Old Email / Usenet Signature Quotes

Although I've been an Internet email user from before there was an Internet - since I first laid hands on an Alto connected to the ARPAnet in mid-1983 - it was nearly a decade before I picked up the habit of attaching a quotation as a signature. After a couple of months of using these casually I decided to systematize things: keep a file of potential quotations as I came across them in my reading, and change the actual signature once a month. Here's the collection so far.

ca. 02/1991:
	This U.S. stamp, along with 25 [cents] of additional U.S. postage,
	is equivalent to the 'F' stamp rate
			- Official Algorithm of the US Postal Service

02/1992 - 03/1992; 01/1994:
     Is it possible to see this simple business as obscure and mysterious?
     We must try.
			- J. S. Bell

04/1992:
     Intelligence is nothing without delight 
			- Paul Claudel

05/1992:
     To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.
     To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.
			- James Carse

06/1992:
     Careful!  We don't want to learn anything from this.
			- Calvin (Bill Watterson)

07/1992:
     Give me a burrito. . .resistance is futile!
		- Steve Roberts, of Winnebiko and BEHEMOTH fame,
		  to a terrified clerk at a Taco Bell drive-through

08/1992:
    TV dinner by the pool; I'm so glad I finished school!
				- Frank Zappa

09/1992:
     Between 20 and 30 percent of the gross national product of the
     United States comes from high energy physics.
				- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX)

10/1992:
     Sloppy thinking gets worse over time
				- Jenny Holzer

11/1992:
  Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
		- Lord Acton, who is almost always misquoted

12/1992:
    [X and Y] point out that their device is hardly state of the art.
    It was, after all, built out of off-the-shelf parts by theorists.
	    - world-class understatement from the November /Physics Today/

01/1993:
	Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living
	that wears you out.
				- Chekhov

02/1993:
  Consistently separating words by spaces became a general custom about the tenth
  century A.D., and lasted until about 1957, when FORTRAN abandoned the practice.
				- Sun FORTRAN Reference Manual

03/1993:
       For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
       public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
				- Richard Feynman

04/1993:
	[It's] like saying Michelangelo *helped* paint the Sistine chapel
	just because some Pope owned the ceiling.
				- Art Spiegelman

05/1993:
   These holdings enrich the literature of sophistry.
	- I. F. Stone,
	  on a couple of Supreme Court opinions he didn't care for

06/1993:
 Applicants must also have extensive knowledge of UNIX, although they should
 have sufficiently good programming taste to not consider this an achievement.
				- MIT AI Lab job ad in the /Boston Globe/

07/1993:
	Contention is better than loneliness.
		- old Irish proverb; proposed netnews motto (RFC1609)

08/1993:
  Usually, if you're calling any shots at all, you're not eating worms.
			- Derkins' Canonical Test of Empowerment
				(Bill Watterson)

09/1993:
	A dozen press agents working overtime can do terrible things
	to the human spirit.
				- Cecil B. De Mille

10/1993:
	I don't think my name will mean much to the bear business,
	but you're welcome to use it.
				- Theodore Roosevelt

11/1993:
	The status quo is the only solution that cannot be vetoed.
				- Clark Kerr

12/1993:
	In this world, there is one terrible thing,
	and that is that everyone has his reasons.
				- Jean Renoir

02/1994:
	Data without generalization is just gossip.
				- Robert Pirsig

03/1994:
	The point of philosophy is to start with something so
	simple as to seem not worth stating, and to end with
	something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
				- Bertrand Russell

04/1994:
	Bachelors and Masters of Arts who do not follow Aristotle's
	philosophy are subject to a fine of 5 shillings for each
	point of divergence.
			- 14th century statute of Oxford University

05/1994:
	The basis of optimism is sheer terror.
			- Oscar Wilde

06/1994:
  Bad policies, stupid policies, gutless policies have real consequences.
				- Molly Ivins

07/1994:
	I can speak to almost anything with a lot of authority.
				- Fred Barnes

08/1994:
	Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent
		- Ludwig Wittgenstein, who obviously never read netnews

09/1994:
	There's always an easy solution to every human problem -
	neat, plausible, and wrong.
			- H. L. Mencken

10/1994:
	It is not necessary to understand things
	in order to argue about them.
			- Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

11/1994:
	Because if they didn't vote for a lizard the wrong lizard
	might get in.  Got any gin?
				- Ford Prefect (Douglas Adams)

12/1994:
	We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
				- Walt Kelly

01/1995:
	Most of the folks I talk to in the television industry think
	that interactive television consists of putting a 'Buy'
	button on your channel clicker.
				- John Perry Barlow

02/1995:
	There's a fine line between participation and mockery.
				- Wally (Scott Adams)

