Some of My Favorite Quotes from Magazines

"Four years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America's 'number-one geopolitical foe'. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: 'The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war's been over for 20 years,' scoffed the president."
The Economist October 22, 2016, p7
"Einstein found that the curvature of space-time near the sun explained Mercury's behavior very nicely. At the time of the lectures [about Relativity] it was the only thing he could point to that general relativity explained, and previous science did not. Martin Rees, Britain's Astronomer Royal, is one of those who sees the nugatory role played evidence in the development of the theory as one of the things 'that makes Einstein seem even more remarkable: he wasn't motivated by any mysterious phenomena he couldn't explain.' He depended simply on his insight into what sort of thing gravity must be, and the beauty of the mathematics required to describe it."
The Economist November 28, 2015, p71
The Spectator said, in its closing issue of 1913: "One great advantage of the present time, which is the outcome of many past disadvantages and much tribulation, is that men have had their fill of fighting."
The Economist, "The World in 2014", p85
"Over the decades, similar fossils were found across the world, dating from around 380m years ago to around 70m years ago, when the fossil record disappeared and the coelacanth was assumed to have become extinct."
The Economist, Dec 2013, p10 of Intelligent Life section
"Around $5 trillion is traded on the foreign-exchange markets every single day... That compares with global trade in goods and services of $18.3 trillion a year or about $50 billion a day."
The Economist, Aug 10, 2013 p 63
"An estimated 90,000 people die every year from infections they acquire in US hospitals - more than the number that die from Alzheimer's, diabetes, or influenza."
Wired, January 2013
"Further studies have suggested that willpower is fueled by glucose - which helps explain why our determination crumbles when we try to lose weight. When we don't eat, our glucose drops, and our willpower along with it."
Wired, Oct 2012 p110
" compliance consumes 6.1 billion man-hours annually, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That's the equivalent of 3m people working full-time, year round, more than the entire federal workforce."
The Economist, March 24, 2012, p65
"For every million that Craigslist made, it took a billion out of the newspaper industry."
Wired, Jun 2011, p168
"What did Netscape do?" Mark Zuckerberg to Mark Andreessen
Wired, May 2012 p 169
"Sugars called oligosaccharides [in human milk], long thought to have no function, since infants can't digest them, are now known to adhere to a baby's intestinal lining, allowing good bacteria in while repelling harmful bugs..."
Wired, Jun 2011, p147
"The 2011 Chevy Volt, for example, runs on some 10 million lines of code - more than Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
Wired, Jan 2011, p96
"The original Tasmanians, limited by the size of their island, never grew beyond a population of a few thousand. Isolated from other cultures, over the centuries they lost many of the technologies they had arrived with.."
Wired, Jan 2011, p116
"Unix's decline will be like watching ice melt on a 33 degree day."
Information week, Jan 23, 2006
"The path to winning the culture war, the war out there, is to win the sanctification war, the war in here. We will change the world only as we, by the power of His Spirit, change ourselves.
Tabletalk, April 2005 p. 59
"If he knows you'll faint at the sight of blood, he'll cut himself just to watch you pass out."
Wired, July 2004
"The story is told of someone asking Whitefield whether he expected to see Wesley in heaven. he replied, "No." But before the questioner could jump to the wrong conclusion, Whitefield added: "Mr Wesley will be so close to the throne of Jesus and I'll be so far from it, that I won't be able to see him."
Tabletalk, October 2003
"But madness is rare in individuals, but quite common in entire nations."
Time, April 8, 2002
This survey suggests that the core of good management is a set of three old-fashioned virtues... be honest / be frugal / be prepared.
The Economist March 9th 2002 , p3
Environmentalists should stop replacing reality with their personal agendas.
Popular Science, July 2002
If you can't stand change, get out of the software business.
David Chappell Application Development Trends , February 2002, p38
As a young Andrew Carnegie began to build the empire that eventually became Carnegie Steel, Charles Darwin was propounding his novel theory of evolution. The timing was fortuitous: Darwin soon became Carnegie's sacred text. "I remember that light came as in a flood and all was clear," Carnegie later wrote. "I had found the truth of evolution." The law of competition, Carnegie believed, "may sometimes be hard for the individual," but "it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department."
"Darkness in El Dorado fails not just because he [Patrick Tierney] didn't get the story straight (there are countless factual errors and distortions in the book) but because the book is predicated on a misunderstanding of how science works and of the difference between anecdotes (on which Tierney's book is based) and statistical trends (on which Chagnon's book depends)."
Michael Shermer in Scientific American, May 2001 p31
"Lukewarmness in religion is abominable, and zeal an excellent grace; yet above all other Christian virtues, this needs to be strictly watched and searched; for it is that with which corruption, and particularly pride and human passion is exceedingly apt to mix unobserved."
Tabletalk quoting Jonathon Edwards, May 2001, p9
God's law must be written on the individual's heart, then later on the stone tablets of the institutions of society.
Tabletalk, Jan 2001, p13
"One may feel that he is orthodox, that he is "Reformed," with a theologically airtight system. But if your life is not a demonstration of mercy and of love for the poor, then you don't have the orthodoxy of Jesus."
Tabletalk, May 2000, p57
Karl Deutsch defined a nation as "a group of people united by a common dislike of their neighbors and a common misconception about their ethnic origins."
Civilization,Oct/Nov 1999
"Still enough is known to refute the folk memory version - namely, that the Depression started with the Wall Street crash of October 1929; that the slump persisted because policymakers just sat there; and that it took Roosevelt's New Deal, heralding the modern era of enlightened activism, to put things right. Briefly, the Depression did not start with the stock market crash; American policymakers were not passive, they were incompetently active; and on balance the New Deal, far from ending the slump, most likely prolonged it.
The Economist, September 19, 1998 p95
"The Puritans were wont to say that discontent, or complaining, is possibly the greatest sin we Christians can commit - for in those things we accuse God of wronging us. But while He could have done something less painful to us, He could not have done anything more glorious to Himself." - Don Kistler
Tabletalk,September 1998 p14
"But another reason for the lack of rejoicing may be that those freedoms are fragile and come attached to a sobering lesson. If this century has taught us anything, it is that progress is not linear, or like a ratchet, but rather that it can go into long periods of ruinous reversal and that the idea of the perfectibility of human nature, of an attainable Utopia, is the most dangerous idea of all. The hard-won liberty enjoyed by many in the 1990s, and that hoped for by the billions of people who have yet to win it, has not been provided by a wonderful wizard, ensconced in an emerald city. It is a liberty valued as a protection against purveyors of dogma, ideology and certainty of any kind."
Bill Emmott in The Economist, September 11, 1999

