Engineering & Science Notable Tech Quote Archive #28
The number of statements
uttered verbally and/or in print is uncountable. Some are more noteworthy than others either
because of sheer brilliance, good humor, or utter inanity. We all hope our own remembered
words, if any, fall into one of the first two categories rather than the third. I do a lot
of reading and find many notable quotes to use that fit the theme of RF Cafe; they fall into
all three categories. I always try to verify quotes from original sources or at least from
printed books like
The Experts Speak, of which I own a hard copy. Enjoy.
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that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know
what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth." -
on Euler's identity, as quoted by R. C. Archibald in his book Benjamin Peirce, 1809-1880
: Biographical Sketch and Bibliography. Also on the topic: "What could be more mystical
than an imaginary number interacting with real numbers to produce nothing? The equation contains
nine basic concepts of mathematics - once and only once - in a single expression. These are:
e (the base of natural logarithms); the exponent operation;
π; plus (or minus, depending on how you write it); multiplication;
imaginary numbers; equals; one; and zero." -
Robert P. Crease,
in "The greatest equations ever" at PhysicsWeb (October 2004)
reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England,
to India or to Australia by guided missiles." -
Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General. On June 8, 1959, in a move
that PG Summerfield heralded as "of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world,"
the Navy submarine USS Barbero fired a guided missile carrying 3,000 letters towards the naval
auxiliary air station in Mayport, Florida. Racing along at about 600 miles per hour, the guided
missile traveled the more than 100 miles from the deck of the submarine off the coast of Florida
to the air station in about 22 minutes.
"I told my
people the best way not to get included is not to suck." he says. New .Sucks Internet Domain:
Extortion Or Free Speech? -
J. Scott Evans, associate general counsel at Adobe Systems, in response
to whether his company would succumb to what some consider extortion with the issuance of
".sucks" domain extensions. The extension, which some malicious SOP
(son-of-a-pup) with too much money could use to buy "RFCafe.sucks," would cost as much
as $2,500 per year.
"Because we now have
shared calendars, people can kidnap our time." - Leigh Buchanan,
The Psychology of Productivity, Inc magazine.
"A googleplex is precisely as far from infinity as is
the number 1 ... No matter what number you have in mind, infinity is larger." -
Sagan. Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage series on PBS in 1980 is largely responsible
for my interest in astronomy as a hobby. Although I had a small el cheapo 2"
Tasco refractor telescope, a desire to view the kinds of deep space objects
featured on Cosmos prompted me to scrape up $120 (a lot of
dough in 1980) for a 6"
Newtonian type reflector telescope. A lot of people have had a magnified
look at the surface of the moon if from nothing else a camera telephoto lens, but viewing
Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons through a 'real' telescope will take your breath away.
They seem unreal. For a real intellectual and even emotional rush, use an
8-inch or larger telescope to view a globular star cluster like
Messier 13 in Hercules
or the amazing cluster of galaxies in
Coma Berenices. A picture doesn't come close to replicating the 3-dimensional
perspective of the view through an eyepiece.
"The history of science
teaches only too plainly the lesson that no single method is absolutely to be relied upon,
that sources of error lurk where they are least expected, and that they may escape the notice
of the most experienced and conscientious worker." -
Sir John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh
"Don't engage [these] people, and don't humor the idiots.
Stupidity can't be regulated, no matter how good the rules are. Just turn the big knob. Every
rig has one." -
Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, former FCC Special Council for Enforcement,
speaking about changes in FCC violation enforcement policy changes. Printed in February 2015
QST magazine. Watch entire speech at
are oscillators that don't and oscillators are amplifiers that do." - R.F. Anon. This adage
is akin to another that says, "If you want an oscillator, design an amplifier. If you want
an amplifier, design an oscillator." In case the concept is not familiar with the dilemma,
both refer to frustration pre-computer simulation designers often had
(and some still have) with unintentional constructive feedback
causing an amplifier to oscillate and unintentional destructive feedback preventing an oscillator
for the occurrence of power amplification in the junction transistor is somewhat less complicated
than is the case with the pint-contact transistor, but it is still too abstruse to attempt
here except to say again that two junction areas interact. A more thorough explanation calls
for the use of the concept of conduction by 'holes' in addition to
conduction by electrons. Holes are places in the germanium crystal atomic structure
where electrons could be but are not. Although this sounds ridiculous it has considerable
foundation in fact. These holes do enter into the conduction process and behave as if they
were positive electrons. There is no analogous effect in vacuum tubes." -
George M. Rose (K2AH), Manager, Advanced
Development at RCA's Tube Department, in his 1953 QST article titled "The Transistor
- Or 25 Miles on a Hunk of Germanium." This was the first-ever mention of the transistor in
"Xerography is bringing
a reign of terror into the world of publishing, because it means that every reader can become
both author and publisher." - Marshall McLuhana, 1966, from March 2005
Smithsonian magazine. An unregulated Internet provided the next
step in that freedom. On February 26, 2015, the FCC adopted "Net Neutrality," giving
the Federal government control over the Internet under the guise of protecting little 'ol
you. Be sure to thank the people you know who voted for the people who passed this. If you
think you're being spied on now, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
"I seldom tune in ... The programs,
all swing and croon, are not only poor, but the interruptions for commercial announcements
are maddening ... Isn't it sickening? It isn't at all as I imagined it would be." -
Dr. Lee DeForest, in Time magazine.
living in an extraordinary wired environment. But all this technology cannot sustain itself
unattended. The worldwide power grid and connected equipment are like an enormously friendly
and useful workhorse that has to be fed and cared for if it is going to perform as expected"
- David Herres, in
The Electrician's Trade Demystified.
"But his shop is a lone outpost; in a single
generation, the American who built, repaired, and tinkered with technology has evolved into
an entirely new species: the American who prefers to slip that technology out of his pocket
and show off its killer apps. Once, we were makers. Now most of us are users." -
long-time Radio Shack store owner.
Radio Shack is in its last days as it plans to shut down.
"Engineers are artists. These are
people with visions that no one else sees or hears, and the only other domain like that is
art." Steve Blank,
retired serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley historian, in Entrepreneur magazine's
"Inside the Mind of Silicon Valley's Tech Innovators."
"Television is likely
to do more to revolutionize politics than sound broadcasting did. Political candidates may
have to adopt new techniques to benefit from visual radio: their dress, their smiles and gestures,
all will be important. How they look, as well as what they say, may determine to an appreciable
extent their popularity. The eyes of the public will be upon them." -
David Sarnoff, head
of RCA, in his annual report on the state of television and radio. March 1948
Radio Craft magazine.
"Earth is not a magic
drain into which all of unwanted RF can be poured via a wire." -- H. Ward Silver, N0AX,
ARRL author of "Hands-On Radio" column in
QST (January 2015). Mr. Silver
is also the lead editor of the
"We think the new IP is speed. People who can move fast
are going to win." - Kevin Nolan, VP of GE Home & Business Solutions, in January 2015
Popular Science, "Make, Inc."
"I see 98 percent of your sales
last quarter were URLs that end in the traditional dot-com." -
Christine Lagorio-Chafkin, Inc. magazine writer, interviewing $35M/year
Domain Holdings co-founder Chad
Folkening. I've always recommended to people that they buy a '.com' domain name for a business
because even with the hundreds of '.whatevers' available now, nearly everyone assumes you
have a '.com.'