03/1995:
  Stop thinking about it as the information highway and start thinking
  about it as the marketing superhighway.  Doesn't it sound better already?
		    - Don Logan, President & CEO of Time, Inc
		      to the Association of National Advertisers

04/1995:
	You know how every morning I make it a point to think about
	doing twenty minutes of vigorous exercise?  Well I think
	it's doing me a lot more good than it actually is.
				- Willy (Joe Martin)

05/1995:
	Percentage of Americans who believe that every holder of
	a PhD has attended medical school:  41
				- /Harper's/ Index

06/1995:
	I'm tempted to say that this argument is disingenuous,
	but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may merely be ingenuous.
				- Dani Zweig

07/1995:
	It is not unfair to say that obscurities in the presentation
	do not seem to arise wholly from the inherent complexities
	of the problem.
				- Edmund Stoner

08/1995:
	Demagogue:  One who preaches doctrine he knows to be untrue
		    to men he knows to be idiots.
				- H. L. Mencken

09/1995:
	Anybody who's not bothered by Bell's theorem
	has to have rocks in his head. 
			- David Mermin

10/1995:
	If the average kid has witnessed 100,000 acts of violence by
	the age of 12, how many examples of glib hypocrisy and
	self-serving deceit do you suppose they've seen?  Enough to
	get 'Larry King Live' banned for all eternity is my guess.
				- Will Durst

11/1995:
	There's a detailed explanation at the bottom of the hole.
				- Catbert (Scott Adams)

12/1995:
    . . .when you have eliminated the impossible, that which remains,
    however improbable, had better work or we're all in big trouble.
			- [apologies to] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

01/1996:
	*All* lies are told with a straight face.  It's truth that's said
	with a dismissive giggle.
				- P. J. O'Rourke

02/1996:
  Editor's Note:  A mistake made by a transcription service mangled a
  quotation from William Bennett in Michael Kelley's July 17th Letter from
  Washington.  In criticizing the political views of Patrick Buchanan, Mr.
  Bennett said 'it's a real us-and-them kind of thing,' not, as we reported,
  'it's a real S & M kind of thing.'
	- correction in the August 14, 1995, issue of /The New Yorker/

03/1996:
	I just want people to know that I actually admire everyone I
	make fun of in my book [/Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, and
	Other Observations/].  Except Pat Robertson.  He's a lunatic.
	And I really don't like Limbaugh.  And Pat Buchanan, let's face
	it, is a bigot.  Dick Armey I have no use for.  And Gingrich
	just plain scares me.
				- Al Franken

04/1996:
	A thousand stories which the ignorant tell, and believe,
	die away at once when the computist takes them in his gripe.
			- Samuel Johnson, who obviously never read netnews

05/1996:
	This web project is the most self-indulgent, egotistical thing
	I have ever done in my life.  But the day is young.  I can top it.
			- Scott Adams

06/1996:
	One horselaugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms.
				- H. L. Mencken

07/1996:
	It is nice to know that the computer understands the problem.
	But I would like to understand it too.
				- Eugene Wigner

08/1996:
	Number of hand-woven napkins bearing Alfred Nobel's portrait
	that were stolen from the 1995 Nobel Prize banquet:  88
				- /Harper's/ Index

09/1996:
	You can fool all the people all the time
	if the advertising budget is big enough.
				- Ed Rollins

10/1996:
	Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea
	that life is serious.
				- Brendan Gill

11/1996:
	Every government is run by liars and nothing they say
	should be believed.
				- I. F. Stone

12/1996:
	The best performance improvement is the transition
	from the nonworking state to the working state.
				- John Ousterhout

01/1997:
	Truth comes out of error more easily than out of confusion.
				- Francis Bacon

02/1997:
	If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy.
				- Don Knuth

03/1997:
	What is the matter with the poor is poverty; what is
	the matter with the rich is uselessness.
				- George Bernard Shaw

04/1997:
	A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance
	when the need for illusion is deep.
				- Saul Bellow

05/1997:
	We should take care not to make the intellect our god;
	it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
				- Albert Einstein

06/1997:
	I have always consistently opposed high-tension and alternating
	systems of electric lighting, not only on account of danger,
	but because of their general unreliability and unsuitability
	for any general system of distribution.
				- Thomas Edison

07/1997:
	Humans are hampered because such things as logic
	can control the libido.
			- Pat Craig (Knight-Ridder News Service)

08/1997:
	Reality is a useful brake on megalomania.
				- Clive James

09/1997:
	It is also a good rule not to put too much confidence in
	experimental results until they have been confirmed by theory.
				- Sir Arthur Eddington

10/1997:
	Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk.
	That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
				- Ernest Hemingway

11/1997:
	Marketing folks would rather hang themselves than learn
	the arguments to the grep command.
				- Alex Simeonides

