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Cybertelecom News regularly leads with technology related quotations. This is the collection from which those quotations are pulled. I have been doing this for over a decade and most of these quotes I have obtained from multiple sources. Occasionally I note where one of the sources comes from.


Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, 'Gift From the Sea'

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. - William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939)

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. - Tom Lehrer

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation. - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)


I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image. - Stephen W. Hawking

There are two ways of constructing a software design; one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. - C. A. R. Hoare

Just as we could have rode into the sunset, along came the Internet, and it tripled the significance of the PC. - Andy Grove


Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but I repeat myself. - Mark Twain


Its one of the largest and most brazen thefts of intellectual property ever committed in the United States. -- Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, quoted in Kevin Maney, Little Net Firm Rocks TV Giants, USA Today, Feb. 8, 2000 at A1 commenting on iCraveTV.

"If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines." - U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, on one way to control people who illegally download music from the Internet

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." Testimony of Jack Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, Monday, April 12, 1982, see for complete transcript.

Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet. - Mark Twain's Notebook , 1902-1903

Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble. - Mark Twain's Notebook , 1902-1903


May 9th and 10th brought on two days that should be marked in every hacker's history book. The reason we assume these days will be important to many, is that maybe it's time we opened our eyes and saw the witch hunt currently in progress... It is my understanding that Gail Thackeray and the Secret Service are not, taking this lightly. She told Phrack inc. that they are not distinguishing pirates, hackers, or phreakers. Basically, it's any kid with a modem that calls a BBS with an alias. Yes, we are the witches, and we are being hunted. -- Phreak_Accident (from Phrack Magazine, May 1990)

"The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not." John Kenneth Galbraith

"The Weakest Link in the security chain is the human element." "I obtained confidential information in the same way government employees did, and I did it all without even touching a computer . . . . I was so successful with this line of attack that I rarely had to go towards a technical attack." - Kevin Mitnick

"There is a concern that the Internet could be used to commit crimes and that advanced encryption could disguise such activity. However, we do not provide the government with phone jacks outside our homes for unlimited wiretaps. Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web?" - John Ashcroft in 1997

In the old days [in drug busts], we'd get a search warrant, kick in the door, and if we did our job right, there would be white powder and currency and a little black book. And you opened up that little black book and you find names, dates and amounts. Well, now you kick in the door and you find the powder and the currency and a stand-alone PC. -- Scott Charney (Chief of the Dept. of Justice Computer Crimes Unit, March 1995)

"The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow's terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb." National Research Council, Computers at Risk (1991).

"National law has no place in cyberlaw. Where is cyberspace? If you don't like banking laws in the United States , set up your machine on the Grand Cayman Islands . Don't like the copyright laws in the United States ? Set up your machine in China . Cyberlaw is global law, which is not going to be easy to handle, since we seemingly cannot even agree on world trade of automobile parts." Nicholas Negroponte


"Like many businessmen of genius he learned that free competition was wasteful, monopoly efficient. And so he simply set about achieving that efficient monopoly." Mario Puzo, The Godfather, Referring to Don Vito Corleone.

"An economist is someone who sees something working in practice and wonders if it will work in theory." -Ronald Reagan


Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.
~Alan M. Eddison

Federal Communications Commission

"It would be gross understatement to say that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is not a model of clarity. It is in many important respects a model of ambiguity or indeed even self-contradiction." Supreme Court Justice Scalia in AT&T v. Iowa Public Utilities Board, January 25, 1999.

Having read the scriptures of Landis and Frankfurter suggesting that I would just know the right thing to do, I expected some sort of revelation, for I did not feel particularly enlightened after being confirmed by the United States Senate. The night after I was sworn in, I waited for a visit from the angel of the public interest. I waited all night, but she did not come. And, in fact, five months into this job, I still have had no divine awakening and no one has issued me my public interest crystal ball. - Michael Powell, Before the FCBA 1998

Free Speech

"Only the suppressed word is dangerous." Ludwig Boerne, An Kundigurg der Wage 1818

"Every man-in the development of his own personality-has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man's essential nature." - Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment, Thomas Emerson

