quote by Molly Ivins

You could probably prove, by judicious use of logarithms and congruent triangles, that real life is a lot more like soap opera than most people will admit.

— Molly Ivins

Irresistibly Logarithmic quotations

I was lucky because logarithmic plots are a device of the devil.


[In plotting earthquake measurements] the range between the largest and smallest magnitudes seemed unmanageably large. Dr. Beno Gutenberg then made the natural suggestion to plot the amplitudes logarithmically.

Imagine a person with a gift of ridicule [He might say] First that a negative quantity has no logarithm; secondly that a negative quantity has no square root; thirdly that the first non-existent is to the second as the circumference of a circle is to the diameter.

If the intensity of the material world is plotted along the horizontal axis, and the response of the human mind is on the vertical, the relation between the two is represented by the logarithmic curve. Could this rule provide a clue to the relationship between the objective measure of information, and our subjective perception of it?

SpaceX is only 12 years old now. Between now and 2040, the company's lifespan will have tripled. If we have linear improvement in technology, as opposed to logarithmic, then we should have a significant base on Mars, perhaps with thousands or tens of thousands of people.


I would point out is that most of the change over the past 5,000 years has been arithmetic, and it now logarithmic. Digitization, the whole Moore's law thing where it doubles every 18 months - that is a speed that is faster than most people are used to.

A precisian professor had the habit of saying: ".

.. quartic polynomial ax^4+bx^3+cx^2+dx+e , where e need not be the base of the natural logarithms."

Said about Napier's logarithms: . . . by shortening the labors doubled the life of the astronomer.

Logarithmic plots are a device of the devil.

By moving them vertically, a representative mean curve could be formed, and individual events were then characterized by individual logarithmic differences from the standard curve.


I saw the logarithmic growth of computer power.

You have no idea, how much poetry there is in the calculation of a table of logarithms!

Near that a dusty paint-box, some odd hooks, A half-burnt match, an ivory block, three books, Where conic sections, spherics, logarithms, To great Laplace, from Saunderson and Sims, Lie heaped in their harmonious disarray Of figures,-disentangle them who may.

If women were once permitted to read Sophocles and work with logarithms, or to nibble at any side of the apple of knowledge, there would be an end forever to their sewing on buttons and embroidering slippers.

The frequencies of the notes in a scale—do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do—sound to us like they’re rising in equal steps. But objectively their vibrational frequencies are rising by equal multiples. We perceive pitch logarithmically.


...the science of calculation also is indispensable as far as the extraction of the square and cube roots: Algebra as far as the quadratic equation and the use of logarithms are often of value in ordinary cases: but all beyond these is but a luxury; a delicious luxury indeed; but not be in indulged in by one who is to have a profession to follow for his subsistence.

Just as entropy is a measure of disorganization, the information carried by a set of messages is a measure of organization. In fact, it is possible to interpret the information carried by a message as essentially the negative of its entropy, and the negative logarithm of its probability. That is, the more probable the message, the less information it gives. Cliches, for example, are less illuminating than great poems.