12/1997:
	The best way to sound like you know what you're talking about
	is to know what you're talking about.
				- Scott Simon

01/1998:
	"Absolute truth?  What's that?"
	"It's a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court."
				- Dan O'Neill

02/1998:
	Business is more than making money; losing less money is
	sometimes important too.
				- Kim Woo-Choong

03/1998:
	The sudden spike in Bill Clinton's popularity is baffling
	only to those who still think of politics as an autonomous
	realm, existing apart from entertainment.
				- Kurt Andersen

04/1998:
	Nature follows quantum mechanical predictions
	even when these predictions seem to be crazy.
				- Alain Aspect

05/1998:
	There arises from a bad and unapt formation of words
	a wonderful obstruction to the mind.
				- Francis Bacon

06/1998:
	But that's the beauty of the game.  At this very moment, your
	absurd vicarious defeat is being perfectly counterbalanced by
	some opposing fan's absurd vicarious triumph.
				- Robert Mankoff

07/1998:
	Advertisers know that no matter how excellent an automobile may be,
	it will not sell if it is called a "Lumbering Elephant."
				- Neil Postman

08/1998:
	Where understanding fails, a word will come to take its place.
				- Goethe

09/1998:
	The key to productivity is to rotate your avoidance techniques.
				- Too Much Coffee Man (Shannon Wheeler)

10/1998:
	Rank of 'listening to other students' among the classroom
	activities that schoolchildren find most boring:  1
				- /Harper's/ Index

11/1998:
	It is difficult to get a man to understand something
	when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
				- Upton Sinclair

12/1998:
	If you ask me, most sports would benefit
	from an infusion of rocketry.
			- Jason Fox (Bill Amend)

01/1999:
	One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
	is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
			- Bertrand Russell

02/1999:
    I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as
    good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next
    step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.
				- Leo Szilard

03/1999:
	Find computer scientists you respect and listen to their
	recommendations.  When they are still making the same
	recommendations a year later, look into it.
				- Paul Dubois

04/1999:
	In our time, political speech and writing are
	largely the defense of the indefensible.
			- George Orwell, writing in 1946

05/1999:
	The data structures of the code require some degree
	higher than a PhD to understand, since we've got PhDs
	and we can't figure them out.           - J. A. Templon

06/1999:
	Avoid studies of which the result dies with the worker.
				- Leonardo da Vinci

07/1999:
	It's a great failing of televangelism that the
	Pentecostal wind blows so rarely on home repair problems.
				- Colin McEnroe

08/1999:
    The entrepreneurial spirit is not rare in humankind.  The problem
    is most people who have it, apply it to lunatic enterprises.
				- Mike O'Brien

09/1999:
	Spend the optimal amount of time on each decision
	and pretty soon you run out of life.
				- Steven Waldman

10/1999:
	Kids, thinking about theories is no way to get an education!
				- God-Man (Ruben Bolling)

11/1999:
	If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.
				- Edward Hopper

12/1999:
	It doesn't matter that I'm a crab!  I'm an Internet visionary!
				- Hawthorne (Jim Toomey)

01/2000:
    Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving
    there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.
				- John Kenneth Galbraith

02/2000:
    Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that
    I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful
    nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them.
				- René Descartes

03/2000:
	With software, unusual conditions come up all the time;
	seemingly impossible conditions take a little longer.
				- Watts Humphrey

04/2000:
	An advertiser will happily make you feel bad about
	yourself if that will make you buy, say, a Bic pen.
				- George Meyer

05/2000:
	In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay.
				- Charles Carruthers

06/2000:
	You can never solve all difficulties at once.
				- Paul Dirac

07/2000:
	A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only
	advise his client to plant vines.
				- Frank Lloyd Wright

08/2000:
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save)
    the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.  This makes
    it hard to plan the day.
				- E. B. White

09/2000:
	Some circumstantial evidence is very strong,
	as when you find a trout in the milk.
				- Henry David Thoreau

10/2000:
	I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
				- Wilson Mizner

11/2000:
	What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will
	to find out, which is the exact opposite.
					- Bertrand Russell

12/2000:
	I know nothing about this subject but I do have
	prejudices, which I am more than happy to share with you.
					- Leon Botstein

01/2001:
	The power of accurate observation is frequently called
	cynicism by those who don't have it.
			- George Bernard Shaw

02/2001:
	Having your book made into a movie is like having
	your ox made into a bouillon cube.
				- Bill Neely

03/2001:
    They are the sort of people who think that no observation is
    so intuitive that it can't be improved by regression analysis.
				- Louis Menand

04/2001:
    Popular memory may be short, but it is nothing
    compared with the amnesia of experts.
			- Adam Gopnik

05/2001:
	In any business model you need someone to sue.
	That's the American way.
			- Bill Weinberg

