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The question of whether a computer can think is no
by Edsger Dijkstra

The question of whether a computer can think is no
more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Related topics: Computers

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Object-oriented programming is an exceptionally bad
idea which could only have originated in California.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Aim for brevity while avoiding jargon.
- Edsger Dijkstra

 

Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a factor that
decides between success and failure.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull.
He therefore approaches his task with full humility,
and avoids clever tricks like the plague.
- Edsger Dijkstra

APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection.
It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past:
it creates a new generation of coding bums.
- Edsger Dijkstra

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Don't compete with me: firstly, I have more experience,
and secondly, I have chosen the weapons.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs,
but never to show their absence!
- Edsger Dijkstra

About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen
a pencil with a blunt axe.
It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The ability of discerning high quality unavoidably
implies the ability of identifying shortcomings.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Teaching to unsuspecting youngsters the effective use
of formal methods is one of the joys of life because
it is so extremely rewarding.
- Edsger Dijkstra

There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied mathematics;
the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure mathematicians.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should,
therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Mathematicians are like managers - they want improvement without change.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The lurking suspicion that something could be simplified
is the world's richest source of rewarding challenges.
- Edsger Dijkstra

If 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty,
you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your
shoulders and say to yourself:
'Dijkstra would not have liked this',
well that would be enough immortality for me.
- Edsger Dijkstra

It is practically impossible to teach good programming
to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC:
as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated
beyond hope of regeneration.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The traditional mathematician recognizes and appreciates
mathematical elegance when he sees it.
I propose to go one step further, and to consider elegance
an essential ingredient of mathematics:
if it is clumsy,
it is not mathematics.
- Edsger Dijkstra

I mentioned the non-competitive spirit explicitly,
because these days, excellence is a fashionable concept.
But excellence is a competitive notion,
and that is not what we are heading for:
we are heading for perfection.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The students that, like the wild animal being prepared
for its tricks in the circus called "life",
expects only training as sketched above,
will be severely disappointed: by his standards he
will learn next to nothing.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Why has elegance found so little following? That is the reality of it.
Elegance has the disadvantage, if that's what it is,
that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it.
- Edsger Dijkstra

Many mathematicians derive part of their self-esteem
by feeling themselves the proud heirs of a long tradition of rational thinking;
I am afraid they idealize their cultural ancestors.
- Edsger Dijkstra

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau

Honor tradition AND question tradition.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Truth is not defined by
how many people believe something.
Ask. Question. Think.
Decide - for yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:
"If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"
But... the good Samaritan reversed the question:
"If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Half of everything you were ever taught is wrong;
the question is which half.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The big question is whether you are going to be able
to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
- Joseph Campbell

Life's most urgent question is:
what are you doing for others?
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where there is love there is no question.
- Albert Einstein

The well-timed question is more impacting than an answer.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

When you ask the wrong question,
you usually get a nonsense answer.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.
The question is: What are we busy about?
- Henry David Thoreau

If you ask a stupid question, you may feel stupid;
if you don't ask a stupid question, you remain stupid.
- Tony Rothman

Think for yourself and question authority.
- Timothy Leary

"It's not that important,
don't worry about it" is the answer,
now what was the question?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When we have arrived at the question,
the answer is already near.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our grandchildren's grandchildren will shake their heads in shame
at some of the beliefs that we hold most dear today -
the question is, which ones?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
'What are you doing for others?'
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is not my place to doubt the sincere beliefs of others.
My job is to question my own beliefs.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes.
He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.
- Chinese Proverb

To be or not to be is not
a question of compromise.
Either you be or you don't be.
- Golda Meir

A good question is never answered.
It is not a bolt to be tightened into place
but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed
toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.
- John Ciardi

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question
than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
- Bruce Lee

We learn more by looking for the answer
to a question and not finding it
than we do from learning the answer itself.
- Lloyd Alexander

The most erroneous stories are those
we think we know best -
and therefore never scrutinize or question.
- Stephen Jay Gould

One day Alice came to a fork in the road
and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
"Which road do I take?" she asked.
His responses was a question: "Where do you want to go?"
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."
- Lewis Carroll

I question my questions.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The heart is always right -
if there's a question of choosing between the mind and the heart -
because mind is a creation of the society.
It has been educated.
You have been given it by the society, not by existence.
The heart is unpolluted.
- Osho

Cowardice asks the question - is it safe?
Expediency asks the question - is it politic?
Vanity asks the question - is it popular?
But conscience asks the question - is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular;
but one must take it BECAUSE it is right.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Question every assumption and expectation.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Affirmation:
I question my questions.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Often, we get stuck on a question
for which we can't find an acceptable answer.
That is a good time to consider asking a different question.
Every question is based on some assumptions -
usually invisible assumptions that we don't see, unless we go looking.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Do you ever question why our educational system
teaches competition rather than cooperation?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Always question WHY you are doing something.
Is it a free-will gift or an obligation?
That which is done out of a feeling of obligation
is unworkable as a substitute for a gift.
Obligation creates a feeling of resentment on your part,
and evokes resentment rather than gratitude
on the part of the recipient.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Identify your assumptions (what you believe).
Question how you feel when you hold those assumptions.
Visualize holding different assumptions.
Ask yourself how it feels to hold a different world-view.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The answer is twelve monkeys, what's the question?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Each of us holds a different image of God.
There are as many perspectives on
the nature of God as there are people.
However much any of us may choose to argue,
or to fight and kill, for our point of view,
the nature of God is an unanswerable question.
Perhaps there is a specific answer,
that we will never learn - in this lifetime.
Perhaps the nature of God is so complex and multifaceted
that each view of God describes an aspect of the complex whole.
Or perhaps the nature of God is actually defined by our beliefs.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I refuse to answer that question
on the grounds that I don't know the answer
- Douglas Adams

Nature puts no question and answers none which we mortals ask.
She has long ago taken her resolution.
- Henry David Thoreau

A question that sometimes drives me hazy:
am I or are the others crazy?
- Albert Einstein

What we've gone through in the last several years has
caused some people to question 'Can we trust Microsoft?'
- Steve Ballmer

If love is the answer,
could you please rephrase the question.
- Lily Tomlin

Our heart glows, and secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being.
Dealing with the unconscious has become a question of life for us.
- Carl Jung

It is an open question whether any behavior
based on fear of eternal punishment
can be regarded as ethical
or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
- Margaret Mead

Education is not the answer to the question.
Education is the means to the answer to all questions.
- William Allin

Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question
"How?" but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question "Why?"
- Erwin Chargaff


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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