For [Richard] Feynman, the essence of the scientific imagination was a powerful and almost painful rule. What scientists create must match reality. It must match what is already known. Scientific creativity is imagination in a straitjacket.

— James Gleick

The most scandalous James Gleick quotes that are free to learn and impress others

"Half genius and half buffoon," Freeman Dyson .

.. wrote. ... [Richard] Feynman struck him as uproariously American-unbuttoned and burning with physical energy. It took him a while to realize how obsessively his new friend was tunneling into the very bedrock of modern science.

48

Everything we care about lies somewhere in the middle, where pattern and randomness interlace.

17

It is not the amount of knowledge that makes a brain.

It is not even the distribution of knowledge. It is the interconnectedness.

15

Every new medium transforms the nature of human thought.

In the long run, history is the story of information becoming aware of itself.

7

When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive.

6

Life sucks order from a sea of disorder.

5

It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in this universe.

5

Google is where we go for answers. People used to go elsewhere or, more likely, stagger along not knowing.

5

Geniuses of certain kinds - mathematicians, chess players, computer programmers - seem, if not mad, at least lacking in the social skills most easily identified with sanity.

5

We choose mania over boredom every time.

3

The history of life is written in terms of negative entropy.

3

The universe is computing its own destiny.

2

About James Gleick

Quotes 42 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday August 1, 1954

Thinking about language, while thinking _in_ language, leads to puzzles and paradoxes.

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He believed in the primacy of doubt, not as a blemish upon our ability to know, but as the essence of knowing.

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The microwave oven is one of the modern objects that convey the most elemental feeling of power over the passing seconds ... If you suffer from hurry sickness in its most advanced stages, you may find yourself punching 88 seconds instead of 90 because it is faster to tap the same digit twice.

0

Children and scientists share an outlook on life.

If I do this, what will happen? is both the motto of the child at play and the defining refrain of the physical scientist. ... The unfamiliar and the strange - these are the domain of all children and scientists.

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At its most fundamental, information is a binary choice.

In other words, a single bit of information is one yes-or-no choice.

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It is significant that one says book lover and music lover and art lover but not record lover or CD lover or, conversely, text lover.

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Intuition was not just visual but also auditory and kinesthetic.

Those who watched Feynman in moments of intense concentration came away with a strong, even disturbing sense of the physicality of the process, as though his brain did not stop with the grey matter but extended through every muscle in his body.

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The library will endure; it is the universe... We walk the corridors, searching the shelves and rearranging them, looking for lines of meaning amid leagues of cacophony and incoherence, reading the history of the past and of the future, collecting our thoughts and collecting the thoughts of others, and every so often glimpsing mirrors, in which we may recognize creatures of the information.

0

Cyberspace, especially, draws us into the instant.

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Running for president is the new selfie.

0

We say that time passes, time goes by, and time flows.

Those are metaphors. We also think of time as a medium in which we exist.

0

Tiny differences in input could quickly become overwhelming differences in output.... In weather, for example, this translates into what is only half-jokingly known as the Butter- fly Effect—the notion that a butterfly stirring the air today in Peking can transform storm systems next month in New York.

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In the mind's eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity.

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Ideas that require people to reorganize their picture of the world provoke hostility.

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I can't remember the last book that taught me so much, and so well, about what it means to be human.

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The quotation-business is booming. No subdivision of the culture seems too narrow to have a quotation book of its own.... It would be an understatement to say that these books lean on one another. To compare them is to stroll through a glorious jungle of incestuous mutual plagiarism.

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Vengeful conquerors burn books as if the enemy's souls reside there, too.

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Writing comes into being to retain information across time and across space.

Before writing, communication is evanescent and local; sounds carry a few yards and fade to oblivion. The evanescence of the spoken word went without saying. So fleeting was speech that the rare phenomenon of the echo, a sound heard once and then again, seemed a sort of magic.

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I have seen the future, and it is still in the future.

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It is not true that people who accomplish things don't waste time and that people who waste time don't accomplish things. The very concept is ill-informed. You can't waste time and you can't save time; you can only choose what you do at any given moment.

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The Internet is like a town that leaves its streets unmarked on the principle that people who don't already know don't belong

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Information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom.

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To some physicists chaos is a science of process rather than state, of becoming rather than being.

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As soon as the printing press started flooding Europe with books, people were complaining that there were too many books and that it was going to change philosophy and the course of human thought in ways that wouldnt necessarily be good.

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The basic idea of Western science is that you don't have to take into account the falling of a leaf on some planet in another galaxy when you're trying to account for the motion of a billiard ball on a pool table on earth. Very small influences can be neglected. There's a convergence in the way things work, and arbitrarily small influences don't blow up to have arbitrarily large effects.

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The alternative to doubt is authority, against which science had fought for centuries.

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The Internet has taken shape with startlingly little planning? The most universal and indispensable network on the planet somehow burgeoned without so muchasa boardofdirectors, never minda mergers-and- acquisitions department. There is a paradoxical lesson here for strategists. In economic terms, the great corporations are acting like socialist planners, while old- fashioned free-market capitalism blossoms at their feet.

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Neither technology nor efficiency can acquire more time for you, because time is not a thing you have lost. It is not a thing you ever had.

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You can't waste time and you can't save time; you can only choose what you do at any given moment.

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