06/2001:
	As a rule, I tend to avoid activities
	that require snakeproof boots.
			- Jonathan Rosen

07/2001:
	The chief executives of large American corporations are,
	as a class, the most overpaid people on the planet.
				- James Surowiecki

08/2001:
	Don't talk to the crazy people on the street, even though
	they may seem fun to be with.
	    - /CityPack, New York/ Chinese language edition (1996)

09/2001:
	Physics is like sex:  sure, it may give some practical results,
	but that's not why we do it.	- Richard Feynman

10/2001:
	Meeting the author, I think, is one of life's most reliably
	disappointing experiences.	- Billy Collins

11/2001:
    After a recent trip to New York one French journalist remarked that
    leafing through a copy of /Forbes/ or /Fortune/ is like reading the
    operating manual of a strangely sanctimonious pirate ship.
					- Adam Gopnik

12/2001:
	This is a clear abuse of the God-given gifts
	of repression and denial.
			- The Reverend Theo Fobius (Howard Tayler)

01/2002:
	Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
				- Henry David Thoreau

02/2002:
	Back in the Sixties we didn't have video games and the
	Internet.  All we had was drugs and naked people.
					- Scott Bateman

03/2002:
	What about my right to live on a street with a name
	of my choosing?  Huh?
			- Riley "Escobar" Freeman (Aaron McGruder)

04/2002:
	The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary
	out of order.		- Jean Cocteau

05/2002:
    The Enron scandal calls into question the integrity of the
    entire capitalist system, which previously we assumed was based
    on honest, straightforward greed.		- Joel Achenbach

06/2002:
	Until we test our beliefs, we can't say for sure if we have
	leeches or we have aspirin.	- David Faigman

07/2002:
	What is this endless series of meaningless experiences
	trying to teach me?		- Bruce Eric Kaplan

08/2002:
	Nothing happens in Paris in late July.	If the king could have
	kept things calm around the Bastille for another three weeks,
	France would still be a monarchy.	- Adam Gopnik

09/2002:
	Yes, but what if it were a parrot?
			- Graham Chapman, to John Cleese

10/2002:
	How can anyone be expected to govern a country with two
	hundred and forty-six cheeses?  - Charles de Gaulle

11/2002:
	It is not easy, these days, to go beyond the bounds of taste.
					- Paul Goldberger

12/2002:
	It is impossible to design a system so perfect that
	no one needs to be good.  - T. S. Eliot

01/2003:
	Well. . .old people with really good memories think I'm
	clever.  So there!!	- Huey Freeman (Aaron McGruder)

02/2003:
	A retired physicist reading the /Encyclopaedia Britannica/
	can do just so much toward securing world peace.
				- Brian Hayes

03/2003:
    It's impossible to awaken a man who is pretending to be asleep.
					- Navajo saying

04/2003:
	I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which,
	when you looked at it in the right way, did not become
	still more complicated.		- Poul Anderson

05/2003:
	The asking of questions is in itself the correct rite.
					- Confucius

06/2003:
    Not only in research, but in the everyday world of politics and
    economics, we would all be better off if more people realized that
    simple systems do not necessarily possess simple dynamical properties.
					- Robert May

07/2003:
	It is necessary to be slightly underemployed if you want to
	do something significant.	- James D. Watson

08/2003:
	In general, a standard is very useful, whether it's
	de facto or du jour.	- Microsoft's Greg Sullivan
				  as misquoted by News.Com

09/2003:
	There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool
	until he has stopped asking questions.
				- Charles P. Steinmetz

10/2003:
	There are two kinds of fool.  One says, "This is old,
	and therefore good."  And one says, "This is new, and
	therefore better."		- Dean William Inge

11/2003:
	I was going for a fair dose of irony and satire, and what
	could be better than using Powerpoint and a projector?
					- David Byrne

12/2003:
	Logic doesn't apply to the real world.	- Marvin Minsky

01/2004:
	No *good* model ever accounted for *all* the facts, since
	some data was bound to be misleading if not plain wrong.
					- James D. Watson

02/2004:
	The *world* is arbitrary.  *Individuals* are either fair
	or unfair.  Which are you?	- Caulfield (Jef Mallett)

03/2004:
	The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.
				- Leonardo da Vinci

04/2004:
	Hate to interrupt with a spelling flame, but it's "Cheney,"
	not "Chaney."  It may only be one letter, but it's 998 faces.
					- Mike Peterson

05/2004:
	If we had cloned Saddam, we could capture him over and over
	whenever we felt bad about the situation in Iraq.
					- Sylvia (Nicole Hollander)

06/2004:
	Civilization as we know it will come to an end sometime
	in this century unless we can find a way to live without
	fossil fuels.			- David Goodstein

