He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.

Abraham Lincoln

Things I’ve learned

17 June 2009

Over the years, various friends have made short pithy comments that have stuck with me. Here’s some of their wisdom, including one of my own nuggets.

McShea on science
“Science is the art of substituting the question that is interesting with the question we can answer.”

Patzkowsky on parenting
“Nothing lasts forever, even though it may feel like it will sometimes. And that applies to the good things as well as the bad.”

Kidwell on academic problems
“There is no problem in academia that won't be solved by retirement or death.”

Foote on character
“It's often true that our best features are also our worst.”

McShea on clothing choices and spouses
“Let 'em dress you. They know what looks good on you anyway.”

Raup on vision
“If you want to see farther, it's better to stand on the shoulders of those before you than to cut them off at the knees.”

Holland on science and truth
“Scientists wouldn't know truth if it jumped up and bit us in the ass. We're probably fairly good at recognizing what's false, and that's what science does on a day-to-day basis, but we can't claim to identify truth.”