Gordon [Tullock] was on my dissertation committee. After reading all 252 pages of my dissertation within twelve hours of my submitting it, Gordon caught me in the Public Choice hallway at Virginia Tech to give me his assessment: "Minimal but acceptable." To which I replied, "Optimal. Done!"

-- Richard McKenzie, quoted on Econlog

Related engineer joke: "anybody can build a bridge that won’t collapse–but it takes a real engineer to build a bridge that just barely avoids collapse."

Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015

by Vaniver 1 min read2nd Mar 2015235 comments


Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Please post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.