07/2004:
	The scientific mind does not so much provide the right
	answers as ask the right questions.
				- Claude Levi-Strauss

08/2004:
	Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it
	is the merger of state and corporate power.
				- Benito Mussolini

09/2004:
	The danger to society is not merely that it should believe
	wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should
	become credulous.		- William K. Clifford

10/2004:
	When my information changes, I change my opinion.
	What do you do, Sir?		- John Maynard Keynes

11/2004:
	Learning without thinking is useless.  Thinking without
	learning is dangerous.		- Confucius

12/2004:
    You should always save hyperbole until you really need it.
				- Hobbes (Bill Watterson)

01/2005:
	Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.
			- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

02/2005:
	People who write obscurely are either unskilled in writing
	or up to mischief.		- Sir Peter Medawar

03/2005:
	All creativity is an extended form of a joke.
					- Alan Kay

04/2005:
	All artists in all fields despise all critics
	all the time.		- Adam Gopnik

05/2005:
	Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go
	on forever in a finite world is either a madman or
	an economist.		- Kenneth Boulding

06/2005:
	The joy of writing a comic strip about a middle-age couple
	is, I'm never far from the subjects of demise and mortality.
	The jokes just write themselves!	- Jimmy Johnson

07/2005:
	It is difficult for men in high office to avoid
	the malady of self-delusion.	- Calvin Coolidge

08/2005:
	We'd like to do away with much of the health care system.
	We'd like to keep people healthy until they suddenly go up
	in a puff of smoke.		- Charles Cantor

09/2005:
	Right now America is a superpower living on credit -
	something I don't think has happened since Philip II
	ruled Spain.			- Paul Krugman

10/2005:
    The most important of all medical discoveries is not antibiotics,
    or immunization; it is the randomized double-blind test, by means
    of which we find out what works and what doesn't. - Robert Park

11/2005:
	Of course a weed-puller isn't of much *use* in the Garden
	of Eden, but it takes a while to figure that out.
				- Tim Peters

12/2005:
	If it made sense, that would be a very powerful idea.
				- Bruce Eric Kaplan

01/2006:
	Those who can make you believe absurdities
	can make you commit atrocities.	- Voltaire

02/2006:
    The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all his woe,
    is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.
					- H. L. Mencken

03/2006:
	Archimedes constructing his circle pays with his life
	for his defective biological adaptation to immediate
	circumstances.		- Ernst Mach

04/2006:
    An information system based on theory isolated from reality
    is bound to fail.		- Mitch Kabay

05/2006:
	It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.
					- Anatole France

06/2006:
	The road to technology centered systems is paved
	with user centered intentions.	- David Woods

07/2006:
    Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public;
    ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.
				- Vilhjalmur Stefansson

08/2006:
	If you don't apply it when it's inconvenient
	it's not a rule of law.		- Admiral John Hutson

09/2006:
    Numbers like 8 and 9 are useless for coding - everything
    beyond 0 and 1 implies a flawed design.   - Ville Vainio

10/2006:
    This is a great country, in no small part because it is the
    best country ever devised in which to be a public crank.
				- Charles Pierce

11/2006:
	The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace
	alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an
	endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.
				- H. L. Mencken

12/2006:
    The Trinity is one of the most sublime mysteries of our holy
    religion.  In rejecting it because it is incomprehensible,
    Unitarians betray their inadequate sense of theological
    fundamentals.		- Ambrose Bierce

01/2007:
	Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this:
	that you are dreadfully like other people.
				- James Russell Lowell

02/2007:
	I'd love to see a fine painting by Titian or Leonardo
	that was really silly - a Venus with false nose and
	glasses and duck feet.		- B[ernard] Kliban

03/2007:
	Every 10 years we say to ourselves, "If only we had
	done the right thing 10 years ago."
				- Thomas Friedman

04/2007:
	An ideology has axioms and algorithms; a view of life
	has approaches and approximations.	- Adam Gopnik

05/2007:
	My spider sense is tingling!  I think we should
	leave the country!	- Roger (Maritza Campos)

06/2007:
	You can hardly learn more about someone than by looking
	at the lies he tells himself.	- Jonathan Rauch

07/2007:
	God help this nation when it has a President
	who doesn't know as much about the military as I do.
				- Dwight D. Eisenhower

08/2007:
	The greatest problem with communication is the illusion
	that it has been accomplished.	- George Bernard Shaw

09/2007:
   Economics is a powerful tool, but like a microscope it focuses
   attention on some aspects of reality (especially the role of
   prices in markets), while it also diverts attention from other
   aspects.    - George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics

10/2007:
    Hanging out in bad bars waiting for sources to show up is a
    time-honored tradition in journalism.    - Douglas McCollam

11/2007:
	Like many people, I started blogging out of
	an urgent need to procrastinate.        - Alex Ross

