Cybernetics Quotes

October 12, 2008 – 4:00 am

Reading A Curriculum for Cybernetics and Systems Theory, I found some thought-provoking and sometimes inspirational quotes. I’ve collected them below:

  • “When we try to pick up anything by itself we find it is attached to everything in the universe.” — John Muir
  • “I throw a spear into the dark — that is intuition. Then I have to send an expedition into the jungle
    to find the way of the spear — that is logic.” — Ingmar Bergman
  • “Lovers of wisdom must be inquirers into many things indeed.” — Heraclitus, 5th Century B. C.
  • “You have about 10 minutes to act on an idea before it recedes back into dreamland.” — Buckminster Fuller paraphrased by Stewart Brand
  • “Tool: Something with a use on one end and a grasp on the other end.” — Stewart Brand
  • “If you cannot think of three ways of abusing a tool, you do not understand how to use it.” — Gregory Bateson
  • “Big whorls have little whorls / Which feed on their velocity, / And little whorls have lesser whorls / And so on to viscosity.” — Lewis F. Richardson
  • “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” — Tolstoy, quoted by Joseph Ford, 1985, in “Chaos: Solving the Unsolvable, Predicting the Unpredictable”
  • “Technology without morality is barbarous; morality without technology is impotent.” — Freeman Dyson
  • “Words challenge eternity.” — Horace
  • “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” — Thomas Pynchon
  • “When the looms spin by themselves, we’ll have no need for slaves.” — Aristotle

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