f Ed Wiebe -- Points to Ponder

De Omni Scribili

Scribblings Of Ed Wiebe


I like.

George Dyson (1997):

The push toward interactive communications over the Web is aimed not at delivering content to the consumer ..., but at delivering money, in real time, the other way.

Paul Baran (1964):

... if one cannot safely describe a proposed system in the unclassified literature, then, by definition, it is not sufficiently secure to be used with confidence.

Charles Babbage:

On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

John von Neumann:

As far as [Turing's] machine is concerned, let the whole outside world consist of a long paper tape.

Gottfried Leibniz:

We may give final praise to the machine ... It will be desirable to all who are engaged in computations ... For it is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labour of calculations.

... It was not made for those who sell oil or sardines.

Carl Sagan:

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

No contemporary religion and no New Age belief seems to me to take sufficient account of the grandeur, magnificence, subtlety and intricacy of the Universe revealed by science.

Leonardo da Vinci wrote (1513) ...

I shall do some experiments before I proceed farther because my intention is to cite experience first and then with reasoning show why such experience is bound to operate in such a way. And this is the true rule by which those who speculate about the effects of nature must proceed.

Michael Faraday wrote ...

Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature, and in such things as these, experiment is the best test of such constancy. -- 19 March 1849

Richard Hamming (may have) said ...

Machines should work. People should think.

I'll dare to add that perhaps soon machines will think and people will do nothing. Also,

The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.

From the movie TRON

Dr Gibbs: Computers are just machines, they can't think.
Alan: Some programs will be thinking soon.
Dr Gibbs: [Chuckling] Won't that be grand. Computers and programs will start thinking and people will stop.

Samuel Butler in 1880 wrote ...

If, then, men were not really alive after all, but were only machines of so complicated a make that it was less trouble to us to cut the difficulty and say that that kind of mechanism was 'being alive' why should not machines ultimately become as complicated as we are, or at any rate complicated enough to be called living, and to be indeed as living as it was in the nature of anything at all to be? If it was only a case of their becoming more complicated, we were certainly doing our best to make so.

Richard Feynman once wrote ...

To be clear-headed rather than confused; lucid rather than obscure; rational rather than otherwise; and to be neither more, nor less, sure of things than is justifiable by argument or evidence. That is worth trying for.

Lewis Fry Richardson wrote ...

Einstein has somewhere remarked that he was guided towards his discoveries partly by the notion that the important laws of physics were really simple. R. H. Fowler has been heard to remark that, of two formulae the more elegant is likely to be true. Dirac very recently sought an explanation alternative to that of the spin in the electron because he felt that Nature could not have arranged things in such a complicated way ... If they would condescend to attend to meteorology the subject might be greatly enriched. But I suspect they would have to abandon the idea that the truth is really simple.

The faint ghost of Lewis Fry Richardson haunts every spreadsheet in use today. -- George Dyson, Darwin Among the Machines.

According to Jonathan Swift I am a genius ...

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Woody Guthrie described the music made by hobos in the Great Depression ...

"Kill it. I done had my tankful," I told him, and heard the bubbles play a little song that quit when the wine was all downed.

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