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mike's web log/quotes

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
-- Samuel Johnson   general | education


You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.
-- Sam Levenson   advice | funny | education


You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.
-- Albert Einstein   writing | general | education


Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
-- Confucius   advice | general | education


I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
-- Mark Twain   advice | funny | education


I write books to find out about things.
-- Rebecca West   writing | education


Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.
-- Mullah Nasrudin   education | general


I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments. Of course they graduate the best -- it's all they'll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money -- provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don't need it.
-- Peter DeVries   education | general | funny


People studying literature rarely say anything that would be of the slightest use to those producing it.
-- Paul Graham   education | writing


A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
-- Theodore Roosevelt   education | general


Getting lost can do wonders in helping one figure out how things actually work.
-- Jenny Berger   education | general | advice


Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-- Charles Darwin   education | general


Look, you don't get good at writing by deleting adjectives. Writing is difficult and demanding; you can learn to get moderately good at it through decades of practice writing millions of words and critiquing what you've written or having others critique it.
-- Geoffrey K. Pullum   writing | education


If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things.
-- Epictetus   advice | education


This process of digging up the details and learning how things work leads down many side streets and to many dead ends, but is fundamental (I think) to understanding something new. Many times in my books I have set out to write how something works, thinking I know how it works, only to write some test programs that lead me to things that I never knew. I try to convey some of these missteps in my books, as I think seeing the wrong solution to a problem (and understanding why it is wrong) is often as informative as seeing the correct solution.
-- W. Richard Stevens   writing | computers | education


Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
-- Thomas Szasz   advice | education


When I ask people what they regret most about high school, they nearly all say the same thing: that they wasted so much time.
-- Paul Graham   advice | general | education


I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
-- Lord Byron   advice | general | education


Try a thing you havent done three times.
Once, to get over the fear of doing it.
Twice, to learn how to do it.
And the third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.

-- Robert Evans   advice | education


Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
-- Steven Wright   funny | general | education


Look and you will find it--what is unsought will go undetected.
-- Sophocles   advice | education


The real reason I want to go to a University -- and the reason, when you get right down to it, everybody else seems to be interested in as well -- is the people. I want to go to a place filled with people like me, but smarter; a place where you can't help but learn.
-- Aaron Swartz   general | advice | education


As someone who observed a graduate department of English from the inside for six years, I can assure you that any correlation between the award of a Ph.D. and actual erudition is often coincidental.
-- John McIntyre   general | funny | education


One of the best things about teaching undergraduates is how much you learn.
-- Mark Liberman   general | education


The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
-- Frank Herbert   general | education


There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.
-- George Washington   general | advice | politics | education


If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
-- Isaac Asimov   general | education


The more I learn from my teachers and mentors, the deeper I am in debt for all they have taught to me.
-- Rajesh Setty   general | education


The main thing you don't learn with a CS degree is how to develop software, although you will probably build up certain muscles in your brain that may help you later if you decide that developing software is what you want to do.
-- Joel Spolsky   computers | education


It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult.
-- Frank Herbert   general | education


Teacher: a capacity for enthusiasm for the obvious.
-- Theodore Roethke   general | funny | education


Learning and mastery are not states you get to by accreting years of service. You learn by doing, so go do something.
-- Kent Sharkey   advice | education


My opinion after 40-odd (and some of them were very odd) years of teaching is that good writing can't be taught, though it can be learned.
-- John Lawler   writing | education


When the Sun-Times appointed me film critic, I hadn't taken a single film course. One of the reasons I started teaching was to teach myself.
-- Roger Ebert   general | education


One obvious problem with the whole “liberal academy” argument is that free inquiry and open consideration of diverse viewpoints is itself a liberal value - and not a conservative one, since what's conserved is a predetermined truth. So the university itself would be impossible on conservative grounds.
-- Carl Dyke   politics | education


The skills proper to a college education are critical thinking, rigorous interpretation, and sensitivity to perspectives, alternatives and complexities. Such skills don't pay off immediately and they're in a sense value-neutral, but they're what we need to become more thoughtful, reflective, effective, and actively moral people in the longer run.
-- Carl Dyke   education | general


What I began to realize was that in economics we are always making silly assumptions; it's just that some of them have been made so often that they come to seem natural. And so one should not reject a model as silly until one sees where its assumptions lead.
-- Paul Krugman   education | general


Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life -- save only this -- that if you work hard and intelligently, you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole purpose of education.
-- John Alexander Smith   education


Learning, be it chemistry, physics, or biology, is not a spectator sport. A student doesn't learn sitting on the aisle in a lecture room watching a spectacular performance by a star lecturer.
-- Robert Morrison   education


The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.
-- Benjamin Disraeli   writing | education


At a certain point, we need to hold people responsible for what they choose to fail to know.
-- Mark Liberman   general | education


My interest in education is unglamorous. I don't have an enormous desire to help children, but I have an enormous desire to create better adults.
-- Alan Kay   general | education


The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
-- Sidney J. Harris   education | advice

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