Regarding a trip to the Arctic:
"One day lit night, around 03.00, a young humpback breaches a few yard off the port bow, so close the sour snot smell of his spume hangs in the air."
The Economist, December 19th, 1998

Regarding a trip to the Arctic:

Regarding Highway US 84:
"In New Mexico in 1996, 485 people died on state roads, 235 of them in crashes involving drunk driving. This is a particular problem in New Mexico, where journeys can be hot and long and where many Indians tend to drive while drunk."
The Economist, December 19th, 1998
IBM also wants Java to be a formal standard, but IBM general manager of Java software Patricia Sueltz welcomed the attempt at openness behind SCSL.

"It's like potty training--you've got to reward approximations of good behavior," she said.

InternetWorld, December 14, 1998
"I call it Moss's screw of knowledge. If you're really smart, which I am not, you can climb right up the threads. If you're not, you start walking along the thread, and it's a long slow way around and around the circumference."
- Nuclear physicist William Moss.
Popular Science, December 1998
[Andre Weil] taught himself Greek before he was 12. Philosophy caught his teenage imagination, but when he received what he thought an inflated mark in a philosophical examination he decided that "a subject in which one could do so well while barely knowing what one was talking about was hardly worthy of respect " and concentrated on mathematics.
The Economist, August 22, 1998
Chang learned from her research [ about Nanking] that "civilization itself is tissue-thin." She adds, "Some quirk in human nature allows even the most unspeakable acts of evil to become banal within minutes, provided that they occur far enough away to pose no personal threat."
Reader's Digest, September 1998 p109
"We're in the Dark Ages," Joy says, wheeling our his favorite rant. "It's 900 AD - medieval computing."
Wired,August 1998, p 132.
"In his search for explanations [about why Europe was the site of Industrial Revolution], Mr. Landes views the Weberian analysis most favorable. It was Calvinism that promoted the rise of modern capitalism by sanctioning a mode of behavior - rational, ordered, hard-working - that led to business success. Other societies lacked these qualities."
In a book review of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David Landes.
"Other calculations were no simpler. A Christian abbot, Dionysius Exiguus, originally worked out the date of Christ's birth and established a fixed base year of AD1. Abbot Dionysius made his calculations before the concept of year 0 was invented."
The Economist, August 8th, 1998 p 72.
"Even as recently as 30 years ago, the vast majority of the world's governments were convinced that nationalizing industries would solve the problems of capitalism, from labor strife to lack of innovation. What they discovered instead was that state-owned companies kept the old problems - and added some new ones, including busted government budgets and miserable management by clueless bureaucrats.
Wired, May 1998 p107
"Under all our desks are two boxes. One for colored paper, one for white paper. I was here late last night, and the janitor came through with one huge tub on wheels. He threw both my boxes into the same tub. When I asked him why, he said the paper goes out to a sorter, to whom it's no use to presort. He figured we are given two boxes because we need to think we're doing the right thing whether it's useful or not. -email from a friend at Microsoft"
Wired, January 1998 p104
"In the chip industry's flat-out race to keep up with Moore's law there are no winners or losers, only survivors."
The Economist, January 3rd, 1998 p78
"Organized crime thrives on greed and human frailty, neither of them ever in short supply."
The Economist, Oct 11, 1997 p30
"The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention."
Wired, September, 1997 p190.
"The biggest economic-policy mistake of the past 50 years, in rich and poor countries alike, has been and still is to expect too much of government. Statism has always found all the support it needs among mainstream economists. They are unfailingly quick to point out various species of market failure; they are usually much slower to ask whether the supposed remedy of government intervention might not, in practice, be worse.
The Economist, August 23, 1997 p11.
"In the 19th century, it dawned on astronomers that the obits of Uranus and Mercury weren't exactly what theory predicted. So they proposed the existence of as-yet-undiscovered planets whose gravity was causing the anomalies - sort of the Cold Dark Matter of the time. Sure enough, Neptune finally appeared in their telescopes. But the other planet, Vulcan, never did materialize. In the end, said Spergel, it took the theory of general relativity to explain Mercury's odd behavior."
David Spergel Time, March 6, 1995 p85.
Francis Darwin recalled that his father "did not realize that he would be recognized from his photograph, and I remember his being uneasy at being recognized by a stranger at the Crystal Palace Aquarium."
Richard Milner, Scientific American Nov. 1995
"In the case of an upheaval in science in which a new thesis or paradigm is offered up, the last vestiges of debate cease only with the death of the old guard."
Max Planck quoted in Science News, March 5, 1994 p157
"Perhaps he knew in his heart that his was a limited talent. How sad, though, that he never understood its potency."
Entertainment Weekly Aug 13, 1993 on Clark Gable
" For any product to displace [Lotus] 1-2-3, it will have to cure cancer, taste like chocolate, and cost a dollar."
Jack McGrath, editor of @MAX Sept 7, 1987 Computerworld
"...each society believes it is on the knife edge of knowledge and looks back and pities people of earlier ages because of their ignorance. But of course, what we overlook is that people will look back at us in exactly the same way."
-Ed Harrison, Christian Science Monitor 31 Aug 1988
"I guess I used to think that rock [music] could save you, I don't believe it can anymore. It can do a lot. It's certainly done a lot for me - gave me focus and direction and energy and purpose. I suppose,7 when I was a kid, it was your best friend: your new 45, man, that was your best buddy."

