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.
Notable Tech Quote Archive
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"Ever notice, when scientists are searching for intelligent life, they point their
antennae AWAY from Earth." - Anon
"There, his new specimens
joined his collection and waited patiently as only rocks can
until he could find time to analyze them." -
Kat McGowan, "Where Did It Begin?"
September / October 2017 Popular Science (p41).
"Chasing the perfect battery is a fool's journey: a
catchpenny, a sensation, a mechanism for swindling the public by stock companies," wrote
Edison in 1883. "Working on the latest, greatest battery brings out a man's 'latent capacity
for lying." July / August 2017 Discover magazine ...
"You wouldn't dip a glass in the ocean, come up
with no fish inside and conclude, 'No fish exist.'" - astronomer
Tarter regarding where humans are with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence). July / August 2017 Discover magazine ...
"I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and
Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact." - Winston L. Spencer Churchill,
The Story of the Malakand Field Force - An Episode of Frontier War, p60.
Other Notable Tech Quotes ...
"Its catalog was the
Boys' Life of electronics." - Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, CEO of ARRL,
regarding the second bankruptcy filing for Radio Shack (May 2017
QST, p81) ...
"There is a way to tell who is used to working on transistor
equipment from those used to working on tube equipment. Before those used to working on tube
equipment touch their equipment, they put one hand in their pocket to avoid electrocution.
Before those used to working on low-voltage equipment begin to work, they put one hand on
the chassis to avoid damage from electrostatic discharge." - Walter Underwood,
K6WRU, as reported by Joel Hallas in his "The Doctor Is In" column in
the May 2017 issue of QST (p61) ...
"...timeframes are the enemy, they’ll figure out if
you’re behind schedule if you are too specific." - Jamie Davies, in a telecoms.com article
titled "Euro 5G Consortium Releases Roadmap with No Direction." Thanks to RF Cafe
visitor Bob Davis for the tip
"Wishful thinking is not a good system test practice."
Glenn Robb, owner of Antenna Test Lab Company of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Glenn happened to use that line in a note to me, and I asked permission to use it as a Notable
"Static, like the
poor, will always be with
us." - John Renshaw
Carson, inventor of single sideband (SSB) modulation. His mathematical analysis 'proved'
that frequency modulation (FM) offered no improvement in noise over amplitude modulation (AM).
The well-known Carson Rule of FM, BW = 2(Δf + fm), came
out of that work. Major Edwin H. Armstrong, a contemporary of Carson's, invented
wideband FM, hence rendering the prediction void. The rest, as they say,
is history Armstrong also invented the regenerative and heterodyne circuits prior to his FM
Notable Quote: "I link the abbreviation LTE
to the term Long Term Employment"
RF Cafe visitor
in a recent e-mail alluded the quote, "LTE stands for Long Term Employment," which I have
heard before. Based on a not-too-extensive Internet research, earliest published instance
I can find is a December 2010 ECN piece by
Roessler, of Rohde & Schwarz, where he states, "That's the reason why I link the abbreviation
LTE to the term Long Term Employment."
"Everyone's always asking me when Apple will come out
with a cell phone. My answer is, 'Probably never.'" -
David Pogue, The New York Times, 2006 (now a Scientific
American columnist). The first generation
was released on June 29, 2007. Mr. Pogue explains, "Yeah, Okay. I'll admit it. My prediction
was wrong - but my thinking was right. I knew that Steve Jobs would never tolerate the micromanagement
that the carriers ...
Ferdinand Bödigheimer Quote on Short Wave Propagation
"Before the extraordinary range of short waves was discovered
by amateurs, it was held as incontrovertible that the electric waves followed the surface
of the earth, and that the strength of the field decreased in proportion to the distance."
- Ferdinand Bödigheimer in December 1931/January 32 Short Wave Craft article titled
Are Shortwaves Propagated?" (excerpted from his book,
Radio-Amateur-Station für kurze Wellen). 'Settled Science' has been getting corrected since time immemorial. There
are lots of contemporary claims of settled science being disproved on a regular basis.