It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. - Herbert Clark Hoover

"Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself." - Salman Rushdie

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. - George Washington

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." Mark Twain

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."-Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell, 1945

"Liberty of speech inviteth and proveketh liberty to be used again, and so bringeth much to a man's knowledge." Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, 1605

"Free speech exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

"The Constitution exists precisely so that opinions and judgments, including esthetic and moral judgments about art and literature, can be formed, tested, and expressed. What the Constitution says is that these judgments are for the individual to make, not for the Government to decree, even with the mandate or approval of a majority. Technology expands the capacity to choose; and it denies the potential of this revolution if we assume the Government is best positioned to make these choices for us."-Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy

Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government? -- V.I. Lenin as quoted by William J. Small, ``Political Power and the Press'' (W.W. Norton, 1972)

"Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime . . . ." - Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, dissenting Ginzberg v. United States , 383 U.S. 463 (1966)

"[W]e consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964

"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." John Milton Areopagitica, 1644

"You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion may be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall." -- Thomas Paine

"I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it." -- Thomas Paine

All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy. - Alfred Emanuel Smith

"My view is, without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, that freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they have or the views they express or the words they speak or write." - Justice Hugo L. Black, 1962

The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy; the best weapon of a democracy is openness. - Edvard Teller

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." - Thomas Jefferson

"Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), Whitney v. California , 274 U. S. 357 (1927)

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."-Noam Chomsky

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press. - Mark Twain

"If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable." - Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

"A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular." -- Adlai Stevenson, American politician

" Liberty of speech inviteth and proveketh liberty to be used again,and so bringeth much to a man's knowledge." - Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, 1605

"Damn all expurgated books; the dirtiest book of all is the expurgated book." - Walt Whitman

"For books are not absolutely dead things, but ... do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet on the other hand unless warriors be used, as good almost kill a Man a good Book; who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills Reason itself, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." - Areopagitica, John Milton, 1644

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If [this] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose." - Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:127

"It is now well established that the Constitution protects the right to receive information and ideas. 'This freedom [of speech and press] . . . necessarily protects the right to receive . . . .' Martin v. City of Struthers , 319 U.S. 141, 143 (1943); see Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 U.S. 479, 482 (1965); Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301, 307 -308 (1965) (BRENNAN, J., concurring); cf. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925). This right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth, see Winters v. New York , 333 U.S. 507, 510 (1948), is fundamental to our free society. " - Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Stanley v. Georgia , 394 U.S. 557 (1969)

"In times like these, we are tempted to defer to authority in the name of security and victory, to mistake panic for patriotism, and to look the other way as secrecy, censorship and self-censorship take the place of reasoned policy-making. To surrender to such temptations is to compound the tragedies of Sept. 11." - Paul McMasters, Denial of access shushes the democratic dialogue

"Every legislative limitation upon utterance, however valid, may in a particular case serve as an inroad upon the freedom of speech which the Constitution protects."-Supreme Court Justice Stanley F. Reed

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties; and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), Whitney v. California , 274 U. S. 357 (1927)

When books are challenged, restricted, removed, or banned, an atmosphere of suppression exists. The author may make revisions, less for artistic reasons than to avoid controversy. The editor and publisher may alter text or elect not to publish for economic and marketing reasons. Staff in bookstores and libraries may find published works too controversial and, fearing reprisals, will choose not to purchase those materials. The fear of the consequences of censorship is as damaging as, or perhaps more damaging than, the actual censorship attempt. After all, when a published work is banned, it can usually be found elsewhere. Unexpressed ideas, unpublished works, unpurchased books are lost forever.- 2000 Banned Books Week Resource Guide

"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us." Justice William O. Douglas

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." - On Liberty , John Stuart Mill

"[F]reedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order." - Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson , West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. - Whitney v. California , 274 U. S. 357 (1927) (Justice Brandeis)

"If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them."-George Orwell, author, c. 1945


"Now that eighteen-year-olds have the right to vote, it is obvious that they must be allowed the freedom to form their political views on the basis of uncensored speech before they turn eighteen, so that their minds are not a blank when they first exercise the franchise. And since an eighteen-year-old's right to vote is a right personal to him rather than a right to be exercised on his behalf by his parents, the right of parents to enlist the aid of the state to shield their children from ideas of which the parents disapprove cannot be plenary either. People are unlikely to become well-functioning, independent-minded adults and responsible citizens if they are raised in an intellectual bubble."- Seventh District Judge Richard Posner, American Amusement Machine Association, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Teri Kendrick, et al., Defendants-Appellees (2001)

