Quotations

So often the case that people work best when they are stretching out over an abyss of ignorance, hanging on to a thin branch of 'what is still possible', tantalised by the future
Brian Eno - A Year With Swollen Appendices
I always feel I'm not getting enough out of life. This lovely weather - and I didn't use it. I should recognize that sitting in Hyde Park is as useful as sitting in front of a computer
Brian Eno - A Year With Swollen Appendices
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
George Bernard Shaw - Annajanska
The corollary of constant change is ignorance. ... we computer experts barely know what we are doing.
We function well in a sea of unknowns. Our experience has prepared us to deal with confusion. A programmer who denies this is probably lying, or else is densely unaware of himself.
Ellen Ullman - Close To The Machine
dates chosen almost at random, imagined times, wishes - and the mentioned dates soon took on an air of reality. ...
Now there was no way back. The date existed and the software would be "late" - in relation to someone's fantasy that is somehow adopted as real
Ellen Ullman - Close To The Machine
I'd like to think that computers are neutral, a tool like any other...
But there is something in the system itself, in the formal logic of programs and data, that recreates the world in its own image.
the computer is not really like us. It is a projection of a very slim part of ourselves: that portion devoted to logic, order, rule and clarity.
We place this small projection of ourselves all around us, and we make ourselves reliant on it.
the more we surround ourselves with a narrowed notion of existence, the more narrow existence becomes. We conform to the range of motion the system allows. We must be more orderly, more logical. Answer the question, Yes or No, OK or Cancel.
We think we are creating the system, but the system is also creating us. We build the system, we live in its midst, and we are changed.
Ellen Ullman - Close To The Machine
All this philosophy, let's get rid of it. It's even worse than the novels. Thinkers, philosophers, all thinking exactly the same thing - only I am right, the others are all idiots. Ah, this one must be very profound: the Ethics of Aristotle. Now, anybody that read that must believe he's a cut above anybody that hasn't.
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451
the whole world is an enigma - a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth
Umberto Eco - Foucault's Pendulum
What's our need for pictures of the famous? Not only do we think we know them, we think we know what makes them tick, which makes us want to tick as they do.
Richard Schickel - Intimate Strangers
This is the beauty of cycling - the rhythm puts serious activity in the brain to sleep: it creates a void. Random thoughts enter that void - the chorus from a song, a verse of poetry, a detail in the countryside, a joke, the answer to something that vexed me long ago.
Robert Penn - It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness On Two Wheels

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