Albert Einstein Quote on "Spook
Action at a Distance"
"I cannot seriously believe in it because the theory
cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space,
free from spooky actions at a distance." -
Albert Einstein, on quantum theory, in a letter to Max Born, on March
Notable Tech Quote: Simon Segars
"The ability to code is now as important as grammar
and mathematics skills and it can unlock important new career options. I can easily imagine
a new wave of design entrepreneurs looking back and citing today as the day their passion
for technology began." -
Simon Segars, CEO of ARM
Notable Tech Quote: John Wheeler
"Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime
how to curve." -
John A. Wheeler, astrophysicist who coined the terms 'black hole' and
'wormhole.' Quote taken from his book Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in
Notable Tech Quote: Andrew Strominger
"String theory may not be the fabled theory of everything,
but it is definitely a theory of something." -
Strominger, Harvard University theoretical theorist, in the June 2016 Discover
magazine article "The Fall and Rise of String Theory." The mathematics of String theory,
originally concocted to create a unified theory of everything in the universe, is now being
appropriated by other realms of physics as well as by practitioners of pure mathematics to
solve longstanding conundrums in geometry.
Notable Tech Quote: Gene Roddenberry
"The ship's transporters - which let the crew 'beam'
from place to place - really came out of a production need. I realized with this huge spaceship,
I would blow the whole budget of the show just in landing the thing on a planet. And secondly,
it would take a long time to get into our stories, so the transporter idea was conceived so
we could get our people down to the planet fast and easy." - Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek"
producer, in the May 2016 issue of
Smithsonian magazine. This is another validation of the old saying
that "Necessity is the mother of invention." The entire article is very interesting if you
happen to be a Star Trek fan (being a fanatical 'Trekkie' is not required).
You might be surprised to learn that Gene Roddenberry was a
Fortress bomber pilot during World War II and airline pilot afterward, and that his
choice of the famous starship's name was in honor of the
USS Enterprise that fought in the Battle of Midway.
Notable Tech Quote: Bob Berman
is begging for a reboot - one that brings life into the equation." - Bob Berman, writing in
the August 2016 issue of
Astronomy magazine. Bob (a famous astronomer)
and Dr. Robert Lanza
(a leading stem cell researcher)recently wrote a book titled
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the Illusion
of Death, in which melds the physics of biological life with the physics of star
generation, including the ramifications of relatively newly popular concept of quantum entanglement
- what Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance."
Notable Tech Quote: Thomas Edison
"What progress individuals could make, and what progress
the world would make, if thinking were given proper consideration! It seems to me that not
one man in a thousand appreciates what can be accomplished by training the mind to think."
-- Thomas Edison during an interview with B.C. Forbes in The American
Magazine, January 1921.
Notable Tech Quote: Nolan Doesken
a customer perspective, there is a demand for this service whether its accurate or not." -
Nolan Doesken, Colorado State University professor, in response to
AccuWeather's new 90-day forecasts (HuffPo article). Have you noticed that a few months ago the AccuWeather
online forecast began extending out 90 days? I remember being dubious when they went from
the original 2-week forecast to a 30-day forecast. Most of the time, for most locations issuing
a forecast more than 4 or 5 days in advance is an exercise in vanity. A scientific organization
populated with PhD level climatologists, meteorologists, mathematicians, and physicists, offering
with authority a prediction of temperatures within an implied ±0.5° precision,
wind speeds, levels of sun and cloudiness, and precipitation, justifying such behavior by
citing the stupidity of their customers is very discrediting. Doing so is akin to measuring
power and voltage with instruments that display values to two decimal points, then dividing
voltage into power and reporting current to all 12 displayed decimal places on your calculator.
Here is a brief tutorial on
accuracy and precision.
Notable Tech Quote: David Grinspoon
"We have to be comfortable with the uncertainty of not
knowing, resist easy answers, and keep exploring the universe with open minds and all the
tools and techniques we can muster." - David Grinspoon, astrobiologist, "No Need to Feel Lonely," January 2016 Sky & Telescope magazine.
That cited quote won a coin toss with another line in the same article for being the Notable
Tech Quote: "...people tend to get attached to certainty and start to believe they know the
answer." Hmmm, can you think of any contemporary examples of political, sociological,
or scientific topics where hard facts seem to be getting in the way of rigidly held opinions?
The ignorant (not necessarily stupid, but often times so) masses
are easily swayed by silver-tongued charlatans. Such has forever been the case.
Notable Tech Quote: Crow T. Robot
"Just because it's futuristic doesn't mean it's practical."
- Crow T. Robot,
MST3K, 'Design for Dreaming,'
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). MST3K was a TV series in the 1980s-1990s where a human
was forced by evil scientists to watch B movies, with automatons
Robot and Mike Servo provided for comfort. Their silhouettes are seen in the theater's front
row as they make wise cracks about and gestures toward the movie as it plays. One of my favorite
clips is from the "Space
Mutiny" film, where Crow, Mike, and Servo roll out a long string of insulting names for
the 'hero' character. You'll definitely get a laugh out of it.