"Indeed, perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection." - Judge Lowell A. Reed, Jr., American Civil Liberties Union , et al. v. Janet Reno (No. 98-5591)


When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -Hunter S. Thompson

"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you like it?"
The brush continued to move.
"Like it? Well I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"
That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth-stepped back to note the effect-added a touch here and there-criticized the effect again-Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
"Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little."
- Mark Twain

I have been reading the morning paper. I do it every morning--knowing well that I shall find in it the usual depravities and basenesses and hypocrisies and cruelties that make up civilization, and cause me to put in the rest of the day pleading for the damnation of the human race. I cannot seem to get my prayers answered, yet I do not despair. - Mark Twain, Letter to W. D. Howells, 4/2/1899

Frisbeetarianism, n.: The belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.  ~T.S. Eliot, about radio

God is a comedian playing to an audience who is afraid to laugh. -Voltaire

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

"Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover." -- Homer Simpson

"When will I learn? The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a bottle, they're on TV!" -- Homer Simpson

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. - Rita Rudner

Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Werner von Braun,

There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot. - Steve Wright

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. - Mark Twain

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein

I do not mean to be the slightest bit critical of TV newspeople, who do a superb job, considering that they operate under severe time constraints and have the intellectual depth of hamsters. But TV news can only present the ``bare bones'' of a story; it takes a newspaper, with its capability to present vast amounts of information, to render the story truly boring. -- Dave Barry


Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies. - Groucho Marx

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress; but I repeat myself. - Mark Twain

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid. - Art Spander

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. - George Bush

The Politics of Failure have failed. We must make them work again! - Presidential Candidate Kang (The Simpsons)

I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat! --Will Rogers

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.  ~Will Rogers

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. - Mark Twain

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination. - Mark Twain

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him. - Charles DeGaulle


There are three possible roads to ruin - women, gambling and technology. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technology. - Georges Pompidou, Sunday Telegraph 1968.

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. - Frank Lloyd Wright

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. - Andrew S. Tannenbaum

All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.  ~Mark Kennedy

Before we work on artificial intelligence why don't we do something about natural stupidity? - Steve Polyak

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. - Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair. - Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance. - Ambrose Bierce

The difference between e-mail and regular mail is that computers handle e-mail, and computers never decide to come to work on day and shoot all the other computers. - Jamais Cascio, 1995

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles . Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat ." - Albert Einstein, explaining radio


"If, while traveling, I send a turn-yourself-off message to my stove and it replies 'Unable to respond due to fire wall,' should I send my garden hose a spray-the-house message?" Steve Cummings, quoted in Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization, June 4, 1998 Source: Isen

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."-George W Bush, Arlington Heights , Ill. , Oct. 24, 2000

"Will the Highways on the Internet become more few" George W Bush, -CONCORD, N.H., JAN. 29, 2000

Oh they have the Internet on Computers now! - Homer Simpson

Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the internet and all. - Homer Simpson

"We could put it on the Internet!"
"No, we have to reach people whose opinions actually matter."
-Bart Simpson

My top men tell me the Internet is going to be big! Daguerreotype big! I've decided to buy this Internet, one domain at a time. -Charles Montgomery Burns

The internet is a great way to get on the net. - Bob Dole

Spending an evening on the World Wide Web is much like sitting down to a dinner of Cheetos...  two hours later your fingers are yellow and you're no longer hungry, but you haven't been nourished.  ~Clifford Stoll

"The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, "people without lives." We don't care. We have each other..." - Dave Barry

"What, exactly, is the internet? Basically it is a global network exchanging digitized data in such a way that any computer, anywhere, that is equipped with a device called a 'modem', can make a noise like a duck choking on a kazoo" - Dave Barry

"While you are destroying your mind watching the worthless, brain-rotting drivel on TV, we on the Internet are exchanging, freely and openly, the most uninhibited, intimate and, yes, shocking details about our "CONFIG.SYS" settings." - Dave Barry

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.
Wife: I don't want ANY spam!
Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?
Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!
Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam... (Crescendo through next few lines...)
-Monty Python

"If I taught a class, on my final exam I would take an Internet company and ask [my students], 'How much is this company worth?' Anyone who would answer, I would flunk." Warren Buffett, quoted in the Industry Standard Media Grok, May 5, 1998. Source:


"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window." -- Steve Wozniak

"You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike." -From the original text based adventure game, Colossal Cave

They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction. - Janet Reno

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done. - Scott Adams

If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -- that will do them in. - Bradley's Bromide

"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents." -- Nathaniel Borenstein

"Programming is like sex, one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life." -- Michael Sinz (Commodore-Amiga Inc.)

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. - Mrs. Pablo Picasso

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." -- Mitch Radcliffe

There are two major products that came out of Berkeley : LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. - Jeremy S. Anderson

The PC is the LSD of the 90's. - Timothy Lear, in the " London Guardian"

If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside. - Robert Cringely in InfoWorld

Information / Truth / Knowledge

"For years, we've been bludgeoned with the cliche "information is power." But information isn't power. After all, who's got the most information in your neighborhood? Librarians. And they're famous for having no power at all. And who has the most power in your community? Politicians. And they're notorious for being ill-informed." - Clifford Stoll, High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom

Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be. - David Thornburg

We obtain better knowledge of a person during one hour's play and games than by conversing with him for a whole year - Plato.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." --Mark Twain

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -Voltaire

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them. - Caron de Beuamarchais

Incomprehensible jargon is the hallmark of a profession. - Kingman Brewster, Jr.

"Quantitative analysis works wonders when all the assumptions are accurate and the variables selected are the right ones. This happens approximately once every million years." From The 21st Century Intranet by Jennifer Stone Gonzalez Source: Isen

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice , 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master -- that's all.'
- Alice in Wonderland

The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive. - Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom , p. 13 (Scribner 1997)

"...Medic, pedic, zed oblique,
Orphic, morphic, dorfic, Greek.
Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo,
So little much to know."
-- The Nowhere Man, *Yellow Submarine*

I think by far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness. . . . The tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance - Thomas Jefferson 1786

Information is the currency of democracy. - Thomas Jefferson

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell - and hell, heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily will it be believed. - Adolph Hitler

"A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy - or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." - James Madison

One can easily understand a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when grown men and women are afraid of the light. - Plato

"I can't believe that!" said Alice .
"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland

If a guy brought an elephant through that door and said it was an elephant, doubters might say, "that could be a mouse with a glandular condition." - William Hungate (Watergate)

"A popular government, without popular information, or the mean of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."-James Madison

" Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people... Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from publishing with the utmost freedom...nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice." -- John Adams

There are two ways to prove a horse is a horse. One is to draw a picture of a horse, a very good likeness. The other way is to write under the picture, "this is a horse." We drew the picture. - Sam Ervin (Watergate)

Technology versus Humanity

"We have grasped the mystery of the atom, and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.  Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.  We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living." ---General Omar Bradley

Lo! Men have become the tools of their tools.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. - Mark Twain, More Maxims of Mark , Johnson, 1927

"We have guided missiles and misguided men."-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow

"Wealth and speed are what the world admires, what each pursues.   Railways, express mails, steamships and every possible facility for communications are the achievement in which the civilized world view and revels, only to languish in mediocrity by that very fact.  Indeed, the effect of this diffusion is to spread the culture of the mediocre." Goethe

"Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards." - Aldous Huxley

"I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them." -Isaac Asimov

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. - Carl Sagan

"There is more to life than increasing its speed." Mahatma Gandhi

The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow

Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to. - Howard Mumford Jones

If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. - Gen Omar N. Bradley

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do. - B. F. Skinner

The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.  ~Karl Marx

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. - Albert Einstein

I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours.  ~John F. Kennedy

There might be new technology, but technological progress itself was nothing new - and over the years it had not destroyed jobs, but created them. - Margaret Thatcher

Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau


The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. - Vint Cerf

The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. - Vint Cerf

"Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others" - Jon Postel's Law

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." - Al Gore, Jr.

