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: Don't 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 - and I was angry because it wasn't 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, that's 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 isn't prepared to confiscate Trump's 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 11/2017: Making people laugh is the lowest form of comedy. - Michael O'Donoghue 12/2017: Piety is the mask, the inner force is tribal instinct. - William James