12/2007:
	Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for
	taking things for granted. - Aldous Huxley

01/2008:
    Never send anthromorphic animals to do a mother's job.
			- Sabrina Tanzini (Corey Pandolph)

02/2008:
    Hopefully every Bush press conference will devolve into
    nonsensical Dadaist performance art involving fish,
    collages, and angry repudiations of accepted scientific
    views of climate change.	- Josh Fruhlinger

03/2008:
    Through the years, I have learned that there is no
    harm in charging oneself up with delusions between
    moments of valid inspiration.	- Steve Martin

04/2008:
	This paper, then, is a serious analysis of a
	ridiculous subject, which is of course the opposite
	of what is usual in economics.	- Paul Krugman

05/2008:
	Life was simple before World War II.  After that,
	we had systems.		- Admiral Grace Hopper

06/2008:
	Men become civilized, not in proportion to their
	willingness to believe, but in proportion to their
	readiness to doubt.	- H. L. Mencken

07/2008:
	The law does not pretend to punish everything that is
	dishonest.  That would seriously interfere with business.
				- Clarence Darrow

08/2008:
	I love to draw.  I loved to draw a lot more
	before I became a cartoonist.    - Aaron McGruder

09/2008:
	The capacity to wreak destruction with your models
	provides the ultimate respectability.
					- Emanuel Derman

10/2008:
    I've always believed that America's government was a
    unique political system - one designed by geniuses so
    that it could be run by idiots. I was wrong.
					- Thomas Friedman

11/2008:
    I do not believe in conspiracy theories, though
    I do know that there is a secret international
    organization that invents them. - Mike Lawrence

12/2008:
    Think how hard physics would be if particles could think.
					- Murray Gell-Mann

01/2009:
    There's nothing that has a shorter shelf life than
    an angry cartoon about presidents.	- Art Spiegelman

02/2009:
	Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.
				- H. H. Williams

03/2009:
	The term "powerful blogger" causes my logic
	interpretation matrix to crash.
		- TOBY, Robot Satan (Corey Pandolph)

04/2009:
	Never express yourself more clearly
	than you are able to think.	- Niels Bohr

05/2009:
	Made up words don't belong in a collabulary.
				- Michael Shepherd

06/2009:
    Almost everyone who talks about "flat earth" does not realize
    that it is overoptimized to the point of maximal vulnerability.
				- Nassim Nicholas Taleb

07/2009:
	The grand edifice of brand-name consumerism rests on the
	narcissistic fantasy that everyone else cares about what
	we buy.			- John Tierney

08/2009:
	As time goes on the technical problems become
	more automatic, while the people problems
	become more surrealistic.  - Henry Barnes

09/2009:
	Sometimes I mistake your existential crises
	for technical insights.    - Randall Munroe

10/2009:
	Don't worry about people stealing an idea.
	If it's original you will have to ram it
	down their throats.	- Howard Aiken

11/2009:
	Not knowing is much more interesting than believing
	an answer that might be wrong.	- Richard Feynman

12/2009:
	What's the point of having a blog if you can't write
	about things that aren't interesting to anybody else?
					- Josh Fruhlinger

01/2010:
    Low effectiveness is a general characteristic of organizations.
					- Amitai Etzioni

02/2010:
    You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
				- James Thurber

03/2010:
    The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry
    is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering
    gains made by the computer hardware industry.
					- Henry Petroski

04/2010:
	Only in America could the failure to promote oneself
	be widely regarded as arrogance.	- Garry Trudeau

05/2010:
	Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
					- Frank Zappa

06/2010:
    In physics there may one day be a Theory of Everything;
    in finance and the social sciences, you're lucky if there
    is a usable theory of anything.	- Emanuel Derman

07/2010:
    I'm not proud of that.  Okay, maybe I am, but I'm
    not proud that I'm proud of it.   - J. D. Baldwin

08/2010:
    You'll never find a programming language that frees you
    from the burden of clarifying your ideas.
				- Randall Munroe

09/2910:
	Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.
					- Francis Bacon

10/2010:
     If you don't like the Democratic Party's Republican policies,
     think how much you'll hate the Republican Party's Republican
     policies.                  - Ted Rall
     
11/2010:
     The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in
     the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
                                  - H. L. Mencken

12/2010:
     If ignorance is bliss then why are the ignorant so angry?
                                        - Shannon Wheeler

01/2011:
     Why on earth should finance be the biggest and most highly
     paid industry when it's just a utility, like sewage or gas?
                               - Paul Woolley

02/2011:
     Remember that nobody accepts randomness in his own success,
     only his failure.    - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

03/2011:
     Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
                                        - Voltaire