The day I made that statement, I was tired because I'd been up all night inventing the Camcorder. - Al Gore attempting damage control

You affect the world by what you browse. - Tim Berners-Lee

Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network. - Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996

It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a 'thinking center' that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval. The picture readily enlarges itself into a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services. In such a system, the speed of the computers would be balanced, and the cost of the gigantic memories and the sophisticated programs would be divided by the number of users. -  J.C.R. Licklider, Man-Computer Symbiosis, 1960.

It soon became obvious that the ARPANET was becoming a human- communication medium with very important advantages over normal U.S. mail and over telephone calls. One of the advantages of the message systems over letter mail was that, in an ARPANET message, one could write tersely and type imperfectly, even to an older person in a superior position and even to a person one did not know very well, and the recipient took no offense. The formality and perfection that most people expect in a typed letter did not become associated with network messages, probably because the network was so much faster, so much more like the telephone. - J.C.R. Licklider , Albert Vezza, Applications of Information Networks , Proc of the IEEE, 66(11), Nov 1978.

"Thirty years ago our goal was to bring technology that hadn't existed before and share it." Len Kleinrock

"Technologically, the Internet will move from a separate computer to become transparently woven into every aspect of our lives." Len Kleinrock, one of the Pioneers of Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet

We will soon be living in an era in which we cannot guarantee survivability of any single point. However, we can still design systems in which system destruction requires the enemy to pay the price of destroying n of n stations. If n is made sufficiently large, it can be shown that highly survivable system structures can be built. - Paul Baran, On Distributed Communications, Volume I, 1964.

"For over one hundred years, the public switched telephone network has served our needs for communications infrastructure in the United States , reaching most of the population with a ubiquitous, reliable, and easy-to-use telecommunications technology. But today's networking communications technologies can empower scientists, researchers, educators, business people, policy makers, and citizens with the ability to access, create and distribute information much more powerfully and quickly than ever before. Such empowerment represents the true potential of the Information Age." NSFNET Final Report (1995), p. 4.

"Infrastructures, for purposes such as transportation and communication, have long been vital to national welfare. They knit together a country's economy by facilitating the movement of people, products, services, and ideas, and play important roles in national security." NSFNET Final Report (1995), p. 4.

It is one if the greater ironies of computer history that the vision of the hippies had to be married to the technology funded and fostered by the Pentagon, before the world of integrated information and communication became possible. - Stephen Segaller, NERDS2.0

"It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies." - Mike Royko

When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web.... Now even my cat has its own page. President WM. CLINTON, during announcement of Next Generation Internet initiative, 1996.

"There's a lot of weirdos on the Internet." Miss Texas Teen USA (during 1998 pageant)

"Today anyone on the Internet can find out more about what you read, think, and earn than the secret police of Stalin or Hitler could have learned." - Nowhere to Hide, by Robert Scheer

Is it a fact, or have I dreamt it -- that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The House of the Seven Gables.

"By means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time ... The round globe is a vast ... brain, instinct with intelligence!" Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851

"On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog." Peter Steiner. The New Yorker, page 61 of July 5 (Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20), 1993.

Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea - massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it. - Gene Spafford

"The Internet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea - massive, difficult to re-direct, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it." Gene Spafford

"Every now and then, a technology [the Internet] comes along that is so profound, so powerful, so universal, that its impact will change everything. It will transform every institution in the world. It will create winners and losers, will change the way we do business, the way we teach our children, communicate and interact as individuals." Lou Gerstner, Chairman, IBM, 1996

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. - John Perry Barlow

One can imagine the government's problem. This is all pretty magical stuff to them. If I were trying to terminate the operations of a witch coven, I'd probably seize everything in sight. How would I tell the ordinary household brooms from the getaway vehicles? - John Perry Barlow

In Cyberspace, the First Amendment is a local ordinance. -John Perry Barlow

Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life - Andrew Brown

There's a statistical theory that if you gave a million monkeys typewriters and set them to work, they'd eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Thanks to the Internet, we now know this isn't true. - Ian Hart

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. - Roger Ebert

The Internet is a telephone system that's gotten uppity.  ~Clifford Stoll

Digital Divide

Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing... you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world. - Jimmy Carter

Network Neutrality

AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre said: "What they [Google, Vonage, and others] would like to do is to use my pipes free. But I ain't going to let them do that..Why should they be allowed to use my pipes?"