"But as you get older, you realize that it is not enough. Music alone - you can take some shelter there and you can find some comfort and happiness, you can dance, you can slow-dance with your girl, but you can't hide in it. And it is so seductive that you want to hide in it."

Bruce Springsteen, Interview, Rolling Stone 525 May 5th, 1988
"Speaking Irish may be Ireland's version of living on a Kibbutz - hardly appropriate for a whole population but somehow fundamental to the character of the country"
Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic Sept 85
"In the span of a fourteen year career, Joan Jett has never demonstrated that she can play more than three cords, or sing four notes. In some circles that's considered poor musicianship; in others it's called rock & roll."
Fred Goodman, The Rolling Stone, April 20, 1989
"Yea, I think it has, like now when I eat pistachios and find one which is hard to open - I don't mess with it."
probably from The Rolling Stone
"The primary function of ballet is to express beauty, tell a story and provide a way for Soviets to defect to the West."
The Wittenburg Door,Dec86/Jan87
"The new play was so bad a group of terrorists called and claimed responsibility for it"
The Wittenburg Door, Dec86/Jan87
"You can use all your powers to isolate yourself, to surround yourself with luxury, to intoxicate yourself in any particular fashion that you so desire. But it just starts eating you away inside, because there is something you get from engagement with people, from a connection with a person, that you just cannot get anyplace else."
Bruce Springsteen, Interview, Rolling Stone 525 May 5th, 1988
" Possessions are a way of turning money into problems."
Uno of U2, Rolling Stone March 10, 1988
"America's always been the best and worst rolled into one."
Uno of U2, Rolling Stone March 10, 1988
One February 12th, 6 people were killed and 127 injured in a riot in front of the American Cultural Center is Islamabad [protesting the publication of Salman Rushdie's book Satanic Verses]. Rushdie is a native of India with British citizenship whose book was published by an English corporation, so naturally the demonstrations were directed at the United States."
P.J. O'Rourke, Rolling Stone April 20th 1989
"The things most discussed in public are the ones the government is least interested in"
Lowell Wood, weapons scientist, Newsweek, June 17 1985 p38
"Nations may recover from dollar slides; and earthquakes may not destroy the U.S. We may forget that Super Bowls are played on the Sabbath, but as surely as God is holy, judgment falls on a nation whose sexual promiscuity and sex perversion is a way of life."
Robert Churchill, Time Feb 6, 197[7-8?] in the letters to the editor.
"For the less even as for the greater there is some deed that he may accomplish but once only; and in that deed his heart shall rest."
Tolkien , Silmarillion, quoted in Time Oct 24, 1977?, p120
Go to Home page. Kindly report errors, typos, or misspellings here.