04/2011:
     Whenever someone says there is less than a one-in-a-million chance
     of a complex system failing, there is more than a one-in-a-million
     chance they have made unjustified assumptions in their estimate.
                                          - Matthew Bunn

05/2011:
     Did you know that dogs have 35 words for "wag," but only one
     word for "anti-establishment"? - Nocturna (Paul Gilligan)

06/2011:
    Only the naïve, inexperienced administrator would assume that
    orders properly issued will as a rule be properly carried out.
					- Amatai Etzioni

07/2011:
    If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers,
    the second-greatest favor you can do them is to present them
    with copies of /The Elements of Style/.  The first-greatest,
    of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy.
				- Dorothy Parker

08/2011:
     The army made a satirist out of me.  - Jules Feiffer

09/2011:
     In science you need to understand the world; in business
     you need others to misunderstand it.  - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

10/2011:
     I've noticed that students who have great difficulty
     arguing cogently about philosophical questions I raise in
     class nevertheless develop very sophisticated cases for
     being allowed to turn a paper in late.  - Gary Gutting

11/2011:
     Mom says he has paternal explanatory syndrome, or drivelalia
     factosis, caused by a buildup of useless information in the
     brain.              - Alice Otterloop (Richard Thompson)

12/2011:
	The very ideal of the patent grievously distorts
	the technological process.	- Brooke Hindle

01/2012:
     The boom, not the slump, is the right time for
     austerity at the Treasury.   - John Maynard Keynes

02/2012:
    Remember, kids!  In order to maintain an untenable position,
    you have to be actively ignorant.	- Stephen Colbert

03/2012:
     I decided that behaving ethically was the most nihilistic thing
     I could do.    - Paul Pavel
     
04/2012:
     When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people
     took positions based on careful consideration of the options.
     Now I know better.         - Paul Krugman
     
 05/2012:
      Your theory is interesting, but it hardly disproves
      what I want to believe.     - Gil (Norm Feuti)

 06/2012:
     Sometimes you think you're standing on the shoulders of
     giants, but it's really just an unstable stack of dwarves.
				- Nick Gentile

 07/2012:
 	I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise.
				- Noel Coward

08/2012:
     Calls for a diversified intellectual portfolio fall flat when the
     conservative assets on offer are intellectual shell corporations.
                                      - Brad DeLong
     
09/2012:
     Perhaps there is pleasure in wealth only if there are
     poor for comparison.      - Robert L. Park

10/2012:
     The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew
     he would never be caught.  - William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin

11/2012:
	There's a unanimity of gullibility out there.
				- Clifford Irving

12/2012:
     I cannot understand what it means to call a theory beautiful
     if it is not true.  - Niels Bohr

01/2013:
	Education is what survives when what has been learnt has
	been forgotten.		- B. F. Skinner

02/2013:
    Sometimes sarcasm helps us think more clearly.
                                      - Dogbert (Scott Adams)

03/2013:
     What all this comes down to, of course, is that a common currency
     has a much better chance of working if you actually have a nation.
                                 - Paul Krugman
     
04/2013:
     Some day, historians are going to look back on the 2012
     Republican presidential campaign and think that we made it all up.
                             - Charles P. Pierce

05/2013:
	Man will become better when you show him what he is like.
					- Anton Chekhov

06/2013:
     Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a
     secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our
     ignorance.                          - Daniel Kahneman

07/2013:
	The system that unconsciously generates moral judgments
	is immune to religious doctrine.	- Marc Hauser

08/2013:
     The only way for anyone to make any money managing your savings
     is to try and trick you into making trades you shouldn't make,
     or buying products you shouldn't buy.    - Matt Yglesias

09/2013:
     We humans are hard-wired for tribalism, not
     Bayesian rationality. - Noah Smith

10/2013:
	Isn't it amazing how a large number of evil morons
	can give the appearance of being a single evil genius?
					- Mel Rimmer

11/2013:
      Nothing in life is as important as you think it is
      when you are thinking about it.  - Daniel Kahneman

12/2013:
     Donít worry about selling out. Worry about buying in.
                               - Guillermo Del Toro
     
01/2014:
     Annoyance is a fungible commodity.
                             - Caulfield (Jef Mallett)

02/2014:
     In my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million ó
     and I was angry because it wasnít big enough. I was 30
     years old. . . .           - Sam Polk
     
03/2014:
     Vision without execution is hallucination.
                              - Thomas Edison

04/2014:
     Moderate conservatism is too soggy to serve as fuel
     for the conservative disinfotainment industry.
                               - John Holbo

05/2014:
     One way in which CEOs justify their power is by claiming
     the status of heroes, of brave, risk-taking leaders
     rather than rent-seeking apparatchiks.    - Chris Dillow
     
06/2014:
     John Beresford Tipton was a little like the Koch brothers,
     except his checks were smaller and the recipients were not
     required to plot against solar energy.   - Gail Collins
     
