Personal quotations collection

I started writing quotations when I was studying in College of Aeronautical Engineering. Here I will reproduce them in same order. I struck out some quotations during my delusional thinking periods. This is explained in the end.


“I don’t know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”   Isaac Newton

“The principle is most important, not the detail.”   Theodore van Karman

“Mathematics is the coded language used to explain and predict the actions of the forces of nature which engineers harness for the service of mankind.”   IEE News

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.”   Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

“If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapon to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and of Hiroshima. The people of the world must unite or they will perish.”   Robert Oppenheimer

“He was buried more like a robber than what he really was – an ornament of his country.”   An eyewitness on funeral of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

“If I hear it, I will forget it. If I see it, I will remember it. If I do it, I will understand it.”   Chinese proverb

“The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers,”   R W Hamming

“Learning without thought is labour lost; though without learning is perilous.”   Confucius

“Everything should be as simple as possible – but not simpler.”   Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity  has its own reason for existing.”   Einstein

“The supreme guide in life is knowledge.”   Kemal Ataturk

“Engineering is the art of doing that well with one dollar which any bungler can do with two.”   A M Wellington

“The final test on any system is, does it pay?”   Fredrick W Taylor

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”   Charles H Doell [1]

“Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.”   Jean Jacques Rousseau

“I understand what an equation means if I have a way of figuring out the characteristics of its solution without actually solving it.”   P A M Dirac

“Time is the greatest innovator.”   Francis Bacon

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”   Ernest Rutherford [2]

“To get the Nobel Prize in physics you have to do two things. Come up with an interesting thing while you are young and then stay alive long enough.”   Jack Steinberger

“One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything is fine today; that is our illusion.”   [3]

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and reality of tomorrow.”   [3]

“Those who don’t stop asking silly questions become scientists.”   Leon Lederman

“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.”   William of Occam

“Man has always found it easier to sacrifice his life than to learn multiplication table.”   W Somerset Mayham

“The aim of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory.”   A N Whitehead

“It is tribute to how far we have come in theoretical physics that it now takes enormous machines and a great deal of money to perform experiments whose results we can not predict.”   Stephen Hawking

“There is no such thing as applied science, only the application of pure science.”   Louis Pasteur

“Chance favours only the prepared mind.”   Louis Pasteur

“It needed but a moment to sever that head, and perhaps a century will not be long enough to produce another like it.”   Joseph Lagrange on execution of Antoine Lavoisier

“Yahya was a bluff, direct soldier of limited imagination caught up after convulsion in East Pakistan in events for which neither experience nor training prepared him. He made grievous mistakes. Yet, he performed a great service for our country.”   Henry Kissinger[4]

“Time is best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.”   [5]

“I know perfectly well that I myself have no special talents. It was cursity, obsession and sheer perseverance that brought me to my ideas.”   Einstein

“Physics and maths are the undercurrent of life. Why? Because physics is time and maths is explanation. And together, they are the phenomenon of the earth.”   [6]

“Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not.”   Einstein

“Physics is the belief that a simple and consistent description of nature is possible.”   Neils Bohr

“Unless we find the way to honest cooperation and honest dealings with Arabs, we have not learned anything on our way of two thousand years’ suffering and deserve the fate that is in store for us.”   Einstein’s letter to Chaim Weizmann

“Do not send me back to a colonized state, for I want to go back and live in an independent country.”   Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar[7]

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”   Moshe Dayan[8]

Manstein had “above all, great strength of character, standing up to his superiors, including Hitler, if he thought they were wrong.”   FM Lord Carver[8]

“Prussian Field Marshals do not mutiny.”   Erich von Manstein[8]

“A war is not lost until you consider it lost.”   Erich von Manstein[8]

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former.”   Einstein

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”   Churchill

“If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy.”   Donald Knuth

“Success in life is a matter not so much of talent and opportunity as of concentration and perseverance.”   C W Wendte

“An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”   Srinivasa Ramanujan

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”   Thomas Szasz

“Man will become better when you show him what he is like.”   Checkhov

“Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution.”   Victor Weiskopf

“Math is really about the human mind, about how people can think effectively, and why curiosity is quite a good guide.”   William Thurston

“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”   Charles F Ketlering

“I would prefer to die in a foreign country if it is a free country, and if you do not give us freedom in India, you will have to give me a grave here.”   M Ali Jauhar[7]

“Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.”   Francois de la Rochefoucauld

“Heroes are seldom found in palaces.”   Excerpted from Unlikely Beginnings by A O Mitha

“I believe in on thing only, the power of human will.”   Joseph Stalin

“The best tragedies are conflicts between a hero and his destiny.”   Aristotle

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”   Helen Keller

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they are called memories. Some take us forward, they are called dreams.”   Jeremy Irons

“Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget is necessary condition for our existence.”   Sholem Ash



1.   Struck out because of name Charles as discussed in this post.
2.   Struck out because I considered Rutherford a bad guy.
3.   Struck out as it was recorded from a French manual. I regarded France as a bad country as discussed in this post.
4.   Struck out as opinion regarding Yahya changed from negative to positive.
5.   Struck out as it contains the word kill. I thought I would be killed due to this quotation.
6.   Struck out for no particular reason.
7.   I regarded Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar as Imam Mahdi as discussed in this post.
8.   See this post for my views on Moshe Dayan and Manstein.

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