My Favorite Quotes


"The pursuit of knowledge has virtue in itself. It does not need justification.'' - Hanna Gray

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." - John Kenneth Galbraith

"So being chair only takes about two or three days a week, sometimes even less.  This leaves me a full four days for my research." - Hector Garcia-Molina, ACM SIGMOD Record, September 2002

"I am an optimist by nature, and last week in Tel Aviv an Israeli friend told me he knew why. He said it was because I was short - and short people tend to be optimists because they can only see the part of the glass that is half full, not half empty." - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, September 21, 2003

"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton

"In a testament to India's diversity and capacity for co-existence, Mrs. Gandhi, raised a Roman Catholic, is making way for a Sikh prime minister who will be sworn in by a Muslim president, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam." - Amy Waldman, New York Times, May 19, 2004

"I think theoreticians should work on whatever interests them, because I have this belief that we human beings are wired to find important things interesting. ... If you're going to be a theoretician, remain true to it and find elegant, beautiful stuff that's inspired by some practical application, but do it mostly because you find some beauty in it." - Jeffrey Naughton, ACM SIGMOD Record, June 2004

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

"The enmity meant to lurk inside every Pakistani towards India has always seemed ridiculous to me; it is like hating one's own past." - Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, December 15, 2008


"On a question like affirmative action, you can't simply go back and try to ask what the Founders thought." - Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, June 29, 2009


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein

"Simple isn't simplistic.  Done right, it's the heart of sophistication." - Paul Krugman, July 13, 2012

"I've often said that I have a different take from other pundits, because I know some stuff most political reporters don't, like ... arithmetic." - Paul Krugman, September 6, 2012

"You don't need people's opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking: `Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?' Or `Do owls exist' or `Are there hats?'" - John Oliver, 2015

"To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history.  You have to stamp on it, you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter'." - V. S. Naipaul

...may be because there is a rush to publish "science has become much faster than is healthy." - Tim van der Zee


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