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There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
The good Christian should beware the mathematican and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicans have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell.
First, . . . to want to affirm that in reality the sun is at the center of the world and only turns on itself without moving from east to west, and the earth . . . revolves with great speed around the sun . . .is a very dangerous thing, likely not only to irritate all scholastic philosophers and theologians, but also to harm the Holy Faith by rendering Holy Scripture false. Nor can one answer that this is not a matter of faith, since if it is not a matter of faith "as regards the topic," it is a matter of faith "as regards the speaker"; and so it would be heretical to say that Abraham did not have two children and Jacob twelve, as well as to say that Christ was not born of a virgin, because both are said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of the prophets and the apostles.
Cardinal Bellarmine, in a Letter to Foscarinin, April 12, 1615
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. But not in that order.
There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Usually, terrible things that are done with that excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
Chaos Theory is a new theory invented by scientists panicked by the thought that the public were beginning to understand the old ones.
The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren't any space aliens. We can't be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we're not all there is. If so, we're in big trouble. Ellen DeGeneres
Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy.
Anonymous drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931)
Isn't it strange? The same people who laugh at gypsy fortune tellers take economists seriously.
I don't believe in mathematics.
Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem.
It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
It is astounding to realize that perhaps half of all human knowledge has been discovered or created in the past century. But then again, so has half the bullshit.
D. H. Futterman, circa 1988
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting.
Science is bound, by the everlasting vow of honour, to face fearlessly every problem which can be fairly presented to it.
X-rays will prove to be a hoax.
Descended from the apes? Let us hope that it is not true. But if it is, let us pray that it may not become generally known.
In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
Johann von Neumann
There's a fine line between a genius and an idiot:
An idiot has wild ideas;
A genius does something with them.
Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.
Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872
There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology - the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn't any good.
Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.
Sir Karl Raymund Popper
Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
Science is the only self-correcting human institution, but it also is a process that progresses only by showing itself to be wrong.
The only perfect science is hind-sight.
The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you.
Communication & media
It is only righteous that Joshua Coppersmiths, who has tried to find investors to finance the development of a so-called telephone, is arrested for fraud!
Article in the Boston Post (1865)
The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.
Samuel Butler (1612-1680)
This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
The telephone is the greatest single enemy of scholarship; for what our intellectual forebears used to inscribe in ink now goes once over a wire into permanent oblivion.
Stephen Jay Gould
This `telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.
Western Union internal memo, 1876
The radio has no future!
Lord Kelvin, British Mathematician (1897)
Radio is just a fashion contrivance that will soon die out. It is obvious that there never will be invented a proper receiver!
The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
Anonymous associates of David Sarnoff's in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?
H. M. Warner, founder of Warner Brothers film studios, 1927
Computers - see also the special computer page
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943
But what ... is it good for?
Anonymous engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
640Kb ought to be enough for anybody.
Bill Gates, 1981
The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier.
I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year.
Prentice Hall, editor in charge of business books, 1957
So we went to Atari and said, `Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, `No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, `Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer Inc. on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his personal computer.
I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Ken Olson , President, Chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Attributed to Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
In a few years, all the great physical constants will have been approximately estimated, and ... the only occupation which will then be left to the men of science will be to carry these measurements to another place of decimals.
James Clerk Maxwell, 1871
The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being suplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote ... Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.
Albert A. Michelson, 1894
Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.
Transport & Travel
To throw bombs from an airplane will do as much damage as throwing bags of flour. It will be my pleasure to stand on the bridge of any ship while it is attacked by airplanes."
Newton Baker, US minister of defense (1921)
Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.
Space travel is bunk
Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, 1957, two weeks before the launch of the Sputnik
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Lord Kelvin, 1895
You're planning to make a ship sail against wind and tide by lighting a fire below deck?? I don't have time to listen to that kind of nonsense!"
Napoleon, about Robert Fultons plans to make a Steamboat.
Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.
Simon Newcomb , 1902, eighteen months before Kitty Hawk
Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
New York Times, in editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, 1921
Airplanes suffers from so many technical faults that it is only a matter of time before any reasonable man realizes that they are useless!"
Scientific American (1910)
So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.
Spanish Royal Commission, rejecting Christopher Columbus' proposal to sail west.
Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!
Henry David Thoreau
I believe in the horse. The automobile is merely a passing phenomonon.
Emperor Wilhelm II
Why don't they make the whole plane out of that black box stuff.
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