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.
Notable Tech Quote Archive
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- "Gentlemen, 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)
"Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered
within hours from New York to California, to England, to India or to Australia by guided
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
- "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." -
Carl 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
- "Amplifiers 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 from oscillating.
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
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.
are 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.
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." -
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
"We think the new IP is speed. People who can move
fast are going to win." -
VP of GE Home & Business Solutions, in January 2015 Popular Science, "Make,
"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.'