Rationality Quotes 3

by Eliezer Yudkowsky3 min read18th Jan 200815 comments


Rationality Quotes
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"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
        -- Philip K. Dick

"How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."
        -- Abraham Lincoln

"Faced with the choice of changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
        -- John Kenneth Galbraith

"I'd rather live with a good question than a bad answer."
        -- Aryeh Frimer

"It ain't a true crisis of faith unless things could just as easily go either way."
        -- bunnyThor

"My best test for a libertarian so far is to ask what needs to be done to protect ancient sequoias.  If you say you need to buy them, you pass."
        -- Rafal Smigrodzki

"Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial."
        -- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

"Some people know better, and they still make the mistake. That's when ignorance becomes stupidity."
        -- Aaron McBride

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
        -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Skill is successfully walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. Intelligence is not trying."
        -- Unknown


"The fact that one apple added to one apple invariably gives two apples helps in the teaching of arithmetic, but has no bearing on the truth of the proposition that 1 + 1 = 2."
        -- James R. Newman, The World of Mathematics

"Giving a person a high IQ is kind of like giving a person a million dollars. A few individuals will do something interesting with it, but most will piss it away on trinkets and pointless exercises."
        -- J. Andrew Rogers

"Fatal stupidity is inefficient: idiots take other people out with them way too often."
        -- Mike

"Surprises are things that you not only didn't know, but that contradict things you thought you knew. And so they're the most valuable sort of fact you can get. They're like a food that's not merely healthy, but counteracts the unhealthy effects of things you've already eaten."
        -- Paul Graham

"So many times I found myself on the receiving end of unkind treatment, or on the giving end of the same, that there is not often a space in which I can find peace to escape from this woman I have become. I want so much to not know the things I've known, to not feel the things I've felt, to not have hurt the ones I've hurt."
        -- Sara

"I am an undrawn Grand Master of the Game, and you cannot lose well against me, no matter the form. But as with all my children, I will play this game or another against you every day that you are here, and in time you will learn to lose well, and you may even learn to lose brilliantly."
John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

"When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion -- the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right."
        -- Asimov's Corollary

"Stupid gods! Don't they realize how important this is?"
        -- The Wings of Change

"Laws do inhibit some citizens from breaking them, and laws do specify punishments for crimes, but laws do not prevent anybody from doing anything."
        -- Michael Roy Ames

"I have often been accused by friends and acquaintances of being very logical. What they really meant was that I take some principle or insight and apply it further than other people that they know."
        -- Lee Corbin

"If the meanings of "true" and "false" were switched, then this sentence wouldn't be false."
        -- Douglas Hofstadter

"Make changes based on your strongest opportunities, not your most convenient ones."
        -- MegaTokyo

"You are not ready to count your enemy's losses until you have learned to count your own. And remember that some enemies will never have learned to count."
John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

"Our brains live in a dark, quiet, wet place. That is the reality. It is only by means of our senses that we get the illusion of being out there in the world. In a way, our bodies are a form of telepresence, operated by our brains, huddling safe in their little caves of bone."
        -- Hal Finney

"If you do not wish a thing heard, do not say it."
        -- John M. Ford, 
The Final Reflection

"The four points of the compass be logic, knowledge, wisdom and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable. The man who bows in that final direction is either a saint or a fool. I have no use for either."
        -- Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light

"The assassin's gun may believe it is a surgeon's laser. But the assassin must know the task."
John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

"Man has Nature whacked," said someone to a friend of mine not long ago. In their context the words had a certain tragic beauty, for the speaker was dying of tuberculosis. "No matter," he said, "I know I'm one of the casualties. Of course there are casualties on the winning as well as on the losing side. But that doesn't alter the fact that it is winning."
        -- C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Rationality Quotes1
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