Tatsat Banerjee

Random Quotes

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

— Rich Kulawiec

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers.

Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent – their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy – they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties.

Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions.

One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent – he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

— Kurt von Hammerstein

We are blind until we see that in the human plan Nothing is worth the making if it does not make the man. Why build these cities glorious if man unbuilded goes? In vain we build the work unless the builder also grows.

— Brother Edwin Markham

Don’t talk unless you can improve the silence.

— Unknown

The rules:

  • Thou shalt not worship other computer systems.
  • Thou shalt not impersonate Liberace or eat watermelon while sitting at the console keyboard.
  • Thou shalt not slap users on the face, nor staple their silly little card decks together.
  • Thou shalt not get physically involved with the computer system, especially if you’re already married.
  • Thou shalt not use magnetic tapes as frisbees, nor use a disk pack as a stool to reach another disk pack.
  • Thou shalt not stare at the blinking lights for more than one eight hour shift.
  • Thou shalt not tell users that you accidentally destroyed their files/backup just to see the look on their little faces.
  • Thou shalt not enjoy cancelling a job.
  • Thou shalt not display firearms in the computer room.
  • Thou shalt not push buttons “just to see what happens”.

Joshu: What is the true Way?

Nansen: Every way is the true Way.

Joshu: Can I study it?

Nansen: The more you study, the further from the Way.

Joshu: If I don’t study it, how can I know it?

Nansen: The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.

That’s the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.

— Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in “Oath of Fealty”

I never pray before meals – my wife is a good cook.

— Unknown

Man’s reach must exceed his grasp, for why else the heavens?

— Robert Browning in “Andrea del Sarto”

And it should be the law: If you use the word ‘paradigm’ without knowing what the dictionary says it means, you go to jail. No exceptions.

— David Jones

Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?

— Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I’ll cry in anguish, “Mistake!! Mistake!!”

— Unknown

Rule #7: Silence is not acquiescence.

Contrary to what you may have heard, silence of those present is not necessarily consent, even the reluctant variety. They simply may sit in stunned silence and figure ways of sabotaging the plan after they regain their composure.

— Unknown

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

— John Donne, “No Man is an Iland”

A manager was about to be fired, but a programmer who worked for him invented a new program that became popular and sold well. As a result, the manager retained his job.

The manager tried to give the programmer a bonus, but the programmer refused it, saying, “I wrote the program because I though it was an interesting concept, and thus I expect no reward.”

The manager, upon hearing this, remarked, “This programmer, though he holds a position of small esteem, understands well the proper duty of an employee. Lets promote him to the exalted position of management consultant!”

But when told this, the programmer once more refused, saying, “I exist so that I can program. If I were promoted, I would do nothing but waste everyone’s time. Can I go now? I have a program that I’m working on.”

— Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

None of our men are “experts.” We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert – because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the “expert” state of mind a great number of things become impossible.

— Henry Ford Sr., “My Life and Work”

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.

— Mark Twain

An older student came to Otis and said, “I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures. I have fasted, been celibate and stayed awake nights seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?”

Otis replied, “Give up suffering.”

— Camden Benares, “Zen Without Zen Masters”

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum – “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.”

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided. It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding. An egoless acceptance of stuckness is a key to an understanding of all Quality, in mechanical work as in other endeavors.

— R. Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

The human brain is a wonderful thing. It starts working the moment you are born, and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.

— Sir George Jessel

One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs – but it is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette.

— Professor Charles P. Issawi

I heard a definition of an intellectual, that I thought was very interesting: a man who takes more words than are necessary to tell more than he knows.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny …”

— Isaac Asimov

If you aren’t making any mistakes, it’s a sure sign you’re playing it too safe.

— John Maxwell

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.

— Michael J. Fox

I’ll defend to the death your right to say that, but I never said I’d listen to it!

— Tom Galloway with apologies to Voltaire

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

— Unknown

One monk said to the other, “The fish has flopped out of the net! How will it live?” The other said, “When you have gotten out of the net, I’ll tell you.”

— Unknown

You work in technology if your boss assumes that if he doesn’t understand it, it must be simple to do.

— Scott Adams

It’s only funny until someone gets hurt. Then it’s hilarious.

— My son, Costa

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.

— Voltaire

Quod erat demonstrandum. [Thus it is proven. For those who wondered WTF QED means.]

— A. Nony Mouse

Ten Rules for Daily Life:

  • Have Universal Mind
  • Love all creation
  • Be grateful
  • Do good in secret
  • Have merciful eyes and a gentle body
  • Be forgiving and big hearted
  • Think deep and judge well
  • Be calm and determined
  • Be positive and vigorous
  • Persevere

— Koichi Tohei (one of the few 10th Dan holders in Aikido) founder of the Ki Society.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

— John F. Kennedy

Learn thoroughly what you learn; let your conduct be worthy of what is learnt;

— Verse 391 from Thirukural, Collection of 1330 noble couplets Thiruvalluvar, poet and philosopher, 31 B.C.

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, then what am I?
And if not now, when?

— Rabbi Hillel — Ethics of the Fathers

Reflect upon three things and you will not come to the hands of transgression. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting.

From where you came – from a putrid drop;
where you are going – to a place of dust, maggots and worms;
and before whom you are destined to give a judgment and accounting
– before the supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

— Akavia ben Mahalalel — Ethics of the Fathers

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.

— T. E. Lawrence — Seven Pillars of Wisdom

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

— Scott Adams

This is like deja vu all over again.

— Yogi Berra

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

— Winston Churchill

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.

— Albert Einstein

Somewhere along the way, somebody is going to tell you that you’re not a real company because you don’t have any sales guys. Horse hockey. Don’t get forced into this until you’re ready.

— Eric Sink, (weblog)

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.

— Niels Bohr

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.

— Mark Twain

Deeds, not stones, are the true monuments of the great.

— John L. Motley

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

— Albert Einstein

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

— Carl Jung

I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration.

— Byron Katie

Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

— William of Ockham (1285-1349)

If you want to move to a higher level of life, you have to be willing to let go of some of your old ways of thinking and being and adopt new ones.

— T. Harv Eker

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary. It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.

— Eckhart Tolle

You either create or allow everything that happens to you.

— Jack Canfield