• A person who is shy will never learn, and a teacher who is too strict cannot teach . . . and in a place where there are no men, strive to be a man– Rabbi Hillel

  • All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing– War & Peace. Also attributed to Edmund Burke.

  • Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come– Victor Hugo

  • Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in– Leonardo da Vinci

  • The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution– Hannah Arendt

  • There are only two forces that unite men, fear and interest– Napoleon Bonaparte


  • If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do– Ball, Lucille

  • Andere kochen auch nur mit Wasser (“Others also just cook with water”) – Old German saying.

  • If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions– Albert Einstein.


  • Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence– Carl Sagan.

  • To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of– Sir R. A. Fisher

  • r-fortunes: #122 (and all the rest actually).

  • Why do we aspire to be second-rate mathematicians when we could be first- rate scientists?– George Box

  • A good notation has a subtlety and suggestiveness which at times make it almost seem like a live teacher– Bertrand Russel

  • While it is easy to lie with statistics, it is even easier to lie without them– Frederick Mosteller

  • The simple idea of splitting a sample into two and then developing the hypothesis on the basis of one part and testing it on the remainder may perhaps be said to be one of the most seriously neglected ideas in statistics.– George A. Barnard


  • Premature optimization is the root of all evil – Donald Knuth

And some more, excellent ones, on Jon McAuliffe’s page.