07/2014:
     Old?  I'm still keeping "mature" at bay.
                        - Edwin "Frazz" Frazier (Jef Mallett)
     
08/2014:
     Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it,
     doesn't go away.                  - Philip K. Dick
     
09/2014:

   Power concedes nothing without a demand.
   It never did and it never will.
                       - Frederick Douglass

10/2014:
     If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature,
     but by our institutions, great is our sin.  - Charles Darwin
     
11/2014:
     Every individual is an exception to the rule.  - Carl Jung

12/2014:
     Whenever you identify with elites, pause for a second.
     You're probably doing it wrong.   - Duncan Black
     
01/2015:
	The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be
	ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
				- Norman Vincent Peale

02/2015:
      I am impressed by the unreliability of casual empiricism
      conducted by idealogues.  - Robert Waldmann

 03/2015:
      Conspiracy theories are an irresistible labor-saving device
      in the face of complexity.   - Henry Louis Gates
     
04/2015:
	The truth exists.  Only fictions are invented.
					- Georges Braque

05/2015:
     When bank profits are high, thatís a sign that the bank
     in question is extracting rents from the economy,
     rather than helping it to grow.   - Brad DeLong

06/2015:
     To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
                                - George Orwell

07/2015:
     Where there is smoke, there is fire. Or a smoke machine.
     Or a giant badly rendered smoke-breathing toad from some
     massive multiplayer online role-playing game.
                                             - Noah Smith
 
 08/2015:
 	Engineering is the art of doing that well with one dollar,
	which any bungler can do with two after a fashion.
					- Arthur Wellington

09/2015:
  The inference from the unpredictability to the rationality
  of stock prices is the most remarkable error in the history
  of economic thought.   - Robert Shiller

10/2015:
    The tongue is the only instrument that gets
    sharper with use.  - Washington Irving

11/2015:
    Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory?
    They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.
				- George Santayana

12/2015:
    Reality is but a shared illusion.  So if we all
    think real hard there could be a lot more dragons.
                         - Ted Forth (Ces Marciuliano)

01/2016:
    It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks
    he knows the truth.  Producing bullshit requires
    no such conviction.  - Harry Frankfurt

02/2016:
    Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation
    to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.
                                 - John Maynard Keynes

03/2016:
    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen
    that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses
    slowly, one by one.        - Charles Mackay

04/2016:
     Economists are really good at inventing rational explanations
     for behavior, no matter how dumb that behavior appears to be.
                             - Richard Thaler

05/2016:
     Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions.
     Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen.
                             - Mort Sahl

06/2016:
     Sometimes I wish I did not possess a theory of mind.
                            - Bubbles (Jeph Jacques)

07/2016:
     The difference between doing something and doing nothing
     is everything.  - Daniel Berrigan

08/2016:
     I have yet to meet a successful scientist who lacks the ability
     to exaggerate the importance of what he or she is doing.
                                      - Daniel Kahneman

09/2016:
     Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them
     in order to gain public acceptance.  - Daniel Davies

10/2016:
	Figuring out how to do things is hard, but much harder
	still is figuring out what to do next.
					- Jonathan Rauch

11/2016:
     Marx is a warning about what can happen when people
     defy their parents and get a Ph.D.  - Louis Menard

12/2016:
	No matter how cynical you get it is impossible
        to keep up.  - Lily Tomlin

01/2017:
     Just because you don't see killer robots marching
     down the street doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned.
                             - Elon Musk

02/2017:
     Railing against Obamacare was easy, but the responsibilities
     of power have taken all the fun out of denying medical care
     to the poor and sick.  - Jonathan Chait

03/2017:
	If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it
	get us out?			- Will Rogers

04/2017:
     The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a
     set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to
     learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.
                                       - Joan Robinson

 05/2017:
     Any chief-of-staff who isnít prepared to confiscate Trumpís
     Android, delete his Twitter account, and crush sedatives into
     his food will fail to produce order.  - Eric Levitz

 06/2017:
      Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception.
                    - Sophocles (the Muse of Marketing, apparently)

07/2017:
     I believe I am right. And, if not right, plausible.
                                - Ignatius Donnelly

08/2017:
     Why do people say Putin is playing chess and Trump is playing
     checkers when it is obvious Putin is playing poker and Trump
     is playing Calvinball?  Congressional Republicans, meanwhile,
     are playing Jenga plus Hungry Hungry Hippos.  - John Holbo
     
09/2017:
     It is never a good idea to elect people who promise as many
     as six impossible things before breakfast. - Simon Johnson
     
10/2017:
     Whatever may be tolerated in monarchical and despotic governments,
     no republic is safe that tolerates a privileged class.
                              - Frederick Douglass