What's facinating about the rule governing the game, for Conway as the inventor, anyway, is that it's totally stupid. Yet it exists. "I'll tell you what interests me abou this—it's really what interests me about mathematics. Nobody else in the whole history of the world has been stupid enough to invent this rule. That's the first thing. But then, if they had, they would find exactly the behavior that I'm finding... This rule hadn't physically existed in any sense in the world before a month ago, before I invented it, but it sort of intellectually existed forever."
— Siobhan Roberts, Genius At Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway
The utter obscurity that history reserves for almost all of us.
— George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century
Clifford perfected the art of discretion, seeming to want nothing while everything came to him—presidential job offers, big-money clients. That model of power exercised in private by a few of the right men with no need to justify themselves was long gone—one more casualty of Vietnam. Holbrooke was a creature of the post-WASP establishment where power was diffuse and you had to shout for attention to get great things done.
— George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century
As a member of the class of lesser beings who aspire to a good life but not a great one—who find the very notion both daunting and distasteful—I can barely fathom the agony of that "almost." Think about it: the nonestop schedule, the calculation of every dinner table, the brain that burned all day and night—and the knowledge, buried so deep he may have only sensed it as a physical ache, that he had come up short of his own impossible exaltation. I admire him for that readiness to suffer. His life was full of pleasures, but I never envied it.
— George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century
Getting on in years, Tesla decided to hire a few Western Union boys to feed the pigeons for him. Dressed in their official caps and snappy uniforms, the lads could be seen like clockwork at 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. at three different locations around the city: in front of the New York Public Library, in Bryant Park, at the library's rear, and at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
— Marc Seifer, Wizard: the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla
The public seemed to sense, nevertheless, that enormous changes were taking place in man's understanding of the physical world. The phenomena of X rays and radioactivity, the wireless telegraph, electromagnetism, and other recent discoveries had challenged long-held notions about the basic structure of things, and the growing recognition that chance played a significant role in anture's processes undermined the belief that those processes could ever be fully understood. In the nineteenth century science had come to be seen as virtually infallibe; now, quite suddently, the ability of empirical science to explain all things was being called into question, and this was both frightning and liberating.
— Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp
That which is most desirable in the establishment of universal peaceful relations is the complete annihilation of distance.
— Nikola Tesla via Marc Seifer, Wizard: the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla
He is best known for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP) in which he cross-breeds domesticated chickens from different countries as a statement about the way in which diversity can shape the global cultural and genetic mix.
— www.koenvanmechelen.be
Tesla told the reporter that he could split the earth in the same way... "The vibrations of the earth," he said, "have a periodicity of approximately one hour and forty-nine minutes. That is to say, if I strike the earth this instant, a wave of contraction goes through it and will come back in one hour and forty-nine minutes in the form of expansion. As a matter of fact, the earth, like everything else, is in a constant state of vibration. it is constantly contracting and expanding. Now suppose that at the precise moment when it begins to contract, I explode a ton of dynamite. That accelerates the contraction, and in one hour and fourty-nine minutes, there comes an equally accelerated wave of expanson. When the wave ebbs, suppose I explode another ton... and suppose this performance be repeated time after time. Is there any doubt as to what would happen? There is no doubt in my mind. The earth would be split in two."
— Marc Seifer, Wizard: the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla
I think possessions kind of weigh you down. They’re kind of an attack vector, you know?
— Elon Musk, "Joe Rogan Experience #1470 - Elon Musk"
A society's beliefs determines its reality.
— Marc Seifer, Wizard: the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla
It's not that people lack the tools to understand art, it's that they lack a reason to give a shit even if they did manage to get inside.
— @bradtroemel, "Repetition Midset: The Unwashed Masses"
Is it the new norm? It may be. And we are trying to have an aesthetically pleasing version of it.
— Resturant guy on radio talking about tabledivider.com
We spend at a rate such that, absent growth, the entire endowment would be gone in 20 years.
— Christopher Eisgruber, "President Eisgruber writes to the Princeton community about the state of the University and planning for the academic year ahead"
It would be interesting to look at locations of the American popular imagination, as seen in movies and TV, mapped against regional tax breaks for the film industry.
The first signature in his book is that of President Collidge on August 6, 1924 and the book contains the signatures of other heads of government in the world although for the larger part the signatures are those of business men in the various contries. The book was signed by many American Diplomatic and Consular Officers.
— W. Roderick Dorsey, American Consul General, Letter to The Secretary of State, Genoa, Italy, June 5, 1933
Like it or not, we live in a market-driven society, and science is part of that market.
— Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
That goose is on borrowed time.
— Lily
By pushcart, by ricksha, by pack mule, by rail and by ship, but mostly on my back. It has 2,896 pages and it weights 58 pounds.
— Joseph Mikulec, "His Autograph Load Is Too Much For Him," The New York Times
Gey gave his lab staff careful instructinos for growing GeGe, a line of cancer cells taken from his pancreas. He hoped that his cells, like Henrietta's, would become immortal.
— Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks