Robert A. Heinlein, in “Time Enough for Love (1988)”

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Romain Rolland

Il n’y a qu’un seul héroisme au monde: c’est de voir le monde tel qu’il est, et de l’aimer.

Piet Mondrian, in a letter he wrote to H. P. Bremmer in 1914

I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things …
I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.


Gian-Carlo Rota

Combinatorics is an honest subject. No adèles, no sigma-algebras. You count balls in a box, and you either have the right number or you have not.

Donald E. Knuth, in Foreword of “A = B (1995)”

Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.

David L. Goodstein

Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Pual Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously.

E. Artin, in the introductory chapter of “GEOMETRIC ALGEBRA (1957)”

It is my experience that proofs involving matrices can be shortened by half if one throws the matrices out. Sometimes it cannot be done; a determinant may have to be computed.

The movie “Match Point (2005)”

Hardwork is mandatory. But I think everybody is afraid to admit what a big part luck plays. Scientists are confirming more and more that all existence is here by blind chance. No purpose, no design.

Adolph Levitt, on every box of Mayflower Donuts in 1931

As you ramble on through life, brother, Whatever be your goal, Keep your eye upon the doughnut, And not upon the hole.