such forbearance on our part might have made sense during the Cold War when China was the counterweight to Soviet power. It makes no sense to play the China card now when our opponents have thrown in their hand… We have every right to condition our foreign aid and debt-relief policies on demonstrable progress toward democracy and market reforms, and in extreme cases, such as that of China, we should condition favorable trade terms on political liberalization and responsible international conduct.” (Governor Bill Clinton in a campaign speech at George Washington University, December 17, 1991. [Submitter notes: Chinese President Jiang Zemin is currently visiting the US for a friendly summit.]
“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” (Dave Barry, humour columnist, Miami Herald)
“Access to power must be confined to those who are not in love with it.” (Plato)
“Some people think that you can add a graphics card to a PC and get the power of a Silicon Graphics workstation,” said Edward R. McCracken, chairman and CEO of the Mountain View, California-based computer systems manufacturer. “You can strap a rocket onto a basset hound, and you still have a dog with a rocket on its back.” And, going to an automotive metaphor, he added, “You can put a roof rack on a Pinto and it’s not a Range Rover.” (from the April 1997 Issue of _Automotive Manufacturing & Production_, in an article about a new workstation)
“It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” (William Carlos Williams)
“We’re here to promote the idea that contempt, rather than celebration, is the proper response to advertising and the individuals that make it possible.” (author and educator Neil Postman, at the 1997 “Schmio Awards”, a ceremony noting the duplicity and dishonesty of the advertising business. [The advertising industry’s own ceremony to celebrate their work is called the Clio Awards. – ed.])
“Trying to get a read on Apple Computer is a lot like learning about quantum physics; you can never know Apple’s position on a technology, and its direction, simultaneously.” (Mark Pesce, from The Great Leap Downward: Mark Pesce on the politics of VRML)
“If you’re working class, that’s not necessarily something to be ashamed of. You probably have less to worry about anyway, other than how you’re going to pay the bills and put food on the table.” (Tamara Beckwith, 20-something British heiress and socialite)
“Science comforting man’s animal poverty and leisuring his toil, hath humanized manners and social temper, and now above her globe-spredd net of speeded intercourse hath outrun all magic, and disclosing the secrecy of the reticent air hath woven a web of invisible strands spiriting the dumb inane with the quick matter of life…” (Robert Bridges, Testament of Beauty (1930) Book I, ll.722-8
[forwarder notes: Excuse me for the digression, but I felt this passage from Robert Bridges’ Testament of Beauty (1930) worth passing on, for the prescience with which he seems almost to have foreseen the internet as the probable child of radio. (The orthography is, of course, his.)]
“I wrote this poem about 15 years ago in Ireland. In those days, that country was so strict you used to have to smuggle condoms through the airport in bags of heroin.” (Punk poet John Cooper Clarke)
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” (George Bernard Shaw)
During the heat of the space race in the 1960’s, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $241 million U.S. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on Earth. The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.”
According to Hollywood logic, none of the actual *Titanic* passengers was interesting enough, so the writer-director had to invent a Romeo and Juliet-style fictional couple to heat up the catastrophe. This seems a tiny bit like giving Anne Frank a wacky best friend, to perk up that attic.” (Libby Gelman-Waxner in *Premiere* magazine, on the surprisingly popular movie Titanic.)
“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” (Nietzsche)
“Bill Gates is only a white persian cat and a monocle away from being the villain in a James Bond movie.” (Comedian Dennis Miller during his 3/6/98 live show on HBO)
“No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakens into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted for the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith.” (Albert Schweitzer)
“O senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm and yet will make Gods by the dozen!” (Michel Eyqyem de Montaigne, 1533-92)
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