Witty/Elegant Quotations

"Brevity is the soul of wit," William Shakespeare.

"Fashion fades, style is eternal," Coco Chanel.

"Here I am. Now, what are your other two wishes?" Mark Barry.

"You might think so; I couldn't possibly comment," Francis Urquhart, fictional prime minister in a BBC series.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is," Yogi Berra.

"Aristocrats do not strive; they have already arrived." Craig Lambert.

Marco Duarte commenting on General Sherman's violent march through the confederacy, "with beer at $2 I can understand that!" Some historical context may help: Sherman sacked Columbia, SC, with significant looting and atrocities. We noticed that in Statesboro, GA, happy hour yields draught beer at $2 a glass, and its price increases afterwards... to $2.50. Although we didn't check the price of beer in Columbia, Marco's statement was still remarkable.

"These banks, comforted by these bogus measures of risk, were taking huge amount of risks in, for, you know, betting against rare events, huge of amount of risk by saying, oh, our quantitative risk managers, our scientists, is telling us that we are safe. Same thing. My war with Fannie Mae started, OK, when they said, our scientists say that Mr. Taleb is not credible, because look at it we have 50 PhD's saying that we have no risk..." Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Now, this may not have been an exercise in brevity, but it was pretty close to the soul of wit if you ask me!

Barack Obama in a 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton, being asked whether Bill Clinton was in fact the first black president: "I would have to investigate more, Bill's dancing abilities and some of this other stuff before I accurately judged whether he was, in fact, a brother."


Inspiring Quotations
"If history teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred," John F. Kennedy

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision," Muhammad Ali.

"Not matching the idea of success others expect from you is only painful if that's what you are seeking," Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender," Winston Churchill.

"It's not about the boy holding the kite; it's all about the kite," Mary Crawford, Morgan Stanley.


Scientific Quotations
Explaining why constants matter, "To a practitioner, the situation may be analogous to a tractor being advertised as an optimally efficient personal transportation vehicle, because it too, like a bicycle, requires energy linear in the distance travelled!" Yoram Bresler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of all other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts." Albert Einstein

"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order," Carl Jung.

"It may be no exaggeration to say that man's progress in peace, and security in war, depend more on fruitful applications of information theory than on physical demonstrations, either in bombs or in power plants, that Einstein's famous equation works," 1953 issue of Fortune Magazine.

"There is no other fundamental mover of economic development than science and technology," Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University.

"The more trivial the result, the bigger the usual impact," Richard G. Baraniuk, Rice University.


We conclude with what could be the most beautiful quote I have ever read. Carl Friederich Gauss in Theoria Motus Corporum Coelestium (The motion of heavenly bodies in conical orbits): "To determine the orbit of a heavenly body... assuredly commended itself to mathematicians by its difficulty and elegance."


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