Saturday, June 16, 2007

Accumulated Wisdom

It's funny what sticks with you. From time to time someone will say something that strikes me as uncommonly wise, and applicable in much broader context. For sure, they may have been quoting someone else, but I heard it from them first. Here are some quotes that keep coming back to haunt me, subject to my faulty memory. (I continually add to this list as I come across new bits of wisdom.)

"Any performance claims a vendor may make should be considered guarantees that their product cannot exceed them." -- Bill Buzbee

"You need to take at least three weeks vacation to realize how trivial everything is at work." -- Bob Dixon

"Negative results are still results." -- Bob Dixon

"90% of producing a product is just turning the crank." -- Glenn Freundlich

"If you and I always agree, one of us is redundant." -- Ken Howard

"Either you design a layered architecture, or you'll wish you had." -- Ken Howard

"To us, it's just another supercomputer." -- Basil Irwin

"Shut up and take the money." -- Bob Kalisch

"Any new high technology has a half-life of about five years." -- Barry Karafin

"I choose not to live in fear." -- Kate Kligman

"Everyone has their own story to tell." -- Marla Meehl

"Obviousness implies understanding." -- Paul Moorman

"I like to write pretty code." -- Tam Noirot

"How to you find the smart kids? You don't have to. You just have to find one smart kid. That kid will know who all the other smart kids are." -- Bernie O'Lear

"Office politics are so bad here because the stakes are so small." -- Bill Patterson

"If you're going to carry a concealed weapon, you have to be Mr. Cool, you can't let anything upset you." -- Mark Passamaneck

"Every time I pick up a telephone handset and hear dial-tone, I know a little miracle has occurred." -- Ron Phillips

"There are a lot of real worlds." -- Al Sanders

"This could make us famous in the organization... or very well known." -- Mike Manuel

"This is just temporary... unless it works!" -- Red Green

"The 'S' in 'IoT' stands for Security." -- Anne Trotter

"You want to know what makes airplanes fly? It's not the Bernoulli effect. It's not the angle of attack. It's money. Money makes airplanes fly. Money, and a lot of it." -- Steve Niessner

"Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it." -- Dana Scully

And finally, a few things I've said myself, over and over again.

"It isn’t until you see a globe that you realize every world map you’ve ever seen has been lying to you." -- Me

"I've learned over the years that when a pretty girl pays attention to me, it's probably only because she wants to copy my homework." -- Me

"The only thing worse than management not paying attention to you is management paying attention to you." -- Me

"If you waste your peoples' time you are teaching them that it is okay to be wasteful." -- Me

"No design ever survives its implementation." -- Me

"Forward references are a sign of weakness." -- Me

"My entire business model depends on my working outside my comfort zone." -- Me

"When you find yourself saying 'we have to do this', append the phrase 'at any price' and then see how you feel." -- Me

"I'm a product developer. For me to be successful, I have to ship a product." -- Me

"No one has ever shipped a perfect product, and we aren't going to be the first." -- Me

"Terrible jobs are all alike, but great jobs are each great in their own way." -- Me (paraphrasing Tolstoy)

"A friend of mine once asked me what faith or religion or moral code or philosophy of life I might claim to have, and I said in all seriousness that I was an economist." -- Me

"Sure, my boss is an asshole. But at least I'm sleeping with his wife." -- Me (on being self-employed)

"When all you have is a push down automata, everything looks like an LL(1) grammar." -- Me

"There's no kill like overkill." -- Me

“After more than forty years in my profession, I have come to understand that the very best engineers are fundamentally economists with some technical skills.” -- Me

"One of the problems of being a real-time/embedded developer is that we think of 38 microseconds as being a long time. But it isn't a long time. It's only 38 millionths of a second. In the non-semiconductor, non-electromagnetic, non-quantum, non-relativistic world, I'm told almost nothing gets done in 38 millionths of a second." - Me (pondering relativistic effects on the atomic clocks in GPS satellites)

"Trains, container ships, oil tankers, and large bureaucratic organizations all have two things in common: [1] they won't make any sudden turns, and [2] you really don't want to get in their way." -- Me

"We strive for immortality. Some immortality is genetic. Some is memetic. Glory is a form of the latter. But may lead to the former." -- Me

"'Live-long learning' is just another term for 'adulthood'." -- Me

"One crisis at a time." -- Me

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