- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 17,760 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America author beauty belief change character death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history humanity integrity justice leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics power pride progress religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (7,584)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,940)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,898)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,040)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,879)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,084)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,907)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,737)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (3,294)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (3,255)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 9-Nov-20 - "On Education," Address on installation as rector, University of St Andrews, Scotland (1 Feb 1867) | WIST on Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967).
- 4-Nov-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on Democracy in America, 1.14 (1835) [tr. Reeve and Bowen (1862)].
- 4-Nov-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden (2002).
- 4-Nov-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on Annual Message to Congress (6 Jan 1941).
- 4-Nov-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on (Attributed) (1862).
- 4-Nov-20 - ***Dave Does the Blog on Kansas City Star (7 May 1918).
Quotations about mathematics
Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.
In mathematics, you don’t understand things, you just get used to them.
The primary source for this comes from Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), in a footnote on p. 208, related to von Neumann's time working on the H-bomb.
Dr. Felix Smith, Head of Molecular Physics, Stanford Research Institute, once related to me the true story of a physicist friend who worked at Los Alamos after World War II. Seeking help on a difficult problem, he went to the great Hungarian mathematician, John von Neumann, who was at Los Alamos as a consultant.
"Simple," said von Neumann. "The can be solved by using the method of characteristics."
After the explanation, the physicist said, "I'm afraid I don't understand the method of characteristics."
"Young man," said von Neumann, "in mathematics you don't understand things, you just get used to them."
David Wells offers a variant in The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics (1997):
Van Neumann had just about ended his lecture when a student stood up and in a vaguely abashed tone said he hadn't understood the final argument. Von Neumann answered: "Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
Variant: "Don't worry, young man: in mathematics, none of us really understands any idea -- we just get used to them."
Added on 17-Nov-20 | Last updated 17-Nov-20
| No comments
| No comments
Since geometry is co-eternal with the divine mind before the birth of things, God himself served as his own model in creating the world (for what is there in God which is not God?), and he with his own image reached down to humanity.
Added on 12-Feb-15 | Last updated 12-Feb-15
| 2 comments
| 2 comments
Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to humans is one of the reasons that humanity is the image of God.
The Harmonies of the World [Harmonices Mundi], Book 3, ch. 1 (1618)
- "Geometry, co-eternal with God and shining in the divine Mind, gave God the pattern ... by which he laid out the world so that it might be best and most beautiful and finally most like the Creator."
- "Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to men is one of the reasons that Man is the image of God."
Added on 4-Feb-15 | Last updated 4-Feb-15
| No comments
| No comments