Mr. Forbes also makes a poor analogy that many opponents of net neutrality have used comparing the Internet to the Postal Service and mail delivery. This analogy is wrong. Net neutrality protections are not analogous to the post office charging consumers different rates for regular mail and overnight delivery. Rather, net neutrality would protect the person who pays for overnight delivery from having it take five days for his package to be delivered because the person receiving it did not pay for receiving overnight delivery as well. Internet providers want to prevent consumers who pay for priority delivery of data from receiving the data unless Web sites also pay for priority delivery. Net neutrality protections would prevent them from doing so. - Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) Washington


"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." --- Sir Isaac Newton

"A work of art is never finished, only abandoned." --- Anonymous

Nothing ever built arose to touch the skies unless someone dreamed that it should, someone believed that it could, and someone willed that it must. --- Charles Kettering

"It fails to fail often enough so it looks like it works." Mike O'Dell

Every noble work is at first impossible. -Thomas Carlyle

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Edison

So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we' ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.' -- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.


Journalism ``largely consists of saying `Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.'' - GK Chesterton

A free press is one that prints a dictator's speech but doesn't have to. -- Laurence J. Peter

"[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." - Thomas Jefferson, 1787

The most effective means of ensuring the government's accountability to the people is an aggressive, free, challenging, untrusting press. -- Colin Powell

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be ... The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe." - Thomas Jefferson

"Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the [ U.S. ] media." - Noam Chomsky

"Private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information. It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights." - Albert Einstein

It is well to remember that freedom through the press is the thing that comes first. Most of us probably feel we couldn't be free without newspapers, and that is the real reason we want the newspapers to be free. -- Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)

To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity, over error and oppression. -- James Madison, 1799

A newspaper is a device unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

I don't think people ought to believe only one news medium. They ought to read and they ought to go to opinion journals and all the rest of it. I think it's terribly important that this be taught in the public schools, because otherwise, we're gonna get to a situation because of economic pressures and other things where television's all you've got left. And that would be disastrous. We can't cover the news in a half-hour event evening. That's ridiculous. -- Walter Cronkite, quoted in ``The Boys on the Bus,'' 1973

There is a lot of angst out there in the newsrooms of America about our future but it is ill-founded. Our future is very strong as far as I'm concerned. No new medium has ever replaced an existing medium in the history of mass communications. Those who say newspapers are dinosaurs are wrong; newspapers still have a very important role to play in a democratic society. -- William B. Ketter, editor, the Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, and former president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Predictions, Usually Flawed

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it" Dr Alan Kay, founder of Xerox PARC

"Books will soon be obsolete in the schools... Our school system will be completely changed in the next ten years" -Thomas Edison, 1913 speaking about motion pictures

There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will. - Albert Einstein, 1932.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches? - The Quarterly Review , England (March 1825)

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." --A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899

"Inventions reached their limit long ago, and I see no hope for further development," - Julius Frontinus in the first century A.D.

That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced. - Scientific American, Jan. 2, 1909

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." --Irving Fisher, professor of economics at Yale University , October 17, 1929

Amazon at $400. - Henry Blodget

The future ain't what it used to be. - Yogi Berra

"I have read with dismay your presentation "Draft Ethernet Overview". As I am sure you are aware, technically or conceptually there is nothing new in your proposal. Perhaps appropriately, you have chosen a coined jargon utilizing discredited scientific conceptual expression in which to frame your ideas. I find your analysis of the proposed interconnection lacking in technical credibility. Quantitative statistical analysis would show that your proposed system would be a failure." Xerox Parc Memo from RT Bachrach to Bob Metcalf and Dave Boggs (March 5, 1974)

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosive." -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse , 1872

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

[W]hen the Paris Exhibition closes electric light will close with it and no more be heard of. - Erasmus Wilson (1878) Professor at Oxford University

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea." - H.G. Wells, British Novelist, 1901.


