Words of the wise

"I think there is a world market for, maybe, five computers."
- Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of IBM), 1943.

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
- Ken Olsen (President of Digital Equipment Corporation), 1977.

"It's a racket - those Wall Street guys are crooked."
- Al Capone.

"We are inextricably part of Europe. Neither Mr Foot nor Mr Benn nor anyone else will ever be able to take us 'out of Europe.'"
- Margaret Thatcher (Con.), 1975.

"I thought that there would never again be an opportunity to be involved with an industry as socially destructive and morally bankrupt as the sub-prime mortgage industry. I was wrong. The for-profit education industry has proven equal to the task."
- Steve Eisner.

"Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!"
- Huey Long.

"[T]he fact that President Trump 'ignored early warnings about the threat!' "
- President Donald J. Trump (R), 2020:

"Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations they've long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them."
- George Carlin.

"Everything changed after 9/11."
- Anon, but probably someone from the Northeast Corridor with scant regard for Oklahoma City.

"It doesn't mean that you have to commit hundreds of thousands of troops to it."
- General James L. Jones Jr., USMC (Ret.), US National Security Advisor, speaking about the terrorist threat on National Public Radio, Dec. 3, 2009.

"To avoid danger of suffocation, keep away from babies and children."
- Advice given on a plastic bag.

"They survived by eating small fish regurgitated by seabirds."
- Report about two shipwrecked Burmese sailors afloat in an icebox.

"Every village, the global one included, has its idiots."
- Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

"Every gun that is made, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower (R), 1953.

"Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who don't."
- Robert Benchley.

"Researchers have discovered that chocolate produces some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are."
- Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show, August 22, 1998.

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
- Edward Abbey.

"When linear people are faced with exponential change, they're not going to be able to adapt very easily."
- Daniel Kahneman.

"It's against the law to hire people illegally."
- John Kerry (Democratic presidential candidate, in debate October 13, 2004).

"need to peer revenue manuscripts"
- Ahmed Hindawi (open access journal publisher, 4/9/2013, on Jeffrey Beall's blog).

"Don't rely too much on mathematical models. They're great fun, but if you fall in love with them, you'll get the wrong answers."
- James Lovelock (BBC Newshour Extra, December 5, 2015).

"You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain. But you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. An efficient and valuable man does what he can. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder. One would suppose that they rarely were disappointed."
- H. D. Thoreau (in "Life Without Principle").

"The real purpose of a railroad is to serve the public. There is no reason why it should be diverted from that service and set to doing an entirely different thing - putting money into the pockets of shareholders who make no contribution to the road's actual operation."
- Henry Ford ("Railway Gazette" vol. 71, 1921, p.940).

Back to the Coffee Shop

Back to Main Street