"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

Space / Universe

"The proposition, that the sun is the centre and does not revolve about the earth, is foolish, absurd, false in theology and heretical." - The Inquisition, on Galileo's proposals

"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, Inventor of TV

Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean . - Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1838) Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College , London

The foolish idea of shooting at the moon is an example of the absurd length to which vicious specialization will carry scientists working in thought-tight compartments. - A.W. Bickerton (1926) Professor of Physics and Chemistry, Canterbury College, New Zealand

"Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." -- New York Times editorial 1921.

"When I toured the space program with Kennedy, he was surprised to see me," Minow said. "I said 'Mr. President, communications satellites will be much more important than sending man into space because they will send ideas into space. Ideas last longer than men.' FCC Chair Newton Minow (1961-63)


"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." - Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer, inventor of vacuum tube (1926)

"TV won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first 6 months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." (Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, 1946)


"The Americans may have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece, Chief of the British Postal System, 1876

"Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value." Editorial, Boston Post (1865)

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876

"It's a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?" President Rutherford B. Hayes after a demonstration of Bell 's telephone

"DeForest has said . . . that it would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and deliberately misleading statements, the misguided public ... has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company. " U. S. District Attorney, prosecuting inventor Lee Deforest for fraud, 1913


"The radio craze will die out in time." Thomas Edison, 1922

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

Radio has no future - Lord Kelvin, ca. 1897.


I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year. - The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.

"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." - Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

But what ... is it good for? -- Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

640K ought to be enough for anybody. -- Bill Gates, 1981

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman, IBM, 1949 Wikipedia says Misattributed

"Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1 1/2 tons." Popular Mechanics, 1949

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons. -- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"Vague but exciting" - Mike Sendall's (Tim Berners-Lees' boss) comment in response to Tim Berners-Lee's proposal for inventing the World Wide Web

Stupid Network

"In a world of dumb terminals and telephones, networks had to be smart. But in a world of smart terminals, networks have to be dumb."  George Gilder, in The Coming of the Fibersphere, Forbes ASAP, December 7, 1992 Source:


"The telegraph is a kind of very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and he is mewing in Los Angeles . Radio operates in exactly the same way, except there is no cat." - Albert Einstein

"The lightning speaks and holds converse with man! What can be more sublime!"-Taliaferro Preston Shaffner, The Telegraph Manual, 1859


"We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing to communicate." -Henry Thoreau, 1854

"One of the most remarkable recent inventions connected with telegraphy is the telephone, an instrument which transmits directly the pitch of a sound by means of a telegraph wire -- either an air wire or submarine cable -- so that, for instance, when the operator at one end of the wire sings or plays on an instrument any tune, as 'Yankee Doodle,' or 'Hail Columbia,' it will be heard and distinguished plainly at the other end. This invention may in its present state have no direct practical application, but be a mere scientific, although highly interesting, curiosity." The Manufacturer and Builder, May, 1889

"There are two giant entities at work in our country, and they both have an amazing influence on our daily lives . . . one has given us radar, sonar, stereo, teletype, the transistor, hearing aids, artificial larynxes, talking movies, and the telephone. The other has given us the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, the Great Depression, the gasoline crisis, and the Watergate fiasco. Guess which one is now trying to tell the other one how to run its business?" - Sign in AT&T Buildings, 1983

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876

Elisha Gray

As to Bell's talking telegraph, it only creates interest in scientific circles... its commercial values will be limited. - Elisha Gray

Mobile Phones

The cell phone has transformed public places into giant phone-a-thons in which callers exist within narcissistic cocoons of private conversations. Like faxes, computer modems and other modern gadgets that have clogged out lives with phony urgency, cell phones represent the 20th Century's escalation of imaginary need. We didn't need cell phones until we had them. Clearly, cell phones cause not only a breakdown of courtesy, but the atrophy of basic skills. - Mary Schmich


The television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home. - David Frost

"The average American family hasn't time for television." The New York Times, 1939

Television is chewing gum for the eyes. - Frank Lloyd Wright

Television has made dictatorship impossible, but democracy unbearable. - Shimon Peres

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

" But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you--and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland . " FCC Chair Newton Minow (1961-63)

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